Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County (GSOC)


Okaloosa County, Florida

Okaloosa County is located in northwest Florida, it extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Alabama state line,
and from Santa Rosa County (FL) on the west to Walton County (FL) on the east. Its county seat is Crestview.


Adjacent counties
Covington County, Alabama - north         Walton County, Florida - east
Santa Rosa County, Florida - west   Escambia County, Alabama - northwest


[Okaloosa County 1920] Okaloosa County was created by an act of the Florida legislature on June 3, 1915. The legislature created a new county in the Florida Panhandle from parts of Santa Rosa and Walton counties. A number of names for the new county were submitted, one being "Yellow River County", but the legislature decided to call the new county "Okaloosa". This strange sounding word is a Muskogee Indian phrase meaning "Black Water". It was a most appropriate name in view of the area's many beautiful lakes and tranquil bayous, darkened by tannin, released from the trees which flourished along the banks.

Okaloosa County was the dream of William Mapoles, a State Representative for Walton County. The geographic isolation of the area ignited the desire for a separate county. Mr. Mapoles introduced the first bill to create the new county in 1913.

There was a hot rivalry among Milligan, Laurel Hill, Baker, and Crestview for the honor of being chosen a permanent County seat. Milligan became the temporary County seat but Crestview was chosen in April of 1917 to be the permanent County seat. Crestview, which is near the highest point in Florida, is about 236 feet above sea level. Much of the county is contained within Eglin Air Force Base which also is home to Hurlburt Field and Duke Field.

A more detailed but concise history of Okaloosa County by Fran Roberts can be read here.
[FL Map]




Okaloosa Museums, History, and Libraries Links
Destin History
& Fishing Museum
Heritage Museum
of Northwest Florida
Baker Block Museum
Fort Walton Beach
Heritage Park
and Indian Mound Museum
USAF
Armament Museum
Crestview History
Laurel Hill History
Mary Esther History
Niceville History
Valparaiso History
Shalimar History
Destin History
Fort Walton Beach History
Valparaiso Library
Fort Walton Beach Library
Crestview Library
Niceville Library
Destin Library


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E-mail address: gsocokaloosa@yahoo.com
    Page design, layout, and HTML code by Jim Young.  Last Updated 17 December 2011.