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Bradford County

Bradford County is named for Richard Bradford, who was a Confederate officer killed in a battle near Pensacola.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

– Baker County

E – Clay County

S – Alachua County

W – Union County


Created:  December 21, 1858                Map of Florida highlighting Bradford County

County Seat:

Lake Butler ( Union )  1858 – 1876

Starke                         1876 – 1878

Lake Butler ( Union )  1878 – 1898

Starke                         1898 – present


Old County Courthouse – Starke


Location:  209 West Call Street / North Temple Avenue

Built:  1902 – 1903

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  S B Smith of Smith and Blackburn

Contractor:  F M Dobson


Description: The building faces south and is a two story red colored brick, limestone trim and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds of the old Courthouse Square in the center of Starke to the south of the courthouse,. The south front has a projecting arched porch on the first story with recessed entrance. Above the porch rises a high square brick clock tower with clock and steep green colored roof. The first story windows are arched. Along the roof line are two dormers. The roof is hipped. The building is now used as a college.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Old Bradford County Courthouse


County Courthouse – Starke



Location:  945 North Temple Avenue / George Street

Built:  1968 – 1969

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  Frank George George of Palatka

Contractor:  Triest Construction Company of Keystone Heights


Description: The building faces east and is a two story yellow colored brick, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Starke. The center west section is recessed with the north and south one story wings extending eastwards forming a courtyard in the middle. The center west section has a glass wall extending from the main building and is dived by vertical concrete dividers. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the County Circuit Court courtroom is located at the center of the west section on the second story.  There is also two smaller courtrooms on the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 8th Judicial District and County Court. The building was enlarged in 2003.


See:  The 8th Judicial Circuit includes Alachua CountyBaker County, Gilchrist CountyLevy County and Union County.


See:  The county is located in the First Judicial District of the Court of Appeal – First Judicial District located in Tallahassee.


History:  The county was created in 1858 as New River County and Lake Butler was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a wood structure courthouse erected on the site of the present  Union County courthouse. In 1861, the name was changed to Bradford County. The courthouse was burned in 1865 and the second courthouse was built. The courthouse was also burned in 1875. The county seat was moved to Starke in 1876 and the third courthouse was second story of a mercantile building owned by Thomas Hemingway (Canova Pharmacy Building ). In 1878, the county seat returned to Lake Butler and the fourth courthouse was built at a cost of $885. The county seat changed each election and was finally moved to Starke in 1898 and the Masonic Red Men’s Lodge became the fifth courthouse. The sixth courthouse was constructed in 1902 at a cost of $12,500. In 1921, Union County was created removing Lake Butler from Bradford County. The seventh and present courthouse was constructed in 1968 to 1969.


See:  The Thomas Hemingway Building which served as the third courthouse is located at 101 East Call Street and Walnut Street.



Old County Courthouse – Starke





County Courthouse – Starke
















County Circuit Court courtroom













Small courtroom









Photos taken 2009, 2018 and 2023