Calhoun County, established in 1838, honors South Carolina Senator and Vice-President John Calhoun, revered in antebellum times for his staunch advocacy of states' rights. At one time it covered most of the Florida "panhandle" between the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers.
There have been several early county seats, not all of which are located within the county's current boundaries: St. Joseph (later destroyed by an earthquake; located near present-day Port St. Joe in Gulf County; it also served temporarily as the seat of Franklin County), Iola (near Wewahitchka in Gulf County), Abe Springs Bluff (on the Chipola River), and finally Blountstown, named for Seminole leader John Blount. Apparently local settlers appreciated the fact Blount had talked his people into taking the "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma. Yet another county seat was proposed for "Panther's Head," but as reported by James M. Denham, following a successful referendum in 1848 it was discovered there were actually two such sites in the county, such that "it became impossible to determine which of them was ballotted for."
The Calhoun County Courthouse pictured
above was designed by architects Benjamin Bosworth and Frank Lockwood of Montgomery,
Alabama, and is one of only two Florida courthouses built in the Romanesque Revival style.
It was constructed in 1904. In 1969 Calhoun voters opted to construct a new
facility. Hampton Dunn, Florida's historian emeritus, quotes a reporter to
the effect the new courthouse, dedicated in 1972, "rises up off the street like a
country cousin of the United Nations." The historic courthouse was preserved
and converted to other uses. An onsite historical marker commemmorates the 1832
Treaty of Payne's Landing. According to Dunn it is written in both English and
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