| Walton County was formed in
1824 and named for Col. George Walton, the territorial secretary, who was the son of
Georgia's governor George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is the
colonel's daughter Octavia who named the city of Tallahassee. Until 1830 Walton County
residents continued to attend court in Pensacola. The county seat was then located, first
at Alaqua, then Euchee Anna, and finally DeFuniak Springs. A history of
Washington County states that a site known as "Big Spring of the Choctawhatchee"
also served Walton County on a temporary basis.
DeFuniak Springs was named for another colonel, Fred DeFuniak, who was an engineer for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. It was originally called Lake DeFuniak and was the site of a famous Chautauqua meeting center. DeFuniak Springs was also the home town of the "Cracker Messiah," Governor Sidney ("It's a poor cat that don't take care of its kittens") Catts.
As noted by Hampton Dunn, "There's hardly a courthouse square anywhere in the South that doesn't have a monument to the memory of the county's Confederate dead." However, that which stands on the courthouse grounds reportedly was the very first in the entire Confederacy, having been erected in Valley Church by the Ladies Memorial Association in 1871. When the county seat and courthouse moved, first to Euchee Anna and then DeFuniak Springs, the monument was carried with it.
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