Santa Rosa County Courthouse
|o Total||5.79 sq mi (15.01 km2)|
|o Land||5.57 sq mi (14.41 km2)|
|o Water||0.23 sq mi (0.59 km2)|
|Elevation||33 ft (10 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||1,890.93/sq mi (730.07/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
32570, 32571, 32572, 32583
|GNIS feature ID||0286947|
|Website||City of Milton|
Milton is a city in Santa Rosa County, Florida. It is the county seat of Santa Rosa County, and is located in the Pensacola–Ferry Pass–Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as the Pensacola Metropolitan Area. Milton is located in the geographic center of Santa Rosa County, it is bordered by Pace to the west, and Navarre to the South. As of 2010, the population of Milton was 8,826.
The town was incorporated in 1844 and is home to Naval Air Station Whiting Field. The population was 7,045 at the 2000 census. In 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 8,044. The population estimate for 2013 was 9,323.
Milton was known by various names during its development. Most notable were "Hell-Town" (muggy, inhospitable land covered with briars, mosquitoes, thorns, snakes) "Jernigan's Landing", "Scratch Ankle" (due to the briars that grew along the riverbank), and "Hard Scrabble."
According to Florida historian Allen Morris, "Just which Milton was honored by the final name is a dispute. Some say it is a contraction of an earlier Milltown; others that it was Milton Amos, pioneer and ancestor of the present Amos family; still others that it was John Milton - not the English poet, but the Civil War governor of Florida."
Milton was settled in the early 1800s as a small village centered on the lumber industry. The settlement originally was known as Scratch Ankle because of the briars and bramble that grew in the area. Another name was Jernigan's Landing after Benjamin Jernigan (died April 1847), who built a water-powered saw mill at what is now Locklin Lake between 1828 and 1830. Other names were Lumberton, Black Water, and Hard Scrabble, but by 1839, it was being referred to as Milltown. Milton was incorporated as a town in 1844, one year before the Territory of Florida joined the United States as the 27th state.
During the Civil War, much of Milton was burned by Confederate forces retreating from the Union capture of Pensacola in May 1862. The Confederates intended to prevent the town's industries from falling into Union hands. After the Southern forces evacuated the Union troops had a small garrison in nearby Bagdad where they had a base for expeditions in the surrounding area. Many Milton residents fled to Alabama.
Naval Air Station Whiting Field was constructed during World War II with the help of many German prisoners of war who were housed in a camp on the site. The station was commissioned on July 16, 1943 by Rear Admiral George D. Murray and the widow of Captain Kenneth Whiting, after whom the station was named.
On March 31, 1962, an F3 tornado hit the northwest side of Milton, causing 17 deaths and 100 injuries. It was Florida's deadliest tornado until February 22, 1998 when 25 people were killed in Kissimmee. It was also the deadliest tornado in 1962.
Milton is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), of which 4.4 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (4.59%) is water.
At the 2000 census, there were 7,045 people, 2,674 households and 1,831 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,611.1 per square mile (622.4/km2). There were 3,151 housing units at an average density of 720.6 per square mile (278.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 67.84% White, 25.95% African American, 0.71% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.04% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.45% of the population.
There were 2,674 households, of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.04.
27.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.1 males.
The median household income was $37,629, and the median family income was $44,261. Males had a median income of $35,000 versus $28,337 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,367. About 11% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
Milton is the home of the West Florida Railroad Museum and the historic Imogene Theater, owned and operated by the Santa Rosa Historical Society.