Osceola County is a 1,506 square mile area that serves as the south/central boundary of the Central Florida Region and the Greater Metropolitan Area.
Osceola County was created in 1887. It was named for the Indian leader Osceola, whose name means "Singer of the Black Drink." On July 21, 1821, Florida was divided into two counties, named Escambia County to the west and St. John's County to the east. In 1824, the southern part of St. John's County became Mosquito County, with Enterprise as the county seat. When Florida became a state in 1845, Mosquito County was renamed Orange County. In 1844, Brevard County was carved out from Mosquito County. On May 12, 1887, Osceola was named a county, having been created from both Orange and Brevard Counties. Osceola County reached all the way down to Lake Okeechobee until 1917.
The City of Kissimmee, the County Seat, is 18 miles due south of Orlando. Osceola’s only other incorporated City, St. Cloud, is 9 miles east of Kissimmee, and approximately 45 miles west of the City of Melbourne on the Atlantic Coast.
Kissimmee, on the northwest shore of Lake Tohopekaliga (locally called "Lake Toho"), was founded in the mid-19th Century as Allendale. The name was changed when the city was incorporated in 1883.
After the opening of nearby Walt Disney World in 1971, KISSIMMEE and its neighboring city of Saint Cloud began to experience rapid growth which continues to this day.
Cattle ranching was an important part of the local economy for a century or so before the opening of Walt Disney World. After that, tourism and development supplanted cattle ranching to a large measure; however, cattle ranches still remain nearby, particularly in the southern part of Osceola County.
On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley stormed through Kissimmee bringing damaging winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The hurricane left behind hundreds of damaged homes and buildings, downed trees and 100 percent of the residents without power. Fifty-four percent of the residents had power restored in the first 72 hours; 85 percent were restored within one week. Service was restored to all customers on August 28. Three weeks after Hurricane Charley struck, the area was ravaged by Hurricane Frances; and three weeks after Frances, Hurricane Jeanne.
Beyond this northwest quadrant and to the south and east with the exception of a few very small, rural towns, like Holopaw, Kenansville, and Yeehaw Junction, ranch lands and undeveloped prairie, woods and marsh dominate the County. These large regions include the Mormon Church owned Desert Ranches and a number of other large, privately operated ranch and agricultural lands. Also included are the State of Florida's wildlife management areas and preserves at Bull Creek, Prairie Lakes, and the Three Lakes. As the "headwaters" of the South Florida Water Management District and the Lake Okeechobee/Florida everglades ecosystem, Osceola County is bounded by the Kissimmee River, is crossed by a number of partially accessible creeks, and is home to the Kissimmee Chain-of-Lakes, that includes some of the State’s largest and finest fishing and recreational attractions.
An urban and urbanizing area in the northwest quadrant of the County dominates Osceola County's geography. This area is adjoining to Polk County and Orange County and includes most of Osceola's population. It includes the incorporated areas of Kissimmee and St. Cloud, the unincorporated communities of Poinciana and Buenaventura Lakes, and unincorporated subdivisions ranging from Narcoossee in the northeast to Campbell City and Intercession City in the southwest to Deer Run and the St. Cloud Manor areas in the south.
Osceola's economic base is dominated by tourism, serving as a "gateway" to Disney World, Universal and other Central Florida attractions. The area's historical investments in ranching and citrus are still very strong, while light industry and service enterprises are growing due to Osceola's transportation advantages and proximity to the Greater Orlando area.
Industries providing employment: Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services (29.7%), Retail trade (13.3%), Educational, health and social services (12.3%).
Osceola County is a Charter County, and an administrative subdivision of the State of Florida. Part of the County Government is run by an elected County Commission, while another part of it is run by five independently elected Constitutional Officers. (Cities and the School Board each have only one elected council.) Osceola County Government is a "multi-purpose" government providing different services at different levels. Osceola County provides "municipal" services to unincorporated County residents and "Countywide" services to all County residents, whether they live in the Cities or not.
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Kissimmee Events Calender
Kissimmee Utility Authority
1701 W. Carroll Street
Kissimmee, Florida 34741
Florida Power Corporation
40 S. Dewey Street
Eustis, Florida 32726
County Seat: Kissimmee
St. Cloud 16,969
Unincorporated Osceola County 88,072
Total 143,828 (1997 figures)
Orlando Utilities Commission
P. O. Box 3193
Orlando, Florida 32802
Website: www.ouc.com SPRINT
1359 E. Vine Street
Kissimmee, Florida 34744