first elected sheriff of Polk County
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William Hutto Durrance
About 1853, William,Sarah & family along with brothers, sisters and their families, made the move into eastern Hillsborough County.
 This part of the county later became Polk County.
The family first homesteaded in Bradley Junctionand later in an area northwest of Homeland, Near Bartow.
 In order to protect their property, the state formed companies of Volunteer Militia. William enlisted December 29, 1855, as a private and the company bugler.
 William mustered out December of 1857.At the beginning of the Civil War, William enlisted again in the detachment of Florida Mounted Volunteers, commanded by his brother, Lt. John R. Durrance from July 14, 1861 to August 27, 1861.
 On February 8, 1861, Governor Perry of Florida signed a bill creating the county of Polk.
 On the 13th.of February of that year the first election was held.
  William Hutto Durance ran for office of sheriff and was elected by a three to one margin. William was the first elected sheriff of Polk County.
 His family was also instrumenutal in organizing  and establishing the First Methodist-Episcopal Church in Polk County and south Florida.
 In his last will and testament his estate included their home, 400 acres of land in Polk County, his entire stock of cattle ( 70 head ) and his stock of horses.
   William Hutto Durrance was born in Tanall County, Georgia, 30 August, 1815, died; 27 Feb., 1873 and is buried in the Crum/Durrance Cemetery, Polk Co.,Fl. near Homeland.

This story was donated for your reading
by a relative of William H.Durrance.
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page by: Peggy
2010 - 2012