Hernando county was created in 1843 from Alachua County. 
Hernando was originally called Benton, the name change about 1850. 
Territory removed from Hernando county in 1887 formed Pasco county to the south and Citrus county to the north.

Site for early history of Hernando County

The following was provided by K. C. Thacker

Brooksville, County Seat of Hernando County for more than one hundred years, was originally know as “Melendez” and was one of three communities which were settled about the same period of time in the early 1840’s. Fort DeSoto and Pierceville were the other two early settlements.

Prior to 1840 the territory around Brooksville was inhabited primarily by Indians. It was in 1824 that Chief Black Dirt, a Seminole Indian Chief of high standing, and very honorable as a man, led a band of Indians into the area of what today has become known as Brooksville, but at that time was

known only as “Chokko Chatee” to the Red Man. His move into this area was the result of the “Treaty of 1823 at Moultrie Creek” near St. Augustine.

Chief Black Dirt was one of the signers of this treaty which provided for the removal of the Indians into Central Florida and he was faithful to his obligation.
Chokko Chatee had previously been inhabited by a band of the Eufaula Creek Indians. On December 2, 1838, Fort Cross, a military post, was established in this general area, a little north of Brooksville, and not far from the village of Fort DeSoto which began just a short time later.

Fort DeSoto is reported to be the oldest settlement in the county. Fort DeSoto was where the first early settlers gathered for protection from the Indians. N.G. Rowe, D.F. Thrasher, W.R. Mills, James Wiley, Lewis Parish, were some of the early settlers, and N.G. Rowe was Postmaster.

Fort DeSoto was a regular stop on the Graham and Concord Stage Coach Line which ran from Palatka to Tampa. Because of thick beds of limerock in the area, the early settlers had a great deal of difficulty in finding water, and the problem became so great that it caused the residents to abandon the village after a few years and move about three miles farther south to Pierceville, a community which was settled by the Hope and Saxon families.