Arcadia is a city and county seat of DeSoto County, Florida, United States. The population was 7,637 as of the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 7,722 in 2014. Arcadia's Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to The Atlas of Florida, "The Rev. James Madison ("Boss") Hendry (1839–1922) named the town in honor of Arcadia Albritton (1861–1932), a daughter of Thomas H. and Fannie (Waldron) Albritton, pioneer settlers. Arcadia had baked him a cake for his birthday and he appreciated it so much that he named the city after her."
In 1886, transportation improved in Arcadia when the Florida Southern Railway (later the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad) was built through Arcadia on its way from Bartow to Punta Gorda. The railway caused Arcadia to grow significantly, which led to Arcadia becoming incorporated a year later. A second railroad line, the Charlotte Harbor and Northern Railway (later the Seaboard Air Line Railroad), was built through Arcadia from 1907 to 1910 on its way from Mulberry to Boca Grande. Both lines have since been consolidated into a single line by CSX with the Seaboard line surviving north of Arcadia and the Atlantic Coast Line surviving to the south. Arcadia was also served by the short-lived East and West Coast Railway which connected Arcadia with Bradenton from 1915 to 1934.
Arcadia is located slightly northwest of the center of DeSoto County at 27°13'N 81°52'W (27.2176, -81.8599). The Peace River flows past the west side of the city on its way southwest to tidewater at Punta Gorda.
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,637 people, 2,955 households, and 1,659 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,635.6 people per square mile (631.1/km²). There were 2,604 housing units at an average density of 644.9 per square mile (248.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 42.11% White, 20.05% Hispanic, 28.09% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 7.18% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races.
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