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After trading hands multiple times between the British and the Spanish, Spain finally ceded Florida to the United States in 1821, and in 1823 the U. The very next year Odet Philippe became the first permanent, non-native resident of the peninsula when he established a homestead near the site of the Tocobaga village in Safety Harbor.
A trip to the county seat, across the bay in Tampa, was generally an overnight affair and the automobiles that existed on the peninsula at that time would frequently become bogged down in the muck after rainstorms.Brothers James and Daniel Mc Mullen were members of the Confederate Cow Cavalry, driving Florida cattle to Georgia and the Carolinas to help sustain the war effort. Marston served in the 9th Florida Regiment as a part of the Appomattox Campaign. Otherwise the peninsula had virtually no significance during the war, and the war largely passed the area by.Tarpon Springs became West Hillsborough's first incorporated city in 1887, and in 1888 the Orange Belt Railway was extended into the southern portion of the peninsula. Other major towns in the county incorporated during this time were Clearwater (1891), Dunedin (1899), and Largo (1905).By the early 18th century the Tocobaga had been virtually annihilated, having fallen victim to European diseases from which they had no immunity, as well as European conflicts.Later Spanish explorers named the area Punta Piñal (Spanish for "Point of Pines" or "Piney Point"). In 1834 much of west central Florida, including the Pinellas peninsula (then known simply as West Hillsborough), was organized as Hillsborough County.