Seffner, Florida is roughly thirteen miles to the east of the city of Tampa. The census in 2010 put the population of Seffner at 7,579, up almost forty percent from the previous 2000 census (population 5,467).
Interestingly, in the ten years between the census of 1990 and 2000, Seffner only saw population grown of less than two percent.
The population of 1990 was 5,371, compared to ten years later when the 2000 census recorded a population of 5,467 people.
A small, yet rapidly growing, town, Seffner is a suburban haven for Tampa commuters. While still a small town dotted with large oak trees, lakes and strawberry farms, Seffner now has housing subdivisions dotting the rural landscape.
The Seffner Chamber of Commerce puts the small town’s founding as unknown. 1862 was the year the streets for Seffner were laid out, at least according to some historians.
It wasn’t until twenty-three years later in 1885, that Seffner was formally recorded as a plat. A plat is simply a map drawn to scale, that shows the divisions of a piece of land.
The year previous in 1884, Seffner, Florida saw the opening of a post office, as well as Seffner’s very first school and store.
In fact, the community got it’s name from it’s very first postmaster, one F.P. Seffner.
Seffner was one of three primary towns, along with Dover and Mango, along the South Florida Railroad between Tampa and Plant City.
The railroad is the main reason these towns were able to exist as each one became a much needed shipping center.
Tampa was located 13 miles to the west of Seffner and Plant City was located 10 miles to the east, making Seffner an ideal shipping point and stop along the railroad.
Thanks to the railroad Seffner, Florida prospered and grew. There were numerous dry good stores, a livery stable, a drug store and even a hotel.
While that hotel would later burn to the grown, it played a big role in 1887 and 1888. That was when a yellow fever epidemic hit the city of Tampa, a short distance to the west.
Many people fled Tampa in a panic and ended up taking shelter in the one hotel in Seffner. At least, temporarily. Both mail and refugees were fumigated when they arrived in Seffner.
Later that same year saw the founding of the First Baptist Church of Seffner. While Seffner mostly has the same moderate climate of Tampa, a freeze in the winter of 1894-1895 was a disaster for the town and many townspeople fled Seffner.
Others, however, did stay and work to rebuild what they had lost. Seffner got through the trouble, and came back stronger. By 1925, the town of Seffner was the fourth largest town in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Post World War II, Seffner became an idyllic, sleepy town in Florida with many of its residents heading to Tampa.
Now, as Tampa grows and becomes more crowded many people who work in Tamps are relocating to small towns like Seffner.
An interesting side note, Seffner got national news headlines in 2013 after a resident was swallowed by a sinkhole that opened up in his bedroom!