Florida in 1885 was a rural state, a long strip of relatively unoccupied frontier of the deep South. It sprawled from Pensacola to Key West with few farms or people south of Ocala. An inadequate system of transportation composed of sail and rail loosely tied the state together. Key West, its ties to Florida consisting of a few trading schooners, was the largest town. Counties large in area but small in population were in the south; those small in area but larger in population were in the north.
Williamson, Edward C.
"The Constitutional Convention of 1885,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 41
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol41/iss2/4