• Nassau County
  • Year Founded: 1881
  • Founded by: Cuyler Hilliard


Hilliard was named for Confederate Army Officer Guyler Walter Hilliard Government Mayor/Council. In December of 1881 the Hilliard Post Office was opened and William W. McCulley was appointed postmaster.

Hilliard is best known for its Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control center which began construction in 1958 and opened in 1960. In 1961 the center had 300 employees. It now employs 500 people.

Hilliard was named in January 2003 the recipient of an award from Gov. Jeb Bush proclaiming Hilliard “Florida’s Rural Community of the Year”, an award bestowed on the Town primarily because of the work done to fund and build a new municipal swimming pool.

Story of City’s Founding

The Town of Hilliard was founded by Cuyler Hilliard in 1881. Cuyler Hilliard and his son-in-law, James Bailey, leased 12,000 acres, built a sawmill, and formed a community that became a center of timber production. Trains ran through the town transporting lumber as well as passengers and other cargo. In 1909, after the area’s supply of timber had dwindled, F.W. Cornwall bought 33,000 acres and established the North Florida Fruit and Truck Farms in Hilliard. His company advertised land for sale and sold five to forty-acre farms.