In the Northeastern Region of Florida, Bradford County was formed in 1858 as New River County from Columbia County. In 1861, New River's northern half was split off to form Baker County and the southern half assumed its current name of Bradford. In 1921, the western portion of Bradford was split off to form Union County. Bradford's county seat, Starke, is on US-301 about 40 miles southwest of Jacksonville. Bradford is bordered by the counties of Union, Baker, Clay and Alachua.