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Bonifay, Florida
Downtown Bonifay in 2017
Downtown Bonifay in 2017
Location in Holmes County and the state of Florida
Location in Holmes County and the state of Florida
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Coordinates: 30°47′N 85°41′W / 30.783°N 85.683°W / 30.783; -85.683Coordinates: 30°47′N 85°41′W / 30.783°N 85.683°W / 30.783; -85.683
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Holmes
Area
 • Total 4.78 sq mi (12.37 km2)
 • Land 4.70 sq mi (12.18 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)
Elevation
135 ft (41 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 2,759
 • Density 586.65/sq mi (226.49/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
32425
Area code(s) 850
FIPS code 12-07450
GNIS feature ID 0279203

Bonifay is a city in Holmes County, Florida, United States. As of the 2020 census,the population was 2,759. It is the county seat of Holmes County.

Bonifay was founded in 1882 when the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad was built across the Florida Panhandle, and was named by P&A executive W. D. Chipley for Frank Bonifay, member of a prominent family who had a brickmaking factory in Pensacola, where the P&A was headquartered. Frank Bonifay bought a stake in the P&A, which in 1891 was merged into the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which after several more mergers became part of CSX Transportation in 1986. On June 1, 2019, the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad acquired most of the CSX line from Pensacola to Jacksonville.

Geography

Bonifay is located at 30°47′N 85°41′W (30.791,-85.681.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), all land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 922
1920 1,230 33.4%
1930 1,292 5.0%
1940 1,924 48.9%
1950 2,252 17.0%
1960 2,222 −1.3%
1970 2,068 −6.9%
1980 2,534 22.5%
1990 2,612 3.1%
2000 4,078 56.1%
2010 2,793 −31.5%
2020 2,759 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,793 people, 1,090 households, and 659 families residing in the city. There were 1,267 housing units, 14.0% of which were vacant. The racial makeup of the city was 84.8% White, 10.0% Black, 0.9% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% some other race, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 1,090 households, out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were headed by married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. 34.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.8% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41, and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city, 25.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.6% were from 18 to 24, 20.6% were from 25 to 44, 25.3% were from 45 to 64, and 20.3% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.4 males.

For the period 2011-15, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $25,060, and the median income for a family was $37,407. Male full-time workers had a median income of $41,458 versus $35,054 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,830. About 20.7% of families and 28.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.5% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.

Current growth

WTVY/Dothan has reported large property value increases due to real estate speculation. [1] However, as of August 3, 2006, the wildlife park project near Bonifay has been halted due to the termination of the agreement by the Holmes County Development Commission to sell 790 acres (3.2 km2) to Jim Fowler and his Fowler Center for Wildlife Education for the purpose of building the park.

The refundable deposit of $50,000.00 will be returned by the county. Among the many financial, logistical, and regulatory obstacles facing the construction of the park are the locations of a state prison, a county jail, and other public facilities within the proposed park, as depicted by the large white block and small white block areas to the northeast of a planned lake amidst the attractions in the park's master plan. Like other cities (e.g., Brunswick, Georgia, and Crestview, Florida) before it, Bonifay's brief flirtation with a Fowler-sponsored wildlife park came to an end.

Recently, however, the Fowler Project has been renewed, with Mr. Fowler no longer affiliated with Blue Dolphin II, Inc. After his contract with Blue Dolphin II, Inc., terminated in July 2007, Mr. Fowler expressed a renewed desire to construct his park in Bonifay, south of I-10.

The project may yet be terminated, since an environmental impact assessment has yet to be performed on the area. The assessment takes six months to perform, and the Fowler Project is being charged an additional $25,000 for each month of delay, in addition to the funds provided so that the Commission would consider the offer for the park.

Education

Holmes District School Board operates public schools. Bonifay is home to four public schools: Bonifay Elementary School, Bonifay Middle School, Holmes County High School and Bethlehem School.

A 2004 study by the Bureau of Secondary Education showed that 56.73% of Holmes County high school graduates go on to secondary education. Of these, 38.03% of those go on to complete a bachelor's degree, furthermore 12.60% of these students who receive a bachelors go on to receive a masters or doctoral degree. As of August 2008 all educational facility improvements shall be done in a financially feasible manner to address all Level of Service (LOS) needs as described by the Public School Facilities Element in the City of Bonifay 2020 Comprehensive Plan, officially recognized by the state of Florida on September 3, 2008.

As of 2016 a new K-8 school is being built in Bonifay to replace Bonifay Elementary and Bonifay Middle. Construction began in 2015 and it was scheduled to be completed in May 2017.

Holmes County Public Library is located in Bonifay.

Famous residents

Nancy Springer, prolific author of children's fiction, lives in Bonifay.

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