There are many towns named Florence in the USA. Most of them were named for the wives and kin of local men, but a few of them were named after the city called Florence (Florentia) in Italy. There are 12 towns named Florence in the US with fairly large populations including the largest Florence, which is in the state of Alabama. It was named after Florence, Italy. The 2nd largest Florence, the one in South Carolina, was named after Florence Henning Harlee, the daughter of a railroad president.
Websites will tell you that there are 34 Florences in America, and this is pretty accurate. There are towns named Florence in states like Illinois and Georgia. The one in Illinois is described as a village with a population of 66. There are said to be 2 Florences in Georgia. Most of these towns have very small populations or are unincorporated. The Florence in Arkansas, for example, is in Drew County, is near Monticello, and has a population that is apparently too small to count.
I first became aware of the many Florences while in Arizona. Its Florence was named for the wife of a Native American agent. It has about 25,500 people living in it now. Its claim to fame had to do with Tom Mix. I got out of our rental car to read a plaque about Tom without knowing hardly anything about him. As it turns out, he was a rather famous early star of movie westerns. He lost control of his car, a plush Cord Phaeton convertible, near this town in 1940. He died here as a result of this accident, hence the plaque. Not much of national note has occurred in the other US Florences besides the usual auto accidents and continuing social mayhem. Two people were shot and killed in the Alabama Florence in September, 2021; and a few days later 6 others were injured in a bar shooting. In 1964 the Klan burned a local church in Florence, Mississippi, and 3 young civil rights workers were killed. A massive investigation followed.
There are said to be 5 Florences outside the USA. The one in Italy is, of course, the largest Florence in the world and the star of The Renaissance with Michelangelo and da Vinci. But there is also a Florence in New Zealand and one on an island I was not familiar with, Mayotte. I am always glad to learn about new places. Mayotte is a tiny archipelago northwest of Madagascar. It has a culture similar to the nearby Comoros, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Mayotte broke away from Comoros in 1974 and is densely populated. There are 289,000 people living there. Mayotte is quite French and on the euro. It’s has 5 populated islands and 2 others that are nature preserves for a total of 144 square miles. Its biggest island is Grande Terre. Mayotte’s main language is Shimaore, but French is the second most common language. Mayotte sounds a bit like a Haitian Sultanate. Even volcanoes are prominent like in Haiti. Mayotte’s capital is Mamoutzou, and the town of Florence is 6 miles away from it.
The Florence in Colorado is known for its antique shops.