Seffner is an unincorporated census-designated place in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. The population was 5,467 at the 2000 census, although its ZIP codes (33584 & 33583), which boundaries extend beyond the ones given by the census and include the places of Mango and a portion of Thonotosassa, have a population of around 35,000.
Approximately 15 miles east of downtown Tampa, Seffner serves as a suburban haven for commuters. Characterized by towering live oak trees, strawberry farms and pristine lakes, this small town has been growing rapidly. Upscale, gated subdivisions now dot the once rural landscape.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²), of which, 3.6 square miles (9.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (2.95%) is water.
There were 2,075 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the community the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.
The median income for a household in the community was $42,614, and the median income for a family was $49,152. Males had a median income of $32,266 versus $26,328 for females. The per capita income for the community was $19,888. About 3.2% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.
According to Ernest Robinson, County Historian, Seffner quickly became a prosperous little place with prosperous people, groves, a hotel (later destroyed by fire), one drug store, several dry goods stores and a livery stable. Early pioneer families included the Hookers, Weeks (after whom Lake Weeks was named), Simmons, Mitchells, (their son became Governor of Florida in the early 1900's) Pembertons, Hendersons, Wheelers, Tomberlins, Morris, Harvey, Littles, O'Briens, Beaty, Baucom, Gray and Spencer.
When the yellow fever epidemic hit Tampa in the fall of 1887 and in 1888, many Tampa refugees fled in panic to Seffner for temporary shelter in the hotel there (non-extant). However, as refugees and mail arrived in Seffner, they were fumigated as protection from the epidemic. Among the refugees was T.C. Taliaferro of the First National Bank of Tampa, who operated a branch banking business from Seffner during the epidemic.
First Baptist Church of Seffner founded in 1888.
The freeze of 1894 and '95 brought disaster to Seffner. Many citizens left, while others remained to rebuild their losses once more. Yet, Seffner survived and regained its affluence. Attractive subdivisions were built to accommodate the influx of desirable residents. The beauty and popularity of the area, including Lakes Hooker, Locarno and Weeks, prompted others to relocate to the area. By 1925, Seffner was the fourth largest town in Hillsborough County, Florida.
After the Second World War, Seffner became a sleepy Florida town with many residents relocating to Tampa. Today, visitors can still see vestiges of older buildings and farms along the backroads of Seffner. As Tampa and neighboring Brandon expand eastward, Seffner is expected to benefit from a boon in commerce and further residential development.