Bartow is the county seat of Polk County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1851 as Fort Blount, the city was renamed in honor of Francis S. Bartow the first brigade commander to die in combat during the American Civil War. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Census, the city had a population of 15,340 and an estimated population of 16,959 in 2009. It is part of the LakelandWinter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 584,383 in 2009. As of 2010, the mayor of Bartow is W. Patrick "Pat" Huff.