Lake Wales is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 14,225 at the 2010 census. As of 2014, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 15,140.It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The land around the present city was surveyed in 1879 by Sidney Irving Wailes, who changed the name of a lake, then known as Watts Lake, to Lake Wailes.The city of Lake Wales was established near the lake in 1911–12, planned by the Lake Wales Land Company.The spelling Wales was used for the city, although the lake is still generally spelled Lake Wailes. Allen Carleton Nydegger, a Civil Engineer, was contracted by the Lake Wales Land Company to plot out the community of Lake Wales. He and his crew camped on the shores of Crystal Lake and spent months plotting out the new community. In 1925 the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad built a new line from Haines City joining lines to Everglades City. A depot was opened on this line at Lake Wales. The City of Lake Wales was officially incorporated in April 1917.