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Bicentennial Summer Institute: Counties

The Indiana Bicentennial Institute is planned to incorporate one or more educator from each of Indiana’s 92 counties in a campus-based professional development program sponsored by ten IN based professional education organizations.

Indiana's Counties

Indiana's Counties

1.    Adams: Named to honor the sixth U.S. president, Decatur is this county’s seat. When the first Yankee settlers arrived from New England, most brought the Baptist and Methodist religions. The town of Berne was settled by Swiss Mennonite settlers and later with advent of the railroads, more Swiss, Germans and English-speaking people arrived. The town of Geneva was home to naturalist, author, photographer Gene Stratton-Porter, also the first woman to form a movie studio. The county’s Bicentennial Project involves the purchase of land to extend the Wabash River Heritage Corridor.

2.    Allen: Named for a colonel in the War of 1812, the county seat of Ft. Wayne was founded at the confluences of the Maumee, St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers as a trading post for European pioneers. Ft. Wayne was the last of the forts near the Miami Nation’s capital. The area was important as a portage area between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River and became part of the Wabash and Erie Canal system. In the early 1900s came a large influx of German and Irish immigrants. Manufacturing was big in the Ft. Wayne area and it later became a fixture on the Lincoln Highway. Some large annual events include the Johnny Appleseed Festival, Three Rivers Festival, and RibFest. The Ft. Wayne area is home to several colleges and universities including IU-Purdue at Ft. Wayne, one of IU’s medical schools, Concordia Theological Seminary, Indiana Institute of Technology and University of St. Francis. Many private universities are also located here.

3.    Bartholomew: Named for a lieutenant colonel who died at Tippecanoe, this county was founded in 1821. Columbus, its county seat is known for its architecture and has won several awards. When the city was quickly renamed from Tiptonia, General Tipton, who was involved in the land purchase left the area. Later when Tipton was involved in the construction of the highway connecting Indianapolis and Louisville, Columbus was bypassed. Four railroads helped the Columbus area grow. In the early 1900s it was home to pioneering car companies. Cummins also came here. Located here, the Crump Theatre is the oldest in Indiana. Notable people in the county include Tony Stewart of NASCAR and Indycar fame, Forest Lucas of Lucas Oil, Scott McNealy chairman and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and incumbent governor Mike Pense.

4.    Benton: Benton County is located in the northwest part of the U.S. state of Indiana, along the border with Illinois. Benton County was formed February 18, 1840. The original county seat selected in 1843 was Oxford, but after a long struggle between contending factions it was moved to Fowler in 1874. Benton County covers 406.30 sq. miles and like the first settlers, over 90% of the county is agriculture. Major wind farms are located here as are grain elevators and railroad lines. Dan Patch, a celebrated pacer horse is one of the county notables as well as Adam Kennedy (actor), Donald Williams (NASA space shuttle commander) and Richard Atha (IN Basketball Hall of Famer).

5.    Blackford: Blackford County is located in the east central portion of the U.S. state of Indiana. The county is named for Judge Isaac Blackford, who was the first speaker of the Indiana General Assembly and a long-time chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. Created in 1838, Blackford County is divided into four townships, and its county seat is Hartford City. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns. Based on population, the county is the 8th smallest county of the 92 in Indiana. Although no interstate highways are located in Blackford County, three Indiana state roads cross the county, and an additional state road is located along the county's southeast border. Beginning in the late 1880s, the discovery of natural gas and crude oil in the county (and surrounding region) caused the area to undergo an economic boom period known as the Indiana Gas Boom. The boom period lasted about 15 years, and is reflected in Blackford County's population, which peaked in 1900 at 17,213.

6.    Boone: Named for a famous frontiersman, Lebanon is now the county seat, but originally it was in Jamestown. Lebanon received its name when a pioneer settler was reminded of the Biblical cedars of Lebanon after seeing a stand of hickory trees. On the National Register of Historic Places is the Cragun House, once home to a family who decorated their home with pieces they collected during their world travels. Other towns in the county include Zionsville, Thornton, Whitestown and Advance. Advance was struck by a tornado on May 13, 1995. Indiana license plates issued in this county begin with a 6 as this was the 6th county alphabetically. Noteables include Uncle Johnny Coons, host of a Chicago children’s show; Emmy nominated Visual Effects Composer Sherry Hitch; and author of a 36 book series about the Sugar Creek Gang, Paul Hutchens.

7.    Brown: Indiana's largest state park shares this county's name. It was named for a general who defeated the British at Sackett's Harbor in the War of 1812. Pioneer life lasted longer here than in most counties due to its forested, rocky, hilly terrain and deeply rutted roads. Towns include the 1907 art colony in the town of Nashville and nearby, the Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Yellowwood State Forest, part of Hoosier National Forest and Lakes Monroe and Lemon are located here.

8.    Carroll: Carroll County was formed in 1828 and named for Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, who died in 1832. The Wabash and Erie Canal, built through the county in 1840 and operating until the early 1870s, is among the county's most significant historical legacies. The 730-pound bell from the first courthouse was made in Cincinnati in 1836 and given by Sheriff Samuel Davis Gresham, and was used in the second courthouse until 1916. While the bell was in transit to Lafayette by boat, the boat sank; the bell was later recovered from the Ohio River. It was later sold, but was returned to Carroll County in 1967.

9.    Cass: Cass County was formed in 1828. It is named for Gen. Lewis Cass, 2nd Territorial Governor of Michigan and afterward U.S. Secretary of State, who was instrumental in the making of treaties with the Native Americans of the region. These treaties opened up the land in this area to white settlers.  Cass County was formed by an act of the state legislature on December 18, 1828.  A historic landmark in Spencer Park in Logansport is a Dentzel Carousel. The Wabash-Erie Canal and Eel River helped give Logansport its name. Rutenber, a vintage car company was once housed here. The Michigan Road, connecting Madison to Michigan City, IN runs through this county.

10.  Clark: Clark County lies on the north bank of the Ohio River. A significant gateway to Indiana, Clark County's settlement began in 1783. Virginia rewarded Gen. George R. Clark and regiment for their victorious capture of Forts Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes from the British by granting them 150,000 acres. 1,000 acres, became known as Clarksville, the first authorized American settlement in the Northwest Territory, founded the next year in 1784. From its beginning Clark County's history, culture and growth have been linked to the development of the river. The use of the steamboat in the early nineteenth century to transport goods and services provided Clark County opportunities for commercial and industrial growth. In 1832, James Howard founded the Howard shipyards making Clark County a leader in ship building and bringing with it economic growth. While there, see the Howard Steamboat Museum and Jeffboat.

11.  Clay: Clay County was formed in 1825, in honor of Henry Clay, famous antebellum American statesman. The first Courthouse was two-story, made of hand-hewn logs and was built in Bowling Green in 1828. By the 1860s, Harmony, Knightsville, and Brazil were growing, due partly to their location along the National Road, and the many coal companies in that section of the county. An effort to move the county seat of government to a more central location, begun in the 1850s, grew stronger creating controversy among citizens. In 1871, brothers Robert and John Stewart donated a tract of land along the National Road in Brazil for proposed site of the new courthouse. The relocation efforts, which began in 1871, were challenged in the Supreme Court. The relocation was finally granted in 1876. Orville Redenbacher of Red Bow Popcorn fame, grew up in the town of Brazil.

12.  Clinton: Named for a New York governor, naturalist and member of the Erie Canal Commission, this central Indiana county was settled in the 1830s. Its county seat is Frankfort rather than Jefferson, due to the donation of 60 acres of land. Colfax, Kirklin, Michigantown, Mulberry and Rossville are additional towns here. Towns developed around crossroads. Located between Lafayette and Indianapolis railroads followed. This county’s Legacy Project is to restore its “Old Stoney” limestone monument. Noteable people in the area include Lieutenant General James F. Record, awarded 3 Distinguished Service Crosses for gallantry in the Vietnam War, born and raised in this county. Other notable people from the county include Coach Everett Case who took his high school to 4 state basketball championships; actors Will Geer and Anthony Caruso; and Kyle Cook of Matchbox 20.

13.  Crawford: was formed in 1818. Some say it was named for William H. Crawford, who was U.S. Treasury Secretary in 1818. Others say it was named for Col. William Crawford, who fought in the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War, and who was burned and scalped by Indians in 1782. The county seat was formerly in Leavenworth but eventually moved to English. Sightseers come to Marengo Cave in Marengo and Wyandotte Caves in Harrison-Crawford State Forest. Leavenworth, located on the Ohio River moved its town after the 1937 flood forced most of its residents to evacuate. English also moved its town to higher elevations due to flooding. O’Bannon Woods State Park and Patoka Lake are located in the county.

14.  Daviess: was formed in 1817. It was named for Maj. Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, U.S. District Attorney for Kentucky, killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. The settlement of the county began along the White River that afforded farmers a convenient means to transport their crops for sale. The county was heavily forested in the northeast leading to a thriving timber industry during the first half of the 1800s. Daviess County shares its namesake with another nearby Daviess County of Kentucky and they are in the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky Tri-State Area. A railroad was built through Washington in 1857 and it became a major depot and repair yard. In November 2013, an EF-2 tornado destroyed part of the western edge of the city. Historical buildings include the 1847 Greek Revival Helphenstine House and the 1912 Robert Graham House, an example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairies School of Architecture.

15.  Dearborn: This county was named for the U.S. Secretary of War at the time the county was named. Early growth was centered around Lawrenceburg which was an important railroad junction connecting two of the region’s major rail lines. Lawrenceburg was then designated as the county seat. However, from the start, a contention existed between the towns of Lawrenceburg and Rising Sun over that designation. The contention was resolved in 1844 when the Indiana State legislature split the county. A part of the county sits on the Ohio River. Industry there includes Tanners Creek Power Station, now called AEP. Seagrams, now MGP Indiana produces various alcoholic beverages. Anchor Glass is in Lawrenceburg as are Hollywood Casino and Perfect North Slopes, a ski resort.

16.  Decatur: county was formed in 1822 and was named for a Navy commodore in the First and Second Barbary Wars, and in the War of 1812. Decatur was mortally wounded in a duel in 1820. Greensburg had racial issues in the early 1900s and as a result the African Americans were driven from the town. In 2008, the Honda assembly plant opened in Greensburg, the county seat producing Honda Civics and Acura ILXes. The Acura production was moved recently. Delta Faucet, while still in Greensburg, has reduced its workforce. Kroger Brand Specialty foods plant produces various baked goods, salads and store brand products. Valeo’s Greensburg plant produces radiators and other auto cooler parts. Other towns in the county include Millford, with the smallest population of any  incorporated town in the state; Milhousen, settled by German Catholics; New Point; and St. Paul, started as a railroad town.

17.  DeKalb: Named for a Bavarian-born French military officer and US Revolutionary War officer, this county was settled by northern Yankees of English Puritan descent. In the 1870s many Irish and Germans arrived. Auburn is its county seat and was chosen for its location at the intersection of two major trails. Early DeSoto automobiles were made here. John Dillinger robbed the local police station here. Acts leading to the Supreme Court case, Stump v. Sparkman on judicial immunity took place here. Museums in the county include Auburn Cord Duesenberg Auto, National Automotive and Truck, Hoosier Air, Kruse Automotive and Carriage and WWII Victory.

18.  Delaware: Named for the Native American tribe that lived there, the county was once home to The Prophet, brother of Tecumseh, who instigated an Indian uprising in 1811. Earlier, it was first settled by the Lenape people from the northeast and they founded several towns along the White River. In 1876, in the town of Eaton during drilling for coal, natural gas was found. Not knowing immediately the value of the find it was a few years later before Indiana’s first natural gas well was opened. Muncie is the county seat and home to Ball State University, Ball Corporation (until 1998), and the birthplace of the comic strip Garfield. It is probably the most studied cities of its size in the U.S. beginning with the first of the Lynds studies in 1929 and continuing with NSF, PBS, and Ball State Center for Middletown Studies Studies. More recently Muncie has become home to various businesses including the Italian company Brevini Wind, manufacturing earboxes for wind turbines. Many professional athletes are from the area.

19.  Dubois: Named for a French merchant who fought in the American Revolution, at Tippecanoe and the War of 1812, Jasper replaced Portersville as county seat in 1830. Mainly agricultural, Jasper is also called "Wood Capital of the World" with Furniture and cabinet manufacturing. Jasper has heavily German Catholic roots and an annual festival called Strassenfest. The city of Ferdinand, also German Catholic was once known as the wooden shoe village and is the site of a monetary and Ferdinand State Forest. Huntingburg is known for antique shops and several movies have been filmed there, including A League of Their Own. Six former Major League Baseball players have lived there. Part of Patoka Lake and Hoosier National Forest are located in this county.

20.  Elkhart: There is some debate about the naming of this county, from the name of a chief, to the name of a Native American tribe, to the shape of its Island Park. Once inhabited by the Potawatomi tribe it was later settled by New England Yankees. Cities include Goshen, Elkhart, and the Amish Acres of Nappanee. Farmland and rolling hills can be found in this county as well as the St. Joseph and Elkhart rivers, and the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. The Hall of Heroes Super Hero Museum is also located here.

21.  Fayette: This county was named for a French Revolutionary War hero. Original inhabitants were Miami Indians, with some Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Delaware. John Conner ran a trading post until the Native Americans left. He then busied himself with establishing the small village of Connersville. It remains the only incorporated town in the county. Most of the town is located on the north bank of the west fork of the Whitewater River. The Whitewater Canal, and later the railroads ran through the area. Early industries were buggies and furniture manufacturing and later, the town became known as “Little Detroit,” manufacturing several automobiles. Much of that is now gone. Some furniture making, machine shops and local manufacturing remain. Whitewater Memorial State Park, Shrader-Weaver Woods Nature Preserve, The Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary, and Doc-O-Lake are located here.

22.  Floyd: Once Shawnee Indian hunting grounds, most of Floyd County  was awarded to George Rogers Clark for his Revolutionary War defeat of the British. Clark then sold and gave away land after the war. New Albany, already a town near the Falls of the Ohio River, became county seat due to a condition that a bell would be donated if it happened. New Albany would become the largest and richest city in the state until the Civil War. The county attracted many Irish, German (in New Albany), French (in Floyd Knobs) and African American immigrants. Floyd Knobs, with its many steep hills is the highest point in the county. The 1881 Duncan Tunnel became the longest Indiana railroad tunnel connecting New Albany to Edwardsville. In Greenville, the first successful plate glass was produced. Greenville “Station” was once a stagecoach and pony express stop.Indiana University Southeast is in New Albany.

23.  Fountain: The first non-indigenous settler in the area that became Fountain County is thought to have been a Mr. Forbes, who arrived here in early 1823 and was soon followed by others. Fountain County was officially created on December 30, 1825, the act taking effect on April 1, 1826; the boundaries of the county have not changed since that time. It was named for Major James Fontaine of Kentucky who was killed at Harmar's Defeat (near modern Fort Wayne, Indiana) during the Northwest Indian War. The courthouse in Covington is unique in that it contains many murals by Eugene Francis Savage depicting the settlement of western Indiana. Bordered on 2 sides by the Wabash River, the county contains Portland Arch Nature Preserve and the Miller-Campbell Memorial Tract. Attica, the largest city in the county is very near the location where Paul Dresser is said to have written On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away. Grand Ole Opry founder George Dewey Hay was from Attica.

24.  Franklin: This county was named for one of the U.S. founding fathers. Early settlers here were Primitive Baptists from Virginia in 1797. The organized the first church in the Whitewater Valley called Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church near today’s county seat of Brookville. Another landmark is Big Cedar Baptist Church and Burial Ground. Before the railroads came to the area canals fueled southeastern Indiana’s economy. Metamora, now a historic town featuring shops and the only wooden aqueduct still in service in the U.S., was once a stop along the Whitewater Canal built to connect Lawrenceburg in the Ohio River to Hagerstown in east-central Indiana. Between Metamora and Brookville once were water-powered mills for cotton, grinding flour, and making paper. Mounds State Recreational Area and Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue are located in the county.

25.  Fulton: Fulton County was formed in 1836. It was named for Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat. Native Americans in the county believed that a terrible monster lived in Lake Manitou and for that reason they never lived around the lake. Early settlers called it the Devil's Lake and there were many reported sightings of a monster.

26.  Gibson: Gibson County was named for a veteran of several wars including the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It is a largely agricultural area that includes the growing of grapes for wine. Early settlers brought the first church and Indiana’s first distillery. Area rivers are the Wabash, White and Patoka. The county differs in geography. There are flood-prone farms, valley marshlands, rolling hills and forests. Part of Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area, Azalea Path Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Hemmer Woods State Nature Preserve and Gibson Lake lie within the county. Princeton is the county seat and largest city. The Wabash and Erie Canal and the railroads helped shape the county. Industries there include Heinz, Toyota and Princeton Coal Mine. County notables include Alonzo Fields, first African American Chief White House Butler and Vertus Hardiman, victim of U.S. radiation experiments.

27.  Grant: Formed in 1831, this county was named for two military brothers. Marion is the county seat and birthplace of actor James Dean. Paleontological discoveries have been made at Pipe Creek Sinkhole here. Garfield Trail is a tribute to cartoonist Jim Davis and Garfield the cat in Fairmont, Davis's hometown. Indiana Wesleyan and Taylor University are located here.

28.  Greene: Named for a Major General in the Revolutionary War, the county seat is at Bloomfield. Native Americans have occupied the Bloomfield area since prehistory. Indiana University and Ball State research teams near Richland Creek and the White rivers have excavated a settlement of Woodland period people. Bloomfield is the home of Shawnee Summer Theater, the state’s longest-running professional summer theater.  Bloomfield holds its annual Apple Festival in early October.  In 1920, small surface mines began to appear in Linton and the strip-pit lakes can still be seen around the city. Signs of the underground mines also remain in the form of sinkholes, some in town and on private property. Linton’s free Music Festival runs the weekend before Labor Day. Also in the county are Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area and Shakamak State Park.

29.  Hamilton: Named for a U.S. Founding Father and architect of our financial system, the county seat of Hamilton County is in Noblesville. The County Courthouse Square is on the National Register of Historic Places. While the county’s roots are in agriculture, the growth of Indianapolis has flowed into the southern half of this county. Remnants of the early settlement can be found at Conner Prairie Pioneer Settlement, a living history museum south of Noblesville in Fishers. Noblesville’s railroads and natural gas wells helped grow the town, which was once well known for its flour mills. The county jail once housed a teenage Charles Manson as well as a former KKK Indiana Grand Dragon. Carmel is the largest city in the county. Quakers originally settled Carmel. One of the 1st original traffic signals was installed here, yet in more recent times traffic signals are being removed in favor of roundabouts. Carmel has been voted among the best places to live by 2 magazines.

30.  Hancock: Named for John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Greenfield is this county’s seat. Early settlers built along two creeks and the first businesses were gristmills grinding corm and wheat for its people. When the National Road was built through the county it was heavily traveled by wagon trains. When the railroad came and natural gas was discovered, manufacturing and industry followed. Some of the businesses there include: Avery Dennison, the labels makers; Eli Lilly’s Elanco, manufacturing animal health products; 2 businesses making car parts; Stanley Black & Decker ; and University Loft Company, which makes specialized furniture. American writer and Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley lived here and there is an annual festival celebrating him. Barefoot Boy and Little Orphant Annie are 2 of his most recognized titles.

31.  Harrison— This county was named for the 9th U.S. President. Harrison County sits on the Ohio River and the Blue River forms another boundary. Corydon, the county seat was also once Indiana’s State Capital, and site of the only Civil War battle fought in the state. Migratory Native Americans were the first in the area. Swan’s Landing Archaeological Site evidences the ancient tools and hearths found there. Permanent settlements occurred after the Revolutionary War. Daniel and brother Squire Boone Jr., hiding from Indians, first found the Squire Boone Caverns, still open today. The railroad reached the county in 1869. Harrison-Crawford State Forrest, O’Bannon Woods, Wyanndotte Caves are also located here. Horseshoe Southern Casino, Tyson Foods and the Harrison County Hospital are major employers. Heritage Weekend Festival is run in Lanesville in September.

32.  Hendricks: This county was named for Indiana’s 3rd governor in whose term the framework for Indiana public schools was set and the moving of the capital from Corydon to Indianapolis happened. Hendricks is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. Danville is the county seat. The largest town, Plainfield was named for the Friends or Quakers who lived around the county. Plainfield’s Main Street was part of the National Road and there is the story about President Van Buren being tossed from his carriage there into the mud as protest for his veto of a bill to improve the highway. Things to see in the county include Danville’s Riverwalk Trail, Tank Museum and Main Street Historic District and Walking Tour; and Plainfield’s Hummel Park and trail system including Vandalia Trail. County notables include actor Forrest Tucker.

33.  Henry: Named for a former governor of Virginia who said, "Give me liberty or give me death," this county seat is located in New Castle near Summit Lake State Park and the Big Blue River. New Castle's Fieldhouse is reported to be the largest high school gymnasium in the world. The Smith Crisler Nature Preserve is part of a local Legacy Project here. Now surrounded by agricultural land, New Castle was once a manufacturing center for producing sheet iron and steel, cars, caskets, clothes, shovels, bridges, flour and many other things. New Castle Correctional Facility is a little north of New Castle. It is reported that the county was the setting for Ross Lockridge's fictitious Raintree County. Wilbur Wright, one of the famed Wright Brothers was born in Millville.

34.  Howard: Originally named Richardville to honor a Miami chief, it was later renamed for a former District Attorney of Indiana appointed by Andrew Jackson. Richardville’s Miami name translates to “wildcat” and the 84 mile long Wildcat Creek is a major tributary of the Wabash River. Due to its width in many states it would be considered a river. This north central Indiana county’s seat is in Kokomo.  Connected before the Civil War by railroad with Indianapolis and eastern cities, growth was inevitable. More growth came with the discovery of large natural gas reserves, especially that of the automotive production industry and subsequently many inventions. The 1881 Mayor Cole shooting,1913 flood, 1923 KKK gathering, 1965 tornado, and 1980s Ryan White AIDS awareness are part of this county’s history. One of Indiana’s hidden gems is located in Greentown at the Glass Museum.

35.  Huntington: Named for a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Continental Congress president, the county seat major city here is Huntington. Railroads, a sawmill and the Wabash and Erie Canal contributed to both growth and demise of parts of this county. Monument City contains a Civil War monument. Other points of interest include Huntington University and its Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Sunken Gardens. VP Dan Quayle was from Huntington and his VP Center is located there. Another notable from the county is J. Edward Rouch, who was instrumental in the establishment of the 911 emergency system.

36.  Jackson: This county was named for our 8th president, also noted for winning the Battle of New Orleans. The first US recorded train robbery happened here in 1866. At the original county seat in Vallonia, court was held in the shade of an old fort before moving to Brownstone. At Seymour, nicknamed the "crossroads of America," is Muscatuck National Wildlife refuge. It is also hometown to singer John Mellencamp and 2009 Miss America Katie Stam. The longest 3-span covered bridge in the world and one of the longest in the US, The Medora CB spans a fork of the White River. Jackson-Washington State Forest and Starve-Hollow State Recreation Area can be found here.

37.  Jasper: This county was named for a famous Continental Army scout in the Revolutionary War. Early Residents were the Iroquois tribe until removed after The Battle of Tippecanoe. The Iroquois River flows through Rensselaer. Mostly anti-slavery, close to 20% of the county's population enlisted for the North in the Civil War. Rensselaer, the county seat is also home to St. Joseph's College. DeMotte was made a station by the New York Central Railroad in the 1880s, and is home to the Touch of Dutch Festival. The town of Carpenter's Creek, later changed to Remington also grew around a railroad station. 

38.  Jay: Named for the first Chief Supreme Court Justice, its county seat is Portland and its neighbor to the east is the state of Ohio. Notable people include Twyla Tharp, Emmy and Tony winning choreographer, astronaut Kevin Ford, and Elwood Hayes who invented the clutch-driven automobile in 1894. It is home to the world's largest Gas Engine and Tractor Show, Fiber Festival, and Gathering of Great Lakes Nations Pow Wow. The county’s Bicentennial Legacy Project is a community Quilt Project. Even 4th graders will be participating by making paper quilts.

39.  Jefferson: Named for founding father and the 3rd U.S. President, this southern Indiana county is bordered by the Ohio River. Many important early Hoosiers came from Madison including 3rd governor William Hendricks, who was part of establishing the first state-funded school system in the nation. The first railroad in the state began here, the Madison & Indianapolis RR, which expanded to include other parts of the state. Powerboat racing is big here and the annual Madison Regatta began formally in the 1920s. Clifty Falls State Park is here. The city of Hanover was severely damaged by a tornado in 1974. Hanover College sits on a hill overlooking the river. Most of downtown Madison was designated the largest contiguous National Historical Landmark.

40.  Jennings: Named for Indiana’s first governor, this county sits in the middle of the Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville triangle. Vernon, its county seat is noted for some firsts: first purchased public playground in the state, which led to the city of North Vernon; first elevated railroad overpass west of the Alleghenies; and the first state all-women’s jury. North Vernon eventually outgrew Vernon. The arrival of railroads and industry is credited for that. Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge and Muscatuck National Wildlife Refuge are located here. County notables include Albert and Moses Gumble, ragtime composers; racecar driver Pat O’Conner; Jessamyn West, a famous Quaker who wrote The Friendly Persuasion, later made into a movie with Gary Cooper. Jessamyn was Richard Nixon’s cousin. The county also claims Nixon’s mother, Hannah as a notable resident.

41.  Johnson: This county was named for a judge of Indiana Supreme Court. It is located south of Indianapolis and its county set is in Franklin. Some of the first inhabitants were the Delaware/Lanapes but by 1813, most of the Native Americans were gone from the area. Other towns in the county are Greenwood, Edinburgh, Whiteland, New Whiteland, Bargersville, Trafalgar and Prince’s Lakes (named for 4 lakes in the area that have Prince in their name). Franklin College is located here in Franklin as is Blue Heron Park and Wet$land. The county’s Legacy Project involves purchase of land near Lamb Lake to adjoin with property protected by the Central Land Trust.

42.  Knox: Named for a veteran of many wars and former Secretary of War this was one of two counties created in the old Northwest Territory. Local native groups included Shawnee, Wabash, and Miami tribes. Burial mounds can be found in the area. Both this and Clark counties were surveyed with the French system without regard to cardinal directions. Vincennes is its county seat and is located on the lower part of the Wabash River. It is one of the oldest settlements west of the Appalachians. Its many local notables include William H. Harrison and actor Red Skelton. Its many attractions include Ft. Sackville, Indiana Military Museum, St. Francis Cathedral & Library, Indiana Territory State Historic Site and George Rogers Clark National Historic Park.

43.  Kosciusko: Kosciusko County was named for a Polish military engineer and leader who fought with the Americans in the Revolutionary War. Early Warsaw, the county seat had traders, trapper and merchants supplying manufactured goods to farmers. Due to its central location in the lake district, the area attracted tourists who came and made a home here. Railroads reached Warsaw in 1854. The first orthopedic appliances came from here and it is considered to be the “orthopaedic capital of the world.” Located within the county is the Wagon Wheel Theater and Center Lake Park’s Biblical gardens. Louis Dreyfus Commodities is located in the city of Claypool. Mentone calls itself the “Egg Basket of the Midwest” due to prolific egg production and celebrates an Egg Festival in June. North Webster has the Dixie, Indiana’s oldest stern wheel paddle boat on Lake Webster and hosts an annual Mermaid Festival.

44.  La Porte: This county was named by French explorers and travelers after discovering a natural opening in the virgin forests or gateway towards the West. Before the New England Yankee white settlers arrived, the land was inhabited by Potawatomi before they were removed by the U.S. government. The Kankakee River is its southern boundary. LaPorte and Michigan City are located here. A Legacy White Ditch Project there aims to help stabilize banks, control erosion and extend nature trail.

45.  LaGrange: This county is named for the French home of a Revolutionary War hero. After the removal of the Potawatomi, Yankee settlers came from New England and Amish came from Pennsylvania. LaGrange, Shipshewana, and Topeka are located here. 77 acres on north shore of Dallas Lake includes several miles of shoreline in a mostly forested plane.

46.  Lake: Considered part of the NW Indiana & Chicago Metro area, major waterways include Lake Michigan, Kankakee and Grand Calumet rivers, and the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. Steel Mills can be seen in the north in the Gary area (home of the Jackson 5), as well as part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Mark Town, an early 1900s planned community for manufacturing workers was built in East Chicago. The central part of the county is higher and hillier. Crown Point was settled in the 1830s and took over as county seat a few years later. Due to "no wait" marriage licenses the town became a Mecca for famous weddings including those of Tom Mix, Rudolph Valentino, Cassius Clay. A movie was made in Crown Point telling the story of John Dillinger's escape from its jail in the 1930s.

Indiana's Counties

47.  Lawrence: Named for the War of 1812 captain who said, "Don't give up the ship," this county includes part of Hoosier National Forest and Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell. Here in "Limestone Country" one can also visit Bluespring Caverns, Bedford, Oolitic and the White River. Indiana's largest sinkhole is located here in the Emory and Ruth Bolton Natural Area. At least 3 astronauts lived here, including Gus Grissom, Charlie Walker, and Kenny Bowersox.

48.  Madison: This county was named for the 4th U.S. President. In the former county seat of Pendleton in 1820s, there was a trial and eventual hanging of white settlers who had murdered a peaceful group of Seneca and Miami Indians. A Delaware village that missionaries called the “heathen town 4 miles away” became the new county seat a few years later, now called Anderson. The state’s canal, the railroad, including the interurban, natural gas, and inventive citizens helped Anderson grow. Industries to come (and some to go) involved glassmaking, gun and pistol making during WW II, uniform making, furniture production, car production. Current points of interest include: Anderson Downtown Historic District, The Paramount Theatre, Mounds State Park, Anderson Speedway, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. Anderson University and Ivy Tech CC of Indiana are located here.

49.  Marion: Named for a brigadier general nicknamed "the Swamp Fox" this county is home to The Children's Museum, Speedway, where the Indy 500 is run, pro sports teams the Colts and the Pacers. Crown Hill, in this county, is the final resting place of 1 US president, 3 VPs, at least 11 governors, author Booth Tarkington, Eli Lilly, John Derringer and many other notables. Geist Reservoir, the White River and the State Capitol are located here.

50.  Marshall: Named for the 4th Supreme Court Chief Justice, Marshall County was the starting point of the Potawatomi Trail of Death. The first settlers came from New England following the Erie Canal and Black Hawk War completions. At that time the county was mostly wild prairie and virgin forests. Both the Tippecanoe and Yellow rivers and Koontz Lake are part of the county. Marshall County celebrates its Blueberry Festival over Labor Day weekend. At one time Plymouth was the site of Montgomery Ward’s first retail outlet. Near Argos is the the Argos Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, a conservation organization, also on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Bremen has cabinet and fiberglass production, RV and van painting and roller bearing manufacture.

51.  Martin: Named for a hero of the War of 1812, most of the land in Martin County is owned by the U.S. Government. About a third of the county belongs to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, and about a quarter of the county belongs to Hoosier National Forest. Martin County holds the record for number of county seat changes. Shoals was known for making mother of pearl buttons from White River mussels during the early 1900s. Its caves and cliffs, made a great hideout for bootleggers during Prohibition. Shoals’ employers include 2 major gypsum mines, one is the deepest in the U.S. at 515 feet. Sherfick Music Company, specializing in juke boxes is one of the largest companies of its kind in the Midwest. A large number of the residents of Loogootee are employed with the federal government and government contractors at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division. Martin County hosts the Catfish Festival and the Old Fashioned Christmas Stroll.

52.  Miami: This county was named for the Native American tribe, many of whom still live in the area. Its county seat is Peru, also called “Circus Capital of the World” as it was winter home to several circuses. These include Ringling Brothers and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Russian Rasputin’s daughter worked for RB’s Circus and survival a bear mauling. In 1913, there was a major flood of the Wabash and Mississinewa rivers killing many people and circus animals. John Dillinger visited and robbed the police department accumulating a stockpile of weapons. Cole Porter is a famous notable from the area. When an American Airlines plane was hijacked in 1972, two farmers found evidence that helped convict the hijacker who had jumped from the plane (money and a weapon with fingerprints).

53.  Monroe: A lake shares this county's name. A 35 acre peninsula which juts out into the lake, is a bald eagle habitat. The famous composer Hoagy Carmichael and famous author Booth Tarkington both grew up in Bloomington, also home to Indiana University's main campus and The Little 500. WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology and Oliver Winery are here, as well as part of Hoosier National Forest, Morgan-Monroe State Park and McCormick's Creek State Park.

54.  Montgomery: Montgomery County was named for an Irish General of the Revolutionary War. He died in the Invasion of Canada. Originally home to Mound Builders, the first settlers came from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and the Carolinas. Industry in the area has included Nucor Steel, Alcoa CSI, Raybestos Products Company, Pace Dairy Foods, and Random House in or near Crawfordsville. Other cities and towns in the county include: Alamo, site of a covered bridge; Darlington, site of a 1990 F-3 tornado; Ladoga; Linden; New Market; New Richmond; New Ross; Waveland; Waynetown and Wingate. Notables include: James Marshall who reported the gold that set off the California Gold Rush in 1849; Lew Wallace, Civil War Union general and writer of the book Ben Hur, later made into the famous movie; and the Crawfordsville Monster, that later turned out to be a flock of killdeer.

55.  Morgan; This county was named for a general who defeated British at the Battle of Cowpens during the Revolutionary War. For many years, from the late 1800s, mineral springs in Martinsville gave rise to several artesian spas or sanitariums. Settlers in the county in the early 1800s came mostly from southern states. Historically Martinsville has suffered from a prejudicial reputation, but today strives to be more open. Its high school’s largest club is its LBGTQ club. Once dubbed the "Goldfish Capital of the World", today Martinsville has several large fisheries that sell various types of fish to many parts of the world. The Mooresville area and surrounding communities received large numbers of southern Quakers, driven to move because of their opposition to slavery. Former UCLA Coach John Wooden is among the notables of the county. The Fall Foliage Festival is an annual celebration here.

56.  Newton: Named for a Revolutionary War soldier serving under "The Swamp Fox", General Francis Marion. As he served with William Jasper and their stories are similar, counties named for the two of them are adjoined in both Indiana and other states. Noted as the last of the Indiana counties, it was formed, absorbed and re-formed with the Kankakee River as a boundary.  Kentland Crater, thought to be the site of an impact meteor can be found between the cities of Kentland and Goodland. Humorist George Ade was born in Kentland, once a cattle town, now "Where Agriculture and Industry Meet." J.C. Murphy Lake is part of Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area is in this county. 

57.  Noble: Named for a former governor, this county was originally settled by "Yankees" from New England after the Black Hawk War and the completion of the Erie Canal. These new inhabitants founded the cities of Kendallville and Albion. Kendallville became the county seat and site of the Apple and Bluegrass festivals. Albion natives include former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, All-American basketball player Kyle Macy, and Naval Officer Donald Spangler for whom the USS Spangler was named. Wolf Lake, both a lake and a city has the Onion Festival. Chain 'O Lakes State Park is located in this county. 

58.  Ohio: Named for the Ohio River, this county is located in southeast Indiana. Its county seat is in Rising Sun. Many German immigrants settled in Rising Sun. It sits on the Ohio River and in the 1830s was a seasonal stop for the many flatboats heading daily down the river. Now people can stay at the Rising Sun Casino Resort and play at Southern Indiana’s only Scottish-style golf course with many panoramic river views. The Navy Bean Festival is held here and it is part of the Indiana Wine Trail and a “hidden gem” in the state.

59.  Orange:  Named for a North Carolina county, it was the former home of Quaker settlers coming to Indiana to escape slavery. Later, it became a stop on the underground railroad during the Civil War. Paoli became its county seat in the 1900s. Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest is here as well as Paoli Peaks, a ski area. Nearby are Patoka Lake and Indiana Historic Pathways Trail. French Lick was named for a French trading post near a sulfur springs. The springs helped turn “Salt Springs” into a resort town. Larry Bird is probably the most famous native son. 

60.  Owen: This county was named for a colonel who died at the Battle of Tippecanoe, which is southwest of the county seat of Spencer. In the Spencer area is McCormick Creek State Park. A covered bridge can be found over Mill Creek in the Leiber State Recreation Area at Cataract. Near Boone's Creek 60 acres have been purchased as a Legacy Project. They feature steep sandstone cliffs and upland forestland along Raccoon Creek with an entrance to Boone's Cave. Notable people from the county include child actress Patsy May of Our Gang and Helen Belles McMillan, mother of British Prime Minister Harold McMillan.

61.  Parke: Named for a captain at the Battle of Tippecanoe who later became a judge, the county seat was originally set in Roseville. A few years later its third and permanent seat was constructed in Rockville. The county is located in the Wabash River drainage area and approximately 5 miles from Illinois at one corner. The Wabash and Erie Canal ran through this county. Turkey Run State Park is located here. It is known as the covered bridge county. Two of its many notables are William H. H. Beadle, who chose a college education over a farm, becoming a Civil War brigadier general and college president; and baseball great Mordecai Brown, called “Three Finger” and “Miner” due to a farm accident and a former career.

62.  Perry: Named for a naval commodore of several wars and especially the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, Tell City is this county’s seat. The beauty of the Ohio River and the plentiful natural resources made Perry County a draw for early settlers. Tell City, was named for William Tell. It was settled by Swiss-German immigrants in search of a “healthful climate, fertile soil, good water, ample timber, and a location near a navigable river and a railroad, if possible.” Tell City’s Marksmen have a rich winning basketball history. Perry is noted for being the hilliest county and one of the most forested with more than 60,000 acres of Hoosier National Forest. Part of the county includes the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Cannelton, with Cannelton Cotton Mill a historic landmark, Locks and Dam, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710 Memorial; and Troy’s Christ of the Ohio are also located here.

63.  Pike: This county was named for the man who fought at the Battle of Tippecanoe and died during the War of 1812. In between he headed the Pike Expedition to the western part of the Louisiana Purchase and Pike’s Peak is named for him. Pike County was the first county to be formed when Indiana achieved statehood. Petersberburg, the county seat has two coal-fired power plants; coal mines 10 miles or so outside town; material hauling, and steel fabrication. County notables include Dr. John Wesley Posey, a significant figure in the underground Railroad and one of the organizers of the Anti-Slavery League of Indiana; and Melba Phillips, an American physicist and science educator who worked under Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and won a prestigious physics award 10 years before her esteemed mentor.

64.  Porter: Named for an American, and later Mexican, Naval officer, this county’s oldest resident were the Huber-Berrien, an Algonquin subsistence society. Present-day Valparaiso is located near Chiqua’s town along the Sauk Trail. Once called Portersville, the new name translates to Valley of Paradise in Old Spanish. Valparaiso is a transportation hub due to railroads, interstates and many waterways. These include the Little Calumet and Kankakee rivers, and Lake Michigan. Valpo’s downtown has a historic district featuring many historic homes.  The county also includes Portage, its largest city. Portage’s first residents were Mound Builders, Wea Tribe and the Potawatomi. Many early European settlers set up dairy, beef and crop farms. Eventually steele plants came. The Port of Indiana was built in 1961.

65.  Posey: This southwest corner county was named for a Revolutionary War general who also served as Indiana territory governor. On the Ohio River, Mt. Vernon is the largest port for coal shipments in the U.S. Brittlebank Park is located in Mount Vernon as well as multiple historic  districts. Harmonie State Park in New Harmony is located on the banks of the Wabash River. New Harmony is a historic town, also on the Wabash. Established by the Harmonists in 1814, the town went through many changes as it experimented with creating a utopian society. Here was established the first free library, drama club, and school system open to men and women. New Harmony Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places.

66.  Pulaski: Named for a Polish military commander who once saved George Washington and fought in the Revolutionary War, this county’s seat is Winamac and is found along the Tippecanoe River. Pulaski County is home to Tippecanoe River State Park, Sandhill Nature Preserve (on the migration route), and Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, near Medaryville. One county notable is Ralph Braun, who had muscular dystrophy yet created a motorized scooter for his transportation and went on to invent the “Lift-A-Way” wheelchair lift used in Dodge vans. As a result he created the Braun Corporation to create wheelchair accessibility in other minivans with rear entry.

67.  Putnam: Named for a Revolutionary War general and hero of the French and Indian War, this county is located west of Indianapolis. Purchased from the Delaware, Potawatomi, Miami and Eel River tribes, its county seat is Greencastle. This county is home to 9 covered bridges and one, the Edna Collins CB, is said to be haunted. Indiana Asbury University, now called DePauw, was one of the first institutions in the West to grant admission to women.

68.  Randolph: This county was named for a North Carolina county from where most of the early settlers had come. As home to many Quakers, education and abolitionism were important movements and it was the site of 3 famous African American settlements. More recently the county’s rural schools have become consolidated and there is a focus on historic preservation, tourism and the arts. Winchester is its county seat. This county is the point of origin of the White and Whitewater rivers. The movie, Now and Then, was filmed in Winchester.

69.  Ripley: Named for a general from the War of 1812, this county's seat is in Versailles. Batesville, the largest city is located both in this county and in Franklin County. Batesville grew up around rail lines. Industry there has included factories making brackets, furniture, and caskets. Holton, its second largest city was devastated in the March 2012 tornado. Milan High School's state basketball championship title in 1954 was the inspiration for the movie "Hoosiers." Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge and Versailles State Park are located here.

70.  Rush: Named for a U.S. Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the county seat is in Rushville. Once part of the Indian Lands, the county sat in the midst of unbroken forest. Once the land had been donated, the “crash of fallen trees” could be heard and the town of Rushville began to come together. Eventually railroads, mills, elevators, carriage builders, a pump factory, furniture and even a cigar factory were built. It has remained a small city in productive rural surroundings. Rushville sits along the Flatrock River and encompasses 3.09 square miles. Other towns in the county are Carthage and Glenwood. County notables are Tony Stewart, the “Rushville Rocket” of NASCAR fame; Knowles Shaw, author and composer of “Bringing in the Sheaves” among other works; Frazier Thomas, a Chicago children’s programming television personality; and Wendell Wilkie, who ran his presidential campaign from Rushville. Rushville’s Riverside Park Amphitheater runs concerts.

71.  St. Joseph: Named for the river that runs through and toward Lake Michigan, its county seat is South Bend. Early inhabitants included the Miami and Potawatomi tribes and fur traders. The river and the portage to the Kankakee River contributed to heavy industrial development in the area. Canals were eventually built before railroads arrived and enabled shipping by rail. Studebaker, Singer Sewing and the Oliver Chilled Plow companies were once located here.  South Bend was the first U.S. city to have and electric trolley system. John Dillinger robbed his largest bank here. Local universities and colleges here include Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, Holy Cross and IU South Bend. Mishawaka grew up around the discovery of bog iron deposits in the 1830s. Dodge Manufacturing, Perkins Windmills and the predecessor to Uniroyal were local businesses. Annual music festivals here include South Bend Reggae and South by South Bend.

72.  Scott: This county was named for an 18th century soldier of the French and Indian War and POW of the Revolutionary War. Its county seat, originally Lexington, is now Scottsburg, once a rail stop between Louisville and Indianapolis, and once home to large food canneries. This county was largely settled by people from the Upper South, traveling on the Ohio River. Hardy Lake State Park is located in this county and the lake is the major water supply source. Antique shops and Goat Milk Stuff are also Trip Advisor “top rated…things to do.” The 1860s were a memorable time for the county, seeing Morgan’s Raiders in 1863, and original train robbers, The Reno Gang caught and housed for a time at the Scott County Jail in 1868. Austin is also a city in the county, most recently center of a public health emergency and HIV epidemic, detailed in multiple large-newspaper articles.

73.  Shelby: This county is named for a Revolutionary War and War of 1812 general. Shelbyville is its county seat. Whetzel’s Trace, a trail cut 1818, was the first east-west road into the New Purchase of central Indiana. In the 1830s the first railroad in the state, built to connect Shelbyville to Indianapolis was later expanded to connect Madison and Jeffersonville. In 1969, an Allegheny Airlines plane crashed near Shelbyville. Unable to identify half of the passengers, they were buried here. A famous furniture company is an Indiana “hidden gem” in Shelbyville. It’s Old Hickory Furniture Company and it has made furniture for Yellowstone NP’s Old Faithful Inn, Rainforest Cafes, and many NP lodges.

74.  Spencer: Named for a captain killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe, the county seat is located in Rockport. Its courthouse is the 5th courthouse to serve the county. The Lincoln Boyhood Memorial is located where the Lincoln lived from ages 7 to 21 on the family farm in Lincoln City. The town of Santa Claus is in this county and Holiday World & Splashing Safari are located here. St. Meinrad (1 of 2 archabbeys in the U.S., 1 of 9 in the world) is located in the northeast corner of the county. Founded by monks from Switzerland, it is a Benedictine community and the Seminary and School of Theology offers masters degrees to priesthood candidates and lay ministers for the Catholic Church. Other than A. Lincoln, county notables include Florence Henderson and J. Clarence Karcher, inventor of reflection seismograph.

75.  Starke: This county is name for a general at Bunker Hill and the Battle at Bennington (Revolutionary War), an "e" was added to the general's last name, possibly the result of clerical error. Originally the county was part of the Potawatomi Indian Nation until forcibly removed. As with many other counties in Indiana the boundaries have changed a bit through time, in this instance the Kankakee and Yellow Rivers were in the way. Knox is the county seat and home of former Governor Henry Schricker and actor Tom Bridegroom. The town of North Judson hosts an annual Mint Festival and Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum. Bass and English Lakes can be found in the area.

76.  Steuben: Located in the north east corner of the state, this county was named for a Prussian military officer who helped the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The county seat is Angola. Pocahontas State Park is located on the shores of Lake James. 18 acres have been purchased between Lakes James and Jimmerson for a recreational area near a wetland. This county has more lakes than any other Indiana county.

77.  Sullivan: Named for a Revolutionary War general, this county was first settled in the early 1800s by Shakers. It is also the site of the westernmost naval battle of the American Revolution. Towns here include Sullivan the county seat, Merom the original county seat on the Wabash River, and Carlisle. The Sullivan State Forest and Lake are located here. Merom hosts a Bluff Chautauqua, site of former speakers like Carrie Nation and Williams Jennings Bryant.

78.  Switzerland: Located in the SE corner of the state with Vevay as the county seat, this county was named for the home country in Europe of many of the settlers. Many of them had come from wine country and this "Rhineland of America" would become not only the first commercial winery in the U.S., but also an industrial wine grape production area. They celebrate annually with a Swiss Wine Festival. No railroad tracks were laid in the county in the 1800s so when steamboat travel declined, growth was hindered. In Vevay are the County Historical Museum and Life on the Ohio Museum. One notable person from the county was Lydia Moss Bradley, philanthropist and founder of Bradley University.

79.  Tippecanoe: This county shares its name with an Indian Wars battlefield and was part of a presidential campaign slogan and song in 1840. It's home to the Fall Feast of the Hunter's Moon at Ft. Ouiatenon on the banks of the Wabash River, not far from W. Lafayette and Purdue University. Prophetstown State Park is located in this county.

80.  Tipton: Named for a politician with a controversial past including Indian fighter, Tippecanoe soldier, founder of present day Columbus, chairman of the committees on roads and canals and Native American affairs. Tipton organized the forced removal of 859 Potawatomi and started them on the “Trail of Death.” Initial inhabitants of the area were the Miami and Delaware tribes. The county seat is in Tipton. Primarily farmland, various crops have been grown historically. Now it is primarily corn and wheat. Notables from the county include jazz pianist John Bunch. Early 1800s Tipton was very swampy and the site of a cholera epidemic in 1845. A little later, businesses started to take shape, including blacksmith, gunsmith, cabinetmaking and furniture. By the 1900s there was a cannery, 2 buggy factories, and the largest broom factory in the state.

81.  Union: Formed in 1821, its name reflects that it was the union of parts of 3 other counties.  John Templeton was the first settler to enter land at the Cincinnati land office in what would become Harmony Township, Union County Indiana. The first county seat was Brownsville, a small town located on the East Fork of the Whitewater River. The seat was moved in 1824 to Liberty. The primary industry of Union County was and is farming. Notables from the county include Ambrose Everett Burnside (soldier, senator, railroad executive and namesake/owner of “sideburns”); Mary Alice Smith, the original Little Orphan Annie; artist and teacher, Jay Hall Connaway; poet Joaquin Miller; and Frederick Martin, Commander of the 1st aerial circumnavigation of the World. Union’s Legacy Project involves a nature trust for the Whitewater River Corridor.

82.  Vanderburgh: Named for a Revolutionary War veteran and judge for the Indiana Territory, this county is situated on an oxbow on the Ohio River. The county seat is Evansville. As early as 1100 to 1450, Angel Mounds was a settlement of native mound-builder farmers and hunters. Later, the Shawnee, Miami and other tribes moved to the area, then the French hunters and trappers and later settlers. McGary’s Landing became Evansville in 1817, and its location on the Ohio enabled trade and the town grew, annexing other areas. After the Wabash and Erie Canal almost bankrupted the state, the railroads were an additional plus for the area. Manufacturing of furniture, automobile and refrigeration industries among other things and shipyards, contributed to its growth. There is a lot to see in the area: Angel Mounds Historic Site, The University of Evansville, The Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Arts, History and Science, and Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden.

83.  Vermillion: Named for a local river with a slightly different spelling, it is one of several counties to border a county in another state with the same name. The county seat is Newport and due to updating and fires its current courthouse is the 4th to be built. The county is unique in that it is less than 10 miles east to west. Each Fall is the Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb. Clinton began as an Italian coal mining town. The Clinton Building and Paving Brick Company was established in 1893. It hosts the annual Little Italy Festival. This county’s Bicentennial Legacy Project involves the purchase of land in the Healthy Rivers INitiative Wabash River Conservation Area.

84.  Vigo: Once part of Parke and Sullivan, this county was named to honor a Spanish colonel who aided in The American Revolution financially and as an informant for George Rogers Clark. Terre Haute is located here, as well as Candles Holocaust Museum and Clabber Girl Museum. Shakamak State Park and St. Mary's College are found here. This county is known as a "bellwether region" as it has voted for every presidential winner since 1956. Near West Terre Haute is St. Anne’s Shell Chapel at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. An Indiana “hidden gem,” the shells for the mosaics were collected by nuns from the Wabash River.

85.  Wabash: This county is named from the French Ouabache. The French traders who named it derived it from the Miami Native Americans’ name for the river, Wabashike, for its once white limestone river bottom. Wabash is its county seat. It is also home to part of the 1850s Wabash and Erie Canal, part of a 4 canal system linking the Great Lakes to the Ohio River and Salamonie River State Forest. Dr. James Ford Historic Home and Charley Creek Gardens can be found in this county. County noteables include Mark Honeywell, founder of Honeywell Corporation & Center and singer Crystal Gayle Webb.

86.  Warren: Situated on the Wabash River near the Illinois state line, this county’s seat is Williamsport. The county was named for an American doctor important to Early American Patriot organizations, who gave Paul Revere and William Dawes the task of warning of the coming of the British, Originally settled by the Miami, Kickapoo and Potawatomi tribes, it is thought to be settled by Zachariah Cicott, a French-Canadian trader. The Wabash-Erie Canal and several railroads were part of the county’s history. In 1964 in Johnsonville, there was a horrible accident when the Wabash Cannonball (train) struck a truck carrying bricks; the Cannonball lasted only a few years after that. In the town of Kramer is a natural spring, whose “healing waters” drew many people. The spring was later acquired by Perrier. One of the most agriculturally productive areas in the state, it was home to 1995 Indiana Miss Basketball, Stephanie White-McCarty.

87.  Warrick: This county was named for an Indiana captain and militia company commander killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe. It is currently a fast-growing county whose seat is Boonville. The county’s waters include the Wabash, Ohio, and White rivers. President Lincoln once lived near Boonville, studied law and watched court cases there. During the Civil War, Newburgh was the first town north of the Mason-Dixon Line to be captured by Confederates. Boonville was also a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad. On the Ohio River, Newburgh was once one of the largest river ports between Cincinnati and New Orleans due to coal mining in the area. Today it is known for its historic downtown district. Annually it hosts the Wine, Art and Jazz Festival, Fiddler Fest, and the Strawberry Festival.

88.  Washington: Named for our first U.S. President, this county was formed in 1814. Its county seat, Salem is primarily an agricultural community. Early county settlers were hunter-trader-salt manufacturer Frederick Royce, who lived among the Ox Indians, and Thomas Hopper. During a low point in its history (1863), John Hunt Morgan and his confederate raiders tore through Salem burning the railroad depot, train cars, bridges and looted stores. Today, Old Settlers’ Day is celebrated annually with historical reenactments and local arts and crafts. Jackson-Washington State Forest is here as is Beck’s Mill, once in consideration for county seat. In Salem is the Salem Speedway where many legendary drivers once raced. Salem was hit and lost 5 citizens to the May 2, 2012 tornado. Notable former residents include John Hay, who was private secretary to President Lincoln and work under McKinley and T. Roosevelt; and Washington DePauw, who donated land and much wealth to a university later renamed for him.

89.  Wayne: Named for a general of the Revolutionary and NW Indian Wars, Its county seat moved from Salisbury to Centerville to Richmond. IN’s highest natural elevation, Hoosier Hill is here. Some of the earliest settlers were Quakers. Charles Jenkins, a late 1800s inventor pioneered and sold his patented projector to Edison. Richmond was site of early jazz recordings where Louis Armstrong and Hoagy Carmichael recorded. The arts have been important: Formerly an opera company was supported; in 1899, Will Earhart formed the first complete high school orchestra in the U.S.; Richmond Symphony Orchestra continues today. Before closing, there were lawn mower and school bus production companies and rose greenhouses. Known for its architecture, it is home to 2 seminaries, 4 colleges, Hayes Arboretum, IN Football Hall of Fame, Whitewater Gorge Park, Gennett Records Walk of Fame, Margaret Langdon who wrote The King & I, Jim Jones of mass death in Guyana, and Polly Bergen.

90.  Wells: This county was named for a War of 1812 captain, who in his youth was captured and raised by a Miami chief. At his death the Potawatomi ate his heart to gain part of his courage. Bluffton is the county seat. For a short time it was part of the Cincinnati, Bluffton and Chicago Railroad until the Bluffton train bridge collapsed. Bluffton is in the midst of making a quiet plea for tolerance and building an inclusive community. Ouabache State Park is located near Bluffton. Among the notable people from the county is Charles Clemon Deam, a famous botanist and Indiana’s first state forester. He discovered many plants and plant species, a state recreation area and a U.S. Wilderness area.

91.  White: Named for a militia colonel who died at the Battle of Tippecanoe, travelers along I-65 know it for its windmills. Monticello is its county seat. Other towns include Brookston, Wolcott and more. This county was hit by the April 3, 1974 tornado and two of the county’s Legacy Projects are related to that. The 1848 courthouse bell, the only part of the courthouse left unscathed will be replaced, and a book about the tornado and those affected will be put together. Lakes Shafer and Freeman are here. Many vacation here at the lakes and at Indiana Beach.

92.  Whitley: Named for a colonel killed in the War of 1812, it was 1835 when the first non-Native American settlers arrived from New England. The Black Hawk War and Eric Canal construction had ended and they came to find dense virgin forest and wild prairie land. By the time they arrived most settlers had become Methodist and Baptist. In the late 1870s the Irish and German immigrants started to come. Columbia City is the county seat. As part of the Legacy Project, the county nature preserve, a nesting area for herons, is being increased by 52 acres. The Eel River is in the area as is the Fall Festival held in the city of South Whitley. The Trivial Pursuits game had a question about it being the bed race capital of the U.S.

County Facts & Maps