Montgomery County, Indiana
|Montgomery County, Indiana|
County Courthouse in Crawfordsville
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
|• Total||505.44 sq mi (1,309 km2)|
|• Land||504.61 sq mi (1,307 km2)|
|• Water||0.83 sq mi (2 km2), 0.16%|
|• Density||76/sq mi (29.18/km²)|
Footnotes:Indiana county number 54
Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 38,124. The county seat is Crawfordsville. The county is divided into 11 townships which provide local services.
Early history and settlement
The earliest known inhabitants of the area that would become Montgomery County were the Mound Builders, Native American peoples who built large earthen mounds, two of which were constructed in southeastern Franklin Township. Subsequent Native American tribes occupied the area until as late as 1832.
The first white settler in the area that would become Montgomery County was William Offield, earlier of Tennessee, who arrived in 1821 with his wife Jennie (née Laughlin) and one child and settled near the confluence of Offield Creek and Sugar Creek, about five miles (8 km) southwest of Crawfordsville. The first land in the county to be purchased from the government was a tract in Scott Township sold to John Loop on July 23, 1822; many more tracts were entered in subsequent months, most in Union Township. The area's settlers mostly came from Kentucky and Ohio, with others arriving from Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas.
Montgomery County was established by an act of the Indiana state legislature passed on December 21, 1822, which defined the county's boundaries and provided for the organization of its government. The county was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed on December 31, 1775, while attempting to capture Quebec City in the Battle of Quebec. The first county election was held on March 1, 1823, with 61 voters participating to elect the first three county commissioners — William Offield, James Blevins and John McCollough — who then ordered that the first jail and courthouse be built.
Beginning on December 24, 1824, a large land sale was held for several days at the United States Land Office on North Water Street in Crawfordsville during which a large number of the area's tracts were sold at auction. The money raised from the sale, mostly in the form of gold and silver, was packed into kegs, hauled by wagon to Louisville, carried by boat up the Ohio River, and eventually to Washington, D.C. Settlement increased substantially during the subsequent year.
Montgomery County's first courthouse was ordered on June 28, 1823, to be made "of good hewed logs... to be twenty-six feet long; two stories high, lower story nine feet from floor to joist; upper to be seven feet to roof". Eliakam Ashton won the contract to construct the building and completed it on a lot along Main Street on August 9, 1824, at a cost of $295. In 1825 a contract was issued to Henry Ristine to cut trees and pick up chips from under the courthouse so that "hogs would not find a comfortable place in which to make their beds".
A second, more substantial structure was ordered in 1831, the contract for its construction being awarded to John Hughes for $3,420. The result, completed in 1833, was a two-story, 40x40 foot brick building surmounted by a cupola, later supplemented by separate one-story buildings erected to the north and east as wings of the main structure. The building stood on the current public square for over forty years until being torn down in 1875.
The third and current Montgomery County courthouse was the first courthouse designed by George W. Bunting of Indianapolis; it is one of six of his Indiana courthouses still standing. Bunting had served as a colonel in the Confederacy during the Civil War before establishing himself in Indianapolis; General Lew Wallace, who was on the Union side during the War and was a resident of Montgomery County, spoke at the dedication of the cornerstone in 1875. The building was constructed by McCormack and Sweeney of Columbus at a cost of $150,000, and was completed in 1876.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 505.44 square miles (1,309.1 km2), of which 504.61 square miles (1,306.9 km2) (or 99.84%) is land and 0.83 square miles (2.1 km2) (or 0.16%) is water.
Cities and towns
Unincorporated towns and areas
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in Crawfordsville have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −31 °F (−35 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 102 °F (39 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.02 inches (51 mm) in February to 4.28 inches (109 mm) in June.
|Montgomery County Sheriff's Department|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||County (US) of Montgomery in the state of Indiana, United States|
|Legal jurisdiction||As per operations jurisdiction.|
|Agency executive||Mark Casteel, Sheriff|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The county government is a constitutional body granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana and the Indiana Code. The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all spending and revenue collection. Representatives are elected from county districts. The council members serve four-year terms and are responsible for setting salaries, the annual budget and special spending. The council also has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax that is subject to state level approval, excise taxes and service taxes.
The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners. The commissioners are elected county-wide, in staggered terms, and each serves a four-year term. One of the commissioners, typically the most senior, serves as president. The commissioners are charged with executing the acts legislated by the council, collecting revenue and managing day-to-day functions of the county government.
The county maintains a small claims court that can handle some civil cases. The judge on the court is elected to a term of four years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association. The judge is assisted by a constable who is elected to a four-year term. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.
The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor and circuit court clerk. Each of these elected officers serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to declare party affiliations and be residents of the county.
Each of the townships has a trustee who administers rural fire protection and ambulance service, provides poor relief and manages cemetery care, among other duties. The trustee is assisted in these duties by a three-member township board. The trustees and board members are elected to four-year terms.
Montgomery County is home to several Carnegie libraries. These libraries were built in the early 1900s by way of grants from Andrew Carnegie. All but one, the Crawfordsville District Public Library, is still in use today. The Crawfordsville Library was moved to a new location on South Washington Street in 2005 after the old building became too small for the growing collection. The old library building is now the home of the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County, a museum dedicated to the history of Montgomery County. The other Carnegie libraries include: Waveland-Brown Township Public Library, Darlington-Franklin Township Public Library, and Linden-Madison Township Public Library.
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,629 people, 14,595 households, and 10,245 families residing in the county. The population density was 75 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 15,678 housing units at an average density of 31 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.77% White, 0.77% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.10% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 1.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.2% were of German, 22.4% American, 12.9% English and 12.7% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 14,595 households out of which 33.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the county the population was spread out with 26.00% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,297, and the median income for a family was $48,779. Males had a median income of $36,612 versus $23,010 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,938. About 6.10% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.20% of those under age 18 and 7.00% of those age 65 or over.
- "Montgomery County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- "Find a County – Montgomery County, IN". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "Montgomery". Indiana Township Association. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "Duties". United Township Association of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- Bowen, A. W. (1913). History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: A. W. Bowen & Company. pp. 38–39.
- Bowen, A. W. (1913). "Early Settlement of the County". History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: A. W. Bowen & Company.
- Gronert, Theodore G., Sugar Creek Saga: A History and Development of Montgomery County, Wabash College, 1958. pg 11
- Bowen, A. W. (1913). "Organization and County Government". History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: A. W. Bowen & Company.
- Counts, Will; Jon Dilts (1991). The 92 Magnificent Indiana Courthouses. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-0-253-33638-5.
- Riggs, Constance Kakavecos (1976). Montgomery County Remembers. Crawfordsville, Ind.: Montgomery County Historical Society. pp. 67–70.
- "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- "Monthly Averages for Crawfordsville, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Government of Indiana. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Government of Indiana. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- "Government". United Township Association of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
- "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
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