Jasper County, Indiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jasper County, Indiana
Jasper County Courthouse Rensselaer Indiana.JPG
Jasper County Courthouse
Map of Indiana highlighting Jasper County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1838
Named for William Jasper
Seat Rensselaer
Largest city Rensselaer
 • Total 561.39 sq mi (1,454 km2)
 • Land 559.62 sq mi (1,449 km2)
 • Water 1.76 sq mi (5 km2), 0.31%
 • (2010) 33,478
 • Density 60/sq mi (23.09/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.jaspercountyin.gov
Footnotes: Indiana county number 37

Jasper County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 33,478.[1] The county seat is Rensselaer.[2]

Jasper County is included in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Jasper County was formed in 1838. It was named for Sgt. William Jasper, a famous scout for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Jasper became famous in 1776, during the bombardment of Fort Moultrie, for erecting a new flagstaff under fire after the American flag had been shot down. Jasper was killed during the Siege of Savannah in 1779.[3] Jasper County's twin county, Newton County, was named after Jasper's friend and comrade, John Newton.[4]

The Civil War[edit]

As early as 1825, the majority of the population were against slavery.[5] By the time the federal government declared war, Jasper County was one of the few counties of Indiana that had a military organization under the law of 1855.[6] The Civil War greatly impacted Jasper County when they enlisted 935 soldiers on behalf of the Union. This large amount was considered an impressive amount at the time with the average population centered around 5,000 people,. Although there were several companies from Indiana, the 9th Indiana Infantry Regiment produced Robert H. Milroy, the "Gray Eagle of the Army". Milroy became famous for suppressing Confederate mountain rangers, which caused the Confederate Congress to declare a $100,000 bounty on his head. The 9th Indiana Infantry Regimentlater became known for its involvement in one of the earliest battles of the Civil War at Laurel Hill (now known as Laurel Mountain).[7] In comparing the proportions of men able to fight, Indiana contributed more soldiers than any other state to the Union.[8]


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 561.39 square miles (1,454.0 km2), of which 559.62 square miles (1,449.4 km2) (or 99.68%) is land and 1.76 square miles (4.6 km2) (or 0.31%) is water.[9] Until the middle of the 19th century when it was drained to make farmland, this county was part of the 2nd largest freshwater wetland in the US, with abundant flora and fauna.[10] This is caused by the Iroquois River. The Iroquois River is one of the main tributaries of the Kankakee River and flows throughout Jasper County. This allowed it to act as a major water source for the community.[11]

Major highways[edit]


Adjacent counties[edit]

Climate and weather[edit]

Rensselaer, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[12]

In recent years, average temperatures in Rensselaer 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 −25 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in August 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.67 inches (42 mm) in February to 4.34 inches (110 mm) in June.[12]


The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code.

County Council: The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Representatives are elected from county districts. The council members serve four-year terms. They 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.[13][14]

Board of Commissioners: 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 the day-to-day functions of the county government.[13][14]

Court: 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 also elected to a four-year term. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.[14]

County Officials: 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 any county government position are required to declare a political party affiliation and to be residents of the county.[14]

Jasper County is part of Indiana's 1st congressional district and in 2008 was represented by Pete Visclosky in the United States Congress.[15] It is also part of Indiana Senate districts 5 and 7[16] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 4, 16 and 20.[17]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,267
1850 3,540 179.4%
1860 4,291 21.2%
1870 6,354 48.1%
1880 9,464 48.9%
1890 11,185 18.2%
1900 14,292 27.8%
1910 13,044 −8.7%
1920 13,961 7.0%
1930 13,388 −4.1%
1940 14,397 7.5%
1950 17,031 18.3%
1960 18,842 10.6%
1970 20,429 8.4%
1980 26,138 27.9%
1990 24,960 −4.5%
2000 30,043 20.4%
2010 33,478 11.4%
Est. 2012 33,456 −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
2012 Estimate[19]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 30,043 people, 10,686 households, and 8,217 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 11,236 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.97% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.63% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. 2.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.9% were of German, 13.2% Dutch, 12.9% American, 10.5% Irish, 8.4% English and 5.9% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 10,686 households out of which 36.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.40% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.10% were non-families. 19.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.40% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,369, and the median income for a family was $50,132. Males had a median income of $38,544 versus $22,191 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,012. About 4.60% of families and 6.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit]



Public schools in Jasper County are administered by the Kankakee Valley School Corporation and the Rensselaer Central Schools Corporation.

High Schools

Middle Schools

Elementary Schools

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Jasper County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. p. 562. 
  4. ^ Hamilton Louis H. & William Darroch (1916). A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana, Volume 1. Chicago & New York: the Lewis Publishing Company. p. 45. 
  5. ^ Scudder, Horace E (1888). Indiana: American Commonwealths. Cambridge: Boston & New York: The Riverside Press, Cambridge. pp. 235, 237,438–400. 
  6. ^ Hamilton Louis H. & William Darroch (1916). A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana, Volume 1. Chicago & New York: the Lewis Publishing Company. p. 159. 
  7. ^ Hamilton Louis H. & William Darroch (1916). A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana, Volume 1. Chicago & New York: the Lewis Publishing Company. p. 115,118. 
  8. ^ Hoover Dwight W. (1980). A Pictorial History of Indiana. Bloomington: the Indiana University Press. p. 93. 
  9. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  10. ^ Everglades of the North at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ Battle J.H. (1883). Counties of Warren, Benton, Jasper and Newton. Chicago: F.A. Battey & Co. p. 411. 
  12. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Rensselaer, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  13. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  14. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  15. ^ "US Congressman Pete Visclosky". US Congress. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  16. ^ "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  17. ^ "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  18. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Coordinates: 41°02′N 87°07′W / 41.03°N 87.12°W / 41.03; -87.12