Orange County, Indiana
|Orange County, Indiana|
The Orange County courthouse in Paoli
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
|• Total||408.19 sq mi (1,057 km2)|
|• Land||398.39 sq mi (1,032 km2)|
|• Water||9.80 sq mi (25 km2), 2.40%|
|• Density||50/sq mi (19.17/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
|Footnotes: Indiana county number 59|
Orange County is located in southern Indiana in the United States. As of 2010, its population was 19,840, an increase of 2.8% from 19,306 in 2000. The county seat is Paoli. The county has four incorporated settlements with a total population of about 8,600, as well as several small unincorporated communities. It is divided into 10 townships which provide local services. One U.S. route and five Indiana state roads pass through or into the county.
Orange County was formed from parts of Knox, Gibson and Washington Counties by an act approved on December 26, 1815; it took effect on February 1, 1816. The same year, the county seat was established in Paoli, which was named after Pasquale Paoli Ash, the 12 year old son of the Governor, at the time, of North Carolina .
The first courthouse was a temporary log structure that was built for $25; a more permanent structure of stone was completed in 1819 at a cost of $3,950.[n 1]  In 1847, plans were made for a new larger courthouse, which was completed in 1850 at a cost of $14,000.[n 2] This building is the second oldest courthouse in the state that has been continuously used since its construction. Like the oldest in Ohio County, it is a Greek Revival building with two stories and a Doric portico supported by fluted columns; it has ornamental iron stairs and a clock tower. In 1970, the clock tower was damaged by fire.
The early settlers were mostly Quakers fleeing the institution of slavery in Orange County, North Carolina. Jonathan Lindley brought his group of Quakers from North Carolina to the area in 1811. Under Lindley’s leadership, they were the first to build a religious structure, the Lick Creek Meeting House in 1813. It was from this group that Orange County got its name. (See List of Indiana county name etymologies). The name Orange derives from the Dutch Protestant House of Orange, which acquired the English throne with the accession of King William III in 1689, following the Glorious Revolution.
In the early 19th century when the Quakers came from North Carolina to settle in Orange County, Indiana, they came to escape slavery. They brought with them a number of freed slaves. These free men were deeded 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land in the heart of a dense forest. Word of mouth soon spread the news, and this land became part of the "underground railroad" for runaway slaves.
For many years, the freed slaves in this area farmed, traded, and sold their labor to others while living in this settlement. A church was built and a cemetery was provided for their loved ones.
All that remains today is the cemetery. Some of the stones were broken or vandalized over the years. Several years ago, a troop of Boy Scouts came in and restored the cemetery, replacing the lost or broken stones with wooden crosses designating a grave. The name of "Little Africa" came about because of the black settlement, but "Paddy's Garden" was the name those early residents called it.
Orange County is located in the south part of the state. It is bordered by Lawrence County to the north; Martin and Dubois counties to the west; Crawford County to the south; and Washington County to the east. According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 408.19 square miles (1,057.2 km2), of which 398.39 square miles (1,031.8 km2) (or 97.60%) is land and 9.80 square miles (25.4 km2) (or 2.40%) is water.
Orange County contains four incorporated settlements. The largest is the county seat of Paoli, which lies near the center of the county. To the north of Paoli lies Orleans. To the west, French Lick and West Baden Springs are connected but are separate entities.
There are several small unincorporated settlements in the county. Chambersburg lies along U.S. Route 150 about 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Paoli. To the east of Orleans in the northeast corner of the county is the town of Leipsic. Prospect is on U.S. Route 150 just north of West Baden Springs. Orangeville is northwest of Paoli, near the center of Orangeville Township. In the southeast corner of the county, Valeene lies near the center of Southeast Township.
Much of the south part of the county, south of Paoli and French Lick, is part of the Hoosier National Forest. Patoka Lake is within the national forest; the majority of the lake lies in Orange County, with parts extending into neighboring Dubois and Crawford counties.
The county is divided into 10 townships:
- French Lick
- Stampers Creek
U.S. Route 150 crosses Orange County, entering from Martin County to the west; it passes just to the north of West Baden Springs and on through Paoli, continuing somewhat to the southeast and passing into Washington County and Hardinsburg to the east.
- Indiana State Road 37
- Indiana State Road 56
- Indiana State Road 60
- Indiana State Road 145
- Indiana State Road 337
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in Paoli have ranged from a low of 18 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 111 °F (44 °C) was recorded in July 1901. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.90 inches (74 mm) in October to 5.14 inches (131 mm) in May.
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.
Orange County is part of Indiana's 9th congressional district and is represented in Congress by Republican Todd Young. It is part of Indiana Senate districts 44 and 48 and Indiana House of Representatives district 62.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,306 people, 7,621 households, and 5,342 families residing in the county. The population density was 48 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 8,348 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.90% White, 0.63% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 0.56% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 38.0% were of American, 18.1% German, 11.8% English and 10.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 7,621 households out of which 32.40% 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 29.90% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,564, and the median income for a family was $38,505. Males had a median income of $28,658 versus $20,238 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,717. About 9.00% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.10% of those under age 18 and 12.90% of those age 65 or over.
The county is served by 4 school districts:
- Lost River Career Cooperative
- Orleans Community Schools
- Paoli Community School Corporation
- Springs Valley Community School Corporation.
- Orleans Elementary School (Principal: Christopher Stevens)
- Orleans Jr./Sr. High School (Principal: Roy Kline).
Paoli Community Schools (Superintendent:Dr. Victor Combs.)includes:
- Throop Elementary School (Principal:Sharon R. Tucker)
- Paoli Jr./Sr. High School (Principal:Casey Brewster).
Springs Valley School Corporation (Superintendent: Todd Pritchett) includes:
- Springs Valley Elementary School (Principal:Tony Whitaker)
- Springs Valley Jr./Sr. High School (Principal: Troy Pritchett)
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||Martin County||Lawrence County|
|Dubois County||Crawford County|