Starke County, Indiana
|Starke County, Indiana|
Starke County courthouse in Knox
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
|Named for||John Stark|
312.21 sq mi (809 km²)
309.13 sq mi (801 km²)
3.07 sq mi (8 km²), 0.98%
76/sq mi (29/km²)
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Indiana county number 75
Starke County was created in 1835 and organized in 1850. It was named for Gen. John Stark, who commanded New Hampshire troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 in the Revolutionary War and defeated the British at the Battle of Bennington in 1777.
Before white settlement, all of the land that forms modern-day Starke County and adjacent LaPorte County to the north belonged to the Potawatami Indian nation. These Indians were forcibly removed to Kansas by the United States government in 1838, and many died on what has been called the Trail of Death.
When Starke County was created, it included the area of land that today comprises the LaPorte County townships of Cass, Dewey, Hanna, and Prairie. It was necessary for residents in this area to travel some distance east to Lemon's Bridge to cross the Kankakee River in order to travel south to the center of the county, the future site of the county seat at Knox. Therefore, because they were effectively isolated from the rest of Starke county, residents north of the river petitioned to be annexed to LaPorte county and this was done on January 28, 1842.
Despite being named for Gen. John Stark and originally being known and appearing on maps as Stark County when initially created and organized, an e was added to the county's name fairly early in its history. There appears to be no solid evidence to clearly explain the alteration. There are at least three as yet unsubstantiated explanations for the change. It is possible that an early scribe had 'fancy lettering', including a k with a long tail or flourish that appeared to others as ke, the new spelling sticking. It has also been said that Gen. Stark himself used a similar flourish at the end of his signature which became a point of confusion to Indiana officials. This seems most unlikely when one considers that Stark counties in Ohio (1808) and Illinois (1839) both preceded Starke County's organization and offered clear precedence and guidance on the spelling of the name, not to mention other numerous settlements within the United States named after the General also predating Starke County. Lastly, and possibly most plausibly, it is thought that the change occurred around 1860 as the result of a clerical error by an official in Indianapolis.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 312.21 square miles (808.6 km2), of which 309.13 square miles (800.6 km2) (or 99.01%) is land and 3.07 square miles (8.0 km2) (or 0.98%) is water. The northwestern boundary of Starke County is defined by the Kankakee River; the Yellow River, a tributary of the Kankakee, flows through the central part of the county, past Knox.
Cities and towns 
Unincorporated towns 
Adjacent counties 
- LaPorte County (north)
- St. Joseph County (northeast)
- Marshall County (east)
- Fulton County (southeast)
- Pulaski County (south)
- Jasper County (west)
- Porter County (northwest)
Major highways 
Climate and weather 
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in Knox have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 102 °F (39 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.68 inches (43 mm) in February to 4.09 inches (104 mm) in June.
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.
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.
Court: The judge on the court is elected to a term of six years. The judge is assisted by a magistrate who is appointed by the judge. The court handles criminal and civil cases, and has a small claims division. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.
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 county government positions are required to declare party affiliations and to be residents of the county.
|Sources: United States Department of Commerce,
Bureau of the Census, Population Division
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,556 people, 8,740 households, and 6,450 families residing in the county. The population density was 76 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 10,201 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.52% White, 0.22% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.74% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. 2.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.2% were of German, 17.5% American, 11.0% Irish, 8.2% Polish and 6.4% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 8,740 households out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.20% were non-families. 22.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the county the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 23.50% 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 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,243, and the median income for a family was $42,355. Males had a median income of $32,779 versus $21,071 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,466. About 8.80% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.10% of those under age 18 and 10.10% of those age 65 or over. These numbers routinely rank among the lowest per capita incomes and highest poverty rates in the state of Indiana.
See also 
- "Starke County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Wikipedia Indiana counties. Retrieved 1-1-2010 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_counties
- Starke county historical society, General Information. Retrieved 1-1-2010 http://www.starkehistory.com/index_files/Page832.htm
- Baker, Ronald L.; Marvin Carmony (1995). Indiana Place Names. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 158. ISBN 0-253-28340-X.
- De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. p. 577.
- Starke County Public Library factsheet http://www.scpl.lib.in.us/historical/timeline/timeline.pdf
- History of 1838 Trail of Death http://www.potawatomi-tda.org/ptodhist.htm
- Brief history of LaPorte county http://www.laportecountyhistory.org/history.htm
- "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- Indiana Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1998. pp. 19–20, 25–26. ISBN 0-89933-211-0.
- "Monthly Averages for Knox, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- Forstall, Richard L. (editor) (1996). Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 : from the twenty-one decennial censuses. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Population Division. pp. 50–53. ISBN 0-934213-48-8.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
||Porter County||LaPorte County||St. Joseph County|
|Jasper County||Marshall County|
|Pulaski County||Fulton County|