Washington County, Indiana

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For counties with a similar name, see Washington County (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Washington, Indiana. ‹See Tfd›
Washington County, Indiana
Salem IN Courthouse.jpg
Washington County courthouse in Salem, Indiana
Seal of Washington County, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Washington County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1814
Named for George Washington
Seat Salem
Largest city Salem
 • Total 516.60 sq mi (1,338 km2)
 • Land 513.72 sq mi (1,331 km2)
 • Water 2.87 sq mi (7 km2), 0.56%
 • (2010) 28,262
 • Density 54.9/sq mi (21/km²)
Congressional district 9th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.washingtoncounty.in.gov
Footnotes: Indiana county number 88

Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 28,262.[1] The county seat is Salem.[2]

Washington County is part of the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY–IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Early settlers[edit]

As early as 1802, a man named Frederick Royce lived among the Ox Indians at a place known as the Lick, two miles east of Salem and is probably the first white man to inhabit this county. He was a hunter-trader and salt manufacturer. In 1803, Thomas Hopper was the first to settle in this county near Hardinsburg.

Washington County was formed in 1814. It was named for U.S. President George Washington.[3]


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 516.60 square miles (1,338.0 km2), of which 513.72 square miles (1,330.5 km2) (or 99.44%) is land and 2.87 square miles (7.4 km2) (or 0.56%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Washington is one of seven counties in Indiana that borders eight counties.

Cities and towns[edit]

Unincorporated towns[edit]

  • Bartle
  • Beck's Mill
  • Blue River
  • Bunker Hill
  • Canton
  • Claysville
  • Daisy Hill
  • Farrabee
  • Georgetown
  • Haleysburg


Major highways[edit]

Climate and weather[edit]

Salem, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[5]

In recent years, average temperatures in Salem have ranged from a low of 21 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −32 °F (−36 °C) was recorded in February 1951 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.87 inches (73 mm) in October to 4.86 inches (123 mm) in May.[5]

Five people were reported killed in Washington County during the Early March 2012 tornado outbreak.[6] Four were found dead in a home on Old Pekin Road according to Washington County officials.[7] The fifth, a 15 month old from the same family, had been found in a field, and died later in hospital.[8]


Washington County
Sheriff's Department
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* County (US) of Washington in the state of Indiana, United States
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction.
General nature
Operational structure
Agency executive Claude Combs, Sheriff
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

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.[9][10]

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.[9][10]

Court: There are two judges in Washington County. The Judge of the Circuit Court is the Hon. Robert L. Bennett (D). The Judge of the Superior Court is the Hon. Frank E. Newkirk, Jr. (R). Case distribution is determined by local court rules. Each judge serves a six-year term.

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.[10]

Washington County is part of Indiana's 9th congressional district and is represented in Congress by Republican Todd Young.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 9,039
1830 13,064 44.5%
1840 15,269 16.9%
1850 17,040 11.6%
1860 17,909 5.1%
1870 18,495 3.3%
1880 18,955 2.5%
1890 18,619 −1.8%
1900 19,409 4.2%
1910 17,445 −10.1%
1920 16,645 −4.6%
1930 16,285 −2.2%
1940 17,008 4.4%
1950 16,520 −2.9%
1960 17,819 7.9%
1970 19,278 8.2%
1980 21,932 13.8%
1990 23,717 8.1%
2000 27,223 14.8%
2010 28,262 3.8%
Est. 2012 27,921 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
2012 Estimate[12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 27,223 people, 10,264 households, and 7,585 families residing in the county. The population density was 53 people per square mile (20/km²). There were 11,191 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.75% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.9% were of American, 23.7% German, 12.8% English and 10.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 10,264 households out of which 35.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.20% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.10% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.50% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,630, and the median income for a family was $42,618. Males had a median income of $29,929 versus $21,944 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,748. About 7.30% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.30% of those under age 18 and 9.40% of those age 65 or over.


The county is served by 3 school districts:[14]

  • Salem Community Schools
  • East Washington School Corporation
  • South Central Area Special Ed
  • West Washington School Corporation.

East Washington School Corporation (Superintendent:Steve Darnell[15]) includes:[16]

  • East Washington Elementary School (Principal:Deborah Esarey[17])
  • East Washington Middle School (Principal:Linda Luedeman[18])
  • Eastern High School (Principal:Darin Farris[19]).

Salem Community Schools (Superintendent:Dr. D. Lynn Reed[20]) includes:[20]

  • Salem High School (Principal:Derek Smith[20])
  • Salem Middle School (Principal:Ray Oppel[20])
  • Bradie Shrum Elementary School (Principal:Brent Minton[20])

West Washington School Corporation (Superintendent:Gerald Jackson[21]) includes:[21]

  • West Washington Elementary School (Principal:Tom Rosenbaum[21])
  • West Washington Junior/Senior High School (Principal:Karen York[21]).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Washington 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. 575. 
  4. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  5. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Salem, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  6. ^ http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-02/news/31117777_1_violent-storms-tornadoes-death-toll.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  7. ^ http://www.wdrb.com/
  8. ^ "US Tornadoes: Toddler Found in Field Dies After Coming off Life Support". London: The Guardian. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  10. ^ a b c Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ Education, Indiana Department of (2009). "Indiana Public Superintendent Directory 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  15. ^ Corporation, East Washington School (2009). "Central Office". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  16. ^ Corporation, East Washington School (2009). "Welcome to the EWSC". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  17. ^ School, East Washington Elementary (2009). "EWES Staff". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  18. ^ School, East Washington Middle (2009). "EWMS Office Staff". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  19. ^ http://www.ewsc.k12.in.us/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146&Itemid=166.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ a b c d e Schools, Salem Community (2009). ":: Salem Community Schools ::". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  21. ^ a b c d Corporation, West Washington School. "West Washington School". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  • American Legion Pekin Post 203, The. History of Pekin, Indiana (1959). The American Legion Pekin Post 203
  • Everton Publishers, Inc, The. Handy book for Genealogists (1971). Everton Publishers, Inc, The
  • History of Washington County 1884 (1884).
  • Indiana Historical Commission. Indiana History Bulletin (August 1924). Wm. B. Burford

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°36′N 86°07′W / 38.60°N 86.11°W / 38.60; -86.11