Wells County, Indiana

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Wells County, Indiana
Wells County Courthouse P4020318.jpg
Wells County Courthouse
Map of Indiana highlighting Wells County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1837
Named for William A. Wells
Seat Bluffton
Largest city Bluffton
 • Total 370.25 sq mi (959 km2)
 • Land 368.09 sq mi (953 km2)
 • Water 2.16 sq mi (6 km2), 0.58%
 • (2010) 27,636
 • Density 75/sq mi (29/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.wellscounty.org
Footnotes: Indiana county number 90

Wells County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,636.[1] The county seat is Bluffton.[2]


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 370.25 square miles (958.9 km2), of which 368.09 square miles (953.3 km2) (or 99.42%) is land and 2.16 square miles (5.6 km2) (or 0.58%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Cities and towns[edit]

Unincorporated towns[edit]


Major highways[edit]


Wells County was formed in 1837. It was named for Capt. William A. Wells, who was captured by Native Americans as a young boy and adopted by the Miami chief Little Turtle. He eventually became a scout for Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Capt. Wells was killed by Potawatomi allied with the British at the Battle of Fort Dearborn at the outbreak of the War of 1812. The Potawatomi ate Capt. Wells' heart to gain part of his courage.

There was also an accident that occurred at the Clock Tower, known as the County courthouse. While either fixing or building the roof, a man fell to the grounds of Main Street. He landed on his legs, and he lived for about a week before dying. The force of the fall thrust his pelvis into his rib cage. If he would have fallen any other way, he would have died on the spot.

Climate and weather[edit]

Bluffton, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[4]

In recent years, average temperatures in Bluffton have ranged from a low of 16 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −24 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in July 1980. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.83 inches (46 mm) in February to 4.11 inches (104 mm) in May.[4]


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.[5][6]

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.[5][6]

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.[6]

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.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,822
1850 6,152 237.7%
1860 10,844 76.3%
1870 13,585 25.3%
1880 18,442 35.8%
1890 21,514 16.7%
1900 23,449 9.0%
1910 22,418 −4.4%
1920 20,509 −8.5%
1930 18,411 −10.2%
1940 19,099 3.7%
1950 19,564 2.4%
1960 21,220 8.5%
1970 23,821 12.3%
1980 25,401 6.6%
1990 25,948 2.2%
2000 27,600 6.4%
2010 27,636 0.1%
Est. 2013 27,814 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 27,600 people, 10,402 households, and 7,624 families residing in the county. The population density was 75 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 10,970 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.32% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. 1.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 38.7% were of German, 16.0% American, 9.0% English, 7.5% Irish and 5.1% Swiss ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 10,402 households out of which 35.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.90% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.70% were non-families. 23.30% 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 2.61 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.30% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,934, and the median income for a family was $51,517. Males had a median income of $35,830 versus $22,442 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,158. About 4.20% of families and 5.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 6.90% of those age 65 or over.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Wells County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Bluffton, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  5. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  6. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Coordinates: 40°44′N 85°13′W / 40.73°N 85.22°W / 40.73; -85.22