Daviess County, Indiana

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This article is about the county in Indiana. For other places with similar names, see Daviess County (disambiguation).
Daviess County, Indiana
Daviess County Courthouse in Washington.jpg
Daviess County courthouse in Washington, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Daviess County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded February 2, 1818
Named for Joseph Hamilton Daveiss
Seat Washington
Largest town Washington
 • Total 436.87 sq mi (1,131 km2)
 • Land 429.49 sq mi (1,112 km2)
 • Water 7.39 sq mi (19 km2), 1.69%
 • (2010) 31,648
 • Density 73/sq mi (28.37/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Footnotes:   Indiana county number 14

Daviess County /ˈdvz/ is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 31,648.[1] The county seat is Washington.[2]


Daviess County was formed in 1817. It was named for Maj. Joseph Hamilton Daveiss,[3] U.S. District Attorney for Kentucky, killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. The settlement of the county began along the White River that afforded farmers a convenient means to transport their crops for sale. The county was originally heavily forested in the northeast leading to a thriving timber industry during the first half of the 1800s.[4] Daviess County shares its namesake with another nearby Daviess County of Kentucky. Both Counties are in the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky Tri-State Area.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 436.87 square miles (1,131.5 km2), of which 429.49 square miles (1,112.4 km2) (or 98.31%) is land and 7.39 square miles (19.1 km2) (or 1.69%) is water.[5]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Cities and towns[edit]




Climate and weather[edit]

Washington, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[6]

In recent years, average temperatures in Washington have ranged from a low of 23 °F (−5 °C) in January to a high of 88 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −19 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in December 1989 and a record high of 113 °F (45 °C) was recorded in July 1930. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.69 inches (68 mm) in February to 5.52 inches (140 mm) in May.[6]


The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code. 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.[7][8]

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.[7][8]

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.[8]

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.[8]

Each of the townships has a trustee who administers rural fire protection and ambulance service, provides poor relief, manages cemetery care, and performs farm assessment, 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.[9]

Daviess County is part of Indiana's 8th congressional district; Indiana Senate districts 39 and 48;[10] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 45, 63 and 64.[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 3,432
1830 4,543 32.4%
1840 6,720 47.9%
1850 10,352 54.0%
1860 13,323 28.7%
1870 16,747 25.7%
1880 21,552 28.7%
1890 26,227 21.7%
1900 29,914 14.1%
1910 27,747 −7.2%
1920 26,856 −3.2%
1930 25,832 −3.8%
1940 26,163 1.3%
1950 26,762 2.3%
1960 26,636 −0.5%
1970 26,602 −0.1%
1980 27,836 4.6%
1990 27,533 −1.1%
2000 29,820 8.3%
2010 31,648 6.1%
Est. 2013 32,407 2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 29,820 people, 10,894 households, and 7,821 families residing in the county. The population density was 69 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 11,898 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.52% White, 0.45% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 2.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.9% were of American, 26.7% German, 10.4% Irish and 7.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 10,894 households out of which 35.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.80% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the county the population was spread out with 29.00% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,064, and the median income for a family was $41,818. Males had a median income of $30,706 versus $20,102 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,015. About 9.60% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.70% of those under age 18 and 12.00% of those age 65 or over.

10.52% of the total population and 16.52% of the children in 5-17 age group uses German (Almost all Amish) as home language.[17]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

The Daviess County Historical Society website is [1]


  1. ^ a b "Daviess County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 101. 
  4. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. p. 553. 
  5. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Washington, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Government of Indiana. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  8. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Government of Indiana. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  9. ^ "Government". United Township Association of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  10. ^ "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  11. ^ "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&SRVY_YEAR=2000&geo=county&state_id=18&county_id=27&mode=geographic&lang_id=&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&region_id=&division_id=&ll=&ea=y&order=&a=y&pc=1

Coordinates: 38°42′N 87°05′W / 38.70°N 87.08°W / 38.70; -87.08