Jasper, Indiana

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Jasper, Indiana
Dubois County Courthouse
"The Nation's Wood Capital"
Location of Jasper in Dubois County, Indiana.
Location of Jasper in Dubois County, Indiana.
Coordinates: 38°23′29″N 86°55′51″W / 38.39139°N 86.93083°W / 38.39139; -86.93083Coordinates: 38°23′29″N 86°55′51″W / 38.39139°N 86.93083°W / 38.39139; -86.93083
CountryUnited StatesUnited States
TownshipBainbridge, Boone, Madison
 • MayorDean Vonderheide (R) (Jan. 2019 - present)
 • Total13.34 sq mi (34.55 km2)
 • Land13.25 sq mi (34.32 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Elevation466 ft (142 m)
 • Total15,038
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,186.63/sq mi (458.16/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
47546, 47547, 47549
Area code812 & 930
FIPS code18-37782[5]
GNIS feature ID436944

Jasper is a city in, and the county seat[6] of Dubois County, Indiana, United States, located along the Patoka River. The population was 15,038 at the 2010 census making it the 48th largest city in Indiana. On November 4, 2007, Dubois County returned to the Eastern Time Zone, after having moved to the Central Time Zone the previous year. Land use in the area is primarily agricultural.

Jasper is a regional center in Southwestern Indiana, noted for its heavily German Catholic ancestral roots.[7] Jasper has often been called the "Wood Capital of the World", boasting many furniture companies, including Kimball International and Masterbrand Cabinets. Jasper is also home to the Southern Indiana Education Center (SIEC), Jasper Engines & Transmissions (largest re-manufacturer in the market), and to a satellite campus of Vincennes University.

The Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame, which honors players and others associated with the national pastime who were born or lived in Indiana, is located in Jasper.

Jasper also boasts the only municipally supported Arts Council in the state of Indiana; it is part of city government and is supported by the city for its citizens in the same vein as its park board or its street department. The city of Jasper and the Jasper Community Arts Commission have won the Governor's Arts Award twice, once in 1987 and again in 2007, and it is the only group to have garnered this award twice.[8]


Jasper was founded in 1818.[9] The Enlow family were the first settlers of the town.[10] Jasper was originally going to be called Eleanor, the wife of settler Joseph Enlow, but she opted to suggest a name herself, and named the city after a passage in the Bible (Revelation 21:19).[11]

Jasper was not officially platted until 1830.[12] That year, the community became the new county seat of Dubois County, succeeding Portersville.[13]

The Jasper post office has been in operation since 1832.[14] During the New Deal era, Jessie Hull Mayer won a federal commission to paint a mural as part of the Section of Painting and Sculpture′s projects, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department. Indiana Farming Scene in Late Autumn depicts a harvest scene on a farmstead, with no indication of the town.[15] In 1975, the painting was featured as part of a film, Art for Main Street: The Indiana Post Office Murals, produced by the Indiana Historical Society.[16]

Jasper was incorporated as a town in 1866, and was incorporated into a city in 1915.[17]

Town recognition[edit]

  • Jasper was previously ranked in the top 25 in Norman Crampton's 1992 book 100 Best Small Towns in America.[citation needed]
  • In 2005, Jasper was ranked in the ten best places to live in the U.S. by Relocate America.[18]
  • In 2014, movoto.com ranked Jasper fifth on their "10 Best Cities to Live in Indiana" list.[19]
  • A 2014 report by safewise.com placed Jasper 8th on the "50 Safest Cities in Indiana" rankings.[20]
  • According to a study done by NerdWallet.com, Jasper is 9th on the "Best Places to Start a Business in Indiana" list.[21]


The largest industry sectors by employment in Jasper are manufacturing, retail, and health care & social services.

Top employers[edit]

According to the Jasper Chamber of Commerce

# Employer # of Employees
1 Kimball International 3,400
2 MasterBrand Cabinets 2,440
3 Jasper Engines & Transmissions 1,500
4 Memorial Hospital 1,400
5 Jasper Rubber Products 800
6 JasperGroup 800


Jasper is located at 38°23′29″N 86°55′51″W / 38.39139°N 86.93083°W / 38.39139; -86.93083 (38.391439, -86.930772),[22] and is roughly:

According to the 2010 census, Jasper has a total area of 13.191 square miles (34.16 km2), of which 13.1 square miles (33.93 km2) (or 99.31%) is land and 0.091 square miles (0.24 km2) (or 0.69%) is water.[23] The city is mainly in Bainbridge Township, although city limits also extend into Madison and Boone Townships.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)15,724[4]4.6%
Source: US Census Bureau
Location of the Jasper Micropolitan Statistical Area in Indiana

Jasper is the principal city of the Jasper Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Dubois and Pike counties[24] and had a combined population of 54,734 at the 2010 census.[5]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, the population of Jasper was 15,038 and there were 5,994 households. The gender makeup of the city is 49.2% male and 50.8% female.


The racial makeup of the city was:


Of the total Jasper population:

  • 14.0% were 1-9
  • 12.9% were 10-19
  • 12.1% were 20-29
  • 11.9% were 30-39
  • 14.4% were 40-49
  • 13.6% were 50-59
  • 9.1% were 60-69
  • 6.1% were 70-79
  • 5.4% were 80 or older
  • Median age was 39.3 years. For males it was 36.9 years and for females, 41.6 years.


  • Overall median household income in Jasper is $53,968
  • Median income for a family is $65,903
  • Males had a median income of $37,432
  • Females had a median income of $32,218
  • The per capita income for the city is $28,540
  • About 5.7% of families and 7.6% of the population are below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 and over.

Sister city[edit]

Jasper participates in the sister cities program, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI).[25]

Arts and culture[edit]

The Jasper Strassenfest is a four-day event held annually during the first weekend in August. The "Fest" is a celebration between Jasper and its German sister-city Pfaffenweiler, a small village in southwest Germany. Many citizens of Pfaffenweiler travel to Jasper around this time of year. The street festival encompasses the entire city square, complete with numerous food stands, rides, and a very large Biergarten. On average, over 1,300 pounds of bratwurst are consumed during the four-day event.[citation needed] The Strassenfest culminates in a Sunday parade and evening fireworks. The festival also incorporates a golf tournament, beauty pageant (Miss Strassenfest), box parade, fishing tournament, and a network of German "Polka Masses" at the three Roman Catholic parishes: St. Joseph's, Holy Family, and Precious Blood.

The fictional town of Orson, Indiana, from the TV series The Middle is based on Jasper.[26]



Jasper has had several newspapers during its history.

  • The American Eagle was the town's first newspaper, and operated 1846–1848.
  • The Jasper Weekly Courier, a Democratic newspaper, was one of the longest running newspapers in the town's history, serving Dubois County residents 1858–1921.[27]
  • The Dubois County Herald has been published from 1895 to the present and circulates about 10,000 copies per day to residents of Dubois, Spencer, and Pike counties. The Herald is one of only 300 independently owned newspapers in the United States.[28]
  • The Jasper News Journal is a newspaper found for free throughout the city that serves the city of Jasper. [29]

Other newspapers published in Jasper included the Democrat (1857), the Times (1865), and another Times (1879–1891).[30]


The following stations are licensed in the city of Jasper


Notable people[edit]

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

St. Joseph Catholic Church

Jasper is home to 5 of 12 locations or buildings in Dubois County listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Front entrance to Jasper High School

In 1970, the school system of Ireland, an unincorporated town west of Jasper along State Route 56, was consolidated into that of Jasper.

  • Jasper High School (Public 9-12)
  • Jasper Middle School (Public 6-8)[32]
  • Ireland Elementary School (Public PreK-5)[33]
  • Tenth Street School (Public 3-5)[34]
  • Fifth Street School (Public PreK-2)[35]
  • Holy Trinity Catholic School
    • West Campus at St. Mary's Ireland (Private PreK)[36]
    • Central Campus at Precious Blood (Private PreK-2)[37]
    • East Campus at Holy Family (Private 3-8)[38]

The city has a free lending library, the Jasper-Dubois County Public Library.[39]

Higher education[edit]

  • Vincennes University (Jasper Campus)[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ Wilson, George R. (1910). History of Dubois County from Its Primitive Days to 1910. Windmill Publications. pp. 356.
  8. ^ "IAC: Governor's Arts Awards - Past Recipients".
  9. ^ "Jasper, Indiana". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  10. ^ "History". Jasper Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  11. ^ Wilson, George R. (1910). History of Dubois County from Its Primitive Days to 1910. Published by the author. pp. 161.
  12. ^ Wilson, George R. (1910). History of Dubois County from Its Primitive Days to 1910. Published by the author. pp. 160.
  13. ^ "Portersville History". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "Dubois County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  15. ^ Carlisle, John C. (1995). A Simple and Vital Design: The Story of the Indiana Post Office Murals. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-87195-110-6.
  16. ^ "Post Office Mural Featured in Film". Jasper, Indiana: The Herald. May 16, 1975. p. 1. Retrieved 17 March 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  17. ^ "About Our City". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "Relocate-America Announces 2005 'America's Top 100 Places to Live' List". Free Republic. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  19. ^ "These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Indiana".
  20. ^ "50 Safest Cities in Indiana - SafeWise".
  21. ^ "Best Places to Start a Business in Indiana". 6 July 2015.
  22. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  23. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  24. ^ MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS Archived 2007-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-27.
  25. ^ "Sister Cities International". Archived from the original on 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  26. ^ "ABC's 'The Middle' Loaded With Hoosier Connections". RTV6. 2012-05-09. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  27. ^ "A history of the Jasper Weekly Courier from Indiana Historic Newspaper Digitization blog".
  28. ^ "About us - Dubois County Herald".
  29. ^ "The Jasper News Journal - Kentucky Publishing Inc". www.ky-news.com. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  30. ^ Miller, John W. (1982). Indiana Newspaper Bibliography. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society.
  31. ^ "Lindauer appointed District 63 state representative". Dubois County Free Press. October 30, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  32. ^ "Jasper Middle School".
  33. ^ "Ireland Elementary".
  34. ^ "Tenth Street Elementary".
  35. ^ "Fifth Street Elementary".
  36. ^ "Holy Trinity Catholic School Western Campus".
  37. ^ "Holy Trinity Catholic School Central Campus".
  38. ^ "Holy Trinity Catholic School Eastern Campus".
  39. ^ "Indiana public library directory" (PDF). Indiana State Library. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2006-10-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Jasper, Indiana at Wikimedia Commons