Jennings County, Indiana
Jennings County courthouse in Vernon, Indiana
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Indiana's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Jonathan Jennings|
|Largest city||North Vernon|
|• Total||378.34 sq mi (979.9 km2)|
|• Land||376.58 sq mi (975.3 km2)|
|• Water||1.76 sq mi (4.6 km2) 0.47%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||76/sq mi (29.20/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Indiana county number 40|
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 378.34 square miles (979.9 km2), of which 376.58 square miles (975.3 km2) (or 99.53%) is land and 1.76 square miles (4.6 km2) (or 0.47%) is water. It is a rural county, with majority of the county consisting of personal farms and woodlands. There are only two incorporated towns in this county, Vernon, the county seat, and North Vernon. Both are quite small and underdeveloped by urban standards. The county is located in the center of an imaginary triangle consisting of Indianapolis, IN, Cincinnati, OH, and Louisville, KY and requires only 11⁄4 hour drive time to any of these urban centers.
It is also home to the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, located just outside North Vernon, at which various training exercises and scenarios are conducted for homeland security and other similar purposes.
Other unincorporated places
- Decatur County (north)
- Ripley County (east)
- Jefferson County (southeast)
- Scott County (south)
- Jackson County (west)
- Bartholomew County (northwest)
Parks and protected areas
- Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Muscatatuck County Park
- Selmier State Forest
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in Vernon have ranged from a low of 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −24 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.71 inches (69 mm) in February to 4.72 inches (120 mm) in May.
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 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.
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.
Jennings County is part of Indiana's 6th congressional district and is represented in Congress by Republican Greg Pence. It is also part of Indiana Senate districts 43 and 45 and Indiana House of Representatives districts 66 and 69.
Jennings County is, and has historically been, a staunchly Republican county. Democratic presidential candidates have won Jennings County only thrice in the past 130 years.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 28,525 people, 10,680 households, and 7,733 families residing in the county. The population density was 75.7 inhabitants per square mile (29.2/km2). There were 12,069 housing units at an average density of 32.0 per square mile (12.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.8% white, 0.8% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 1.0% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.2% were German, 16.3% were Irish, 14.7% were American, and 7.2% were English.
Of the 10,680 households, 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.6% were non-families, and 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.06. The median age was 38.4 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $48,470. Males had a median income of $38,506 versus $27,633 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,636. About 8.9% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
Jennings County residents may obtain a library card from the Jennings County Public Library in North Vernon.
In popular culture
Jennings County is the setting of the novel The Friendly Persuasion, later adapted into the Oscar-nominated film Friendly Persuasion in 1956. Although initially planned to be filmed on location, it was finally filmed in California.
- Sarah T. Bolton, poet
- Ovid Butler, founder of Butler University
- Royce Campbell, jazz guitarist
- Cliff Daringer, Federal League baseball player
- Rolla Daringer, Major League Baseball player
- Lincoln Dixon, U.S. Representative from Indiana, 1905–1919
- Scott Earl, Major League Baseball player
- Robert Sanford Foster, Civil War General
- Albert Gumble, ragtime composer 
- Moses Gumble, ragtime composer 
- John "Spider" Miller, 2015 & 2017 Walker Cup team captain
- Jethro New, frontiersmen, Continental Army officer
- Jeptha D. New, U.S. Representative from Indiana, 1875–1877, 1879–1881
- John C. New, Treasurer of the United States, 1875-1876
- Horatio C. Newcomb, Mayor of Indianapolis, 1849-1851
- Hannah Milhous Nixon, mother of President Richard Nixon
- Pat O'Connor, polesitter for the 1957 Indianapolis 500 and member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame
- Mike Simon, Major League Baseball player
- Jessamyn West, author
- Edgar Whitcomb, 43rd Governor of Indiana
- Albert Edward Wiggam, psychologist, lecturer, and author
- "Jennings County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. pp. 563.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
- "Muscatatuck Urban Training Center". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- National Atlas Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine
- "U.S. Census Bureau TIGER shape files". Archived from the original on 2017-05-23. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- "Monthly Averages for Vernon, 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" (PDF). IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
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- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 26, 2019.
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- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
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- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
- "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
- "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
- "Get A Library Card". Jennings County Public Library. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Friendly Persuasion (1956 film)#Production See the film's wikipage.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Jennings County, Indiana
- USS Jennings County (LST-846)