LaGrange County, Indiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LaGrange County
LaGrange County courthouse in LaGrange, Indiana. Built in the 1870s and now on the National Register of Historic Places
LaGrange County courthouse in LaGrange, Indiana. Built in the 1870s and now on the National Register of Historic Places
Map of Indiana highlighting LaGrange County
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°38′30″N 85°25′00″W / 41.641666666667°N 85.416666666667°W / 41.641666666667; -85.416666666667
Country United States
State Indiana
Founded1832
Named forChâteau de la Grange-Bléneau
SeatLaGrange
Largest cityLaGrange
Area
 • Total386.70 sq mi (1,001.5 km2)
 • Land379.62 sq mi (983.2 km2)
 • Water7.08 sq mi (18.3 km2)  1.83%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total40,446
 • Estimate 
(2021)[1]
40,524
 • Density100/sq mi (40/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.lagrangecounty.org
Indiana county number 44

LaGrange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2020, the population was 40,446.[2] The county seat is LaGrange, Indiana.[3]

The county is located in the Northern Indiana region known as Michiana and is about 55 miles (89 km) east of South Bend, 105 miles (169 km) west of Toledo, Ohio, and 175 miles (282 km) northeast of Indianapolis. The area is well known for its large Amish population.[4] For that reason, the county teams up with neighboring Elkhart County to promote tourism by referring to the area as Northern Indiana Amish Country.[5]

About half of LaGrange County is Amish,[2] and it is home to the third-largest Amish community in the United States, which belongs to the Elkhart-LaGrange Amish affiliation.

History[edit]

The first settlement of LaGrange County was founded about a half mile west of Lima in 1828. Over the next four years, settlers flocked to parts of Lima, Springfield, and Van Buren Townships. Finally in 1832, LaGrange County was carved out of neighboring Elkhart County and established with Lima as the county seat.[6] The town of LaGrange was platted in 1836 and settled in 1842 as the new county seat, closer to the center of the county.[7] Lima's name was changed to Howe in 1909.[6] LaGrange was laid out and platted in 1836.[8]

LaGrange County's initial settlers were Yankee immigrants, that is to say, they were from New England. They were descended from the English Puritans who settled that region in the colonial era. They were part of a wave of New England settlers moving west into what was then the Northwest Territory after the completion of the Erie Canal. The original settlers in LaGrange County specifically hailed from the Massachusetts counties of Worcester County, Suffolk County and Berkshire County; the Connecticut counties of Hartford County and Windham County as well as the Connecticut towns of Sherman, Lebanon and Fairfield; and from the Vermont towns of Burlington, Brookfield, Huntington and Grand Isle. They were mainly members of the Congregational Church, but as a result of the Second Great Awakening, many became Baptists and many also converted to Pentecostalism and Methodism. When they arrived in LaGrange County, there was nothing but a virgin forest and wild prairie. The New England settlers cleared roads, built farms, constructed churches, erected government buildings, and established post routes. As a result of this migration, LaGrange County was culturally continuous with early New England culture for many years.[9]

In 1837, the government removed Chief Shipshewana and the Potawatomi Tribe from the county's northwest corner. Several years later, the Chief was allowed to return and died in Newbury Township in 1841.[6] A town named Georgetown had been platted in 1837 but was abandoned because of lack of development. In 1844, the first Amish came from Pennsylvania to settle around the old town. The village continued to grow, and the town of Shipshewana was platted nearby in 1899 and incorporated in 1916 in Newbury Township.[6]

LaGrange County was named after the Château de la Grange-Bléneau, home of Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de la Fayette, outside of Paris, France.[10]

Geography[edit]

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 386.70 square miles (1,001.5 km2), of which 379.62 square miles (983.2 km2) (or 98.17%) is land and 7.08 square miles (18.3 km2) (or 1.83%) is water.[11]

The county is mostly made up of rural farmland but also some rolling hills and several lakes.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

  • I-80 / I-90 / Indiana Toll Road

Climate and weather[edit]

LaGrange, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
1.8
 
 
29
14
 
 
1.8
 
 
34
16
 
 
2.7
 
 
45
25
 
 
3.3
 
 
57
36
 
 
3.6
 
 
69
47
 
 
4.2
 
 
79
57
 
 
3.6
 
 
82
61
 
 
4
 
 
80
59
 
 
3.5
 
 
73
51
 
 
2.8
 
 
61
40
 
 
2.9
 
 
47
31
 
 
2.6
 
 
34
20
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[12]

In recent years, average temperatures in LaGrange have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 82 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −28 °F (−33 °C) was recorded in December 2000 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.76 inches (45 mm) in February to 4.17 inches (106 mm) in June.[12]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18403,664
18508,387128.9%
186011,36635.5%
187014,14824.5%
188015,63010.5%
189015,615−0.1%
190015,284−2.1%
191015,148−0.9%
192014,009−7.5%
193013,780−1.6%
194014,3524.2%
195015,3476.9%
196017,38013.2%
197020,89020.2%
198025,55022.3%
199029,47715.4%
200034,90918.4%
201037,1286.4%
202040,4468.9%
2021 (est.)40,5240.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2013[17] 2020[2]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 37,128 people, 11,598 households, and 9,106 families residing in the county.[18] The population density was 97.8 inhabitants per square mile (37.8/km2). There were 14,094 housing units at an average density of 37.1 per square mile (14.3/km2).[11] The racial makeup of the county was 96.6% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.7% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.5% of the population.[18] In terms of ancestry, 36.1% were German, 13.3% were American, 6.4% were Irish, and 6.4% were English.[19]

Of the 11,598  households, 40.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.6% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 21.5% were non-families, and 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 3.17, and the average family size was 3.66. The median age was 30.4 years.[18]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $53,793. Males had a median income of $40,960 versus $29,193 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,388. About 12.1% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.[20]

Amish community[edit]

Amish buggy rides are offered in tourist-oriented Shipshewana, Indiana.

Approximately 37% of the population of LaGrange County is Amish, as the county is home to the third-largest Amish community in the United States and belongs to the Elkhart-LaGrange Amish affiliation. This is reflected in the linguistic situation in the county: 28.45% of the population report speaking German, Pennsylvania German, or Dutch at home.[21] 68.5% of the total population and 61.29% of the children in 5-17 age group used English as their home language, according to 2000 Census. The Amish languages (German, Pennsylfaansch, and Dutch) were used by 28.47% of the total population and 35.77% of them.[22]

As of 2020 census, Terry Martin, president of the LaGrange County Commissioners, said that "the Amish-English ratio is about 50-50", also adding that the nearly 9% growth, or 3,318 people [between 2010 and 2020 censuses], was mainly due to the increasing Amish population.[2]

Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Townships[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Economy[edit]

The economy is based mainly on agriculture and small shops, but tourism also plays a big role, especially in Shipshewana.

Government[edit]

The county is led by a board of three elected commissioners that serve as the county government's executive branch. The county council comprises 7 elected members – four from each council district and 3 at large. Also, one assessor serves the entire county as opposed to one for every township.

The current county commissioners are:[23]

  • North District: Terry Martin
  • Middle District: Kevin Myers
  • South District: Peter Cook

The current county council members are: [24]

  • Charles F. Ashcraft D - District 1
  • Ryan Riegsecker R- District 2
  • Harold Gingerich R - District 3
  • Jim Young R - District 4
  • Jeff Brill R - At Large
  • Steve McKowen R - At Large
  • Mike Strawser R - At Large

LaGrange County is part of Indiana's 3rd congressional district; Indiana Senate district 13;[25] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 18 and 52.[26]

LaGrange County has consistently been a Republican Party stronghold in presidential elections. In only three elections since 1888 has a Republican candidate failed to win the county, most recently in 1964.

United States presidential election results for LaGrange County, Indiana[27]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,110 76.27% 2,355 22.15% 168 1.58%
2016 7,025 73.44% 2,080 21.74% 461 4.82%
2012 6,231 66.88% 2,898 31.11% 187 2.01%
2008 5,702 59.80% 3,663 38.42% 170 1.78%
2004 6,430 71.42% 2,523 28.02% 50 0.56%
2000 5,437 65.25% 2,733 32.80% 163 1.96%
1996 4,033 52.11% 2,704 34.94% 1,003 12.96%
1992 3,584 48.15% 2,093 28.12% 1,767 23.74%
1988 4,495 68.67% 2,029 31.00% 22 0.34%
1984 4,772 71.31% 1,884 28.15% 36 0.54%
1980 4,259 62.49% 2,095 30.74% 461 6.76%
1976 3,876 57.24% 2,835 41.86% 61 0.90%
1972 4,152 71.11% 1,658 28.40% 29 0.50%
1968 3,328 61.54% 1,691 31.27% 389 7.19%
1964 2,785 49.38% 2,818 49.96% 37 0.66%
1960 4,433 69.03% 1,965 30.60% 24 0.37%
1956 3,815 70.47% 1,562 28.85% 37 0.68%
1952 3,822 68.80% 1,604 28.87% 129 2.32%
1948 3,106 63.82% 1,628 33.45% 133 2.73%
1944 3,501 68.71% 1,539 30.21% 55 1.08%
1940 3,731 63.43% 2,124 36.11% 27 0.46%
1936 3,125 51.72% 2,821 46.69% 96 1.59%
1932 2,461 42.29% 3,261 56.03% 98 1.68%
1928 3,171 64.40% 1,720 34.93% 33 0.67%
1924 3,081 63.34% 1,566 32.20% 217 4.46%
1920 3,852 68.02% 1,687 29.79% 124 2.19%
1916 1,958 54.09% 1,512 41.77% 150 4.14%
1912 758 21.58% 1,233 35.11% 1,521 43.31%
1908 2,357 60.13% 1,414 36.07% 149 3.80%
1904 2,461 64.61% 1,100 28.88% 248 6.51%
1900 2,329 59.34% 1,431 36.46% 165 4.20%
1896 2,442 58.97% 1,665 40.21% 34 0.82%
1892 2,033 54.59% 1,438 38.61% 253 6.79%
1888 2,262 57.32% 1,516 38.42% 168 4.26%


Education[edit]

Prairie Heights High School, just off U.S. Route 20 near the Steuben County line.

The county has three public school districts.

Public schools[edit]

The Lakeland Community Schools serve the central part of the county. The system includes Lakeland Primary: Grades (k-2), Lakeland Intermediate: grades (3-6), and Lakeland Jr/Sr High: grades (7-12).

The Prairie Heights School Corporation serves the east side of the county and parts of Steuben County. The mascot of Prairie Heights School is a black panther.

The Westview School Corporation serves the west portion of the county. This system consists of four elementary schools (Meadowview, Shipshewana-Scott, Topeka, and Westview) and one junior-senior high school named Westview.

Private schools[edit]

Several Amish schools are located across the county.

Public library[edit]

LaGrange County is served by the La Grange County Public Library, with branches in LaGrange, Shipshewana, and Topeka.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "QuickFacts: LaGrange County, Indiana". Census.gov. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "CENSUS 2020: LaGrange County leads local area in population growth". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "RV Capital: Elkhart Indiana". Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  5. ^ Welcome to Northern Indiana Amish Country
  6. ^ a b c d http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inlagran/lghist.html[user-generated source]
  7. ^ "LaGrange County Indiana History and Pioneer Genealogy". Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  8. ^ Counties of LaGrange and Noble, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. F.A. Battey & Company. 1882. p. 111.
  9. ^ The expansion of New England: the spread of New England settlement and institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 by Lois Kimball Matthews p. 201
  10. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. pp. 564.
  11. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for LaGrange, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  17. ^ "LaGrange County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  18. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  19. ^ "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 February 14, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  20. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 14, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  21. ^ "Language Map Data Center".
  22. ^ "Data Center Results".
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "County Council".
  25. ^ "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  26. ^ "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  27. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  28. ^ "Homepage". La Grange County Public Library. Retrieved March 8, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°38′30″N 85°25′00″W / 41.64167°N 85.41667°W / 41.64167; -85.41667