LaPorte County, Indiana
|LaPorte County, Indiana|
LaPorte County Courthouse in La Porte, Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
|Regions||Northwest Indiana and Michiana|
|Metro area||Chicago Metropolitan|
|Established||April 1, 1832|
|Named for||"The Door" or "The Port" (fr.)|
|County seat||La Porte|
|Largest city||Michigan City
(population and total area)
|• Body||Board of Commissioners|
|• Commissioner||Willie Milsap (D, 1st)|
|• Commissioner||David L. Decker (D, 2nd)|
|• Commissioner||Vidya Kora (D, 3rd)|
|• County Council|
|• County||613.26 sq mi (1,588.3 km2)|
|• Land||598.30 sq mi (1,549.6 km2)|
|• Water||14.96 sq mi (38.7 km2)|
|• Metro||10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)|
|Area rank||2nd largest county in Indiana|
|• Region||2,726 sq mi (7,060 km2)|
|Elevation||778 ft (237 m)|
|• Estimate (2013)||111,281|
|• Rank||15th largest county in Indiana
542nd largest county in U.S.
|• Density||186/sq mi (72/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||Central (UTC-5)|
|ZIP Codes||46340, 46345-46, 46348, 46350,
46352, 46360-61, 46365, 46371,
46382, 46390-91, 46532, 46552,
|Congressional districts||1st and 2nd|
|Indiana Senate districts||5th and 8th|
|Indiana House of Representatives districts||9th, 17th and 20th|
|GNIS feature ID||0450507|
|South Shore Line stations||
|Public transit||Michigan City Transit|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Municipalities
- 4 Townships
- 5 Public libraries
- 6 Hospitals
- 7 Climate and weather
- 8 Education
- 9 Government
- 10 Demographics
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
LaPorte County was formed in 1832. La porte means "the door" or "the port" in French. French travelers or explorers so named the area after discovering a natural opening in the dense forests that used to exist in this region, providing a gateway to lands further west.
Before white settlement, all of the land that forms modern-day LaPorte County, and adjacent Starke County to the south belonged to the Potawatomi Indian nation. These Indians were forcibly removed to Kansas by the United States government in 1838, and many died on what survivors called the Trail of Death.
LaPorte County's initial White American settlers were Yankee immigrants, that is to say they were from New England or were from upstate New York and had parents who were from New England, and were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England 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 White settlers in LaPorte County specifically hailed from the Massachusetts towns of Granville, Boston, Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Andover, Nantucket Island and Hampshire County; the Connecticut towns of Colchester, Wethersfield, Granby and New Haven; the New Hampshire towns of Bradford, Amherst and Goffstown; the Vermont villages of Dorset, Albany and Fairfax; many also came from Orange County, Vermont, Caledonia County, Vermont and Penobscot County, Maine. 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 before moving to what is now La Porte County. When they arrived in what is now LaPorte County, there was nothing but 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, LaPorte County was culturally continuous with early New England culture for many years.
When the county was initially proposed and organized, its boundaries did not extend as far south or east as they do today. A section of land north of the Kankakee River originally belonged to Starke County. However, residents living in that area had difficulty crossing the river in order to reach the rest of the county. It was necessary to travel some distance east to Lemon's bridge, before making the journey south. Effectively isolated from the rest of Starke County, these residents asked that their land be annexed to LaPorte County, which was completed on January 28, 1842. Thereafter, the Kankakee River formed the southern boundary of the county. Finally, on January 10, 1850, some twenty sections of land were annexed from St. Joseph County to the east, giving LaPorte County the boundaries that essentially exist to this day.
LaPorte County is also famous for being the scene of the Belle Gunness serial murders. She lived on a farm on the outskirts of LaPorte County.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 613.26 square miles (1,588.3 km2), of which 598.30 square miles (1,549.6 km2) (or 97.56%) is land and 14.96 square miles (38.7 km2) (or 2.44%) is water.
- Berrien County, Michigan (north/EST Border)
- St. Joseph County (east/EST Border)
- Starke County (south)
- Jasper County (southwest)
- Porter County (west)
National protected area
- Canadian National Railway
- Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad
- Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad
- Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad
- CSX Transportation
- Norfolk Southern Railway
The municipalities in La Porte County and their populations as of the 2010 Census:
LaPorte County contains 21 townships, more than any other county in the state. The townships, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:
- Cass – 1,833
- Center – 25,075
- Clinton – 1,507
- Coolspring – 14,718
- Dewey – 935
- Galena – 1,899
- Hanna – 965
- Hudson – 1,883
- Johnson – 198
- Kankakee – 4,830
- Lincoln – 1,794
- Michigan – 27,522
- New Durham – 8,664
- Noble – 1,625
- Pleasant – 3,380
- Prairie – 209
- Scipio – 4,570
- Springfield – 4,045
- Union – 2,348
- Washington – 1,357
- Wills – 2,110
The county is served by five different public library systems:
- LaCrosse Public Library
- LaPorte County Public Library has its main location in La Porte as well as the Coolspring, Fish Lake, Hanna, Kingsford Heights, Rolling Prairie and Union Mills branches.
- Michigan City Public Library
- Wanatah Public Library
- Westville-New Durham Township Public Library has its main location in Westville.
- Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital, La Porte – 227 beds
- Franciscan St. Anthony Health, Michigan City – 310 beds
Climate and weather
|La Porte, Indiana|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in La Porte have ranged from a low of 12 °F (−11 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −28 °F (−33 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.68 inches (43 mm) in February to 4.79 inches (122 mm) in June.
Public schools in LaPorte County are administered by seven different districts:
- LaPorte Community School Corporation 
- Metropolitan School District of New Durham Township 
- Michigan City Area Schools 
- New Prairie United School Corporation 
- South Central Community School Corporation 
- Tri-Township Consolidated School Corporation 
Colleges and Universities
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 has five elected trial court judges. They include the LaPorte Circuit Court and Superior Courts one through four. The judges are elected to six-year terms on partisan ballots. Superior Courts three and four maintain small claims dockets. Decisions from any trial court may be appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals. The Circuit Court and Superior court three are located in the city of La Porte; Superior courts one, two and four are located in Michigan City.
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.
LaPorte County is part of Indiana's 2nd congressional district and is represented by Jackie Walorski in the United States Congress. It is also part of Indiana Senate districts 5 and 8 and Indiana House of Representatives districts 9, 17 and 20.
County elected officials
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of 2000, there were 110,106 people, 41,050 households, and 28,611 families residing in the county. The population density was 184 people per square mile (71/km²). There were 45,621 housing units at an average density of 29 persons/km² (76 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 86.26% White, 10.13% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.31% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.09% of the population. 25.9% were of German, 12.2% Poles, 10.2% American, 9.0% Irish and 5.5% English ancestry according to the 2000 United States Census.
There were 41,050 households out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 11.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 105.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,430, and the median income for a family was $49,872. Males had a median income of $36,686 versus $23,955 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,913. About 6.30% of families and 8.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.50% of those under the age of 18 and 9.00% ages 65 or older.
|Places by population and race|
|Place||Population (2010)||White||Black or African
|Hispanic or Latino
(of any race)
|Fish Lake, CDP||1,016||97.6%||0.5%||0.1%||1.8%||2.4%|
|Hudson Lake, CDP||1,297||97.1%||0.1%||0.1%||2.7%||3.0%|
|Kingsford Heights, town||1,435||86.3%||8.1%||0.3%||5.3%||5.0%|
|La Porte, city||22,053||88.6%||3.0%||0.5%||7.9%||11.2%|
|Long Beach, town||1,179||96.8%||1.4%||1.1%||0.7%||0.6%|
|Michiana Shores, town||313||97.4%||0.0%||0.0%||2.6%||2.9%|
|Michigan City, city||31,479||64.9%||28.1%||0.7%||6.3%||5.9%|
|Pottawattamie Park, town||235||92.3%||7.2%||0.0%||0.5%||0.4%|
|Rolling Prairie, CDP||582||98.3%||0.3%||0.2%||1.2%||1.2%|
|Trail Creek, town||2,052||91.2%||5.5%||0.6%||2.7%||3.3%|
|Places by population and standard of living|
|Fish Lake, CDP||1,016||$26,468||$41,500||$113,200|
|Hudson Lake, CDP||1,297||$19,836||$47,216||$130,400|
|Kingsford Heights, town||1,435||$16,235||$42,368||$71,100|
|La Porte, city||22,053||$20,334||$36,903||$93,000|
|Long Beach, town||1,179||$54,416||$81,250||$443,000|
|Michiana Shores, town||313||$41,713||$50,750||$307,100|
|Michigan City, city||31,479||$19,284||$36,115||$93,200|
|Pottawattamie Park, town||235||$36,368||$75,625||$177,300|
|Rolling Prairie, CDP||582||$23,772||$79,708||$147,800|
|Trail Creek, town||2,052||$28,872||$55,726||$128,200|
- Other = Combined percentages for American Indian or Alaska Native; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; other races; and two or more races
- "Origin of Indiana County Names". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved 2014-10-14.
- "USA Counties in Profile". STATS Indiana. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics 2010, Table DP-1, 2010 Demographic Profile Data. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- LaPorte County Government website
- "La Porte County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Calumet Beginnings: Schoon, Kenneth J. (2003)
- De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. p. 560.
- La Porte County Historical Society
- History of 1838 Trail of Death
- The expansion of New England: the spread of New England settlement and institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 by Lois Kimball Matthews page 201-202
- Stephens, Dave (2012-01-22). "La(?)Porte's Space Odyssey". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- Indiana Code 33-33-46.
- Indiana Code 3-3-5.
- "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- Daniels, E. D. (1904). A twentieth century history and biographical record of La Porte County, Indiana. Lewis Publishing Co. p. 38.
- "LaCrosse Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "LaPorte County Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "Michigan City Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "Wanatah Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "Westville-New Durham Township Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "Monthly Averages for La Porte, 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.
- "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- U.S. Census Bureau. 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table DP03, Selected Economic Charactaristics. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- U.S. Census Bureau. 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table DP04, Selected Housing Charactaristics. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- LaPorte County official website
- Access LaPorte County official community site
- Greater LaPorte Chamber of Commerce
- Healthy Communities of LaPorte County
||Lake Michigan||Berrien County, Michigan|
|Porter County||St. Joseph County|
|Jasper County||Starke County|