Lawrence County, Indiana
Lawrence County, Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
|Named for||James Lawrence|
|Largest city||Bedford (population and area)|
|• Body||Board of Commissioners|
|• Total||451.93 sq mi (1,170.5 km2)|
|• Land||449.17 sq mi (1,163.3 km2)|
|• Water||2.76 sq mi (7.1 km2)|
|Area rank||20th largest county in Indiana|
|Elevation||502 ft (153 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||31st largest county in Indiana|
1,050th largest county in U.S.
|• Density||103/sq mi (40/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
47264, 47420-21, 47436-37, 47446, 47451, 47462, 47467, 47470
|Area code||812 and 930|
|Indiana Senate district||44th|
|Indiana House of Representatives districts||65th and 73rd|
|GNIS feature ID||0451703|
Lawrence County comprises the Bedford, IN Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Until the Battle of Tippecanoe, the general area of Lawrence County was populated primarily by Native Americans. The first trace of white settlement in Lawrence County was near Leesville; however, Bono was the first white settlement in the county. Lawrence County was formed in 1818 by subdividing Orange County. The English name refers to Captain James Lawrence, who uttered the famous words "Don't give up the ship." after being mortally wounded during the War of 1812. Prior to Lawrence County's creation, it was organized as "Leatherwood Township." On March 11, 1818, the county commissioners Ambrose Carlton, Thomas Beagley, and James Stotts, met at the home of James Gregory. On the third day of this session, the commissioners proceeded to divide the county into two civil townships: Shawswick and Spice Valley. Early in 1819, the board adopted a seal for Lawrence County, which was designed with a harp, a plow, three sheaves of weat, a pair of scales, and a weathercock on top. The first county seat of Lawrence County was located at Palestine, situated on a high bluff near the East Fork of the White River. 276 lots were laid out in Palestine, which were advertised for sale on May 25, 1818. Steps were immediately taken to build a courthouse and a jail. The first courthouse of the county was log and erected in the spring of 1818. This courthouse was temporary, and steps to construct a permanent courthouse began in November 1818. It was first designed in octagonal form, with brick walls, a stone foundation, with 45 windows and to be two stories tall. The courthouse was finished in the autumn of 1821, at a total cost of $5,500 (1821 USD). After much disease, and a tornado that swept through the area in 1820, the county approved the relocation of the county seat on February 9, 1825. The name "Bedford" was selected for the new county seat by Joseph Rawlins, a local businessman, after Bedford County, Virginia. The town was laid out on March 30, 1825, and current residents of Palestine were offered a lot in Bedford. The county records were hauled from Palestine to Bedford by Richard Evans. In early 1825, a temporary log courthouse was erected at Bedford. In 1831, the board of commissioners took up the matter of building a more suitable courthouse and adertised bids for a courthouse similar to the one at Salem in May, and there obtained complete plans of that structure. The old buildings at Palestine were sold, and the proceeds were to be used in the construction of the new building. The building was finished in May 1834. A fourth courthouse was built was built in 1872. The fifth and current courthouse was built in 1930. Perry Township was created in May 1822, and Indian Creek Township was extended south to the river. Around the same time, Flinn Township was created. On January 23, 1826, Marion Township was created, followed by Marshall Township in June 1855. In March 1866, 180 residents petitioned for a new township, called "Morton", to be formed out of Shawswick, Bono, and Flinn, but after much thought was named Guthrie Township after an old pioneer family of the county. On January 1, 1911, Flinn Township was annexed by Shawswick, Guthrie, and Pleasant Run Townships, after the county commissioners meeting a month prior.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 451.93 square miles (1,170.5 km2), of which 449.17 square miles (1,163.3 km2) (or 99.39%) is land and 2.76 square miles (7.1 km2) (or 0.61%) is water.
- Monroe County (north)
- Jackson County (east)
- Washington County (southeast)
- Orange County (south)
- Martin County (west)
- Greene County (northwest)
- U.S. Route 50
- State Road 37
- State Road 54
- State Road 58
- State Road 60
- State Road 158
- State Road 446
- State Road 450
- State Road 458
National protected area
- Hoosier National Forest (part)
Cities and Towns
- East Oolitic – (previously known as Spien Kopj)
- Fort Ritner
- Patton Hill
- Red Hill
- Spring Mill Village
- Tarry Park
- Cross Lanes
- Dark Hollow
- Dog Fennel
- Fishing Creek
- Five Points
- Flatwood Hollow
- Goat Run
- Grindstone Hollow
- Heathen Bend
- Hog Holler
- Horseshoe Bend
- Jones' Defeat
- Kentucky Hollow
- Maul Ridge
- Miles Standish
- Reed's Station
- Sand Pit
- Sinking Spring
- Speed Hollow
- Wolf Creek
- Joe Palooka Statue – a statue of a comic strip character Joe Palooka, dedicated in 1948, is located near the town hall in Oolitic.
- Spring Mill State Park is located near Mitchell
Lawrence County has had several native residents that have become astronauts over the years. They include:
- Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom was born and raised in Mitchell; was killed in the Apollo 1 accident
- Charles "Charlie" Walker was born and raised in Oolitic
- Kenneth "Kenny" Bowersox was born in Virginia but was raised in Bedford
The Virgil I. Gus Grissom Memorial, located at the Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell, has many mementos of his career, including the space capsule he commanded, "The Molly Brown" from Gemini 3, and the space suit worn during his Mercury Liberty Bell 7 mission.
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in Bedford have ranged from a low of 18 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 111 °F (44 °C) was recorded in July 1930. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.70 inches (69 mm) in February to 5.04 inches (128 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.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 46,134 people, 18,811 households, and 12,906 families residing in the county. The population density was 102.7 inhabitants per square mile (39.7/km2). There were 21,074 housing units at an average density of 46.9 per square mile (18.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.3% white, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 18.4% were German, 14.6% were Irish, 13.1% were American, and 10.4% were English.
Of the 18,811 households, 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.4% were non-families, and 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.92. The median age was 41.6 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $50,355. Males had a median income of $42,337 versus $30,386 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,352. About 10.9% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.4% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.
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- History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, Indiana: From the Earliest Time to the Present, Together with Interesting Biographical Sketches, Reminiscences, Notes, Etc. Higginson Book Company. 1884. p. 34.
- "Lawrence County's Bicentennial". Limestone County. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Their People, Industries, and Institutions. B.F. Bowen. 1914. p. 66.
- History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Their People, Industries, and Institutions. B.F. Bowen. 1914. p. 77-79.
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- Buher, Becky. "Bedford was second county seat". Hoosier Times. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Their People, Industries, and Institutions. B.F. Bowen. 1914. p. 79-80.
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- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
- , Virgil I. Gus Grissom Memorial
- "Monthly Averages for Bedford, 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" (PDF). State of Indiana. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
- "Indiana House Districts" (PDF). State of Indiana. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
- The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 2,106 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 398 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 91 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 33 votes.
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