Monticello, Indiana

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Monticello, Indiana
City of Monticello
The Monticello Carnegie Library
The Monticello Carnegie Library
"Life With A Splash"
Location of Monticello in White County, Indiana
Location of Monticello in White County, Indiana
Coordinates: 40°44′48″N 86°45′55″W / 40.74667°N 86.76528°W / 40.74667; -86.76528Coordinates: 40°44′48″N 86°45′55″W / 40.74667°N 86.76528°W / 40.74667; -86.76528
CountryUnited States
 • MayorCathy Gross (D)
 • Total3.68 sq mi (9.53 km2)
 • Land3.47 sq mi (8.98 km2)
 • Water0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)  5.96%
Elevation679 ft (207 m)
 • Total5,508
 • Density1,589.15/sq mi (613.61/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)574
FIPS code18-50760[3]
GNIS feature ID439369

Monticello (/ˌmɒntɪˈsɛl/ MON-tih-SEL-oh[4]) is a city in Union Township, White County, Indiana, United States.[5] The population was 5,378 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of White County.[6]

Monticello is known as a tourist destination in north-central Indiana and is home to the Indiana Beach amusement park on Lake Shafer, and Lake Freeman.


Monticello is located at 40°44′48″N 86°45′55″W / 40.74667°N 86.76528°W / 40.74667; -86.76528 (40.746709, -86.765359).[7]

According to the 2010 census, Monticello has a total area of 3.686 square miles (9.55 km2), of which 3.47 square miles (8.99 km2) (or 94.14%) is land and 0.216 square miles (0.56 km2) (or 5.86%) is water.[8]

James Culbertson Reynolds House in Monticello is listed on the National Register of Historic Places


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

2010 census[edit]

At the 2010 census there were 5,378 people, 2,179 households, and 1,319 families living in the city. The population density was 1,549.9 inhabitants per square mile (598.4/km2). There were 2,457 housing units at an average density of 708.1 per square mile (273.4/km2). The racial makup of the city was 90.8% White or European American, 0.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 5.5% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.5%.[10]

Of the 2,179 households 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.5% were non-families. 34.6% of households were one person and 18.1% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median age was 40.4 years. 24% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 23.6% were from 45 to 64; and 21.1% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

2000 census[edit]

At the 2000 census there were 5,723 people, 2,268 households, and 1,417 families living in the city. The population density was 2,047.9 people per square mile (792.0/km2). There were 2,414 housing units at an average density of 863.8 per square mile (334.1/km2). The racial makup of the city was 91.39% White, 0.28% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 5.96% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.22%.[3]

Of the 2,268 households 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 32.2% of households were one person and 16.5% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.04.

The age distribution was 24.3% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median household income was $35,537 and the median family income was $42,831. Males had a median income of $30,478 versus $19,511 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,066. About 4.8% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


Monticello was laid out in 1834 as the county seat,[11] with a post office established that year, and is still currently in operation.[12] The city was named after President Thomas Jefferson's estate in Virginia.[13]

Destroyed Presbyterian Church following the Super Outbreak

Monticello, Indiana sustained serious damage by a tornado on April 3, 1974, part of the 1974 Super Outbreak that caused death and destruction across the midwest and south.[14] The aftermath of this storm is recorded in the Herald Journal's book, Killer Tornado. The tornado was rated F4 on the Fujita scale. This storm killed eight people and was part of tornado family that killed 18, causing an estimated $100 million in damage.[14] In the immediate aftermath of the storm, news outlets reported three hundred deaths across the United States and the creation of temporary morgues.[15] The local paper said the aftermath was similar to a World War II bombing.

On September 2, 2005, Jordan Manufacturing burned down. The company manufactured outdoor furniture such as folding chairs, umbrellas, and seat cushions. Due to the materials used in making these products, four city blocks were contaminated with toxins. The blaze was large enough to require firefighters from seven surrounding communities to battle it and needed approximately "3000 gallons of water per minute for the first three hours of the blaze."[16] While such a fire might not be a big event for a larger city, it had a profound impact on Monticello, as Jordan Manufacturing was one of the few manufacturing plants left in the city after a recession in the 2000s.

The Monticello Carnegie Library, James Culbertson Reynolds House, and South Grade School Building are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[17][18]


Twin Lakes School Corporation is the school system in Monticello. The Schools are Eastlawn (elementary), Oaklawn (elementary), Meadowlawn (elementary), Roosevelt Middle School, and Twin Lakes High School. Woodlawn Elementary School was previously part of the district until it was closed in 2013.[19]

The High School was heavily damaged by the 1974 tornado and had to be rebuilt. Students resumed classes in local churches and then in portable units erected near the location of the high school until reconstruction could be completed.

The town has a lending library, the Monticello-Union Township Public Library.[20]


Monticello's location between Lakes Shafer and Freeman and the proximity of Indiana Beach allow for a thriving tourism industry that plays a significant role in the city's economy. Although recreational options are geared primarily towards summer activities, the lakes are used throughout the year for fishing. Golfing and boating are available as three season sports. Additionally, Monticello has areas for cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating in the winter.


Monticello is home to one of the few surviving drive-in movie theaters in Indiana, the Lake Shore Drive-In. It has two movie screens playing (in total) 4 movies a night during the spring and summer months in Monticello. On Sunday mornings, a Methodist church service is offered.

The lakes and campgrounds are popular tourist destinations, but the most well-known was Indiana Beach, an amusement park on Lake Shafer.

The Madam Carroll, docked on Lake Freeman, offers scenic lake cruises with live entertainment. Dinner cruises are also held on certain dates.[21] On February 18, 2020, it was announced that Apex Parks Group, the owners of Indiana Beach since acquiring it in 2015, would be closing the park and dismantling the rides. Indiana Beach has a new owner, and is going to remain open.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Indiana Beach amusement park bought by California company". Washington Times (Associated Press). 3 September 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015. California-based Apex Parks Group is taking over the park along Lake Shafer near Monticello (mahn-tuh-SEL’-oh) in northwestern Indiana.
  5. ^ "Monticello, Indiana". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  8. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  11. ^ Hamelle, W. H. (1915). A Standard History of White County, Indiana: An Authentic Narrative of the Past, with an Extended Survey of Modern Developments in the Progress of Town and Country. Unigraphic. p. 289.
  12. ^ "White County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Profile for Monticello, IN". ePodunk. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  14. ^ a b Northern Indiana Office. "The Monticello Tornado". National Weather Service. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  15. ^ "'I'll never forget,' DHJ reader says of April 3, 1974". Monticello Daily Herald-Journal, 3 April 1975 supplement, 30.
  16. ^ Herald Journal Weekend Edition of September 3–4-5, 2005
  17. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  18. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 6/24/13 through 6/28/13. National Park Service. 2013-07-05.
  19. ^ Rodenberger, Gwen. "It's official: Woodlawn to close". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Indiana public library directory" (PDF). Indiana State Library. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Home Page". Retrieved 21 April 2018.

External links[edit]