Spencer County, Indiana

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Spencer County, Indiana
Spencer County Courthouse in Rockport.jpg
Spencer County courthouse in Rockport
Map of Indiana highlighting Spencer County
Location in the U.S. state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded January 10, 1818
Named for Spier Spencer
Seat Rockport
Largest town Santa Claus
 • Total 401.43 sq mi (1,040 km2)
 • Land 396.74 sq mi (1,028 km2)
 • Water 4.68 sq mi (12 km2), 1.17%
 • (2010) 20,952
 • Density 53/sq mi (20.29/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website spencercounty.in.gov
Footnotes: Indiana county number 74

Spencer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,952.[1] The county seat is Rockport.[2]


Spencer County was formed in 1818 from parts of Warrick County and Perry County. It was named for Captain Spier Spencer, killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, which it shares with Spencer, Indiana, the county seat of Owen County.[3]

The Spencer County courthouse was built in 1921. It is the fifth courthouse to serve the county.[4]

Abraham Lincoln lived in Spencer County from 1816 to 1830, between the ages seven and twenty-one. His family moved to Illinois in 1830. The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is located at the site of the Lincoln family farm.

Other attractions in the county include the town of Santa Claus and Holiday World & Splashin' Safari and also Santa's Candy Castle

Saint Meinrad Archabbey is located at the northeastern corner of Spencer County.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 401.43 square miles (1,039.7 km2), of which 396.74 square miles (1,027.6 km2) (or 98.83%) is land and 4.68 square miles (12.1 km2) (or 1.17%) is water.[5]

Cities and towns[edit]

ZIP Codes are in parentheses.

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated places[edit]


Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Climate and weather[edit]

Rockport, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[6]

In recent years, average temperatures in Rockport have ranged from a low of 24 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 91 °F (33 °C) in July, although a record low of −23 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in June 1944. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.01 inches (76 mm) in October to 4.78 inches (121 mm) in May.[6]


The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code.

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.[7][8]

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.[7][8]

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.[8]

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.[8]

Spencer County is part of Indiana's 8th congressional district and is represented in Congress by Republican Larry Bucshon.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,882
1830 3,196 69.8%
1840 6,305 97.3%
1850 8,616 36.7%
1860 14,556 68.9%
1870 17,998 23.6%
1880 22,122 22.9%
1890 22,060 −0.3%
1900 22,407 1.6%
1910 20,676 −7.7%
1920 18,400 −11.0%
1930 16,713 −9.2%
1940 16,211 −3.0%
1950 16,174 −0.2%
1960 16,074 −0.6%
1970 17,134 6.6%
1980 19,361 13.0%
1990 19,490 0.7%
2000 20,391 4.6%
2010 20,952 2.8%
Est. 2015 20,715 [9] −1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,952 people, 8,082 households, and 5,907 families residing in the county.[14] The population density was 52.8 inhabitants per square mile (20.4/km2). There were 8,872 housing units at an average density of 22.4 per square mile (8.6/km2).[5] The racial makeup of the county was 96.9% white, 0.5% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.3% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.5% of the population.[14] In terms of ancestry, 47.0% were German, 16.4% were Irish, 12.6% were English, and 11.1% were American.[15]

Of the 8,082 households, 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.9% were non-families, and 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00. The median age was 41.9 years.[14]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $61,365. Males had a median income of $44,526 versus $30,466 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,609. About 6.8% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Spencer County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. p. 572. 
  4. ^ Wissing, Douglas (Mar 1, 2001). Indiana. Globe Pequot. p. 24. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Rockport, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  8. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). IN.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  9. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  15. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  16. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 

Coordinates: 38°01′N 87°01′W / 38.01°N 87.01°W / 38.01; -87.01