History and Facts of Indiana Counties
Today’s Indiana counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years.
The Northwest Territory was created on June 20, 1790 with 2 original counties, Knox and St Clair counties.
The Indiana Territory existed from May 7, 1800, until December 11, 1816. There were originally 5 Indiana counties when it was first organized as the Indiana Territory in 1800.
The oldest counties are generally in the south near the Ohio River, whereas newer ones were in the north in territory acquired later.
The State of Indiana entered the union as the 19th state on December 11, 1816.
Each county serves as the local level of government within its borders. County government in Indiana consists of two bodies, the county council and the commissioners.
County government in Indiana consists of two bodies, the county council and the commissioners.
Fun Facts about Indiana Counties
Counties by Name
Many Indiana counties are named for
- Founding Fathers and personalities of the American Revolutionary War
- the War of 1812 and Battle of Tippecanoe;
- early leaders of Indiana Territory and Indiana
- rrounding states like Michigan and Kentucky
- Native American tribes and geographical features
The average land area is 396 square miles. According to the Constitution of Indiana, no county may be created of less than 400 square miles, nor may any county smaller than this be further reduced in size, which precludes any new counties
Counties by Year
- Knox County Counties was the first created on June 6, 1790.
- Newton County was the last county created on December 8, 1859.
County Size Facts
- Allen County (657 sq mi) is the largest county in Indiana.
- Ohio County (86 sq mi) is the smallest county in Indiana.
County Population Facts
Average population of Indiana counties 70,476
- Ohio County (6,128) is the least populated county in Indiana.
- Marion County (903,393) is the most populated county in Indiana.
- 54 counties that have 30,000 or more people;
- 17 counties have populations exceeding 100,000
- 5 counties exceed 250,000
- 4 counties have fewer than 10,000 people
Indiana City Facts
Indiana’s 10 largest cities (2016 est.) are:
- Indianapolis (863,002) is in Marion County
- Fort Wayne (265,904) is in Allen County
- Evansville (118,930) is in Vanderburgh County
- South Bend (102,245) is in St. Joseph County
- Carmel (92,198) is in Hamilton County
- Fishers (91,832) is in Hamilton County
- Bloomington (85,071) is in Monroe County
- Hammond (76,618) is in Lake County
- Gary (76,008) is in Lake County
- Lafayette (72,390) is in Tippecanoe County
Boundary Changes of Indiana Counties from 1758 to 1932
This Interactive Map of Indiana Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of Indiana in 1758-1932.
List of Indiana Counties
|County||Created||Created From||Named For||County Seat||Notes|
|Adams County||07 Feb 1836||Adams New Purchase||U.S. President John Quincy Adams||Decatur|
|Allen County||12 Dec 1823||Delaware New Purchase||Col. John Allen, Kentuckystate senator||Fort Wayne|
|Bartholomew County||08 Jan 1821||Jackson County and Delaware New Purchases||Lt. Col. Joseph Bartholomew, a hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Columbus|
|Benton County||18 Feb 1840||Jasper County||Thomas H. Benton, U.S. Senator from Missouri||Fowler|
|Blackford County||15 Feb 1838||Jay County||Judge Isaac Blackford, Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives and Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court||Hartford City|
|Boone County||29 Jan 1830||Adams and Wabash New Purchases||Frontiersman Daniel Boone||Lebanon|
|Brown County||03 Feb 1836||Bartholomew, Jackson and Monroe counties||General Jacob Brown, hero of the War of 1812||Nashville|
|Carroll County||17 Jan 1828||Adams and Wabash New Purchases||Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence||Delphi|
|Cass County||18 Dec 1828||Non-county Area||General Lewis Cass, Governor of Michigan Territory and U.S. Secretary of State||Logansport|
|Clinton County||03 Feb 1801||Knox County||General George Rogers Clark, American Revolutionary War hero||Frankfort|
|Clark County||12 Feb 1825||Owen, Putnam, Sullivan and Vigo counties||U.S. Speaker of the HouseHenry Clay||Jeffersonville|
|Clay County||29 Jan 1830||Adams and Wabash New Purchases||DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York||Brazil|
|Crawford County||29 Jan 1818||Orange, Harrison and Perry counties||Colonel William Crawford, surveyor of the Midwest and hero of the Indian Wars||English|
|Daviess County||02 Feb 1818||Knox County||Colonel Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Washington|
|Dearborn County||07 Mar 1803||Clark County, IN; Hamilton County, OH||U.S. Secretary of War Henry Dearborn||Lawrenceburg|
|Decatur County||12 Dec 1821||Delaware New Purchase||Commodore Stephen Decatur, hero of the War of 1812||Greensburg|
|Delaware County||07 Feb 1835||Non-county Area||Johann de Kalb, German noble who trained colonial soldiers for the American Revolutionary War||Muncie|
|De Kalb County||26 Jan 1827||Delaware New Purchase||Delaware Native American people||Auburn|
|Dubois County||20 Dec 1817||Perry and Pike counties||Toussaint Dubois, hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Jasper|
|Elkhart County||29 Jan 1830||Non-county Area||Disputed, but possibly the Elkhart Native American people||Goshen|
|Fayette County||29 Jan 1818||Franklin Wayne County and Non-county Area||Marquis de la Fayette, French noble who trained colonial soldiers in the American Revolutionary War||Connersville|
|Floyd County||02 Jan 1819||Clark and Harrison Counties||Either John Floyd, a War of 1812 hero and Governor of Virginia, or early settler and state legislator Davis Floyd||New Albany|
|Fountain County||20 Dec 1825||Montgomery County and Wabash New Purchase||Major James Fontaine, a hero of the American Revolutionary War||Covington|
|Franklin County||01 Feb 1811||Clark, Dearborn and Knox counties||Writer, orator, scholar, and founding father Benjamin Franklin||Brookville|
|Fulton County||07 Feb 1836||Non-county Area||Robert Fulton, developer of the steamboat||Rochester|
|Gibson County||01 Apr 1813||Knox County||John Gibson, secretary of the Indiana Territory||Princeton|
|Grant County||10 Feb 1831||Madison County, Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands||Captains Samuel and Moses Grant, former American soldiers and early settlers||Marion|
|Greene County||05 Jan 1821||Sullivan County and Non-county Area||General Nathanael Greene, hero of the American Revolutionary War||Bloomfield|
|Hamilton County||08 Jan 1823||Delaware New Purchase||Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury and founding father||Noblesville|
|Hancock County||01 Mar 1828||Madison County||John Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Independence||Greenfield|
|Harrison County||01 Dec 1808||Clark and Knox County||William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territoryand U.S. President||Corydon|
|Hendricks County||20 Dec 1824||Delaware and Wabash New Purchase||Governor of Indiana William Hendricks||Danville|
|Howard County||31 Dec 1821||Delaware New Purchase||Patrick Henry, attorney, orator, and founding father||Kokomo|
|Henry County||15 Jan 1844||unorganized lands||Gen. Tilghman Howard, a U.S. Representative from Indiana||New Castle|
|Huntington County||02 Feb 1832||Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands||Samuel Huntington, signer the Declaration of Independence||Huntington|
|Jackson County||01 Jan 1816||Clark, Jefferson and Washington||U.S. President Andrew Jackson||Brownstown|
|Jasper County||07 Feb 1835||Wabash New Purchase||Sgergeant William Jasper, hero of the American Revolutionary War||Rensselaer|
|Jay County||07 Feb 1835||Adams New Purchase||John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court||Portland|
|Jefferson County||23 Nov 1810||Clark, Dearborn and Knox County||U.S. President Thomas Jefferson||Madison|
|Jennings County||27 Dec 1816||Jackson and Jefferson Counties||Jonathan Jennings, first Governor of Indiana||Vernon|
|Johnson County||31 Dec 1823||Delaware New Purchase||John Johnson, first Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court||Franklin|
|Knox County||06 Jun 1790||Original County||U.S. Secretary of War Henry Knox||Vincennes|
|Kosciusko County||07 Feb 1835||unorganized lands||Tadeusz Kościuszko, Polish-born hero of the American Revolutionary War||Warsaw|
|Lake County||02 Feb 1832||unorganized lands||The ancestral estate of the Marquis de la Fayette, the French-born hero of the American Revolutionary War||Crown Point|
|Lawrence County||28 Jan 1837||Newton and Porter Counties||Its location on Lake Michigan||Bedford|
|La Grange County||29 Jan 1832||St. Joseph and unorganized lands||Means the door in French, which refers to the city of LaPorte||LaGrange|
|La Porte County||07 Jan 1818||Orange||Captain James Lawrence, hero of the War of 1812||LaPorte|
|Madison County||04 Jan 1823||Delaware New Purchase||U.S. President James Madison||Anderson|
|Morgan County||31 Dec 1821||Delaware New Purchase||General Francis Marion (nicknamed the "Swamp Fox"), American Revolutionary War hero||Martinsville|
|Miami County||07 Feb 1835||St. Joseph County||U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall||Peru|
|Marion County||17 Jan 1820||Daviess and Dubois Counties||Major John T. Martin, hero of the War of 1812||Indianapolis|
|Monroe County||30 Jan 1833||Cass County and unorganized lands||Miami Native American people||Bloomington|
|Marshall County||14 Jan 1818||Orange County||U.S. President James Monroe||Plymouth|
|Martin County||21 Dec 1822||Wabash New Purchase||General Richard Montgomery, hero of the American Revolutionary War||Shoals|
|Montgomery County||31 Dec 1822||Delaware and Wabash New Purchase||General Daniel Morgan, hero of the American Revolutionary War||Crawfordsville|
|Newton County||08 Dec 1859||Jasper County||Sergeant John Newton, hero of the American Revolutionary War||Kentland|
|Noble County||07 Feb 1835||unorganized lands||U.S. Senator James Noble or Governor of Indiana Noah Noble, brothers||Albion|
|Ohio County||04 Jan 1844||Dearborn County||The Ohio River forms its east boundary||Rising Sun|
|Orange County||01 Feb 1816||Gibson, Knox and Washington||Orange County, North Carolina, in turn named for the Dutch Protestant House of Orange||Paoli|
|Owen County||21 Dec 1818||Daviess and Sullivan County||Abraham Owen, hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Spencer|
|Parke County||09 Jan 1821||Vigo County||Benjamin Parke, a delegate of Indiana Territory to the U.S. Congress||Rockville|
|Perry County||01 Nov 1814||Gibson and Warrick Counties||Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the War of 1812||Tell City|
|Pike County||21 Dec 1816||Gibson and Perry County||Zebulon M. Pike, explorer of the American West||Petersburg|
|Porter County||07 Feb 1835||unorganized lands||Captain David Porter, hero of the War of 1812||Valparaiso|
|Posey County||11 Nov 1814||Warrick County||Thomas Posey, governor of Indiana Territory||Mount Vernon|
|Pulaski County||07 Feb 1835||unorganized lands||Kazimierz Pułaski, Polish-born noble who led the colonial cavalry in the American Revolutionary War||Winamac|
|Putnam County||31 Dec 1822||Owen County and Wabash New Purchase||General Israel Putnam, hero of the American Revolutionary War||Greencastle|
|Randolph County||10 Jan 1818||Wayne County||Randolph County, North Carolina, which is named for first President of the Continental Congress Peyton Randolph||Winchester|
|Ripley County||27 Dec 1816||Dearborn and Jefferson County||General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley, hero of the War of 1812||Versailles|
|Rush County||31 Dec 1821||Delaware New Purchase||Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer the Declaration of Independence||Rushville|
|Scott County||29 Jan 1830||unorganized lands||St. Joseph River, which flows through it toward Lake Michigan||Scottsburg|
|Shelby County||12 Jan 1820||Clark, Jefferson, Jennings and Washington Counties||Charles Scott, Governor of Kentucky||Shelbyville|
|St. Joseph County||31 Dec 1821||Delaware New Purchase||General Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky||South Bend|
|Spencer County||10 Jan 1818||Perry and Warrick Counties||Captain Spier Spencer, hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Rockport|
|Starke County||07 Feb 1835||St. Joseph County and unorganized lands||General John Stark, hero of the American Revolutionary War||Knox|
|Steuben County||07 Feb 1837||unorganized lands||Baron Frederick von Steuben, Prussian-born noble who trained colonial soldiers during the American Revolutionary War||Angola|
|Sullivan County||30 Dec 1816||Knox County||General Daniel Sullivan, American Revolutionary Warhero||Sullivan|
|Switzerland County||01 Oct 1814||Dearborn and Jefferson County||The home country of many of the early settlers, Switzerland||Vevay|
|Tippecanoe County||20 Jan 1826||Wabash New Purchase and unorganized lands||The Tippecanoe River and the Battle of Tippecanoe||Lafayette|
|Tipton County||15 Jan 1844||Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands||John Tipton, a U.S. Senator||Tipton|
|Union County||05 Jan 1821||Parts of Fayette, Franklin and Wayne counties||Named because it united sections of three adjacent counties into one new entity||Liberty|
|Vanderburgh County||07 Jan 1818||Gibson, Posey and Warrick counties||Henry Vanderburgh, a judge for Indiana Territory||Evansville|
|Vermillion County||02 Jan 1824||Parke County and Wasbash New Purchase||The Vermillion River||Newport|
|Vigo County||21 Jan 1818||Sullivan County||Francis Vigo, Italian-born colonial spy during the American Revolutionary War||Terre Haute|
|Wabash County||30 Jan 1833||Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands||The Wabash River||Wabash|
|Washington County||19 Jan 1827||Wabash New Purchase and unorganized lands||Dr. Joseph Warren, American Revolutionary War hero||Williamsport|
|Wayne County||30 Apr 1813||Knox County||Captain Jacob Warrick, hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Boonville|
|Wells County||21 Dec 1813||Clark, Harrison and Knox Counties||U.S. President George Washington||Salem|
|Warrick County||27 Nov 1810||Clark, Dearborn and Knox||General Anthony Wayne (known as "Mad Anthony"), hero of the American Revolutionary War||Richmond|
|Warren County||07 Feb 1837||Adams New Purchase||Captain William A. Wells, Native American who became a hero in the War of 1812||Bluffton|
|White County||01 Feb 1834||Wabash New Purchase and unorganized lands||Captain Isaac White, hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Monticello|
|Whitley County||07 Feb 1835||Unorganized lands||Colonel William Whitley, hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe||Columbia City|
|_Adams New Purchase||24 Dec 1904||Formed in 1820 as Delaware New Purchase, renamed in 1827 and abolished in 1844|
|_Delaware New Purchase||24 Dec 1904||Formed in 1820 from Unorganized Land, renamed Adams New Purchase in 1827. Some of the records may exist in Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jennings, Randolph, Ripley, Wayne and Bartholomew Counties. Portions were set apart as the entire counties of Allen County, Bartholomew County, Hamilton County, Henry County, Johnson County, Marion County, Rush County, and Shelby County. Parts of the counties of Delaware County, Hendricks County, Madison County, and Morgan County also were located in the Delaware Purchase.|
|_Randolph (Old) County||24 Nov 1904||Formed in 1790 from territorial St. Clair County in the Northwest Territory, became part of the Indiana Territory in 1800, absorbed by the Illinois Territory in 1809)|
|_Richardville County||17 Jan 1905||Formed in 1844 from Unorganized Land, renamed Howard Co in 1846|
|_St Clair County||24 Nov 1904||Formed in 1790 from Unorganized Land in the Northwest Territory, became part of the Indiana Territory in 1800, absorbed by the Illinois Territory in 1809|
|_Wabash New Purchase||24 Dec 1904||Formed in 1820 from territorial Knox County and Unorganized Land and abolished in 1835. Some early records may be found in Monroe, Owen, Vigo and Parke Counties|
|_Wayne (Old) County||30 Nov 1904||Unorganized Land in the Northwest Territory||Formed in 1796 from Unorganized Land in the Northwest Territory which included parts of modern Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Wayne Co outside of the Northwest Territory was eliminated in 1800. In 1803 Wayne County, Indiana Territory was created from territorial Knox and St.Clair Counties as well as Unorganized Land which included parts of modern Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and most of Michigan.It was eliminated in 1805. In 1811 Wayne County was formed and becae a Indiana State County in 1816)|
|_Newton (Old) County||08 Jan 1905||Unorganized Land||1839||Formed in 1835 from Unorganized Land and abolished in 1839|
List of Old Former / Extinct Indiana Counties
Indiana contains some counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county. These are important for genealogy research purposes.
The below Indiana counties no longer exist:
Delaware New Purchase
Adams New Purchase
Created on January 26, 1827 from Delaware New Purchase.
Adams New Purchase eliminated on January 15, 1844, remaining territory used to create Tipton County.
Newton County (Old), Indiana
Randolph County (Old), Northwest Territory
Created on October 5, 1795 from the southern half of what was St. Clair County. On July 4, 1800, it became a part of Indiana Territory.
Randolph County became part of Illinois Territory on March 1, 1809 and was eliminated from Indiana Territory.
Richardville County, Indiana
Created on January 15, 1844 from Unorganized land, not fully organized, attached to Carroll, Cass and Miami counties for administrative and judicial purposes. It was name honored Jean Baptiste Richardville, a chief of the Miami.
St Clair County, Northwest Territory
Created on June 20, 1790 from Unorganized land by Northwest Territory as one of 2 original counties. St Clair County became part of the Indiana Territory in July 4, 1800.
St Clair County became part of Illinois Territory on March 1, 1809 and was eliminated from Indiana Territory.
Wabash New Purchase, Indiana
Wabash New Purchase abolished on February 7, 1835, remaining territory lost to the creatrion of Jasper County. Some early records may be found in Monroe, Owen, Vigo and Parke Counties
Wayne County (Old), Northwest Territory
Wayne County (Old), Northwest Territory, was eliminated when the Indiana Territory was created from Northwest Territory on July 4, 1800.
Wayne County (Old), Indiana Territory
Wayne County (Old), Indiana Territory, was eliminated when the Michigan Territory was created from Indiana Territory on June 30, 1805.