LaGrange County, Indiana


LaGrange County, Indiana

Infobox U.S. County
county = LaGrange County
state = Indiana


founded year = 1832
founded date =
seat wl = LaGrange
largest city wl =
city type = town
area_total_sq_mi = 387
area_total_km2 = 1002
area_land_sq_mi = 380
area_land_km2 = 983
area_water_sq_mi = 7
area_water_km2 = 19
area percentage = 1.85%
lat deg =
lat min =
long deg =
long min =
census yr = 2000
pop = 34909
density_sq_mi = 34
density_km2 = 13
time zone = Eastern
footnotes =
web = www.lagrangecounty.org
named for =


LaGrange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana and in the Northern Indiana region known as Michiana. As of 2000, the population was 34,909. The county is located about 55 miles east of South Bend, 105 miles west of Toledo, Ohio, and 175 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The area is well known for its large Amish population. [http://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/Elkhart.html] For that reason, the county teams up with neighboring Elkhart County to promote tourism by referring to the area as Northern Indiana Amish Country. [ [http://www.amishcountry.org/ Welcome to Northern Indiana Amish Country] The county seat is LaGrange, IndianaGR|6.

History

The first settlement of LaGrange County was founded about a half mile west of Lima in 1828. Over the next four years, settlers flocked to parts of Lima, Springfield, and Van Buren Townships. Finally in 1832, LaGrange County was carved out of neighboring Elkhart County and established with Lima as the county seat. [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inlagran/lghist.html] The town of LaGrange was platted in 1836 and settled in 1842 as the new county seat, closer to the center of the county. [http://www.countyhistory.com/lagrange/start.html] Lima's name was changed to Howe in 1909. [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inlagran/lghist.html]

In 1837, the government removed Chief Shipshewana and the Potawatomi Tribe from the northwest corner of the county. Several years later the Chief was allowed to return and died in Newbury Township in 1841. [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inlagran/lghist.html] A town named Georgetown had been platted in 1837 but was abandoned due to lack of development. In 1844, the first Amish came from Pennsylvania to settle around the old town. The village continued not to grow and the town of Shipshewana was platted nearby in 1899 and incorporated in 1916 in Newbury Township. [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inlagran/lghist.html]

LaGrange County was named after the home of Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de la Fayette, outside of Paris, France. [cite book|author=De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle|publisher=R. S. Peale & co.|year=1875|location=Indiana|title=An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=YDIUAAAAYAAJ| pages=564]

Government

The county is lead by a board of three elected commissioners that serve as the executive branch of county government. The county council is made of 7 elected members - four from each council district and 3 at large. Also, one assessor serves the entire county as opposed to one for every township.

The current county commissioners are: [http://www.lagrangecounty.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=109]

* North District: Phillip D. Curtis
* Middle District: George R. Bachman
* South District: Roger W. Boots

The current county council members are: [http://www.lagrangecounty.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53&Itemid=109]

* District 1: Charles F. Ashcraft
* District 2: Ryan Riegsecker
* District 3: Jac Price
* District 4: Kay Myers
* At-Large: Fred Brown
* At-Large: Steve McKowen
* At-Large: Larry N. Miller

Accurate as of August 2008.

Townships

LaGrange County's 11 townships are Bloomfield, Clay, Clearspring, Eden, Greenfield, Johnson, Lima, Milford, Newbury, Springfield, and Van Buren.

Communities

LaGrange, Shipshewana, and Topeka are LaGrange County's three incorporated towns. Neighboring Noble County's Wolcottville also exists partially in LaGrange County.

Forty unincorporated communities also exist in the county. They are Beatys Beach, Brighton, Brushy Prairie, Eddy, Elmira, Emma, Gravel Beach, Greenfield Mills, Greenwood, Hartzel, Honeyville, Howe, Indianola, Lakeside Park, Lakeview, Mongo, Mount Pisgah, Northwood, Oak Lodge, Ontario, Plato, Ramblewood, River Oaks, Scott, Seyberts, Sha-Get Acres, Shady Nook, South Milford, Star Mill, Stony Creek, Stroh, Tall Timbers, Timberhurst, Twin Lakes, Valentine, Webers Landing, Witmer Manor, Woodland Hills, Woodland Park, and Woodruff.

Adjacent counties

LaGrange County borders St. Joseph County, Michigan to the northwest, Branch County, Michigan to the northeast, Steuben County to the east, Noble County to the south, and Elkhart County to the west.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 387 square miles (1,002 km²), of which 380 square miles (983 km²) is land and 7 square miles (19 km²) (1.85%) is water.

The county is mostly made up of rural farm land but also some rolling hills and several lakes.

Economy

The economy is based mainly on agriculture and small shops but tourism also plays a big role, especially in Shipshewana.

Transportation

The Indiana Toll Road, Interstates 80 and 90, passes through the northern fringes of the county and serves Howe, LaGrange, and Sturgis, Michigan by means of exit 121. The Toll Road connects Toledo, Ohio and Chicago. U.S. 20 runs through the county and connects Shipshewana and LaGrange to Elkhart and Angola. Indiana State Highways 3, 5, 9, and 120 also pass through the county.

Motorists have to share the roads with Horses and Buggies used by the county's large Amish population.

Demographics

Approximately 37% of the population of LaGrange County is Amish, and the county is home to the third largest Amish community in the United States. This is reflected in the linguistic situation in the county: 28.45% of the population report speaking German, Pennsylvania German, or Dutch at home. A further 2.85% speak Spanish. [http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=18&county_id=87&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r]

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 34,909 people, 11,225 households, and 8,856 families residing in the county. The population density was 92 people per square mile (36/km²). There were 12,938 housing units at an average density of 34 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.74% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 1.92% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 3.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.3% were of German, 23.8% American, 6.0% English, 5.3% Irish, 5.2% Swiss and 5.1% Pennsylvania German ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 11,225 households out of which 40.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.20% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.10% were non-families. 18.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.54.

In the county the population was spread out with 33.80% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 26.10% from 25 to 44, 19.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 102.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,848, and the median income for a family was $46,885. Males had a median income of $33,872 versus $23,395 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,481. About 5.40% of families and 7.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.20% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those age 65 or over.

68.5% of the total population and 61.29% of the children in 5-17 age group used English as their home language, according to 2000 Census. The Amish languages (German, Pennsylfaansch and Dutch) were used by 28.47% of the total population and 35.77% of the children. [http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&SRVY_YEAR=2000&geo=county&state_id=18&county_id=87&mode=geographic&lang_id=&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&region_id=&division_id=&ll=&ea=y&order=&a=y&pc=1]

Education

The county has three public school districts and the Howe Military School.

Public Schools

The Lakeland Community Schools serve the central part of the county. The system includes three elementary schools (Lima-Brighton, Parkside, and Wolcott Mills), one middle school, and one high school both named Lakeland.

The Prairie Heights School Corporation serves the east side of the county as well as parts of Steuben County. The system includes two elementary schools (Milford and Prairie Heights) and one junior-senior high school named Prairie Heights.

The Westview School Corporation serves the west portion of the county. This system consists of four elementary schools (Meadowview, Shipshewana-Scott, Topeka, and Westview), and one junior-senior high school named Westview.

Private Schools

In addition to the public schools, Howe Military School exists in Howe and several Amish schools are located across the county.

ee Also

*List of counties in Indiana
*List of counties in Michigan
*Michiana

External Links

* [http://www.lagrangecounty.org/ LaGrange County web site]
* [http://www.backroads.org/ LaGrange County Amish Tourism]

References

*cite book
first = Richard L. (editor)
last = Forstall
year = 1996
title = Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 : from the twenty-one decennial censuses
publisher = United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Population Division
id = ISBN 0-934213-48-8

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