Blackford County, Indiana

Blackford County, Indiana

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

map size=50x50
founded = 2 April 1838
seat = Hartford City
area_total_sq_mi =165
area_land_sq_mi =165
area_water_sq_mi =0
area percentage = 0.19%
census yr = 2000
pop = 14048
density_km2 = 33 | density_sq_mi = 85
web =

Blackford County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2000, the population was 14,048. The county seat is Hartford CityGR|6.


Blackford County was formed on April 2, 1838. It is named for Judge Isaac Blackford, the first Speaker of the Indiana General Assembly. Blackford served as a Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court from 1817 to 1853. The county seat of Hartford City was selected June 10, 1841. The county, along with much of east central Indiana, experienced tremendous growth in the late 19th century due to the discovery of natural gas deposits in the area. [ [ History of Blackford County] ] [ [ Our Land, Our Literature: Region - East Central Indiana] ] [ [ Indiana Gas Wells Not Giving Out] , "New York Times", 30 November 1896, pg 3.]

The first settlement in the county was Montpelier, Indiana. It was started by John Blount and a group of settlers from Vermont who named it honor of their home state. Hartford City grew rapidly after being connected to Indianapolis by rail in the 1850s. [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=| pages=550]


The Blackford County Courthouse was designed by Arthur LaBelle and Burt L. French of Marion. It was constructed by Christian Boseker and Son of Fort Wayne from 1893 to 1895 at a cost of $129,338. It was built of stone in a Romanesque style, and has a 165-foot clock tower and three-story entrance arches; it was influenced by the work of the architect Henry Hobson Richardson, who had died in 1886. LaBelle and French also designed the White County courthouse. [cite book
last = Counts
first = Will
coauthors = Jon Dilts
title = The 92 Magnificent Indiana Courthouses
publisher = Indiana University Press
year = 1991
location = Bloomington, Indiana
isbn = 978-0253336385
pages = pp. 16-17


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.cite web|author=Indiana Code|url= |title=Title 36, Article 2, Section 3|accessdate=2008-09-16|] cite web|author= Indiana Code |url= |title= Title 2, Article 10, Section 2 |accessdate=2008-09-16|]

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, the collection of 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 terms of four years. 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 serve terms of four years and oversee different parts of the county government. Members elected to an


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 165 square miles (428 km²), of which 165 square miles (428 km²) is land and 0 square miles (1 km²) (0.19%) is water.

Adjacent counties

*Wells County (north)
*Jay County (east)
*Delaware County (south)
*Grant County (west)

Cities and towns

*Hartford City (the county seat)
*Shamrock Lakes

Unincorporated towns


Extinct towns




Major highways



*Norfolk Southern Railway


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 14,048 people, 5,690 households, and 4,028 families residing in the county. The population density was 85 people per square mile (33/km²). There were 6,155 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.40% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 29.0% were of American, 24.0% German, 12.9% Irish and 10.8% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 5,690 households out of which 30.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 25.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,760, and the median income for a family was $41,758. Males had a median income of $30,172 versus $21,386 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,543. About 6.00% of families and 8.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.30% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools in Blackford County are administered by Blackford County Schools.
*Blackford High School []
*Hartford City Middle School []
*Montpelier School []
*Northside Elementary School []
*Southside Elementary School []


*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

External links

* [ Blackford County official website]
* [ Blackford County Historical Society]
* [ Blackford County Schools]

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