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Jefferson County, Indiana

Jefferson County, Indiana
Jefferson County Courthouse in Madison, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Jefferson County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1811
Named for Thomas Jefferson
Seat Madison
Largest city Madison
 • Total 362.89 sq mi (940 km2)
 • Land 360.63 sq mi (934 km2)
 • Water 2.26 sq mi (6 km2), 0.62%
 • (2010) 32,428
 • Density 90/sq mi (34.65/km²)
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Footnotes: Indiana county number 39

Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 32,428.[1] The county seat is Madison.[2]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Cities and towns 2.1
    • Unincorporated towns 2.2
    • Townships 2.3
    • Adjacent counties 2.4
    • Major highways 2.5
    • National protected area 2.6
  • Climate and weather 3
  • Government 4
  • Demographics 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Jefferson County was formed in 1811. It was named for Thomas Jefferson, principal draftsman of the Northwest Ordinance and President of the United States from 1801 through 1809.[3][4]

Jefferson County was one of Indiana's first counties and many important early Hoosiers came from Madison, including William Hendricks. Throughout the early history of the state, Madison was one of the leading cities competing with Vincennes and later New Albany to be the largest city in the state. The county fell into economic decline after the American Civil War, as industry began to shift from southern Indiana to the northern part of the state.

On the evening of May 20, 2009 the county courthouse caught fire. The fire began in the steeple of the courthouse, which was under reconstruction for Madison's bicentenary. The roof of the dome had just been painted gold. Fire departments from across southern Indiana and northern Kentucky arrived to put out the fire which burned for several hours, destroyed much of the inside of the building and the county records. The fire forced the evacuation of the nearby county jail, and effectively shut down the downtown area of the city.[5] It was later determined the fire was accidentally started by workers who were welding on the metal roof dome.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 362.89 square miles (939.9 km2), of which 360.63 square miles (934.0 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 2.26 square miles (5.9 km2) (or 0.62%) is water.[6]

Cities and towns

Unincorporated towns


Adjacent counties

Major highways

Sources: National Atlas,[7] U.S. Census Bureau[8]

National protected area

Climate and weather

Madison, Indiana
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[9]

In recent years, average temperatures in Madison have ranged from a low of 23 °F (−5 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −18 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in December 1989 and a record high of 108 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.92 inches (74 mm) in September to 4.96 inches (126 mm) in May.[9]


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.[10][11]

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.[10][11]

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.[11]

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.[11]

Jefferson County is part of Indiana's 6th congressional district and is represented in Congress by Republican Luke Messer.[12] It is also part of Indiana Senate district 45 and is split between Indiana House of Representatives districts 66, 67 and 69.[13]


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,428 people, 12,635 households, and 8,456 families residing in the county.[19] The population density was 89.9 inhabitants per square mile (34.7/km2). There were 14,311 housing units at an average density of 39.7 per square mile (15.3/km2).[6] The racial makeup of the county was 95.2% white, 1.7% black or African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.9% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.3% of the population.[19] In terms of ancestry, 23.5% were German, 15.4% were American, 12.9% were Irish, and 11.2% were English.[20]

Of the 12,635 households, 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.1% were non-families, and 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.90. The median age was 39.7 years.[19]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $52,343. Males had a median income of $42,629 versus $30,475 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,278. About 10.2% of families and 15.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.1% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Jefferson County QuickFacts".  
  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. 562. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 168. 
  5. ^ "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County".  
  7. ^ National Atlas
  8. ^ U.S. Census Bureau TIGER shape files
  9. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Madison, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  10. ^ a b  
  11. ^ a b c d  
  12. ^ "About Indiana's 6th District". House.Gov. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  13. ^ "Election Results". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data".  
  20. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates".  
  21. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates".  

External links

  • Madison-Jefferson County Public Library

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