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Clay County, Indiana facts for kids

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Clay County
Clay County Courthouse, Brazil
Clay County Courthouse, Brazil
Map of Indiana highlighting Clay County
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Indiana
Founded February 12, 1825
Named for Henry Clay
Seat Brazil
Largest city Brazil
 • Total 360.32 sq mi (933.2 km2)
 • Land 357.54 sq mi (926.0 km2)
 • Water 2.78 sq mi (7.2 km2)  0.77%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 75/sq mi (29.03/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 8th
Indiana county number 11

Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 26,890. The county seat is Brazil.

Clay County is included in the Terre Haute, Indiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Clay County was formed in 1825. Its name is in honor of Henry Clay, a famous antebellum American statesman.

The first Courthouse was built in the newly platted town of Bowling Green in 1828, soon after Clay County was formed by the Indiana legislature. It was a two-story structure of hand-hewn logs.

By the late 1830s Clay County had grown to the extent that the first Courthouse could no longer provide adequate facilities. Therefore, a second Courthouse was constructed near the first Courthouse. This was a two-story brick structure. This Courthouse served until destroyed by fire on the night of November 30, 1851.

Although some citizens believed Bowling Green was no longer the most practical or logical site for a new courthouse, the commissioners quickly decided to build the third courthouse on the site of the previous one in Bowling Green. Built of brick, at a cost of $11,000, and very similar to the previous courthouse, the new Courthouse began serving the county in the Fall of 1853.

By the 1860s the towns of Harmony, Knightsville, and Brazil were growing rapidly, due in part to their location along the National Road, and also because of the many coal companies in that section of the county. An effort to move the county seat of government to a more central location, which had begun in the 1850s, grew stronger creating controversy among citizens. In the 1860s citizens in the northern section of Clay County became more organized in their efforts. In 1871 brothers Robert and John Stewart donated a tract of land along the National Road in Brazil for proposed site of the new courthouse. The sum of $5,300 was also raised by citizens in the area to entice the commissioners to move the seat of government from Bowling Green to Brazil. This amount was reportedly the value of the existing courthouse and grounds, thus defusing opponents argument that abandoning the present courthouse would be a waste of taxpayers money. The relocation efforts, which began in 1871, were challenged in the Supreme Court. The relocation was finally granted in 1876.

In 1912 John W. Gaddis, a prominent architect in Vincennes, Indiana, entered into a contract with the County Commissioners to design, plan, and oversee the construction of a new courthouse. The construction bid of W.H. Bailey and Charles A. Koemer of Louisville, Kentucky was accepted in 1912 with the cornerstone being laid in the fall of 1912. Gaddis had successfully completed several others: in Fairfield and Robinson, Illinois: Perryville, Missouri and two in Indiana, the Putnam County Courthouse in Greencastle (1905) and the Huntington County Courthouse (1906) in Huntington, which are also in Classical Revival mode.

The Clay County Courthouse built in 1913-1914, is one of the most historically and architecturally significant buildings in Brazil and Clay County, Indiana. Built in Classical Revival style of architecture, it is the only building in Clay County holding county government offices and records. It is also located alongside the famed National Road (Cumberland Trail). The present Courthouse is the fifth Courthouse to serve the people of Clay County.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 360.32 square miles (933.2 km2), of which 357.54 square miles (926.0 km2) (or 99.23%) is land and 2.78 square miles (7.2 km2) (or 0.77%) is water.




Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities



  • Brazil
  • Cass
  • Dick Johnson
  • Harrison
  • Jackson
  • Lewis
  • Perry
  • Posey
  • Sugar Ridge
  • Van Buren
  • Washington

Adjacent counties


Major highways

  • I-70.svg Interstate 70
  • US 40.svg U.S. Route 40
  • Indiana 42.svg State Road 42
  • Indiana 46.svg State Road 46
  • Indiana 48.svg State Road 48
  • Indiana 59.svg State Road 59
  • Indiana 157.svg State Road 157
  • Indiana 159.svg State Road 159
  • Indiana 246.svg State Road 246
  • Indiana 340.svg State Road 340


The county contains one public-use airport: Brazil Clay County Airport (0I2), serving Brazil, Indiana.

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Brazil, Indiana
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in Brazil have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 109 °F (43 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.25 inches (57 mm) in February to 4.89 inches (124 mm) in July.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,616
1840 5,567 244.5%
1850 7,944 42.7%
1860 12,161 53.1%
1870 19,084 56.9%
1880 25,854 35.5%
1890 30,536 18.1%
1900 34,285 12.3%
1910 32,535 −5.1%
1920 29,447 −9.5%
1930 26,479 −10.1%
1940 25,365 −4.2%
1950 23,918 −5.7%
1960 24,207 1.2%
1970 23,933 −1.1%
1980 24,862 3.9%
1990 24,705 −0.6%
2000 26,556 7.5%
2010 26,890 1.3%
2018 (est.) 26,170 −2.7%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 26,890 people, 10,447 households, and 7,454 families in the county. The population density was 75.2 inhabitants per square mile (29.0/km2). There were 11,703 housing units at an average density of 32.7 per square mile (12.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.8% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.5% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 29.2% were German, 20.2% were American, 12.8% were Irish, and 11.0% were English.

Of the 10,447 households, 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.6% were non-families, and 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.99. The median age was 39.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $52,907. Males had a median income of $40,671 versus $31,331 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,569. About 9.0% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.


The county has two high schools: Northview High School (grades 9–12) and Clay City High School (grades 7–12). There are 6 elementary schools: Van Buren Elementary, Jackson Township Elementary, Meridian Street Elementary, Forest Park Elementary, East Side Elementary and Clay City Elementary. The Clay Community School Corporation is located in Brazil.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Clay (Indiana) para niños

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Joseph M. Acaba
Sidney M. Gutierrez
George D. Zamka
John D. Olivas
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