Fayette County, Indiana facts for kids

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Fayette County, Indiana
Map
Map of Indiana highlighting Fayette County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the USA highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1819
Seat Connersville
Largest City Connersville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

215.16 sq mi (557 km²)
215.01 sq mi (557 km²)
0.15 sq mi (0 km²), 0.07%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

24,277
113/sq mi (43.61/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Named for: Marquis de la Fayette
Indiana county number 21
Round barn Indiana
A round barn in Fayette County

Fayette County is one of 92 counties in U.S. state of Indiana located in the east central portion of the state. As of 2010, the population was 24,277. The county seat and only incorporated town is Connersville which holds a majority of the county's population.

The county is a severely economically depressed area with high unemployment. Though the county was historically significant early in the 19th century as a conduit for settlement of the Northwest Territory, and again in the early 20th century as an automotive manufacturing center, there is little of historical, economic, cultural or political significance in the county today. The county lacks a commercial airport, rail (freight) and bus service, and has no major (U.S. or Interstate) highways.

History

See also: Connersville#History

Predecessor counties

At the organization of the Indiana Territory from the Northwest Territory in 1800, present day Indiana was divided between Knox county (seat Vincinnes) in the south, and Wayne county including northern Ohio (seat Detroit) north of Fort Wayne in the north. By the Ohio Enabling Act of 1802 settlers in the Whitewater valley became citizens of Indiana Territory and residents of Clark county, which had been organized from the eastern part of Knox in 1801, with the county seat at Falls of the Ohio, later called Clarksville.

On Sept. 30, 1809, the United States, on behalf of the Northwest Territory and Governor William Henry Harrison, concluded the Treaty of Fort Wayne, part of whose terms included the purchase from the Indians of a strip of land locally called "The 12 Mile Purchase" enclosing the White Water Valley and comprising the largest portion of the future county. Conclusion of the Treaty essentially ended Indian occupation of the county and cleared the way for settlement.

In the territory of Indiana, Wayne and Franklin counties were carved from Dearborn (est. 1803) and Clark counties in 1811. At that time much of southeastern Indiana was divided between the two latter counties.

The County

Fayette County was created by act of the Indiana General Assembly in Dec. 1818 from portions of Wayne and Franklin counties and unincorporated ("New Purchase") territory in the northern portion of the county. It was named for the Marquis de la Fayette, a French hero of the Revolutionary War. Connersville, then a small village of less than a hundred inhabitants, was designated the county seat. The county was divided into 5 townships (Harrison, Connersville, Jennings, Columbia and Brownsville) in Feb. 1819, "Connersville" containing the namesake town. In 1821, the organization of Waterloo Township subsumed the portion of Brownsville Township remaining in Fayette County, along with a portion of Harrison Township west of the Whitewater River.

The far eastern part of Fayette lying between the Treaty of Greenville treaty line of 1795 and the present eastern boundary line of Waterloo and Jennings townships remained a part of Fayette county until it was split off into the newly created Union county in 1821. In 1826, a small part in the southeastern portion of Jackson township not included in the limits of the county in 1818, being left a part of Franklin county was attached to Fayette County.

In 1841, Connersville became the first, and remains the only, incorporated town (chartered as a city in 1869) in the county.

Settlement, growth and decline

The county and its seat Connersville rose from unincorporated territory surrounding an isolated trading post on the Whitewater River to the principal conduit for settlement of northern and central Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois during the early 19th century, to an automotive manufacturing powerhouse in the first half of the 20th century, before declining to one of the poorest counties in Indiana and the central midwest. After early settlement, during industrial growth, the county's population concentrated in the town of Connersville.

At the time of its organization in 1819, the county had approximately 3000 residents.

Whitewater Canal

Automotive Manufacturing

Economic Decline: Labor and Industry in the 1980's

Geography

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 215.16 square miles (557.3 km2), of which 215.01 square miles (556.9 km2) (or 99.93%) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.39 km2) (or 0.07%) is water. The county is located in the northern portion of the Whitewater River Valley running south and southeasterly from Wayne County to Cincinnati on the Ohio River. The only major waterway in the county is the West Fork of the Whitewater River running north to south through the center of the county. There is only a single tiny lake in the county, Manlove's lake in Posey Township. The county is mostly flat with low, rolling hills. The county (and all of Indiana) is part of the Eastern (U.S.) Broadleaf Forest biome dominated by deciduous trees including over 175 native species of oak. Most of the land use is farms (>80%), vacant woodland and pasture. The most common crops are corn and soybeans.

Adjacent counties

Political subdivisions

Townships

  • Columbia
  • Connersville
  • Fairview
  • Harrison
  • Jackson
  • Jennings
  • Orange
  • Posey
  • Waterloo

Cities and towns

Unincorporated towns

Transportation

The county is distant from major cities/markets. The nearest large cities are Cincinnati 58 miles to the southeast, Indianapolis 66 miles to the west, Louisville 127 miles to the south, and Columbus, Ohio 135 miles to the northeast.

Major highways

The accessible state roads are all narrow 2-lane roads subject to closure during winter snowstorms and ice-overs. The nearest major highways are U.S. 40 12 miles to the north, and Interstate 70 14 miles to the north, both in Henry and Wayne Counties.

  • Indiana 1.svg Indiana State Road 1
  • Indiana 44.svg Indiana State Road 44
  • Indiana 121.svg Indiana State Road 121

Airport, rail and bus

There is no commercial airport, rail (freight) or bus service in the county. Amtrak passenger trains serve Connersville.

Waterways

While the Whitewater River is navigable, it's not commercially significant because it doesn't intersect any major cities, nor is it large enough to support shipping.

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Connersville, Indiana
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2.4
 
32
15
 
 
2.3
 
37
18
 
 
3.4
 
48
27
 
 
4.2
 
60
36
 
 
4.9
 
71
48
 
 
4.4
 
79
57
 
 
4.2
 
83
61
 
 
3.5
 
81
58
 
 
2.8
 
75
50
 
 
2.8
 
64
38
 
 
3.6
 
50
30
 
 
3.1
 
38
21
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in Connersville have ranged from a low of 15 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 83 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −31 °F (−35 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 102 °F (39 °C) was recorded in July 1952. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.33 inches (59 mm) in February to 4.89 inches (124 mm) in May.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 5,950
1830 9,112 53.1%
1840 9,837 8.0%
1850 10,217 3.9%
1860 10,225 0.1%
1870 10,476 2.5%
1880 11,394 8.8%
1890 12,630 10.8%
1900 13,495 6.8%
1910 14,415 6.8%
1920 17,142 18.9%
1930 19,243 12.3%
1940 19,411 0.9%
1950 23,391 20.5%
1960 24,454 4.5%
1970 26,216 7.2%
1980 28,272 7.8%
1990 26,015 −8.0%
2000 25,588 −1.6%
2010 24,277 −5.1%
Est. 2015 23,434 −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2010 Census Data

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 24,277 people, 9,719 households, and 6,669 families residing in the county. The population density was 112.9 inhabitants per square mile (43.6/km2). There were 10,898 housing units at an average density of 50.7 per square mile (19.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.9% white, 1.3% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.9% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 20.4% were German, 15.2% were American, 11.8% were Irish, and 8.2% were English.

Of the 9,719 households, 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.4% were non-families, and 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.93. The median age was 40.8 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $46,601. Males had a median income of $41,211 versus $29,388 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,928. About 11.9% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.0% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census Data

As of the census of 2000, there were 25,588 people, 10,199 households, and 7,149 families residing in the county. The population density was 119 people per square mile (46/km²). There were 10,981 housing units at an average density of 51 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.16% White, 1.67% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 39.2% were of American, 18.9% German, 10.6% English and 9.7% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 10,199 households out of which 30.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,840, and the median income for a family was $46,111. Males had a median income of $34,493 versus $23,082 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,624. About 6.00% of families and 7.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.40% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.


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