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Fort Branch, Indiana
Town of Fort Branch
Fort Branch, Indiana.jpg
Location of Fort Branch in Gibson County, Indiana.
Location of Fort Branch in Gibson County, Indiana.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Gibson
Township Union
 • Total 1.10 sq mi (2.85 km2)
 • Land 1.09 sq mi (2.82 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
449 ft (137 m)
 • Total 2,965
 • Density 2,725.18/sq mi (1,052.14/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 812, 930
FIPS code 18-24250
GNIS feature ID 0434683
U.S. Highways US 41.svg
Major State Roads Indiana 168.svg

Fort Branch is the largest town and second largest community in Gibson County, Indiana after Princeton and ahead of the county's other city, Oakland City. The population was 2,771 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Evansville, Indiana, Metropolitan Area


Fort Branch had its start in the year 1852 by the building of the railroad through that territory. The town was originally called LaGrange, for the original owner of the site, but as there was another post office of that same name in Indiana, the town was renamed in commemoration of an old fort.

Former Emge Plant from west
Former Emge Foods Processing plant along the town's west side

On February 28, 2017, an EF3 wedge tornado, originating in Crossville, Illinois, passed to the north of the town, destroying or heavily damaging several structures along Indiana 168.


Fort Branch is located at 38°14′49″N 87°34′34″W / 38.24694°N 87.57611°W / 38.24694; -87.57611 (38.246872, -87.576003).

According to the 2010 census, Fort Branch has a total area of 1.11 square miles (2.87 km2), of which 1.1 square miles (2.85 km2) (or 99.1%) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.9%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 778
1890 748 −3.9%
1900 849 13.5%
1910 1,182 39.2%
1920 1,389 17.5%
1930 1,341 −3.5%
1940 1,552 15.7%
1950 1,944 25.3%
1960 1,983 2.0%
1970 2,535 27.8%
1980 2,504 −1.2%
1990 2,447 −2.3%
2000 2,320 −5.2%
2010 2,771 19.4%
2020 2,965 7.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,771 people, 1,162 households, and 774 families living in the town. The population density was 2,519.1 inhabitants per square mile (972.6/km2). There were 1,244 housing units at an average density of 1,130.9 per square mile (436.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 1,162 households, of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.4% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.93.

The median age in the town was 38 years. 24.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 26.9% were from 45 to 64; and 14.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.


Panorama of Fort Branch from County Road 225W.


  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41
  • Indiana 168.svg State Road 168 (Park Street)


Like Princeton, Fort Branch is also largely a blue-collar town although of somewhat smaller size. For a long time the town's largest employer was the Emge Foods processing and packing plant, still located along the southwest portion of the town. When the plant closed in May 1999, it had been in operation for nearly 90 years.

As the Emge plant was starting to close, Toyota announced that it would be building a manufacturing facility on a patch of farmland located halfway between Fort Branch and nearby Princeton. While most of the suppliers for the new Toyota plant are located closer to Princeton, most of the population gains from employees moving closer to work moved into either Fort Branch, or into Haubstadt or Owensville.

Indiana 168 between Owensville and Fort Branch. The Emge plant is visible in the distance as it looked in 2007.

Recently, Vincennes University announced plans to build an advanced manufacturing education facility just south of Fort Branch along U.S. 41 to provide such education to an area becoming more diverse in manufacturing methods. This is expected to provide a major boost to lifestyle in the Fort Branch-Haubstadt Area. Ground Broke on the new facility on October 23, 2009. The facility opened in August 2011.

On June 18, 2010 a fire started at the former Emge Foods plant. By June 22, the fire had destroyed the vacant meat processing plant portion of the complex but was put out. Fire departments from three counties battled to control the fire, dealing with the unstable structure of the 100+-year-old building and the 95+-degree temperatures that occurred during the five-day period the fire burned. As of February 2014, only the smokestack remains of the plant, with the remains being demolished along with the original water tower between September 2013 and January 2014. As of December 2014, there are no known plans for the future of the property.


South Gibson School Corporation

K-8: Fort Branch Community School

9-12: Gibson Southern High School

College: Vincennes University Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Former Schools

Fort Branch High School (merged into Gibson Southern High School in 1974)

Marlette School

Public library

Fort Branch has a public library, a branch of the Fort Branch-Johnson Township Public Library system.

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