Fulton County, Indiana facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Fulton County, Indiana
Map
Map of Indiana highlighting Fulton County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the USA highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1836
Seat Rochester
Largest City Rochester
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

371.26 sq mi (962 km²)
368.39 sq mi (954 km²)
2.88 sq mi (7 km²), 0.78%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

20,836
56/sq mi (21/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.co.fulton.in.us
Named for: Robert Fulton
Indiana county number 25

Fulton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 20,836. The county seat is Rochester.

History

The first non-Native Americans to ever set foot in what is now Fulton County, Indiana were French fur traders. Few of them remained permanently as year-round residents of the area and by the 1830s there were was no French population of what is now Fulton County.

In the 1820s and 1830s migrants from New England began moving to what is now Indiana in large numbers (though there was a trickle of New England settlers who arrived before this date). These were “Yankee” settlers, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England during the colonial era. While most of them came to Indiana directly from New England, there were many who came from upstate New York. These were people whose parents had moved from New England to upstate New York in the immediate aftermath of the American Revolution. Due to the prevalence of New Englanders and New England transplants from upstate New York, the northern third of Indiana was very culturally contiguous with early New England culture for much of its early history.

The Yankee migration to Indiana was a result of several factors, one of which was the overpopulation of New England. The old stock Yankee population had large families, often bearing up to ten children in one household. Most people were expected to have their own piece of land to farm, and due to the massive and nonstop population boom, land in New England became scarce as every son claimed his own farmstead. As a result, there was not enough land for every family to have a self-sustaining farm, and Yankee settlers began leaving New England for the Midwestern United States.

They were aided in this effort by the construction and completion of the Erie Canal which made traveling to the region much easier, causing an additional surge in migrants coming from New England. Added to this was the end of the Black Hawk War, which made the region much safer to travel through and settle in for white settlers.

In the case of Fulton County, there were no attempts by United States settlers to permanently settle the area until the conclusion of the Blackhawk War. Fulton County's first permanent non-Native American settlers arrived in September and October 1832, most of whom came from New England though some of whom were New England transplants from upstate New York. Most of Fulton County's New England settlers came from Franklin County, Massachusetts, Grafton County, New Hampshire and Orange County, Vermont, as well as several farming families from Maine and the rural northern region of Connecticut. At first, virtually all of these settlers farmers.

These settlers were primarily members of the Congregational Church, though due to the Second Great Awakening, many of them had converted to Methodism, and some had become Baptists before coming to what is now Cook County. The Congregational Church has subsequently gone through many divisions, and some factions, including those in Cook County, are now known as the Church of Christ and the United Church of Christ.

When the New Englanders arrived, there was nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie. They laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. By the spring of 1833 the settlement was a successful and thriving farming community. Rochester was laid out in 1835. The founder Alexander Chamberlain named it for his former hometown of Rochester, New York. The Rochester post office was established in 1836.

Fulton County was formed in 1836. It was named for Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat. Native Americans in the county believed that a terrible monster lived in Lake Manitou and for that reason they never lived around the lake. Early settlers called it the Devil's Lake and there were many reported sightings of a monster.

The Potawatomi Trail of Death came though the town in 1838.

Geography

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 371.26 square miles (961.6 km2), of which 368.39 square miles (954.1 km2) (or 99.23%) is land and 2.88 square miles (7.5 km2) (or 0.78%) is water.

Cities and towns

Townships

  • Aubbeenaubbee
  • Henry
  • Liberty
  • Newcastle
  • Richland
  • Rochester
  • Union
  • Wayne

Major highways

  • US 31.svg U.S. Route 31
  • Indiana 14.svg State Road 14
  • Indiana 17.svg State Road 17
  • Indiana 19.svg State Road 19
  • Indiana 25.svg State Road 25
  • Indiana 114.svg State Road 114

Railroads

  • Fulton County Railroad

Adjacent counties

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Rochester, Indiana
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2
 
30
15
 
 
1.7
 
35
18
 
 
2.7
 
47
28
 
 
3.8
 
59
38
 
 
4.2
 
71
49
 
 
4.1
 
80
59
 
 
3.8
 
84
63
 
 
3.7
 
82
60
 
 
3.4
 
75
52
 
 
2.9
 
63
41
 
 
3.4
 
48
32
 
 
2.7
 
36
21
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in Rochester have ranged from a low of 15 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 103 °F (39 °C) was recorded in July 1980. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.74 inches (44 mm) in February to 4.16 inches (106 mm) in May.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,993
1850 5,982 200.2%
1860 9,422 57.5%
1870 12,726 35.1%
1880 14,301 12.4%
1890 16,746 17.1%
1900 17,453 4.2%
1910 16,879 −3.3%
1920 16,478 −2.4%
1930 15,038 −8.7%
1940 15,577 3.6%
1950 16,565 6.3%
1960 16,957 2.4%
1970 16,984 0.2%
1980 19,335 13.8%
1990 18,840 −2.6%
2000 20,511 8.9%
2010 20,836 1.6%
Est. 2015 20,315 −2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,836 people, 8,237 households, and 5,736 families residing in the county. The population density was 56.6 inhabitants per square mile (21.9/km2). There were 9,708 housing units at an average density of 26.4 per square mile (10.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.0% white, 0.7% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.5% American Indian, 2.2% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 28.7% were German, 19.0% were American, 10.9% were Irish, and 10.0% were English. Those citing "American" ancestry in Fulton County are of overwhelmingly English extraction, however most English Americans identify simply as having American ancestry because their roots have been in North America for so long, in some cases since the 1600s.

Of the 8,237 households, 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.4% were non-families, and 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.97. The median age was 40.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $47,972. Males had a median income of $40,110 versus $28,417 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,119. About 8.5% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.


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