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Jasper, Indiana
Dubois County Courthouse
Dubois County Courthouse
Motto(s): 
"The Nation's Wood Capital"
Location of Jasper in Dubois County, Indiana.
Location of Jasper in Dubois County, Indiana.
Country United StatesUnited States
State IndianaIndiana
County Dubois
Township Bainbridge, Boone, Madison
Founded 1818
Area
 • Total 13.34 sq mi (34.55 km2)
 • Land 13.25 sq mi (34.32 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Elevation
466 ft (142 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 16,703
 • Density 1,260.51/sq mi (486.68/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
47546, 47547, 47549
Area code 812 & 930
FIPS code 18-37782
GNIS feature ID 436944
Website http://www.jasperindiana.gov

Jasper is a city in, and the county seat of, Dubois County, Indiana, United States, located along the Patoka River. The population was 16,703 at the 2020 census making it the 48th largest city in Indiana. On November 4, 2007, Dubois County returned to the Eastern Time Zone, after having moved to the Central Time Zone the previous year. Land use in the area is primarily agricultural. The Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame, which honors players and others associated with the national pastime who were born or lived in Indiana, is located in Jasper.

History

Jasper was founded in 1818. The Enlow family were the first settlers of the town. Jasper was originally going to be called Eleanor, the wife of settler Joseph Enlow, but she opted to suggest a name herself, and named the city after a passage in the Bible (Revelations 21:19).

Jasper was not officially platted until 1830. That year, the community became the new county seat of Dubois County, succeeding Portersville.

The Jasper post office has been in operation since 1832. During the New Deal era, Jessie Hull Mayer won a federal commission to paint a mural as part of the Section of Painting and Sculpture′s projects, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department. Indiana Farming Scene in Late Autumn depicts a harvest scene on a farmstead, with no indication of the town. In 1975, the painting was featured as part of a film, Art for Main Street: The Indiana Post Office Murals, produced by the Indiana Historical Society.

Jasper was incorporated as a town in 1866, and was incorporated into a city in 1915.

Town Recognition

  • Jasper was previously ranked in the top 25 in Norman Crampton's 1992 book 100 Best Small Towns in America.
  • In 2005, Jasper was ranked in the ten best places to live in the U.S. by Relocate America.
  • In 2014, movoto.com ranked Jasper fifth on their "10 Best Cities to Live in Indiana" list.
  • A 2014 report by safewise.com placed Jasper 8th on the "50 Safest Cities in Indiana" rankings.
  • According to a study done by NerdWallet.com, Jasper is 9th on the "Best Places to Start a Business in Indiana" list.

Geography

Jasper is located at 38°23′29″N 86°55′51″W / 38.39139°N 86.93083°W / 38.39139; -86.93083 (38.391439, -86.930772), and is roughly:

According to the 2010 census, Jasper has a total area of 13.191 square miles (34.16 km2), of which 13.1 square miles (33.93 km2) (or 99.31%) is land and 0.091 square miles (0.24 km2) (or 0.69%) is water. City limits extend from Bainbridge Township into Madison and Boone Townships.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 547
1880 1,040 90.1%
1890 1,281 23.2%
1900 1,863 45.4%
1910 2,196 17.9%
1920 2,539 15.6%
1930 3,905 53.8%
1940 5,041 29.1%
1950 5,215 3.5%
1960 6,737 29.2%
1970 8,641 28.3%
1980 9,097 5.3%
1990 10,030 10.3%
2000 12,100 20.6%
2010 15,038 24.3%
2020 16,703 11.1%
Source: US Census Bureau
Jasper Micropolitan Area
Location of the Jasper Micropolitan Statistical Area in Indiana

Jasper is the principal city of the Jasper Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Dubois and Pike counties and had a combined population of 54,734 at the 2010 census.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, the population of Jasper was 15,038 and there were 5,994 households. The gender makeup of the city is 49.2% male and 50.8% female.

Ethnicities

The racial makeup of the city was:

  • 93.6% white
  • 7.7% Hispanic (of any race)
  • 0.4% African American
  • 0.9% Asian
  • 0.2% Native American
  • 4.0% from other races
  • 0.9% from two or more races.

Age

Of the total Jasper population:

  • 14.0% were 1-9
  • 12.9% were 10-19
  • 12.1% were 20-29
  • 11.9% were 30-39
  • 14.4% were 40-49
  • 13.6% were 50-59
  • 9.1% were 60-69
  • 6.1% were 70-79
  • 5.4% were 80 or older
  • Median age was 39.3 years. For males it was 36.9 years and for females, 41.6 years.

Income

  • Overall median household income in Jasper is $53,968
  • Median income for a family is $65,903
  • Males had a median income of $37,432
  • Females had a median income of $32,218
  • The per capita income for the city is $28,540
  • About 5.7% of families and 7.6% of the population are below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 and over.

Sister City

Jasper participates in the sister cities program, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI).

Arts and culture

The Jasper Strassenfest is a four-day event held annually during the first weekend in August. The "Fest" is a celebration between Jasper and its German sister-city Pfaffenweiler, a small village in southwest Germany. Many citizens of Pfaffenweiler travel to Jasper around this time of year. The street festival encompasses the entire city square, complete with numerous food stands, rides, and a very large Biergarten. On average, over 1,300 pounds of bratwurst are consumed during the four-day event. The Strassenfest culminates in a Sunday parade and evening fireworks. The festival also incorporates a golf tournament, beauty pageant (Miss Strassenfest), box parade, fishing tournament, and a network of German "Polka Masses" at the three Roman Catholic parishes: St. Joseph's, Holy Family, and Precious Blood.

National Register of Historic Places

St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Jasper
St. Joseph Catholic Church

There are 12 Dubois County locations or buildings listed on the NRHS with 5 being in Jasper.

  • Dubois County Courthouse
  • Gramelspacher-Gutzweiler House
  • John Opel House
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church
  • Louis H. Sturm Hardware Store


Economy

Jasper is a regional center in Southwestern Indiana, noted for its heavily German Catholic ancestral roots. Jasper has often been called the "Wood Capital of the World", boasting many furniture companies, including Kimball International and Masterbrand Cabinets. Jasper is home to the Southern Indiana Education Center (SIEC), Jasper Engines & Transmissions (largest re-manufacturer in the market), and to a satellite campus of Vincennes University.

The largest industry sectors by employment in Jasper are manufacturing, retail, and health care & social services.

Top employers

According to the Jasper Chamber of Commerce

# Employer # of Employees
1 Kimball International 3,400
2 MasterBrand Cabinets 2,440
3 Jasper Engines & Transmissions 1,500
4 Memorial Hospital 1,400
5 Jasper Rubber Products 800
6 JasperGroup 800

Education

Jhsindianaentrance
Front entrance to Jasper High School

In 1970, the school system of Ireland, an unincorporated town west of Jasper along State Route 56, was consolidated into that of Jasper.

  • Jasper High School (public, grades 9 to 12)
  • Jasper Middle School (public 6 to 8)
  • Ireland Elementary School (public pre-K to 5)
  • Jasper Elementary School (public pre-K to 5)
  • Holy Trinity Catholic School
    • West Campus at St. Mary's Ireland (private pre-K)
    • Central Campus at Precious Blood (private pre K to 2)
    • East Campus at Holy Family (private 3 to 8)
  • Vincennes University (Jasper Campus)

The city has a free lending library, the Jasper-Dubois County Public Library. In January 2021, the library moved into a new building that it shares with the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center.

Notable people

  • Mike Braun, U.S. Senator and former member of the Indiana House of Representatives
  • Daniel M. Buechlein, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Indianapolis
  • Brad Ellsworth, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Spike Gehlhausen, Indy car driver
  • Paul Hoffman, Purdue All-American, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA Champion
  • Shane Lindauer, member of the Indiana House of Representatives
  • Matt Mauck, National Football League quarterback; led the LSU Tigers to the 2003 national championship
  • Mark Messmer, member of the Indiana State Senate
  • Frank W. Milburn, World War II and Korean War general
  • Edith Pfau, artist
  • Scott Rolen, Major League Baseball player
  • Ralph K. Rottet, Lieutenant general, U.S. Marine Corps
  • William J. Schroeder, longest lived person on a Jarvik-7
  • Bernard V. Vonderschmitt, most noted as a co-founder of leading FPGA producer Xilinx.
  • Wilfrid Worland, Washington, D.C.–area architect
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