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Jeffersonville, Indiana
City of Jeffersonville
Skyline of Jeffersonville
Skyline of Jeffersonville
The Jeff, Jeff
Location of Jeffersonville in Clark County, Indiana
Location of Jeffersonville in Clark County, Indiana
Country United States
State Indiana
County Clark
Established 1801
 • Total 34.35 sq mi (88.97 km2)
 • Land 34.08 sq mi (88.26 km2)
 • Water 0.28 sq mi (0.71 km2)
446 ft (136 m)
 • Total 49,447
 • Density 1,451.04/sq mi (560.26/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
47130, 47131, and 47199
Area code(s) 812 & 930
FIPS code 18-38358
GNIS feature ID 0436979

Jeffersonville is a city and the county seat of Clark County, Indiana, United States, situated along the Ohio River. Locally, the city is often referred to by the abbreviated name Jeff. It lies directly across the Ohio River to the north of Louisville, Kentucky, along I-65. The population was 44,953 at the 2010 census.

Jeffersonville began its existence as a settlement around Fort Finney some time after 1786, and was named after Thomas Jefferson in 1801, the year he took office.


Warder Park
Statue at Warder Park honoring Thomas Jefferson
2016WIKI SpringStreetJeffersonvilleJune
Spring St is the main shopping area in downtown


In 1786 Fort Finney was situated where the Kennedy Bridge is today to protect the area from Indians, and a settlement grew around the fort. The fort was renamed in 1791 to Fort Steuben in honor of Baron von Steuben. In 1793 the fort was abandoned. Precisely when the settlement became known as Jeffersonville is unclear, but it was probably around 1801, the year in which President Thomas Jefferson took office. In 1802 local residents used a grid pattern designed by Thomas Jefferson for the formation of a city. On September 13, 1803, a post office was established in the city. In 1808 Indiana's second federal land sale office was established in Jeffersonville, which initiated a growth in settling in Indiana that was further spurred by the end of the War of 1812.

Shortly after formation, Jeffersonville was named to be the county seat of Clark County in 1802, replacing Springville. In 1812 Charlestown was named the county seat, but the county seat returned to Jeffersonville in 1878, where it remains.

In 1813 and 1814 Jeffersonville was briefly the de facto capital of the Indiana Territory, as then-governor Thomas Posey disliked then-capital Corydon, and wanting to be closer to his personal physician in Louisville, decided to live in Jeffersonville. However, it is debated by some that Dennis Pennington had some involvement to his location to Jeffersonville. The territorial legislature remained in Corydon and communicated with Posey by messenger.

In 1825, General Lafayette visited Jeffersonville on his United States tour.

Civil War

The Civil War increased the importance of Jeffersonville, as the city was one of the principal gateways to the South during the war, due to its location directly opposite Louisville. It was served by three railroads from the north and had the waterway of the Ohio River. This factor influenced its selection as one of the principal bases for supplies and troops for the Union Army. Operating in the South, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad furnished the connecting link between Louisville and the rest of the South. Camp Joe Holt was instrumental in keeping Kentucky within the Union. The third largest Civil War hospital, Jefferson General Hospital was located in nearby Port Fulton (now within Jeffersonville) from 1864 to 1866, as it was close to the river and Louisville. The original land was seized by the federal government from the Honorable Jesse D. Bright, United States Senator, a sympathizer of the Confederate cause. During the war it housed 16,120 patients in its 5,200 beds and was under the command of Dr. Middleton Goldsmith. A cemetery was built for fallen soldiers down the hill, but the wooden grave markers had decayed by 1927, causing the Jeffersonville city council to build a ball field over the cemetery, and not bothering to move the graves, located on Crestview Avenue. The Jeffersonville Quartermaster Intermediate Depot had its first beginning in the early days of the Civil War, near its present location.

20th century

By 1870, 17% of Jeffersonville residents were foreign-born, mostly from Germany. During the 1920s, Jeffersonville was a popular gathering place for the Ku Klux Klan, as Louisville and New Albany had strong anti-Klan laws and Jeffersonville did not.

Jeffersonville, Indiana City Hall
City Hall in the Quadrangle complex

During World War II, the Quartermaster Depot, in conjunction with Fort Knox, Kentucky housed German prisoners of war until 1945. Now the Depot is used as a shopping center.

Shipbuilding industry

2016WIKI JeffBoatFromBig4 June13
Part of Jeffboat in Jeffersonville. Jeffboat is the largest inland shipbuilder in the U.S.

In 1819 the first shipbuilding took place in Jeffersonville, and steamboats would become key to Jeffersonville's economy. James Howard built his first steamboat in 1834 in Jeffersonville, named the Hyperion. He established his ship building company in Jeffersonville that year but moved his business to Madison, Indiana in 1836 and remained there until 1844. Howard returned his business to the Jeffersonville area to its final location in Port Fulton in 1849. In 1925 the United States Navy assumed control of the Howard Ship Yards until 1941, after Jeffersonville finally annexed Port Fulton. During World War II, the shipyards built landing vessels such as the LST. It was later established as the Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Company, later simply known as Jeffboat, which still supports the local economy. The history of shipbuilding in Jeffersonville is the focus of the Howard Steamboat Museum. There is an annual festival held in September called Steamboat Days that celebrates Jeffersonville's heritage.


On February 5, 2008 the city of Jeffersonville officially annexed four out of six planned annex zones. The proposed annexation of the other two zones was postponed due to lawsuits. The areas annexed added about 5,500 acres (22 km2) to the city and about 4,500 citizens, raising the population to an estimated 33,100. The total area planned to be annexed is 7,800 acres (32 km2). The annexed areas receive planning and zoning, building permits and drainage issues services immediately, with new in-city sewer rates which are lower. Other services are being phased in such as police and fire and will work jointly with the pre-existing non-city services until they are available. One of the other two areas remaining to be annexed was Oak Park, Indiana an area of about 5,000 more citizens.

The Clark County Courts dismissed the lawsuits against the city on February 25, 2008. This dismissal brings the remaining Oak Park area into the city. The population of the city is now expected to be nearly 50,000 citizens and is the largest annexation in Jeffersonville's history.

Big Four Pedestrian Bridge

2016 WIKI JeffersonvilleBig4Station June14
Big Four Station is a park that opened in 2014 at the base of the Big Four Bridge

In February 2011, Kentucky governor Steve Beshear and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced that the two states, along with the City of Jeffersonville, would allocate $22 million in funding to complete the Big Four Bridge project – converting an abandoned railroad bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle path to linking Louisville's Waterfront Park and downtown Jeffersonville. Indiana spent $8 million and the City of Jeffersonville spent an extra $2 million in matching funds to pay for construction of a ramp to the Big Four Bridge on the Indiana side.

In July 2012, Jeffersonville City officials unveiled plans for an $8 million plaza, named "Big Four Station", to surround the new ramp. The plaza opened in 2014 and includes a covered playground, fountain, stage, pavilion and plenty of green space. The project has pulled thousands of pedestrians a week into downtown Jeffersonville's main shopping district and has spurred further development. A Marriott motel is under construction and urban apartments have been proposed adjacent to the park.


Jeffersonville is located at 38°17′44″N 85°43′53″W / 38.29556°N 85.73139°W / 38.29556; -85.73139 (38.295669, -85.731485).

According to the 2010 census, Jeffersonville has a total area of 34.354 square miles (88.98 km2), of which 34.06 square miles (88.21 km2) (or 99.14%) is land and 0.294 square miles (0.76 km2) (or 0.86%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,122
1860 4,020 89.4%
1870 7,254 80.4%
1880 9,357 29.0%
1890 10,666 14.0%
1900 10,774 1.0%
1910 10,412 −3.4%
1920 10,098 −3.0%
1930 11,946 18.3%
1940 11,493 −3.8%
1950 14,685 27.8%
1960 19,522 32.9%
1970 20,008 2.5%
1980 21,220 6.1%
1990 21,841 2.9%
2000 27,362 25.3%
2010 44,953 64.3%
2020 49,447 10.0%
Source: US Census Bureau

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 44,953 people, 18,580 households, and 11,697 families living in the city. The population density was 1,319.8 inhabitants per square mile (509.6/km2). There were 19,991 housing units at an average density of 586.9 per square mile (226.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.4% White, 13.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 1.9% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 4.1% of the population.

There were 18,580 households, of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.0% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 37.3 years. 23.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.2% were from 25 to 44; 27.5% were from 45 to 64; and 11.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.

National Processing Center

Jeffersonville is home to the United States Bureau of the Census's National Processing Center, which is the bureau's primary center for collecting, capturing, and delivering data. The facility is one of southern Indiana's largest employers.


A plethora of businesses call Jeffersonville home, including both locally owned and operated companies, as well as national ones. As of 2020, some of the top employers in the city included: Greater Clark County Schools (1600), Clark Memorial Hospital (1500), Clark Memorial Hospital Foundation (1066), Heartland Payment Systems (850), and Republic Bank & Trust of Indiana (721).

Dining and bars

Micks Lounge
Mick's Lounge where Papa John's Pizza began

Jeffersonville has a variety of restaurants along the river front, downtown, and other areas such as the Quartermaster Depot. These include small bars, restaurants, and fast food chains. Jeffersonville is also notable for being the birthplace of the pizza chain Papa John's Pizza, which started in Mick's Lounge, a local bar.

Kitchen Kompact

Kitchen Kompact manufactures cabinetry in a converted portion of the Quartermaster Depot. The 750,000 square foot facility employs nearly 300 workers with an average tenure of 15 years. They produce around 10,000 cabinets per shift.

National Processing Center

Jeffersonville is home to the United States Bureau of the Census's National Processing Center - the bureau's primary center for collecting, capturing, and delivering data. The facility comprises approximately one million square feet, and processes millions of forms per year. It also employs 1200 to more than 6000 people, making it one of southern Indiana's largest employers.

River Ridge Commerce Center

The River Ridge Commerce Center is an industrial zone located on the outskirts of Jeffersonville near Charlestown, Indiana. Sitting on land previously comprising part of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, it now hosts a variety of industries. These include manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, food & beverage, life sciences, logistics, and more.

Shipbuilding industry

2016WIKI JeffBoatFromBig4 June13
Part of Jeffboat in Jeffersonville. Jeffboat was the largest inland shipbuilder in the U.S.

Until 2018, Jeffersonville was the home of Jeffboat, the largest inland shipbuilder in the US. At its peak, the barge manufacturer employed over 13,000 employees. The company closed due to an overproduction of barges, marking the end of 200 years of shipbuilding in Jeffersonville.


Jeffersonville public schools belong to the Greater Clark County school system.

Public schools

  • Franklin Square Elementary
  • Northaven Elementary
  • Riverside Elementary
  • Wilson Elementary
  • Parkview Middle School
  • River Valley Middle School
  • Jeffersonville High School

Private schools

  • Sacred Heart Catholic School

Alternative schools

  • Clark County Middle/High School
  • Corden Porter School

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

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