Montgomery County, Indiana facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
County Courthouse in Crawfordsville
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Indiana's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Richard Montgomery|
|• Total||505.44 sq mi (1,309.1 km2)|
|• Land||504.61 sq mi (1,306.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.83 sq mi (2.1 km2) 0.16%%|
|• Density||76/sq mi (29.18/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Indiana county number 54|
Early history and settlement
The earliest known inhabitants of the area that would become Montgomery County were the Mound Builders, Native Americans who built large earthen mounds, two of which were constructed in southeastern Franklin Township. (Note: Research in the late 1900s has shown these mounds were natural mounds not man made. Subsequent Native American tribes occupied the area until as late as 1832.
The first white settler in the area that would become Montgomery County was William Offield, earlier of Tennessee, who arrived in 1821 with his wife Jennie (née Laughlin) and one child and settled near the confluence of Offield Creek and Sugar Creek, about five miles (8 km) southwest of Crawfordsville. The first land in the county to be purchased from the government was a tract in Scott Township sold to John Loop on July 23, 1822; many more tracts were entered in subsequent months, most in Union Township. The area's settlers mostly came from Kentucky and Ohio, with others arriving from Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas.
Montgomery County was established by an act of the Indiana state legislature passed on December 21, 1822, which defined the county's boundaries and provided for the organization of its government. It was formed from parts of Wabash New Purchase attached to Parke and Putnam Counties. The county was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed on December 31, 1775, while attempting to capture Quebec City in the Battle of Quebec. The first county election was held on March 1, 1823, with 61 voters participating to elect the first three county commissioners — William Offield, James Blevins and John McCollough — who then ordered that the first jail and courthouse be built.
Beginning on December 24, 1824, a large land sale was held for several days at the United States Land Office on North Water Street in Crawfordsville during which a large number of the area's tracts were sold at auction. The money raised from the sale, mostly in the form of gold and silver, was packed into kegs, hauled by wagon to Louisville, carried by boat up the Ohio River, and eventually to Washington, D.C. Settlement increased substantially during the subsequent year.
Montgomery County's first courthouse was ordered on June 28, 1823, to be made "of good hewed logs... to be twenty-six feet long; two stories high, lower story nine feet from floor to joist; upper to be seven feet to roof". Eliakam Ashton won the contract to construct the building and completed it on a lot along Main Street on August 9, 1824, at a cost of $295. In 1825 a contract was issued to Henry Ristine to cut trees and pick up chips from under the courthouse so that "hogs would not find a comfortable place in which to make their beds".
A second, more substantial structure was ordered in 1831, the contract for its construction being awarded to John Hughes for $3,420. The result, completed in 1833, was a two-story, 40x40 foot brick building surmounted by a cupola, later supplemented by separate one-story buildings erected to the north and east as wings of the main structure. The building stood on the current public square for over forty years until being torn down in 1875.
The third and current Montgomery County courthouse was the first courthouse designed by George W. Bunting of Indianapolis; it is one of six of his Indiana courthouses still standing. Bunting had served as a colonel in the Confederacy during the Civil War before establishing himself in Indianapolis; General Lew Wallace, who was on the Union side during the War and was a resident of Montgomery County, spoke at the dedication of the cornerstone in 1875. The building was constructed by McCormack and Sweeney of Columbus at a cost of $150,000, and was completed in 1876.
The cornerstone contains an embedded copper box of memorable items, including the key to the old courthouse and a Henry VIII coin.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 505.44 square miles (1,309.1 km2), of which 504.61 square miles (1,306.9 km2) (or 99.84%) is land and 0.83 square miles (2.1 km2) (or 0.16%) is water.
Other unincorporated places
- North Union
- Coal Creek
- Sugar Creek
- CSX Transportation
- KCFJ - Crawfordsville Municipal Airport
Montgomery County is served by the Crawfordsville Municipal Airport (KCFJ). Located four miles south of the city, the airport handles approximately 6,383 operations per year, with 100% general aviation and <1% air taxi. The airport has a 4,504 foot asphalt runway with approved GPS and NDB approaches (Runway 4-22).
Climate and weather
|Weather chart for Crawfordsville, Indiana|
|temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel
In recent years, average temperatures in Crawfordsville have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °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 June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.02 inches (51 mm) in February to 4.28 inches (109 mm) in June.
Montgomery County is home to several Carnegie libraries. These libraries were built in the early 1900s by way of grants from Andrew Carnegie. All but one, the Crawfordsville District Public Library, is still in use today. The Crawfordsville Library was moved to a new location on South Washington Street in 2005 after the old building became too small for the growing collection. The old library building is now the home of the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County, a museum dedicated to the history of Montgomery County. The other Carnegie libraries include: Waveland-Brown Township Public Library, Darlington-Franklin Township Public Library, and Linden-Madison Township Public Library.
There is also the Ladoga Clark Township Public Library, but it is not in a Carnegie building.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 38,124 people, 14,979 households, and 10,342 families residing in the county. The population density was 75.6 inhabitants per square mile (29.2/km2). There were 16,535 housing units at an average density of 32.8 per square mile (12.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.2% white, 0.9% black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 1.8% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 22.6% were German, 16.5% were American, 14.4% were Irish, and 12.1% were English.
Of the 14,979 households, 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.0% were non-families, and 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 39.4 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $56,374. Males had a median income of $42,494 versus $30,280 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,788. About 9.8% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
Montgomery County, Indiana Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.