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Orange County, Indiana facts for kids

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Orange County
The Orange County courthouse in Paoli
The Orange County courthouse in Paoli
Map of Indiana highlighting Orange County
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Indiana
Founded 1816
Seat Paoli
Largest town Paoli
 • Total 408.19 sq mi (1,057.2 km2)
 • Land 398.39 sq mi (1,031.8 km2)
 • Water 9.80 sq mi (25.4 km2)  2.40%%
 • Total 19,840
 • Density 49.7/sq mi (19.17/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 9th
Indiana county number 59

Orange County is located in southern Indiana in the United States. As of 2010, its population was 19,840, an increase of 2.8% from 19,306 in 2000. The county seat is Paoli. The county has four incorporated settlements with a total population of about 8,600, as well as several small unincorporated communities. It is divided into 10 townships which provide local services. One U.S. route and five Indiana state roads pass through or into the county.


Orange County was formed from parts of Knox County, Gibson County and Washington County by an act approved on December 26, 1815; it took effect on February 1, 1816. The same year, the county seat was established in Paoli, which was named after Pasquale Paoli Ash, the 12-year-old son of the Governor, at the time, of North Carolina .

The first courthouse was a temporary log structure that was built for $25; a more permanent structure of stone was completed in 1819 at a cost of $3,950. In 1847, plans were made for a new larger courthouse, which was completed in 1850 at a cost of $14,000. This building is the second oldest courthouse in the state that has been continuously used since its construction. Like the oldest in Ohio County, it is a Greek Revival building with two stories and a Doric portico supported by fluted columns; it has ornamental iron stairs and a clock tower. In 1970, the clock tower was damaged by fire.

The early settlers were mostly Quakers fleeing the institution of slavery in Orange County, North Carolina. Jonathan Lindley brought his group of Quakers from North Carolina to the area in 1811. Under Lindley's leadership, they were the first to build a religious structure, the Lick Creek Meeting House in 1813. It was from this group that Orange County got its name. (See List of Indiana county name etymologies). The name Orange derives from the Dutch Protestant House of Orange, which acquired the English throne with the accession of King William III in 1689, following the Glorious Revolution.

In the early 19th century when the Quakers came from North Carolina to settle in Orange County, Indiana, they came to escape slavery. They brought with them a number of freed slaves. These free men were deeded 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land in the heart of a dense forest. Word of mouth soon spread the news, and this land became part of the "underground railroad" for runaway slaves.

For many years, the freed slaves in this area farmed, traded, and sold their labor to others while living in this settlement. A church was built and a cemetery was provided for their loved ones.

All that remains today is the cemetery. Some of the stones were broken or vandalized over the years. Several years ago, a troop of Boy Scouts came in and restored the cemetery, replacing the lost or broken stones with wooden crosses designating a grave. The name of "Little Africa" came about because of the black settlement, but "Paddy's Garden" was the name those early residents called it.


Map of Orange County, Indiana
Map of Orange County, showing townships and settlements

Orange County is located in the south part of the state. It is bordered by Lawrence County to the north; Martin and Dubois counties to the west; Crawford County to the south; and Washington County to the east. According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 408.19 square miles (1,057.2 km2), of which 398.39 square miles (1,031.8 km2) (or 97.60%) is land and 9.80 square miles (25.4 km2) (or 2.40%) is water.

Orange County contains four incorporated settlements. The largest is the county seat of Paoli, which lies near the center of the county. To the north of Paoli lies Orleans. To the west, French Lick and West Baden Springs are connected but are separate entities.

There are several small unincorporated settlements in the county. Chambersburg lies along U.S. Route 150 about 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Paoli. To the east of Orleans in the northeast corner of the county is the town of Leipsic. Prospect is on U.S. Route 150 just north of West Baden Springs. Orangeville is northwest of Paoli, near the center of Orangeville Township. In the southeast corner of the county, Valeene lies near the center of Southeast Township.

Hoosier National Forest panorama 1
Hoosier National Forest in Jackson Township

Much of the south part of the county, south of Paoli and French Lick, is part of the Hoosier National Forest. Patoka Lake is within the national forest; the majority of the lake lies in Orange County, with parts extending into neighboring Dubois and Crawford counties.

The county is divided into 10 townships:

  • French Lick
  • Greenfield
  • Jackson
  • Northeast
  • Northwest
  • Orangeville
  • Orleans
  • Paoli
  • Southeast
  • Stampers Creek


U.S. Route 150 crosses Orange County, entering from Martin County to the west; it passes just to the north of West Baden Springs and on through Paoli, continuing somewhat to the southeast and passing into Washington County and Hardinsburg to the east.

  • Indiana 37.svg Indiana State Road 37
  • Indiana 56.svg Indiana State Road 56
  • Indiana 60.svg Indiana State Road 60
  • Indiana 145.svg Indiana State Road 145
  • Indiana 337.svg Indiana State Road 337

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Paoli, Indiana
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in Paoli have ranged from a low of 18 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 111 °F (44 °C) was recorded in July 1901. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.90 inches (74 mm) in October to 5.14 inches (131 mm) in May.


The Orange County Courthouse in the center of the Paoli, Indiana town square
Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 5,368
1830 7,901 47.2%
1840 9,602 21.5%
1850 10,809 12.6%
1860 12,076 11.7%
1870 13,497 11.8%
1880 14,363 6.4%
1890 14,678 2.2%
1900 16,854 14.8%
1910 17,192 2.0%
1920 16,974 −1.3%
1930 17,459 2.9%
1940 17,311 −0.8%
1950 16,879 −2.5%
1960 16,877 0.0%
1970 16,968 0.5%
1980 18,677 10.1%
1990 18,409 −1.4%
2000 19,306 4.9%
2010 19,840 2.8%
Est. 2015 19,605 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 19,840 people, 7,872 households, and 5,416 families residing in the county. The population density was 49.8 inhabitants per square mile (19.2/km2). There were 9,176 housing units at an average density of 23.0 per square mile (8.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.0% white, 0.9% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 22.6% were of English ancestry, 18.8% were of German ancestry and 12.4% were of Irish ancestry.

Of the 7,872 households, 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.2% were non-families, and 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.00. The median age was 40.8 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $45,874. Males had a median income of $35,679 versus $30,072 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,119. About 13.5% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.7% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.

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