kids encyclopedia robot

Tipton County, Indiana facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Tipton County
Tipton County Courthouse
Tipton County Courthouse
Map of Indiana highlighting Tipton 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 January 15, 1844
Named for John Tipton
Seat Tipton
Largest city Tipton
 • Total 260.57 sq mi (674.9 km2)
 • Land 260.54 sq mi (674.8 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)  0.01%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 61/sq mi (23.63/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 5th
Indiana county number 80
FIPS Code 159

Tipton County, Indiana is located in central Indiana, north of the state capital of Indianapolis. According to the 2010 census, the population was 15,936, a decrease of 3.9% from the 2000 population of 16,577. The county seat is Tipton. The county has four incorporated towns with a total population of about 7,000, as well as many small unincorporated communities. It is divided into six townships which provide local services. Three Indiana state roads and one U.S. Route cross the county, as do two railroad lines.

Before the arrival of non-indigenous settlers in the early 19th century, the area was inhabited by several Native American tribes. The county was officially established in 1844, one of the last Indiana counties to be settled. Tipton and Howard Counties were established by the same legislative action on January 15.


Prior to the arrival of non-indigenous settlers in the 1830s, the area now known as Tipton County was inhabited by the Miami and Delaware tribes. Tipton County was formed in 1844. It was named for John Tipton, a soldier of the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Tipton served as United States Senator for Indiana from 1831 until shortly before his death in 1839.


The first Tipton County Courthouse was a two-story frame building. It was planned in early 1845 and was completed by the end of the year at a cost of about $1200. It was expanded the following year. By 1858 a new courthouse was needed, and the brick building was completed by 1859 at a cost of approximately $15,000.

The present courthouse was designed by Adolph Sherrer. He had taken over the Indiana Statehouse project when architect Edwin May died in 1880; five years after the completion of that project in 1888, Scherrer began work on the Tipton building, which was built of sandstone in a Romanesque style with a clock tower that rises 206 feet above the ground, including the flagstaff on top. It was built by Pierce and Morgan of Indianapolis during 1893 and 1894 at a cost of $170,988. It is one of several Romanesque courthouses dating from the 1890s that are still in use.


Map of Tipton County, Indiana
Map of Tipton County

Tipton County lies in the central part of the state. One county, Hamilton, separates it from Indianapolis and Marion County to the south. To the north lies Howard County; to the west, Clinton County; and to the east, Madison County. A short portion of the eastern border, less than 2 miles (3.2 km) long, is shared with Grant County to the northeast.

Most of the county consists of level till plain with elevations from 850 feet (260 m) to 900 feet (270 m) above sea level. Prior to settlement by non-indigenous people, it was mostly covered with dense forests consisting of oak, beech, maple, walnut, hickory, sycamore and tulip trees. The southern part of the county has better natural drainage, and this area was first cleared for agriculture. Much of the rest of the county tended to be swampy due to the level ground and lack of sufficient natural waterways, so drainage channels had to be dug to make the land suitable for farming.

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 260.57 square miles (674.9 km2), of which 260.54 square miles (674.8 km2) (or 99.99%) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2) (or 0.01%) is water.

The county is divided into six townships: Cicero, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Prairie and Wildcat.

There are four incorporated settlements in the county. The largest is Tipton. Located near the center of the county, it is the county seat; its population in 2010 was 5,106.Kempton is located near the western border in Jefferson Township and has a population of 335. The town of Sharpsville is located near the northern border, in Liberty Township; its population is 607. Wildcat Township contains Windfall City, which has a population of 708. The city of Elwood lies in Madison County to the east and extends slightly over the border; as of the 2000 census, seven Elwood residents lived in Tipton County. The county also contains several unincorporated communities.

Climate and weather

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

Tipton County is in the humid continental climate region of the United States along with most of Indiana. Its Köppen climate classification is Dfa, meaning that it is cold, has no dry season, and has a hot summer. In recent years, average temperatures in Tipton have ranged from a low of 15 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 83 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 98 °F (37 °C) was recorded in July 1999. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.67 inches (42 mm) in February to 4.24 inches (108 mm) in June. From 1950 through 2009, 13 tornadoes were reported in Tipton County, resulting in two deaths and several injuries; the total estimated property damage was over $3 million.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,532
1860 8,170 131.3%
1870 11,953 46.3%
1880 14,407 20.5%
1890 18,157 26.0%
1900 19,116 5.3%
1910 17,459 −8.7%
1920 16,152 −7.5%
1930 15,208 −5.8%
1940 15,135 −0.5%
1950 15,566 2.8%
1960 15,856 1.9%
1970 16,650 5.0%
1980 16,819 1.0%
1990 16,119 −4.2%
2000 16,577 2.8%
2010 15,936 −3.9%
Est. 2018 15,128 −5.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,936 people, 6,376 households, and 4,517 families residing in the county. The population density was 61.2 inhabitants per square mile (23.6/km2). There were 6,998 housing units at an average density of 26.9 per square mile (10.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.6% white, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% black or African American, 0.1% American Indian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 28.5% were German, 14.5% were American, 12.3% were English, and 9.6% were Irish.

Of the 6,376 households, 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.2% were non-families, and 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.93. The median age was 42.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $61,115. Males had a median income of $42,763 versus $29,832 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,499. About 3.3% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.

Another view of the courthouse
Tipton County jail


Tipton County's economy is supported by a labor force of about 7700 workers with an unemployment rate in December 2015 of 3.8%.


Historically, Tipton County's economy has been agriculturally based. In 1914, the county had 2,067 working farms and 166,400 acres of farm land. The early settlers raised corn, wheat, oats, rye, flax, and potatoes, with alfalfa in the prairie areas. Fruit was profitable in the county before 1880, but blight lessened yield and fruit growing nearly halted.

The Tipton County Agricultural Society was organized in August 1855. They held the first county fair that October. It was described as a "failure," and was followed by another unsuccessful fair the following year. That organization was dissolved, another formed, only to be dissolved again. A third organization, the Tipton County Joint-Stock Agricultural Society formed in 1874. That organization eventually failed and finally, the Tipton County Fair Company was formed in 1879. By the early 20th century, corn and wheat were primary crops.


Vickrey Bank, founded in the 1880s, was the county's first bank. It became Union Bank, and later Farmers Loan and Trust. In 1876, the Tipton County Bank was founded. It merged with First National Bank in 1902. Other county banks included Citizens National Bank (1898), Farmers Loan and Trust Company (1906), People's State Bank (1892), Sharpsville Bank (1902), and State Bank of Kempton (1900). None of these banks exists today. Farmers' State Bank was formed in 1914 and remains in business today as First Farmers Bank & Trust.



In 1889, county schools had a total enrollment of 6,225. There were a total of 84 schools across the county. The majority of teachers were male, totaling 81 male and 19 female teachers. They were paid approximately $2 per day. By 1914, the school enrollment totaled 3,701 students, with 65 schools across the county. There were five high schools located across the township in Sharpsville, Tipton, Kempton, Goldsmith and Windfall. There were 218 teachers. They were paid $3.19 a day.


Tipton County has six schools, managed by three school corporations. The Tipton Community School Corporation includes an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school, all located in Tipton; these schools served a total of 1,821 students during the 2009–2010 school year. In the north part of the county, Tri-Central Community Schools (formerly Northern Community Schools) includes an elementary school and Tri-Central Middle/High School, both located in Sharpsville; these schools served a total of 970 students in 2009–2010. Saint John the Baptist School was located in Tipton and was part of the Diocese of Lafayette Catholic Schools; it was an elementary school and served 82 students during the 2009–2010 school year., but it closed in 2014 due to declining enrollment.



  • US Route 31 – runs north–south through the middle–western part of the county, passing through Tetersburg.
  • State Road 19 – runs north–south through the middle of the county, passing through Tipton.
  • State Road 28 – runs east–west through the lower central part of the county, passing through Tipton.
  • State Road 213 – runs north–south through the middle–eastern part of the county, passing through Windfall.

Though they do not run through the county, three other state roads touch its southeastern corner:

  • State Road 13 – runs north to the SE corner of Tipton County, then NE to Elwood, in Madison County.
  • State Road 37 – runs concurrently with State Road 13 in this area running toward Elwood.
  • State Road 128 – intersects State Road 13/31 at the SE corner of Tipton County.


Two Norfolk Southern Railway routes run through the county. One line connects Muncie in the east with Frankfort in the west. The other connects Logansport and Kokomo in the north with Indianapolis in the south. The two lines intersect in Tipton.

Notable people from Tipton County

  • Charles Benjamin "Babe" Adams (1882–1968) – born in Tipton. Baseball player (pitcher) for Saint Louis Cardinals (1906) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1907–1926).
  • John Bunch (1921–2010) – born in Tipton. Jazz pianist with Woody Herman, Benny Goodman and Maynard Ferguson. Music composer.
  • Donald Bertrand Tresidder (April 7, 1894 – January 28, 1948) was the president of Stanford University from 1943 until 1948 and brought the school through the difficult years of World War II. Prior to his work at Stanford, he headed the Yosemite Park and Curry Co.
kids search engine
Tipton County, Indiana Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.