Montgomery County, Indiana

Not to be confused with Montgomery, Indiana.
Montgomery County, Indiana

County Courthouse in Crawfordsville
Map of Indiana highlighting Montgomery County
Location in the U.S. state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1823
Named for Richard Montgomery
Seat Crawfordsville
Largest city Crawfordsville
  Total 505.44 sq mi (1,309 km2)
  Land 504.61 sq mi (1,307 km2)
  Water 0.83 sq mi (2 km2), 0.16%
  (2010) 38,124
  Density 76/sq mi (29.18/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Footnotes: Indiana county number 54

Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 38,124.[1] The county seat is Crawfordsville.[2] The county is divided into 11 townships which provide local services.[3][4]


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.[5] Subsequent Native American tribes occupied the area until as late as 1832.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[7]


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.[10]

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.[11]

The cornerstone contains an embedded copper box of memorable items, including the key to the old courthouse and a Henry VIII coin.[12]


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.[13]

Cities and towns

Unincorporated towns and areas

Extinct towns

  • Beckville
  • Binford
  • Fredericksburg
  • North Union
  • Troutman



Major highways



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). [14]

Climate and weather

Crawfordsville, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[15]

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.[15]


Montgomery County Sheriff's Department
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* County (US) of Montgomery in the state of Indiana, United States
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction.
General nature
Operational structure
Agency executive Mark Casteel, Sheriff
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The county government is a constitutional body granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana and the Indiana Code. The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all spending and revenue collection. Representatives are elected from county districts. The council members serve four-year terms and are responsible for setting salaries, the annual budget and special spending. The council also has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax that is subject to state level approval, excise taxes and service taxes.[16][17]

The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners. The commissioners are elected county-wide, in staggered terms, and each serves a four-year term. One of the commissioners, typically the most senior, serves as president. The commissioners are charged with executing the acts legislated by the council, collecting revenue and managing day-to-day functions of the county government.[16][17]

The county maintains a small claims court that can handle some civil cases. The judge on the court is elected to a term of four years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association. The judge is assisted by a constable who is elected to a four-year term. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.[17]

The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor and circuit court clerk. Each of these elected officers serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to declare party affiliations and be residents of the county.[17]

Each of the townships has a trustee who administers rural fire protection and ambulance service, provides poor relief and manages cemetery care, among other duties.[4] The trustee is assisted in these duties by a three-member township board. The trustees and board members are elected to four-year terms.[18]

Montgomery County is part of Indiana's 4th congressional district; Indiana Senate district 23;[19] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 28 and 41.[20]


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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201538,227[21]0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[22]
1790-1960[23] 1900-1990[24]
1990-2000[25] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 38,124 people, 14,979 households, and 10,342 families residing in the county.[26] 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).[13] 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.[26] In terms of ancestry, 22.6% were German, 16.5% were American, 14.4% were Irish, and 12.1% were English.[27]

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.[26]

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.[28]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Montgomery County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
  2. "Find a County – Montgomery County, IN". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  3. "Montgomery". Indiana Township Association. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  4. 1 2 "Duties". United Township Association of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  5. "Indians of Montgomery County" by Bridgie Brill Breisford published by the MC Historical Society in 1985.
  6. Bowen, A. W. (1913). History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: A. W. Bowen & Company. pp. 38–39.
  7. 1 2 Bowen, A. W. (1913). "Early Settlement of the County". History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: A. W. Bowen & Company.
  8. Peggy Tuck Sinko: Indiana Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, John H. Long, Ed., Charles Scribner's Sons, Simon & Schuster Macmillan, New York, N.Y., 1996, p. 210.
  9. Gronert, Theodore G., Sugar Creek Saga: A History and Development of Montgomery County, Wabash College, 1958. pg 11
  10. Bowen, A. W. (1913). "Organization and County Government". History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: A. W. Bowen & Company.
  11. Counts, Will; Jon Dilts (1991). The 92 Magnificent Indiana Courthouses. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-0-253-33638-5.
  12. Riggs, Constance Kakavecos (1976). Montgomery County Remembers. Crawfordsville, Ind.: Montgomery County Historical Society. pp. 67–70.
  13. 1 2 "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  15. 1 2 "Monthly Averages for Crawfordsville, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  16. 1 2 Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Government of Indiana. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
  17. 1 2 3 4 Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Government of Indiana. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
  18. "Government". United Township Association of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  19. "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  20. "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  21. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  22. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  23. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  24. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  25. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  26. 1 2 3 "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  27. "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  28. "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10.

Coordinates: 40°02′N 86°53′W / 40.04°N 86.89°W / 40.04; -86.89

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