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Jay County, Indiana
Jay County Courthouse P4020129.jpg
Jay County Courthouse
Map of Indiana highlighting Jay County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1836
Named for John Jay
Seat Portland
Largest city Portland
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

384.08 sq mi (995 km²)
383.90 sq mi (994 km²)
0.18 sq mi (0 km²), 0.05%
 - (2010)
 - Density

55/sq mi (21.39/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Footnotes: Indiana county number 38
Jay County Sheriff's Department
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Jay, Indiana, United States
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction
General nature
Operational structure
Agency executive
  • Larry Newton, Sheriff

Jay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 21,253.[1] The county seat is Portland.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Jay County was formed in 1836. It is the only county in the United States named for John Jay, co-author of The Federalist Papers, Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Articles of Confederation, and first Chief Justice of the United States.[3] John Jay died in 1829.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 384.08 square miles (994.8 km2), of which 383.90 square miles (994.3 km2) (or 99.95%) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) (or 0.05%) is water.[4]

Cities and towns[edit | edit source]

Townships[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated communities[edit | edit source]

Adjacent counties[edit | edit source]

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Sources: National Atlas,[5] U.S. Census Bureau[6]

Climate and weather[edit | edit source]

Climate chart for Portland, Indiana
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[7]

In recent years, average temperatures in Portland have ranged from a low of 15 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−33.9 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 102 °F (39 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.87 inches (47 mm) in January to 4.40 inches (112 mm) in July.[7]

Government[edit | edit source]

The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code.

County Council: The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Representatives are elected from county districts. The council members serve four-year terms. They 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.[8][9]

Board of Commissioners: 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 the day-to-day functions of the county government.[8][9]

Court: The county maintains circuit and superior courts with the latter having a small claims division. Both courts have general jurisidction with the circuit court having exlcusive jurisdiction of juvenile and probate matters. The judges of each court are elected to a six (6) year term and must be admitted to practice law before the state supreme court. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.[9]

County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including prosecuting attorney, assessor, 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 to be residents of the county.[9]

Jay County is part of Indiana's 6th congressional district; Indiana Senate district 27;[10] and Indiana House of Representatives district 33.[11]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 3,863
1850 7,047 82.4%
1860 11,399 61.8%
1870 15,000 31.6%
1880 19,282 28.5%
1890 23,478 21.8%
1900 26,818 14.2%
1910 24,961 −6.9%
1920 23,318 −6.6%
1930 20,846 −10.6%
1940 22,601 8.4%
1950 23,157 2.5%
1960 22,572 −2.5%
1970 23,575 4.4%
1980 23,239 −1.4%
1990 21,512 −7.4%
2000 21,806 1.4%
2010 21,253 −2.5%
Est. 2013 21,330 −2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 21,806 people, 8,405 households, and 6,017 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 9,074 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.64% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 1.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

41.7% were of English ancestry, 28.1% were of German ancestry, and 8.6% were of Irish ancestry according to the 2010 American Community Survey.

There were 8,405 households out of which 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.40% were non-families. 24.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.00% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 14.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,700, and the median income for a family was $41,850. Males had a median income of $31,031 versus $21,015 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,686. About 5.80% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.40% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.

Literary reference[edit | edit source]

Jens looked at a map he'd filched from an abandoned gas station. If he was where he thought he was, he'd soon be approaching the grand metropolis of Fiat, by God, Indiana. He managed a smile when he saw that, and declaimed, "And God said, Fiat, Indiana, and there was Indiana."

--Harry Turtledove, Worldwar: In the Balance, New York:Random House (1994), Chapter 14, copyright 1994 by Harry Turtledove. The reference is to the unincorporated town of Fiat near the intersection of Indiana State Routes 1 and 18 in Jay County.

See also[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Montgomery, M.W. History Of Jay County, Indiana (1864). Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing (2010). ISBN 1-166-18084-0

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b "Jay County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 168. 
  4. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  5. ^ National Atlas
  6. ^ U.S. Census Bureau TIGER shape files
  7. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Portland, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  8. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  9. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  10. ^ "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  11. ^ "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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Coordinates: 40°26′N 85°01′W / 40.43, -85.01

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