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Ohio County, Indiana

Ohio County, Indiana
Ohio County courthouse in Rising Sun
Map of Indiana highlighting Ohio County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1844
Named for Ohio River
Seat Rising Sun
Largest city Rising Sun
 • Total 87.43 sq mi (226 km2)
 • Land 86.14 sq mi (223 km2)
 • Water 1.29 sq mi (3 km2), 1.48%
 • (2010) 6,128
 • Density 71/sq mi (27.28/km²)
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4


  • Indiana county number 58
  • Smallest county in Indiana in area
  • Least populated county in Indiana

Ohio County is a county located in southeastern Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 6,128.[1] The county seat and only incorporated municipality is Rising Sun.[2][3] The county was officially established in 1844 and was one of the last Indiana counties to be created. It is the smallest county in the state in terms of both area and population.

Ohio County borders the state of Kentucky across the Ohio River for which it was named. It is part of the Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The county is divided into four townships which provide local services.[4][5] Three state roads pass through or into the county.[6]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Transportation 3
  • Education 4
  • Climate and weather 5
  • Government 6
  • Demographics 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Dearborn County was formed as part of the Indiana Territory in 1803, and its borders were modified several times, both before and after the creation of the state of Indiana in 1816. Switzerland County was formed from part of Dearborn County in 1814. Ohio County also came out of Dearborn County, but not until much later in March 1844.[7] It was named for the Ohio River, which defines its eastern border.[8]

The Ohio County courthouse was built in the county seat of Rising Sun in 1845. It is a two-story Greek Revival brick building measuring about 60 feet (18 m) by 40 feet (12 m), including the portico supported by Doric pillars.[9] This courthouse is still in use and is the oldest continuously-used courthouse in the state.[10]


Map of Ohio County, showing townships and settlements

Ohio County is bordered by Dearborn County to the north, across Laughery Creek which forms the border between the two counties. A short portion of the western border, less than 2 miles (3.2 km) long, is shared with Ripley County to the northwest. Switzerland County lies to the south, and Boone County, Kentucky lies across the Ohio River to the east. According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 87.43 square miles (226.4 km2), of which 86.14 square miles (223.1 km2) (or 98.52%) is land and 1.29 square miles (3.3 km2) (or 1.48%) is water.[11]

The county's sole incorporated settlement is the city of Rising Sun, which is located in the far east part of the county on the banks of the Ohio River. There are many small unincorporated communities throughout the county:

The county is divided into four townships: Cass, Pike, Randolph and Union.[4]

Rising Sun, on the Ohio River.


There are no interstate or U.S. highways in the county, although U.S. Route 50 in Dearborn County passes within 2 miles (3.2 km) of Ohio County's northern border.[12] Three state roads pass through or into the county. State Road 56 enters from Switzerland County to the south and passes east along the southern border, then north through Rising Sun and along the river, continuing north to Dearborn county.[13] State Road 156 hugs the river in Switzerland County, and enters the far southeast part of Ohio County before terminating where it meets State Road 56.[14] State Road 262 enters from Dillsboro to the northwest and terminates in Rising Sun near the river.[15]

There are no active railroad lines in the county.[16]


Ohio County has two schools managed by a single school corporation.[17] The Ohio County Elementary–Middle School served a total of 636 students during the 2009–2010 school year.[18] Rising Sun High School served a total of 264 students during the same period.[19]

Climate and weather

Rising Sun, Indiana
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[20]

In recent years, average temperatures in Rising Sun have ranged from a low of 21 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −23 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in July 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.92 inches (74 mm) in October to 4.83 inches (123 mm) in June.[20]


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.[21][22]

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.[21][22]

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 which is shared with neighboring Dearborn County.[22][23]

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.[22]

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.[5] The trustee is assisted in these duties by a three-member township board. The trustees and board members are elected to four-year terms.[24]

Ohio County is part of Indiana's 9th congressional district; Indiana Senate district 43;[25] and Indiana House of Representatives district 68.[26]


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 6,128 people, 2,477 households, and 1,737 families residing in the county.[32] The population density was 71.1 inhabitants per square mile (27.5/km2). There were 2,784 housing units at an average density of 32.3 per square mile (12.5/km2).[11] The racial makeup of the county was 98.1% white, 0.4% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.1% of the population.[32] In terms of ancestry, 33.5% were German, 12.6% were Irish, 12.2% were American, and 7.3% were English.[33]

Of the 2,477 households, 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.9% were non-families, and 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.91. The median age was 43.7 years.[32]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $64,271. Males had a median income of $49,241 versus $30,536 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,703. About 5.5% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.[34]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Ohio County QuickFacts".  
  2. ^ "Find a County – Ohio County, IN". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  3. ^ "Ohio County, Indiana – County Subdivision and Place. GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000".  
  4. ^ a b "Ohio". Indiana Township Association. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  5. ^ a b "Duties". United Township Association of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  6. ^ "Indiana Transportation Map 2009–2010" (PDF). Indiana Department of Transportation. 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  7. ^ History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana 1885, p. 111–119.
  8. ^ Baker, Ronald L.; Carmony, Marvin (1975). Indiana Place Names. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 121. 
  9. ^ History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana 1885, pp. 123–124.
  10. ^ Counts, Will; Jon Dilts (1991). The 92 Magnificent Indiana Courthouses. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 162–3.  
  11. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County".  
  12. ^ "U.S. Route 50". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  13. ^ "State Road 56". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  14. ^ "State Road 156". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  15. ^ "State Road 262". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  16. ^ "State of Indiana 2011 Rail System Map" (PDF). Indiana Department of Transportation. 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Ohio County School Corporations". Indiana Department of Education. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  18. ^ "Ohio County Elem-Middle Sch - Overview". Indiana Department of Education. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  19. ^ "Rising Sun High School - Overview". Indiana Department of Education. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  20. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Rising Sun, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  21. ^ a b  
  22. ^ a b c d  
  23. ^ "Indiana Trial Courts: Types of Courts". Indiana Courts. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  24. ^ "Government". United Township Association of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  25. ^ "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  26. ^ "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  27. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  28. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  32. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data".  
  33. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates".  
  34. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates".  

External links

  • History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana. Chicago: Weakley, Harraman and Company, Publishers. 1885. 
  •  "Ohio. III. A S. E. county of Indiana".  

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