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Starke County, Indiana

Starke County, Indiana
Starke County Courthouse in Knox
Starke County Courthouse in Knox
Location in the state of Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Country United States
State Indiana
Region Michiana
Established February 7, 1835
Named for Gen. John Stark
County seat Knox
Largest city Knox
(population and total area)
 • Type County
 • Body Board of Commissioners
 • Commissioner Kent Danford
 • Commissioner Jennifer Davis
 • Commissioner Kathryn Norem
 • Total 312.21 sq mi (808.6 km2)
 • Land 309.13 sq mi (800.6 km2)
 • Water 3.07 sq mi (8.0 km2)
Area rank 65th largest county in Indiana
Elevation 712 ft (217 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 23,363
 • Estimate (2013) 23,197
 • Rank 78th largest county in Indiana
1,679th largest county in U.S.[1]
 • Density 75.6/sq mi (29.2/km2)
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes 46348, 46366, 46374, 46511, 46531-32, 46534, 46574, 46960
Area code 574
Congressional district 2nd
Indiana Senate district 5th
Indiana House of Representatives district 17th
FIPS code 18-149
GNIS feature ID 0450389
U.S. Routes

State Routes


Starke County

Waterways Kankakee RiverYellow River
  • Indiana county number 75
Demographics (2010)[2]
White Black Asian
97.1% 0.3% 0.2%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.0% 0.3% 2.1% 3.3%

Starke County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 23,363.[3] The county seat is Knox.[4]


  • History 1
  • Name 2
  • Geography 3
    • Major highways 3.1
    • Adjacent counties 3.2
  • Municipalities 4
    • Cities and towns 4.1
    • Census-designated places 4.2
    • Unincorporated communities 4.3
  • Townships 5
  • Education 6
  • Hospitals 7
  • Climate and weather 8
  • Government 9
  • Demographics 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Starke County was created in 1835[5] and organized in 1850.[6] It was named for Gen. John Stark,[7] who commanded New Hampshire troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 in the Revolutionary War and defeated the British at the Battle of Bennington in 1777.[8]

Before white settlement, all of the land that forms modern-day Starke County and adjacent LaPorte County to the north belonged to the Potawatami Indian nation. These Indians were forcibly removed to Kansas by the United States government in 1838, and many died on what has been called the Trail of Death.[9][10]

When Starke County was created, it included the area of land that today comprises the LaPorte County townships of Cass, Dewey, Hanna, and Prairie. It was necessary for residents in this area to travel some distance east to Lemon's Bridge to cross the Kankakee River in order to travel south to the center of the county, the future site of the county seat at Knox. Therefore, because they were effectively isolated from the rest of Starke county, residents north of the river petitioned to be annexed to LaPorte county and this was done on January 28, 1842.[11]


Despite being named after General John Stark and originally being known and appearing on maps as Stark County[12] when initially created and organized, an e was added to the county's name fairly early in its history. There does not seem to be any solid evidence to clearly explain this alteration. There are at least three as yet unsubstantiated explanations for the change. It is possible that an early scribe had 'fancy lettering', including a k with a long tail or flourish that appeared to others as ke, the new spelling sticking.[13] It has also been said that General Stark himself used a similar flourish at the end of his signature[14] which became a point of confusion to Indiana officials. This seems most unlikely when one considers that Stark County in Ohio (1808) and Illinois (1839) both preceded Starke County, Indiana and offered clear precedence and guidance on the spelling of the name, not to mention other numerous settlements within the United States named after the General also preceding Starke County. Lastly, and possibly most plausibly, it is thought that the change occurred around 1860 as the result of a clerical error by an official in Indianapolis.[15]


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 312.21 square miles (808.6 km2), of which 309.13 square miles (800.6 km2) (or 99.01%) is land and 3.07 square miles (8.0 km2) (or 0.98%) is water.[16] The northwestern boundary of Starke County is defined by the Kankakee River; the Yellow River, a tributary of the Kankakee, flows through the central part of the county, past Knox.[17]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


The municipalities in Starke County, and their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:

Cities and towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


The nine townships of Starke County, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:


Public schools in Starke County are administered by four different districts:


  • Indiana University Health Starke Hospital, Knox – 53 beds

Climate and weather

Knox, Indiana
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[22]

In recent years, average temperatures in Knox have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−34 °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 1.68 inches (43 mm) in February to 4.09 inches (104 mm) in June.[22]


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.[23][24]

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.[23][24]

Court: The judge on the court is elected to a term of six years. The judge is assisted by a magistrate who is appointed by the judge. The court handles criminal and civil cases, and has a small claims division. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.[24]

County Officials: 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 to be residents of the county.[24]

Starke County is part of Indiana's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives; a district that has been represented by Jackie Walorski since January 2013.


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,363 people, 9,038 households, and 6,484 families residing in the county.[30] The population density was 75.6 inhabitants per square mile (29.2/km2). There were 10,962 housing units at an average density of 35.5 per square mile (13.7/km2).[16] The racial makeup of the county was 97.1% white, 0.3% American Indian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.3% of the population.[30] In terms of ancestry, 27.2% were German, 16.3% were Irish, 8.9% were English, 8.7% were American, and 6.9% were Polish.[31]

Of the 9,038 households, 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.3% were non-families, and 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.02. The median age was 40.4 years.[30]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $44,044. Males had a median income of $37,507 versus $28,628 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,991. About 12.9% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.1% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.[32]

See also


  1. ^ "USA Counties in Profile". STATS Indiana. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  2. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics 2010, Table DP-1, 2010 Demographic Profile Data. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  3. ^ a b "Starke County QuickFacts".  
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ WorldHeritage Indiana counties. Retrieved 1-1-2010 http://articles/Indiana_counties
  6. ^ Starke county historical society, General Information. Retrieved 1-1-2010
  7. ^ Baker, Ronald L.; Marvin Carmony (1995). Indiana Place Names. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 158.  
  8. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. p. 577. 
  9. ^ "Starke County Public Library factsheet" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "History of 1838 Trail of Death". 
  11. ^ Brief history of LaPorte county
  12. ^ "Stark County, Indiana, 1857". 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County".  
  17. ^ Indiana Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.:  
  18. ^ "Culver Community Schools - Welcome!". 
  19. ^ "Knox Community School Corporation". 
  20. ^ "North Judson-San Pierre Schools". North Judson-San Pierre Schools. 
  21. ^ "Oregon Davis". 
  22. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Knox, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  23. ^ a b  
  24. ^ a b c d  
  25. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  26. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data".  
  31. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates".  
  32. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates".  

External links

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