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Tipton County, Indiana

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Title: Tipton County, Indiana  
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Subject: List of Indiana townships, Tipton, Indiana, Windfall, Indiana, Kempton, Indiana, Sharpsville, Indiana
Collection: 1844 Establishments in Indiana, Indiana Counties, Kokomo Metropolitan Area, Tipton County, Indiana
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Tipton County, Indiana

Tipton County, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Tipton 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 John Tipton
Seat Tipton
Largest city Tipton
 • Total 260.57 sq mi (675 km2)
 • Land 260.54 sq mi (675 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0 km2), 0.01%
 • (2010) 15,936
 • Density 61/sq mi (23.63/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Footnotes: Indiana county number 80

Tipton County 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.[1] The county seat is Tipton.[2] The county has four incorporated towns with a total population of about 7,000,[3] as well as many small unincorporated communities. It is divided into six townships which provide local services.[4][5] Three Indiana state roads and one U.S. Route cross the county,[6] as do two railroad lines.[7]

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 and was one of the last Indiana counties to be settled.


  • History 1
    • Courthouse 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate and weather 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
    • Agriculture 4.1
    • Banking 4.2
  • Government 5
  • Education 6
    • Early history 6.1
    • Today 6.2
  • Media 7
  • Infrastructure 8
    • Transportation 8.1
  • Notable people 9
  • See also 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • Bibliography 13
  • External links 14


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.[8] 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.[9]

The first murder to take place in the county was in October 1851. Harvey Moon stabbed Andrew Hornbeck, with a knife, to death. Moon went to Indianapolis for his trial because a jury was unable to be successfully secured in Tipton County. He was sentenced to five years in prison. He escaped prison and was never seen again.[10]


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.[n 1] 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.[n 2][12]

The present courthouse was designed by

  • The Official website for Tipton County Indiana
  • Tipton County information & community website
  • Tipton County Chamber of Commerce
  • The Dunham House Located in Kempton, Tipton County

External links

  • Pershing, Marvin W. "History of Tipton County, Indiana: Her People, Industries and Institutions". Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen (1914).


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Goodspeed 1883, pp. 1–2.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Pershing, p. 248
  11. ^ a b c Williamson, Samuel H. (April 2010). Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present. MeasuringWorth. Calculations made using Nominal GDP Per Capita, a measure of capital intensivity, using "the 'average' per-person output of the economy in the prices of the current year." This is a measure of the amount of capital and volume of labor required to reproduce the work over varying production methods, but assuming that money represents a proportion of the economy.
  12. ^ Goodspeed 1883, pp. 18–20.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Hurst 1914, p. 1–2.
  15. ^ Hurst 1914, p. 10.
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^
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  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b c
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Pershing, p. 214
  36. ^ Pershing, p. 215
  37. ^ Pershing, p. 219
  38. ^ Pershing, p. 221
  39. ^ Pershing, p. 222
  40. ^ Pershing, p. 216
  41. ^ Pershing, p. 237
  42. ^ a b
  43. ^ a b c d
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ Pershing, p. 195
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^ Pershing, p. 223
  53. ^ Pershing, p. 224
  54. ^ Pershing, p. 226
  55. ^ Pershing, p. 228
  56. ^
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  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
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  63. ^
  64. ^


  1. ^ A $1,200 capital expense in 1845 would be roughly equivalent to $602,000 in 2010.[11]
  2. ^ A $15,000 capital expense in 1858 would be roughly equivalent to $5,200,000 in 2010.[11]
  3. ^ A $171,000 capital expense in 1894 would be roughly equivalent to $39,000,000 in 2010.[11]


See also

John Bunch was born in Tipton in 1921 and became a jazz pianist. While still in his early teens, he was playing in local clubs, and went on to play with the bands of Woody Herman, Benny Goodman and Maynard Ferguson. He composed many original works, and continued playing in various roles through early 2010. He died in Manhattan soon after his last engagement; he was 88 years old.[64]

Charles Benjamin "Babe" Adams was born in Tipton in 1882. He became a baseball pitcher, and aside from a single game played for the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1906, he played his entire Major League career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was known for his location control. His last Major League game was in 1926. He died in 1968 at age 86.[63]

Notable people

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.[7]

Though they do not run through the county, three other state roads touch its southeastern corner. State Road 13 and State Road 37 share the same route here while approaching Elwood.[60][61] The point where they touch the corner of Tipton County is also the western terminus of State Road 128.[62]

No interstate highways run through Tipton County. U.S. Route 31 runs through the western part of the county, entering from Howard County and Kokomo in the north and continuing to Hamilton County and Indianapolis in the south.[56] State Road 19 and State Road 28 intersect in the county seat of Tipton.[57][58] State Road 213 runs from north to south in the eastern part of the county, passing through the town of Windfall.[59]



The Tipton County Tribune was founded in 1895. The paper continues to be published today.[55]

The first newspaper founded in the county was the Tipton County Democrat in 1855. The paper changed its name, in 1857, to Western Dominion. The paper was sold in 1858 to G.W. Fisher who changed the paper's name to the Tipton County Times.[52] The paper's name was changed again in 1862 to the Democratic Union, and then back to the Tipton County Times in 1869. The Tipton Republican was founded in the county in 1860.[53] The newspaper closed when the editor in chief joined the army. Additional newspapers founded during this period included the Enterprise (1872), the Tipton Advance, (1874), a second Tipton Republican (1876), The Advocate (1878), the Windfall Herald (1891), the Kempton Courier (1907), the Saturday Express (1882), and the Windfall News (1876). None of these papers exist today.[54]


Tipton County has six schools, managed by three school corporations.[48] 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.[49] In the north part of the county, Tri-Central Community Schools (formerly Northern Community Schools) includes an elementary school and a combined middle and high school, both located in Sharpsville; these schools served a total of 970 students during the same school year.[50] 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.,[51] but it closed in 2014 due to declining enrollment.


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 a day for their work. 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.[47]

Early history


Tipton County is part of Indiana's 5th congressional district; Indiana Senate districts 20 and 21;[45] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 32 and 35.[46]

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.[44]

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.[43]

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.[43]

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.[42][43]

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.[42][43]


The first bank founded in the county was Vickrey Bank in Tipton in the mid-1800s. The bank eventually became Union Bank and finally Farmers Loan and Trust Company. In 1876, the Tipton County Bank was founded. It merged with First National Bank in 1902. Other historical banks in the county included Citizens National Bank (1898), Farmers Loan and Trust Company (1906), People's State Bank (1892), Sharpsville Bank (1902) and the State Bank of Kempton (1900). None of these banks exist today. Farmers' State Bank was formed in 1914 and remains in business today as First Farmers Bank & Trust.[41]


[40] By the early 20th century, corn and wheat were primary crops.[39] The Tipton County Agricultural Society was organized in August 1855. They held the first county

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.[35] Upon early settlement, corn, wheat, oats, rye, flax, and potatoes were the primary early crops grown in the county. Hay was grown in the prairie areas.[36] Fruit was profitable in the county up until 1880, but blight lessened yield and fruit growing almost halted.[37]


Tipton County's economy is supported by a labor force of approximately 7,169 workers with an unemployment rate in September 2011 of 8.8%.[34]


Tipton County jail
Another view of the courthouse

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.[33]

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.[31]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,936 people, 6,376 households, and 4,517 families residing in the county.[31] 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).[16] 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.[31] In terms of ancestry, 28.5% were German, 14.5% were American, 12.3% were English, and 9.6% were Irish.[32]


Tipton County is in the humid continental climate region of the United States along with most of Indiana. Its Köppen climate classification is Dfa,[23] meaning that it is cold, has no dry season, and has a hot summer.[24] 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.[22] 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.[25]

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

Climate and weather

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 2000 was 5251.[17] Kempton is located near the western border in Jefferson Township and has a population of 380.[18] The town of Sharpsville is located near the northern border, in Liberty Township; its population is 618.[19] Wildcat Township contains Windfall City, which has a population of 712.[20] 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.[3] The county also contains several unincorporated communities.[21]

The county is divided into six townships: Cicero, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Prairie and Wildcat.[4]

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.[16]

Most of the county consists of level till plain with elevations from 850 feet (260 m) to 900 feet (270 m) above sea level.[14] 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.[15]

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.

Map of Tipton County


[13] It is one of several Romanesque courthouses dating from the 1890s that are still in use.[n 3]

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