Clark County, Indiana

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Clark County
Clark County Courthouse Indiana 001.JPG
Clark County Courthouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Clark County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Indiana in United States.svg
Indiana's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°29′N85°43′W / 38.48°N 85.72°W / 38.48; -85.72
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Indiana.svg  Indiana
Founded3 February 1801
Named for General George Rogers Clark
Seat Jeffersonville
Largest cityJeffersonville
Area
  Total376.45 sq mi (975.0 km2)
  Land372.86 sq mi (965.7 km2)
  Water3.60 sq mi (9.3 km2)  0.96%%
Population
 (2020)
  Total121,093 Increase2.svg
  Density320/sq mi (120/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 9th
Website www.co.clark.in.us
 
  • Indiana county number 10
  • Second oldest county in Indiana

Clark County is a county in the U.S. state of Indiana, located directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. At the 2020 census, the population was 121,093. [1] The county seat is Jeffersonville. [2] Clark County is part of the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY–IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Clark County lies on the north bank of the Ohio River. A significant gateway to the state of Indiana, Clark County's settlement began in 1783. The state of Virginia rewarded General George Rogers Clark and his regiment for their victorious capture of Forts Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes from the British, by granting them 150,000 acres (610 km2) of land. A small portion of this land, 1,000 acres (4.0 km2), became known as Clarksville, the first authorized American settlement in the Northwest Territory, founded the next year in 1784. [3]

Clark County was formed on 3 February 1801, with territory annexed from Knox, the first county formed in the Territory in 1790. This original area in Clark County was subsequently altered and reduced with the formation of other counties: Harrison (1808), Franklin, Jefferson, and Wayne (1811), Switzerland and Washington (1814), Jackson and Ripley (1816), Jennings (1817), Crawford and Randolph (1818), Fayette and Floyd (1819), Scott (1820), Union (1821), Decatur and Rush (1822). [4]

The first county seat was established in Springville, on April 7, 1801. [3] Jeffersonville was platted in 1802, and on 9 June the Territorial Governor (William Henry Harrison) ordered that it be regarded as the county seat. However, on 14 December 1810, the seat designation was given to Charlestown, which retained the designation until 1873, when on 23 September the Jefforsonville mayor (Luther Warder) successfully campaigned for the county seat's return.

Clark County was a hotbed for antislavery sentiment during the territorial period. In 1807, citizens petitioned Congress to uphold the legal prohibition of slavery established in the Northwest Ordinance in response to efforts by Harrison and his supporters to have the prohibition repealed. Many settlers were Quakers who had migrated from North Carolina to escape the oppressive conditions of the slave states and did not want to see slavery be established in Indiana. [5]

From its beginning Clark County's history, culture and growth have been linked to the development of the river. Early nineteenth-century steamboats transported goods to the upper Ohio, providing opportunities for commercial and industrial growth in the county. In 1832, James Howard founded the Howard shipyards making Clark County a leader in shipbuilding. [6]

The railroad brought further economic growth. The Monon line spanned from New Albany to Chicago, and the Jeffersonville, Madison, and Indianapolis Railroad provided Clark County and southern Indiana with access to the northern trading centers of Indianapolis and Chicago.

Industries locating to Clark County during the nineteenth century included the Louisville Cement Company in Speed, Indiana and the Ford Plate Glass Company established in Jeffersonville in 1876.

During the 1920s, Clark County attracted the Colgate-Palmolive Company to the Clarksville Riverfront. Colgate purchased the former Indiana Reformatory building in 1923. The company rehabilitated and adapted the building for its dedication in 1924. It stayed in business until early 2008. [6]

During World War II the county prospered. The federal government began the Indiana Arsenal near Charlestown in 1940. [6] Producing smokeless powder for the war effort, the arsenal employed up to 20,000. Howard shipyards was commissioned by the Navy to produce landing craft. Later Howard shipyards reorganized as Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Company (Jeffboat) — a current major employer (1991). [6]

When the war ended, the county experienced significant residential and commercial growth, aided by the 1956 Interstate Act. The improved access provided by Interstate 65 encouraged additional subdivisions and shopping centers.

View of Louisville from Clarksville View of Louisville from Clarksville.jpg
View of Louisville from Clarksville

Clark County history has been closely associated with the development of the Ohio River. From its beginnings, Clark County relied on the river for economic opportunities. Clark County has diversified its economic base, lessened its dependency on the river, and continues to develop in new directions. However, the county still looks to the river as one link to its significant pioneer heritage.

Geography

Clark County lies on the east edge of Indiana; its eastern border abuts the northern border of the state of Kentucky (across the Ohio River). The terrain is low rolling hills, with the area either devoted to agriculture or urban development. The west part of the county is carved with drainages. [7] The highest point on the terrain is a ridge WNW of Henryville near the border with Scott County, at 1,030' (314m) ASL. [8]

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 376.45 square miles (975.0 km2), of which 372.86 square miles (965.7 km2) (or 99.05%) is land and 3.60 square miles (9.3 km2) (or 0.96%) is water. [9]

Adjacent counties

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated places

[10] [11]

Extinct towns

Townships

Major highways

Airport

Climate and weather

Jeffersonville, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
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Source: The Weather Channel [12]
Metric conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
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In recent years, average temperatures in Jeffersonville have ranged from a low of 25 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −22 °F (−30 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.79 inches (71 mm) in October to 4.88 inches (124 mm) in May. [12]

Two towns in Clark County, Marysville and Henryville suffered major damage during the tornado outbreak of March 2–3, 2012. [13]

Government

For most of its history, Clark County was a Democratic-leaning county, its politics more in line with neighboring Kentucky than Indiana. However, the county voted for the national winner in all but 2 elections from 1924 to 2004 (1952, 1968). Since the start of the second millennium, the county has trended strongly Republican, moving away from its previous near-bellwether status.

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 seven-member county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Four representatives are elected from county districts, and three are elected at large. 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. [14] [15]

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. [14] [15]

Courts: The Clark County Judicial System consists of 8 Courts:

Clark Circuit Court (Judge Daniel Moore) Clark Superior Court #1 (Judge Vicki Carmichael) Clark Superior Court #2 (Judge Jerome Jacobi) Clark Superior Court #3 (Judge Joe P. Weber) Jeffersonville City Court - Office Expired December 31, 2015 Charlestown City Court (Judge George Waters) Clarksville Town Court (Judge Samuel Gwin) Sellersburg Town Court (Judge Thomas Lowe)

By statute, the Circuit and Superior Courts have unlimited jurisdiction with the power to hear civil and criminal cases. City and Town Courts have jurisdiction to hear Ordinance violations and misdemeanor prosecutions, as well as civil actions where the amount in controversy does not exceed five hundred dollars ($500). Judgments in the City and Town Courts may be appealed de novo to the Clark Circuit Court. In addition, Clark Superior Court #3 maintains a Small Claims Docket. Local Rules of Practice may also limit the ability of a Court to hear certain cases. Judgments in other Courts may be appealed to the Indiana Court of appeals or the Indiana Supreme Court.

The Circuit and Superior Court Judges are assisted by 3 Magistrates, who are appointed and serve at the direction of the elected Judges.

The Circuit and Superior Court Judges are elected on a partisan basis, must reside within the county, and serve six-year terms. The City and Town Court Judges are elected to four-year terms on a partisan basis, and must reside within the City/Town.

Felony and Misdemeanor prosecutions are filed by the Prosecuting Attorney, who is elected on a partisan basis, must reside within the county, and serves a term of four years. The current Prosecuting Attorney, Steven D. Stewart, has been in Office since 1989. [15]

County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including prosecuting attorney, sheriff, coroner, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor, and circuit court clerk. These officers are elected to four-year terms. Members elected to county government positions must declare a party affiliation and be residents of the county. [15]

Elected county officials

Clark County is part of Indiana's 9th congressional district and is represented in Congress by Republican Trey Hollingsworth.; [16] Indiana Senate districts 45 and 46; [17] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 66, 70, 71, 72 and 73. [18]

Due to decadal redistricting and the 2022 general election, Clark County is now represented in the Indiana State General Assembly by District 45 Senator Chris Garten, District 66 Representative Zach Payne, District 70 Representative Karen Engleman, and District 71 Representative Rita Fleming.

The Clark County Council has 5 elected officials (as of May 2018). The Clark County Council of 2019 includes:

  • Barbara Hollis (District 1)
  • Janne Newland (District 2)
  • Brittney Ferree (District 3)
  • Steve Doherty (District 4)
  • David Abbott (At-Large)
  • John Miller (At-Large)
  • Kevin Vissing (At-Large) [19]
  • R. Scott Lewis (Attorney)

The three elected Clark County Commissioners are (as of 2019):

Other county office holders as determined by the 2022 general election:

  • Prosecutor: Jeremy Mull
  • Sheriff: Scottie Maples
  • Clerk: Ryan Lynch
  • Auditor: Danny Yost
  • Treasurer: Monty Snelling
  • Recorder: Steve Gill
  • Assessor: Butch Love
  • Surveyor: David Ruckman [21]
United States presidential election results for Clark County, Indiana [22]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.%No.%No.%
2020 33,66858.18%23,09339.91%1,1081.91%
2016 30,03557.99%18,80836.32%2,9465.69%
2012 25,45053.83%20,80744.01%1,0212.16%
2008 25,32652.89%21,95345.85%6051.26%
2004 24,49557.86%17,64841.68%1940.46%
2000 19,41752.01%17,36046.50%5591.50%
1996 14,39640.08%17,79949.56%3,72110.36%
1992 13,33336.34%17,46047.58%5,90116.08%
1988 16,54453.04%14,52846.58%1200.38%
1984 19,41957.48%14,13841.85%2280.67%
1980 15,50849.74%14,13745.34%1,5364.93%
1976 12,73242.82%16,67056.07%3291.11%
1972 16,11159.42%10,83839.97%1640.60%
1968 10,30538.33%11,49342.75%5,08818.92%
1964 7,70130.61%17,33068.89%1250.50%
1960 12,80346.89%14,43152.85%700.26%
1956 12,48351.09%11,87148.59%790.32%
1952 11,19048.60%11,70350.83%1320.57%
1948 7,00138.57%10,95360.34%1991.10%
1944 7,24142.39%9,77857.24%620.36%
1940 6,04440.02%9,01559.69%450.30%
1936 5,53634.83%10,11663.64%2441.53%
1932 5,88137.89%9,50161.21%1400.90%
1928 8,05656.39%6,19343.35%360.25%
1924 5,94451.70%5,21845.38%3362.92%
1920 6,46648.41%6,72950.38%1621.21%
1916 3,17346.15%3,57251.95%1311.91%
1912 80511.88%3,31548.93%2,65539.19%
1908 3,70646.56%4,08551.33%1682.11%
1904 3,64448.79%3,58748.03%2373.17%
1900 3,85547.78%4,13451.24%790.98%
1896 3,89750.23%3,78548.79%760.98%
1892 3,28044.23%4,01354.12%1221.65%
1888 3,20645.52%3,78853.78%490.70%

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1810 5,670
1820 8,70953.6%
1830 10,68622.7%
1840 14,59536.6%
1850 15,8288.4%
1860 20,50229.5%
1870 24,77020.8%
1880 28,61015.5%
1890 30,2595.8%
1900 31,8355.2%
1910 30,260−4.9%
1920 29,381−2.9%
1930 30,7644.7%
1940 31,0200.8%
1950 48,33055.8%
1960 62,79529.9%
1970 75,87620.8%
1980 88,83817.1%
1990 87,774−1.2%
2000 96,4729.9%
2010 110,23214.3%
2020 121,0939.9%
US Decennial Census [23]
1790-1960 [24] 1900-1990 [25]
1990-2000 [26] 2010-2019 [27]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 110,232 people, 44,248 households, and 29,474 families in the county. [28] The population density was 295.6 inhabitants per square mile (114.1/km2). There were 47,776 housing units at an average density of 128.1 per square mile (49.5/km2). [9] The racial makeup of the county was 87.1% white, 6.9% black or African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 2.6% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.9% of the population. [28] In terms of ancestry, 24.3% were German, 15.0% were Irish, 13.0% were American, and 9.8% were English. [29]

Of the 44,248 households, 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.4% were non-families, and 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.98. The median age was 37.9 years. [28]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $58,090. Males had a median income of $43,053 versus $32,361 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,592. About 9.0% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.9% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over. [30]

2020 census

Clark County Racial Composition [31]
RaceNum.Perc.
White (NH)95,40378.8%
Black or African American (NH)9,2657.65%
Native American (NH)2490.2%
Asian (NH)1,3051.1%
Pacific Islander (NH)1270.1%
Other/Mixed (NH)6,8535.7%
Hispanic or Latino 7,8916.5%

Education

There are three public school districts and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis that serve Clark County. The county is also served by two colleges that offer associate and bachelor's degrees.

Public school districts

Clarksville Community School Corp. [32]

  • Clarksville Senior High School
  • Clarksville Middle School
  • Greenacres Elementary School
  • George Rogers Clark Elementary School (Closed 05/2010)

West Clark Community School Corp. [33]

Greater Clark County Schools [34]

  • Charlestown Senior High School
  • Jeffersonville High School
  • New Washington High School
  • Charlestown Middle School
  • New Washington Middle School
  • Parkview Middle School
  • River Valley Middle School
  • Bridgepoint Elementary School
  • Maple Elementary School
  • New Washington Elementary School
  • Northaven Elementary School
  • Parkwood Elementary School
  • Pleasant Ridge Elementary School
  • Jonathan Jennings Elementary School
  • Riverside Elementary School
  • Spring Hill Elementary School
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
  • Utica Elementary School
  • Wilson Elementary School
  • Options Alternative School
  • Corden Porter School

Private schools

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Colleges and universities

See also

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Coordinates: 38°29′N85°43′W / 38.48°N 85.72°W / 38.48; -85.72