Jasper County, Indiana

Jasper County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2000, the population was 30,043. The county seat is Rensselaer.


Jasper County was formed in 1838. It was named for Sgt. William Jasper, a famous scout for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Jasper became famous in 1776, during the bombardment of Fort Moultrie, for erecting a new flagstaff under fire after the American flag had been shot down. Jasper was killed during the Siege of Savannah in 1779.


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.

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, the collection of revenue, and managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.

Court: 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 also elected to terms of four years. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.

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 serve terms of four years and oversee different parts of the county government. Members elected to any county government position are required to declare a party affiliation and be a resident of the county.

Lake County is part of Indiana's 1st congressional district and in 2008 was represented by Pete Visclosky in the United States Congress.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 561 square miles (1,454 km²), of which 560 square miles (1,450 km²) is land and 1 square mile (4 km²) (0.24%) is water. Until the middle of the 19th century when it was drained to make farmland, this county was part of the 2nd largest freshwater wetland in the US with abundant flora and fauna.

Major highways


Adjacent counties


'''Jasper County
Population by year

2000 30,043
1990 24,960
1980 26,138
1970 20,429
1960 18,842
1950 17,031
1940 14,397
1930 13,388
1920 13,961
1910 13,044
1900 14,292
1890 11,185
1880 9,464
1870 6,354
1860 4,291
1850 3,540
1840 1,267

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,043 people, 10,686 households, and 8,217 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 11,236 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.97% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.63% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. 2.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.9% were of German, 13.2% Dutch, 12.9% American, 10.5% Irish, 8.4% English and 5.9% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 10,686 households out of which 36.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.40% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.10% were non-families. 19.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.40% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,369, and the median income for a family was $50,132. Males had a median income of $38,544 versus $22,191 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,012. About 4.60% of families and 6.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns



Public schools in Jasper County are administered by the Kankakee Valley School Corporation and the Rensselaer Central Schools Corporation.

High Schools

Middle Schools

Elementary Schools

External links


  • Forstall, Richard L. (editor) (1996). Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 : from the twenty-one decennial censuses. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Population Division. ISBN 0-934213-48-8.

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