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Delaware County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indianamarker. As of 2000, the population was 118,769. The county seat is Munciemarker . It is part of the Muncie, IN, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 396 square miles (1,025 km²), of which 393 square miles (1,019 km²) is land and 3 square miles (7 km²) (0.66%) is water.

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History

Delaware County was formed in 1827. It was named for the Delaware, a Native American people who still lived in the county. The Delaware were removed from the county in the 1840s. The county was once home to The Prophet, the brother of Tecumseh who instigated a native uprising in 1811. David Conner was the first settler to live in the county in the early 1810s.

Following the American Civil War the county experienced an economic boom after the discovery of natural gas that fueled rapid industrial growth in the surrounding area.

The first discovery of natural gas in Indiana occurred in the town of Eaton, in 1876. A company was drilling for coal and when they had reaching a depth of six-hundred feet, there was a great noise and bad smelling fumes began to come from the hole. After a partial investigation, many concluded that they had breached the ceiling of Hell, and the hole was quickly filled in. In 1884, when natural gas was discovered in nearby Ohio, the townsfolk recalled the incident and returned to the location and opened the state of Indiana's first natural gas well. The gas was so abundant and strong, that when the well was lit, the flames could be see from Munciemarker.

Government

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.

Demographics

Delaware County

Population by year



2000 118,769

1990 119,659

1980 128,587

1970 129,219

1960 110,938

1950 90,252

1940 74,963

1930 67,270

1920 56,377

1910 51,414

1900 49,624

1890 30,131

1880 22,926

1870 19,030

1860 15,753

1850 10,843

1840 8,843

1830 2,374

1820 3,677



As of the census of 2000, there were 118,769 people, 47,131 households, and 29,692 families residing in the county. The population density was 302 people per square mile (117/km²). There were 51,032 housing units at an average density of 130 per square mile (50/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.73% White, 6.72% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 1.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.7% were of Americanmarker, 20.9% German, 12.2% English and 9.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 47,131 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.50% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.00% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18, 16.90% from 18 to 24, 25.60% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,659, and the median income for a family was $45,394. Males had a median income of $36,155 versus $23,268 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,233. About 9.00% of families and 15.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.70% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over.

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