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Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indianamarker. As of 2000, the population was 41,335. The county seat is Brownstownmarker .


Jackson County was formed in 1816. It was named for Andrew Jackson, who defeated the British in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleansmarker in the War of 1812, and later became President.

Jackson County was the site of the first recorded train robbery of a moving train in the United States. On October 6, 1866 the Reno Gang robbed an Ohio & Mississippi Railway train making off with over $10,000.

Jackson County is home to the second longest covered bridge in the United States. However, due to decades of neglect the bridge is on the verge of collapse and has been closed to pedestrian traffic. Another long neglected covered bridge, the Bells Ford Bridge, which was the last remaining Post Truss bridge in the world, succumbed to similar neglect, collapsing into the White River on January 2, 2006.

Because the Bell's Ford Bridge used a metal truss it was able to be largely salvaged, however, the Commissioner President Gary Darlage has been quoted as saying: "There is nothing left of the Bell Ford Bridge and I will not spend another tax dollar on it. Ninety percent of the people in this county think it is asinine to even consider rebuilding that bridge. By asking for any amount of money to be used on it, you are asking me to do something I don’t believe is right." Although it has been brought to Darlage's attention that federal funds could be used to restore the Bell's Ford Bridge, Darlage has refused to request federal funds, saying, "I guess I’m just not a historic person. The average taxpayer sees it as their tax money, even if it is federal money."


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.

Jackson County is part of Indiana's 9th congressional district and is represented in Congress by Democrat Baron Hill.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 514 square miles (1,331 km²), of which 509 square miles (1,319 km²) is land and 4 square miles (12 km²) (0.86%) is water.

Cities and towns


Adjacent counties

Major highways

Sources: National Atlas, U.S. Census Bureau

National protected areas


As of the census of 2000, there were 41,335 people, 16,052 households, and 11,573 families residing in the county. The population density was 81 people per square mile (31/km²). There were 17,137 housing units at an average density of 34 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.13% White, 0.55% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.54% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 2.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 33.7% were of Americanmarker, 30.6% German, 8.1% English and 7.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 16,052 households out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.90% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,401, and the median income for a family was $45,210. Males had a median income of $31,505 versus $22,301 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,400. About 6.50% of families and 8.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.70% of those under age 18 and 9.00% of those age 65 or over.

Jackson County

Population by year

2000 41,335

1990 37,730

1980 36,523

1970 33,187

1960 30,556

1950 28,237

1940 26,612

1930 23,731

1920 24,228

1910 24,727

1900 26,633

1890 24,139

1880 23,050

1870 18,974

1860 16,286

1850 11,047

1840 8,961

1830 4,870

1820 4,010

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