Indiana Counties
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Indiana Counties

Indiana is divided into ninety-two counties. The oldest and newest Counties in Indiana are Knox County (created 1790) and Newton County (created 1857).Many Indiana counties are named for the US Founding Fathers and personalities of the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and Battle of Tippecanoe; early leaders of Indiana Territory and Indiana, as well as surrounding states like Michigan and Kentucky; plus Native American tribes and geographical features.

Blackford County, Indiana

Blackford County Education, Geography, and HistoryBlackford County, Indiana Courthouse

Blackford County is located in the east central portion of the state of Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the county's population is 12,766. Blackford County was created on February 18, 1839. The county seat is Hartford City. The county is named for Judge Isaac Blackford, who was the first speaker of the Indiana General Assembly and a long-time chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.  

Etymology - Origin of Blackford County Name

The county is named for Judge Isaac Blackford, the first Speaker of the Indiana General Assembly.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Blackford County History

Blackford County was formed on April 2, 1838. The county is named for Judge Isaac Blackford, the first Speaker of the Indiana General Assembly. Blackford served as a Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court from 1817 to 1853. The county seat of Hartford City was selected June 10, 1841. The county, along with much of east central Indiana, experienced tremendous growth in the late 19th century due to the discovery of natural gas deposits in the area.

Blackford County is divided into 4 Civil Townships as follows: Harrison, Jackson, Licking and Washington.

The first settlement in the county was Montpelier, Indiana. It was started by John Blount and a group of settlers from Vermont who named it honor of their home state. Hartford City grew rapidly after being connected to Indianapolis by rail in the 1850s

 Blackford County is divided into four townships, and its county seat is Hartford City. Two incorporated cities and one incorporated town are located within the county. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns. Occupying only 165.58 square miles (428.9 km2), Blackford County is the fourth smallest county in Indiana.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 165 square miles (428 km2), of which 165 square miles (428 km2) is land and 0 square miles (1 km2) (0.19%) is water.

 Blackford county is located in northeast Indiana. The county has some small streams and lakes, although the lakes are man-made. The Salamonie River, flowing out of Jay County (Indiana) from the east, crosses the northeast corner of Blackford County. Big and Little Lick Creek flow westward in Licking and Jackson townships in the southern half of the county. Early settlers were attracted to Lick Creek, and then the Salamonie River, because the nearby land had suitable drainage for farming. The county's lakes include Lake Blue Water in Harrison Township; Cain's Lake, Shamrock Lakes and Lake Mohee in Licking Township; and Lake Placid in Jackson Township. Lake Blue Water is a spring-fed former stone quarry located one mile (1.6 km) east of Montpelier. The Shamrock Lakes (a group of six lakes) were created between 1960 and 1965, and the first lake was originally intended to be a water supply for a farmer's cattle.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Wells County
  • East: Jay County
  • South: Delaware County
  • West: Grant County


The county's five public schools are administered by the Blackford County School Corporation. During the 2010-11 school year, a total of 1,943 students attended these schools. The county school system was reorganized in 1963, after a county-wide vote favored a single school system for the entire county. As a result of this decision, Hartford City and Montpelier High Schools graduated their last classes in 1969, and a new high school serving the entire county was constructed in time for the 1969-1970 school year. Like the county, the new high school was named after Isaac Newton Blackford, and is called Blackford High School. The school is located a few miles north of Hartford City, and is therefore somewhat near the center of the county. The school was designed for 1,200 students, and initial enrollment totaled to 1,150 students, serving grades 9 through 12. Current high school enrollment is less than 650. All students in grades 7 and 8 attend Blackford Junior High School. Although the county was served by eight elementary schools during the 1980s, consolidations have decreased the number of elementary schools to three. Montpelier Elementary School serves grades 1 through 6, and also has kindergarten classes. In Hartford City, Southside Elementary School hosts a kindergarten and grades 1 through 3, while students in grades 4 through 6 attend Northside Elementary School.

At least four universities are located close to Blackford County. All four are located in adjacent counties, but are less than 25 miles (40 km) from Hartford City. Ball State University is the largest and most well known, and is located south of Hartford City in Muncie. Muncie is also home to Ivy Tech State College-East Central. Private school Indiana Wesleyan University is located in Marion, which is west of Montpelier. Another private school, Taylor University, is less than 10 miles (16 km) west of Hartford City in Upland

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