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.

Howard County, Indiana

Howard County Education, Geography, and HistoryHoward County, Indiana Courthouse

Howard County is one of 92 counties in the state of Indiana. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 82,752.  Howard County was created on May 1, 1844. The county seat is Kokomo. The county is named for General Tilghman Howard, a United States Representative from Indiana.

Howard County is part of the Kokomo, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Howard County Name

The county is named for Tilghman A. Howard, Indiana statesman.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Howard County History

Howard County was formally organized May 1, 1844 as Richardville County. As this county nearly all within the old Miami Reserve, it was named after the Miami Chief and successor of Little Turtle, however, the sentiment did not prevail for any length of time and on December 28, 1846, the Legislature passed its first and only act changing the name of a county. Its first name honored Jean Baptiste Richardville, a chief of the Miami. Richardville's name was Pe-che-wa, which translates to Wildcat, hence Wildcat Creek.

In 1846, the name was changed to Howard County, in honor of Gen. Tilghman Howard, US Representative from Indiana, who died in 1844.

In June 1985 a school in the county known as Western School Corporation became famous for refusing to allow Ryan White (December 6, 1971 - April 8, 1990) to attend classes. White was a severe hemophiliac, becoming infected with HIV when receiving a tainted batch of blood products as part of his hemophilia treatment. At the time state law required sufferers of communicable diseases to seek a health certificate from the country health commission in order to attend school, and AIDS was considered a communicable disease covered by this law. Unsubstantiated rumors spread of antagonistic and unhealthful actions Ryan White may have taken, raising concerns about possible transmission of AIDS. This was before it was understood how difficult HIV transmission is through casual contact, only that infection was a virtual death sentence. Western School Corporation board members had taken an oath of office requiring them to uphold all state laws, so they banned White from school. State health officials visited the school and agreed that state law required this decision, although state health commissioner Woodrow Myers called for the school to allow White to attend anyway. Lengthy legal and publicity campaigns followed. Many news stories portraying the school as closed minded, backward, bigoted, etc. were published, including reports of school board proceedings that were published before the meetings even took place, naturally totally erroneous in their details. Eventually court rulings set aside state law preventing AIDS sufferers from receiving county health certificates. This satisfied the school board's objections, however over 117 parents and 50 teachers signed a petition encouraging school leaders to ban White from the school, and private legal proceedings ensued, which failed, and White finally began to attend school. Ultimately there was a movie produced. Some protestors persisted in demonstrations, but Ryan White's time as a student at Western proved uneventful.

Howard County is divided into 11 Civil Townships as follows: Center, Clay, Ervin, Harrison, Honey Creek, Howard, Jackson, Liberty, Monroe, Taylor and Union.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 294 square miles (761 km2), of which 293 square miles (759 km2) is land and 1 square mile (2 km2) (0.29%) is water.

Howard county is located close to the center of Indiana. Howard County Nature Study Area and Wildcat Creek Reservoir Park are located in this county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Miami County
  • East: Grant County
  • Southeast: Tipton County
  • Southwest: Clinton County
  • Northwest: Carroll County; Cass County


Colleges and universities

Indiana University Kokomo (IUK)
Indiana Wesleyan University - Kokomo Campus
Ivy Tech Community College
Purdue College of Technology

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