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Lawrence County, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Lawrence County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1818
Named for James Lawrence
Seat Bedford
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

452.07 sq mi (1,171 km²)
448.83 sq mi (1,162 km²)
3.24 sq mi (8 km²), 0.72%
 - (2010)
 - Density

103/sq mi (39.69/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Indiana county number 47

Lawrence County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 46,134. The county seat is Bedford[1].


Lawrence County was formed in 1818 from Orange County. It was named for Capt. James Lawrence, who uttered the famous words "Don't give up the ship" after being mortally wounded during the War of 1812.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 452.07 square miles (1,170.9 km2), of which 448.83 square miles (1,162.5 km2) (or 99.28%) is land and 3.24 square miles (8.4 km2) (or 0.72%) is water.[2]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • US 50.svg U.S. Route 50
  • Indiana 37.svg Indiana State Road 37
  • Indiana 54.svg Indiana State Road 54
  • Indiana 58.svg Indiana State Road 58
  • Indiana 60.svg Indiana State Road 60
  • Indiana 158.svg Indiana State Road 158
  • Indiana 446.svg Indiana State Road 446

National protected area[]

  • Hoosier National Forest (part)

Cities and towns[]



  • Bono
  • Buddha
  • Fayetteville
  • Judah
  • Pinhook
  • Springville
  • Williams


  • Bono
  • Guthrie
  • Indian Creek
  • Marion
  • Marshall
  • Perry
  • Pleasant Run
  • Shawswick
  • Spice Valley

Local Sights[]

  • Joe Palooka Statue- a statue of a comic strip character Joe Palooka, dedicated in 1948, is located near the town hall in Oolitic.

Native Astronauts[]

Lawrence County has had several native residents that have become astronauts over the years. They include:

  • Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, killed in the Apollo 1 accident
  • Charles Walker
  • Kenneth Bowersox

The Virgil I. Gus Grissom Memorial, located just inside of Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell, contains many mementos of Grissom's career, including the space capsule he commanded, "The Molly Brown", from Gemini 3, and the space suit worn during his Mercury Liberty Bell 7 mission.[3]

Climate and weather[]

Climate chart for Bedford, Indiana
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[4]

In recent years, average temperatures in Bedford have ranged from a low of 18 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−33.9 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 111 °F (44 °C) was recorded in July 1930. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.70 inches (69 mm) in February to 5.04 inches (128 mm) in May.[4]


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.[5][6]

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, collecting revenue, and managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.[5][6]

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 a four-year term. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.[6]

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 serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to declare party affiliations and to be residents of the county.[6]

Lawrence County is part of Indiana's 4th congressional district; Indiana Senate district 44;[7] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 62 and 65.[8]


Lawrence County
Population by year

2010 46,134
2000 45,922
1990 42,836
1980 42,472
1970 38,038
1960 36,564
1950 34,346
1940 35,045
1930 35,583
1920 28,228
1910 30,625
1900 25,729
1890 19,792
1880 18,543
1870 14,628
1860 13,692
1850 12,097
1840 11,782
1830 9,234
1820 4,116

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 45,922 people, 18,535 households, and 13,141 families residing in the county. The population density was 102 people per square mile (40/km²). There were 20,560 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.92% White, 0.39% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.9% were of American, 15.3% German, 14.3% English and 10.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 18,535 households out of which 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,280, and the median income for a family was $43,109. Males had a median income of $34,167 versus $21,647 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,653. About 7.30% of families and 9.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.60% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.

Lawrence County is the hometown of several astronauts. Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom was born and raised in Mitchell. Charles "Charlie" Walker was born and raised in Oolitic. Although he was born in Virginia, Kenneth "Kenny" Bowersox considers Bedford to be his hometown since that is where he was raised.

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Lawrence County, Indiana


  • 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. 

Coordinates: 38°50′N 86°29′W / 38.84, -86.49

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Lawrence County, Indiana. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.