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Owen County, Indiana
Owen County Indiana Courthouse.jpg
Owen County in Spencer, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Owen County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1819
Named for Abraham Owen
Seat Spencer
Largest town Spencer
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

387.82 sq mi (1,004 km²)
385.29 sq mi (998 km²)
2.54 sq mi (7 km²), 0.65%
 - (2010)
 - Density

56/sq mi (21.63/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Footnotes: Indiana county number 60

Owen County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana, and determined by the U.S. Census Bureau to include the mean center of U.S. population in 1920. As of 2010, the population was 21,575.[1] The county seat is Spencer.[2]

Owen County is part of the Bloomington, Indiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 387.82 square miles (1,004.4 km2), of which 385.29 square miles (997.9 km2) (or 99.35%) is land and 2.54 square miles (6.6 km2) (or 0.65%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • US 231.svg U.S. Route 231
  • Indiana 42.svg Indiana State Road 42
  • Indiana 43.svg Indiana State Road 43
  • Indiana 46.svg Indiana State Road 46
  • Indiana 67.svg Indiana State Road 67
  • Indiana 157.svg Indiana State Road 157
  • Indiana 243.svg Indiana State Road 243
  • Indiana 246.svg Indiana State Road 246


Owen County was formed in 1819. It was named after Abraham Owen, a colonel who died at the Battle of Tippecanoe.

In 1920, the United States Census reported Owen County as the Center of Population for the US at a point 8 miles south-southeast of Spencer, Indiana. The center moved the shortest distance since census data collecting began in 1790 (just under 10 miles) from its previous center in Bloomington, IN. When the East experienced high rates of growth, as it did in the decades between 1890 and 1920, the Westward movement of the center slowed.[4]

Climate and weather[]

Climate chart for Spencer, Indiana
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[5]

In recent years, average temperatures in Spencer have ranged from a low of 15 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −33 °F (−36.1 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.56 inches (65 mm) in January to 4.97 inches (126 mm) in May.[5]


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 fiscal body of the county government. It has seven members, three of which are elected county-wide (commonly referred to at-large members) and four of which are elected from districts. District One includes Harrison, Montgomery, Taylor, and Wayne Townships including the Town of Gosport. District Two includes Washington Township including the Town of Spencer. District Three includes Jackson, Jennings, Lafayette, and Morgan Townships. District Four includes Clay, Franklin, Jefferson, and Marion Townships. All council members serve four-year terms with at-large members elected during Presidential election cycles and district members elected during the other election cycles. One of the council members serves as president and another as vice-president. The council is 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. Several local boards such as the Alcoholic Beverage Board and Library Board have a member or members appointed by the council.[6][7][8]

Board of Commissioners: The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners with three members. The commissioners are elected county-wide, however each must reside in their respective districts, two of which are elected during Presidential election cycles and the other during the other election cycles. Each serves a four-year term. The District One member must reside in Harrison, Jackson, Jennings, Montgomery, Taylor, or Wayne Townships. The District Two member must reside in Clay, Franklin, or Washington Townships. The District Three member must reside in Jefferson, Lafayette, Marion, or Morgan Townships. One of the commissioners serves as president and another as vice-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.[6][7][9]

Court: The county has a Circuit Court. The judge on the court is elected to a term of six years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association.[7][10]

County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, prosecutor, assessor, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor and clerk of the circuit court. 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.[7]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 838
1830 4,017 379.4%
1840 8,359 108.1%
1850 12,106 44.8%
1860 14,376 18.8%
1870 16,137 12.2%
1880 15,901 −1.5%
1890 15,040 −5.4%
1900 15,149 0.7%
1910 14,053 −7.2%
1920 12,760 −9.2%
1930 11,351 −11.0%
1940 12,090 6.5%
1950 11,763 −2.7%
1960 11,400 −3.1%
1970 12,163 6.7%
1980 15,841 30.2%
1990 17,281 9.1%
2000 21,786 26.1%
2010 21,575 −1.0%
Est. 2013 21,021 −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 21,786 people, 8,282 households, and 6,194 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 9,853 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.21% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 0.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 36.6% were of American, 21.0% German, 9.3% Irish and 8.9% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 8,282 households out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.30% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.20% were non-families. 21.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.60% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,529, and the median income for a family was $41,282. Males had a median income of $32,011 versus $21,782 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,884. About 6.10% of families and 9.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.00% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[]

  • Gosport
  • Spencer

Unincorporated towns[]

Coal City, Freedom, Patricksburg, Quincy [16]


  • Clay
  • Franklin
  • Harrison
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson
  • Jennings
  • Lafayette
  • Marion
  • Montgomery
  • Morgan
  • Taylor
  • Washington
  • Wayne

See also[]

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


  1. ^ a b "Owen County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  4. ^ United States Census Center of Population - 1920
  5. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Spencer, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  6. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  7. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  8. ^ Owen County Government, Owen County Council,
  9. ^ Owen County Government, Owen County Commissioners,
  10. ^ Owen County Government, Circuit Court,
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ Owen County GIS,

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°19′N 86°50′W / 39.31, -86.84

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Owen 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.