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Vigo County, Indiana
Vigo County Courthouse in Terre Haute, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Vigo County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Founded February 1, 1818
Named for Francis Vigo
Seat Terre Haute
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

410.46 sq mi (1,063 km²)
403.29 sq mi (1,045 km²)
7.17 sq mi (19 km²), 1.75%
 - (2010)
 - Density

267/sq mi (103/km²)
Congressional district 8th

Indiana county number 84

Vigo County (play /ˈvɡ/ US dict: vē′·gō or /ˈvɡ/ US dict: vī′·gō) is a county located along the western border of the U.S. state of Indiana. Vigo County is included in the Terre Haute, Indiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county seat is Terre Haute.[1]

According to the 2010 census, the population was 107,848;.[2] The county contains four incorporated settlements with a total population of nearly 63,000, as well as several unincorporated communities. It is divided into twelve townships which provide local services to the residents.[3]

The county is one of the best bellwether regions for voting U.S. presidential elections; it has voted for the winning candidate in every election since 1956[4] and in all but two elections since 1892.[5] It continued the trend in 2008, voting for Illinois Senator Barack Obama by a 16-point margin.


Sullivan County was formed in 1817, and the area that later became Vigo County was part of it until 1818, when the county was created by an act of the Indiana General Assembly which took effect on February 1. Its borders changed several times; in 1821, part of the county was formed into Parke County, and later that year Putnam County was formed which also affected Vigo's borders. The final change came in 1873 when the present boundaries were defined.[6] The county is named in honor of Colonel Francis Vigo, of Italian heritage but a citizen of Spain due to residence in St. Louis. He is credited with great assistance to George Rogers Clark both in financing Clark's exploration and Revolutionary War efforts, and in service as an agent obtaining military information for Clark against British campaigns on the then frontier.[7]


Map of Vigo County

To the north of Vigo County, the Wabash River defines the boundary between Vermillion and Parke counties; the river then enters Vigo County and winds to the south-southwest, defining the southern portion of the county's western border before continuing south along Sullivan County's western border. Clay County lies to the east. Across the state line are Edgar County to the northwest and Clark County to the southwest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 410.46 square miles (1,063.09 km2), of which 403.29 square miles (1,044.52 km2) is land and 7.17 square miles (18.57 km2) (or 1.75%) is water.[8]

In 1819, the year after the county was formed, it was divided into four townships: Honey Creek, Wabash, Harrison and Independence. Prairie Creek Township was formed later that year. In the following years more townships were formed and township borders were altered several times. Otter Creek, Raccoon and Sugar Creek townships were created in 1820, and Independence Township became known as Paris Township. Raccoon and Wabash townships became part of Parke County when it was split from Vigo County in 1821. Nevins and Riley were formed in 1822. In 1824, Paris Township was renamed again to Fayette Township. Pierson Township was created in 1829, then Lost Creek in 1831, then Linton in 1841 and finally Prairieton in 1857, for a total of twelve townships.[9]

There are four incorporated settlements within Vigo County. The largest, Terre Haute, has a population of almost 60,000 and covers all of Harrison Township and extends into several surrounding townships. West Terre Haute, as its name indicates, lies to the west, along U.S. Route 40; it has a population of about 2,300. The town of Seelyville lies to the east of Terre Haute, also along U.S. Route 40, with a population of about 1,200. The smallest town, Riley, is southeast of Terre Haute and has a population of only 160.

Unincorporated towns[]

  • Allendale
  • Burnett
  • Lewis
  • Libertyville
  • New Goshen
  • Pimento
  • Prairieton
  • St. Mary's
  • Sandford



Interstate 70 passes through the southern part of Terre Haute from east to west on its way from Indianapolis to Saint Louis, Missouri;[10] U.S. Route 40 roughly parallels Interstate 70 and passes through the middle of the city.[11] Both highways intersect U.S. Route 41, coming from Chicago to the north;[12] U.S. Route 150 enters from Paris, Illinois to the northwest and joins U.S Route 41 in downtown Terre Haute, and both continue south toward Vincennes.[13]

  • Indiana 42.svg Indiana State Road 42
  • Indiana 46.svg Indiana State Road 46
  • Indiana 63.svg Indiana State Road 63
  • Indiana 159.svg Indiana State Road 159
  • Indiana 246.svg Indiana State Road 246
  • Indiana 340.svg Indiana State Road 340
  • Indiana State Road 641*

(* SR 641 is currently under construction. It's current route begins at US 41 and ends at McDaniel Road)


Several CSX Transportation railroad lines meet in Terre Haute; one enters from the north, another from the Indianapolis area, and another from Vincennes; and two others enter from Illinois. There is also an Indiana Rail Road line which runs southeast from Terre Haute toward Bedford.[14]


The following public-use airports are located in the county:[15]

  • Terre Haute International Airport (HUF) in Terre Haute
  • Sky King Airport (3I3) in Terre Haute


The public schools in the county are part of the Vigo County School Corporation. During the 2009–10 school year, the schools served a total of 16,014 students.[16]

Climate and weather[]

Climate chart for Terre Haute, Indiana
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[17]

In recent years, average temperatures in Terre Haute have ranged from a low of 18 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −24 °F (−31.1 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in September 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.13 inches (54 mm) in January to 4.46 inches (113 mm) in May.[17]


The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code. 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.[18][19]

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.[18][19]

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.[19]

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.[19]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 3,390
1830 5,766 70.1%
1840 12,076 109.4%
1850 15,289 26.6%
1860 22,517 47.3%
1870 33,549 49.0%
1880 45,658 36.1%
1890 50,195 9.9%
1900 62,035 23.6%
1910 87,930 41.7%
1920 100,212 14.0%
1930 98,861 −1.3%
1940 99,709 0.9%
1950 105,160 5.5%
1960 108,458 3.1%
1970 114,528 5.6%
1980 112,385 −1.9%
1990 106,107 −5.6%
2000 105,848 −0.2%
2010 107,848 1.9%
Source: United States Department of Commerce,
Bureau of the Census, Population Division[20]

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 105,848 people, 40,998 households, and 26,074 families residing in the county. The population density was 262 inhabitants per square mile (101 /km2). There were 45,203 housing units at an average density of 112 per square mile (43 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.66% White, 6.04% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. 1.20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[21] 21.6% were of German, 21.0% American, 11.1% English and 9.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.[22]

There were 40,998 households out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.00% were married couples living together, 11.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.40% were non-families. 30.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.96.[21]

In the county the population was spread out with 22.90% under the age of 18, 14.30% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males.[21]

The median income for a household in the county was $33,184, and the median income for a family was $42,957. Males had a median income of $32,854 versus $22,381 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,620. About 10.30% of families and 14.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.[23]

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Vigo County, Indiana
  • Vigo County Courthouse
  • Vigo County Public Library


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  3. ^ "Indiana Township Association". Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  4. ^ David Leip (2003). "Bellwether States and Counties". Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  5. ^ Berkes, Howard. Indiana County Is A Presidential Election Oracle. National Public Radio, 2008-10-13.
  6. ^ Bradsby 1891, pp. 285–289.
  7. ^ Baker, Ronald L.; Carmony, Marvin (1975). Indiana Place Names. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 173. 
  8. ^ "Census gazetteer data for United States counties". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  9. ^ Bradsby 1891, pp. 647–649.
  10. ^ "Interstate 70". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Route 40". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Route 41". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Route 150". Highway Explorer. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  14. ^ "Indiana Railroads" (PDF). Indiana Department of Transportation. 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  15. ^ Public and Private Airports, Vigo County, Indiana
  16. ^ "Enrollment by Grade, Vigo County School Corp". Indiana Department of Education. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  17. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Terre Haute, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  18. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  19. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2". Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ a b c "DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  22. ^ "DP-2. Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  23. ^ "DP-3. Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 


External links[]

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Coordinates: 39°26′N 87°23′W / 39.43, -87.39

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