LaPorte County, Indiana
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LaPorte County, Indiana
LaPorte County, Indiana
LaPorte County Courthouse in La Porte, Indiana
LaPorte County Courthouse in La Porte, Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°36?N 86°43?W / 41.600°N 86.717°W / 41.600; -86.717Coordinates: 41°36?N 86°43?W / 41.600°N 86.717°W / 41.600; -86.717
Country United States
State Indiana
RegionsNorthwest Indiana and Michiana
Metro areaChicago Metropolitan
EstablishedApril 1, 1832
Named for"The Door" or "The Port" (fr.)[1]
County seatLa Porte
Largest cityMichigan City
(population and total area)
 o TypeCounty
 o BodyBoard of Commissioners
 o CommissionerMichael Bohacek (R, 1st)
 o CommissionerDavid L. Decker (D, 2nd)
 o CommissionerVidya Kora (D, 3rd)
 o County613.26 sq mi (1,588.3 km2)
 o Land598.30 sq mi (1,549.6 km2)
 o Water14.96 sq mi (38.7 km2)
 o Metro
10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)
Area rank2nd largest county in Indiana
 o Region2,726 sq mi (7,060 km2)
778 ft (237 m)
Highest elevation
[3]- SW Galena Twp
957 ft (292 m)
Lowest elevation
[4]- at Lake Michigan
581 ft (177 m)
 o County111,467
 o Estimate 
 o Rank15th largest county in Indiana
542nd largest county in U.S.[5]
 o Density186/sq mi (72/km2)
 o Metro
 o Region
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 o Summer (DST)UTC−5 (Central)
ZIP Codes
Area code219
Congressional districts1st and 2nd
Indiana Senate districts5th and 8th
Indiana House of Representatives districts9th, 17th and 20th
FIPS code18-091
GNIS feature ID0450507
InterstatesI-80.svg Indiana Toll Road logo 1968.svg I-90.svg I-94.svg
U.S. RoutesUS 6.svg US 12.svg US 20.svg US 30.svg US 35.svg US 421.svg
State RoutesIndiana 2.svg Indiana 4.svg Indiana 8.svg Indiana 39.svg Indiana 104.svg Indiana 212.svg
AirportsLa Porte Municipal
Michigan City Municipal
WaterwaysEast Arm Little Calumet River
Kankakee River
Lake Michigan
Little Calumet River
Trail Creek
Amtrak stationMichigan City
South Shore Line stations11th Street - Carroll Avenue Hudson Lake
Public transitMichigan City Transit
  • Indiana county number 46
Demographics (2010)[6]
White Black Asian
84.1% 10.8% 0.5%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.0% 0.3% 4.3% 5.5%

LaPorte County[7] is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 111,467.[8] The county seat is the city of La Porte,[9] and the largest city is Michigan City.

This county is part of the Northwest Indiana and Michiana regions of the Chicago metropolitan area.

The LaPorte County Courthouse is located in the county seat of La Porte and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


LaPorte County was formed in 1832. La porte means "the door" or "the port" in French.[1] French travelers or explorers so named the area after discovering a natural opening in the dense forests that used to exist in this region, providing a gateway to lands further west.[10][11]

Before European-American settlement, all of the land that forms modern-day LaPorte County, and adjacent Starke County to the south belonged to the Potawatomi Indian nation. These Indians were forcibly removed to Kansas by the United States government in 1838, and many died on what survivors called the Trail of Death.[12][13]

LaPorte County's initial European-American settlers were Yankee migrants, that is to say they were from New England or were from upstate New York and had parents who were from New England, and were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the colonial era. They were part of a wave of New England settlers moving west into what was then the Northwest Territory after the completion of the Erie Canal through the Mohawk Valley of New York State.

These first settlers in LaPorte County specifically hailed from the Massachusetts towns of Granville, Boston, Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Andover, Nantucket Island, and Hampshire County; the Connecticut towns of Colchester, Wethersfield, Granby, and New Haven; the New Hampshire towns of Bradford, Amherst and Goffstown; the Vermont villages of Dorset, Albany and Fairfax; many also came from Orange County, Vermont, Caledonia County, Vermont and Penobscot County, Maine. They were mainly members of the Congregational Church. As result of the Second Great Awakening, many became Baptists and many also converted to Pentecostalism and Methodism. When they arrived in what is now LaPorte County, there was nothing but virgin forest and prairie. The New England settlers cleared roads and brush, developed farms, constructed churches, erected government buildings, and established post routes. As a result of this migration, La Porte County was partially culturally continuous with early New England culture for many years.[14]

But by 1850, the three Eastern states that had contributed the most residents to LaPorte County were New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, surpassing those migrants from New England. LaPorte County had the largest number of Southerners north of the Wabash Valley.[15]

During the Civil War, the Louisville Journal noted that the 29th Indiana Regiment (mustered out of LaPorte) "may almost be regarded as a Kentucky regiment for a large majority of its members are either natives or descendants of native Kentuckians".[16]

When the county was initially proposed and organized, its boundaries did not extend as far south or east as they do today. A section of land north of the Kankakee River originally belonged to Starke County. However, residents living in that area had difficulty crossing the river in order to reach the rest of the county. It was necessary to travel some distance east to Lemon's bridge, before making the journey south. Effectively isolated from the rest of Starke County, these residents asked that their land be annexed to LaPorte County, which was completed on January 28, 1842. Thereafter, the Kankakee River formed the southern boundary of the county. Finally, on January 10, 1850, some twenty sections of land were annexed from St. Joseph County to the east, giving LaPorte County the boundaries that essentially exist to this day.[12]

Whether the correct spelling of the city and county is "La Porte" or "LaPorte" is disputed,[17] although state law refers to "LaPorte County."[18][19]

LaPorte County is noted for being the place of the Belle Gunness serial murders. Gunness lived on a farm on the outskirts of the county.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 613.26 square miles (1,588.3 km2), of which 598.30 square miles (1,549.6 km2) (or 97.56%) is land and 14.96 square miles (38.7 km2) (or 2.44%) is water.[20] The highest point, at 957 feet (292 m),[3] is in southwestern Galena Township near County Roads East 600 North and North 150 East. The lowest point, at 581 feet (177 m),[4] is along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Major highways



The municipalities in LaPorte County and their populations as of the 2010 Census:



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


LaPorte County contains 21 townships, more than any other county in the state.[21] The townships, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:

Public libraries

The county is served by five different public library systems:

  • LaCrosse Public Library[22]
  • LaPorte County Public Library has its main location in La Porte as well as the Coolspring, Fish Lake, Hanna, Kingsford Heights, Rolling Prairie and Union Mills branches.[23]
  • Michigan City Public Library[24]
  • Wanatah Public Library[25]
  • Westville-New Durham Township Public Library has its main location in Westville.[26]


Climate and weather

La Porte, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[28]

In recent years, average temperatures in La Porte have ranged from a low of 12 °F (-11 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of -28 °F (-33 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.68 inches (43 mm) in February to 4.79 inches (122 mm) in June.[28]


Public schools in LaPorte County are administered by seven different districts:

Colleges and Universities


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.[37][38]

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.[37][38]

Court: The county has five elected trial court judges. They include the LaPorte Circuit Court and Superior Courts one through four. The judges are elected to six-year terms on partisan ballots. Superior Courts three and four maintain small claims dockets. Decisions from any trial court may be appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals.[38] The Circuit Court and Superior court three are located in the city of La Porte; Superior courts one, two and four are located in Michigan City.

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.[38]

LaPorte County is part of Indiana's 2nd congressional district and is represented by Jackie Walorski in the United States Congress. It is also part of Indiana Senate districts 5 and 8[39] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 9, 17 and 20.[40]

County elected officials:

Presidential elections results
Presidential election results[44]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 49.7% 22,687 43.4% 19,798 6.9% 3,124
2012 42.6% 18,615 55.2% 24,107 2.2% 959
2008 38.1% 17,918 60.1% 28,258 1.8% 842
2004 49.1% 20,916 49.6% 21,114 1.4% 576
2000 47.8% 18,994 49.7% 19,736 2.6% 1,017
1996 35.8% 14,106 50.5% 19,879 13.7% 5,392
1992 35.2% 14,962 41.7% 17,717 23.0% 9,784
1988 53.6% 20,537 45.9% 17,585 0.4% 163
1984 59.0% 23,346 40.2% 15,904 0.8% 317
1980 55.3% 22,424 38.0% 15,387 6.7% 2,727
1976 54.1% 21,989 44.8% 18,217 1.1% 449
1972 66.0% 26,243 33.2% 13,222 0.8% 311
1968 49.8% 20,295 38.7% 15,780 11.6% 4,708
1964 42.2% 16,270 57.6% 22,220 0.3% 104
1960 52.7% 22,738 47.1% 20,317 0.2% 85
1956 62.9% 24,622 36.8% 14,417 0.3% 103
1952 59.8% 22,576 39.8% 15,011 0.4% 146
1948 52.5% 15,661 46.6% 13,923 0.9% 275
1944 54.1% 16,543 45.5% 13,896 0.4% 129
1940 53.3% 15,771 46.4% 13,732 0.3% 90
1936 42.8% 11,722 56.1% 15,359 1.1% 311
1932 41.3% 10,739 57.3% 14,890 1.4% 366
1928 61.3% 14,763 38.4% 9,254 0.2% 58
1924 61.2% 11,597 27.5% 5,214 11.3% 2,132
1920 65.0% 11,204 31.7% 5,459 3.3% 575
1916 50.3% 5,726 46.3% 5,276 3.4% 385
1912 24.9% 2,701 44.6% 4,847 30.5% 3,314
1908 49.5% 5,824 48.3% 5,680 2.2% 256
1904 55.7% 5,952 41.8% 4,472 2.5% 265
1900 49.5% 4,809 49.3% 4,783 1.2% 119
1896 50.3% 4,691 48.4% 4,511 1.4% 127
1892 42.0% 3,548 55.6% 4,703 2.4% 206
1888 44.1% 3,722 54.6% 4,607 1.3% 109


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 111,467 people, 42,331 households, and 28,228 families residing in the county.[50] The population density was 186.3 inhabitants per square mile (71.9/km2). There were 48,448 housing units at an average density of 81.0 per square mile (31.3/km2).[20] The racial makeup of the county was 84.1% white, 10.8% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 2.0% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.5% of the population.[50] In terms of ancestry, 30.7% were German, 15.3% were Irish, 11.5% were Polish, 8.3% were English, and 5.9% were American.[51]

Of the 42,331 households, 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.3% were non-families, and 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.00. The median age was 39.6 years.[50]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $56,679. Males had a median income of $45,537 versus $30,774 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,599. About 9.9% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.[52]

See also


  1. ^ Other = Combined percentages for American Indian or Alaska Native; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; other races; and two or more races


  1. ^ a b "Origin of Indiana County Names". Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "LaPorte County". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  3. ^ a b Springville Quadrangle - Indiana - LaPorte Co (Map). 1:24,000. 7.5-Minute Series (Topographic). United States Geological Survey. 2013.
  4. ^ a b Michigan City West Quadrangle - Indiana - LaPorte Co (Map). 1:24,000. 7.5-Minute Series (Topographic). United States Geological Survey. 2013.
  5. ^ "USA Counties in Profile". STATS Indiana. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics 2010, Table DP-1, 2010 Demographic Profile Data. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  7. ^ LaPorte County Information Technology. "LaPorte County Online Government".
  8. ^ a b "La Porte County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Calumet Beginnings: Schoon, Kenneth J. (2003)
  11. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & co. p. 560.
  12. ^ a b "La Porte County Historical Society". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008.
  13. ^ "History of 1838 Trail of Death".
  14. ^ The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865, by Lois Kimball Matthews, pp. 201-202
  15. ^ Lang, Elfrieda. "Southern Migration to Northern Indiana Before 1850." Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 349-356. 1954. Lang, Elfrieda. "An Analysis of Northern Indiana's Population in 1850." Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 49, Issue 1, March 1953. Rose, Gregory C." Upland Southerners: The County Origins of Southern Migrants." Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 82, Issue 3, September 1991.
  16. ^ La Porte Herald, 19 October 1861, p. 2
  17. ^ Stephens, Dave (2012-01-22). "La(?)Porte's Space Odyssey". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Indiana Code 33-33-46.
  19. ^ Indiana Code 3-3-5.
  20. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  21. ^ Daniels, E. D. (1904). A twentieth century history and biographical record of La Porte County, Indiana. Lewis Publishing Co. p. 38.
  22. ^ "LaCrosse Public Library". Retrieved .
  23. ^ "LaPorte County Public Library". Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Michigan City Public Library". Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Wanatah Public Library". Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Westville-New Durham Township Public Library". Retrieved .
  27. ^ "Franciscan Health is New Name for Leading Hospital System". Franciscan Alliance, Inc. September 6, 2016. Retrieved .
  28. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for La Porte, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "John Glenn School Corporation".
  30. ^ "LaPorte Community School Corporation".
  31. ^ "Metropolitan School District of New Durham Township".
  32. ^ "Michigan City Area Schools".
  33. ^ "New Prairie United School Corporation".
  34. ^ "South Central Community School Corporation".
  35. ^ "Tri-Township Consolidated School Corporation".
  36. ^ Joseph S. Pete (March 5, 2016). "Purdue University Northwest now officially exists". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved .
  37. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Retrieved .
  38. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Retrieved .
  39. ^ "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved .
  40. ^ "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved .
  41. ^ LaPorte County Information Technology. "Board of Commissioners".
  42. ^ LaPorte County Information Technology. "LaPorte County Council".
  43. ^, 219-548-4345, Bob Kasarda. "Democrat John Lake wins race for LaPorte County prosecutor".
  44. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved .
  45. ^ "American FactFinder". Retrieved 2019.
  46. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014.
  47. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2014.
  48. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014.
  49. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014.
  50. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  51. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES - 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  52. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS - 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  53. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table DP03, Selected Economic Charactaristics. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  54. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table DP04, Selected Housing Charactaristics. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-28.

External links

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