Saint Joseph County
Old St. Joseph County courthouse in South Bend, Indiana
Location within the U.S. state of Indiana
Indiana's location within the U.S.
|Named for||St. Joseph River|
|Largest city||South Bend|
|o Total||461.38 sq mi (1,195.0 km2)|
|o Land||457.85 sq mi (1,185.8 km2)|
|o Water||3.54 sq mi (9.2 km2) 0.77%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||580/sq mi (224/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
St. Joseph County, commonly called St. Joe County by locals, is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of Census 2010, the population was 266,931, making it the fifth-most populous county in Indiana. Formed in 1830, it was named for the St. Joseph River which flows through it toward Lake Michigan. The county seat is South Bend.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 461.38 square miles (1,195.0 km2), of which 457.85 square miles (1,185.8 km2) (or 99.23%) is land and 3.54 square miles (9.2 km2) (or 0.77%) is water.
|South Bend, Indiana|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in South Bend have ranged from a low of 16 °F (-9 °C) in January to a high of 83 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of -22 °F (-30 °C) was recorded in January 1943 and a record high of 109 °F (43 °C) was recorded in July 1934. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.98 inches (50 mm) in February to 4.19 inches (106 mm) in June.
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.
|A||Bobby Kruszynski, Jr.||Democratic|
|D||Rafael Morton, President||Democratic|
|G||Mark Catanzarite, Vice President pro tem||Democratic|
|I||Mark Root, President pro tem||Republican|
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.
|1||Andrew Kostielney, President||Republican|
|2||Dave Thomas, Vice President||Democratic|
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.
|Circuit Court||Michael Gotsch||Democratic|
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.
|Coroner||Michael J. McGann||Democratic|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 266,931 people, 103,069 households, and 66,365 families residing in the county. The population density was 583.0 inhabitants per square mile (225.1/km2). There were 114,849 housing units at an average density of 250.8 per square mile (96.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 78.7% white, 12.7% black or African American, 1.9% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 3.4% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 25.3% were German, 15.5% were Irish, 12.0% were Polish, 8.5% were English, and 4.5% were American.
Of the 103,069 households, 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.6% were non-families, and 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.07. The median age was 36.2 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $57,510. Males had a median income of $45,269 versus $31,667 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,082. About 10.7% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.7% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
The St. Joseph County Public Library was founded in 1889. Originally known as the South Bend Public Library, it was founded by the South Bend School Corporation and managed by Evelyn Humphries out of a floor of the Oliver Opera House. Humphries soon secured funding for the building of the Main Library which opened to the public in 1896. It was known as "The Castle" due to its unique architecture. In 1902, Virginia Tutt became the second library director. She opened the first library branch in Washington High School in 1918, which often served as a community center for Polish and Hungarian immigrants. The Betty Ruth Spiro Memorial Library replaced "The Castle" in 1959 as the new main library building in downtown South Bend. This building served the community until its renovation in 1992 led to a fire and subsequent damage from smoke and fire sprinklers. The renovation continued and the library was able to open 7 days later thanks to help from the community. In 2016 Main Library began looking at the need for an expanded space in downtown South Bend to meet the needs of the growing community. After working with consultants and architects, it was decided in October 2018 that Main Library will expand to include a community learning center, renovated exterior, and inner courtyard. St. Joseph County is considering cutting the library's funding by almost $500,000 a year. As a result, on September 5th, 2019, hundreds of residents protested in the streets, and all library branches closed early. Overflow crowds backed the county council meeting to show their support for the library. 
Technology hub where patrons can explore 3-D printing, poster printing, iPads, Adobe Creative Suite, gaming, virtual reality rigs, and recording rooms.
Books, newspapers, yearbooks, magazines, and other items of local significance can be examined. Online archives and genealogical websites are also available to reference in the creation of family trees.
SJCPL subscribes to over 50 databases that can aid in research, education, grant writing, and business development.
Library staff members will bring library materials directly to your home if requested.
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