Allen County, Indiana

Allen County, Indiana

Infobox U.S. County
county = Allen County
state = Indiana

map size = 150
founded = 1 April 1824
seat = Fort Wayne | area_total_sq_mi =660
area_land_sq_mi =657
area_water_sq_mi =3
area percentage = 0.43%
census yr = 2000
pop = 342168
density_km2 = 195 | density_sq_mi = 505
web =

Allen County is the largest county (by area) in the state of Indiana, United States. As of 2007, the population was 349,488. The county seat and largest city is Fort WayneGR|6. Allen County is within a convert|250|mi|km|sing=on radius of 17 percent of the total United States population and within a day's drive of half of the nation's population [ [ Fort Wayne Facts] . Retrieved 2008-02-27.] , along with sitting nearly equidistant from Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, and Indianapolis. [ [ Fort Wayne Facts - City of Fort Wayne] . Retrieved on 2008-04-29.] Allen County's economy is based on insurance, manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture. [ [ Fort Wayne: Economy - City-Data] . Retrieved on 2008-04-29.]


Allen County was formed April 1, 1824. The county is named for Colonel John Allen, an attorney and Kentucky state senator who was killed in the War of 1812. Fort Wayne, founded at the Maumee River, St. Joseph River, and St. Marys River, was chosen as the county seat in May 1824.


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 seven member county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Four representatives are elected from county districts, and three members are elected at large. 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.cite web|author=Indiana Code|url= |title=Title 36, Article 2, Section 3|accessdate=2008-09-16|] cite web|author= Indiana Code |url= |title= Title 2, Article 10, Section 2 |accessdate=2008-09-16|]

Board of Commissioners: The executive body of the county is made of a three member 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, the collection of revenue, and managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.

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 terms of four years. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.

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 serve terms of four years and oversee different parts of the county government. Members elected to any county government position are required to declare a party affiliation and be a resident of the county.

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services.

Most of Allen County is part of Indiana's 3rd congressional district and in 2008 was represented by Mark Souder in the United States Congress. [cite web|url=|title=US Congressman Mark Souder|publisher=US Congress|accessdate=2008-10-08]

Allen County elected officials

*Board of Commissioners [ [ Allen County Government - Commissioners] . Retrieved on 2008-07-06.]
**Linda K. Bloom
**Bill Brown
**F. Nelson Peters
*Prosecuting Attorney, Karen E. Richards
*Sheriff, Kenneth C. Fries
*Chief Deputy Sheriff, David Gladieux
*County Treasurer, Robert Lee

(information as of July 2008)


The Allen County Courthouse was designed by Brentwood S. Tolan of Fort Wayne, and was built by James Stewart and Company of Saint Louis, Missouri. When the cornerstone was laid in 1897, the oldest man in the county, Louis Peltier, was present; he remembered Fort Wayne when it was a fort. The courthouse was completed in 1903 at a total cost of $817,553; it was one of the most expensive courthouses in the state, and was in the Beaux-Arts style. It was filled with artwork that cost more than other entire courthouses of the time. The building is now used primarily as a government annex, as most of the offices were moved across Main Street to the City-County Building in 1971. [cite book
last = Counts
first = Will
coauthors = Jon Dilts
title = The 92 Magnificent Indiana Courthouses
publisher = Indiana University Press
year = 1991
location = Bloomington, Indiana
isbn = 978-0253336385
pages = pp. 10-11


1830= 996
1840= 5942
1850= 16919
1860= 29328
1870= 43494
1880= 54763
1890= 66689
1900= 77270
1910= 93386
1920= 114303
1930= 146743
1940= 155084
1950= 183722
1960= 232196
1970= 280455
1980= 294335
1990= 300836
2000= 331849
estyear = 2007
estimate = 349488

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 331,849 people, 128,745 households, and 86,259 families residing in the county. The population density was 505 people per square mile (195/km²). There were 138,905 housing units at an average density of 211 per square mile (82/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 83.08% White, 11.31% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.02% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 4.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 33.3% were of German, 10.3% American, 7.4% Irish and 6.9% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 128,745 households out of which 34.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.50% were married couples living together, 11.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.00% were non-families. 27.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.70% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 30.00% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,671, and the median income for a family was $52,708. Males had a median income of $39,202 versus $25,980 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,544. About 6.70% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.40% of those under age 18 and 6.40% of those age 65 or over.

Fort Wayne is cited as having the highest Burmese refugee population in the United States, with between 3,000-3,500. [Linsenmayer, Steve, " [ A foot in the door: 300 refugees from Burma will move to Fort Wayne this year; getting them settled is a huge and challenging task ] ", "Fort Wayne News-Sentinel", July 12, 2007. (Accessed January 27, 2008)]


In the latter half of the 20th century, shifts in manufacturing patterns led to the reduction of the number of manufacturing plants and jobs in Allen County. However, Allen County's economy has diversified with time to include defense and security, healthcare, and insurance. [ [ Fort Wayne: Economy - City-Data] . Retrieved on 2008-04-29.] Agriculture is also a vital part of the county's economy. In 2008, "Forbes" ranked the Fort Wayne metropolitan area 73rd on its list of 200 metropolitan areas in the "Best Places For Business And Careers" report, based on factors such as the cost of doing business, cost of living, educational attainment, and crime rate. [ Forbes Best Places For Business And Careers Fort Wayne Profile] . Retrieved on 2008-04-09.] Fort Wayne was ranked 7th in cost of living and 11th in cost of doing business.

: Corporations headquartered in Allen County:


Allen County is the home of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). With an enrollment of 11,943, it is the fifth-largest public university campus in Indiana. The county is also home to the main campus of the Northeast Region of Ivy Tech Community College, the second-largest public community college campus in the state. In addition, Indiana University (IU) maintains the Fort Wayne Center for Medical Education, a branch of the IU School of Medicine.

Allen County's private colleges and universities include religious-affiliates and secular institutions. Religious-affiliated schools include the University of Saint Francis (Roman Catholic), Concordia Theological Seminary (Lutheran), an Adult Learning Center of Concordia University Wisconsin (Lutheran), Taylor University Fort Wayne (Evangelical Christian), and Indiana Wesleyan University (Wesleyan Church). Non-religious colleges and universities include the Indiana Institute of Technology (IIT) as well as regional branches of Trine University, Brown Mackie College, Indiana Business College, and International Business College.

By means of private education, Roman Catholic residents of Allen County are served by the schools of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Two of the four high schools in the diocese, Bishop Dwenger High School and Bishop Luers High School, are located in Allen County. Of the 39 grade schools in the diocese, 13 are also located within the county. Lutheran Schools of Indiana operates 14 schools within Allen County, including Concordia Lutheran High School. Canterbury School, an independent, college preparatory school, and Blackhawk Christian School serve students K-12.


The residents of Allen County are served by the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) system, comprising fourteen branches, offering materials to patrons since it was founded in 1895 as the Fort Wayne Public Library. The entire library system began overhauling all branches in 2002, finishing work by late 2006, with the exception of the centerpiece of the project, the main library branch, which opened in a grand opening January 2007. The main library now contains convert|367000|sqft|m2, featuring an art gallery, underground parking garage, bookstore, café, and community auditorium. [ [ Allen County Public Library - Main Library Branch] . Retrieved on 2008-05-17.]

According to data from 2005, 5,405,090 materials were borrowed by patrons, and 2,506,718 visits were made throughout the library system. [ [ Allen County Public Library Expansion and Renovation Project ] ] The main library branch also contains the second largest genealogy department in the United States, the Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department, home to more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche. [ [ Allen County Public Library: Genealogy] . Retrieved on 2008-06-10.] [ [ Genealogy and Local History in Union County, Ohio - Archives and Libraries] . Retrieved on 2008-05-27.] Also, the Fort Wayne metropolitan area, was acknowledged by "Places Rated Almanac" in 1998 as holding the highest "reading quotient" of any metropolitan area in the nation. [ [ Fort Wayne Community Net: Libraries ] ] [ [ Allen County Public Library: about us] . Retrieved on 2008-06-10.]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 660 square miles (1,710 km²), of which 657 square miles (1,702 km²) is land and 3 square miles (7 km²) (0.43%) is water. It is the largest county in Indiana, land-wise, but ranks as a 'small county' in comparison with the western states.

Adjacent counties

Allen County is one of the few counties in the United States to border as many as nine counties. Indiana actually has two such counties, with nearby Grant County also bordering nine others. Allen and Grant Counties share Huntington and Wells Counties as common neighbors.

*Noble County (northwest)
*DeKalb County (northeast)
*Defiance County, Ohio (northeast)
*Paulding County, Ohio (east)
*Van Wert County, Ohio (southeast)
*Adams County (southeast)
*Wells County (southwest)
*Huntington County (southwest)
*Whitley County (west)

Cities, towns, and townships

*Fort Wayne
*New Haven
*Zanesville (partial)Unincorporated
*Ari (partial)
*Boston Corner
*Dunn Mill
*Halls Corners
*Hessen Cassel
*Lake Everett
*East Liberty
*Waynedale (annexed)Townships
*Aboite Township
*Adams Township
*Cedar Creek Township
*Eel River Township
*Jackson Township
*Jefferson Township
*Lafayette Township
*Lake Township
*Madison Township
*Marion Township
*Maumee Township
*Milan Township
*Monroe Township
*Perry Township
*Pleasant Township
*Scipio Township
*Springfield Township
*St. Joseph Township
*Washington Township
*Wayne Township




* Fort Wayne International Airport
* Smith Field


* Chicago Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad
* CSX Transportation
* Maumee and Western Railroad
* Norfolk Southern Railway


Further reading

*cite book
first = Richard L. (editor)
last = Forstall
year = 1996
title = Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 : from the twenty-one decennial censuses
publisher = United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Population Division
id = ISBN 0-934213-48-8

External links

* [ Allen County official website]
* [ Allen County Parks Department]
* [ Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor]
* [ Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society and Museum]
* [ ARCH, Inc. (Allen County historic architecture preservation group)]
* [ Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau]

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