Rensselaer, Indiana

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Rensselaer is a city located along the Iroquois River in Marion Township, Jasper County, Indiana, United States. The population was 5,294 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Jasper County[3]. Rensselaer is home to Saint Joseph's College of Indiana.



Rensselaer is located at 40°56′17″N 87°9′5″W / 40.93806°N 87.15139°W / 40.93806; -87.15139 (40.938051, -87.151341)[4]. U.S. Route 231 and Indiana State Road 114 intersect in the downtown area. The Iroquois River flows through the south part of the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.7 km²), of which, 2.9 square miles (7.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (2.03%) is water.


This settlement, first platted on June 12, 1839, was originally named Newton and was established at the rapids of the Iroquois River. By 1844 it had been renamed to Rensselaer after James Van Rensselaer, a merchant from Utica, New York, who came to the area after his business failed in the Panic of 1837. He took over the land from Joseph D. Yeoman, who had established a farm some years earlier and had begun to plan the village.[5]

St. Joseph's Indian Normal School was established in 1888 and trained 60 Indiana Boys annually until 1896. The school was operated by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.


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