Starke County, Indiana

related topics
{county, mile, population}
{household, population, female}
{area, part, region}
{war, force, army}
{mi², represent, 1st}

Indiana county number 75

Starke County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2000, the population was 23,556. The county seat is Knox[1].



Starke County was created in 1835[2] and organized in 1850.[3] It was named for Gen. John Stark,[4] who commanded New Hampshire troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 in the Revolutionary War and defeated the British at the Battle of Bennington in 1777.[5]

Before white settlement, all of the land that forms modern-day Starke County and adjacent LaPorte County to the north belonged to the Potawatami Indian nation. These Indians were forcibly removed to Kansas by the United States government in 1838, and many died on what has been called the Trail of Death.[6][7]

When originally created, the area of land that today comprises the LaPorte County townships of Cass, Dewey, Hanna and Prairie belonged to Starke County. It was necessary for residents in this area to travel some distance east to Lemon's Bridge to cross the Kankakee River in order to travel south to the center of the county, the future site of the county seat at Knox. Therefore, due to the fact that they were effectively isolated from the rest of Starke county, residents north of the river petitioned to be annexed to LaPorte county and this was done on January 28 1842. [8]


Despite being named for Gen. John Stark and originally being known and appearing on maps as Stark County[9] when initially created and organized, an e was added to the county's name fairly early in its history. There appears to be no solid evidence to clearly explain the alteration. There are at least three as yet unsubstantiated explanations for the change. It is possible that an early scribe had 'fancy lettering', including a k with a long tail or flourish that appeared to others as ke, the new spelling sticking.[10]. It has also been said that Gen. Stark himself used a similar flourish at the end of his signature[11] which became a point of confusion to Indiana officials. This seems most unlikely when one considers that Stark counties in Ohio (1808) and Illinois (1839) both preceded Starke County's organization and offered clear precedence and guidance on the spelling of the name, not to mention other numerous settlements within the United States named after the General also predating Starke County. Lastly, and possibly most plausibly, it is thought that the change occurred around 1860 as the result of a clerical error by an official in Indianapolis.[12]

Full article ▸

related documents
Johnson County, Indiana
Spencer County, Indiana
Wells County, Indiana
Switzerland County, Indiana
Ripley County, Indiana
Putnam County, Indiana
Scott County, Indiana
Whitley County, Indiana
Kosciusko County, Indiana
Fountain County, Indiana
Blackford County, Indiana
Franklin County, Indiana
Greene County, Indiana
Noble County, Indiana
Marshall County, Indiana
Pike County, Indiana
Vanderburgh County, Indiana
Wayne County, Indiana
St. Joseph County, Indiana
Ohio County, Indiana
Lawrence County, Indiana
Orange County, Indiana
Washington County, Indiana
Vermillion County, Indiana
Tipton County, Indiana
Perry County, Indiana
Wabash County, Indiana
Shelby County, Indiana
Benton County, Indiana
Randolph County, Indiana