Blackford County is located in the east central portion of the U.S. state of Indiana. The county is named for Judge Isaac Blackford, who was the first speaker of the Indiana General Assembly and a long-time chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. Created in 1838, Blackford County is divided into four townships, and its county seat is Hartford City. Two incorporated cities and one incorporated town are located within the county. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns. Occupying only 165.58 square miles (428.9 km2), Blackford County is the fourth smallest county in Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the county's population is 12,766 people in 5,236 households. Based on population, the county is the 8th smallest county of the 92 in Indiana.
Before the arrival of European-American settlers during the 1830s, the northeastern portion of the future Blackford County was briefly the site of an Indian reservation for Chief Francois Godfroy of the Miami tribe. The first European-American pioneers were typically farmers that settled near rivers where the land had drainage suitable for agriculture. Originally, the county was mostly swampland, but more land became available for farming as the marshes were cleared and drained. Over the next 30 years, small communities slowly developed throughout the county. When the county's rail lines were constructed in the 1860s and 1870s, additional communities evolved around railroad stops!
About the County Courthouse
The decision of Judge Joseph Custer to condemn the old courthouse of 1841 that was made of a wooden "log" structure ended on January 19, 1893 to begin a new era for a new courthouse, which stands today in Blackford County. The old courthouse had been deemed as unhealthy for its citizens, inadequate in size, and unsafe for its county's records. Accordingly, the old structure was sold to Mike Capper for $20. Some interesting facts about the old courthouse written in the history of Blackford County. One early settler, Henry Secrest, a local mechanic and millwright, had assisted in drafting the original plans of the "log" structure as well as the first schoolhouse. Another early setter, Joseph P. VanCleve, a successful local merchant had served as one of the first county commissioners in "little log courthouse." The first circuit court proceedings in Blackford County "were held in the cabin of Andrew Boggs. A log served as a bench. The courts were held in this way until 1843, when the court house was completed."
After extensive discussion in July 1893, the county's commissioners decision to erect a suitable structure at a practical cost to be enjoyed by Blackford County's present and future generations. The new courthouse could not be built for much less than some cheap structure that could not "withstand the ravages of time." The commissioners accepted the proposals of ... [to read more CLICK HERE].
About the County Coordinator
My name is Matthew D. Friend. I am the Blackford County Coordinator. I live in Arkansas, so I cannot do personal lookups for you; however, I'm available to do lookups for any census for the county. I'm hoping to transcribe some new information that isn't available here. So stay tuned for future updates. If you have any questions, suggestions or perhaps any Blackford County resource(s) and/or record(s) that you can share with our patrons, please contact me at
Saturday, February 9, 2013 -- Visit our "Obituaries" section for the latest updates. One contributor, Nancy Anderson, has been sending many wonderful local obituaries of her ancestors. Thanks Nancy!
Surrounding Neighboring Counties
The following surrounding neighboring counties starting on the north side of Blackford County is Wells County. And then to the east side is Jay County. On the south side of Blackford County is Delaware County. And finally, to the west side Is Grant County.