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Welcome to Pike County, Indiana
History and Genealogy

Pike County Courthouse in Petersburg

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This county lies in the southwestern corner of the State. It is an irregular shaped county, and contains 300 square miles, or 192,000 acres. It was organized in 1817, and was named in honor of General Z. M. Pike, who fell at the capture of York, April twenty seventh, 1813. The surface of the county is either level or rolling. In the western part of the county the soil is a rich, dark loam, with a mixture of sand, which renders it very friable. The bottom lands of the White river, which forms the northern boundary of the county, and the Patoka, which flows through the center, and which form about one sixth part of the county, are very rich and productive; probably no larger crops of corn are raised in any part of the West. Walnut, hickory, poplar, cottonwood, ash, pecan and elm, are the prevailing timber. The land in the eastern part of the county is more sandy, and the timber consists mainly of oak, hickory, gum, sassafras, and dogwood.

Petersburgh, situated in the north part of the county, in Washington township, is the county seat. It is a town of 1,200 people, and possesses all the facilities usual for towns of this size. Pike county possesses no railroad facilities as yet, but the Wabash and Erie canal passes through the north western portion.

The numerous statistical tables in another part of this volume will be found to give additional information in regard to the counties, such as population, area, wealth and taxation, manufactures, agricultural products, value of farms and farming implements, schools and value of school property, churches, etc.
[Source: An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana: Being a Full and Authentic Civil and Political History of the State from Its First Exploration Down to 1875 : Including an Account of the Commercial, Agricultural and Educational Growth of Indiana : with Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the ... By De Witt Clinton Goodrich, Charles Richard Tuttle Published by R.S. Peale & Co., 1875]

From 1959 to 1963 Vance Hartke and Homer E. Capehart were the U.S. Senators for Indiana, both from Pike County.

Zebulon Pike, famous for his Pike Expedition of 1806-1807, exploring the southwest portion of the Louisiana Purchase. Pike commanded the 4th Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. He was killed as a brigadier general during the War of 1812 after his men had captured York (now Toronto), Canada.

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