Vermillion County, Indiana
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 courthouse   seal
Vermillion County Courthouse in Newport and County Seal

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History of Vermillion County

Historical Markers of Vermillion County

West to the Wabash
by Harriet (Hicks) Dale


Vermillion County, Indiana

The surface of the county is high and generally level, except near the streams. The soil is generally excellent; some of the best farms in the State are to be found here. The "block coal" of Vermillion County is among its most substantial resources. The county has made wonderful progress in agriculture, mining and commerce. Newport is the county seat, and is a thriving town.

Named for the Vermillion River, which flows nearby. The name is spelled in the French/Commonwealth English style with a double letter "I", in contract to the American English spelling of the adjacent Vermillion County, Illinois. This is one of only a few cases in the United States in which a county borders a county with the same name in another state.

The first settlers in the area arrived in 1816, the same year that the state of Indiana was established. Vigo County was formed in 1818 and included the area that later became Parke and Vermillion counties. In 1821, Parke County was formed, and on January 2, 1824, the Indiana General Assembly created Vermillion County out of Parke County; the act took effect of February 1. The county seat was established at Newport later that year, and it has always remained there.

The first courthouse was a frame building. The contract was awarded in June 1824 for $345 and was to be completed by the following November; it was used for county business until a brick building could be constructed. The brick courthouse was contracted in 1831; the completed building was used until January 29, 1844, when the building caught fire. It was repaired and served until 1868 when a third courthouse was built at a cost of $30,000; a west wing was added in 1903 at a cost of $28,000. That building was struck by lightning early on the morning of May 27, 1923, and was largely destroyed by fire. Construction on the fourth (and current) courthouse began that year; Halbert Fillinger and John Bayard were the architects. The stone building was constructed by Jasper Good of Columbus at a cost of $358,707, and the new courthouse was dedicated on June 11, 1925.

The Newport Hill Climb was first held in 1909. The event was started and stopped several times over the years, but the Newport Lions Club now runs the Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb; it has been held continuously since the 1960s and involves several hundred cars each year.

Clinton - Eugene - Helt - Highland - Vermilion

Cayuga -  Clinton - Dana - Fairview Park - Newport - Perrysville - Universal

Alta - Blanford - Bono - Centenary - Crompton Hill - Eugene - Helt - Highland - Hillsdale - Jacksonville - Jonestown - Rileysburg - Saint Bernice - Sandytown - Summit Grove - Syndicate - Tree Spring

Quaker - Randall - Toronto

County Seat: Newport
Year Organized: 1824
Square Miles: 259.93


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Where to find information in Vermillion County, Indiana

Vermillion County Public Library
385 E Market St
Newport, IN 47966
Clinton Public Library
313 South 4th St
Clinton, IN 47842
Vermillion County Health Department
825 South Main St
Clinton, IN 47842-2201
(birth & death records)
Vermillion County Clerk
P.O. Box 8
Newport, IN 47966-0008
(marriage records)
Vermillion County Recorder
250 South Main St
Newport, IN 47966
(land records)
Vermillion County IN Historical Society
220 E Market St
Newport, IN 47966
Wabash Valley Genealogy Society
P.O. Box 236
Terre Haute, IN 47808-0236

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Surrounding Counties
| Warren | Fountain | Vigo | Parke |


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