|Founded||February 12, 1825|
|Named for||Henry Clay|
|• Total||360.32 sq mi (933.2 km2)|
|• Land||357.54 sq mi (926.0 km2)|
|• Water||2.78 sq mi (7.2 km2) 0.77%|
|• Density||73/sq mi (28/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Indiana county number 11|
The first Courthouse was built in the newly platted town of Bowling Green in 1828. It was a two-story structure of hand-hewn logs.
By the late 1830s Clay County had grown to the extent that the first Courthouse could no longer provide adequate facilities. Therefore, a second Courthouse was constructed near the first Courthouse. This two-story brick structure served until destroyed by fire on November 30, 1851.
By the 1860s the towns of Harmony, Knightsville, and Brazil were growing rapidly, due in part to their location along the National Road, and also because of the many coal companies in that area. An effort to move the county seat of government to a more central location, which had begun in the 1850s, grew stronger creating controversy among citizens. In the 1860s citizens in the northern section of Clay County became more organized in their efforts. In 1871 brothers Robert and John Stewart donated land along the National Road in Brazil for a new courthouse. $5,300 was also raised by citizens in the area to entice the commissioners to move the seat of government from Bowling Green to Brazil. This amount was reportedly the value of the existing courthouse and grounds, thus defusing opponents' argument that abandoning the present courthouse would be a waste of taxpayers money. The relocation efforts, which began in 1871, were challenged in the Supreme Court. The relocation was finally granted in 1876.
In 1912 John W. Gaddis, a prominent architect in Vincennes, Indiana, entered into a contract with the County Commissioners to design, plan, and oversee the construction of a new courthouse. The construction bid of W.H. Bailey and Charles A. Koemer of Louisville, Kentucky was accepted in 1912 with the cornerstone being laid in the fall of 1912. Gaddis had completed several others: in Fairfield and Robinson, Illinois: Perryville, Missouri and two in Indiana, the Putnam County Courthouse in Greencastle (1905) and the Huntington County Courthouse (1906) in Huntington, which are also in Classical Revival mode.
The Clay County Courthouse, built in 1913–1914, is one of the most historically and architecturally significant buildings in Brazil and Clay County, Indiana. Built in Classical Revival style of architecture, it is the only building in Clay County holding county government offices and records. It is also located alongside the famed National Road (Cumberland Trail). The present building is the fifth Clay County Courthouse.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 360.32 square miles (933.2 km2), of which 357.54 square miles (926.0 km2) (or 99.23%) is land and 2.78 square miles (7.2 km2) (or 0.77%) is water.
- Barrick Corner
- Bee Ridge
- Bogle Corner
- Bowling Green
- Buchanan Corner
- Cottage Hill
- Donaldsonville (now part of Brazil)
- Eel River
- Hickory Island
- Hirt Corner (partial)
- Hoffman Crossing
- Lap Corner
- Lena (partial - known as Marysville)
- New Brunswick
- Old Hill
- Prairie City
- Purdy Hill
- Roadman Corner
- Saline City
- Shady Lane
- Six Points
- Twin Beach
The county has two high schools: Northview High School (grades 9–12) and Clay City High School (grades 7–12). There are 7 elementary schools: Van Buren Elementary, Jackson Township Elementary, Staunton Elementary, Meridian Street Elementary, Forest Park Elementary, East Side Elementary and Clay City Elementary. The Clay Community School Corporation is located in Brazil.
- Interstate 70
- U.S. Route 40
- State Road 42
- State Road 46
- State Road 48
- State Road 59
- State Road 157
- State Road 159
- State Road 246
- State Road 340
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in Brazil have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 109 °F (43 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.25 inches (57 mm) in February to 4.89 inches (124 mm) in July.
County Council: The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Representatives are elected to four-year terms from county districts. They are responsible for setting salaries, the annual budget, and special spending. The council also has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax that is subject to state level approval, excise taxes, and service taxes.
Board of Commissioners: The Board of Commissioners serves as the county's executive body. The commissioners are elected county-wide to staggered four-year terms. The Board executes acts of the County Council, collects revenue, and runs the day-to-day functions of the county government.
Court: The county maintains a small claims court that can handle some civil cases. The judge on the court is elected to a term of four years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association. The judge is assisted by a constable who is also elected to a four-year term. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state-level circuit court.
County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor, and circuit court clerk. Each of these elected officers serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to declare a party affiliation and to be residents of the county.
Clay County tends to vote Republican. Since 1888, county voters have chosen the Republican Party nominee in 73% (24 of 34) of the elections through 2020.
|US Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 26,890 people, 10,447 households, and 7,454 families in the county. The population density was 75.2 inhabitants per square mile (29.0/km2). There were 11,703 housing units at an average density of 32.7 per square mile (12.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.8% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.5% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 29.2% were German, 20.2% were American, 12.8% were Irish, and 11.0% were English.
Of the 10,447 households, 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.6% were non-families, and 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.99. The median age was 39.9 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $52,907. Males had a median income of $40,671 versus $31,331 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,569. About 9.0% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
|Black or African American (NH)||129||0.5%|
|Native American (NH)||43||0.2%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||6||0.02%|
|Hispanic or Latino||460||1.73%|
- "Clay County, Indiana". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 83.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Clay Community Schools website
- Public and Private Airports, Clay County, Indiana
- "Monthly Averages for Brazil IN". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". IN.gov. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
- Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). IN.gov. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
- "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Clay County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "Selected Social Characteristics in the United States – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 14, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 14, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Clay County, Indiana".
- Clay County Interim Report by Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana