Sample Chapter – Indiana’s Counties – Bartholomew County

Sample Chapter

Indiana’s Counties

Bartholomew County 

Bartholomew County Facts

County Seat – Columbus

Area – 409.36 sq mi 

Population – 82,753(2018)

Founded – January 9, 1821

Named for- Joseph Bartholomew
County Government

Bartholomew County Courthouse

234 Washington St # 303, 

Columbus, IN 47201

Tourism Information

Columbus Area Visitors Center

506 Fifth Street

Columbus, IN 47201

(800) 468-6564,


Thumbnail History

The Indiana Legislature created Bartholomew County on February 12, 1821 and takes its name from Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bartholomew, wounded at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Local legend says that Colonel Bartholomew and General John Tipton rode horses through the area in May 1820, surveying the possibilities of the area that would become Bartholomew County. Tipton purchased several parcels of land shortly after, which formed the nucleus of future County Seat, Columbus, Indiana.
Bartholomew County CourthouseVisitors to Columbus Indiana will find this historical marker noting the importance of the Bartholomew County Historical MarkerTitle of Marker:Bartholomew County CourthouseLocation:SE corner of courthouse, 234 Washington Street, Columbus. (Bartholomew County, Indiana)Installed by:2000 Indiana Historical Bureau and Joseph Hart Chapter, Daughters of the American RevolutionMarker ID #: ID# : 03.2000.1Marker Text:
Side one:County formed by Indiana General Assembly 1821. Thirty acres of land were purchased, and John Tipton donated thirty acres, for county seat. State commissioners named county seat Tiptona–after Tipton; local elected commissioners renamed it Columbus. Tipton served as state representative, Indian agent, and United States senator.Side two:Second Empire Style courthouse, designed by Isaac Hodgson, completed 1874, is county’s fourth courthouse. Constructed of red brick with white limestone trim. Foundation is rusticated blue limestone. Original slate roof replaced 1953 with standing-seam copper. Extensive remodeling 1968; interior restoration completed 1998. Listed in National Register of Historic Places 1979.Reviewed: 29 June 2011.  Read the Review.  Learn more about our Accuracy of Marker Texts Policy.Author Note – the revisions are worked into the following narrative:Short History by the AuthorThe Indiana General Assembly created Bartholomew County on February 12, 1821 out of portions of Jackson and Delaware Counties.. The county’s name derives from Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bartholomew. The county seat is on land which consists of two parcels, thirty purchased by the County and thirty acres obtained from John Tipton. The status of the land obtained from John Tipton is not clear. From land transfer records it is not clear if Tipton donated the land or if the County purchased it. The record is not clear either if the State Commissioners suggested the name “Tiptona.” Records indicate that early in discussions about the new county seat’s name, some did suggest Tiptona. However, on March 19, 1821, the commissioners had settled on the name “Columbus.” 
John Tipton (August 14, 1786 – April 5, 1839)John was born in Sevier County, Tennessee, where his father died in an Amerindian raid. He moved to Harrison County, Indiana in 1803 and married Martha Shields. He farmed and fought natives, leading a unit of the famed Yellow Jackets during the Battle of Tippecanoe. he gained election to the Indiana State House of Representatives from 1819 to 1823. During this time, he was involved in the formation of Bartholomew County and its county seat, Columbus.Bartholomew County CourthouseIrish born architect Isaac Hodgson designed the courthouse, one of six he designed in Indiana. Construction began in 1870 and completed in 1874. the courthouse cost $225,000 to build. Isaac Hodgson  (1826–1909)A native of Belfast, Ireland, Hodgson immigrated to the United States in 1848. He started in New York, but came to Louisville, Kentucky in 1849. He became a full architect in 1855 and during his career he worked mostly in Indiana and Minnesota. He designed six Indiana court houses, the Marion County courthouse and several notable buildings in Minnesota after he moved there in 1882.
Joseph Bartholomew (March 15, 1766 – November 3, 1840) The son of Daniel Bartholomew, Jr. and Elizabeth Catharine Bartholomew, Joseph was native to Amwell, Hunterdon, New Jersey. The family moved to Pennsylvanian around 1768, where is father died. His mother remarried, however the stepfather treated the Bartholomew children poorly. Joseph had little formal education and schooled himself in the ways of the frontier. He became an expert rifleman and experienced in woodcraft. He also acquired skills in surveying and land titles. Joseph gained a reputation as an “Indian fighter” during this period. Military ScoutWhen the Revolutionary War broke out, the ten-year-old Joseph volunteered to join the militia and helped defend the Pennsylvania frontier against Amerindian raids. He later served in the same capacity during some of the military campaigns in the Northwest Indian War. Marriage and FamilyHe married Christiana Peckinpaugh around 1788 – 1790, with whom he had ten children. The young family floated down the Ohio River by flatboat to the area around Louisville, Kentucky around 1795.  Clark CountyMove to Clark County, IndianaBartholomew was present at the signing of the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, having taken part in General Anthony Wayne’s campaign, which ended with the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Sometime around 1800 the family moved to Clark  County. he settled in the  Clark’s Grant near the town of Charlestown., Indiana where he surveyed land and took part in the defense against the natives. On May 10, 1808 his wife died giving birth. On July 30, 1812 he married Elizabeth McNaught, with whom he had five children. Elizabeth died in a horse riding accident in 1824. Bartholomew did not remarry.Military Experience IndianaWar of 1812On September 21, 1803 he had received a commission as a major in the Clark County militia. he would rise to Lieutenant Colonel, a rank he held during the Battle of Tippecanoe.  During the battle he was shot in the arm. His service during the battle gained him the rank of brigadier general. He would serve later in the White River Campaign, a short lived march up the White River Valley from Vincennes to an area north of present day Indianapolis that terminated when the soldiers involved found most of the native villages abandoned. After the War of 1812 Bartholomew served as a surveyor and farmer as well as serving in both the House of Representatives and Senate in the Indiana General Assembly. In 1821 he joined the expedition that located the site that would become Indianapolis. In May 1820, he purchased land in the area at the area where the White and Driftwood rivers join. He built a cabin on the site.  Farmer in Indiana and Move to IllinoisA friend of Bartholomew’s requested that he sponsor a $30,000 bond so his friend could purchase some property. The friend defaulted on the bond, leaving Bartholomew responsible for half the debt. The situation forced Bartholomew to sell his farm to service the loan. He moved to McLean County, Illinois, where he would later serve in the Black Hawk War in 1832. After his death he was interred in Clarksville cemetery in McLean County.

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