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South Central Edition
Founded - January 9, 1821
Seat - Columbus
Area - 409.36 sq mi
Population (2010) - 76,794
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 Batholomew County. Tipton purchased several parcels of land shortly after, which formed the nucleus of future County Seat, Columbus, Indiana.
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. He 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.
Move to Clark County, Indiana
Bartholomew 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.He built the first brick house in Clark County. On May 10, 1818 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 would not remarry.
War of 1812
On 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.
Farmer in Indiana and Move to Illinois
After the war, he took up farming and stayed active in area politics. He served as an elector for President James Monroe in 1816. He was also on the commission that chose the site of the new state capitol, Indianapolis, in 1820. His later claim to “have dug the first dirt for the State capital," stemmed from his piling a mound of dirt to mark the spot of the new capitol. The Indiana legislature honored him by naming Bartholomew County after him in 1821. he would later serve in various elected political offices and took part in the 1837 Black Hawk War after he moved to Illinois. Bartholomew passed away in Clarksville, Illinois on November 3, 1840 and is interred at Clarksville Cemetery in McLean County.
Bartholomew County Courthouse
Irish born archetype Isaac Hodgson designed the court house, one of six he designed in Indiana. Construction began in 1870 and completed in 1874. the court house 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 architech 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.
Bartholomew County towns include Clifford, Columbus, Edinburgh, Elizabethtown, Hartsville, Hope, Jonesville and Taylorsville.
The major highways in the county include Interstate 65, US 31.svg U.S. Route 31, Indiana State Road 7, Indiana State Road 9, Indiana State Road 11, Indiana State Road 46, and Indiana State Road 58.
Major waterways include the East Fork of the White River, Driftwood River, and the Flatrock River.
Railroads include the Louisville and Indiana Railroad.7
Public schools in Bartholomew County are the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corporation and the International School of Columbus.
Camp Atterbury occupies the northwestern corner of the county.
You may access the attractions of Bartholomew County, contact:
Columbus Area Visitors Center
506 5th Street
Columbus, Indiana 47203