Floyd County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 74,578. The county seat is New Albany. Floyd County is the county with the second smallest land area in the entire state. It was formed in the year 1819 from neighboring counties Clark County, Indiana, and Harrison County, Indiana.
Floyd County, originally the Shawnee Indians hunting ground, was conquered for the United States by George Rogers Clark during the American Revolutionary War from the British. He was awarded large tracts of land in Indiana, including almost all of present day Floyd County. Clark sold land to the settlers who began arriving as soon as peace returned.
In 1818 New Albany was a large enough to become a county seat and form a new county. New Albany leaders sent Nathaniel Scribner and John K. Graham to the capital at Corydon to petition the General Assembly. Legislation was passed on January 2, 1819 by the General Assembly, and the county was established on February 1. The origin of the county's name is debated. According to the State Library, it was named for John Floyd, a leading Jefferson County, Kentucky pioneer and uncle of Davis Floyd. John Floyd was killed in 1783 when his party was attacked by Indians in Bullitt County, Kentucky. However, some maintain the county was actually named for Davis Floyd, who was convicted of aiding Aaron Burr in the treason of 1809. Davis Floyd had also been a leading local political figure and was the county's first circuit court judge.
In 1814 New Albany was platted and was established as the county seat on March 4, 1819. There was an attempt in 1823 to move the county seat, but the motion failed. New Albany would be the largest city in the state for much of the early 19th century, eventually being overtaken by Indianapolis during the Civil War.
The Duncan Tunnel, the longest in Indiana, was built in Floyd County in 1881 between New Albany and Edwardsville. Because no route over the Floyds Knobs was suitable for a railroad line, civil engineers decided to tunnel through them. The project was originally began by the Air Line but was completed by Southern Railway. It took five years to bore at a cost of $1 million. The Tunnel is long.
Floyd County during the 19th century attracted immigrants of Irish, German, French and African American origins. The French settlers located mostly in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. The Irish began arriving in 1817 and settled in large numbers between 1830 and 1850. German immigrants settled mostly in New Albany; by 1850, about one in six county residents had been born in other countries.