Tipton County is located in central Indiana, north of the state capital of Indianapolis. According to the 2010 census, the population was 15,936, a decrease of 3.9% from the 2000 population of 16,577. The county seat is Tipton. The county has four incorporated towns with a total population of about 7,000, as well as many small unincorporated communities. It is divided into six townships which provide local services. Three Indiana state roads and one U.S. Route cross the county, as do two railroad lines.
Before the arrival of non-indigenous settlers in the early 19th century, the area was inhabited by several Native American tribes. The county was officially established in 1844 and was one of the last Indiana counties to be settled.
Tipton County was formed in 1844. It was named for John Tipton, a soldier of the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Tipton served as United States Senator for Indiana from 1831 until shortly before his death in 1839.
The first Tipton County Courthouse was a two-story frame building. It was planned in early 1845 and was completed by the end of the year at a cost of about $1200. It was expanded the following year. By 1858 a new courthouse was needed, and the brick building was completed by 1859 at a cost of approximately $15,000.
The present courthouse was designed by Adolph Sherrer. He had taken over the Indiana Statehouse project when architect Edwin May died in 1880; five years after the completion of that project in 1888, Scherrer began work on the Tipton building, which was built of sandstone in a Romanesque style with a clock tower that rises 206 feet above the ground, including the flagstaff on top. It was built by Pierce and Morgan of Indianapolis during 1893 and 1894 at a cost of $170,988. It is one of several Romanesque courthouses dating from the 1890s that are still in use.