Place:Lake, Indiana, United States

Alt namesLakesource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Lake County
Coordinates41.417°N 87.35°W
Located inIndiana, United States     (1836 - )
See alsoSt. Joseph, Indiana, United StatesParent county (source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990)
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. In 2010, its population was 496,005, making it Indiana's second-most populous county. The county seat is Crown Point.

This county is part of Northwest Indiana and the Chicago metropolitan area, and contains a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas.

It is the home to a portion of the Indiana Dunes and to Marktown, Clayton Mark's planned worker community in East Chicago.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early settlement

Originally inhabited by Potawatomi tribes, Lake County was established on February 16, 1837.[1] From 1832 to 1836 the area that was to become Lake County was part of La Porte County. From 1836 to 1837 it was part of Porter County.[2] It was named for its location on Lake Michigan. The original county seat was Liverpool until Lake Court House, which later became Crown Point, was chosen in 1840. Lake County's population grew slowly before the 1850s, when the railroads arrived to link Chicago to the rest of the country, and enabled tens of thousands of settlers and immigrants to buy land. Small-scale industrialization began, but was primarily relegated to the northern coast of the county. The 1900 Census gives a population of 37,892 residents.

Industrialization and immigration

The arrival of Inland Steel Company to East Chicago in 1903 and U.S. Steel to Gary in 1906 jump-started the county's population explosion. Immigrants poured into the area from all over Central and Eastern Europe (supplemented by a small Mexican immigrant community) and from many regions of the United States, such as Appalachia and the South. By 1930, Lake County's population surpassed 260,000, with first- and second-generation Americans constituting a majority of the population. Like the rest of Indiana, the Ku Klux Klan gained a large following in the 1920s in response to changing demographics. While the steel industry reigned supreme, other industries also found the county to be an ideal location for cheap land and well-developed transportation networks, such as automobiles, oil, chemicals, consumer goods, food processing, and construction supply companies.

The Great Depression was devastating to Lake County, as it was to any other area that relied on heavy industry. The Depression, combined with industrial strife, changing demographics, and unionization, caused Lake County to become a stronghold of the Democratic Party; Lake County has supported the Democratic nominee for President in every election since 1932 (exceptions occurred in 1956 and 1972), and Indiana's 1st Congressional District has remained in the Democratic column in every election since 1930. World War II restored prosperity, as industry revived to support the war effort, and good economic times continued into the 1970s. More immigrants were attracted by the promise of middle-class industrial jobs, and in addition to refugees and immigrants from Europe, black Americans and Mexicans also arrived in even larger numbers than they had in the 1910-1930 period. As minority populations exploded in industrial cities like East Chicago and Gary, racial tensions surfaced once again, and white flight from the industrial cities took place, aided in large part by the construction of state and federal highways.[3]

Recent history

Lake County's population peaked at 546,000 in 1970. Severe industrial decline took place during the 1973-1991 period, brought on by foreign competition, new management philosophies that called for major workforce reductions, and productivity gains from technology. The decline was particularly intense in the steel industry: steel employment exceeded 60,000 in the 1960s, and declined progressively to just 18,000 by 2015. Lake County's population declined 13% to bottom out at 475,000 in 1990.

The industrial decline of the 1980s cast a long shadow over Lake County: the county did not regain the level of employment it had in 1980 until 1996, after which the employment level roughly flatlined. The county's economic output peaked in 1978, and has not since recovered, remaining 15-20% below the peak after adjusting for inflation. As prosperity declined, so did the immigration that powered the county's explosive population growth before 1950: per the 2000 census, only 5.3% of Lake County's residents were foreign-born, compared to over 11% for the United States as a whole.

The population recovered somewhat during the 1990s and 2000s, as the local economy adjusted. Suburban growth has also been driven by commuter populations of workers who are employed in Chicago and commute via expressways or the South Shore Line. In 2007, it was estimated that 44,000 workers commuted from Lake County, Indiana, to Chicago for work.[4]The decline of industrial cities and growth of suburbs has been so sharp, that by 1990 a majority of the County's population lived outside of the four traditional industrial cities. Lake County still continues to struggle with urban decline and poverty, suburban sprawl and traffic jams, and a stagnating population.[3]


Date Event Source
1836 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1837 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1840 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1840 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1882 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1840 1,468
1850 3,991
1860 9,145
1870 12,339
1880 15,091
1890 23,886
1900 37,892
1910 82,864
1920 159,957
1930 261,310
1940 293,195
1950 368,152
1960 513,269
1970 546,253
1980 522,965
1990 475,594


Cemeteries of Lake County, Indiana, United States

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