History of Warrick County
Warrick County has a long history going back hundreds of years to 1100 to 1500AD when Mississippian Native American lived in the south western corner of the county along the Ohio River. Their life and culture can be seen today at Angel Mounds State Historic Site.
Warrick County became a county is 1813 being carved out of Knox County. Later Spencer, Posey, Perry, Crawford and Vanderburgh would be drawn from Warrick County creating the current county boundaries. The County was named for Captain Jacob Warrick a leader in the battle of Tippecanoe. Captain Warrick was fatally wounded during the battle and William Henry Harrison named the County in honor of his good friend.
The first white settler in the area was John Sprinkle a native from Pennsylvania who along with his family settled along the Ohio River at what is now known as Newburgh. The original town, chartered in 1803 was named Sprinklesburg. At one point there were over 50 named settlements scattered throughout the county. Most are long gone, left only with a road, cemetery or church name to remember the community.
After several different communities carried the title “County Seat”, Boonville, in the central part of the county became home to County government and remains so to the present day.
During the Civil War, Warrick County saw many of its young men march off to battle. Newburgh, situated along the Ohio River became the first town captured north of the Mason-Dixon line. The Underground Railroad ran through the county helping slaves from the south reach safety further north.
One of the most famous residents of the county was Abraham Lincoln who, along with his parents, moved to Indiana and settled in the Little Pigeon Creek area of then Warrick County in 1816. Two years later this area became part of Spencer County.
Rivers, railroads and highways brought business to the communities throughout the county. Those that survived did so because they had access to move commerce in and out of the area.
Coal and farming played a major role in the county during the early years of the county and still do so today. Underground mines dot the landscape and strip mines are in every state of activity. From active mines to reclamation areas many parts of the county reflect the history of coal in the area. Farming remains a major industry in the county, supplying corn, soybeans and wheat to the food chain.
The early settlers would not recognize the land they came upon centuries ago, but through their foresight to select the area we know as Warrick County, this land has enabled the 60,000 or so people to call Warrick County home.