Martin County, Indiana, was formed in 1820. Its original size consisted of only 268 square miles. Most of the land was originally from Daviess County except a portion of the southeastern part which came from Dubois County. Prior to the formation of Daviess County in 1817, much of the entire region was part of Knox County.
Early Martin County leaders changed the county seat (or simply the name of the town) several times before settling on Shoals in 1876. The original county seat was Hindostan. In 1828 the county seat was moved to Mount Pleasant. In 1844 it was moved to Memphis (the present location of Shoals). Several months later the county seat was moved to Harrisonville, and several months after that it was again moved to Hillsborough. In 1848, the General Assembly changed Hillsborough's name to Dover Hill. In 1869 the county seat was moved to West Shoals and in 1876 it was moved across the White River to the town of Shoals.
Many early settlers, particularly in the southwestern part of the county, came from Dubois County, while other settlers stopped in Lawrence County before settling in Martin County. Many of the county's original settlers also came from Kentucky and Tennessee.
In 1940 the U.S. Navy began construction of the Crane Naval Ammunition Depot. This area now covers a large portion of the northern part of Martin County.Back to Martin County Indiana Home Page