Indiana: Clay County

Clay County (pop. 26,890) is east of Vigo County. It’s one of 18 Clay counties, and one of the 15 named for Kentucky statesman Henry Clay (1777-1852).

Three-time presidential candidate

Interstate 70 (Maryland to Utah) runs through Clay County, east to west, paralleling U.S. Route 40 (the old National Road).

The county seat of Clay County is the city of Brazil (pop. 7,912). The city was named in 1866 for a local farm; the farm was named in the 1840s for the country.

The “Chafariz Dos Contos” (“Fountain of Tales”), a memorial fountain in Forest Park, is a replica of a fountain in Ouro Preto, Brazil.

Dedicated in 1956

The Clay County Courthouse (1914) is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Classical Revival style

The former U.S. Post Office (1913) in Brazil is now the Clay County Historical Society Museum.

Beaux Arts style

In 2010, KFC gave Brazil $2,500 for fire safety improvements in exchange for a month-long promotion of its “fiery” chicken wings.

Indianapolis got $5,000.

Popcorn tycoon Orville Redenbacher (1907-1995) was born in Brazil and grew up there; labor-union leader Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil in 1913 and lived there until 1924.

He disappeared in 1975.

The unincorporated community of Bowling Green has a bed and breakfast called the Clayshire Castle.


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