Indiana: Lawrence County

Lawrence County (pop. 46,134) is north of Orange County. It’s one of 11 Lawrence counties.

Ten of the 11 Lawrence counties, including this one, were named for James L. Lawrence (1781-1813), naval hero of the War of 1812.

His famous dying words

The county seat of Lawrence County is the city of Bedford (pop. 13,413), known as the “Limestone Capital of the World” because of its limestone quarries.

Lawrence County Courthouse (1930)

Actor Claude Akins (1926-1994) grew up in Bedford. He later graduated from Northwestern University.

Damon Bailey, of Bedford North Lawrence High School, was the 1990 Indiana Mr. Basketball and starred for Indiana University. He was recruited by Bobby Knight while still in 9th grade.

The town of Oolitic (pop. 1,184), named for oolite limestone, has a limestone statue of comic-strip boxer Joe Palooka.

Dedicated in 1948

Virgil “Gus” Grissom (1926-1967), one of the seven original Project Mercury astronauts, was born in the city of Mitchell (pop. 4,350) and grew up there.

The second American in space

Just east of Mitchell, Spring Mill State Park has a Gus Grissom Memorial.

Gemini 3 capsule

Underneath Lawrence County, limestone formations contain several large caverns. Bluespring Caverns has a three-mile, navigable underground river.

Longest in the U.S.

NEXT: WASHINGTON COUNTY

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