Indiana: Howard County

Howard County (pop. 82,752) is west of Grant County. It’s one of seven Howard counties in the U.S. Those seven counties are named for six different people named Howard.

Howard County in 1908

This Howard County (and Iowa’s) are named for Gen. Tilghman Howard (1797-1844), an attorney and U.S. congressman from Indiana.

Born in South Carolina

The county seat of Howard County is the city of Kokomo. Its population in 2010 was 45,468; after it annexed more than seven square miles in 2012, its population reached about 57,000.

Former City Building (1894)

Kokomo has long been known as the “City of Firsts.” Some of the firsts include the first automobile, first stainless steel flatware, first push-button car radio, first canned tomato juice, and first mechanical corn picker

Kokomo also had the first McDiner – a McDonald’s with a diner inside – in 2001. This experiment in table service at McDonald’s was soon discontinued.

Indiana University Kokomo was established in 1945. It has about 4,000 students.

The Seiberling Mansion (1889) is now part of the Howard County Historical Museum.

Decorated for Christmas

The Beach Boys’ song “Kokomo” is not about the real Kokomo. It’s about a fictional place “off the Florida Keys.”

The “Kokomantis” is a scrap-iron sculpture in downtown Kokomo. It’s 17 feet tall and 22 feet long.

Legs made of stoplight arms

Highland Park in Kokomo has “The World’s Largest Preserved Steer” – Old Ben, who died in 1910 – preserved in a glass box. The park also has “The World’s Largest Sycamore Stump.”

He weighed 2.5 tons.

Kokomo was the hometown of Norman Bridwell (1928-2014), author of the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” books.

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