Indiana: Jennings County

Jennings County (pop. 28,525) is north of Scott County. It’s the only Jennings County in the U.S.

The county was named for Jonathan Jennings (1784-1834), the first governor of Indiana.

Jennings County has the smallest county seat in Indiana –  the town of Vernon, population 318.

Jennings County Courthouse (1859)

Vernon was named for Mount Vernon, Virginia.

The largest city in Jennings County is North Vernon (pop. 6,728), just northwest of Vernon.

Park Theatre Civic Center, North Vernon

Author Jessamyn West (1902-1984) was born in North Vernon. Her family moved to Southern California when she was six.

Hannah Milhous Nixon (1885-1967), mother of President Richard Nixon, was born near the unincorporated community of Butlerville.

Dick and Hannah

Richard Nixon and Jessamyn West were second cousins. (Her mother was a Milhous.) Both were raised as Quakers, and both graduated from Whittier College in California.

The Muscatatuck Urban Training Center is in Jennings County. The site was originally the Indiana Farm Colony for Feeble Minded Youth.

Civilian first-responders are trained there.

NEXT: RIPLEY COUNTY

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Florida: Washington County

Washington County (pop. 24,935) is north of Bay County. It’s one of 30 Washington counties, and one Washington Parish, in the U.S.

Washington County has some of the highest points in Florida, including Oak Hill (#2, at 331 feet), High Hill (#3, 323 feet), and Sand Mountain (250 feet).

Near Chipley

Falling Waters State Park has the highest waterfall in the state.

73 feet high

The county seat of Washington County is the city of Chipley (pop. 3,605).

The Seacrest Wolf Preserve, south of Chipley, is the largest wolf preserve in the Southeast.

Basketball star Artis Gilmore was born in Chipley in 1949. A 7’2″ center, he played in the American Basketball Association for six years, and later was a six-time NBA all-star.

With the ABA Kentucky Colonels

The original county seat of Washington County was Vernon (pop. 744), located in the geographic center of the county. It was named for George Washington’s home in Virginia.

Mount Vernon

Filmmaker Errol Morris’s documentary “Vernon, Florida” was released in 1981.

Original title: “Nub City”

The town of Wausau calls itself “The Possum Capital of the World.” The city has an annual Possum Festival and a Possum Monument, honoring the animal for its historic contribution of “food and fur” to the local population.

Inscription on the monument

In the southwestern corner of the county is the Ebro Greyhound Park and Poker Room, established in 1955.

The season runs from May to September.

NEXT: HOLMES COUNTY

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