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Jay County is located in East Central Indiana, bordered by Ohio to the east.  It is also bordered by the following counties:  Adams to the north, Wells to the northwest, Blackford to the west, Delaware to the southwest, and Randolph to the south.  U.S. Highways 27 and State Highways 26 and 67 cross the county.   Elevation is 800-1,100 feet.  The terrain is nearly level throughout the county, except slightly sloping near creeks in the southern central areas and the northwest.  The landscape features birch, beech, oak, maple, and hickory trees.   The county pertains to the Indiana and Ohio Till Plain land resource area.      

Jay County is on Eastern Standard Time all year.  Average daily temperatures are 18٥/35٥ in January and 61٥/86٥ in July.  Annual precipitation is about 38 and snowfall about 35 inches.  

Typically the first freeze of the season occurs October 5-10, except October 10-15 (southeast corner).  The last freeze varies from May 5-10 (north) to May 5-10 (south).  The growing season lasts about 148-158 days.

Agricultural activity is diversified with livestock being very important.  About three-fourths of the land is in farms and about three-fourths of that land is in cash crops.  Main crops are corn for grain, soybeans, hay, oats, and winter wheat.  Apples are an important fruit.  Popcorn is a special crops.  Livestock includes pullets/hens, cattle/calves, milk cows, hogs/pigs, and turkeys.  Main natural resources include construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, petroleum, and forestland.  Water resources include the Salamonie and Little Salamonie Rivers.

Communities include the cities of Portland (the county seat) and Dunkirk (which extends into Blackford County), and the towns of Bryant, Pennville, Redkey, and Salamonia.

3. Geographic and Historical Notes

Sources:  Map from PCensus for MapInfo; Geographic Notes from Indiana Facts: Flying the Colors by John Clements, 1995.

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