LaGrange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana and in the Northern Indiana region known as Michiana. As of 2010, the population was 37,128. The county is located about 55 miles (89 km) east of South Bend, 105 miles (169 km) west of Toledo, Ohio, and 175 miles (282 km) northeast of Indianapolis. The area is well known for its large Amish population. For that reason, the county teams up with neighboring Elkhart County to promote tourism by referring to the area as Northern Indiana Amish Country. The county seat is LaGrange, Indiana.
The first settlement of LaGrange County was founded about a half mile west of Lima in 1828. Over the next four years, settlers flocked to parts of Lima, Springfield, and Van Buren Townships. Finally in 1832, LaGrange County was carved out of neighboring Elkhart County and established with Lima as the county seat. The town of LaGrange was platted in 1836 and settled in 1842 as the new county seat, closer to the center of the county. Lima's name was changed to Howe in 1909.
In 1837, the government removed Chief Shipshewana and the Potawatomi Tribe from the northwest corner of the county. Several years later the Chief was allowed to return and died in Newbury Township in 1841. A town named Georgetown had been platted in 1837 but was abandoned due to lack of development. In 1844, the first Amish came from Pennsylvania to settle around the old town. The village continued not to grow and the town of Shipshewana was platted nearby in 1899 and incorporated in 1916 in Newbury Township. LaGrange County was named after the home of Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de la Fayette, outside of Paris, France.
From "1882 History of Lagrange County".....
The first white settlement in LaGrange Co. was known as Mongoquinong or Big Squaw Village. The settlement was about 1/2 mile west of Lima and was settled in 1828 by Nathan Fowler who settled on the banks of the Crooked Creek. In 1829 Ica and Moses Rice built a trading house in Lima, paving the way for others to move into the area. Early Lima settlers included Jason Thurston, Benjamin Blair, Jonathon Gradner and William Thrall. At the same time Nehemiah Coldren and Jesse Huntsman started the first settlement in Van Buren Twp. William Miller and Benjamin Jones settled in Greenfield. In 1830 John B. Clark started the first settlement in Springfield Twp.
In 1832 LaGrange was separated from Elkhart County and became LaGrange Co for the first time. Lima and Greenfield townships were organized and the county seat was located in Lima. The first postoffice was located at George Egnew's home on Mongoquinong Prairie. The towns of Wolcottville and Lima were platted. By the end of the year Eden township was created. Within the next four years Springfield, Bloomfield, VanBuren, Newbury, Clearspring, Johnson, Milford and Clay townships were formed.