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A Jasper by any other name

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Black and white drawing of a man raising a flag on a bunker above soldiers.

Did you ever wonder how our county chose its name?

When Indiana was being divided up and organized into counties, they often chose to honor Revolutionary War heroes.  On March 15, 1838 our county was named after Sergeant William Jasper.

Jasper served at Fort Sullivan (now Fort Moultrie) in 1776.  The British Fleet occupied the Sullivan Harbor off the South Carolina coast and on June 28 opened a cannon assault on the fort.  During the attack the American flagstaff was shot away.  Sergeant Jasper, under heavy fire, rushed to the fallen flag and tied it to a sponge staff and secured it in the parapet of the fort.  The small 2nd Regiment at Fort Sullivan defeated the much larger British Fleet.

Sergeant Jasper continued to serve his country valiantly and on October 9, 1779 lost his life in the Battle of Spring Hill Redoubt during the American Siege of Savannah while trying to plant the colors of the Second South Carolina Infantry.  A statue of Sergeant Jasper prominently stands in Savannah, Georgia to honor him.

Indiana is not the only state to honor Sergeant Jasper.  Besides our county, there are 7 other Jasper Counties and many other cities/towns named Jasper in the United States. (The city of Jasper in Dubois County in southern Indiana is actually named for a passage from the Bible.)

Take some time and see if you can find the other counties and cities honoring Sergeant Jasper, or explore the origins of the other counties in our wonderful state.  The history may surprise you.