Jay County was formed in 1836 and was named after the first Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Jay, who also co-authored the Federalist Papers. Portland, the largest city and is the County Seat. It was the home of Elwood Haynes, who designed one of the first automobiles in America, which was powered by a One Horsepower engine and which zipped along at 6 to 7 miles per hour. He was the first person to drive 1,000 miles in an automobile. Portland is a rural community dedicated to preserving down-home character.