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LaPorte County was formed in 1836. It was named for the French explorer and founder of Detroit, Michigan, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. The county government has historically been based in La Porte City (now called La Porte). However, a new courthouse was built on the outskirts of town because residents felt that it would be too disruptive to build one downtown. This is why there are two towns with "LaPorte" as their name: one is the city where most people live; and another is just a small town near it where many county offices are located today. History [ edit ] The first European-American settlers arrived here about 1820.