Historical Markers in
Putnam County, Ohio

The Ohio River Valley was home to several Native American cultures before European settlement, including the Adena and Hopewell cultures. These cultures left behind many burial mounds and other archaeological sites that are now protected and preserved by the state of Ohio.
Putnam County is located in northwestern Ohio and was officially founded on April 1, 1820. However, the area had been inhabited by Native American tribes for thousands of years prior to European settlement. The county was named after Israel Putnam, a hero of the American Revolutionary War. The early settlers of Putnam County were mostly of German and Irish descent, attracted to the area by its fertile soil and abundant natural resources.

In its early years, agriculture played a significant role in the county's economy. Farmers grew crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans, while also raising livestock. The arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century further stimulated economic growth, making it easier for farmers to transport and sell their goods. In addition to agriculture, small industries began to emerge, including sawmills, gristmills, and brick factories.

One of the defining moments in Putnam County's history came during the American Civil War. Many residents volunteered to fight for the Union Army, contributing significantly to the war effort. The county experienced growth and development in the years following the war, with the establishment of schools, churches, and businesses.

In the 20th century, Putnam County continued to evolve. The discovery of oil and natural gas in the region led to increased industrialization and economic prosperity. The county also embraced modern technologies and amenities, such as electricity, telephones, and automobiles. Today, Putnam County maintains its strong agricultural traditions while also embracing diversification and growth in sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, and education.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Putnam County, Ohio.

  • 1820: Putnam County was established on April 1, 1820, as the 52nd county in Ohio.
  • 1830: The first log courthouse was built, serving as the center of government activities.
  • 1834: The county seat was moved from Ottawa to Williamsburg, which was later renamed as Ottawa.
  • 1860s: The construction of railroads in the county boosted economic development and transportation.
  • 1888: The current courthouse, the third in the county's history, was completed in Ottawa.
  • 1920s: The county witnessed an increase in agricultural production and the establishment of more farms.
  • 1953: The first hospital, named Putnam Acres, was built in Ottawa to provide healthcare services.
  • 1960s: The county experienced growth in its manufacturing sector, attracting new industries.
  • 1980: The population of Putnam County reached its peak, with over 35,000 residents.
  • 2010s: Modern developments include the expansion of infrastructure, schools, and recreational facilities.