The Ohio State Reformatory, located in Mansfield, Ohio, is a famous prison that has been featured in several movies, including "The Shawshank Redemption." It was built in 1886 and operated until 1990.
Van Wert County, Ohio, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The county was officially established on March 1, 1820, and was named after Isaac Van Wart, one of the captors of British spy John André in the American Revolutionary War. The area that makes up Van Wert County was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Ottawa, before European settlers arrived.

The first European settlers in the area were predominantly of German and Swiss descent. They were attracted to the fertile soil and abundant natural resources, such as timber and waterways. The county's first permanent settlement, Delphos, was established in 1844 by John Ott, who came from Switzerland. Other communities soon followed, including Ohio City, Convoy, and Van Wert, the county seat.

The county's economy thrived in the 19th century, mainly due to agriculture and manufacturing. Van Wert became known as the "Kingdom of Stoves" because of its numerous stove manufacturing companies. With the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century, the county's economy expanded further, allowing for easier transportation of goods and materials.

Throughout its history, Van Wert County has been home to many notable individuals and events. Notable residents include the philosopher and educator Albert Barnes, author Scott Russell Sanders, and Olympic gold medalist Dan O'Brien. The Van Wert County Courthouse, built in 1874, is a prominent architectural landmark in the area. The county has also been active in supporting the arts and culture, with various theaters, museums, and festivals showcasing local talent.

Today, Van Wert County continues to be a vibrant community, with a mix of rural and urban areas. The county's economy has diversified, and it is home to businesses in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and agriculture. The county's historical legacy is recognized and celebrated, with preservation efforts ensuring that its rich history is passed on to future generations.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Van Wert County, Ohio.

  • October 1, 1821 - Van Wert County is officially established by Ohio state legislature.
  • Early 1800s - Native American tribes, such as the Shawnee and Ottawa, inhabit the area.
  • Early to mid-1800s - European settlers begin to arrive and establish communities.
  • 1837 - Town of Van Wert is platted and becomes the county seat.
  • Mid-1800s - Van Wert experiences a period of growth and development as agriculture and industry flourish.
  • 1861-1865 - Civil War impacts Van Wert County as many residents enlist in Union Army.
  • Late 1800s - Van Wert County experiences a decline in population due to economic factors.
  • Early 1900s - The discovery of oil and gas brings a brief period of economic prosperity to the county.
  • 1930s-1940s - The Great Depression and World War II have a significant impact on Van Wert County.
  • 1950s-1990s - Van Wert County experiences continued growth and development, with improvements in infrastructure and agriculture.
  • 2000s - Van Wert County focuses on revitalizing downtown areas and promoting tourism.