On January 12, 1810, the Ohio government authorized the creation of Pickaway County. The county was named after the Indian name "Piqua."?
Pickaway County is located in south central Ohio. It is predominantly rural, with 1.4 percent of the county s 502 square miles consisting of urban areas. The county seat is Circleville. With a population of 13,485 people, Circleville was the county s largest community in 2000. Unlike most of Ohio s predominantly rural counties, Pickaway County experienced an increase in population - 9.3 percent - between 1990 and 2000, increasing the total number of residents to 52,727 people. The main reason for this increase was the large number of residents from Columbus, in nearby Franklin County, who sought to escape that city s busyness by moving to more rural, neighboring counties. Pickaway County averages 105 people per square mile.
Farming is the largest employer in Pickaway County, with eighty-three percent of the county s acreage under cultivation. Agriculture is followed closely by manufacturing businesses and government positions. Retail businesses and service industries rank a distant fourth and fifth respectively. Pickaway County residents rank fourth in soybean and fifth in corn production in Ohio. In 1999, the per capita income in the county was 20,364 dollars, with 11.3 percent of the people living in poverty.
Most voters in Pickaway County claim to be independents, yet in recent years, they have overwhelmingly supported Republican Party candidates at the national level.
Circleville is the home to an annual pumpkin festival. Begun in 1903, the festival attracts more than 300,000 people a year. It is currently the sixth largest festival held in the United States, and since organizers charge no admission fee, the festival has become known as the "Greatest Free Show on Earth." For a time, Pickaway County also served as the home of songwriter Benjamin Hanby and musician Ted Lewis. Mingo Indian Chief Logan also resided here. The Ohio History Connection operates the Logan Elm State Memorial in Chief Logan s honor.