Washington County

From Ohio History Central
Washington County map.jpg

On July 27, 1788, the government of the Northwest Territory authorized the creation of Washington County. Residents named the county in honor of George Washington, a hero of the American Revolution and the first President of the United States. Washington County was the first county created in what would become Ohio. Originally, the county covered almost fifty percent of modern-day Ohio. As more people migrated to the state, new counties were separated from Washington County to provide new residents with more direct contact with their local government.

Washington County is located in southeastern Ohio. The county's southern border lies along the Ohio River. It is predominantly rural, with two percent of the county's 635 square miles consisting of urban areas. The county is also in the heart of Appalachia. The county seat is Marietta, the first community established by the Ohio Company of Associates in 1788. With a population of 14,515 people, Marietta was the county's largest community in 2000. Washington County's population has remained relatively steady in recent years. The population of the county was 63,251 in 2000. The county averages almost one hundred people per square mile.

The largest employers in Washington County are farms, retail businesses, and service industries. During the nineteenth century, many county residents earned a living through shipping on the Ohio River. In 1999, the per capita income in the county was 22,298 dollars, with 12.3 percent of the people living in poverty.

Most voters in Washington County claim to be independents.

Ohio Governor Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr., was a resident of Washington County.

See Also