Plain City, which was formerly known as Westminster and Pleasant Valley, is a community in northern Madison County, Ohio.
Prior to the arrival of white settlers, the Wyandot Indians principally inhabited the area that now includes Plain City. Whites drove most of the Wyandots and other Indian groups from the region during the War of 1812. In 1818, Isaac Bigelow, formerly of Saratoga County, New York, surveyed the town of Westminster. In 1823, residents changed the community's name to Pleasant Valley. In 1842, the Ohio legislature formally incorporated the village. Because at least three other Ohio communities were known as Pleasant Valley, in 1877, residents successfully lobbied the state legislature to officially change the town's name to Plain City. Residents named the village after the Big Darby Plain, where Plain City is located.
Plain City grew relatively slowly in its first decades of existence, but with the completion of a railroad line to the community in the early 1850s, a period of growth occurred. By 1880, Plain City contained one newspaper, two banks, three churches, a flourmill, a sawmill, a grain elevator, and several additional businesses. The community boasted a population of 665 residents this same year. By the first decade of the twentieth century, Plain City also contained a magnificent town clock and an opera house. Many residents earned their living by working for the railroad, principally shipping livestock from surrounding farms to meatpacking facilities in major cities.
Plain City continued to experience growth following the World Wars. With World War II's conclusion in 1945 and the greater availability of automobiles, an increasing number of Plain City residents commuted to nearby Columbus, Ohio to find employment. With the opening of a Honda of America manufacturing facility in nearby Marysville, Ohio in 1979, numerous Plain City residents found employment there. In 2000, 2,832 people lived in Plain City.
- Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes. Vol. II. Cincinnati, OH: C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1902.
- "History of Plain City." Http://www.plain-city.com/index.php?page=history.