Bellefontaine, Ohio

From Ohio History Central
Bellefontaine map.jpg

Bellefontaine is the county seat of Logan County, Ohio. It was named after the French word for beautiful spring, since several limestone springs once existed in the area. Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket once had a village located on the site of Bellefontaine. Established in 1820, Bellefontaine grew slowly, having only 610 residents in 1846. That same year, the town contained four churches, one newspaper office, and eleven stores.

Over the next three decades, Bellefontaine grew dramatically. In 1880, 3,998 people resided in the town, and the number of inhabitants increased to 4,238 by 1890. One of the principal reasons for this growth was Bellefontaine's location along two railroad lines. In 1886, three newspapers, eleven churches, and two banks operated in the town. Numerous manufacturing businesses operated in the town, with Mack, Dickinson & Company being the largest employer, with sixty-four workers. This firm produced chairs. Many other businesses manufactured items for farmers in the surrounding countryside.

During the twentieth century, Bellefontaine continued to grow in population. In 2000, the town was Logan County's largest urban center, with a population of 13,069 people. Many Bellefontaine residents are empolyed at Honda of America's various plants in the county. In 1901, the town became the first community in the United States to have a street paved with concrete. Bellefontaine also contains the world's shortest street, McKinley Street, which is approximately twenty feet long.

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