On March 24, 1803, the State of Ohio established Butler County. The county was named in honor of Richard Butler, who was killed in St. Clair's defeat in 1791. It was originally part of Hamilton County.
Butler County is located in Ohio's southwestern corner. Its western boundary lies on the Indiana border. The county is generally rural, although urban areas cover twelve percent of Butler County's 467 square miles. The county's largest city is Hamilton, the county seat, with a population of 60,690 people in 2000. Middletown and Fairfield are the next two largest cities, with populations of more than forty thousand people in 2000. Almost 333,000 people resided in Butler County in 2000. This was an increase of more than fourteen percent since 1990. The county averages approximately 713 people per square mile.
While Butler County is a rural area, the majority of its residents work in sales or in service industries. Manufacturing, especially of paper, steel, and safes, and government positions finish third and fourth among occupations. Since Butler County is relatively close to Cincinnati, many residents commute to the larger city. A number of residents also work in the construction industry. In 1999, the county's per capita income was 26,456 dollars, with approximately eight percent of the population living below the poverty level.
Most voters in Butler County claim to be independents. Educator William Holmes McGuffey and author Murat Halstead were among Butler County's most famous residents. Ohio Governor James Campbell also was from the county. Butler County is home to Miami University, the second oldest state-supported institution of higher education in Ohio. It is located in Oxford.