Jackson is the county seat of Jackson County, Ohio. Established in 1817, residents named the town after Andrew Jackson, a hero of the War of 1812 and an eventual president of the United States. The community grew slowly, having only 297 inhabitants in 1840. In 1846, Jackson contained four churches, approximately seven stores, and a single newspaper office. Over the next forty years, the town grew more quickly, attaining a population of 3,021 people in 1880. By 1880, two railroad lines passed through the community, helping to spur economic and population growth. In 1886, two newspaper offices, eight churches, and two banks existed in Jackson. The largest businesses in the town were the Star Furnace Company and the Globe Iron Company with thirty employees apiece. Both firms used local coal and iron ore deposits to make iron products.
Jackson continued to grow during the twentieth century. Jackson was the county's largest community in 2000, with a population of 6,184 people. This number amounted to approximately twenty percent of the county's entire population. Today, many locals find employment in a General Mills plant, which employs more than one thousand people.