On January 12, 1816, the Ohio government authorized the creation of Jackson County. Residents named the county in honor of Andrew Jackson, a hero of the War of 1812. Jackson also eventually became president of the United States. Most of Jackson County’s early residents were Welsh migrants.
Jackson County is located in southeastern Ohio. It is predominantly rural, with less than two percent of the county’s 420 square miles consisting of urban areas. The county seat is Jackson. With a population of 6,184 people, Jackson was the county’s largest community in 2000. Unlike many of Ohio’s more rural counties, Jackson County experienced a significant increase in population—roughly eight percent—between 1990 and 2000, raising the total number of residents to 32,641 people. The county averages almost seventy-eight people per square mile.
The largest employers in Jackson County are manufacturing businesses, with retail positions and farming almost tied for a distant second. The county is best known for its abundant apple orchards and hosts an apple festival every year. During the early to mid-nineteenth century, county residents earned money through coal mining, iron production, and salt processing. In 1999, the per capita income in the county was 18,628 dollars, with 16.4 percent of the people living in poverty.
Most voters in Jackson County claim to be independents, yet in recent years, they have supported Republican Party candidates at the national level. Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes was born in Jackson County.