Norwalk, Ohio

From Ohio History Central

Norwalk is the county seat of Huron County. In 1815, Elisha Whittlesey and Platt Benedict chose the town’s location, and Almon Ruggles surveyed it in 1816. Norwalk became the Huron County seat in 1818. Residents named the town after Norwalk, Connecticut. Many of Huron County’s first residents were from Connecticut.

Norwalk grew quickly, claiming approximately 1,800 inhabitants in 1846. That same year, the town contained five churches, fourteen stores, one bank, and two newspaper offices. The Norwalk Institute also existed in the community. Founded by the local Baptist Church, this institution taught approximately one hundred students in 1846. This school accepted both men and women as students. Over the next thirty years, Norwalk grew slowly, having 2,338 inhabitants by 1880. In 1886, five newspaper offices, eleven churches, and three banks existed in the community. Numerous manufacturing businesses operated in the town, with Sprague and French, an advertising novelty company, being Norwalk’s largest employer. Most businesses provided services or manufactured products for farmers in the surrounding countryside.

During the twentieth century, Norwalk continued to grow. Located approximately fifty-five miles from both Toledo, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio, Huron County and Norwalk have escaped the influx of people from these larger cities, who are seeking to escape the busyness of city life. In 2000, 16,238 people resided in Norwalk. This was approximately thirty percent of Huron County’s entire population.

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