Historical Events of Union County

Union County, Ohio, was established on April 1, 1820, through the “union” of portions of Delaware, Franklin, Logan, and Madison Counties, and a section of former Native American territory.

Marysville, founded in 1819, was designated as the county seat in 1822 with the current courthouse being constructed in 1883 to meet the expanding needs of the County. Other incorporated areas in the County include: Milford Center, Unionville Center, Magnetic Springs, Richwood, and portions of Dublin and Plain City. The County also has several unincorporated populations centers including: Broadway, Byhalia, Claibourne, Essex, Irwin, New Dover, Peoria, Pharisburg, Pottersburg, Raymond, Somersville and York Center. The County contains several major transportation routes including U.S. Route 33, U.S. Route, 36, U.S. Route 42 and State Route 4.

The County developed primarily as an agricultural community starting with the first settlements by James and Joshua Ewing in 1798. While agriculture is still the predominant industry, new infrastructure, businesses and employment opportunities began forming in the mid nineteenth century. The Richwood Banking Company began operations in 1867. The Scotts Company, now known as Scotts Miracle Grow Company, was founded in 1868, and is still headquartered in Marysville. In 1979, The Honda of America Manufacturing Company established itself in Union County. Three years later Honda expanded its operations and added its Marysville automotive plant, producing the first foreign cars made in America.

Union County’s close proximity to a metropolitan area with a large population and employment resources has created a unique blend of employment opportunities throughout the County. The County’s population has grown from its original 1,996 people in 1820 to over 52,300 in 2010. Union County has been one of the fastest growing counties in Ohio over the last decade and is expected to continue to grow in the future.

1798: Joshua and James Ewing first settled on land which became Union County

1811: The first main road was constructed – Post Road
First post office in Union County was opened – Darby Creek Post Office

1815: Dr. Daniel Bowen became the first practicing physician in Union County

1819: Marysville founded by Samuel Culbertson

1823: First significant highway was constructed – U.S. Route 33

1831: William C. Lawrence opened the first law practice in the County

1832: Richwood was founded by Philip Plummer

1839: First newspaper in Union County was established – Our Freedom and Union County Advertiser

1846: Oldest surviving brick building in Marysville was built, the Cyprian Lee House at 118 W. Sixth Street

1847: Union County Agriculture Society was formed and the first County fair was held

1849: The county-wide newspaper the Marysville Tribune, currently the Marysville Journal-Tribune, began operations

1854: A railway was constructed through Marysville which is still a major part of the transportation system today

1867: First public library in Union County was opened in Marysville
Richwood Banking Company was established

1868: The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded

1879: The town of Magnetic Springs was formed when a spring of water was found in the park and said to have healing powers

1883: The current Union County Courthouse was dedicated in Marysville

1892: Opera House in Richwood was dedicated

1894: Regular telephone exchange was established

1902: Samuel Taylor donated the Seth Thomas Town Clock in Plain City

1914: Union County School System was established

1916: Ohio State Reformatory for women was dedicated

1930: Natural gas was supplied to the county by Columbia Gas

1949: The Union County Historical Society was formed and later inherited its current location in 1954

1952: Memorial Hospital of Union County was opened with 36 beds

1967: Union County Airport dedicated

1979: Honda of America dedicated its motorcycle production facility

2000: Bicentennial logo painted on Clady Farm barn in honor of Ohio’s 2003 Bicentennial

2006: Union County Historical Society moved and renovated historic 1840s log home

2008: Rededication of 1862 Civil War cannons on loan from United States Government since 1883

2009: Union County dedicated four historical markers, the most in one year in the history of the county, bringing to a total of nine historical markers,

2010: Thompson Covered Bridge built and dedicated. Curtis Goldstein’s Mural was painted in Uptown Marysville on the corner of Main and Fourth Street which features a sketch of Reuben Partridge, designer of many of the county’s covered bridges, along with other imagery familiar throughout Union County

2011: Two new historical markers dedicated; Company E, 30th Ohio Volunteer Infantry & Culbertson Covered Bridge. 14 historical markers can be found throughout Union County.

2012: An historical marker was unveiled to commemorate a block house built in 1812, just outside present Marysville; to help defend the territory after the American surrender at Fort Detroit during the war of 1812.

Famous People from Union County, Ohio

Charles Fairbanks (1852-1918)
Vice President of the United States (1905-1909) under Theodore Roosevelt

Cornelius Hamilton (1821-1867)
First Representative from Union County in US Congress

Otway Curry (1804-1855)
Attorney, poet, journalist and state representative from Marysville and wrote Log Cabin Song for Ohio Whig Convention

Noah Orr (1836-1882)
Know as the “Union County Giant” who stood 9 feet tall in costume and exhibited with P.T. Barnum

Judge James E. Robinson (1868-1932)
Only resident who served the State of Ohio as judge of the Supreme Court (1919-1932) and Great Grandfather of President George W. Bush

Reuben Partridge (1823-1900)
Covered Bridge Builder who revolutionized bridge building with an exclusive patented design in 1872

O.M. Scott (1837-1923)
Founder of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company in 1868

Major-General Robert Sprague Beightler (1892-1978)
Served as a soldier from 1911 to 1952 rising from the rank of private to Major-General after fighting in both World Wars

Heritage Contacts

Plain City Historical (Museum)
111 West Main Street, Plain City – 614-570-2962

Union County Historical Society (Museum)
246 West Sixth Street, Marysville – 937-644-0568

Union County Genealogical Society
Marysville Public Library
231 South Plum Street, Marysville – 937-642-1876