Allen County, Ohio
Map of Ohio highlighting Allen County
Location in the state of Ohio
Map of USA OH
Ohio's location in the U.S.
Founded March 1, 1820[1]
Named for John Allen
Seat Lima
Largest city Lima
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

407 sq mi (1,054 km²)
404 sq mi (1,047 km²)
2 sq mi (6 km²), 0.60%
 - (2000)
 - Density

269/sq mi (104/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Allen County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. Its population was 108,473 as of the 2000 census. It is included in the Lima, Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Lima–Van WertWapakoneta Combined Statistical Area.

It is named for Colonel John Allen, who was killed leading his men at the Battle of Frenchtown, during the War of 1812. Although it has also been claimed the county was named for Revolutionary War soldier Ethan Allen,[2] the weight of the evidence in favor of John Allen led the General Assembly to declare that the county was named for him.[3] The county seat is Lima.[4]



Under the terms of the Treaty of Greenville signed in 1795, northwestern Ohio was reserved for Native Americans. Thus the area now comprising Allen County was off-limits to European settlement until the Treaty of Maumee Rapids in 1817.[5] Under the terms of this treaty, the Shawnee tribe was assigned reservations at Wapakonetta and at their "Hog Creek" settlement along the Ottawa River which comprised most of what is the present-day Shawnee Township. The latter treaty opened the way for the Ohio Legislature on March 1, 1820 to create fourteen counties, including Allen,[5] which was defined as Ranges 5 through 8 east and Towns 3 through 6 south.

The first permanent settlement within the present day bounds of Allen County took place in 1824, when Christopher S. Wood and his family settled in section 7 of Bath Township.[6] The organization of Bath Township predates that of Allen County itself, with its first township meeting held on March 2, 1829. On Feb. 12, 1829, an act of the legislature set aside land for a "county town".[7] Wood was appointed commissioner to determine the location of this "seat of justice" for Allen County. This was done on March 3, 1831, with Wood appointed as Town Director. He laid out plots of land to be sold in section 31 of Bath Township,[8] and the plat was filed April 20, 1831, creating what was the beginning of the city of Lima.

The organization of Allen County itself dates from the first meeting of the county commissioners, held on June 6, 1831. Present at this meeting were Commissioners James Daniels, John G. Wood, and Samuel Stewart. Also present was William G. Wood, county auditor; Adam White, county treasurer; and Henry Lippincott, sheriff.[9]

The first court of justice was held in August 1831,[9] and it is believed that the assembly of men, in informal session, selected the name for the seat of justice by drawing names from a hat. The meeting was held at the cabin of James Daniels, which was located on the bank of the Ottawa River near the current location of Market Street.[9] Patrick G. Goode of Montgomery County, special prosecuting attorney at that session, is given credit for having offered up the name of "Lima" (capital of Peru and source of the quinine used to treat the malaria prevalent in the area of the Great Black Swamp). At the County Commission session on June 6, 1831, the formation of a second township, Jackson, was approved.[9]

In 1832 the Shawnees, including those living in the Hog Creek reservation (present day Shawnee Township), were removed to eastern Kansas. They received payment of $30 000 in fifteen annual installments for their lands which had an estimated value of over $200 000 at that time.[10] They arrived at their new home with few provisions and immediately suffered an epidemic of cholera.[10]

Lima was established as a village in 1841, and the town of Lima was organized March 29, 1842. Henry DeVilliers Williams was elected the first mayor and Amos Clutter was elected the first town marshall.

In 1848, the boundaries of Allen County changed with a reorganization that created Auglaize County, Ohio from the southern half of the original county. Town 2S, Range 7E (Monroe Twp.); Town 2S, Range 8E (Richland Twp.); the southern half of Town 2S, Range 5E, and the southern half of Town 2S, Range 6E (Sugar Creek Twp.) were transferred from Putnam County to Allen County. Parts of Van Wert and Mercer Counties were also transferred to Allen to form Spencer Township and part of Marion Township. In May, 1853, Allen and Putnam Counties agreed on a cash settlement for Putnam's loss.[11]

There were several practical implications of these changes to the boundaries of Allen County. Lima, the county seat, became located near the center of the county, rather than in the northern quarter. The western part of the county gained a significant stretch of the Miami and Erie Canal, which was completed in 1845. The reorganization also brought the towns of Spencerville, laid out in 1844 and located on the canal,[12] and Bluffton within the bounds of the county.

In 1885, oil was discovered in Lima. This began a boom in Allen County which lasted until after 1910.



County courthouse in Lima.



Allen County townships.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 407 square miles (1,050 km2). 404 square miles (1,050 km2) is land and 2 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.60%) is water.

Adjacent countiesEdit


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 578
1840 9,079 1,470.8%
1850 12,109 33.4%
1860 19,185 58.4%
1870 23,623 23.1%
1880 31,314 32.6%
1890 40,644 29.8%
1900 47,976 18.0%
1910 56,580 17.9%
1920 68,223 20.6%
1930 69,419 1.8%
1940 73,303 5.6%
1950 88,183 20.3%
1960 103,691 17.6%
1970 111,144 7.2%
1980 112,241 1.0%
1990 109,755 −2.2%
2000 108,743 −0.9%
Est. 2008[13] 105,168 −3.3%

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 108,473 people, 40,646 households, and 28,208 families residing in the county. The population density was 268 people per square mile (104/km²). There were 44,245 housing units at an average density of 109 per square mile (42/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.95% White, 12.19% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 1.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 33.8% were of German, 14.2% American, 8.8% Irish and 6.6% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 40,646 households out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.60% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.90% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,048, and the median income for a family was $44,723. Males had a median income of $35,546 versus $23,537 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,511. About 9.60% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.00% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.

Allen County Fair Edit

One of the more notable annual events in Allen County is its County Fair. Run every August in Lima, Ohio since 1851, the Fair is amongst the foremost agricultural showcasing events in Western Ohio. In 2005, there were over 220,000 visitors and almost 3,000 exhibitors, making it the largest in the state.

The fair has also been notable for attracting many nationally known performers during the 1980s and 1990s, and combined with significant renovations to the county show grounds, these two factors have contributed to a marked increase in attendance and notoriety over the past two decades.[15]



Map of Allen County Ohio With Municipal and Township Labels

Municipalities and townships of Allen County.



Unincorporated communitiesEdit

  • Allentown
  • Auglaize
  • Conant
  • Gomer
  • Hume
  • Kemp
  • Landeck
  • Needmore
  • Oakview
  • Rockport
  • Rousculp
  • Scotts Crossing
  • Slabtown
  • South Warsaw
  • Southworth
  • West Newton
  • Westminster
  • Yoder


  1. ^ "Ohio County Profiles: Allen County" (PDF). Ohio Department of Development. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  2. ^ Wood, Helen Winemiller (1975). The Naming of Allen County: The Story of Colonel John Allen in the War of 1812. Lima, Ohio: Longmeier Printing & Advertising. 
  3. ^ Resolution of 111th Ohio General Assembly designating John Allen as the person for which Allen County was named.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ a b Harrison, R. H. (1880). Atlas of Allen County, Ohio from Records and Original Surveys. Philadelphia: R.H. Harrison. pp. 20. 
  6. ^ History of Allen County, Ohio. Chicago: Warner, Beers & Company. 1885. pp. 417–418. 
  7. ^ Knapp, H. S. (1875). History of Allen County in Historical Atlas of Allen County, Ohio. Chicago: H.H. Hardesty & Co.. pp. 19. 
  8. ^ Harrison, R. H. (1880). Atlas of Allen County, Ohio from Records and Original Surveys. Philadelphia: R.H. Harrison. pp. 33 1/4. 
  9. ^ a b c d Knapp, H. S. (1875). History of Allen County in Historical Atlas of Allen County, Ohio. Chicago: H.H. Hardesty & Co.. pp. 15. 
  10. ^ a b Harrison, R. H. (1880). Atlas of Allen County, Ohio from Records and Original Surveys. Philadelphia: R.H. Harrison. pp. 19. 
  11. ^ History of Allen County, Ohio. Chicago: Warner, Beers & Company. 1885. pp. 280–281. 
  12. ^ Harrison, R. H. (1880). Atlas of Allen County, Ohio from Records and Original Surveys. Philadelphia: R.H. Harrison. pp. 30. 
  13. ^ "Allen County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "Allen County Fair". Retrieved 2007-04-05. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°46′N 84°07′W / 40.77, -84.11

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