After lobbying by Col. James Curry, who represented the area in legislature at the time and a resident of what would become Jerome township, Union County was established by the Ohio legislature, and became official in with the appointment of the original commissioners: Stephen Bell, Reuben Wallace, and John Huston. The county commissioners eventually established the townships, including Union , Darby , Mill Creek , Jerome , Paris , Liberty , Leesburg , Allen , Jackson , York , Washington , Dover , Claibourne , and Taylor , while they designated Marysville as the county seat.
After the organization of the county by the Ohio Legislature, Marysville was designated as the seat of Union County. This is the present courthouse today.
In , a county infirmary was authorized. The first county jail was a log structure that sat on the southside of East Center street, in the rear of the courthouse. Eventually a new jail was authorized by the commissioners and built in the s. In the county purchased a ton safe for the treasury, that eventually was moved into courthouse. The first county fair was held in in Marysville, in the public square. In , the Agriculture Society moved the fair to the current location, on the northside of town.
On December 4, , a group met at the courthouse in Marysville to organize the Union County Pioneer society.
Robinson, R. Partridge, and Hylas Sabine. In , the Normal School was organized by J. Wharton, which specialized in instructing future teachers. The county lacked transportation infrastructure until when the first known highway named Post Road was constructed across the southern portion of the county. This road eventually became what is known as U. Route 33 today. By the late 19th century and into the 20th century, the county began developing its electricity infrastructure.
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By , electricity lines ran from Magnetic Springs to Richwood. The county's first railroad was constructed between —, a line that ran from Springfield to Delaware and crossed through the county in Milford, Marysville, Irwin, and Dover. The Columbus and Bellefontaine railroad was incorporated in and had station points in the county at Marysville. The Toledo and Central railroad ran from Columbus north through the county, with station points at Marysville, Peoria, and Raymond. The first telegraph line was completed in , which connected Marysville with the world via Springfield. Because of the fertile soil in Union County, the county's farmers required minimal fertilizer.
There were hundreds of farms in the county in its early stages. The crops grown in Union County's early history included wheat, oats, corn, Irish potatoes, clover and alfalfa. The county was a large producer of milk, butter, sugar, syrup, apples, and pears. The farms had a total of 9, horses, 8, milk cows with 14, total cattle, 43, sheep, and 32, hogs. Union County was home to many industries in its original days from hotels, tanneries, distilleries, breweries, mills, asheries, manufacturers, energy production, banks, grocers, and retailers, among others.
Marysville's industrial roots can be traced back to many early companies. Among those were the Marysville Pearlash Factory, an ashery founded in , which by was the largest in the United States. The first steam-grist mill was erected in by Saxton and Casil. In , O. Scotts and Company was organized. In , the Marysville Cheese Manufacturing Company was built on the eastside.
Union County, OH Public Records
Helium in The Marysville Gas Light Company was incorporated in following almost a decade of the city using gasoline for lighting. Richwood was home to hotels such as the Parsons House and Beem House. There were large tile manufactures, and a plethora of commercial and industrial interests including jewelers, furniture retailers, and lumber yards. Magnetic Springs, following the discovery of natural healing waters, became a tourist haven in the late 19th century until the innovation of modern medicine in the early 20th century.
Tourists from all over the world visited the springs and stayed at resorts such as "The Park" and "The Columbus". Union County had many medical professionals from its earliest days. They included Dr. David Henderson, a civil war surgeon, Dr. Lee, among many others. Medical societies included the Union County Medical Association. Union County was home to many notable jurists in its early history, including John F. Kinney , who practiced in Union County in and eventually became a supreme court justice in Iowa and later a congressman from Utah. Edward Stillings grew up near Milford Center and was a graduate of Harvard, and became one of the top jurists in the country, practicing before the United States Supreme Court and helping to form the legal code of Kansas in the s.
James E. Otway Curry was a nationally known poet who also became a jurist in Hylas Sabine graduated from Harvard in and practiced law in the county.
Ulysses Cole, the son of Judge P. Cole, attended Harvard, practiced law with his father in , and after being elected to the legislature in Indiana, became Deputy United States Assessor for Internal Revenue. Joseph Kennedy was admitted to the bar in and would become mayor of Marysville. Charles W. Fairbanks was admitted to the bar in and went on to become a United States Vice President.
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Publishing exerted great influence over public opinion in the county in its early days. Monthly and weekly publishings were the earliest known forms of the media in the county originally. The newspaper was then renamed the "Union Star" after a year and continued until May , when it was purchased by John Cassil and renamed the "Union Gazette". In the paper moved to Bellefontaine and was edited by Thomas Robb, with the paper sent weekly to Marysville.
In the paper moved back to Marysville and was published until During the period it was owned by Cassil, it politically leaned Democratic. In the paper was purchased by P. Cole and W. Lawrence, who renamed it the "Argus and Union County Advertiser" and moved the politics toward the Whig party. In the paper was sold to James Alexander, and after only six weeks, sold back to John Cassil, who turned the paper back into a Democrat political newspaper.
In , P. Cole bought the newspaper back and turned it back into a Whig political newspaper. In , he sold the paper to C. Hamilton, who renamed it the "Marysville Tribune". Senator in Kansas. The paper would eventually be purchased by the Shearer family, who published daily editions that were Republican-leaning, and weekly editions that were independent.
Other papers in the county were the "Eaglet", formed in , and lasting only a few months. The "Union Journal", formed in , lasted a year. In it was purchased by the Vallandighamer family and changed to the "Union Democrat", which changed the paper in politics and spent its time attacking the Union government during the American Civil War. It ceased operations in In the "Darby News" was formed in Milford Center and eventually became the "Milford Echo" before folding, the "Milford Ohioan" was formed in , the "Richwood Gazette" in , the "Richwood Reporter" in , which ceased operations two years later when destroyed by fire, and the "Octograph Review".
In , the "Marysville Journal" was formed by C. Kenton, later becoming the "Union County Journal" and leaned Democratic.