Isaac Van Wart
A sea captain, James Riley, bought property in and was the first white man to move into Van Wert County in 1821. He moved his family onto a plot of land, and laid the remainder out for a town that became Willshire, the first county seat of Van Wert County.
By act of the Ohio Legislature, Van Wert County, Ohio was erected on 12 February 1820. The same act attached the county to Darke County for judicial purposes, and was subsequently detached in October 1837. When the population of the town of Van Wert outgrew Willshire, in 1839 the county seat was moved to Van Wert. There are several versions of how records were moved from Willshire to Van Wert, one being that a county official carried them in his coat pocket.
Van Wert County was formed on April 1, 1820, but was not organized until 1837. The county is named for Isaac Van Wart, one of the capturers of the British spy, Major Andre'. The name was spelled "Wert" in a citation and carried into history. The county seat is the City of Van Wert.