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Van Wert, Ohio Chapter Ohio Genealogical Society

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Some Van Wert History

  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, and was subsequently detached in October 1837.
  The county is bounded on the north by Paulding, east by Allen, south by Auglaize and Mercer counties, and west by the State of Indiana. The county is divided into 12 townships.
Isaac Van Wart
  Isaac Van Wart was one of three soldiers who captured Major John Andre, a British spy. In 1820, the state legislature named the county Van Wert in his honor. He resided near Tarrytown, NY, and at the time of his death in 1828 was 68 years of age. The change in spelling of his name is attributed to a clerical error. Putnam and Williams Counties were also named in honor of the other two soldiers.
   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. 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.

  The county sold 100 and forty lots to the town of Van Wert, "in order to fill out and make square in form the original surveyed and recorded plat of the town of Van Wert, and that the same be known as the County's addition to the town of Van Wert . . ." (Source: Commissioner's Journal, Van Wert County, Ohio, Volume A, pages 11-12.)

Courthouse and its history

Early views of Van Wert Middlepoint Normal School
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This page prepared and maintained by Donald L. Kear.


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