Genealogy Trails History Group

Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States

State, Territories, Counties, Cities, Towns & Post Offices


Transcribed by Jeana Gallagher and Sandy Stutzman
for the exclusive use of Genealogy Trails

PT is post town; PV is post village; PO is post office, PB is post borough, CH is court house, T is town


One of the United States, situated between 38°34' and  42° north latitude, and  80°35' and  84°57' west longitude from Greenwich; and is bounded north by Michigan and Lake Erie, and east by Pennsylvania, southeast by Virginia, from which it is separated by Ohio river, south by Kentucky, from which it is also separated by the same river, and west by Indiana.  Its superficial area is 40,000 square miles.

Physical Aspect-- This state presents a considerable diversity of surface, as well as of climate.  A range of comparatively high land divides the waters which flow into Lake Erie from those which descend into the Ohio, forming two inclined plains of unequal areas. The northern, or Erie plain, does not exceed 25 miles in width at the northeast extremity, but expands to 80 miles in width along the east boundary of Indiana.  The mean elevation of the apex of this range is estimated to be 1,000 feet above the ocean tides; so that, from its proximity to the lake, the descent of the streams, flowing in this direction, is somewhat precipitate, and all roll over direct cascades, of falls.  On the other hand, the plain inclined toward the Ohio is very gradual in its descent, and falls of any kind are rarely to be found.  The central portion of the state occupies an immense plateau, or table land, comparatively level, and in part marshy, which consists of a diversity of soil, from rich alluvion and prairie, to wild oak "barrens."  Along the Ohio river, for fifty or sixty miles back, the country is hilly, and in some parts quite rugged, caused by the abrasion of the streams; but the chief part of the central table land remains unchannelled, presenting a series of broad prairies and other plains.  A similar feature is observable along the Ohio shores of Lake Erie, but the surface is less broken, and the hills are more moderate in their height.

Rivers, Lakes and Bays-- The principal rivers of this state are the Ohio, Muskingum, Hockhocking, Scioto, Great and Little Miami, Maumee, Sandusky, Huron, Vermilion, Black, Cuyahoga, Grand, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Tuscarawas, Walhonding, Olentangy or Whetstone, and St Mary's.  Lake Erie lies partly in Ohio, in the western part of which Maumee and Sandusky bays;  there is also a good harbor at Cleveland.

Climate-- The climate, in general, may be regarded as healthy, except in the vicinity of stagnant marshes and sluggish streams, where, in summer and autumn, intermittents usually prevail.  Spring and autumn are pleasant; but the winters, though comparatively mild, are subject to great fluctuations of temperature, varying from temperate to 16°F below zero.

Productive Resources-- The chief products are, horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, beef, pork, wax, silk, wool, wine, sugar, hops, tobacco, madder, hay, flax, hemp, lumber, pot and pearl ashes, wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, potatoes and Indian corn.  Of the mineral resources, coal, iron and salt are the principal, the latter of which is extensively manufactured from salt creeks and springs.

Manufactures-- The manufactures of Ohio are already of considerable importance, and are rapidly increasing, in both variety and extent.  The abundance of waterpower, and the cheapness of coal, will make this section of the Ohio valley the seat of vast manufacturing industry.  The more important articles of manufacture are, machinery, cotton, woolen, silk and mixed goods, leather, paper, ironware, agricultural and mechanical implements, cabinet ware, hats, steamboats, &c.  The number of manufacturing establishments in the state in 1850, producing each $500 worth or more annually was 10,550.

Railroads and Canals--Ohio has an extensive system of railroads and canals, communicating with every important point.  There are about 2,000 miles already in operation, or in rapid progress of construction.  The principal of them are: the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati 255 miles; The Cincinnati and Sandusky 218 miles; Cleveland and Pittsburgh 100 miles; the Ohio and Pennsylvania, running through the centre of the state, and connecting the Indiana with the Pennsylvania; and the Lake Shore road, uniting Illinois and Michigan with New York and the eastern states.  The most important canal in the state is the Ohio canal, 309 miles long, connecting the waters of Lake Erie at Cleveland with those of the Ohio river at Portsmouth.  The aggregate length of the canals is about 850 miles.  The tolls collected are about $800,000 annually.

Commerce-- With the exception of the trade with Canada, the direct foreign commerce of Ohio is trifling, the exports and imports of 1850 amounting only $800,000.  But the coasting and river trade is immense.  Amount of shipping enrolled in the state about 65,000 tons.

Education--  The facilities of education in Ohio are ample.  The permanent school fund amounts to rising $600,000.  The principle literary institutions are, the University of Ohio at Athens founded in 1804; the Miami University in 1809; Cincinnati college in 1819; Franklin college at New Athens in 1825; Western Reserve college at Hudson in 1826; the Kenyon college at Gambia in 1827; the Granville college at Granville and Woodward college at Cincinnati in 1831; the Oberlin college in 1834; the Marietta college in 1835; the St Xavier college at Cincinnati in 1840; the Ohio Wesleyan university at Delaware in 1842; and the Wittenberg college at Springfield in 1845.  Law, medical and theological schools are attached to many of the above.  There are near 200 academies and over 5,000 free common schools established throughout the state.  The state has also provided liberally for the education and support of the deaf and dumb, blind, and lunatic.  The buildings, with spacious grounds for each class, are situated at Columbus.

Government-- The legislative power is vested in a general assembly, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, elected biennially, on the second Tuesday in October.  The senate consists of 35 members, and the house of representatives of 100 members.  The legislature meets biennially at Columbus, the first Monday in January.  The executive department consists of a governor, lieutenant governor (who is president of the senate), secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and an attorney general, who are chosen by the people at the biennial election.  They hold their offices for two years, except the auditor, whose term is four years.  The board of public works, consisting of three members, is elected by the people, one annually, for the term of three years.  The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, in district courts, courts of common pleas, courts of probate, justices of the peace, and in such other courts, inferior to the supreme court, as the general assembly may establish;  the five supreme court judges hold their office five years, the term of one of the judges expiring annually.  There are nine judges of the common pleas, elected by districts for five years.  All judges are elected by the people.  The elective franchise is enjoyed by every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of 21 years, a resident of the state one year next preceding the election.

Population-- In 1790 was about 3,000; in 1800 was 45,365; in 1810 was 230,760; in 1820 was 581,434; in 1830 was 937,903; in 1840 was 1,519,467 and in 1850 was 1,980,408.

History-- The French explored the region, and erected forts along the banks of the Ohio river, as far up as Pittsburgh, PA, as early as 1754.  In 1786, what now constitutes the state of Ohio, was erected, by act of Congress, into the "Western Territory." The anme of which was afterward changed to the "Territory Northwest of the River Ohio."  The first permanent settlement was made at Marietta, in 1788, by a small colony from Massachusetts, and the year following a settlement was made near Cincinnati; this was followed by another at Cleveland in 1796, the emigrants being mostly from New England.  Soon after the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, Michigan was surrendered by Great Britain to the United States, and was annexed to the territory northwest of the river Ohio in 1800.  The same year Connecticut relinquished her jurisdiction over the "Western Reserve." In 1799, the first territorial legislature met at Cincinnati, and organized the government.  In 1802, Ohio was detached from Michigan, and admitted into the Union as an independent state. Her constitution was framed the same year, at Chillicothe (the capital of the state until it was removed to Columbus in 1812), and continued in operation till 1851, when a new constitution was framed at Columbus, by a convention of delegates, and adopted by the people.

1850 Counties of  Ohio

County Description Area in sq miles Courts held at Pop in 1850
Adams southern part, on Ohio river 550 Adamsvile & West Union 18,853
Allen northwest part, water by Auglaize, St Mary's & Miami rivers 554 Lima 12,109
Ashland northern part blank Ashland 23,811
Ashtabula northeast part on Lake Erie, water by Grand & Ashtabula river 700 Jefferson 28,766
Athens southeast part, next to Ohio river & crossed by Hockkocking river 900 Athens 18,215
Auglaize western part blank Wapaukonetta 11,344
Belmont in east part, on west died of Ohio river 500 St Clairsville 34,600
Brown south boundary, on north side of Ohio river 470 Georgetown 27,332
Butler southwest part, crossed by Miami river & the Miami canal 480 Hamilton 30,789
Carroll eastern part 400 Carrollton 17,685
Champaign western part, crossed by Mud river 450 Urbana 19,762
Clermont southern boundary, on north side of Ohio river 450 Batavia 30,455
Clinton southwest corner, drained by tributaries of Little Miami river 400 Wilmington 18,838
Columbiana east boundary, Ohio river on southeast 750 New Lisbon 33,621
Coshocton near central part 562 Coshocton 25,674
Crawford north part, drained by Sandusky river 590 Bueyrus 18,177
Cuyahoga northern boundary on Lake Erie, crossed by Cuyahoga river 475 Cleveland 48,099
Darke western boundary 714 Greenville 20,274
Defiance west boundary, crossed by Maumee river blank Defiance 6,966
Delaware central part, water by Scioto & Whetstone rivers 610 Delaware 21,817
Erie northern boundary, south of Lake Erie 150 Sandusky 18,568
Fairfield southeast part 54 Lancaster 30,264
Fayette southern part 415 Washington 12,726
Franklin central part, crossed by Scioto river 529 Columbus 42,910
Fulton northern boundary blank Gorham 7,781
Gallia south eastern boundary, Ohio river on east 500 Gallipolis 17,063
Geauga north eastern part 576 Chardon 17,827
Greene southwest part, crossed by Little Miami & Mad rivers 400 Xenia 22,946
Guernsey eastern part, valley of Wells creek 676 Cambridge 30,438
Hamilton southwest corner, Ohio river on south, crossed by Miami & Little Miami rivers & Miami canal 400 Cincinnati 156,843
Hancock northwest part 576 Finley 11,751
Hardin northwestern part 480 Kenton 8,265
Harrison eastern part 486 Cadiz 20,158
Henry north western part, crossed by Maumee river 576 Napoleon 3,435
Highland southern part 555 Hillsborough 25,781
Hocking southern part, crossed by Hocking river 432 Logan 14,119
Holmes north eastern part 422 Millersburgh 20,452
Huron northern part 800 Norwalk 26,203
Jackson southern part 400 Jackson 12,621
Jefferson east boundary on Ohio river 396 Steubenville 29,132
Knox central part 618 Mount Vernon 28,773
Lake north boundary on Lake Erie 820 Painesville 14,650
Lawrence southern boundary, Ohio river on south 430 Burlington 15,726
Licking central part 666 Newark 38,852
Logan toward west part 425 Bellefontaine 19,162
Lorain northern boundary, on Lake Erie 540 Elyria 26,086
Lucas northern boundary, Maumee river on southeast 600 Maumee City 12,263
Madison central part 400 London 10,046
Mohoning eastern boundary blank Canfield 23,735
Marion toward north part 460 Marion 12,618
Medina north part 450 Medina 24,441
Meigs southeastern boundary on Ohio river 425 Pomeroy 17,969
Mercer western boundary 576 Celina 7,712
Miami western part, crossed by Miami river 410 Troy 24,996
Monroe southeastern boundary, Ohio river on southeast 520 Woodsfield 28,151
Montgomery southwest part, crossed by Miami river 480 Dayton 38,219
Morgan southeastern part, crossed by Muskingum river 500 M'Connelsville 28,585
Morrow central part blank Mount Gilead 20,280
Muskingum southeast part, crossed by Muskingum river 665 Zanesville 45,037
Noble southeast part, water by branches of Will's creek; Muskingum & Ohio rivers 450 Sarahsville organized since 1850
Ottawa northern boundary, Lake Erie on north, Sandusky bay on southeast 350 Port Clinton 3,308
Perry central part 400 Somerset 20,775
Pickaway central part, crossed by Scioto river 470 Circleville 21,008
Pike south part, crossed by Scioto river 421 Piketon 10,953
Portage in northeastern part, crossed by Cuyahoga & Tuscarawas rivers, which are separated by a portage of one mile 500 Ravenna 24,419
Preble on west boundary 432 Eaton 21,736
Putnam northwest part, crossed by Auglaize river 376 Kalida 7,221
Richland toward northern part 900 Mansfield 30,879
Ross toward southern part, crossed by Scioto river 650 Chillicothe 32,071
Sandusky north part, Sandusky bay on northeast, crossed by Sanducky river 320 Fremont 14,305
Scioto on southern boundary, Ohio river on south, crossed by Scioto river 600 Portsmouth 18,438
Seneca north part, crossed by Sandusky river 540 Tiffin 37,105
Shelby western part, crossed by Miami river 418 Sidney 13,958
Stark in east part, crossed by Tuscarawas river 650 Canton 39,878
Summit in northeast part, crossed by Cuyahoga river 422 Akron 27,485
Trumbull east boundary, crossed by Mahoning river 875 Warren 30,491
Tuscarawas eastern part, crossed by Tuscarawas river 655 New Philadelphia 31,161
Union toward western part 450 Marysville 12,204
Van Wert on west boundary 432 Van Wert 4,816
Vinton in southern part blank McArthur 9,353
Warren in southwest part, crossed by Little Miami river 400 not given 25,571
Washington on southeast boundary, Ohio river on southeast, crossed by Muskingum river 713 Marietta 29,540
Wayne toward northeast part 660 Wooster 32,981
Williams at northwest corner 600 Bryan 8,018
Wood in north part, Maumee river on northwest 590 Perrysburgh 9,257
Wyandott toward north part blank Upper Sandusky 11,292

Chillicothe, OH

A postal town and seat of justice of Ross Co, OH, and formerly capital of the state, is situated on the west bank of the Scioto river, 45 miles south of Columbia and 93 miles ENE from Cincinnati.  The Scioto washes its northern limit, and Paint creek its southern, here three-fourths of a mile apart.  The principle streets follow the course of the river, and these are crossed by others at right angles, extending from the river to the creek.  The two main streets, which cross each other at right angles at the centre of the township, are ninety feet wide.  Water street, which fronts the river, is eighty-two and a half feet wide; the other streets are sixty-six feet wide.  A number of ancient mounds formerly stood in the town and its vicinity.  The Ohio canal passes through the place.

Population: in 1830 was 2,846; in 1840 was 3,977 and in 1850 was 7,100

Cincinnati, OH

City and Seat of justice of Hamilton Co, OH, is situated on the north bank of the Ohio river, 494 miles from its entrance into the Mississippi, 1,447 miles from New Orleans, and 492 miles from Washington.  It occupies two terraces, or even surfaces, the higher rising by a regular grade, about 60 feet above the lower.  Great uniformity characterizes the streets, and the city is more splendid than it appears from the water.  The surrounding country is a pleasant fertile valley, bounded by undulating slopes and hills, which command delightful views of the city, the river, and its banks.  Near Cincinnati are several thriving villages and towns, which are connected with it in prosperity and interests.  Like most rapidly increasing American cities, Cincinnati exhibits great diversity in the appearance of its buildings.  Some are of wood and cheap material; other are solid, durable and splendid.  Extensive warehouses, stores and dwellings, adorn the compact central portions; toward the outskirts, the buildings are more scattered and less comely.

The public buildings are numerous and generally elegant, consisting of from 70 to 80 churches;, market house; a courthouse, 120 feet high to the top of the dome; banks, asylums and hospitals; large and splendid hotels; public schools; libraries; the Observatory; scientific and literary institutions, Cincinnati St Xavier and Woodward Colleges and Lane Seminary, are located in the city, and exhibit the high regard for education which is cherished in the west.

The manufactures of Cincinnati include a great variety of articles of necessity, comfort, and luxury.  Nature has supplied no remarkable water privileges, yet enterprise has constructed extensive appliances for the prosecution of manufactures.  Several canals approaching the city from different points, by means of locks and dams, perform the functions of rivers in respect to industry and trade.  Cincinnati is the market and emporium of a wide extent of country, exchanging its manufactures for vast numbers of hogs and other agricultural products.  This extensive trade is facilitated by the numerous natural and artificial channels of communication from various points. From its position on the Ohio, it commands the commerce of its valley, with that of the Mississippi, while Licking river enters the Ohio opposite the City, after meandering 230 miles in Kentucky.  Whitewater and Miami rivers, with their navigation improved by extensive canals, largely contribute to the trade and prosperity of the place.

The water-works of Cincinnati consist of a steam engine and reservoirs on the Ohio, which contain 1,600,000 gallons.  From Cleveland and Sandusky city, 60 miles apart, on Lake Erie, two lines of railroad traverse the state, meet at Xenia, and terminate at Cincinnati.

Population in 1800 was 750; in 1810 was 2,540; in 1820 was 9,644; in 1830 was 24,831; in 1840 was 46,338 and in 1850 was 115,436.

Cleveland, OH

City and seat of justice of Cuyahoga Co, OH is finely situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie, at the mouth of Cuyahoga river.  It is 200 miles east of Columbus, and 359 miles from Washington.  The shore of Lake Erie here is a bold bluff about 80 feet high, upon the level top of which the largest and best part of the city is built.  Here the streets are straight and spacious, the buildings neat and pleasant, and an open park shaded with trees, occupies the centre.  Fronting this square are the courthouse, a church and other prominent buildings.  Hitherto, the rapid growth of Cleveland has caused it to want that aspect of permanence which is the result of slower increase; but solid stores, hotels and dwellings, are now rising in every quarter, making it as substantial as it is flourishing.  Toward Cuyahoga river, the ground descends steeply, affording a convenient locality for stores, warehouses, and places of business.  Here the plan of the town is less regular and not so attractive.  The mouth of the river constitutes the harbor, which is deep, spacious and accessible.  Two piers of solid masonry project 1200 feet into the lake and mark the entrance.  At the end of one of these piers stands a lighthouse; another occupies the brow of the hill on the lake.  Vessels of the largest class enter the harbor, and proceed some distance up the river, but the Ohio and Erie canal, along the stream and through its bed, is the principal channel of inland navigation.  The great canal connects Portsmouth. 307 miles distant, on the Ohio river, with Cleveland, and traverses the rich interior of the state.

It meets the Ohio and Pennsylvania canal at Akron, in Summit Co, and thus communicates with Pittsburgh and the east.  By these channels and the facilities of intercourse with New York, Canada and Michigan, which Lakes Erie, Ontario and Huron afford, Cleveland maintains a commerce as varied as it is extensive.  Here congregate steamboats and other vessels, from very point on the vast shores of the great lakes, exchanging many foreign articles for the grain and other agricultural products of Ohio.  Here, also, terminate the Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland railroads.  The Lake-shore railroad connects it with the Erie at Dunkirk, the Central at Buffalo, and the Southern Michigan at Toledo.  The manufacturing facilities of this city are not equal to its commercial advantages.  The only water-power is afforded by the Cuyahoga river and the Ohio canal, which serve to keep several establishments in operation.  Such articles as are necessary to supply the demand for domestic manufacture, existing in every flourishing city, are produced by the aid of steam and other mechanical powers.

Population: in 1802 was about 200; in 1810 was 547; in 1820 was 606; in 1830 was 1,076; in 1840 was 6,071, in 1850 was 17,034 and in 1852 was 25,670.

Columbus, OH

Seat of justice of Franklin Co and Capital of Ohio,  occupies a gentle slope on the east side of the Scioto river, 110 miles northeast of Cincinnati, and 363 miles from Washington.  A large public square of 10 acres, in the centre of the city, is formed by the intersection of rectangular streets, and contains the staate house, an imposing edifice of brick, with a cupola 106 feet above the ground, which displays an interesting view of a wide surface of country.  Fronting this square, are also the federal courthouse, and a building for state purposes.  The penitentiary is a solid and extensive structure of limestone.  There are also asylums for the insane, and for the blind, deaf, and dumb; banks, churches, and numerous other prominent buildings.  Columbus owes much of its prosperity to the circumstance of its being the seat of goverment; but manufactures and trade are increasing with the facilities of communication.  The Columbus Branch canal extends 10 miles, to the Ohio and Erie canal, which traverses the state from Portsmouth, on the Ohio, to Cleveland, on Lake Erie, a distance of 307 miles.  The Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus railroad communicates with this place.

Population: in 1820 was 1,400; in 1830 was 2,435; in 1840 was 6,048; and in 1850 was 16,893

Sandusky, OH

City, seat of justice of Erie Co, OH, an interesting, pleasant, and thriving village, and one of the principal ports of entry on Lake Erie, is finely located on the inner shore of Sandusky bay, 60 miles west of Cleveland, 110 miles north of Columbus, and 414 miles from Washington.  Few western towns combine so pleasant a situation with so many sources of prosperity.  On a beautiful site, overlooking the whole bay, its entrance and lake beyond, the harbor dotted with sails and steamboats, moving in different directions, the town and its environs form a pleasing picture of industry and comfort.  A rich quarry of fine limestone, furnishes a foundation for the village and material for its buildings.  Of these a number are conspicuous for beauty and elegance.  Besides the numerous steamboats and other vessels, which visit Sandusky city from different points on the lake, it is the terminus of railroads from Cincinnati and Columbus, and intermediate towns.

The population in 1830 was 593; in 1840 was 1,200 and in 1850 was 5,087


Seat of justice of Greene Co, OH, 61 miles southwest of Columbus; from Washington 454 miles.  It is a large and rapidly growing town, in the centre of a fertile and highly cultivated country, and is watered by Little Miami river and Caesar's and Shawnee creeks, on the latter of which, three miles from its entrance into Little Miami river (of which it is a chief tributary), the principal village is located.  Its streets are handsomely and regularly laid out, and adorned with several churches and other public buildings, together with many elegant private residences.

The population of the township in 1830 was 4,127; in 1840 was 4,913 and in 1850 was 7,055


Seat of justice of Muskingum Co, OH, situated on the east side of Muskingum river, opposite the mouth of the Licking; and one of the most enterprising and flourishing towns in the interior of the state.  It is 54 miles east of Columbus, and 359 miles from Washington.  The river is navigable to the falls near the town; and a canal, passing round this obstruction, enables boats to ascend to Coshocton, about 25 miles above and furnishes a great water power.  A number of dams and locks in the vicinity, serve to keep in operation the various manufactories of woolen, cotton and other fabrics, which contribute to Zanesville its prosperity and importance, as well as to afford means of communication with the Ohio canal and surrounding points.  On the west bank of the Muskingum, are Putnam and West Zanesville, two flourishing villages, intimately connected with the town, not only by two bridges, but also by reciprocal interests and operations.

Population in 1830 was 3,216; in 1840 was 4,766 or including the adjacent places 7,000; and in 1850 was 7,929


Back to Index Page of 1850 Gazetteer

Genealogy Trails History Group
©Genealogy Trails