Ohio's 74th House District
The Ohio House of Representatives has 99 members, with 99 fairly equal-size districts based on population. District 74 is in the Northwest corner of Ohio, comprised of the entirety of Williams and Fulton Counties, and all of Defiance County except for Adams Township in the northeast (part of
Here is a brief history of the counties in District 74. See the bottom of the page for sources to find out more!
Defiance County has a long history of change and growth. From 1820, when the Ohio Legislature converted ceded Indian lands into fourteen districts, to March 4, 1845, when the bill establishing the present day County became law, the people of Defiance County, both then and now, have always dealt with the many challenges of establishing boundaries and local government.
Present day Defiance County is composed of twelve townships, Adams, Defiance, Delaware, Farmer, Hicksville, Highland, Mark, Milford, Noble, Richland, Tiffin and Washington cover 412 square miles. There are three incorporated villages, Hicksville, Ney and Sherwood, and the City of Defiance. There are a number of unincorporated areas.
Defiance County has always been a major transportation area. In 1845, a sophisticated canal system was completed, connecting Defiance County with Toledo, Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Railroads later replaced the canals. Defiance County boasts over 1,000 miles of quality paved county, city, village, township and state roads.
Today, Defiance County offers a variety of cultural opportunities from its large, enclosed shopping and strip malls to the many quaint family-owned specialty shops. People come from all over the United States and Canada to enjoy the pleasant rural rolling farm land setting. From the rivers and waterways to the many church and community festivals, Defiance County offers a great family environment for residents and visitors alike.
On the 28th of February 1850, the General Assembly of Ohio, by an act erected the County of Fulton with its present boundaries, from Lucas, Williams and Henry Counties.... The first village lots laid out in this County were Aetna, in the township of Pike, and a man named Wilkinson with Edward Howard (Father of D. W. H. Howard) built thereon a block house as a trading post with the Indians. That same Block House is still standing at Aetna, but since boarded over upon the outside and new roof, and bids fair to be a monument of early pioneer life for some time to come. You of this period have but a small conception of the hardships of those early pioneers. Many living in rudely constructed cabins, ten by twelve feet or less, without any windows save the pulling out of a few chincking, with rudely constructed bed steads, using in many instances but one post with bed rails inserted in the logs in some corner, on which the slumber of your fathers and mothers was sweet as yours to day upon your spring couches and your carpeted rooms. The growing strength and beauty of the County is in its agricutural interests, its wheat, corn, oats, hay, etc. The purity of its morals is maintained by the virtue and dignity of its women and the excellency of its schools; all of which is its present glory and future hope. May we ever look with feelings of pride on the American flag as it waves over a free people to day, beneath whose grateful folds, we have for one hundred years found a home, and may we be enabled to transmit this heritage to future generations, that the future prospects of the next Centennial year may be as propitious as ours is to day, for the future. In 1840 the population of Williams County (which included part of what is now known as Defiance County) was about 300, mostly around Pulaski, which at that time was known as Fayette. The land was a swampy wilderness owned by the American Land Company of New York. John A. Bryan, State Auditor of Ohio and an agent for the land company, suggested that the county seat be moved from Defiance to an area closer to the center of the county. In June 1840 the establishment of a new county seat was approved. Miller Arrowsmith completed a survey of the site in July, recorded it September 14th., 1840 and named it Bryan. The 1860 census of Williams County shows 16,538 inhabitants with Bryan's population at 1,079. 1864 maps of Williams County show the town of Edon as Weston and a now nonexistant town called New Berlin north of Edon. Williams Center is shown as Centre and Montpelier is divided into Montpelier and South Montpelier. The first school house was built in 1841 and was a "private" school taught by Miss Harriet Powell. Later it became a public school taught by A. J. Tressler. At first Bryan water was abundant due to subterranean springs and the town came to be known as the Fountain City. However, as more wells were dug the water supply fell and now all the "fountains" are history.
Sources for this compilation, in order:
(Transcribed from an 1877 History that was written by George P. Monagon and George W. Liscombe. Thanks to Mark Lozer for making us aware of this information.)