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Wooster and Wayne County: The Beginnings
On January 4, 1812, the Ohio General Assembly organized the present Wayne County, named in honor of Major-General Anthony Wayne.
Wooster's earliest history begins with the brothers William, Joseph and John Larwill, who along with John Bever and William Henry surveyed the town in 1808. Wooster was named in honor of Revolutionary War Brigadier-General David Wooster of Connecticut.
Wooster was made the Seat of Justice in 1811, and incorporated as a town on October 13, 1817. The population in 1820 was 1,935.
The earliest settlers were from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and New England. A great number also came from Pennsylvania, people who came to be known as Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania Germans.
The first Amish Settler, Jacob Yoder, came to Wayne County in 1817. The Amish communities in Wayne and neighboring Holmes Counties are home to a large settlement of Amish. The Amish communities enhance the strong agricultural heritage of Wayne County.
Downtown Wooster, intersected by Liberty and Market Streets, was characterized by a dry goods business, Larwill, Girling & Co., in 1818. The construction of a jail (1816) and the first courthouse (1818) helped to establish the trading center of the county. The courthouse that stands today was constructed for $75,000 in 1878.
Downtown Wooster currently has 300 businesses which include retail, service, governmental, education, and non profits. Wooster was designated one of Ohio's "Best Hometowns" by Ohio magazine in 2007; an All-American City in 1975, an AAC semifinalist in 1997 and has been a Tree City since 1976. Wooster's motto is: "Keeping Tradition a Part of Our Future".