History of County

Creation of Clark County

On March 1, 1818, the Ohio government authorized the creation of Clark County. The county was named in honor of General George Rogers Clark, a hero of the American Revolution. It was originally parts of Greene, Champaign, and Madison counties. The county began to flourish during the 1830s, with the completion of the National Road through Ohio.

Location & Population

Clark County is located in west central Ohio. It is predominantly rural, with less than 1% of the county’s 400 square miles consisting of urban areas. The county seat is Springfield. With a population of 60,608 people, Springfield was the county’s largest community in 2010. The next largest urban area, New Carlisle, had only 5,785 residents that same year. Like most of Ohio’s predominantly rural counties, Clark County experienced a drop in population -- roughly 4% -- between 2000 and 2010, reducing the total number of residents to 138,333 people. Many residents of Ohio’s rural communities are seeking better lives and more opportunities in the state’s cities. Clark County averages almost 348 people per square mile.

Employment & Job Growth

The largest employer in Clark County is management, business, science and art positions followed closely by sales. Manufacturing jobs are a close third, with government positions a distant fourth. Many residents found employment in the printing industry during the 1930s and 1940s, with the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company publishing several national magazines in Springfield. During this same time period, Springfield was the largest grower of rosebushes for sale in the nation. In 2010, the per capita income in the county was a little over $22,000.

Elections & Political Parties

Most voters in Clark County claim to be nonpartisan, yet in recent years, they have supported by very slim margins Republican Party candidates at the national level. Among Clark County’s more prominent residents was A.B. Graham, who founded 4-H Clubs. The county is also home to Wittenberg University. Ohio Governor Asa S. Bushnell was also a resident of Springfield. Backwoodsmen Simon Kenton lived in Springfield for a period of time, and his wife supposedly named the city of Springfield. Simon Kenton is buried in Urbana’s Oakdale Cemetery, in nearby Champaign County.