Athens County, Ohio History

Athens County, Ohio History

The county of Athens was established by the following act:

“An act establishing the County of Athens.

SECTION I. Be it enacted, etc., That so much of the county of Washington as is contained in the following boundaries, be and the same is hereby erected into a separate county, which shall be known by the name of Athens, viz : beginning at the southwest corner of township number ten, range seventeen; thence easterly with the line between Gallia and Washington counties, to the Ohio river; thence up said river to the mouth of Big Hockhocking river; thence up the said Hockhocking river to the east line of township number six, of the twelfth range; thence north on said line to the northeast corner of the eighth township, in the said twelfth range; thence west to the east line of Fairfield county; thence south on said county line and the line of Ross county, to the place of beginning.

SEC. II. That from and after the first day of March next, the said county of Athens shall be vested with all the powers, privileges, and immunities of a separate and distinct county provided always, that all actions and suits which may be pending on the said first day of March next, shall be prosecuted and carried into final judgment and execution, and all taxes, fees, fines, and forfeitures, which shall be then due, shall be collected in the same manner as if this act had never been passed.

SEC. III. That the seat of justice for said county, is hereby established in the town of Athens, any law to the contrary not withstanding. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the first day of March next. [Passed February 10th, 1805.]

The county as thus established in 1805, contained one thousand and fifty-three square miles, or about thirty regular surveyed townships, and included five townships now belonging to Meigs county, viz: Columbia, Scipio, Bedford, Orange, and Olive townships; two now belonging to Morgan county, viz Homer and Marion; three now belonging to Hocking county, viz: Ward, Green, and Starr; and seven now belonging to Vinton, viz: Brown, Swan, Elk, Madison, Knox, Clinton, and Vinton townships; and a strip of land about ten miles long and one mile wide now belonging to Washington county. By an act passed January 30th, 1807, entitled “an act to alter the boundary line between the counties of Athens and Gallia,” a strip about ten miles long and one mile wide, was added to the southeast corner of Athens county as it then existed. By an act passed February 18th, 1807, entitled “an act altering the line between the counties of Washington and Athens,” the boundary of Athens was changed so as to take in the portion of Troy township lying east of the Hockhocking river; and the same act detached a strip one mile wide and fifteen miles long, lying along the eastern border of Rome, Bern, and Marion townships, from Athens county, and added it to Washington. By an act passed February 10th, 1814, sections thirty-one and thirty-two in township number six, range eleven (Rome) were detached from Washington and added to Athens, and sections eleven and twelve in township number eight, range twelve (now Marion township, Morgan county), were detached from Athens and added to Washington. The creation of the county of Jackson by act of January 12, 1816, took township number ten, range seventeen (now Clinton township, Vinton county), from Athens. The creation of the county of Hocking by act of January 3, 1818, took parts of three townships (Green and Starr, of Hocking, and Brown, of Vinton county), from Athens; and by an act of March 12th, 184.5, entitled ” an act to attach part of the county of Athens to the county of Hocking,” the residue of those townships was stricken off. The creation of the county of Meigs, January 21, 1819, took five townships from Athens and reduced our southern boundary to its present limits. By an act passed March 11, 1845, the townships of Homer and Marion were detached from Athens and added to Morgan county. Finally, the erection of the county of Vinton by act passed March 23, 1850, took the remainder of our outlying possessions in that direction, and the same act detached Ward township from Athens and gave it to Hocking, thus reducing our boundaries all around to their present limits. The present boundaries of the county include about four hundred and eighty-four square miles.


History of Athens County

Township Histories of Athens County, Ohio

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