Wayne County History
FOUNDED IN 1796
Wayne County, Ohio, named for famed Revolutionary War Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, was organized largely within its present borders in 1812. The county was carved out of the huge Wayne County in the Northwest Territory which originally took in parts of Ohio and several other states. Wooster, the county seat since 1808, was established by John Bever, William Henry, and Joseph Larwill, and named after General David Wooster, another Revolutionary War hero. Today, Wayne County is the 13th largest county in Ohio, covering over 550 square miles.
Wayne County's rich soil and plentiful water supply have continuously supported a strong agricultural community. Farms and roadside produce stands are still present and thriving in the county today. In the late 1800s, Wayne County began to expand industrially with a presence in the coal mining industry and access to the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne, and Chicago Railroad (which later became the Pennsylvania). Today Wayne County is home to many world-renowned businesses such as Wooster Brush Company, Gerstenslager's, LuK USA LLC and The J.M. Smucker Company.
The Lincoln Highway Historic Byway runs through Wayne County. Designated by red, white and blue signs, this route follows the original 241 mile Ohio 1928 alignment that stretched from New York City westward to San Francisco. The Lincoln Highway opened the western portion of the country to auto travel in the early 20th century. Today, as you travel this scenic route through Wayne County, you will experience some of "Main Street Across America," the Highway's original slogan. Downtown Wooster and Dalton, both on the Highway route since 1913, let visitors experience tree-lined streets, historical buildings and replicas of the original posts that designated the Lincoln Highway route.