On February 20, 1850, the Ohio government established Fulton County. Residents chose the name Fulton in honor of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the first economically-viable, commercial steamboat. Fulton County was part of the territory that came under dispute between Ohio and Michigan during the "Toledo War."
Fulton County is located in the northwestern portion of Ohio. The county's northern border helps form Ohio's boundary with Michigan. The county seat is Wauseon. Wauseon is the county's largest population center, with 7,091 residents in 2000. The county's next largest community is Swan Creek Township, with a population of approximately 6,300 people in 2000. The county experienced just over a nine percent increase in population between 1990 and 2000, raising the total population to 42,084 residents. This increase was primarily due to the close proximity to Toledo -- fifteen miles east of Fulton County. Many Toledo residents migrated out of the city to live to escape the city's busyness. On average, 103 people live in each of Fulton County's 407 square miles.
Fulton County is heavily rural, with urban areas comprising less than one percent of the county's land mass. Most residents find employment in manufacturing establishments, with sales and service-oriented positions falling a distant second and third. The main products manufactured in the county are steel, aluminum, office furniture, and flashlights. Interestingly, an Archbold plant claims to process the most canned Chinese food of any single location in the entire world. The county's average income was approximately twenty-five thousand dollars per person in 1999, with less than six percent of the population living in poverty.
Most voters in Fulton County claim to be independents, yet in recent years, they have overwhelmingly supported Republican candidates at the national level.