Hamilton is the county seat of Butler County, Ohio. It is located on both banks of the Great Miami River. The city was originally the site of Fort Hamilton, built in 1791. By 1794, a town had grown up around the fort. Founded as Fairfield, the town's name was changed to Hamilton in honor of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton reached a population of 1,409 people by 1840. Six years later the town included seven churches, a women's academy, two newspapers, three cotton mills, three flourmills, two machine shops, and sixteen retail stores.
Located on two railroad lines and the Miami and Erie Canal, Hamilton flourished in the nineteenth century with many new residents from Germany, Ireland and other European countries. In 1880, the city's population reached 12,122 residents. By 1886, the town consisted of five newspaper offices, one dozen churches, and two banks. Over one-third of the people were school-age children. Numerous businesses flourished in Hamilton. Manufacturing establishments produced canned goods, steam pumps, tools, paper, tile, sawmill machinery, iron castings, and numerous other products. One brewing company in Hamilton produced more than thirty thousand barrels of beer per year. The city's largest manufacturing firm was A. Fisher Manufacturing Company with 255 employees.
During the twentieth century, Cincinnati, Ohio, slowly grew closer to Hamilton and Butler County. Many of Hamilton's residents commuted to work in Cincinnati. The city had a population of 60,690 people in 2000. The vast majority of residents work in either manufacturing or retail establishments in Cincinnati, Hamilton, and surrounding communities.