On January 3, 1818, the State of Ohio authorized the creation of Hocking County. Residents took the county's name from the Native American word "Hockhocking," which means bottle. The Hocking River, which flows through Hocking County, resembles the shape of a bottle.
Hocking County is located in southeastern Ohio. It is predominantly rural, with less than two percent of the county's 423 square miles consisting of urban areas. The county seat is Logan. With a population of 6,704 people, Logan was the county's largest community in 2000. Hocking County experienced a significant increase in population, roughly 10.6 percent, between 1990 and 2000, raising the total number of residents to 28,241 people. Most of these new people were former residents of Columbus, hoping to escape the busy life of the larger city.
The largest employers in Hocking County are manufacturing businesses, with service industries, such as health care and communications, sales jobs, and government positions, all close behind. Tourism is a major industry in the county, with numerous bed and breakfasts in operation to meet the needs of tourists visiting the Hocking Hills State Park. Numerous natural wonders exist in the county and in the park, including the Cantwell Cliffs, Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls, Ash Cave, and Rock House, drawing tens of thousands of tourists every year. During the late nineteenth century, coal mining was also an important source of income for county residents. In 1999, the per capita income in the county was approximately 19,200 dollars, with almost thirteen percent of the people living in poverty.