Tiffin is the county seat of Seneca County, Ohio. Josiah Hedges established the town in 1821. He named the community after his friend Edward Tiffin, Ohio’s first governor. The town grew relatively quickly, having a population of 728 people in 1840. In 1846, Tiffin contained eight churches, an iron foundry, two newspaper offices, and fourteen stores.
Over the next several decades, Tiffin continued to expand. In 1880, 7,889 people resided in the town, with over twenty-five percent of these inhabitants being school-aged children. By 1890, Tiffin’s population had increased to 10,801 people. The principal reason for this growth was Tiffin’s location. Residing on the east and west banks of the Sandusky River and along three main railroads, the town became a center of trade during the late 1800s. In 1888, the town boasted six newspapers, fourteen churches, and two banks. Numerous manufacturing establishments existed in the community. Most businesses produced items or provided services for farmers living in the surrounding countryside, including the town’s largest employer, Tiffin Agricultural Works, with 110 employees. Tiffin also was home to the Tiffin Glass Company. Tiffin Glass is highly collectible today.
During the twentieth century most Seneca County residents continued to engage in agriculture, with Tiffin businesses providing the farmers with needed services and supplies. Today, many Tiffin residents find employment in construction, with retail sales and health careers finishing a close second and third respectively. Several residents also find employment at Heidelberg College, which is located in Tiffin. In 2000, Tiffin was Seneca County’s largest urban center, with a population of 18,135 people.