From Ohio History Central
Kenton is the county seat of Hardin County, Ohio. Kenton became the county seat in 1833, the same year that the state legislature created Hardin County. Residents named the county seat in honor of frontiersman Simon Kenton.
In 1840, Kenton only had three hundred inhabitants. Six years later, the town consisted of just two churches, twelve stores, one newspaper office, one sawmill, one grist mill, and an iron foundry. Located on the Scioto River and along the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, Kenton grew quickly. By 1880, almost four thousand people resided in the town. In 1886, four newspaper offices, eight churches, and three banks existed in Kenton. The largest employer in the town was the Champion Iron Fence Company with 125 employees. Numerous other businesses existed in the community, the majority of which manufactured goods for or processed the crops of farmers in the surrounding countryside. Today, Hardin County residents continue to be involved in farming, with Kenton's inhabitants working in various businesses designed to meet the needs of their agricultural neighbors. With a population of 8,336 people, Kenton was the county's largest community in 2000. Over twenty-five percent of Hardin County's inhabitants lived in Kenton.