Medina is the county seat of Medina County, Ohio. Founded as the county seat in 1816, the community was originally named Mecca, after the birthplace of the prophet Mohammed.
Medina grew slowly. Most early residents were farmers, but the town was so isolated that the agriculturalists had no market for their products. This changed with the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal, during the early 1830s. Still, the community's population remained small, having only 655 inhabitants in 1840. In 1846, six churches, fifteen stores, one newspaper office, one woolen factory, one axe factory, one flourmill, and one iron furnace existed in the town.
Over the next four decades, Medina grew more quickly. In 1880, 1,484 people resided in the town, and in 1890, Medina boasted 2,073 inhabitants. With the completion of a railroad through the community, Medina became a center of agricultural trade. Many businesses provided services or products to farmers in the surrounding countryside. In 1886, three newspapers operated in the community, and six churches and one bank also serviced the town. The town's principal industry was bee-hive manufacturing. A.I. Root, a bee supplies manufacturer, was the town's largest employer, with ninety-six workers in 1886.
Medina has grown in recent years, as residents of nearby Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, have moved to Medina and surrounding communities to escape the busyness of the city. Between 1990 and 2000, Medina County's population increased by 23.5 percent to a total of 151,095 residents in 2000. In 2000, Medina was the largest community in the county, with 25,139 residents. Many local residents commute to Cleveland for employment.