From Ohio History Central
Washington Court House is the county seat of Fayette County, Ohio. Benjamin Temple established the town in 1810. Residents named the community in honor of former President of the United States George Washington. Washington Court House has served as the county seat since the founding of Fayette County in 1810.
Washington Court House remained small for its first several decades of existence. In 1846, only ninety-seven homes existed in the town. The village also contained two churches, eight stores, two newspaper offices, two woolen mills, two grist mills, and a saw mill. Most businesses existed to meet the needs of farm families in the surrounding countryside. By 1880, the county seat had grown dramatically, claiming a population of 3,798 people. In 1886, three newspapers, three banks, and seven churches served the community. Local businesses produced soap, doors, blinds, shoes, cream, and machinery, among other items. Farmers also brought their crops and livestock to Washington Court House to sell, making the community a booming agricultural center. Unfortunately for the village, a tornado struck the community on September 8, 1885, killing six residents and resulting in 500,000 dollars in damage. The death toll was light based upon the property damage. Residents quickly rebuilt their community.
Washington Court House continued to grow during the twentieth century. With a population of 13,524 people, the village was the county's largest community in 2000. The town still serves as a destination point for farmers and their families to purchase needed supplies and to sell their crops.