West Liberty, Ohio

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West Liberty is a small community in Logan County, Ohio.

Prior to the arrival of white settlers, the Shawnee Indians principally inhabited the area that now includes West Liberty. Whites drove most of the Shawnee and other Indian groups from the region during the War of 1812, and in 1817, whites founded West Liberty along the Mad River. Residents formally incorporated the village in 1834.

West Liberty grew slowly. By 1880, only 715 people resided in the village. Most residents either earned their livings as farmers or by providing services to farmers. In this same year, West Liberty had one newspaper, one bank, and four churches. On May 13, 1880, a fire struck West Liberty, destroying practically the entire downtown. Today, to commemorate this horrific event, the village holds "The Annual Fire Sale," a community-wide garage and sidewalk sale.

During the twentieth century, West Liberty continued to remain a small community with the exception of during the Spanish-American War and World War I. During these two conflicts, the population skyrocketed as Camp West Liberty, a training ground for soldiers, opened just east of town. Today, most of the village's nearly 1,800 residents find employment in the nearby cities of Dayton, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, Bellefontaine, Ohio, or Lima, Ohio. Other West Liberty residents operate antique stores, art galleries, or gift shops in the village's restored downtown.

See Also

References

  1. Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes. Vol. II. Cincinnati, OH: C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1902.
  2. "The Smiling Valley." http://www.westliberty.com/HTML/history.htm.