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Early settlers traveled down the Ohio River to the area that is now Hamilton County by flatboat and in 1788 founded Losantiville, which was soon renamed Cincinnati. Hamilton County, named after Alexander Hamilton, was established in 1790. It was the second county to be carved out of the Northwest Territory and antedated Ohio statehood by over 12 years. With approximately 2,000 inhabitants, its boundaries included roughly one eighth of what is now Ohio.
Development of the new county took place mainly in Cincinnati, which soon became a booming river town ("The Queen City of the West") as Ohio River barges and steamboats brought settlers of varied national origins and industrial skills to the area. Settlers soon fanned out from the crowded riverfront area to the surrounding valleys and hilltops forming new towns of individual character, many of which later became part of Cincinnati. In the 1830's, word of the area spread as far as Europe. Subjected to religious conflicts in their homeland, many Germans immigrated, followed in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine. After the Civil War and the development of the railroads, the city's growth rate slowed. Hamilton County's population growth since 1900, when the city contained 80% of the county's 409,479 people, has been mainly outside of Cincinnati. Now a tri-county hub, the area is noted for commerce, industry and a strong educational and cultural heritage. The total population as of the 1990 census for Hamilton County is 866,228, of which 364,040 (or 42%) is in Cincinnati.
Copyright 2012. Hamilton County Ohio. 138 E. Court Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
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