Van Wert Area Chamber Of Commerce

1199 Professional Drive, Van Wert, Ohio 45891


Van Wert County was first settled in 1821 by former sea captain James Riley. Riley moved his family to a plot of land he purchased along the St. Mary’s river and laid out the balance of his land in lots for a town he named Willshire, the first county seat. In 1834, James Watson Riley, Captain Riley’s son, and two other men bought 240 acres of land for the location of a town in the center of Van Wert County. In 1838, the General Assembly of Ohio transferred the county seat from Willshire in the southwest corner of the county to this new location under the name of Van Wert.