County was settled in 1798 by John Leslie and was
established as a county in March of 1808,
after Ohio was admitted to the Union in March of
1803, as the seventeenth state of the United States
of America. The county was named for Commodore
Edward Preble who served as the Commander of the
American Naval Fleet in the Mediterranean during the Tripolitan War, as well as in the Revolutionary War
and the War of 1812.
Preble County has only one city, Eaton (the county
seat), which was named for William Eaton, the U.S.
Consul at Tunis during the Tripolitan War. This war
influenced not only the naming of the county and its
only city, but the names of many streets and
communities throughout the county as well.
In addition to the city of Eaton, there are several
villages located in the county: Camden, College
Corner, Eldorado, Gratis, Lewisburg, New Paris,
Verona, West Alexandria, West Elkton, and West
Manchester, and there are a dozen townships: Dixon,
Gasper, Gratis, Harrison, Israel, Jackson,
Jefferson, Lanier, Monroe, Somers, Twin and
Washington. These communities are connected to each
other and to the outside world by a network of
roadways including 1-70, U.S. 127, U.S. 35, U.S. 40,
and ten state routes.
There are 18 public schools in the county's five
school districts, which provide primary and
secondary education to close to 8000 school-aged
children. Several colleges and universities located
nearby provide higher education, including Miami
University, Wright State University, Earlham
College, University of Dayton, and Sinclair
Nearly three quarters of Preble County is farmland
and it consistently ranks in the top ten in hog and
corn production for the state of Ohio. Most of the
county's communities remain small and the atmosphere
is pleasantly rural. Annual festivals and events
draw visitors and participants from all over the
county and beyond. A few of the celebrations of the
rural lifestyle found here include the Black Walnut
Festival held in Camden, the Preble County Pork
Festival, the Preble County Fair, Derby Days
Celebration in Lewisburg, West Alexandria's
Oktoberfest, the Chicken Barbecues held twice a year
in West Manchester, the Apple Fest in New Paris and
Eaton's White Christmas.
One of Ohio's finest state parks is located in
Preble County. Hueston Woods State Park is located
on Acton Lake, just off State Route 732 in College
Corner in the southwest corner of the county.
Offering everything from rustic camping and hiking
trails to a beautiful modern resort complete with an
18-hole championship golf course and indoor and
outdoor pools, Hueston Woods is only an hour drive
from King's Island, Dayton and Cincinnati.
Arts and culture may also be found in Preble County
at the Preble County Art Association in Eaton, where
crafts and fine arts classes are offered, as well as
various exhibitions. Historical culture is offered
by the Preble County Historical Society with a
collection of antiques, artifacts and memorabilia,
and monthly programs.
Preble County has become the perfect place for those
who love the quiet rural home life, work, or for
play, yet desire easy access to big cities such as
Dayton, or Cincinnati, Ohio, or Richmond Indiana.