: This image shows the exterior of the courthouse in Somerset, Ohio.
In 1807, John Finck erected the first log cabin in what would become Somerset. Several years later, Jacob Miller arrived, becoming the second settler in this community. The men named the town Middletown, since it was approximately equal distant to Lancaster to the west and Zanesville to the east. Soon residents changed the town's name to Somerset, as most early residents were from Somerset, Pennsylvania.
In the 1810s, Somerset grew quickly and, in 1817, became the Perry County seat of government. In 1846, Somerset boasted a population of nearly 1,400 residents. That same year, the community included four churches, three newspapers, sixteen stores, an iron foundry, and a tobacco warehouse. The town also claimed a Catholic nunnery and St. Mary's Seminary, a school for young women. Two miles south of Somerset was also located St. Joseph's Church, the first documented Catholic Church in Ohio.
During the remainder of the nineteenth and the first portion of the twentieth centuries, Somerset's population remained stable at approximately 1,200 residents. Many residents earned their livings in the surrounding iron and coalmines. As iron and coal deposits began to decline, residents began to find employment in other industries principally in the nearby cities of Lancaster and Zanesville. In 2000, Somerset's population had reached 1,500 people.
Civil War General Philip Sheridan spent much of his youth in Somerset. Although not open to the public, his home remains standing today. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06530 Subjects
: Courthouses; Buildings; Law & legal affairs Places
: Somerset (Ohio); Perry County (Ohio)