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Situated in the area once known as the Black Swamp in northwestern Ohio, Van Wert is the seat of Van Wert County. The county and city were named for Isaac Van Wart, a Revolutionary War hero. The county was settled in 1821 by James Riley, a former sea captain, who moved his family to a plot of land along the St. Mary’s River. In 1834, Riley’s son, James Watson Riley, bought 240 acres of land for a town in the center of the county, to be named Van Wert, which became the county seat in 1838.

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