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Jefferson, Ohio
Ashtabula County Courthouse
Location of Jefferson, Ohio
Location of Jefferson, Ohio
Location of Jefferson in Ashtabula County
Location of Jefferson in Ashtabula County
Coordinates: 41°44′14″N 80°46′19″W / 41.73722°N 80.77194°W / 41.73722; -80.77194Coordinates: 41°44′14″N 80°46′19″W / 41.73722°N 80.77194°W / 41.73722; -80.77194
Country United States
State Ohio
County Ashtabula
 • Total 2.54 sq mi (6.57 km2)
 • Land 2.54 sq mi (6.57 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
958 ft (292 m)
 • Total 3,120
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,178.56/sq mi (455.12/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 440
FIPS code 39-38500
GNIS feature ID 1042061

Jefferson is a village in Ashtabula County, Ohio, United States. The population was 3,120 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Ashtabula County. Modern-day Jefferson sports the world's only perambulator museum and a historical complex including several restored 19th-century buildings. Joshua Giddings' law office has also been restored as a museum. Annual village events include the Ashtabula County Fair, the Strawberry Festival, Jefferson Days, and the Covered Bridge Festival.


Jefferson was officially founded by Gideon Granger—U.S. Postmaster General during Thomas Jefferson's administration—in 1803. He envisioned the new settlement as a "Philadelphia of the West," and early plans for the village were based upon the layout of that city. A cabin was erected by Granger's agent in 1804, but the settlement's first permanent residents arrived only in 1805: the Samuel Wilson family. Wilson, misled by land agents, moved to Ohio in late autumn expecting to find a thriving city on Granger's land. Instead, he found a wilderness, broken only by trees emblazoned with Philadelphian street names, marking where future streets would be built. Wilson himself died after two weeks of herculean effort to prepare for the winter, but his family stayed on as the first citizens of Jefferson.

Jefferson's two most famous sons were Congressman Joshua Giddings and Senator Benjamin Wade, two prominent Republican abolitionists. In 1831 the two men formed a law practice in Jefferson (which became the county seat of newly formed Ashtabula County in 1811) and worked together until Giddings was elected to Congress in 1838. Wade successfully ran for the Ohio State Senate in 1837, then won election to the US Senate in 1851. Both were instrumental in the foundation of the Republican Party and defied the "Gag Rule" barring discussion of slavery prior to the American Civil War. Jefferson itself was a hotbed of abolitionism. John Brown spoke in the village, and several of its houses acted as stations on the Underground Railway. During the American Civil War, it trained Union recruits at Fort Giddings, which stood in the village at the current site of the fairgrounds.

E.T. Ernest, the first American to drive an automobile from coast to coast, was also a Jefferson resident.


Jefferson is located at 41°44′14″N 80°46′19″W / 41.73722°N 80.77194°W / 41.73722; -80.77194 (41.737118, −80.772019).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.52 square miles (6.53 km2), all land.

The village's principal watercourse is Mill Creek.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 439
1860 658 49.9%
1870 869 32.1%
1880 1,008 16.0%
1890 1,346 33.5%
1900 1,319 −2.0%
1910 1,461 10.8%
1920 1,532 4.9%
1930 1,691 10.4%
1940 1,676 −0.9%
1950 1,844 10.0%
1960 2,116 14.8%
1970 2,472 16.8%
1980 2,952 19.4%
1990 3,331 12.8%
2000 3,572 7.2%
2010 3,120 −12.7%
2019 (est.) 2,990 −4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,120 people, 1,290 households, and 809 families living in the village. The population density was 1,238.1 inhabitants per square mile (478.0/km2). There were 1,400 housing units at an average density of 555.6 per square mile (214.5/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.1% White, 1.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 1,290 households, of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.3% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.89.

The median age in the village was 43 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.7% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 20.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 45.6% male and 54.4% female.

Notable people

Platt rogers spencer
Platt Rogers Spencer
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