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Willard, Ohio
Aerial view of Willard, September 2012
Aerial view of Willard, September 2012
Etymology: Daniel Willard
"The City of Blossoms"
Location of Willard, Ohio
Location of Willard, Ohio
Location of Willard in Huron County
Location of Willard in Huron County
Country United States
State Ohio
County Huron
Town founded 1874 (as Chicago)
Town incorporated 1882 (as Chicago Junction)
City incorporated 1960 (as Willard)
 • Type Council/Manager
 • Total 3.60 sq mi (9.33 km2)
 • Land 3.58 sq mi (9.27 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
928 ft (283 m)
 • Total 6,236
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,680.45/sq mi (648.75/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
44888, 44890
Area code(s) 419
FIPS code 39-85232
GNIS feature ID 1058142

Willard is a city in southwestern Huron County, Ohio, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Norwalk. The population was 6,236 at the 2010 census.


Willard is located at 41°3′17″N 82°43′41″W / 41.05472°N 82.72806°W / 41.05472; -82.72806 (41.054649, -82.727982).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.57 square miles (9.25 km2), of which 3.55 square miles (9.19 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.

To the south of Willard are located the unincorporated communities of Celeryville and New Haven, plus the planned development of Holiday Lakes to the north of Plymouth.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 662
1890 1,299 96.2%
1900 2,348 80.8%
1910 2,950 25.6%
1920 3,889 31.8%
1930 4,514 16.1%
1940 4,261 −5.6%
1950 4,744 11.3%
1960 5,457 15.0%
1970 5,510 1.0%
1980 5,720 3.8%
1990 6,210 8.6%
2000 6,806 9.6%
2010 6,236 −8.4%
2019 (est.) 6,016 −3.5%

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 6,236 people, 2,365 households, and 1,585 families living in the city. The population density was 1,756.6 inhabitants per square mile (678.2/km2). There were 2,687 housing units at an average density of 756.9 per square mile (292.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.0% White, 1.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 5.6% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.9% of the population.

There were 2,365 households, of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.15.

The median age in the city was 34.6 years. 28.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.8% were from 25 to 44; 23.7% were from 45 to 64; and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48% male, 52% female.


The original name of Willard was Chicago, named for the junction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's line to Sandusky (the Sandusky, Mansfield and Newark Railroad) and the branch west to Chicago (the Baltimore and Ohio and Chicago Railroad). Later the Akron and Chicago Junction Railroad was built east from the junction, providing a more direct route between the Northeast and Chicago. With this name, passengers would mistake it for Chicago, Illinois, so they changed the name to Chicago Junction, but the word "junction" did not fit on boards at the time so it did not fix the problem.

In 1917, to finally rectify the confusion, the town changed its name to Willard, after the then president of the B&O, Daniel Willard.

Willard officially became a city in the year of 1960.


Daniel Willard c1920s
Daniel Willard, the namesake of the city of Willard, c1920s

Several key businesses have a presence in Willard, including the Willard Rail Yard of CSX Transportation, Midwest Industries, LSC Communications (formerly known as RR Donnelley), Pepperidge Farm, and Mercy Hospital of Willard. Farmland surrounds the community, with the primary crops being soybeans, wheat, onions, radishes, lettuce, and sweet corn.


Willard City Schools operates Willard High School in the city.

Willard is served by the Willard Memorial Library.

Willard High School students are able to choose between the local school and Pioneer Career and Technology Center (located in Shelby, Ohio) in order to learn a trade skill.

Notable people

  • Charlie Frye, NFL quarterback
  • Harry Jump, Ohio State Senator
  • Pam Postema, first woman to umpire a Major League Baseball spring training game
  • Sean Swarner, first cancer survivor to complete the Seven Summits, author of Keep Climbing

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Willard (Ohio) para niños

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