Bryan, Ohio

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Bryan is a city in Williams County, Ohio, United States. The population was 8,333 at the 2000 census. The estimated population in 2005 was 8,360 residents. It is the county seat of Williams County[3], and the largest city in the county.



Bryan was settled in 1840 and incorporated as a village in 1841. It was reincorporated as a city in 1941. In 1950 Bryan had a population of 6,365 people.

Bryan and Williams County were originally part of Defiance County, with Defiance being the county seat. The county seat was later moved to Bryan, and the county split into Williams and Defiance. Bryan was named the county seat, but not without conflict: the village of Montpelier was considered a more centralized location of Williams County. The people of Montpelier petitioned the state, but in the end Bryan was named county seat because of its greater industrial and commercial importance and because of its higher population. To this day, many people still argue about the state's decision.

A strip of Williams County north of Bryan was originally part of a conflict, the Toledo War, between Ohio and Michigan. Both states claimed the land, the Toledo Strip, which was named for the port city of Toledo at its eastern end. The conflict was eventually resolved in favor of Ohio, with Michigan being compensated with what is now the western Upper Peninsula.

The Williams County Courthouse in downtown Bryan was completed in 1890. It is the third courthouse to occupy the property.

Bryan is the birthplace of 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion—and current NASCAR driver--Sam Hornish, Jr., Bob Hartman, founder of the Christian rock pioneer group "Petra", and of Mark Winegardner, chosen to be the author of the novel The Godfather Returns.

Bryan is also home to several companies whose products are far reaching: Ohio Art, maker of the Etch-A-Sketch and Betty Spaghetty toys, and Spangler Candy Company, makers of Dum Dum Pops and among the largest makers of candy canes in the world.

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