Tiffin Ohio is the county seat of Seneca County. The population was 18,135 at the 2000 census. It is the home of Heidelberg University and Tiffin University. At one time it was noted as a glass and porcelain manufacturing center.
The history of Tiffin dates back to 1812. The familiar bronze statue of THE INDIAN MAIDEN standing on Frost Parkway, near Miami Street, marks the site of Fort Ball, which was a military depot of the war of 1812.
Fighting an engagement of that war, Eratus Bowe first sighted the location upon which Tiffin now stands. In 1817, he returned to the site and built his Pan Yan Tavern, which later became a stagecoach stop, on the north bank of the Sandusky River.
Early homesteaders followed soon after Bowe, and the settlement of Oakley sprang up around the Pan Yan. The main traveled road of the area followed the path of the stagecoaches through Oakley, called Fort Ball after 1824.
In 1820, Josiah Hedges purchased a piece of land on the south bank of the river opposite Oakley and founded another settlement. He named this village “Tiffin” in honor of Edward Tiffin, first governor of Ohio and later member of the United States Senate, and a man who had fought long and brilliantly to finally win statehood for the Ohio Territory in 1803. Tiffin was incorporated by an act of the Ohio Legislature on March 7, 1835.
These two communities, split by the Sandusky River, were great rivals. But, in 1850, seeing that later their interests lay together, the two villages merged to form greater Tiffin, with Fort Ball becoming a part of Tiffin in March of that year.
In 1824, with the establishment of Seneca County by the Ohio Legislature, Tiffin became a county seat. The county took its name from the Seneca Indians, who originally were native to this territory.