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ATHENS, a village and the county-seat of Athens county, Ohio, U.S.A., in the township of Athens, on the Hocking river, about 76 m. E.S.E. of Columbus. Pop. (1890) 2620; (1900) 3066; (1910) 5463; of the township (1910) 10,156. It is served by the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern, the Toledo & Ohio Central (Ohio Central Lines), and the Hocking Valley railways. The village is built on rolling ground rising about 70 ft. above the river (which nearly encircles it), and commands views of some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. There are several ancient mounds in the vicinity. Athens is the seat of Ohio University (co-educational), a state institution established in 1804, and having in 1908 a college of liberal arts, a state normal college (1902), a commercial college, a college of music and a state preparatory school. In 1908 the University had 53 instructors and 1386 students. South of the village, and occupying a fine situation, is a state hospital for the insane. In the vicinity there are many coal mines, and among the manufactures are bricks, furniture, veneered doors, and shirts. The municipality operates the water-works. When the Ohio Company, through Manasseh Cutler, obtained from congress their land in what is now Ohio, it was arranged that the income from two townships was to be set aside “for the support of a literary institution.” In 1795 the townships (Athens and Alexander) were located and surveyed, and in 1800 Rufus Putnam and two other commissioners, appointed by the Territorial legislature, laid out a town, which was also called Athens. Settlers slowly came; the town became the county-seat in 1805, was incorporated as a village in 1811, and was re-incorporated in 1828.
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