What is a Township


The Pilgrims brought the Township form of government to America in 1620.  This form of government spread across New England to the Rocky Mountains.  Townships are found in 22 states. In Ohio, Townships predate state government. Townships in Ohio were either five or six miles square with the exception of lands in the Virginia Military District.  With land grants by Ohio, some sections were set aside for support of schools and religious institutions.

History and Function of Ohio’s Townships

In 1804, Townships were established as the basic form of local government.  Townships are governed by a three-member board of trustees, who are elected in November of odd numbered years to a four year term beginning on the following January 1st.  Two are elected in the year after the presidential election and one is elected in the year before it.  There is also an elected Fiscal Officer, who serves a four year term beginning on April 1st of the year after the election, which is held in November of the year before the presidential election.

Local Democracy in Ohio: A Review of City, Village, and Township Financial Performance by Size.