The first people in Harrison, Ohio arrived in the early 1800s, most of them were veterans of the Revolutionary War and there were other settlers who went to lure by the promises of an abundant forested land that is located within the network of navigable flowing rivers to Ohio. In 1804, Othneil Locker built a home made out of lumber and set instructions that provide reading and writing to their fellow settlers. By 1814, Othneil Locker became the 5th Governor of Ohio.
By 1810, the four blocks of the town centering the intersection of the Market, now recognized as Harrison Avenue, and Walnut Streets were planned out. The town continued to flourish and became formally incorporated as a village in 1850, with a population of 940. Since 1814, the town was called Harrison, in remembrance of General William Henry Harrison, a resident of nearby North Bend, who became one of the heroes of the battle of Tippecanoe in the War of 1812, a state legislator and afterward became the 9th President of the United States.
Amidst the natural disasters that came, Harrison continued to flourish and survive. The 1854 tornado, the explosion of the Town Hall in 1877, and the 1913 flood are among the heart-wrenching happenings.
Harrison had a fair share of the happenings in the Civil War. Under the leadership and command of General John Hunt, the Confederate raiders swept through the town in July 1863. They passed through Indiana to get into Ohio, taking horses and other loot. More of their cruelty, after crossing the bridge, they subsequently burnt the suspension bridge at the end of the Main Street, now known State Street.
At the latter half of the 19th Century, Harrison village continued to flourish and became the site of the first high school outside of Cincinnati in Hamilton County, the William Henry Harrison High School. As the enrollment began, the population continued to rise and eventually the 1-room school houses in the surrounding area, were integrated into the Southwest Local School District in 1954.
In the census of 1980, the total population exceeded 5,000. Harrison was self-assured and made to be a city. Harrison was duly certified in 1981.
Under the constitution of the State of Ohio, the City of Harrison is a charter city and needs a strong leader to form the government. The mayor and the 7 members of the city council should serve a 4-year contract.
Currently, the city has its own water system and wastewater treatment facilities. The Police Department is nationally certified and the Fire Department and EMS service serve not only the city but also the unincorporated areas of Harrison Township.
A tradition of having access to good transportation, which started with the original Harrison Turnpike, progressing through canals, railroads and finally with the arrival of Interstate 74 keeps the city well connected within the region. The Greater Cincinnati Airport is a short 20-minute drive. Our location on the state line between Ohio and Indiana allows Harrison to be a gateway to the west.