The village was platted on March 4–8, 1876 by Butler, Patterson & Company as Van Wert Junction. On June 1, 1882, a vote was taken with 28 for and 11 against to change the name to Enterprise. The name Enterprise caused much confusion to the post office at the time because there was another Enterprise in Pickaway County,Ohio. Again, the name was in need of being changed.The town council met on June 1, 1890, and a man by the name of Lewis J. Kiggins brought up the subject, and asked the rest of the men if they liked Ohio City. The vote was taken and Ohio City became the new name.
In 1910, Ohio City was a very prosperous town. Being on the junction of several major railroads, its importance allowed it to sport three churches, one union school, two dry goods stores, two hardware stores, one clothing store, two millinery establishments, three hotels, three restaurants, one bakery, four saloons, two shoe shops, one tailor shop, one silversmith shop, one slack barrel factory, one lumber yard, two blacksmith shops, two elevators, one tile factory, one lumberyard, one beet dump, two sawmills, one harness shop, one ice-making house, and three railroads all using the centrally located Union Depot. Ohio City has seen three bank robberies, in 1925, 1930, and 1996.
John_William_Lambert of Ohio City made America's first gasoline powered automobile in 1891, according to a five year extensive study, Scott Bailey, a well-known automobile historian, editor, and publisher. The study found substantial evidence to enter this claim on Lambert's behalf. In 1891 Ohio City became the scene of the first automobile accident in the United States, when Lambert's car struck a tree stump in the road and bounced into a hitching rack.