Early settlers of Hamilton County traveled down the Ohio River by flatboat and in 1788 founded Losantiville, which was soon renamed Cincinnati. The first settlers of Anderson Township arrived in the 1790s. In 1793, the settlement was organized into a township and named after Virginia's surveyor-in-chief, Richard Clough Anderson.
Hamilton County was named after Alexander Hamilton. It was the second county to be carved out of the Northwest Territory and antedated Ohio statehood by over 12 years. With approximately 2,000 inhabitants, its boundaries included roughly one eighth of what is now Ohio.
Development of the new county took place mainly in Cincinnati, which soon became a booming river town ("The Queen City of the West") as Ohio River barges and steamboats brought settlers of varied national origins and industrial skills to the area. Settlers soon fanned out from the crowded riverfront area to the surrounding valleys and hilltops forming new towns of individual character, many of which later became part of Cincinnati.
In the 1830s, word of the area spread as far as Europe. Subjected to religious conflicts in their homeland, many Germans immigrated, followed in the 1840s by Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine. After the Civil War and the development of the railroads, the city's growth rate slowed. Hamilton County's population growth since 1900, when the city contained 80% of the county's 409,479 people, has been mainly outside of Cincinnati. Now a tri-county hub, the area is noted for commerce, industry and a strong educational and cultural heritage.