American Township was established in 1833 as German Township, but on August 16, 1918, the name was changed to American Township, upon petition of the citizens of German Township and the Allen County Commissioners. Article II of the petition reading: “That good cause is shown why the name of said township should be changed, and which in the opinion of the Board of County Commissioners, justifies the change in the name of said township”. “Good Cause” meaning patriotism, the name German had come into disfavor when the German nation changed its attitude toward the rest of the world.
American Township occupies almost the exact geographical center of the county and history reveals that in establishing the boundary it lost ground to Amanda Township and gained from Bath Township. In May 1857 American Township lost 1,040 acres to Ottawa and the City of Lima.
Allentown is the earliest settlement. Those active in developing Allentown were George Povenmire and William Myers and as early as 1853 is was considered as the logical location for the county seat of Allen County.
Allentown was home of Gen. William Blackburn who came to Lima from Wapakoneta as receiver for the United States land office in May 1843, and from that time on he was a resident of Allen County. Gen. Blackburn’s home was built in the log cabin era, but was always described as the Blackburn mansion being built of native black walnut. The house was destroyed by fire in 1904.
In 1968 the Elida Fire Department moved into the new American Township Fire Station at 105 W. Main St., Elida, Ohio. In 2000 and 2001 a newer and bigger fire station was built on the same location. The site of the fire station is formerly the site of the old Union School Building which was built in 1868.
American Township is a major retail hub with a wide variety of shopping centers and restaurants which contain nationally known, and local favorites.