The Village of Van Buren was laid out December 28, 1833, by John Trout and George Ensminger on the boundary of Portage and Cass Townships. It was comprised of 53 lots surrounding a public square, and was named in honor of Martin Van Buren, a prominent national figure (8th President, 1837-41). The village was incorporated in 1866 and Daniel Frick was elected the first mayor.
The first school was built in 1836, a log cabin one mile west of Van Buren. The first post office was established in 1837. By 1870, the village had a population of 157. The Toledo, Columbus, and Southern Railroad was completed through Van Buren in 1883. Allen Township was the last township erected in Hancock County. Organized in June, 1850, it was composed of the west side of Cass and the east side of Portage townships. Named in honor of General Ethan Allen, it contains an area of 24 square miles.