The first residents of Germantown arrived in the 1820s, and with their settlement came the first churches, schools, and shops. In those early days, Germantown was known as Pea Ridge, named for the strip of land that divided the area from north to south and eventually became the railroad line. In 1825, the area took on the name Nashoba. By the 1830s, settlers began to gravitate to the still-developing area. Many of those settlers were of German origin, the possible inspiration for the name today. Incorporated in 1841, Germantown was literally on a roll with the opening of its railroad in 1852. After surviving both the Union army's occupation of the town during the Civil War, and the temporary loss of its charter during the yellow fever epidemic, Germantown settled into a peaceful hamlet occupied by more horses than people.
A century later, urbanization began to change Germantown. Since 1970, the population of Germantown has
increased by more than 1,000 percent. Germantown saw a population boom in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1990
a census determined that the population was 32,893. Two years later, that number had risen to 36,055.
Today the population is approximately 40,203.
With all its growth, the city has had to work hard to ensure that the quality of life Germantowners have
become accustomed to is not jeopardized. The city planners, government, and residents have all pitched
in ideas as well as helping hands to keep their city top-notch.