Bowling Green was first settled in 1832, was incorporated as a town in 1855, and became a city in 1901. The village was named after Bowling Green, Kentucky by a retired postal worker who had once delivered mail there. With the discovery of oil in the late 19th and early 20th century, Bowling Green experienced a boon to its economy.
The wealth can still be seen in the downtown storefronts, and along Wooster Street, where many of the oldest and largest homes were built. A new county courthouse was also constructed in the 1890s, and a Neoclassical post office was erected in 1913. This period was followed by an expansion of the automobile industry.