The Village of Morristown was platted by Jonathan Zane and William Chapline in 1802 and named for an early settler and innkeeper, Duncan Morrison. The National Road, the major overland route to the West in the second quarter of the nineteenth century was the crucial factor in Morristown's development. It was built through the village around 1826 and changed the village's main thoroughfare from the "Wheeling Road" (later renamed Church Street) to Main Street. Many businesses, including hotels, factories, mills and shops grew from the traffic generated by the nation's first federally funded highway.
While many towns flourished in response to the trade along the National Road, Morristown is the best preserved example of a "Pike Town" in Eastern Ohio.
In 1853, when Morristown was at its peak, it supported forty to fifty businesses, all of which were dependent on or served the National Road in some capacity. There were many blacksmiths, saddlers, wagonmakers, grocers, clothiers and hotels.