In the 13th century a duke ’s market settlement, referred to in 1257. It was granted city privileges in around 1307 (at the end of the 13th century). It belonged to Zarębowie, since the 17th century to Radolińscy. It was a local craft and trade centre. It declined after the Polish-Swedish wars in 17th century. From 1793–1919 it was under the rule of Prussia (1807–15 in the Duchy of Warsaw.), a town of agricultural character. Until the end of the 19th century industry developed, mainly food industry. The inhabitants took part in Wielkopolskie Uprisings 1848 i 1918–19. During the WWII it was a part of the Third Reich, more than 8,200 inhabitants were driven away to General Government and sent to work in Germany. It was a conspiration centre of the Home Army (sabotage). In 1945 deportations of members of the Polish Underground by NKVD into USSR took place. 1945-49 in Jarocin and in the county anti-communist organizations were active. In 1887-1975 and since 1999 capital of the county.

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