Colfax was named to honor Schuyler Colfax, the Vice President of the United States when Ulysses S. Grant. was in the Oval Office. A post office was established in 1869 and Benjamin Dilger was the first postmaster. Colfax, however, was never platted or listed in the county records. Originally Colfax was called "The Crossroads," and a post office was requested by the community calling itself "Hartzler," but the petitioners did not receive any answer from the Post Master General in Washington DC until the name Colfax was submitted.
Colfax is located at the intersection of State Route 22 (Cincinnati-Zanesville Road NE) and Lake Road.