Mount Gilead, Ohio
Mount Gilead is the county seat of Morrow County, Ohio. Jacob Young surveyed the town in 1824. Before becoming known as Mount Gilead in 1832, the community was known first as Whetsom and then Youngstown. The Ohio legislature supposedly named the town Mount Gilead after the biblical town of the same name.
Mount Gilead grew slowly, having approximately four hundred inhabitants in 1847. At this point in time, Mount Gilead was part of Marion County. The town became the Morrow County seat in 1848, with the creation of that county. Many of the community’s earliest residents were members of the Society of Friends. During the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, many locals, primarily due to their religious beliefs, played an active role in the temperance and in the abolition movements. Several residents participated in the Underground Railroad.
Mount Gilead continued to grow over the next several decades, achieving a population of 1,216 people by 1880. In 1886, the town included two newspaper offices, four churches, and two banks. Several manufacturing businesses existed in Mount Gilead, most of which provided services or products for farmers in the surrounding countryside.
During the twentieth century, farming remained the primary occupation of most Morrow County residents, with Mount Gilead businesses providing assistance to the county’s agriculturalists. In 2000, Mount Gilead was Morrow County’s largest population center, with almost 3,300 residents.