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Mount Gilead, Ohio
Morrow County Courthouse
Location of Mount Gilead, Ohio
Location of Mount Gilead, Ohio
Location of Mount Gilead in Morrow County
Location of Mount Gilead in Morrow County
Coordinates: 40°33′8″N 82°49′54″W / 40.55222°N 82.83167°W / 40.55222; -82.83167Coordinates: 40°33′8″N 82°49′54″W / 40.55222°N 82.83167°W / 40.55222; -82.83167
Country United States
State Ohio
County Morrow
Township Gilead
 • Total 3.40 sq mi (8.80 km2)
 • Land 3.39 sq mi (8.77 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
1,135 ft (346 m)
 • Total 3,660
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,085.92/sq mi (419.28/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 419
FIPS code 39-52738
GNIS feature ID 1065069

Mount Gilead is a village in Morrow County, Ohio, United States.

It is located 41 miles (66 km) northeast of Columbus. The population was 3,660 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Morrow County and the center of population of Ohio. The village was established in 1832, eight years after white settlers arrived in the region. Before their arrival, the forest was a hunting area for the Shawnee tribe.

Located in the center of the village is Morrow County's historic World War I Victory Memorial Shaft, unique in the United States, and Mount Gilead State Park is nearby on State Route 95. Other areas drawing tourism include the Amish farms, shops and stores east of Mount Gilead, near Chesterville and Johnsville. Mount Gilead is also home to the Morrow County Hospital.


19th century


The first settler to make Mount Gilead (Mt. Gilead) home was Lewis Hardenbrook, in 1817, though it was then called Whetstone and was located in Marion County. In 1824, Judge Jacob Young drew out the village; the plan consisting of 80 lots and also included a public square. Several years later, in 1832, Henry Ustick added an additional 70 lots to the village as well as an additional public square. The original public square was then referred to as the south square and the newer square, the north square. Many years later, in 1919, the north public square would become home to the Victory Shaft World War I Monument. This monument was given to the county for having the highest per capita war bond sales during a two-year period. Charles Webster built the first cabin in the village in December 1824. He served as the first Postmaster and operated the Post Office from the cabin, as well. In 1832, a measure was proposed to change the name of the town. Residents were asked to vote between the names Warsaw and Mt. Gilead. Mt. Gilead was chosen by a significant margin and the village was incorporated by state legislature several years later in 1839.

In 1848, Mt. Gilead was almost unanimously chosen to be the county seat for the newly formed Morrow County, Ohio. Morrow County was formed from parts of surrounding Marion, Knox, Richland, and Delaware counties. Given the village's elevated status as the county seat, village leaders enhanced many areas of the town's appearance by creating streets and clearing them and performed other improvements.


Soon after being named county seat, there was talk of building a rail line that would pass through Mt. Gilead between Cleveland and Columbus. Officials opened stock purchases and began preparations for the build. Tensions between villagers and railroad officials broke down the negotiations and the rail station was re-located to Cardington, several miles south of Mt. Gilead, and opened for business in 1851. The railroad would pass Mt. Gilead two miles to the west, in what is now known as Edison. Nearly 30 years later, Mt. Gilead did get a rail spur through the village, named Mt. Gilead Short Line Railway. The Short Line opened in 1880.


From its beginnings, industry has been a main support for Mt. Gilead. Various mills were an early staple in the village history, followed by a tile factory and with technological advances, eventually the still well known Hydraulic Press Manufacturing Company or HPM. HPM maintained some level of operations in Mt. Gilead until 2011, when it was moved to Marion.


Mt. Gilead had two media sources available to them in the 19th century, Democratic Messenger and the The Whig Sentinel. Both papers began publishing in 1848 and both papers experienced a name change around 1860 with The Sentinel becoming The Morrow County Sentinel and The Messenger becoming The Union Register. The Union Register was published until 1971, while the Morrow County Sentinel is still in existence today.

Historic locations

Four properties in Mount Gilead are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the floral hall at the county fairgrounds, Levering Hall, the Morrow County Courthouse, and the James S. Trimble House. Levering Hall in particular is distinguished by its ornate Italianate architecture and its place as the center of community life for several decades.


Mount Gilead is located at 40°33′8″N 82°49′54″W / 40.55222°N 82.83167°W / 40.55222; -82.83167 (40.552090, -82.831587). Its elevation is 1,081 feet above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.40 square miles (8.81 km2), of which, 3.39 square miles (8.78 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

Mount Gilead is considered to be a part of "Central Ohio."


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 646
1860 789 22.1%
1870 1,087 37.8%
1880 1,216 11.9%
1890 1,329 9.3%
1900 1,528 15.0%
1910 1,673 9.5%
1920 1,837 9.8%
1930 1,871 1.9%
1940 2,008 7.3%
1950 2,351 17.1%
1960 2,788 18.6%
1970 2,971 6.6%
1980 2,865 −3.6%
1990 2,846 −0.7%
2000 3,290 15.6%
2010 3,660 11.2%
2019 (est.) 3,678 0.5%

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,660 people, 1,482 households, and 875 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,079.6 inhabitants per square mile (416.8/km2). There were 1,658 housing units at an average density of 489.1 per square mile (188.8/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.1% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 1,482 households, of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.0% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.01.

The median age in the village was 36.9 years. 24.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 22.9% were from 45 to 64; and 17.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

19th-century census data

According to A.J. Baughman's History of Morrow County, Ohio (1911), early population data is as follows:

Year 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
Population 646 789 1,087 1,216 1,329

Victory Shaft

Victory Memorial Shaft

The Victory Shaft was erected in Mount Gilead's town square in December 1919, following World War I. It was presented as a gift from the federal government to Morrow County citizens to thank them for purchasing more war bonds per capita than any other county. Warren G. Harding, a Senator who would later be elected President, was the keynote speaker at the dedication.


The city has a public lending library, the Mount Gilead Public Library.

Notable people

  • Tim Belcher - former Major League Baseball player (Born in Mt Gilead however he grew up in Sparta, OH.)
  • Oswald Bruce Cooper — graphic designer
  • C.B. Dollaway — professional mixed martial arts fighter
  • Frank K. Dunn - Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court
  • Merrill Gilfillan — author
  • William Vermillion Houston — president of Rice University
  • Robert Byington Mitchell — soldier and governor of New Mexico
  • Edwin Taylor Pollock — United States Navy Captain, Governor of U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa
  • Dawn Powell — satirical author
  • Samuel Snider — U.S. Representative from Minnesota
  • Lefty Webb — baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Samuel Newitt Wood — Kansas state legislator
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