Carrollton is the county seat of Carroll County, Ohio. Founded in 1815, Carrollton originally was known as Centretown. Upon the formation of Carroll County in 1832, Centretown residents changed the community's name to Carrollton. The town grew slowly, having only eight hundred residents in 1840. By 1846, the community consisted of just four churches, six retail stores, and two printing shops.
Despite eventually having a railroad that connected Carrollton with the rest of Ohio, the town remained small throughout the nineteenth century. In 1880, only 1,136 people resided in the town. Approximately one-third of these people were school-aged children. Three newspapers, five churches, and one bank existed in the town. In October 1887, the townspeople boasted that no saloons existed in their community and that there was not a single criminal in the county jail, which was located in Carrollton. Some of Ohio's “Fighting McCooks” resided in Carrollton during the 1800s. One of their homes is now a museum operated by the Ohio History Connection.
The twentieth century witnessed slow growth for Carrollton, which numbered just over three thousand residents in 2000. Carrollton was Carroll County's largest community in 2000, and it did contain over ten percent of the county's entire population. Only twelve percent of the city's residents over twenty-five years of age had a four-year college degree in 2000. In that same year, most residents found employment in manufacturing or retail establishments. The city's per capita income was just over fourteen thousand dollars.