Morrow County

From Ohio History Central
Morrow County map.jpg

On February 24, 1848, the Ohio government authorized the creation of Morrow County. Residents named the county in honor of Jeremiah Morrow, a previous governor of Ohio. Many early settlers were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), who played an active role in the Underground Railroad. During World War I, Morrow County residents purchased more Victory bonds than the residents of any other single Ohio county. To honor this achievement, the Victory Shaft Monument was erected in downtown Mount Gilead.

Morrow County is located in the north central portion of Ohio. The county seat is Mount Gilead, which is the largest population center, with almost 3,300 residents in 2000. This marked a fourteen percent growth in the town’s population since 1990, and the county, itself, experienced a similar growth rate, to a total population of 31,628 people, during this same time period. Unlike many of Ohio’s more rural counties, which are losing population to the state’s larger cities, Morrow County is experiencing tremendous growth. An average of seventy-eight people live in each of Morrow County’s 406 square miles.

Despite the tremendous growth, Morrow County remains heavily rural. Farming is the county’s largest employer, with approximately sixty-two percent of the county’s acreage serving as farm fields. Manufacturing businesses are the county’s next largest employer, with government and retail positions finishing third and fourth respectively. Oil drilling also proved to be a major industry in the county during the 1960s. The county’s average income was 17,776 dollars per person in 1999, with 10.1 percent of the population living in poverty.

Most voters in Morrow County claim to be independents, yet in recent years, they have overwhelmingly supported Republican candidates at the national level.

Among Morrow County’s most famous residents was President Warren G. Harding, who was born near Blooming Grove.

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