Chillicothe (chĭlˌĭkŏthˈē) [key], city (1990 pop. 21,923), seat of Ross co., S central Ohio, on the Scioto River; inc. 1802. It is the trade and distribution center of a farm area that specializes in raising cattle and hogs and growing corn. The city has long been noted for its large paper mills. Founded in 1796 by settlers from Virginia, Chillicothe derives its name from the Shawnee word meaning "principal town." In 1800 it became the capital of the Northwest Territory; from 1803 to 1810 and from 1812 to 1816 it was the capital of Ohio. Chillicothe grew in the 19th cent. as an inland port on the Ohio and Erie Canal and a pork-packing center. During World War I, Camp Sherman, a large Army training base, was built in Chillicothe. Notable are Adena State Memorial and Ross County Historical Society Museum. Outside the city is Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, containing prehistoric Native American burial mounds (see National Parks and Monuments, table). Chillicothe also has a state prison and a branch of Ohio Univ.
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