Chillicothe History

On July 6, 1928, Chillicothe became the birthplace to one of the greatest innovations of modern times. Chillicothe Baking Company founder Frank Bench took a chance on a mechanized bread slicing machine invented by Otto Rohwedder. Just one week after introducing the world to pre-sliced bread, Bench’s sales increased by two thousand percent! The rest, as they say, is history.

Chillicothe’s rich history extends beyond making it easier to enjoy a sandwich, though. Settled in the early 1830s and first incorporated on August 13, 1851, the town’s proximity to major transportation routes made it a convenient base for a wide variety of commercial enterprises and manufacturing plants. It was also a major livestock and agricultural trading center.

The Chillicothe Normal School (later Chillicothe Business College) made the town an educational center as well. In fact, four educational institutions – the State Industrial Home for Girls, the Chillicothe Conservatory of Music, the Chillicothe Normal School and Maupin’s Commercial College – helped grow the population of the community dramatically during the last two decades of the nineteenth century.

The city became a crossroads which, for a time, earned it the nickname “The Highway City.” In 1945, the Chillicothe Municipal Airport began accepting traffic. Chillicothe’s population, its economy and its boundaries continued to grow in the second half of the twentieth century.

Today’s Chillicothe is lined with businesses, shopping and activity. Our community continues to grow and prosper as we breathe new life into our community’s historic downtown districts

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