Side A: Ross County’s first courthouse was Ohio’s first statehouse. The courthouse was erected on the Public Square in 1801. Thomas Worthington, one of the building’s superintendents, laid out the foundation. Chillicothe was the last capital of the Northwest Territory, and the final session of the territorial legislature met in the courthouse in 1801. Ohio’s first constitution was written here in 1802. On March 1, 1803, Ohio’s first General Assembly convened in the building, making it the statehouse. During a time of strained relations between Native Americans and settlers in Ohio, the great Shawnee leader Tecumseh delivered a speech here in 1807 to reassure citizens that the Indians would remain peaceful. The courthouse served as the statehouse from 1803 to 1810 and from 1812 to 1816. The building was razed in 1852 to make way for the present courthouse.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Chillicothe & Ross County 2003 Commission of Chillicothe’s Bicentennial Commission, Ross County Historical Society, and The Ohio Historical Society