Chillicothe ( CHIL-i-KOTH-ee) is a city in and the county seat of Ross County, Ohio, United States. Located along the Scioto River 45 miles south of Columbus, Chillicothe was the first and third capital of Ohio.
It is the only city in Ross County and is the center of the Chillicothe Micropolitan Statistical Area (as defined by the United States Census Bureau in 2003). The population was 21,901 at the 2010 census. Chillicothe is a designated Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
The region around Chillicothe was the center of the ancient Hopewell tradition, which flourished from 200 BC until 500 AD. This Amerindian culture had trade routes extending to the Rocky Mountains. They built earthen mounds for ceremonial and burial purposes throughout the Scioto and Ohio River valleys.
Later Native Americans who inhabited the area through the time of European contact included Shawnees. Present-day Chillicothe is the most recent of seven locations in Ohio that bore the name, because it was applied to the main town wherever the Chalakatha settled. Other population centers named Chillicothe in Ohio at one time include: one located at present-day Piqua, in Miami County; one located south of present-day Circleville, Pickaway County, on the Scioto River; a third about three miles north of Xenia in Greene County, Ohio; a fourth at present-day Frankfort, Ross County, on Paint Creek; and a fifth also located in Ross County, at Hopetown, three miles north of modern Chillicothe.