By Nathan Hood
On June 8, 1917 – practically two months after the United States’ declaration of war on April 7, 1917 – Chillicothe, Ohio, was selected as the one of sixteen sites for the construction of military training camps. Workers began building Camp Sherman there in late June on a large expanse of farmland in the Scioto Valley. This land was purchased by the United States government with the help of local business owners. The size and scope of Camp Sherman expanded exponentially and the massive convergence of laborers and soldiers at Camp Sherman brought economic prosperity to the surrounding community, arguably transforming the Ross County area. Chillicothe’s population grew from a 16,000 to over 55,000 – numerous new homes and businesses were built and established.