Laurelville, Ohio

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Laurelville, Ohio
Location of Laurelville, Ohio
Location of Laurelville, Ohio
Detailed map of Laurelville
Detailed map of Laurelville
Coordinates: 39°28′16″N 82°44′17″W / 39.47111°N 82.73806°W / 39.47111; -82.73806Coordinates: 39°28′16″N 82°44′17″W / 39.47111°N 82.73806°W / 39.47111; -82.73806
Country United States
State Ohio
County Hocking
 • Total 0.21 sq mi (0.54 km2)
 • Land 0.21 sq mi (0.54 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation[2] 735 ft (224 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 527
 • Estimate (2012[4]) 523
 • Density 2,509.5/sq mi (968.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 43135, 43152
Area code(s) 740
FIPS code 39-42084[5]
GNIS feature ID 1064974[2]

Laurelville is a village in Hocking County, Ohio, United States. The population was 527 at the 2010 census.

The Hocking State Forest is located outside Laurelville.


Laurelville is located at 39°28′16″N 82°44′17″W / 39.47111°N 82.73806°W / 39.47111; -82.73806 (39.471135, -82.738186).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.21 square miles (0.54 km2), all of it land.[1]


2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 527 people, 252 households, and 120 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,509.5 inhabitants per square mile (968.9/km2). There were 282 housing units at an average density of 1,342.9 per square mile (518.5/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.3% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.4% of the population.

There were 252 households, of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.7% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 52.4% were non-families. 47.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the village was 39.5 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.7% were from 25 to 44; 22.3% were from 45 to 64; and 20.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 44.6% male and 55.4% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 533 people, 256 households, and 136 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,605.0 people per square mile (1,029.0/km²). There were 277 housing units at an average density of 1,353.8 per square mile (534.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.69% White, 0.19% Native American, 0.38% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.56% of the population.

There were 256 households, out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.5% were non-families. 43.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the village the population was spread out, with 21.4% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $24,250, and the median income for a family was $41,250. Males had a median income of $30,227 versus $18,000 for females. The per capita income for the village was $15,339. About 6.6% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 27.2% of those age 65 or over.


Laurelville was laid out in 1871 by John and W. S. Albin, and Soloman Riegel.[7] The name probably comes from the stream, "Laurel Creek" which flows through the village. Laurel is an evergreen shrub which grows profusely along the cliffs of the winding stream from its origin to the point where it joins Saltcreek, thus giving the stream its name.

It is quite likely that the location of Laurelville near where Laurel joins Saltcreek was influenced by the potential water power that these two streams provided. Water power was used soon after the town was laid out to provide power for a saw mill and a grain mill which were the first business locations located in the new village. The water from Laurel Creek was diverted, or at least a portion of it, into a small lake or pond which served as a reservoir for a constant supply of water for a mill race which followed course directly past the saw mill then past the grain mill and returned to the stream approximately 1/2 mile from its origin.

Saltcreet was also dammed on the west side of Laurelville, out of town, and over in Pickaway County to provide for mills over there.

Before 1871 ended, three houses had been erected in the new settlement and plans for others had been made. Each year following 1871, more dwellings were added along with business places to keep pace with the growth in population. Soon, new land was plotted for additional residences and shops to provide for the growing needs and for products and services demanded by this new community. The fertile soil on every side of Laurelville attracted settlers from other parts of Ohio and from states east of Ohio.

Village of Laurelville, 1913

By the turn of the century, Laurelville was listed with those pioneer towns that proudly claimed a population of over 200 persons. It was incorporated, with a mayor and other town officials, and had made improvements like good streets, sidewalks, shade trees, and other facilities to enhance their neat and well-kept homes. Residents of the town were rightfully proud of their progress and did what they could to make their town attractive, clean and convenient. Plans for a fire department were made, and they organized a group of men into an effective and efficient bucket brigade who answered the fire alarm any time day or night. The organization of fire fighters started on July 1, 1913, after the village council passed an ordinance creating the volunteer fire company and was the forerunner of the present-day modern volunteer fire department.

For many years the department furnished fire protection to Benton, Saltcreek, Perry townships and the village of Laurelville with one station and about twenty-five members. This meant giving fire protection to 4500 people scattered over a 120-square-mile area. In December 1994 another 32 square miles was added to its fire protection area when they contracted to protect Eagle Twp. in Vinton County. This area borders the southern boundary of Saltcreek Twp. The people of Laurelville take great pride in their volunteer fire department, and the town celebrates with an annual festival hosted by the fire department every year in July.

Laureville was strategically located equi-distance between larger towns such Logan, Chillicothe, Lancaster and Circleville. The pioneer planners of the village were aware of the importance of factors that would contribute to the success of the new village. Improved highways leading into these larger towns and cities not only provided business for the cities but gave this area an outlet for its marketable products and added much to the local economy.

In 1902, the Columbus and Southern Railroad began to operate between Wyandotte Junction, a connection with the Pennsylvania Railroad line, in Fairfield County, and the coal mines in Hocking, Vinton and Athens Counties. The line actually operated between South Bloomingville and the junction and ran through Laurelville daily. This railroad line, although plagued with poor equipment and financial problems, was a boon to business in this pioneer community. The success of the railroad was dependent upon coal, and that success never was realized, as the rugged terrain in the area of Ash Cave, along the right-of-way, proved to be too much of a barrier to overcome. The train never ran further east than South Bloomingville. It did operate, on a limited basis, until 1916.

Train crossing Laurel Creek approx 1903
Train crossing Main St, Laurelville, OH

After the railroad failure, public highways grew in importance in the area, and the infant automobile and truck business became more and more important with each successive year.

Poling Hotel and Saloon

Farming and industry prospered and the area population increased both in the village and in the countryside. The natives not only demanded better and better highways, they also wanted larger and better schools and churches as well.

The first school in Laurelville was a one-room structure, then other rooms were added as they were needed along with other improvements. The schools were organized on a township basis, with a board of education to administer local schools and a county board of education to tie all township schools together under a County Superintendent of Schools; so there would be equality in terms of curriculum and other matters. In later years, the state organized the schools into larger and larger units, and in the 1970s, Laurelville School became part of the Logan Elm School District of Pickaway County with an elementary school located in the village. The junior and senior high school students are transported to the Logan Elm High School, located five miles east of Circleville.

Mowery Hotel and Mettlers General Store Laurelville, Ohio

All through history, physicians have been important to the welfare of every community. Doctors in this area contributed so much that we cannot exaggerate their services. They called on patients day and night, and before automobiles were in use, they traveled on horseback or in horse-drawn vehicles. In the village, they traveled on foot from house to house. In the winter and during epidemics they could not get to all who needed them. It is true that such diseases that formerly used so much of the doctors' time and caused so much suffering to the afflicted are now less prevalent today than they were. Diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, tetanus, polio, scarlet fever and diphtheria were more common in the early days of the village. Doctors who served this area with distinction and dedication are: Doctors Cain, Simkins, Hemminger, Barton, Melcher, Palmer, Watson, Floyd and Grattidge.

Laurelville has often been plagued by flooding. The streams that were considered an asset when the village was founded also were responsible for damages from time to time when excessive rains caused them to overflow their banks. Some years, naturally, were worse than others. The years of 1907, 1909, and again in 1913 were extremely bad years for floods in this area. The citizens realizing that the flooding problem would not cease but would probably become even more serious with passing years and increased development, set out to construct a levee and to raise the houses and places of business to lessen the damage and infrequence of the floods. The streams were dredged, their courses were altered somewhat but the problem although relieved, was not totally eliminated. On May 24, 1968, at approximately 2:00 a.m. Laurelville suffered its greatest flood. The levee broke and a wall of water 8 to 10 feet high descended upon the village. In a short period of a few minutes, half of the homes and nearly all of the businesses were flooded.

The impact of this flood was a tremendous blow to all of the citizens whose homes or businesses were affected. Mobile homes washed away or were broken up and destroyed. Cars were flooded and many washed downstream and permanent homes were washed off of their foundations. Bridges collapsed and fell into the stream or were damaged almost beyond repair and hundreds of tons of mud and debris were dumped into the streets, lawns, homes and businesses of this quiet little village.

Within a few hours after the flood struck, the people gathered to discuss the disaster that struck in the middle of the night. They organized and went to work to restore Laurelville to what it had been before the flood. The state agencies such as Civil Defense, The National Guard and the Red Cross came in with equipment and personnel, along with church groups and other civic organizations. With the work of hundreds of friends and relatives, Laurelville was restored.


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  2. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ History of Hocking Valley, Ohio. Inter-State Publishing Co. 1883. p. 1106.