Wilmington is a city in and the county seat of Clinton County, Ohio, United States. The population was 11,922 at the 2000 census. Residents are referred to as Wilmingtonians, and some refer to the town by the moniker "Dubtown" (a play on the pronunciation of "W" as "dub"). At city entrances from state routes and highways, the city slogan of "We Honor Our Champions" is seen, accompanied by signs that highlight various athletic accomplishments from Wilmington individuals and teams. The city is served by the Wilmington Public Library of Clinton County. Wilmington also features a weather forecast office of the National Weather Service, serving all of Southwestern Ohio and portions of Kentucky and Indiana.
Wilmington was featured in Time magazine on December 8, 1997 as a small town that is attractive to suburban families. James W. Denver, for whom Denver, Colorado is named, is buried in Wilmington. There is also a historic hotel in downtown Wilmington named in his honor. Home to Wilmington College, founded in 1870 by the Society of Friends, the city and the surrounding area include more than a dozen Quaker meeting houses. In addition to Wilmington College, the city is home to the North Campus of Southern State Community College
In 2003, Airborne Express reorganized and ABX Air, Inc. was created. ABX Air is a contract freight forwarding business with the primary customer being DHL, one of the world's largest international shipping firms. Owned by the Deutsche Post WorldNet, a German holding company, DHL consolidated its US flight and sorting hub operations in Wilmington in 2005. However, in May 2008, DHL announced a restructuring plan involving its United States operations, a plan that jeopardizes over 6,000 jobs at ABX Air. and hundreds at A-Star Although DHL has not yet reached an accord with UPS, many are fearing the potential devastation to the Wilmington area and the surrounding county areas as well. The potential economic woe even attracted presidential hopeful Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to Wilmington on August 7, 2008, where he stressed his commitment to anti-trust scrutiny of the potential deal between DHL and UPS.
Wilmington is also home to CMH Regional Health System, a growing regional health provider. From its base of operations at Clinton Memorial Hospital, the non-profit corporation has established health clinics in almost a dozen satellite locations in Southwestern Ohio. In 2007, CMH opened the Foster J. Boyd, MD, Regional Cancer Center in Wilmington, providing cancer treatment services for patients throughout Southwest Ohio.
In addition to air freight services, the city of Wilmington also robustly competes in the truck freight industry, serving as corporate home to R&L Carriers. R&L is a trucking and shipping company that competes in 49 states as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic , and is located off of the intersection between U.S. 68 and I-71 north of Wilmington.
There were 4,867 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 15.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,880, and the median income for a family was $43,619. Males had a median income of $31,645 versus $22,627 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,346. About 8.9% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
Wilmington features a number of smaller commercial shopping malls, including one that hosts a Super Wal-Mart, throughout the town. Wilmington has a bowling alley, Royal Z Lanes, as well as two golf courses, Elks 797 and Majestic Springs. The city is home to the locally renowned Banana Split Festival, held annually in June; the Clinton County Fair held each July; and the Clinton County Corn Festival, a celebration held held each September that highlights agricultural heritage with crafts and displays and games and activities.
In 1994, Happy Wok, the city's first Chinese restaurant opened, and since then, a popular Chinese buffet, #1 China, and other competitors have joined the competition for foreign flare, with another local favorite being the El Dorado Mexican Restaurant. More recently, a Mediterranean styled restaurant opened up in downtown Wilmington, featuring authentic Italian cuisine and Greek dishes, as well as a full coffee bar. In the vein of the coffee culture, downtown Wilmington's Books and More store features Jen's Uptown Deli, a metropolitan style deli that features soups and signature sandwiches, and a full coffee bar. The deli is also home to a full fledged skateboarding shop, and has become a boon to the denizens of Wilmington in their skateboarding endeavors and for fund raising efforts to build a skate park. During the Harry Potter book release years, the Books and More store hosted a Harry Potter Festival that rapidly grew to became a genuine summer commercial draw to Wilmington. By the time the last book was released, the festival came to include dozens of businesses throughout the downtown area, with thousands in attendance.
Also located in the downtown business district is the Murphy Theater, which can be seen in the film Lost In Yonkers, part of which was filmed in the city in the early 1990s. The Murphy Theater stages productions throughout the year from various acts and ensembles as well as staging musicals and plays from neighboring school districts in the county. Perhaps the most renowned event to take place at the Murphy Theater was the marriage of actor John Ritter and wife Amy Yasbeck on September 18, 1999, with the marquee simply stating "Congratulations John and Amy." Nearby in downtown Wilmington is the historic General Denver Hotel, which is named in honor of General James W. Denver.
In late 2007, Kevin Chamberlain, a Wilmington High School graduate, was featured as a choir-member on the NBC miniseries Clash of the Choirs. He was a part of Nick Lachey's choir, which eventually came in first in the competition.
In the summer of 2008, the Quakers football home, Williams Stadium, underwent a major renovation, with new stadium lights and artificial playing field installed.