Wilmington was born when, in 1834, Thomas Cox acquired 400 acres of land from the government and built a saw mill. He later added a corn cracker, a gristmill, and a carding machine and the enterprise took on the name Cox’s Mills. Patronized by settlers from as far as 50 miles away, pioneers brought their corn and wheat to Wilmington to be ground.
Today, Wilmington has grown to an impressive 6,000 residents and is still expanding with 1,400 acres recently being annexed. Our school district has also been thriving on wildcat spirit taking home both the 2014 football state title and 2016 cheerleading state championship.
The mission of the Wilmington Area Historical Society is to collect, preserver, display and interpret the documents, photographs and artifacts that tell the unique story of how the people of this small town with big ideas have adapted and survived in the beautiful environment of the Midwest.