One of the first towns settled in the lands once known as Connecticut's Western Reserve, Mentor continues to thrive more than two centuries later. After starting out in 1797 as a sparsely populated wilderness outpost with only a handful of permanent residents, Mentor has transformed into a vibrant 21st-century city. The earliest settlers began the great task of felling trees, clearing land, and establishing farms to provide themselves with food and shelter during the area's harsh winters. Through the 19th century, Mentor's growth was slow but steady. Its citizens not only included hardworking farmers and artisans, but wealthy turn-of-the-20th-century Cleveland business leaders, a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient, and the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield. Once known for extensive farmland, grand country estates, interurban railroads, and some of the finest nurseries in the country, Mentor is now a diverse community with more than 50,000 residents and a strong and burgeoning local economy.