The 5TH OHIO NATIONAL GUARD REGIMENT (1881-1917) was formed 7 July 1881 to replace the 15th ONG Regiment. Composed of local and regional militia companies, the 5th consisted of the Forest City, Washington, and Light Guards of Cleveland as well as units from Elyria, CHAGRIN FALLS, and Geneva, OH, as well as two new companies recruited by 1894. The regiment was based at the City Armory on Long St. until it burned in 1892 and was replaced by GRAYS ARMORY. Col. Emory W. Force of Chagrin Falls was its first principal officer. The 5th Regiment was called upon to quell civil disturbances, aid in emergencies, perform ceremonial duties, and serve under federal jurisdiction when required. It fought the fire at the Wood, Perry & Co. lumber yard in the FLATS (1884) and helped put down violence associated with the CLEVELAND ROLLING MILL STRIKE (1885) and the Brown Hoisting & Conveying Machinery Co. strike (1896). Ceremonial functions in which the regiment participated included the funeral of Pres. JAMES A. GARFIELD in Cleveland (1881), and the St. Louis World's Fair (1904).
During the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR the regiment, 745 officers and men, was mustered into federal service but saw no action. Following the war, the unit was reorganized into 12 companies with CHARLES X. ZIMMERMAN of Cleveland as commander. On 16 June 1916 the 5th was again mustered into federal service for Mexican border duty as a result of Gen. Francisco (Pancho) Villa's attack on Columbus, NM. Encamped near El Paso, TX, Sept. 1916-March 1917, the regiment never crossed the Rio Grande River into Mexico. With the entry of the U.S. into World War I, it became part of the 145th Infantry, 37th Division.