History of Dayton, Ohio

History of Dayton, Ohio


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Dayton is a city in Ohio on the Great Miami River. Orville and Wilbur Wright conducted experiments on heavier-than-air flight in Dayton before their first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903. As a result, Dayton has earned the description "Home of Aviation."The first settlers in the Dayton area arrived from Cincinnati in 1796, while moving west to the Great Ohio Valley. The native peoples that called the area home were the Miami, who had moved there after being pressured by The Iroquois farther east to relocate. The village was incorporated in 1805 and named for Jonathan Dayton, who owned land in the village and who had been, at age 26, the youngest signer of the U.S. Constitution.Born in Dayton, the Wright Brothers attended school and later owned the successful Wright Bicycle Company in town in 1896, where they produced their own line of bicycles before becoming interested in flight.In celebration of their contribution to the evolution of flight and to Paul Laurence Dunbar for his contribution to a literary world, the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial were established. The African-American writer received international acclaim for his works, which include novels, plays, short stories, lyrics, and more than 400 published poems.Dayton's location, near the coal and natural gas fields of West Virginia, helped make it a manufacturing center. The invention of the cash register led to the founding of National Cash Register Corporation, now NCR, one of the world's leaders in business equipment.Dayton's low-lying location in the Miami Valley led to repeated episodes of flooding by the Great Miami River. As a result, new and effective flood control measures were adopted, including the erection of five dams.The citizens of Dayton also recognized that their city government had not responded adequately to the flooding challenge, so they replaced their city council with a commission of five elected members and an appointed city manager. Dayton was the first to develop that form of government, which has been copied by hundreds of other municipalities since that time.


- Our History -

To tour the Oregon Historic District is to relive the history of Dayton through the evidence of its architectural heritage. In 1810, Dayton was a small community of 383 persons living on the banks of the Great Miami River. There was no Oregon, no Miami-Erie Canal, just a meandering gully to the east where the canal would eventually be constructed. This gully flowed south from the Mad River to a point just below the town where it joined the Great Miami. The only establishment east of here was a sawmill located near East Fifth and Wyandot Streets. South of this, near East Sixth Street, was a sawmill ground.


New book reveals the stories behind Dayton’s hidden history

“While we all love and are interested in the Wright brothers, Patterson, Kettering and Deeds, this kind of history — the hidden variety — has always been of interest to me,” said Tony Kroeger, the author of “Hidden History of Dayton Ohio.”

Remnants of the city’s past can still be found today when you know what to look for.

The book sheds light on a “ghost street” near the intersection of Keowee and E. Fifth Streets and a lone flagpole in an open field, the only reminder of a development that was home to thousands before it was demolished in 2008.

Tunnels used by the National Cash Register Company, Delco and the Dayton VA still exist and are part of a subterranean tour of the city, and the last two remaining fallout shelter signs are a reminder of the fear of nuclear disaster.


New book reveals the stories behind Dayton’s hidden history

“While we all love and are interested in the Wright brothers, Patterson, Kettering and Deeds, this kind of history — the hidden variety — has always been of interest to me,” said Tony Kroeger, the author of “Hidden History of Dayton Ohio.”

Remnants of the city’s past can still be found today when you know what to look for.

The book sheds light on a “ghost street” near the intersection of Keowee and E. Fifth Streets and a lone flagpole in an open field, the only reminder of a development that was home to thousands before it was demolished in 2008.

Tunnels used by the National Cash Register Company, Delco and the Dayton VA still exist and are part of a subterranean tour of the city, and the last two remaining fallout shelter signs are a reminder of the fear of nuclear disaster.


Discovering Dayton’s Labor History

The front page of Dayton Union News, March 3, 1943. Via Chronicling America. Article highlighting the innovations of Dayton laborers in the course of their jobs. The Dayton Union News, November 25, 1942, via Chronicling America.

It’s a new season for Chronicling America additions, and this one’s a little special. For the past two years, we’ve focused on digitizing Ohio’s immigrant newspapers covering the period of 1834 through 1959. This time, we’re focusing on post-1920 content exclusively, allowing us to cover the Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, World War II and beyond. One of the avenues we’re focusing on with upcoming newspaper content is labor and union history.

The history of labor movements is much longer than the five years of newspapers newly uploaded to Chronicling America with Dayton Union News (but more to come soon!). The labor movements of the 20th century largely center on the two main union federations: the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO). Though the two joined in 1955, they began as contentious rivals in the labor movement. The unionists that were part of the AFL advocated for themselves by emphasizing how necessary their skills were as craftsmen. However unskilled factory workers were feeling unheard in union decisions. So, they split in 1938 to form the CIO so they could advocate along lines of solidarity in the workplace, regardless of any one worker’s experience or job requirements.

It’s no surprise that Dayton was a center for labor unions in the first half of the 20th century. Sweetly situated on the Miami River in the middle of other Midwest cities like Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis, Dayton enjoyed a robust shipping economy. It also wasn’t too far from coal-producing Kentucky, so transporting fuel for its factories was a cinch.

UE Local 801 basketball team from the 1942-1943 season. The Dayton Union News, March 3, 1943, Image 9, via Chronicling America.

Dayton’s factories produced a wide variety of materials such as paper products, electronics, golf clubs and even ice cream cones. Famously, Dayton’s main exports were automobile parts, refrigeration units, and cash registers. Following the CIO’s philosophy of industrial solidarity, one of its major unions was the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (the UE).

The Dayton Union News began in 1940 as a collaborative, biweekly publication sponsored by local chapters of the UE in Montgomery County, Ohio. Participating unions in the Dayton Union News included those at Delco, Frigidaire, and NCR (National Cash Register Company), all companies that either started or found notable success in Dayton. Most of the newspaper’s articles related to general labor news on a local and national level. Its publishers announced industry conferences and workplace holiday parties with equal enthusiasm. With a strong community focus, Dayton Union News dedicated sections to each of its participating unions, publicly celebrating their success. It also disseminated legislative news, and urged members to act on proposals and participate in politics. The slogan “Be wise—organize!” appeared several times on each page.

The Dayton Union News is just a start, and there are already plenty of stories to discover in its pages. What will you find in these new years in Chronicling America?


Dayton Area Broadcast History

The area's first radio station was WDBS ("Watch Dayton's Broadcasting Station"), which broadcast its' first programming in 1921. making it reportedly the 13th oldest still operating radio station in America. In later years, as WING (named obviously for commemorating the city's place as the Birthplace Of Aviation), the station became one of America's legendary AM Top 40 Radio giants. And, just prior to that, WING's morning show host was legendary comic Jonathan Winters. Today, it is Dayton's home for ESPN Sports Radio.

In 1935, a three time Ohio Governor who once unsuccessfully ran for President (with Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his running mate) purchased and moved an Oil City, Pennsylvania radio station to the Gem City. He was already the owner of the local newspaper (The Dayton Daily News). In signing on WHIO-AM, former Governor James M. Cox began the Cox Broadcasting empire. For decades, WHIO (now both AM & FM) was and still is "The Voice Of Dayton." One of its' early newscasters was Phil Donahue, who hosted a daily talk show called "Conversation Piece". And WHIO was the home of Lou Emm, whose voice was the familiar "wake up call" to thousands of Daytonians for some five decades.

Dayton was also the home of a radio station that was among the first to attempt to make popular what was then a fairly new format idea. two-way telephone talk and news. Around 1970, WAVI-AM (named for "aviation") launched as one of the early "News-Talk" radio stations and would prove to be its' most successful format. It was the first station in America to feature a program aimed at home computer users.

Radio broadcasting in Dayton had other "firsts", as well. About 1965, WAVI owner H.K. "Bud" Crowl launched America's first FM station aimed exclusively at the African-American community. WDAO-FM became an incredible success. By the 1970's it was a powerhouse for Dayton's youth, in many cases both black and white. WDAO-FM is considered responsible for launching the music careers of such artists as The Ohio Players, Bootsy Collins and others.

WONE-AM began broadcasting in 1949, when former WING staffer Ronald B. Woodyard departed the station, publicly threatening to put it out of business. Unlike most Dayton stations at the time, WONE acted as an independent (non-network station) with local DJ's playing music in a "block programming style": Pop Music: 5 AM to 9 AM (with DJ "Jolly Rogers") Country: 9 AM to 12 Noon Easy Listening: Noon to 3 PM Pop Music from 3 PM on. WONE became competitors with WING shortly after WING switched full-time to the Top 40 format around 1958.

The WONE studios were originally located at 380 West First Street. For a brief time, it and sister FM WTUE were located in the Second National Bank Building on East Second Street, before locating in mid-1965 to studios at 11 South Wilkinson Street in Dayton. WONE was top 40 from the late 1950's until 1967. It then switched to a middle-of-the-road format, not getting much audience traction against heritage MOR WHIO-AM, the station flipped to country in 1969. From there, it had a decades long run as Dayton's country music giant. It's FM sister, WTUE-FM, which first began as a top 40 station, flipped to Album Rock in 1975 and has entertained Dayton's rock music fans for over 30 years. In the early 60's, an FM station dominating the radio market was unheard of in most American cities. Not in Dayton. WHIO-FM's beautiful music format topped the rating charts, and continued to be a powerhouse until it's eventual change to country music in 1989. Today, K-99.1 is still often at the top of the ratings charts.

Dayton was also the home of a station that was early into the "progressive rock" format. WVUD-FM was owned by the non-profit University Of Dayton, but operated as a commercial radio station. During its' heyday, the station launched the careers of many of today's broadcasters, among the most prominent: syndicated talk show host Mike McConnell, and nationally known sports talk host Dan Patrick.


Dayton’s Union Station: Later Years 1960s+

By the early 1960s, Dayton’s passenger rail needs had been reduced so much that such a huge depot as Union Station was no longer required. Additionally, it was decided that automobile traffic in downtown Dayton would benefit greatly if Sixth Street could be extended through to Wilkinson Street — the construction of which, incidentally, was being blocked by Union Station. Therefore, in the summer of 1964, the huge tower depot was demolished and the offices moved to smaller depot facilities (out of the way of the proposed street connector project). The new depot was dedicated in September 1964.

Passenger rail services in Dayton were eventually taken over by Amtrak in 1971, and this lasted until October 1979, when passenger rail service in Dayton was discontinued altogether. The last remnants of Dayton’s Union Station (the “new” 1964 station) were removed altogether ten years later in 1989.

May 1964: Only Memories of Glory Left. A piece of Dayton history, Union Station, where thousands of travelers have congregated since the depot was built in 1901, comes slowly rumbling down as wreckers make way for an extension of Sixth Street to Wilkinson Street. The wrecking is slow because workmen are trying to save the large timbers near the ceiling. Journal Herald staff photo by Bob Doty.

We hope you enjoy these photographs from the last days of Union Station. For earlier photos, please see our previous blog posts on Union Station’s Early Years and Union Station in the 1940s-1950s.

Click on the images in the gallery below to enlarge the image and see more detailed captions. Click the image again on its caption page to view it at its largest available size.

May 1964 Jan. 1964 July 1963 Apr/May 1960
Jan. 1960 Apr 1960 June 10, 1985 June 10, 1985
Aug. 1964 Apr 1964 May 1964 July 1964
Feb 1964 July 1960 July 1970 June 1964
May 1964 Jan. 1961 May 1964 July 1964

These items and many more like them can be found in the Dayton Daily News Archive in the following series:


Short Story of Dayton Ohio Hoods

The story of the Dayton Ohio ghetto and the true Dayton history within the urban areas begins on the West Side starting around the old historic 5th Street. Many people helped built this area into a section that was once strictly for the city’s black population as families relocated into Dayton neighborhoods for better living conditions compared to southern communities that many came from.

Eventually, many families began to move from the 5th Street district area and began to live in the DeSoto Bass projects. This was followed by people moving into areas like Dayton View and Westwood Dayton neighborhoods, continuing into other areas of Dayton West Side like Townview or Five Oaks as the city was steadily growing.

With the city being mostly divided with one racial group strictly claiming one side and the other living on the other side of town, the West Side eventually became the main community for urban areas in the city.

The West Side of Dayton is an area that most people would like to forget about as the streets of the Dayton Ohio gangs and hoods have caused many victims over the years through violence and incarceration.

Midwest cities all over the country were affected throughout the late 1980s and 1990s by the introduction of drugs and gangs with the city of Dayton being no different as many of these problems and issues continued into the 2000s in the Dayton Ohio hoods.


Dayton, Ohio: The Rise, Fall and Stagnation of a Former Industrial Juggernaut

Few people would recognize Dayton, Ohio of 2008 as the industrial powerhouse it was less than one hundred years ago. Once a beacon of manufacturing success, Dayton claimed more patents per capita than any other U.S. city in 1900. Its entrepreneurial climate nurtured innovators such Charles Kettering, inventor of the automobile self-starter and air travel pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. As the U.S. economy took off after World War II, Dayton was home to the largest concentration of General Motors employees outside of Michigan.

The city also nurtured companies that would became stalwarts on the Fortune 500, including National Cash Register (NCR), Mead Paper Company, business forms companies Standard Register and Reynolds and Reynolds, Dayco and Phillips Industries. To put this in context, just 14 U.S. cities could claim six or more Fortune 500 headquarters in 2007. Not a bad performance for an urban area that peaked as the 40th largest city in the U.S. in 1940.

These early industrialists were more than just business men. They were also visionaries. The founder of NCR, John H. Patterson, is widely credited with laying the foundation for the first modern factory system, pioneering the basic principles that still drive much of modern advertising, and redefining the relationship between labor and management.

NCR may also have been America’s first truly global business. “The cash register,” writes Patterson biographer Samuel Crowther, “is the first American machine which can claim that on it the sun has never set.” Even as Patterson was toiling away in a little shop in Dayton, cash “registers were being sold in England and Australia.” The company’s first non-US sales office was established in England in 1885 and its first European factory was established in Germany in 1903.

It’s difficult to underestimate Patterson’s influence on American industry. By 1930, an estimated one-sixth of all U.S. corporate executives had either been an executive at NCR or been part of Patterson’s management training programs. Among NCR’s alumni were IBM’s visionary CEO Thomas Watson as well as the presidents of Packard Motor Car Company, Toledo Scale, Delco (now Delphi) and dozens of others.

What may separate men like Patterson to their equivalents today in places like Silicon Valley was their intense civic involvement. Patterson was one of the first business leaders to try to apply scientific management to local government, testing out his ideas in rebuilding the city after a disastrous flood ruined downtown Dayton in 1913. He also helped create the Miami Conservancy District, one of the nation’s first flood control districts that still manages a system of low-level dams and levies that keep downtown flood-free to this day. Perhaps one of Patterson’s most prescient civic innovations was bringing the city manager form of local government to the first large city in the U.S.

As significant as Patterson was as an individual, he was not alone. The Dayton area benefited from the entrepreneurial drive and civic commitment of hundreds of businessmen that built large companies, many publicly traded. Patterson was the most iconic of the icons.

Dayton’s Economic Descent
Today one would not expect such vision in Dayton, and you would be unlikely to find it. Since the early 1970s, nearly 15,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared at NCR. Automobile plants cut payrolls as the economy restructured toward services, and foreign competition outsold domestic manufacturers. As late as 1990, five General Motors plants employed more than 20,000 people regionally. Now, fewer than 12,000 work in these factories and Delphi is on the cusp of closing two more plants. NCR’s world headquarters employs fewer than 3,000 people. Mead Paper Company has merged with a competitor, becoming MeadWestvaco and its corporate headquarters has moved to Richmond, Virginia.

As the economy has tanked, the city has shrunk. After peaking at more than 260,000 people in 1960, the city is barely clinging to a core city population of less than 160,000. In the 2000 census, Dayton ranked 147th in size nationwide. Its metropolitan area is now ranked 59th.

Meanwhile, the suburbs have grown. Nearly 74 percent of Montgomery County’s population lived in Dayton in 1930. The growth of suburban cities shrunk that proportion to less than a third by the mid 1980s. Now, less than 20 percent of the metropolitan area’s population lives in the city of Dayton.

Lessons for Other Cities
Dayton’s early dependence on traditional manufacturing, with a particular emphasis on assembly line work, put the region at a competitive disadvantage as growing international trade and dramatically reduced transportation costs allowed for the global dispersion of factory work.

Yet perhaps most remarkable is not the region’s decline, but its resilience. Despite the ongoing decline of manufacturing sector, the metropolitan area still knits together a population of over one million people. What accounts for this?

First, the regional economy has diversified. Now, as in other metropolitan areas, the growth in employment is in services. Two local major health care networks – Premier Health Partners and Kettering Medical Network – employ 15,300 in facilities that are nationally recognized for their quality of care. Wright Patterson Air Force Base is a center for scientific research and development and employs another largely civilian workforce of 21,000.

Second, some of the large industrial companies of the past have evolved to meet the needs of an information economy. NCR, while its presence has diminished, is now a high tech company. Reynolds & Reynolds, a former business forms manufacturer, now provides software in niche markets such as auto sales. The region is also home to the legal information services provider Lexus/Nexus, now a division of Reed Elsevier but originally a division of the Mead Paper Company’s investment in data management services.

Third, core parts of the traditional manufacturing base literally retooled to become globally competitive. In the early 1980s, more than 600 machine shops employed nearly 20,000 people. As the 1990s unfolded, this number had fallen by half. As the 21st century got its start, the number of tool and die shops had revived and employment was rebounding close to 15,000. The shops remain small, but they are deeply invested in global trade. Productivity is up along with incomes.

Fourth, the region remains at a strategic logistical and demographic location in the Midwest. The city of Dayton is at the cross roads of two major interstate highways – the major east-west link I-70 and the north-south connector of I-75. Combined with access to three major airports, the Dayton region can easily benefit from and tap into economic growth in nearby metropolitan areas such as Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Ironically, many of the highway improvements some believed would “empty” the downtown – the interstates plus a partial beltway, I-675 – ended up tying the city and suburbs to other larger urban areas and enhanced the region’s geographic importance.

Dayton’s economy may no longer provide the flash and glitter of 20th century economic leadership, but the region has demonstrated a remarkable robustness that holds lessons for other cities striving to remain competitive in a global economy. All cities or economic regions pass through periods of growth and decline. The real question is whether they can adapt to changing economic circumstances.

Dayton survived by building on the secrets of its past success. Its innovative manufacturing base has become more tech-centric and service-oriented. New areas of vitality such as health services have been enhanced. The city may no longer be what it was at its peak a century ago, but its future is far from grim.


Daytonology

Continuing to track the development of black Dayton via locations of churches, this time the formation of a community on the west side.

The black population increases to around 1000 in the 1870s, which is the decade we see the first black institutions on the west side


West Dayton was still sparsely settled in 1869, with quite a bit of open country and undeveloped plats. This map would be interesting to talk about just for the how the area was developing, but the point is that one year later, in 1870, the first black congregation, of the Baptist denomination, was formed in a private residence on Baxter Street. This would probably be the block of Baxter between 3rd & 5th, as the Baxter south of 5th was called Vantoyl Street at the time.

This congregation eventually met on the east side, in Mclauslands Hall on Wayne for a few years.

Sprague Street, which would eventually be the home of the church, was still a small plat, near the lands associated with the Sprague glue works on the river.



So one can assume, even at this very early date in the history of the neighborhood, when it was still suburban, black folks were living on the west side.

And they continued to move to this area as it was further subdivided and houses built. City directories show Joshua Dunbar living on Baxter, probably on the southern part (which was renamed from Vantoyl to Baxter in the 1870s) in 1874.

By 1875 there were enough black folk to petition for a school on the west side, which met at the fire house on Fifth & Baxter.

The Baptist congregation returned to the west side and built a wood frame church in 1876

These sites are noted on an 1875 map of the growing neighborhood


This congregation, Third Zion Baptist remained at Sprague Street , and built a larger building in 1908.



The congregation relocated elsewhere when Edwin C Moses Blvd. was built through the neighborhood, but this historic church (first black congregation on the west side) was recently remodeled as a community center.

1880s

The end of Reconstruction meant that conditions would start to deteriorate for blacks in the South, as white supremacy was enforced via violence and political actions. Push factors for migration to the north.

Dayton’s black population doubles in the 1880s, reaching over 2000.

Around 1880 a sizable block of property became the Southern Ohio Stockyards. One wonders if there was a connection between this business and attracting blacks, as its been said one of the occupations at this time for black men was “hostler”, which means animal handler, usually horse in livery stables, but perhaps also working in this stockyards?

Or it could be that the property around the stockyards became cheaper (stockyards are sort of a nuisance land use due to the smell and noise), so became a place for a fairly poor population to live.

The west side also becomes more accessible to Dayton proper during this decade via streetcar lines on 5th and Washington Street. Coincidentally, these lines pass through the black neighborhoods that were forming east of the river, so perhaps a reason the west side became an option for an growing black population.


In the 1880s one starts to see new congregations on the west side, in the vicinity of Baxter, Hawthorn and Fitch. Austin’s congregation table lists a Baptist congregation on Hawthorn in 1887, and then notes that the United Brethren mission on Buckeye Street relocates to the west side in 1889, first on Baxter Street…

…but then to a permanent church on Hawthorn. This congregation changes names to McKinley, and affiliates with the Methodists. This is the second oldest black congregation on the west side, and the oldest at more or less the same location (the original church was not on a corner, but a few doors to the north on Hawthorn)

Also note that the black school was closed and the black children reassigned to Garfield school (organized in 1871, and in this building by 1887).


But one wonders if the firehouse @ Baxter & Hawthorn was still the location of the school in 1887, as this pix shows a frame building behind the big brick school.

Lutzenberger says this was the original school and the brick building was built later (before 1887), but one wonders if this was also the colored school, and was used as such at the time of the photo, as there are those black kids in front?


One can speculate that if this school was indeed integrated and the neighborhood attracted more black residents with kids, if there was early white flight from the neighborhood as the African-American population increased. It would be interesting to study the school district boundaries for the Garfield district during this era.

In any case perhaps the vicinity of Hawthorne, Baxter, and Fitch, perhaps also Mound Street (facing the stockyards) might have been developing as the core of the west side black district, based on the church locations.

The South begins to implement de jure segregation in earnest via Jim Crow laws at the state and local levels.

Dayton’s black population continues to increase at the same rate as the 1880s, approaching 3500 by 1900.



During the 1890s one sees the black presence on the west side expand as congregations relocated from the old east side neighborhoods, as well as new congregations form. The area between Germantown and Fifth was apparently developing into a black neighborhood.

A bit of a closer look. Austin’s notes on his church table says Allen AME first met on the north side of Fitch. Perhaps this was in a house or they shared a church building with Bethel Baptist, as there is no church shown on this Sanborn from 1898.

But one can get a feel of the urban fabric of this neighborhood…the churches noted in red, and the large block of land for the stockyards.


Taking a closer look at Bethel. This Sanborn is of the same area, but in 1919. Bethel has expanded to the west, and the Sanborn has enough detail to ascertain the roof lines


Going on-site, one does find a church at the same location, corner of Fitch and Baxter (which was renamed Dunbar sometime before 1919), which does have the same characteristics as on the Sanborn.

Though it’s been heavily altered and no longer a Baptist congregation this is probably the oldest surviving structure associated with the Dayton black community, or built by a community institution.


Ohio History Timeline

Around 13,000 BCE, the early hunting and gathering people live in the area now known as Ohio in the last centuries of the Ice Age, hunting now-extinct species such as mammoth and mastodon. Coming upon 8000-500 BCE, the Archaic hunters and gatherers find new ways to harvest Ohio's bounty as the climate warms and thick forests grow across the area. And from 800 BCE - 100, the Adena people become Ohio's first farmers, growing plants such as sunflowers and squash. Many of their thousands of burial mounds have survived in Ohio- the Serpent Mound in Adams County is the largest effigy mound in the U.S.

Initially colonized by French fur traders, Ohio became a British colonial possession following the French and Indian War in 1754. At the end of the American Revolution, Britain ceded control of the territory to the newly formed United States, which incorporated it into the Northwest Territory. Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803, although no formal declaration was made until 1953, when President Dwight Eisenhower officially signed the documents making it a state, retroactive to the original date.

17th Century Ohio History Timeline

1670 - Rene-Robert Cavelier explores and claims the Ohio region for France

18th Century Ohio History Timeline

1750 - The Ohio Company of Virginia claims the Ohio region for England

1763 - French surrender's claim to Ohio to Britain

1787 - Ohio becomes part of the Northwest Territory

1795 - Treaty of Greenville ends the Indian Wars in Ohio

1788 - April 7 - Marietta was Ohio's first permanent settlement. It was founded in 1788 by General Rufus Putnam and named in honor of Marie Antoinette, then queen of France

19th Century Ohio History Timeline

1800 - The Division Act creates the Indian Territory

1802 - Congress authorizes formation of a state government in Ohio.

1803 - March 1 - Ohio admitted to the Union as the 17th state. Chillicothe is named state capital.

1804 - Ohio University, founded in 1804 in Athens, was the first university in Ohio and the Northwest Territory.

1810 - Zanesville named state capitol.

1811 - Tecumseh defeated at the Battle of Tippecanoe.

1812 - Fort Meigs constructed to protect Ohio from invasion during the War of 1812

1813 - British defeat in the Battle of Lake Erie

1816 - Columbus named state capitol.

1817 - The first abolitionist newspaper, The Philanthropist, is published in Mt. Pleasant.

  • The National Road reaches St. Clairsville.
  • Construction on the Miami and Erie canals begins.

1832 - Ohio and Erie canals are completed.

1833 - The nation's first interracial, coeducational college, Oberlin College, was founded in Oberlin in 1833.

1834 - The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Zanesville.

1835 - Boundary disputes between Michigan and Ohio cause the Toledo War

1840 - William Henry Harrison, from North Bend, elected president.

1842 - The Wyandottes, Ohio's last Indian tribe, leave Ohio

1849 - The first Ohio State Fair opens.

  • Ohio leads all states in corn, horses, sheep and wool production.
  • The second US Women's Rights Convention is held in Salem.

1851 - Current Ohio Constitution adopted.

1859 - John Brown, an abolitionist from Akron, leads raid on Harper's Ferry, VA.

1861-1865 - Civil War , Ohio fought for the Union but the state showed mixed feelings toward slavery.

1861 - Ohio Statehouse completed.

1863 - The Battle of Buffington Island becomes the only Civil War battle in Ohio.

1868 - Ulysses S. Grant, from Point Pleasant, is elected president.

  • Cincinnati Redstockings become the first fully professional baseball team.
  • W. F. Semple of Mount Vernon patented chewing gum

1873 - Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College opens.

1876 - Rutherford B. Hayes, from Delaware, is elected president.

1878 - James Ritty of Dayton developed the first cash register.

1879 - Cleveland became the world's first city to be lighted
electrically in 1879 when Charles Brush successfully demonstrated arc lights on the streets.

1880 - James Garfield, from Orange, is elected president.

1888 - Benjamin Harrison, from North Bend, is elected president.

1892 - Cedar Point opens its first roller coaster.

1896 - In Marietta, John Gilman first used x-rays in surgery.

1898 - Henry Timken of Canton developed the roller bearing.

1891 - John Lambert of Ohio City made America's first automobile.

20th Century Ohio History Timeline

1902 - Ohio flag adopted by Ohio Legislature.

1903 - The Wright Brothers, a pair of bicycle shop owners from Dayton, became the first in flight

1903 - Ohio celebrates centennial.

1908 - William Howard Taft, from Cincinnati, is elected president.

1911 - Charles Kettering of Loudonville invented the first automobile self-starter in 1911.

1913 - Spring floods kill 428 people.

1914 - The Ohio Conservancy Act permits formation of watershed districts.

1917 - US enters World War I. About 6,800 Ohio soldiers will be killed.

1920 - Warren G. Harding, from Corsica, is elected president.

1921 - The Bing Act passes, requiring students to remain in school until graduation or age 18.

1923 - Garrett Morgan of Cleveland invented the first traffic light.

1925 - The dirigible Shenandoah crashes near Alva, killing 14 people.

1934 - The first state sales tax is imposed at 3 percent.

1937 - The Ohio River floods, leaving 750,000 people homeless.

1938 - Roy J. Plunkett of New Carlisle invented Teflon.

1941 - US enters World War II about 20,000 Ohio servicemen will be killed.

1946 - The US Air Force chooses Chuck Yeager, a pilot instructor at Wright Field, to test its first rocket aircraft, breaking the sound barrier in 1947.

1949 - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is created by the Legislature.

1953 - Congress discovers it neglected to officially recognize Ohio's statehood and passes a formal resolution declaring Ohio's entry into the Union as March 1, 1803.

1955 - The Ohio Turnpike is completed.

1958 - "With God all Things are Possible" becomes the state motto.

  • The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is created to eliminate employment discrimination.
  • St. Lawrence Seaway opened
  • Terms of some state officials are increased from two to four years

1962 - John Glenn from New Concord was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.

1963 - Professional Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton.

1967 - Great Seal of Ohio is standardized.

1969 - July 20, Neil Armstrong of Wapakoneta became the first man to walk on the moon.

1970 - Four Kent State University students killed by National Guard gunfire during Vietnam War protests.

1971 - State income tax is adopted.

1973 - Ohio State Lottery approved by Ohio voters.

1974 - Xenia tornado kills 34 people.

1976 - Ohio's last commuter train is shut down

1977 - natural gas shortage occurred in severe weather conditions

1983 - Marysville Honda plant dedicated.

1986 - Astronaut Judith Resnick, of Akron, dies in the Challenger space shuttle explosion.

1990 - Ohioans struggle through the economic downturn of the 1980s the 1990 Census reports a slow 0.5% population increase

1995 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens in Cleveland.

1995 - The Bosnian Peace Agreement is signed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

1998 - John Glenn at age 77, he became the oldest American to travel into space.

21st Century Ohio History Timeline

  • Ohio ranked in the top ten in the country for growing corn, oats, winter wheat, soybeans, sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, strawberries raising chickens, hogs and pigs and producing maple syrup and many dairy products.
  • New York terrorist attacks led to flurry of anti-terrorist activities throughout Ohio
  • steam engine explosion at fair killed four, injured 49

2002 - Former representative, James Traficant, sentenced to eight-year prison term for corruption

2003 - Electric faults in Cleveland caused power outages to 50 million

2006 - Voters passed smoking ban in public places

  • Six bodies found in home of convicted sex offender in Cleveland
  • Nazi war crimes suspect John Demjanjuk, deported to Germany from Cleveland home
  • environmental activist, Marie Mason, sentenced to 22 years in prison for arson, property damage

2010 - Three Ohio pension funds filed class action lawsuit against American International Group for fraud, resulted in $725 million fine


Watch the video: MC Report History Bit: Daytons Mafia Connection


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