Ohio, one of the East North Central states of the United States. Ohio is located on several main routes between the eastern and western United States. Therefore it attracted settlers from all parts of the country and developed a culture significant for its diversity. Ohio first developed as an agricultural region, and more than half of the land is still devoted to growing crops and raising livestock. The state’s position on major east-west highways and railroads and its access to Lake Erie and the Ohio River, however, offered a large potential market for industrial production. This strategic location, combined with the presence of abundant natural resources and potential sources of power, made possible the rise of the industrial concentrations that have made Ohio a leading industrial state.
Ohio takes its name from the Ohio River, which forms the southern and southeastern and part of the eastern boundaries of the state. The word Ohio is thought to derive from an Iroquois word meaning either great or beautiful river. Ohio is popularly nicknamed the Buckeye State because of the many buckeye trees that grew within its borders when settlers arrived. Some of the trees, a variety of horse chestnut, were used to build log cabins. The nickname Mother of Modern Presidents refers to the fact that Ohio was the birthplace of Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.
Ohio entered the Union on March 1, 1803, as the 17th state. Columbus is Ohio’s capital and largest city. Cleveland is at the heart of Ohio’s largest metropolitan area.
Ohio covers 116,096 sq km (44,825 sq mi), including 979 sq km (378 sq mi) of inland water and 9,062 sq km (3,499 sq mi) of Lake Erie. It is the 34th largest state of the United States. The extreme dimensions of Ohio are 360 km (225 mi) east to west and 345 km (215 mi) north to south. The approximate mean elevation is 260 m (850 ft).
Ohio includes parts of three major natural regions, or physiographic provinces, of the United States: the Appalachian Plateaus, the Interior Low Plateau, and the Central Lowland. Most of western Ohio has flat to rolling lands typical of the Central Lowland, while eastern Ohio is composed of much hillier glaciated and unglaciated land of the Appalachian Plateaus. Only a very small area, in the southwest, is in the Interior Low Plateau.
The Central Lowland in Ohio is composed of two sections: the Lake Plain section and the Till Plains. Most of the area is flat or gently rolling, with some rougher terrain between the major rivers and in the divide between the Great Lakes and Ohio River drainage systems. The flatness of the land is a result of several glacial advances and retreats that occurred during the Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago.
The Lake Plain section, along Lake Erie, varies in width from about 8 to 16 km (about 5 to 10 mi) in northeastern Ohio and from about 100 to 115 km (about 60 to 70 mi) in the northwest. The land is very flat, with slight elevation on old beach ridges, but most of it is the old bottomland of a much larger Lake Erie formed by the blocking of its outlet by glacial ice. Marshes and swamps are prevalent in undrained areas.
The Till Plains in west-central Ohio offer a greater variety of landscape than the Lake Plain. Broad valleys and rolling divides occur between the rivers. This section is covered with glacial material composed mainly of fine clay, sands, and gravels. This material, called glacial drift, was deposited very unevenly so that in some places it is only 60 cm (24 in) deep and in others it is more than 30 m (100 ft) deep. This deposition softened the relief of the area compared to its preglacial landscape. While the valleys and their subsequent divides run north-south, a series of low east-west ridges of glacial drift, called moraines, crosses them. The moraines, seldom more than 30 m (100 ft) above the surrounding landscape, vary in width. Near the northern edge of the Till Plains is Campbell Hill, the highest point in Ohio, with an elevation of 472 m (1,549 ft).
The Appalachian Plateaus, which cover the eastern part of the state, are subdivided into the glaciated Allegheny Plateau and the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. The landscape of the glacial plateau has been softened by repeated glacial activity, while the unglaciated plateau is hilly.
In the hilly unglaciated section there are level floodplains along the major streams, but tributary streams occupy narrow V-shaped valleys. The tops of the hills have very little flat land and most of the area slopes. The hills, increasing in elevation to the east, rise 90 to 180 m (300 to 600 ft) above the adjacent valleys. In the glaciated Allegheny Plateau the valleys are broader than those in the unglaciated section, and they are filled with glacial material.
The Interior Low Plateau is found in a very small triangular area of southern Ohio. The glaciers moved through this area early, and by now much of the glacial drift has been removed. The topography is rolling and has an elevation of 270 to 300 m (900 to 1,000 ft) above sea level. The lowest point, 139 m (455 ft), lies at the Ohio-Indiana border on the Ohio River.
|B||Rivers and Lakes|
Lake Erie and the Ohio River border Ohio on the north and south respectively. Most of the rivers that drain into Lake Erie are short. Those flowing into the Ohio are comparatively long.
The longest stream flowing into Lake Erie is the Maumee River, which enters the lake at Toledo. Other major streams entering the lake are the Portage, Sandusky, Cuyahoga, and Grand rivers.
Three principal rivers flow from north to south to enter the Ohio River. They are the Miami, the Scioto, and the Muskingum rivers. The Mahoning River flows into Pennsylvania and then to the Ohio River.
Lake Erie is Ohio’s most important lake. Important Ohio ports on the lake include Ashtabula, Cleveland, Conneaut, and Toledo. The major lakes entirely within Ohio were artificially created. The largest is Grand Lake Saint Marys, which was constructed to supply water to the old Miami and Erie Canal. O’Shaughnessy, Delaware, and Hoover lakes were built north of Columbus for water supply and flood control. The Muskingum Conservancy District contains a large number of artificially created lakes, including Charles Mill, Pleasant Hill, Beach City, Atwood, Leesville, Tappan, Clendening, Piedmont, Wills Creek, and Senecaville reservoirs.
The climate of Ohio is characterized by warm to hot summers and mild to cold winters. The state receives both cold dry polar air from Canada and warm humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. Both air masses move alternately across the area, making changeability its chief characteristic. In winter, polar air is dominant, often coming in conflict with modified Gulf air and causing frontal or cyclonic storms. Gulf air is dominant in summer. In fall, polar air passing over Lake Erie is modified, delaying the killing frost along the adjacent shoreline.
The mean annual temperatures for the state range from 9° C (48° F) in the northeast to 13° C (55° F) in the south. Average January temperatures range from -4° C (24° F) in the west to 2° C (35° F) in the south. July averages are 24° C (76° F) in the south and 23° C (73° F) in the northeast.
Ohio normally has abundant precipitation, well distributed throughout the year. The average annual precipitation varies from 710 mm (28 in) at Catawba Island, a resort on Lake Erie, to 1,170 mm (46 in) in the elevated land between the Miami and Scioto rivers. Snows do occur but usually melt within one or two weeks.
The growing season, or period between the last killing frost in the spring and the first killing frost in the fall, is longest along Lake Erie, where it is more than 200 days. At the divide between the Lake Erie and Ohio River drainage systems, the growing season is 160 days, and in the southwest it is 190 days. The shortest growing season, 140 days, is in the higher elevations of the northeast. The hilly southeast and the extreme northwest have a growing season of 160 days.
Most of the soils of northern and central Ohio have been formed from the glacial material deposited during the Pleistocene Epoch. The glacial soils are predominantly gray-brown podzols and once supported fine hardwood forests. Soybeans, corn, wheat, and tomatoes are now the principal crops. Fertilization and liming are required in many areas. In the northwestern corner of the state, extensive drainage was necessary before the rich organic soils could be cultivated, and that area was the last part of Ohio to be settled. The alluvial soils along the major streams are also rich.
South of the glacial boundary, in southeast Ohio, the soils are much older and have been formed from the eroded shales and sandstones of the Appalachian Plateaus. The soils are thin and, because of the rough terrain, erosion has been severe, and much of the land has been returned to forest and pasture since the 1930s.
About 95 percent of Ohio was forested before white settlement began in the late 1700s. Since then, most of the forests have been cut, and today second-growth forest covers only 30 percent of Ohio’s land area. The forests are extensive only in the south and east, where the rough terrain has been a hindrance to farming.
Oaks, maples, and hickories are the principal trees in the hardwood forests of Ohio. Other common hardwoods are the beech, tulip tree, black walnut, ash, black cherry, black locust, and sycamore. The Ohio buckeye is the state tree. Conifers include shortleaf, pitch, and Virginia pines in the south, and white pines and hemlocks in the north. Redcedar occurs throughout the state. In most of central and northern Ohio there are no extensive forests, but woodlots are found on most farms.
Among the small flowering trees and shrubs of Ohio are the redbud, dogwood, large-leaved magnolia, hawthorn, blackhaw, papaw, witch hazel, raspberry, and honeysuckle. Forest wildflowers common in the spring include violets, trilliums (the official state wildflower), mayapples, hepatica, bloodroot, and Dutchman’s-breeches. Fall flowers are especially common in the open fields and include goldenrod, black-eyed Susan, aster, thistle, sunflower, gentian, and Queen Anne’s lace.
Originally, Ohio had many large game animals, including the bison, elk (or wapiti), white-tailed deer, black bear, timber wolf, and cougar. Beaver and mink were common along the streams. The white-tailed deer and beaver are now the only large mammals found in Ohio. However, small mammals, such as the fox, raccoon, skunk, muskrat, opossum, squirrel, and rabbit are common.
Ohio lies in the Mississippi Flyway, a major route for migrating birds, large numbers of which, including species of duck, goose, tern, plover, and gull, pass through the state. Other species, such as robin, brown thrasher, and ruby-throated hummingbird, nest or winter in Ohio. Year-round residents include the cardinal, blue jay, sparrow, crow, starling, and English sparrow.
Among the reptiles of Ohio are turtles, lizards, and snakes. Poisonous snakes native to the state are the copperhead, the timber rattlesnake, and the massasauga. Fish include carp, wall-eyed pike, muskellunge, freshwater drum, yellow perch, and catfish. Bass is the most popular game fish.
Conservation in Ohio is focused on flood control, reforestation, spoil-bank reclamation, wildlife preservation, and the prevention of soil erosion and water pollution. The federal agencies responsible for conservation in Ohio are the United States Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. State conservation programs are administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Floods have long been a problem. One of the earliest effective flood-control systems in the nation was completed in 1922 by the Miami Conservancy District.
Soil erosion has been a major problem in southeastern Ohio. The forests on the steep hillsides were cut, and the land was plowed and planted in straight rows. Cultivation loosened the exposed soil, and heavy rains washed tons of silt into the rivers. Since the 1930s many thousands of acres of eroded land have been reforested or converted to pasture. In other areas, contour plowing, strip-cropping, terracing, and other soil-conservation measures have been used to protect still productive cropland.
Surface-mining operations have caused a great deal of damage to the land. To reach the coal seams, it is necessary to remove what is called the overburden—the earth and rock that lies on top. This overburden is piled into large, unsightly mounds, called spoil banks. In 1949 the state legislature passed the Ohio Strip Mine Law, which, with its subsequent amendments, imposes penalties on coal operators who do not rehabilitate the land when mining is completed.
The Ohio environmental protection agency is responsible for the abatement and control of air, water, and land pollution. In 1979 the state adopted a comprehensive law for the monitoring and control of the transportation and disposal of hazardous industrial waste.
In 2006 the state had 30 hazardous waste sites on a national priority list for cleanup as a result of their severity or proximity to people. Progress was being made in efforts to reduce pollution; in the period 1995–2000 the amount of toxic chemicals discharged into the environment was reduced by 8 percent.
Farming was the basis for Ohio’s two early industries, the processing of foodstuffs and the manufacture of farm equipment. Because transportation to Ohio was expensive, it was cheaper to make items in the state than to import them from outside. In addition, Ohio was in the path of the migrants traveling to the fertile lands of Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. To supply the pioneers with farm tools, wagons, harness, food, and clothing, industries developed in many communities, especially in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Dayton, Springfield, and Mansfield.
The American Civil War (1861-1865) accelerated manufacturing, especially the iron and steel industries, which at this time were located primarily in eastern and southern Ohio and based on local raw materials. As agriculture became increasingly mechanized, workers left the farms for the factories. By 1890, Ohio was an important manufacturing and agricultural state. A century later manufacturing had surpassed agriculture as a contributor to Ohio’s economy. Among other economic sectors, services, trade, and financial activity each contributed nearly an equal share.
Ohio had a workforce of 5,934,000 people in 2006. The largest portion of them, 35 percent, were employed in services, which includes such jobs as dry cleaners and computer operators. Another 22 percent worked in wholesale or retail trade; 14 percent in manufacturing; 15 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those serving in the military; 18 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 4 percent in construction; 19 percent in transportation or public utilities; 2 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing; and just 0.2 percent in mining. In 2005, 16 percent of Ohio’s workers were unionized.
In 2005 there were 76,500 farms in Ohio, of which 43 percent had annual sales of more than $10,000. Of those remaining many were secondary operations for people with other jobs. Farmland occupied 5.8 million hectares (14.3 million acres), of which 78 percent was cropland. Most of the rest was pasture.
The sale of crops provides 62 percent of Ohio’s farm income, and the sale of livestock and their products provides the remainder. The major cash crops are soybeans, corn, and soft red winter wheat, the kind used in pastry flour. The principal livestock and livestock products are poultry and eggs, milk and cream, hogs, and cattle. Ohio is also a leading producer of greenhouse and nursery plants.
|A1||Patterns of Farming|
Livestock raising is prevalent in southwestern Ohio, where corn, wheat, and hay are grown in rotation. Tobacco is grown in several counties. Dairying and truck farming, especially greenhouse vegetables, are practiced around the large cities. In northwestern Ohio, corn, soybeans, hogs, dairying, and poultry are important. Some specialty crops are also raised in this area.
In central Ohio, dairy farming is the leading income producer, and cattle feeding and hogs are important. A very high farm income is realized in an area south of Columbus where a large number of Aberdeen Angus and Herefords are raised on above-average-sized farms.
Farms in northeastern Ohio are largely engaged in dairying for the large urban concentrations in the region. Hay and corn are the important field crops. Vineyards and orchards (mainly cherry and peach), are found along Lake Erie, where the growing season is longest. Vegetable gardening is important near the cities. In many places in southeastern Ohio where the land is hilly and the soils are poor, agriculture yields only a subsistence income. Dairying is carried on as part of general farming.
Soybeans, corn, and greenhouse and nursery products account for one-half of the state’s farm income. In western Ohio, a part of the Corn Belt, acreage in corn is decreasing and soybeans are becoming more important. Only a small amount of the corn grown is sold for cash. Most corn is used as feed for animals. Wheat is important as a cash crop and is part of the corn-wheat-hay rotation system. A three-year or four-year rotation pattern is used throughout much of the state to improve the soil and to protect the land from erosion. Vegetables are grown in various parts of the state. Cabbages and cantaloupes are raised in Sandusky County. Madison, Hamilton, and Butler counties are noted for sweet corn, and Wood and Henry counties are noted for tomatoes. Geauga County is an important source of maple syrup.
Poultry products are the leading source of income from livestock in Ohio, contributing nearly one-third of all livestock sales. In 1997 Ohio led the nation in the production of eggs, bringing nearly 7 billion eggs to market. Dairying is another major source of income for farmers. It ranks first in the northeastern area of the state and most of the cheese factories are located in this area. Cattle and hogs, too, have long been important on Ohio farms. Although some feeders are still brought into the state, many farmers raise their own cattle to be fattened on corn. Most sheep are raised in central and eastern Ohio. Often 50 to 75 head of sheep, raised for wool and meat, are kept on farms with other livestock.
|B||Forestry and Fisheries|
Although considerable portions of southern and eastern Ohio are wooded, forestry plays a relatively minor role in the state’s economy. More than 95 percent of the state’s annual timber harvest is made up of hardwoods.
Ohio has a long shoreline on Lake Erie, but the lake’s water quality deteriorated so badly as a result of industrial and urban wastes that the fish population declined substantially by the mid-20th century. Efforts by the United States and Canada to clean the lake have begun to show results, and by the early 1990s recreational fishing had resumed. The total value of commercial fishing in Ohio’s waters amounted to just $2.9 million in 2004.
Ohio is one of the leading states in the nation in the production of clay, limestone, sand and gravel, salt, and coal. By value of production the leading minerals are coal, crushed stone, natural gas, sand and gravel, petroleum, lime, salt, and clays. Belmont, Meigs, and Monroe counties are the principal producers of coal, most of which is obtained by modern surface-mining methods. Limestone, found mainly in the western half of Ohio, is open-pit-mined for use in lime, cement, plaster, mortar, flux, and ammonia. Sand and gravel, common in glaciated parts of Ohio, is mined primarily for use in the construction industry. Salt, found in rock form in the eastern and northeastern counties, is mined by the pumping method. Most of the oil fields are in eastern Ohio. Natural gas is found primarily in the eastern counties.
Ohio ranks third in the nation in income generated by industrial activity, behind California and Texas. Ohio is among the nation’s leaders in the production of rubber and plastics and as a producer of stone, clay, and glass products. Ohio’s most important industry in terms of the value of its contribution to the state’s income is the manufacture of transportation equipment, including motor vehicles and automobile parts, aircraft engines and parts, and motorcycles. The construction of machinery ranks high in importance, with Ohio industry building refrigeration and heating equipment, tools and dies, welding equipment, machine tools, and pumps. The shaping of metal into components is another large industry in Ohio, with workers stamping metal parts for the automotive industry, creating sheet metal, and crafting hand tools, among other enterprises. The production of chemicals and allied products, such as cleansers, pharmaceuticals, and paints, contributes significantly to the state’s economy. Food processing is also important, with Ohio industry creating products from the state’s agricultural sector. The primary metal industry is important in the value of its output, with the bulk of labor devoted to steel and aluminum milling. A growing industry in Ohio is the electronics and electrical equipment sector, with household appliances as one of the leading commodities produced.
Manufacturing is centered in two major areas and in several important cities outside them. The northeast accounts for much of Ohio’s manufacturing employment and industrial income. The Cleveland metropolitan area is the state’s leading manufacturing area. Manufacturing is found within the city proper, especially along Lake Erie near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, and in such suburban areas as Parma, East Cleveland, Euclid, Lakewood, and Painesville. Its major industries are the manufacture of transportation equipment, machinery, and primary metals, especially iron and steel. Akron, once the rubber center of the world, is now becoming more important for research and corporate functions. Canton is primarily an iron and steel center. Youngstown is a center for transportation equipment industries. Industry in the Youngstown metropolitan area is found in Youngstown proper, particularly along the Mahoning River, as well as in the cities of Warren, Niles, Girard, and Struthers.
The second major industrial area is in the Miami Valley, in southwestern Ohio, where Dayton, Hamilton, Middletown, Springfield, and Cincinnati have one-fourth of the state’s industrial employees and produce one-fourth of the industrial income. Cincinnati’s major industries are the manufacture of transportation equipment, especially automobiles and jet engines; chemicals, mainly soaps and cosmetics; beverages, meat products, and other foodstuffs; and machinery and machine tools. Refrigerators, rubber and plastic products, and aircraft and other transportation equipment are produced in Dayton. Hamilton and Middletown are centers for the manufacture of iron and steel, paper products, and machine tools.
Two other large Ohio cities are also major industrial centers. Columbus is noted for foodstuffs, automotive parts, and electrical equipment. Toledo is known for the manufacture of transportation equipment and glass products.
Coal-burning plants that are privately owned generate 90 percent of the electricity that is produced in Ohio. Ohio has 2 nuclear power plants in operation, one at Oak Harbor and the other at Perry.
Ohio has railroad connections to all parts of the United States and an excellent state highway system connecting with the interstate highway system. Its ports on Lake Erie and the Ohio River make the state accessible to ships of all nations.
Early canals gave impetus to industrial development for processing agricultural raw materials. With the coming of the railroads, which often ran parallel to the canals, the waterways fell into disuse. However, ports along Lake Erie and the Ohio River continue to be important shipping centers for both manufactured products and raw materials. Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Toledo harbors lead the state in import tonnage. The major import is iron ore from the upper Great Lakes and foreign nations, especially Canada. Conneaut, Toledo, Ashtabula, and Sandusky are the leading export ports, and Toledo is one of the world’s biggest coal ports. Manufactured goods and bulk freight, especially coal, are hauled on the Ohio River. Cincinnati is the major transshipment port, especially of coal, in the state.
Ohio has 8,335 km (5,179 mi) of railroad. It is served by most of the major eastern railroads as well as some from the South. The main products originating in Ohio and transported by rail are metallic ores (15 percent of total freight hauled) and primary metals (16 percent).
Ohio has an extensive system of state and federal highways, with 2,533 km (1,574 mi) of national interstate highways. The Ohio Turnpike, part of the national interstate highway system, extends across northern Ohio and connects with the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Indiana Turnpike. By 2005 Ohio had 200,911 km (124,840 mi) of public highways, about one-fourth of them in urban areas.
Ohio has 14 airports, most of them privately owned. Of the airports served by commercial airlines, those in Cleveland and Columbus are the busiest, between them serving more than 8 million passengers annually in the late 1990s. Busier still is the airport serving Cincinnati, located across the state line from the city in Kentucky.
Many major gas and oil pipelines, including the Big Inch and the Little Inch, cross Ohio. Several major oil lines converge in Lima, the oil pipeline center of the state.
Domestic and foreign trade are important to Ohio. Agricultural and manufactured products are shipped to all parts of the state and nation. Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati are the major trade centers for the state. Many other communities are distributing centers for their own areas.
Ohio’s major exports are nonelectrical machinery, transportation equipment, fabricated metals, iron and steel, and rubber products. Cleveland, Lorain, and Ashtabula are the major ports for these items, although many of them are shipped by rail to eastern seaboard ports. Toledo is the chief port from which coal and grain are shipped to Canada and to other ports in the United States.
|IV||THE PEOPLE OF OHIO|
According to the 2000 national census, Ohio ranked seventh among the states in population. Its population of 11,466,917 represented a 4.7 percent increase over the 1990 population of 10,847,115. The population density is 108 persons per sq km (280 per sq mi). In 2000, 77 percent of Ohio’s population lived in urban areas.
According to the 2000 census, whites constitute 85 percent of the population. Blacks, most of whom live in the Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus metropolitan areas, make up 11.5 percent of the people. Asians are 1.2 percent, Native Americans 0.2 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race are 2.2 percent. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 2,749 at the time of the census. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 1.9 percent of the population.
The heaviest concentration of population is in northeastern Ohio. Even the rural sections of northeastern Ohio are densely populated in comparison with most of the rural areas elsewhere in the state. The population in southwestern Ohio is concentrated in the Miami Valley corridor. On the rolling uplands away from the river valleys, the rural population is less dense than that of northeastern Ohio. The flatlands of northwestern Ohio are largely rural in character, with farmlands and many small villages and towns. Central Ohio has a rural population pattern similar to that of northwestern Ohio. It too is dominated by one large urban center. Southeastern Ohio has a relatively sparse population, and some of the counties in this area are losing inhabitants. There are a few small urban centers.
The largest city in Ohio is Columbus, with a population in 2006 of 733,203. In the 1990s it experienced growth while other large Ohio cities declined in population. However, the Columbus metropolitan region, with a population of 1.7 million in 2006, is smaller than the metropolitan regions of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus, located in the central part of Ohio, is the state capital. In addition to serving as an administrative center, it is the industrial and commercial heart of the surrounding region.
Cleveland is the second largest city in Ohio, with a population of 444,313. Cleveland’s population has been declining since the 1960s. The Cleveland metropolitan area consists of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties, with a population of 2.9 million. Cleveland ranks as a principal industrial and commercial center in the Middle West and is one of the most important ports on the Great Lakes.
The third largest city is Cincinnati, with a population of 332,252. It is the leading commercial center in southern Ohio and serves as an important river port and industrial city. The Cincinnati metropolitan area, which extends into Kentucky and Indiana, had a population of 2 million.
Toledo, with a population of 298,446, is the chief port of Ohio and an important industrial and commercial center. Other large cities in the state include Akron, Dayton, Parma, and Youngstown.
The early settlers in Ohio possessed a wide variety of religious beliefs. Presbyterianism was practiced by the Scots-Irish and Congregationalism by many settlers from New England. Congregations of members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, were established as early as 1796, and circuit-riding Methodist ministers gained many new adherents for their denomination. The first Roman Catholic church in Ohio was established in 1818, and the arrival of large numbers of Irish, German, Italian, and central European immigrants during the 19th century increased the Roman Catholic population of the state. Both the Lutheran and the Evangelical and Reformed faiths were also strengthened by German immigration. Some Ohioans became Mormons, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when the Mormon leader Joseph Smith established his headquarters at Kirtland (now Kirtland Hills) during the 1830s. A number of communal religious settlements were also established in Ohio during the 19th century, including the Zoar community of the Würtemberg Separatists, (see Zoar, Separatist Society of), the communities founded by Shakers near Lebanon and at present Shaker Heights, and a number of Amish communities, some of which still survive.
Roman Catholics form the largest single religious group in Ohio, accounting for about one-quarter of all church members. The largest Protestant groups are the Baptists and Methodists. There are also some Jewish congregations in the state.
|V||EDUCATION AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS|
The first school in Ohio was established by Moravian missionaries in 1773 at Schoenbrunn, near present-day Dover. The Ordinance of 1787 provided that “schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” However, the first general school law in Ohio was not adopted until 1821.
The so-called Akron school law, passed by the state legislature in 1847, set a pattern for tuition-free graded schools that was soon adopted in urban communities throughout the state. In 1900, graded schools were made compulsory for both urban and rural areas. In 1909 the first junior high school in the United States was opened in Columbus.
School attendance is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 18. In addition to public schools, there are many private schools in Ohio, educating 14 percent of the state’s children.
In the 2002–2003 school year Ohio spent $10,096 on each student’s education, compared to a national average of $9,299. There were 15.2 students for every teacher (the national norm was 15.9 students per teacher). Of those older than 25 years of age in 2006, 86.2 percent had a high school diploma, while the national average was 84.1 percent.
The first institution of higher learning established in the Ohio region was Ohio University, chartered at Athens in 1804. The state’s largest university is The Ohio State University at Columbus, a land-grant institution founded in 1870 as Ohio Agriculture and Mechanical College. Oberlin College, which dates from 1833, was the first college in the United States to provide college education for women and the first to offer coeducational instruction.
In 2004–2005 Ohio had 61 public and 133 private institutions of higher education. Among the most notable of these institutions were the University of Akron; Antioch University, in Yellow Springs; Bowling Green State University; Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland; the University of Cincinnati; the University of Dayton; Denison University, in Granville; Hiram College; John Carroll University, in University Heights in suburban Cleveland; Kent State University; Kenyon College, in Gambier; Miami University, in Oxford; Ohio University, in Athens; the University of Toledo; Wilberforce University; the College of Wooster; and Youngstown State University.
|B||Libraries and Museums|
Ohio has 250 tax-supported public library systems. Each year libraries circulate an average of 14.6 books per resident, one of the highest library readership rates in the nation. Public collections are supplemented by that of the State Library of Ohio, in Columbus, and by a bookmobile service in rural areas. Among the outstanding municipal libraries in the state are those of Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati, Akron, Dayton, and Youngstown. The state archives are housed in the library of the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, and special Ohio historical collections are located in the library of the Cincinnati Historical Society and in the Ohioana Library Association Memorial to Martha Kinney Cooper, in Columbus. Major libraries are maintained by The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Cincinnati, and by other educational institutions.
A number of noted fine arts museums are located in the state. One of the most outstanding is the Cincinnati Art Museum, with fine collections of painting, sculpture, and other works of art from all parts of the world. Also well known are the Taft Museum, in Cincinnati, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Dayton Art Institute, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Allen Memorial Art Museum, at Oberlin College. The Health Museum of Cleveland and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History have noteworthy collections. The Cincinnati Museum Center houses the Cincinnati History Museum, Cinergy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Cincinnati Historical Society. The Ohio Historical Society has extensive exhibits devoted to Ohio archaeology, history, and natural history. Other historical collections include the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, in Fremont, and the Campus Martius Museum, in Marietta.
Some 403 newspapers, including 80 dailies, are published regularly in Ohio. The first newspaper published in the region was the Centinel of the North-Western Territory, established in Cincinnati in 1793. The Chillicothe Gazette, established in 1800 as the Scioto Gazette, is the oldest continually published paper in the state.
Ohio is noted for its many fine newspaper publishers and editors. The purchase of the Cleveland Penny Press in 1879 by Edward W. Scripps marked the beginning of the extensive Scripps-Howard chain of newspapers, later headed by Ohio-born Roy W. Howard. John S. Knight, editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, also organized a national newspaper chain. Among editors and journalists of national note who have been associated with the state are Samuel Medary, Joseph Medill, Charles Merz, Oscar Odd McIntyre, Whitelaw Reid, Willard Kiplinger, and Earl Wilson.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has the largest circulation of all the state’s daily newspapers. Other leading Ohio dailies include the Cincinnati Post, the Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Toledo Blade, the Akron Beacon Journal, and the Dayton Daily News.
The first radio station, WHK in Cleveland, began operations in 1922; the first television station, WEWS-TV in Cleveland, started broadcasting in 1947. In 2002 Ohio was served by 106 AM and 191 FM radio stations and 44 television stations.
|D||Music and Theater|
Ohio is the home of the renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra. There are also symphony orchestras in several other Ohio cities, among them Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown, and Dayton. Each summer the Cincinnati Opera performs, and Cleveland also has an opera company. The state has a number of excellent choral organizations and several fine schools of music, including the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
The Cleveland Play House, founded in 1915 in the early years of the “little theater” movement, is known today for one of the finest resident civic theatrical companies in the United States. Many other communities and most of the colleges and universities in Ohio also support theater groups. In addition, there are numerous summer theaters in the state. The Ohio Ballet performs in both Akron and Cleveland, and Cincinnati also has a ballet company.
|VI||RECREATION AND PLACES OF INTEREST|
There are numerous federal and state-administered parks and recreation areas in Ohio that provide facilities for boating, swimming, hiking, and a variety of other outdoor activities. Many of these units are along Lake Erie and the state’s other water areas. There are also a number of historic sites and memorials in Ohio.
The National Park Service administers five parks in Ohio. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, just north of Chillicothe, preserves ancient Native American burial mounds. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, commemorates both an important naval battle in the War of 1812 and the long period of peace between the United States and Canada. In Mentor is the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, which contains the restored home of President James A. Garfield, from where he conducted his “front porch” campaign for president in 1880. In Cincinnati is the William Howard Taft National Historic Site, the birthplace and boyhood home of the only person to serve as both president and chief justice of the United States. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which preserves the rural character of the Cuyahoga River Valley, lies between the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron.
|B||National and State Forests|
The only national forest in Ohio, Wayne National Forest, is made up of several sections in southern and southeastern Ohio. The forest has extensive hiking, backpacking, and equestrian trails. Shawnee-Roosevelt State Forest is the largest of Ohio’s nine state forests.
All of Ohio’s 72 state parks have facilities for picnicking and hiking, and most also have facilities for camping, swimming, boating, and fishing. One of the largest parks, Pymatuning State Park, covers 7,100 hectares (17,500 acres) on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. It includes Pymatuning Reservoir, and beach, picnic, and camping areas. Hocking Hills State Park, in the south central part of the state, preserves Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, and other beautiful rock formations. The popular Lake Hope State Park, in a rugged wooded area in southeastern Ohio, has facilities for both summer and winter sports. Also providing year-round recreation is Punderson State Park, in northeasternmost Ohio. East Harbor State Park and Crane Creek State Beach Park have popular sandy beaches along Lake Erie. Other notable state parks include John Bryan, Hueston Woods, and Tar Hollow state parks.
There are numerous state memorials in Ohio that preserve notable historic sites. Several of them preserve earthworks constructed by Native Americans. In Fort Ancient State Memorial, on a plateau above the Little Miami River valley, is an earthwork of massive walls. A museum describes the two cultures who occupied the site. Serpent Mound State Memorial, a famous earthen mound in the shape of a serpent, winds for a length of 411 m (1,348 ft) along a ridge paralleling Bear Creek, near Peebles. Mound Builders State Memorial contains a great circular earthwork, which encloses an effigy mound, possibly representing a bird in flight. In Octagon State Memorial is an octagon-shaped earthwork (see Mound Builders).
Other state memorials are associated with the many Ohioans who became president of the United States. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont includes the home and tomb of the 19th president. Open to the public is a memorial building housing his letters and mementos. The burial place of another U.S. president, William Henry Harrison, is in Harrison Tomb State Memorial, overlooking the Ohio River at North Bend. Grant’s Birthplace, Boyhood Home, and Grant Home State Historic Site each commemorate President Ulysses S. Grant. McKinley National Memorial in Canton honors President William McKinley.
Other state memorials include the Sherman House in Lancaster, which contains the home, now restored, where the famous Union general William T. Sherman and his brother, U.S. Senator John Sherman, author of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, were born. A reconstruction of the state’s first planned settlement, a Moravian missionary village, is located at Schoenbrunn Village near New Philadelphia. Zoar Village, in Zoar, preserves the restored homes once owned by a community of Germans who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century.
|D||Other Places to Visit|
In Marion, President Warren G. Harding is commemorated by the President Harding Home and Museum and by the Harding Memorial, a white marble monument containing Harding’s grave. The Thomas A. Edison Birthplace, in Milan, preserves the red brick home where the famous inventor spent his early boyhood. Visitors may take guided tours through the great tire and rubber plants in Akron. Carillon Historical Park in Dayton includes exhibits illustrating history, transportation, and invention. At the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, is the Air Force Museum and the most complete collection of aeronautical equipment in the United States. The National Professional Football Hall of Fame is in Canton. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland.
Fine artists and craftspeople show their works each June at the Crosby Festival of the Arts, Ohio’s largest outdoor art show. In August Twinsburg, the only city named after twins (early settlers Aaron and Moses Wilcox), celebrates the distinction with a twins festival.
Ohio has several major-league professional sports teams, including the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds (baseball), the Cincinnati Bengals (football), and the Cleveland Cavaliers (basketball). Famous golf courses are located in the Akron and Columbus areas. Ohio State University is noted for the excellence of its sports teams. In 1996 the owner of the Cleveland Browns football team moved the team to Maryland, where it played as the Baltimore Ravens. The National Football League reserved the Browns name for a future Cleveland franchise.
Ohio has also contributed to the world of sports by way of nationally recognized participants. Figure skater Scott Hamilton, basketball players John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas, golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, and track star Edwin Moses are all from Ohio.
Ohio’s present constitution was adopted in 1851. It succeeded the constitution adopted in 1802. Proposed amendments to the constitution must initially be approved by three-fifths of the membership in each house of the state legislature or by a special constitutional convention, which may be called either by the legislature or by the voters. Amendments may also be proposed by the people by means of the initiative. To be adopted, an amendment must be approved by a majority of the voters in a general election.
The state’s chief executive, the governor, is elected to a four-year term. He may not serve more than two terms consecutively. The governor is responsible for the preparation of the state budget and has extensive powers of appointment. He may veto proposed legislation, but his veto may be overridden by a three-fifths vote of the elected members of each house. Other elected officials are the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor, and the 23 members of the state board of education. All serve four-year terms.
Ohio’s state legislature, which is called the General Assembly, consists of a 33-member Senate and a 99-member House of Representatives. Senators are elected to four-year terms and representatives to two-year terms. Regular sessions of the legislature are convened annually, beginning on the first Monday in January. The governor may also call special sessions.
The Supreme Court, which is composed of a chief justice and six judges, is the highest state court in Ohio. Courts of appeals, consisting of three or more judges each, serve as lower courts of review. The major trial courts are the courts of common pleas, which are established in each county. All 88 counties have separate probate courts. Other courts in Ohio include county courts, municipal courts, juvenile courts, police courts, and mayors’ courts. All judges in the state court system, except for those in the municipal courts, are elected on nonpartisan ballots for terms of six years.
Ohio has 88 counties, most governed by an elected three-person board of county commissioners. Other elected county officials include the auditor, prosecuting attorney, clerk of courts, sheriff, recorder, treasurer, engineer, and coroner. All county officials are elected to four-year terms.
Most municipalities have the mayor and council form of government, but some large cities have the council and city manager form of government. Ohio also has township government in the nonincorporated portions of counties. Authority for township government rests in elected trustees.
Ohio elects two U.S. senators and 18 members of the House of Representatives. This gives the state 20 electoral votes.
The Ohio country was first inhabited by Paleo-Indians about 12,000 bc, near the end of the last Ice Age, when ice sheets still covered northern and western Ohio. These nomads hunted with spears, killing mastodons, mammoths, and other prehistoric animals that fed on the vegetation that grew at the edge of the ice. As global warming caused the glaciers to retreat and hardwood forests to grow, the Paleo-Indians spread north to the Great Lakes, large bodies of fresh water created by the melting ice.
About 8000 BC, the peoples of the Archaic tradition began to occupy the land. These semisedentary people survived by hunting, fishing, and gathering. They in turn were followed by the Woodland peoples, including the Adena and later the Hopewell, who flourished from about 100 bc until AD 500. These cultures are often referred to as Mound Builders, because they left behind thousands of burial mounds, geometric earthworks, and hilltop enclosures. The people of the Woodland tradition built permanent villages and domesticated crops, including squash, tobacco, sunflowers, and corn. They also established far-reaching trade networks to bring such exotic materials as copper, mica, graphite, obsidian, and ocean shells into Ohio, in exchange for such colorful and highly prized local material as Flint Ridge flint.
The last of Ohio’s early inhabitants, who reached the area by about ad 1000, were of the Mississippian tradition, including such cultural groups as the Fort Ancient people in southern Ohio, the Whittlesey in northeastern Ohio and the Sandusky in northwestern Ohio. Living in stockaded villages, hunting with bows and arrows, and growing significant quantities of corn, beans, and squash, the Mississippians were frequently at war with other native peoples from the south and east. The powerful Iroquois, who conquered many other peoples from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River in wars over the fur trade, finally drove the remaining Mississippians from Ohio in the late 1650s, leaving the area mostly uninhabited.
By the late 1690s, Native Americans from other areas began migrating to Ohio’s expansive forests and occasional grasslands. Some came for the plentiful game, while others moved to escape encroaching white settlers and warfare with other native groups. From the north came members of the Huron group, including the Wyandot, and the Ottawa people. Closely allied, they built their villages in the valleys of the Sandusky and Portage rivers. From the northeast came bands of mixed-blood Iroquois, called Mingo, to occupy the upper Ohio Valley. From the east came the Delaware, who moved into the watershed of the Muskingum River. The Shawnee, arriving from the south, settled in the valley of the Scioto River. From the west came the Miami, establishing villages in western Ohio in the valleys of three rivers that would come to bear their name: the Great Miami and Little Miami, which emptied into the Ohio, and the Miami of the Lake (later called Maumee), which flowed into the western basin of Lake Erie.
|B||European Exploration and Settlement|
Maps of North America drawn by French cartographers as early as 1640 showed Lake Erie’s size, location, and configuration. The first European known to have reached Lake Erie and the Ohio country that it borders was the French explorer Adrien Jolliet in 1669. European discovery of the Ohio River, which borders the Ohio country on the south, was probably made by noted French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle , about 1670, although some historians dispute that claim. France soon established dominance over the Great Lakes region, the Mississippi Valley, and the western part of the Ohio region, building forts and sending fur traders and missionaries to work with the Native Americans.
The English first reached the Ohio country through fur-trading expeditions from New York, traveling to Lake Erie as early as 1685 and to the Ohio River in 1692. However, it was not until the 1740s that rivalry between France and Great Britain became intense for control of the lucrative fur trade with the Native Americans of the Ohio country. The French found themselves challenged by fur traders pushing westward into Ohio from the colonies of Virginia and Pennsylvania. This expansion culminated in 1748 in construction of a British fort and trading post at the Miami people’s village of Pickawillany, near present-day Piqua, in the heart of French-controlled territory. Many of the local Native Americans became allies and trading partners with the British.
In 1749, seeking to improve their lagging trade with the local native groups, the French sent a military expedition commanded by Pierre-Joseph Célèron de Blainville to the Ohio country. Visiting the various peoples, Célèron attempted, but failed, to elicit promises from the chiefs not to trade with the British. In 1752 the French sent a force of about 250 Native Americans to raid Pickawillany, killing a number of traders and native people, confiscating goods, and partially demolishing the British fort. The use of force increased French prestige among the Ohio tribes, who sided with France when it fought Britain for control of the North American colonies in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Britain won the war, and under the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the French ceded to Britain most of their territory and forts in North America, including all of the Ohio country.
Immediately after the French ceded the Ohio country, Native Americans led by the Ottawa chief Pontiac revolted, trying to drive out the British and restore the native peoples’ autonomy. Pontiac’s forces captured most of the British forts in the vast region north and west of the Ohio River, including Fort Sandusky on Lake Erie. However, after learning they would not get help from the French, Pontiac and the native peoples he led signed a treaty ending the war. The native groups of Ohio later sided with the British during the American Revolution (1775-1783). American troops attacked Native American settlements in the Ohio country, and the native peoples participated in attacks on American settlements across the Ohio River in Kentucky. When the war ended in 1783, Britain ceded Ohio to the United States, along with the area that now forms Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the eastern part of Minnesota.
Under the Ordinance of 1787, the Congress organized the region stretching from Ohio to Minnesota as the Northwest Territory. The ordinance prohibited slavery and guaranteed eventual self-government and full citizenship rights for settlers in the region after certain population levels were reached. Before that time, only a few squatters had settled in the Ohio country, but the ordinance encouraged substantial settlement. In 1788 the Ohio Company of Associates, which had been organized two years earlier by a group of American army officers in Boston, established the first permanent settlement at Marietta, at the mouth of the Muskingum River. By the end of the next year several other settlements had been founded along the Ohio River and the southern parts of its tributaries, including Losantiville, opposite the mouth of Kentucky’s Licking River. In 1790 General Arthur St. Clair, who had been appointed the first governor of the Northwest Territory, made his headquarters at Losantiville and changed the settlement’s name to Cincinnati.
The influx of settlers into southern Ohio aroused the hostility of the Native Americans, who considered the land theirs. They raided outlying settlements, killing pioneers and driving others back to the larger settlements along the Ohio. In the early 1790s two military expeditions sent from Fort Washington at Cincinnati were defeated by the native peoples, which were led by the Miami chief Little Turtle. In 1792 General Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War veteran, was put in command of the frontier forces. Wayne created an efficient army and built headquarters at Fort Greenville, about halfway between Cincinnati and the major native settlements on the Maumee River. In August 1794 Wayne defeated the Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, near present-day Maumee, then burned native villages and cornfields in the area. The next year he dictated peace terms to Little Turtle and other chiefs. Under the Treaty of Greenville, the chiefs ceded to the federal government extensive areas of the Northwest Territory, including all of southern and eastern Ohio.
The end of the wars brought another wave of migration to the Ohio country that led to statehood within eight years. Most of the new settlers came from Virginia, which at that time extended all the way to the Ohio River. The majority settled in the Virginia Military District between the Scioto and Little Miami rivers, taking lands retained by Virginia as compensation for military service during the American Revolution.
Connecticut also sent significant numbers of settlers to its Western Reserve, an area in northeastern Ohio that extended 190 km (120 miles) west from the Pennsylvania border along the Lake Erie shore and was bounded on the south by the 41st parallel. Like Virginia, Connecticut’s claim to part of the Ohio country derived from its colonial charter. In 1795 the state sold most of its Western Reserve to a group of 35 speculators known as the Connecticut Land Company. The next year the company sent a party of surveyors led by General Moses Cleaveland to lay out a settlement at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, which was called Cleaveland. When an early newspaper found the name was one letter too large to fit on its front page, the spelling was changed to Cleveland.
By December 1798 the number of free adult males across the Northwest Territory had reached 5,000, the level set by the Ordinance of 1787 for elections for a territorial legislature. The new House of Representatives assembled in Cincinnati in 1799 and chose as its president Edward Tiffin, a 31-year-old Virginian who had arrived in the territory just two years earlier. Another former Virginian, William Henry Harrison, was elected territorial delegate to the Congress of the United States. In 1800 Harrison sponsored a bill, which Congress passed, to divide the Northwest Territory along a line running north from the mouth of the Kentucky River. The eastern area, approximately the present state of Ohio, remained the Northwest Territory with St. Clair as its governor and its capital at Chillicothe. The western area, stretching to the Mississippi River, was named the Indiana Territory. Harrison was appointed as its governor, and the Indiana territorial capital was established at Vincennes.
By 1802 the population of the Northwest Territory was nearly 60,000. Under an act signed by President Thomas Jefferson, delegates were elected to draw up a constitution for the proposed new state of Ohio, whose western boundary was redefined as a line due north from the mouth of the Great Miami River. On March 1, 1803, Ohio became the nation’s 17th state. In elections held under the new constitution, followers of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party, mostly small, independent farmers, won substantial majorities in both houses of the new state legislature and elected Tiffin as Ohio’s first governor.
|E||Native American Resistance and the War of 1812|
Several years after Ohio became a state, a new conflict broke out between Native Americans and white settlers. The Shawnee chief Tecumseh, forced out of Ohio in 1808, began to form an extensive alliance of native peoples to resist further white settlement and regain former native lands. He and his brother Tenskwatawa, a religious visionary known as The Prophet, received help from the British, but their forces were defeated in 1811 in the Battle of Tippecanoe, in Indiana. However, many Ohio residents believed that the threat of conflict with the Native Americans would not be permanently eliminated until the British were driven out of Canada. They enthusiastically supported the War of 1812 (1812-1815), which the United States declared against Britain over its aggression against American shipping.
Ohio became the staging area for the northern theater of the war. Supply routes crossed the state, and blockhouses and stockades were hastily built in northern Ohio to defend the area that bordered on British-held Canada. These included Fort Meigs, near Perrysburg, and forts Stephenson and Seneca, along the Sandusky River. Both Fort Meigs and Fort Stephenson withstood British attacks in 1813. American forces under Harrison and U.S. naval leader Oliver Hazard Perry later defeated the British in a series of battles in the border area and on Lake Erie. The Americans under Harrison won the Battle of the Thames, in Canada, in October 1813, which ended the fighting in the northern border area and broke the resistance of the Native Americans to further settlement. Tecumseh, who had fought on the British side, was killed in the battle. The Native Americans in Ohio ceded their last substantial lands in the state a few years after the war, with many Shawnee and Delaware moving farther west or to Canada. Harrison, making use of his war record, would later become the first president of the United States elected from Ohio, but he died in 1841 after only one month in office.
|F||Expansion of Settlement|
In the years surrounding the War of 1812, the state legislature sought a more central site for the state capital, which had been shifted from Chillicothe to Zanesville in 1810. In 1812 the legislature chose for the state capital the site of Columbus, a tract of wilderness across the Scioto River from the frontier community of Franklinton. The capital was moved back temporarily to Chillicothe until December 1816, when the state legislature met in Columbus for the first time.
Tecumseh’s uprising and the war with Britain had slowed the stream of settlers migrating to Ohio, but it resumed after peace was established in 1815. By 1820 the population of Ohio had risen to 581,434, and during the following decade it reached 937,903. Settlement continued to be concentrated along the Ohio River and in the valleys of its major tributaries, including the Muskingum, Scioto, and Miami rivers. In the late 1820s, however, settlement accelerated in the northern third of the state, partly as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal in New York in 1825, providing a link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic seaboard. By 1850 settlement had spread over all of Ohio, except in the Black Swamp in the northwest. In the 1830s, projects began to drain this vast swampy region, but most reclamation work and settlement there occurred after 1865, when it became one of the richest farming areas in the state.
|G||Economic Developments, 1800-1860|
The overwhelming majority of settlers in Ohio in the early 1800s were farmers. Initially, they cleared the land and raised crops to fill their own needs. By the early 1820s, however, many farmers in the state’s rich river valleys were raising substantial surpluses of cattle, hogs, and grain, much of which was converted into whiskey at local stills. Most of the surplus agricultural produce was shipped along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. Sometimes livestock was driven eastward over Appalachian trails to be sold.
By the early 1820s it was clear that Ohio’s potential for agricultural production could not be fulfilled without better transportation. The state’s navigable waterways could serve only a fraction of the farmland. Although a network of unpaved roads crisscrossed the state, transportation was difficult, slow, and expensive. In 1825 the legislature passed a law to build navigable canals. Two major canals were built during the next two decades. The Ohio and Erie Canal opened in 1832, carrying traffic between Portsmouth, on the Ohio River, and Cleveland, on Lake Erie. The Miami and Erie Canal opened between Cincinnati and Dayton in 1830 and between Cincinnati and Toledo in 1845. A number of smaller canals also were constructed, often financed by private funds, to serve as feeders to the main canals or to connect with transportation facilities in Pennsylvania. This extensive network spurred settlement and cultivation of vast interior regions of Ohio that previously lacked easy access to major Eastern and Southern markets. At the same time, farming became more efficient through use of newly developed farm machinery, such as reapers, threshers, and improved plows, as well as scientific farming and breeding techniques. By 1850 Ohio led all states in the production of corn, wool, horses, and sheep, and was one of the four leading states in production of wheat, cattle, oats, potatoes, and hogs.
Because Toledo was the planned terminus of the Miami and Erie Canal, the question of whether that port city was part of the territory of Michigan or the state of Ohio reached crisis proportions in the 1830s when the canal was under construction. Ohio and Michigan both claimed an area of 640 sq km (400 sq mi) running from the Indiana border to Lake Erie, much of it in the Black Swamp that land-hungry settlers were beginning to covet.
Under the Ordinance of 1787, which created the Northwest Territory, no fewer than three nor more than five states were to be created from the area. If five were created, they were to be divided in two tiers separated by an east-west line running through the southern tip of Lake Michigan, with three states below that line (Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois) and two above (Michigan and Wisconsin). Maps in use in 1787 erroneously showed Lake Michigan too far to the north, so that a line drawn east from its southern end would make Maumee Bay, the site of the future city of Toledo, part of Ohio. But later maps correctly showed that the line would place Maumee Bay and Toledo in Michigan.
At first, because the area was mostly swamp and seemed uninhabitable, the federal government felt no urgent need to resolve the boundary dispute. But the need for a canal terminal at the mouth of the Maumee River and growing awareness of the area’s rich agricultural potential brought the issue to a head. In September 1835 both the territory of Michigan and the state of Ohio sent armies to the Toledo area to defend their claims. A war between the two was averted in June 1836, when President Andrew Jackson granted the disputed area, including the port city of Toledo, to Ohio. As compensation, Michigan was granted 14,500 sq km (9,000 sq mi) of the Upper Peninsula previously claimed by the territory of Wisconsin.
|G3||Railroads and Shifting Commercial Ties|
Railroads were first built in Ohio in the 1830s, and by the end of 1851 lines connected most of the state’s major cities. However, canals still carried much more commerce than the railroads, and were primarily tied to the old river route south to New Orleans. In the 1850s major east-west rail lines to the large cities of the Eastern seaboard were completed across northern, central, and southern Ohio. By 1860 Ohio had more miles of railroad than any other state. By supplying fast, reliable transportation to Eastern markets, railroads rapidly replaced canals as the state’s leading commercial carriers. This improved transportation system strengthened Ohio’s commercial ties with the East at the expense of its ties with the South.
By far the largest industry in the state before 1860 was meatpacking, which was concentrated in Cincinnati, the largest meatpacking center in the nation. Cincinnati also supplied furniture, books, soap, candles, cloth and clothing, leather goods, steam engines, steamboats, and many other products to the Ohio Valley and the South. Outside Cincinnati, major industries included saltmaking, ceramics, ironworking, lumbering, and paper manufacturing. In 1860, with a population of 2.3 million, Ohio was the third most populous state in the nation, behind New York and Pennsylvania.
In the years before the American Civil War (1861-1865), Ohio was home to many antislavery publications and an elaborate Underground Railroad network, which helped fugitive slaves escape to Canada. When war broke out, more than 30,000 Ohio residents, more than twice the state’s quota, volunteered to fight in the Union Army. However, as the war dragged on, support for the war declined, and more Ohioans resisted draft calls. Support increased for the Copperheads, those who advocated an immediate end to fighting by the Union. In 1863 one of the most prominent Copperheads, Ohio Congressman Clement Laird Vallandigham, won the Democratic nomination for governor and made a surprisingly strong showing in the election, even though he was defeated. However, Ohio remained firmly on the side of the Union throughout the war.
Ohio lay outside the active theater of war. Fighting occurred there in the summer of 1863, however, when forces under Confederate General John Hunt Morgan crossed into the state near Cincinnati. Pursued by a large force of Ohio militiamen, Morgan made a dash across southern and eastern Ohio, avoiding the cities and foraging the countryside, until he was captured on July 26 near Salineville.
|I||Growth of Heavy Industry|
In the decades after the Civil War, Ohio continued to be a leading producer of grain and livestock, even while vast new farmlands were opened up west of the Mississippi River. However, the most important development during that period was the enormous growth of heavy industries, especially steel manufacturing. Northern Ohio became a major center for producing iron, steel, and related products such as machinery, machine tools, and fabricated metal items.
Oil refining also developed into a major industry in northern Ohio in the late 19th century. The industry was centered on Toledo, Findlay, and Cleveland, where industrialist John D. Rockefeller organized the Standard Oil Company of Ohio in 1870. Within ten years, the company controlled more than 90 percent of the oil refining in the United States. Initially most of the oil was drawn from Ohio wells, but when that supply began to decline in about 1900, crude oil was brought in by pipeline from other states.
The glassmaking industry developed around Toledo after natural gas was discovered in the area in the 1880s. Rubber manufacturing was begun in Akron in 1870 by Benjamin Goodrich, becoming a very large business in the early 20th century when an enormous market developed for automobile tires. Ohio played an important role in the early history of the automobile, supporting a substantial auto-manufacturing industry until the 1920s.
As heavy industries came to be concentrated in northern Ohio, so did an increasing proportion of the state’s population. By 1900 Cleveland had surpassed Cincinnati as the state’s largest city. Many immigrants arrived in Cleveland and other industrial centers between 1880 and 1920 from Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere in eastern and southern Europe. In addition, many farmers moved to the large cities to work in the giant mills and factories. By 1900 Ohio had more than 4.1 million people, of whom only one-third lived on farms.
Ohio’s industrial growth also brought growth of a strong labor movement. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in December 1886, during a period of widespread strikes by workers seeking an eight-hour day. Its purpose was to organize skilled workers into unions, support legislation beneficial to labor, reduce working hours, and improve working conditions and wages. By 1920 it had 4 million members nationwide, and from 1924 to 1952 it was led by William Green of Ohio, a former mineworker and state legislator.
In 1937 the Congress of Industrial Organizations split off from the AFL to organize unskilled and semiskilled workers in mass-production industries such as steel, automobile, and rubber. The United Rubber Workers union led strikes in the 1930s in Akron, capital of the rubber industry. Violent strikes occurred in 1937 in Youngstown, Massillon, and Cleveland after the steel companies refused to negotiate with workers. Several strikers were killed, more than 300 were injured and the state militia was called out before a court decision eventually upheld the workers’ right to collective bargaining.
Union-organizing rights were guaranteed in 1935 when Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act. In 1947 U.S. Senator Robert Taft of Ohio cosponsored legislation to curb the power of organized labor. The Labor-Management Relations Act, known as the Taft-Hartley Act, emphasized the right of employees to refuse to join a union or participate in collective action.
|J||Political Developments, 1870-1920|
During the late 19th century, politics in Ohio were dominated by the state’s giant industrial interests. These businesses also wielded enormous influence nationally, helping to elect seven Ohio natives to the presidency between 1868 and 1923: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding. All but Grant and Harrison were Ohio residents at the time of their elections. All were conservative Republicans closely attentive to the interests of big business. Other Ohioans also played major roles in national politics. Marcus Hanna, a Republican Party leader, U.S. senator, and presidential adviser, forged a long-lasting alliance between the party and corporate business interests. John Sherman, a longtime member of Congress and cabinet official under President Hayes, wrote the Sherman Antitrust Act, landmark legislation passed in 1890 that banned corporate monopolies in restraint of trade.
On the state and local levels, the industrial interests controlled both major parties through political machines. Corruption, graft, and fraudulent election practices flourished. The interests of big business were protected, often at the expense of programs for public welfare. The evils of the political system were particularly manifest in the big cities, which increasingly were transformed into grimy, ugly slums. Big business was not omnipotent, however. Liquor interests were taxed in 1886, and in 1892 Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust, the first corporate trust, was declared an illegal monopoly by the Ohio Supreme Court, which ordered it dissolved. The company was re-established in New Jersey, and in 1911 the company was broken into separate corporations by an antitrust decision of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Beginning in the 1890s, reformers came to power in Ohio, part of a national progressive movement that aimed to curb abuses by governments and industry and to improve life for workers, the poor, and other groups. Many Ohio reformers were elected by running independently of both major political parties, winning despite the opposition of entrenched political machines. Such progressive mayors as Samuel M. Jones and Brand Whitlock of Toledo and Tom L. Johnson of Cleveland instituted wide-reaching reforms. On the state level, reform efforts led to a constitutional convention in 1912, which produced 33 amendments that were approved by Ohio voters. Included were amendments that established a merit system in state and local civil service and introduced such election reform measures as the initiative and referendum, which allowed voters to initiate and approve legislation, and the direct primary, in which voters rather than party bosses or conventions select candidates. The state legislature also passed important reform legislation, establishing a public utilities commission, modernizing the public schools, and creating a conservancy district, the first of its kind, to build a flood-control system after flooding severely damaged Dayton in 1913.
|K||World War I|
With the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918) in Europe in 1914, Ohio’s progressive era came to a close, as concern over international affairs overshadowed domestic issues. Most Ohioans were sympathetic to the neutral stance taken by President Woodrow Wilson early in the war and supported his successful bid for reelection in 1916. However, Germany’s submarine attacks on neutral shipping early in 1917 caused sentiment to shift, and a majority of the state and nation supported America’s entry into the war. Two Ohioans who played prominent roles in the war were Newton D. Baker of Cleveland, who served as Wilson’s secretary of war, and Eddie Rickenbacker of Columbus, who became the leading American combat pilot by downing 26 German aircraft.
|L||The 1920s and 1930s|
With the end of hostilities in 1918, Ohio and much of the nation were caught up in an era of reaction against overseas entanglements. When Wilson proposed an international peace alliance, the League of Nations, Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding led the opposition to America’s involvement. Harding was elected president in 1920 with a call for a “Return to Normalcy”; he defeated the Democratic Party nominee, Ohio Governor James M. Cox. Harding’s brief administration, however, was marred by corruption among his friends and advisers, who were known as the Ohio gang.
Ohio was at the forefront of the movement to prohibit the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, which became law with passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1920. The American Anti-Saloon League, which organized political support for prohibition laws, was based in Westerville, and its leader, Wayne B. Wheeler, was called “the Dry Boss of America.”Prohibition proved difficult to enforce and was ended with repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1933.
The 1920s were marked by economic prosperity and continued industrial growth in Ohio, but the stock market crash of 1929 precipitated the period of nationwide economic hardship known as the Great Depression in the 1930s. More than a million Ohio residents lost their jobs. The Depression was particularly severe in the centers of heavy industry, such as Youngstown, Akron, Toledo, and Cleveland. In those areas, where there was little diversification, it was claimed that one-third of the wage earners were unemployed. The state government struggled with declining revenues, enacting the first cigarette and sales taxes. Federal funds and construction projects, under the New Deal economic programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, provided some relief. By the late 1930s, the state’s economy had begun to recover, helped by development of new businesses to manufacture air conditioning and refrigeration equipment and diesel engines. But full recovery came only with the onset of World War II (1939-1945).
|M||World War II|
Ohio remained isolationist until Japan attacked U.S. military bases at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After that, Ohioans overwhelmingly supported the war; some 839,000 men and women from the state served in the armed forces. Included among them were Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King of Lorain, who served as chief of naval operations, the highest position in the United States Navy; General Robert L. Eichelberger of Urbana, who led American army troops in New Guinea; and General Curtis E. LeMay of Lakewood, commander of the 21st Bomber Wing of the Air Strategic Command, who directed bombing raids on Japan.
On the home front, to meet the demands of war, Ohio’s agricultural production was increased by 30 percent, the mining of bituminous coal was increased 82 percent, and industrial employment rose by 68 percent, particularly in the production of iron, steel, rubber, aircraft parts, ships, tanks, jeeps, and other motor vehicles. Ohio ranked fourth, after California, New York, and Michigan, in war productivity, and Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Dayton, and Toledo were principal centers of war-related work. Additionally, tens of thousands of unpaid volunteers across the state staffed draft and rationing boards and served as community air-raid wardens and Red Cross workers, while an estimated 2.5 million “Victory Gardens” sprouted in urban and suburban areas to supplement the yields of Ohio’s farms.
|N||Post-War Industrial Development|
The industrial boom of the war years continued into the 1950s and 1960s. Old industries expanded and new industries developed, notably the aluminum industry, centered in the Ohio Valley, and the chemical industry, divided between the Ohio Valley and northeastern Ohio. Between 1951 and 1969, Ohio manufacturers spent more on new plants and equipment than those of any other state, as Ohio rose to third place among the 50 states in industrial productivity. The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 gave oceangoing ships access to Ohio’s port cities on Lake Erie.
Beginning in the early 1970s, the state’s older industrial base began to crumble. Many Ohio plants had become old-fashioned and obsolete, and labor costs in the heavily unionized state were well above those in the South and West and far higher than those overseas. Energy costs soared as Ohio’s high-quality coal and natural gas were depleted and crude oil prices tripled, under the control of an international cartel led by Middle Eastern oil producers. Tire production all but stopped in Akron, and steel plants in Youngstown and Cleveland shut down. Across the state, industry after industry closed or drastically cut production, and unemployment soared. From 1972 to 1982, the state lost nearly 250,000 manufacturing jobs, a decline of more than 18 percent. While some were replaced with service-sector jobs, most of those positions offered low pay and limited benefits. As manufacturing jobs drained off to Sun Belt states of the South and West, the term “Rust Belt” was increasingly applied to Ohio and the other older industrial states of the Northeast and Midwest.
Ohio’s industrial decline bottomed out in the 1980s as the older, heavier industries were modernized, replaced, or supplemented with newer, high-technology industries. By the 1990s Ohio again ranked among the top five manufacturing states, producing automobiles, machinery, computers, chemicals, paper products, plastics, primary and fabricated metal products, soaps, and processed food.
Farming also experienced dramatic changes after World War II. Technology greatly enhanced productivity, making it possible for fewer farmers to produce greater crop yields on less overall acreage. In 1940 Ohio had about 250,000 farms; by 1970 there were fewer than half that number, and by 1995 only 75,000 remained. In 1940, about 80 percent of Ohio’s land had been devoted to agriculture; by 1995, suburban sprawl and population growth had reduced that figure to 65 percent. Before the war, the typical Ohio farm had about 40 hectares (about 100 acres). By 1995 the average Ohio farm had 80 hectares (200 acres). In 1850, when Ohio had ranked first among all the states in value of agricultural products, the majority of families farmed full-time; in 1995 that had fallen to less than 3 percent of the total population, and the state ranked 16th. However, Ohio had many part-time farmers among the 25 percent of the population classified as rural in 1995; many of these people lived and worked on farms but supplemented their incomes with other jobs. Despite all the changes, the total yield of Ohio’s farms in the 1990s was greater than ever because of improvements in breeding, seeds, fertilizers, machinery, and techniques in planting, cultivating, and harvesting.
In 1995 diversity and productivity continued to characterize Ohio’s agriculture. Though the land planted in corn, about 1.4 million hectares (about 3.4 million acres), was virtually the same as it had been in 1876, the yield per acre was several times greater. Soybeans, unknown on Ohio farms in 1920, had surpassed corn as the state’s principal crop, with about 1.5 million hectares (about 3.8 million acres) under cultivation. Eggs, dairy products, potatoes, hogs, cattle, hay, poultry, tomatoes, sugar beets, and winter wheat continued to be important, although sheep and orchard products diminished in significance. Agribusiness in 1995 generated some $37 billion annually in overall income, 10 percent of all wages and salaries, and 15 percent of all Ohio jobs.
For most of its history, Ohio has maintained a fairly steady growth in population, except during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the period of industrial stagnation in the 1970s and 1980s. The early 1990s saw moderate growth, reflecting improved economic conditions.
Like much of the rest of America, Ohio became more racially and ethnically diverse in the late 20th century. Before World War II, less than 5 percent of the state’s population was black. Responding to the need for workers in war-related industries, thousands of Southern blacks as well as whites migrated to Ohio’s urban communities in the 1940s. In the postwar years, additional thousands of Hispanics migrated to Ohio, many seeking seasonal agriculture work or manufacturing or service jobs. Beginning in the 1970s numbers of Asians, largely from Vietnam, Korea, and India, began to migrate to Ohio’s urban centers, many seeking professional and business positions.
As Ohio’s population became more diverse, gaps among races and economic groups widened during the turbulent 1960s. Riots occurred in the impoverished black neighborhoods of a number of cities, with the most devastating taking place in the Hough area of Cleveland in July 1966. A decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1964 ordered the reapportionment of the lower house of the Ohio legislature to give equal representation to the cities, based on a system of one person, one vote. As a result, the General Assembly in 1966 had 12 black members, or 9 percent of the membership of each house. In 1967 Carl Stokes was elected mayor of Cleveland, the first black mayor of a major American city.
Student protests against the Vietnam War (1959-1975), which swept many American campuses during the 1960s, turned deadly at Ohio’s Kent State University. During demonstrations against the U.S. bombing and invasion of Cambodia, National Guardsmen fired into a crowd of students, killing four people and injuring nine on May 4, 1970.
|Q||Ohio’s Role in the Space Age|
Ohio had long been a leader in the development of aircraft and air transportation, since Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton invented and flew the first practical airplane in 1903. During the 1960s the state provided several leading figures in the United States’ space program. On February 20, 1962, John H. Glenn of New Concord became the first American to orbit the earth. Seven years later, on July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong of Wapakoneta took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” to become the first human to step on the moon. In 1974 Glenn was elected a United States senator from Ohio, and reelected in 1980, 1986, and 1992. Glenn unsuccessfully sought the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination.
|R||Postwar Political Developments|
Since 1945 Ohio has been closely divided between the Democratic and Republican parties. Each party has controlled the governor’s office for about half of that period. The state is considered a barometer of national politics, because it is near the national average in income levels, ethnic mix, and urban-rural balance. In presidential elections, the results in Ohio often reflect the national outcome.
In 1971 the state imposed an income tax, which brought in $373 million in revenue the following year. By 1995 state income tax collections exceeded $4.5 billion, a 1,200 percent increase during a time when Ohio’s population growth was comparatively flat. Republican George V. Voinovich was elected governor in 1990 and reelected in 1994, focusing on controlling the state budget after years of rising taxes and spending. Voinovich sought to slow the growth of welfare spending and increase support for education.
Republican Bob Taft was elected governor in 1998; he was reelected in 2002. In 2005 Taft was charged with violating state ethics laws by failing to report gifts he received. The charges were misdemeanors and the gifts were worth only about $6,000. However, the charges mushroomed into a major political scandal for Taft because the gifts came from a Republican Party fundraiser who was accused of mishandling and possibly stealing millions of dollars from a state workers’ compensation fund. After this scandal voters elected a Democrat, Ted Strickland, to the governor’s office in 2006. Strickland, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and an ordained Methodist minister, pledged to run an ethical administration.
In 1992 the state constitution was amended to limit the terms of office for U.S. senators and representatives, but those provisions were later ruled unconstitutional. Term limits were also adopted for the governor’s office and other statewide elected officials, taking effect in 1995.
The history section of this article was contributed by Phillip R. Shriver. The remainder of the article was contributed by Jerry Edward Green.