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State of Ohio

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: From the Iroquois Indian word oheo, meaning "beautiful."

NICKNAME: The Buckeye State.

CAPITAL: Columbus.

ENTERED UNION: 1 March 1803 (17th).

SONG: "Beautiful Ohio."

MOTTO: With God All Things Are Possible.

FLAG: The flag is a burgee, with three red and two white lateral stripes. At the staff is a blue triangular field covered with 17 stars (signifying Ohio's order of entry into the Union), which is grouped around a red disk superimposed on a white circular "O."

OFFICIAL SEAL: In the foreground are a sheaf of wheat and a sheaf of 17 arrows; behind, a sun rises over a mountain range, indicating that Ohio is the first state west of the Alleghenies. Surrounding the scene are the words "The Great Seal of the State of Ohio."

BIRD: Cardinal.

FLOWER: Scarlet carnation.

TREE: Buckeye.

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Presidents' Day, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.


Located in the eastern north-central United States, Ohio is the 11th largest of the 12 Midwestern states and ranks 35th in size among the 50 states.

The state's total area is 41,330 sq mi (107,044 sq km), of which land comprises 41,004 sq mi (106,201 sq km) and inland water 326 sq mi (823 sq km). Ohio extends about 210 mi (338 km) e-w; its maximum n-s extension is 230 mi (370 km).

Ohio is bordered on the n by Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario (with the line passing through Lake Erie); on the e by Pennsylvania and West Virginia (with the Ohio River forming part of the boundary); on the s by West Virginia and Kentucky (with the entire line defined by the Ohio River); and on the w by Indiana.

Five important islands lie off the state's northern shore, in Lake Erie: the three Bass Islands, Kelleys Island, and Catawba Island. Ohio's total boundary length is 997 mi (1,605 km).

The state's geographic center is in Delaware County, 25 mi (40 km) nne of Columbus.


Ohio has three distinct topographical regions: the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in the eastern half of the state; the Erie lakeshore, extending for nearly three-fourths of the northern boundary; and the central plains in the western half of the state.

The Allegheny Plateau in eastern Ohio consists of rugged hills and steep valleys that recede gradually as the terrain sweeps westward toward the central plains. The highest point in the state is Campbell Hill (1,549 ft /472 m), located in Logan County about 50 mi (80 km) northwest of Columbus. The mean elevation of the state is approximately 850 ft (259 m).

The Erie lakeshore, a band of level lowland that runs across the state to the northwestern corner on the Michigan boundary, is distinguished by sandy beaches. The central plains extend to the western boundary with Indiana. In the south, undulating hills decline in altitude as they reach the serpentine Ohio River, which forms the state's southern boundary with Kentucky and West Virginia. The state's lowest point is on the bands of the Ohio River in the southwest, where the altitude drops to 455 ft (139 m) above sea level.

Most of Ohio's 2,500 lakes are situated in the east, and nearly all are reservoirs backed up by river dams. The largest, Pymatuning Reservoir, on the Pennsylvania border, has an area of 14,650 acres (5,929 hectares). Grand Lake (St. Mary's), located near the western border, covering 12,500 acres (5,059 hectares), is the largest lake wholly within Ohio.

Ohio has two drainage basins separated by a low ridge extending from the northeast corner to about the middle of the western border with Indiana. North of the ridge, more than one-third of Ohio's area is drained by the Maumee, Portage, Sandusky, Cuyahoga, and Grand rivers into Lake Erie. South of the ridge, the remaining two-thirds of the state is drained mainly by the Muskingum, Hocking, Raccoon, Scioto, Little Miami, and Miami rivers into the Ohio River, which winds for about 450 mi (725 km) along the eastern and southern borders.

Ohio's bedrock of sandstone, shale, and limestone was formed during the Paleozoic era some 300-600 million years ago. The oldest limestone rocks are found in the Cincinnati anticline, a ridge of sedimentary rock layers about 3,000 ft (900 m) thick that extends from north to south in west-central Ohio. Inland seas filled and receded periodically to form salt and gypsum, also creating peat bogs that later were pressurized into the coal beds of southeastern Ohio. At the end of the Paleozoic era, the land in the eastern region uplifted to form a plateau that was later eroded by wind and water into hills and gorges.

About two million years ago, glaciers covering two-thirds of the state leveled the western region into plains and deposited fertile limestone topsoil. As the glaciers retreated, the melting ice formed a vast lake, which overflowed southward into the channels that became the Ohio River. Perhaps 15,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, the glacial waters ran off and reduced Lake Erie to its present size. Limestone rocks in Glacier Grooves State Park on Kelley's Island bear the marks of the glaciers' movements.


Lying in the humid continental zone, Ohio has a generally temperate climate. Winters are cold and summers mild in the eastern highlands. The southern region has the warmest temperatures and longest growing season198 days on the average, compared with 150 to 178 days in the remainder of the state. More than half of the annual rainfall occurs during the growing season, from May to October.

Among the major cities, Columbus, in the central region, has an annual average temperature of 52°f (11°c), with a normal maximum of 62°f (16°c) and a normal minimum of 42°f (5°c). Cleveland, in the north, has an annual average of 51°f (10°c), with a normal maximum of 59°f (15°c) and minimum of 41°f (5°c). The average temperature in Cincinnati, in the south, is 54.5°f (12°c), the normal maximum 64.6°f (18°c), and the normal minimum 44.3°f (6°c). Cleveland has an average of 122 days per year in which the temperature drops to 32° (0°c) or lower, Columbus 117 days, and Cincinnati 90 days. The record low temperature for the state is 39°f (39°c), set at Milligan on 10 February 1899. The record high is 113°f (45°c), registered near Gallipolis on 21 July 1934.

Cleveland has an average annual snowfall of 55.4 in (140 cm), while Columbus receives 27.6 in (70 cm), and Cincinnati 14.2 in (36 cm). The average annual precipitation in Cincinnati is about with 40.7 in (103 cm), compared with 37.8 in (96 cm) for Columbus and 37.2 in (94 cm) for Cleveland. Because of its proximity to Lake Erie, Cleveland is the windiest city, with winds that average 11 mph (18 km/hr).


More than 2,500 plant species have been found in Ohio. The southeastern hill and valley region supports pitch pine, big leaf magnolia, and sourwood, with undergrowths of sassafras, witch-hazel, pawpaw, hornbeam, and various dogwoods. At least 14 species of oak, 10 of maple, 9 of poplar, 9 of pine, 7 of ash, 7 of elm, 6 of hickory, 5 of birch, and 2 of beech grow in the state, along with butternut, eastern black walnut, wild black cherry, black locust, and sycamore. A relative of the horse chestnut (introduced to Ohio from Asia), the distinctive buckeyefirst called the Ohio buckeye and now the official state treeis characterized by its clusters of cream-colored flowers that bloom in spring and later form large, brown, thick-hulled nuts. Five Ohio plant species were listed as threatened in 2006, including eastern prairie fringed orchid, northern wild monkshood, and lakeside daisy; the running buffalo clover was listed as endangered that year by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Buckeye State is rich in mammals. White-tailed deer, badger, mink, raccoon, red and gray foxes, coyote, beaver, eastern cottontail, woodchuck, least shrew, and opossum are found throughout the state's five wildlife districts; the bobcat, woodland jumping mouse, and red-backed mole are among many species with more restricted habitats. Common birds include the eastern great blue heron, green-winged teal, mourning dove, eastern belted king-fisher, eastern horned lark, blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern cow-bird, and a great variety of ducks, woodpeckers, and warblers; the cardinal is the state bird, and the ruffed grouse, mostly confined to the Allegheny Plateau, is a favorite game species. Bass, pickerel, perch, carp, pike, trout, catfish, sucker, and darter thrive in Ohio's lakes and streams. The snapping, midland painted, and spiny soft -shelled turtles, five-lined skink, northern water snake, midland brown snake, eastern hognose, and eastern milk snake appear throughout Ohio. The northern copperhead, eastern massasauga (swamp rattler), and timber rattlesnake are Ohio's only poisonous reptiles. Fowler's toad, bullfrog, green pickerel frog, and marbled and red-backed salamanders are common native amphibians.

Acting on the premise that the largest problem facing wildlife is the destruction of their habitat, the Division of Wildlife of the Department of Natural Resources has instituted an ambitious endangered species program. The US Fish and Wildlife Service listed 17 Ohio animal species (vertebrates and invertebrates) as threatened or endangered in April 2006, including the bald eagle, Indiana bat, Scioto madtom, and piping plover.


Early conservation efforts in Ohio were aimed at controlling the ravages of spring floods and preventing soil erosion. After the Miami River floods of March 1913, which took 361 lives and resulted in property losses of more than $100 million in Dayton alone, the Miami Conservancy District was formed; five earth dams and 60 mi (97 km) of river levees were completed by 1922, at a cost of $40 million, to hold back cresting water. In the Muskingum Conservancy District in eastern Ohio, construction of flood-control dams has prevented spring flooding and the washing away of valuable topsoil into the Ohio River.

In recent years, the state's major environmental concerns have been to reverse the pollution of Lake Erie, control the air pollution attributable to industries and automobiles, clean up dumps for solid and hazardous wastes, improve water quality, and prevent pollution. Of recent concern is the problem with so-called "brownfields"polluted industrial sites whose cleanup costs present barriers to development. In November 2000, voters approved the Clean Ohio Fund; it will provide $200 million to help revitalize abandoned commercial and industrial sites, promoting reuse of existing infrastructure, and helping to reduce sprawl. The Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund awarded nearly $40 million to 17 projects in its first round of funding.

The state's regulatory agency for environmental matters is the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), established in 1972. The agency has long-range programs to deal with pollution of air, water, and land resources. Ohio EPA also coordinates state, local, and federal funding of environmental programs.

Since 1972, antipollution efforts in Lake Erie have focused on reducing the discharge of phosphorus into the lake from sewage and agricultural wastes; sewage treatment facilities have been upgraded with the aid of more than $750 million in federal grants, and efforts have been made to promote reduced-tillage farming to control runoff. By the early 1980s, numerous beaches had been reopened, and sport fishing was once again on the increase. Since 1972, Ohio industries spent billions of dollars on efforts to control air pollution. Peak ozone levels have dropped by 25% overall and by up to 50% in some urban areas. Lead levels in the outdoor air have dropped 98% since 1978 and particulate levels have dropped 80%. From 1967 to 1983, through the efforts of local health departments and with the eventual help of the EPA, over 1,300 open garbage dumps were closed down and more than 200 sanitary landfills constructed to replace them. In 2003, 251.6 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state; Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for highest levels of toxic chemicals released (following Alaska, Nevada, and Texas).

In 1980, Ohio passed its first legislation aimed at controlling hazardous wastes, and by the mid-1980s, with the aid of more than $11 million in federal Superfund grants, cleanup had been completed or begun at 16 major sites. In 2003, Ohio had 318 hazardous waste sites listed in the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database. In 2006, 30 of these sites were on the National Priorities List, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Ricken-backer Air National Guard base has been proposed as a National Priority List Site. In 2005, the EPA spent over $5.1 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state. The same year, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $25.2 million for its safe drinking water revolving fund. An addition grant of $60.6 million was awarded to provide assistance for water resource protection and improvement projects in small and hardship communities.

Another agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, is responsible for the development and use of the state's natural resources. The state's parks and recreational areas totaled 208,000 acres (84,000 hectares). The department also assists in soil conservation, issues permits for dams, promotes conservation of oil and gas, and allocates strip-mining licenses.


Ohio ranked seventh in population in the United States with an estimated total of 11,464,042 in 2005, an increase of 1% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Ohio's population grew from 10,847,115 to 11,353,140, an increase of 4.7%. The population is projected to reach 11.63 million by 2015, but a decline to 11.6 is projected by 2025. The population density in 2004 was 280.1 persons per sq mi.

Ohio's population grew slowly during the colonial period and totaled 45,365 persons in 1800. Once the territory became a state in 1803, settlers flocked to Ohio and the population quintupled to 230,760 by 1810, The state's population doubled again by 1820, approached 2,000,000 in 1850, and totaled 3,198,062 by 1880. Ohio's annual rate of population increase slowed considerably after 1900, when its population was 4,157,545; nevertheless, in the period between 1900 and 1960, the total population more than doubled to 9,706,397. A slow rate of population increase during the 1970s, and a population decline during 198085, resulted from a net migration loss and a declining birthrate.

In 2004, the median age in Ohio was 37.5. In the same year, more than 24.3% of the populace were under age 18 while 13.3% was age 65 or older.

As of the 1990 census, Columbus became Ohio's largest city, with a population of 632,910, trading second place with Cleveland, which had 505,616 residents. Whereas Columbus increased its population by 12% during the 1980s, Cleveland's population de-creased by 11.9%. The 2004 estimated populations of the two cities were Columbus, 730,008, and Cleveland, 458,684. The Columbus metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1,693,906. The Cleveland metropolitan area (including Elyria and Mentor) had a population of about 2,137,073. Cincinnati and other large cities also lost population during this period, largely because of the shift of the middle class from the inner cities to the suburbs or to other states. In 2004, Cincinnati's estimated population was 314,154, followed by Toledo, 304,973; Akron, 212,179; and Dayton, 160,293. The Cincinnati metropolitan area had an estimated population of 2,058,221.


Ohio was first settled by migrants from the eastern states and from the British Isles and northern Europe, especially Germany. Cincinnati had such a large German population that its public schools were bilingual until World War I. With the coming of the railroads and the development of industry, Slavic and other south Europeans were recruited in large numbers.

By 2000, however, only about 3% of Ohioans were foreign born, the major places of origin being Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Ethnic clusters persist in the large cities, and some small communities retain a specific ethnic flavor, such as Fairport Harbor on Lake Erie, with its large Finnish population.

As of 2000 there were 1,301,307 blacks, representing 11.5% of the population. That percentage increased to 11.9% by 2004. Most live in the larger cities, especially Cleveland, which in 2000 had a black population of 243,939, or 51.0% of the city total. Historically, Ohio was very active in the antislavery movement. Oberlin College, established in 1833 by dissident theological students, admitted blacks from its founding and maintained a "station" on the Underground Railroad. Cleveland elected its first black mayor, Carl B. Stokes, in 1967.

Some 217,123 people in Ohio (1.9% of the total population) were Hispanic or Latino in 2000, up from 140,000 in 1990. The largest number (90,663) were of Mexican descent, but there were also many Puerto Ricans. In 2004, 2.2% of the population was Hispanic or Latino. In 2000, American Indians numbered about 24,486. In 2004, 0.2% of the population was American Indian. In 2000, Asians were estimated to number 132,633, including 30,425 Chinese (up from 16,829 in 1990), 12,393 Filipinos, 10,732 Japanese, and 13,376 Koreans. Pacific Islanders numbered 2,749. In 2004, Asians accounted for 1.4% of the population. In 2004, 1.2% of the population reported origin of two or more races.

Except for small Iroquoian groups like the Erie and Seneca, most of the Indian population before white settlement comprised four Algonkian tribes: Delaware, Miami, Wyandot, and Shawnee. Indian place-names include Ohio, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, and Wapakoneta.


Ohio English reflects three post-Revolutionary migration paths. Into the Western Reserve south of Lake Erie came Northern speech from New York and Connecticut. Still common there are the Northern pronunciation of the ow diphthong, as in cow, with a beginning like the /ah/ vowel in father, and the use of the /ah/ in fog and college; /krik/ is more common than /kreek/ for creek. A dragonfly is a devil's darning needle; doughnuts may be fried cakes; a boy throws himself face down on a sled in a bellyflop (per); and a tied and filled bedcover is a comforter.

Most of nonurban Ohio has North Midland speech from Pennsylvania. Generally, except in the northern strip, cot and caught are sound-alikes, and now is /naow/, south of Columbus, because of the influence of South Midland patterns from Kentucky and extreme southern Pennsylvania, corn bread may be corn pone, lima beans are butter beans, and a tied quilt is a comforter. Spouting, yielding to gutters, barely reaches across to Indiana; and sick at the stomach, dived, and wait on me are competing with expanding Northern to the stomach, dove, and wait for me. A new Midland term, bellybuster, originated around Wheeling and has spread north to compete with bellyflop. Northern and Midland merge in the mixed dialect west of Toledo.

From Kentucky, South Midland speakers took you-all into Ohio River towns, and in the southwestern tip of the state can be heard their evening for afternoon, terrapin for tortoise, and frogstool for toadstool. Recent northward migration has introduced South Midland speech and black English, a southern dialect, into such industrial centers as Cleveland, Toledo, and Akron.

Localisms have developed. For the grass strip between sidewalk and street, Akron has devil-strip and Cleveland has treelawn. Foreign-language influence appears in such Pennsylvania Germanisms as clook (hatching hen), snits (dried apples), smearcase (cottage cheese), and got awake.

Of Ohioans aged five years or older 93.9% spoke only English at home in 2000, down from 94.6% in 1990.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Other West Germanic languages" includes Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Afrikaans. The category "Other Slavic languages" includes Czech, Slovak, and Ukrainian. The category "African languages" includes Amharic, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Bantu,

OhioCountries, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations
Adams West Union 586 28,454 Logan Bellefontaine 458 46,580
Allen Lima 405 106,234 Lorain Elyria 495 296,307
Ashland Ashland 424 54,123 Lucas Toledo 341 448,229
Ashtabula Jefferson 703 103,221 Madison London 467 41,295
Athens Athens 508 62,062 Mahoning Youngstown 417 254,274
Auglaize Wapakoneta 398 47,242 Marion Marion 403 65,932
Belmont St. Clairsville 537 69,228 Medina Medina 422 167,010
Brown Georgetown 493 44,398 Meigs Pomeroy 432 23,232
Butler Hamilton 469 350,412 Mercer Celina 457 41,202
Carroll Carrollton 393 29,388 Miami Troy 410 101,619
Champaign Urbana 429 39,698 Monroe Woodsfield 458 14,698
Clark Springfield 398 142,376 Montgomery Dayton 458 547,435
Clermont Batavia 456 190,589 Morgan McConnelsville 420 14,958
Clinton Wilmington 410 42,570 Morrow Mt. Gilead 406 34,322
Columbiana Lisbon 534 110,928 Muskingum Zanesville 654 85,579
Coshocton Coshocton 566 36,945 Noble Caldwell 399 14,156
Crawford Bucyrus 403 45,774 Ottawa Port Clinton 253 41,583
Cuyahoga Cleveland 459 1,335,317 Paulding Paulding 419 19,537
Darke Greenville 600 52,983 Perry New Lexington 412 35,246
Defiance Defiance 414 39,112 Pickaway Circleville 503 52,989
Delaware Delaware 443 150,268 Pike Waverly 443 28,146
Erie Sandusky 264 78,665 Portage Ravenna 493 155,631
Fairfield Lancaster 506 138,423 Preble Eaton 426 42,527
Fayette Washington Ct. House 405 28,199 Putnam Ottawa 484 34,928
Franklin Columbus 542 1,090,771 Richland Mansfield 497 127,949
Fulton Wauseon 407 42,955 Ross Chillicothe 692 75,197
Gallia Gallipolis 471 31,362 Sandusky Fremont 409 61,676
Geauga Chardon 408 95,218 Scioto Portsmouth 614 76,561
Greene Xenia 415 151,996 Seneca Tiffin 553 57,483
Guernsey Cambridge 522 41,123 Shelby Sidney 409 48,736
Hamilton Cincinnati 412 806,652 Stark Canton 574 380,608
Hancock Findlay 532 73,503 Summit Akron 412 546,604
Hardin Kenton 471 32,032 Trumbull Warren 612 219,296
Harrison Cadiz 400 15,920 Tuscarawas New Philadelphia 569 91,944
Henry Napoleon 415 29,453 Union Marysville 437 45,751
Highland Hillsboro 553 42,818 Van Wert Van Wert 410 29,154
Hocking Logan 423 29,009 Vinton McArthur 414 13,429
Holmes Millersburg 424 41,567 Warren Lebanon 403 196,622
Huron Norwalk 495 60,385 Washington Marietta 640 62,210
Jackson Jackson 420 33,526 Wayne Wooster 557 113,697
Jefferson Steubenville 410 70,599 Williams Bryan 422 38,688
Knox Mt. Vernon 529 58,398 Wood Bowling Green 619 123,929
Lake Painesville 231 232,466 Wyandot Upper Sandusky 406 22,813
Lawrence Ironton 457 63,112 TOTALS 41,005 11,464,042
Licking Newark 686 154,806

Swahili, and Somali. The category "Other Indo-European languages" includes Albanian, Gaelic, Lithuanian, and Rumanian.

Population 5 years and over 10,599,968 100.0
  Speak only English 9,951,93.9 93.9
  Speak a language other than English 648,943 6.1
Speak a language other than English 648,493 6.1
  Spanish or Spanish Creole 213,147 2.0
  German 72,647 0.7
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 44,594 0.4
  Italian 27,697 0.3
  Other West Germanic languages 26,372 0.2
  Chinese 25,704 0.2
  Arabic 22,647 0.2
  Other Slavic Languages 21,230 0.2
  Polish 16,462 0.2
  Russian 16,030 0.2
  Greek 13,656 0.1
  African Languages 13,261 0.1
  Serbo-Croatian 12,577 0.1
  Hungarian 11,859 0.1
  Other Indo-European languages 11,070 0.1
  Korean 11,028 0.1


The first religious settlement in Ohio territory was founded among Huron Indians in 1751 by a Roman Catholic priest near what is now Sandusky. Shortly afterward, Moravian missionaries converted some Delaware Indians to Christianity; the first Protestant church was founded by Congregationalist ministers at Marietta in 1788. Dissident religious sects such as the Shakers, Amish, and Quakers moved into Ohio from the early 18th century onward, but the majority of settlers in the early 19th century were Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Disciples of Christ, and Episcopalians.

The first Roman Catholic priest to be stationed permanently in Ohio was Father Edward Fenwick, who settled in Cincinnati in 1817. When the Protestant settlers there did not allow him to build a Catholic church in the town, he founded Christ Church (now St. Francis Church) just outside Cincinnati. In 1821, Father Fenwick became the first Catholic bishop in Ohio. The large influx of Irish and German immigrants after 1830 greatly increased the Catholic constituency in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo. Among the German immigrants were many Lutherans and large number of Jews, who made Cincinnati a center of Reform Judaism. In the mid-19th century, Cincinnati had the nation's third-largest Jewish community; the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the most important Reform body, was founded there in 1873, and Hebrew Union College, a rabbinical training school and center of Jewish learning, was founded two years later.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), founded in 1930 by Joseph Smith Jr. of New York, built its first permanent place of worship in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1933. The Kirtland Temple, as it has been called, is still open today as a museum and educational center. A functioning temple was opened in Columbus in 1999. In 2006, the Latter-day Saints reported a statewide membership of 54,297 in 124 congregations.

In 2004, Ohio had a Roman Catholic population of about 2,139,524, with about 512,146 members belonging to the archdiocese of Cincinnati and 812,675 members within the Cleveland diocese. In 2000, the state's Jewish population was estimated at 142,255. Leading Jewish communities were in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. The Muslim population was at about 41,281 people. Ohio communities of Amish and Mennonites are among the largest in the nation with over 24,000 Amish and over 20,000 Mennonites in the state (primarily central Ohio).

In the United Methodist Church is one of the largest Protestant denominations, with a membership of about 420,142 statewide in 2004. In 2000, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America reported 301,749 members; the Southern Baptist Convention had 187,227 (with 5,251 newly baptized members in 2002); the Presbyterian Church USA, 160,800, Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, 142,571; and the American Baptist Churches USA, 117,757. In 2000, about 6.2 million people (55.1% of the population) were not counted as members of any religious organization. The national Office of General Ministries of the United Church of Christ is located in Cleveland. The Ohio conference of the United Church of Christ had about 118,449 members in 2005.


Sandwiched between two of the country's largest inland water systems, Lake Erie and the Ohio River, Ohio has long been a leader in water transport. With its numerous terminals on the Ohio River and deepwater ports on Lake Erie, Ohio ranks as one of the major US states for shipping.

The building of railroads in the mid-19th century greatly improved transportation within the state by connecting inland counties with Lake Erie and the Ohio River. The Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, between Dayton and Sandusky, was completed in 1844, and two years later, it was joined with the Little Miami Railroad, to provide through service to Cincinnati. By 1856, Cleveland was connected by rail with Columbus and Pittsburgh. Railroad building in the state reached a peak in the 1850s. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Ohio had more miles of track than any other state. By 1900, railroads were by far the most important system of transport.

In 2003, Class I railroads operated 4,510 rail mi (7,261 km) of track in the state, out of a total of 6,519 mi (10,495 km) of track in service. In that same year, Ohio had 19 railroads within its borders, including three Class I railroads. Freight service on branch lines to counties has been maintained through a state subsidy program.

Mass transit in Ohio's cities began in 1859 with horse-drawn carriages carrying paying passengers in Cleveland and Cincinnati, which added a cable car on rails about 1880. The electric trolley car, introduced to Cleveland in 1884, soon became the most popular mass transit system for the large cities. Inter-urban electric railways carried passengers to and from rural towns that had been bypassed by the railroads. There were 2,809 mi (4,521 km) of interurban track in the state by 1907. The use of electric railways declined with the development of the motor car in the 1920s, and by 1939, for example, the seven interurban lines serving Columbus had been abandoned. Today, suburbanites mostly commute to their workplaces in Columbus and other cities by automobile and bus lines. However, Cleveland continues to operate a light rail system, that as of 2004, had around 40 mi (64 km) of track, which stretched from the city's east side and eastern suburbs to the downtown lakefront and out to Cleveland Hopkins Airport on the city's southwestern side. In 2006, Amtrak operated three regularly scheduled trains through Ohio, connecting six cities.

Rough roads were used by settlers in the early 19th century. The National Road was built from Wheeling, West Virginia, to Zanes-ville in 1826, and was extended to Columbus by 1833. The increasing use of the automobile in the 1930s led to massive state and federal road-building programs in Ohio as elsewhere. The major interstate highways across Ohio connect Cleveland and the Toledo area in the north (I-80, I-90); link Columbus with Dayton, Zanesville, and Wheeling (I-70) and with Cincinnati and Cleveland (I-71); and extend north-south from Cleveland and Akron to Marietta in the east (I-77), and from Toledo to Dayton and Cincinnati in the west (I-75).

In 2004, Ohio had 124,752 mi (200,850 km) of roads. In that same year, there were some 6.395 million automobiles, about 4.061 million trucks of all types, some 298,000 motorcycles, and around 18,000 buses registered in the state, along with 7,675,007 licensed drivers.

Inland waterways have long been important for transport and commerce in Ohio. The first settlers traveled into Ohio by flat-boat down the Ohio River to establish such towns as Marietta and Cincinnati. Lake Erie schooners brought the founders of Cleveland and Sandusky. Steamboat service began on the Ohio River in 1811, and at Lake Erie ports in 1818. The public demand for water transportation in the interior of the state, where few rivers were navigable, led to construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal from Portsmouth on the Ohio River to Cleveland, and the Miami and Erie Canal from Cincinnati to Toledo. Both canals were opened to traffic in 1827 but not completed for another 14 years. The canals gave Ohio's farmers better access to eastern and southern markets. Water transportation is still a principal means of shipping Ohio's products through the St. Lawrence Seaway to foreign countries, and the method by which millions of tons of cargo, particularly coal, are moved via the Ohio River to domestic markets.

Ohio's ports rank among the busiest of the 50 states in volume. In 2004, the state's most active ports were: Cleveland, with 15.774 million tons of cargo handled; Cincinnati with 13.898 million tons; Ashtabula with 10.938 million tons; and Toledo with 9.861 million tons. In 2003, waterborne shipments totaled 113.743 million tons. In 2004, Ohio had 444 mi (714 km) of navigable inland waterways.

Ohioans consider Dayton to be the birthplace of aviation because it was there that Wilbur and Orville Wright built the first motor-powered airplane in 1903. In 2005, Ohio had a total of 734 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 519 airports, 209 heliports, 4 STOL ports (Short Take-Off and Landing), and 2 seaplane bases. The state's major air terminals are the Greater Cincinnati airport (actually located across the Ohio River in Kentucky) and Hopkins International in Cleveland. In 2004, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport had 10,864,547 passenger enplanements, while Cleveland Hopkins had 5,389,196 enplanements in that same year, making them the 22nd- and 35th-busiest airports in the United States, respectively.


The first people in Ohio, some 11,000 years ago, were hunters. Their stone tools have been found with skeletal remains of long-extinct mammoths and mastodons. Centuries later, Ohio was inhabited by the Adena people, the earliest mound builders. Their descendants, the Hopewell Indians, built burial mounds, fortifications, and ceremonial earthworks, some of which are now preserved in state parks.

The first European travelers in Ohio, during the 17th century, found four Indian tribes: Wyandot and Delaware in northern Ohio, Miami and Shawnee in the south. All were hunters who followed game trails that threaded the dense Ohio forest. All together, these four tribes numbered about 15,000 people. European exploration was begun by a French nobleman, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, who, with Indian guides and paddlers, voyaged from the St. Lawrence River to the Ohio, which he explored in 166970. In the early 1700s, French and English traders brought knives, hatchets, guns, blankets, tobacco, rum, and brandy to exchange for the Indians' deer and beaver skins.

Both the French and the English claimed possession of Ohio, the French claim resting on La Salle's exploration, while the British claimed all territory extending westward from their coastal colonies. To reinforce the French claim, Celeron de Bienville led an expedition from Canada to Ohio in 1749 to warn off English traders, win over the Indians, and assert French possession of the land. Traveling by canoe, with marches overland, he found the Indians better disposed at that time to the English than to the French. The following year, a company of Virginia merchants sent Christopher Gist to map Ohio trade routes and to make friendship and trade agreements with the tribes. The clash of ambitions brought on the French and Indian Warduring which the Indians fought on both sidesending in 1763 with French defeat and the ceding of the vast western territory to the British. During the Revolutionary War, the American militiaman George Rogers Clark, with a small company of woodsmen-soldiers, seized British posts and trading stations in Ohio, and, in the Battle of Piqua, defeated Indian warriors allied with the British. It was largely Clark's campaigns that won the Northwest Territory for the United States.

The new nation had a huge public domain, extending from the Allegheny Mountains to the Mississippi River. To provide future government and development of the territory northwest of the Ohio River, the US Congress enacted the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The Land Ordinance created a survey system of rectangular sections and townships, a system begun in Ohio and extended to all new areas in the expanding nation. The farsighted Northwest Ordinance provided a system of government under which territories could achieve statehood on a basis equal with that of the original colonies. When a specified area had a population of 60,000 free adult males, it could seek admission to the Union as a state.

The first permanent settlement in Ohio was made in 1788 by an organization of Revolutionary War veterans who had received land warrants as a reward for their military service. They trekked by ox-drawn wagons over the mountains and by flatboat down the Ohio River to the mouth of the Muskingum, where they built the historic town of Marietta. John Cleves Symes, a New Jersey official, brought pioneer settlers to his Miami Purchase in southwestern Ohio; their first settlement, in 1789, eventually became the city of Cincinnati. Access to the fertile Ohio Valley was provided by the westward-flowing Ohio River, which carried pioneer settlers and frontier commerce. Flatboats made a one-way journey, as families floated toward what they hoped would be new settlements. Keelboats traveled both downstream and upstreaman easy journey followed by a hard one. The keelboat trade, carrying military supplies and frontier produce, created an enduring river lore. Its legendary hero is burly, blustering Mike Fink, "half horse and half alligator," always ready for a fight or a frolic, for riot or rampage.

Increasing settlement of the Ohio Valley aroused Indian resistance. War parties raided outlying villages, burned houses, and drove families away. Two military expeditions against the Indians were shattered by Chief Little Turtle and his Miami warriors. Then, in 1793, Maj. Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne took command in the west. He built roads and forts in the Miami Valley, and trained a force of riflemen. On a summer morning in 1794, Wayne routed allied tribesmen, mostly Miami and Shawnee, in the decisive Battle of Fallen Timbers. In the ensuing Treaty of Greenville, Indian leaders surrendered claim to the southern half of Ohio, opening that large domain to uncontested American occupation.

When, in 1800, Connecticut ceded to the United States a strip of land along Lake Erie claimed by its colonial charter and called the Western Reserve, that region became a part of the Northwest Territory. Now the future seemed unclouded, and from the older colonies came a great migration to the promised land. By 1802, Ohio had enough population to seek statehood, and in November, a constitutional convention assembled at Chillicothe. In 25 days and at a total cost of $5,000, the 35 delegates framed a constitution that vested most authority in the state legislature and gave the vote to all white male taxpayers. On 1 March 1803, Ohio joined the Union as the 17th state.

Beyond Ohio's western border, Indians still roamed free. In 1811, the powerful Shawnee chief Tecumseh led a tribal resistance movement (supported by the British) seeking to halt the white man's advance into the new territory and to regain lands already lost to the Americans. Ohio militia regiments led by Gen. William Henry Harrison repulsed an Indian invasion near Toledo in the battle of Tippecanoe on 7 November 1811. Control of Lake Erie and of Great Lakes commerce was at stake when Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry won a decisive naval victory over a British fleet in western Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Tecumseh was slain in the Battle of Thames in Canada on 5 October 1813.

With peace restored in 1815, "Ohio fever" spread through New England. In a great migration, people streamed over the mountains and the lakes to a land of rich soil, mild climate, and beckoning opportunities. Across the Atlantic, especially in England, Ireland, and Germany, thousands of immigrants boarded ship for America. At newly opened land offices, public land was sold at $1.25 an acre. Forest became fields, fields became villages and towns, towns became cities. By 1850, Ohio was the third-most populous state in the Union.

Having cleared millions of acres of forest, Ohioans turned to economic development. Producing more than its people consumed, the state needed transportation routes to eastern markets. The National Road extended across the central counties in the 1830s, carrying stagecoach passengers and wagon commerce from Pennsylvania and Maryland. The Ohio canal system, created between 1825 and 1841, linked the Ohio River and Lake Erie, providing a waterway to the Atlantic via New York's Erie Canal. In 1826, state lands were valued at $16 million; 15 years later, their value exceeded $100 million. The chief products were wheat, corn, pork, beef, salt, wool, and leather. By 1850, when farm and factory production outstripped the capacity of mule teams and canal barges, railroad building had begun. In the next decade, railroads crisscrossed the state.

In 1861, Ohio, like the rest of the nation, was divided. The northern counties, teeming with former New Englanders, were imbued with abolitionist zeal. But Ohio's southern counties had close ties with Virginia and Kentucky across the river. From southeastern Ohio came Clement L. Vallandigham, leader of the Peace Democratscalled Copperheads by their opponentswho defended states' rights, opposed all of President Lincoln's policies, and urged compromise with the Confederacy. While Ohio surpassed its quota by providing a total of 320,000 Union Army volunteers, the Copperhead movement grew strong enough to nominate Vallandigham for state governor in 1863. Responding to the news of Vallandigham's defeat by the rugged Unionist John Brough, Lincoln telegraphed: "Ohio has saved the nation." Ohio became directly involved in the war for two weeks in 1863, when Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan led a Kentucky cavalry force on a daring but ineffectual raid through the southern counties.

Ohio gave the Union its greatest generalsUlysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip H. Sheridaneach of whom won decisive victories at crucial times. Also essential to the Union cause was the service of Ohio men in Lincoln's cabinet, including Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase and War Secretary Edwin M. Stanton.

Mid-19th-century Ohio was primarily an agricultural state, but war demands stimulated Ohio manufacturing, and in the decade following the war, the state's industrial products surpassed the value of its rich farm production. The greatest commercial development came in northern Ohio, where heavy industry grew dramatically. To Toledo, Cleveland, and Youngstown via Lake Superior came iron ore that was converted into iron and steel with coal from the Ohio Valley. In the 1870s, John D. Rockefeller of Cleveland organized the Standard Oil Co., which soon controlled oil refining and distribution throughout the nation. At the same time, B. F. Goodrich of Akron began making fire hose, the first rubber product in an industry whose prodigious growth would make Akron the "rubber capital of the world." In the middle of the state, the capital city, Columbus, became a center of the brewing, railroad equipment, and farm implement industries. Cincinnati factories made steamboat boilers, machine tools, meat products, railroad cars, and soap. Dayton became known for its paper products, refrigerators, and cash registers. With industrial growth came political power. In the next half century, Ohio virtually took possession of the White House. Presidents Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding were all Ohioans.

The four great business pursuitsagriculture, commerce, mining, and manufacturingwere remarkably balanced in Ohio. Its ethnic strains were various. Following the earlier English, Irish, and German influx came Italian, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian immigrants, along with a growing number of blacks from the rural South. Thus Ohio provided an advantageous background for a president; to any segment of the nation, an Ohio candidate did not seem alien. In the 1920 campaign, both the Republican and Democratic nomineesHarding and James M. Coxwere Ohio men. Norman Thomas, a perennial Socialist candidate, was likewise an Ohioan.

During World War I, Ohio's heavy industry expanded and its cities grew. Progressivism developed in Toledo and Cleveland, under their respective mayors, Samuel M. "Golden Rule" Jones and Tom L. Johnson, whose reforms resulted in the city-manager form of government that spread to other Ohio cities. In the postwar 1920s, Ohio's oil, rubber, and glass industries kept pace with accelerating automobile production. Yet none of these industries was immune to the prolonged depression of the 1930s. Widespread unemployment and a stagnant economy were not relieved until the outbreak of World War II. The war swept 641,000 Ohioans into military service and gave Ohio industry military contracts totaling $18 billion.

The state's economy prospered after World War II, with highway building, truck and tractor production, aircraft manufacture, and airport construction leading the field. The completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 made active international ports of Toledo and Cleveland. Major problems during this period involved pollution created by the dumping of industrial wastes (especially in Lake Erie) and urban decay resulting from the departure of middle-class families to the suburbs, an exodus that left the central cities to growing numbers of the poor and underprivileged. Related to these problems were troubles in the Ohio school system. Deteriorating neighborhoods produced inadequate revenues for schools and public services, and attempts at racial integration brought controversy and disturbance. When political offices were won by minority leadersin 1967, for example, Carl Stokes of Cleveland became the first black mayor of any major US cityfriction and tension continued. A further shock to Ohioans was the May 1970 shooting of 13 Kent State University students, four of whom died, by national guardsmen who had been sent to the campus to preserve order during a series of demonstrations against US involvement in Vietnam.

During the early 1980s, Ohio was still beset by serious social and economic problems. While the state's population remained static, the unemployment rate in 1982 and 1983 reached 14%. A decline in manufacturing jobs was only partly offset by the employment brought by a growing service sector. In 1983, the state established the Thomas Edison Program to provide start-up companies with venture capital funds. The legislation helped jump-start the state's economy. But by the end of the 1980s, economic progress slowed again. Unemployment rose in the recession of the early 1990s, reaching 6.9% in 1992. Within two years, as part of a national recovery, it had rebounded to 4.9%. In March 1995, Ohio was the site of the largest work stoppage in the auto industry in a quarter century, when almost 178,000 employees were laid offin response to a 17-day strike by auto workers at two General Motors plants in Dayton. In 1999 the economy was holding steady with an unemployment rate of 4.3%, in line with the national average. In July 2003, the unemployment rate stood at 6.2%, again on par with the national average. Ohio's unemployment rate stood at 5.8% in September 2005, above the national average of 5.1%. Ohio continued to experience job losses in a national economy that had just begun to recover from the 2001 recession.

Hunger and homelessness were on the rise in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A 1999 report by the Ohio Hunger Task Force found that nearly one million children in low-income family faced hunger, while the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing reported that need for emergency shelters for families had grown, stretching resources in the state's 10 largest counties.

In January 1999, newly elected Governor Robert Taft, the great grandson of President William Howard Taft, took office. His administration moved quickly to address the problem highlighted in a 1996 federal study that revealed the state had the worst school facilities in the nation. His plan to spend $23 billion on school repairs over 12 years was boosted in November 1999 by voters who approved Issue 1, a ballot initiative allowing Ohio to borrow money less expensively for school construction. The governor was also pushing for tougher gun control.

Conservancy programs at the state level encompassed the watersheds of the Muskingum and Miami rivers, which became models for such undertakings in other states in the 1980s. Pollution in Lake Erie, where poor water conditions had made national headlines, was successfully reversed through a coalition of government efforts. By the end of the 1990s, the state was viewed as a national leader in improving waterways. But, as the Environmental Protection Agency lined up partners to clean up the Cuyahoga River, Ohio still faced serious environmental threats. A study released in 2000 indicated air pollution in the Ohio River Valley was worse than that on the nation's East Coast. It was reported earlier that rain contaminated with mercury from coal-fired electric plants was polluting Midwest lakes and rivers. In 2000 the EPA released a study citing the state for failing to meet tighter federal ozone limits. Illegal dumping also posed a persistent problem, with an estimated 30 to 40 million tires having been unlawfully deposited at nearly 100 sites around the state.

In 2000 the state remained among the most populous in the nation, with its more than 11.3 million people giving it a rank of seventh among the states.

Ohio was one of the states affected by the 14 August 2003 massive power blackout in Canada, the Northeast and Midwestern states. The largest electrical outage in US history affected 9,300 square miles and a population of over 50 million. An initial power failure in Ohio was later found to be the trigger for the outage. Many areas of Cleveland were without safe drinking water for a number of days.

Ohio remained at the center of the nation's presidential politics in 2004: President George W. Bush narrowly defeated John Kerry in Ohio by less than 120,000 votes, which swung the election for him. Ohio politics in 2005 were also the subject of controversy. Beginning in April 2005, the Toledo Blade newspaper began publishing a series of stories revealing that Toledo coin dealer Tom Noe, chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign for Lucas County, was investing $50 million for the state through coin speculation: buying and selling rare coins to turn a profit. Noe could not account for $10-13 million in the fund. Noe had also been placed under federal investigation for money launderingperhaps state moneyto the Bush campaign. The "coingate" scandal was complicated further by the fact that a Blade reporter with close ties to the Republican Party reportedly knew about Noe's campaign violations in early 2004, but suppressed the information. The publisher and editor-in-chief of the Blade held that if the "coingate" scandal had become public knowledge before the November election, Kerry would have won Ohio and won the presidency. Republican governor Bob Taft was the subject of a scandal in 2005 in which he pleaded no contest to accepting certain giftsincluding from Noewithout reporting them, as required by law.

In the November 2004 election, Ohio voters approved by initiative petition an amendment to the Ohio constitution that adopted a section declaring a valid and recognized marriage to be between one man and one woman only.


The Ohio constitution of 1803 was replaced by a second constitution in 1851. Amendments proposed by a constitutional convention in 1912 and subsequently approved by the voters so heavily revised the 1851 constitution as to make it virtually a new document. This modified constitution, with subsequent amendments (a total of 161 by January 2005), provides for county and municipal home rule, direct primary elections, recall of elected officials, and constitutional amendments by initiative and referendum.

Ohio's General Assembly consists of a 99-member House of Representatives, elected for two years, and a Senate of 33 members serving four-year terms (half the members are chosen every two years). Regular sessions of the legislature convene the first Monday in January of each year and are not formally limited in length. The presiding officers of both houses may issue a joint call to convene a special session. Legislators must be at least 18 years old, have lived in their districts for at least one year, and be qualified voters. The legislative salary was $54,942 in 2004. Each house may introduce legislation, and both houses must approve a bill before it can be signed into law by the governor. The governor's veto of a bill can be overridden by three-fifths majority votes of the elected members of each houses. Bills not signed or vetoed by the governor become law after 10 days.

Officials elected statewide are the governor and lieutenant governor (elected jointly), secretary of state, attorney general, auditor, and treasurer, all of whom serve four-year terms. (Eleven members of the state Board of Education are elected; six are appointed: all serve four-year terms.) Effective in 1959, a constitutional amendment changed the governor's term from two to four years and forbade a governor from serving more than two successive terms. The governor appoints the heads of executive departments, as well as the adjutant general and members of most statutory boards. Candidates for governor must be 18 years old, US citizens, qualified voters, and state residents. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $126,485.

The constitution may be amended legislatively by a three-fifths vote of each house; the proposed amendment must then receive majority approval by the voters at the next general election. Amendments may also be proposed by petition of 10% of the electors who voted for governor in the last general election; a majority vote in a subsequent referendum is required for passage.

The constitution provides that every 20 years (from 1932 onward), the voters must be given the chance to choose whether a constitutional convention should be held. Voters rejected this option in 1932, 1952, 1972, and again in 1992.

To vote in Ohio, one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and have been a state resident for at least 30 days prior to election day. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.


Ohio has sent seven native sons and one other state resident to the White Houseequaling Virginia as the "mother of presidents." The state's two major political parties, Democratic and Republican, have dominated the political scene since 1856.

Ohioans scattered their votes among various political factions until 1836, when they rallied behind state resident William Henry Harrison and the Whig Party; they again supported Harrison in 1840, helping him win his second bid for the presidency. Whigs

Ohio Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 19482004
*Won US presidential election.
1948 25 *Truman (D) 1,452,791 1,445,684 37,487
1952 25 *Eisenhower (R) 1,600,367 2,100,391
1956 25 *Eisenhower (R) 1,439,655 2,262,610
1960 25 Nixon (R) 1,944,248 2,217,611
1964 26f *Johnson (D) 2,498,331 1,470,865
1968 26 *Nixon (R) 1,700,586 1,791,014 467,495
1972 25 *Nixon (R) 1,558,889 2,441,827 80,067 7.107 6.437
1976 25 *Carter (D) 2,011,621 2,000,505 15,529 4,717 7,817 8,961
1980 25 *Reagan (R) 1,745,103 2,203,139 8,979 4,436 5,030 49,604
1984 25 *Reagan (R) 1,825,440 2,678,560 5,886
1988 25 *Bush (R) 1,939,629 2,416,549 5,432 12,017 11,989
1992 21 *Clinton (D) 1,984,942 1,894,310 1,036,426 4,698 6,411 7,252
1996 21 *Clinton (D) 2,148,222 1,859,883 483,207 12,851
IND. (Nader) IND. (Buchanan)
2000 21 *Bush, G. W. (R) 2,186,190 2,351,209 117,857 26,724 13,475
(Cobb) (Peroutka) (Schriner) (Badnarik)
2004 20 *Bush, G. W. (R) 2,741,167 2,859,768 192 11,939 114 14,676

and Democrats divided the votes in 1844, 1848, and 1852; in 1856, however, Ohio supported the newly formed Republican Party, and after the Civil War, seven of the country's next 12 presidents were Ohio-born Republicans, beginning with Grant and ending with Harding. From 1856 to 1996, Ohioans voted for the Republican candidate in all presidential elections except those in which the following six Democrats were elected: Woodrow Wilson (twice), Franklin D. Roosevelt (three times), Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton (twice). In 1920, when the presidential candidates of both major parties were Ohioans, the Republican, Warren G. Harding, carried Ohio as well as the nation.

Political bossism flourished in Ohio during the last quarter of the 19th century, when the state government was controlled by Republicans Mark Hanna in Cleveland and George B. Cox in Cincinnati. Hanna played an influential role in Republican national politics; in 1896, his handpicked candidate, William McKinley, was elected to the presidency. But the despotism of the bosses and the widespread corruption in city governments led to public demands for reform. In Toledo, a reform mayor, Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, began to clean house in 1897. Four years later, another group of reformers, led by Mayor Tom L. Johnson, ousted the Hanna machine and instituted honest government in Cleveland. At the time, journalist Lincoln Steffens called Cleveland "the best-governed city in the United States" and Cincinnati "the worst." The era of bossism ended for Cincinnati in 1905, when the voters overthrew the Cox machine, elected a reform mayor on a fusion ticket, and instituted reforms that in 1925 made Cincinnati the first major US city with a nonpartisan city-manager form of government.

With the decline of big-city political machines, ticket splitting has become a regular practice among Ohio voters in state and local contests. Governor Frank J. Lausche, a Democrat, was elected to an unprecedented five two-year terms (194547, 194957), and Republican James A. Rhodes served four four-year terms (196371, 197583). In 1982, Ohioans elected a Democratic governor, Richard F. Celeste, and Democrats swept all state offices and won control of both houses of the state legislature. Republican George Voinovich won the governorship in 1990 and again in 1994. In 1998 elections, Republican candidate Bob Taft won the governor's office; he was reelected in 2002. In 2005 the Republicans also dominated the state Senate (22 seats as opposed to the Democrats' 11), and the state House, which had 61 Republicans and 38 Democrats.

Following November 2004 elections, there were 6 Democrats and 12 Republicans serving as US Representatives. In 1992 both Ohio senatorsJohn Glenn, elected to a fourth term in 1992, and Howard Metzenbaum, elected to a third term in 1988were Democrats. However, in 1994 Metzenbaum retired and a Republican, Mike DeWine, took the seat (he was reelected in 2000). In 1998, the seat held by retiring Senator John Glenn was won by former Ohio governor, Republican George Voinovich.

In general, third parties have fared poorly in Ohio since 1856. Exceptions were the 1968 presidential election, in which American Independent Party candidate George Wallace garnered nearly 12% of Ohio's popular vote, and the 1992 presidential election, when Independent Ross Perot captured 21% of the vote. A more typical voting pattern was displayed in the 1976 presidential election when the two major parties together received 97.7% of the total votes cast, and only 2.3% of the votes were split among minor parties and independents. In 2000, independent candidate Ralph Nader took 3% of the vote, and independent candidate Pat Buchanan won 1%.

The result was not nearly so close in 1980, when Ronald Reagan, the Republican presidential nominee, won 51% of the popular vote to 41% for Jimmy Carter (with 6% going to John Anderson and 2% to minor party candidates), or in 1984, when Reagan won 59% of the popular vote to defeat Walter Mondale in the state. Republican George Bush won 55% of the vote in 1988. In 1992, however, Bush lost the state to Democratic nominee Bill Clinton, who captured 40% of the vote to Bush's 38%. In 1996, Clinton won 47% of the vote, Republican Bob Dole won 41%, and Independent Ross Perot received 11%. In 2000, Republican George W. Bush won 50% of the vote to Democrat Al Gore's 46%. In 2004, Bush increased his support slightly, to take 51% of the vote to John Kerry's 48.5%. In 2002 there were 7,973,000 registered voters. In 1998, 17% of registered voters were Democratic, 18% Republican, and 65% unaffiliated or members of other parties. The state had 20 electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election, a loss of 1 vote over 2000.


As of 2005, local government in Ohio is exercised by 88 counties, 942 municipal governments, 662 public school districts, and 631 special districts. In 2002, there were 1,308 townships.

Each county is administered by a board of commissioners, elected to four-year terms, whose authority is limited by state law. The county government is run by officials elected to four-year terms: auditor or financial officer, clerk of courts, coroner, engineer, prosecuting attorney, recorder, sheriff, and treasurer.

Within each county are incorporated areas with limited authority to govern their own affairs. Thirty voters in an area may request incorporation of the community as a village. A village reaching the population of 5,000 automatically becomes a city, which by law must establish executive and legislative bodies. There are three types of city government: the mayor-council plan, which is the form adopted by a majority of the state's cities; the city-manager form, under which the city council appoints a professional manager to conduct nonpartisan government operations; and the commission type, in which a board of elected commissioners administers the city government. In practice, most large cities have adopted a home-rule charter that permits them to select the form of government best suited to their requirements.

Cleveland experimented with the city-manager form of government from 1924 to 1932, at which time public disclosures of municipal corruption led the city's voters to return to the mayor-council plan. In 1967, Cleveland became the first major US city to elect a black mayor; Carl Stokes served two two-year terms but retired from politics in 1971. Cleveland again attracted national attention in 1978 when its 31-year-old mayor, Dennis J. Kucinich, publicly disputed the city's financial policies with members of the city council, and the city defaulted on $15 million in bank loans. Mayor Kucinich narrowly survived a recall election; in 1979, he was defeated for reelection.

Cincinnati has retained the city-manager form of government since 1925. The mayor, elected by the city council from among its members, has no administrative duties. Instead, the council ap-points a city manager to a term as chief executive. Columbus, the state capital since 1816, has a mayor-council form of government.

Townships are governed by three trustees and a clerk, all elected to staggered four-year terms. These elected officials oversee zoning ordinances, parks, road maintenance, fire protection, and other matters within their jurisdiction.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 484,096 fulltime (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in Ohio operates under the authority of the governor; the state police superintendent is designated as the state homeland security advisor.

The State Department of Education administers every phase of public school operations, including counseling and testing services, the federal school lunch program, and teacher education and certification. The department also oversees special schools for the blind and deaf. The department's chief administrator is the superintendent of public instruction.

Health and welfare services are provided by several departments. The Department of Health issues and enforces health and sanitary regulations. Violations of health rules are reviewed by a Public Health Council of seven members, including three physicians and a pharmacist. The Department of Mental Health administers mental health institutions; develops diagnostic, prevention, and rehabilitation programs; and trains mental health professionals. The Department of Job and Family Services helps the poor through TANF (temporary assistance to needy families), food stamps, and Medicaid. The Bureau of Workers' Compensation and the Division of Labor and Worker Safety administer labor benefit programs.

Public protection services include those of the State Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, both within the Department of Public Safety; the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which operates penal institutions; the Department of Youth Services, which administers juvenile correction centers; and the Environmental Protection Agency.


The Supreme Court of Ohio, the highest court in the state, reviews proceedings of the lower courts and of state agencies. The high court has a chief justice and six associate justices elected to six-year terms. Below the Supreme Court are 12 courts of appeals, which exercise jurisdiction over their respective judicial districts. Each court has at least three judges elected to six-year terms. The district that includes Cleveland has nine appeals court judges, while the Cincinnati district has six.

Trial courts include 88 courts of common pleas, one in each county. Judges are elected to six-year terms. Probate courts, domestic relations courts, and juvenile courts often function as divisions of the common pleas courts. In 1957, a system of county courts was established by the legislature to replace justices of the peace and mayor's courts at the local level. Large cities have their own municipal, juvenile, and police courts.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 44,806 prisoners were held in Ohio's state and federal prisons, an increase from 44,778 of 0.1% from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 3,185 inmates were female, up from 2,897 or 9.9% from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), Ohio had an incarceration rate of 391 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ohio in 2004, had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 341.8 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 39,163 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 420,910 reported incidents or 3,673.2 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Ohio has a death penalty, of which lethal injection is the sole method of execution. From 1976 through 5 May 2006, the state has carried out 21 executions, including four in 2005 and two in 2006 (as of 5 May). As of 1 January 2006, Ohio had 196 inmates on death row.

In 2003, Ohio spent $278,109,346 on homeland security, an average of $24 per state resident.


In 2004, there were 7,211 active-duty military personnel and 21,704 civilian personnel stationed in Ohio, the vast majority of whom were at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. Wright-Patterson AFB is one of the largest and most important bases in the United States Air Force and houses the National Museum of the United States Air Force. In 2004, it had a workforce numbering approximately 17,000 people including nearly 10,000 civilians, making it the one of the largest employers in the state of Ohio and the largest employer at a single location. In 2004, the Defense Department awarded over $4.6 billion in defense contracts to Ohio companies. Additionally, defense payroll outlays were $2.89 billion.

In 2003, Ohio had 1,051,007 living veterans, of whom 158,697 had served in World War II; 121,342 during the Korean conflict; 320,046 during the Vietnam era; and 145,893 during the Persian Gulf War. In 2004, the Veterans Administration expended more than $2.1 billion in pensions, medical assistance, and other major veterans' benefits.

As of 31 October 2004, the Ohio State Highway Patrol employed 1,481 full-time sworn officers.


After the Ohio country became a US territory in 1785, Virginians, Connecticut Yankees, and New Jerseyites began arriving in significant numbers; tens of thousands of settlers from New England, Pennsylvania, and some southern states thronged into Ohio in subsequent decades. The great migration from the eastern states continued throughout most of the 19th century, and was bolstered by new arrivals from Europe. The Irish came in the 1830s, and many Germans began arriving in the 1840s. Another wave of European immigration brought about 500,000 people a year to Ohio during the 1880s, many of them from southern and eastern Europe. Former slaves left the South for Ohio following the Civil War, and a larger migratory wave brought blacks to Ohio after World War II to work in the industrial cities. In the 1910s, many emigrants from Greece, Albania, and Latvia settled in Akron to work in the rubber industry.

The industrialization of Ohio in the late 19th and the 20th centuries encouraged the migration of Ohioans from the farms to the cities. The large number of Ohioans who lived in rural areas and worked on farms declined steadily after 1900, with the farm population decreasing to under 1,000,000 during World War II and then to fewer than 400,000 by 1979. A more recent development has been the exodus of urbanites from Ohio's largest cities. From 1970 to 1990, Cleveland lost 245,000 residents, Cincinnati 90,000, Dayton 61,000, Akron 52,000, and Toledo 50,000. Columbus was the only major city to gain residents93,000during this period. Ohio lost more than one million people through migration during the period 197083. Net migration loss for the state from 1985 to 1990 came to 72,000. Between 1990 and 1998, Ohio had a net loss of 144,000 in domestic migration and a net gain of 48,000 in international migration. In 1998, 7,697 foreign immigrants arrived in Ohio; of these, the greatest number, 900, came from India. The state's overall population increased 3.3% between 1990 and 1998. In the period 200005, net international migration was 75,142 and net internal migration was -177,150, for a net loss of 102,008 people.


The Ohio Commission on Interstate Cooperation represents the state in dealings with the Council of State Governments and its allied organizations. Ohio is a signatory to interstate compacts covering the Ohio River Valley, Pymatuning Reservoir, and the Great Lakes Basin, including the Great Lakes Charter signed in February 1985. The state also participates in the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact, and other compacts. Federal grants to Ohio exceeded $13.734 billion in fiscal year 2005, an estimated $14.011 billion in fiscal year 2006, and an estimated $14.301 billion in fiscal year 2007.


Ohio's economy has shown remarkable balance over the years. In the mid-19th century, Ohio became a leader in agriculture, ranking first among the states in wheat production in 1840, and first in corn and wool by 1850. With industrialization, Ohio ranked fourth in value added by manufacturing in 1900.

Coal mining in the southeastern part of the state and easy access to Minnesota's iron ore via the Great Lakes contributed to the growth of the iron and steel industry in the Cleveland-Youngstown area. Ohio led the nation in the manufacture of machine tools and placed second among the states in steel production in the early 1900s. Automobile manufacturing and other new industries developed after World War I. Hit hard by the depression of the 1930s, the state diversified its industrial foundation and enjoyed prosperity during and after World War II, as its population increased and its income grew.

In the 1970s, however, growth began to lag. By 1980, per capita income in Ohio had fallen well behind the national average. While the gross national product in constant dollars grew 99% from 1960 to 1980, the gross state product expanded only 66%. Manufacturing, which traditionally accounted for more than one-third of the gross state product, was shrinking, as demand for durable goods declined. Manufacturing employment peaked at 1.4 million in 1969; by 1982, the total was down to 1.1 million, and it was believed that many of these jobs would be permanently lost because of a reorientation of Ohio's economy from manufacturing toward services. With unemployment reaching peak levels, the state was forced to borrow from the federal government to fund the soaring cost of unemployment benefits.

Steel was produced primarily in Youngstown, automotive and aircraft parts in Cleveland, automobile tires and other rubber products in Akron, and office equipment in Dayton. Recessionary trends in 1980 led to the closing of a US Steel plant in Youngstown and of two Firestone tire and rubber factories in the Akron area, and to widespread layoffs in the auto parts industry. This bad economic news was partially offset when in 1983 the Honda Motor Co. opened Japan's first US automobile assembly plant at Marysville near Columbus, where Honda had already been manufacturing motorcycles. Honda suppliers also began establishing plants in the state.

Despite its shrinking size, manufacturing remains dominant in Ohio's economy. The sector centers on durable goods. Among manufacturers, transportation equipment and industrial machinery are the largest employers. Both durable and nondurable goods (instruments, chemicals, printing and lumber) enjoyed the greatest gains in employment between 1987 and 1993. However, durable goods' share of the gross state product, particularly primary metals, motor vehicles, and industrial machinery, fell 4.5% between 1977 and 1990 while nondurable goods industries' share of the gross state product remained constant and services, particularly business services, increased their share by 2.5%. In 2002, durable goods made up two-thirds of Ohio's manufacturing output. Output from Ohio's manufacturing sector peaked in 1998 at approximately $90.4 billion (about 26.1% of gross state product), and had fallen 11.9% by 2001, including a 7.1% dip in the national recession of 2001. Output from manufacturing in 2001 constituted only 21.3% of gross state product. The fall in manufacturing output helped bring down the state's annual growth rates down from 6.5% in 1998 to an average of 3.3% 19992000, and then to 0.83% in 2001. In 2002, Ohio lagged the rest of the nation in employment performance because of significant losses in manufacturing, employing 18% of the state's labor force. Employment losses were sharpest among manufacturers of durable goods (which make up two-thirds of Ohio's manufactures), falling 8.4% between the fourth quarter of 2000 and the fourth quarter of 2002. Ohio's recovery hinges on recovery in its durable manufacturing sector.

In 2004, Ohio's gross state product (GSP) was $419.866 billion, of which manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) contributed $84.597 billion or 20.1% of GSP, followed by the real estate sector at $44.588 billion (10.6% of GSP), and health care and social assistance services at $33.201 billion (7.9% of GSP). In that same year, there were an estimated 850,961 small businesses in Ohio. Of the 231,374 businesses that had employees, an estimated total of 227,339 or 98.3% were small companies. An estimated 22,725 new businesses were established in the state in 2004, up 2.2% from the year before. Business terminations that same year came to 21,328, down 9.4% from 2003. There were 1,432 business bankruptcies in 2004, up 0.4% from the previous year. In 2005, the state's personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate was 774 filings per 100,000 people, ranking Ohio as the eighth-highest in the nation.


In 2005 Ohio had a gross state product (GSP) of $442 billion which accounted for 3.6% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state at number 7 in highest GSP among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 Ohio had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $31,161. This ranked 26th in the United States and was 94% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 3.7%. Ohio had a total personal income (TPI) of $356,795,912,000, which ranked eighth in the United States and reflected an increase of 4.2% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 4.0%. Earnings of persons employed in Ohio increased from $263,241,162,000 in 2003 to $274,175,471,000 in 2004, an increase of 4.2%. The 200304 national change was 6.3%.

The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $44,160 compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period an estimated 10.8% of the population was below the poverty line as compared to 12.4% nationwide.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006 the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in Ohio numbered 5,927,300, with approximately 326,900 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 5.5%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 5,460,800. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Ohio was 13.8% in January 1983. The historical low was 3.9% in March 2001. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 4.3% of the labor force was employed in construction; 14.8 in manufacturing; 19.1% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 5.7% in financial activities; 11.9% in professional and business services; 14.1% in education and health services; 9.3% in leisure and hospitality services; and 14.5% in government.

The first workers' organization in Ohio was formed by Dayton mechanics in 1811. The Ohio Federation of Labor was founded in 1884; the American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in Columbus in 1886, and Ohio native William Green became president of the AFL in 1924. But it was not until the 1930s that labor unions in Ohio were formed on a large scale. In 1934, the United Rubber Workers began to organize workers in Akron; through a successful series of sit-down strikes at the city's rubber plants, the union grew to about 70,000 members by 1937. In that year, the United Steelworkers struck seven steel plants in the Youngstown area and won the right to bargain collectively for 50,000 steelworkers. The number of union members increased from about 25% of the state's non-farm employees in 1939 to 32% in 1980 when about 1.4 million workers belonged to labor organizations.

Progressive labor legislation in the state began in 1852 with laws regulating working hours for women and children and limiting men to a 10-hour workday. In 1890, Ohio became the first state to establish a public employment service. Subsequent labor legislation included a workers' compensation act in 1911 and child labor and minimum wage measures in the 1930s. In 1983, a law was passed giving public employees, other than police officers and fire fighters, a limited right to strike.

The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2005, a total of 804,000 of Ohio's 5,039,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 16% of those so employed, up from 15.2% in 2004, and above the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 866,000 workers (17.2%) in Ohio were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. Ohio is one of 28 states that do not have a right-to-work law.

As of 1 March 2006, Ohio had a state-mandated minimum wage rate of $5.15 per hour. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 40.1% of the employed civilian labor force.


Despite increasing urbanization and industrialization, agriculture retains its economic importance. Ohio ranked 17th in net farm income among the 50 states in 2005. In that year, the state's production of crops, dairy products, and livestock was valued at nearly $5.1 billion.

The number of farms in 2004 was 77,300, down from 234,000 in 1940. The average size of farms increased from 94 acres (38 hectares) in 1940 to 189 acres (76 hectares) in 2004.

Grain is grown and cattle and hogs are raised on large farms in the north-central and western parts of the state, while smaller farms predominate in the hilly southeastern region. Truck farming has continued to expand near the large cities.

Ohio was the third-leading producer of tomatoes for processing in 2004 with 177,320 tons. Field crops in 2004 (in bushels) included corn for grain, 491,380,000; soybeans, 207,740,000; wheat, 55,180,000; and oats, 3,150,000. The most valuable crops included soybeans, with sales of $1.2 billion, and corn, $1.0 billion. These two crops accounted for 41% of Ohio's farm receipts in 2004. Ohio farmers also produced 3,232,000 tons of hay and 34,000 tons of sugar beets in 2004.


Cattle and hogs are raised in the central and western regions. In 2005, Ohio had 1.3 million cattle and calves, worth over $1.2 billion. In 2004, Ohio farmers had 1.5 million hogs and pigs, valued at $159.5 million. During 2003, Ohio farmers produced nearly 12.9 million lb (5.8 million kg) of sheep and lambs.

Dairying is common in most regions of the state, but especially in the east and southeast. In 2003, Ohio's 260,000 milk cows produced 4.5 billion lb (2 billion kg) of milk. The poultry industry is dispersed throughout the state. Ohio ranked second among the states in production of eggs with 7.6 billion eggs in 2003. Poultry farmers in Ohio also produced 212.3 million lb (96.5 million kg) of turkey and sold 225.5 million lb (102.3 million kg) of broilers worth $78.9 million in 2003.


Commercial fishing, which once flourished in Lake Erie, has declined during the 20th century. In 2004, commercial fish landings brought about 3.9 million lb (1.8 million kg) valued at $2.9 mil-lion. The primary Lake Erie fish species are walleye, perch, lake trout, and small mouth bass. In 2001, the commercial fleet had 31 vessels and 19 boats.

A statewide fish hatchery system (of six locations) annually produces and stocks up to 30 million fry and yearling size fishmostly walleye, saugeye, trout, catfish, bass, sunfish, muskellunge, and pike. In 2004, the state issued 917,902 sport fishing licenses.


In 2003, Ohio had 7,855,000 acres (3,179,000 hectares) of forest-land, representing 30% of the state's total land area, but only 1% of all US forests. Although scattered throughout the state, hardwood forests are concentrated in the hilly region of the southeast. Lawrence and Vinton counties are more than 70% forested. Commercial timberlands in 2002 totaled 7,568,000 acres (3,063,000 hectares), of which over 90% was privately owned.

The state's lumber and wood products industry supplies building materials, household furniture, and paper products. In 2004, total lumber production was 379 million board feet. In 2002 there were about 690,000 acres (279,000 hectares) of federal, state, county, and municipal forestland in Ohio.


According to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the estimated value of nonfuel mineral production by Ohio in 2003 was $968 million, down slightly from 2002. The USGS data ranked Ohio as 15th among the 50 states by the total value of its nonfuel mineral production, accounting for around 2.5% of total US output.

According to the preliminary data for 2003, crushed stone, followed by construction sand and gravel, salt, lime, cement (port-land and masonry), and industrial sand and gravel were the state's top nonfuel minerals by value. Crushed stone and construction sand and gravel accounted for around 57% of all nonfuel mineral output, by value. Ohio in 2003 was the nation's third leading producer by volume of fire clay, fourth in the production of salt and lime, fifth in construction sand and gravel and common clays, and tenth in industrial sand and gravel.

Preliminary data for 2003 showed that a total of 68.8 million metric tons of crushed stone were produced, with a value of $310 million, while construction sand and gravel output totaled 47 million metric tons, and was valued at $242 million. Lime production that same year was 1.7 million metric tons, and was worth $110 million.

Ohio's mines produced only coal and industrial minerals. Metals production came from materials received from other states or foreign sources. Ohio ranked second in 2003 in the production of raw steel, for which output that year totaled 11.9 million metric tons.


Ohio has abundant energy resources. The state government estimates that Ohio's coal reserves are sufficient to meet demand for 500 years and that oil and natural gas reserves are also ample.

As of 2003, Ohio had 136 electrical power service providers, of which 85 were publicly owned and 25 were cooperatives. Of the remainder, nine were investor owned, one was the owner of an independent generator that sold directly to customers, 10 were generation-only suppliers and six were delivery-only providers. As of that same year there were 5,397,308 retail customers. Of that total, 3,751,772 received their power from investor-owned service providers. Cooperatives accounted for 358,050 customers, while publicly owned providers had 370,524 customers. There was one independent generator or "facility" customer, and 916,961 generation-only customers. There was no data on the number of delivery-only customers.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 34.060 million kW, with total production that same year at 146.638 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, 94.8% came from electric utilities, with the remainder coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 134.769 billion kWh (91.9%), came from coalfired plants, with nuclear power generation plants in second place at 8.475 billion kWh (5.8%) and natural gas fueled plants in third at 1.793 billion kWh (1.2%). Other renewable power sources accounted for 0.3% of all power generated. Petroleum fired plants, hydroelectric generation and plants using other types of gases accounted for the remainder.

As of 2006, Ohio had two operating nuclear power plants: the Davis-Besse plant in Oak Harbor; and the Perry plant in Lake County, near Cleveland.

In the 1880s, petroleum was discovered near Lima and natural gas near Toledo, both in the northwest. These fossil fuels have since been found and exploited in the central and eastern regions. As of 2004, Ohio had proven crude oil reserves of 49 million barrels, or less than 1% of all proven US reserves, while output that same year averaged 16,000 barrels per day. Including federal offshore domains, the state that year ranked 20th (19th excluding federal offshore) in proven reserves and 19th (20th excluding federal offshore) in production among the 31 producing states. In 2004 Ohio had 28,941 producing oil wells and accounted for under 1% of all US production. As of 2005, the state's four refineries had a combined crude oil distillation capacity of 551,400 barrels per day.

In 2004, Ohio had 33,828 producing natural gas and gas condensate wells. In that same year, marketed gas production (all gas produced excluding gas used for repressuring, vented and flared, and nonhydrocarbon gases removed) totaled 93.641 billion cu ft (2.65 billion cu m). As of 31 December 2004, proven reserves of dry or consumer-grade natural gas totaled 974 billion cu ft (27.66 billion cu m). A potential energy source is the rich bed of shale rock, underlying more than half of Ohio, which was estimated to contain more than 200 trillion cu ft (5.7 trillion cu m) of natural gas. But much research is needed before the gas can be extracted economically.

Coalfields lie beneath southeastern Ohio, particularly in Hocking, Athens, and Perry counties. In 2004, Ohio had 52 producing coal mines, 44 of which were surface operations and eight were underground. Coal production that year totaled 23,222,000 short tons, up from 22,009,000 short tons in 2003. Of the total produced in 2004, underground mines accounted for 14,270,000 short tons. Recoverable coal reserves in 2004 totaled 318 million short tons. One short ton equals 2,000 lb (0.907 metric tons).


Ohio has been a leading manufacturing state since the mid-1800s. During the last two decades of the 20th century, Ohio became the nation's leader in machine-tool manufacturing, the second-leading steel producer, and a pioneer in oil refining and in the production of automobiles and automotive parts, such as rubber tires.

In recent decades, Ohio has also become important as a manufacturer of glassware, soap, matches, paint, business machines, refrigeratorsand even comic books and Chinese food products.

According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, Ohio's manufacturing sector covered some 21 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $258.799 billion. Of that total, transportation equipment manufacturing accounted for the largest share at $77.937 billion. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing at $24.634 billion; chemical manufacturing at $22.736 billion; food manufacturing at $21.156 billion; and primary metal manufacturing at $20.363 billion.

In 2004, a total of 782,617 people in Ohio were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 570,149 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the transportation equipment manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees at 138,306, with 108,070 actual production workers. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing at 120,011 employees (90,874 actual production workers); plastics and rubber products manufacturing at 80,830 employees (62,397 actual production workers); machinery manufacturing at 75,954 employees (46,117 actual production workers); and food manufacturing with 51,607 employees (37,247 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that Ohio's manufacturing sector paid $34.503 billion in wages. Of that amount, the transportation equipment manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $8.042 billion. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing at $4.868 billion; machinery manufacturing at $3.392 billion; plastics and rubber products manufacturing at $2.924 billion; and primary metal manufacturing at $2.580 billion.


Ohio is a major commercial state. According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, Ohio's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $166.4 billion from 16,000 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 10,149 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 4,316 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 1,535 establishments. Sales by durable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $78.5 billion, while wholesalers of nondurable goods saw sales of $70.04 billion. Electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of $17.8 billion.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, Ohio was listed as having 42,280 retail establishments with sales of $119.7 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were: food and beverage stores (5,757); clothing and clothing accessories stores (5,139); motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (4,909); miscellaneous store retailers (4,863); and gasoline stations (4,460). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts stores accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $30.7 billion, followed by general merchandise stores at $17.9 billion; food and beverage stores at $17.4 billion; gasoline stations at $10.4 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers at $9.1 billion. A total of 611,814 people were employed by the retail sector in Ohio that year.

In 2005, Ohio ranked seventh in the United States as an exporter of goods, with exports worth $34 billion. Transportation equipment, nonelectric machinery, chemicals, electric and electronic equipment, primary metals, fabricated metal products, stone, clay, and glass products, and rubber and plastic products account for most of the export value.


Although Ohio has some of the toughest consumer protection laws in the United States, the state does not have a single, dedicated agency or department responsible for consumer protection. Instead, the state relies upon a range of state offices to provide consumer protection activities that are specific to that agency or department. Agencies involved in consumer protection include the Agriculture Department's Division of Food Safety, which operates inspection programs to protect consumers, and the Commerce Department's Office of Consumer Affairs (created in 2002), which protects consumers from abusive lending practices through education, fielding complaints, referring borrowers to organizations that can assist them, and initiating enforcement action if lending laws are violated. The Ohio Consumers' Counsel acts to protect the interests of residential consumers of public utilities and works to educate consumers about utility issues and resolve consumer complaints. The Attorney General's Office via its Consumer Protection Section, resolves consumer complaints and enforces consumer protection laws.

When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state's Attorney General's Office can initiate civil and criminal proceedings; represent the state before state and federal regulatory agencies; administer consumer protection and education programs; handle formal consumer complaints; and exercise broad subpoena powers. In antitrust actions, the Attorney General's Office can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; initiate criminal proceedings; and represent counties, cities and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.

The offices of the Ohio Consumer's Council and the Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General's Office are located in Columbus. There is also a county government consumer affairs office in Akron.


Ohio's first banks, in Marietta and Chillicothe, were incorporated in 1808, and a state bank was authorized in 1845. As of June 2005, Ohio had 281 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus 223 state-chartered and 272 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor market area accounted for the largest portion of the state's depos-its in 2004, at $64.472 billion, but ranked third in the number of institutions at 44. The Cincinnati-Middletown market area (which includes a portion of Kentucky) ranks second in deposits with $37.080 billion, and first in the number of institutions at 87. The Columbus market area ranks second in the number of institutions at 57, and third in deposits at $28.762 billion. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 1% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $16.575 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 99% or $1,580.100 billion in assets held.

The median percentage of past-due/nonaccrual loans to total loans as of fourth quarter 2005 stood at 1.74%, down from 1.79% in 2004 and 1.89% in 2003. The median net interest margin (the difference between the lower rates offered savers and the higher rates charged on loans) for the state's insured institutions was 3.82% as of fourth quarter 2005, down from 3.83% in 2004 but up from 2003's rate of 3.80%.

State chartered banks and other state-chartered financial institutions are the responsibility of the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Financial Institutions. Federally charted institutions are regulated by the US government.


In 2004, there were over 7.1 million individual life insurance policies in force, with a total value of over $480 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was over $780.8 billion. The average coverage amount is $66,700 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $2.4 billion. In 2000, 46 life and health insurance companies had headquarters in Ohio.

At the end of 2003, 134 property and casualty and 41 life and health insurance companies were domiciled in Ohio. In 2004, direct premiums for property and casualty insurance totaled over $13.8 billion. That year, there were 36,166 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $3.9 billion. About $14.7 billion of coverage was held through FAIR plans, which are designed to offer coverage for some natural circumstances, such as wind and hail, in high risk areas.

In 2004, 61% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 3% held individual policies, and 23% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 12% of residents were uninsured. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 17% for single coverage and 21% for family coverage. The state offers a six-month health benefits expansion program for small-firm employees in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were over 7.9 million auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $12,500 per individual and $25,000 for all persons injured in an accident, as well as property damage liability of $7,500. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $671.23.


The Cincinnati Stock Exchange (CSE) was organized on 11 March 1885 by 12 stockbrokers who agreed to meet regularly to buy and sell securities. In the mid-1990s, the Cincinnati Stock Exchange moved to Chicago and ceased operations in Ohio.

The Ohio securities marketplace is overseen by the Ohio Division of Securities of the Ohio Department of Commerce. The division provides investor protection, enhances capital formation, and protects the integrity of the securities marketplace by administering and enforcing the Ohio Securities Act, which was enacted in 1913. It requires that all securities sold in Ohio be registered with the division or properly exempted from registration and requires that each person transacting business in securities in Ohio be licensed by the division. It also imposes anti-fraud standards in connection with the sale of securities.

In 2005, there were 2,710 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 10,940 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were over 279 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 93 NASDAQ companies, 93 NYSE listings, and 13 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had 28 Fortune 500 companies; Cardinal Health (based in Dublin) ranked first in the state and ninth in the nation with revenues of over $74.9 billion, followed by Kroger, Procter and Gamble, and Federated Department Stores, all based in Cincinnati, and Nationwide Financial Services, based in Columbus. These five NYSE-listed companies are also part of the Fortune 100.


The state budget is prepared on a biennial basis by the Office of Budget and Management. It is submitted by the governor to the state legislature, which must act on it by the close of the current fiscal year (FY). The state's fiscal year runs from 1 July through 30 June.

The General Assembly has nearly total discretion in allocating general revenues, which are used primarily to support education, welfare, mental health facilities, law enforcement, property tax relief, and government operations. The assembly also allocates money from special revenue funds by means of specific legislative acts. More than one-half of all state expenditures come from the general fund.

Fiscal year 2006 general funds were estimated at $25.7 billion for resources and $25.3 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to Ohio totaled $16.5 billion.


In 2005, Ohio collected $24,007 million in tax revenues or $2,094 per capita, which placed it 27th among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Property taxes accounted for 0.2% of the total; sales taxes, 34.1%; selective sales taxes, 12.3%; individual income taxes, 39.3%; corporate income taxes, 5.5%; and other taxes, 8.6%.

As of 1 January 2006, Ohio had nine individual income tax brackets ranging from 0.712% to 7.185%. The state taxes corporations at rates ranging from 5.1% to 8.5% depending on tax bracket.

OhioState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols:zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Diovision, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue 76,443,362 6,676.28
  General revenue 45,732,357 3,994.09
   Intergovernmental revenue 14,870,405 1,298.73
   Taxes 22,475,528 1,962.93
     General sales 7,881,510 688.34
     Selective sales 2,901,794 253.43
     License texes 1,813,479 158.38
     Individual income tax 8,705,161 760.28
     Corporate income tax 1,060,594 92.63
     Other taxes 112,990 9.87
   Current charges 5,103,632 445.73
   Miscellaneous general revenue 3,282,792 286.71
  Utility revenue
  Liquor store revenue 581,412 50.78
  Insurance trust revenue 30,129,593 2,631.41
Total expenditure 58,874,466 5,141.87
  Intergovernmental expenditure 15,730,201 1,373.82
  Direct expenditure 43,144,265 3,768.06
    Current operation 25,303,008 2,209.87
    Capital outlay 3,097,504 270.52
    Insurance benefits and repayments 11,984,509 1,046.68
    Assistance and subsidies 1,566,629 136.82
    Interest on debt 1,192,615 104.16
Exhibit Salaries and wages 6,775,542 591.75
Total expenditure 58,874,466 5,141.87
  General expenditure 46,524,145 4,063.24
   Intergovernmental expenditure 15,730,201 1,373.82
   Direct expenditure 30,793,944 2,689.43
  General expenditures, by function:
   Education 17,006,672 1,485.30
   Public welfare 13,558,685 1,184.16
   Hospitals 1,579,696 137.96
   Health 1,936,533 169.13
   Highways 3,032,342 264.83
   Police protection 254,436 22.22
   Correction 1,558,121 136.08
   Natural resources 416,181 36.35
   Parks and recreation 113,070 9.88
   Government administration 1,942,370 169.64
   Interest on general debt 1,192,615 104,16
   Other and unallocable 3,933,424 343.53
  Utility expenditure
  Liquor store expenditure 365,812 31.95
  Insurance trust expenditure 11,984,509 1,046.68
Debt at end of firscal year 22,183,360 1,937.41
Cash ands security holdings 166,738,540 14,562.32

In 2004, state and local property taxes amounted to $11,232,828,000 or $981 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state 25th nationally. Local governments collected $11,192,192,000 of the total and the state government $40,636,000.

Ohio taxes retail sales at a rate of 6%. In addition to the state tax, local taxes on retail sales can reach as much as 2%, making for a potential total tax on retail sales of 8%. Food purchased for consumption off-premises is tax exempt. The tax on cigarettes is 125 cents per pack, which ranks 13th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Ohio taxes gasoline at 28 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, Ohio citizens received $1.01 in federal spending.


Although Ohio seeks to attract new industries, a substantial portion of the state's annual economic growth stems from the expansion of existing businesses.

Ohio offers numerous business incentives to spur industrial development. The state encourages capital investment by offering private developers property tax abatements for commercial redevelopment. A 1976 state law permits municipal corporations to exempt certain property improvements from real property taxes for periods of up to 30 years. The state's guaranteed-loan program for industrial developers provides repayment guarantees on 90% of loans up to $1 million. The state also offers revenue bonds to finance a developer's land, buildings, and equipment at interest rates below the going mortgage interest rates.

The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) consists of several divisions, including the: Economic Development Division, Office of Business Development, Office of Tax Incentives, Office of Financial Incentives, Office of Industrial Training, and Office of Small and Developing Business. These organizations administer plans for economic growth in cooperation with city and county governments. They inform companies about opportunities and advantages in the state and promote the sale of Ohio's exports abroad. In the 1990s, the departments instituted research and development programs at state universities in such fields as biotechnology, clean coal technologies, welding and joining technologies, robotics, polymers, and artificial intelligence. Special attention has been paid to the development of Ohio's growing life science industry. The Third Frontier Internship Program is designed to keep Ohio's college graduates in the state by connecting them with Ohio businesses through student internships.


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 8.2 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 13.3 per 1,000 population. The abortion rate stood at 16.5 per 1,000 women in 2000. In 2003, about 87.7% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 80% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2003 was 9.5 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were: heart disease, 274.8; cancer, 220.4; cerebrovascular diseases, 63.5; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 53.1; and diabetes, 33.7. Ohio and North Dakota share the distinction of having the third-highest diabetes mortality rate in the nation (following West Virginia and Louisiana). The mortality rate from HIV infection was 2.1 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 5.8 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 55.6% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, about 25.8% of state residents were smokers, representing the fifth-highest rate in the country.

In 2003, Ohio had 163 community hospitals with about 33,000 beds. There were about 1.4 million patient admissions that year and 30 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 20,600 patients. The average cost per day for hos-pital care was $1,504. Also in 2003, there were about 989 certified nursing facilities in the state with 106,426 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 75%. In 2004, it was estimated that about 72.2% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year. Ohio had 289 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 930 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there was a total of 5,981 dentists in the state.

In 2005, the Cleveland Clinic ranked fourth on the Honor Roll of Best Hospitals 2005 by U.S. News & World Report. In the same report, it ranked first in the nation for care of heart disease and heart surgery. Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland ranked sixth in the nation for best pediatric care. University Hospitals of Cleveland, Akron General Medical Center, Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, and Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus all ranked within the top 40 best hospitals in care for heart disease and heart surgery.

About 17% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid programs in 2003; 15% were enrolled in Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 12% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $13.3 million.


The growth of welfare programs in the state was remarkably rapid during the 1970s and early 1980s. From 1970 to 1978, for example, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) nearly tripled, to $446 million; by 1996, there were 552,000 AFDC recipients; the average payment per family was $421.

In 2004, about 306,000 people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $252. For 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 1,007,172 persons (448,524 households); the average monthly benefit was about $95.72 per person. That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $1.15 billion.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. Ohio's TANF program is called Ohio Works First (OWF). In 2004, the state program had 186,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $310 million in fiscal year 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 1,950,740 Ohio residents. This number included 1,199,320 retired workers, 236,870 widows and widowers, 230,860 disabled workers, 134,780 spouses, and 148,910 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 17% of the total state population and 92.6% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $970; widows and widowers, $933; disabled workers, $876; and spouses, $489. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $501 per month; children of deceased workers, $636; and children of disabled workers, $263. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 245,401 Ohio residents, averaging $418 a month.


In 2004, Ohio had an estimated 4,966,746 housing units, 4,514,723 of which were occupied; 69.8% were owner-occupied. About 68% of all units were single-family, detached homes. About 22.4% of the housing units were built in 1939 or earlier; 43.7% were built between 1950 and 1979. It was estimated that 173,724 units lacked telephone service, 16,483 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 19,901 lacked complete kitchen facilities. Utility gas was the most common energy source for heating. The average household had 2.47 members.

In 2004, 51,700 new privately owned units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $122,384. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,090. Renters paid a median of $587 per month. In September 2005, the state received grants of $255,000 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for rural housing and economic development programs. For 2006, HUD allocated to the state over $48.9 million in community development block grants (CDBG). The city of Cleveland received over $24.5 million in CDBGs.


In 2004, 88.1% of Ohio residents age 25 and older were high school graduates, surpassing the national average of 84%. Some 24.6% had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher.

Ohio claims a number of "firsts" in US education: the first kindergarten, established by German settlers in Columbus in 1838; the first junior high school, also at Columbus, in 1909; the first municipal university, the University of Cincinnati, founded in 1870; and the first college to grant degrees to women, Oberlin, in 1837. The state's earliest school system was organized in Akron in 1847.

The total enrollment in Ohio's public schools for fall 2002 stood at 1,838,000. Of these, 1,284,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 554,000 attended high school. Approximately 79.4% of the students were white, 17% were black, 2.1% were Hispanic, 1.3% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.1% were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 1,825,000 in fall 2003 and expected to be 1,752,000 by fall 2014, a decline of 4.7% during the period 200214. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $19.2 billion or $8,963 per student. In fall 2003, there were 239,323 students enrolled in 987 private schools. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005, eighth graders in Ohio scored 283 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 587,996 students enrolled in college or graduate school; minority students comprised 15.1% of total postsecondary enrollment. In 2005 Ohio had 187 degree-granting institutions. State universities include Ohio State University (Columbus), Ohio University (Athens), Miami University (Oxford), and other state universities at Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Kent, Toledo, Wilberforce, and Youngstown. The largest, Ohio State, was chartered in 1870 and also has campuses at Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Wooster. Ohio has 36 public two-year colleges. Well-known private colleges and universities include Antioch (Yellow Springs), Case Western Reserve (Cleveland), Kenyon (Gambier), Muskingum (New Concord), Oberlin, Wittenberg (Springfield), and Wooster. The conservatories at both Oberlin and the Cleveland Institute of Music have national reputations.

Ohio residents enrolled as full-time students at an eligible institution within the state may apply for instructional grants from the Student Assistance Office of the Ohio Board of Regents. Guaranteed loans are provided through the Ohio Student Loan Commission.


The Ohio Arts Council was founded in 1965 with the mission of developing and preserving the state's cultural heritage. The council consists of a Board with 15 governor-appointed, voting members and 4 non-voting members 2 from the Ohio Senate and 2 from the House of Representatives. In 2005, the Ohio Arts Council and other Ohio arts organizations received 52 grants totaling $1,740,300 from the National Endowment for the Arts. State and private sources contributed funds to arts programming as well. As of 2006, the Ohio Humanities Council presented a number of historical and literary programs, including "Booked for the Day: Literary Retreats for Working Professionals" and the Ohio Chautauqua. In 2005, the National Endowment for the Humanities contributed $2,270,470 to 27 state programs.

The earliest center of artistic activities in Ohio was Cincinnati, where a group of young painters did landscapes and portraits as early as 1840. The state's first art gallery was established there in 1854; the Cincinnati Art Academy was founded in 1869, and the Art Museum in 1886. Famous American artists who worked in Cincinnati during part of their careers include Thomas Cole, a founder of the "Hudson River School" of landscape painting, and Columbus-born George Bellows, whose realistic Stag at Sharkey's is displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Art (founded in 1913). Other notable centers for the visual arts include the Akron Art Institute, Columbus Museum of Art, Dayton Art Institute, Toledo Museum of Art, and museums or galleries in Marion, Oberlin, Springfield, Youngstown, and Zanesville.

Cincinnati also was an early center for the theater; the Eagle Theater opened there in 1839, and shortly afterward, the first showboat on the Ohio River began making regular stops at the city. The first US minstrel show appeared in Ohio in 1842. Ohio has three professional theatrical companies: the Cincinnati Playhouse, the Cleveland Play House, and the Great Lakes Theatre Festival. Celebrating its 90th anniversary during the 2005/06 season, The Cleveland Play House is the nation's oldest permanent repertory theater. As of 2006, The Ohio Community Theater Association included groups in Akron, Canton, Columbus, Mans-field, Toledo, and Youngstown, among many other locations.

The Cincinnati Symphony was founded in 1895 and reorganized in 1909 with Leopold Stokowski as conductor. The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra acquired a new summer home in 1984 at the newly opened Riverbend Music Center. The Cincinnati Opera Association, founded in 1920, is the second-oldest opera company in the United States. Cincinnati is also the host of the annual Cincinnati May Festival, a classical music event that is considered to be the oldest continuous choral festival in the Western Hemisphere.

The Cleveland Orchestra, founded in 1918, has risen to world-class stature since 1946, when George Szell began his 24-year tenure as conductor and music director. Blossom Music Center, the Cleveland Orchestra's summer home located between Cleveland and Akron, has been a center for both classical and popular music in Northeast Ohio since opening in 1968. In 2002/2003 Blossom underwent major improvements to its structures and landscaping. A $36.7 million renovation and expansion of the orchestra's main home, Severance Hall, had been completed three years earlier.

Smaller professional musical groups in Cleveland include Apollo's Fire (the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra), the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. The Cleveland Opera finds its home at the State Theatre and the Lyric Opera Cleveland is a resident of Playhouse Square.

There are civic symphony orchestras in Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown. Ballet companies are based in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo. E. J. Thomas Hall in Akron is the home of the Ohio Ballet and the Akron Symphony. Operas are performed by resident companies in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Dayton. There are numerous local arts festivals and craft shows. In 2005, Cleveland introduced the first ever Ingenuity Festival, a four-day event celebrating and promoting the awareness of the relationship between art and technology.

The nation's first college music department was established at Oberlin College in 1865; the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music was established in 1867, the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory in 1899, and the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1920. The Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival, begun in 1932, is the oldest collegiate Bach festival in the country, celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2007. Bach's four major choral works are performed at the festival in four-year cycles (one per year). Baldwin-Wallace is also home to the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, guardian of priceless Bach-related first editions and manuscripts.

The Cleveland International Piano Competition, held biennially at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1975, has become one of the foremost events of its type, drawing contestants from 19 countries throughout the world. In 2005, the competition awarded a record cash prize of $50,000 to the winner.


Ever since early settlers traded coonskins for books and established, in 1804, the Coonskin Library (now on display at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus), Ohioans have stressed the importance of the public library system. In calendar year 2001, Ohio had 250 public library systems, with a total of 716 libraries, of which 482 were branches. For that same year, the state's public library system had 47,088,000 volumes of books and serial publications on its shelves, and a total circulation of 156,527,000. The system also had 3,418,000 audio and 2,716,000 video items, 127,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and 66 bookmobiles.

Major public library systems include those of Cincinnati, with 4,721,766 volumes in 1998; Cleveland, 3,782,419; Cuyahoga County, 3,085,123; Dayton, 1,782,419; and Columbus, 2,433,636. Leading academic libraries include those of Ohio State University, over seven million books; Case Western Reserve University, 1,304,852 books; and the University of Cincinnati, over three million books. The State Library of Ohio in Columbus, founded in 1817, provides research and information services for Ohio's state government and agencies with more than two million books and periodicals. In 2001, operating income for the state's public library system came to $682,412,000 and included $1,085,000 in federal grants and $499,124,000 in state grants.

Among the state's more than 284 museums are the Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, and Western Reserve Historical Society Museum in Cleveland; the Museum of Natural History, Art Museum, and Taft Museum in Cincinnati; the Dayton Art Institute; and the Center of Science and Industry and Ohio Historical Center in Columbus. The Zanesville Art Center has collections of ceramics and glass made in the Zanesville area. Also noteworthy are the US Air Force Museum near Dayton, the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum at Wapakoneta, and the Ohio River Museum in Marietta. Cincinnati has a conservatory of rare plants, while Cleveland has botanical gardens and an aquarium; both cities have zoos. The National First Ladies' Library in Canton features the artwork and artifacts of First Lady Caroline Harrison.

Historical sites in Ohio include the Schoenbrunn Village State Memorial, a reconstruction of the state's first settlement by Moravian missionaries, near New Philadelphia; the early-19th-century Piqua Historical Area, with exhibits of Indian culture; and the Fort Meigs reconstruction at Perrysburg. Archaeological sites include the "great circle" mounds, built by the Hopewell Indians at present-day Newark, and Inscription Rock, marked by prehistoric Indians, on Kelley's Island.


In 2004, 94.9% of Ohio's occupied housing units had telephones. In addition, by June of that same year there were 6,188,081 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 58.8% of Ohio households had a computer and 52.5% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 1,505,272 high-speed lines in Ohio, 1,395,062 residential and 110,210 for business.

Many of the state's radio stations were established in the early 1920s, when the growth of radio broadcasting was fostered by the availability of low-priced sets manufactured by Crosley Radio of Cincinnati. In 2005, there were 46 major AM stations, 159 major FM stations, and 31 commercial and 11 noncommercial television stations. In 1999, the Cleveland area had 1,479,020 television households, 72% of which received cable. In that same year the Cincinnati area had 820,000 television households, 64% receiving cable. Finally, of the Columbus area's 757,860 television-viewing families, 66% watched cable. A total of 168,083 Internet domain names were registered in Ohio in 2000.


The first newspaper published in the region north and west of the Ohio River was the Centinel of the North-Western Territory, which was written, typeset, and printed in Cincinnati by William Maxwell in 1793. The oldest newspaper in the state still published under its original name is the Scioto Gazette, which appeared in 1800. The oldest extant weekly, the Lebanon Western Star, began publication in 1807, and the first daily, the Cincinnati Commercial Register, appeared in 1826. By 1840 there were 145 newspapers in Ohio.

Two of the state's most influential newspapers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cincinnati Enquirer, were founded in 1841. In 2005, the Cleveland Plain Dealer was the twentieth-largest daily newspaper in the country. In 1878, Edward W. Scripps established the Cleveland Penny Press (later called the Press ), the first newspaper in what would become the extensive Scripps-Howard chain (though the Press folded in 1982). He later added to his newspaper empire the Cincinnati Post (1881) and the Columbus Citizen (1899), as well as papers in Akron, Toledo, and Youngstown.

In 2005, the state had 30 mornings dailies, 54 evening editions, and 41 Sunday editions. With a total of 84 daily newspapers, Ohio has the third-largest number of daily papers in the country (following California and Texas).

The following table lists leading Ohio newspapers with their approximate daily circulation in 2005:

Akron Beacon Journal (m,S) 173,975 185,963
Cincinnati Enquirer (m,S) 183,051 192,240
Post (e) 43,398 68,910 (Sat.)
Cleveland Plain dealer (m,S) 354,309 479,131
Columbus Dispatch (m,S) 251,045 361,304
Dayton Daily News (m,S) 178,099 185,122
Toledo Blade (m,S) 139,398 183,632
Youngstown Vindicator (e,S) 66,487 94,710

Sun Newspapers, a weekly newspaper, founded in 1969, produces 25 regional editions to serve 82 communities in the greater Cleveland and Akron areas, with a weekly circulation of 270,000. It is the largest chain of fully paid weekly newspapers in the United States. Crain's Cleveland Business has reported a readership of about 90,000 per week. Regional interest periodicals include Cleveland Magazine, Cincinnati Magazine, Ohio Magazine, and Northern Ohio Live.


In 2006, there were over 15,895 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 10,308 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations. Service organizations with headquarters in Ohio include Disabled American Veterans and the National Exchange Club.

Commercial and professional organizations include the American Ceramic Society, the Order of United Commercial Travelers of America, Music Teachers National Association, ASM International, the United States Police Canine Association, the Association for Systems Management, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

Sports associations operating out of Ohio are the Lighter-Than-Air Society and Professional Bowlers Association, American Motorcyclist Association, the Amateur Trapshooting Association, the International Soap Box Derby, the Freethrowers Boomerang Association, US Flag and Touch Football League, US Speedskating, and Indoor Sports Club. Special interest and hobbyist groups include the Etch-A-Sketch Club, the National Quilting Association, and the American Bonsai Society.

Arts, culture, and history are promoted in the state through such organizations as the Botanical Society of America, the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, the American-Slovenian Polka Foundation, the Ohio and Erie Canal Association, the Ohio Art League, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Ohio Valley Art League. There are also numerous local arts groups and historical societies.


Ohio visitors spend more than $30.7 billion annually on travel and tourism and the industry supports nearly 529,100 travel-related positions. Ohio has a $162 million dollar travel market. Visitors spend more than one billion annually in Ashtabula County alone. It is known as the Covered Bridge Capital (16) and the Wine Capital (11) of Ohio, and offers more campsites than any other county in Ohio (18).

Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati all offer major attractions of museums, restaurants, shopping, parks, and concerts. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center, both in Cleveland, are major attractions. Major league sports (Indians baseball, Cavaliers basketball, Browns football) also draw visitors to Cleveland. The semiannual Cleveland International Piano Competition, with its $50,000 first prize, draws crowds to see performances with the Cleveland Orchestra. The NFL Hall of Fame is located in Canton. Popular amusement parks include Cedar Point in Sandusky, King's Island in Cincinnati, and Six Flags Worlds of Adventure in Aurora. Sandusky is also the launching point for visiting the Lake Erie Islands of Putin-Bay and Middle Bass Island. There visitors can see the monument to William Hazard Perry (naval hero of the War of 1812) and visit wineries.

Beaches and parks in the Lake Erie region are especially popular with tourists during the summer, including the Mentor Headlands State Park. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is also a popular attraction, linking the urban centers of Cleveland and Akron. The Cleveland Metroparks system creates an "Emerald Necklace" around the greater Cleveland area.

Ohio state parks comprise 204,274 acres (84,000 hectares). Among the most visited state parks are Alum Creek, East Harbor and Kelleys Island (both on Lake Erie), Grand Lake, St. Mary's, Hocking Hills, Hueston Woods, Mohican, Pymatuning (on the Pennsylvania border), Rocky Fork, Salt Fork, Scioto Trail, and West Branch. Ohio is the home of many Indian communities and archaeological sites such as the Great Circle Earthworks and the Miamisburg Mound and the Serpent Mound are popular visitor sites.

The most popular sport fish are bass, catfish, bullhead, carp, perch, and rainbow trout. The deer-hunting season varies for shotgun, primitive arms, and bows.

The eastern Allegheny region has several ski resorts for winter sports enthusiasts. Popular tourist attractions here include the Amish settlement around Millersburg, the National Road-Zane Grey Museum near Zanesville, and the restored Roscoe Village on the Ohio-Erie Canal. The southern region offers scenic hill country and the showboat Majestic, the last of the original floating theaters, in Cincinnati.

In the western region, tourist sites include the Wright brothers' early flying machines in Dayton's Carillon Park, the Ohio Caverns at West Liberty, and the Zane Caverns near Bellefontaine. The central region is "Johnny Appleseed" country; the folk hero (a frontiersman whose real name was John Chapman) is commemorated in Mansfield by the blockhouse to which he directed settlers in order to save them from an Indian raid. In Columbus are the reconstructed Ohio Village and the Exposition Center, site of the annual Ohio State Fair, held for 13 days in mid-August.

Other leading tourist attractions include Ohio's presidential memorials and homes: the William Henry Harrison Memorial at North Bend, Ulysses S. Grant's birthplace at Point Pleasant, the James A. Garfield home at Mentor, the Rutherford B. Hayes home at Fremont, the William McKinley Memorial at Canton, the Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati, and the Warren G. Harding home in Marion. Also of interest are the Thomas A. Edison birthplace at Milan, and Malabar Farm, in Richland County, home of author and conservationist Louis Bromfield.


There are seven major professional sports teams in Ohio: the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball, the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, and the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association.

The state is also home to Triple-A minor league baseball teams in Columbus and Toledo, a Double-A team in Akron, and Single-A teams in Eastlake, Niles, and Dayton. In addition, there are minor league hockey teams in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.

The Cincinnati Reds (traditionally short for Redstockings) were the first professionally organized baseball team, playing their first season in 1869. Their record was 64-0. The Reds won the World Series in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, and 1990. The Indians won the World Series in 1920 and 1948. In 1995, the Indians won their first American League pennant since 1954, but lost to the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. They returned to the Series in 1997, this time losing to the Florida Marlins. The original Cleveland Browns, who moved to Baltimore in 1995, won four NFL titles, football's championship prior to the Super Bowl, the last in 1964. An expansion or relocation NFL team began play as the Browns in a new stadium in Cleveland beginning in 1999. The Bengals won the American Football Conference Championship in both 1981 and 1988, but lost each year's Super Bowl.

Akron has been headquarters for the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) since its founding in 1958. The PBA's top tournament is played there each year, and the PBA Hall of Fame is also located in Akron. The NEC Invitational is played annually in Akron, and the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin.

Major horse-racing tracks include Cleveland's Thistledown, Cincinnati's River Downs, Columbus's Scioto Downs, and other tracks at Toledo, Lebanon, Grove City, and Northfield. The Cleveland Gold Cup race is held annually at Thistledown, as is the Ohio Derby. The Little Brown Jug classic for three-year-old pacers takes place every year at the Delaware Fairgrounds, and the Ohio State race for two-year-old trotters is held during the state fair at Columbus.

Several new facilities have been constructed, including the new Cleveland Browns Stadium in 1999, Jacobs Field in 1994 (home of the Indians), Columbus Crew Stadium, and most recently, the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati (2003). The Cincinnati Reds make it their home park.

In collegiate sports, Ohio State University has long been a football powerhouse, winning over 25 Big Ten titles. Ohio State won the Rose Bowl in 1950, 1955, 1958, 1969, 1974, and 1997. The Buckeyes were named national champions in 1942, 1954 (with UCLA), 1957 (with Auburn), 1968, and in 2003 after upsetting Miami (Fl) in the Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State also has won National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships in baseball, basketball, fencing, golf, gymnastics, and swimming, while Cincinnati and Dayton universities have had highly successful basketball teams. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, where the sport was first organized professionally in 1920.

Other annual sporting events include the grand tournament of the American Trapshooting Association in Vandalia, the Grand Prix or Cleveland Indy car race, and the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, a nationally covered event in which 9- to 15-yearolds compete.


Ohio has been the native state of seven US presidents and the residence of another. Inventions by Ohioans include the incandescent light, the arc light, and the airplane.

William Henry Harrison (b.Virginia, 17731841), the ninth US president, came to Ohio as a US Army ensign in territorial times. After serving in the Indian wars under Gen. Anthony Wayne, he became secretary of the Northwest Territory. As the territorial delegate to Congress, he fostered the Harrison Land Act, which stimulated settlement of the public domain. Named territorial governor in 1800, Harrison conducted both warfare and peace negotiations with the Indians. After the defeat of British and Indian forces in 1813, he became known as the "Washington of the West." After settling at North Bend on the Ohio River, he began a political career that carried him to the White House in 1841. Harrison caught a chill from a cold March wind and died of pneumonia exactly one month after his inauguration.

From 1869 to 1881, the White House was occupied by three Ohioans. All were Republicans who had served with distinction as Union Army generals. The first, Ulysses Simpson Grant (Hiram Ulysses Grant, 182285), the 18th US president, was an Ohio farm boy educated at West Point. After service in the Mexican War, he left the US Army, having been charged with intemperance. He emerged from obscurity in 1861, when he was assigned to an Illinois regiment. Grant rose quickly in command; after victories at Shiloh and Vicksburg, he was commissioned major general. In 1864, he directed the Virginia campaign that ended with Confederate surrender, and this rumpled, slouching, laconic man became the nation's hero. In 1868, he was elected president, and he was reelected in 1872. His second term was rocked with financial scandals, though none were directly connected to Grant. After leaving the presidency in 1877, he went bankrupt, and to discharge his debts, he wrote his memoirs. That extraordinary book was completed four days before his death from throat cancer in 1885. Grant is buried in a monumental tomb in New York City.

Rutherford B. Hayes (182293), the 19th US president, was born in Delaware, Ohio, and educated at Kenyon College and Harvard Law School. Following Army service, he was elected to Congress, and in 1876 became the Republican presidential nominee. In a close and disputed election, he defeated New York's Governor Samuel J. Tilden. Hayes chose not to run for re-election, returning instead to Ohio to work on behalf of humanitarian causes. In 1893, Hayes died in Fremont, where the Hayes Memorial was createdthe first presidential museum and library in the nation.

James A. Garfield (183181), 20th US president, was born in a log cabin in northern Ohio. Between school terms, he worked as a farmhand and a mule driver on the Ohio Canal. After holding several Civil War commands, he served in Congress for 18 years. Elected president in 1880, he held office but a few months; he was shot by a disappointed office seeker in the Washington, DC, railroad station on 2 July and died 11 weeks later.

Benjamin Harrison (18331901), 23rd US president and grandson of William Henry Harrison, was born in North Bend. After graduation from Miami University, he studied law and began to practice in Indianapolis. Military command in the Civil War was followed by service in the US Senate and the Republican presidential nomination in 1888. As president, Harrison gave impetus to westward expansion, moved toward annexation of Hawaii, and enlarged the civil-service system.

US presidents in the 20th century include three more native Ohioans. William McKinley (18431901) was born in Niles. Elected in 1896 as the 25th president, he established the gold standard and maintained tariff protection for US manufactures. Early in his second term, while greeting a throng of people, he was shot to death by a young anarchist. William Howard Taft (18571930), of Cincinnati, was the 27th US president. He gained a national reputation in 1904 as President Theodore Roosevelt's secretary of war; five years later, he succeeded Roosevelt in the White House. Defeated in 1912, Taft then left Washington for a law professorship at Yale. In 1921, under President Warren G. Harding (18651923), he became US chief justice, serving in that office until a month before his death. Harding, the last Ohioan to win the White House, was born in Blooming Grove. He went into politics from journalism, after serving as editor of the Marion Star. After eight years in the US Senate, he was a dark-horse candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1920. He won the election from James M. Cox (18701957), another Ohio journalist-politician, and became the 29th US president. Harding, who died in office, was surrounded by graft and corruption in his own cabinet.

Three US vice presidents were natives of Ohio. Thomas A. Hendricks (181985) was elected on the Democratic ticket with Grover Cleveland in 1884. Charles W. Fairbanks (18521918) served from 1905 to 1909 under Theodore Roosevelt. Charles Gates Dawes (18651951) became vice president under Calvin Coolidge in 1925, the same year the Dawes Plan for reorganizing German finances brought him the Nobel Peace Prize; from 1929 to 1932, he served as US ambassador to Great Britain.

Three Ohioans served as chief justice on the Supreme Court: Salmon P. Chase (b.New Hampshire, 180873), Morrison R. Waite (b.Connecticut, 181688), and Taft. Most notable among nearly 40 cabinet officers from Ohio were Secretary of State Lewis Cass (b.New Hampshire, 17831866), Treasury Secretaries Chase and John Sherman (18231900), and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton (181469). William Tecumseh Sherman (182091) was a Union general in the Civil War whose Georgia campaign in 1864 helped effect the surrender of the Confederacy. Although disappointed in his quest for the presidency, US Senator Robert A. Taft (18891953) was an enduring figure, best remembered for his authorship of the Taft-Hartley Labor Management Relations Act of 1947.

Nobel Prize winners from Ohio include Dawes and physicists Arthur Compton (18921962) and Donald Glaser (b.1926). Notable Pulitzer Prize winners include novelist Louis Bromfield (18961956), dramatist Russell Crouse (18931966), historian Paul Herman Buck (18991979), and historian and biographer Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (b.1917). Ohio writers of enduring fame are novelists William Dean Howells (18371920), Zane Grey (18751939), and Sherwood Anderson (18761941), whose short story collection Winesburg, Ohio was set in his hometown of Clyde; poets Paul Laurence Dunbar (18721906) and Hart Crane (18991932); and humorist James Thurber (18941961). Toni Morrison (b.1931), winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for literature and the 1993 Nobel Prize for literature, was born in Lorain, Ohio. Among Ohio's eminent journalists are Whitelaw Reid (18371912), satirists David R. Locke (183388) and Ambrose Bierce (18421914), columnist O. O. McIntyre (18841938), newsletter publisher W. M. Kiplinger (18911967), and James Reston (b.Scotland, 190995), an editor and columnist for the New York Times along with author-commentator Lowell Thomas (18921981). Important in the art world were painters Thomas Cole (b.England, 180148), Frank Duveneck (b.Kentucky, 18481919), and George Bellows (18821925), as well as architects Cass Gilbert (18591934) and Philip Johnson (19062005). Defense lawyer Clarence Darrow (18571938) was also an Ohioan.

Ohio educators whose books taught reading, writing, and arithmetic to the nation's schoolchildren were William Holmes McGuffey (b.Pennsylvania, 180073), Platt R. Spencer (180064), and Joseph Ray (180765). In higher education, Horace Mann (b.Massachusetts, 17961859) was the first president of innovative Antioch College, and William Rainey Harper (18561906) founded the University of Chicago.

Several Ohio-born inventor-scientists have furthered the nation's industrial progress. Thomas A. Edison (18471931) produced the incandescent lamp, the phonograph, and the movie camera. Charles Brush (18491929) invented the arc light. John H. Patterson (18441922) helped develop the cash register. The Wright brothers, Orville (18711948) and Wilbur (b.Indiana, 18671912), made the first flight in a powered aircraft. Charles F. Kettering (18761958) invented the automobile self-starter. Ohio's leading industrialist was John D. Rockefeller (b.New York, 18391937), founder of Standard Oil of Ohio. Harvey S. Firestone (18681938) started the tire company that bears his name. Edward "Eddie" Rickenbacker (18901973), an ace pilot in World War I, was president of Eastern Airlines.

The most notable Ohioans in the entertainment field are marks-woman Annie Oakley (Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee, 18601926); movie actors Clark Gable (190160) and Roy Rogers (Leonard Slye, 191298); movie director Stephen Spielberg (b.1947); comedian Bob Hope (Leslie Townes Hope, b.England, 1903); actors Paul Newman (b.1925), Hal Holbrook (b.1925), and Joel Grey (b.1932); jazz pianist Art Tatum (191056); and composer Henry Mancini (192494).

Leading sports figures from Ohio are boxing champion Jim Jeffries (18751953), racing driver Barney Oldfield (18781946), baseball pitcher Cy Young (18671955), baseball executive Branch Rickey (18811965), baseball star Peter "Pete" Rose (b.1941), who broke Ty Cobb's record for the most hits, track star Jesse Owens (b.Alabama, 191280), jockey George Edward "Eddie" Arcaro (191697), and golfer Jack Nicklaus (b.1940).

Astronauts from Ohio include John Glenn (b.1921), the first American to orbit Earth, who was elected US senator from Ohio in 1974; and Neil Armstrong (b.1930), the first man to walk on the moon.


Council of State Governments. The Book of the States, 2006 Edition. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 2006.

Curtin, Michael F. Ohio Politics Almanac. 2nd ed. Kent: Kent State University Press, 2006.

Feagler, Dick. Feagler's Cleveland. Cleveland: Gray & Co., 1996.

Middleton, Stephen. The Black Laws: Race and the Legal Process in Early Ohio. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005.

Ohio Politics. Edited by Alexander P. Lamis. Kent: Kent State University Press, 1994.

Owen, Lorrie K. (ed.). Dictionary of Ohio Historic Places. St. Clair Shores, Mich.: Somerset Publishers, 1999.

Peacefull, Leonard (ed.). A Geography of Ohio. Kent: Kent State University Press, 1996.

Platt, Carolyn V. Cuyahoga Valley National Park Handbook. Kent: The Kent State University Press, 2006.

Shriver, Phillip R., and Clarence E. Wunderlin Jr. (eds.). The Documentary Heritage of Ohio. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Thurber, James. My Life and Hard Times. New York: Harper, 1933.

US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau. Ohio, 2000. Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics: 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 2003.

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OHIO. Some 15,000 years ago nomadic hunters known as Paleo-Indians occupied caves and rock cliffs in the Ohio River valley. They gradually disappeared as the mammoths and mastodons they hunted migrated northward with the retreating glacial ice sheets. After 10,000 b.c., archaic Indian peoples lived in Ohio, leaving evidence of their hunting, fishing, and gathering activities. Between 1000 b.c. and 600 a.d. two groups of Mound Builders, the Adena and the Hopewell, both centered in present-day southern Ohio, flourished and left impressive remains in the form of mounds, geometric earthworks, and artifacts (see Indian Mounds). The Adena, first of the two, built thousands of conical burial mounds and effigy mounds, such as the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County. The Hopewell, appearing after 200 b.c., built geometric earthworks and large hilltop enclosures. The decline of these cultures hundreds of years before the Ohio country was reoccupied by historic Indian tribes in the eighteenth century led to nineteenth-century speculation that the Mound Builders constituted a "lost race." Modern archaeology has dispelled that notion and established a firm, if not yet fully understood, connection between the prehistoric and historic native peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, including Ohio.

Iroquois wars against the Huron and Erie Indians in the seventeenth century caused all tribes largely to abandon the Ohio country for about fifty years, while French explorers, including Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, explored the region and claimed it for New France. Thought to be the first white man to see the Ohio River, in 1669, La Salle's exploration brought French traders into the area in the early eighteenth century but no permanent French settlements. Various Indian tribes, especially the Shawnee, Miami, Delaware, Ottawa, and Wyandot, as well as British traders, also entered Ohio in the early eighteenth century. British colonial interests and claims in the Ohio Valley, especially those of Virginia, grew stronger by the 1740s and led to the outbreak of war between Britain and France in 1754. Known in North America as the French and Indian War, it found most of the Indians fighting with the French, who enjoyed the initial advantage in the Ohio country. Gradually the British turned the tide in their favor, and the Treaty of Paris in 1763 that ended the war gave them almost total possession of all of mainland North America east of the Mississippi River, including Ohio.

British attempts to limit the westward expansion of settlement across the Appalachian Mountains were mostly unsuccessful, and violence between Indians and white frontier settlers finally led to full-scale war by 1774, when Virginia royal governor Lord Dunmore led an expedition against the Indians along the Ohio River. The American Revolution soon overtook and subsumed these frontier conflicts in the larger struggle between Britain and its American colonies. During the war for American independence the Ohio Indians were allied with the British and fought against American forces entering the region from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky. One tragic episode was the massacre at Gnadenhutten in 1782 of ninety-six peaceful Indian men, women, and children, Delawares who had been converted to Christianity by Moravian missionaries.

From Territory to State

In the early 1780s, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut ceded most of their western land claims to the new national government, and Ohio became part of the Northwest Territory, which also included the later states of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established a government for the territory with three stages of development leading to eventual statehood. First, a territorial governor and other officials appointed by Congress proclaimed laws and exercised executive authority. General Arthur St. Clair held the office of governor throughout Ohio's territorial period. In 1798 the second stage began when the "free male inhabitants" elected the first territorial legislature, which subsequently wrote the state's first constitution, paving the way for Ohio's admission as the seventeenth state on 1 March 1803. The first permanent white settlement, Marietta, appeared in 1788, and Cincinnati (originally Losantiville) followed later in the same year. Various land companies and speculators, most importantly the Ohio Company of Associates, the Connecticut Land Company, and John Cleves Symmes, began the process of buying and selling Ohio lands, but extensive settlement could not proceed until the threat of Indian attacks was ended.

In the early 1790s, several U.S. military campaigns against the Ohio Indians took place. At first they suffered major defeats, including the loss of more than 600 under the command of St. Clair in November 1791. A new expedition led by General Anthony Wayne, culminating in his victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794, vanquished Indian resistance and led to the Greenville Treaty in 1795. The Indian tribes ceded all of Ohio for white settlement except for the northwest corner; these remaining Indian lands were gradually yielded in subsequent treaties and the last group of Indians left Ohio in 1843.

Territorial governor St. Clair, a Federalist, clashed repeatedly with the emerging Republican party led by Thomas Worthington and Edward Tiffin of Chillicothe over issues of local versus federal control and executive versus legislative authority. With the election of Thomas Jefferson as president in 1800 the national political trend began to favor the interests of Ohio's Jeffersonian Republicans. The new state's boundaries gave political advantage to the mostly Republican Scioto Valley and Chillicothe, the first state capital. Tiffin was elected the first governor and Worthington one of the first pair of U.S. senators. The first state constitution gave the right to vote to all white males regardless of wealth and sharply limited the power of the governor over the legislature. The 1804 "Black Code" denied free blacks in the state the right to vote as well as many other political and civil rights, and although it was partially repealed in 1849, it remained in some form until the close of the Civil War.

Nineteenth-Century Ohio

The peace following the War of 1812 finally ended all threats of Indian or British resistance to American expansion in the lands north and west of the Ohio River, and Ohio's population began to grow rapidly. Cincinnati became the largest city on the Ohio frontier, drawing immigrants from all over the United States as well as from Europe.

Despite the overwhelming predominance of the Republican Party until the late 1820s, Ohio's political leaders divided constantly over regional, economic, and legal issues. The state's economy boomed after the War of 1812. However, the panic of 1819, brought on in part by actions of the Second Bank of the United States in attempting to end excessive local speculative banking practices, caused widespread economic hardship. Some state leaders favored an aggressive program of state aid for internal improvements, especially canals, to boost the economy. Two major canals were completed across the state from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, the Ohio and Erie Canal from Cleveland to Portsmouth in 1832 and the Miami and Erie Canal from Cincinnati to Toledo in 1843. Various branches and feeders connected to the main canal lines at different points in the state. During this same period the National Road was constructed from east to west across the central part of Ohio, stimulating the growth of Columbus, chosen in 1816 to be the permanent site of the state capital because of its central location and the financial support it offered for erecting public buildings. Before the Civil War, Ohio for a time led the nation in the production of corn, wheat, beef, pork, and wool.

By the late 1820s, Ohio's dominant Jeffersonian Republican Party divided and gave way to the spirited competition between Whigs and Democrats that lasted into the 1850s. The Whigs favored government aid for internal improvements, a more highly regulated banking system, and greater development of a public school system. The Democrats emphasized limits on the size and power of government and protection of personal liberty rather than vigorous social reform. They had the greatest appeal to small farmers and artisans and Catholics wary of evangelical Protestant activism in matters such as temperance, Sabbath observance, and public education. The rudiments of a system of public schools began to take shape by the mid-1840s. Denominational competition and town boosterism led to the building of dozens of small private colleges.

The slavery controversy entered Ohio politics in the 1830s as abolitionists did battle with pro-Southern conservatives for the allegiance of the state's citizens. The state became a major center of the Underground Railroad because of its key location between the South and Canada. Anti-abolitionist mobs in Cincinnati and elsewhere indicated powerful opposition in some quarters, but fear of the political power of Southern slaveowners helped to turn many Ohioans against slavery, or at least its further expansion. This led to third-party activity in the 1840s and early 1850s by the Liberty and then Free Soil parties, which helped to bring about the downfall of the Whigs. This realignment led to the formation of the Republican Party in Ohio in 1854 to oppose the Kansas- Nebraska Act and repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Republicans immediately became the dominant political force in Ohio and largely remained so for the rest of the nineteenth century.

By 1840, Ohio's population had swelled to over 1.5 million, making it the third most populous state in the union, and thousands of Irish and German immigrants in the ensuing decades kept the state's growth at a high level. Industries such as coal, iron, textiles, meatpacking, and agricultural machinery appeared even before the Civil War.

Ohio became one of the main sources of economic strength and manpower for the North during the Civil War. Ohioans who served in the Union Army numbered 350,000, and close to 35,000 died as a result of the conflict. An impressive number of Union military and civilian leaders came from the Buckeye state, including Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip Sheridan, James McPherson, William S. Rosecrans, and Rutherford B. Hayes among the generals and Salmon P. Chase and Edwin M. Stanton in Lincoln's cabinet. The only military action that took place in the state was Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan's daring raid across southern Ohio in the summer of 1863.

As the Ohio economy was transformed during the nineteenth century, state government and politics evolved at a slower pace. A new state constitution in 1851 increased the number of elected offices, but a proposed constitution in 1873 that would have made more significant reforms was rejected. In 1867, Ohio voters rejected black male suffrage, but this became law anyway through the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified in 1870. Large cities such as Cincinnati and Cleveland experienced rule by corrupt local bosses in the late nineteenth century, and the state legislature was increasingly influenced by corporate business interests. However, Ohio contributed seven U.S. presidents in this era, all Republicans, including Grant, Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

The growth of big business in late-nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century Ohio centered on the development of energy resources (coal, natural gas, and oil refining) and industrial manufacturing (steel, rubber, glass, auto parts, and machinery.) The spectacular rise of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, founded in Cleveland in 1870, characterized the new economic era. Northern Ohio became the most heavily industrialized part of the state, with Cleveland (iron, steel, heavy machinery), Akron (tire and rubber), Toledo (glass, auto

parts), and Youngstown (steel) leading the way. But other cities and regions in the state also developed industrially in this period. Cincinnati remained a diversified manufacturing center, and Dayton was home to National Cash Register (NCR) and Delco (part of General Motors). Northwest Ohio experienced a boom in oil and gas production and new railroad lines were built through southeastern Ohio coal fields and throughout the rest of the state. At the beginning of the twentieth century Ohio led the nation in the number of miles of interurban rail track—electric trains that carried both rural and urban passengers between small towns and large cities. By 1900, Cleveland had surpassed Cincinnati to become Ohio's largest and most ethnically diverse city. Seventy-five percent of its residents were first-or second-generation immigrants, many from southern and eastern Europe, and forty different languages were spoken in the city.

Workers' wages and labor conditions varied considerably across Ohio industry, but the size and impersonal conditions of factories bred increasing worker discontent. Some companies tried to counter this with improved employee benefits, but still Ohio workers began to turn toward unions to protect their interests. The Knights of Labor's efforts at mass unionization in the 1870s and 1880s had some success in Ohio, but this approach could not survive the depression of 1893. The American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus in 1886 but limited its membership to the skilled trades. Hocking Valley coal miners went on strike in 1884, leading to violence, but ultimately the coal operators prevailed. The miners regrouped and in 1890 helped to form the United Mine Workers of America. The radical Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) supported a strike by Akron rubber workers in 1913. That strike also proved unsuccessful due to strong employer opposition, as did a major steel strike in 1919. Ohio industrial workers did not make major gains in union representation and bargaining until the great labor upheavals of the 1930s.

Twentieth-Century Ohio

The beginning of the twentieth century brought continued economic growth and innovation. Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton made the first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on 17 December 1903. Another Daytonian, Charles F. Kettering, developed the self-starting engine for automobiles. Politically the new century found Ohio's large cities in the midst of struggles for progressive reform. Two outstanding mayors, Samuel M. ("Golden Rule") Jones in Toledo, and Tom Johnson in Cleveland, attacked corruption, instituted civil service reform, and generally made their cities healthier, safer, and more efficient for residents. In Columbus the Congregational minister and Social Gospel pioneer Washington Gladden led similar efforts. The progressive impulse spread throughout the state and led to significant actions at the 1912 state constitutional convention. Forty-one constitutional amendments were submitted to the voters, and thirty-three of them were approved on 3 September 1912. They included the power of citizen initiative and referendum in making state laws, home rule charters for cities, the direct primary, a workers compensation system, and greater regulation of natural resources.

Progressive reform continued at the state level under Democratic governor James M. Cox, who served from 1913 to 1915 and 1917 to 1921. He worked to implement the new constitutional provisions against corporate opposition and led the effort to consolidate and modernize rural school districts. However, in the stirred patriotic atmosphere of World War I, Cox advocated a state law, later held unconstitutional, banning the teaching of German in any school below the eighth grade. The Democrats selected Cox to run for president in 1920, with Franklin D. Roosevelt as his running mate, but another Ohioan, Senator Warren G. Harding, swept to victory in a landslide.

After some difficult postwar adjustments, Ohio experienced economic prosperity in the 1920s, especially in industries associated with automobile production or electrical equipment. Large numbers of African Americans from the Deep South and whites from Appalachia migrated north to Ohio cities seeking industrial employment. Blacks in particular were restricted by segregation customs in obtaining housing and the use of public accommodations. Racial and ethnic tensions surfaced in some locations, as did questions relating to the legal enforcement of prohibition. The revived Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s was very active in several Ohio cities, using its power to elect some public officials. However, by the latter part of the decade it was in decline, weakened by internal scandals and the firm opposition of many religious, racial, and ethnic leaders.

Highly industrialized Ohio was hit hard by the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1932 an estimated 37 percent of all Ohio workers were unemployed. Industrial unemployment in northern Ohio cities ranged from fifty to eighty percent at its peak. Democrats returned to power in state government and looked to Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration for solutions. Most of the New Deal programs had a significant impact on Ohio, including the largest number of recipients of any state of relief from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Organized labor stirred with the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) to recruit among industrial workers. Its first major success was the 1936 sit-down strike by Akron's rubber workers. Strikes by steelworkers against Republic, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, and others in 1937 led to more violence and a temporary labor setback. World War II, however, brought union recognition and collective bargaining to the "Little Steel" companies.

Ohio played a key role in America's "arsenal of democracy" during World War II. About one million workers produced goods for the war effort, especially in aircraft, ordnance, and shipbuilding. Some 839,000 Ohioans served in the U.S. military and 23,000 were killed or missing in action. After the war, Ohio's industries worked at full capacity to meet pent-up consumer demand. The Saint Lawrence Seaway, completed in 1959, expanded Great Lakes shipping, and lock and dam improvements on the Ohio River maintained that historic waterway's commercial importance.

Between 1940 and 1960 Ohio's population grew by 40 percent, faster than the national average. However, in the 1970s and 1980s aging plants, high labor and energy costs, and increased foreign competition converged to deal Ohio's industrial economy a severe blow. Most of the large cities lost population and jobs to newer suburbs. The 1990s brought a return to growth, but Ohio's 2000 population of 11,353,000 was only six percent higher than its 1970 level, while the United States overall had grown by thirty-eight percent in that same period. Columbus had replaced Cleveland as the state's largest city.

After 1960, Ohio greatly expanded its system of public higher education, one of the achievements of the long-serving Republican governor James A. Rhodes (1963–1971, 1975–1983). However, he is also remembered for his controversial decision to send National Guard troops to quell student protests at Kent State University in 1970, which led to the death of four students. By the 1960s environmental protection had become a serious issue, as Ohio struggled to undo decades of neglect in this area. In 1997 the state supreme court declared the state's method of funding public schools inequitable and forced the General Assembly to begin to allocate increased funds to poorer districts. Ohio faced its approaching bicentennial in 2003 with both serious needs to be met and a renewed sense of optimism in doing so.


Bills, Scott L., ed. Kent State/May 4: Echoes Through a Decade. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1982.

Booth, Stephane E. Buckeye Women: The History of Ohio's Daughters. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2001.

Boryczka, Raymond, and Lorin Lee Cary. No Strength Without Union: An Illustrated History of Ohio Workers, 1803–1980. Columbus: Ohio Historical Society, 1982.

Brandt, Nat. The Town That Started the Civil War. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1990. The antislavery movement in Oberlin, Ohio.

Gerber, David A. Black Ohio and the Color Line: 1860–1915. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976.

Grant, H. Roger. Ohio on the Move: Transportation in the Buckeye State. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Havighurst, Walter. Ohio: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1976.

Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720–1830. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

Knepper, George W. Ohio and Its People. 2d ed. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1997.

Lamis, Alexander P., ed. Ohio Politics. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1994.

Murdock, Eugene C. The Buckeye Empire: An Illustrated History of Ohio Enterprise. Northridge, Calif.: Windsor, 1988.

Shriver, Phillip R., and Clarence E. Wunderlin, eds. The Documentary Heritage of Ohio. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000. A comprehensive collection of primary sources.

John B.Weaver

See alsoCincinnati ; Cleveland ; Columbus, Ohio ; Toledo .

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Ohio (state, United States)

Ohio, midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania (NE), West Virginia (SE) and Kentucky (S) across the Ohio River, Indiana (W), and Michigan and Lake Erie (N).

Facts and Figures

Area, 41,222 sq mi (106,765 sq km). Pop. (2010) 11,536,504, a 1.6% increase since the 2000 census. Capital and largest city, Columbus. Statehood, Mar. 1, 1803 (17th state). Highest pt., Campbell Hill, 1,550 ft (473 m); lowest pt., Ohio River, 433 ft (132 m). Nickname, Buckeye State. Motto, With God, All Things Are Possible. State bird, cardinal. State flower, scarlet carnation. State tree, buckeye. Abbr., OH


From the dunes on Lake Erie to the gorge-cut plateau along the Ohio River, from which Ohio takes its name, the land is fairly flat, with some pleasant rolling country and, in the southeast, small rugged hills leading to the mountains of West Virginia. Before the coming of settlers to the state, it was covered with miles of virgin forest, but today only vestiges of the trees that helped to build the many cities remain. Columbus is the capital and largest city. Cleveland is the center of the state's largest metropolitan area. Other major cities are Cincinnati, Toledo, and Akron.


Ohio is highly industrialized, yet it also continues to draw economic riches from the earth. Among national leaders in the production of lime, clays, and salt, it is a historic center of ceramic and glass industries. Ohio's soil supports rich farms, especially where it was improved ages ago by additions of glacier-ground limestone. Although most of the state's income is derived from commerce and manufacturing, Ohio also has extensive farmland, and large amounts of corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, cattle, hogs, and dairy items are produced, although the number of family farms is rapidly dwindling.

Railroads, canals, and highways crisscrossing the state have since the late 19th cent. provided the means for transporting large amounts of raw materials and manufactures. Lake Erie ports, chiefly Toledo and Cleveland, handle iron and copper ore, coal, oil, and finished materials (including steel and automobile parts). In spite of massive industrial decline since the 1960s, which has made Ohio the center of the "Rust Belt," the state retains many manufacturing centers, with an emphasis on heavy industry. Leading products include transportation equipment, primary and fabricated metals, and machinery.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

Ohio's present constitution was adopted in 1851. It has been amended many times, most notably in 1912 after a constitutional convention adopted such changes as progressive labor provisions and such measures as initiative, referendum, and the direct primary. The state's executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term and permitted two successive terms. Ohio's general assembly has a senate with 33 members, elected for four-year terms, and a house with 99 members. The state elects 2 senators and 16 representatives to the U.S. Congress and has 18 electoral votes.

Republicans have predominated in Ohio politics since the Civil War, but the state has often supported Democratic candidates. George Voinovich, elected governor in 1990 and reelected in 1994, was succeeded by Bob Taft, a fellow Republican, elected in 1998 and reelected in 2002. A Democrat, Ted Strickland, was elected to the post in 2006, but he lost to Republican John Kasich in 2010.

Among the large number of institutions of higher learning in the state are Antioch Univ., at Yellow Springs; Bowling Green State Univ., at Bowling Green; Case Western Reserve Univ., at Cleveland; the College of Wooster, at Wooster; Kent State Univ., at Kent; Kenyon College, at Gambier; Miami Univ., at Oxford; Oberlin College, at Oberlin; Ohio State Univ., at Columbus; Ohio Univ., at Athens; Ohio Wesleyan Univ., at Delaware; the Univ. of Cincinnati; the Univ. of Toledo; and Wilberforce Univ., at Wilberforce.


Prehistory to the American Revolution

In prehistoric times Ohio was inhabited by the Mound Builders, many of whose mounds are preserved in state parks and in the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table). Before the arrival of Europeans, E Ohio was the scene of warfare between the Iroquois and the Erie, which resulted in the extermination of the Erie. In addition to the Iroquois, other Native American tribes soon prominent in the region were the Miami, the Shawnee, and the Ottawa.

La Salle began his explorations of the Ohio valley in 1669 and claimed the entire area for France. The Ohio River became a magnet for fur traders and landseekers, and the British, attempting to move in (see Ohio Company), hotly contested the French claims. Rivalry for control of the forks of the Ohio River led to the outbreak (1754) of the last of the French and Indian Wars. The defeat of the French gave the land to the British, but British possession was disturbed by Pontiac's Rebellion. The British government issued a proclamation in 1763 forbidding settlement W of the Appalachian Mts. Then in 1774, with the Quebec Act, the British placed the region between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes within the boundaries of Canada. The colonists' resentment over these acts contributed to the discontent that led to the American Revolution, during which military operations were conducted in the Ohio country.

From the Settlement of the Old Northwest to Statehood

Ohio was part of the vast area ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris (1783; see Paris, Treaty of). Conflicting claims to land in that area made by Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Virginia were settled by relinquishment of almost all of the claims (see Western Reserve) and the organization of the Old Northwest by the Ordinance of 1787. Ohio was the first region developed under the provisions of that ordinance, with the activities of the Ohio Company of Associates promoted by Rufus Putnam and Manasseh Cutler. Marietta, founded in 1788, was the first permanent American settlement in the Old Northwest.

In the years that followed, various land companies were formed, and settlers poured in from the East, either down the Ohio on flatboats and barges, or across the mountains by wagon—their numbers varying with conditions but steadily expanding the area's population. The Native Americans, supported by the British, resisted American settlement. They successfully opposed campaigns led by Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair but were decisively defeated by Anthony Wayne in the battle of Fallen Timbers (1794). The British thereafter (1796) withdrew their outposts from the Northwest under the terms of Jay's Treaty, and the area was pacified. Ohio became a territory in 1799. General St. Clair, as the first governor, ruled in an arbitrary fashion that made Ohioans for many years afterward distrustful of all government. In 1802 a state convention drafted a constitution, and in 1803 Ohio entered the Union, with Chillicothe as its capital. Columbus became the permanent capital in 1816.

The War of 1812 and Further Settlement

In the War of 1812 the Americans lost many of the early battles of the war that took place in the Old Northwest, and their military frontier was pushed back to the Ohio River. Two British attacks on Ohio soil were successfully resisted: one against Fort Meigs at the mouth of the Maumee River and the other against Fort Stephenson on the Sandusky. The area was further secured by Oliver Hazard Perry's naval victory on Lake Erie near Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and William Henry Harrison's victory in the battle of the Thames on Canadian soil.

After the war Ohio's growth was spurred by the building of the Erie Canal, other canals, and toll roads. The National Road was a vital settlement and commercial artery. Settlement of the Western Reserve by New Englanders (especially those from Connecticut) gives NE Ohio a decidedly New England cultural landscape. Ohio's society of small farmers exported their produce down the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers to St. Louis and New Orleans. In 1837 Ohio won a territorial struggle with Michigan usually called the Toledo War. The Loan Law, adopted in the Panic of 1837, encouraged railroad and industrial development. Railroads gradually succeeded canals, preparing the way for the industrial expansion that followed the Civil War.

The Civil War, Industrialization, and Politics

Most Ohioans were sympathetic with the Union in the Civil War, and many Ohioans served in the Union army. Native sons such as Joshua R. Giddings, Salmon P. Chase, and Edwin M. Stanton had long been prominent opponents of slavery. Nevertheless, the Peace Democrats, the Knights of the Golden Circle, and the Copperheads were very active; Clement L. Vallandigham drew many votes in the gubernatorial election of 1863. Ohio was the scene of the northernmost penetration of Confederate forces in the war—the famous raid (1863) of John Hunt Morgan, which terrorized the people of the countryside until Morgan and most of his men were finally captured in the southeast corner of the state.

After the Civil War industrial development grew rapidly when shipments of ore from the upper Great Lakes region increased and the development of the petroleum industry in NE Ohio shifted the center of economic activity from the banks of the Ohio River to the shores of Lake Erie, particularly around Cleveland. Immigrants began to swell the population, and huge fortunes were made.

Ohio became very important politically. The state contributed seven American presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Big business and politics became entwined as in the relations of Marcus A. Hanna and McKinley. City bosses such as Cincinnati's George B. Cox also followed this pattern. The state as a whole was for many years steadily Republican, despite the rise of organized labor in the late 19th cent. and considerable labor strife. In the 1890s the reform-minded mayor of Toledo, Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, won national fame for his espousal of city ownership of municipal utilities.

Twentieth-Century Developments

Floods in the many rivers flowing to the Ohio and in the Ohio River itself have long been a problem; a devastating flood in 1913 led to the establishment of the Miami valley conservation project. Continuing long-term state and federal projects have improved locks and dams along the entire length of the Ohio and its major tributaries, for navigation as well as flood control purposes.

Both farms and industries in Ohio were hard hit by the Great Depression that began in 1929. In the 1930s the state was wracked by major strikes such as the sit-down strikes in Akron (1935–36) and the so-called Little Steel strike (1937). World War II brought great prosperity to Ohio, but labor strife later resumed, as in the steel strikes of 1949 and 1959. Political unrest also affected the state in the protests of the 1960s and most violently in 1970 when four students were killed by national guardsmen who fired on a group of Vietnam War protesters at Kent State Univ.

Ohio's economy went into massive decline in the 1970s and 80s as the automobile, steel, and coal industries virtually collapsed, causing unemployment to soar. Akron, once world famous as a rubber center, stopped manufacturing rubber products altogether by the mid-1980s. During this period, the state's northern industrial centers were especially hard hit and lost much of their population. Since then, Ohio has concentrated on diversifying its economy, largely through expansion of the service sector. The state became an important center for the health-care industry with the opening of the Cleveland Clinic. Industrial research is also important, with Nela Park near Cleveland and Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus among the more notable research centers; there are also still important rubber research laboratories in Akron.


See W. Havighurst, The Heartland: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois (1962); E. H. Roseboom and F. P. Weisenburger, A History of Ohio (rev. ed. 1967); K. W. Wheeler, For the Union (1968); F. A. Bonadio, North of Reconstruction: Ohio Politics, 1865–1870 (1970); R. Boryczka and L. L. Cary, No Strength Without Union: An Illustrated History of Ohio Workers, 1803–1980 (1982); J. Kunstmann, The Encyclopedia of Ohio (1983); W. J. Shkurti and J. Bartle, ed., Benchmark Ohio (1989).

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Ohio (river, United States)

Ohio, river, 981 mi (1,579 km) long, formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in SW Pa., at Pittsburgh; it flows northwest, then generally southwest to enter the Mississippi River at Cairo, Ill. The Ohio's course follows a portion of the southern edge of the region covered by continental ice during the late Cenozoic era; glacial meltwater probably cut its original channel. The river is a major tributary of the Mississippi and supplies more water to it than does the Missouri River. The Ohio River basin covers c.204,000 sq mi (528,400 sq km); the chief tributaries are the Tennessee, Cumberland, Wabash, and Kentucky.

Flood Control and Canals

The Ohio is prone to spring flooding, and extensive flood control and protection devices have been constructed along the river and its tributaries. These devices also improve the river's navigability; a 9-ft (2.7-m) channel is maintained along its entire length. A system of modern locks and dams, constructed since 1955 to replace older structures, speeds the transit of barges and leisure craft. A canal (first opened in 1830) at Louisville bypasses the Falls of the Ohio, a 21/4-mi (3.6-km)-long series of rapids having a 24-ft (7-m) drop.

Human Impact

The Ohio River basin is one of the most populated and industrialized regions of the United States. Oil and steel account for most of the cargoes moved on the river. The principal river ports are Cincinnati, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. Eight states (Ill., Ind., Ky., N.Y., Ohio, Pa., Va., and W.Va.) affected by the river's industrial pollution ratified (1948) the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Compact. Some results of their cleanup efforts have become discernible, and the river now supports marinas and recreational facilities.


The French explorer La Salle reportedly reached the Ohio River in 1669, but there was no significant interest in the valley until the French and the British began to struggle for control of the river in the 1750s. An early settlement was established at the forks of the Ohio (modern Pittsburgh) by the Ohio Company of Virginia in 1749, but it was captured by the French in 1754, and the unfinished Fort Prince George was renamed Fort Duquesne; it was recaptured by the British and renamed Fort Pitt in 1758. At the end of the French and Indian Wars, Britain gained control of the river by the treaty of 1763, but settlement of the area was prohibited. Britain ceded the region to the United States at the end of the Revolutionary War (1783), and it was opened to settlement by the Ordinance of 1787, which established the Northwest Territory.

Until the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, the Ohio River was the main route to the newly opened West and the principal means of market transportation of the region's growing farm output. Traffic declined on the river after the railroads were built in the mid-1800s, although it revived after World War II. Comparatively little traffic remains on the Ohio, despite the new locks, dams, and channel improvements, which were all meant to spur economic activity on the river.


See W. Havighurst, River to the West (1970); W. Burmeister, Appalachian Waters 5: The Upper Ohio and Its Tributaries (1978).

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Akron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 451

Cincinnati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 467

Cleveland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 481

Columbus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 495

Dayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507

Toledo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 519

The State in Brief

Nickname: Buckeye State

Motto: With God, all things are possible

Flower: Scarlet carnation

Bird: Cardinal

Area: 44,825 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 35th)

Elevation: Ranges from 455 feet to 1,550 feet above sea level

Climate: Temperate and continental; humid with wide seasonal variation

Admitted to Union: March, 1, 1803

Capital: Columbus

Head Official: Governor Bob Taft (until 2007)


1980: 10,798,000

1990: 10,847,115

2000: 11,353,140

2004 estimate: 11,459,011

Percent change, 19902000: 4.7%

U.S. rank in 2004: 7th

Percent of residents born in state: 74.7% (2000)

Density: 277.3 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 469,104

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 9,645,453

Black or African American: 1,301,307

American Indian and Alaska Native: 24,486

Asian: 132,633

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 2,749

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 217,123

Other: 88,627

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 754,930

Population 5 to 19 years old: 1,633,214

Percent of population 65 years and over: 5.4%

Median age: 36.2 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 149,412

Total number of deaths (2003): 109,700 (infant deaths, 1,162)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 6,583


Major industries: Trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; manufacturing; agriculture; tourism; services

Unemployment rate: 6.1% (April 2005)

Per capita income: $29,953 (2003; U.S. rank: 26)

Median household income: $43,535 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 10.4% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: Ranges from 0.743% to 7.5%

Sales tax rate: 6.0% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)

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Ohio State in e central USA, bounded by Lake Erie in the n; the capital is Columbus. Other cities include Toledo and Cleveland. Britain acquired the land in 1763, at the end of the Seven Years' War. It was ceded to the USA after the American Revolution, and in 1787 it became part of the Northwest Territory. Ohio was accepted into the Union in 1803. Mostly low-lying, the state is drained chiefly by the Ohio, Scioto, Miami, and Muskingum rivers. Ohio's large farms produce hay, maize, wheat, soya beans and dairy foods, and cattle and pigs are raised. The state is highly industrialized. Ohio produces sandstone, oil, natural gas, clay, salt, lime and gravel. Its lake ports handle large amounts of iron and copper ore, coal and oil. Industries: vehicle and aircraft manufacture, transport equipment, primary and fabricated metals. Area: 106,764sq km (41,222sq mi). Pop. (2000) 11,353,140.

Statehood :

March 1, 1803

Nickname :

The Buckeye State

State bird :


State flower :

Scarlet carnation

State tree :


State motto :

With God, all things are possible

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Some historians have said that the history of the state of Ohio is, in some ways, a microcosm of the history of middle America. Ohio has seen Native American revolts, pioneer migrations, and the gradual transformation of its wilderness into farms, towns, and cities. The transportation systems that eventually traversed the state brought rapid economic growth. The immigrants who peopled Ohio's cities helped make them industrial giants. They brought with them a wealth of skills and experiences that enriched society and made Ohio the prosperous, culturally diverse place it is today. The industrial pollution and urban decay plaguing the state have mirrored problems in the nation as a whole. But Ohio's efforts to keep up with changing economic times have been largely successful in spite of periodic setbacks.

The first European visitors to Ohio were game hunters of French and English extraction. When they began to settle in Ohio in the seventeenth century, they found a number of Native American tribes there, including the Wyandots, the Delawares, the Miamis, and the Shawnees. The hunters soon started bringing in such goods as knives, hatchets, tobacco, and brandy. They exchanged these for the natives' beaver pelts and deerskins. The French and the English competed for the territory of Ohio until the middle of the eighteenth century, when as a result of the French and Indian War (17541763), the British became the predominant power in northern North America, gaining control over a vast area that included Ohio. They lost some of this territory in the American Revolution (17751783).

After the Revolution, Ohio belonged to the United States, becoming part of the Northwest Territory. Future land development in the new Northwest Territory was regulated by the Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The new territory was defined as the area between western Pennsylvania and the Mississippi River, bounded on the south by the Ohio River and on the north by Canada. When settlers began making their way to the Ohio area, many went by keelboat down the Ohio River. They sought fertile lands and new economic opportunities. The new American nation came into being in 1789, and this set the stage for Ohio's prosperity. The Treaty of Greenville in 1795 pushed Native American tribes out of the territory and further encouraged white settlement in the area. More settlers came from the older eastern colonies after Connecticut ceded the Western Reserve, a tract of land along the southern coast of Lake Erie that now comprises part of northeastern Ohio. By 1803 the area had enough residents to become the seventeenth state of the Union.

A final challenge from the British came with the War of 1812 (18121814). Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (17851819) won a decisive battle in the war on Lake Erie, making Great Lakes commerce safe for Americans. Gen. William Henry Harrison (17731841) repulsed Indian encroachment at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the Indiana Territory. Large numbers of people migrated to Ohio thereafter, both from the eastern colonies and from abroad. Encouraged by low prices for land, new settlers moved quickly to establish farms and begin towns across the new state.

Ohio needed a better system of ground and water transportation to help its economy grow. The first significant route to cross the breadth of Ohio in the 1830s was the National Road (later to become U.S. route 40). The route stretched from Cumberland, Maryland, to Vandalia, Illinois. A canal system was created at about the same time, connecting the northern and southern portions of the state. The Ohio and Erie Canal ran from Portsmouth on the Ohio River to Cleveland. The MiamiErie Canal ran from Cincinnati to Toledo. The canals were not profitable for their owners but proved successful at opening new markets to many farmers.

By the 1840s railroads were beginning to radiate from the population centers, effectively bringing the canal era to an end. The number of railroad tracks in Ohio increased tenfold between 1850 and 1860, though canals were still being constructed in the state. The railroad was crucial to Ohio's economic growth, connecting small towns and urban centers with other cities across the young nation.

Although the railroad brought unprecedented change to Ohio, the state was still primarily agricultural in the mid-nineteenth century. The American Civil War (186165), however, increased industrial development, which continued to grow during the rest of the century and beyond. John D. Rockefeller's (18391937) Standard Oil Company in Cleveland quickly took control of most of the oil refining and distribution in the nation. The city of Akron became the "rubber capital" after B.F. Goodrich (18411888) began manufacturing fire hose. Cincinnati and Dayton also became major manufacturing centers during this time. There was a new wave of immigrants, mostly from southern and eastern Europe, in the 1880s and another in the 1910s. This influx of population brought many potential factory workers to Ohio cities. The advent of labor unions in the 1880s brought some protection to workers against unfair labor practices.

By 1900 Ohio ranked number four in manufacturing. The coal mines in the southeastern part of the state and Great Lakes access to Michigan and later, Minnesota iron ore helped the iron and steel industry to grow in the Cleveland-Youngstown area. By this time Ohio led the nation in the manufacture of machine tools. It ranked second in steel production.

The state's farm population steadily declined after 1900 and cities began to grow, and World War I (19141918) greatly contributed to Ohio's industrial growth. The automobile industry stimulated Ohio's rubber, oil, and glass industries in the 1920s.

The Great Depression of the 1930s hit Ohio hard. It caused widespread unemployment and stifled the economy in many ways. Labor unions became stronger during this time, as workers hoped to protect their standard of living by organizing. The United Rubber Workers in Akron grew to a membership of around 70,000 after a series of sit-down strikes at the rubber plants. The United Steelworkers also struck at seven steel plants in Youngstown and greatly increased their membership.

Like much of the nation, Ohio benefited economically from the outbreak of World War II (19391945), though the state prospered in part because of its healthy industrial base. The state's economy especially grew through war-time production of trucks, tractors, and airplanes. Highway building and airport construction also increased during this time.

In 1959 the St. Lawrence Seaway provided a major economic boost to Ohio. This important waterway connected Toledo and Cleveland with transatlantic commerce. This period unfortunately also brought widespread pollution of the waters, especially Lake Erie, from the dumping of industrial wastes. The rural population continued to decline, and many middle-class people fled to the suburbs from city centers. They left a legacy of urban ruin that would plague the state for years to come.

In the 1970s Ohio's economy began to lag. By the early 1980s it entered a difficult phase. The state's unemployment rate rose to 14 percent by 1983. Manufacturing jobs were on the declinedown from 39 percent in 1970 to 27 percent in 1982. The high sulfur content in most of Ohio's abundant coal supply made the coal largely unusable because it contributed to atmospheric pollution. The state was eventually forced to borrow from the federal government to pay for the high costs of unemployment benefits.

A boost to Ohio's economy was the Thomas Edison Program, initiated in 1983. The project provided venture capital funds for new companies. It also helped establish conservancy districts for the Miami and Muskingum rivers, and began programs that eventually reversed the pollution of Lake Erie. Another major achievement for the state was the establishment of a new Honda Motor Company auto plant at Marysville near Columbus.

Unemployment in Ohio rose again during the recession of 1992, despite considerable economic progress in the mid-1980s. In 1995 there was a major strike at two General Motors plants in Dayton. This added to the state's economic uncertainty. But manufacturing remained the major economic pillar in Ohio throughout the 1990s. The state manufactured mostly durable goods like motor vehicles and other equipment, and steel. The service industry also became significant in the state. Tourism became one of the important segments of the service market. Ohio farms maintained high levels of production in cattle, pigs, and poultry, as well as tomatoes, soybeans, wheat, and oats. The state ranked fifteenth in net farm income in 1995. Ohio's mineral production was also healthy: coal provided more than one third of the state's energy needs, and Ohio was a national leader in the production of sand and gravel. In 1995 Ohio led the nation in lime production.

See also: Automobile Industry, Keelboats, Northwest Ordinance, Petroleum Industry, John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil


Galbreath, Charles B. History of Ohio. 5 vols. Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1925.

Havighurst, Walter. Ohio: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1976.

Knepper, George W. Ohio and Its People. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1989.

Raitz, Karl, ed. The National Road. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Roseboom, Eugene Holloway, and Francis P. Weisenburger. A History of Ohio. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1934.

except on the broadest levels . . . one cannot generalize about the people of ohio . . . [the state] has a representative quality[, with] an unusual balance between northern and southern influences, between agriculture and industry, between rural and urban.

george w. knepper, ohio and its people, 1989

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Ohio River in e central USA, formed at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at Pittsburgh in w Pennsylvania. It flows w and then sw to join the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois. The Ohio River valley is a highly industrialized region. Length: 1571km (976mi).

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Ohiobio, Cetshwayo, Io, ngaio, Ohio

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American Psychological Association

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