World History

Ohio State History – War, History, Capital, Population, Facts

People have lived in Ohio for thousands of years. Early cultures were mound building cultures such as the Hopewell and Adena tribes. These peoples disappeared around 1000 AD and were replaced by newer cultures such as the Fort Ancients and the Whittlesees.

Information about Ohio State:

Capital Columbus
Population 11,756,058 (Source: 2022 U.S. Census)
Major Cities Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton
Borders Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $822,669.7 million (2022 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Key Industries Agriculture including soybeans, corn, grains, hogs, and cattle
Plastics, rubber, electrical equipment, appliances, automobiles, and steel

Flag of Ohio State:

Native Americans

In the 16th century, Iroquois Indians came to the country to hunt beaver pelts. Many of the existing tribes were driven out of the area. However, diseases brought by Europeans wiped out many of the Iroquois. They were later replaced by eastern tribes such as the Delaware, Shawnee, and Miami.

Europeans Arrive

The first European to reach Ohio was the French explorer Robert de La Salle in 1669. He claimed land for France. The French soon established trading posts to capitalize on the region’s valuable fur trade. They built several forts, including Fort Miami in 1680 and Fort Sandusky in 1750.

In the early 18th century, English settlers from the east coast began moving into the area. They were looking for new settlements and wanted to participate in the fur trade. Soon England and France competed over the fur trade, eventually leading to war.

Ohio State Symbols

  • Ohio State Nickname: Buckeye State
  • Ohio State Slogan: So Much to Discover; Birthplace of Aviation (on its license plate); (formerly) The Heart of It All
  • Ohio State Motto: With God all things are possible
  • Ohio State flower: Scarlet Carnation
  • Ohio State bird: Cardinal
  • Ohio State fish: none (unofficially it’s the Walleye)
  • Ohio State tree: The Buckeye
  • Ohio State mammal: White-tailed deer
  • Ohio State foods: Tomato Juice

French and Indian War

War between France and England lasted from 1754 to 1763. It’s called the French and Indian War. Different Native American tribes allied themselves with different sides of the war. Ohio was the scene of many battles and bloodshed. George Washington fought on the British side at the Battle of Fort Necessity, Ohio. Britain eventually won the war and occupied the Ohio region in 1763.

Northwest Territory

After the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, Ohio became part of the United States. A few years later, in 1787, the United States created the Northwest Territories. This territory was a vast frontier that included future states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota.

The Geography of Ohio State:

  • Total Size of Ohio: 40,948 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
  • Geographical Low Point of Ohio: Ohio River at 455 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Hamilton (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Geographical High Point of Ohio: Campbell Hill at 1,550 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Logan (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Central Point of Ohio: Located in Delaware County approx. 25 miles north-northeast of Columbus (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Counties of Ohio: 88 (source: National Association of Counties)
  • Bodies of Water of Ohio: Lake Erie, Grand Lake, Ohio River, Cuyahoga River, Scioto River, Miami River

Becoming a State

In 1788, Rufus his General Putnam led a number of settlers to Ohio, establishing Marietta as the first settlement. Soon more settlers from the United States immigrated to the country. Population increased until 1803 when Ohio joined the Union as the 17th state. The first capital was Chillicothe. In 1816, Columbus became the permanent capital.


Much of the early 19th century was marked by battles and wars in Ohio. First, there was a Native American rebellion led by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh. He believed that the land was unjustly taken from the people. Shortly after the defeat of Tecumseh’s army, Ohio became the battlefield of combat against the British in his War of 1812.

Civil War

Ohio fought on the Union side during the Civil War. It was a “free state” that outlawed slavery. Before the war began, many slaves fled to Ohio using the subway. Although few battles were fought in the state, many members of the Ohio National Guard fought for the Union Army during the war. Some of the top Union military leaders were from Ohio, including Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman.

Many Presidents

Over the years, seven US presidents have been born in Ohio. This is the second largest after Virginia. Ohio-born presidents include James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, and William Howard Taft.

Famous People of Ohio State:

Rutherford B. Hayes The 19th President of the United States
Benjamin Harrison The 23rd President of the United States
Warren G. Harding The 29th President of the United States
LeBron James Professional basketball player
William McKinley The 25th president of the United States
Paul Newman Actor
Jack Nicklaus Professional golfer
Pontiac Famous Native American chief
Pete Rose Professional baseball player
Steven Spielberg Movie director
William Howard Taft The 27th President of the United States and Supreme Court Justice
Orville Wright Inventor of the airplane
Ulysses S. Grant Civil War general and 18th President of the United States
James Garfield The 20th President of the United States
Thomas Edison Inventor of many inventions including the light bulb
George Custer General who fought at Custer’s Last Stand
Halle Berry Actress
Neil Armstrong Astronaut and first man on the Moon

Interesting Facts of Ohio State:

The first traffic lights were in Cleveland, Ohio.

Akron is considered the rubber capital of the world.

Ohio has the Pro-His Football Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Seven US presidents were born in Ohio. You are Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren Harding.

The name Ohio probably derives from the Iroquois Indian word for “great river.”

The nation’s first emergency medical service began in Cincinnati in his 1865. Akron was the first city he used a police car in 1899.

Lifesavers candy was invented by Clarence Crane in 1912. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was born in Ohio.

The state flag has a pennant design and is not rectangular like all other state flags.

Ohio’s first capital was Chillicothe.

Timeline Overview:

1669 – French explorer Robert de La Salle explores the Ohio River and claims French land.
1763 – Britain seizes power after the French and Indian War.
1782 – 96 Lenapehi Indians are killed by American militia in the Gnadenhütten massacre.
1783 – The United States takes power after the Revolutionary War.
1787 – Ohio becomes part of the newly formed Northwest Territories.
1788 – The first settlement is established in Marietta.
1794 – The Battle of Fallen Timbers is fought between the Native American Confederacy of Ohio and the United States.
1803 – Ohio becomes the 17th state.
1812 – The War of 1812 is waged against Britain and its ally India.
1816 – Columbus becomes the capital.
1837 – The Procter & Gamble Company is founded in Cincinnati.
1898 – The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is founded in Akron.
1955 – Ohio Turnpike opens.
1995 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens in Cleveland.