There are many stories worth telling in the history of Ohio and its capital.
All of them-people and places, neighbors and neighbors-form the structure of our past stories.
The story of Ohio and Columbus is a story of extraordinary challenge and change. Over the years, this place we call home has changed from an isolated rural frontier to an urban industrial park, and is now redefined as a new era of automation, digital information, and social change.
How did all this happen?
With the end of the American Revolutionary War, the newly formed United States was once a colonial collection. The new country was in deep debt and owed something of value to the thousands of men in its army.
Fortunately, the new country had something to offer to friends and creditors – land, and much of it. The Northwest Territory will soon be divided into diverse land grants, many of which will soon form Ohio.
In 1803, Ohio was home to more than 50,000 settlers and thousands of members of the slow-moving Native American community. Most of the new people were of an adventurous kind and lived in small farms or small communities of a few neighbors living close to each other.
It was close to one side of America’s ideals.
The two most influential men in the United States at the moment have seen the country in different ways. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were sometimes allies, sometimes enemies, and were always observing each other.
Jefferson saw Ohio’s new society as a realization of his ideal world, and the average family lived self-sufficiently on a small farm. His view tended to ignore the movable property slavery system and the expulsion of Native Americans. Nevertheless, many Ohio people lived as Jefferson liked.
Hamilton had a different perspective. He saw the future of America in its towns and villages, and with the commercial and financial strength that would come from resource-rich countries.
The state’s transformation from Jefferson’s ideals to Hamilton’s ideals happened in his lifetime.
It was the commercial and industrial revolution that was coming. Its center was the belt that stretched from Pittsburgh to Chicago and surrounded most of the land in between.
Inflated by recent immigrants from Europe, the United States sought growth opportunities on the other side of the Appalachian Mountains.
Over time, American commerce and industry spread to Ohio and its neighboring states. It is suggested that the Industrial Revolution that transformed Ohio and the country came here for two reasons: soil and rain.
In Ohio, soil depths were 5 feet, 6 feet, and even 7 feet. And this was a land of mighty rivers, streams, and plenty of rainfall.
It was a land where the farm nourished many people.
They came to the city where entrepreneurs were building factories that made everything from iron plows to wagons and buggies. During the Civil War, railroad construction increased significantly, and every farm in Ohio installed miles of railroads that could bring products to market.
And that’s exactly what happened.
As an example, Columbus was a small town when the Hooking Valley Railroad was completed in the 1860s. Columbus people are now able to obtain large quantities of coal, iron and wood at low prices.
In 1875, the Peters family owned a tanning factory along a disappearing stream south of the courthouse.
From tanned leather, we made the trunk and dash cover of a local buggy maker and founded Iron Buggy Co. The company has joined a financier named CD Firestone, Columbus Buggy Co. became.
The company has become Ohio’s largest buggy company, with hundreds of people in the right place at the right time. But they weren’t alone. By 1900, there were 22 buggy companies in Columbus, with one in five buggies manufactured in Columbus, making it the “capital of the world’s buggies.”
The company tried to move to the car, but with less success than Henry Ford. By 1914, Columbus Buggy Co. Is gone. A new company with new ideas will take the place. And that will continue to happen in our own time.
It happens because we have resources, networks to use them, and people to make things happen.
And yes, we still have all that dirt and rain.
Ed Lenz, a local historian and writer, So to speak Column This Week Community News.
Soil and rain helped Columbus lead the path to growth
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