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History of Toledo, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio lies on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Maumee River. Its inclusion within the state of Ohio was the result of the settlement of the "Toledo War," between Michigan and Ohio over control of this territory. Indians lived in a village on the present site of Toledo before the coming of Europeans, but which tribe is not entirely settled. In 1794, General "Mad Anthony" Wayne fought and won the Battle of Fallen Timbers nearby and subsequently built a stockade fort called Fort Industry. In 1817, the land now occupied by Toledo was purchased from the government by two companies who founded two settlements, known respectively as Port Lawrence and Vistula. In 1836, they were brought together to form Toledo, which received a city charter in 1837. In 1835, Michigan decided that it should control the strip of land on which Toledo was situated and sent a division of Michigan territorial militia to enforce its claim. Ohio responded by sending its own militia, which established itself at Perrysburg, 10 miles south of Toledo. Emissaries from the federal government persuaded the armed forces to disband and a settlement was reached, under which the disputed territory was given to Ohio and Michigan received the Upper Peninsula in compensation. Toledo`s economy was given a major boost by the Wabash and Erie Canal, which reached Toledo in 1843 and connected Lake Erie via the Maumee and Wabash rivers with the Ohio River. Competition from railroads caused the demise of the canal not long after the Civil War. Jesup W. Smith, an early analyzer of demographic and economic trends, was one of the first to predict that many of America`s greatest cities would develop in the Midwest. While correct in this regard, he a little wide of the mark when he forecast that Toledo would become "the future great city of the world." Toledo`s city government was held up as a model under the administration of Samuel Milton "Golden Rule" Jones, who was elected as a Republican in 1897 and as a non-partisan in 1899, 1901, and 1903.