Cincinnati is Ohio's second-largest city. The introduction of steam navigation on the Ohio River in 1816 inaugurated a period of very rapid growth and by 1840, it was the sixth largest city in the United States. Thereafter, due the gradual decline in importance of river transportation relative to rail, Cincinnati slowly dropped in the national rankings, although it remained the largest in Ohio until 1900, when it ceded the position to Cleveland.
The first settlement was established in 1788 under the name Losantville. The community was visited by General Arthur St. Clair in 1790, who changed its name to Cincinnati in honor of the society of Revolutionary officers. The town was still very small when it was incorporated as a village in 1802, but it soon began to grow. Growth was very rapid after the first steamships began to ply the Ohio River in 1816. In 1819, it received a charter as a city.
Due to a concern over the frequency of fires, its citizens developed a fire organization in 1802 whereby each resident had to provide a leather bucket in an easily accessible location within their homes. The volunteer fire departmentís efficiency was so great, that it became well known throughout the country. By 1841, the department had one company of Fire Guards, one Protection Company, fourteen Hand Pump Companies, and one Hook and Ladder Company. It stands as the oldest fire department in the country.
By 1850, Cincinnati was the most important center for hog slaughtering in the United States. Hogs were brought from Ohio and Indiana and pork was shipped on the Ohio River. Xavier University, a Jesuit Catholic university, was established in 1831. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in Cincinnati from 1832 to 1850. When she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, she based many of her characters on people she had encountered in Cincinnati. During the Civil War, the town was often a refuge for runaway slaves from the South.
For about 40 years, starting in the mid-1880s, Cincinnati's city government was run by corrupt politicians. Nominally Republican, the machine was organized by George Barnsdale Cox, known as "Boss Cox," and continued after his retirement by Rudolph "Rud" Hynicka. Due to the gross inefficiency with which the city was run, the city government found it necessary to place a supplemental tax on the ballot in 1923. Popular opposition defeated the tax and in its aftermath, a coalition of reformers, known as the Charter Committee, pushed for a complete overhaul of city government. A new city charter was passed in 1925 that eliminated the ward system and replaced it with nine councilors elected at large and a professional city manager.
Home to the earliest product research labs in America, Proctor and Gamble constructed their lab in 1890 at Ivorydale to study and improve the soap-making process.
Formerly known as the ďRed Stockings," the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team in the country.
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Cincinnati's Incomplete Subway The Complete History by Jake R. Mecklenborg.
What of those ghostly catacombs that lie dormant below Cincinnati streets? Those subway tunnels, never finished, never filled with the screeches of tr...
Cincinnati's Great Disasters by Betty Ann Smiddy, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
Cincinnatiís Great Disasters explores catastrophes from 1905 to 1937, featuring floods, tornadoes, fires, explosions, winter storms, and crashes. Alth...
Cincinnati on the Go: History of Mass Transit by Allen J. Singer.
Cincinnati on the Go explores the various modes of transportation that helped people get around in the first half of the 20th century, providing a uni...