History, Ohio, and the “City of Murals”

Posted by on October 27, 2008

Can I call Ohio my new home state?

With it’s roads and airspace being routinely crisscrossed by politicans of both parties in the last few weeks, Ohio is assuming once again national importance. I’m happy….but not for that reason.

I’m happy, because, after 10+ years, I want to call Ohio my new home state…if you guys will take me?

That’s not to say I don’t love my old state, not by any means.  It’s just the more I learn about Ohio, the more I like.  There’s history, there’s Red, White, and Boom (in Columbus), and then there’s the sports.  While many love Ohio for it’s successful implementation of the mysterious arts of “football”, I tend to like it for its place in history.  From that viewpoint, Ohio has:

(1)

The Wright Brothers

(2)

“The” Ohio State University and Football:

(3)

However, today, I want to tell you about a town in Eastern Ohio called Steubenville.

(4)

Known as the “City of Murals” for the larger than life displays on the buildings, Steubenville is one of those Ohio towns that have a great sense of history.  Very near to the border of Pennsylvania and with a background in coal mining and heavy industry, the last few years have been touch and go for the city and surrounding areas as the nation transforms itself from manufacturing to a knowledge economy.

However, the town is well known for many things, including:

Dean Martin

Honus Wagner

(5)

and being an integral part of the opening of the great American migration west via Ft. Steuben.  Says Old Fort Steuben:

“…By February 1787, Hamtramck and his men had completed
construction of the fort and named it after Friedrich Wilhelm
von Steuben, a Prussian army officer who had ably assisted
General Washington in the Revolutionary War. The town
that subsequently developed on the site still carries his name….”

Lastly, the town is the birthplace of Dorothy Sloop, who according to Wikipedia was:

“…a jazz musician who performed under the nickname “Sloopy” and was alleged to be the inspiration for the song “Hang on Sloopy“, which is now the official state rock song….”

Lastly, but certainly not the least, Steubenville is also the home for the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  One of the top rated universities in the country, Franciscan is well known for it’s academics as well as a great library and the famous “Steel Cross”(6).

I’ve assembled some great links below.  If you have a moment, it’s well worth your time to find out more about my adopted home state as well as Steubenville.

Have a great day!

Links:

Baseball Almanac: Honus Wagner

Google Books: Honus Wagner

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Wikipedia: Franciscan University of Steubenville

John Paul II Library: University of Steubenville (great library!)

Historic Ft. Steuben

Sources:

(1) Nara

(2) WP Clipart

(3) Wikipedia: OSU Football! and Ohio Stadium: The Shoe!

(4) Wikipedia: Steubenville Courthouse

(5)American Memory Project, Photo courtesy: SDN-056619, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

(6) Wikipedia: Franciscan University of Steubenville

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