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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Defiance in Defiance County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

1913 Flood

1st and Wayne

 
 
1913 Flood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Doda, March 24, 2019
1. 1913 Flood Marker
Inscription.  
Defiance's Original Plat
Historic Homes of Defiance began researching Defiance's Original Plan in 2000 with the intent of nominating a significant number of blocks to an historic district. The district is significant and eligible for nomination with the National Parks Department because of the people who lived there and the role that they played in Defiance's part of the Industrial Revolution. Before the Civil War, in 1861, the USA was fourth in manufacturing behind England, France and Germany. In less than 40 years, despite battling a bloody Civil War, the USA was able to surpass the manufacturing production of those three countries combined making it an economic super power by the turn of the 20th century. We accomplished this because every small town in America was making something. This culture of production had never been seen in world history.

This original plat is important because the homes here represent the lives and lifestyles of the men and women who played the leading role in this American story. Here lived many of the bankers, managers, and business owners who were integral to this history. By the late
1913 Flood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Doda, March 24, 2019
2. 1913 Flood Marker
1800's sixty percent of Ohio's working population was working in manufacturing. The homes in this district represent 1860 through 1930.

The homes here also represent specific architectural styles. There are homes from the late 1800's representing the intricate and highly stylized Victorian designs of Greek Revival, Italianate and Queen Ann Styles. Then we begin to move into a more modern style at the turn of the century and see sleeker, less fussy styles such as Arts & Crafts, Prairie and Bungalow.

1913 - Economic & Architectural Turning Point
As members of Historic Homes of Defiance researched the homes in this district, we realized that the 1913 Flood could have been a real problem in the local economy. The Miami and Erie Canal running right through the heart of the Original Plat had played a crucial role in Defiance's development. The original economy had developed around raw materials such as timber, pot ash, brick, and leather. Early manufacturing was making simple products such as furniture, plows and stoves that were shipped out via the canal. Although the canals had been losing out in freight to the railroads, the canal was still playing an important role in the towns who had built their economies around them. 1913 meant that it all had to change. Men who had worked as machinists and managers at businesses such as Defiance Machine Works,
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Defiance Box Company, and Defiance Pressed Steel Company saw what was coming and drove Defiance on to compete in much more advanced and technology-based industries. One such family began their venture right here in this very neighborhood beginning their venture Compo Corporation in their garage which is still seen today as one exit's the Public Library and looks ahead down the alley to the left.

Another important venture was All Star Products which built radio transistors. Its founders were also residents of this neighborhood. The people from this newer era either significantly remodeled their 19th century homes or built newer and more modern styles from the ground up. Locals know that even though so many of these homes look 20th century, many still retain the native timbers harvested at Defiance's beginning and may even contain the fabled remnants of Fort Defiance and Winchester so efficiently drug away and reused by our pioneer founders.

[Caption:]
The Original Plat
This photo from the Bronson Collection identifies Don Swizer holding his cap in black. He is a bookkeeper for the Defiance Machine Works and resides at 317 Jefferson. One of the other men in the group is Lloyd V. Tuttle, the City Editor for the Crescent News.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture
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DisastersIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 41° 17.218′ N, 84° 21.603′ W. Marker is in Defiance, Ohio, in Defiance County. Marker is at the intersection of West 1st Street and Wayne Avenue, on the left when traveling west on West 1st Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 Wayne Ave, Defiance OH 43512, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Defiance (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Defiance (about 700 feet away); The Indian Wars (about 700 feet away); Fort Winchester (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Winchester (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Defiance (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Winchester (about 800 feet away); Fort Defiance Flagstaff (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Defiance.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2020, by Craig Doda of Wauseon, Ohio, Ohio, U.S.A.. This page has been viewed 22 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 16, 2020, by Craig Doda of Wauseon, Ohio, Ohio, U.S.A.. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Oct. 28, 2020