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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
McGuffey in Hardin County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Village of McGuffey / Great 1934 Onion Strike

 
 
Village of McGuffey Marker (Side A) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 7, 2010
1. Village of McGuffey Marker (Side A)
Inscription.
Side A: Village of McGuffey
The Village of McGuffey was named for John McGuffey, who in the 1860s first attempted to drain the Scioto Marsh. A larger and more effective drainage effort, made by others who entered Hardin County in the 1880s, continued for several decades until thousands of acres of land were in production, principally of onions for which the marsh became nationally known. During the era of highest production of onions, most townspeople were involved in planting, weeding, and harvesting. The fields were bordered by windrows of willow trees to decrease wind damage over the black silt-like muck that was originally ten or more feet deep throughout the marsh. Successful treatment against wind erosion and oxidation reduced the depth of muck to only a few inches.

Side B: Great 1934 Onion Strike
McGuffey was once the center of the national onion trade. From the turn of the 20th century to just after World War II, the rich organic soil of the original immense Scioto Marsh wetland was a productive seedbed for onions, potatoes, celery, asparagus, hemp, and mint. In its heyday of onion harvests, thousands of crates of onions were stored during winter in large specially constructed "Storages." During the summer of 1934, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) issued its first chapter--No.19724--for
Great 1934 Onion Strike Marker (Side B) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 7, 2010
2. Great 1934 Onion Strike Marker (Side B)
an agricultural worker's union when seasonal onion workers, many from southeast Kentucky, struck the larger onion growers for increased wages and more work days. In the ensuing violence, union president Okey Odell was badly beaten and many workers were escorted out of the state. Nationally significant, it was one the nation's first strikes involving a union of agricultural workers.
 
Erected 2000 by Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Village of McGuffey, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 15-33.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 40° 41.66′ N, 83° 47.083′ W. Marker is in McGuffey, Ohio, in Hardin County. Marker is at the intersection of Railroad Street and Courtright Street (Ohio Route 195), on the left when traveling east on Railroad Street. Touch for map. Marker is near the gazebo in the park along the south border of the former railroad right of way. Marker is in this post office area: Alger OH 45812, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Scioto Marsh (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ohio Northern University (approx.
Village of McGuffey / Great 1934 Onion Strike Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 7, 2010
3. Village of McGuffey / Great 1934 Onion Strike Marker
Looking east.
5.3 miles away); Ada Passenger Depot, 1887 (approx. 5.6 miles away); Ada Civil War Memorial (approx. 5.6 miles away); Fort McArthur Cemetery (approx. 6.2 miles away); Hog-Creek Marsh (approx. 6.5 miles away); This Tablet Marks Hullís Trail; 1812 (approx. 6.6 miles away); USS Texas (CGN 39) (approx. 7.2 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Hardin County Onion Pickers Strike. (Submitted on March 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Sam Pollock Papers at Bowling Green State Univ. (Submitted on March 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. AgricultureCivil RightsLabor UnionsNatural FeaturesNotable EventsSettlements & Settlers
 
Probable "Storages" Along Former Railroad Right of Way image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 7, 2010
4. Probable "Storages" Along Former Railroad Right of Way
Village of McGuffey Sign at Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 7, 2010
5. Village of McGuffey Sign at Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,290 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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