Portage County Timeline

JANUARY 1785 – Treaty of Fort McIntosh – American

Indians agree to allow white settlement east of the Cuyahoga River.

1799 – First settlers of Portage County arrive in Deerfield Township.

1803 – Ohio becomes a state in the Union.

1803 – First schools are built in the area – Deerfield, Ravenna, and Aurora. The Bible is the only textbook in many parts.

JUNE 8, 1908 – Portage County is chartered by Ohio State legislature. It is named Portage County because American Indians and white men would regularly “portage” (carry) canoes from the Cuyahoga to the Tuscarawas River and viceversa when trading.

1810 – First census is taken, with 2,995 citizens in Portage County.

1814 – First public execution: Henry Aungst, hanging, near Sycamore St., Ravenna.

1822 – First permanent settlers of Portage County arrive.

1830 – Zenas Kent built the Ravenna courthouse.

1860 – Start of Civil War – 2,000 men and boys (out of a population of 24,208) leave for Union Army. Three hundred die. In Windham, 117 men and boys enlist out of total population of 813.

1865 – Last public execution.

1910 – Creation of Kent Normal School for teachers (soon to be Kent State University).

1917 – Goodyear Airship hangar in Windham is constructed. It is now the oldest airship base in the nation.

1922 – Founding of Bohecker Business College, Ravenna, OH.

1949 – Midway drive-in theater in Kent opens. Movies cost 60 cents, with children under 12 free.

1950 – Census reports population of 63, 954.

APRIL 17, 1951 – Creation of Portage County Historical Society.

MAY 4, 1970 – National guardsmen open fire on anti-Vietnam War protesters and kill four Kent State students, some of whom were just walking from class to class.

2000 – Census reports population of 153,000 residents in Portage County.

JUNE 8, 2008 – Portage County celebrates bicentennial.

Sources: Portage Heritage: Issue Portage County (Published by Portage County Historical Society), Portage Remembrance Series (Published by Heritage Publications)