Massillon, Ohio

Massillon, Ohio
City of Massillon
—  City  —
Lincoln Way in downtown Massillon in 2006
City of Massillon is located in Ohio
City of Massillon
Location in Ohio
Coordinates: 40°47′43″N 81°31′22″W / 40.79528°N 81.52278°W / 40.79528; -81.52278Coordinates: 40°47′43″N 81°31′22″W / 40.79528°N 81.52278°W / 40.79528; -81.52278
Country United States
State Ohio
County Stark
Incorporated 1868
 – Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr.
 – Total 19.21 sq mi (49.8 km2)
 – Land 19.1 sq mi (49.4 km2)
 – Water 0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation[1] 948 ft (289 m)
Population (2010)
 – Total 32,149
 – Density 1,672/sq mi (645.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 44646-44648
Area code(s) 330
FIPS code 39-48244[2]
GNIS feature ID 1061483[1]

Massillon is a city located in Stark County in the U.S. state of Ohio, approximately 8 miles to the west of Canton, Ohio, 20 miles south of Akron, Ohio, and 50 miles south of Cleveland, Ohio. The population was 32,149 at the 2010 census.

The City of Massillon is the second largest incorporated area within the Canton–Massillon, Ohio metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the Canton-Massillon metropolitan area had a population of 404,422 and includes all of Stark and Carroll counties.



Ohio and Erie Canal in Massillon during the turn of the century

The original settlment of Kendal was founded in 1812 by Thomas Rotch, a Quaker originally of New Bedford, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut. James Duncan of New Hampshire first settled in Kendal before recording the plat for Massillon in December 6, 1826. Duncan, known as the city's founder, named the town after Jean Baptiste Massillon, a French Catholic bishop.[3] The town plat was established along the east bank of the Tuscarawas River, which was the surveyed route for the Ohio and Erie Canal being constructed to connect Lake Erie with the Ohio River. The canal section spanning from Cleveland to Massillon was completed in 1828. Massillon quickly became a major port town along the canal route, known as the Port of Massillon, following the canal's completion in the 1832. The first telegraph lines would reach Massillon in 1847, and the Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad would extend its rails to Massillon in 1852. Massillon incorporated as a village in 1853, which included the towns of Kendal to the east and Brookfield to the west (platted in 1835). In 1868, Massillon incorporated as a city when the populated reached 5,000.

The C. M. Russell & Company, formed in 1842 by Charles. M. Russell and his brothers, Nahum Russell and Clement Russell, manufactured threshing machines and other agricultural implements in Massillon. The company began producing train cars in 1852 and incorporated in 1864 as Russell & Company Inc. In 1884, Russell & Company begain producing its famed steam traction engines and quickly came one of the largest producers of industrial and agricultural equipment in the world.[4]

The Massillon Iron Bridge Company was founded by Joseph Davenport in 1869 after moving to Massillon from Boston to work at the C. M. Russell & Company. Davenport also invented and built the first locomotive "cowcatcher" and cab in Massillon. The company incorporated in 1887 as the The Massillon Bridge Company. The Massillon Bridge Comapny designed and built steel truss bridges throughout the Midwest, many of which stand today.

The Massillon State Hospital for the Insane opened in 1898 on 240 acres of land given to the state of Ohio for the purpose of constructing the hospital. The hospital was established by Ohio governor William McKinley. By 1950 there were nearly 3,000 patients in the hospital. Today the hospital is known as the Massillon Psychiatric Center an serves approximately 300 patients.

Massillon State Hospital in early 1900's

The Forest City Motor Company was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1906 but relocated to Massillon during that same year. Forest City produced approximately 1,000 of their Jewel automobiles in Massillon between 1906 and 1909. The name of the company was changed to the Jewel Motor Car Company but the company eventually ceased production in 1909. [5]

Although steel making and fabrication is found throughout its history, some say Massillon's steel age didn't start until 1909 when the first sheet of steel was rolled at the Massillon Rolling Mill Company. Massillon Rolling merged into the Central Steel Company in 1914, and lit its first open hearth furnace in 1915. Central Steel eventually became known as the Central Alloy Steel Company. In 1930, Central Steel was purchased by the Cleveland based Republic Steel, along with Central Steel's other Massillon divisions including Massillon Union Drawn Steel and its stainless steel division Enduro Stainless. Republic Steel became the third largest steel company in the world, with its Massillon operations employing nearly one-half of the city's workforce by 1959.

Stanley Macomber designed the open-web steel joist in 1921 while working for Massillon’s Central Steel Company. Macomber left Central Steel and founded the Massillon Steel Joist Co. in 1923. His open-web steel joist, patented in 1924, was known as the Massillon Steel Joist. Macomber's invention was a revolutionary assembly of steel joists with a top slab used to support of floors, ceilings and roofs. The basis of Macomber's steel joist design is still used today. Stanley Macomber was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2011.[6]

Lincoln Highway (US-30) looking east into Downtown Massillon, 1966

Lincoln Highway, the first US highway to run from coast to coast, was completed in 1913 and followed Main Street through the center of Massillon. Main Street was eventually renamed Lincoln Way in recognition of the new federal highway. In 1928, the federal government renamed Lincoln Highway to US 30. A controlled access freeway was constructed in 1971, bypassing US-30 around to the city's most southern part.

The Massillon Museum was established in 1933 in order to preserve the city's rich history. The museum was accredited in 1972 by the American Association of Museums and is currently located downtown in the historic Gensemer Brothers Dry Goods building. The museum's collection encompasses approximately 100,000 objects in 94 categories, 60,000 photographs, and 18,000 archival and reference documents. The Immel Circus is one of the museum's most interesting collections. The 100-square foot miniature circus contains 2,620 pieces: thirty-six elephants, 186 horses, 102 assorted animals, ninety-one wagons, seven tents, and 2,207 people. Most of the pieces were hand-carved by Dr. Robert Immel of Massillon using tools from his dental practice.[7]

LKF - The unincorporated town of Massillon, Iowa was named after the city in 1854.

Little Steel Strike

Massillon was the site of one of the most tragic instance of anti-union violence in the history of the United States. The Steel Workers Organizing Committee begain an attempt to organize workers at Republic Steel in the spring of 1937, following the unionizing of workers at the country's two largest steel companies US Steel and Jones & Laughlin Steel. In retaliation, Republic Steel expelled over 1000 union supporters at plants in Canton and Massillon. On May 26th, the union eventually called for all workers at Republic Steel, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, and Inland Steel (together known as Little Steel) to strike in response to the treatment of workers in Massillon and Canton.

On the night of July 11, 1937, a car failed to dim its headlights as it approached a police barracade near a picket line at one of the Massillon plants. City police assumed the worst and without warning opened fire with rifles and shotguns. Police then used this infraction to raid a peaceful crowd that was gathered in front of the union headquarters. Police pumped tear gas canisters and opened fire into the fleeing crowd. Joined by National Guardsmen, the police destroyed the union hall and arrested every suspected unionist they could find. Three men were killed and hundreds were injured during this incident.[8]

A historical marker was errected in 2004 in front of the Massillon City Hall in rememberance of the Little Steel Strike of 1937.

Coxey's Army

Jacob S. Coxey, Sr. sometimes known as General Coxey (April 16, 1854 – May 18, 1951) of Massillon, Ohio, was an American politician, who ran for elective office several times in Ohio. He twice led Coxey's Army in 1894 and 1914, consisting of a group of unemployed men that he led on marches from Massillon, Ohio to Washington, D.C. to present a "Petition in Boots" demanding that the United States Congress allocate funds to create jobs for the unemployed. Although his march failed, Coxey's Army was an early attempt to arouse political interest in an issue that grew in importance until the Social Security Act of 1935 encouraged the establishment of state unemployment insurance programs. Jacob Coxey was elected Mayor of Massillon in 1931.


While the first players known to be paid to play football are believed to have played for club teams in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, perhaps the first great professional football rivalry was between the Massillon Tigers and Canton Bulldogs from 1903 to 1906 and 1915 to 1919. This rivalry predates both the NFL and the aforementioned rivalry between the Massillon and Canton high schools which continue to use the nicknames of these early professional teams. The Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) web site includes articles about the early years of this rivalry,[9] as well as articles about the history of football through the 1970s.

Paul Brown Tiger Stadium filled to capacity during the annual Massillon-Mckinley game

The name Massillon is most notably associated with the Massillon Washington High School football team, the Tigers. Distinguished Massillon alumni include former Ohio State University, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals coach Paul Brown, and former Ohio State University player and former NFL All-Pro linebacker Chris Spielman. The Tigers are historically one of the winningest high school football teams in the United States, second only to Valdosta High School in Valdosta, Georgia. Along with the Canton McKinley High School Bulldogs, the Tigers represent one half of what many consider to be the greatest high school football rivalry in the nation.[10] Both Massillon and their fierce rivalry with Canton are subjects of the 1999 documentary film Go Tigers!.

A look inside the Paul L. David Athletic Center located next to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

The construction of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon was completed in 1939 through the Works Progress Administration program. The stadium currently holds 16,600 people and is named after former Tiger player and head coach Paul Brown. Besides being the regular season home of the Massillon Tiger Football team, the stadium hosts numerous Ohio High School Athletic Association state football playoff games as well as divisional championship games. The stadium also hosts the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame drum and bugle corps competition. The stadium is listed as a historical site by the State of Ohio.

Massillon's Paul L. David Athletic Training Center was built in 2008 by local philanthropist Jeff David in honor of his late father. The 3 million dollar, 80,000 square foot building is the largest indoor football practic facility in the state of Ohio, 20,000-square-feet larger than the facility used by the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

The Tigers have accumulated 22 state AP championships and 9 national AP championships during the school's history. As of 2010, the Tigers have accumulated an overall record of 803-244-35, a performance not approached by any Ohio high school football team. In the years since the Ohio high school playoff system was instituted in 1972, the Tigers have accumulated a current record of 314-116-4. The Tigers have made the playoffs 18 times, the final four six times, and the final championship game three times. There have been 23 professional players, 3 NFL coaches, and 14 collegiate all-Americans that have graduated from Massillon.[11]

Tiger Swing Band performing during halftime

The Massillon Tiger Swing Band was created by the legendary George "Red" Bird in 1938 during the Paul Brown era of Massillon football. The band became known as "The Greatest Show in High School Football" and is still a very important part of the Massillon football tradition. The band's swing style includes moving formations and musicians marching with a swing step. The Tiger Swing band begins every home football game with the traditional hometown songs of Massillon Will Shine, Stand Up and Cheer (to acknowledge the other team), the National Anthem, Eye of the Tiger and the WHS Alma Mater. At the beginning of each half time show, they perform what is known as "Opening Routine." This is a tradition that goes back for decades and consists of the band's entrance ("Turn Arounds") followed by Fanfare, Tiger Rag and Carry On. This entire routine is marched at 180 beats per minute and is practiced from the beginning of the rehearsals through the entire season.[12]

In July 2008 Massillon was nominated as one of only twenty cities nationwide as a finalist in ESPN's "Titletown U.S.A" contest.[13] On July 21, a rally was held at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium while ESPN filmed a segment that was aired on SportsCenter. Massillon finished fourth in the voting behind Valdosta, Georgia; Parkersburg, West Virginia; and Green Bay, Wisconsin.[14]


Massillon is located at 40°47′43″N 81°31′22″W / 40.79528°N 81.52278°W / 40.79528; -81.52278 (40.795270, -81.522896),[15] along the Tuscarawas River.[16]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.21 square miles (49.8 km2), of which 19.1 square miles (49 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.83%, is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 3,819
1870 5,185 35.8%
1880 6,836 31.8%
1890 10,092 47.6%
1900 11,944 18.4%
1910 10,092 −15.5%
1920 17,428 72.7%
1930 26,400 51.5%
1940 26,644 0.9%
1950 29,594 11.1%
1960 31,236 5.5%
1970 32,539 4.2%
1980 30,557 −6.1%
1990 31,007 1.5%
2000 31,325 1.0%
2010 32,149 2.6%

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 31,325 people, 12,677 households, and 8,328 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,870.3 people per square mile (722.1/km²). There were 13,567 housing units at an average density of 810.0 per square mile (312.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.18% White, 9.39% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.34% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.96% of the population.

There were 12,677 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,734, and the median income for a family was $41,058. Males had a median income of $32,021 versus $22,327 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,633. About 8.3% of families and 10.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.


The following public school districts reside within the Massillon metropolitan area:

Massillon City School District, Massillon Washington High School

Massillon Jackson Local School District, Jackson High School (Massillon, Ohio)

Massillon Perry Local School District, Perry High School (Massillon, Ohio)

Massillon Tuslaw Local School District, Tuslaw High School

Fairless Local School District, Fairless High School

R.D. Drage Career Center, Stark County Area Vocational School District, Stark County, Ohio

Private schools serving the Massillon area include Massillon Christian School, St. Barbara's Elementary, St. Mary's Elementary, and Central Catholic High School (Canton, Ohio).


Massillon is served by the following state and federal highways: US-30, US-62, SR-21, SR-172, SR-241, SR-236, SR-93. Interstate 77 bypasses the city to the east and is accessible via interchanges on SR-21N, SR-241N, SR-172E, US-30E, SR-21S.

Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) provides public transit bus service within the city, including service to Canton, the Akron-Canton Regional Airport, and the Amtrak station located in Alliance.

The Akron-Canton Regional Airport is located 10 miles north of the city and provides daily commercial passenger and air freight service.

Amtrak offers daily service to Chicago and Washington D.C. from their regional passenger station located in Alliance. Passenger rail service within the city was ended in 1971.

Fidelity US Coach Tours provides charter bus service from the city.

Norfolk Southern and Wheeling-Lake Erie railroads provide freight service in Massillon.


Massillon is part of the greater Cleveland radio and television media market.

The local newspaper is called the Massillon Independent.

WTIG AM 990 is located in Massillon and serves the local Massillon/Western Stark County area.

Notable natives

Listed alphabetically, by last name:

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Stark County Recorder's Office, Plats, Book 5, Page 17
  4. ^
  5. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950)
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Zieger, Robert H. The CIO, 1935-1955. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8078-2182-9 p. 62-63.
  9. ^ Braunwart, Bob; Carroll, Bob (1981). "The Ohio League" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  10. ^ All Things Considered, NPR, 20 November 2009.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Massillon caps ESPN TitleTown segments". The Independent. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  14. ^ "No TitleTown for TigerTown". The Independent. 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  16. ^ DeLorme (1991). Ohio Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-233-1.
  17. ^ "The Story of Mayhew Folger". Massillon Museum. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  18. ^ Go, Vay Liang W.. "Morton I. Grossman (1919-1981)". International Regulatory Peptide Society. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Bob Knight". Library Factfiles. The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  20. ^ "Machinist's Mate First Class Robert R. Scott, USN, (1915–1941)". US Department of the Navy. December 3, 2000. Retrieved February 17, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Former Tuslaw Great Ryan Travis signed by the NFL's Seattle Seahawks". The Massillon Independent. July 27, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  22. ^ Lawrence, J.M. (June 9, 2008). "James Young, 78, physician to Kennedy and Johnson". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 

External links

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