1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ohio
OHIO (see 20.25). In 1920 Ohio still held the fourth place among the states of the American Union, with a pop. of 5,759,394, an increase of 992,279 or 20.8% for the decade 1910-20. This was the largest rate of increase since the Civil War. The density of pop. rose from 102.1 per sq. m. in 1900, to 117 in 1910, and 141.4 in 1920. There was a marked increase in the negro pop. of the cities by migration from the far South, and of the foreign element from other states and from abroad. More significant was the drift from rural districts to cities. In 1900 the urban pop. in cities and incorporated villages of 2,500 inhabitants or more formed 48.1% of the total, in 1910 55.9% and in 1920 63.8 per cent. Virtually two-thirds of the people of Ohio in 1920 lived in urban communities. The largest change was in the strictly rural, that is, unincorporated territory. Each successive decade since 1900 has shown an absolute decline in the rural population. The number of cities containing more than 25,000 inhabitants increased (1910-20) from 14 to 22, of those of more than 100,000 from five to seven.
The following table shows the pop. and percentages of increase of all cities of over 30,000 inhabitants:—
|1920||1910|| Increase |
The largest increase was in the cities forming a belt about Cleveland. Except in the case of Akron, none of the cities having more than 100,000 inhabitants increased at as high a rate during the decade 1910-20 as during the preceding one.
Communications.—A flood in 1913 (see History, below) wrecked the two principal canals, the Miami and Erie from Cincinnati to Toledo and the Ohio and Erie from Portsmouth on the Ohio river to Cleveland. Though they have not been restored and are not likely to be in the near future, the state derives a larger income from land rentals on the old right of way and the sale of water rights from the fragments of the old system than it did from the canals when they were in full operation. In fact the state is receiving (1921) a fair return on the capital invested. In recent years the lower part of the Muskingum river and that part of the Ohio bordering the state has been canalized. The chief development in transportation has been the expansion of interurban traction service and the establishment of motor-truck lines. In 1919 there were 4,223 m. of electric railway; only New York and Pennsylvania had more. In steam-railway mileage there was no significant change between 1900 and 1920. In order to meet the demand of the motor-car for improved roads large state expenditures have been made. During 1918 only three states, Iowa, New York and Pennsylvania, spent a larger sum on improving roads; only four, California, New York, Pennsylvania and Iowa, had spent more during the period of statehood. As a result at that time 31,800 m. or 36.8% of the rural public roads had been surfaced. No state had so large a total of surfaced mileage.
Agriculture.—The total value of all farm property in 1920 was $3,095,666,336, as against $1,902,694,589 in 1910, an increase of 62.7 percent. The total for 1920 included land and buildings, $2,661,435,949; implements and machinery, $146,575,269; and live stock, $287,655,118. There had been slight change in 10 or even 20 years in the proportion of farms cultivated by owners and by tenants; about 70% are worked by the owners or part-owners; 63% contain less than 100 acres, 99% less than 500 acres. The size of the average farm is about 80 acres.
The statistics of Ohio crops in 1920 showed an increased productivity of farm land. Corn and oats are the only grains which show a decline in the total output. In 1918 Ohio was the fourth state in the production of hay and tobacco, fifth in the production of corn and oats, and sixth in wheat. Ohio also ranks high in the quantity of its dairy products, the value of which was $81,148,586, an increase of 184% over 1909.
The following table shows the quantity and value of Ohio's agricultural products according to U.S. census of 1920:—
Agricultural Production (1919)
(U.S. Census Reports)
|Value|| Increase |
|Cereals, total (bus.)||259,547,851||4.8||391,834,355||184.1|
|Beans, peas, peanuts, flaxseed, sugar-beet seed||281,767||558.4|
|Seeds: Clover, alfalfa, timothy, etc. (bus.)||309,968||7.4||5,978,760||321.2|
|Hay and forage (tons)||7,661,890||130,187,929|
|Fruits and nuts||15,172,769||93.1|
The total for cereals includes barley, rye, buckwheat, and mixed crops besides corn, oats and wheat. “Miscellaneous” includes tobacco, sorghum, sugar-beets, maple sugar, broom corn, hemp, ginseng and minor crops. The total acreage harvested in 1919 was 11,780,554, an increase of 3.1% over 1909.
Mineral Products.—In 1918 Ohio ranked fifth among the states in the value of the products of mining industries in general, fourth in the amount of bituminous coal produced. From 1900 to 1918 there was an increase in the annual output of bituminous coal from 16,900,000 short tons to 40,900,000, an increase of 142% which was about the rate of increase in other coal-mining states. Ohio produced 7.6% of the bituminous coal of the United States in 1917. Of this 85.7% was mined by machinery, mostly electrically driven. The coal of Ohio is produced mainly in the south-eastern part of the state, in Belmont, Athens, Jefferson, Guernsey, Perry and Hocking counties. The fire-clay mines of Tuscarawas, Jefferson, Columbiana, Stark and Carroll counties supply the raw material for a rapidly rising industry. In coke Ohio ranked third (1917) with a production of 3,694,302 net tons; in the value of its natural gas output (1918) it was fourth, $24,234,741. As a producer of crude petroleum Ohio has fallen far behind in recent years; the total for 1918 was 7,285,005 bar. with a value of $23,465,197.
Manufactures.—According to the preliminary report of the census bureau for the year 1919, manufactured products were valued at $5,100,298,728; the average number of wage-earners was 730,733, and the value added by manufacture, $2,189,460,420. The pig-iron tonnage, 8,700 tons in 1918, was nearly as great as that of Great Britain at the same time. The most notable advance in the decade was in the production of motor-cars, in which Ohio ranked next to Michigan, and in the manufacture of motor-car tires. The following table shows the relative importance in 1914 of leading manufacturing industries the value of whose products exceeded $25,000,000:—
| Increase |
|Iron and steel||46,397||205,023,391||3.7|
|Foundries, machine shops||73,103||178,855,069||22.6|
|Printing and publishing||18,070||55,608,924||33.5|
|Brick and tile products||27,334||38,667,374||26.6|
|Boots and shoes||14,674||33,641,705||6.6|
|Railway cars, etc.||21,639||33,286,205||16.0|
- Includes only operations of steam railways in building their own equipment.
The true value of all property in Ohio was estimated in 1912 at $8,908,432,943, but with all its varied industries the per capita wealth ($1,868) was below that of other manufacturing states such as New York Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut and Michigan, and that of agricultural states such as Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and California.
History.—The chief political advance in the decade 1910-20 was the progress in adapting the constitution and the system of administration to the new needs of the state.
The constitution was made in 1851 for a frontier agricultural community, and no important changes had occurred in 60 years. A revision of the constitution in 1874 was defeated at the polls, largely because of the clauses on taxation. It was, however, the beginning of a struggle for the readjustment of the system of taxation to meet more complex social conditions. A proposal to hold a convention in 1891 was rejected by the voters. As the end of another 20 years approached, the Ohio Board of Commerce, which was conducting the campaign for tax reform, started a movement for a general constitutional convention. Several groups, like the Ohio Direct Legislation League, which advocated the initiative and the referendum, and the liquor interests that saw an opportunity to secure a licensing system, supported the movement, which was endorsed by both political parties. At the election of 1910 a convention was almost unanimously approved. Delegates were chosen in Nov. 1911, and the convention sat Jan.-June 1912. The delegates, of whom the majority were Democrats, represented the progressive elements of both major parties. Forty-two amendments were submitted to the voters on Sept. 3, 1912, of which 34 were ratified. Among the proposals defeated were those for the abolition of capital punishment, woman suffrage, the use of voting machines, and $50,000,000 bond issue for a state system of roads. In the convention itself the tax reformers lost their main battle for a classification of property for purposes of taxation. Indeed the convention and the voters approved a clause which was intended to make it more difficult for supporters of tax reform to succeed. The tax reformers did secure for the General Assembly the power to impose, if it would, inheritance, income and franchise taxes as well as taxes upon the production of coal, oil, gas and other minerals. A tax commission of three created in 1910 did succeed in bringing out for taxation the property of corporations at something near a true valuation, and in obtaining the adoption of the 1% rule as the maximum rate for taxation. The League for Direct Legislation secured the initiative and the referendum, the liquor interests a licensing system. Many of the amendments expressly enlarged the powers of the General Assembly. Several sought by the labour element were intended to spur the Legislature to action for industrial and social betterment. Amendments affecting the judiciary and the jury system were designed to expedite the work of the courts. A home-rule amendment gave the cities freedom to adjust themselves to the new economic conditions. The old rule that amendments to be ratified must be approved by the majority of those voting in the election gave way to a new one requiring only a majority of those voting on the amendment. An attempt in 1913, following the convention of 1912, to introduce the short ballot by making a large number of state, county and township officers appointive, failed. In 1918 the effort which had continued for nearly 50 years to give the Legislature power to classify property for taxation was approved by the people, only to be declared unconstitutional by the courts, on a technicality. At the same time, on the eve of Federal prohibition, an amendment incorporated state prohibition in the state constitution.
More significant of the purpose to adapt state government to the needs of the time is the legislative history. In 1909 Ohio had the customary administrative system composed of special boards, commissioners, bureaus and departments created to meet special problems as the Legislature had recognized them, but with overlapping jurisdiction and uncertain responsibility. In hardly any respect was the state service adequate or modern. In charge of the charitable and penal institutions, for example, were 18 or 19 separate boards, competing for support, maintaining as many accounting systems, failing wholly in coordination. Successive Legislatures took up during the following decade the problem of reorganization. For a time, chiefly during the years 1909-15, the legislators seemed to be working towards a commission type of administrative organization. Then followed a period of hesitation in which party politics interfered with progress, 1915-7. The third stage of opinion, following 1917, strongly favoured a single executive officer, appointed by the governor.
A law of 1910 centralized the taxing power in a small State Tax Commission, bringing to an end an expensive system of decennial boards of equalization. The following year all the charitable and penal institutions were placed under a Board of Administration. Four commissioners took the place of 57 trustees. A single fiscal agent replaced 19 stewards. In 1911 the old Railroad Commission became the Public Service Commission. In this case, largely for personal reasons, the duties of state commissioner of railways and telegraphs, created in 1867, had been transferred to a commission of three members (Act of 1906). The law of 1911 gave the Public Service Commission the same power over public utilities in general which the Railroad Commission had had over railways and telegraphs. In 1913 the Legislature changed the Public Service Commission to a
Public Utilities Commission. The duties of the commission were redefined, emphasizing the procedure in the valuation of property and the determination of the reasonableness of rates and charges for public utilities. At the same session of the General Assembly a State Industrial Commission of three members was created to assume the functions of the Board of Awards in industrial accidents, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Mine Inspection, the Department of Inspection of Workshops, Factories, and Public Buildings, the Board of Examiners of Steam Engineers, and the Board of Arbitration, together with the new duties of regulating hours and conditions of labour. This Act was a part of the legislative progress of industrial insurance in Ohio. In 1911 the Workmen's Compensation Act had substituted “a system of compensation for industrial accidents, which compensation is to be paid out of a state insurance fund, to which both employers and employees contributed (90% and 10% respectively) in lieu of the civil action for damages.” This first plan of state insurance was optional. The Act applied only to employers with five or more employees. A State Liability Board of Awards, with one member representative of labour, one of employers, and another of the public, was created to administer the system of compensation. The law of 1913 made the system compulsory. Employers were required to guard the safety of employees and also to arrange reasonable hours of work. Employers with less than five employees might take out workmen's insurance and have the benefit of the cheap state rates and of the protection from civil suits for damages which the system gives the employers. Ohio under the Act maintains its own state insurance fund. Every employer pays into the fund an amount proportioned by the State Industrial Commission to the amount of the pay-roll and the hazards of the occupation. The employer may carry his own compensation insurance, but in that case he must give the state a bond. By 1918 the premium income to the state fund amounted annually to $9,000,000. At a cost of 4½% of the premium receipts the Industrial Commission gave protection to more than 1,500,000 workmen.
In the days when the interests of Ohio were chiefly agricultural there were three especially important institutions: the Department of Agriculture, the State Experiment Station and the College of Agriculture. There was, however, confusion regarding the specific duties of each, and duplication of work. To remedy this the reform Legislature of 1913 brought the three institutions, together with the dairy and food commissioner and the fish and game commissioner, under a small agricultural commission with four members. Two years later, with a change of administration, the Legislature undid the reform in part, making the Experiment Station and the Agricultural College independent institutions, and restoring the large Board of Agriculture of 10 members without a salary. A change in political parties occurred again in 1917 and the Legislature, while retaining the large Board of Agriculture, made its functions those of an advisory council. The position of Secretary of Agriculture was created, and responsibility put upon him as director of the department.
The same type of organization was applied in 1917 to education and health. There had been an elective state commissioner of common schools since 1853. One of the constitutional amendments of 1912 instructed the Legislature to make provision for a state-wide public-school system, and substitute for the commissioner elected by the people a superintendent of public instruction, appointed by the governor. The Legislature appointed a special commission to survey the needs of the rural schools and in 1914 enacted a Rural School Code; three years later it created a State Board of Education. A state superintendent of public instruction appointed by the governor became secretary and executive head. The reorganized Department of Education was instructed to emphasize rural agricultural education, and to coöperate with the Federal Government in vocational education. The old State Board of Health was at the same session subjected to a similar reform. In caring for the health of its people Ohio had been notoriously backward. Successive legislative Acts increased the power of the State Board of Health and prepared the public mind for the reorganization of 1917-9. In the Act of 1917 a State Commissioner of Health was supported by an Advisory Public Health Council of four members. The statute of 1919 created a state-wide system of municipal and general health districts. Cities of 25,000 constituted municipal health districts; townships and smaller cities general health districts. The law provided for local commissioners of health and an Advisory Council modelled on the state organization. The powers of the Department of Health were greatly increased, and each district received power to employ physicians and nurses so far as necessary to protect the health of the community. The interest in roads led the General Assembly in 1915 to create a State Highway Commissioner. The following session of the General Assembly added a State Highway Advisory Board to serve without compensation. An Act of 1919 established a state highway levy of 5/10 of a mill per $100, and authorized the development of a state system of highways and coöperation with the road-making enterprises of the Federal Government.
With a change of administration in 1921 the further reorganization of the state system of administration was made the principal policy. An Act was passed which combined the numerous departments and commissions which had grown up in recent years by legislative enactment into nine departments—finance, commerce, public works, agriculture, health, industrial relations, examinations, education and
public welfare. At the head of each is a director, appointed by the governor. Each director is authorized to appoint, with the governor's approval, a purely advisory board. If the Act stands the test of constitutionality Ohio will have a system of administration analogous to that of the Federal Government. The state directors of departments correspond to the heads of the national departments. The secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and attorney-general are still elected by popular vote. A change in the method of choosing them can only be made by a constitutional amendment, although in some cases the Act of 1921 transferred their duties to the new departments.
The General Assembly of 1913 authorized civil service reform and a budget system. A civil service commission of three, subsequently reduced to two, was established. Another statute authorized a commission or commissioner of budget, but made no direct specifications regarding the organization. From 1914 to 1921 there was a budget commissioner, and the foundations of modern budget procedure were laid. In 1917 the governor presented his budget to the Legislature, meeting both Houses in joint session and explaining the items of the budget and answering questions from the floor. Other progressive legislation included a children's code (1913), providing a state-wide juvenile court and a mothers' allowance system, and a pension system for teachers in the public schools (1919), supported in part by contributions from the teachers and in part from the school boards.
A disastrous flood in 1913, affecting especially the inhabitants of the Miami, the Scioto, and the Muskingum river valleys, led to a most thoroughgoing measure for the protection of the river valleys from future damage of the kind. The following session of the Legislature authorized the inhabitants of a danger area to form themselves into a “conservancy district” and appoint a “conservancy board” which should have adequate powers to secure funds by assessing the property of the affected area and to carry out such measures of protection as the board might adopt. By 1921 the Miami Conservancy District had practically completed a series of dry reservoir dams costing $25,000,000. The flood of 1913 cost more than 500 lives and in property an amount estimated from $250,000,000 to $350,000,000. At an expense of one-tenth of this amount one of the three valleys most liable to damage has removed the menace.
The municipal home-rule amendment of 1912 gave cities of over 5,000 inhabitants the privilege of adopting charters with very large powers of local self-government and with a great degree of freedom from legislative interference. The chief limitation was the failure to give the cities home-rule in levying taxes or in incurring debts. The state reserved the control of elections, of education, of the general police powers and all matters affecting the welfare of the state as a whole. However, the courts of Ohio have liberally interpreted the amendment so that the cities came into the possession of a really broad grant of local autonomy if they chose to claim it. Of the 82 cities qualified to adopt home-rule charters about one-fourth had done so by 1921. Fourteen—Akron, Ashtabula, Dayton, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Gallipolis, Lima, Painsville, Sandusky, South Charleston, Springfield, Westerville, and Xenia—had adopted the city-manager plan of municipal government.
In order to mobilize more effectually the war resources and to aid the war policies of the national Government after the entry of the United States into the World War, the governor appointed, June 1 1917, an Ohio branch of the Council of National Defense. It constituted a sort of governor's cabinet on the war, although without legal status. It worked through committees of finance, food conservation, labour and industrial relations, publicity, transportation and the like. A state employment service, organized before the war, performed the important war task of supplying labour for the construction of the cantonment at Chillicothe. As many as 2,760 men were furnished within 24 hours. The total number of men furnished by the state to the army, navy and marine corps was 200,293; the number of deaths 4,982; the amount raised in Liberty and Victory loans $1,324,545,750.
Recent governors have been Judson Harmon (Dem.), 1909-13; James M. Cox (Dem.), 1913-5 and 1917-21; Frank B. Willis (Rep.), 1915-7; Harry L. Davis (Rep.), 1921-. (E. J. B.*)