Patriotic Pilgrimage: Presidential landmarks in Ohio


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate your patriotism over the Fourth of July holiday, there are plenty of places to visit that you may want to put on your list.

7 U.S. presidents were born in Ohio and leave behind a lasting legacy for the nation and the Buckeye State.

In addition to being one of America’s bellwether states, Ohio has also produced the most presidents of any state, only behind Virginia.

Ulysses S Grant 1869 – 1877

American soldier, statesman and 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant (1822 – 1885) as Lieutenant general, circa 1865. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ulysses S. Grant was America’s 18th president. He was born in Point Pleasant, in 1822, just a little over two decades after Ohio’s statehood.

He later lived in Georgetown, Ohio before attending West Point.

He famously led the Union Army to victory in the American Civil War in 1865.

Grant became President of the United States in 1869 and served until 1877.

Rutherford B. Hayes 1877-1881

Portrait of the 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. (1822-1893) (Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)

Grant was succeeded by Rutherford B. Hayes of Delaware, Ohio.

Hayes attended Methodist Norwalk Seminary in Norwalk.

He served as an Ohio congressman and later governor of the Buckeye state in 8967.

He served as president from 1877 to 1881. He did not seek re-election.

He helped found The Ohio State University. Hayes Hall is named for him and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

He donated his home in Fremont to the state of Ohio.

Hayes was reinterred at Spiegel Grove State Park in 1915.

The Hayes Commemorative Library and Museum later opened at the site.

It was America’s first presidential library.

James Garfield March 4 1881 – September 19, 1881

James Abram Garfield (1831 – 1881), 20th President of the United States. Following his support of civil service reform he was shot by Charles Guiteau, a disappointed office seeker. (Photo by Edward Gooch Collection/Getty Images)

Fellow Ohioan James Garfield succeeded Hayes.

Garfield was born in what is now Moreland Hills.

Garfield represented Ohio’s 19th district as Congressman starting in 1862.

The 20th President of the United States served from March through September of 1881.

He was shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2, 1881 at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C.

He died 79 days later.

Garfield is buried at Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery.

Benjamin Harrison 1889 – 1893

President Benjamin Harrison of the United States serving from 1889 to 1893. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio.

His grandfather was William Henry Harrison, who served as president for 31 days in 1841.

Harrison attended Miami University. Franklin Hall was renamed Harrison Hall in his honor in 1931.

Benjamin was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1854 but moved to Indiana the same year.

Harrison beat President Grover Cleveland in the general election.

He was sworn-in in 1889.

Six new states, the most of any presidency, were admitted to the Union when Harrison was president.

They include North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Harrison ultimately lost his re-election campaign to former President Grover Cleveland.

William McKinley 1897 – 1901

377869 73: William McKinley, twenty-fifth President of the United States serving from 1897 to 1901. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio.

He would end up being the last U.S. president to have served in the American Civil War and began his service as an enlisted man.

McKinley volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army while working as a postal worker and teacher in Poland, Ohio.

After the war, he settled in Canton, where he practiced law in a building on Main Street.

The family attended the First Presbyterian Church of Canton.

Eventually he served as governor of Ohio and had a rising political career.

When he ran for president, McKinley attended the convention via phone from Canton.

He was sworn-in as the 25th president in 1897.

McKinley was shot twice in the abdomen in Buffalo in 1901, shortly after his re-election.

He died more than a week later.

He lied in state at the Stark County Courthouse.

McKinley was first buried at the West Lawn Cemetery in Canton.

He was later interred at the McKinley National Memorial in Canton.

There is also the William McKinley Monument in front of the Ohio Statehouse, as well as a monument in Niles, and several schools across the U.S. are named after him.

William Howard Taft 1909 – 1913

1909: William Howard Taft (1857 – 1930), the 27th President of the United States. He later served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States

He was born in Cincinnati in 1857, where he later attended Woodward High School.

He became a member of the Ohio bar and was appointed to a vacancy on the Superior Court of Cincinnati at age 29.

Taft ran for president in 1908 and was sworn in March 4, 1909.

After he lost re-election, he served as a Supreme Court justice, and is the only person to hold both that office and serve as president.

The house in Cincinnati where Taft was born is now the William Howard Taft National Historic Site.

Warren G. Harding 1921 – 1923

July 1923: Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865 – 1923), the 29th American President, smiling. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Warren G. Harding was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio, in 1865 but spent most of his life in Marion.

He bought The Marion Star when he was just 18 and later served in the Ohio State Senate, then the United States Senate.

When he ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1920, he was considered a long shot.

He eventually won in a landslide in the general election.

Harding was sworn in on March 4, 1921.

He conducted a lot of presidential business from his home in Marion, which is now a restored National Historic Landmark.

According to the website, it is open for tours and features many of the original furnishings.

The Presidential Library and Museum is there.

Harding and his wife Florence are buried nearby as well.

Harding died on August 2, 1923 of what was believed to be a cardiac arrest.

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