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Barberton, Ohio
—  City  —
Location of Barberton, Ohio
Location within Summit County, Ohio
Coordinates: 41°0′57″N 81°36′21″W / 41.01583°N 81.60583°W / 41.01583; -81.60583Coordinates: 41°0′57″N 81°36′21″W / 41.01583°N 81.60583°W / 41.01583; -81.60583
Country United States
State Ohio
County Summit
 - Mayor Bob Genet
 - Total 9.2 sq mi (23.9 km2)
 - Land 9.0 sq mi (23.3 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation [1] 974 ft (297 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 27,899
 - Density 3,095.2/sq mi (1,195.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 44203
Area code(s) 330
FIPS code 39-03828[2]
GNIS feature ID 1037625[1]

Barberton is a city in Summit County, Ohio, United States. The population was 27,899 at the 2000 census. It is a commuter town close to Akron and is part of the Metropolitan Statistical Area. The ZIP code for Barberton is 44203.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.2 square miles (23.9 km²), of which, 9.0 square miles (23.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (2.38%) is water.[3]

Lake Anna, a glacial kettle lake, is a 1-acre (4,000 m2) natural spring lake, which lies in the center of the original village of Barberton and is the center of a 21-acre (85,000 m2) park which is named after it. Lake Anna is named for O. C. Barber's daughter Anna Laura Barber.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 27,899 people, 11,523 households, and 7,443 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,095.2 people per square mile (1,195.5/km²). There were 12,163 housing units at an average density of 1,349.4/sq mi (521.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.43% White, 5.33% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.64% of the population.

There were 11,523 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,178, and the median income for a family was $39,387. Males had a median income of $32,294 versus $21,778 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,764. About 11.5% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.

History and Points of Interest

Barberton was founded in 1891 by Ohio Columbus Barber, who planned the town as a means for asserting his vision of industry, progress and community. The manufacturing operations of the Diamond Match Company, also founded by O.C. Barber, was located in Barberton.[4] In the valley running parallel to the Tuscarawas River and the Ohio & Erie Canal, he oversaw the construction of factories, residential neighborhoods and a compact commercial downtown. In the center of the new city was Lake Anna, named after Barber's daughter, Janet.

O.C. Barber stables.

On a high hill on the east side of town, Barber built a magnificent industrial farm and estate comprising dozens of barns, greenhouses, a stately mansion and lush gardens. Most of the Barber estate was lost to fire or development during the last half of the 20th Century, but his imprint remains evident throughout the city. The Barber house itself is still considered by most Barbertonians to be the greatest loss in the city's history, and it was an early and arguably the most significant example of the community's widely noted failure to conserve its historic legacy. However, there are still eight buildings in existence that were built by Barber for his Anna-Dean Farm, and they provide a glimpse of the beauty and vision that once characterized the city. Five of the eight remaining Anna Dean Farm buildings are owned by the Barberton Historical Society. These buildings, built in the elegant Beaux Arts style, are constructed of red brick edged in white concrete block, with royal blue trim and red tile roofing. The most significant of the remaining buildings is Barn No. 1, now home to the world headquarters of the Yoder Brothers Corporation. It is notable primarily for its castle-like towers, which are visible from much of the east side of the city. The other remaining barns have been structurally stabilized and at least partially restored, with the possibility that all will one day be part of an economic comeback.

Barberton is known as the "Magic City" due to its rapid population growth during its formative years. In 1891, when it was incorporated, the scattered farms that had originally characterized the landscape were transformed into a fledgling city of 1,800. When an Akron Beacon Journal reporter revisited Barberton in 1893, he remarked in the paper that between 1891 and 1893 the town of Barberton had grown so quickly that it appeared to grow by magic (hence its nickname). Currently most people know Barberton as the Magic City as a result of the mascot name for Barberton High School - The Magics.

Barberton High School colors are purple and white, and "purple pride" is the affectionate term the locals use to describe enthusiasm for the school. Barberton High School has been recognized for athletic prowess in recent years, winning state championships in basketball, football, and track and field. After an academic downturn in the 1980s, the schools have begun to show significant strides in scholastic performance, as well.

Barberton's local sources of news include daily newspapers such as Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal and a weekly newspaper, the Barberton Herald.

During the 1980s Barberton suffered a precipitous economic decline similar to that of much of the American Midwest and was in many ways representative of a typical Rust Belt city. During this period, the city lost a large part of its economic base as factories shuttered and storefronts went vacant. The Magic City: Unemployment in a Working-Class Community (Cornell University Press, 1989) documents the consequences of the migration of major industry from the region and the responses of the people to these dramatic changes.

The establishment in the late 1990s of The Barberton Community Foundation has likely been a major factor in a rebounding trend Barberton has enjoyed for the last ten to fifteen years. The Barberton Community Foundation was created with the proceeds from the sale of Barberton Citizens Hospital. Among other community projects, the Foundation facilitated the building of a new Barberton High School, located on reclaimed swampland in the northwest section of the city.


Notable People From or Born in Barberton

  • Glenn "Jeep" Davis - Olympic Gold Medalist and former Detroit Lions wide receiver
  • Thomas Dimitroff - General Manager of the Atlanta Falcons
  • Tom Dimitroff, Sr. - former professional football player and coach.
  • Andrew Gissinger - Real estate lending executive and former NFL player
  • Hal Haid - Former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • George Izo - Former NFL and University of Notre Dame quarterback and first round pick in the 1960 NFL Draft
  • Bill Mazeroski - Former Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman and member of the baseball hall of fame
  • Josh McDaniels - Head Football Coach for the Denver Broncos
  • Hal Naragon - Former Major League Baseball catcher and bullpen coach
  • Alvin Robertson - Olympic Gold Medalist and former NBA All-Star for the San Antonio Spurs
  • Bo Schembechler - Legendary University of Michigan Head Football Coach
  • Andy Sonnanstine - Major League Baseball pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays and former Kent State University pitcher
  • Betty Sutton - Ohio Congresswoman
  • Jeff Tabaka - Former Major League Baseball and Kent State University pitcher
  • Lawrence Ricks - Former University of Michigan and NFL runningback
  • Kenny Robinson - Former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Mike Stock - Former NCAA/NFL football coach for 43 years and former Northwestern University fullback,college all-star
  • David Auburn - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Proof
  • George Morgan - Country singer,Grand Ole Opry star best known for "Candy Kisses." Father of singer Lorrie Morgan.


The fried chicken restaurants in Barberton are famous among chicken lovers, even as far away as the Deep South. In fact, to some, Barberton is known as the "Chicken Capital of the World." After a few years' hiatus, the city is once again home to a zany annual festival known as Chickenfest, which celebrates its unique and quirky place in the culinary world. Chickenfest is sponsored by United Way of Summit County and draws visitors from across North America to savor the best that Barberton's famed chicken houses have to offer.

The four original chicken eateries that still operate are Belgrade Gardens, Milich's Village Inn, Hopocan Gardens, and White House Chicken.


See also

External links


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