Toledo (təlēˈdō) [key], city (1990 pop. 332,943), seat of Lucas co., NW Ohio, on the Maumee River at its junction with Lake Erie; inc. 1837. With a natural harbor and its railroads and highways, Toledo is a port of entry and one of the chief shipping centers on the Great Lakes. Oil, coal, farm products, and motor vehicle parts are exported; iron ore is the principal import. Toledo is also an industrial and commercial center, with oil refineries, a glassmaking industry, shipyards, and plants that manufacture vehicles, powertrain assemblies, machinery, and chemicals. The health-care industry is also significant.
Gen. Anthony Wayne built Fort Industry there in 1794 after the battle of Fallen Timbers. The city was settled (1817) as Port Lawrence on that site and in 1833 was consolidated with nearby Vistula as Toledo. In 1835–36 occurred the "Toledo War," an Ohio-Michigan boundary dispute, which was settled by Congress in favor of Ohio when Michigan became a state.
Toledo grew and prospered with the opening of the canals in the 1840s, the arrival of numerous railroad lines, the development of the Ohio coal fields, the tapping of gas and oil deposits in the late 19th cent., and the establishment of the Libbey glassworks in 1888. When Samuel M. Jones became mayor in 1897, an era of municipal reform was initiated. Jones died in 1904 and was succeeded by Brand Whitlock. The Toledo plan of labor conciliation (1946) has been adopted by other cities.
The city is the seat of the Univ. of Toledo. Points of interest include the Toledo Museum of Art with its Glass Pavilion, a large zoo, and the Anthony Wayne suspension bridge (1931). The site of the battle of Fallen Timbers, a national historic landmark, is in a nearby state park.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.