Niles, Ohio: Difference between revisions

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Niles' iron industry thrived until the late 19th century, when the [[economic depression]] of 1873 brought about the closure of the community's largest industrial firm, James Ward and Company. Plans to restore the local iron industry floundered because of the exorbitant cost of modernizing outdated mills. By the early 1900s, however, Niles was the site of companies including Ohio Galvanizing, Sykes Metal, the Niles Glass Works of the [[General Electric]] Company, and the Niles Iron and Steel Roofing Company. Between 1900 and 1920, the city's population swelled from 7,468 to slightly over 13,000. The community's efforts to rebuild its industry suffered a temporary setback in the 1910s. Niles was one of many cities affected by statewide floods that struck in the spring of 1913. On Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913, heavy rain throughout Ohio, combined with ice and snow that was still on the ground, precipitated massive flooding.<ref name="niles"/> Flooding of the [[Mahoning River]] left extensive damage and numerous casualties in Niles. Damage exceeded $3 million, and 428 people were confirmed dead.<ref name="niles"/>
At the beginning of the 20th century, Niles was a [[sundown town]], with "a sign near the Erie depot…warn[ing] 'niggers' that thet had better not 'let the sun set on their heads.'"<ref>{{cite book
|title=Sundown Towns : a hidden dimension of American racism
|first=James W.
|authorlink=James Loewen
|publisher=[[The New Press]]
[[Image:mckinley.jpg|left|thumb|William McKinley]]Throughout much of the 20th century, Niles was known to most Ohioans as the birthplace of [[William McKinley]], the 25th President of the United States. McKinley was born in Niles on January 29, 1843. He attended Niles High School (and the city's high school would eventually be renamed [[Niles McKinley High School]], though McKinley eventually graduated from high school in [[Poland, Ohio|Poland]], Ohio).<ref>[ History of Niles Schools] {{Webarchive|url= |date=2011-07-16 }} at Niles' official website; based on information from: The Niles Centennial History Club and McKinley High School. ''History of Niles, Ohio''. ''The Niles Daily Times'', 1984.</ref> President McKinley's assassination in 1901 shocked the nation and particularly saddened residents of northeastern Ohio. In 1915, [[Youngstown, Ohio|Youngstown]] industrialist [[Joseph G. Butler, Jr.]], a childhood friend of President McKinley, campaigned for the construction of the [[National McKinley Birthplace Memorial]] in downtown Niles.<ref name="vindy-yo-12-20-27">{{cite news