Sidney History| City of Sidney Ohio
City of Sidney Ohio

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History of Sidney

City of Sidney
201 W Poplar Street
Sidney, OH 45365
Phone (937) 498-2335

The City of Sidney, named after Sir Philip Sidney, a well-known poet and member of British Parliament, was originally a 70-acre parcel of land located along the west side of the Great Miami River. This land was donated by Charles Starrett to be used as the site of a new town which was to become the county seat of Shelby County. The area around Sidney was once the richly-forested hunting ground of the Shawnee and Miami Indian nations. This fertile area was developed as agricultural lands over time

The construction of the Miami-Erie Canal between 1825 and 1837 connected Sidney in a north/south direction with the major trade centers in Ohio. In addition to opening the first significant "outside" trade for Sidney, the construction of the canal also attracted an influx of settlers to the area.

As the influence of the canal declined, another transportation element, railroads, began to develop in Sidney. East-west rail began to be laid in 1851, followed by north-south rail in 1856. Sidney is still served by these railroad lines today.

In the 1950's, another transportation element, the Interstate Highway, would play a significant role in the development of Sidney. Today, Interstate 75 connects Sidney with Canada to the north, and Florida to the south. Sidney has four interchanges with Interstate 75, providing quick and convenient access for both commercial and industrial users.

Today, Sidney is a progressive, growth-oriented community of approximately 21,000 population. Sidney offers an historic downtown featuring the famous Louis Sullivan designed People's Savings & Loan building, the Monumental Building (erected as a monument to those Shelby Countians who died in the Civil War), and the Shelby County Courthouse. The Courthouse, which occupies one city-block known as Court Square, was recently named as one of the "Great American Public Places".

Another unique characteristic of Sidney is its outstanding parks and recreation system. When the City's first comprehensive plan was being developed in the mid-1950s, the City decided that it would be an attractive feature to have a park or recreation area within a half-mile of every residence. This goal has resulted in a system of 14 neighborhood parks, a baseball complex, softball complex, soccer complex, municipal swimming pool, and the 180-acre Tawawa Park, a nature and picnic area.

Sidney offers a variety of employment opportunities, a variety of housing stock, and an unsurpassed level of quality of life amenities. Regardless of whether you are looking for a place to locate your business, to establish a home, or just to visit, Sidney, Ohio has what you're looking for!




1820 Chosen as County Seat for Shelby County
1830 * * POPULATION: 240
1834 Incorporated as Village.
1834. * * POPULATION: 500 - 600
1837 Canal opened through City.
1856 Railroads introduced.
1865 First Fire Department established. (Essentially a "bucket brigade")
After Water Works was built, improvements were made.
1870 * * POPULATION: 2,808
1873 First waterworks in operation (mostly for fire protection).
1877 First sidewalks installed (some areas around town square).
1887 Natural gas introduced.
1890 Electric lights (usually 1 or 2 lights in businesses only)
Residential lighting came later
1892 First telephones installed.
1896 First graded streets.
1897 Incorporated as a city.
1900 * * POPULATION: 5,688
1903 Main, Ohio, Court, & Poplar streets paved.
1903 First sewers installed.
1903 Western Ohio Interurban Lines opened. (Closed in 1930's)
1940 New Municipal Building built.
Previously City offices were housed in Monumental Building.
1950 All city streets have by now been paved.
1956 Charter government established.
1957 Income Tax approved.
1990 POPULATION: 18,710
2000 POPULATION: 20,211
2010 POPULATION: 21,229




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