Ohio, one of the East North Central states of the United States. Ohio is located on several main routes between the eastern and western United States. Therefore it attracted settlers from all parts of the country and developed a culture significant for its diversity. Ohio first developed as an agricultural region, and more than half of the land is still devoted to growing crops and raising livestock. The state’s position on major east-west highways and railroads and its access to Lake Erie and the Ohio River, however, offered a large potential market for industrial production. This strategic location, combined with the presence of abundant natural resources and potential sources of power, made possible the rise of the industrial concentrations that have made Ohio a leading industrial state.
Ohio takes its name from the Ohio River, which forms the southern and southeastern and part of the eastern boundaries of the state. The word Ohio is thought to derive from an Iroquois word meaning either great or beautiful river. Ohio is popularly nicknamed the Buckeye State because of the many buckeye trees that grew within its borders when settlers arrived. Some of the trees, a variety of horse chestnut, were used to build log cabins. The nickname Mother of Modern Presidents refers to the fact that Ohio was the birthplace of Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Ohio entered the Union on March 1, 1803, as the 17th state. Columbus is Ohio’s capital and largest city. Cleveland is at the heart of Ohio’s largest metropolitan area. Encarta
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