Canton is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Stark County. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio and is situated on the Nimishillen Creek, approximately 24 miles (38 km) south of Akron and 60 miles (96 km) south of Cleveland.
It was founded in 1805 on the West and Middle Branches of the Nimishillen Creek, and became a manufacturing center owing to its location with numerous railroad lines. After the decline of heavy manufacturing, the city’s industry has since diversified into service economy, including retailing, education, financial, and healthcare sectors.
The population was 80,806 at the 2000 census, but according to a 2007 census estimate, the population has declined to 78,319. Despite this decline, the 2004 figure actually had moved Canton up from 9th to 8th place among Ohio cities, as Youngstown, once considerably more populous than Canton, had suffered a larger decline. According to the US Census 2007 estimate, the Canton-Massillon, Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area has a total population of 407,180 residents.
Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the McKinley National Memorial, the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, and the First Ladies National Historic Site.
Pro Football Hall of Fame – www.profootballhof.com
Since opening in 1963, the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame has seen millions of visitors walk through its hallowed halls to pay tribute to the legendary heroes of professional football. Every year, the nation watches as a new class of enshrinees are inducted during an incredible celebration of sporting history, including a nationally televised football game and weeklong enshrinement festival. Drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to Canton every year, this is an event not to be missed!
Burial site of President William McKinleyCanton was founded in 1805. Cantonrep.com quotes Kim Kenney, the curator of the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, whose information came from E.T. Heald’s series The Stark County Story, as saying that Canton was incorporated as a village in 1822, and then as a city in 1838. However, the history page of the City of Canton’s web page gives the date for incorporation as a village as being in 1815, as a town in 1834, and as a city in 1854.
Bezaleel Wells, the surveyor who divided the land of the town, named it after Canton (an antiquated transliteration for Guangzhou), China. The name was a memorial to a trader named John O’Donnell, whom Wells admired. O’Donnell had named his Maryland plantation after the Chinese city, as he had been the first person to transport goods from there to Baltimore.