Text Timeline

1748: The Ohio Company is formed in Virginia to settle the Ohio Country, land claimed by both the French and the Miami Indians.

1751: Shawnee Indians settle at the head waters of the Great Miami River and the Miami Indians reside in villages along the Maumee, Scioto and Wabash Rivers.

Feb. 17, 1751: Christopher Gist, an explorer for Virginia's Ohio Company, becomes the first white man to pass through central Ohio. He meets with the Miami Indians in Piqua.

1753: In response to British exploration, the French begin building a series of forts in the Ohio Country. Virginia Gov. Robert Dinwiddie responds, sending Gen. George Washington and his army.

1754: The French and Indian War begins.

Feb. 10, 1763: France signs the Treaty of Paris, ending the French and Indian War and giving to the British the territory that becomes Ohio.

Oct. 7, 1763: Colonists are angered by King George III's Proclamation of 1763, forbidding settlers from living west of the Appalachian Mountains.

April 18, 1775: Warren County's namesake, Dr. Joseph Warren, sends Paul Revere on his infamous midnight ride. William Dawes also rides, but fails to have a poem written about him.

June 17, 1775: Warren is killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

July 4, 1776: The wording of the Declaration of Independence is approved in Philadelphia. It is signed one month later on Aug. 2.

Aug. 1780: Gen. George Rogers Clark's first expedition against the Miami Indians passes through what will become Warren County. Two years later, Clark leads his troops through the area again.

Sept. 3, 1783: The Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolution. With the exception of Spanish-controlled Florida, the United States acquires all land east of the Mississippi River.

Oct. 20, 1783: Virginia cedes its western territories, which includes Ohio, to the newly formed U.S. government.

May 20, 1785: The Land Ordinance of 1785 encourages settlement by dividing the Ohio territory into townships 6 miles square.

1787: Maj. Benjamin Stites explores the land between the Great Miami and Little Miami Rivers, an area that includes Lebanon. On his return to New Jersey, Stites shares his enthusiasm with Judge John Cleves Symmes.

July 13, 1787: The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 establishes a territorial government and a process for statehood.

Oct. 1787: Gen. Arthur St. Clair is appointed governor of the Northwest Territory: land that is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. // READ ABOUT ST. CLAIR

Oct. 15, 1788: Judge John Cleves Symmes requests one million acres of land from Congress, but in 1792 receives 311,682 acres between the Great Miami and Little Miami Rivers. Known as the Symmes Purchase or Miami Purchase, it stretches from Cincinnati north to what is now Monroe Road in Lebanon.

Oct. 4, 1790: Gen. Josiah Harmar leads 1,450 men (the largest army to ever pass through Lebanon) across the Little Miami River near Caesar's Creek. The path they make becomes known as "Harmar's Trace." On Oct. 22, Miami Chief Little Turtle defeats the force near what is now Fort Wayne, Ind.

Sept. 21, 1792: Daniel Clark, a Baptist, becomes the first minister ordained in the Ohio territory. In the coming years, he travels north along the Little Miami River and serves as the first pastor in the Lebanon area.

Aug. 20, 1794: After several defeats at the hands of Miami Indian Chief Little Turtle, Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne is victorious at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, near present-day Toledo.

May 14, 1795: Maj. Benjamin Stites buys about 10,000 acres, including the eastern half of what is now Lebanon.

Aug. 3, 1795: American Indians sign the Treaty of Greenville, opening southern Ohio to white settlement.

Sept. 21, 1795: William Beedle travels north from Cincinnati and establishes Beedle Station. Four miles west of Lebanon, it is Warren County's first permanent settlement.

March 1796: Lebanon's first settler, Ichabod Corwin, builds a log cabin along the north fork of Turtle Creek, where the Berry school stands today. He clears 12 acres to plant corn.


Oct. 10, 1797: Samuel Manning buys 320 acres of what becomes Lebanon from Maj. Benjamin Stites.

1798: Teacher Francis Dunlavy builds the first school in the Miami Valley, a log cabin on West Main Street near where the city water plant stands today. // READ ABOUT DUNLAVY

1798: The Ohio territory’s adult male population exceeds 5,000 and can elect a legislature.

1798: Ichabod's brother, Matthias, settles near Lebanon, bringing his four-year-old son Thomas, who later becomes a congressman, senator and governor. // READ ABOUT MATTHIAS CORWIN

1798: Baptists of Turtlecreek build the area's first church.

1799: Future governor Jeremiah Morrow moves to Warren County from Columbia, a small settlement near Cincinnati.


Sept. 24, 1799: The territorial legislature assembles in Cincinnati and selects Gen. William Henry Harrison to represent the Northwest Territory in Congress.

1800: Chillicothe is named capital of the Northwest Territory.

1800: The Harrison Land Act promotes settlement by creating land offices and making land purchases more accessible.

1800: Ichabod Corwin builds the first cabin on land that, in two years, becomes Lebanon. // READ ABOUT ICHABOD CORWIN

1800: Francis Dunlavy and Jeremiah Morrow elected to Northwest Territorial Legislature.

1802: Ephraim Hathaway buys Ichabod's downtown cabin and opens The Black Horse Tavern, which later serves as the county's first courthouse.

Sept. 1802: Surveyor Ichabod Halsey maps out the town of Lebanon. One hundred lots are planned, but only two cabins exist. // READ ABOUT THE FOUNDING

Nov. 1, 1802: The Ohio Constitutional Convention meets in Chillicothe. Territorial Gov. Arthur St. Clair, in an effort to hold power, tries to delay Ohio's statehood. Convention delegates Dunlavy, Morrow and Edward Foster write to President Jefferson, urging for St. Clair's removal.

Nov. 22, 1802: Jefferson dismisses St. Clair.


March 1, 1803: Ohio becomes the 17th state, as the first General Assembly meets in Chillicothe.

March 24, 1803: The Ohio General Assembly votes to create Warren County. The act goes into affect on May 1 and Lebanon is named temporary county seat on May 10.

June 21, 1803: Jeremiah Morrow is elected Ohio's first Congressman. He serves in the House until 1813, when he is appointed to the U.S. Senate. // READ ABOUT MORROW

Aug. 16, 1803: President Judge Francis Dunlavy presides over the first session of the Common Pleas Court, held in the Black Horse Tavern. // READ ABOUT DUNLAVY

Dec. 23, 1803: Jonas Seaman purchases a license to open a log-cabin tavern under the sign of a golden lamb.


April 2, 1804: Matthias Corwin, William James and Robert Benham are elected the first Warren County commissioners. Corwin is also elected to the Ohio legislature, where he serves for 11 consecutive terms. He is twice selected to be house speaker.

Nov. 30, 1804: A temporary log jail is completed on the northwest lot of the town's public square, where Gazebo Park stands today.

Feb. 11, 1805: Lebanon is named permanent county seat.

March 23, 1805: William Ferguson buys a half lot to build the Indian Chief Tavern, also known as The Ferguson House.

March 27, 1805: Malcolm Worley becomes the first Shaker convert in the West. The Shakers -- a religious sect dedicated to simplicity, celibacy and separation from "the world" -- form Union Village, a community four miles west of Lebanon.

1805: Both the First Presbyterian Church and the Methodist society organize.

Jan. 3, 1806: The first official Warren County Courthouse is completed where Lebanon City Building stands today.

1806: The Presbyterian Church purchases a lot in the western part of town to serve as a cemetery, the first in Lebanon.

Feb. 13, 1807: Lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice John McLean publishes the first edition of The Western Star, the oldest weekly newspaper still published in Ohio.


Oct. 1807: A permanent stone jail is planned for the southwest corner of the public square, where the library stands today. It has two apartments: one for debtors and one for criminals. Below the criminal area is a 20x20-foot dungeon.

1808: A large volume of Shaker beliefs entitled The Testimony of Christ's Second Appearing is printed by John McLean on The Western Star printing press. The book is referred to as the Shaker Bible.

June 6, 1809: Ichabod Corwin offers to donate 41 acres for Miami University. The land is now home to Lebanon Cemetery. The next year, the state legislature creates a town in southwest Ohio called Oxford to be the school's home.


1809: Debt forces Jonas Seaman to sell The Golden Lamb.

Jan. 9, 1810: Lebanon is officially incorporated.

1810: John McLean sells The Western Star to his brother Nathaniel so he can enter politics. John goes on to become a Congressman, Supreme Court justice and a frequent presidential candidate.

Aug. 27, 1810: A mob of 2,000 -- charging that the religious sect was criminal and against the American way of life -- march on the Shaker's Union Village.

1810: Methodist minister William Collins organizes a revival that makes the church the largest in the community.

1811: The Baptists build a church in the western part of Lebanon where the old Baptist cemetery is now located. Notable markers now include Ichabod and Matthias Corwin, Francis Dunlavy, the Rev. Daniel Clark and Abe's great-uncle and great-aunt John and Mary Lincoln.

1812: Bishop Francis Asbury organizes the purchase of land on Silver Street, where the United Methodist Church stands today.

1812: 18-year-old Thomas Corwin drives wagon-loads of supplies to Gen. William Henry Harrison's army during the War of 1812, earning him the nickname "Wagon Boy." // READ ABOUT THOMAS CORWIN

May 14, 1814: The Masons hold their first meeting in Lebanon in a two-story brick building two doors north of its present temple on Broadway. The fraternal organization initiates Phineas Ross and Oliver Cook and collects $.25 dues and $7.50 initiation fees. By the 1830s, the Lebanon Lodge boasts 30 members.

1815: Ichabod Corwin constructs a two-story brick building to replace The Golden Lamb's log cabin. Today, this brick building houses the hotel's lobby and provides the foundation for its four-story structure.


Oct. 1, 1816: The newly formed city of Columbus replaces Chillicothe as Ohio's capital.

Sept. 19, 1817: American Indians give up virtually all remaining rights to Ohio lands.

1820: In retaliation for persecution, legend says that two Shakers ride through Lebanon, placing a curse on the town. They then ride through and bless the more hospitable town of Dayton.

1821: Henry Share takes over The Golden Lamb and constructs a stage, Lebanon's first theater.


1821: Lebanon lawyer Thomas Corwin is elected to the Ohio General Assembly.


1822: Jeremiah Morrow is elected Ohio's ninth governor. Two years later, he is reelected. Ohio's economy and transportation infrastructure grow dramatically under his watch. Morrow County and the Warren County town of Morrow are both named after him.


Aug. 1823: Actor Edwin Forrest performs at The Golden Lamb. Three years later, he debuts in New York City as Othello, becoming an overnight sensation.

July 22, 1825: The Ferguson House hosts a dinner celebrating the beginning of the Ohio and Miami Canal. Guests include New York Gov. DeWitt Clinton, former Ohio Gov. Ethan Allen Brown, Ohio Gov. Jeremiah Morrow, Sen. William Henry Harrison and Secretary of State Henry Clay.

Aug. 21, 1825: While staying at the Ferguson House, Clay's 12-year-old daughter, Eliza, dies from typhoid fever.

1826: Ephraim Hathaway tears down The Black Horse Tavern and replaces it with a brick building, upon which he places the iron letters "E.H." Today The Golden Lamb has a bar called The Black Horse Tavern. On a wall hang the same iron initials "E.H."

Nov. 15, 1826: Educator Samuel Kirkham gives the first of 40 lectures on English grammar in Lebanon's Presbyterian Church. Abe Lincoln, when 23, walked six miles to get Kirkham's textbook. He is said to have used his treasured copy when writing the Gettysburg Address.

Fall 1828: Still searching for a better place to house its criminals, Lebanon constructs a third jail, this one at the corner of East and Silver Streets.

1829: The Shakers at Union Village reach their maximum membership of more than 500 believers, making it the largest Shaker community in the West.

1830: Lebanon's first public school is organized and funded by taxes, but no building is constructed for 17 years.

Jan. 11, 1830: Western Star founder John McLean is named to the U.S. Supreme Court.


March 25, 1832: Locals continue to harass the Shakers, setting fire to a flax barn at Union Village.

June 28, 1832: Catherine Beecher and her sister, the future Harriet Beecher Stowe, advertise in The Western Star the establishment of a "female school." The girls' finishing school never gets off of the ground, but 20 years later Harriet writes Uncle Tom's Cabin.

1833: Suspicion of Freemasonry and its secrecy leads to violent opposition in some parts of the country. Local opposition convinces the Lebanon Lodge No. 26 to suspend its operations.

May 27 and 28, 1833: Conjoined brothers from Siam entertain at The Golden Lamb. // READ ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT AT THE LAMB

Summer 1833: A cholera epidemic kills 28 in Lebanon, 100 in Warren County.

Feb. 25, 1834: A temperance society is organized in Lebanon.

Oct. 25, 1834: Lebanon's first settler, Ichabod Corwin, dies at age 67 after being kicked in the head by a horse.


1835: A new county courthouse is built on Silver Street. The previous courthouse serves as Lebanon's town hall, meeting place and library.

1836: The National Road connects the East to Columbus. At this time, it takes stage coaches 24 hours to travel from Cincinnati to Columbus, with Lebanon a natural stopping point.

Oct. 28, 1837: The Lebanon Medical Society is formed, with an objective to "by all honorable means discourage quackery." Now known as the Warren County Medical Society, the organization is the oldest of its kind in Ohio.

1838: The Lebanon Masonic Lodge is revived, meeting at The Bradley House, as The Golden Lamb is called.

1838: Quaker artist Marcus Mote begins working in Lebanon, painting carriages and signs and designing posters and newspaper advertisements.

March 15, 1839: The Warren County Canal reaches Lock 2 near Lebanon. By 1840 it is navigable from the Miami and Erie Canal in Middletown to town. It flows southeast, staying east of Muddy Creek, turning north and staying west of Turtle Creek as it comes to Lebanon. It has 6 locks, 4 near Lebanon. But the constant flooding of Shaker Run requires costly dredging and repairs, and by the mid-1850s it is abandoned. A few ditches along St. Route 63 east of Monroe are all that remain.

Sept. 12, 1840: While campaigning for the presidency, William Henry Harrison delivers a speech in Lebanon in a grove of trees near what is now the county fairgrounds.

1840: After serving five consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Thomas Corwin is elected governor.


Dec. 2, 1840: Harrison is elected the 9th president of the United States. He dies 31 days after swearing in, the first president to die in office.

April 20, 1842: Charles Dickens and his wife stop in Lebanon during his tour of America. A disgruntled Dickens is refused brandy at the temperate Bradley House.


June 4, 1842: Former president Martin Van Buren, who lost his reelection bid two years earlier, is greeted in Lebanon by Gov. Thomas Corwin and an enthusiastic crowd at The Bradley House. Van Buren is traveling from Cincinnati to Dayton.

June 25, 1842: Lebanon Lodge No. 15 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is chartered. The I.O.O.F. is a Christian service organization started in 18th Century England, where it was deemed "odd" to assist those in need without recognition.

Nov. 7, 1843: While on his way to Cincinnati, former President John Quincy Adams stops in Lebanon, where he is greeted at the Baptist Church. Adams, 77, also sits for two penciled portraits by Marcus Mote.

Nov. 9, 1843: Adams lays the cornerstone for the Cincinnati Observatory. Founded by Ormsby McKnight Mitchel, who grew up in Lebanon, it is the nation's leading astronomical observatory. Mitchel goes on to discover landmarks on Mars, publish the nation's first astronomy magazine and lead troops in the Civil War.

1844: Owner Isaac Stubbs adds a third story to The Golden Lamb, now known as The Lebanon House.


May 30, 1844: The four Harner sisters -- Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth and Ann -- are all killed when lightning strikes their home one mile west of Lebanon.

1844: The Lebanon Masonic Lodge builds a third floor onto the town hall to hold its meetings.

1844: Thomas Corwin is elected to the U.S. Senate. // READ ABOUT THOMAS CORWIN

1845: Lawyer John Milton Williams builds the Glendower Mansion, the first of five mansions built on a hill south of downtown. The Greek Revival home today serves as a museum furnished with household items from more than 400 local pioneer families.

1845: The 266-mile Miami and Erie Canal is completed from Cincinnati to Toledo.

Feb. 11, 1847: Sen. Thomas Corwin speaks out on the Senate floor against the Mexican War. The passionate speech inspires Illinois Rep. Abraham Lincoln to deliver a similar address on the House floor.


Sept. 8, 1847: Voters approve a $7,000 levy to construct a public school on the square bordered by Cherry, New, East and Pleasant streets. In April 1862 a fire destroys the school.

Dec. 19, 1848: International opera singer Laura Bellini is born in Lebanon. Bellini, born Laura Woolwine, studies in Cincinnati and then Milan, Italy. She goes on to perform in the greatest opera houses in Italy, France and England before returning to the U.S. where she appears in 60 operas.

Dec. 1, 1849: The Warren County Agricultural Society organizes, holding its first fair the following September east of town at Osborn Grove.

June 20, 1850: The Lebanon Cemetery Association is organized to oversee the site on West Silver Street. The cemetery's notable "residents" now include town founders Silas Hurin and Samuel Manning and Gov. Thomas Corwin.

July 20, 1850: Thomas Corwin is appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Fillmore.


1850: Marcus Mote opens an art studio in Lebanon, painting portraits and miniatures and making daguerreotype photographs. His business in Lebanon continues for 14 years and he becomes one of the leading portrait painters in western Ohio.

1851: $7,000 in taxes are used to build Lebanon's first school, a two-story, five-room brick schoolhouse near Pleasant Street Park. On April 8, 1862, the schoolhouse burns, losing all of its books and furniture. The second of three schools built on that spot is erected later in 1862.

1852: The third Warren County Fair is held at its current location on North Broadway. An exhibition hall is built and a board fence encloses its five acres. Today the Warren County Fairgrounds features 26 buildings on 57 acres.

May 1853: Marcus Mote's panorama illustrating the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin is exhibited at the courthouse. The scrolling canvas, depicting at least 40 scenes, is unwound across a stage while the story is told. Mote goes on to paint several more of the popular panoramas.

Nov. 24 1855: Alfred Holbrook opens South Western Normal School, best known as National Normal University. Classes begin in the Lebanon Academy Building, which stands today on New Street. The teaching college attracts up to 4,000 students each year, including Cordell Hull, Franklin Roosevelt's secretary of state; Albert B. Graham, founder of the 4-H Club; and Ohio Gov. Myers Y. Cooper.

Dec. 24, 1856: Washington Hall is dedicated. Located on the southwest corner of Silver and Mechanic street, it serves as a home for Lebanon's fire department, market hall and auditorium. Over the years, public speakers include Horace Mann, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield and Thomas Corwin.

March 5, 1857: The U.S. Supreme Court presents its infamous Dred Scott decision, ruling that blacks cannot become citizens or sue in federal court, and that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 is unconstitutional for restricting slavery in U.S. territories. Western Star founder Justice John McLean strongly disagrees and writes a dissenting opinion.


1858: Dr. Goldsmith Coffeen Jr., a veterinarian and horse breeder, builds a six-sided house south of downtown Lebanon. The Hexagon House, as it is now called, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1858: The Bethel A.M.E. Church is organized. It is recognized as the second oldest African American Church west of the Alleghenies. Three year later the congregation builds a brick church on Cherry Street, which they still use today.

July 4, 1859: The cornerstone is laid for Lebanon's present Masonic Temple, built two doors north of town hall.

1859: Prussian immigrant John N. Oswald opens a cabinetmaking business in Lebanon. Cabinetmaking soon leads to casket-making and Oswald's funeral home is born. Three more generations of Oswalds continue the family business. Now owned by the Hoskins family, Oswald Hoskins Funeral Home is recognized as the third oldest in the county. // READ ABOUT THE OSWALDS

Summer and fall 1860: Thomas Corwin campaigns vigorously for Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election, after initially supporting Western Star founder John McLean.

Nov. 6, 1860: Warren County election results show 3,316 votes for Republican Abraham Lincoln and 2,011 for Democrat Stephen Douglas.

1861: Broadway stage actress Dolly Nobles, sister to opera singer Laura Bellini, is born in Lebanon. At 19 she marries noted actor Milton Nobles and stars with him in several Broadway plays.

March 12, 1861: President Lincoln appoints Thomas Corwin as Minister to Mexico. // READ ABOUT THOMAS CORWIN

April 15, 1861: Lebanon lawyer Durbin Ward becomes first in the county to volunteer to fight in the Civil War.

1862: Despite being Quakers, Marcus Mote's sons are called to fight in the Civil War. The painter sells his property to raise the $600 needed to keep them from the war. Soon after, the Motes moves to Richmond, Ind., where Marcus founds the Richmond Academy of Design for Women.

May 15 1864: During the Battle of New Market in Virginia, future Lebanon resident Sgt. James Madison Burns -- while "under a heavy fire of musketry" -- carries the fallen American flag and a wounded comrade to safety. Thirty years later he is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

April 9, 1865: Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ohioan Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virgina, ending the Civil War.

April 14, 1865: President Lincoln is assassinated. Five days later, Thomas Corwin serves as one of Lincoln's 22 pallbearers.

1865: Corwin's law partner, A.G. McBurney, is elected lieutenant governor. His son Andrew goes on to own McBurney farms, site of the McBurney Hill neighborhood.

Dec. 18, 1865: Corwin dies in Washington at age 69. // READ ABOUT THOMAS CORWIN

Aug. 24, 1866: Samuel Coovert is executed by hanging behind the Warren County Jail on Silver St. He had been found guilty of the brutal ax murder of three members of the Roosa family and their hired man on Dec. 26, 1864.

Aug. 5, 1867: Rutherford B. Hayes delivers the first speech of his campaign for the governorship in Washington Hall.

Aug. 16, 1867: Eccentric German immigrant Mary Ann Klingling dies, leaving her sizable estate to establish an orphanage.

Fall 1867: Louisa Jurey Wright is named superintendent of Lebanon schools, the district's first and only female to hold the position. She serves for one year.

1868: Lawyer Durbin Ward and his wife move into Glendower. The mansion remains in the Ward family until 1904.

Spring 1868: Lebanon High School's first graduating class totals three students, all female: Ida Hardy, Ada Wood and Minnie VanHarlingen.

Nov. 3, 1868: Grant elected to the first of two terms as president.

1869: For the first time, residents can see at night as gasoline lamps attached to wooden posts line the streets of Lebanon.

June 17, 1871: Famed lawyer and Confederate sympathizer Clement Vallandigham dies after accidently shooting himself at The Lebanon House, as The Golden Lamb is then called.


1874: Using funds from Mary Ann Klingling's estate, the Orphans' Asylum and Children's Home is built one mile west of town. For 100 years it serves as a safe "haven" for orphans, and is called Mary Haven. By the mid-1970s, it becomes a home for delinquent children.

Sept. 1, 1874: A fire destroys several downtown buildings, including the town hall and The Ferguson House.

July 4, 1876: Lebanon marks America's centennial at the Warren County Fairgrounds.

Nov. 7, 1876: Ohioan Rutherford B. Hayes wins more electoral votes, but loses popular vote. Hayes is sworn in as president on March 4, 1877.

March 2, 1877: The Western Star calls it "Lebanon's Black Friday" when the Boake and Hunt Bank closes, losing depositors' savings.

May 29, 1877: Twenty local stockholders form Lebanon National Bank in response to the failure of Booke and Hunt. The new bank is certified under the National Bank Act, incorporated with a capital stock of $50,000, and boasts of having a $6,000 safe, "said to be the finest in the U.S."

Sept. 2, 1878: The Lebanon Opera House is dedicated on the town hall site. The three-story Victorian Gothic structure hosts government offices, a jail and a 1,200-seat auditorium. Audiences watch theater performances and lectures from the likes of Mark Twain, Fredrick Douglass and Henry Ward Beecher.

Fall 1878: Isaac Stubbs adds a fourth floor to The Lebanon House to offer more hotel rooms to laborers building the railroad line.


Oct. 22, 1879: Ohioan Thomas Edison conducts his first successful test of the electric light bulb.

1880: The county courthouse on Silver Street is completely remodeled, with an addition added to the rear.

Nov. 2, 1880: Ohioan James A. Garfield elected president. He dies on Sept. 19, 1881, 78 days after being shot by an assassin.

May 30, 1881: The first regular passenger train leaves Lebanon for Cincinnati. It is the 3 ft. wide narrow gauge Cincinnati Northern Railway (known by 1885 as the Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern). It had one passenger car, one mail/passenger car and two freight cars. Many prominent Lebanonites were on the train, including Durbin Ward and Thomas Corwin's son-in-law, George Sage.

1881: Telephone lines connect Lebanon, Franklin and Middletown.

July 10, 1882: Two heavy downpours cause a reservoir dam to break, flooding the town and destroying fences, homes and property. No lives are lost, but bridges on Broadway, Main Street and Mulberry are washed away.

Jan. 25, 1883: Fire destroys National Normal University's University Hall, located where the Presbyterian Church's Kingdom Hall sits today.

Aug. 7, 1883: Six years before being elected president, Benjamin Harrison delivers a speech at the Warren County Fairgrounds during a reunion of Civil War veterans.

1886: The Lebanon Odd Fellows purchase an 1846 two-story church on Mulberry Street. The brick structure gains a third story and tower the following year, becoming the tallest building in Lebanon.

1886: William Henry Venable, educated at Lebanon's National Normal University, begins lecturing and writing in cities across the Midwest. He goes on to pen 22 books of poetry, philosophy and history.

Dec. 14, 1887: Lebanon's William Elmer Harmon develops the Branch Hill subdivision south of Loveland, applying an innovative installment plan to make land affordable to more people. His real estate development firm, co-owned with his uncle and brother, expands rapidly.

Nov. 6, 1888: Ohioan Benjamin Harrison, grandson to William Henry, elected president.

1889: An electric plant is built in Lebanon, lighting its streets with Edison's technology.

April 28, 1890: The state purchases Fort Ancient, a collection of mounds and earthen walls seven miles southeast of Lebanon. Ohio's first state park, Fort Ancient is the largest prehistoric hilltop enclosure in the U.S. with three and a half miles of walls in a 100-acre complex. The prehistoric Hopewell people created it about 2,000 years ago as a community center and not a "fort."

Oct. 24, 1893: Gov. William McKinley speaks at the Lebanon Opera House. He had spoken there four years earlier when he was a U.S. congressman. Four years later he is elected president.

1893: Lucile Blackburn Berry, educated at National Normal University, begins nearly 50 years of teaching in Lebanon schools.

1894: Lebanon votes to construct a new public school on Pleasant Street. At the time, it is the costliest building in the county, but it is razed in 1963 to make way for new housing.

1895: Extensive renovations to the Warren County Courthouse -- declared condemned in 1894 -- transform its architectural style from Greek Revival to Renaissance Revival.

1896: Sgt. James Madison Burns, the husband of Thomas Corwin's granddaughter, is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for displaying bravery and gallantry years earlier during the Civil War.

Nov. 3, 1896: Ohioan William McKinley elected to the first of two terms as president. He dies on Sept. 14, 1901, eight days after being shot by an assassin.

1897: Abraham Kauffman sells clothing and dry goods in a single-room store on South Broadway. In 1900 he moves Kauffman's across the street to the first floor of the Masonic Temple, where it remains for 83 years.

1897: A concrete bridge is built over Turtle Creek south of downtown. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the oldest nonreinforced concrete bridge in Ohio.

1898: The French brothers establish in Lebanon the largest creamery in Ohio.

Nov. 22, 1898: Future president and Supreme Court justice William Howard Taft visits Lebanon to serve as honorary pallbearer for his friend Judge George R. Sage. Sage is Thomas Corwin's son-in-law. Ten years later, Taft is elected president.


1900: Wood, Harmon Company becomes the largest real estate development operation in the world. About 10 years later, William Elmer Harmon retires and returns to Lebanon, where he begins his second career as a philanthropist.

1900: Free mail delivery is offered in Lebanon for the first time.

May 1902:The Western Star receives its first type-setting machine.

Sept. 25, 26, 27, 1902: Lebanon celebrates its centennial with speeches, parades and a performance by Lebanon-native and internationally renowned opera singer Laura Bellini.

1903: Philanthropist and former U.S. Steel owner Andrew Carnegie offers $10,000 toward construction of a library in Lebanon. The city is asked to provide a site and $1,000 each year for upkeep.

Dec. 17, 1903: Ohioans Orville and Wilbur Wright complete the first successful flight of a powered airplane.

April 3, 1904: Russel Wright, one of the most important industrial designers of the 20th Century, is born in Lebanon. His grandmother is Lebanon's only female superintendent, Louisa Jurey Wright.

1907: William Elmer Harmon donates $3,500 for additional library construction costs, books and furnishings.

1907: National Normal University drops its designation as a normal school and becomes Lebanon University.

Jan. 1, 1908: The Lebanon Public Library opens on the southwest corner of town square. The book collection includes a 1,000-volume donation from Civil War Brig. Gen. Durbin Ward.

1908: Lebanon National Bank builds a new bank office at its current location on the northeast corner of Broadway and Mulberry.

Nov. 3, 1908: Ohioan William H. Taft elected president.

Oct. 16, 1910: Future president Warren G. Harding speaks at the Lebanon Opera House during his unsuccessful run for the governorship. Undeterred, Harding returns exactly four years later during his successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.

1911: William Elmer Harmon purchases 88 acres for a public playground in Lebanon, the first of 119 Harmon Parks in 32 states.

Oct. 15, 1912: With Shaker membership dwindling, the United Brethren Church buys Union Village, bringing the Shaker community to a close. The land is now home to Otterbein Retirement Community. Three Shaker buildings remain.

Dec. 12, 1912: The cornerstone of Harmon Hall, today's Warren County History Center, is laid. A letter from William E. Harmon is read. He wrote: "We are attempting here a new experiment. Lebanon is being watched to see if small parks and gymnasiums can be made a practical success. Before many years have passed hundreds and possibly thousands of towns will have provided such places for their children."

March 1913: The Flood of 1913 causes the death of at least 428 Ohioans and brings destruction across the state.

Nov. 4. 1913: Women vote in Lebanon for the first time. Three ladies run for the Lebanon Board of Education and two are elected, along with one man. The Western Star reports on Nov. 13: "The Women of Lebanon had out a ticket and hundreds of women voted, but they showed their ability to vote a mixed ticket as well as their husbands, very few of them voting for all three women candidates. The result is an ideal one."

1915: William Elmer Harmon establishes the Harmon Civic Trust, a panel of Lebanon citizens charged with administering funds for "the improvement of the conditions of living in the town of Lebanon."

Feb. 1917: The board of education buys 17 acres on the site of Ichabod Corwin's first cabin to build a new high school. World War I delays its construction.

1917: After preparing more than 80,000 teachers, financial difficulties force the National Normal University to close.

Nov. 18, 1920: The Lebanon Rotary Club receives official recognition from The Rotary International Association. According to the January 1921 issue of The Rotarian magazine, this gives Lebanon "the distinction and honor of being the smallest city in the world in which Rotary is established."

Nov. 20, 1920: Warren G. Harding, the last of the Ohio-born presidents, is elected. It is the first presidential election in which women are allowed to vote.

Spring 1921: Future mayor Robert King, with his brothers Fred and Firman, begin offering a bus service running from Lebanon to Dayton. Over the next 30 years, the King Brothers Bus Line expands to a fleet of 41 buses carrying 2.5 million passengers annually to Dayton, Cincinnati, Xenia and Middletown. In 1950 it is sold to Greyhound.

Sept. 30, 1921: William Elmer Harmon returns to Lebanon to dedicate Harmon Park. In front of well over 1,000 people and the Pathe newsreel camera, he unveils a bronze plaque with his likeness embedded in stone.

June 15, 1923: Seventy-five of Lebanon's leading citizens and businessmen meet at the Cedar City Restaurant to organize the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce. They encourage the businesses to "join in the effort to increase Lebanon's prosperity ... and be one to assist in the betterment of the community."

Dec. 12, 1925: Lebanon National Bank merges with the Citizens National Bank of Lebanon to form Lebanon Citizens National Bank. Today LCNB National Bank, as it is now known, boasts 21 offices in six southwestern Ohio counties.

Aug. 2, 1927: Robert Jones buys The Lebanon House and transforms the boarding house back into a hotel. Jones and his wife, Virginia, redecorate with old American furniture, including an extensive Shaker collection. // READ THE GOLDEN LAMB HISTORY

July 15, 1928: William Elmer Harmon dies at his summer home in Connecticut at age 66, leaving behind the gifts of Harmon Park, Harmon Hall and Harmon Civic Trust: all of which continue to serve Lebanon today.

July 18, 1928: All businesses in Lebanon close at 10 a.m., the time of Harmon's funeral in Brooklyn.

Sept. 1930: A new Lebanon High School opens at the site of Ichabod Corwin's first cabin.

1930: Lebanon's Jessie Morton sings on Broadway, the only black performer opening in the Ziegfeld Follies.

Dec. 25, 1932: An arsonist's fire destroys the Opera House early Christmas morning.

1935: Macy's department store introduces Russel Wright's line of "American Modern" furniture, the first furniture of Modern Design formed from solid wood in the U.S.

1936: Owner Robert Jones replaces The Lebanon House's rod-iron porch with the present-day white colonial porch. He also restores the hotel's original name: The Golden Lamb.


April 29, 1937: U.S. Postmaster James A. Farley dedicates Lebanon's post office on Broadway, south of the library.

1939: Lebanon's Russel Wright founds Wright Accessories, a metal manufacturing business that produces everyday objects such as dinnerware, glassware, serving pieces and furniture. Sixty years before Target, Wright is the first designer to successfully market his creations using his own name as a well-defined brand.

April 27, 1940: 1,000 spectators gather to watch Ohio Gov. John W. Bricker unveil a plaque recognizing The Golden Lamb as Ohio's oldest inn.


May 3, 1940: More than two dozen community leaders meet in The Golden Lamb to discuss establishing a county historical society. Among them is local historian Hazel Spencer Phillips, who goes on to write several books and acquire many of the society's artifacts.

March 1943: The Lebanon Public Library establishes a bookmobile program to reach schools and villages outside of Lebanon.

1945: The Warren County Historical Society purchases the Glendower Mansion from the heirs of owner Ladora Scoville Owens, and establishes a museum.

Aug. 1946: The first YMCA in Lebanon is organized. The next year, it begins operation in Harmon Hall.

May 1948: The Lebanon Raceway, at the Warren County Fairgrounds, starts conducting live harness racing, in which a horse is harnessed to a two-wheeled chariot. Today it also offers simulcasting of races throughout North America.

1950: Corwin Nixon begins managing the Lebanon Raceway. He also begins his first of three terms as county commissioner. Whenever a baby is born in Warren County, Nixon sends a card and a dollar.

1950: Lebanon High School hires Taylor "Tay" Baker to coach basketball. Baker goes on to become head coach at the University of Cincinnati and Xavier.

1954: More than $50 million worth of Russel Wright products, totaling 125 million pieces, are in use in American homes.

1957: A new elementary school opens and is named in honor of Francis Dunlavy, Lebanon's first teacher. In the coming years, new schools are named after National Normal University's Alfred Holbrook and superintendent Louisa Wright.


Dec. 28, 1960: Country music star Marty Roe, lead singer of country music group Diamond Rio, is born in Lebanon. Named after country singer Marty Robbins, Roe grows up on his family farm and attends Lebanon High School.

June 10, 1961: The Warren County Historical Society transforms Harmon Hall from a recreational facility into a county museum. Today the Warren County Historical Center is known as one of the finest county museums in the nation.

Feb. 20, 1962: Ohioan John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth.

1962: Lebanon's Corwin Nixon is elected to his first term at state representative. He goes on to serve 30 years in the Ohio General Assembly, 14 as minority leader.

1963: A new addition is added to the high school. The addition is named Lucile Berry Junior High School to honor the beloved teacher, who is 91 at the time.

1963: Washington Hall is torn down.

1967: Jim Van DeGrift begins his 15-year career as head coach of the Lebanon High School football team, culminating in a 1980 trip to the Division II state championship game. Today the high school football field is named in his honor.

Sept. 12, 1968: Gov. James Rhodes cuts the ribbon to mark the beginning of Lebanon's first Ohio Honey Festival. The three-day annual event features nightly parades, honey ice cream and a man wearing a "beard" of live bees. Lebanon hosts its final Honey Festival in 1988.

Sept. 19, 1968: California Gov. Ronald Reagan speaks at The Golden Lamb in support of Ohio Republicans. Mayor Lou Romohr proclaims it "Ronald Reagan Day."

Jan. 18, 1969: The Jones family maintains ownership of The Golden Lamb building but turns over its daily operation to the Comisar brothers. // READ THE GOLDEN LAMB HISTORY

July 4, 1969: The Village Ice Cream Parlor opens on Broadway. Its old-fashioned soda fountain soon attracts attention from diners, Hollywood location scouts and a presidential candidate.

July 11, 1969: With his platoon pinned down, Lebanon's Gordon Roberts single-handedly destroys three enemy bunkers in the Thua Thien Province while serving as a rifleman in the 101 Airborne Division in Vietnam. At 19, Sgt. Roberts becomes the youngest soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

July 21, 1969: Ohioan Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.

Fall 1969: A new high school opens on Miller Road.

1971: Ethel Sims is elected to Lebanon School Board, becoming the first black elected to public office in Warren County.

1971: Local businessmen Ralph Stolle and George Henkle consider the idea of building a YMCA. Community interest is strong.

1972: Neil Armstrong steps foot in Lebanon and likes what he sees. The retired astronaut buys a farmhouse and more than 300 acres north of town. Armstrong becomes involved in community projects, such as the YMCA, and residents respect his privacy.

April 3, 1974: A tornado cuts through Xenia, about 25 northeast of Lebanon, killing 33 people. In Lebanon, several houses and businesses are damaged.

May 19, 1974: The Lebanon Garden Club unveils its renovation of the Lebanon Railroad Station. Garden club members use the station as a library, meeting room, workshop and memorabilia display.

Nov. 14, 1975: CBS news reporter Charles Kuralt profiles The Golden Lamb on the CBS Evening News as part of his On the Road series leading up to the nation's bicentennial.


Jan. 25-27, 1978: The Blizzard of 1978 hits, the worst winter storm in Ohio history.

May 24, 1978: Harper Valley PTA, filmed in Lebanon and starring Barbara Eden, premieres locally at the Colony Square Cinema. The Berry school, Village Ice Cream Parlor and "The Pillars" mansion get screen time.

Sept. 15, 1978: The Countryside YMCA opens on Deerfield Rd. Fundraising and membership exceeds expectations.

1979: Lebanon Republican Corwin Nixon becomes minority leader in the Ohio General Assembly. Nixon works closely with Democratic House Speaker Vern Riffe to pass legislation.

1980: Corwin Nixon is inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame, and six years later into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

Sept. 26, 1985: Actor Woody Harrelson, who grew up in Lebanon and graduated from Lebanon High School, appears on Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd. In 1988, Harrelson wins an Emmy Award for the role.

1985: The Indiana Ohio Railroad begins offering passenger train rides in Lebanon, Mason and Monroe.

Aug. 13, 1987: A two-story rear wall collapses during expansion of the Lebanon Public Library. Work continues on the

$1.7 million project, which expands the library from 4,000- to 19,000 square feet.

April 13, 1988: Three weeks before the Ohio primary, Barbara Bush attends a breakfast and tea at The Golden Lamb after spending the night there the night before. Then-Vice President George Bush goes on to secure the Republican Party nomination and the presidency.

Sept. 30, 1989: Lebanon hosts its first annual AppleFest, a one-day event showcasing products from local orchards and artists.

Dec. 8, 1989: The first Historic Lebanon Christmas Festival and Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade is held. Around 10,000 people see the two parades of 30 carriages. In 2009, nearly 100,000 people watch 140 wagons and carts on parade.

1991: Diamond Rio's debut single, "Meet in the Middle," reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, making Lebanon-native Marty Roe's country group to first to debut at the top the charts. Diamond Rio goes on to receive 13 Grammy and 15 CMA Vocal Group of the Year nominations.

May 5, 1993: Republican Rob Portman begins representing Ohio's 2nd District in Congress. Portman, grandson to Golden Lamb owner Robert Jones, continues to represent the district until 2005, easily winning reelection each time.

Oct. 1993: Hollywood transforms Lebanon into Middleton, Pa., for the filming of Milk Money, a comedy starring Melanie Griffith and Ed Harris.

Oct. 1994: Lebanon Intermediate School is dedicated. Three years later it is named in honor of long-time music teachers William and Marjorie Donovan.

1995: Lebanon High School's boys volleyball team wins its first of two consecutive state championships, the first state titles for a Lebanon team.

June 16 and 17, 1995: The Lebanon Theatre Company presents the musical Camelot, its first production. The award-winning local theater company stages three or four performances each year in the Shoe Factory Antique Mall near the train station.

April 1996: The Warren County Juvenile Justice Center opens, replacing the 1835 Silver Street building. At the time it was the second oldest functioning courthouse in Ohio.

Oct. 10, 1996: Sen. Bob Dole campaigns while running for president against incumbent Bill Clinton. He serves ice cream at the Village Ice Cream Parlor.

Feb. 11, 1997: The nominees for the 69th Academy Awards are announced. Lebanon's Woody Harrelson earns a Best Actor nomination for the title role in The People vs. Larry Flynt.

1997: A new post office is built on Pleasant Street. The 1936 Broadway building is made part of the neighboring Warren County Historical Center, and in 2008, a WPA-style mural is painted on a lobby wall.

Spring 1998: The Lebanon Symphony Orchestra and Chorus forms. Consisting of professional musicians from the region, the organization regularly performs in Lebanon.

1998: Diamond Rio, with lead-singer Marty Roe, is inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

Dec. 4, 1998: The Lebanon High School football team, coached by Dave Brausch, defeats Chardon 27-21 to win the Division II State Championship.

April 21, 1999: The Silver Street courthouse is rededicated after nearly $2.5 million in renovations.

1999: A 1920s taxi stand and filling station is restored and moved to Mechanic Street, where it now serves as a police substation.

1999: The city provides cable television, telephone, and Internet services. Residents pay less than neighboring communities, but the telecommunications department operates in the red.

Aug. 1999: Downtown hosts its first Blues Festival, an annual event with live music, food, crafts and a beer garden.

2000: Lebanon's rail line closes one year for renovations.

2000: Dave Merchant wins his 300th game as head coach of Lebanon High School's basketball team, a school record.

May 5, 2001: Lebanon's railroad reopens. Today the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad offers one-hour rides between Mason and Lebanon.

Sept. 15, 2001: A dedication is held for a new $9.5 million, 82,000-square-foot expansion of the Ralph J. Stolle Countryside YMCA. Today it is one of the largest YMCA facilities in the world.

Aug. 30, 2002: Lebanon celebrates its bicentennial with a concert at the Warren County Fairgrounds by Diamond Rio, the Grammy-winning country group led by Lebanon-native Marty Roe.

Feb. 18, 2004: While 100 diners eat lunch at The Golden Lamb, a 10x15 foot section of the roof gives way as men try to repair a leak. The hotel's sprinkler system breaks, causing water damage to all four floors. Broadway is closed off and firefighters use an aerial ladder to reach the roof.

May 4, 2004: During his reelection campaign, President George W. Bush speaks in front of The Golden Lamb, becoming the first president to visit while in office. The Golden Lamb renames its William McKinley Room after him. It is the room in which Bush's mother had slept on April 12, 1988. // READ BUSH’S SPEECH

Fall 2004: Two new schools open: a new Lebanon High School, north of town on Drake Road, and Bowman Primary School, northwest of town on Hart Road.

April 29, 2005: Rep. Rob Portman is sworn in as U.S. Trade Representative in President George W. Bush's administration.

May 2005: Neil Armstrong threatens to sue Lebanon barber, Marx Sizemore, after learning that in 2004 Sizemore sold a baggy of his hair to a collector for $3,000. The issue is settled when Sizemore donates the money to charity.

May 26, 2006: Rob Portman switches posts within President Bush's cabinet to become Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Oct. 24, 2006: Robert Jones's grandchildren, Wym, Ginna and Rob Portman, announce that Stevens Hospitality will be the new owners and operators of The Golden Lamb business. Together, they invest more than $7 million in renovations, including a new kitchen. // READ THE GOLDEN LAMB HISTORY

Nov. 7, 2006: Voters approve the sale of its city-run telecommunications system to Cincinnati Bell.

July 29, 2008: U.S. biodefense researcher Bruce E. Ivins, suspected of mailing letters laced with anthrax following Sept. 11, 2001, commits suicide before any charges are filed. Ivins was born and raised in Lebanon.

Sept. 9, 2008: Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, speak in front of The Golden Lamb during their presidential campaign. A Democratic presidential candidate has never gained a majority in Lebanon.

Jan. 14, 2009: Rob Portman announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at The Golden Lamb.

Dec. 5, 2009: An early morning fire in Barn 16 at the Lebanon Raceway kills grooms Ronnie Williams and James “Turtle” Edwards along with more than 40 horses locked in their stalls.

April 13, 2010: Phoenix Restaurant Group, best known for operating the First Watch Restaurant chain, takes over management of The Golden Lamb.

June 5, 2010: The Lebanon High School Boys 400 meter relay team wins the State Division I title.

Oct. 29, 2010: The greatest number of sitting governors ever to assemble in Lebanon meet at the Lebanon Conference & Banquet Center. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour arrive to support Ohio gubernatorial candidate John Kasich.

Nov. 2, 2010: Lebanon’s Rob Portman is elected to the U.S. Senate.

By Charlie Zimkus