Fairborn is a city in Greene County, Ohio, United States, near Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The population was 32,770 at the 2010 census. It is the only city in the world with the name of Fairborn, a portmanteau word created from the names Fairfield and Osborn, the two villages that merged in 1950. After the Great Dayton Flood of 1913, the region and state created a conservation district here and began construction of Huffman Dam on the Mad River in the 1920s for flood control. Residents of Osborn were relocated with their houses to an area alongside Fairfield.
Aerial view of Fairborn
"A City in Motion"
Location of Fairborn, Ohio
Location of Fairborn in Greene County
|Coordinates: 39°48′28″N 84°1′19″W|
|• Mayor||Paul Keller|
|• Total||13.17 sq mi (34.11 km2)|
|• Land||13.16 sq mi (34.08 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||837 ft (255 m)|
|• Density||2,458.4/sq mi (949.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||1077584|
Fairborn is part of the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Wright State University, which serves nearly 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, is located in Fairborn. The city is also home to the disaster training facility known informally as Calamityville.
This area was long part of historic Shawnee territory before European settlement. Earlier indigenous Native American inhabitants of the region included the Adena culture of Ohio and nearby states, and the subsequent Hopewell tradition, known from Illinois to Ohio and renowned for their construction of major geometric earthworks. Several surviving examples of earthen mounds made by such Mound builders have been preserved at the Wright Brothers Memorial atop the bluff overlooking Huffman Prairie. Another is located within the grounds of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Fairborn was formed from the union in 1950 of the two villages of Fairfield and Osborn. Fairfield was founded by European Americans in 1816 and Osborn in 1850.
The area of the village of Fairfield was settled by European Americans before Ohio was admitted as a state. The first log cabin was built in 1799 by George Greiner. Pioneers migrating northward and westward from Kentucky and Virginia considered this area near the Mad River desirable for settlement. They were encroaching on territory of the native Shawnee, who sometimes raided the village. Settlers retaliated. No massacres were recorded but both sides engaged in taking prisoners.
Two local accounts relate to the origin of the name "Fairfield". A local Native American chief, possibly a Shawnee, made peace and exchanged prisoners with leaders of the settlement. He said to William Cozad that, when he looked out from Reed's Hill over the town,
|“||Yonder lies a fair field. I see thousands of white men moving about in that beautiful fair field.||”|
The other possible source for the name is after a Fairfield in England.
Osborn originally was settled in 1850 as a village located near what is now the Haddix Road-Ohio 235 intersection at the northern edge of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It was named after the superintendent of the railroad named E.F. Osborn. The settlement allowed the railroad to be built through it after the nearby town of Fairfield had refused such construction. Many of the original houses of old Osborn can be found in Fairborn's Historic Osborn District, where they were moved during the early 1920s.
Huffman Prairie, now part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, is an 84-acre (.34 km²) patch of rough pasture that was outside the village of Fairfield. Now known as Huffman Prairie Flying Field, it was the site where the Wright Brothers undertook the difficult and sometimes dangerous tasks in the early 20th century of creating a dependable, fully controllable airplane and training themselves to be pilots. After they began making use of Huffman Prairie in 1904, the Wright brothers made hundreds of flights here after developing the 1905 Wright Flyer III. (They considered this to be the first practical airplane developed by their Wright Company). At the Wright Flying School, also located here, they trained more than a hundred pilots, including those for the Wright Exhibition Team, and the first military flyers, including Henry H. Arnold and Thomas DeWitt Milling.
The United States Army Signal Corps purchased the field in 1917, added an adjacent plot of 2,000 acres (8.1 km2), and renamed it as Wilbur Wright Field. In 1948 the area was merged by the US military with nearby Patterson Field and became Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The Great Dayton Flood (Dayton, Ohio) of March 1913 had resulted in flooding of Osborn village, too. To prevent a repetition of such severe flooding, the Miami Valley Flood Control Project and the Miami Conservancy District were established soon after. It built the Huffman Dam on the Mad River. In 1921, nearly the entire town of Osborn, along with the railroad (now Norfolk Southern Railway), was relocated two miles to a site just east of Fairfield to move them out of the area to be flooded behind the dam. Before the area was flooded, the houses of Osborn were removed from the flood plain on flatbed trucks.
The two villages' growth was hindered by the other's borders, a military flying field and depot (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), township borders, and county borders. The two villages voted to merge in 1949 and completed the merger in 1950. The first business to depict the name of the new city was the large vertical sign of the Fairborn Theatre.
From 1950-1970, the city grew to six times its former population, surpassing Xenia (the county seat) as the most populous city in the county, due largely to development and expansion of the nearby US Air Force Base. Southwestern Portland Cement, another major employer in the region, operated the largest factory in the city during this period, mining the locally exposed Brassfield Formation.
Until the mid-1960s, the city of Fairborn prohibited African Americans from living there and declared it was a sundown town. Officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are credited with working with the city residents to end such policies, especially as the United States military was integrated beginning in 1948 under President Harry S. Truman.
The development of Interstate 675 (Ohio) began in the 1960s to serve as an eastern bypass of Dayton. In the early 1970s, construction began on the northernmost part of I-675, just east of Fairborn. The first segment terminated at N. Fairfield Road (exit 17). No further construction was done for over a decade. This section was jokingly referred to by some as "Fairborn's private Interstate". Dayton Mayor James H. McGee opposed the highway, contending (accurately) that it would draw economic development out of the city into the suburbs, a pattern that took place in many other cities. I-675 was eventually completed by 1987.
Fairborn's growth slowed in the 1970s. It has resumed at a moderate pace since the late 1980s. It has since been surpassed by neighboring Beavercreek, Ohio, in population.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in the late 20th century, conflicts broke out in former areas of influence, including Yugoslavia, where ethnic groups struggled for independence. The Dayton Agreement, a 1995 peace accord between the parties to end the hostilities of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former Yugoslavia, was negotiated by United States officials and others at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from November 1 to November 21, 1995, near Fairborn.
In 2007, many residents of Fairborn continue to work at nearby Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the home of the Air Force Materiel Command. It has been described as the largest, most diverse and organizationally complex base in the Air Force.
Many also work at or attend Wright State University, a university that became independent in 1967. From a small cluster of buildings, it has grown into a major campus with almost 20,000 students. Though Wright State has a Dayton address, it is legally within Fairborn jurisdiction. Its security officers are deputized by the Fairborn police department.
Fairborn hosts an annual Sweet Corn Festival every August and the USAF marathon every September. It also has an annual 4th of July Parade. The Fairborn Wee Hawks Pee Wee Football teams are based here.
Fairborn is located at 39°48′28″N 84°1′19″W.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.17 square miles (34.11 km2), of which, 13.16 square miles (34.08 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
- Fairborn Primary School (formerly 5 Points Elementary School), grades pre-K-3
- Fairborn Intermediate School (formerly Palmer-South), grades 4–5
- Fairborn Baker Middle School (formerly Fairborn Baker High School), grades 6–8
- Fairborn High School (formerly Park Hills High School), grades 9–12
- Wright State University, a public university with over 19,000 students
Fairborn is served by a branch of the Greene County Public Library.
As of the census of 2010, there were 32,770 people, 14,306 households, and 7,995 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,458.4 inhabitants per square mile (949.2/km2). There were 15,893 housing units at an average density of 1,207.7 per square mile (466.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.8% White, 7.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.4% of the population.
There were 14,306 households of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.85.
The median age in the city was 32.4 years. 20.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 16.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.3% were from 25 to 44; 23.4% were from 45 to 64; and 13.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 32,052 people, 13,615 households, and 8,019 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,453.4 people per square mile (947.6/km²). There were 14,419 housing units at an average density of 1,103.7 per square mile (426.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.28% White, 6.27% African American, 0.40% Native American, 3.32% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.69% of the population.
There were 13,615 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 18.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,889, and the median income for a family was $44,608. Males had a median income of $34,853 versus $25,353 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,662. About 8.9% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.
- Brian Billick, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, 1999–2007
- Roger B. Chaffee, astronaut who died in the Apollo 1 fire
- Kevin DeWine, Ohio Representative to the 70th district; Speaker Pro Tempore of the Ohio House of Representatives
- Gus Grissom, astronaut who died in the Apollo 1 fire
- Colonel Gregory H. Johnson, NASA astronaut
- J. D. Harmeyer, entertainment figure who appeared on Howard Stern Show
- Gary A. Klein, pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision
- Martha Masters, classical guitarist
- Buddy Miller, roots musician, singer-songwriter, and producer, member of Emmylou Harris's Spyboy Band
- Roger Osborne, author
- Michael J. Saylor, founder of MicroStrategy
- Mark Turner, jazz saxophonist and teacher at the Manhattan School of Music
- Jackie (Waddell) Warner, actress in the reality television series Work Out
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A dandy example is Fairborn, up until recent years a 'Sundown Town' where community forces worked in concert to keep Negroes out. ... He explained that two years ago real estate operators may have actually [been] afraid of some type of censure from their fellows and the community if they sold to negroes. Now the situation is reversed. The same formidable pressures would be brought to bear if they declined to sell to Negroes. ... He cites a shift of attitude on the part of the military at Wright-Patterson Air Force base, which has terrific influence on the economic and social life of the community, as partly responsible for the new atmosphere.
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