- Defiance Area YMCA www.defianceymca.org 419-784-4747
- Defiance Chamber of Commerce www.defiancechamber.com 419-782-7946
- Defiance College www.defiance.edu 419.784.4010
- Defiance Public Library www.defiancelibrary.org 419-782-1456
- Defiance County Genealogy Society www.defiancecountygenealogy.org
- Economic Development of Defiance County www.defecon.com 419-784-4471
- Northwest Ohio’s River Region www.nwohioriverregion.com
- The Stroede Center for the Arts www.defiancearts.org 419-782-3130
Defiance Public Library
Stroede Center for the Arts
City of Defiance – www.cityofdefiance.com
- City Offices 419-784-2101
- Fire Department 419-782-2771
- Police Department 419-784-5050
- Utilities Billing Office 419-782-1946
- The Crescent News – 419-784-5441
- Public Access – DCTV Channel 5 419-784-3401
- Clear Channel Radio & TV 419-782-9336
TV Channel 26, 98.1 FM WDFM, 1280 AM WNOW, 105.7 FM WZOM
Defiance County – www.defiance-county.com
- Board of Elections 419-782-2906 or 419-782-8543
- Engineer’s Office 419-782-4751
- Health Department 419-784-3818
- Sherriff’s Department 419-784-1155
Other Community Contacts
- American Red Cross 419-782-0136
- Bureau of Motor Vehicles 419-784-4400
- First Call for Help 211
- Mercy Defiance Hosptial 419-782-8444
- Promedica Defiance Regional Hospital 419-783-6955
Defiance County Courthouse
Defiance City Schools, Northeastern and Ayersville Local schools provide public K-12 education.
St. John Lutheran and Holy Cross Catholic schools provide an alternative private education for grades K-8.
Defiance College is a small liberal arts college which houses about 1,000 students.
- Ayersville Local Schools 419-395-1111
- Defiance City Schools 419-782-0500
- Defiance College 419-784-4010
- Holy Cross Catholic School 419-784-2021
- Northeastern Local Schools 419-497-3461
- St. John Lutheran School 419-782-1751
Defiance, established April 7th, 1845, is located in the northwestern part of Ohio in Defiance County, about 55 miles southwest of Toledo. The overall county population as of 2011 was 39,037 with 16,494 living in the city of Defiance.Defiance’s average January temperatures are a high of 31 and a low of 17. Average July temperatures are a high of 84 with lows of 63. Average annual precipitation is 35.60 inches, with an average of 21.8 inches of snow each year.
- Mike McCann
Defiance County Commissioners
- Ryan Mack, Gary Plotts, Mick Pocratsky
- Elevation – 676 ft.
- Total Area – 11 sq. miles
- Land – 10.5 sq. miles
- Water – .5 sq. miles
- Defiance County: 39,037
- Defiance City: 16,494
- Defiance City: 6,833 households, 4,422 families
- 88.1% White
- 14.4% Hispanic or Latino
- 3.6% African American
- Median Household Income – $42,940
The lives of Native American Chiefs, French missionaries, British military leaders and American Generals are woven into the rich tapestry of Defiance History. Between 1672 and 1712, French missionaries wandered among the Native American tribes who lived in the area. In 1973, the Greatest Council of all the Native Americans in North America occurred at the long standing Native American trading center which the French called Grand Glaize. it was located at the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers, Site of the City of Defiance.
Defiance is named for Fort Defiance, constructed in 1794 by General :Mad: Anthony Wayne, who was sent to subdue the Native Americans and end British influence in the area. The Fort was considered on of the strongest fortifications built during this campaign against the Native Americans. Wayne is reported to have said , "I will defy the English, Native Americans and all the devils in Hell to take this Fort." In response, General Scott replied " Then call t Fort Defiance."
From its earliest days, Defiance has been a hub for the shipping and receiving of goods. Whether it was early supplies passing through Fort Winchester or goods being transferred on the Miami-Wabash and Erie canals that ran through the community, transportation has played a major role in our development. In later years the addition of several railways that traveled through Defiance helped to facilitate the industrial growth that continues to support the city today.
The Great Black Swamp
Defiance County is a part of roughly 2000 square miles originally known as the “Black Swamp”. The dense growth of trees and vegetation in the Black Swamp has provided excellent soil for farming throughout the region. The Indians called the area Grand AuGlaize prior to Fort Defiance being constructed.
Ottawa Indian Chief Pontiac was said to have been born in the area that is now named Pontiac Park.
Largest single Indian Council of the time took place at the confluence. Representatives of all of the tribes of the Northwest met with British Agents to discuss their course of action against encroachment of Indian lands.
Anthony Wayne starts construction of Fort Defiance at the confluence of the Maumee and AuGlaize rivers. Fort Defiance served as one of America’s western-most outposts in the Ohio country. The Fort was evacuated after the signing of the Treaty of Greenville.
Johnny Appleseed (Chapman) had a nursery on the north bank of the Maumee river. Defiance was his principal head quarters during this time.
William Henry Harrison ordered a fort built as a forward observation post and supply depot for the American Army. This Fort was named Fort Winchester and stood on banks of the west side of the AuGlaize river. The Fort was abandoned in 1815. Shortly after, settlers inhabited the old Fort. The Plat of Streets for Defiance still follows the boundaries of Ft. Winchester.
Indian Scout Johnny Logan died and was carried 6 miles by Army Officers to Defiance where he was buried with full military Honors. Indian Scout Logan is the only Indian to receive that recognition in Ohio.
Reverend Elias Partee was sent by the Ohio M.E. Conference to the Fort Defiance Mission. Under his Direction, the first log church was built.
The Village of Defiance was incorporated and the first Mayor, John Lewis, was elected.
1842 - 1845
Wabash and Erie Canal completed from Toledo to Defiance. This was a start in connecting the waters of Lake Erie with those of Ohio. The Miami Canal was completed. The completion of the Miami Canal created a great commercial thoroughfare for the city and did much for its early development.
William Holgate drafted a bill to make Defiance a separate County from Williams and rode to Columbus to deliver the bill. On March 13, 1845, the community celebrated becoming a county at the “Old Fort Grounds”
Modern day Defiance college began as the Defiance Female Seminary in 1850. The United Church of Christ created this institution to provide schooling for young women. In 1903, it formally became Defiance College.
The High School building was built on its beautiful site at the head of Clinton Street.
Defiance County Courthouse was erected.
The Defiance Public Library was built with funds from an Andrew Carnegie Grant. The building located near the grounds of Fort Defiance is still one of the most impressive buildings in the community.
Michelle Burke | 1970 –
Actress Michelle “Gray” Burke was born in Defiance on November 30, 1970. She is best known for her roles as Jodi Kramer in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused and as Connie Conehead in the 1993 film Coneheads. She also appeared in the 1994 movie Major League II. Michelle also is credited as Michelle Rene Thomas and Michelle Thomas. She is married to Singer/Songwriter Scott Thomas. Michelle plays the role of Lauren in the upcoming movie “Laughing Out Loud”.
Alan Francis | 1969 –
Alan started his career at the age of 10, winning his first world junior title at just 12 years old. He has won the Men’s World Horseshoe Championship 16 times. He is also the only player to consistently pitch over 90% and is regarded by many as the greatest horseshoe pitcher ever. The New York Times wrote that he may be “the most dominant athlete in any sport in the country”. Alan and his family currently live and work in Defiance.
Sam Hornish Jr. | 1979 –
Born and raised in the Defiance Area , Sam won the 2006 Indianapolis 500 and became the first driver to ever overtake for the lead on the race’s final lap. He became the first 3-time champion in IRL history. Sam and his family reside in the Napoleon area. Sam currently races the Sprint Cup Series.
Chad Billingsley | 1984 –
Chad is currently a right handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a senior at Defiance High School in 2003, he pitched in 11 games and was 6-1 with a 1.49 ERA, striking out 113 and walking only 16 in 56 innings. Billingsley was the first round pick (24th overall for the Dodgers in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft.)
Jonathon “Jon” Niese | 1986 –
Jon was raised in Defiance where he attended Defiance High School. In Little League and high school Niese was a teammate of Dodger pitcher Chad Billingsley. In the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft the New York Mets chose Niese in the 7th Round. He was named one of the five starting pitchers on Baseball America’s 2010 All-Rookie Team.
Don “Midnight” Miller | 1902 – 1979
Born March 29th, 1902 in Defiance, Miller followed his three brothers to the University of Notre Dame where he was one of the famous “Four Horseman”. Coach Knute Rockne called Miller “the greatest open field runner I ever had.” When his playing career ended, he coached at several colleges and then moved on to become a lawyer in the Cleveland area. In 1970 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
William Edward “Wild Bill” Davison | 1906 – 1989
A native of Defiance, Davison was billed as the “Trumpet King”. A fiery jazz cornet player who emerged in the 1920’s that had a fierce uninhibited way of attacking a beat. He is best remembered for his association with bandleader Eddie Condon whom he worked and recorded with. The tag “Wild Bill” was not a reflection of his music style but of his reputation in his private lifestyle. He continued playing and globetrotting the world until his death at the age of 83.
Terry Ryan | 1946 – 2007
Terry “Tuff” Ryan was born in Defiance, Ohio the sixth child of Kelly and Evelyn Lehman Ryan. She graduated from Defiance High School in 1964 and graduated with a B.S. In English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1969. Terry was the writing half of the cartooning team of T.O. Sylvester that ran weekly in the San Francisco Chronicle. Terry wrote “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” following the death of her mother Evelyn Ryan in 1998. The book has been adapted into a movie produced by DreamWorks and Revolution Studios that premiered in the fall of 2005. After a long bout with cancer, Terry Ryan died on May 16, 2007.
Michael Hitchcock | 1958 –
Currently starring in the series Glee as Dalton Rumba, Michael was born in Defiance, Ohio on July 28th, 1958. He is an actor, screenwriter and television producer. Michael is known for his role in the movie “House Arrest”, as well as televisions credits that include Men of a Certain Age, MADtv, Desperate Housewives and Arrested Development.
Marker #1 – Daeida Hartell Wilcox Beveridge
503 Defiance Avenue – Hicksville ~ Born in Hicksville in 1862, Daeida co-developed and named, the Los Angeles suburb of Hollywood, CA. She led development efforts, established much of the civic infrastructure and much of the commercial district. She continued to promote Hollywood until her death in 1914.
Amelia Swilley Bingham
One of the prominent Broadway actors of her era, Amelia was born in Hicksville in 1869. She debuted on Broadway in 1893 at the Bijou Theatre and achieved wide acclaim for her performances. As a pioneering woman producer and director, Bingham served as the first president of the Professional Woman’s League. She died in New York in 1927.
Marker #2 – Spemica Lawba – Johnny Logan
Corner of Washington and Fort Streets ~ Following the declaration of war against England in 1812, Logan joined the American service. In November 1812, General Harrison directed Logan to take a small party ahead of General James Winchester’s left wing to scout the area near the Rapids of the Maumee. Encountering a larger enemy force, Logan’s party retreated and was accused of disloyalty by General Price, second in command to Winchester. Indignant, Logan left with Captain Johnny and Bright Horn to prove his innocence. They were, however, captured near Turkeyfoot Creek. During their escape, Logan was severely wounded. He died on November 25, 1812. Army officers carried Logan’s body six miles to Ft. Defiance and was buried with full military honors, the only Indian to receive that recognition in Ohio.
Marker #3 – Tale of Ensign James Liggett
Deleware Bend Road ~ After American militia troops forcibly ended the 1812 siege of Ft. Wayne, General Winchester’s Army tried to stop the advancing British troops. After three days of difficult march , Liggett of the 17th Regiment, volunteered to lead a group of four scouts to Ft. Defiance. The group was surprised and killed about September 25th. The Americans tried twice to recover the bodies, but were ambushed by Native Americans sympathetic to the British. Their bodies were finally recovered and buried in a common grave.
Major Adam Charles Muir, 41st Regiment of Foot
Major Adam Muir combined forces from British regulars, Canadian volunteers, and 800 Native American dispatching from Detroit to siege Ft. Wayne. He moved his heavy cannons by boat to the site of the old Ft. Defiance. Muir tried to set up several defense positions to engage General Winchester’s army but his Indian allies melted away. He then retreated back to Detroit. This site represents the southern most point of the British invasion into Ohio during the War of 1812.
Marker #4 – Fort Winchester
Fort Street ~ General William Henry Harrison ordered the construction of Fort Winchester early October 1812, completed October 15th, 1812. The fort served as an observation post and supply depot for the American Army. It’s shape was a parallelogram, measuring 600 by 300 feet. The Army abandoned the post in the spring of 1815, after the war in the northwest ended. Shortly after, settlers inhabited the fort. The grid of streets from 1822 – still followed in the 21st century.
Marker #5 – Evansport
01258 Main Street, Evansport ~ Evansport was named after brothers Amos and Albert Evans who, with Jacob Coy, had the village surveyed next to the Tiffin River on Dec. 14th, 1835. Early growth was spurred my its mills, providing settlers with lumber and other supplies. At its peak in 1880, there were 300 residents. Fires in 1893, 1921, and 1925 destroyed many of it’s downtown businesses. In 1940, they organized a fire department and purchased a truck.
Marker #6 – Winchester’s Camp No. 3
St Rt 424 ~ Camp No. 3 was located about 6 miles below Ft. Winchester on the north side of the Maumee River. Militiamen from Kentucky occupied the camp during November and December of 1812. They were unaware of the weather in the mid-winter in the Black Swamp and began referring to it as “Fort Salvation”. Camp No. 3 covered about 40 acres.
The Old Kentucky Burial
During the construction of the Miami and Erie Canal, in 1845, workers dug up the burial grounds of Winchester’s Camp No. 3.,When Samuel Rohn, an early settler, purchased the property in 1822 portions of the camp walls were still standing. It is believed that approximately 300 Kentucky soldiers are buried there.
Marker #7 – Winchester’s Camp No. 2
East River Road ~ After the completion of Fort Winchester, General Winchester ordered troops to cross to the north side of the Maumee. The troops only occupied the site for 9 days in November 1812. Camp site 2 proved to be too wet and marshy, he then ordered troops to Camp site No. 3, six miles down river.
The island is named after William Preston, a veteran of the War of 1812 who settled here. During the war, the island was used to hold cattle for the Army. After the Civil War, the island became popular for reunions for veterans and their families. The island had a racetrack, grandstands, auditorium and baseball diamond. The mighty flood of March 1913 swept away the island’s facilities.