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Akron, Ohio is the county seat of Summit County. General Simon Perkins, the commissioner of the Ohio Canal Fund, came to the area in 1807, planning the canal and bought land in the area. In 1811, Paul Williams, who had settled in what is not Akron, spoke to General Perkins about the possibility of his platting a town along the canal. In 1825, that town became South Akron, which later come to be known as Akron. The Ohio & Erie Canal, which joined the Cuyahoga and Ohio Rivers, opened in 1832, and in 1834, North and South Akron merged, and the resulting town was incorporated in 1836, with a population of 1,343. In 1844, famed abolitionist John Brown moved to town, and in 1851, Sojourner Truth delivered her off-the-cuff speech known as “Ain’t I A Woman?” at the Universalist Old Stone Church downtown. In 1856, Ferdinand Schumacher bought a mill and began mass producing oat bars, and during the War Between the States, the Union Army began buying the bars for the soldiers, and after the war, they became even more popular. The country’s first modern toy company, Akron Toy Company, was founded in 1883 and in 1884, clay marbles, the country’s first popular toy, were mass-produced in town. Akron is also the home of rubber ducks, dolls, balls, and balloons, as well as rubber baby buggy bumpers, and soon it was know as the Rubber Capital of the World. By 1915, it was headquarters of the four major tire companies : Goodrich, Goodyear, Firestone, and General Tire. In 1935, the first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous was held by Bill Wilson (“Bill W.”) and Dr. Bob Smith (“Dr. Bob”) in downtown Akron. The word Akron comes from the Greek word for “high,” due to the fact that the land there was the highest point on the Ohio & Erie Canal.

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