Delaware, Ohio

Delaware, Ohio

City of Delaware

Ohio shown on the map of the United States

Delaware's location within the State of Ohio.
Status: City (1808)
Region: Midwest
U.S. State: Ohio
- Total

5.0 sq mi / 24.0 km²
Ohio County: Delaware County
ZIP code: 43015
- Total (2007 est.)
- Density
- Metro Population

?? / km²
Ethnicity: 87.1% Caucasian
4.8% S. Asian
2.5% .
1.8% E. Asian

Delaware City Council
Mayor: Windell Wheeler
City Manager: Tom Homan
Executive: Republican
Political: 53% Republican Party, 31% Democratic Party, 15% Others

The City of Delaware is in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Delaware County. The municipality is located near the center of the state of Ohio, about 20 miles (32 km) north of Columbus, Ohio. Delaware was founded in 1808, incorporated in 1816. It is part of the Columbus Metropolitan Area. The population was 25,246 at the 2000 census. According to the US Census 2007 estimate, Delaware has a population of 32,986, while the Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH Combined Statistical Area has 1,982,252 people. According to a list compiled by American Demographics Incorporated, Delaware County ranks fourteenth out of twenty areas in the United States designated as the fastest-growing in the year 2000.


Delaware is located at (40.298898, -83.072007).

The town is located about 24 miles north of Ohio's capital city, Columbus, due north along U.S. Highway 23.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.1 square miles (39.1 km²), of which, 15.0 square miles (38.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.66%) is water.


Delaware is the site of the Ohio Wesleyan University, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States and one of the Five Colleges of Ohio. The city is famous for The Little Brown Jug, an internationally famous harness race which is part of the Triple Crown of harness racing.

Other notable places include:

  • Olentangy Indian Caverns

Main streets include:

  • Sandusky Street, home to the downtown business district.
  • University Avenue, covers most of the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.
  • Winter Street, where a lot of cultural centers are located such as the Andrews House and The Arts Castle.

The life of the city

With some level of success, Delaware has tried to maintain a traditional downtown shopping area that includes the Delaware Commons pedestrian mall and downtown Delaware, a small mixed-use complex built at the end of the urban renewal era. Therefore, some in the community regret that downtown has lost vitality to an expanding commercial zone to the northwest suburban area of Columbus, Ohio. This area contains an increasing number of large retail stores and restaurants run by national chains. Others say the chain stores boost local shopping options for residents considerably, many of whom would have previously shopped elsewhere, while increasing sales tax revenue for the city and county. The tradeoff between sprawl and economic development continues to be debated throughout the city and the surrounding area.

Delaware residents support a popular farmer's market , professional theaters, the Ballet Met, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Opera Columbus, Contemporary American Theater Company, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Delaware Community Chorus and many theater opportunities.

Politically the city's population is moderate to conservative, with most of the Ohio Wesleyan University voting for liberal candidates, and a majority of the permanent population being Republican. However, Franklin County, the metropolitan area's anchor county, is overwhelmingly Democratic. Delaware has many of the businesses characteristic of small American university towns: used and new bookstores, a historical cinema, coffee shops, organic food stores, and local restaurants. The Arts Castle, home to the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center, offers classes ranging from ballet to fiber arts. Downtown stores meet almost any need. There are hardware stores, bookstores, a cycling shop, a candy shop, a fair trade shop, and gourmet gift shops. Several antique stores can be found also.

The dominant local newspaper in Delaware is a morning daily, the Delaware Gazette, founded in 1885. The paper is owned by Brown Publishing Company, Inc. Other local print publications include the Delaware News, owned by Columbus-based Suburban News Publications, ThisWeek in Delaware, owned by the Columbus Dispatch and the Transcript, the student paper at Ohio Wesleyan University. Local residents often subscribe to out-of-town papers as well; the New York Times is popular among many.

Tourists come largely for the unique antique shops, and enjoy an array of cultural offerings that are unusual for a community of this size.


The part of the Olentangy River now occupied by Delaware hosted a Delaware Native American village prior to the founding of the town in 1808. The Delawares called themselves Lenape or Leni-lenape, equivalent to "real men," or "native, genuine men" and were called "Grandfathers" by the Algonquian tribes because of their belief that the Delawares were the oldest and original Algonquian nation. During the American Revolution, the Delawares became a divided people. Many attempted to remain neutral in the conflict. Some adopted Christianity, while other Delawares supported the English, who had assumed the role of the French traders at the end of the French and Indian War. These natives thanked England for the Proclamation of 1763, which prohibited colonists from settling any further west than the Appalachian Mountains, and feared that, if the Americans were victorious, the Delawares would be driven from their lands. Following the American victory in the Revolution, the Delawares struggled against whites as they moved onto the natives' territory. In 1829, the Delawares relinquished their remaining land in Ohio and moved to present-day Kansas.

Delaware was a popular health resort for a time, and Ohio Wesleyan University was founded in 1842 in an old spa hotel (which still stands). President Rutherford B. Hayes was born in Delaware, but only a historical marker remains to commemorate the site of this event. Some industry began to come to the area after World War II, and the town continues to grow at a modest pace. The county is one of the fastest growing in the nation.

Railroads came to the area in April, 1851 as Delaware served as a stop on the Cleveland Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad. Additional rail lines were added to serve Delaware providing access to major cities and markets throughout the country by the late 1890s. At the turn of the century, Delaware could boast of its own electric street railway system. In the early 1930's, electric inter-urban service was provided by the Columbus, Delaware and Marion system.


There is a true economic mix in the area. The economic mix of the country reveals a balance of the following main economic activities: Manufacturing(18%), Trade (27%), Government (15%), and Service (23%) according to statistics published by Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce in 2000. The largest employers are in automobile coatings, plastics, copper products, education, insurance, automobile parts and distribution, sports apparel, retail, services, and government. Delaware County is a net importer of workers from throughout Ohio.


As of the census of 2000, there were 25,243 people, 9,520 households, and 6,359 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,682.9 people per square mile (649.8/km²). There were 10,208 housing units at an average density of 680.5/sq mi (262.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.8% White, 3.8% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.84% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.24% of the population.

There were 9,520 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 14.5% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,030, and the median income for a family was $54,463. Males had a median income of $33,308 versus $23,668 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,633. About 6.8% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

All legislative powers are vested in the City Council. The Council consists of seven members: four of them are elected on a non-partisan basis in four wards and three are elected at large. They are elected for four-year terms. The Council elects a mayor among its three at-large members who serves for a term of two years. The mayor preserves his right to be able to vote in the Council. A Vice Mayor is also chosen in the same manner, also for a for a two-year term.

The city manager handles the day by day going ons of the city. They are elected by the city council. The current City Manager is R.Thomas Homan.

Current City Council Members

  • Windell Wheeler, At Large, Mayor
  • Carolyn Riggle, At Large, Vice Mayor
  • Gary Milner, At Large
  • Jim Moore, First Ward
  • Lisa Keller, Second Ward
  • Joe Di Genova, Third Ward
  • Andrew W. Brush, Fourth Ward

Andrew Brush was elected to the Fourth Ward position on November 6, 2007 and sworn in on November 19, 2007. Brush, now 20, is the youngest member of Delaware City Council in city history.


  • 1954 to 1956 Paul Bale White
  • 1956 to 1957 Edward Flahive
  • 1958 to 1959 Paul B. White
  • 1959 to 1961 Henry Wolf
  • 1961 to 1963 Paul B. White
  • 1963 to 1965 Donald Mathews
  • 1965 to 1969 Robert Ray Newhouse
  • 1969 to 1971 Gilford E. Easterday
  • 1971 to 1973 John Jeisel III
  • 1973 to 1977 Gilford E. Easterday
  • 1978 to 1981 Donald Wuertz
  • 1982 to 1983 Donald Worly
  • 1984 to 1985 Michael Shade
  • 1986 to 1989 Donald Wuertz
  • 1990 to 1993 Michael Shade
  • 1994 to 1995 Dennis Davis
  • 1996 to 1999 Juliann Secrest
  • 2000 to 2002 Tommy W. Thompson
  • 2002 to present Windell Wheeler


Ohio Wesleyan University

Main Article: Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan is a private independent liberal arts college located in the heart of Delaware. Ohio Wesleyan University enrolls approximately 1,950 students from 40 states and more than 50 countries. The level of academic excellence has placed Wesleyan among the 80 top liberal arts colleges in the annual rankings published by the US News and World Report. According to the same magazine, the university was recognized as one of the Best College Values among the top 40 in the United States. Students live in residence halls and benefit from a large campus providing academics, athletics and services. There is a traditionally positive town-government relationship, with Wesleyan student volunteers in the Delaware community and coordination of institutional and cultural interests with the City, especially after the appointment of president Mark Huddleston in 1984. Due to high enrollment of minority and international students at the University, it has influenced the international, ethnic and religious diversity of Delaware.

The Methodist Theological School in Ohio

The Methodist Theological School in Ohio is a graduate school seminary located between Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. Often referred to as METHESCO.

Delaware Joint Vocational School District

Delaware Area Career Center

Delaware City School District

The Delaware City School District, which encompasses Delaware and the surrounding area, enrolls about 5500 K-12 students.

High schools

  • Rutherford B. Hayes High School

Middle School

  • John C. Dempsey Middle School
  • Willis Intermediate School

Elementary schools

  • Ervin Carlisle Elementary
  • James A. Conger Elementary
  • Robert F. Schultz Elementary
  • David Smith Elementary
  • Laura Woodward Elementary

Private Schools, K-12

Notable natives


External links

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