Tiffin, Ohio

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Tiffin, Ohio
A view from the Kiwanis Manor in Tiffin, featuring the Sandusky River
A view from the Kiwanis Manor in Tiffin, featuring the Sandusky River
Nickname(s): Fort Ball
Motto: Crossroads of America
Location in Ohio
Location in Ohio
Location of Tiffin in Seneca County
Location of Tiffin in Seneca County
Coordinates: 41°7′1″N 83°10′44″W / 41.11694°N 83.17889°W / 41.11694; -83.17889
TIFFIN OHIO Latitude and Longitude:

41°7′1″N 83°10′44″W / 41.11694°N 83.17889°W / 41.11694; -83.17889
Country United States
State Ohio
County Seneca
Fort Ball 1812
 •  Mayor Aaron Montz (R)
 • Council President Rich Cline (R)
Area [1]
 • Total 6.90 sq mi (17.87 km2)
 • Land 6.76 sq mi (17.51 km2)
 • Water 0.14 sq mi (0.36 km2)
Elevation [2] 745 ft (227 m)
Population ( 2010) [3]
 • Total 17,963
 • Estimate (2012 [4]) 17,828
 • Density 2,657.2/sq mi (1,026.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) ( UTC-5)
 • Summer ( DST) EDT ( UTC-4)
ZIP code 44883
Area code(s) 419, 567
FIPS code 39-76778 [5]
GNIS feature ID 1058075 [2]
Website http://www.tiffinohio.gov/
Buildings on Washington Street (State Route 100) in downtown Tiffin, seen from the Perry Street intersection.

Tiffin is a city in and the county seat of Seneca County, Ohio, United States. [6] Tiffin is about 55 miles southeast of Toledo. The population was 17,963 at the 2010 census. [7] The National Arbor Day Foundation has designated Tiffin as a Tree City USA.

It is the home of Heidelberg University and Tiffin University. At one time it was noted as a glass and porcelain manufacturing center. Tiffin is home to several elementary schools, Tiffin Middle School, Calvert Catholic Schools, and Columbian High School.


The history of Tiffin dates back to 1812. The familiar bronze statue of "The Indian Maiden" on Frost Parkway, near Miami Street, marks the site of Fort Ball, a military depot of the War of 1812. Fighting an engagement of that war, Eratus Bowe first sighted the location upon which Tiffin now stands. In 1817, he returned to the site and built his Pan Yan Tavern, which later became a stagecoach stop, on the North Sandusky River.

Early homesteaders followed soon after Bowe, and the settlement of Oakley sprang up around the Pan Yan. The main traveled road of the area followed the path of the stagecoaches through Oakley, which was called Fort Ball after 1824.

In 1821, Josiah Hedges purchased a piece of land on the south bank of the river opposite Oakley and founded another settlement. He named this village "Tiffin" in honor of Edward Tiffin, first governor of Ohio and later member of the United States Senate, and a man who had fought to finally win statehood for the Ohio Territory in 1803. [8] Tiffin was incorporated by an act of the Ohio Legislature on March 7, 1835. These two communities, split by the Sandusky River, were rivals; however, in 1850, seeing that later their interests lay together, the villages merged to form Tiffin, with Fort Ball becoming a part of Tiffin in March of that year.

In 1824, with the establishment of Seneca County by the Ohio Legislature, Tiffin became a county seat. The county took its name from the Seneca Indians, who originally were native to the territory. The discovery of natural gas in the vicinity in 1888 gave new momentum to the city's industries; new enterprises located in Tiffin, making it a prosperous industrial city:

  • The National Machinery Company moved from Cleveland to Tiffin in 1882.
  • Webster Industries, Inc. moved from Chicago to Tiffin in 1906.
  • and Clifford O. Hanson founded The Hanson Clutch and Machinery Company in Tiffin. It was acquired by Pettibone in 1966. Pettibone LLC, which today is an affiliate of The Heico Companies, renamed the business unit Tiffin Parts in 1997. Operating at the same site since the 1920s, the building on Miami Street is on the National Register of Historic Places. [9]
  • Tiffin was the home of Tiffin Glass Works from 1889 to 1980.
  • Tiffin was the home of American Standard Company (formerly Great Western Pottery), maker of ceramic kitchen and bath products, from 1899 to 2007. It was the largest employer in the city.

Since the late 1970s, the city has lost industry.

In the spring of 1913, the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys were ravaged by one of the most devastating floods in the region's history. Among those communities which suffered the consequences of that flood was Tiffin, located on the Sandusky River in northwest Ohio. During that three-day period, Tiffin sustained more than $1,000,000 in property loss, 46 houses and 2 factories swept away, 10 factories damaged, 69 places of business heavily damaged, 6 bridges within the corporate limits destroyed, and—worst of all—19 lives lost.

Tiffin has been the home of Ballreich's Bros., a potato chip company, since 1920. While the company's retail market is Northern Ohio, its products have acquired a reputation that extends far beyond its local retail market and are available for shipping anywhere via the company's website.

Tiffin St. Paul's United Methodist Church was the first church in the world to be lit by Edison's light bulb, and the first public building in the United States to be wired for electricity. [10] [11] Tiffin is home to a large population of German-Americans .In 1970 Tiffin's highest population was 21,896.

Tiffin is the home of the historic Ritz Theatre, built in 1928 as a vaudeville house with an Italian Renaissance design. The Ritz Theatre underwent extensive renovation and restoration in 1998.

In 2002, a F3 tornado hit southeast Tiffin, destroying several homes outside city limits.

A new Mercy Hospital of Tiffin was built and opened in July 2008.

Republican Aaron D. Montz, Tiffin's 2nd Ward Councilman, was elected Mayor of Tiffin on November 8, 2011. He defeated his Democratic opponent, Kenneth Gaietto.


Tiffin is located at 41°7′1″N 83°10′44″W / 41.11694°N 83.17889°W / 41.11694; -83.17889 (41.116834, -83.179003). [12]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.90 square miles (17.87 km2), of which 6.76 square miles (17.51 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water. [1] The Sandusky River flows through the center of the city. It is located on U.S. Route 224.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 248
1840 823 231.9%
1850 2,718 230.3%
1860 3,992 46.9%
1870 5,648 41.5%
1880 7,879 39.5%
1890 10,801 37.1%
1900 10,989 1.7%
1910 11,894 8.2%
1920 14,375 20.9%
1930 16,428 14.3%
1940 16,102 −2.0%
1950 18,952 17.7%
1960 21,478 13.3%
1970 21,596 0.5%
1980 19,567 −9.4%
1990 18,604 −4.9%
2000 18,135 −2.5%
2010 17,963 −0.9%
Est. 2016 17,545 [13] −2.3%
Sources: [5] [14] [15] [16]

2010 census

As of the census [3] of 2010, there were 17,963 people, 7,086 households, and 4,115 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,657.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,026.0/km2). There were 8,007 housing units at an average density of 1,184.5 per square mile (457.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.9% White, 2.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.

There were 7,086 households of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.9% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 35.2 years. 20.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 17.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.

2000 census

As of the census [5] of 2000, there were 18,135 people, 11,330 households, and 9,471 families residing in the city. The population density was (10,792.4/mi²) people per square mile (11,078.9/km²). There were 17,862 housing units at an average density of 11,210.6 per square mile (467.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 1.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population. [17]

There were 11,330 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 15.1% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,261, and the median income for a family was $41,329. Males had a median income of $31,207 versus $22,259 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,580. About 5.7% of families and about 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.


Tiffin is served by Tiffin City Schools: Columbian High School, Tiffin Middle School, and C.A. Krout, Noble, and Washington elementary schools.

Tiffin is also served by the Calvert Catholic Schools: Calvert High School for grades 7-12, and one campus school, Calvert Elementary, for preschool through grade 6.

Other schools in Tiffin include the Sentinel Career Center, one of two charters schools, Bridges Community Academy, and North Central Academy.

Tiffin is the home of Tiffin University, Heidelberg University, the Tiffin Academy of Hair Design, and formerly of the American Institute of Massotherapy.

Tiffin also has two Catholic churches. One is St. Mary's Catholic Church which has a cathedral appearance and stained glass windows. This church also had a school, and hosts the annual St. Mary's Catholic Church Fair. The other is St. Joseph's Catholic Church, the tallest and one of the oldest churches in Tiffin. St. Joe's was originally started with primarily German immigrants. St. Mary's originally started with primarily Irish and Italian immigrants.


Mayor: Aaron D. Montz (R)

City Administrator: Debra A. Reamer (R)

City Council President: Rich Cline (R)

Chief of Police: Fred W. Stevens

Fire Chief: William Ennis

Municipal Court Judge: Mark Repp (R)

Director of Public Works: Michael Hoffman

City Council

Office Name Party
President of Council Rich Cline Republican
Councilman-at-Large Mark Hayes Democrat
Councilman-at-Large Tyler Shuff Republican
Councilman-at-Large Steven Lepard Republican
1st Ward Councilman Jim Roberts Republican
2nd Ward Councilman Joseph Hartzell Democrat
3rd Ward Councilwomen Lori Ritzler Democrat
4th Ward Councilman Rich Focht Republican
Council Clerk Ann Forrest (Non-Partisan)



Tiffin has only one airport, Seneca County Airport (K16G). Tiffin also has 3 reliable taxi services. Tiffin is currently on 5 state routes, as well as U.S. Route 224, which skirts the city's southern edge. Tiffin is located on the southern terminus of Northern Ohio and Western Railway. CSX operates a busy line that travels east and west through the city. The city is still a very busy railhub for CSX because of its closeness to CSX's Willard Yard and the "Iron Triangle" in Fostoria.



Tiffin is served by The Advertiser-Tribune, and it has 5 radio stations, 1600 WTTF AM, 103.7 WCKY-FM, 103.3 WSJG-LP "St. John Paul The Great Radio," 93.3 COOL FM, and WTSC SenecaCountyRadio.com. It is also served by its local news/sport/entertainment channel, WTIF (Channel 21 on Cable, and is currently not carried by DirecTV or Dish Network).


The Tiffin Saints of the fledgling Independent Baseball League played an abbreviated inaugural season at the Tiffin University field in 2014. The Saints are Tiffin's first pro baseball team since the Tiffin Mud Hens played in the Ohio State League from 1936–41; affiliated with the nearby Toledo Mud Hens and the Detroit Tigers, Tiffin won the OSL championship in 1936.

Tiffin is also home to the Tiffin Cross Country Carnival, a large-scale high school cross country meet.

Notable people


Tiffin ... Ohio ...



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