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Cuyahoga Falls ( KY-ə-HOH-gə) is a city in Summit County, Ohio, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 49,652. It is the second-largest city in Summit County and part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area and of the Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area. The city was founded in 1812 by William Wetmore and was originally named Manchester. Cuyahoga Falls is named after the Cuyahoga River (which flows into Lake Erie) and the series of waterfalls that run along the southern boundary of the city.
Cuyahoga Falls is bordered by Akron to the south and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to the northwest.
Cuyahoga Falls was formed in 1812 near the junction of what was then Northampton, Stow, Tallmadge, and Portage townships. The focus was the series of Cuyahoga River waterfalls that provided power for manufacturing.
In 1812, Kelsey and Wilcox built a dam on the Cuyahoga River at a place where a railroad bridge crossed it in 1876. They then built a flour mill, an oil mill, and a saw mill. This led to the construction of a number of houses. This area was known as the old village. Development moved downstream, though, when the power was discovered to be better there. The old village was eventually destroyed in 1826, when a dam built by William Wetmore flooded the dam at the old village and its mills were torn down.
The earliest settler of Cuyahoga Falls included Joshua Stow and William Wetmore. In 1815, a saw mill was operating near Gaylord's Grove, using power generated by a dam on the Cuyahoga River there.
The town was initially called Manchester, but was renamed Cuyahoga Falls at the request of the Post Office since several other Manchesters were already in Ohio.
The village proper was first laid out in 1826 by Judge Richardson.
The town was incorporated in 1836, occupying 240 rods from Stow and Tallmadge townships. In 1853, seeing that the village and township of Cuyahoga Falls occupied the same territory, the village council disbanded and the community was only a township until 1868.
In 1841, the Summit County Board of Commissioners named Cuyahoga Falls the county seat. The state legislature then intervened and put the location of the county seat up to a popular vote. Akron won and has been the county seat ever since. In spite of being named the county seat, Cuyahoga Falls never really functioned as such.
In March 1851, the township of Cuyahoga Falls was created out of the village limits. They covered the same territory, so the village council voted to adjourn sine die, letting the village be run under township jurisdiction until June 3, 1868, when the municipal government returned.
On July 3, 1940, the Doodlebug Disaster train wreck killed 43 people, the worst disaster in the history of the city.
In 1985, a referendum of merger between the city and neighboring Northampton Township was approved by local voters. In 1986, Cuyahoga Falls merged with Northampton Township, the first merger of a city and township in Ohio.
Cuyahoga Falls had been founded as an industrial city, taking advantage of the river power. By the 1970s, though, it had become a residential community. This changed when Don Robart became mayor. He had been in favor of the merger with Northampton Township because of the additional land that could be used for development. Parts of that area have since been used for industrial development. Commercial development has also picked up, especially in the Howe Avenue area at the southern border of the city.
The city had one professional sports team, the Cuyahoga Falls Cougars, of the International Basketball League. They moved to Akron in 2006 and became the Akron Cougars.
The Cathedral of Tomorrow, founded by televangelist Rex Humbard in 1958, is in Cuyahoga Falls. It is now the church of pastor/evangelist Ernest Angley and was renamed Grace Cathedral.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 25.75 square miles (66.69 km2), of which 25.65 square miles (66.43 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 49,652 people, 22,250 households, and 12,693 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,935.8 inhabitants per square mile (747.4/km2). There were 23,859 housing units at an average density of 930.2 per square mile (359.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.4% White, 3.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.
There were 22,250 households, of which 26.1% had children under age 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.0% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.90.
The median age in the city was 39.4 years. 20.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.9% were from 25 to 44; 27.5% were from 45 to 64; and 15.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 49,374 people, 21,655 households, and 13,317 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,932.9 people per square mile (746.4/km²). There were 22,727 housing units at an average density of 889.7 per square mile (343.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.80% White, 1.87% African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.63% of the population.
There were 21,655 households, of which 27.0% had children under age 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,263, and the median income for a family was $52,372. Males had a median income of $40,301 versus $28,459 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,550. About 4.5% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.
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