Yellow Springs, Ohio

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Yellow Springs is a village in Greene County, Ohio, United States, and is the location of Antioch College and Antioch University Midwest. The population was 3,761 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Yellow Springs is served by a branch of the Greene County Public Library.

Contents

History

The village was founded in 1825 by approximately 100 families, followers of Robert Owen, who wanted to emulate the utopian community at New Harmony, Indiana. The communitarian efforts dissolved due to internal conflicts. The Little Miami Railroad was completed in 1846 and brought increased commerce, inhabitants, and tourism.

Yellow Springs was one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad and the village was known for its racial tolerance. Wheeling Gaunt, a former slave who purchased his own freedom, came to Yellow Springs in the 1860s and owned a substantial amount of land upon his death in 1894. Gaunt bequeathed to the village a large piece of land on its western side, requesting that the rent be used to buy flour for the "poor and worthy widows" of Yellow Springs. Although the land was used to create Gaunt Park, and thus does not generate rent, the village expanded the bequest to include sugar and still delivers flour and sugar to the village's widows at Christmas time, a tradition that generates annual media coverage.[1]

Antioch College was founded in 1852 by the Christian Connection, and began operating in 1853 with the distinguished scholar Horace Mann as its first president. Arthur E. Morgan was the innovative president of Antioch College who implemented a much-imitated work-study program for students. An engineer by training, Morgan became head of the Tennessee Valley Authority in Franklin D. Roosevelt's Administration. Upon his return to Yellow Springs, Morgan was a key leader of Quaker intentional community developments in Ohio and North Carolina. Antioch College closed in 2008, unable to maintain enrollment and payroll, but is set to reopen in 2011.

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