A Glimpse into Columbus in the 1910s through Fascinating Historical photos Depicting the era’s Unique Charm

The 1910s were a whirlwind of a decade for Columbus, Ohio, blending periods of growth and development with significant challenges. This era was shaped by key events that would leave a lasting mark on the city, from booming industrial endeavors and shifting demographics to its role in national movements and the far-reaching effects of World War I.

Economic Expansion and Industrial Development

Columbus was riding the wave of its industrial heritage, with manufacturing at the heart of its economic vitality. The transition from traditional industries like the Columbus Buggy Company to new ventures in the automotive and aviation sectors highlighted the city’s adaptability to technological advancements. This era was also marked by substantial infrastructure investments, enhancing Columbus’s transportation and utility networks to support its industrial ambitions.

Demographic Changes and Immigration

Demographically, Columbus was a city in flux, experiencing growth from both domestic migration and international immigration. The influx of diverse immigrants and African Americans from the South, driven by the Great Migration, added rich layers to the city’s cultural mosaic while also prompting critical discussions on housing, employment, and integration.

Urban Planning and Infrastructure Improvements

Urban planning and infrastructure development took center stage in the 1910s, reflecting Columbus’s dedication to improving public spaces and services. The creation of parks, public buildings, and street enhancements aimed at fostering a more livable and efficient urban environment. The ambitious Columbus Civic Center project exemplified the city’s forward-thinking approach to urban planning and public architecture.

World War I’s outbreak in 1914 cast a long shadow over Columbus, affecting the city much like it did the rest of the nation. Columbus’s industrial base pivoted to support the war effort, while Camp Sherman served as a crucial training hub for local soldiers.

#1 Residents seeking relief in Columbus after the devastating Flood of 1913, March 26, 1913.

#2 View of flood damage at Cable and Lorain Avenues in Columbus, later renamed Yale Avenue, 1913.

#3 Scene of the 1913 flood in Columbus, showing floating debris, possibly at 516 W. State St., 1913.

#4 Overturned houses at Broad and Cypress Streets in Columbus during the 1913 flood, March 25, 1913.

#5 Scene from the 1913 flood in Columbus, showcasing the devastation caused by heavy rain and failed levees, 1913.

#6 Flood damage at Town Street and Rodgers Avenue, 1913.

#7 Photograph of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad locomotives overturned by flood waters, March 26, 1913.

#8 Views of the Armistice Day celebration in downtown Columbus, showing various locations, November 11, 1918.

#9 Soldiers at the 10th Company headquarters at Fort Hayes barracks, 1918

#10 The 10th Recruit Company at Columbus Barracks, later renamed Fort Hayes, circa 1916

#11 12th Company headquarters at Fort Hayes barracks in Columbus, Ohio, 1910s

#12 0-4-0 Tank Switcher Locomotive at the Ohio Railway Museum, 1910s

#13 Return of the Thirty-seventh Division to Columbus, greeted by veterans of past wars, April 6, 1919.

#14 The Frank H. Gorrell family home at 40 Brevoort Road in Clintonville, Columbus, Ohio, winter of 1916.

#15 Destruction of a home at 450 Centner Avenue after the 1913 flood, March 1913.

#16 Man in front of destroyed homes on Centner Avenue, showcasing flood’s destructive force, 1913.

#17 Aerial view of the 1913 flood in Columbus, featuring the Charles C. Higgins Wholesale Grocery Building, March 25, 1913.

#18 Aerial view of the intersection of Broad and High Streets, 1916.

#19 Aftermath of the 1913 flood in Columbus, Ohio, 1913.

#20 View of downed utility pole and debris from the 1913 flood in Columbus, Ohio, 1913.

#21 “Ag Alley” on Ohio State University campus, featuring Lazenby Hall, 1910s

#22 West side of the Scioto river at the Broad Street Bridge during the 1913 flood, March 25, 1913.

#23 American Insurance Union Auditorium and Colonial Theater buildings, 1915.

#24 American Methodist Centenary celebration at Ohio State Fairgrounds, 1919.

#25 Andrews Brothers Company building, a wholesale fruit and produce seller, 1919.

#26 Archaeological and Historical Museum at Ohio State University, Columbus, later named Sullivant Hall, 1910s

#27 Armistice Day celebration at High and Gay Streets, 1918.

#28 1913 flood in Columbus, Ohio, featuring an overturned fire truck from Engine House No. 10, 1913

#29 Avondale Elementary School on Avondale Avenue, construction began around 1892, opened in 1893, renovated in 1953 and 1968, now an elementary school in the Columbus City School District, June 9, 1916.

#30 Bazler Transfer and Storage Company, operated as a livery and then a transfer and storage firm, 1915.

#31 Big Four railcar derailed by the 1913 flood near the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad yard in Franklinton, 1913.

#32 Billy Sunday Tabernacle, evangelist Billy Sunday’s church services, 1913

#33 Buckeye Steel employees, founded October 1902, located on Parsons Avenue, merged with Worthington Industries in 1980, circa 1910s

#34 Tod Barracks, military post in Columbus, opened 1863, closed 1865, demolished in March 1911.

#35 Exterior of the Busy Bee Candy Kitchen building, 1910s

#36 Busy Bee delivery wagon on Sullivant Avenue near West Park, 1911

#37 Buildings on the Capital University campus, 1910s

#38 Carriage in front of Leo J. Dietlin’s Dry Goods Store, 410 East Schiller Avenue, 1910.

#39 Chicago Avenue flood destruction with overturned car, March 26, 1913.

#41 Chicago Avenue during the 1913 flood, with overturned car and boat, 1913.

#42 Broad and Belle Streets during the 1913 flood, featuring an overturned streetcar, March 27, 1913.

#43 Broad and Levee Streets during the 1913 flood, showing people and rescue boats, March 26, 1913.

#44 Broad Street & Rodgers Avenue, showing flood destruction, 1913.

#45 Broad Street looking west during the 1913 flood, wreckage of the Broad Street Bridge, 1913.

#46 Broad Street looking west along the Broad Street Bridge during the 1913 flood, 1913.

#47 Broad Street Presbyterian Church, exterior view, 1915

#48 Broken levee from the 1913 flood, North Sandusky Street, 1913.

#49 Brown Veterinary Hospital building, run by Walter A. Brown, veterinary surgeon, 1913.

#51 Bonfire at the Ohio State University, students gathering fuel for a rally, 1914.

#52 Photograph of the Columbus Mutual Life Insurance Company’s building, previously Clinton DeWeese Firestone’s mansion, 1915.

#53 Flood damage on Rodgers Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, March 29, 1913.

#54 Columbus School for Girls in the former George McClelland residence, 1912.

#55 Conservatory at Franklin Park, Columbus, East Side, 1910.

#56 Linden Pharmacy and Linden Heights Post Office in Columbus, photograph dated 1915.

#57 The 1913 flood at the corner of Rich and Dakota Avenue, Columbus, 1913

#59 D L Auld Company in Columbus, specializing in diamonds and jewelry, 1915.

#60 Flood on Davis Avenue, south from Broad Street, Columbus, 1913

#61 Deshler Block, the predecessor to the Deshler Hotel, photograph, 1915.

#62 West Broad Street bridge destruction from the 1913 flood, 1913

#63 Downtown Columbus slum area on east bank of the Scioto River, view of Broad Street Bridge, 1916.

#65 East Broad Street looking west with Outlook and Spahr Buildings, Columbus, 1916.

#66 Tree-lined residential stretch of East Broad Street, 1915.

#67 Toledo and Ohio Central Railway’s East Columbus Passenger and Freight Station, 1919.

#68 Eastwood Avenue Elementary School, opened in 1905, remodeled in 1955, closed and demolished in 1974. Circa 1916.

#70 First and Last Chance Saloon, owned by Salvatore Presutti, 1916.

#71 First Indianola Junior High School, the first in the U.S., opened in 1909, Circa 1915.

#72 First Methodist Episcopal Church, featuring the News Club, 1913.

#73 Demolition of the East State Street site of the First Presbyterian Church, 1910.

#74 Flood damage at the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad Station, Columbus, 1913.

#75 Flooded street scene with house and boat, Columbus, 1913.

#77 Franklin County Children’s Home, built in 1880 and demolished in 1955, Circa 1915.

#78 G. W. Bobb Company, a wholesale grocer, building construction at Neilston and Naghten Streets, 1916.

#79 North view from Gay Street on North High Street, Columbus, 1913.

#80 George Bobb and Sons Company, wholesale grocers, history and operations, 1915.

#81 George W Bobb Company, wholesale grocers, operating until 1926. Circa 1919.

#82 Girls’ Dormitory (Oxley Hall) at Ohio State University, 1916

#84 Grant Hospital and its Annex, founded in 1900 by Dr. James F. Baldwin, Circa 1915.

#85 Group of buildings on the campus of Ohio State University, including Orton Hall, 1910s

#86 Grove City High School, originally Jackson High School, dedicated in 1910, no longer standing, Circa 1912.

#87 Hague Avenue Elementary School, constructed in 1910 with an addition in 1926, Circa May 1915.

#88 Hanna Paint Company, selling paints and colors, Circa 1915.

#89 Harry Dingman Drug Store at 165 East State Street and Simon Josephson Fruits at 108 South 4th Street, 1910s

#90 Dairy Department building at Hartman Stock Farm, photograph, 1911.

#91 Hartman Theatre and Office Building, opened in 1911, demolished in 1971, Circa 1912.

#92 Headquarters and Mess Hall at Columbus Barracks, later Fort Hayes, 1918.

#93 Helen and Alice Barry visiting Franklin Park, Columbus, Ohio, May 1914.

#94 Night view of High Street Arches at South High St, Columbus, 1910s

#95 High Street looking north from the Ohio Statehouse, with Deshler Hotel and early Columbus skyscrapers, 1916.

#97 Holy Family School, built in 1912 and closed in 1971, Circa 1915.

#98 Holy Family School, Columbus, Ohio, black & white photo of two-story brick building, 1919.

#99 Hoover Rowlands Furniture Company building, 1915.

#100 Horseshoe Pits at Olentangy Park, Clintonville, Columbus, 1910s

#105 General view of the James Theater and businesses at the Broadway Building, Columbus, 1910s

#107 Flooding of Chicago Avenue with automobiles, Columbus, Ohio, 1913

#109 William McKinley’s Monument on Capitol Grounds, Columbus, Ohio, 1910

#110 Columbus Savings & Trust Company Building, Columbus, Ohio, 1910

#111 President Woodrow Wilson acknowledges onlookers in Columbus, Ohio, during his League of Nations tour, 1919

#112 Two motorcyclists on a dirt road, Columbus, Ohio, circa 1910

#113 State Capitol Building and Statue of William McKinley, Columbus, 1910

#114 William McKinley’s Monument, Capitol Grounds, Columbus, 1910

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Written by Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark is a historian and writer who is passionate about sharing the stories and significance behind historical photos. He loves to explore hidden histories and cultural contexts behind the images, providing a unique insight into the past.

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