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Fairborn is a city in Greene County, Ohio, United States, near Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The population was 32,770 at the 2010 census.[7] It is the only city in the world with the name of Fairborn,[1] a portmanteau word created from the names Fairfield and Osborn, the two villages that merged in 1950 after the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 forced Osborn to move out of a flood plain and alongside Fairfield.

Fairborn, Ohio
Aerial view of Fairborn
Aerial view of Fairborn
Flag of Fairborn, Ohio
"A City in Motion"
Location of Fairborn, Ohio
Location of Fairborn, Ohio
Location of Fairborn in Greene County
Location of Fairborn in Greene County
Coordinates: 39°48′28″N 84°1′19″W / 39.80778°N 84.02194°W / 39.80778; -84.02194
CountryUnited States
 • MayorPaul Keller
 • Total13.17 sq mi (34.11 km2)
 • Land13.16 sq mi (34.08 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation837 ft (255 m)
 • Total32,770
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,458.4/sq mi (949.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP code
Area code(s)937
FIPS code39-25914[6]
GNIS feature ID1077584[3]

Fairborn is part of the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Fairborn is the home of Wright State University, which serves nearly 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The city is also home to the disaster training facility known as Calamityville.



Fairborn was formed from the union of the two villages of Fairfield and Osborn. Fairfield was founded in 1816[8] and Osborn in 1850.[9]

Before European settlers arrived, native inhabitants of the region included the Adena culture of Ohio and nearby states, and the subsequent Hopewell tradition known from Illinois to Ohio and renowned for their geometric earthworks. Several surviving examples of earthen mounds made by Mound builders still exist at the Wright Brothers Memorial atop the bluff overlooking Huffman Prairie, and another lies on the grounds of the base.

The area of the village of Fairfield was settled before Ohio was a state. The first log cabin was built by George Greiner in 1799. The area where the village would grow was favorable to pioneers who were moving northward and westward from Kentucky and Virginia. Often there were raids made upon the settlement by local Indians, followed by similar raids on local native settlements. Although no massacres took place, both sides engaged in taking prisoners.[10] There are two accounts regarding the name "Fairfield". One more accepted account claims that a local Native American - possibly a Shawnee - tribal chief, in speaking to one of the town's leaders after making peace and exchanging prisoners, said to William Cozad that when he looked out from Reed's Hill over the town,

The other possible source for the name is after a Fairfield in England.

Osborn was a town (no longer existing) located near the Haddix Road-Ohio 235 intersection at the northern edge of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in what is now the flood-prone basin of the Huffman Dam in the U.S. state of Ohio. Osborn was named after the superintendent of the railroad named E.F. Osborn. The previously unnamed town allowed the railroad to be built through it after the nearby town of Fairfield refused the plan of the railway to go through there. Many of the original houses of old Osborn still stand in Fairborn's Historic Osborn District.

Orville in flight over Huffman Prairie, approximately 1,760 feet in 40 1/5 seconds, November 16, 1904

Huffman Prairie, part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, is an 84-acre (.34 km²) patch of rough pasture that was outside the village of Fairfield (now known as Huffman Prairie Flying Field), where the Wright Brothers undertook the difficult and sometimes dangerous task of creating a dependable, fully controllable airplane and training themselves to be pilots. After they began making use of Huffman Prairie in 1904, the Wright brothers made hundreds of flights here after developing the 1905 Wright Flyer III (the plane they considered to be the first practical airplane), testing the aircraft built by the Wright Company. At the Wright Flying School, also located here, they trained more than a hundred pilots, including the flyers for the Wright Exhibition Team and the first military flyers, including Henry H. Arnold and Thomas DeWitt Milling. The United States Army Signal Corps purchased the field in 1917, added an adjacent plot of 2,000 acres (8.1 km2), and renamed it Wilbur Wright Field. In 1948 the area was merged with nearby Patterson Field and became Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

In 1921, nearly the entire town of Osborn, along with the railroad (now Norfolk Southern Railway), was moved two miles to a site just east of Fairfield during construction of the Huffman Dam on the Mad River. The village moved houses from the flood plain on flatbed trucks. This was necessary because of the Miami Valley Flood Control Project and the Miami Conservancy District that was begun after the Great Dayton Flood (Dayton, Ohio) of March 1913.

The two villages' growth was hindered by the other's borders, a military flying field and depot (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), township borders, and county borders. The two villages voted to merge in 1949 and completed the merger in 1950[1] The first business to depict the name of the new city was the large vertical sign of the Fairborn Theatre.

Hanoi Taxi (Lockheed C-141 Starlifter) flying over the nearby National Museum of the United States Air Force in December 2005

From 1950-1970, the city grew to six times its former population, surpassing Xenia (the county seat) as the most populous city in the county, due largely to the nearby Air Force Base. Another employer, Southwestern Portland Cement, operated the largest factory in the city during this period, mining the locally exposed Brassfield Formation.

The development of Interstate 675 (Ohio) began in the 1960s to serve as an eastern bypass of Dayton. In the early 1970s, construction began on the northernmost part of I-675, just east of Fairborn. The first segment terminated at N. Fairfield Road (exit 17). No further construction was done for over a decade and it was jokingly referred to by some as "Fairborn's private Interstate". Dayton Mayor James H. McGee opposed the highway, contending it would draw economic development out of the city into the suburbs. I-675 was eventually completed by 1987.

Until the mid-1960s, Fairborn's sundown town policies prevented African Americans from living there. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was credited in part with ending the policies.[11]

Fairborn's growth slowed in the 1970s and has only resumed at a moderate pace since the late 1980s. It has since been surpassed by neighboring Beavercreek, Ohio, in population.

The Dayton Agreement, a peace accord between the parties to end the hostilities of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former Yugoslavia, was negotiated at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from November 1 to November 21, 1995, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Fairborn.

As of 2007, Fairborn is a quiet town with many still working at the nearby Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the home of the Air Force Materiel Command and in many measures the largest, most diverse and organizationally complex base in the Air Force.[12]

Many also work at or attend Wright State University, a university that became independent in 1967. From a small cluster of buildings it has grown into a major campus with almost 20,000 students. Though Wright State has a Dayton address, it is legally within Fairborn jurisdiction and has police officers deputized by the Fairborn police department.

Fairborn is the home of the largest elementary school in Ohio, Fairborn Primary School.[13]

Fairborn hosts its annual Sweet Corn Festival every August and the USAF marathon every September. It also prides itself on its annual 4th of July Parade. Fairborn is also home of the Fairborn Wee Hawks Pee Wee Football teams. [14]


Fairborn is located at 39°48′28″N 84°1′19″W / 39.80778°N 84.02194°W / 39.80778; -84.02194Coordinates: 39°48′28″N 84°1′19″W / 39.80778°N 84.02194°W / 39.80778; -84.02194.[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.17 square miles (34.11 km2), of which, 13.16 square miles (34.08 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[2]


  • Fairborn Primary School (formerly 5 Points Elementary School) grades pre-K-3
  • Fairborn Intermediate School (formerly Palmer-South), grades 4–5
  • Fairborn Baker Middle School (formerly Fairborn Baker High School), grades 6–8
  • Fairborn High School (formerly Park Hills High School), grades 9–12
  • Wright State University, a public university with over 19,000 students

Fairborn is served by a branch of the Greene County Public Library.[16]


Census Pop.
Est. 201833,658[5]2.7%

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 32,770 people, 14,306 households, and 7,995 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,458.4 inhabitants per square mile (949.2/km2). There were 15,893 housing units at an average density of 1,207.7 per square mile (466.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.8% White, 7.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 14,306 households of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 32.4 years. 20.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 16.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.3% were from 25 to 44; 23.4% were from 45 to 64; and 13.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 32,052 people, 13,615 households, and 8,019 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,453.4 people per square mile (947.6/km²). There were 14,419 housing units at an average density of 1,103.7 per square mile (426.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.28% White, 6.27% African American, 0.40% Native American, 3.32% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.69% of the population.

There were 13,615 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 18.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,889, and the median income for a family was $44,608. Males had a median income of $34,853 versus $25,353 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,662. About 8.9% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Cleo Wilson Hodgkins, Charles R. Linderman editor (1976). "History of Fairborn, Ohio". A Tale of Two Towns. City of Fairborn, Ohio. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-05-20.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  3. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  5. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "American FactFinder2". Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  8. ^ Broadstone, Michael A. (1918). History of Greene County, Ohio: Its People, Industries and Institutions, Volume 1. B.F. Bowen. p. 291.
  9. ^ Dills, R. S. (1881). History of Greene County: Together with Historic Notes on the Northwest, and the State of Ohio. Odell & Mayer. p. 718.
  10. ^ a b Poole (1957), p. 1
  11. ^ Walker, Doug (August 25, 1968). "Integration Moving on Peaceful Feet". Dayton Daily News. Dayton, Ohio. p. 4-C – via A dandy example is Fairborn, up until recent years a 'Sundown Town' where community forces worked in concert to keep Negroes out. ... He explained that two years ago real estate operators may have actually [been] afraid of some type of censure from their fellows and the community if they sold to negroes. Now the situation is reversed. The same formidable pressures would be brought to bear if they declined to sell to Negroes. ... He cites a shift of attitude on the part of the military at Wright-Patterson Air Force base, which has terrific influence on the economic and social life of the community, as partly responsible for the new atmosphere.
  12. ^ 88 ABW/PA, Public Affairs Office (2006). "About WPAFB". United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
  13. ^ "Fairborn Primary School previously known as Five Points Elementary". 2008-11-23. Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2007-07-06.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2018-12-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.[dead link]
  18. ^ "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Gregory Johnson Biography". Retrieved 2007-07-06.
  21. ^ "Michael Saylor Biography". MicroStrategy's CEO Sped to the Brink. Retrieved 2007-07-06.

External linksEdit