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Fairborn History

Fairborn was Formed by the Merger of Fairfield and Osborn

The city known today as Fairborn was established in 1950 the two towns of Fairfield and Osborn merged. Fairfield was established in 1799, with the erection of the first log cabin. During the following years more building followed, and dozens of families moved to the area. In 1816, the village of Fairfield was formally laid out on the road between Dayton and Springfield.

In 1850, the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad extended its line through the area, missing the now-thriving Fairfield by a mile. To take advantage of the economic activity presented by the railroad, a new village was laid out immediately adjacent to the right-ofway. This new village, named Osborn after the railroad superintendent, grew rapidly and was incorporated in 1876.

The two towns continued to grow and expand. Following a flood in 1913, the Miami Conservancy District bought out most of Osborn landowners and designated the area as floodplain. With much of its area no longer usable, the village of Osborn was faced with a big problem.and solved it in a unique way. In 1921, the villagers literally moved their dwellings to a location adjacent to the village of Fairfield. As one commentator put it, everything was moved but the basements.

Following the creation of the new twin cities, the two towns continued to grow and prosper side by side. For 28 years, each town had its own government and identity. Eventually, growth caught up with the village of Fairfield. Unable to expand, Fairfield looked instead at merging with Osborn. In 1949 a proposal to merge with Osborn was put to the vote, and was passed overwhelmingly by the electorate in both towns.

In 1950, a new charter was delivered, and the new name of Fairborn came into being. In August of 1950 the Ohio State Legislature designated the town the City of Fairborn, and the community has kept that designation to this day.