Akron (pronounced /ækrən/), is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. It is located in the Great Lakes region approximately 39 miles (63 km) south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 199,110. The Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area covers Summit and Portage counties, and in 2010 had a population of 703,200. Akron is also part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area, which in 2010 had a population of 2,780,440.
Co-founded by Paul Williams and surveyor of the Connecticut Western Reserve General Simon Perkins, Akron was settled in 1825 as a strategic point at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal. Williams arrived in the area during 1811 and suggested the settlement to Perkins who had been in Ohio since 1807. Due to Eliakim Crosby founding "North Akron"(Cascade) in 1833, "South" was added to Akron's name until they unified in 1836 becoming incorporated later that year. In 1840 Summit County formed from portions of Portage, Medina, and Stark counties. Akron replaced Cuyahoga Falls as its county seat a year later and opened a canal connecting to Beaver, Pennsylvania helping to birth the stoneware, sewer pipe, fishing tackle, and farming equipment industries. In 1844 Abolitionist John Brown moved into the John Brown House across the street from business partner Colonel Simon Perkins whom lived in the Perkins Stone Mansion. Numerous Congregational, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches erected between the 1870s and World War I were built using the Akron Plan.
During the 1910-1920 decade Akron was the fastest growing city in the country and experienced a 201.8% population increase becoming a boom town. World-renowned industries including the cereal, lamp, toy & marble, and tire & rubber were flourishing in the city at the time. It became "The Rubber Capital of the World" owing to its location along canals, railroads, and interstate.[clarification needed] Having landmarks such as the All-America Bridge, Akron is one of the nation's pioneer cities producing the first championship teams for the American Professional Football Association (National Football League) and the National Basketball League (National Basketball Association).[clarification needed] The University of Akron which has both the Goodyear Polymer Center and the National Polymer Innovation Center on campus, is the center of the Polymer Valley which is a leader in polymer research and production. In 2001 for its contributions to the Information Age Newsweek named Akron 5th on the list of ten high tech havens. It was also granted awards by World's most livable cities, the National Civic League, and the National Arbor Day Foundation. Akron is also host to the All-American Soapbox Derby, the National Hamburger Festival, Founders Day(Alcoholics Anonymous), Road Runner Akron Marathon, and will be the venue for some events of the 2014 Gay Games.