About the City
The City of Alliance is located in northeast Ohio in Stark County. Alliance is situated in the northeast corner of the county, approximately 20 miles from the county seat of Canton, Ohio. The population of Alliance is approximately 22,000.
Alliance was formed in 1850 by the merger of three small settlements: Williamsport, Freedom, and Liberty. A fourth settlement, Mount Union, was added to the city in 1888. The name "Alliance" was chosen because of the alliance of the small settlements into a larger entity. It also reflected the soon-to-come junction of two major railroads of the time, the Ohio and Pennsylvania and the Cleveland and Wellsville.
Partly because of the railroads, Alliance quickly gained an industrial base, and the city was generally known as a railroad town. Several large industrial facilities located in Alliance, including Morgan Engineering.
The Carnation City
The selection of the Scarlet Carnation as Ohio's state flower is rooted in Alliance history. In 1886, local green thumb and politician Dr. Levi Lamborn propagated the flower from French seedlings, calling it "Lamborn Red."
Opposing William McKinley for the 18th Congressional District a year later, Lamborn presented the future president with a Lamborn Red boutonniere before each debate. As McKinley's political star rose, he spoke of the scarlet carnation as a good luck charm. When he became president, he began wearing one at all times and presenting flowers from a bouquet on his desk to guests.
On September 14, 1901, moments after removing the flower from his lapel and giving it to a young admirer at the Buffalo Exposition, McKinley was struck down by an assassin's bullet. Following years of lobbying by Lamborn, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution naming the scarlet carnation the state flower February 3, 1904.
April 1, 1959, the Ohio Legislature recognized Alliance as the "Carnation City". The Greater Alliance Carnation Festival is a week-long family event for all ages, filled with parades, food, and games to honor the Carnation City.