Cedarville Ohio has long been remembered for being the Birthplace of Labor Day. Despite being a town of less than 5000 people, and well below that before Labor Day was an official holiday, there was one man who managed to put this small town on the map.
What confuses many people, is that they think that Labor Day started in Cedarville, gained popularity and gradually spread through the rest of the country. That is not actually the case. However, a man by the name of James H. Kyle was born in Cedarville, Ohio on February 24th, 1854. While he grew up on his family farm, he had difficulty deciding a career path. After graduating from Western Theological Seminary, James Kyle accepted a position as a pastor in a small church in Utah, Nevada in 1882.
Due to his wife’s health, he moved his family to South Dakota in 1885. It is there that he was encouraged to enter politics. He entered the South Dakota senate race and won as an Independent. While serving on the United States Senate, Kyle became chairman of several committees including education and labor. It was during this time that he became the leading spokesman for creating a national holiday that encouraged the nation to take a day off of work, eventually known as Labor Day.
Since James Kyle was from Cedarville, Ohio originally, we are proud of the heritage and legacy he left. To this day, Cedarville, Ohio is remembered as the Birthplace of Labor and for that, he will always be commemorated. Each year on Labor Day Cedarville celebrates this special holiday with a town-wide celebration called Cedarfest. The local park is full of vendors who deliver incredible circus style cuisine as well as small rides for children. The evening is capped off with a beautiful fireworks display down at the park.
Labor Day is more than a day off of work. It’s a time to remember one of our own hometown heroes.