Hayes exhibit focuses on time as Ohio governor

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SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- A new exhibit at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in northern Ohio is focusing on how the 19th president of the United States shaped the Buckeye State.

Hayes was a Civil War general and congressman, but he also was elected governor of Ohio who helped create one of the state's most well-known institutions.

He worked to establish the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College that opened in 1873 with 24 students. The college changed its name five years later to The Ohio State University.

The new exhibit at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont called "Rutherford B. Hayes: Buckeye President" closely looks at his role in education. The exhibit will be on display through April 13.

"One of the aspects I find so intriguing about Hayes is his commitment to education," said Christie Weininger, executive director of the Hayes Center. "He absolutely thought that education could solve all of society's problems."

Hayes, a Republican, was governor of Ohio from 1868 to 1872 and elected again in 1876. But he served only year before being nominated to run for president. Hayes won a close race for the White House and served one term as U.S. president from 1877-1881.

"When he was governor of Ohio, he was really committed to having a state university," Weininger told The Sandusky Register (http://bit.ly/1bVfqez). "He worked with the legislature to make sure that happened."

The exhibit includes a replica of a 19th-century one-room schoolhouse -- a popular stop for the docents who lead school group tours.

"All of them have been highlighting that one-room schoolhouse, to give the students an idea of what it would have been like to go to school when Rutherford B. Hayes was a small child," said Ashley Wyatt, the center's education coordinator.

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Information from: Sandusky Register, http://www.sanduskyregister.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=frontpage?frontpage