The foundations of city life followed in quick order. Lima's first surgeon, Doctor William Mc Henry arrived in 1834. Lima's role as a regional center for industry began early.
By 1934, industrial employment was reduced by half.
In 1935, Westinghouse located a Small Motor Division in Lima to build fractional horsepower electric motors.
Stimulated by the economic boom in nearby Findlay, in 1885 Lima businessman Benjamin C. Economic development brought money for arts and entertainment. Gramm and his close friend Max Bernstein formed the Gramm-Bernstein Company, which became a pioneer in the motor truck industry.
Benjamin Faurot's Opera House opened in 1882, a nationally renowned structure so impressive that New Yorkers used it as a model for their own theaters. During World War I, Gramm created the "Liberty truck", which was welcomed upon its arrival in Washington, D. Thousands were sent to Europe to help the Allied war effort.
By 1817, the United States had created the Hog Creek Reservation for the local Shawnee, covering portions of what would become Allen and Auglaize counties, and including part of present-day Lima.