Xenia, the presents given to the guests after a banquet by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and hence the title of the 13th book of Martial's epigrams, which consists of distichs referring to this custom. In the Mnsenalmanach for 1797 appeared a collection by Goethe and Schiller of over 400 distichs entitled Xenien, which were acute, epigrammatic criticisms upon art, society, current literature, etc. Their personalities and caustic style called forth many replies. Later, Goethe alone published Zahme Xenien, a series of genial reflections upon art and life in epigrammatic form.
Xenia, a city and the county seat of Greene co., Ohio, at the junction of several divisions of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis railroad, about 50 m. N. E. of Cincinnati and "W. S. W. of Columbus respectively; pop. in 1850,3,024; in 1860, 4,658; in 1870, 6,377; in 1876, estimated at 9,000. It is well paved, lighted with gas, and has a good fire department. There are many substantial business blocks and elegant residences. The chief public buildings are the court house, one of the finest in the state, in a large and handsome park in the centre of the city; the city hall, containing a fine public hall; and the jail. Xenia has an important trade, and is largely engaged in manufacturing. There are planing mills, saw mills, glass works, oil mills, marble and granite works, a large brewery, an extensive bakery, and manufactories of rope, bagging, agricultural implements, pumps, carriages and wagons, furniture, and tin ware. Four firms are engaged in pork packing. There are two national banks. The principal charitable institutions are the city hospital and the Ohio soldiers' and sailors' orphans' home. The grounds of the latter, about 200 acres in extent, are very attractive, and contain about 50 buildings, accommodating 700 inmates.
There are six fine public school buildings, several private schools, a conservatory of music, a commercial college, three weekly newspapers, and 15 churches, viz.: 2 Baptist (1 colored), 1 Episcopal, 1 Lutheran, 3 Methodist Episcopal (1 colored), 1 Presbyterian, 1 Reformed, 1 Roman Catholic, 1 Seceder, 8 United Presbyterian, and 1 Wesleyan Methodist (colored), besides a Spiritualist society. It is the seat of Xenia college (Methodist Episcopal) and of a United Presbyterian theological seminary. "Wilberforce university (African Methodist Episcopal) is a short distance outside of the city limits. Xenia college occupies two fine buildings in a large wooded park in the E. part of the city. It has primary, normal, preparatory, and collegiate departments, and admits both sexes. It was incorporated in 1850. In 1873-'4 there were 5 instructors and 167 students, of whom 122 were of collegiate grade. Wilberforce university, especially designed for the higher education of colored youth of both sexes, was incorporated in 1863. It has preparatory, normal, classical, scientific, theological, and law departments, and a library of 4,000 volumes. In 1873-4 there were 12 instructors and 173 students (12 collegiate and 8 theological). The building is finely situated.
The theological seminary was organized in 1794, and in 1873-'4 had 5 instructors, 29 students, and a library of 3,500 volumes. - Xenia was settled in 1804 and incorporated about 1808.