Ohio & Harding Park takes its name from the two intersecting streets on which it lies. Ohio Street is named for the midwestern state and the river that flows through it. The word Ohio means "great" or "beautiful river" in the Iroquois language. Harding Avenue got its name in 1872, with the development of the Frederick Harding subdivision, in which the park lies. Frederick Harding, whose family subdivided substantial areas of Chicago's northwest side, was a Civil War captain who organized the city's first company of Union troops. Ohio & Harding Park is one of many small parks created by the city to meet the growing recreational demands of post-World War II Chicago. The city purchased this small property in the Humboldt Park community in 1950, and installed playground equipment and a basketball court in following years. In 1959, the city transferred Ohio & Harding Park to the Chicago Park District, which rehabilitated the playground in 1968 and again in 1991.