Wooster, Ohio

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An 1826 map of Wooster.

History

Wooster, Ohio became the county seat of Wayne County, Ohio
An 1808 map of Wooster.
on 30 May 1811. The town was laid out in 1808 by John Beaver, William Henry and Joseph H. Larwill. Joseph H. Larwill named the town in honor of Major General David Wooster, a Revolutionary patriot.[1] It is often asked why Larwill named the town after General David Wooster, when General Wooster never stepped one foot in Wayne County, or Ohio. It has been speculated that the Larwill family had known David Wooster in England where Wooster had once served as an emissary of the developing young republic.[2] It might have been because Joseph H. Larwill was married to Nancy Quinby, who was a sister of Samuel Quinby, who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Perhaps Larwill heard stories about General Wooster from his brother-in-law during family get-togethers and was impressed upon to name our town after the General. Unfortunately, exactly why Larwill chose to name the town after David Wooster we'll likely never know as his reasoning has been lost in the mists of time.

Wooster was not the first designated county seat for Wayne County, Ohio. Bazaleel Wells, John Shorb and Joseph Dorsey were original proprietors of the town of Madison, Ohio, just southeast of present day downtown Wooster. The original commissioners desired the county seat to be the town of Madison. Dissatisfaction grew and the Legislature appointed new Commissioners who chose the county seat to be Wooster. In the April 1814 session of Court, the town plat of Madison was ordered to be vacated.

Wooster Firsts

On pages 284-287 In the History of Wayne County, Ohio from the Days of the Pioneers and First Settlers to the Present Time author Ben Douglass lists many firsts in Wooster.

  • First settlers were William, Joseph and John Larwill, brothers
  • First house erected was a "log-temple" located on E. Liberty Street.
  • First married man to settle in Wooster was Benjamin Miller.
  • First tavern operated by Benjamin Miller.
  • First store started by William Larwill.
  • First brick house built was erected by John Bever. It was located on the corner occupied by J. S. Bissell Bro., dry goods merchants, in 1878.
  • First grist mill was opened in 1809 by Joseph Stibbs, a resident of Canton, Ohio at the time.
  • First white man who died in Wooster was Alexander Crawford in 1808.
  • First resident lawyer was Mr. Raymond.
  • First physician was Thomas Townsend in 1813.
  • First (Baptist) minister was Thomas Griffith 'Priest' Jones who arrived in 1812.
  • First denomination to build a church was the Baptist in 1814.
  • First school teacher was Carlos Mather. He was a young lawyer from New Haven, Connecticut and taught in 1814.
  • First Postmaster was 'Priest' Jones.
  • First fire company was established in 1827.
  • First election held on Monday April 2, 1810.

Growth of a Town

  • Laid out in the fall of 1808
  • In 1808, the 1st road was opened in the county, traveling from Massillon to Wooster.
  • In 1810, the 1st State road was laid out in the county, traveling from Canton to Wooster.
  • Incorporated 13 Oct 1817
  • Advanced to 2nd class city 9 Sep 1868
  • Divided into 4 wards 24 Feb 1869
  • 1870 population approximately 5,400 individuals

Departments

Maps

1873 Caldwell's Atlas of Wayne County, Ohio

1897 Caldwell's Atlas of Wayne County, Ohio

Businesses

Photos

Churches

Schools

City of Wooster, Killbuck Township Historical Landmarks

The following lists the recognized historical landmarks by the Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio through its Wayne County Historical Landmark program.

  1. Wa. Co. Court House District-National Historic Landmark District (1973 boundry increase in 1978)-County Historical Landmark (1976)-the Wooster Public Square Historic District is located on Public Square in Wooster, Ohio. Courthouse built in 1878 and features a Second Empire architectural style.
  2. McSweeney House-National Historic Landmark (1974)-County Historical Landmark (1976)-house located at 531 N. Market St. was built 1845. Home to 3 generations of McSweeney family, all prominent in Wooster history. Visited by 3 Presidents and numerous senators and congressmen. Now houses Hothem real estate office.
  3. Gen. Reasin Beall House-National Historic Landmark (1976)-County Historical Landmark (1976)-brick house located at 546 E. Bowman St. in Wooster built between 1815-1817 by General Reasin Beall. Currently owned by the Wayne County Historical Society.
  4. The College of Wooster-National Historic Landmark (1980)-located in Wooster, Ohio the campus buildings feature a late Gothic Revival architectural style.
  5. Old Wayne County Jail-National Historic Landmark (1982)-located on the NE corner of N. Walnut and North streets in Wooster and is a brick Italianate architectural styled building.
  6. Overholt House-National Historic Landmark (1983)-Pioneer House (1981)- [Destroyed 2017] originally located at 1772 Cleveland Rd. near the Wooster Clinic, it was moved to 1473 Beall Ave. and was owned and maintained by the College of Wooster. Built in 1880, Civil War veteran and attorney Aquila Wiley once lived in the house. 3-story winding walnut staircase with original finish. Back maid’s walnut stairway. Original woodwork upstairs. Intricate gingerbread decoration on porches on each side of house. Chimney through each room. Fireplace in basement.
  7. Walnut St. School (now Wayne Center for Arts)-National Historic Landmark (1984)-County Historical Landmark (1983)-brick building located at 223 S. Walnut St. was built in 1854. One of the original first four school buildings built in Wooster.
  8. Gerstenslager Carriage & Wagon Co. (Reed Warehouse)-National Historic Landmark (1986)-located on the corner of Spink and E. Liberty at 104 Spink St. in Wooster, Ohio the large brick building was built in 1907. Company built high quality carriages for domestic and export buyers.
  9. Charles Gasche (Marjorie Ames) House-National Historic Landmark (1989)-Pioneer House (1977)-house located at 340 N. Bever St. was built in 1859 and has a Gothic Revival architectural style. Features some original shutters and window glass. Circular front porch.
  10. Freedlander (David Q. Liggett) House-National Historic Landmark (1994)-County Historical Landmark (1977)-large late Victorian wood frame house located at 408 N. Bever St. was built in 1862. First owner was David Q. Liggett. Features a secret passage from library to basement that was reportedly used by members of underground railroad.
  11. Zion Lutheran Church-County Historical Landmark (no date)-church located at 301 N. Market St. was built in 1855 on land purchased from Ephriam Quinby.
  12. Frick Building (Iron Block)-County Historical Landmark (1976)-brick building located on W. Liberty St. next to Wa. Co. Courthouse was built sometime between 1840 and 1860. Originally known as the Iron Block. First owned by James C. Jacobs and John H. Kauke, followed by Col. Samuel Keefer, then Joseph Frick. Housed several hardware merchants and then Nick Amster Men's Clothing Store and Amster Shoe Store.
  13. Twin Oaks (Hothem Enterprises)-County Historical Landmark (2003)-located at 527 N. Market St. was built in 1885. Elegant Queen Anne shingle-style Victorian home built for W.D. Tyler, owner of Tyler Grain.
  14. Sloane House-County Historical Landmark (1976)-brick house located at 439 N. Market St. was built in 1840s. Served as residence of John Sloane (1779-1856), Member of Ohio House of Representatives, member of Congress, Secretary of State of Ohio, US Treasurer.
  15. Wa. Co. National Bank (now PNC Bank)-County Historical Landmark Site (1976)-Wooster’s oldest business founded in 1845 located on the SW corner of public square.
  16. Wooster Brush Co.-County Historical Landmark (1976)-original building located on S. Market St. Distinction of being Wooster’s oldest industry still in operation was founded by Adam Foss in 1851.
  17. Samuel Routson House and Wooster Pottery & Tile Works-County Historical Landmark (1983)-Once located on the property where the Lincolnway Elementary School was built on Pittsburg Ave. Wooster pottery operated from 1856-82. Among the finest early-form pottery known in America. Routson also revolutionized agricultural technology with introduction of pottery drainage tile.
  18. George P. Emrich House (Annat House)-County Historical Landmark (1976)-located at 558 N. Market St. in Wooster built in the 1860s.
  19. Jean Zapponi House-County Historical Landmark (1978)-the 2-story brick L-shaped home with front porch located at 124 Massaro Ave. was built in 1860. First owner was reported to be the lawyer Eugene Pardee. It was reportedly a safe house along the underground railroad.
  20. Harvey Howard House-County Historical Landmark (1976)-brick building located at 407 N. Market St. was built in 1865 by Harvey Howard, druggist and horse and mule seller to the US government. Large brick structure with elaborate eave treatment once served as Wooster Hospital. Now part of the Central Christian Church complex.
  21. Homer Yost House/Homer Yost Insurance Agency-County Historical Landmark (1986)-Pioneer House (1998)-the 2-story home originally owned by S. S. Shilling located at 421 N. Market St. was built in 1880s.
  22. David Clark Building-County Historical Landmark (1976)-building located on E. Liberty St. in downtown Wooster built in 1875. Had one of the first elevators in town; still in use.
  23. Trinity United Church of Christ-County Historical Landmark (1977)-located at 150 E. North St., built in 1871. Previously known as the English Reformed Church, then the First Evangelical Church.
  24. Downing Block-County Historical Landmark (1998)-located at 131 N. Market St. The Italianate style building was built in 1879 when William C. Downing contracted to build a 3-story brick building 39ft front and 58ft deep for business purposes.
  25. Old United Presbyterian Church-County Historical Landmark (1977)-church located at 445 N. Bever St. was built in 1868. Previously known as the Second Day Adventist Church. 2nd oldest church building in Wooster.
  26. Beulah Bechtal Shop (Alvin Rich Hardware)-County Historical Landmark (1993)-the 3-story brick building located at 114 E. Liberty St. on the NE corner of the public square was built in 1890. The Alvin Rich Hardware store ran at this location for many years.
  27. Grange Rotunda Barn-County Historical Landmark (2005)-the 16-sided round barn with clear span interior located on the Wa. Co. fairgrounds was built in 1912 by contractor Abraham Deneke.
  28. Pennsylvania RR Passenger Depot-County Historical Landmark (1976)- [Destroyed 1977] was located on E. Liberty St. in Wooster built about 1890. The Depot was accidently destroyed beyond repair by a 31-car derailment in Wooster on AUG 6, 1977. It was reported that 3 railroad cars involved in the derailment struck the building, knocked it from its foundation, and damaged it to the point that it had to be torn down and removed.
  29. Compton House-County Historical Landmark (1976)-wood frame house located at 816 College Ave. was built in 1891. Compton family included 4 well-known individuals. Dr. Elias Compton was a professor at the College of Wooster. Karl Compton headed the physics department at Princeton, assisted in the development of sonar, was instrumental in the Manhattan Project, and became president of MIT. Wilson Compton was a lawyer, president of the U.S. Information Service and president of the University of Washington at Pullman. Dr. Arthur Compton was president of Washington University and the University of Chicago.
  30. Jonas Notestein House-County Historical Landmark (1978)-house located at 1727 Burbank Rd., built in 1881. Notestine family known in Wooster for their scholarship. Isaac, father of Jonas, was principal of Canaan Academy. Jonas was a professor at the College of Wooster. Jonas’ sons were a professor at Yale and a geologist. His daughters were teachers and authors.
  31. Beall Ave. School-County Historical Landmark (2003)-school located at 716 Beall Ave., was built in 1901 by D.C. Curry & Co. for Wooster Board of Education. The 3-story brick building features two original cornerstones, arched windows with sandstone trim, a restored entry arch, and provided 6 classrooms. Served 5 generations of children before closing in 1996. Then became the location of the Gault Family Learning Center. Building sold to the College of Wooster in 2012.
  32. Second Baptist Church-County Historical Landmark (1992)- [Destroyed 2012] was located at 245 S. Grant St. and built in 1892. It was the site of the first church built by the African-American community in Wooster.
  33. Moore-Brewster House-County Historical Landmark (1976)-building located at 202 N. Market St. Construction begun in 1834 by Z.T.Moore. Moore's daughter, Flora Brewster, offered part of it for use by injured and ill veterans of Spanish American War. Later housed Dolly Madison Tea Room. Acquired and restored by Ross Shoolroy. Now houses offices. Iconic columns, doorways, winding stairway and other classic exterior features preserved.
  34. First Baptist Church-County Historical Landmark (1976)-church located at SW corner of Larwill and N. Market St. built between 1834-1839. Except for removal of tall steeple, exterior is largely unchanged. Originally known as Bethany Baptist Church. Visited by President Harry Truman in 1952.
  35. Jeffries House-County Historical Landmark (1976)-brick house with steep roof lines and fancy exterior trim located at 745 Pittsburgh Ave. was built about 1845. Active stop for run-away slaves. Jeffries was major advocate for rail service.
  36. Gift Corner Building-County Historical Landmark (1993)-building located at 131 S. Market St. in downtown Wooster was built about 1870.
  37. Wooster Book Building-County Historical Landmark (2012)-located at 211-213 West Liberty Street, this commercial building was constructed in 1898 using unique blonde glazed bricks on the upper facade.
  38. Wm. Givens House-Pioneer House (1976)-located at 517 N. Market St., estimated to have built in the 1830s. Previous owners include Judge William Givens, Martha Frost, the McSweeney family members, and the Fraze family.
  39. Howard Black (David Haller) House-Pioneer House (1976)-located at 516 N. Buckeye St. in Wooster built in 1864 is a wood frame 2-story house of six rooms with brass door knobs. The front and side doors are original along with four upstairs windows. House renovated by the Howey Houses project in 2012.
  40. Williams House-Pioneer House (1976)-located at 524 N. Bever St. in Wooster built before 1873. Records indicate Gotlieb Gasche was the first owner; sold to Weston Peckinpaugh in 1883; to Mary Packer in 1891; to Effie Clark in 1898; to Thelma Ungerer to Philip Williams in 1966.
  41. Harlan Hauenstein House-Pioneer House (1976)-house located at 622 N. Buckeye built before 1873. Probably built by 1st owner, David Ammon.
  42. James Reed House-Pioneer House (1987)-The Gothic Revival style house located at 611 High St. was built in 1868.
  43. Jacob F. Schmuck Sr. House-Pioneer House (1987)-The large wood frame Italianate house with mansard roof at 341 N. Bever St. was built in 1869 for Jacob Franklin Schmuck Sr. by contractor/architect C.C. Baker.
  44. Painter House-Pioneer House (1976)-large wood frame house located at 1577 Cleveland Rd. was built between 1869-1870 by John C. France. The house features an unusual front door and door bell; a circular front hall with a winding stairway and large square rooms.
  45. Feeman House-Pioneer House (1976)-house located at 713 Pittsburg Ave., built in 1870.
  46. Henry Lehman House-Pioneer House (1977)-dwelling located at 519 N. Bever St., built sometime between 1865-1868.
  47. Ralph Long House-Pioneer House (1977)-located at 537 N. Bever St., built between 1869-1872.
  48. Pinkerton-Rich House-Pioneer House (1983)- [Destroyed 1995] once located at 351 Beall Ave. on the SE corner of Beall and Nold St. in Wooster just between the old Ponderosa Steakhouse and Beall Ave. Carwash. The large brick house was built about 1870 and Matthew W. Pinkerton was its first owner.
  49. Duberstein (David Y. Landis) House-Pioneer House (1984)-Victorian-era house located at 337 N. Bever St. was designed by Wooster architect, J.W. Webster, and built in 1894 by the contractor Miller and Smith for the furniture maker/undertaker David Y. Landis, who was in business with his father-in-law, Jacob Schmuck: Landis&Schmuck.
  50. Mateer House-Pioneer House (1976)-the 2&1/2-story frame house located at 328 E. Bowman St. was built in 1871 by Jessie Doughton. It features 6 fireplaces, 7 large rooms, and number of small rooms. The chimney in the attic shows how masons made a spiral.
  51. Miller-Saurer House-Pioneer House (1976)-brick house located at 235 W. Larwill St. built before 1871. Builders of the house are unknown but courthouse records indicate Alexander Laughlin bought the house in 1871 for $800 from Angus B. and Carrie McDonald.
  52. Bailey House-Pioneer House (1976)-large wood frame house located at 806 N. Bever St. was built between 1860-1873. George Lehman was the first owner.
  53. Charles&Judith Stock House-Pioneer House (1977)-house located at 637 Quinby Ave., built in 1873.
  54. Critchfield House-Pioneer House (1977)-wood frame house located at 515 N. Bever St., built before 1873.
  55. Floyd Hunsicker House-Pioneer House (1977)-located at 327 N. Bever St., built before 1873.
  56. Lydia Keister House-Pioneer House (1983)-the 2-story brick home located at 454 W. North St. was built in 1880.
  57. Leighter House-Pioneer House (1977)-home located at 349 N. Bever St., built between 1861-1866 and once owned by George Liggett.
  58. Long House-Pioneer House (1985)-the 12-room home of oak construction located at 658 Pittsburg Ave. was built in 1880 and was the residence of Wooster Mayor, William Long. In the Long family for 82 yrs.
  59. Talbot House-Pioneer House (1977)-the 2-story brick house located at 317 N. Bever St. was built in 1880 and valued at $900. First resident was Joseph Tiefanthaler.
  60. McConahay Homestead-Pioneer House (1983)-Queen-Anne style house located at 1782 Burbank Rd. was built in 1882 by Peter Wise. Lumber for house came from McConahay's mill. Mounted in dining room is 2-ton mahogany mirror once belonging to August Imgard.
  61. Children's House Montessori (Charles Haupert House)-Pioneer House (1999)-wood Victorian home with wraparound front porch located at 627 College Ave. was built in 1899 by Professor Charles Haupert, Superintendent of Wooster City Schools. After several other families owned the house, it served for 15 yrs. as the location for the 1st Montessori School in Wooster. Now is home to MOCA House, a program which offers support for anyone recovering from mental illness. The First Presbyterian Church located directly south of the house owns the property.
  62. Ames House-Pioneer House (1976)-house located at 657 N. Bever St. built prior to 1873. The house is built on a foundation sandstone blocks.
  63. Bushnell House-Pioneer House (1981)-house located at 534 N. Grant St.
  64. Fifer House-Pioneer House (1976)-large square wood frame house located at 1575 Burbank Rd. was built before 1873. Reportedly was a stop on the underground railroad before the Civil War and has a double-roof in the attic where people could be hidden while staying in the house. Records indicate succession of owners as: 1845 Samuel Hammer; to Thomas Bracken in 1855; to R.R. Pollock in 1865; to W. Armstrong in 1878; to J.W. Brinkerhoff in 1878; to George Rayhill in 1914; to Frank Ligget in 1914; to J.W. Gaut in 1921; to James Fetzer in 1928; to Warren F. Fifer in 1936; to Lincoln Oviatt in ????; to E. Carl Zimmerman in 1968; to Mathew R. Fifer in 1972.
  65. Watters House-Pioneer House (1976)-home located at 714 Pittsburgh Ave. was built before 1860. Reportedly was a stop on the underground railroad before the Civil War. At much later date it once operated as a dance hall.
  66. Mayers-Bowman House-Pioneer House (1976)-wood frame house located at 431 N. Market St. was built before 1870. The Commemorative Biographical Record of Wayne County, printed in 1889, states that George Bartol purchased the home in 1862; which he sold to Frances A. Geitgey (wife of Samuel Geitgey) in 1866.
  67. Imgard House-Pioneer House (1976)-large house located at 527 Beall Ave. was built between 1867-1873 by August Imgard. The house originally stood on the SE corner of Beall Ave. and Bowman St. but was moved south in 1913 when St. Marys Church was built. Features elaborate exterior. Owned by Cleveland Catholic Diocese.
  68. Freeman House-Pioneer House (1976)-large 2-story brick home of early Victorian design located at 713 Pittsburgh Ave. was built in 1870 and reportedly one of the first homes built on Pittsburg Ave. It features dental decoration on front porch and eaves.
  69. Cemetery Superintendent's House-Century House (1977)-the 2-story brick home with Mansard roof located at 938 Madison Ave. was built in 1874 at cost of $2,800. Served as home for cemetery sexton/superintendent and office of Cemetery Association.
  70. James Taggart House-Century House (1983)-the large Victorian style house located at 824 E. Bowman St. was built in 1883 by Samuel S. Ames.
  71. Louis Grosenbaugh House-Century House (1986)-house located at 504 N. Grant St. was built before 1887 and had been in the Grossenbaugh family since 1887.

Residents

Historical Information and Photos of Residences

Gallery

Newspaper Gallery

1917

See also


Gallery

1917

References

  1. History of Wayne county, Ohio, from the days of the pioneers and the first settlers to the present time by Ben Douglass, p.281
  2. Wooster's story continues -- 200 years later, Wooster Daily Record, Author Paul Locher, 2008-JUN-29.
  3. Wooster Daily Republican. Wooster, Ohio, 1917-02-07, p. 6
  4. Wooster Republican. Wooster, Ohio, 1917-09-19, p. 6.