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

Residents

Historical Information and Photos of Residences

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.