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Medina County History
OH  GenWeb

A Brief History of Medina County, OH

The source for this material is:
History of Ohio In Five Volumes
by Charles B. Galbreath
[Secretary of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society Former State Librarian and Secretary of Ohio Constitutional Convention (1912)]
The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York
Volume I, pages 390-391

Medina County, was formed in February, 1812, from "that part of the reserve west of the 11th range, south of the numbers 5, and east of the 20th range, and attached to Portage County until organized." It was organized in the month of April, 1818. The settlements came in at first chiefly from Connecticut, but after a few years many Germans came to the county. The soil is chiefly gravel-loam and clay -- better for grasses than grain growing. The county now has an area of 435 square miles.

Seventeen civil townships constitute this county. They are named as follows: Brunswick, Chatham, Granger, Guilford, Harrisville, Hinkley, Homer, Lafayette, Litchfield, Liverpool, Medina, Montville, Sharon, Spencer, Wadsworth, Westfield, York.

The earliest settlement in the county was at Harrisville, February 14, 1811, by Joseph Harris, who removed from Randolph, Portage County, with his family, consisting of his wife and one child. Wooster was the nearest settlement to him. Soon after the declaration of war with Great Britain in 1812, a trail was first attempted toward the lake. This trail was marked out by George Poe (son of Adam, the Indian fighter), Joseph H. Larwill and Roswell M. Mason. They carried their porvisions in packs, sleeping out nights along the Big Swamp.

The population by decades since 1820 has been as follows: That year the population was 3,082; 1830, 7,560; 1840, 18,352; 1850, 24,441; 1860, 22,517; 1870, 20,092; 1880, 21,453; 1890, 21,742; 1900, 21,958; 1910, 23,598; 1920, 26,067. Population per square mile, 59.9.

Following is the list of county officers for 1923-24: Probate Judge -- O.O. Van Deesen; Clerk of the Courts -- L. Earl Richard; Sheriff -- Fred O. Roshon; Auditor -- W.S. Washburn; County Commissioners -- J. Ewing, J.E. Gault, John Dunn; Treasurer -- Elmer E. Lee; Recorder -- Jennie Styer Bowman; Surveyor -- Fremont E. Tanner; Prosecuting Attorney -- John A. Webber; Coroner -- Dr. E.L. Crum; County Superintendent of Schools -- S.H. Babcock; Agricultural Agent -- R.A. Cave.

Agriculture has been the leading occupation in this county. The reports of 1923-24 show the following results for that period. In 1923 the county had 24,000 acres of corn; number bushels, 1,032,000; wheat, 30,000 acres, 57,000 bushels; oats 24,000 acres, 1,080,000 bushels; barley -- 140 acres, 3,500 bushels; rye, 600 acres, 9,900 bushels; buckwheat, 288 acres, 6,048 bushels; tons of hay, 44,000; potatos, 398,480 bushels; number of horses in 1924, 8,520; cattle, 22,520; dairy cows, 18,370; swine, 17,880; sheep, 14,240; number of acres cultivated int he year 1920, 249,572; average size of farm, 82.7 acres.

Medina, the county seat, is twenty-eight miles southwest of Cleveland. It was originally called Mecca and so marked on the early maps. It was named Mecca from the birthplace of Mahomet, but later changed to Medina after the town of Arabia, celebrated as the burial place of Mahomet. There are now seven other Medinas known in geography.

Medina is known throughout the United States and Canada as the home of the A.I. Root Company, bee culturists, manufacturers of bee keepers' supplies and publishers of agricultural literature. Population (1920), 3,430.

After the county was organized, in 1818, the first court was held in a barn one-half mile north of the present courthouse. The village was laid out that year, and the next year a goodly number settled there. The township had been settled in 1813, by Zenas Hamilton and family from Danbury, Connecticut.

Among noteworthy men and women who resided in Medina County may be recalled Gen. Russell A. Alger, ex-governor of Michigan, ex-commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, Michigan's favorite republican candidate for President in 1888, secretary of war in the cabinet of President McKinley and United States Senator. He was born in Medina County.

The well-known poems of Edith M. Thomas, born in Chatham, this county, entitle her to at least a passing mention in this the annals of her county. For many years she contributed to the leading magazines of this country. She was born in 1854 and was the daughter of a talented teacher. She was educated at Geneva (Ohio) Normal Institute. Her poems touch the finer chords, as from the song of a spirit unseen.

Other incorporated villages of the county, with the (1920) population of each, are: Wadworth, 4,742; Lodi, 1,240; Seville, 691; Spencer, 527; Leroy, 241; Western Star, 173.

The village of Wadsworth has some important factories. Among the articles produced are automobile tires, valves, mathces, locomotive injectors, flour, salt and brick. The value of its property, personal and real, for purposes of taxation in 1923 was $7,025,900.

Return to Medina Co. History Index

Last Updated--Saturday, 23-Nov-2013 13:03:52 MST