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Streetsboro History

 

– The Move West –

Titus Street, of Wallingford, Connecticut, was born in 1758. During the 1700s large portions of land in the Western Reserve, later known as Ohio, Indiana, and neighboring states, were sold to private companies and individuals, with claims in the territory, such as the Connecticut Western Reserve. These lands usually occupied by Native Americans during the early years of settlement, were then sold or given to men who had served in the American Revolution. During this time, white settlers moved into Ohio, and the Native Americans were forced out.

After the Revolutionary War, on October 9, 1798 Titus Street was deeded a parcel of land by the State of Connecticut. The land, 15,279 acres (61.83 km2). was bought unseen and un-surveyed and was referred to as Town 4, Range 9. In 1800, the land was annexed to Hudson for civil matters and in 1806, Aurora acquired the area from Hudson.

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Titus Street

Titus Street, of Wallingford, Connecticut, was deeded a parcel of land by the State of Connecticut. The land, 15,279 acres (61.83 km2). was bought unseen and un-surveyed and was referred to as Town 4, Range 9. This land is now what is known as the city of Streetsboro.

– The Great Hunt –

With an abundance of wild game in the forest, the Indians had chosen to live along the Cuyahoga River on the Eastern portion of the area. This is also one reason the settlers came here. The Indians and settlers co-existed peacefully at that time.  Unfortunately, wild game, especially wolves, became a serious problem for the settlers. A bounty of $7 was paid for a wolf's scalp, and this prompted a "Great Hunt" in 1819 when more than sixty deer, seven bears and five wolves were killed. The hunt took place on approximately 40 or 50 acres located south of the present town center. The hunters were against this, but the hunt was held anyway. People from Aurora, Hudson, Franklin and others in the area, shared the meat obtained during this slaughter. The hunt caused problems later with a shortage of game for the people which included the Seneca. The Seneca had a headquarters near present day Diagonal Road along the Cuyahoga River.

– Settlers Come –

In 1821, Mantua was placed in charge of civil matters for the area and finally the land was surveyed by Streets' agents Ralph Cowles and Lemuel Punderson and divided into lots of 100 acres (0.40 km2). amounting to $22,846. Known originally as "Streetsborough." the name was so long and difficult to spell, was later shortened to Streetsboro.  Punderson was put in charge to sell the land at $6 per acre, however sold very little. Between 1823-1824, after Punderson's death Amzi Atwater of Mantua became the new agent. It was at this time that the price was lowered to $2 to $5 per acre.

Stephen Myers Jr and his family were the first official settlers to arrive in Streetsboro in 1822. He and his wife, Rebecca, built a log cabin in the SW corner of lot 82 (near the area of Ravenna Rd. and Stone Rd.) Later that same year, Myers and a new settler, George Walker purchased 60 acres in the same lot for a whiskey distillery, which they operate for 5 or 6 years. Rebecca died in 1879, and Stephen in 1889, which both were laid to rest at Darrowville Cemetery in Hudson now known as Maple Lawn.

In 1823, early settler Samuel Walker and his wife, Sarah who moved from Hudson and settled in lot 82 near Stone Rd-Ravenna Rd. In the fall of 1823, Samuel and Sarah lost their first child who lived only a few hours and then passed away. This was the first birth and death in Streetsboro Township.

Titus Street, whose name derived the namesake of Streetsboro, never actually stepped foot on the land, and he passed away in Connecticut on December 4, 1842.

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Stephen Myers, Jr.

Stephen Myers Jr and his family were the first official settlers to arrive in Streetsboro in 1822. He and his wife, Rebecca, built a log cabin in the SW corner of lot 82 (near the area of Ravenna Rd. and Stone Rd.).

– Cheese Making –

When the price of land was reduced, settlers rushed to buy the fertile land and begin farming. Farming was the major industry in the township for many years, and out of it came the cottage industry of cheese making,

The women of the township made butter and cheese in the "cheese houses" which were necessary additions to most residences, Later cheese factories were established at various points throughout the township. In 1885 there were five of the factories in operation producing more than 600,000 pounds of cheese. Much of the cheese was shipped to New York. Streetsboro maintained its leadership in cheese production until the late 1890's when Aurora became the leading producer and shipper of cheese in the world. (In 1904, Aurora shipped over 4 million pounds of cheese worldwide.)

– Transportation –

Passenger coaches started traveling throughout the area and in 1825, Street offered the Wellsville to Cleveland line 840 acres for a turnpike to pass through "Streetsborough." The deal was made and in 1827 the turnpike was completed, thus becoming a great thoroughfare (now known as S.R. 14). The route ran through Deerfield, Ravenna as well as Streetsborough, which contained a stagecoach inn.  Jabez Gilbert was the first to drive a stagecoach through Streetsboro in 1829. The stagecoach stopped at the Olin Inn on the eastern edge of the township. The building is now Sandy’s Notions at the corner of State Route 14 and Diagonal Rd. The other stagecoach inns later were the De Layne Inn (near present Mr. Hero Plaza) and the Singletary house, which originally stood on the NW corner of the square.

The first paved road in the township in 1921 was State Route 43 from Aurora through Streetsboro to Franklin. Franklin was later renamed Kent.

 

The Ohio Turnpike opened on October 1, 1955 with the only interchange in Portage County, Exit 13 in Streetsboro. At this time, the population and housing boom began with the addition of Chrysler and Ford plants operating nearby.

 

Since then, another Portage County exit was added at State Route 44 in Shalersville, Township.

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Aerial View – 1930

Aerial view of State Route 14, Route 303 and Route 43 – taken from a northwest vantage point.

 

– Police & Fire Departments –

The fire department was organized in 1949. The first fire station was built by a group of extremely dedicated volunteers at the southwest corner of State Route 14 & 303. In 1994, the fire station moved across the square to a new home on Route 43, just north of Public Square. It operated from that location until May 2021 when the fire fighters began to run the first shift in the new station.

Streetsboro Police dates back to 1880’s when the township police constable was used for carrying out the tasks like running poor people out of town. There was no real semblance of a police department until 1952 when Glenn Marsh was named to serve as chief constable. During his 14-years the township acquired the first police cruiser and began operating as a department. Marsh resigned in 1966 when he moved from the community.  At the time there were three part-time members; including, Roger Parent who was elevated to the chief’s post after serving as a sergeant.  Parent, and wife, Joan, set up police headquarters in their home on Page Rd. For several years all the department’s radio equipment, files, records and equipment were housed in the Parent home. Joan began serving as police dispatcher and established her own enviable record as a top-notch dispatcher and policewoman.  When Streetsboro became a village, Parent transitioned police headquarters from his home to rooms above the fire station and later to the old Straight farmhouse on RT 303.

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Streetsboro Gets First Police Car – 1964

Streetsboro Township Trustees unveiled their new police cruiser. Trustee Bob White is shown as he presented the car's keys to Constable Glenn Marsh. Onlookers are Mrs. Earl Lundgren, Fair secretary; Ernie Defer, asst. constable, and Ralph Heinlen, Fair President.

– Shopping –

From the time it was built in the 1860's until the Streetsboro Plaza was built in 1957 the general store on the square was the only store in Streetsboro. Henry Peck and his son, Norman purchased the home and opened a store known as H. Peck & Son general store. From the house they ran a mercantile business selling cheese, butter and general merchandise. Norman was also the postmaster of Streetsboro. In 1918 Leroy Bowen bought the general store and operated Bowens General Store until 1948 when sold it to William R. Wise. It was finally sold to owner, Ken Arnold who opened Arnold’s General Store. In fact, according to the Wilcox Family, the Arnold family actually lived above the store in a nice 2-bedroom apartment. Arnold's General Store was the only place to purchase groceries and a variety of other things and remained virtually unaffected by the building boom of the 1950’s.  The General Store was also home to Dr. Kenneth’s Rupp’s physician office, a barber shop and a florist. In the mid 1970’s, Long John Silver Restaurant purchased the land and rather than being torn down to make way for the restaurant, resident Lynnwood (Lynn) Wilcox purchased the building and moved it West to Mar-Lynn Lake Park on State Route 303 in 1977. The building is still standing at KOA campground (formerly Mar-Lynn Lake Park) on RT 303.

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Arnold's General Store – 1955

Arnold's General Store owner Kenneth Arnold sweeps his front walk while Arthur Supples,13, watches. The general store once stood on the square at Rt 14-Rt 43 where Walgreens now stands, The store was relocated in the early 1970's to Mar-Lynn lake park when Long John Silvers came to town. The building is still standing at KOA Campground on Rt 303 West.

 

– Schools –

The first school in Streetsboro Township was built at Johnson's Corners near the intersection of Aurora-Hudson Rd & Rt 14 and. in 1826. It was a slab schoolhouse, taught by Clarinda Case. Eight students attended the school. Daniel Johnson owned a sawmill there and because it was so far away from any other school, he built his own.

In 1829, a log house near Singletary’s Tavern housed the first district school on the square. There were 12 scholars.

A two room, two-story high school was built on the public square. In 1902 the first commencement was held with a graduating class numbering five. In 1905 a three-room school was built near where former city hall (Wise School) was located.

 

By 1922, the township employed 11 drivers for the wagons and autos that carried all the children to school. There were seven teachers in eight grades and the high school.

 

As the population continued to grow the need for a new and larger school grew, Wise Elementary on S.R 43 was constructed in 1949 with an extensive addition made later.

 

From 1950 to 1962 students attended high schools in neighboring towns. Wait Elementary was built on Frost Rd in 1961 to house grades one through six and for several years some elementary students were housed at the temporary Briar-Root buildings on S.R. 303. Streetsboro High School was built in 1962. Campus Elementary was added in 1968, The Middle School in 1969, and Defer Intermediate in 2002.

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Streetsboro's First School – 1922

The first school in Streetsboro Township was built at Johnson’s Corners (corner of old S.R. 14 and Aurora- Hudson Rd.) in 1828. It was a slab school house and eight students attended the school. Daniel Johnson owned a saw mill there and because it was so far away from any other school, he decided to build his own.

– Churches –

Ten years after the township was settled a group of residents decided to form a church. There were 16 members in that first Congregational Church.  In 1833 the Baptists built a church on the square, but by 1899 many of them had died or moved away and the building was given to the Methodists. The first building was built in 1837. It was later replaced by a new building in 1852.

 

The Methodists used that church building until 1967 when they built a new brick building (now the Methodist Church south of the center of town). The former Methodist church with a Greek revival style was no longer needed, was purchased by The Western Reserve Historical Society in 1967, with plans to move it to Hale Farm and Village. In 1971, the journey was made to Hale Farm, has since been restored to its original interior and opened to the public in 1973.

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Streetsboro's First Church – 1851

Streetsboro Methodist Church--originally a Baptist Church was built 1851 by James Clark and stood on the SW corner of the square. The Baptist congregation presented the building to the Methodists as the Baptist congregation discontinued services. The Methodists, remodeled the church, dug out a three-room basement and rededicated the church on Sunday, Sept. 10, 1899.

In 1973, the Western Reserve style church, was moved to the Hale Farm & Village Homestead in Bath, Ohio. (Building still stands at Hale Farm to this day).

– Elections –

The first election of the township was held on April 2, 1827. In the election, 3 men were elected Judges of Election, along with 2 clerks, a town clerk, a treasurer, 2 constables, 2 fence viewers, and 2 overseers of the poor. The job of the overseers of the poor was to take care of people who needed help. The public official to serve the township the longest was Wayne Hannum who served as township clerk for 40 years until the township became a village.

 The Old Town Hall was located on the southeast side of the square (near area of Mr. Hero), sometime in the 1920's the building caught fire was burned to the ground with all township records lost.  When the school system decided to vacate Wise School in 1987, the city purchased the building, renovated it, and it became City Hall.

Voters decided to incorporate Streetsboro in 1968 from a township to a village. They elected their first mayor, Lowell C Spencer in a special election. A few years later, on January 14, 1971 Streetsboro officially became a city.  In just 3 years the township had grown to a village and then to a city. In 1950 the population was 1,104, and by 1970 it had risen to 7,996. In 1998 the population was up to 11,996, and by 2004 was over 13,000. Streetsboro became one of the fastest growing communities in the State of Ohio.

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Spencer Elected as First Mayor of Streetsboro – 1968

An election-night weary Lowell C. Spencer, the first mayor of this newly-created village, said today that his landslide election was “much more than I ever expected.” Spencer polled a total of 950 votes leading the race in every precinct. His closest opponent, Glen Sturgeon drew 458 votes. Others in the race were Jack Stamper with 425 votes, Gordon Downie with 205 and Virginia Bisson with 54.

– Cemeteries –

An acre from the corner of each center lot was deeded by Titus Street to the township of Streetsboro in 1825 for use as a public square. In the center of the square, a large stone designated the exact center of the township. That stone is now beneath the Rt 43, 14, 303 intersections. The public square is intact as it was designated with the exception of some frontage, which was deeded to the state when the highway intersection was improved and widened.

 

At the same time, Street also gave 2 acres just south of the center as a burial ground and donated $60 for clearing off the Public Square and cemetery. The first person buried in the cemetery was Mrs. Carlton, wife of Solomon Carlton, who came to town in 1824.

In the early 1860's the use of the old township cemetery was discontinued. Resident, Samuel Olin deeded an area on RT 14 of his family cemetery, to the township the ground today known as Evergreen Cemetery.

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Gravesite of early Streetsboro settler – 1895

Gravesite of early Streetsboro settler, Orrin Nighman, laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery

– Houses –

In the summer of 1825, the first log cabin house was built at the center by Levi M. Cochran. It was built in lot 55. The first frame house in the township was built by Daniel Johnson at Johnson's Corners in the spring of 1827, He won a $50 prize for being the first person to construct a frame house.

 

Col. John Singletary moved to Streetsboro from Aurora in 1826 and built a log cabin on the northwest corner of the township center. Soon later he began to build the first frame house on the square. In 1828, the house was completed and the family began a tavern. This is the oldest Frame House in Streetsboro. The Singletary House had a variety of identities, other than a tavern, also served as a stagecoach stop, a post office, the township’s first telephone exchange, three different antique shops, and was even stop along the underground railroad during the Civil War. Carlton Closs, purchased the home in 1941 and operated Closs Antiques until he sold the land and home to Red Barn fast food chain. The two-story home was doomed for demolition until Mark Defer talked his father, Henry, into being the one to save the city’s oldest house. The house was re-located to a hilltop overlooking the old Defer farm just off S.R. 14, until 2006 when it was moved to accommodate new shopping development. The fate was still undecided until Wal-Mart Stores donated funds to the Streetsboro Heritage Foundation to help put the historic Singletary House back on a foundation. The Singletary House is now located behind Wal-Mart and is the home to the Streetsboro Heritage Foundation Museum.

Though many of the original homes of Streetsboro have since been razed, many still remain including an original stone home built by prominent citizen, Cadwallader Crawford. His home, built of stone, is still standing on Aurora-Hudson Rd. near the Frost Rd exit from Route 480.

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Singletary Home – Built in 1828

Original owner, John Singletary built his home in center of town in 1828. Both he and his wife passed away in this home and are buried in the old Streetsboro Cemetery. Over the years, the house had many uses including a tavern, a stagecoach stop, a post office, the township’s first telephone exchange, three different antique shops, and it was even a stop along the underground railroad during the Civil War.

For more historical information and a pictorial view of Streetsboro History Visit: Streetsboro History "The Yesteryears of our Town"