Remarkable Ohio

Results for: swpmtx=dc8cbf0af9c8b9d5928014f6a3fd7960&swpmtxnonce=363f736c1f/23/&toll-house
130 W. Mill Street
Circleville

, OH

In 1870, African American men in Circleville attempted to vote in municipal elections. Despite the recent ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, pollsters refused their votes on the basis that state law forbade them from receiving the ballots. The Second Baptist Church was the site of a meeting of 147 African American men seeking redress. Together with Republican leaders these men produced petitions that were sent to the United States Senate and House of Representatives. These petitions gave the Republican Party the grounds to introduce bills to enforce the Fifteenth and Fourteenth Amendments. The passage of the Enforcement Act of 1870 imposed criminal penalties for interference with the right to vote and also helped to shift power and authority from the individual state legislatures to the centralized Federal government.

26 E. Maine Street
Mifflin

, OH

Mifflin was founded in 1816. Originally known as Petersburg, the name was changed in 1827 in honor of the settlers that moved here from Mifflin Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The first village jailhouse and crossroad watering trough are located here, on the grounds of the historic St. Michael Lutheran Church. Organized in 1835, the church built this house of worship in 1890. As early as 1810, stagecoaches traveled Mifflin’s main thoroughfare between Wooster and Mansfield, stopping at the watering trough, known for “the best spring water in Ohio”. In 1925, the trough was removed to allow room for the construction of the Lincoln Highway built in 1928. A Lincoln Highway “L” marker stands in the village today, in its original location, directing motorists eastbound.

467 Stingley Road
Greenville

, OH

James and Sophia Clemens’ lives are part of a story of tens of thousands of people of color who migrated north in search of land to farm and better lives during the first half of the 19th century. In 1818, James Clemens (1781-1870) purchased 387 acres in German Township, Darke County, Ohio. He and Sophia (Sellers) Clemens (1786-1875) were brought here by Adam Sellers (1742-1821) of Rockingham County, Virginia. In 1822, Thornton Alexander (1783-1851), emancipated by A. Sellers, purchased land in Randolph County, Indiana, about a half mile west of Clemens’ land. These purchases were the beginning of the Greenville Settlement on the Ohio-Indiana border. Other settlers of color followed, including the Bass family from North Carolina, in 1828. The 1830 census enumerated approximately 78 people of color in German Township Ohio and adjacent Green’s Fork Township, Indiana. (Continued on other side)

1350 Brush Row Road
Wilberforce

, OH

In the early 1800s, William and Eleanor Kendall owned this land, known for its natural springs, beauty, and farmland. In 1850, Elias Drake, lawyer and former speaker in the Ohio General Assembly, purchased the property and named it Tawana or Xenia Springs. He developed a health resort hotel surrounded by summer cottages, all of which were completed the following year. “Tawana” is believed to be Shawnee for “clear or gold water,” alluding to the clear, mineral-rich springs. From its beginnings, the resort did not fare well as it was popular among southern planters who, much to the consternation of nearby antislavery sentiment, brought slave entourages whenever they came. In October 1855, negotiations for its sale opened with the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which purchased Tawana Springs, including 54 acres and the hotel and cottages, for $13,000 to establish a university for African Americans. (Continued on other side)

Across from 11 Columbia Street
Jackson

, OH

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. Following McKinley’s assassination in 1901, the Village of Jackson dedicated this triangle of land as a park in his honor. Earlier in the nineteenth century, a small school had occupied the plot. In 1902, a local commission was appointed to oversee the development of a park. It was not, however, until 2012 that the Jackson Garden Lovers Club finished the commission’s long overdue work. The park was dedicated in 2013, 111 years after it began.

10095 Wadsworth Road (OH 57)
Marshallville

, OH

Zimmerman-Bury Octagon House. The Zimmerman-Bury Octagon House was built by Ezekiel B. Zimmerman (1843-1935) and Francis B. Hess Zimmerman (1848-1920) in 1883. Ezekiel graduated from Smithville Academy and was an avid reader. One of Ezekiel’s sons, Ernest Zimmerman (1888-1973), remembered that his father had encountered Orson Fowler’s manifesto A Home for All, or the Gravel Wall and Octagon Mode of Building (1853) and surmised that his father patterned the house after Section V of the book. The approximate 99,000 bricks comprising the house were made on the property, creating exterior walls and a center stairway which are three bricks or about 12 inches thick. Ernest noted the house’s “Russian Tin” roof, referring to its metal standing seam construction. The roof and architectural ornament make the house stand out compared to other octagon structures in Ohio. (Continued on other side)

315 E. College Street
Oberlin

, OH

Jabez Lyman Burrell (1806-1900), originally from Massachusetts, built this house in 1852. Burrell made his living as a cattleman and farmer, but devoted much of his time serving the cause of abolitionism, helping slaves, who had escaped the South, get to Sheffield and from there to Lorain and across Lake Erie to Canada. He was also devoted to equal education for all, providing funding to a freedmen’s school in Selma, Alabama, and serving as a trustee of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, well known for educating African Americans and women. From 1884 to 1934, this was the home of Henry Churchill King (1858-1934), who was the president of Oberlin College from 1902-1927. The Kings added the porches and rear wing and made their home a social center for the college and community. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Oberlin Historic Landmark.

Millikan Avenue, Eyman Park
Washington Court House

, OH

Granville T. Woods was a pivotal African American inventor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Woods’ invention of the telegraph device that enabled railway companies to know the location of each of their trains. This new technology greatly enhanced train scheduling and reduced the frequency of fatal collisions throughout the railway industry. From 1878 through 1880 Woods was a railroad locomotive engineer employeed by the Springfield, Jackson and Pomeroy Railroad Company and later by the Dayton and Southeastern Railroad. With frequent stops in Washington Courthouse and extensive leisure time, Woods learned telegraphy from a local telegraph operator. (Continued on other side)