Remarkable Ohio

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parking lot of 2853 Broadway
Urbancrest

, OH

In 1972, Urbancrest’s Ellen Walker Craig-Jones became the first African-American woman to be elected mayor, by popular vote, of a United States municipality. During her term as mayor (1972-1975), Craig-Jones oversaw the modernization of Urbancrest’s various programs and the village rebuilt three main streets, installed streetlights and street signs, and received approval to start a $3 million housing project. Craig-Jones had many years of experience in service to her community, serving twelve years on the Urbancrest Village Council. She was the recipient of dozens of awards and honors, including Who’s Who Among Black Americans.

700 High Street
Worthington

, OH

In October of 1803, members of The Scioto Company, led by James Kilbourne, came from Connecticut and founded Worthington. On February 6, 1804, the Articles of Agreement establishing St. John’s Church of Worthington were executed. St. John’s, which had been planned in Connecticut prior to the Company’s departure, became the first Episcopal church established in the Northwest Territory and served as the founding church for several Episcopal churches in Ohio. James Kilbourne served as the church’s first Deacon. Reverend Philander Chase, the first Rector of St. John’s, became the first Episcopal Bishop of Ohio and founded Kenyon College. St. John’s Church and graveyard are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Arlington Ave
Toledo

, OH

Toledo State Hospital opened in January 1888 as the Toledo Asylum for the Insane. Originally located immediately south of this cemetery, the hospital was designed to function as a self-contained community for 650 people. Patients lived in large cottages, surrounded by a post office, church, library, male and female hospital, strong wards, bakery, and dining hall. People were admitted with mild to severe forms of mental illness, and a variety of other disabling conditions, including developmental, medical or neurological, as well as for addictions, injuries, and old age. Work became a form of treatment, with patients involved in construction, farming, laundry, and other jobs to help maintain the hospital. Patients could also participate in recreational activities from gardening to playing in the hospital band. The State Hospital became home for many, as hospitalization could last a lifetime, often spanning decades. (continued on other side)

2550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike

, OH

The first women’s college chartered in the state of Ohio, Ursuline College opened in 1871 in downtown Cleveland as part of the educational mission of the Order of St. Ursula (O.S.U.). Founded in Italy in 1535 with an early presence in North America, this order established its first religious teaching community in Cleveland in 1850, led by foundress Mother Mary of the Annunciation Beaumont, O.S.U. The college’s growth prompted four moves in Cleveland and subsequently to the Pepper Pike campus in 1966. Ursuline holds the distinction as one of the first catholic women’s colleges in the United States organized and chartered explicitly for college education.

5800-5918 Delhi Road
Cinicinatti

, OH

Founded by Saint Elizabeth Bayley Seton in Maryland in 1809, the Sisters of Charity arrived in Cincinnati in 1829 to open a school and an orphanage, becoming the first permanent establishment of Catholic sisters in Ohio. In 1852 the group separated from its Maryland roots to form a diocesan community and called themselves the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. The sisters later served as nurses in the Civil War as well as operated and staffed a number of Catholic elementary and secondary schools. As membership grew, their ministries and educational, health care, and social service institutions expanded in Cincinnati and elsewhere, including out of state. They include the Good Samaritan Hospital, College of Mount St. Joseph, St. Joseph Infant and Maternity Home, Santa Maria Social Service Agency, and Seton High School in Cincinnati and Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton. Mount St. Joseph has served as the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity since 1884.

401 Farnsworth Rd
Waterville

, OH

Henry Hanford Wakeman (1840-1879) of New York came to Waterville and became a successful businessman. He conceived the idea of a local Masonic Lodge, which became Wakeman Lodge No. 522 Free and Accepted Masons in 1879, and bequeathed $1,000 toward the construction of a meeting place. In 1880, a cornerstone was laid and this building was dedicated on October 21, 1881. For over 100 years, the Masons held their meetings upstairs while the lower floor was often rented out to a succession of businesses or used for public gatherings. Rising maintenance expenses and lower membership numbers caused the Masons to put Wakeman Hall up for sale in 1995. The Waterville Historical Society purchased the building in 1997 and spent several years rehabilitating it to serve as a local history archive and the Historical Society’s meeting place.

S. Park Boulevard
Shaker Heights

, OH

In 1822, Ralph Russell, a Connecticut pioneer who had settled in Warrensville Township ten years earlier, founded the North Union Shaker Community. The Shakers created Horseshoe Lake in 1852 when they built a dam across Doan Brook and harnessed its waterpower to operate a woolen mill near Lee Road and South Park Boulevard. The community disbanded in 1889; its 1,366 acres were eventually sold to a real estate syndicate from Buffalo, New York, the Shaker Heights Land Company. In 1896, this group deeded the Shaker Lakes Parklands to the City of Cleveland to preserve the green space in perpetuity. Ten years later, the Van Sweringen Company began to develop Shaker Heights Village as a Garden City suburb where William J. Van Aken served as mayor from 1915 until 1950. In the 1960s local residents successfully fought the proposed Clark Freeway, saving Horseshoe Lake and the Parklands from destruction.

1190 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Cleveland

, OH

In 1962, Asian Indian students of Case Western Reserve University started India Association of Cleveland (IAC). In 1967, IAC started a newspaper “LOTUS,” regarded as the first such Asian Indian community newspapers in the United States. In 1978, IAC started a community center to be owned and managed by a new organization: India Community Center (ICC), the first such facility established by Asian Indians in Ohio. In 1980, IAC and ICC merged and formed the Federation of India Community Associations (FICA). Other associations representing the various states and interests in India became Federation members.