Remarkable Ohio

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8025 Africa Road
Westerville

, OH

The Sharp family homes and their locations on N. State Street and Africa Road mark an important route through Westerville on the Underground Railroad. The family patriarch, Garrit Sharp, was an original settler of Sharp’s Settlement, now Westerville, and donated land for and helped organize the first Methodist church. He is also associated with the founding of Blendon Young Men’s Seminary, which was acquired by Otterbein College, an institution with enrollment open to African Americans and women from its inception in 1847. He and his sons were all noted abolitionists who, along with Bishop William Hanby and Otterbein president Lewis Davis, assisted southern slaves on their road to freedom. From the Sharp homes, slaves would have proceeded north to the house of Samuel Patterson on Africa Road and along Alum Creek to the Quaker settlement near Marengo in Morrow County.

251 6th Street
Elyria

, OH

King Solomon Lodge, the first Masonic Lodge in Lorain County, was chartered on December 11, 1821, with Heman Ely as Worshipful Master. Ely (1775-1852), a prominent land developer, founded the City of Elyria in 1817, and built the first grist and saw mills and frame house in the village. Through his efforts, Elyria became the county seat in 1823.

770 Duck Run
Rushtown

, OH

Branch Rickey, a pivotal figure in the history of baseball, was raised in this house with his brothers, Orla and Frank. Rickey started baseball’s farm team system while he was president, vice president, and manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1917-1942. As president of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1942-1950, he signed Jackie Robinson to a major league contract, which resulted in the desegregation of baseball. “The Mahatma,” as Rickey was known, also ran the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1950-1955. Rickey’s career in major league baseball began in 1904 as a Cincinnati Red. Later he played with the St. Louis Browns and the New York Highlanders (now known as the Yankees). Branch Rickey was born in 1881 and died in 1965. He was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967. His grave is located approximately one mile southeast of this marker on the eastern edge of Rush Township Cemetery.

9050 Church Street
Twinsburg

, OH

Organized August 23, 1822. Twinsburg pioneers, many from Killingworth, Connecticut, worshiped in various locations for 31 years until this church was built in 1848. Its design is attributed to master builder Simeon Porter. The spire is an 1857 replacement. The edifice is notable for being a Classic Revival translation of the standard meeting house of the preceding Federal period.

9020 Chilicothe Road
Kirtland

, OH

House of the Lord, Joseph Smith Jr. called this building in his dedicatory prayer March 27, 1836. The solemn, massive weather stained structure stands today as a memorial to Smith’s followers who sacrificed their worldly goods to build of local materials this impressive Gothic Revival and Classic style temple.

Sandusky

, OH

Of the city’s 5,667 people in 1849, 3,500 fled, and 400 of those remaining were victims of cholera. Most are buried here, some only in rough boxes in a common grave. The scourge came again in 1850 and 1852 but with less toll. “Dismay stalked abroad in the daytime and the drowsy night was hideous with the wailings of the disconsolate.”

Wilkesville

, OH

During the summer of 1863, General John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate cavalry leader from Kentucky, invaded southern Ohio with 2,460 mounted men. Throughout the campaign Morgan’s men plundered and looted before being captured by Union forces. On July 17, Morgan led his troops into Wilkesville stealing horses, sacking stores, and robbing private citizens. That night Morgan and some of his troops took lodging and meals with his first cousin Ruth Virginia Althar Cline and her husband Dr. William Cline. Morgan’s troops camped near the house of John and Elzia Levis where Elzia cooked for the men for fear they would harm her family. Additional soldiers of the raiding party stayed on the village square. Legend has it that while Morgan slept at the Cline Mansion, his black servant stole his looted money, and abolitionists Dr. Cline and Abraham Morris, helped him escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

210 W. Main Street
Lebanon

, OH

One of the most effective political orators of his era, Tom Corwin (nicknamed “the Wagon Boy” for his War of 1812 service) resided here from 1839 until his death. A Whig stump speaker known for his wit and eloquence, he was elected governor of Ohio in 1840 and campaigned for William Henry Harrison in his presidential victory that year. Corwin served six terms in Congress and one in the Senate, where he spoke out against the Mexican War in 1847. He also served as secretary of the treasury in the Fillmore administration and as President Lincoln’s minister to Mexico. Built and first occupied by Corwin’s brother-in-law Phineas Ross in 1818, the Corwin House is representative of Federal-style architecture of this period.