Side A: The founder of Ravenna Township in 1799, Benjamin Tappan Jr. led a distinguished life of public service. An aggressive force in local politics, he served in the Ohio Senate from 1803 to 1805, as judge of the fifth circuit court of common pleas from 1816 to 1823, and as federal district judge from 1826 to 1833. Tappan served as aide-de-camp to Major General Elijah Wadsworth following the surrender of Detroit in the War of 1812, provisioning and arming local militia units defending the northwestern frontier against a possible British invasion. (continued on other side)
Side B: A proponent of internal improvements, Tappan chaired the Ohio Canal Commission from 1822 to 1834 during its formative era. A Jacksonian Democrat “of …intractable disposition,” anti-slavery but not an abolitionist like brothers Arthur and Lewis, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1839. There he sponsored legislation in 1844 creating the Smithsonian Institution. He also served as the first president of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio in 1831. Tappan’s first Ohio home stood 250 feet north.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, The Ravenna Community, and The Ohio Historical Society