Westfield Township
6699 Buffham Road, Seville, Ohio 44273
Phone: (330) 887-5562 • Fax: (330) 887-5207
info@westfieldtownship.org
Office Hours: Mon-Thur, 8:30am - 12:30pm

Updated 7/20/2017

Westfield Township Timeline

Timeline

Prior to 1817 — Collier surveyed the township and determined its boundaries. The first landowners were Henry Thorndyke and James Fowler. Thorndyke, of Portage County, owned about one-third of the township west of Campbell’s Creek. Fowler, of Westfield, Mass., owned the remaining two-thirds east of the creek and reserved the right to name the township. James Chapman and Warren Brainard scouted out the territory so they could report their findings to their friends in the east. The township originally was part of Harrisville Township.

April 2, 1817 — Hanmer Palmer and Eber Mallory were the first settlers, followed by: Dr. Richard Morton; John J. Morton and Joseph S. Winston and their wives; and Timothy and Mary Nye.

1817 — Fanny Morton, daughter of John J. and Jane Morton, was the first child born in the township.

April 1818 — Eber and Jemima Mallory had the first male child born in the township. They named him Henry Thorndyke Mallory in honor of the original landowner; Thorndyke “repaid the compliment by giving to his young namesake a present of a piece of land of the west bank of Campbell’s Creek, Lot No. 15.

1818 — More founding families came, including Brainard and Chapman, who returned with their wives, Elihu Hathaway, Wiley Hamilton and Moses Noble and their families.

1818 — A few settlers belonging to the Free Will Baptist sect organized a society, but it failed to prosper.

Summer 1818 — The first school opened, taught by Jerusha Hosmer, at John J. Morton’s home. Subsequent schools were taught by Ansel Brainard Jr. and Betsey Ross.

1819 — Ansel Brainard Jr. led the formation of a Methodist church.

1819 — Joseph Kidder is credited with the first land purchase in the Fowler tract.

June 1819 — The first wedding took place when Polly Cook married B. Flannigan.

1820 — Westfield Township organized. They held elections and Hanmer Palmer’s home: Rufus Vaughn, justice of the peace; Hanmer Palmer, Wiley Hamilton and Ansel Brainard Jr., trustees; George Collier, clerk; and James Ross, constable.

1826 — James Fowler founded the village of LeRoy (now Westfield Center), setting aside four acres for a public square and 14 acres on each side of the square, dividing them into lots. He contributed $100 toward the construction of the town hall.

1826-27 — William Wolcott and the Kidders built sawmills on Campbell’s Creek.

1827 — A post office was established at Winston’s Corners, with Joseph Winston as first postmaster. Winston opened a tavern shortly after. The office was removed to the center in 1836, where D. B. Austin took the first postmaster’s position.

1828 — They built a town hall at the township center. The building was replaced in 1846.

1832 — King and Greene started a store at (Asa) Farnum’s corner on the east side of the square.

Feb. 21, 1834 — A Congregational Church and Society was incorporated. It was officially organized April 7, 1834.The Rev. John McCrea got things started and turned the church over to the Rev. Joel Goodell in June, 1834. Noble Stiles donated land for a church in 1835. They entered the Methodist Episcopal Conference on May 29, 1859, part of a Methodist church organized in 1850. The Rev. L.F. Ward ministered to the combined congregations.

1835 — Rev. Rufus Freeman was the first pastor the second Baptist church founded in the township. It closed its doors in 1858.

1838 — Dr. Caleb Stock took over the hotel (the post office also was located there) built by James Whiteside on the west side of the square.

May 1839 — The Universalist Church organized. They purchased land for a church from John Clyne on Jan. 22, 1847. The lot cost $60, paid by subscription.

1840 — Three anti-slavery votes were cast in the election (by Halsey Hulburt, William Hulburt and Dominie Williams. (Williams came from Oberlin to teach at the Westfield school.) William Hulburt welcomed fugitive slaves into his home, one stop on the Underground Railroad.

1843-44 — The Washingtonian movement enlisted the sympathy of Westfield residents in the temperance cause.

Feb. 8, 1848 — The Ohio Farmer’s Insurance Company was chartered. Its first headquarters were in an extension of the frame store building on the square’s east side. The first board of directors included: Jonathan Simmons, president, and George Collier, Asa Farnum, Isaiah Phillips, Isaac Rogers, Isaac Jones and Calvin Chapin. D. B. Austin was the first secretary. It was the pioneer in doing insurance business on farm property exclusively.

1858 — The insurance company moved its office to a brick building which was expanded in 1866.

1872 — The Le Roy special school district formed, with a school built the following year on the south side of the square. It was a “graded” school with primary, intermediate and high school departments. It cost $8,000.

1873 — Three more churches formed, the Dunkard and German Reformed at Friendsville and the United Brethren.