In this project, I had to find an article to edit. I then had to rewrite the article with a style that will help the reader grasp the information more rapidly. After that, I put it into a format that is easy for the reader to scan and find the information quickly.
The author is one who has edited
many newspaper articles and stories about Wayne, Ohio. She has a wealth
of knowledge about her home town, is one of Wayne's elders, and has done
much to document the history of this quaint Ohio village.
In March 1863 Hiram Davis surveyed the ground on which this village
now stands for Henry Buchtel and John Bailey, two farmers who decided
to build a town. Henry Buchtel built a log cabin on the site where the
waterworks stands and owned 160 acres North of Main St. John Bailey owned
the South side of what became Main St. Mr. Buchtel had 12 children and
Mr. Bailey had 8. Mr. Buchtel chose the name Freeport and the families
voted. Of course Mr. Buchtel won as he had the most votes. About 1879-1880
the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad was built and began to go through
Freeport. Shortly thereafter, problems arose concerning the town's name
because there was another Freeport in Harrison County. Mix ups occurred
and the railroad put pressure on our Freeport to change names. Finally
in 1889 the railroad took maters in it's own hands and renamed the station
here Kremlin. Some people belive that the Postal Dept. changed the name
of theire office here to Prairie Depot about this time. The town had been
incorporated in 1876 as Freeport but the residents received their mail
in Paririe Depot and all property was still legally Freeport. The confusion
convinced many that the name shold be changed legally so for many years
the battle raged. The confusion continued until 1926 when residents agreed
steps should be taken to alleviate the complications involved by the two
names. Wayne was suggested for the town's name after "Mad Anthony Wayne"
who played an active part in the early histoty of this part of Ohio. A
new sign Wayne suddenly appeared at the depot signifying that the railroad
approved. Next Clarence Dowling acting postmaster received word from the
U.S. Postal Dept. that after Jan. 12, 1927 all postal documents should
be addressed Wayne, Ohio. The name was finally legalized on Sept. 4, 1931.
After the first settler's primary problems of clearing the land had been
solved, they turned their atention to other matters. The first grist mill
was built in 1835 on the Keller farm north of Freeport. the first saw
mill was built in 1857. The first mail was delivered by horseback. At
the intersection of what is now Mermill and McCutcheonville Rd.and was
known as Montgomery Crossroads and later Hedge Corners. The Hedge family
lived nearby and in 1892 Frank T. Hedge and George W. Hedge built a brick
and tile factory located near Mermill and Caskie Rd. It was the largest
tile factory in Wood County. In later years it became the site of the
Foster Duck Farm. The Sawyers operated the Wayne Duck Hatchery on E. Strong
St. that was first a big chicken farm and is now the Avina Auction. The
first school was built in the area in 1836. The building was 12 ft square
and called the Morgan school. In 1850 a frame building was built within
the villiage and in 1881 the large brick school was built on the corner
of North and Center St. The fire hall stands there now. The present school
building was errected in 1928. The First Methodist Church was a log cabin
built in 1834. In 1867 a frame building was put up where the church now
stands. It was later moved and the new church built on the site in 1896.
The Church of Christ first met in the old Freeport Town Hall. In 1865
they built a frame church on the Northeast corner of Center and South
Streets. Some years later it was moved accross South Street to the site
of the present structure. It was later moved to build the new church and
was destroyed in the 1900 fire. The present building was errected in 1897.
The first physician in Wayne was Dr. John Kinnamen followed by Dr. Williamson
in 1851. L.. Gorsuch in 1854, 1858- Dr. Edwin Sage. Other early Doctors
included Dr. Walter Hutchins, Thomas Hutchins, Dr. I.V. Wirebaugh, Dr.
Huffman. Dr. E. Ranger in 1895. Dr. Joseph Burnham came and practiced
until he passed away while on a house call in 1947. Dr. Whitacre came
in 1900 and Dr. Thomas Watson came in 1936 and was here for over 50 years.
In March of 1890, a well drilled near Freeport brought 210 barrel in 2
hours and then the oil boom was on, with a stampede of oil operators and
drillers. By November of that year 400 wells were completed and many more
were begun, making Freeport an oil center of some importance. Oil derricks
were everywhere and to the delight of the town children they could easily
jump from one oil derrick another on Main Street. In the immediate vicinity
of an oil well great chance of an accident or disaster exists. Highly
explosive nitroglycerin was used to shoot the wells. This area had its
share of accidents. With so many people housing became a problem. The
Pairie Depot Hotel formerly known as the Lesher House and then later as
the Freeport House was always filled.There were six saloons in town at
one time. Also baseball games and horse racing were other forms of recreation.
The base ball field was where the Wayne Duck Hatchery stood and a big
race track and bleachers were built on the east side of the road just
a little way South of the town. A large horse barn was built on the West
side and was torn down when Ralph Harrison purchased that property. In
the early 1900's oil production began to slow down and Pairie Depot became
less important. The first big fire occurred in August of 1893 and consumed
a large portion of the Southeast side of Main Street. Most of it was rebuilt,
but on January 07, 1900 the second big fire began on the Northeast corner
of Main and Center Streets, and it proceeded East destroying the entire
business district. Before the town could really recover from this, a third
fire hit on July 06, 1900. This fire started on South Street it burned
buildings on South, Center and West Main Street. Recent big fires in Wayne
occurred on December 23, 1995 and January 09, 1996. These fires were thought
to be arson and burned the section on the Southwest side of Main Street.
Then another major fire occurred on October 08, 1998 on the Northeast
side of Main destroying all but one of the old brick buildings on that
side. In the early 1900's Wayne had many business establishments and many
will recall such names as: Jimmy Stevens, Lombard Brothers, Tom and John
Rogers, Dick Noble, Kenneth Garner, Harry Messer, Walt Logan, Charley
Martin, Shorty Parsons, John, Huber, Bill Dreher, Dickens Brothers, Carol
Allen, Bill Feltman, Mace Pugh, Shaw's, Harry Williamson, H.L. Hodges,
Lee Hartenfeld, Clarence Hoodlebrink, Earl Baublitz, and there are some
I've probably missed. There were homecomings every summer, free picture
shows, Skating rink, and Saturday nights when every one came to shop and
visit. The History of Wayne is fascinating and you can find two books
and lots of pictures at the Wayne Public Library that covers the history
very thoroughly. It has been hard not to write down about everything and
everybody but time and space do not allow it. Population today 984 nice
people and one sorehead.
Beginning of Wayne, Ohio
In 1863, Henry Buchtel and
John Bailey, two farmers, decided to build a town. They hired Hiram Davis
to survey the ground on which the village of Wayne, Ohio, now stands.
Mr. Buchtel's 160 acres was located on the north side of what is presently
Main Street. The site that holds the waterworks was the location of his
log cabin and the home for his 12 children. John Bailey became the owner
of the property on the south side of Main Street and there he raised 8
The Buchtel and Bailey families wanted a name for their new town. Mr. Buchtel wanted the name "Freeport," and all of the residents voted on the name. Since Mr. Buchtel had 12 children and Mr. Bailey eight children, Freeport was chosen. September 7, 1876, the town was incorporated as Freeport. This name was satisfactory to all concerned until a few problems arose.
Suddenly, a new sign, bearing
the name of Wayne, appeared at the train station, signifying the railroad
approved. Next came the approval from the U.S. Postal Department. Clarence
Dowling, acting postmaster, received word that after January 12, 1927,
all postal documents to our residents should be addressed to Wayne, Ohio.
The name of "Wayne" was legalized on September 4, 1931.
The following tells about some of the first structures in the Wayne area and the changes that they encountered:
In 1834, a log cabin was built so that members of the First Methodist Church could worship there. In 1867, the log cabin was replaced with a frame building. The frame building was later moved so that a new church could be built in 1896. The site on which the log cabin once stood is still the home of The First Methodist Church.
In 1835, the area's first gristmill for grinding grain and corn was built. The gristmill was located on the Keller farm, north of what is now the village of Wayne.
In 1836, the area's first school was built. Called the Morgan School, the building was 12 foot square. This building was used for schooling children until 1850. At that time a frame building was constructed within the present town of Wayne. The frame building served the educational purposes until 1881 when a large brick schoolhouse was built on the corner of North and Center Streets. In 1928, another school was built on Schoolhouse and Main Streets. The former schoolhouse on North and Center Streets was remodeled to become a residence until sometime in the 1960s. At that time the Wayne Fire Hall was constructed and replaced the residence.
In 1857, the first saw mill was built southwest of Wayne's current location in the area of the Main Street and Pemberville Road intersection.
In 1892, Frank T. Hedge and George W. Hedge built a brick and tile factory. At that time, it was the largest tile factory in Wood County. The Hedges lived close to the factory's location, which was at the intersection of what are now Mermill Road and State Route 199. This same intersection has carried the names of Mermill and McCutcheonville Roads, Montgomery Crossroads, Hedge Corners, and Mermill and Caskie Roads. (In later years, the Foster Duck Farm operated on this site.)
The members of The Church of Christ had previously met in the old "Freeport" Town Hall. In 1865, a frame church was built on the northeast corner of Center and South Streets. In later years, the frame church was moved to the southeast corner of these streets and moved once again in 1897 to make room for a newer church. Members of The Church of Christ still meet in the church constructed in 1897 (located on the corner of South Street and Center Street). In 1900, the old frame church that was moved to make room for the newer church was destroyed by fire.
The large building on East Strong Street began as a large chicken farm operated by the Sawyer family. The family started the Wayne Duck Hatchery here. This site has also been used for a baseball field and in later years, the Avina Auction.
In March 1890, a well drilled near Freeport spurted 210 barrels of oil in 2 hours. This initiated an oil boom accompanied by stampede of oil well operators and drillers. By November of that year, 400 oil wells were completed and many more were begun. Freeport became an important oil center. Oil derricks were everywhere! Children could easily jump from one oil derrick to another all along Main Street. As each oil derrick was added, the population grew and the needs for housing and recreation grew.
The Prairie Depot Hotel, formerly known as the Lesher House and later the Freeport House, was constantly filled with people. The people needed housing, but craved entertainment. They watched baseball games played in the field that would one day become the site of the Wayne Duck Hatchery. They also watched horseracing at a big racetrack, complete with bleachers and built on the east side of the road just south of the town. A large horse barn was built on the west side of the road for the racing horses (later torn down when Ralph Harrison purchased the property). To accompany these forms of entertainment during this era, the town had six saloons.
Not everything about the Oil
Boom was good. The chances of accidents and disasters were high in the
immediate vicinity of the oil wells. Highly explosive nitroglycerin was
used to shoot the wells and the area had many accidents. In the 1900s,
oil production began to slow down and Prairie Depot lost its importance
as an oil center.
Throughout its history, the town was plagued with many fires that caused massive destruction and required many portions of the town to be totally rebuilt.
August 1893-This was the first big fire to occur and a large portion of the southeast side of Main Street was consumed. Most of this portion was rebuilt.
January 7, 1900-The second big fire began on the northeast corner of Main and Center Streets, proceeded east, destroying the entire business district.
July 6, 1900-Before the town could recover from the second fire, the third fire hit. This fire started on South Street, burning buildings on South, Center, and West Main Streets.
December 23, 1995 and January 9, 1996-These fires were thought to be the result of arson and burned the section on the southwest side of Main Street.
October 8, 1998-This major
fire destroyed all but one of the old brick buildings located on the northeast
side of Main Street.
In the early 1900s, Wayne had many business establishments, and many will recall the following business people:
During this time period, there were homecomings every summer, free picture shows, skating rink activities, and the Saturday nights when everyone came to shop and to visit.
At the beginning of the year 2001, Wayne boasted a population of 984 nice people and one sorehead.
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