Short History of Akron/Summit County
Prior to Akron Settlers
As long ago as 12,000BC people inhabited the area of the Cuyahoga Falls, Cuyahoga Valley and the surrounding vicinity. The Native American settling of the region is broken into three distinct periods: Paleo-Indian (from 12,000 - 10,000BC), the Archaic (10,000-800BC), and the Woodland (800BC-1600AD).
Akron along with most of Northeast Ohio is included into a region called the Western Reserve of Connecticut which was land owned by the State of Connecticut that was sold to investors in 1796. However Native Americans still inhabited the lands.
At the turn of the 18th century, General Simon Perkins, commissioner of the Ohio Canal Fund, promoter of the Western Reserve of Connecticut, and involved in planning the canal across the Summit and down the river to Lake Erie, acquired land in the area of the Portage Summit.
Early European Settlers
Founding of a City
Akron was founded in December 1825 by Simon Perkins. It began as a small village on the divide between the St. Lawrence River and the Mississippi River drainage basins. The village was a 43-block square with its main intersection at Exchange and Main Streets. The northern limit was one block beyond State Street. Much of Akron's early growth was due to its location along the Ohio and Erie Canal which at one time connected Lake Erie and the Ohio River. The locks were needed because of the steep 400-foot (120 m) rise in elevation as the canal crossed the summit between the Lake Erie and Ohio River watersheds. Akron comes from the Greek word that means "summit".
In 1833, Eliakim Crosby established a "second" Akron just north of the existing village known as Cascade, which was referred to locally as "North Akron." Cascade developed around a construction project originally intended to provide increased water power for industries. In 1836 the villages joined under the Akron name. The completion of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal along Main Street in 1839 started Akron on its climb to industrial importance.
1799 Hudson established
1807 Tallmadge established
1808 Stow established
1809 Green Township established Richfield Township established
1812 Cuyahoga Falls established
1818 Norton Township established
1819 Copley established
1827 Ohio Canal is started.
1832 The Ohio & Erie Canal opens.
1834 Akron's first school is built
1840 Summit County was formed from portions of Medina, Portage and Stark Counties.
1842 Akron declared the Summit county seat in 1842.
1852 The first train arrives in Akron
1870 University of Akron founded as Buchtel College
1871 Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich opens his rubber factory.
1879 Telephone services become available
1891 Barberton was founded
1892 Akron City Hospital begins operation
1915 General Tire comes to Akron. Akron begins operating a water system.
1918 Silver Lake is incorporated
1980 Fairlawn established