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 6/20/2017

Westfield Township History

of Westfield Township

The written history is a tribute to, and a reminder of the courageous men and women who came before us to settle an unsettled territory. The foundation they established and the foresight they envisioned is inspiring. The question before us now is; how will history write of us?

The first owners of the township land were Henry Thorndyke of Portage County, Ohio (who owned about one third) and James Fowler of Westfield, Massachusetts (who owned the remaining two-thirds). It is no coincidence that the township came to share the same name as his hometown.

On April 2, 1817 the first settlers and actual residents were Eber Mallory and Hanmer Palmer families. Later that same year the families of Dr. Richard Morton, John J. Morton, Benjamin P. Morton, Timothy Nye, Richard Marshall, Joseph S. Winston and Isaac Ford came to call Westfield home.

In 1817 Westfield had its first birth, a daughter Fanny, born to John J. Morton and his wife Jane. The first male to be born was in April of 1818 to Eber and Jamima Mallory; he was named Henry Thorndyke, after the land proprietor.

From 1817 through 1820 many more families moved into the area to settle and call this home. In June of 1819 the first notable social event occurred, the wedding of Mr. B. Flannigan and Miss Polly Cook.

In 1818 the first school was opened and was taught by Miss Jerusha Hosmer. The daily sessions were held in the home of John J. Morton.

In 1819 the first Methodist church was formed and led by Ansel Brainard Jr. Soon afterwards the Baptists and Presbyterians began holding services of their own.

In 1820 the township of Westfield was organized and held their first election of Township officers; Rufus Vaughn, Justice of the Peace; Hanmer Palmer, Wiley Hamilton, and Ansel Brainard Jr., Trustees; George Collier, Clerk; James Ross, Constable.

In September of 1821 Westfield suffered it first death, that of Fanny Beach, the wife of Alvah Beach. She was laid to rest in Friendsville cemetery.

In 1826 Mr. James Fowler decided to found a village at the township center. In this location he first set apart four acres for a public square and then fourteen acres on each side of the square, which were split into lots with sixty-foot frontage.

In 1827 a post office was established at Winston’s Corners (Friendsville and Greenwich), the first postmaster was Joseph Winston. It was given the name Leroy by the Postmaster general. In 1836 the post office was moved to the center and thus the name Leroy went with it.

In 1828 a townhouse was built at the township center and dedicated to all proper public uses.

In 1831 Mr. Halsey Hulbert arrived from Enfield, Connecticut and settled on a farm near the eastern edge of the township (corner of Seville and Hulbert roads). Mr. Hulbert was against slavery and used his home to shelter a few of the fugitive slaves. It is on the National Register of Historic Places for being a stop on the Underground Railroad as well as belonging to the Underground Railroad National Register. It has been noted in many newspapers and publications over the years.

In 1835 a Baptist church was regularly chartered in the township, incorporated by Joshua Bailey, Rufus Freeman, Levi Chapman, William Hulburt, John Mead and some others. Rufus Freeman built his home in 1832 at the corner of what is now Daniels and Seville roads. That home is now owned by his great great grandson Joseph Freeman Hastings and his wife Sandra.

In May 1839 the Universalist Church was organized and met in the old school house.

In 1850 a new group of Methodists organized in Leroy and soon became so large it absorbed the Congregational Church in 1859.

On February 8, 1848 The Ohio Farmers’ Insurance Company was chartered. The first Board of Directors was George Collier, President; and Jonathan Simmons, Asa Farnum, Isaiah Phillips, Isaac Rogers, Isaac Jones, Calvin Chapin. The first secretary of the company was D.B. Austin. Calvin Chapin’s home still stands just west of Seville boundary line on Seville road.

In 1872 the Leroy school district was created. The following year, a new school building was constructed on the south side of the square and was adapted for the uses of a grade school.

In 1957 the Cloverleaf School District was created by combining the five surrounding districts.

In 1971 the Village of Leroy was changed back to Westfield Center by a referendum of the residents.


Road Names from area Families

Garman-Kennard-Buffham-Daniels-Hulbert

While limited we hope that you found this history page of Westfield Township and its founders interesting and informative.