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Wellington Fire District
Lorain County Sheriff
State of Ohio
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Penfield Township History
Founded in 1820 by Peter Penfield and Calvin Spencer, both
from the state of New York,
the township today has 25 Square miles containing 14,080 acres. 60% of
the usable land is devoted to Agriculture (mostly row crops) while 30%
contains woodland and 10% is rural residential.
Township 3, Range 17, became by the original drawing, the
property of Caleb Atwater who paid the Connecticut Land Company 25 cents an
acre or about $4,000. He deeded the land to his six daughters in equal
section that were put on the market when the original settlers came.
In 1818, Peter Penfield and Calvin Spencer came from eastern New York and found the
land suitable for settling. In the fall of the following year, Penfield
returned with his son, Alonson and selected land.
The 1820 census reveals one family of two persons, that of Alonson Penfield. The following year, Peter and his
nephew, Lathrop Penfield, returned. They had to cut their way through the
woods that was a wilderness that stretched from Elyria to Harrisville (Lodi) and from Medina to Wellington. For 30 days they cleared the
forest to open the road to Butternut
Ridge Road, with no remuneration. Excerpts from
the book Penfield then and
The first election was held in April 1825 with Truman
Penfield as Clerk. The first mail was delivered by foot and deposited in a
hollow tree at the river crossing (thought to be Indian Hollow and Rt. 18).
This was the first post office in the Township. The first road was known as
the River Road,
going from Spencer and Homer, known as Foster Road. Friendly Wyandot Indians
lived in the Township and disappeared 10-12 years after the settlers came.
Early business conducted in the Township included:
Putting in a plank sidewalk two miles east and west and one
mile north and south of the center.
Buying the Baptist
Church in 1910,
blacksmith shop, and store. The church was later named the Society Hall (torn
down in 2004).
Setting aside a parcel of land at the intersection “for a
resting place for the weary traveler.”
Putting a $30,000 bond issue on the ballot for roads in 1913.
Results were a vote of 128 yes, two no. In 1917, slag was put on the west
center road from Penfield to the town line. In 1919, a new road was put
in made of slag east of center to met Litchfield. In 1925, Peck Wadsworth Road was cindered for
one mile from North Center
Street. In 1926, the Jones-Sooy Road
was cindered. In 1927, Webster
Road was cindered jointly with LaGrange Township.
In 1934, Smith Road
slag was shared by Penfield
Township, Spencer Township, Lorain County,
and Medina County. The 1913 bond issue is the
only time on record that the Township Trustees asked for money for the
township. The small park at the intersection was taken over by the State of Ohio in the 1930s.
Rest rooms, picnic tables, grills, and a swing set were installed. In the
early 1990s, it was abandoned by the State of Ohio and the Township took over the
The Izaak Walton League received
rezoning to have their club grounds on Foster Road. In 1980, the Trustees
purchased 9.34 acres
for the Recreation
Park for $42,000. An
off shore drilling grant for development of the park was received in the
amount of $170,911. Several other grants were received ranging from $100 to
$3,000. Another ODNR grant was received later to purchase and
additional two acres next to the park.
In 1992, a
Solid Waste grant of $5,000 was received from the County. Another grant of
$67,800 was received from the same source for the erection of a recycling
building which was a matching funds grant. Another grant from ODNR in the
amount of $30,008 would serve as the match and be used for recycling equipment
and recycled plastic picnic tables and benches. The building was opened on May 26, 1993 with Earth
In 1995, 15.9
acres of land adjoining the park were purchased for
$4,200 an acre. A $10,000 Solid Waste grant paid for a climbing toy in the
small park and the Betterway Corp. gave $8,766 for
a gravel drive to the back field. In 1997, the Sheriff’s Department opened
the Southern satellite station in Penfield in a corner of the recycling
building. A $1,000 grant bought a new sign for the small park,
Grafton Prison Farm inmates painted, puttied, and made general improvements
in the Township for only the cost of materials. A
$18,401 State grant was obtained to repair a wash out by the river on Short Road. In
1998, two electric scoreboards were donated to the park by the Pepsi Company.
1999 brought a $6,115 grant from the Stocker Foundation for
playground equipment in the small park, $3,910 from Solid Waste for mulch in
the playground, and $1,000 to install a sidewalk to the comfort station at the
small park. An 18-acre parcel was added to the Recreation Park.
In 2000, the Township began participating in “Pride Day.”
This is an annual clean up day, where participating entities are furnished
dumpsters, paint, mulch, etc. by the County at no cost. Jean Eglin has
chaired both Earth Day and Pride Day since they began. A $10,000 “Buy
Recycled” grant put protective material under playground equipment. In 2001,
tile made of tires was bought with a “Buy Recycled” grant and placed under
the swings in the park.
With renovation of the small hall underway, a $10,000 grant
was received from Solid Waste to help defray costs. The People to People
grant fund paid $500 toward a new roof on the cemetery building with the Nord
Foundation Grant paying the balance.
Another “Buy Recycled” grant paid $7,500 toward the parking
lot at the halls in 2004.
a cinder bin was erected at a cost of $8,741. A man
was buried in Penfield and he left $10,000 to the Township for cemetery uses.
All four of the Officers were awarded recognition by the
National Association of Townships and Towns. Fiscal Officer, Eleanor Gnandt received $5,000 and was recognized by the House of
Representatives and the Auditor of State for her ability to get grants.
Thomas Younglas also received $5,000 and Richard
Conrad $1,000. The money was used for Township purposes. No money was given
but only one person was chosen nationally and that honor was bestowed upon
Trustee Lloyd Gordon. All four awards were based on outstanding contributions
to the Township beyond the normal duties.