Summit County Historical Society

Summit County Historical Society Learn about local history, events and programs by following the Summit County Historical Society of Akron, OH.

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If your birthday is September 7th, you share it with two musicians and a supermodel.Thank you to Society volunteer Al Mc...

If your birthday is September 7th, you share it with two musicians and a supermodel.

Thank you to Society volunteer Al McCaulley for researching and writing this post.

Happy birthday in chronological order: H. Evan Williams, Chrissie Hynde and Angie Everhart!

Henry Evan Williams was born in the Warren area on September 7, 1867. Some sources give his birthday as September 17. His parents David and Gwendolyn were both natives of Wales. His mother died when he was a child, and H. Evans was reared by an aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Davis in the Thomastown area close to Triplett Boulevard.

While still a youth, H. Evan worked in coal mines in the Akron area. The quality of his voice was discovered when he was singing in a local church choir. H. Evan’s sweet voice gradually attracted more and more attention and prominent people in the Akron area aided him in gaining a musical education, first in Cleveland and later in New York City. Serving his apprenticeship as a young singer, H. Evan traveled for a season with various groups as a featured soloist and then returned to New York City.

By 1894, Evan Williams was performing in London and began dividing his career between performances in the United Kingdom and in the United States. In 1903, Williams went to England for a concert tour and also to appear in a command performance before royalty. On a later trip to England, about 1906, he signed a contract with Grammaphone, the British arm of Victor Talking Machine Co., and later became a Victor Red Seal artist.

Williams made more than 80 recordings for Victor. Record sales got to $36,000 a year plus his concerts were paying him $15,000 a year (over a million dollars today). In 1907, he returned to the United States for the rest of his recording career.

There was a slow time in concert work later that year so Williams began to teach voice lessons. Among his pupils were Mrs. F.A. (Gertrude) Seiberling, Fred Work, Steve and Adeline Eichelberger, Mrs. Nathan (Anna) Berk and Mrs. N.O. (Adelaide) Mather, all outstanding artists. He also organized and directed a mixed chorus for the Tuesday Musical Club that won several first prizes in competitive singing.

H. Evan Williams married Margaret Jane Morgan on October 18, 1887. His success enabled them to build a home at 107 Mayfield Ave. At that time the average house size was 1000 square feet. Their home was quite a bit larger at 6750 square feet. The great thing is that it is still standing. Upon Evan’s death, Mrs. Williams had built a smaller house (3100 square feet) on an adjoining lot where she eventually lived.

H. Evan Williams died May 24, 1918 from blood poisoning caused by a boil. He is buried in East Akron Cemetery. Mrs. Williams died in 1944.

Chrissie Hynde was born on September 7, 1951. A high school graduate of Firestone High School, Chrissie currently lives in England. Over the years, she has lived in a number of U.S. states and other countries, such as, Mexico and France.

Although her career and travels have taken her from Akron, Chrissie’s presence remains. Even while she was away, Hynde kept connected to her hometown. Many of you may remember her amazing vegan restaurant, VegiTerranean. It’s hard to believe that the establishment has been closed for 9 years! Chrissie also has shown up on the Akron Civic stage for anniversary events.

Chrissie Hynde was recently interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine. Click here to check out the July 2020 article -

Angela Kay Everhart was born on September 7, 1969. Like Hynde, she attended Firestone High School but her modeling career had started before graduation.

As Angie has shared, "My mother took my picture to a model agency and the rest is history."

While rooming with Christy Turligton at Eileen Ford's house, the co-founder of Ford Models, Angie was told that "Redheads don't sell!" Her response, “Don’t tell me that I can’t do something.” must have stunned her host.

Angie became the first redhead to be featured on the cover of Glamour Magazine helping to sell the most copies in 1993 and also the Sports Illustrated swim suit issue.

She has transitioned from supermodel to actress while being a single mom and surviving thyroid cancer. Today, she remains active in her movie and t.v. career and helping others work ing to beat cancer.

If your birthday is September 6th, you share it with Akron's first mayor.Thank you to Society volunteer Al McCaulley for...

If your birthday is September 6th, you share it with Akron's first mayor.

Thank you to Society volunteer Al McCaulley for researching and writing this post.

Seth Iredell, the first Mayor of the city of Akron, was born in Philadelphia, PA on September 6, 1773. Some sources say he was born in 1774. He was one of 17 children of Robert and Hannah Iredell.

During the 1790s, Iredell was located in Lower Milford, PA. In the early 1800s, he moved to Milton, PA where Iredell became one of the founders of the Northumberland Union & Columbia Bank. He was the president of that bank until November 15, 1819.

Iredell left Milton in late 1819 and moved to Middlebury, Ohio, where he became engaged in general merchandising and industrial enterprises. Some of these endeavors included Dr. Eliakim Crosby as his partner.

On March 12, 1836, the Ohio State Legislator granted North Akron, Ohio, population 682, and South Akron, population 661, a single town charter. The first election for mayor was held in June of 1836. The running mates were Seth Iredell and Dr. Eliakim Crosby. Dr. Crosby was thought to be an honest man as he was a medical doctor. Seth Iredell was known for helping newcomers to the area and made sure that families who were low on cash were taken care of too.

Iredell made many loans to help people. Upon his election, Iredelle served one year as mayor and then returned to running his small store. During his administration, Akron bought its first fire engine. The down payment was $6.36.

Seth Iredell married Mary Cadwalleder on March 17, 1795. Mary Iredell died on March 17, 1839 at the age of 64 during his tenure as mayor. Seth Iredell then married Elizabeth “Betsey” Davidson on September 18, 1839 and she died November 30, 1840. Iredell was married for the third time to Mary Irwin on March 4, 1841.

Seth Iredell died March 22, 1854 and he and all of his wives are buried at Glendale Cemetery.

Reminder - the last scheduled hike up to the John Brown Monument starting at the Akron Zoo parking lot will occur tomorr...

Reminder - the last scheduled hike up to the John Brown Monument starting at the Akron Zoo parking lot will occur tomorrow, Saturday, September 5th at 10 a.m.

Dave Lieberth, Society director and local historian, will share the life of John Brown prior to the hike up the hill.

Doug Piekarz, Akron Zoo president & CEO, and Leianne Neff Heppner, Society president & CEO, will then lead attendees to the monument.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

Please note that the hike up to the monument is on uneven ground at an incline. Wear appropriate footwear. Rain or shine event.

If your birthday is September 3, you share it with Scotty Bierce.Thank you to Society volunteer Al McCaulley for researc...

If your birthday is September 3, you share it with Scotty Bierce.

Thank you to Society volunteer Al McCaulley for researching and writing today's post.

Bruce W. “Scotty” Bierce was born September 3, 1896 in Kearney, Nebraska. He was the son of Wallace C. and Mollie Bierce.

He is a descendant of one of the oldest families of Summit County. By 1950, the Bierce family had lived in Tallmadge for over 100 years. His great uncle, General Lucius V. Bierce, gave his private library to Buchtel College (now the University of Akron). General Bierce also gave to the city of Akron the site on Market Street that was once used by the Akron Art Institute.

Scotty graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1915, from the University of Akron in 1920, and then from Western Reserve Law School in 1921.

For the next three years Bierce played semi-pro and pro football. He played for the Akron Pros, Cleveland Indians, Buffalo All Stars and Cleveland Buffalo teams in the NFL.

Bierce practiced law with the firm of Brouse, McDowell, May, Bierce and Wortman starting in 1925. He held membership in the Akron Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, Kiwanis Club, Akron City Club and the Akron, Ohio and American bar associations.

Scotty Bierce first married to Gylde Brown and they had two children James and July. His second wife was Ruth Stauffer whom he married on December 13, 1950.

Mr. Bierce died April 26, 1982. Upon his death, Scotty's will set aside a contribution to establish an athletic scholarship fund in his name at the University of Akron.

Scotty and Ruth Bierce are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyahoga Falls.

Scott Bierce was inducted into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame in 1957 and the University of Akron Hall of Fame in 1975.

If you're birthday is August 27, you share it with a man whose last name is connected to great food on the Portage Lakes...

If you're birthday is August 27, you share it with a man whose last name is connected to great food on the Portage Lakes.

Thank you to Society volunteer Al McCaulley for researching and writing this post.

Lewis Young was born in Coventry Township on August 27, 1858. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Young.

The family home, built of logs, was located close to the Ohio & Erie Canal. His father turned part of the building into a tavern where drinks could be served to canal boatman or passengers on the canal packet boats. Food was served free with the drinks.

In February 1882, shortly after he was married, Lewis bought his father’s business, tore down the old log cabin and tavern, and erected a frame building. His wife, Emma, started making the free lunches that included fish caught in the lake that was freshly fried. A little later she started serving complete meals and charged 25 cents for all a person could eat.

When a trolley line was extended to Barberton from Akron in 1895, Lewis Young met guests at the tracks in Kenmore and drove them to his inn in a horse and buggy. When the first automobiles came in, he bought a large touring car and used it for meeting guests. Later many guests came to the inn from Summit Beach on excursion launches. The fame of Young’s meals gradually spread and in 1905 a large hotel was built to accommodate his guests.

The building burned down in 1907 and was rebuilt in 1908. The restaurant finally closed in 2004 and was razed in 2010.

Lewis and Emma retired during the 1920’s and their children took over. They had three children - Harry, Estella and Myrtle.

Emma Young died in 1926 and Lewis Young died July 25, 1936.

Share your favorite Young's Hotel meal or story!

We’re thankful for the amazing border collies who herd sheep on Mutton Hill!Quinn, Rudy, Luke, Lincoln and OwenIn honor ...

We’re thankful for the amazing border collies who herd sheep on Mutton Hill!

Quinn, Rudy, Luke, Lincoln and Owen

In honor of National Dog Day 2020

Women's Equality Day - August 26Last week, our nation celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving U.S....

Women's Equality Day - August 26

Last week, our nation celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving U.S. citizens the right to vote regardless of sex. As was mentioned in our previous post, not all women were given the right to vote due to race restrictions and land designations for sovereign nations barring Native American women from voting.

Women's Equality Day commemorates the certification of the 19th amendment. The Joint Resolution of its designation by Congress is at the end of this post.

Akron and Summit County residents have made an impact! Together, we can continue to reach the goal of equality!

Here are a few historical highlights:

1851 - Sojourner Truth speaks at the Ohio Women's Convention in the Old Stone Church (Universalist) on High Street giving a speech known as "Ain't I a Woman?" calling for women's rights.

1890 - Mary Rawson Perkins, working with her daughter, Mary Perkins Raymond, founded the Akron Day Nursery to care for the children of women who entered the growing industrial workforce. When her husband, Col. George Tod Perkins gave funding for the organization's first building, it was named for their granddaughter, Mary Perkins Raymond (Yule) and became the Mary Day Nursery. You know it today as Akron Children’s Hospital.

1893 - Susie Chamberlain was the first graduate of Buchtel College.

1895 - Frances DeWolf Allen was the first woman elected to the local school board.

1898 - Mary Gladwin served as a nurse in the Spanish American War and then assisted in three more wars. She helped found the Red Cross chapter in Summit County. The University of Akron School of Nursing building bears her name,

1924 - Mary Paul is the first woman elected recorder in Summit County.

1961 - Ann Lane Gates was the first black woman hired as a high school teacher in Akron and served on numerous other boards, often as the first black woman to do so.

1967 - Janet Purnell led the University of Akron alumni to successfully lobby for an anti-segregation policy on campus. In 1982, Mrs. Purnell became the first woman and first African American woman director of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority.

1977 - Helen E. Arnold is the first African American woman elected to the Akron School Board.

1984 - Dorothy Jackson was the first African American Woman appointed to the Mayor's Cabinet by Akron Mayor Tom Sawyer.

1984 - Judith Resnik, was the second American woman and the first Jewish woman in space as a NASA astronaut. She died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff on January 28,1986.

2009 - President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. Ms. Liedbetter was discriminated by her Akron employer and paid less than a male employee in a similar position. This act allows those with pay discrimination to seek rectification under the federal anti-discrimination laws.

2009 - Sandra Kurt was the first openly gay elected official in Akron when she won a seat on Akron City Council.

2016 - Marilyn Keith was the first woman to hold the position of Akron City Council president.

2016 - Ilene Shapiro was the first appointed county executive in Ohio. Later that year, Summit County Executive Shapiro became the first woman elected to the position of leadership.

2018 - Margo Sommerville becomes the first African American woman to lead Akron City Council as president.

And, there are so many more!

Thank you to Kitty Endes, Ph.D. for her tireless work documenting and telling the stories of local women who have made an impact here, at the state level and nationally. Learn more by visiting the blog she developed for the Women's History Project of the Akron Area (now a program of the Society) -

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971 Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States;

and WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex;

and WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights;

and WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

Happy belated birthday to Margaret Barnhart! Today, August 26 is Women’s Equality Day for 2020.If you celebrated August ...

Happy belated birthday to Margaret Barnhart! Today, August 26 is Women’s Equality Day for 2020.

If you celebrated August 25th as your birthday, you shared it with a unique woman in Akron who had a heart of gold helping the children of this city.

Thank you to Society volunteer Al McCaulley for researching this post.

Margaret Chapman Barnhart was born on August 25, 1874 in Holmes County. She was one of Akron’s most active civic workers.

Margaret Chapman married J. F. Barnhart in 1863 and came to Akron in 1868. She firmly believed that supervised playgrounds would help eliminate juvenile delinquency and took the lead in having them established in Akron.

Mrs. Barnhart helped secure Grace House for the Y.W.C.A., the Children’s Home and Juvenile Court. Margaret Park and Margaret Park School were named in her honor and a bronze plaque commemorating her work was placed in Perkins Park.

Margaret Chapman Barnhart died March 18, 1913. She had gall bladder surgery that was not successful. Besides her husband, their 18 year old son Alfred mourned his amazing mother.


550 Copley Rd
Akron, OH

General information

The Summit County Historical Society manages and maintains the Perkins Stone Mansion, The John Brown House, and the Old Stone School. The Perkins Stone Mansion and John Brown House are available for tours beginning April 4, 2018, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. The Old Stone School on Broadway is a joint education venture with Akron Public Schools.


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About the Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio

Founded in 1924, the mission of Summit County Historical Society, a 501(c)3 corporation, is to preserve and interpret the history of Summit County and Akron, and to educate regional communities about the people and events that have shaped our rich history. The Society owns and manages several properties including the Perkins Stone Mansion, home of Akron's founding family; John Brown House, home of the internationally recognized abolitionist; and Old Stone School in downtown Akron - a partnership with Akron Public Schools. Two of the properties are open to visitors, the John Brown Home and the Perkins Stone Mansion.

Tours of the Perkins Stone Mansion and John Brown House are available Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00pm, April 4 through December 22, 2018. The sheep will return to graze at Mutton Hill on May 12, 2018.

Our extensive collection of photographs and historic documents is housed at the Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Some documents from our collection are available for viewing online at the Summit Memory Project. To view pieces from our archival collection please contact the Special Collections Division at [email protected] or 330-643-9030.

The Women's History Project of the Akron Area is now a program of Summit County Historical Society.

More information can be found at

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The Summit County Historical Society is working on its first all women's concert for August 1. We're interested in your input!
I recovered 2 scrap books appears it might be from the same person. Can't find any identifying information on the owner, but there is loads and loads of Akron history in them specifically from people she knew that all may have attended the Zion Lutheran Church from the 30s into front page articles of D Day and the whose who getting married in Akron, beautiful photos of the brides and the newly engaged. One photo of Crouse students in 1927. Article and photo of a 14 yr old girl who ran away to Hollywood and eventually returned home, and an article about a Soldier who was killed as well as many other articles. I would love to get it into the hands of either your society or the special collections at the library, someone who will digitally document this stuff for public view. There are family names and church programs and what appears to be some beautiful prints from magazines. Unfortunately they are all glued down. I am with the Norton Historical Society and run their FB page and this is the kind of thing I would love to get my hands on and run copies of it on our page. These would be treasures for local families to see and have copies of. How can I get them into the right hands that won't just put it in a drawer?
Local PBS stations showed Woodstock: 3 days that defined a generation last night. But if you want a taste of the real thing, join the Summit County Historical Society's celebration of Woodstock's 50th anniversary on Friday, Aug. 16, for an adults-only evening of peace, music and John Brown brownies. Bring a chair, a blanket and some love beads. We'll bring the music. For tickets, go to
Join us Friday, Aug. 16 for an evening of peace, music and John Brown brownies, as the Summit County Historical Society celebrates the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Dig out your tie-dyed t-shirts and protest buttons because the Society knows how to party!
Can anyone give me some information on these items or point me in the direction of someone who can? One is of the Ohio village dispatch newspaper, we found tucked underneath a dresser drawer of ours and the other is of a coin that turned up randomly in our change Jar. We have searched Google far and wide on the newspaper and havent found anything so any information is much appreciated! TIA * please delete if not allowed.