The passions that echo within our fine town's past can be found within the walls of 607 South Court Street, and furthermore in the life of Orlin Oatman and his family. If there ever was a model for the concept of the Medina family - with all of its trials and triumphs - the Oatman Family is the closest to reality for the notion. The son of Lyman Oatman and Sallie Bean, it was hard be prominent with a large family and seven siblings. In the early 1860s, the young Orlin Oatman and brother Simeon established a Meat Packing Business on the square, and later the Oatmans made added hardware store somewhere in the vicinity. But sadly, no local lives remained unaffected by the 1870 Medina Fire. The collective works of Orlin and his siblings went to ashes just as much as everyone else's efforts in the youthful endeavors of Medina, Ohio.

After the Medina Fire of 1870 the meat business and hardware store came together side by side at 225 and 229 South Court Street, in that time the road was known as Wooster Pike. Although it is not very significant in modern times, it was one of the most essential roads in Ohio's history. Wooster Pike was the only road that connected Cleveland to Columbus, and in turn to Cincinnati. This spot on the Wooster Pike made it possible for business' in Medina to prosper: for those with a need for a stopping place on a 3 day trip down to Columbus, Medina was the picture-perfect spot after the first day. The plethora of travelers in need of food, supplies, and to possibly repair their wagons or automobiles had their desires met at the Oatman's Meat Packing and Business stores. The chances and conditions presented by the road system made it more likely that Oatman Stores would have customers.

The Oatman Brothers Orlin and Simeon soon became business leaders in Medina, resulting in Orlin building his house around 1900. Orlin Oatman achieved the American aspiration of security and peace of mind in his daily life, overcoming the struggles of nature and the willingness to find satisfaction in failure. 607 South Court is a testament to an individual who knew what he wanted and denied any obstacle the chance to destroy his legacy entirely. His house will stand timeless and ageless against the waves of change in society.

'He had a keen interest in local history, and he was very considerable of what might be termed Civic Pride, which did him large credit. He always stood for what he believed would advance his hometown's best material interests and make it a bigger and better business and hometown.'
Orlin Oatman's Obituary



Ellen Nolan on Orlin Oatman
Ellen Nolan, one of the current residents of 607 South Court Street, reads an excerpt from Oatman's obituary in the Gazette
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