Oatman House

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

Images

Oatman's Hardware

Oatman's Hardware

The outside photo of the Oatman Hardware Store taken sometime after 1870. The original store front is not well known or documented because in 1870 Medina suffered from the big fire that burned down most of the town, at that time the original Oatman Hardware store was lost and then later rebuilt. This building is still standing to this day and is now known as Medina Hardware owned by the same family who bought it from the Oatman's. Picture courtesy of Medina Historical Society View File Details Page

Oatman House Exterior

Oatman House Exterior

The Oatman family built a house near their area of operations in the square. They were prosperous business owners that had the capability of affording more architectural enhancements in the era than the typical family. It made sense to walk to work or ride a horse the short distance to their businesses day to day. Picture courtesy of Tanner Winters View File Details Page

Medina's First Bathtub

Medina's First Bathtub

Originally there were not any bathrooms in the house but only an outhouse; after the house was built they decided to add a bathroom to the second floor. The bath tub was placed inside the home in the early 1930s when pluming was an up and coming thought. It is thought and believed to be the very first bath tub in the county, this is of great significance because it was one of the original inventions that brought pluming and running water to the small town of Medina. Picture courtesy of Tanner Winters View File Details Page

Hardware Store Interior

Hardware Store Interior

The Oatman's Hardware Store. Orlin Oatman opened the hardware store in 1872 right next to the meat market that he, his brother, and his father opened. Following the fire on the Square, the Oatmans were forced to rebuild their businesses. Oatman's Hardware and the meat market were two of the largest businesses in the small town. The importance of the stores made Orlin Oatman one of the most influential men around town. Picture courtesy of Medina Historical Society View File Details Page

Meat Market

Meat Market

The original meat market was built at a different place but after the fire of 1870 they moved it to its now standing place. They built the now standing Meat Market in 1872, his father Lyman, was the original owner of the Butcher Shop, Orlin and his brother Simeon went into a Meat Delivery business through the butcher shop's foundation. The meat business was one of the few in the city and Orlin was one of the early leaders of the community. Picture courtesy of Medina Historical Society View File Details Page

Audio

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 View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tanner Winters, Sean Neidig, Nick Tomasheski, “Oatman House,” Discover Medina, accessed April 26, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/39.
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