Medina Personalities

Learn about the movers and shakers that have shaped Medina's past and present.

Ormandy's Train & Toy

MEDINA COUNTY has attracted thousands of people since its founding in 1818. Yet, many of them have yet to discover its rich history, a history that centralizes on a location passed by many people every day, the Public Square. Although the square has…

Porter's Shoe Repair

Porter's Shoe Repair on 137 W Liberty Street is a rare jewel of the businesses in Medina's square. Shoe repair is an uncommon trade today, as only about 10,000 exist nationally. This number is also declining; however Porter's is a…

Hershey's Barber Shop

With Medina's massive population growth, there were a lot more people living in Medina. "Hair is always growing," says Don, and with all the new people moving to medina, that means a lot more hair to cut. A barber shop supplier called…

Medina Hardware

The building located at 225 South Court Street has been in operation since 1872 and supplying Medina with hardware since 1879. This building was first built after the fire in 1870 on the square. Its first owner was Lyman Oatman, who named the…

Harrison Gray Blake

Many communities have had someone who was influential. Harrison Gray Blake was one of those influential figures who help shape the growing town of Medina. After surviving a terrible blizzard as a baby, he became the voice of Medina through his…

Parker-Lamb House

721 South Court Street is a noteworthy site in the history of the city of Medina. Paul Parker built the historic Eastlake Victorian home at the site in 1881. Mr. Parker was a prominent citizen of Medina, a man of extraordinary skill and principles.…

Cora Munson House

Cora Munson lived a life characterized by will power, charm, and a little mystery. Her family history started with Lyman Munson Sr., Cora's grand father, and his decision to make the 700 mile trek to Ohio. He came with only 25 cents in his…

A.I. Root's Origins

During a warm spring day in Medina a swarm of bees covered the county. A man walked into a jewelry store on the Medina Public Square and was bet by the young owner of the business a dollar that he couldn't catch the bees. The man took the bet…

C.M Spitzer House

The Spitzer House, located four blocks from the square in Historic Medina County, has a history just as charming as its appearance. At first glance, the nineteenth century Victorian style home may seem to be merely a respectably quaint Bed and…

Malloy-Paisley House

Situated in the heart of the South Court Street Historic Neighborhood District, the Malloy-Paisley Home stands as a testament to Medina's captivating history. From antique shop owners to town mayors, its residents have greatly enriched the…

Albert Munson House

When you're walking around the neighborhood west of the square, it is easy to imagine how the houses used to look a long time ago. They are older homes, but the yards and sidewalks are well-kept. Among the unique houses in the area, one in…

McDowell Phillips House

On a tree-lined side street just west of the square, a large victorian home quietly resides among its smaller neighbors. Most Medinians do not travel down this side street, and the few that do are able to admire the home's beauty and…

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…

Lathrop Cooley Fountain

The drinking fountain on the town square in Medina, Ohio is more than just a momento to a bygone era, but a long lasting reminder of an everlasting movement. It bears the name of one Reverend Lathrop Cooley, preacher in Cleveland and summer resident…

Ella Canavan

On October 9th, 1960, the citizens of Medina gathered in celebration of the beloved Miss Ella Canavan, and the brand new school building that was about to be named after her. She already received a congratulatory letter from President Eisenhower in…

Elsie Bennett Wilson

Elsie Bennett Wilson was born in Medina in 1890. Mrs. Wilson was a huge activist for woman's rights. She believed in equality for all. She played a huge role in our library system. However was never actually a librarian at the Medina County…

Lloyd Bougher

Lloyd was a guy who went all out never did anything halfway. He also did whatever he could to help others, even if he didn't get anything out of it. He was in high school around the time World War 2 began. He was drafted and served in a anti…

Albert Munson

Albert Munson was a man of many talents. He started off as a probate judge of Medina, and later owned a hardware store with his two children. People appreciated his contributions to Medina, but they did not know everything that went on behind…

Harrison Gray Blake

Harrison Gray Blake (1819-1876) lived a much more eventful and left many more memories behind then most. He built the Phoenix Bank the now sits on the beautiful Medina square, he was also a member of Congress and the speaker for the Ohio…

Elmer Zarney

Elmer Zarney played an important role in the community of Medina from the 1950's all the way through the day he passed in 2007. From the age one on he was a part of Medina always living here except for when he was in the Air National Gaurd for…

Franklin Sylvester

The books were passed from storekeeper to store keeper, placed wherever they could fit, and financed by donations. The books of the Medina Library never had an official home, or librarian to take care of them until 1899, when a small building off of…

Dave Weber

In the light of President Nixon's decision to send American troops to Cambodia in 1970, Kent State ignited student- led protests that lasted for days. What started as a peaceful rally in the commons eventually turned into a violent protest with…

The Famous Letterly Saloon

In the late 1800's the movement was roaring in which to bring down all alcohol selling establishments for the prohibition movement. Although the 18th amendment was enacted back in the 1920, people still had the power to get rid of alcohol…

Fremont O. Phillips

Fremont Phillips is a fellow Medina native who was born on the day of March 16, 1856 and died on February 21st, 1936. He served on the 56th United States Congress and he played a pretty big role during the time he served for the United States…

Freda Snyder

Freda Snyder was born in the late 1800’s when Medina was still a town for farming. Freda lived on the family farm in Lodi. Freda, along with her husband, Fred, ran the farmers exchange in Medina together. Freda was responsible for gathering people…

Rufus Ferris

With expansionism starting in the early 1800’s, America became a nation of pioneering and exploration. Ohio developed into a newly sought out place that needed its land surveyed and divided into separate districts due to westward expansion. Being…

Mayor Dennis Hanwell

Mayor Dennis Hanwell is a heroic, key figure of Medina Ohio. He has bundles of leadership qualities that he stretches to the best of his abilities. A unique trait Mayor Hanwell carries is that he is extremely loyal to everyone he meets. He most…

Ida Cannon

The little girl was walking down North Court street, looking for her brother. She walked around, trying to see what is past the cars chugging by, and spotted the Cannon Grocery store instead. She wandered over, looking through the glass to see what…

Eliza Northop

When many people of Medina hear the name Eliza Northrop, the first thing that comes to mind is the Elementary school that was named after her. While miss Northrop lived in the earlier 1800s, she is a very important person in the history of this…

Bostwick

In 1856, it snowed so much that it resulted in 100 days of sledding. Bostwick was a very memorable leader in Medina due to his ability to have everyone gather together for something in the community. This happening has carried on ever since. Events…

Sidney M. Fenn

Sidney M. Fenn, born in 1892 came from a long line of ancestry starting somewhere around the early 1500’s with Johannes Fenn. In a later generation Edward Fenn would immigrate to the colonies in the late 1600’s sparking more generations to come.…

Lyman Oatman

There have been many prosperous families that have lived in grown within the limits of Medina county. One of the few families to be here before 1840 happened to be the Lyman Oatman and his family. Back in those days life was much more simple, while…

Former Mayor of Medina and Lt. Governor John Brown

John Brown and Andrew Carnegie were very much alike when it comes to qualities and techniques that it is necessary to be a successful leader. Former mayor of Medina John Brown has a very interesting story on why he chose politics. He didn't…

Sid Meager

Sidney Meager is one of the guys you never really hear about. Sidney Meager was apart of the 276th Armored Field Artillery Duty. He was what was called the "Forward Observer" at the time. Sidney's duty was to go beyond allied lines…

Letha House

Born in Ontario, Canada, abandoned by her parents, and somehow managing to arrive in Medina, Ohio, Letha E. Brewster was a philanthropic woman of mystery. She was adopted by George and Fannie Morse, and assumed their last name at a young age. She…

Bill Lamb

Upon meeting Bill Lamb the first thing one would notice is his enthusiastic and aspiring personality. All of which are attributes that would make up a great leader for an up and coming city. Lamb was sworn into Mayor of Medina in 1982, at the age…

Joe Reno

Joe Reno better known as “Black Joe” was one of the first African Americans to come to Medina. Joe came to Medina in 1836, working through his childhood as a porter and a barber. In fact he worked in the Old American Hotel. We believe that Joe…

Roscoe Ewing Park

Roscoe Ewing Park was the first frisbee golf park in the state of Ohio at the advent of 1980, three years after the opening of the park. It was the idea of a Californian record frisbee thrower and his father, both close business friends of the…

Lorenzo Vanderhouf - Civil War Hero

The Civil War, the most vicious war fought on American soil, devastated our country, and brought new freedoms that united the nation stronger than ever. Many people all over the states were drafted and fought for the Union. Lorenzo Vanderhoef…

John Rapp

Medina changed when John Rapp moved to town a long time ago. Rapp made history by being the first person from Medina to fight in a foreign conflict. Growing up in Austria in the late 18th century, John grew up in conflict. The Napoleonic Wars…

SGT. Thomas Wayne Blakeslee, Vietnam War

In 1965, the United States officially entered the Vietnam War. American hubris and lack of good judgment defined the war. As a result of this, over 60,000 soldiers lost their lives. Seargent Thomas Wayne Blakeslee of Medina, OH, was one of these…

World War II: Ralph E. Waite

December 7 1941, the American naval fleet was attacked by Japanese air bombers and that would begin the United States involvement in the Second World War. The Nation started to mobilize for war at a time when the economy needed it. Ralph E. Waite of…

Sherry Gifford Martin

Sherry Gifford Martin, a graduate from Medina High School in 1983, after Title IX was passed, was always at the top as an athlete of the Bees. With the passage of Title IX she had opportunities in sports which others before her did not have. She…

Richard Clevidence

The late 1900s, released children from the work world with labor reforms and social reforms in the United States and around the world . Richard Clevidence being one of these children, experienced these days of early school years similar to many…

Elizabeth and Helen Blake-McDowell

The war between the Confederacy (the pro-slavery South), and the Union (the anti-slavery North) would decide the structure of our national government, and whether a nation built on liberty and equal rights could remain the largest slaveholding…

Harold Thoburn Memorial Trail

The Cuyahoga River fire in 1969 sent a wake-up call to the population around Cleveland to start looking out for their environment. Medina's mayor at the time, Bill Lamb (1982-1990), advocated a bill which would beautify Medina over the next…

Fred Greenwood Park

Fred Greenwood Park is a city park south of Medina. The land in South Point Meadows, former farmland, was purchased for utilization as park land. The park was built in 1985 named after Fred Greenwood in recognition of his many contributions to the…

Griesinger House

In the time period of the 1880's, the United States was beginning to take off to greater heights. Immigrants, whose home countries state of government were gaining more power for themselves, began to travel into the United States in order to…

Terrill House: 439 East Liberty Street

Beginning in the mid nineteenth century, William L. Terrill became the proprietor of the American House not to be confused with the American Hotel, another admirable hotel in Medina. This later became an apartment for much of the twentieth century…

David King and His Estate

In the early 1800's Medina looked vastly different than it does today. One glaring difference is the square. Today, 210 South Broadway Street is home to Medina's beautiful public library. But in the 1800's, it was home to something…

The Badger - Cook Home

A warm summer day, there are festivities all along the Square, people are joyfully shouting to one another, children are playing and there is a nice breeze. A bandana flows lazily from a pole stuck in a beech tree stump-Medina's first American…

Austin Badger

It is the late 1700s, and Native American tribes are still very much present in the midwest. The British are also still unhappy with America’s status as an independant nation and in the War of 1812 they will challenge that status once again. And…

Elijah Boardman

During the late 1700's our first president of the United States, George Washington was serving his final terms. Also at this time, George signed the Treaty of Greenville, this ended the Northwest Indian War in the Ohio Country and limited…

Hiram Bronson

On a typical day in Medina, Ohio in 1812, a plethora of town sheep graze along the gently sloped hills. The people of Medina take their daily strolls through Medina square to purchase yarn, dry goods and share the town’s gossip. Conversation…

Howard E. Claggett

Howard E. Claggett had been born on November 27th, 1898, in Newton Ohio. He moved to Medina in 1928, ten years after his discharge from World War One. Mr. Claggett had been a math and science teacher and an assistant principal before his job as…

867 E Smith Road

The land that makes up America today was once a very empty place, when the homes and other facilities did not exist. When Medina county was developed in 1818, the township was a clear example of this bareness. Prominent Medina resident Roscoe Ewing…

The Thomas Miller House

Imagine escaping slavery with two young children and not knowing where to go for safety. Crossing the Ohio River in Cincinnati did not guarantee safety, but finding a whole stretch of safe houses did. As a slave, you would move before the sun rose,…

Seville Giants

Martin Bates and his wife Anna, also known as the Seville Giants, moved to Seville, Ohio in 1873 around the time of the revolt of the common man. Mr. Bates was born a normal sized baby, but around the age of six or seven he was over six foot and 300…

Robert A. Johnson

The Gulf War began in 1990 in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, becoming a concern because they are a major oil supplier to the United States. The invasion also posed a threat of taking over the neighboring nation of Saudi Arabia, another…

Courtney Lawrence: First Fallen From Medina

"No single event in the war has brought the terrible realities of the struggle so closely to home to the people of Medina or stirred their feelings to such depth. The young man is spoken of everywhere as possessing an admirable character and his…

The Graff Legacy

Well known watercolor artist, Mr. Franklin C. Graff, plays a large role in the history of Medina. Graff has painted multiple paintings of Medina’s beauty that it holds, including landmarks like the town’s Gazebo. His paintings are known for…

The Haunting of Mainstreet Cafe

Main Street Cafe… unbenounced to most of those who walk the hallowed ground, the restaurant has been haunted by lost and murdered souls, and with a haunting comes a history. In the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson led the United States through…