Click on a community for more information.
With the exception of various tribes of Native Americans, the Monroeville area was basically uninhabited wilderness until the early 1800’s. At that time, the territory belonged to the State of Connecticut as the Firelands, which was territory set aside for displaced persons from Connecticut due to the fighting of the American Revolutionary War. Each displaced family was given 100 acres of territory in the Firelands to farm and to establish a home.
The first building was built in 1812 by William Frink, which was later sold to Seth Brown. At this time, the Huron River began to facilitate and sustain settlements of the area. In 1816 the first saw mill was built by Mr. Burt, and also constructed was a wheat and corn mill for food. In 1817, Seth Brown and John Sowers platted out the town of Monroe, because Mr. Brown had initially come from the City of Monroe, Michigan. In 1836 this name was changed to Monroeville, because there was already a Monroe, Ohio. By 1860 there were many businesses including a grain elevator, the grist mill, a bank, grocery (general) store, clothing store, drug store, dry goods store, a harness shop, tannery, brewery, five distilleries and 23 saloons. The Village of Monroeville was officially incorporated in 1868.
Other Interesting Facts:
- » The first hotel was built in 1818 at the site of the former Commercial House.
- » Charles Fleischman worked in the brewery here. He discovered a type of yeast that made bread rise faster. He founded the Fleischman Yeast Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- » Mr. John D. Rockefeller borrowed $900,000 from John Harkness, which was one of the initial investments needed for found Standard Oil Company.
- » A cousin of Mr. Harkness, Henry Flager, also borrowed money to build the first railroad along the eastern coast of Florida to Key West.
- » Large areas of Monroeville were ravaged by fire three times in the 1800’s. As a result of these fires, the first fire department was established in 1877.
- » St. Joseph Catholic Church was constructed from 1873 to 1876 for a cost of $26,863.00.
- Maple City
- Tree lined street are a tribute to the City’s founder Platt Benedict who planted maple trees along Main Street in 1830
- Innovation and Entrepreneurs
- Birthplace of “Body by Fisher” of GM fame
- AB Chase Pianos
- Henry Bennett, colleague to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford
- Home of Norwalk Custom Order Furniture and Fair Publishing both 100+ years old
Former headquarters of the Plymouth Locomotive Works, builder of industrial railroad locomotives. The factory closed in 1999.
In the early part of the 20th century the company designed and built an automobile named Plymouth, but it was not massed produced. Trucks and tractors produced by Commercial Motor Truck Company under the Plymouth name were produced in the early 20th century.
Chrysler Motors developed the Plymouth Automobile division, and thought the Ohio company had infringed on their name. A court battle ensued over the ownership of the name Plymouth, which Chrysler lost when it was determined that the original Plymouth car preceded Chrysler’s by several years.
During the Depression, the Plymouth Locomotive plant designed and built the famous Silver King (originally the Plymouth) tractor, a somewhat maligned favorite of local farmers and known for its fast road gear. The tractors were produced until the 1950’s when the company was sold to Mountain State Engineering in West Virginia and the discontinued. The village hosts the annual Silver King Festival during the first week of August when restored Silver King tractors from around the world are displayed.
The east / west main streets in Plymouth is known as East Main and West Broadway and in the surrounding unincorporated areas is known as Base Line Road, as it divides Huron and Richland counties. The village has dual political geographies.
Notable Natives and Residents:
- » David Ross Locke, American Civil War journalist and early political commentator
- » Eleanor Searle Whitney McCollum, Founder of the Heritage Center Museum and Searle House Bed and Breakfast, as a memorial to her mother and father. Spouse of Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney
- » John M. C. Smith, Michigan U.S. Representative
Located in the southwest corner of Huron County, the City of Willard was originally called Chicago Junction when it was incorporated in 1882. The railroad played an important role in the development of the community, which is exemplified by the renaming of the town in 1917 in honor of Daniel Willard, President of then Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Willard is also known as the City of Blossoms. Having obtained the designation of Tree City USA since 1981, our city streets are lined with flowering trees of all types.
Other Interesting Facts:
- » The City is approximately 4 square miles with 7,000 residents
- » Six industries provide over 3,500 jobs include RR Donnelley, CSX Transportation Systems, Midwest Industries, Inc., Pepperidge Farm, G’Mani Crust and Guardian Manufacturing.
- » The surrounding area is primarily farmland, with crops ranging from radishes and onions, to corn, wheat and soybeans.