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Wooster Digital History Project

Yesterday's Farming: Early Agriculture in Wayne County

by Elisabeth Abell, revised by Shelley Grostefon

Since settlers from Pennsylvania first organized Wooster in 1808, agriculture has been a critical part of the town's economy. The first settlers of Wayne County were farmers who found accessible and fertile land in central Ohio. Throughout the nineteenth century, new settlers arrived, building homes and growing their own food to survive, though farming greatly evolved in these years. Farmers successfully adapted to new technology and techniques while maintaining a variety of crops growing in their land. By 1900, their ancestors had created a farming community that was more diverse and modern than the community of the 1820s, but agriculture was still central to the economy. Even today, Wayne County continues to lead the state in production of a variety of crops and small farms remain an important facet of the economy.