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Wooster Digital History Project

Tracking the Growth of Wooster

Wooster evolved from a provincial frontier settlement to a prominent micropolitan area and experienced a considerable population increase. By 1887, farmers cultivated over 200,000 acres of farmland and schools expanded rapidly with over 13,000 students and over 300 teachers. In both 1840 and 1880, Wooster’s population was higher than the neighboring towns of Sugar Creek and Salt Creek, solidifying Wooster’s position as one of the largest in the county.2  Most of the county’s residents came from countries such as Ireland, France, and England or other states such as New York and Pennsylvania. The wealthiest citizens of Wooster built stately brick houses, but most of the townspeople lived in two-room log cabins.3

1 Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Ohio (Norwalk, OH: The Laning Printing Co., 1896), vol. 2, 830.
2 Ibid.
3 Martin Welker, Farm Life in Central Ohio Sixty Years Ago (Wooster, OH: Clapper’s Print, 1892), 17.