East Public Square #72-#93

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Roy Kimmel, age 23, behind the wheel of a Ford Model K automobile in 1909.

#72 South Broadway Street: Durham Home-1843, Castle Home-1845, The Sturgis Home–1873

Benjamin Durham Residence, (1843-1845)

1.  Going back further, before the bricks were even laid, there stood a white, wooden house, the childhood home of Dr. H. Durham, who, remembering Medina fondly around the year 1843, wrote a letter to the Gazette in 1898.

2.  In the letter Dr. Durham wrote to the Gazette, not published until 1939 and which filled an entire page, he spoke of the fond memories he had as a young boy in Medina.

3.  Dr. Durham lived in the white wooden house that Lucius Sturges would later move down to South Court Street, including a peach tree in the backyard of his home and the apple orchard, which used to be between the courthouse and the Sargent's residence.

4.  Dr. H. Durham memories help construct this map of the square, created by the Community Design Committee, which illustrates how Medina looked in 1843.

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Charles Castle Residence, (1845-1872)

1.  Charles Castle, other than being associate judge for some time, also functioned in the politics of Medina, having signed a petition to repeal an act that contributed to the desegregation of Ohio in 1846.

2.  The frame house burned down in Medina's historical fire of 1848 and was rebuilt in the same year.

3.  Charles Castle sold his property to Caroline Sturgis in 1872.

Luscious C. and Caroline Sturgis Residence, (1872-1898)

 Seymour House on Left and Sturgis House on right

Seymour House on Left and Sturgis House on right

1.  Some harbor more than others but one thing's for sure, as the residents of Medina built from the ground up in the late 1800s, the history started to grow as well.

2.  Today, on the south-east corner of the square there stands a brick building which has been there since 1872, when George Gruninger built the brick building where a wooden one once stood for Lucius Cook Sturges.

  In this picture, nine little boys parade around the square, holding a picture of William McKinley. As the year of 1896 started to come to a close, McKinley's 'Front Porch' campaign had been a huge success, bringing the voters to him in his nearby home of Canton, Ohio.     With only 585 people voting in the village of Medina, McKinley won Medina with 441 of the votes being for him.

In this picture, nine little boys parade around the square, holding a picture of William McKinley. As the year of 1896 started to come to a close, McKinley's 'Front Porch' campaign had been a huge success, bringing the voters to him in his nearby home of Canton, Ohio.

With only 585 people voting in the village of Medina, McKinley won Medina with 441 of the votes being for him.

3.  Luscious Sturges and his wife, Caroline, made their economic contribution to Medina as much as one could back then. While Mr. Sturges sold tin and cookware before becoming the county sheriff, he also, along with Mrs. Sturges, worked in the real estate business, often negotiating new shops with the same customers.

4.  After the death of Caroline Sturges in 1896, the building passed between the hands of two doctors

Dr. S. F. Jones, Physician Office and Residence (1898-1913)

1.  The Sturgis family sold the property to Dr. S. F. Jones in 1898.

2   Dr. Jones hired Contractor George Gruninger to add office space to the Greek Revival Sturgis home and a wrap-around porch, fitting for the day.

The outside of the building has never been changed much until the mid-1900s. However, a renovation that may have caught the eyes of a few in 1904 was the addition of electric light bulbs to the house, lighting up Medina as a new hub of industrialism.

 H. H. and Edna Brainard Residence, (1913-1914)

1.  Edna Jones sold the property to Marie and H. H. Brainard in 1913.

Dr. H.P.H. Robinson, Physician Office and Residence, (1914–1944)

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1.  Edna Brainard sold her property to Effie J. Robinson in 1914.

2.  Dr. H. P. H. Robinson attic was transformed into living rooms in 1917.

3.   Dr. H. P. H. Robinson sold his old home in 1944 on Public Square to Glen E. Gensemer who plans to move his undertaking business there.

Gensemer Funeral Home, Glen E. Gensemer, Prop.  (1944–1965)

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1.  By the time the ownership of the house had been passed to the Gensemer’s, the walls had seen two doctors’ offices that also used the building as their residence.

2.  Glen E. Gensemer residence 1945-1952. Glen E. and Felitha Gensemer Funeral Home in 1944.

3.  As the Second World War came to a closed, the use of funeral homes became widespread in America bringing hospitality to an event that was once held in the front room of the home.

4.  The importance of funeral homes and their business was brought out by those who lost their loved ones but wanted to keep them close and cherish them forever.

5.  Also during these times in Medina, economic rivalries between business owners tensed, many entrepreneurs found themselves adding other businesses onto their already existing ventures.

6.  For example, many funeral home directors, such as Glenn Gensemer, would also sell furniture, adding an economic edge.

7.  After the Gensemer's bought the building, they turned it into a funeral parlor with housing upstairs.

8.  After graduating from Medina High and attending college, Richard Gensemer joined his parents in the business.

Gensemer Funeral Home, Richard L. Gensemer, Prop. (1965–1972)

1.  Glenn Gensemer retired from the business and his son Richard assumed the management of the funeral home.

2.  After almost 30 years of service the Gensemer Funeral Home was sold to First Federal Bank of Wooster when the Gensemer's and Waite and Sons merged their businesses in 1971.

3.  However, Mr. Gensemer didn’t lose hold on keeping the building in its original appearance. Through the 1970s as Medina went through modernization, Mr. Gensemer’s willingness to renovate but still uphold the original character led to many other buildings becoming restored to what they once were.

First Federal Savings and Loan Association, (1972–1998)

1.  The addition of the savings and loans bank on the square brought the services offered for 26 years to the people of Medina.

2.  Once First Federal had bought the building, they added a drive thru and took down the large porch put on by Gensemer.

3.  The brick Italianate was restored by 1st Federal in 1986.

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Vacant and under- construction period, (1999–2009)

1.  The Medina County Commissioners acquired the building and lot 72 in 1998.

Medina County Support Enforcement Offices, (2010–2011)

Medina County Prosecutors Offices, Dean Holman, PA, (2011-2016)

1.  In 2011, it is the home of the County's Prosecutor's office and also the annex of the New Courthouse.

Medina County Prosecutors Offices, Forrest Thompson, PA, (2017-Present)

1.  On the east-side there is the working government of Medina County. If this building had been remodeled or taken down the square would be incomplete, this is why it is important that we refrain from taking away the original beauty of Medina.

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#73 South Broadway Street: The Sturgis Home–1873

Guardian Title and Guarantee Agency, (1976-1982)

Richard J. McMannis, Attorney, (1976-1995)

Robert G. Schultz Jr., Attorney, (1976-1981)

Arthur Sheldon, Attorney, (1976-1979)

Ohio Bar Title Insurance, (1976-1978)

Robert J Schreiner, Attorney, (1976-1977)

Donald J Shell, Attorney, (1976-1977) 

Favinger Investigation Inc, Robert Favinger, Prop. (1978-1979)

Eric D. Ritz, Attorney, (1980-1981)

Helms Realty Company, (1981-1989)

Medina Account Collections, (1985-1993)

Amy S. Kaspar, Attorney, (1988-1994)

Buckeye Reserve Title Company, (1988-1990)

Richard A. Myers Jr., Attorney, (1991-1997)

Jose Gonzalez, Attorney, (1992-1992)

Medina Business Services, (1992-1993)

Dunn and Hare Company, LPA, (1996-1999)

David B. Hare, Attorney and Kevin W. Dunn, Attorney

Catholic Commission, (1997-1997)

Stanley A. Shea, Attorney, (1997-1998)

Signal Bank, Medina Office,   (1998-1999)

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 #78 South Broadway Street: Seymour House–c.-1834

1Lathrop Seymour was a leading citizen in the early history of the county. Selected as Director of the County Lands in 1812, it was his responsibility to select the site for the County Seat of Justice and to plot the Village and prepare the lots for sale.

2In 1819, the Director of County Lands, Lathrop Seymour sold the entire land on the east side of Public Square to John Freese. This includes Lots 77, 78, 79, and 80.

3.  For his services as Director of the County Lands, Seymour received certain lots.  One of those lots was Lot 78, which was on the east side of Medina's Public Square

Sargent Family Residence, Stephen and Elizabeth Sargent, (1835–1858)

1.  Lathrop Seymour had the home built in 1834 Medina's Public Square for his daughter and son-in-law Stephen and Elizabeth Sargent. They moved in in 1835.

2.  On Lot 78 is where Seymour built this gracious Federal home with its pediment-gable and hand-carved fan, and this was the home that was to house attorneys, a funeral director and other leading Medina families such as the Ainsworths and Youngs in future years.

Young Family Residence, John B. Young, (1858–1912)

Ainsworth Family Residence, Danford. H. and Clara Ainsworth, (1912–1926)

1.  The J. B. Young home on the East Side of the Public Square is the home of Miss Frances Young and Mrs. D .H. Ainsworth in 1912.

Longacre Funeral Home, Leland Longacre, Prop., (1926–1937)

1.   Like so many early houses in the county, the Seymour House went through a number of changes over the years to accommodate the needs of the owners. An 1870's photograph, taken from the west side of the Square, shows a stately, symmetrical Federal house with its central two-story entrance flanked by two one-story wings. By the time it became Longacre Funeral Home in 1929, the south side of the home had a two-story wing and a wrap- around porch.

2.  The Longacre Funeral Home moved into their new home on West Liberty Street in 1937.

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Vacant Lot, New Princess Theatre was never built. (1938–1940)

1.   In 1937, The old Seymour/Ainsworth house after facing the public square for 104 years has been acquired by Robert Crofoot and the home was moved to the 500 block of North Broadway to made room for the new Princess Theatre on the east side of the Square.

2.  The theatre was never built and the lot remained vacant until 1940 when the Eagles Lodge acquired the lot and began construction of their new building.

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3.  The building now the property of Robert Crofoot was moved Monday and Tuesday, crews of linemen from the Ohio Edison Company and Northern Ohio Telephone Company preceding it removing and raising wires.

4.  The actual work of transportation was speedily and efficiently accomplished in a most modern manner. The house was mounted on wide-wheeled iron trucks and drawn by a motor truck equipped with a winch.

5.  Glen Crofoot, 18, brother of Robert Crofoot who purchased the Seymour/ Ainsworth home on the east-side of the public square and is having it partly dismantled preparatory to having it moved to North Broadway Street, sustained injuries to his back and hips when he fell from the second story of the house Monday morning. He was taken to the Lodi hospital where the severities of the injuries were to be determined by Dr. H.P. R. Robinson, who treated the injured man.

6. Once the Seymour House was on its new location, its appearance was stabilized and there were few exterior changes. With extensive experience in old-house restoration the present owners saved all the original interior elements, the front parlor woodwork with its reverse-cut rosette at the top of each doorway, the corner cupboards, and double-cross doors with their original hardware. They also have a wood carver working on a period newel post and balusters for the front stairs. The huge hand-hewn beams in the basement still hold up the house and indicate its original dimensions. It appears the only thing that is missing is the one-story south wing.

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Medina Fraternal Order of Eagles, (1942--1966)

1.  The organizational meeting of the Fraternal Order of Eagles was held May 3, 1936, with forty-eight members. The first president to be elected was X. L. Hess, with John Moxley as the first vice-president and Pete House as the first secretary. The motivation for founding an Eagle lodge in Medina came from Floyd Pelton after he had attended an Eagle meeting in Akron.

2.  The Medina club rented their first meeting rooms and later bought the W. B. Baldwin property at the corner of Friendship and Elmwood Streets, which now houses the Medina County Historical Society, John Smart House. They purchased the ground for their present site, which is located on the east side of the Public Square, in 1941.

3.  They started the construction of the building at once and dedicated it in March of 1942. The total cost of the building was about $80.000.

4.  Their building contains a commodious lodge room, large enough for dances and parties, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room, and a reading room stocked with current literature. The building is open at all times for the convenience of its members, with ample parking space in the rear.

5.  The Women’s Auxiliary of the Eagles was founded in April, 1945.

6.   In 1940, the Eagles leased vacant lot #78 on the east side Public Square to build the Eagles Aerie Club No.2224, a three story modernistic brick building, with no windows and glass block only and with air conditioning.  They will sell the current home, but retain use until theirs is built. Their new building will have an auditorium that will seat several hundred members.

7.  Eagles Lodge moved to a new building on Lafayette Road in 1966.

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Medina County Commissioners, New Court House Bldg.  (1966–2018)                                                 

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                                          1969 Medina County Probate Court House

 

#79 South Broadway Street: Whitmore House-circa 1851

In 1819 the Director of County Lands, namely Lathrop Seymour sold the entire land on the east side of Public Square to John Freese. This includes Lots 77, 78, 79, and 80.

Whitmore Family Residence, John and Sarah Whitmore, (1851-1870)

1.  Possibly the first family to occupy a house on Lot 79 when it was built in 1851?

Hays Family Residence, Joseph W. Hays, (1870–1899)

Wise Family Residence, Dr. W. D. Wise and Mildred Wise, (1899-1909)

Strong Family Residence, Dr. Roy and Lillian M. Strong, (1909–1966)

1.   Dr. Roy Strong bought Dr. W. D. Wise’s residence next to the Courthouse in 1909.

2.   Dr. Roy Strong died in 1934 and Mrs. Lillian Strong died in 1969.

3.   After the death of Dr. Roy Strong, his wife rented the north wing of the house to various physicians and other businesses.

Dr. R. G. Johnston, Physician Office, (1935–1938)

                   Whitmore House

                 Whitmore House

Vacant, (1939 -1940)

Boyd A. Davenport Insurance Agency, (1941–1945)

Dr. John L. Jones, Physician Office, (1946–1951)

Land Title Guarantee and Trust Co. (1952–1966)

1.   Land Title moved to #101 Princess Block, North Public Square in 1966.

  Aerial Rear View of East-side Public Square - 1957

Aerial Rear View of East-side Public Square - 1957

Lillian M. Strong sold the property to the Medina County Commissioners in 1934, but occupied the home until 1966.

Vacant, under construction, (1967–1968)

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#93 South Broadway Street: New Court House Bldg.-1969

2018 Offices and Occupants

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, COURT ROOM I, Judge Christopher Collier

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, COURT ROOM II, Judge Joyce V. Kimbler

PROBATE COURT Judge Kevin Dunn

CLERK OF COURTS, David B. Wadsworth, Clerk of Courts

   70 Judges of Common Pleas in 200 years

70 Judges of Common Pleas in 200 years

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