History of Greentown
Excerpt from "History of Stark County, Volume I", by Herbert T.O. Blue
Greentown was laid out in February, 1816, by Henry Wise and Peter Dickerhoof, owners and proprietors. A total of sixty-four lots were laid out, thirty two of which were on the land of each proprietor. The lots were laid off from the northeast and the southeast quarters of section 30, township 12, range 8. In accordance with a peculiar idea of the owners, the village was unusually and peculiarly laid out. Each square was divided by two diagonal alleys, and at the four corners of the central square were four small open parks, or squares, the one at the northwest being called Jones' Square, the one at the northeast, Burrow's Square, the one at the southeast, Blakely's Square, and the one at the southwest, Allen's Square. Mr. Wise owned the northern half of the village, and Mr. Dickerhoof the southern half. Both men, in after years, did a great deal to build up the village.
It is said that James McNabb built the first house in the village. It is thought that this building was erected immediately after the village was laid out. Other buildings were soon erected, and ere long, several families were found residing in what may be called ancient Greentown. It is probable that a man named Goodwill opened the first store in the village. The date is not given, although it was not far from 1820; he did not own over $200 worth of goods. Hiram Myers, who succeeded him, had a very good store, and made some money, devoting most of his time to this pursuit.
Other merchants have been: Ephraim Ball, G. &; M. Wise, W.J. Lininger, Henry Nunamaker, Wylie,
Smith & Co., Henry Clemmer, Isaac Hunsberger, Thomas Gorgas, Pollock & Hayes, J.H. Wise & Co., Henry Shanafelt, Young & Stine, Feather & Glassor, Willis & Baugh, H. Shanafelt & Co., Peters & Shafer, France & Bair, S.S. Bumberger, O.P. Shanafelt, Shanafelt & Shafer and Isaac Hall.
Some of the business men in Greentown in the year 1870 were as follows:
J.E. Dougherty, Physician and Surgeon, McDonough Street; L.E. Smith, Justice of the Peace; O.P. Shanafelt, Merchant and postmaster, corner Jackson and McDonough streets; Jacob Souders, General blacksmith and manufacturer of carriages, wagons, sleighs, etc., on Brown Street; I. Acker, Steam sawmill; Wise & Acker Co., Foundry; S.C. Shriner, Shoe shop; H. Shanafelt, General store; and Housely Wise & Co., Steam Grist Mill, one half mile west of Greentown.
Other prominent residents of Greentown were as follows: Michael Wise, Joseph Miller, J. Shanafelt, D. Reifschneider, C. Kryder, P. Shanafelt, P. Dearolf, J. Peters, J. Haak, A. Miller, Joseph Moore, D. Steinhaver, W. Wise, C. Kissinger, T. Gorgas, J. Acker, H. Strahl, M. Eber, J. Weary, S. Bitterman, G. Heffner, R. McPike, J. Getz, W. Alspach, M.W. Shaffer, C. Hossler, G. Kreighbaum, H. Stiner, J. Baugh, G. Getz, A.H. Cole, B.E. Brayer, Mrs. Raber, Mrs. Lichty, Mrs. Cooper.
The village also had its industries for about twenty years from 1840, and for more than a decade it was quite a center for the manufacture of agricultural implements. It was at Greentown that E. Ball commenced the manufacture of the Hussey reaper, and the small industry which was moved to Canton in 1851 was the basis of the immense plant which was founded and developed at Canton by Mr. Ball and Cornelius Aultman. Although considerable mining of coal has been done near the village, and may be accounted as one of its earlier industries, the transfer of the Ball-Aultman Works to Canton retarded the growth of the village.
Among the physicians at the village have been Stough, Ogden, Parliman, Dolwick, Chittenden, Ashman, Jones, Stephens, Bomberger, Belding, J.E. Dougherty and his son, L.E. Dougherty.
Among the tavern-keepers have been William Rupp, Mr. Roberts, G.H. Wise, Henry Shanafelt, Sr., Peter Shanafelt, Israel Schlott, C.F. Dunseizen, Samuel Miller, Samuel Botz, Samuel Shriner, Haak & Shanafelt, Ruck & Haak and Mr. Greenwalt.
H.P. Houck operated a steam sawmill for many years.
The Greentown Coal Co. and the Mogadore Coal Co.,\ operated mines near the village. Ferdinand Schumacher of Akron operated a warehouse at the railway station near the village. Isaac Stripe in 1875 manufactured tile and brick near the station. Hiram and James Stripe manufactured sewer-pipe, fire brick and roof tile. Daniel Myers was a well known stock buyer and shipper.