16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hudson’s History
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16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hudson’s History

hudson ohio gazebo

Hudson is not only a fantastic place to live and work, it has an interesting story, too.

The long story of how the town became what it is is pretty cool. If you don’t believe us, check out these 16 facts about the town’s history:

  • Hudson, Ohio’s history starts east in Connecticut, which laid to a 120-mile stretch of Ohio land.


  • In 1795, that land was sold for $1.2 million to a group of investors, including shareholder David Hudson.


  • Hudson lead a group of explorers and surveyors from Connecticut and through the wilderness to the land just purchased, arriving in 1799.


  • When they arrived, they arrived at the spot that would become Hudson. He left behind a group of settlers, went home for his family, then returned in 1800. The town was unofficially named “Hudson” in 1802.


  • Hudson’s home was built in 1806 at 318 Main Street. He lived there until he died in 1836. It still stands and is the oldest structure in Summit County.


  • The first child born in Hudson was born in October 28, 1800. But it still took another year for the first wheeled wagon to show up in town!


  • The first school was a log cabin, built in 1802.


  • Western Reserve College was chartered in 1826, helping Hudson grow thanks to it being one of the only colleges in the region.


  • Western Reserve College included the Loomis Observatory, which boasted being the only observatory west of the Alleghenies during that period.


  • In 1882, the college moved to Cleveland.


  • The opening of the Akron-Cleveland section of the Ohio-Erie Canal was a huge boon to the town, sparking major growth.


  • The town was officially incorporated as “Hudson” in 1837, or more specifically, as “Town of Hudson, Township of Hudson, County of Portage.”


  • In 1857, a huge economic bubble that had lifted Hudson suddenly burst, plunging many residents into deep poverty.


  • By the time the Civil War rolled around in 1860, Hudson had developed a reputation as a staunchly abolitionist town. It even became a link in the Underground Railroad.

hudson insurance


  • A bad string of luck tortured the town in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including two major fires that destroyed businesses, took away jobs, and destroyed homes. An embezzlement case also shut down the town’s only major bank. Many went broke as a result.


  • By 1907, Hudson had no paved streets, no electricity, and no water or sewer services. Local millionaire James W. Ellsworth helped bring a rebirth to the town. He built the clocktower in 1912 to symbolize that transformation.

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