Burton Memory Project

Burton: Where History Lives.

Timeline of Burton History


Timeline of Burton History 1798-1819
Date Event
1798/06/15 Survey of the land by Turhand Kirtland, William Law, David Beard and Levi Tomlinson.
1798/06/21 The Umberfield family was the first to arrive in Burton.
1798/07/06 First house was built for the Umberfields at the end of Spring Street.
1798/07/12 Construction started on the first bridge over the Cuyahoga, south of Burton.
1798/12/31 The first child born in Burton was Riley Honey.
1799/03/13 A deed conveyed interest, 20,741 acres of land at 62 cents per acre, in Burton to Turhard Kirtland, Benjamin Doolittle, Samuel Doolittle, Titus Street, Andrew Hull, Daniel Holbrook & Levi Tomlinson.
1799/06/08 Isaac Clark with the aid of hired hands built the first mills.
1800 First grist mill was built next to the saw mill.
A man named Shannon was the first to die in Burton. He drowned while attempting to swim two horses across the west branch of the Cuyahoga.
1800/06 First sawmill, two and a half miles down the west branch of the Cuyahoga, was built.
1801/07/09 The first meeting devoted to worship took place at the home of Isaac Clark. Rev. Joseph. Badger performed the sermon.
1802 J.S. Cleveland opened the first store.
1802/06/30 Judge Kirtland performed the first wedded union of a Burton couple, Jonathan Brooks & Rachel Clark. The actual wedding took place in New Market.
1803 Eleazer Hickox arrived in Burton
Township was named for Burton Street, the son of Titus Street who had put up the largest amount ($3471.50) into the original land purchase.
First log school house was built.
The first militia was organized by Captain J.S. Cleveland.
Burton Park was dedicated.
Ephraim Clark had first frame barn built.
1804 The first physician, Dr. Joseph Clark, arrived.
The academy building started as a log building, sealed with pine, with birch chimneys and fireplaces.
1805 Uri Hickox arrived.
1806 Methodist Episcopal Church becomes first religious organization in Burton (sometimes cited as 1811).
The First wedding in Burton took place, uniting Robert Wallace and Rebecca Menough in wedded bliss.
Benjamin Johnson, first Justice of the Peace, arrived.
Burton Academy was built.
Peter Hitchcock moved to Burton at the age of 25. He later became the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and a member of the Ohio Constitution Committee.
1806/04 First election took place in Burton. List of the results:
Samuel Hopson was elected town clerk.
The trustees were Justus Miner, George Wallace and Joseph Clark.
Overseers of the poor were Isaac Thompson and Jonathan Brooks
David Hill was elected appraiser.
David Barrett was elected lister.
Uri Hickox was elected constables.
The Fence-Viewers were Seth Hayes and Noah Page. There were also 5 supervisors of the highway.
1807 Seabury Ford, future governor of Ohio, moved to Burton.
1808/08/22 Congregational Church was organized.
1810 Burton Academy burned down.
1812 Roughly 60 Burton men served in the War of 1812.
1817 Work began on building second academy, east of the park.
1819 The second academy was finished and dedicated.


Timeline of Burton History 1812-1899
Date Event
1823 The First County Fair was held in Burton's Park.
1824 Simeon Rose donated one and a half acres south of the town by the river, on Memorial Road, to be used as the towns' first cemetery.
1830 George Boughton arrived in Burton from Canfield, Ohio.
1836 Congregational Church building was erected, first Frame Church Built on the square.
1842/01 Second Academy burned down, supposedly the Whiskey Party were the culprits.
1843 Umberfield Tavern burned down.
1845 Exchange Hotel was built on corner of West Park and West Center Streets. It was built in the spot formerly occupied by the Umberfield Tavern.
1849/03/25 Lydia Umberfield, wife of Thomas, died.
1849-50 Seabury Ford served as Governor of Ohio.
1850 The Congregational Church was moved across the street to its present location at the corner of Spring Street, facing the Burton Park.
1850/12/21 Thomas Umberfield died.
1860 The Exchange Hotel was rebuilt with 4 floors. It was the only 4 floor building in the county.
1861 223 Burton men participated in the Civil War.
1866 or 1868 First frame high school was built on the west side of the square, later moved and used by the I.O.O.F lodge.
1868 Union school building was erected west of Burton Park, costing $4,000.
1868/02/21 Eleazar Hickox died at the age of 91.
1868-69 The first term of high school.
1871 First Town Hall was built.
1871/12 All the stores on the east side of Main Street burned down.
1872 Boughton-Ford Bank was organized. The building was located on Hotchkiss, now Baird Street.
1873 Geauga County Historical Society was organized in Burton.
Brick stores were first built on East Main Street.
1874 Village residents set out the maple grove in the Burton Park.
Baltimore & Ohio station was built at Burton station with money raised by public subscription.
1874/12/18 Burton's first newspaper, Geauga Leader, was published by J.B. Coffin
1875 B&O Railroad station was built on Burton Station Road.
1877/11/23 Burton was home to the first telephone line installed in Ohio. The wires led from the depot to a bank, two and a half miles away.
1879 A bandstand was erected in the center of Burton Park.
1880 Methodist Church purchased a 504 lb. bell.
The Burton Handle Factory began operations at their Spring Street location. It was the largest manufacturer in the county.
1881/07 New town hall was built at head of West Park for $6500.
1882/04/01 First caucus was held at new town hall.
1884/09/20 Second high school was constructed to replace original high school. It was modeled after a school in River Falls, Wisconsin.
1886 Peter Hitchcock died.
1887 The cornerstone was laid for the long time bank building.
1890 The Opera House opened. Later it became the fire department.
1894 Burton Telephone Company was formed a six station phone line were established.
1895 The village of Burton was incorporated with George H. Ford as its' first mayor.
1895/04/01 The first mayoral election was held in Burton. Here is a list of the results:
George H. Ford elected mayor.
L.J. Ford elected Clerk.
P.W. Parmalee elected treasurer.
The Council Members were H.C. Tuttle, H.W. Crittendon, George H. Hyde, A. Baird, J.B. Lawrence, S. Freeman and Charles Boway.
W.D. Glending was sealer of weights.
Charles Lassroy became the marshall.
1896 The first electric light plant was built by Earl Bliss. This plant was known as the Burton Electric Light Plant.
1897/7/23 The streets of Burton were illuminated by electric light for the first time.
1898 Finnish Temperance Society was organized in Burton.
1899 The first rural mail delivery route was established.


Timeline of Burton History 1900-1938
Date Event
1900/02/21 The C&E Interurban Railway carried its first passengers on the Burton-Middlefield Line.
1901 The Belle Vernon Creamery was opened at the foot of Spring Street.
1903 The bank failure occurred.
Baird Hotel burned down.
1905 Ohio Bell Telephone Co. bought controlling stock in Burton Telephone Co.
1908 W.W. Dean purchased the Exchange Hotel from Otis Appleby.
1910 The first water mains were laid in the village.
1910/01/19 Burton Public Library opened. Mary Andrews became the first librarian.
1912/07 Library was moved to the Johnson store building, across the alley from the north end of the east block.
1913 North Cheshire and Spring became the village's first paved roads.
Traffic laws were enacted in Burton, signs were posted and a speed limit of 10 MPH was enacted.
1916/10 Warren G. Harding was a patron at the Dean Hotel, formerly the Exchange Hotel.
1917 31 Burton men proudly served in World War I.
1919 Contract was awarded for first paved streets in Burton.
The most infamous Burton blizzard struck.
1921 Civil War hero E.P. Latham died.
Electricity was installed in Burton High School for first time.
1922 The State and County Highway garages opened.
1925 The Belle Vernon Creamery closed.
The C&E Interurban railway ceased operation.
State Route 87 from Burton to Cleveland was paved.
1926 A small group of men organized the Burton Volunteer Fire Department
Water Tower was erected in Burton Park.
Burton Public Library was moved to the basement of the Old Block.
1927 The first sewer system was installed.
The village was divided into ten sewer districts.
1927/05 The Burton Telephone Company is purchased outright by the Ohio Bell Company.
1929 A miniature golf course was built in Burton Park.
1930/10 3000 bulbs were planted in Burton Park by the Chamber of Commerce, Garden Club, and literary clubs.
1931 The Log Cabin Sugar Camp was built at the bequest of the Chamber of Commerce near the south end of Burton Park. It was the first municipal maple house in the country.
1933/08/20 A pageant was held depicting the history of Burton with emphasis on the 125th anniversary of the Congregational Church. There was a sunset pilgrimage to the gravesites of Thomas and Lydia Umberfield, the first settlers.
1935 The State and County Highway garage officially became Geauga County Engineer's Highway Department.
1935-36 The last year that the high school was held in the building that is now the library.
1936 A new high school opened on North Cheshire.
1937/09/12 The dedication of memorial tablet to the soldiers of the American Revolution buried in Burton.
1937 Library moved into what had been the first and second grade room on the west side of the old building.
1938 Mrs. Frances Bolton purchased the Hickox Brick and presented it to the Geauga Historical Society as a gift.


Timeline of Burton History 1940-1970
Date Event
1940 209 Burton men proudly served in World War II.
1941 The Congresswomen from Ohio's 222nd district purchased and deeded the Hickox Brick and six and a half acres of land to the Geauga Historical Society.
1942 B.J. Shanower was elected Mayor (1942-1947).
The Dean Hotel, condemned for being unsafe, was torn down.
1944 The Chamber of Commerce Planted 60 new maples in Burton Park.
1944/05/07 Dedication of the Burton Memorial Forest, to honor the men and women who served in World War II.
1947 R.V. Hosmer built a restaurant near the site of the old Dean/Exchange Hotel.
1947/06/22 Assembly of God moved into their new church.
1948 Burton celebrated its Sesquicentennial and a time capsule was buried.
1953 A Christian Science church was built on West Center Street.
1957 The third water tower was built for $41,000.
1959 Burton Elementary School was built on Carlton.
1960/02/19 The First Congregational Church's Parsonage was torn down
1961 A post office was built on Main Street.
1961/12 Mrs. Helen Merritt became head of the library staff at Burton Public Library.
1967 Contracts were signed to bring East Ohio Gas lines into the Village.
1968 Methodist Church was built on north side of the village.
1969 A destructive windstorm on the 4th of July knocked down several maple trees in Burton Park.
1970 Belle Kennedy purchased the restaurant built by R.V. Hosmer. She remodeled it and dubbed it Belle's Colonial Restaurant.
B. J. Shanower deeded the Merriman Cook Farm, north of the village, to Kent State University for a Geauga County campus.

Link to Burton Public Library
A Cleveland Memory Project Partner
Main Street, Burton, Ohio, in 1860.
Main Street, Burton, Ohio, in 1860.
Lydia Umberfield and Thomas Umberfield headstones.
Lydia Umberfield and Thomas Umberfield headstones.

Burton High School 1909 Junior Class Photo.
SBurton High School 1909 Junior Class Photo.
Start of the Burton Light Plant, 1896?
Start of the Burton Light Plant, 1896?
1936 Great Geauga County Fair.
1936 Great Geauga County Fair.
Ray Linton with his Ohio Bell Truck.
Ray Linton with his Ohio Bell Truck.