The charming village of Smithville, Ohio is located in Wayne County and has a rich and interesting history. Let's take a look at the origins of this community, and some of the key events that shaped its growth and development.

Early Settlement

The area now known as Smithville was first settled in the early 1800s. The village was originally called "Schmidt's Crossroads," named after Jacob Schmidt, one of the first settlers in the area. The name was later changed to Smithville in honor of William Smith, a prominent local businessman.

Growth and Development

In the mid-1800s, Smithville began to grow rapidly. A railroad line was built through the village, connecting it to nearby cities and towns and facilitating the transportation of goods and people. This led to the growth of the local economy, with many businesses opening up to serve the needs of the community.

One of the key industries in Smithville at this time was milling. The village had several grist mills and saw mills, which were essential for processing grain and lumber. Smithville also had a thriving agricultural industry, with many farmers growing crops such as wheat, corn, and oats.

The village continued to grow throughout the 20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s, many new homes and businesses were built, and the population of the village increased significantly. Today, Smithville is home to around 1,300 people and is a thriving and vibrant community.

Notable Events

Smithville has been the site of several notable events throughout its history. One of the most significant was the Great Flood of 1913, which devastated much of Ohio and other Midwestern states. Smithville was hit hard by the flood, with many homes and businesses destroyed. However, the community rallied together to rebuild and recover, and Smithville emerged stronger than ever.

Another significant event in Smithville's history was the opening of the Smithville Community Historical Society in 1972. This organization is dedicated to preserving the history of the village and educating visitors about its past. The historical society maintains several buildings and exhibits, including a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, and a log cabin.

Smithville, Ohio has a rich and fascinating history that has shaped the community into the vibrant and welcoming place it is today. From its early days as a small settlement to its growth and development in the 19th and 20th centuries, Smithville has overcome challenges and celebrated successes. Visitors to the village can explore its history through its many historic sites and exhibits, and learn about the people and events that have shaped this special community.