Hudson, Ohio

From Ohio History Central

In 1800, David Hudson established the community of Hudson in the Connecticut Western Reserve. Hudson was the first settlement in what would eventually become Summit County, Ohio.

The community grew relatively slowly. In 1846, almost fifty years after the community’s founding, only six hundred people resided in Hudson. That same year, four churches existed in the town, including two Congregational Churches. Many of Hudson’s earliest settlers were Congregationalists, and the town became an important center for this faith. Many people also migrated from New England states, and residents built homes similar to those in the region that they had left. Residents also placed a heavy emphasis on education. While most of Ohio’s public schools were of poor quality, Hudson’s schools were well-known for their excellence in construction and in the skilled nature of their teachers. Two female seminaries also existed in the town, as did the Western Reserve College, the predecessor of Case-Western University. Perhaps the town’s most famous resident during this period was abolitionist John Brown. Brown’s mother was the first person buried in Hudson’s first community cemetery.

By 1890, Hudson had nearly doubled in size since 1846, now enjoying a population of 1,119 people. The Western Reserve College no longer existed in the city. Its buildings were now a preparatory school affiliated with the college, which had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1882. The town still boasted just four churches, and only one newspaper served the community.

During the twentieth century, Hudson boomed. Located twenty-four miles south of Cleveland and thirteen miles north of Akron, Hudson became a bedroom community of these two major cities. Most residents worked in the larger cities but preferred to live in smaller Hudson. In 2000, more than twenty-two thousand people resided in the city. The community’s residents were also highly educated, with almost sixty-seven percent of them having graduated from college.

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