The April 30, 1920, edition of the Wooster Daily Record reported that J.W. Ames, foreman at the Champion Garage, had purchased the very first airplane in Wayne County.

According to the newspaper, Ames would soon be ready to operate the Curtis JN-4 government training plane "for pleasure or business rides" and had "several locations just outside the city in view as possible starting and landing fields."

Also ... Ames is credited with having built the first automobile in the county.

"The muffler was an unknown quantity then," stated the article, "and persons who recall Ames’s automobile also recall the noise it made. But the machine ran ... as Ames had intended it to."

First jeweler

While researching jewelry stores, Wooster historian Harry McClarran discovered the town’s first jeweler came here two centuries ago. When Lindol Sprague arrived in Wooster in 1820 he opened Sprague and Son Watches and Jewelry. The establishment was located in the Arcadome building — now the Clark Building — on the south side of East Liberty between the square and Buckeye Street.

More area ‘firsts’

The Wooster Sesquicentennial Celebration booklet contains a list of Wooster and Wayne County ‘firsts’ that relate to our area’s early history. Here they are ... plus a few more:

• The first settler here was William Larwiill in 1808.

• The first house in Wooster was built by William Larwill who also opened the first store.

• The first wagon road was cut through the dense timber from Massillon.

• The first carpenter was Robert McClarran who was also the first Justice of the Peace.

• The first post office in Wooster was opened Dec. 8, 1812.

• The first church was the Bethany Baptist and its minister was the Rev. Thomas G. Jones.

• The first Jewish baby born in Wayne County was Joseph Schaffner in 1848.

• The first election was held in April 1810.

• The first Fire Company in Wooster was established in 1827.

• The first white man to die here was Alexander Crawford in 1812.

• The first mayor was Charles Frost.

• The first school teacher in Wooster was Carlos Mather.

• The first marriage in Wayne County took place on April 2, 1809, uniting Thomas Butler and Rebecca Morgan.

• The first brick residence in Wooster was built by John Bever in 1810.

• The first of four ward schools was built at the corner of Bever and North streets.

First and last

A March 23, 1950, Wooster Daily Record reported that Keith R. Richeson was the first baby born at Wooster Community Hospital when it opened that year.

Forest Weiser was the last baby born in the little town of Bloomington before it was annexed by the City of Wooster in 1926. Weiser was born close to the site of the future hospital ... in a residence behind the former location of Martin’s Jewelers.

FYI

When the U.S. entered Word War I, Wooster residents united to contribute food and manufactured goods. They also supported the war effort by exceeding their quota of Liberty Bonds.

Thought you should know.

Columnist Ann Gasbarre can be reached at agasbarre@gmail.com or 330-345-6419.