- Portage Township, Summit County, Ohio
Portage Township was one of the 16 original townships in
Summit County, Ohio. It was in the middle of Summit County, containing Akron and Cuyahoga Falls and earlier part of Middlebury. Eventually it was absorbed by Akron and Cuyahoga Falls and ceased to exist. When created it occupied survey Town 2, Range 11 in the Western Reserveand was about 25 square miles in area. The township derived its name from the Portage Pathwhich extends from north to south through the middle of the township. (Grant, 1891)
Portage Township lay between the original Copley, Northampton, Tallmadge, and Coventry townships. Later on the village of Middlebury started in the southeast corner, then Akron in the south and Cuyahoga Falls in the northeast corner.
The first white settler who "stuck" was Maj. Miner Spicer in 1810, who located near what is now the corner of Spicer and Carroll streets, in "Spicertown". The township was organized in 1838, at a meeting held in the house of
Warren H. Clark. The following being its first officers: Trustees, Wm. B. Mitchell, Simon Perkins, Jr., George Babcock; Clerk, Horace K. Smith; Treasurer, Samuel A. Wheeler. (Grant, 1891) This is later than when Akron and Cuyahoga Falls started from within its boundaries.
In the early days Portage Township was sparsely populated. This is partly because
Simon Perkinsheld large tracts of land but also because of the land, which was not good for agriculture due to being hilly in some places and swamp or muddy in others. (Knepper, 1994).
It is difficult to find information on the history of Portage Township because it was generally treated as an appendage to Akron.
Portage Township's land has been in the following counties: (Author unknown, 1999-2005)
Unlike other townships, Portage didn't really have hamlets, only the villages of Middlebury, Akron, and Cuyahoga Falls. Middlebury was absorbed into Akron and Akron and Cuyahoga Falls grew into cities.
Most townships in the area developed a village in the middle of the township. For Portage this would be at the modern-day corner of Edgerton Ave. and Merriman Rd. in Akron, but no village started there. It was 50 feet from the top of a 350-foot hill over the
Little Cuyahogariver, which was a bad location geographically to start a village. (McGovern, 1996)
* Author unknown, (1999-2005). [http://www.negenealogy.com/oh/oh_maps/oh_cf.htm County Formation Maps] . Retrieved May 2, 2005.
* Grant, C.R., Findley, A.I.; (1891). Illustrated Summit County, Ohio (1992 reprint). Hudson, Ohio: Hudson Genealogical Study Group.
*cite book | author=Knepper, George W. | title=Akron: City at the Summit | location=Virginia Beach | publisher=The Donning Company | year=1994 | id=ISBN 0-89865-893-4
*cite book | author=McGovern, Frances | title=Written on the Hills: The Making of the Akron Landscape | location=Akron | publisher=The University of Akron Press | year=1996 | id=ISBN 1-884836-21-6
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