Established in 1816


From the Beginning

Chester Township’s history begins in May of 1801, when Justice Miner, his son Philo and his son-n-law Harvey Sheffield began clearing land and building their log cabin at the southwest corner of Heath & Mayfield, identified then as lots 29 & 30 of Tract 3 and amounted to over 260 acres of land. In June of this same year their work had been completed and they returned to New York State to prepare his family for the 250 miles to their new home in the wilderness.

Early Settlers

Justice Miner was a Private during the American Revolution, stationed at West Point and discharged in 1783. In February of 1802 Justice Miner, his wife and five unmarried children, began their journey west on oxen-drawn sleds. By July 1st, 1802 the Miner family and all their household positions were finally reunited at their new home, which by general consent, they called “Wooster”. Justice Miner died July 27th, 1850, at the age of 88 years and 6 months. He is buried in Old Settlement Cemetery on the south side of Mayfield Road, just west of Heath.


Another important and early resident of ours is William Norton Hudson, whose father founded the town of Hudson. William’s father obtained land in a place called “Wooster” and he allowed him to share the property with him and in August of 1809, he and his wife Phebe headed north on an undeveloped road called Chillicothe.

The Formation of a Township

In March of 1806, when Geauga County had been formed from Trumbull County, our community became part of Burton Township which was a long way to travel if we wanted to have a voice in local government. A petition was sent to the County Commissioners for the separation of townships seven and eight, in the ninth range.  The Geauga County Commissioners met on October 29th, 1816, and granted our request. Neighbors met on November 16th, 1816, to elect our own officials and William Hudson was chosen to be the first township clerk. They also decided on a new name, one that wouldn’t conflict with Wooster, Ohio. The Gilmore Family, who had several family members present during this meeting were from Chester, Massachusetts, they suggested “Chester” as a good name, and everyone agreed. Thus, Wooster gave way to our new name, home and community, Chester Township.

First Park

On February 10th, 1811, David Hudson, the father of William donated 6 ¼ acres of land at the northeast corner of Chillicothe & Mayfield (The Crossroads) to the inhabitants, to be used as a public square, a public parade ground and for public buildings forever and never to be enclosed or transferred. Chester Township’s Parkside Park.

A Gateway to the County and our past!

It seems Chester Township was always welcoming people to our community and County in one fashion or another. Whether it was a stagecoach rest area at the southwest corner of Mayfield and Chillicothe Road or the Interurban. Between 1900 and 1925 Geauga County enjoyed fast freight and passenger transportation service to and from Cleveland, by way of a soot and cinder free electric trolley. This line ran through Chester, Russell, Chardon, Newbury, Burton and Middlefield Townships. In 1899 a sidewalk was built from the Cross Roads (Chillicothe & Mayfield Roads) to the depot. There were two depots in Chester Township, Scotland and Fullertown, the Scotland would have been located just west of the Scotland General Store. The interurban could get passengers from Cleveland to Chardon in an hour and 58 minutes, with a top speed of 45 miles per hour. Most passenger stops along the way included a milk stand, except for the stop at Mayfield and Caves. Many stops were strictly for milk pick up and were never intended for passenger stops. Milk stops were usually located on the right-hand side of the track, going from east to west. The stand was built at the height of the car entrance, so that the milk cans could be handled easier. Milk was sent in 10-gallon cans, which could weigh up to 100 pounds. The milk cans were loaded on to “Old Geauga” as the original freight car for hauling milk was called and the rate for hauling milk to Cleveland was 2 cents, per gallon.