Archibald MacNeal Willard


Wellington is a town full of "Spirit".  This website, for example, is formally titled "The Spirit of Wellington".  But why?  It all traces back to Archibald Willard, who in 1875, painted one of the most recognizable patriotic portraits in American History: The Spirt of '76.


The Settlement of Wellington, Ohio

Wellington was first settled in March of 1818 by Ephraim Wilcox, Charles Sweet, William T. Welling, John Clifford, and Joseph Wilson. They came from Massachusetts and New York states. The township was officially organized in 1821. The name was to be selected using the traditional method of the time.


The Railroad Comes to Town

The Village of Wellington would not be what it is today if not for the efforts of Dr. D. Z. Johns. In 1845, the Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati Rail Road Company was looking for a route from Cleveland to Columbus. There were three possibilities. Wellington was the least likely to occur, but Dr. Johns organized meetings and encouraged donations of property to the railroad.


Cheese Capital of the World

Wellington was the "Cheese Capital of the World" from around 1868 until about 1910. Since the dairy farms in the area were producing so much milk, something had to be done with it. During this time period, at least 40 cheese factories and dozens of cheese warehouses popped up in and around Wellington.


Town Square

Wellington's first town hall was built in 1829 at a cost of $119.50. This two story building served a dual purpose by using the first floor for a school and the upper level for conducting village business.


History of Wellington Schools

Gideon Adams built the first school building in Wellington in 1849. Miss Mary Ann Adams was the first instructor at the school. The present McCormick Middle School has had many additions, but the oldest section dates back to 1867 and cost $30,000 to build.


Wellington Inventions

It is a little known fact that the railway mail catcher was invented in Wellington by L.F. Ward. He was contacted by the postal service about figuring out a way for trains to pick up and deliver mail without slowing down. He came up with the idea and built it. After finding that the device worked wonderfully, he patented the idea and it became extraordinarily popular throughout the country.

Business in Wellington

There were many businesses at the time of incorporation, but the best known was the E.S. Tripp Carriage Works. Tripp would go on to become one of the most famous makers of horse-drawn carriages in the country.