Township History

This map was printed in 1875. Plain Township was among five townships that were created when Stark County was organized in 1809. The original territory within Plain Township included what is now Lake, Lawrence and Jackson Townships, in Summit County. At the time the township was created, only a few settlers had located in any part of the territory, the rest being an uninhabited wilderness.

How the township received its name is an unresolved question. One theory is that part of the township was an open tract of land, or plain. Others say that some of the first settlers who came from the East were from a township called Plain, and named the township for their old home.

The majority of early settlers were farmers, with most of the land being claimed by 1815.

Early businesses operated within Plain Township included gristmills, sawmills, stores, distilleries, and a tannery. The first school was built in 1807, and the first church around 1809.

The area of Middlebranch was settled as early as 1815, and a small store, mill, and post office were operated there quite early. However, the village was not platted until January, 1881. The village of New Berlin (now North Canton) was also settles as early as 1815, and lots were surveyed and laid out in 1831. Early businesses operated there included several merchantiles, a blacksmith, pottery, tannery, and lumber yard.

The Plain Township Cemetery, located on Eby Drive NE, has been owned and maintained by Plain Township since 1912. This cemetery reflects much of Plain Township's history.

From its early beginnings as a sparsely settled, agricultural community, Plain Township has grown slowly to become the prosperous urban community of today. By 1940, Plain Township's unincorporated area still had a population of only 6,000 compared to over 36,000 today.

Primarily after World War II, shifting population patterns and increasing industry caused the township to grow in population. Along with this growth, expanded services have become available to residents of Plain Township.

More detailed information about the history of Plain Township can be found at the Stark County District Library, the Plain Township Historical Society, and the Stark County Historical Society.