Westerville, Ohio: Wikis


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City of Westerville
Ohio shown on the map of the United States
Westerville's location within the State of Ohio.
Status: City
Region: Midwest
U.S. State: Ohio
Total area 12.4 sq mi / 32.1 km²
Ohio County: Franklin County, Ohio, Delaware County, Ohio
ZIP codes: 43081, 43082, 43086[1]
- Total (2007 est.)
- Density

1,061.0/sq mi
Ethnicity: 93.54% Caucasian
3.20% African American
0.13% Native American
City Council:[3]
- Mayor
- Vice Mayor
- Chair
- Vice Chair
- Member
- Member
- Member

Kathy Cocuzzi
Anne Gonzales
Mike Heyeck
Craig Treneff
Diane Fosselman
Eric Bucsh
Larry Jenkins
City Manager: David Collinsworth
Hanby House, circa 1905
Hanby House, Westerville, circa 1905

Westerville, once known as "The Dry Capital of the World",[4] is a city in Franklin and Delaware Counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. The population was 35,318 as of the 2000 census, making Westerville then the largest suburb of Columbus. Westerville's population is estimated to have risen slightly to 35,739 as of July 1, 2007.[2] The city is located at 40°7′25″N 82°55′17″W / 40.12361°N 82.92139°W / 40.12361; -82.92139 (40.123496, -82.921432).[5]



Early history

The land that is today Westerville was first settled around 1810. In 1818, Matthew, Peter, and William Westervelt, settlers of Dutch extraction, migrated to the area from New York. Matthew Westervelt donated land for the construction of a Methodist church in 1836, and the settlement was subsequently named in the family’s honor.[6] In 1839, the Blendon Young Men’s Seminary was chartered in Westerville;[7] Matthew Westervelt was one of its first trustees.[8] The Church of the United Brethren in Christ bought the seminary in 1846,[9] and the next year the seminary was reformed, and renamed Otterbein University after the church’s founder Philip William Otterbein. It continues today in Westerville as the private Otterbein College.[10]

Westerville was platted by 1856, and officially incorporated in August 1858. The town’s population in that year was 275.[11]

Throughout the Antebellum era, several homes in Westerville were stations on the Underground Railroad. Among these is the Hanby House, located one block from the college. Benjamin Russell Hanby had moved to Westerville in 1849, at the age of sixteen, to enroll at Otterbein University.[12] Hanby went on to write many familiar hymns and songs, among them "Darling Nelly Gray" (inspired by his sympathy for Southern slaves[13]), "Who is He in Yonder Stall?", and the Christmas favorite "Up On The Housetop". His home in Westerville, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated as a museum in 1937[14] and is now owned by the Ohio Historical Society and managed locally by the Westerville Historical Society. It is the only state memorial to a composer in the state of Ohio.

"Dry Capital of the World"

An 1859 town ordinance forbade the sale of alcohol in Westerville.[15] By the 1870s, a burgeoning conflict between pro- and anti-temperance forces boiled over into the so-called "Westerville Whiskey Wars". Twice, in 1875 and 1879, businessman Henry Corbin opened a saloon in Westerville, and each time the townspeople blew up his establishment with gunpowder. Westerville's reputation for temperance was so significant that in 1909 the Anti-Saloon League moved its national headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Westerville. The League, at the forefront of the Prohibition movement, gained its greatest triumph when the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1920. The League printed so many leaflets in support of temperance and prohibition—over 40 tons of mail per month—that Westerville, by now known as "The Dry Capital of the World", was the smallest town in the nation to have a first class post office. The League's Westerville headquarters was given to the Westerville Public Library in 1973 and now serves as a museum attached to the library.[16]

Modern history

In 1916, Westerville became the first village (and second municipality)[17] in Ohio to adopt a council-manager form of government, in which a city council makes policy but the town's administrative and many of its executive governmental functions are vested in an appointed, professional manager. Westerville retains the council-manager system to the present. The city elects seven council members at large for four-year terms; the council selects from among its own a member to serve as mayor, vice mayor, chair, and vice chair. Under the City Charter, the mayor is only "the ceremonial head of the government" of the city.[18] The council additionally selects the city manager, who serves indefinitely. In 2007, David Collinsworth replaced David Lindimore as city manager after the latter's tenure of twenty-two years.[19]

Westerville retained temperance long after the 1933 repeal of Prohibition. In 1995, however, the city annexed 941 non-dry acres of land to its north, which included several alcohol-selling businesses. Subsequently, voters have approved alcohol sales in old Westerville at a number of establishments through site-specific local options. On January 12, 2006, a restaurant called Michael's Pizza "served the first legal beer at an Uptown Westerville establishment since the 1879 end of the Whiskey Wars."[20]


As of the census[21] of 2000, there were 35,318 people, 12,663 households, and 9,547 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,851.1 people per square mile (1,100.6/km²). There were 13,143 housing units at an average density of 1,061.0/sq mi (409.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.54% White, 3.20% African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.55% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.07% of the population.

There were 12,663 households out of which 39.3% of those had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.8% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 26.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

According to a 2007 estimate[22], the median income for a household in the city was $73,540, and the median income for a family was $90,430. Males had a median income of $55,053 versus $36,510 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,401. About 2.5% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.5% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Otterbein College, a private four-year liberal arts college, was founded by the United Brethren Church in 1847 and is now home to over 3,000 students. The United Brethren Church has since merged with the Methodist Church and is now the United Methodist Church, with which the college continues to be affiliated.

Westerville is served by the Westerville City School District. The District operates three high schools: Westerville South High School, which opened in 1960 as Westerville High School, Westerville North High School (opened 1975), and Westerville Central High School (opened 2003). In addition, Westerville has four middle and sixteen elementary schools. The middle schools are Blendon, Genoa, Heritage, and Walnut Springs. The elementary schools are Emerson (a magnet school that opened in 1896 as the Vine Street School), Central College (magnet), Hanby (magnet), Longfellow (magnet), Alcott, Annehurst, Cherrington, Fouse, Hawthorne, Huber Ridge, Mark Twain, McVay, Pointview, Robert Frost, Whittier, and Wilder.


In the early days before the town's incorporation, Westerville was connected to Columbus by a plank road with a toll of ten cents.[23] Today, Westerville borders Interstate 71 and Interstate 270 (the Columbus Outerbelt), expressways that connect it with Columbus and other suburbs. Via the interstates, central Westerville is 16 miles (26 km) from downtown Columbus and 12 miles (19 km) from Port Columbus International Airport, Central Ohio's primary terminal for air passengers. State Route 3, the "3-C Highway" which connects Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, is the chief north-south thoroughfare of the old town center, known as Uptown Westerville, through which it is called State Street.

Streetcars plied the avenues of Westerville from the late nineteenth century[24] but service was discontinued in 1929.[25] Today, Westerville offers little in the way of public transportation. The city itself operates no public buses, but the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) serves Westerville with four bus lines.[26]

Points of interest

Business and industry

  • Cheryl&Co., originally and popularly known as Cheryl's Cookies, was founded in Westerville in 1981 and is still based there.
  • Worthington Industries has a cylinder factory in Westerville.
  • The American Ceramic Society, a non-profit professional organization founded in 1899 in Columbus, has its headquarters in Westerville.
  • Schneider's Bakery, known for opening in the wee hours of the morning—around 1:00 to 1:30 AM, depending on the day—is in Uptown Westerville and is a common place to find Otterbein students on early-morning doughnut runs.



  • Westerville was ranked #15 on Money magazine's list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2009[29] and ranked #46 on the list in 2007.[30]
  • The Westerville Parks and Recreation Department has won the gold medal for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Management for Class IV in both recent years of eligibility (2001 and 2007), as a winner must wait five full years before applying again.[31]
  • Westerville was named Sports Illustrated's "Sportstown Ohio" in 2003 as part of the magazine's 50th anniversary.[32]

Notable natives

Photo gallery


  1. ^ "Westerville Zip Code Search Results". http://westerville.areaconnect.com/zip2.htm?city=Westerville&qs=OH&searchtype=bycity. Retrieved 2007-09-19.  
  2. ^ a b "United States Census Bureau, Population Estimates for All Places: 2000 to 2007, Ohio". http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2007-04-39.csv. Retrieved 2008-09-04.  
  3. ^ "Westerville, Ohio: City Council". http://www.westerville.org/CityGovernment/CityCouncil/tabid/262/Default.aspx. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  4. ^ http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=820. Retrieved on 2008-09-03.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ Anita Palladino ed., Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Diary of John Henry Westervelt x n.5 (1996).
  7. ^ Edward Alanson Miller, The History of Educational Legislation in Ohio from 1803 to 1850, at 83 (1920).
  8. ^ Palladino, supra, at x n.5.
  9. ^ Henry Kiddle & Alexander J. Schem eds., The Cyclopædia of Education 823 (3d ed. 1883).
  10. ^ Quentin Charles Lansman, Higher Education in the Evangelical United Brethren Church, 1800–1954, at 18 (1972).
  11. ^ Beth Berning Weinhardt, Westerville, p.13 (2004).
  12. ^ C.B. Galbreath, Song Writers of Ohio, in 14 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications 180, 183 (1905).
  13. ^ Id. at 185.
  14. ^ Weinhardt, supra, at 17.
  15. ^ "City of Westerville, Ohio Ordinance List" (PDF). http://www.westerville.org/Portals/0/Ordinance%20Listing.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  16. ^ "Westerville Public Library, About Us: Our History". http://www.westervillelibrary.org/about_us/index.html. Retrieved 2008-09-03.  
  17. ^ http://www.westerville.org/CityDepartments/CityManagersOffice/tabid/172/Default.aspx. Retrieved on 2008-09-03.
  18. ^ City of Westerville, Ohio Charter, Art. III, § 5.
  19. ^ Lin Rice, "Westerville Council set to hire city manager," DispatchPolitics.com, Oct. 23, 2007.. Retrieved on 2008-09-03.
  20. ^ Mark Major, "Michael's uncorks Uptown liquor sales," Westerville News & Public Opinion, Jan. 18, 2006, reprinted at http://www.pizzamike.com/beer.html; see also Jim Woods, "Beer finally downed in Uptown Westerville," Columbus Dispatch, Jan. 13, 2006. Retrieved on 2008-09-03.
  21. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  22. ^ U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder.
  23. ^ "Ohio History Central, Westerville". http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=820. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  24. ^ "Ohio History Central, Westerville". http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=820. Retrieved 2008-09-05.   (citing the 1870s); "Westerville's Centennial Celebration," Westerville Public Library Local History Resource Center Newsletter, Spring 2008 (citing the 1890s).
  25. ^ "Columbusrailroads.com, Columbus Electric Railway Chronology" (PDF). http://www.columbusrailroads.com/images/Columbus_Electric_Railway_Chronology.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  ; Robert Vitale, "When streetcars ruled," Columbus Dispatch, Apr. 14, 2008.
  26. ^ "Central Ohio Transit Authority System Map" (PDF). http://www.cota.com/pdfs/System_Map.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  27. ^ "2005 Ohio Public Library Statistics:Statistics by County and Town". State Library of Ohio. http://winslo.state.oh.us/publib/2005_stats_by_county.xls. Retrieved october 30, 2006.  
  28. ^ http://www.westerville.org/Default.aspx?tabid=111. Retrieved on 2008-09-04.
  29. ^ "Best Places to Live: Top 100". Retrieved on 2009-07-14.
  30. ^ "Best Places to Live: Top 100". Retrieved on 2007-12-06.
  31. ^ Westerville, Ohio News & Events.
  32. ^ [1].
  33. ^ Article on The Lambert-Parent House

External links

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