About Windham Township

Windham Township was originally owned by Governor Caleb Strong of Massachusetts. On Sept. 11, 1810 a group of gentlemen met at the home Thatcher Conant in Beckett, Massachusetts of Berkshire County. It was their desire to purchase land in Ohio form a company and a Township and move there. The original company know as “ The Beckett Land Company” were as follows; Bill Messenger, John Seely, Jeremiah Lyman, Aaron P. Jagger, Elisha Clark, Isaac Clark, Dillingham Clark, Ebenezer Messenger, Thatcher Conant, Nathan Birchard, Enos Kingsley, Gideon Bush, Benjamin Higley, Benjamin C.Perkins, Alpheus Streator and Elijah Alford.

The company had several meetings and Nov. 11th 1810 it was decided to purchase the land. The terms of the sale were that the purchasers would turn over to the sellers their property in Massachusetts at its appraised value. The lots were surveyed and split into 100 parcels and was apportioned among the members of the company by lot according to each person’s investment. The price per acre was $1.76 and there was approximately 14,845 acres. The south half of lot 56 donated by Dillingham and Abigail Clark, Alpheus and Anna Streator and Thatcher and Elizabeth Conant was set aside for a public green, to be used for the public, with reference to the ministry. A burial spot was also chosen on the public ground, The Green, which had been set aside before the parcel allotments had been made. The burial ground was moved in 1817 along with 6 souls to its present location “Windham Township Cemetery” on Parkman Rd.

The name of the township was originally named Strongsburgh, on March 2nd in 1813 the Township was made a district by itself and the name was changed to “Sharon”. The first election was held that April. In this year the personal property in the township of Windham on which taxes were collected consisted of 8 horses and 45 cattle. In 1820 with an act of legislature, the township received the name of “Windham” chosen because many of the original settlers were from Windham, Connecticut.

By the spring of 1817 the township had grown to 203 persons. They sorely felt the need for a public building especially for religious services. In April of 1817 a 30 x 24 log structure was completed for religious meetings and public purposes. In 1828 the First Congregational Church feeling the need to erect a building of their own made plans for a tasteful building and was completed in 1830.

The Disciples of Christ on May 27th 1828 organized a church society and met in a school house on the state road, but in 1834 erected a neat brick building in the center of town, today is known as the “The Brick Chapel”, which also is the home at the present time of the “Windham Historical Society”.

In 1893, the Village of Windham incorporated and became another entity, but remained part of the township until 1993, when due to legal reasons in Portage County, the Village was forced to withdraw from the township.

Windham Township has had two lives that before World War II and that after. In late August, 1940 farmers were given 30 days to vacate, and the US Government paid over $2,000,000.00 and took over 25,000 acres from four townships; Windham, Paris, Charleston and Freedom. This encompassed over half of Windham Township. This site is currently known as the Ravenna Arsenal.

Windham became the fastest growing community in the United States from 1940-1941 per capita and has been a progressive community ever since.