Honoring Wayne County: 1896 Centennial Celebration

Wayne County Centennial Celebration of 1896 drew thousands to downtown Wooster, OH. The portrait of General Anthony Wayne in the center of the picture hanging over E. Liberty St. was done by famed Wooster artist Michael S. Nachtrieb. Another portrait of General Wooster by Nachtrieb hung on the courthouse. Photo by Redett Studios, Fredericksburg, OH from the Wayne County Historical Society Collection.

During August 10-15, 1896 residents throughout the county flocked to Wooster’s downtown to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original founding of Wayne County by Governor General Arthur St. Clair in 1796.

Centennial Log Cabin

This log cabin, built in 1820, was moved to N. Market St. in downtown Wooster, Ohio for the centennial celebration of Wayne County in 1896. It was filled with period furniture, had a coon skin at the door, and a draw-well outside. The cabin was supposed to help residents honor their predecessors and serve as a gauge to judge their generation’s achievements. Photo by Redett Studios, Fredericksburg, OH.

It was reported to be the most elaborate and largely attended affair ever held in Wooster up to that point in time. Those in attendance enjoyed parades, speeches and programs, music, and fireworks as part of the festivities. Most events where held in downtown Wooster or at the City Park behind the old high school (now the large field behind Cornerstone Elementary School).
1896 Wa. Co. Centennial Bicycle Parade

Over 100 bicyclists decorated their bikes and participated in the Inaugural Day parade of the centennial celebration of Wayne County in Wooster, Ohio in 1896. It was noted 22 women also rode their bikes and wore “novel and attractive” attire while riding. Photo by Redett Studios, Fredericksburg, OH from the Wayne County Historical Society Collection.


The first day was labeled the Inaugural Day and featured the Inaugural Day parade. The week of festivities kicked off with the grandest parade ever held in Wayne County, Ohio. The parade column was reported to be two miles in length and was led off by 18 marching bands and military units, followed by 80 floats, 5 more bands including the Cedar Valley Band on horseback, 77 buggies and wagons, plus several hundred people parading on foot.

The Wooster City Band lined up on North St. just west of N. Market St. in Wooster, OH before they marched in the Wayne County Centennial parade of 1896. Photo by Redett Studios, Fredericksburg, OH from the Wayne County Historical Society Collection.


The next day they had Education Day, which was followed by Soldiers Day, then came Church Day and Professional Day with programs presented by prominent doctors and lawyers in the county, and the week long festivities ended on Pioneer Day.

Dr. W.F. Derr, a Wooster veterinarian, created one of the most notable floats in the 1896 Centennial parade through Wooster, Ohio. Photo by Redett Studios, Fredericksburg, OH from the Wayne County Historical Society Collection.

Note: Click any image to see a larger version of the picture.

Speak Your Mind

*