William Wetmore was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on September 15, 1771. He married Anne Ogden In 1795 in Hartford CT. They had four children: William Jr., Edwin, Clarissa and Henry.
A cousin to Joshua Stow, Wetmore agreed to be Joshua’s land agent, selling properties to the new settlers coming to the Western Reserve Region. In order to do this, he moved to Ohio with his family in June, 1804, and built the second log cabin in what would be known as Stow Township. They lived on lots 25,35,and 36, which surrounded the present intersection of Darrow Road (Rt.91) and Kent Road (Rt 59).
In 1808, the new township was organized with an election of officers, and William was elected Justice of the Peace. William was appointed Clerk of the Court of Ravenna. He later resigned the office and moved back to his farm in Stow.
During the War of 1812, William Wetmore was appointed commander for troops stationed at Old Portage. (This was the northern Portage Path, at the Cuyahoga River.) Acting as an agent for Joshua Stow, owner of the township, William also gave permission to Francis Kelsey and Isaac Wilcox to build a dam across the Cuyahoga River and to erect a sawmill. It is said lumber from this mill was used by the army to build ships at Portage for use against the British. (The dam washed away long after this.)
In 1825, Mr. Wetmore, in partnership with Joshua Stow, started the development of the town of Cuyahoga Falls. The two now owned jointly 210 acres in the southwest corner of Stow Township. The actual development work was supervised by Wetmore’s two sons, William Jr., and Henry. They employed men and constructed a dam near the present Stow Street, a gristmill, sawmill and linseed oil mill. Late in 1826 a paper mill was built, the in the state to make paper on a cylinder.
On the occasion of Edwin Wetmore’s 21st birthday (1823), parents William and Anne gave him a 95 acre plot of land in the Village of Silver Lake, along an upscale suburban street, Kent Road, then it was the farm that helped sustain his family and in 1820, Edwin had already built a 2-story Connecticut style farmhouse on this property. The house, with modifications, stands on one acre and is occupied today.
In the Twentieth Century, the Wetmore farm was subdivided into a neighborhood know as Paradise Park. This tree-lined neighborhood stretches from the Wetmore house present site of the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, and runs several blocks. Today we have Wetmore Park and Wetmore Avenue (located by Holy Family Church) as reminders of Stow’s first settle family.
William Wetmore passed away on October 27, 1827 in Ohio and is interned in Stow Cemetery.
The William Wetmore house was located on Darrow and Kent Road, lots 25,35, 36. Edwin Wetmore's home is located on Kent Rd and still
Information was adapted from "Akron and Summit County", by Karl Grism and the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library.