Benjamin Archer

In 1788, Benjamin Archer moved to Kentucky from New Jersey with his brothers-in-law, Aaron Nutt, Sr. and Benjamin Robbins. The three men struggled with the existence of slavery in Kentucky and after issues with land titles, they decided to leave Kentucky and move to Ohio. Archer, Robbins, and Nutt are considered to be the founders of Centerville.

Archer purchased over 500 acres of land near Clyo Road and Alex-Bell Road – which was originally outside of Centerville’s city limits. Archer came back to Ohio in 1798 to settle with his family.
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Ida Weller

Ida Evaline Albrecht (later Albright) was born in 1876 to farmer parents. Her father’s farm was located on the western side of State Route 48, where Bethany Lutheran Village now stands.

In 1893, At the age of 17, Ida graduated from the Washington Township High School on West Franklin Street. The building still stands today, and until recently, was the Las Piramides Mexican restaurant. Two years later at the age of 19, Ida earned her teaching certificate from Ohio Northern College and from 1895-1897, Ida taught at Schoolhouse Number 8, which was located at McEwen Road and State Route 725.
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William Walton

While driving through Centerville, have you ever spotted a tiny sign – “Walton House Museum” and wondered what it was? So have we! As it turns out, this stone house was built in 1838 by Henry Reese, who bought the parcel of land from one of Centerville’s founders, Benjamin Robbins. Eventually, William Walton and his wife Miriam (known as Mary) bought the house in 1927.

William Walton was born April 1st, 1876 to Samuel and Mary Walton. William was the grandson and great-grandson of the founders of Spring Valley, Moses and Edward Walton. Also, William’s older sister Edith married Colonel Edward A. Deeds and later created the beloved Deeds Carillon Bells.

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Aaron Nutt, Sr.

Aaron Nutt, Sr. was born on July 17th, 1758 in New Jersey to Quaker parents Levi and Ann Ivens Nutt. At age 14, Aaron’s mother sold him to be an indentured servant for a local tailor, John Lippencott. Through his period of service, Aaron became a skilled tailor.

Aaron served in the New Jersey Militia in Lippencott’s place after Lippencott was drafted in 1777. Aaron was assigned non-combat duties, due to his Quaker beliefs, and served as a spy and a teamster (a person who drove a team of animals pulling a wagon). Even though he never saw combat, Aaron was not allowed membership in the Quaker Society of Friends, since he participated in the war.

At the age of 20, Aaron married Mary Archer on May 4th, 1779. During their 17-year marriage, Aaron and Mary had nine children. Aaron and his family moved to Kentucky in 1788, along with his brother-in-law Benjamin Archer, then they all moved to Ohio in 1799. A brother-in-law already settled in the area, Benjamin Robbins, offered to store Aaron’s family’s possessions and let them stay with them while they built their home, but Aaron responded with, “I am not going to unpack until I enter my own cabin” and with help, built his new home in just one day.
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Upcoming Festivals 2021

Summer is here and life is slowly returning to normal. With this in mind, here are the statuses of some of the nearby festivals coming this summer:

On for Festivities:

    • Dayton Pride Parade & Festival – Friday, June 4th and Saturday, June 5th in Downtown Dayton
    • Jewish Cultural Festival – Temple Israel with be hosting on June 11th as a drive-thru event
    • Lebanon Country Music Festival – Friday June 11th and Saturday June 12th on Main Street in Lebanon
    • Celtic Festival Ohio – June 19th, 11am-11pm at Renaissance Fairgrounds in Waynesville
    • Waynesville Street Faire – June 19th, July 17th, August 14th, and September 11th, Main Street in Waynesville
    • Lights in Flight Festival and Fireworks Show – July 4th, 5-10 pm at Riverscape

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Dr. Dudley Keever

On a Ridgeville Ohio farm in 1859, Dudley Keever was born to Quaker parents. Dudley’s father Moses was a doctor serving Ridgeville and Springboro. Dudley attended a one-room schoolhouse, then Miami Valley Institute in Springboro, and then graduated the Miami Medical College in Cincinnati (later the University of Cincinnati) in 1884.

Now Dr. Keever, Dudley started his own practice in Springboro, and then met fellow Quaker Ida Wright, who he married. In 1890, the Keevers moved to Centerville and opened a practice on the northeast corner of Main Street and Franklin Street, where City Barbecue is presently.

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Asahel Wright

While driving through downtown Centerville, you may have noticed a little sign on the side of the road denoting the Asahel Wright Museum.

Asahel Wright was born in 1786 in New Hampshire and moved to Centerville with his parents in 1814. In November of 1814, Asahel leased a farm of seven acres of land from Aaron Nutt, located near the southeast corner of Far Hills and Alex-Bell Road. Later, in August of 1816, he then purchased a portion of Lot # 3 of the Nutt Platt for $150, making the first recorded purchase of the property.

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The Murder of Jesse Kelsey, Jr.

Born in 1829 to one of Centerville’s most prosperous farmers, Jesse Kelsey Sr., Jesse Kelsey Jr. was the 9th of 12 children. He married Unity Stokes on September 4th, 1856, and lived on a farm in Centerville on the southwest corner of what is now Spring Valley Pike and Dayton-Lebanon Pike, near the Kroger Marketplace. In September of 1862, Jesse Jr. and Unity were expecting their first child.

On the night of September 7th, 1862, just 3 days after celebrating their 6th wedding anniversary, Unity woke up to see a man standing over her and Jesse Jr. while they slept. She woke Jesse Jr. up, and he shouted at the man, who then fired a pistol at him. Jesse Jr. rushed Unity out of the room to safety and was struck by another pistol shot, and fell to the ground, dead.

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Dr. John Hole

If you’ve driven around the Centerville area, you may have seen the name Dr. John Hole around town.

Dr. John Hole was born in New Jersey in 1755. In his youth, John was adopted by a prominent doctor so that he could be trained and educated in the medical profession. He went to the University of Berlin and returned to the states in 1775, in the midst of the crisis that led to the American Revolution. John was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and when George Washington commanded forces at Cambridge. John was eventually reassigned to be the personal physician and surgeon under Brigadier General Richard Montgomery.

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T.J.’s Place of Hope

On Franklin Street in Centerville, you will find T.J.’s Place of Hope. This non-profit organization is 100% funded by donations, and is a place for teens and young adults to gather and discuss recovery from addiction and other destructive behaviors and habits.

T.J.’s Place of hope was founded shortly after 18-year-old T.J. Whitehead tragically took his own life in November 2005, after battling addiction throughout his teen years. T.J.’s Place of Hope was created as a safe place for teens and young adults (ages 12-25) to share their stories of addiction with peers – a place T.J. would have looked for during his own struggles.

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