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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Bill Yeck – The Father of the Park District

Bill Yeck grew up in the Akron area in the 1920s, and relocated to Washington Township in 1951. Always with an interest in green space and nature, Bill agreed to head up the newly-formed Park District in 1959. His goal for the district was to “Get us more parks and find ways to pay for them.

While under his direction, the Park District grew to include 43 parks with over 893 acres of open, green spaces. At the time the Park District was formed, there was a state law that allowed only one public park per township and nobody knew what kinds of parks were needed, where parks should be located, or how the parks should be maintained, especially with no funding. Bill Yeck researched, visited other park districts and sought help from experts and enthusiasts to build the Centerville-Washington Park District.

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Exercise Dayton – David’s Cemetery

David’s Cemetery grounds are open every day, 24 hours a day for walking or visiting.

View historical monuments and beautiful scenery while getting a long walk. Don’t miss Old Glory Plaza, which was built in 2015 to memorialize members of the community, public servants, and military. Five 8-foot granite tablets pay tribute to each branch of the military.

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