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The Growth of the Township

The City of Louisville is now within Constitution Township and surrounded by Nimishillen Township, one of the original townships of Stark County. The City of Louisville originated from Harrisburg, platted in 1872, the oldest settled community in Nimishillen Township.

Immigrants were first attracted to the area because of its abundant timber, especially chestnut and poplar trees. Harrisburg quickly became a flourishing village serving as a stagecoach stop, situated at the junction of roads between Canton, Alliance, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. In 1835, the development of the railroad changed the history of the village, drawing business to the area.

Hauling wheat by barge was a marketing disadvantage for Harrisburg, but the prosperity of Louisville was assured with the coming of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago Railroads in 1852. During this year alone, 129 new lots were added to the city in four additions, and several industries began operation, using the railroad to expand their marketing area.

The Settling and Development of Louisville

On October 8, 1834, Louisville was formally settled by Henry Lautzenheiser, from Germany, and Henry Fainot, a French Huguenot. The city was named after Lautzenheiser's son, Lewis, and called Lewisville, Ohio. When the post office was established in 1837, it was discovered Ohio already had a Lewisville, so the spelling was changed to Louisville.

The plat contained 33 lots; 18 owned by Lautzenheiser and 15 by Fainot. The lots measured 60 x 180 feet and extended back to 20-foot-wide alleys. The two original streets were Main and Chapel. In 1872, the 800 residents of Louisville decided to incorporate.

These residents farmed and worked at the industries who began operating in Louisville. Some of the 19th century industries included a plow manufacturing company, a woolen mill, a brewery which produced 2,000 barrels annually, a basket factory, flour mills, tanneries, and a brick yard. The Commercial and Washington Hotels served the merchants and other travelers passing through the area.

By the turn of the century, the flourishing Louisville was in need of adequate public services. In 1894, $18,000 in revenue bonds funded a public water system, and the first sewage system was installed in 1910. Main Street was the first to be paved in 1913 and 1914. The various residences, businesses and community facilities exist today on the original foundations that were built during the 1800s and early 1900s.

Constitution Town

In 1952, Louisville resident Olga T. Weber petitioned municipal officials to establish Constitution Day, in honor of the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789. Presiding Mayor Gerald A. Romary proclaimed September 17, 1952, as Constitution Day in the city. The following April, Weber requested that the Ohio General Assembly proclaim September 17 as state-wide Constitution Day. Her request was signed into law by Governor Frank J. Lausche.

Weber didn't stop there. In August 1953, she urged the United States Senate to pass a resolution designating September 17-23 as Constitution Week. The Senate and House approved her request and it was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On April 15, 1957, the City Council of Louisville declared the city Constitution Town. The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society later donated four historical markers, located at the four main entrances to the city, explaining Louisville's role as originator of Constitution Day.

Louisville Today

The city's population has steadily increased during the last 100 years, with the most active growth occurring in the 1920s and 1950s. Even when every other city in Stark County lost population, Louisville continued to grow. When Louisville passed the 5,000 population mark in the 1950s, its status changed form a village to a city. Currently, 8,300 residents proudly call Louisville home.