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Painesville City


Painesville City Hall is located at 7 Richmond Street, Painesville, OH 44077; phone: 440-352-9301.

Matthews House, ca. 1829, 309 West Washington Street, Painesville, OH, National Register

Photo: Matthews House, ca. 1829, 309 West Washington Street, Painesville, OH. This home was designed and built by master builder Jonathan Goldsmith for Dr. John H. Matthews. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Photographed by user:LeeG7144 (own work), 2012, [cc-by-3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed November, 2013.

Beginnings [1]

According to local historian Carl Thomas Engel's account of Painesville's history as found on the Morley Library website [2], the City dates back to 1800 when a band of sixty-six pioneers first settled what was then part of the Western Reserve. This group was led by John Walworth and Revolutionary War veteran, General Edward Paine. In that same year, the Western Reserve became Trumbull County which was subsequently divided into eight political townships, the smallest of which was named Painesville. The township government was organized in 1802 and the post office was opened in 1803 with John Walworth as postmaster.

The settlement area which grew to become the City of Painesville was originally named Oak Openings by Mr. Walworth and General Paine in deference to the prevalent oak trees and sandy soil. In 1805, General Henry Champion laid out a village plan which he named Champion. In 1832, when this portion of the Township was incorporated, the name was changed to Painesville.

In 1840, Lake County was created from portions of Geauga and Cuyahoga counties, and Painesville was designated the Lake County seat. Painesville became a town in 1832, a village in 1852, and a city in 1902.

By 1940, the City had grown to a population of 12,235. As documented in the US Census data, the City has experienced periods of substantial growth and decline in the last sixty years, most notably in the 40's, 50's and 60's when the population grew to 14,432 by 1950, reduced to 12,967 by 1960, and the grew by almost 30% to 16,391 in 1980. Since 1980, the City's population remained either slightly above or slightly below 16,000 through the mid-to-late 1990's when it started to steadily grow to its 2000 Census population of 17,503.

  1. City of Painesville, Ohio, 2006 Comprehensive Plan Update, www.painesville.com, accessed November, 2013.
  2. Morley Library, www.morely library.org.
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