(first syllable pronounced with a short double-O) is a city in the U.S. state
and the county seat
of Wayne County
. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio
approximately 50 mi (80 km) SSW of Cleveland
, Wooster is noted as the location of The College of Wooster
. Wooster was established in 1808 by John Bever, William Henry, and Joseph Larwill, and named after David Wooster, a general in the American Revolutionary War. The population was 24,811 at the 2000 census
. The city is the largest in Wayne County, and the center of the Wooster Micropolitan Statistical Area
(as defined by the United States Census Bureau
in 2003). Wooster has the main branch and administrative offices of the Wayne County Public Library
Wooster is the birthplace of physics Nobel Prize winner and chancellor of Washington University, Arthur Compton and his brother, physicist and president of MIT, Karl Taylor Compton.
Wooster is located at (40.809301, -81.937258).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37.3 km²), of which, 14.4 square miles (37.2 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.14%) is water.
The local bedrock consists of the Cuyahoga Formation (shale) and the overlying Logan Formation (sandstone and conglomerate), both Lower Carboniferous and rich in fossils.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 24,811 people, 10,040 households, and 6,174 families residing in the city. The population density
was 1,726.1 people per square mile (666.6/km²). There were 10,674 housing units at an average density of 742.6/sq mi (286.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.59% White
, 3.82% African American
, 0.26% Native American
, 1.54% Asian
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 0.36% from other races
, and 1.42% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.07% of the population.
There were 10,040 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 14.9% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,400, and the median income for a family was $47,118. Males had a median income of $34,021 versus $23,608 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,505. About 7.8% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
Mayor and council
The city is governed by an elected mayor. On January 1, 2008 former Republican Councilman Bob Breneman was sworn in as Mayor
There is a seven-member City Council: Ed Schuch (D-1st Ward), Keith Topovski (D-2nd Ward), David Silvestri (R-3rd Ward), Jeff Steiner (R-4th Ward), and at-large members Jon Ulbright (D), Jon Ansel (R) and Mike Buytendyk (R). Meetings are presided over by the City Council president who is elected at-large and only votes to break a tie. Silvestri, the council president pro tempore, is acting president after incumbent Jeff Griffin, a former councilman, took a job as director of the local chamber of commerce.
Municipal elections were held on November 6, 2007. Bob Breneman (R) defeated former city council member Mindy Cavin (D) 56 percent to 43 percent.
As of 2008, the city is represented in the Ohio House of Representatives by Jim Carmichael
(R); in the state Senate by Ron Amstutz
(R); and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Ralph Regula
(R). Both Carmichael and Amstutz are from Wooster.
In the 2006 elections, Carmichael ran unopposed for re-election. Regula defeated his Democratic challenger, the Rev. Thomas Shaw, a United Methodist Church minister from Wooster. Amstutz was not up for re-election.
In the 2008 election cycle, Carmichael is running for a Wayne County commissioner's seat, and Amstutz is running for his old House seat. Regula is retiring from Congress.
The city has a daily newspaper, The Daily Record, published by Dix Communications/Wooster Republican Printing Co., and a weekly paper, The Wooster Weekly News, published by Graphic Publications Inc. In addition, The Akron Beacon Journal occasionally covers the city and Wayne County.
Wooster is the home of a number of major industries. For example, Rubbermaid
made its corporate headquarters in Wooster until the end of 2003. Wooster Brush
and Wooster Motor Ways
have corporate headquarters located in Wooster.
For its size, Wooster is also dedicated to the "industry of education." It is common folklore that, with both The College of Wooster and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (a teaching and research facility dedicated to agricultural science, subsidiary of The Ohio State University), there were more Ph.D.s per capita in Wooster than anywhere else in Ohio.
In addition to these industries, Wooster remains an agricultural center for Ohio. The OARDC enriches the local farms with knowledge and expertise, which is proudly displayed at the annual Wayne County Fair, held each September (see also Fair). Students in Wooster and surrounding rural communities continue to enroll in youth farming programs such as 4-H and National FFA Organization. Many traditional Amish farmers come to Wooster by horse-and-buggy for commerce as well, including nearby Lehman's Hardware store, which provides electricity-free tools and appliances. Lehman's garnered international attention at the turn of the 21st century, during which there was a prevalent scare of what might happen to the electrical infrastructure of the nation when computers transitioned from 1999 to 2000. (See Y2K for more.)
Wooster, and the greater Wayne County community, is served by the Wayne Center for the Arts, which displays artwork by local artists, offers instructional courses, and stages performances
The Wooster Symphony Orchestra, in its 92nd season, is a joint venture between the Wooster community and the College of Wooster. The Symphony is the second oldest continually performing in the state .
The city of Wooster (as well as Wayne County) gained its first professional sports team when the Continental Indoor Football League
announced plans to place a 2007 expansion team, the Wayne County Rumble
in Wooster. However, team owner Ramone Davenport announced plans to move the team from Wayne to nearby Summit County due to a lack of suitable facilities in the area.
For the 2007-2008 season, Wooster was granted a team in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League called the Wooster Warriors. The MAHL suspended operations of February 2008, and the Warriors subsequently relocated to Trenton, Michigan. However, due to the presence of the junior hockey Wooster Oilers , hockey fans are not left without a team.
Wooster has never been actually given sister cities but interested targets are Buckhannon, West Virginia, Purcell, Oklahoma, and Huntington, West Virginia.
Points of interest
The following individuals were born in, raised in, lived in, or currently live in Wooster, Ohio.
- US Representative George Bliss, 1813-1868. Attorney, Judge, Politician.
- Vince Cellini, 1959- . Broadcaster, Sports Journalist.
- Dean Chance, 1941- . Major League Baseball Player.
- Dr. William Estabrook Chancellor, 1867-1963. Author, Professor of History.
- Dr. Martha Cowles Chase. 1927-2003. Biologist, Geneticist, Professor.
- Harvey Daniel Clark, 1879-1943. Major League Baseball Player.
- Dr. Arthur Holly Compton. 1892-1962. Physicist, Nobel Laureate.
- Dr. Karl Taylor Compton. 1887-1954. Physicist.
- John Dean, 1938- . Attorney, Policitian, Banker. White House Counsel to Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
- Bishop Edward Fenwick, 1768-1832. Priest, College Founder, Missionary.
- Elizebeth Friedman, 1892-1980. Cryptographer, Student of Languages and Literature.
- William H. Gass, 1924- . Author, Educator.
- Richard Gibbs, Musician.
- Guy Jackson Hecker, 1856-1938. Major League Baseball Player.
- Duncan Jones, Son of Hall of Fame Rock Musician, David Bowie.
- Jack Lengyel, Software Executive, Football Coach.
- US Senator Roscoe Conkling McCulloch, 1880-1958. Attorney, Policitian.
- George Morgan, 1924-1975. Country Music Performer.
- Roger Thorpe Peckinpaugh, 1891-1977. Major League Baseball Player.
- Jack Perkins, 1933- . Journalist.
- Dr. J.B. Rhine. 1895-1980. Psychologist, Professor of Parapsychology.
- Dr. James Stuart, Founder of Ohio Light Opera, Musician, Singer, Professor of Music.
- Lynn St. John, 1876-1950. Athlete, Basketball Coach.
- Tyrell Sutton, 1986- . Football Athlete.
- Oris Paxton Van Sweringen and Mantis James Van Sweringen, 1879-1936 and 1881-1934, respectively. Businessmen, Railroad Tycoons.
- John T. Walton, 1946-2005. Businessman, Soldier, Philanthropist. Son of Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton.
- Kaiser Wilhelm, 1874-1936. Major League Baseball Player.
- Dr. John Howard Yoder. 1927-1997. Christian (Mennonite) Theologian, Author, Pacifist.
- Charles Follis. 1879-1910. First African-American to play professional football.