Situated in East Union Township, Wayne County, the village of Apple Creek was actually formed from two separate settlements.
Several Scotch-Irish families had settled in the area by 1817, the same year they organized a presbyterian church. Growth came quickly; in another year, the settlement had a mill, tavern, church building, general store, tannery, foundry and butcher shop. New people continued to move into the area, which still had no formal name.
Several years later, in 1832, William Thomas and John Cheyney founded and platted the village of Edinburg, probably named as a tribute to the ancestry of the early settlers.
Two decades after Edinburg’s founding, the Cleveland, Akron and Mt. Vernon Railroad began buying land in the area for a proposed railway. John Hindman owned a parcel of land that crossed SR 250, and in 1854 he laid the first plat for a village he called Apple Creek Station. He built a grocery and a post office for the new town, and soon a blacksmith shop, boarding house and store followed. Apple Creek Station soon grew as the railroad demanded supplies. Warehouses for grain, coal and other supplies were built all along what is now High Street; this became a very busy area because of the railroad.
Meanwhile, the population of Edinburg continued to grow, and by 1860 the U.S. Census recorded a doctor, innkeeper, four grocers, three tailors, three blacksmiths and three carpenters among the citizens of the village. At this time there were approximately fifty buildings in Edinburg.
By 1877, the two villages had edged closer together, with more and more land between them being built up. So, the decision was made to combine the two settlements and incorporate them as one village – Apple Creek.
After its formal founding, several prominent business were established in the area, including Shultz’s Carriage Shop, and, in 1882, a large mill which was operated as a flour mill until 1970.
Electricity came to the little village in 1919. Around this time the main street was paved, but only with one lane down the middle. People driving their new Model T Fords downtown had to keep only one wheel on the pavement, but everyone agreed this was better than having both wheels in the mud!
In 1953 the village purchased land for a park, and in 1965 a sewer system was added, making for a much more pleasant atmosphere. A major flood in 1969 did much damage in Wayne County as a whole; Apple Creek’s railroad was washed away, and has never been rebuilt.
The village derives its name from the creek which runs nearby and from a very famous visitor to the area in the early 1800s.
Jonathan Chapman, more commonly known as Johnny Appleseed, passed through Wayne County and planted a nursery of trees on the banks of Little Sugar Creek. His legacy lives on in the village festival, Johnny Appleseed Days, held each summer and quite well known around the area. This year’s event will be held in Apple Creek on July 27th and 28th. Don’t miss a visit to this small town and its establishments – including a very well known bakery and restaurant.
– Some information taken from History of Wayne County, Ohio, copyright 1987 by the Wayne County History Book Committee. (July 2001)