Windham, Ohio

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Windham, Ohio
Motto: "United We Stand"
Location of Windham within the state of Ohio.
Location of Windham within the state of Ohio.
Location within Portage County.
Location within Portage County.
Coordinates: 41°14′19″N 81°2′12″W / 41.23861°N 81.03667°W / 41.23861; -81.03667Coordinates: 41°14′19″N 81°2′12″W / 41.23861°N 81.03667°W / 41.23861; -81.03667
Country United States
State Ohio
County Portage
 • Mayor Deborah Blewitt
 • Total 2.06 sq mi (5.34 km2)
 • Land 2.06 sq mi (5.34 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 2,209
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 2,191
 • Density 1,072.3/sq mi (414.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 44288
Area code(s) 330, 234
Website [2]

Windham is a village in Portage County, Ohio, United States. It is formed from portions of Windham Township, one of the original townships of the Connecticut Western Reserve. The population was 2,209 at the 2010 census.[5] In 1942, the US government chose Windham as the site of an army camp for workers at the newly built Ravenna Arsenal. As a result, Windham experienced the largest increase in population of any municipality in the United States between the 1940 and 1950 censuses: The population increased from 316 residents to 3,946.[6]

Windham is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area. Owing to its location, which is slightly closer to Youngstown than Akron and significantly closer to Warren (at 12.8 miles (20.6 km) away, even closer to Windham than the county seat of Ravenna[7]), the village also positions itself in relation to cities in the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Area.[7][8] Accordingly, the sole bank in Windham holds membership in the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.[9]


Prior to 1811, the land now comprising the Village and Township of Windham was owned by Caleb Strong,[10] as part of his holdings through the Ohio Company of Associates.[11] On September 11, 1810, a group of sixteen men met in Becket, Massachusetts at the home of Thatcher Conant to discuss the purchase of land in Ohio for settlement. These men, who would be known as the Beckett [sic] Land Company, consisted of Conant, Elijah Alford, Nathan Birchard, Gideon Bush, Dillingham Clark, Elisha Clark, Isaac Clark, Benjamin Higley, Aaron P. Jagger, Enos Kingsley, Jeremiah Lyman, Bille Messenger, Ebenezer Messenger, Benjamin C. Perkins, John Seely, and Alpheus Streator.[10]

On November 11, 1810, the Beckett Land Company purchased about 14,825 acres (59.99 km2) from Caleb Strong. The land was divided into 100 lots, and allotted according to each family's investment in the company. Conant, his wife Elizabeth, Dillingham and Abigail Clark, and Alpheus and Anna Streator donated portions of their allotments near the center of the township for a village green,[10] which was common practice for townships in the Connecticut Western Reserve. The group of sixteen families then departed from Massachusetts on May 2, 1811.[12] Six weeks later,[12] they arrived in the purchased survey township, which was located immediately south of Nelson Township in the Connecticut Western Reserve. This new township, known today as Windham Township, was survey town 4 in range 6 of the Western Reserve.

The first religious service in the new township was held on July 28, 1811, in the home of one of the settlers. This service was very likely Congregationalist, as several of the families belonged to the Congregational Church in Becket, Massachusetts.[12] The Congregational Church eventually constructed a building on the Green, and today that church still remains on the Green as a member church of the United Church of Christ.

The Windham Historical Society notes that the township was originally named Strongsburg,[13] however, some sources cite the original name as Strongsburgh.[10] The namesake was original landowner Caleb Strong, who was by then the Governor of Massachusetts. There is some discrepancy in how this township came to be known as Windham. According to the Windham Historical Society, the name of the township "was changed to Sharon, by an act of legislature in about 1820…. A few years later the name was again changed to Windham, which it has remained to present." The Historical Society also cites political concerns as the reason the name was changed from Strongsburg to Sharon.[13] However, on Windham Township's website, March 2, 1813 is cited as the date on which "the Township was made a district by itself and the name was changed to 'Sharon'." The website goes on to state that in 1820, by an act of legislature, the name was changed again to Windham.[10] Yet another source, The Ohio Gazetteer, and Travelers's [sic] Guide, states that the name was changed from Sharon to Windham in January, 1829.[14] Still another source places these dates as 1817 and 1820, respectively.[6] Common to most sources are a few claims which reasonably can be ascertained to be fact:

  • Caleb Strong was the original namesake of the township.[6][10][12][13]
  • The name of the township was changed from Strongsburg/Strongsburgh, to Sharon, and again to Windham.[6][10][12][13]
  • The second name change, from Sharon to Windham, was in honor of Windham, Connecticut—home to at least some of the township's original settlers.[6][10][13]

A private academy was chartered in Windham on February 19, 1835.[6] Windham Academy was the 44th to be chartered by Ohio.[15] This school closed in 1853, and was replaced by a second, short-lived private school in the 1860s. Windham High School was founded in 1883, across the street from the present school building.

The Village of Windham was incorporated in 1892, and on October 12, 1993 the village officially withdrew from Windham Township.[7]

Ravenna Arsenal[edit]

Entrance to the Ravenna Arsenal (now known as Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center) from Windham

In 1940, the United States Department of the Army reserved 21,418 acres (86.68 km2) in eastern Portage County for the construction of two facilities[16] One of these was the Portage Ordnance Depot, which with its twin facility the Ravenna Ordnance Plant became known as the Ravenna Arsenal. Over 14,000 people were employed at the Arsenal during World War II, and the village of Windham was chosen as the site to house many of these workers. Windham experienced a population boom as a result; its growth of over 1100% was the largest of any U.S. municipality in the 1950 Census, as was reported in the June 1951 edition of National Geographic Magazine.[17]


Windham is located at 41°14′19″N 81°2′12″W / 41.23861°N 81.03667°W / 41.23861; -81.03667 (41.238706, -81.036731).[18]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.06 square miles (5.34 km2), all land.[1] Interstate 80 and the Ohio Turnpike pass through the village, although there is presently no interchange in either Windham or Windham Township. Windham's location on the toll highway, however, has in recent years caused an expansion of 3G wireless communication services for the people of Windham.[19]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 283
1910 261 −7.8%
1920 314 20.3%
1930 374 19.1%
1940 316 −15.5%
1950 3,946 1,148.7%
1960 3,777 −4.3%
1970 3,360 −11.0%
1980 3,721 10.7%
1990 2,943 −20.9%
2000 2,806 −4.7%
2010 2,209 −21.3%
Est. 2015 2,205 [20] −0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,209 people, 786 households, and 598 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,072.3 inhabitants per square mile (414.0/km2). There were 1,045 housing units at an average density of 507.3 per square mile (195.9/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 91.2% White, 4.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 786 households of which 45.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 29.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 23.9% were non-families. 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.14.

The median age in the village was 31.6 years. 31.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.8% were from 25 to 44; 23.4% were from 45 to 64; and 9.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 46.8% male and 53.2% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[22] of 2000, there were 2,806 people, 959 households, and 729 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,321.4 people per square mile (511.0/km²). There were 1,143 housing units at an average density of 538.2 per square mile (208.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 92.94% White, 4.92% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.18% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.

There were 959 households out of which 45.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 27.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.9% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.31.

In the village the population was spread out with 35.9% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $31,630, and the median income for a family was $32,679. Males had a median income of $30,791 versus $20,859 for females. The per capita income for the village was $11,875. About 23.5% of families and 23.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.1% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.


Windham has regular public transit bus service on a weekday Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority route from Ravenna, that also services Garrettsville and Hiram in eastern Portage County.[23]

Notable Windhamites[edit]

Windham has produced and served as home to multiple notable individuals in diverse fields. Politician Laurin D. Woodworth was born in Windham and represented Ohio's 17th district in the United States Congress from 1873 until 1877.[24] Windham is also the birthplace of Thomson Jay Hudson, known for his three laws of psychic phenomena.[25] Writer Angela Johnson was raised in Windham[26] and stated her inspiration to become an author came as a student in the Windham Exempted Village School District.[27] Former Wabash College, Marshall University, Kansas State University, and former Ball State University head football coach Stan Parrish lived in Windham from 1969 to 1974 at the beginning of his coaching career and served as head coach at Windham High School from 1972 until 1974 after serving as an assistant.[28] Dempster Woodworth, Wisconsin state senator and physician, was born in Windham.[29]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "History of the Windham Schools". Windham Exempted Village School District. 1998. Archived from the original on 2004-08-10. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Village of Windham, Ohio". Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Where is Windham, Ohio?". Windham Chamber of Commerce. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  9. ^ "Cortland Banks - Windham". Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h About Windham Township. Windham Township Government, Windham, Ohio. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  11. ^ Manuscripts and Documents of the Ohio Company of Associates. Digital Collections at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c d e Windham - 1811 - 1850
  13. ^ a b c d e "Windham Historical Society". Portage County Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  14. ^ "The Ohio Gazetteer, and Travelers's Guide". Ohio Tidbits. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  15. ^ "Ohio History the Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society". 
  16. ^, Ravenna Arsenal page. Retrieved October 24, 2007.
  17. ^ Windham Exempted Village School District (1998). History of the Windham Schools Retrieved July 29, 2004. Site no longer available online, archived at Internet Archive.[1] Archive retrieved October 24, 2007
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  19. ^ "Alltel Wireless expands wireless broadband network in Ohio". 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2013-11-25. Coverage also runs east along Interstate 80 from Vermilion to Windham, and extends northeast to Lake County, southeast to the town of Deerfield and southwest to the town of Lodi. 
  20. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  23. ^ "PARTA :: Routes and Schedules". Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  24. ^ Laurin D. Woodworth's biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  25. ^ The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans
  26. ^ "Angela Johnson biography". Scholastic. 
  27. ^ "Angela Johnson: Highlights of a Life". Ohioana Authors. WOSU. 
  28. ^ Stan Parrish profile at Accessed June 10, 2008
  29. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1899,' Biographical Sketch of Dempster Woodworth, pg. 755

External links[edit]