Statue of General Edward Paine
Charter Oak Park
Painesville, Ohio, is the county seat of Lake County.
Surveyed by the Connecticut Land Company in 1798 as part of their Western Reserve land holdings, the first settlers came in 1800. The leaders of a band of sixty-six pioneers to this new community were John Walworth and Gen. Edward Paine, formerly of Connecticut but more recently of Scipio, New York.
In 1800 the Western Reserve became Trumbull County and at the first Court of Quarter Sessions, the county was divided into eight political townships. The smallest of these was named Painesville, for Gen. Paine, and embraced what later became the townships of Perry, Leroy, Hambden, Concord, Chardon, Mentor, and Kirtland. The township government was organized in 1802. The post office in Painesville was opened in 1803 with John Walworth as postmaster.
In what was to become the commercial center of the township was a settlement called Oak Openings, its name being descriptive of the scrub oaks and sandy soil. It was here in 1805 that Gen. Henry Champion laid out a village plat and called it Champion. But in 1832 when this portion of the township was incorporated, the name Painesville was chosen. In 1840 Lake County was created from portions of Geauga and Cuyahoga Counties; and Painesville was made the county seat and a court house erected. In 1852 the Town of Painesville became a village and in 1902 the village became the City of Painesville.
by Carl Thomas Engel, Reference Librarian and Local Historian
page last updated 30 September 2000