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Facts About Parma, OH
Parma Township (1826–1924)
Self-government started to gain in popularity by the time the new Greenbriar settlement contained twenty householders. However, prior to the establishment of the new township, the name Greenbriar was replaced by the name Parma. This was largely due to Dr. David Long who had recently returned from Italy and “impressed with the grandeur and beauty…was reminded of Parma, Italy and…persuaded the early townspeople that the territory deserved a better name than Greenbriar.”
“On the petition of sundry inhabitants for a new township to be organized and erected comprising No. 6 in the 13th Range. Ordered that said Township No. 6 in the 13th Range be set off and erected into a new Township by the name of Parma, to be bounded by the original lines of said Township.
On the same day, a public notice was issued to qualified electors by the County Commissioners. They met at the house of Samuel Freeman on April 3, 1826 to elect township officers according to the law. It was then that the first eleven officers were elected to lead the new government.
During this time, Parma Township remained largely agricultural. The first schoolhouse was a log structure built on the hill at the northern corner of what is now Parma Heights Cemetery. A memorial plate on a stone marks the spot. In 1827, the township was divided into road districts. The Broadview Road of today was then known as Town Line Road as well as Independence Road. Ridge Road was known then as Center Road as it cut through the center of town. York Road was then known as York Street as arrivals from the state of New York settled there. Pearl Road then had many names which included Medina Wooster Pike, Wooster Pike, the Cleveland Columbus Road, and the Brighton and Parma Plank Road.
A stone house, built in 1849 and known as the Henninger House, was occupied by several generations of Henningers and is still standing today. The house rests on one of the higher points in Cuyahoga County, which provided visibility for the entire northeastern part of Parma Township. This was also the same site where the Erie Indians, centuries before, stood to read and send fire signals as well as pray to their spirits.
By 1850, the US census listed Parma Township’s population at 1,329. However, the rising population of the township had slowed over the decades. The Civil War affected Parma much as it did other towns and villages in the nation. Three out of four homes sent a father, sons, or sometimes both, to fight in the war. By 1910, the population of the township had increased to 1,631.
In 1911, Parma Heights, due to the temperance mood of the day, separated itself from the Parma Township after by a vote of 42 to 32 and was incorporated as a village comprising 4.13 square miles.
“A main reason for establishing the village of Parma Heights was to get a town marshal…There is one saloon in the territory…some pretty rough crowds Sundays have disturbed the quiet of the neighborhood…wanted it closed on Sundays. To do this they wished a town marshal. They couldn’t have a town marshal without becoming a village, so they became one.”
WHERE TO FIND US:
365 Highland Road
Macedonia, OH 44056