Wooster, Ohio

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Wooster, Ohio
City of Wooster
Downtown overlooking the square and gazebo, July 2012
Downtown overlooking the square and gazebo, July 2012
Location of Wooster in Wayne County and state of Ohio
Location of Wooster in Wayne County and state of Ohio
Coordinates: 40°48′33″N 81°56′14″W / 40.80917°N 81.93722°W / 40.80917; -81.93722
WOOSTER OHIO Latitude and Longitude:

40°48′33″N 81°56′14″W / 40.80917°N 81.93722°W / 40.80917; -81.93722
Country United States
State Ohio
County Wayne
Founded 1808
 •  Mayor Bob Brenneman( R)
Area [1]
 • Total 16.36 sq mi (42.37 km2)
 • Land 16.31 sq mi (42.24 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)
Elevation [2] 997 ft (304 m)
Population ( 2010) [3]
 • Total 26,119
 • Estimate (2012 [4]) 26,375
 • Density 1,601.4/sq mi (618.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) ( UTC-5)
 • Summer ( DST) EDT ( UTC-4)
ZIP code 44691
Area code(s) 330
FIPS code 39-86548 [5]
GNIS feature ID 1049345 [2]
Website http://www.woosteroh.com/

Wooster /ˈwʊstər/ is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Wayne County. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio approximately 50 mi (80 km) SSW of Cleveland and 35 mi (56 km) SW of Akron. Wooster is noted as the location of The College of Wooster. The population was 24,811 at the 2000 census and 26,119 at the 2010 Census. [6] 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). Wooster has the main branch and administrative offices of the Wayne County Public Library. [7]

Wooster is the birthplace of the Compton brothers: Arthur Compton, physics Nobel Prize winner and chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis, Karl Taylor Compton, physicist and president of MIT, and Wilson Martindale Compton, diplomat and president of Washington State University.

In 2013, Foreign Direct Investment magazine reviewed Wooster's business friendliness and strategy, and has ranked it among North America's Top 10 Micro Cities 2013/2014. [8] [9]


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. [10]

Geography and geology

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.36 square miles (42.37 km2), of which, 16.31 square miles (42.24 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water. [1] The city rests at 997 feet above sea level.

The local bedrock consists of the Cuyahoga Formation (shale) and the overlying Logan Formation (sandstone and conglomerate), both Lower Carboniferous and rich in fossils. [11]


In 2011, 93.3% spoke English, 2.4% Spanish, and 1.3% German. [12] [13]

2010 census

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 291
1820 467 60.5%
1830 977 109.2%
1840 1,913 95.8%
1850 2,797 46.2%
1860 3,361 20.2%
1870 5,419 61.2%
1880 5,840 7.8%
1890 5,901 1.0%
1900 6,063 2.7%
1910 6,136 1.2%
1920 8,204 33.7%
1930 10,742 30.9%
1940 11,543 7.5%
1950 14,005 21.3%
1960 17,046 21.7%
1970 18,703 9.7%
1980 19,273 3.0%
1990 22,191 15.1%
2000 24,811 11.8%
2010 26,119 5.3%
Est. 2016 27,023 [14] 3.5%
Sources: [5] [15] [16] [17] [18]

As of the census [3] of 2010, there were 26,119 people, 10,733 households, and 6,244 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,601.4 inhabitants per square mile (618.3/km2). There were 11,822 housing units at an average density of 724.8 per square mile (279.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.2% White, 3.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 10,733 households of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.8% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 37.3 years. 20.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 14.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 25.1% were from 45 to 64; and 16.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.

2000 census

As of the census [5] 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 per square mile (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 or Latino 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.


Wooster is the headquarters of several industrial entities. Buehler Food Markets Inc., Wooster Brush, Seaman Corp., Tricor Industrial, Wooster Motor Ways, and Certified Angus Beef have corporate headquarters located in Wooster. Rubbermaid made its corporate headquarters in Wooster until the end of 2003. LuK, the German maker of dual clutch transmissions has its North America headquarters in Wooster where mainly torque converters are produced. Other large commercial operations in Wooster are Frito-Lay, Akron Brass, United Titanium, and Bogner Construction Company.

Wooster is also the world headquarters of the Prentke Romich Company (PRC) which is a member of a consortium of companies that produce assistive technology and augmentative communication devices. [19]

For its size, Wooster is also dedicated to the "industry of education." It has The College of Wooster, and two subsidiaries of The Ohio State University: the Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI); and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), a teaching and research facility dedicated to agricultural science.

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. A few traditional Amish farmers come to Wooster by horse-and-buggy for commerce as well.

In June 2013, the city of Wooster announced that Daisy Brand, a sour cream producer, plans to open a new Midwest manufacturing plant in Wooster. Daisy Brand promised to create at least 89 full-time positions and is slated to begin production sometime in 2016.

The overlap of strong education and advanced manufacturing has led to number of small innovative firms being founded in Wooster in recent years including Quasar Energy Group, [20] ExpenseWire, [21] ABSMaterials, [22] 3i-ingredients, and Cureo. [21]

Wooster also has a local food community including Local Roots, a collective year round farmer's market for locally produced goods. At present, there are over 150 local farmers and producers. Local Roots has garnered national attention for its innovative efforts. [23]

The Wayne County Airport (BJJ) serves as an air access point for many of the businesses throughout the city.

Arts and culture

Architectural telamon (or atlas) on the courthouse entrance.

The arts

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. [24]

The College of Wooster is home to the Ohio Light Opera, a professional opera company that performs the light opera repertory, including Gilbert and Sullivan, and American, British, and continental operettas of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [25]


The Wooster Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1915, is a joint venture between the Wooster community and the College of Wooster. The Symphony is the second oldest continually performing in the state. [26]


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, [27] and the Warriors subsequently relocated to Trenton, Michigan.

Wooster was the home to the Wooster Korn Kings, which was a minor league professional ice hockey team that was a member of the All American Hockey League. [28] The team's home arena was Alice Noble Ice Arena.

Since 2006, the Wooster Oilers have called Alice Noble Ice Arena home. The Oilers are a USA Hockey sanctioned Tier III hockey team that plays in the NA3HL. The team is intended to move players onto higher levels of junior hockey or college hockey.

Club Sport Began play League Venue League championships Championship years
Wooster Oilers ice hockey 2006 North American 3 Hockey League Alice Noble Ice Arena 1 2009–2010

Parks and recreation

Wooster has several parks in town and nearby with hiking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Wooster Memorial Park, locally known as Spangler Park, offers 7 miles of hiking trails through woods, ravines, and open fields along the Rathburn Run. Christmas Run Park has playgrounds and pavilions, as well as a picnic area. Schellin Park offers a skate park as well as playground and picnic facilities. [29] The newly opened Oak Hill Park is located at the intersection of Oak Hill and Oldman Roads, and offers pavilions and walking trails. Wooster also has several opportunities for outdoor and indoor recreation. Acres of Fun, a local entertainment complex, offers visitors the chance to relax with family activities like go-karting and laser tag. The local college campus, the College of Wooster, boasts a golf course, bowling alley, and multipurpose athletic facility that are all open to the public. Also located in the city is Wooster Skateland, an indoor ice skating and hockey facility open year-round.


Wayne County courthouse in downtown Wooster

Mayor and council

The city is governed by an elected mayor. On January 1, 2008, former Councilman Bob Breneman (R) was sworn in as Mayor. [30]

There is a seven-member City Council: Mark Cavin (D-1st Ward), Barbara Knapic (R-2nd Ward), David Silvestri (R-3rd Ward), Jeff Steiner (R-4th Ward), and at-large members Jon Ulbright (D), Jon Ansel (R) and Craig Sanders (R). Meetings are presided over by Mike Buytendyk (R) the City Council president who is elected at-large and only votes to break a tie. Jon Ansel is the council president pro tempore.

Elected representatives

As of 2017, the city is represented in the Ohio House of Representatives by Scott Wiggam (R); in the Ohio Senate by Frank LaRose (R); in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jim Renacci (R), and in the U.S Senate by Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.



Wooster Daily Record headquarters in downtown Wooster

The city has a daily newspaper, The Daily Record, previously published by Dix Communications/Wooster Republican Printing Co. Currently published by Gatehouse Media, 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.


The city has a locally owned interactive city magazine, WoosterGrapevine.com. It includes local news, events, classifieds, arcades, photos, videos, and other local information.

Sister cities

The town of Collepietro in the Province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzi region of Italy, is officially recognized as a Sister City of Wooster.

Points of interest

Notable people

The following individuals were born in, raised in, lived in, or currently live in Wooster.


Wooster ... Ohio ...



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