Stow is named for Joshua Stow, its original proprietor. Joshua Stow was a member of the party led by Moses Cleaveland to survey the lands of the Connecticut Western Reserve around present-day Cleveland in 1796. He was a native of Middletown, Connecticut, however, and never lived in Stow, though he spent both time and money developing the township and is quoted as saying it was “one of the prettiest and most romantic spots in the Western Reserve.”[10] The land that would eventually be known as Stow Township was the survey township “Town 3, Range 10” of the Western Reserve and was initially 25 square miles (65 km2). It was purchased by Joshua Stow for $14,154. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the area around what is now Stow was inhabited by a tribe of Seneca Native Americans at a small settlement in the area that is now part of the neighboring village of Silver Lake.[11][12]

The first settler in Stow Township was William Walker, who arrived in 1802. Walker built a cabin just south of the land of his father Robert in Hudson Township mistakenly believing he was building in Hudson. In 1804, when Stow Township was separated from Hudson Township and surveyed into lots by Joseph Darrow, it was discovered his house was actually in Stow Township. Walker purchased the lot his home was on and continued to live there. Darrow had been hired by Joshua Stow’s land agent William Wetmore, a settler also from Middletown, Connecticut, who moved to Stow in 1804 with his family and several other settlers. The Wetmores built a cabin in July 1804 near the center of Stow Township and the present-day intersection of Darrow Road and Kent Road. In 1808, the Wetmores built a home near the Seneca settlement in what is now Silver Lake. The house overlooked a small lake, known as Silver Lake since 1874, that was known earlier as Wetmore Pond or Stow Lake. Stow Township was formally organized in 1808 with the first election held in 1811. 1808 was also the year it was made part of the original Portage County. It remained as part of Portage County until it was included in the new Summit County in 1840.[11][13]

Most of the original 25-square-mile (65 km2) township is part of the present day city of Stow, but parts of the original township form all or part of three neighboring communities. Munroe Falls was settled in 1809 as “Kelsey Mills” in the southern part of Stow Township and incorporated as a village in 1838. Cuyahoga Falls was developed on land owned by Wetmore and Joshua Stow beginning in 1825 in the southwestern part of the township and became a town in 1837. In 1851, Cuyahoga Falls Township was created, taking the southwest corner of Stow Township along with parts of three neighboring townships. Cuyahoga Falls incorporated as a village in 1868 and later annexed additional portions of Stow Township in the 19th and 20th centuries as did Munroe Falls. Silver Lake incorporated as a village in 1918 on land that had previously been part of Stow Township. The remainder of Stow Township incorporated in 1957 as a village and became a city following the 1960 United States Census.[11][12][14]

History provided by: Wikipedia

townhallHoused in a one room office in the basement of the old Town Hall, the Stow Police Department was first established in April 1957, and consisted of  Police Chief Robert Avery (a patrolman from the Akron Police Department) and  Police Officers Robert Woodardand Ronald Harper who were former Summit County Sheriffs Deputies. There were no requirements for specialized training, as there are today, and most training was done on-the-job.

In 1958, 3 officers were added to the force as well as part-time volunteer “Special” Police. These “Special” officers were similar to the Reserves today, but they were permitted to carry firearms. In 1957, all dispatching was performed by the City of Cuyahoga Falls.  However, in 1959 the department moved to the first floor of the old Town Hall, occupied two offices, and began their own dispatching.
pd1bIn 1967, having long outgrown the space in the old Town Hall, the City of Stow purchased a building at the intersection of State Route 59 and State Route 91 which had been used over the years as a wholesale food warehouse, an aluminum storm door company, a fruit and produce market and the Sealtest Dairy ice cream storage and distribution facility.  This “new” facility was to house the Police and Fire departments from 1967 until the present Safety Center was built in 1995.  At the time, this facility was a vast improvement for the department and officers at that time couldn’t imagine outgrowing the “spacious” facility.

oldpdIn 1995 Stow Police and Fire Departments moved into the Stow Safety Center located behind City Hall at the intersection of Graham Road and State Route 91.  This facility currently houses all Police functions and boasts an indoor firing range,  exercise room, a 12 day jail facility; which is not yet in operation; offices and interview rooms, a polygraph area, and an evidence storage and laboratory facility.  Since its initial stages, our police department has grown from a staff of 3 full-time police officers to 43 full-time police officers, and we employ additional staff who provide support including Youth Services, Police Records, Community Service, and Crime Prevention.


Over the years, ten men have served as Chief of Police for our city. Chief Robert L. Avery served two years, from 1957 to 1959.  Chief Robert Woodard served four years, from 1959 to 1963.  Chief Ronald Harper served three years from 1963 to1966.  Chief Richard K. Robison served four years, from 1966 until 1970.  Lt. Lawrence P. Miller served as “Acting Chief” between 1970 and 1973.  In 1973 Chief Darrell D. Wagnerbegan an eleven year term as Stow Police Chief.  Then, Lt. Paul F. Long served as “Acting Chief” from 1984 until 1985 when Chief Robert Tilton came from Kent State University Police Department and became Stow’s longest serving Chief of Police, from 1985 until he retired seventeen years later, in 2002. Captain Rick Myers served as “Acting Chief” from 2002 until Chief Louis A. Dirker, Jr. joined the Department in 2003. Jeff Film became Police Chief in 2014.

(Munroe Falls & Silver Lake are color-coded)

Timeline of Stow Township, Ohio: Buildings, Roads, Developments
Nineteenth Century
1796-97 Moses Cleaveland’s party explored mouth of  Cuyahoga, with Joshua Stow “Town 3, Range 10”
1799 Hudson twp. settled, north of Stow *
1802 Walker family cabin  5369 Stow Rd. (in NE)
1803 Betsy Walker born 5369 Stow Rd. (in NE)
1803 Ohio becomes a state *
1803 Starr settled “Call Farm”  Fish Creek Rd. (before road was there)
1804 Bridge over Cuyahoga in Franklin Mills Kent, OH
1804 Mary Campbell born Stow Township
1804 Stow settled by Wetmores. etc. in June *
1804 Wetmore house, July Stow Center
1805 Franklin settled (1867 named Kent) *
1806 First church held (Stephen Butler home) 3226 Kent Rd.
1806 First school held (Walker cabin) 5369 Stow Rd. (in NE)
1807 1st burial in Maple Lawn Cemetery (aka Maple Grove, Darrowville) Darrow Rd.
1807 Judge Wm. Wetmore farmhouse  (“treaty steps”) 3020 Kent Rd.
1808 First sawmill, by Ezra Wyatt  3428 Hudson Rd. (Stow Corners) 
1808 new Wm. Wetmore house 3060 Kent Rd.(E of Wetmore Pond) (Silver Lake)
1808 Stow is organized *
1808-09 Samuel Baker’s house N. of cemetery
1809 John Graham’s farm W. Graham Rd.
1809 Stow Cemetery’s first burial (Eliz. Goodwin Gaylord, wife of Jonathan G., Sr.) Kent Rd.
1810 First schoolhouse built Stow Corners
1810 First tavern, Ezra Wyatt Stow Corners NE
1811 First election of officers, Butler’s cabin Darrow, N of Graham
1812 Caleb Wetmore house 3438 Kent Rd.
1809 Wm. Stow et al, settled Kelsey Mills (now Munroe Falls) *
1809 Gristmill, by Kelsey & Wilcox Cuyahoga River at Bailey Rd.
1812 first dam across river by Kelsey & Wilcox Bailey Rd.
1817 Second dam, by Kelsey, at site of present one Munroe Falls
1818 Kelseys’ new gristmill beside Graham distillery Munroe Falls
1821 Thorton Kitchen 147 S. Main St., Munroe Falls
1812? Indians left SL Silver Lake
1812-1814 War of 1812 *
1815 Hudson Road improved by Joseph Darrow from center of Stow to Hudson line
1816 John Graham house & distillery  Munroe Falls N. of river
1817 Sawmill by Wolcott & Griswold  Munroe Falls N. of river
1819 Titus Wetmore home built (later Dunn-Quigley Funeral Home) Kent Rd.
1820 Edwin Wetmore’s house  3060 Kent Rd. (S.L.)
1825 There were 10 schoolhouses by then *
1825 Woolcott house E. Kent Rd.
1825 Wm. Wetmore & J. Stow est. Cuyahoga Falls (from SW Stow Twp.) *
1825 Dam built in Cuyahoga Falls *
1825-26 Saw- grist- linseed- mills built in Cuyahoga Falls *
1826 Paper mill built in Cuyahoga Falls *
1828 Starr/Call farmhouse built by Josiah Starr 5215 Fish Creek Rd.  
1831 1st church bldg. – Presby. Kent Rd., beside cemet.
1831 Schoolhouse #3 built  Darrow Rd. N. of Stow Corners
1832 Southmayd Hse.  Stow & Darrow Rds.
1826 Sadler farmhse. 954 McCauley Rd. (Metz)
1834 Metz Church built McCauley Rd.
1890? Metz post office  887 McCauley Rd.
1834 Titus Wetmore house Stow Corners NW
1836 Wm. Graham hse.  1670 Graham Rd.
1838 “White Haven” built Fish Creek & Graham Rds. NW
1837 Tornado dest. Fred Sanford house Graham Rd. SL
1836 Dixon-McCracken General Store 10 N Main St., Munroe Falls
1836 Edmund Munroe bought 200 acres near dam Munroe Falls
1837 Munroe Falls Manufacturing Co. (for silk, etc.) Munroe Falls
1837 Panic of 1837 (depression) *
1838 Vlg. of Munroe Falls incorporated *
1840 Summit County organized from Portage & Medina Counties *
1840-1869 P & O Canal in use  Munroe Falls, S. of river
1841 The first Center school  NW crnr. Darrow & Graham 
1844 Disciples of Christ acq. Former Presby. Bldg. Kent Rd.
1847 “Minnie Darrow House”  by Lyman Darrow 5026 Darrow, SE corner of Darrow & Norton Rds.
1849 “Mary Starr House”  built by Lyman Darrow  5040 Darrow Rd.
1849 “White Haven” bought  by Wm. Parke Fish Creek & Graham Rds. NE or NW?
1850 First bank in Munroe Falls  by Owen Brown 50 Munroe Falls Ave.
1850? “Oregon 1000” sign Fish Creek & Graham Rds. NE or NW?
1852 Chamberlain farmhouse  by Chas. Powers 4160 Darrow Rd.
1855 Stewart-Hanson house built  2832 Call Road
1860-1865 Civil War *
1865 Sultana Steamship tragedy; 8 Stow soldiers involved & 4 killed Mississippi River
1868 Stow Twp. Hall built  Stow Corners SW
1874 Summit County’s Townships all mapped *
1876 U.S. Centennial *
1876 Disc. of Christ Church moved to Darrow Rd. (N. parking lot of current Bldg.) 3493 Darrow Rd.
1870 Ralph Lodge house  2879 Silver Lake Blvd.
1874 Stow Lake/Wetmore Pond named Silver Lake (by Ralph Lodge) *
1875 Silver Lake Amusement Park est. Silver Lake
1875 Darrow Street Grange Hall Darrow Rd.
1868 Geistweite Home (s. of towpath, tracks; w. of Rt 91) 21 N. Main St., Munroe Falls
1884 Railroad tracks built on bed of canal (the Pittsburgh & Western) Munroe Falls
1900 B & O built double tracks & moved depot Munroe Falls
1866 Munroe bros. flour mill converted to paper mill Munroe Falls
1879 Munroe Falls post office began in general store 10 N Main St., Munroe Falls
1885 Guise House Munroe Falls 147 S. Main St., Munroe Falls
1885 Munroe Falls 1-room school built (city hall) Munroe Falls
1890 Darrowville founded Darrow Rd.
1895 Interurban ran from Akron to Kent (til 1932) Kent Rd.
1895 Mud Turtle Pond renamed Wyoga Lake (Indian=place of the turtle) Stow
1896 Elgin Butter & Ice Cream founded 3346 Darrow Rd.
Twentieth Century
1905 Stow General Store/Stow Hardware Co. in 1930 Kent Rd.
1913 Massive flooding in Ohio–swept away dam & bridge Munroe Falls
1913 Dam replaced Munroe Falls
1907 Center School 3760 Darrow Rd.
1914 Center School addition to west side 3760 Darrow Rd.
1916 Munroe Falls joins Stow school system *
1915 Elgin Butter & Ice Cream Co. ended / became Stow Dairy 3346 Darrow Rd.
1917 Silver Lake Amusement Park closed/became residential area Silver Lake
1918 Flu epidemic Area-wide
1918 Silver Lake Village incorporated (Wm R. Lodge=1st mayor) Silver Lake
1918 Paradise Park allotment platted & homes began former Wetmore estate
1919 Marhofer Chevrolet  (began as auto repair, gas) Stow Corners SE
1919 Wetmore Park dedicated Kent Rd.
1920 Stow Aviation Field 4020 Kent Rd.
1920 Stow Community Church built (round bldg.) Elm Rd.
1921 Current FCC church built beside Disc.of Christ bldg. (“Church of Christ at Stow”) 3493 Darrow Road
1921 Summit Cty. Home opened  Munroe Falls Geisteweite farm 
1921 Village of Munroe Falls voted on, majority approved Munroe Falls
1923 Munroe Falls annexed SW portion from Tallmadge *
1924 High School built across from Central School Graham Rd.
1926 Silver Lake joined Stow schools:”Stow Twp. Rural School District” *
1925 Library opened in Twp. Hall Stow Corners SW
1926 Holt’s Pharmacy 3310 Kent Rd.
1926 Colonnade built 3310 Kent Rd.
1927 “3390 Building” built by John Wm. Marhofer 3390 Kent Rd.
1928 Wyatt tavern moved (house only) Stow Corners NE to 3614 Elm Rd.
1930 Library relocated north 3512 Darrow Road
1930? Becker Wholesale Foods building/storm doors /Dominic’s Produce/Sealtest Dairy/Police & Fire Depts. Stow Corners SW
1931 Sohio/Standard Oil/BP station (100 yr-old oak tree cut) Stow Corners NW
1930? Isaly’s dairy store opened 3390 Kent Rd.