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The Repository | CantonRep.

com | Sunday, March 27, 2016I1


By ED BALINT passengers between the communities of Henry Lautzenheiser to the Louisville-

Repository staff writer Canton, Louisville, Alliance, Salem and Nimishillen Township Historical Society.
Sebring. Brunner summed up the tight-knit char-

LOUISVILLE The interurban line also was popular for acter of Louisville: I'd say half the town is
few downtown buildings traveling to amusement parks, including still related to half the town.
Meyers Lake, Derry said.
here echo the past. The Reach Ed at 330-580-8315 or
bricks are the same. The BUSINESSES PAST AND PRESENT
On Twitter: @ebalintREP
character is the same. The brick trade thriving here from the
Long gone are the hotels, saloons, 1820s through the 1920s included Louis-
tanneries, flour mills and other staple busi- ville Brick and Tile Co. and Hoffer Brick
nesses that once populated the community. Yard.
Also gone are the brick and tile plants and Champion Tile was another eco-
steel mills and passenger railroad traffic nomic engine for Louisville.
that contributed to the growth of Louis- Popular businesses in Lou-
ville from 33 total lots in 1834 to a city of isville included the Union
roughly 9,100 people today. Hotel the building
Two men link the Louisville of yesterday remains intact down-
and today together. Henry Lautzenheiser town. The hotel
and Frederick Fainot donated the original operated from about
33 lots. Eighteen lots from Lautzenheiser, 1850 to 1900, Brun-
15 from Fainot. ner estimated. Other
The community was originally named hotels included the
Lewisville, according to historical research Lesh.
cited in the book, Louisville: The Way It Also still standing
Was by Kenneth R. Smith. is the Keim building
While platting the village, Lewis Vail, a downtown, formerly
surveyor, suggested it be named after him. housing a bank and
Henry Lautzenheiser, who had a son by hardware store.
the name of Lewis, endorsed the choice, Outlasting all of
according to the book. the businesses is Star
When the first post office was estab- Mill. The war horse
lished in 1837, it was discovered that a supplying animal
community of the same name existed in feed and other prod-
Monroe County. The city in Stark County ucts is at 200 Lincoln
then was changed to Louisville. St.
Since those days, Louisville has evolved Another surviving
into mostly a bedroom community, landmark is St. Louis
said Mark R. Brunner, a local historian Catholic Church,
and member of the Louisville-Nimishillen listed on the National
Township Historical Society. Register of Historic
Places. It was built in
Jobs are no longer as plentiful within the GROWING
boundaries of Louisville. Located just west COMMUNITY
of downtown, Superior Sheet & Steel had
employed 1,000 people, Brunner said. That By the 1940s
was decades ago. and '50s, Brun-
The Louisville of that era was a miniature ner estimated,
industrial powerhouse, a smaller version most steel-related
of Canton and Youngstown, said Brunner, businesses left
who has researched and written exten- Louisville. Many
sively about the architectural and business residents were
history of the community. already traveling to
Brickyards. Tile plants. Grocery stores. A Canton for indus-
plow-manufacturing company. A woolen trial jobs, he said.
mill. A basket factory. A brewery. Outside employers
Louisville boasted it all. included Timken,
Fueling the growth was the introduction Hoover and Ford.
of the railroad in 1852. A route of the Pitts- While the popula-
burgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway tions of large urban
piped directly into Louisville. The rail line cities such as Canton
linked both small and large cities, hauling and Youngstown have
industrial cargo and commercial goods as declined, the size of Louis-
well as passengers. ville has steadily increased.
Arrival of the first train was met with Helping to attract and main-
fascination, said Ron Derry, co-founder tain residents is the school
of the Louisville-Nimishillen Township system, the rural solitude
Historical Society. of the area, a low crime rate
People wondered how the train would and access to highways and
ride on the rails because nobody had ever modern amenities, Brunner
seen one, he said. explained.
The railroad is what helped transform You don't have to go far
Louisville into a bustling village, outpacing out of town to see the cows
and overshadowing Harrisburg, the first and the horses still, he
town in Nimishillen Township, Brunner said.
said. Harrisburg a stagecoach stop was Louisville also main-
originally the commerce hub, then the tains strong ties to its
railroad changed everything, Derry said. past. Descendants of the
A path through Louisville made sense Lautzenheiser and Fainot
because railroads of the 1800s were steam families still live in the city REPOSITORY FILE
powered, and the tracks were constructed or township, Brunner said.
along the East Branch of Nimishillen Creek. One of them recently
Between 1900 to 1940, the Stark Elec- donated the tombstone
tric Railway was established to transport of village co-founder