Loveland was first settled in 1795 by Colonel Thomas Paxton (1739-1813) who came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and had 11 children. He is credited with many "firsts" including the first log cabin, the first wedding (of his daughter), the first voting place, and the first Presbyterian Church service. Paxton is buried in the Ramsey/Paxton historic family cemetery located on the land he first settled, a property now known as White Pillars on Rt. 48 in Clermont County.
Loveland Gets its Name
In 1848, William Ramsey, a son-in-law of Thomas Paxton, signed a contract to buy Samuel Butterworth's 189 acres of land in Warren and Clermont Counties for $7,300. That same year, Ramsey laid out the town of Paxton. In 1850, he laid out another town, which adjoined the town of Paxton east and south. This section was eventually named “Loveland,” after James Loveland, who operated a store and post office near the south corner of Broadway, fronting the railroad tracks. The moniker evolved from the expression, "Leave the mailbag off at Loveland's (store)." Loveland became the town's name this way, although it wasn't officially named until 1863. The Village of Loveland was incorporated on May 16, 1876 with 800 acres in the three counties: Hamilton, Clermont and Warren. Loveland became a city with an adopted charter in 1961. Symmes Township was formed in 1824 from the eastern portion of Sycamore Township and bears the name of John Cleves Symmes (1742-1814) who, in 1788, made the "Miami Purchase" which led to the founding of Cincinnati.
Stagecoach roads and railroads were at the forefront of the area's initial growth. In 1853, the Little Miami Railroad, which is now the Little Miami Scenic Trail, was completed, providing service to Loveland and its neighboring townships from Cincinnati to Xenia. The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad, which later became the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, ran through the northwest corner of Clermont County. At the turn of the century, railroad service was booming in Loveland. There were 40 passenger trains per day, and 12 scheduled freight trains between Loveland and Cincinnati. Monthly tickets were $7, single fare was 45cents, with 12 mail bags arriving daily.
The Little Miami River separates Clermont and Hamilton Counties, a factor that limited growth to Clermont County until a bridge was constructed in 1872. Old maps even refer to the area as "East" and "West" Loveland, with corresponding East and West Schools. The west side of Loveland remained residential until development of several Loveland Madeira Road businesses. The east and west became more united when the East and West Schools joined in 1926. The population of the Loveland area is now more than 13,000, with all three counties expanding.
For those interested in perusing Loveland's history through documents, photographs, and local memorabilia, visit the Greater Loveland Historical Society Museum on Riverside Drive in Loveland, and/or the Symmes Township Historical Society on Union Cemetery Road.