|Ownership and Financing
Wooster was incorporated as a village in 1817 and as a city in 1869.
The first water works were constructed by the town in 1815 to supply water to the new county buildings through wooden pipes. This system operated until 1829, when one of the owners whose property was crossed the water pipes obtained an injunction preventing their repair.
The city built a new gravity system that began service in 1876, and added pumping from wells within a few years.
Water is supplied by the city of Wooster.
1877 Cleveland Leader, August 13, 1877, Page 6.
Twenty-five men employed on the Wooster Water Works improvement are on a strike because their wages were reduced from $1.50 to $1.25 per day.
of Wayne County, Ohio, by Ben Douglass
Pages 497-499: Wooster Water Works.
The first water works established in Wooster were constructed under a contract negotiated between the original proprietors of the town and the County Commissioners, bearing date May 13, 1811. The conditions of the contract were that the county-seat should be permanently located at Wooster, and, among other specifications, it was agreed that the proprietors were to bring "the water of the run, which at present runs through the town in pipes of sound white oak timber of a proper size, well bored and laid, and raise the water ten feet above the surface at the center of the town."
This contract was complied with by the proprietors, and water was delivered to the town of Wooster conducted through these pipes from 1815 to 1829. When the authorities of the town undertook to repair the pipes conveying the water one of the lotowners through whose premises the pipes were laid prohibited them from so doing by an injunction of the court, and from that time no further attention or effort was made to sustain the enterprise.
More recently the subject of supplying the city with water from the springs of Mr. Reddick to the north of the city became a matter of grave and earnest consideration. May 14, 1874, G. Gow and John Brinkerhoff, civil engineers, gauged the stream and found it sufficient to protect the city against fire. The work being inaugurated the reservoir was constructed under the supervision of G. Gow during the summer of 1875, by throwing a dam across the ravine immediately below the springs, thus raising the water to the depth of 18 feet. No further labor was performed until the spring of 1876, when the present works were commenced and conducted through the summer of 1876, under the immediate and energetic supervision of John Brinkerhoff, civil engineer.
In the construction of the system the pipe used was 3,989 feet of twelve inch, 4,988 feet of ten inch, 6,432 feet of eight inch, 26,024 feet of six inch and 4,844 feet of four inch pipe, in all 46,277 feet, or over 8 miles of pipe.
The total cost of pipe and special castings was $36,390, the entire cost of the works being $76,256.27. Improvements have since been made, making an additional cost of about $10,000. The surface of the water at the reservoir is 128 feet above the public square. The water from 88 fire-plugs, located on the lines of the streets, can be projected to various heghts, ranging from 40 to 100 feet above the surface by the force of gravity alone. Gravity being the agent acting in the propulsion of the water, the expense of running the works is merely nominal. The supply of water is sufficient for all the wants of the city, and under improvements introduced by M. M. Smith, Superintendent, during the summer of 1877, the water delivered in the city is pure spring water.
The works are now the most popular of any enterprise in which Wooster has engaged. Many citizens were at first, however, very hostile to their construction, to the extent of presenting written remonstrances to the City Council, condemning the project generally, predicting its failure to supply water to the city. But, notwithstanding such serious resistance, the Council proceeded energetically with the work, ending in success greater than the most sanguine anticipated. The active Councilmen in this were Angus McDonald, Jacob Stark, R. J. Cunningham, B. Barrett, J. K. McBride, J. J. Stevenson, Mortimer Munn, D. W. Immel.
1882 Wooster, from Engineering News 9:199 (June 17, 1882)
from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States,"
by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.
from Manual of American Water Works,
1890 "Wooster," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.
1891 "Wooster," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.
from Manual of American Water Works,
© 2018 Morris A. Pierce