Springboro Area History

Springboro, Warren County, Ohio

39°33′50″N, 84°13′41″W


Many Historic Structures Connected to the Wright Family

    Springboro’s history has been preserved in many ways. One of them is through the preservation of a number of structures that the Wright family was responsible for building.

    Jonathan Wright, founder of Springboro, built a brick home on State Street, just a block off Main Street. There he lived with his family of five children: Mahlon, Josiah, Aron, Hannah, and Jesse. Later Josiah and his wife, Emily Thomas, lived in the house. The daughters of Josiah maintained the house through-out their lives. The structure has undergone many changes over the years and is now the Wright House Bed and Breakfast.

(This house was discussed in one of the Springboro City Notes Newsletters. where even more structures in town that are linked to the Wright family.)

    Mahlon Wright lived in a house at the northeast corner of South Main and Mill Streets and used his home to shelter slaves moving north on the Underground Railroad. The structure now located there was once a filling station and then the school bus garage. In 2005, the garage was converted a youth center for young people in Springboro, and until recently was a bicycle shop.

    The “stone church” located on South Main and State Sts. was built circa 1905, as the Springboro Universalist Church. Mahlon Wright, who was married to Ella Gregg, joined the Gregg family and others in the planning and building of this church. Since 1954, it has been home to several other Protestant congregations.

    The two white Italianiate Victorian houses located west on State Route 73 were built by Aron Wright. Aron lived in the house on the south side and his son Frederic later lived in the house on the north side. Frederic’s house is notable because of it currently hosts Kleather’s Pumpkin Patch. The Aron Wright House has been beautifully and accurately restored and is a local landmark, designated and protected by the City of Springboro.

    Shortly before his death in 1855, Jonathan Wright built a general store for his two sons, Mahlon and Josiah. The two-story structure with its second-story porches is still an important architectural part of the historical district of South Main Street. The Wrights and Siegfrieds operated the general store until 1930, when they sold the building to the Springboro Grange. It remained the Grange Hall until 1989, when it became an antique mall, then the Brass Pig Tea Room, and now is Magnolias on Main.

    The Wrights built three mills in Springboro. Five mills were built in historic Springboro, but no structures remain. The red mill on West Mill Street was a grist mill, the white mill on west State Route 73 was, also, a grist mill and a woolen mill was built on Factory Street which resulted in many fine woolen products, some of which still exist in Springboro homes.

    The Wright family remains interested in Springboro and its history and as late as 1963, they participated in the building of another structure. The Jonathan Wright Elementary School was built in his honor and dedicated with the blessing of Alfred J. Wright, then professor at the Ohio State University. Unfortunately, Professor Wright died before the dedication. Many Wright descendants still live in the Springboro area and continue to contribute to the preservation and promotion of Springboro’s history.

The Wright General Store - later Siegfried’s General Store, now Magnolia’s On Main


Springboro, a growing community located between Dayton & Cincinnati, was settled over two hundred years ago as the Continental Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, and the territory was first becoming a part of America.

In 1815, Springboro was founded as a Quaker community by Jonathan Wright of Menallen, Adams Co., Pennsylvania.

Twenty years earlier, to establish peace between the settlers moving into the newly created  Northwest Territory and subdue the Native Americans,  Revolutionary War hero, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne assembled an army in Cincinnati and blazed a trail northward, one arm of which passed two miles west of downtown Springboro on its way to the Battle of Fallen Timbers where in 1795, Native Americans ceded most of Ohio save the northwest quadrant when chiefs from the following tribes signed the Treaty of Greenville:

   * Wyandot

   * Delaware (several bands)

   * Shawnee

   * Ottawa (several bands)

   * Chippewa

   * Potawatomi (several bands)

   * Miami (several bands)

   * Wea

   * Kickapoo

   * Kaskaskia

Early pioneers to this area came down the Ohio River to Cincinnati and up the Little & Great Miami Rivers to find fertile land and an abundance of clear, free-flowing springs in the Springboro area.

In the early 1800s, many Quaker settlers from Virginia and western North Carolina followed the Kanawha Trace overland to escape the horrible institution of slavery and settle in southwestern Ohio and Eastern Indiana. (See the prehistoric route of the Teays River.)

The Springboro area quickly became home to a vibrant, predominantly Quaker community, whose values persist.

The Warren County Genealogical Society...

is a great source for local family history. In addition to continually building on its substantial list of publications, indexes and research resources, the society has begun coordinating cemetery restoration workshops in Warren County. The first was at the Universalist Cemetery in Springboro and the following year at the Crosson Cemetery, near Morrow. The next workshop was held at the Pioneer Cemetery in Lebanon. Then, we returned to Springboro for a workshop at the Clear Creek Chapel Cemetery (aka Null Cemetery.)

The 2013, workshop was held at the Dick’s Creek Cemetery, and in 2014, at the Caesars Creek Cemetery. In 2015, the Springboro Cemetery hosted the restoration workshop. And, other local cemeteries have work that remains to be done. Look for posters & signs.


Involve yourself in history!

“Twin” grave marker of Sarah A. Johnson &

Sarah A. Rees in the Springboro Universalist Cemetery.



Centennial Homecoming Committee (below)

The Null Cabin - 1798 - Springboro’s First Permanent Residence

Located on it’s original site, on the south edge of town, on the Heatherwood Golf Course

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