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HUDSON TOWNSHIP

When  Hudson Township was created, it was surveyed as Range 10, Town 4 in the Connecticut Western Reserve and was about 25 square miles (65 km2) in area.

Its first settlers were David Hudson and his party from Goshen, Connecticut in 1799. It was in the eastern part of Summit County, bordering Macedonia, Twinsburg Township, Streetsboro, Stow, Boston Township, and Boston Heights.

Hudson Township was rural for most of its existence. It was known for its dairy farms. Considerable growth began in the 1950s with the 1955 opening of the Ohio Turnpike and the 1957 establishment of the General Motors-Euclid Division, Terex.

The Village of Hudson, incorporated in 1837, was nearly surrounded by the township. No other municipalities expanded into Hudson Township via annexation.

Hudson’s growth continued from 1850 until the outbreak of the Civil War. Known as the Business Boom, the town’s population and the number of businesses increased during this time. With the growth of railroad, mills, warehouses, and printing presses sprung up throughout the town. By the mid 1850s, decadence had spread throughout Hudson, with saloons outnumbering churches, and many citizens who staked their life savings on railroad shares speculation. In 1857, the bubble burst, and railroad stocks plummeted. Many Hudson residents lost everything, signaling the end of a prosperous era for the Ohio economy.

Although the Civil War did not begin until 1860, in Hudson, issues surrounding the conflict had evident in Hudson. With its strong religious influences, Hudson society was adamantly opposed to slavery. The abolitionist movement had strong roots in the town. In fact, Hudson had such a reputation for its vocal antislavery rhetoric, that traveling abolitionist preachers often visited the town. Hudson became an active link along the famous Underground Railroad. Citizens helped fleeing slaves by hiding them in their homes and helping them on their journey to freedom in Canada. Today, Hudson has several underground tunnels below its streets. Some homes still have secret rooms and passages, all surviving evidence of this period in history.