Oil painting of Platt Benedict.
Platt Benedict was the first permanent white settler of Norwalk, Ohio.
Benedict was born in 1775, in Danbury, Connecticut. In 1779, the American Revolution was raging, and British soldiers burned the nearby town of Norwalk, Connecticut. In 1815, hoping to lead a more profitable life in the Connecticut Western Reserve, Benedict traveled to the region with Elisha Whittlesey. Finding the area appealing, Benedict returned to Ohio in 1817, building a log cabin on land that would become the city of Norwalk. It is believed that Benedict named the community after the town that the British had burned during the American Revolution.
After completing the cabin, Benedict returned to Danbury, Connecticut to bring his family to Ohio. Upon returning to the Western Reserve, Benedict found his cabin destroyed, but he quickly replaced it with a new one. Two years later, Benedict completed a brick home in Norwalk. He quickly prospered in the community, eventually opening a gristmill and a paper mill. He was active in local politics, serving in numerous positions, including as a town trustee and as postmaster. Benedict also helped establish an Episcopal Church in the community in 1821. He also served as the president of the Firelands Historical Society. For Benedict and his family, Ohio proved to be a region of prosperity.
Benedict died on October 21, 1866.
- Butler, Margaret Manor. A Pictorial History of the Western Reserve: 1796-1860. Cleveland, OH: The Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve and The Western Reserve Historical Society, 1963.