Submitted by Cindee Mines
Warren Packard came to Warren about 1847, walking the 11 miles from Lordstown Center to Warren. His brother in law Eli Weisell helped get him a job and a place to live with Milton Graham, owner of a local hardware store. He helped at the home and the hardware store while also attending school. By 1851 Warren was the sole owner of the hardware, the first of numerous businesses he would be involved in.
His parents were William and Julia Leach Packard. Warren was born in Austintown, Trumbull County on June 1,1828. At that time, Mahoning County did not exist. The family of 5 moved to Lordstown in 1834. William decided to go west with the gold rush in 1849, leaving his wife with possibly 10 children yet at home, the youngest being 2. The family did not hear from their father again for over 20 years. The boys eventually purchased a home on Monroe Street in Warren for their mother where she lived until her passing.
As Warren’s business life seem to be going strong, so did his social life according to a page out of his 1851 diary. Attending dances, lectures and Church. He also appeared to be an avid reader and loved to socialize. On Feb, 6 1851 he took Sil C to a lecture at the Empire Hall and on Feb. 14 took SC to a Cotillion Party at the American. Then on the 15th he “called” on SC. SC is probably abbreviations for his first wife, Sylvia Camp, daughter of Alanson Camp, a local hotel owner. Sylvia’s mother was Mary Williams, the sister of William Williams who was a well-known hotelier in Warren. Her sister married George Pond, who daughter married into the Alfred Hughes family. They were married September 22, 1852 and lived on High Street at the corner of Elm where a gas station is today. Their first son Rolla was born in March of 1854 but tragically passed away on Jan. 16, 1855 at the age of 10 months. The second son Harry was born in Nov. 1856. As was far too common in those days, Sylvia passed away Dec. 4, 1856 at the age of 23. Harry lived to the age of 2 years and 2 months, passing away on Dec. 31, 1858. A lot with 10 plot sites were purchased in the newly organized Oakwood Cemetery in 1855 by Warren and family members have been interred there for over a century and a half.
Warren married Mary Elizabeth Doud of Warren on Nov. 20, 1860. At the beginning of their marriage they continued to live at the home on High Street where they started their family. The first 2 children were born while living there. Warren grew his business with partnerships with his brothers, starting hardware stores in Youngstown, Ohio and Greenville, PA. Besides investing in companies that supplied hardware item, Warren owned lumber tracts and saw mills in PA, NY and some southern states. He supplied lumber mostly to the railroad, including the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad which became part of the Erie Line. Another business Warren Packard invested in was the Austin Flagstone Company, which supplied the stone for the sidewalks around Warren. The site of this quarry was on Elm Road where Menard’s is today. In 1882 Warren was one of the investors in the Packard, Smith, & Company. One of the other investors of this business was Lizzie Ward of Niles, a women. It was an unusual occasion to have a women in business, and to do business with one. One of the main Packard Hardware stores was on Market street on court house square, next to the Mahoning Building. Before the Mahoning Building could be constructed in 1911 the heirs of Mary Packard had to be consulted.
In the 1870’s Warren and his brothers purchased a hotel on Chautauqua Lake in Lakewood, NY. The family got out of the hotel business about 1880 and they built the first cottages on the lake. Summers and weekends were spent at the lake by friends and family for the next 80 years.
Warren Packard passed away on July 28, 1897 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery with his family. The businesses he had invested in numbered in the double digits and made him a very wealthy man. To learn more about the Packard family read “More Than Automobiles The Packards of Warren, Ohio” available in the gift shop.