Dairy Farming and the Oak Hill Factory
Allen Welton (1809-1878) and his family left New York and moved to Ohio in 1837, eventually settling on 125 acres in Peninsula in 1841. Allen cleared and cultivated the land and increased his property to 284 acres on the northern and southern sides of Major Road. He became a prominent dairy farmer, at one time owning 40 cows. Through hard work and ingenuity, Allen built a successful cheese factory on his property, the first in Summit County, and later operated a second factory in Bath. Records from the 1850 agriculture census indicate that Allen's farm produced 500 pounds of butter and 600 pounds of cheese that year. He also raised other livestock such as horses, swine, sheep, oxen, and beef cattle.
Although the dairy business prospered for many years, the Weltons faced many of the hardships associated with 19th century life. For example, during the Civil War, Allen spent an entire summer searching and later caring for his son John, who was dangerously ill in an army camp. While Allen was away, his wife attended to all the farm and cheese factory work on her own.
Sadly, in 1878, Allen Welton took his own life at age 69. The Welton Farm eventually passed to Allen's daughter Cora, and her husband Walter Hunt. After Walter's death, Cora and her son Elwin continued to live on and work the land until they died tragically in 1948.