Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

Living Historians

The Waterville Historical Society has a number of “living historians” contributing to the historical literature. The society has produced a number of books on various aspects of Waterville and area history which are for sale at the Wakeman Archival Center and also at the Smoke and Fire store on River Road. The authors of these works have all graciously donated the rights to their works to W.H.S. so that any profits from book sales benefit the society. These publications are listed on our website under the “Support” headline. The continuing series of articles about Waterville historians on our website will present these local authors.

John & Verna Rose

Verna Rose grew up in the Waterville area, went to Whitehouse Elementary School and graduated from Anthony Wayne High School.  John’s home town was Oregon, Ohio, where they moved after their marriage in 1956. They moved to Linden, Michigan for 15 years but returned to Waterville in 1979 to live.

Verna had long been interested in the genealogy and history of the Waterville people, as so many were related to her extended family, and had lived in the Waterville/Providence Township area since the 1850s. Many years of genealogy research led to many family genealogy books self-published and donated to Toledo-Lucas County Library.

Asked in the early 1990s, by Lorraine Miller, then president of WHS, about a photo that she was given. Verna recognized the photo as the school house attended by her grandfather. Shortly thereafter Verna was invited to serve on the Board of the Waterville Historical Society as other board members, most notably Norton Young, recognized that the Society should be preserving information on people not just things.

With the help of Lucile Conrad, Phyllis Witzler, Marian Morris and Norton Young she set about writing to descendants of interesting families that were buried in Wakeman. After the articles were written, she compiled them into a booklet called Waterville, Ohio Memorial Profiles.  John copied all of the photographs from relatives that were available. Norton’s request was it could only cost $10 as he wanted everyone in Waterville to be able to afford a copy.  The information obtained became the basis of the “Family Files” at the Wakeman Archival Center.

The Wakeman Cemetery tombstones were “read” by Midge Campbell but never published and the Northwest Ohio Genealogical Society Club did not include the Wakeman Cemetery in their book, Tombstone Inscriptions of Lucas County, Ohio.  For these reasons John and Verna read all of the tombstones and copied the Sexton’s burial cards and placed that information in the Wakeman Archival Center.

It was a co-operative effort with the U. S. GenWeb Archives project to get all cemeteries read and on the internet for which Verna Rose became the local contact person.  The Rose’s data also became the source for another Waterville Historical Society book, Walking Through the Wakeman., and led to a liaison with other groups like Findagrave.com to increase their databases.

During the project regarding the Civil War 150 Ohio which several WHS members attended, John and Verna decided to write about the veterans buried in Wakeman Cemetery, called Civil War Veterans buried in Wakeman Cemetery. This information was used for the cemetery walk at Wakeman on October 9, 2011 with the Greater Toledo Civil War Roundtable and Waterville Historical Society.  This last year they published the Civil War Veterans at the Whitehouse Cemetery.  One book was written for the beginning and the other for the end of the Civil War 150th anniversary.


P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

Site by T3m ltd.    All images are intended for research use only.  Please respect any limitations of their original copyright holders.