As we prepare for Warsaw's centennial this year, it is interesting to try to picture the town as it was one hundred years ago. Unfortunately, no one then living wrote down a description of Warsaw in 1854. From various sources, however, we can get glimpses of the town at that time. One such source is the United States Census for 1850.
When the census taker made his rounds in 1850, he took down the name of each resident, his age, occupation, value of real estate owned, and place of birth. From these statistics we can get a partial picture of Warsaw just four years before its incorporation as a town.
In 1850 there were 64 dwelling houses in Warsaw. Most of these properties were valued at less than one thousand dollars. Lumber merchant Charles W. Chapman was the wealthiest real estate owner with $9,000 worth of property; Druggist George W. Thralls was second with property valued at $4,900. The total population of Warsaw was 304, and by that time it was the largest village in the county, Leesburg being second with 217.
Warsaw was a town of young people. Most of the wage earners were in their twenties and thirties. Some of Warsaw's young men at that time were 25 year old lawyer James S. Frazer (later to become a State Supreme Court Judge), 29 year old William Williams (later to become U. S. Congressman and Ambassador), 27 year old schoolteacher James S. Funk, 25 year old county clerk Samuel Chipman, 31 year old merchant George Moon, and 18 year old printer Reub Williams. Warsaw could boast of 13 carpenters, 11 merchants, 5 blacksmiths, 5 harness-makers, 4 tailors, 4 tanners, 3 schoolteachers, 3 ministers, 3 physicians, 3 lawyers, 3 printers, and 1 wagon maker.
One hundred and fourteen of Warsaw's 304 residents had been born in Ohio, 89 in Indiana, 39 in Pennsylvania, 18 in New York, and 18 in Virginia. Only two were born in a foreign country, and both of these were from Ireland.
Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Mar. 6, 1954