Benjamin Tappan

Benjamin Tappan, Jr. (1773 - 1857)

  Benjamin Tappan arrived in Portage County June 11, 1799. He is responsible for laying out the town of Ravenna, donating land for a township park, a cemetery, schools and churches. As Ravenna’s founding father, he was also responsible for selecting the name of the town. A well-educated man, he was primarily a lawyer serving as County Prosecutor. After leaving the Ravenna area he also served as a Judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Common Pleas and as a Federal District Judge. He served in both the state and U.S. Senates, was a member of the Ohio Canal Commission, and was a Democratic Presidential Elector supporting Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. He was involved in the initial establishment of the Ohio Historical Society and while a member of the U.S. Senate, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Smithsonian Institute when the legislature was debating its beginning.