The history of Hudson began in 1795 when David Hudson and five business partners anted up $12,900 for Township 4 Range 10 of the Connecticut Western Reserve, in what is now Northeast Ohio. On June 26, 1799, after traveling two months through the wilderness, he and his small party landed in the Western Reserve.
The story moves to establishing churches, schools, businesses, and the Western Reserve College, known as the Yale of the West. The fiery John Brown and the Underground Railroad figure prominently in the history of Hudson. Hudson flourished until a series of misfortunes took their toll. Plans for the Clinton Air Line Railroad collapsed, the college relocated to Cleveland, the Fire of 1892 destroyed an entire block of businesses along Main Street, and the only bank in town suddenly closed its doors with people's life savings. Saddened by the deterioration of his hometown, wealthy coal magnate James W. Ellsworth outlined a plan to restore Hudson as a model town and put his vast financial resources to work. Hudson rebounded with a new spirit and has since thrived.