In the late 1700’s the land we now know as Summit County was part of Connecticut. It was originally occupied by the Native American Indians including the Miamis, the Pottawatomies, the Delawares, the Shawnese, the Ottawas, the Senecas and a Mingo settlement on the Cuyahoga River in Boston Township. The Indians who were found in Richfield were mostly Wyandottes and Ottawas.
The township of Richfield is known as Town 4, in Range 12, and may well be considered one of the choice townships in the Connecticut Western Reserve. Its estimated value in an early day as a township was judged above the average. A strip of land, designated as " Tract 7," about seventy-two rods in width east and west, and extending the whole length of the township from north to south, containing about seven hundred acres, was cut off the east side of the township and annexed to the township of Boston, thereby placing the geographical center about thirty-six rods west of the centers of other townships in the same range.
The surface of the land in Richfield, from a point about a mile northeast of the center, in what is called "Furnace Run Valley" to the southeast corner of the township, is very broken and hilly, but the township generally exhibits a rolling and undulating surface, possessing a rich and fertile soil, and consisting of a gravelly loam, with a clay subsoil, producing good crops of both grain and grass, and distinguished likewise for its fine fruits. The extreme altitude of the township is about eight hundred feet above Lake Erie, and 1,365 feet above tide water at New York. Richfield is bounded on the north by Brecksville Township, in Cuyahoga County; on the east by Boston Township; on the south by Bath Township, and on the west by Hinckley Township, in Medina County. It abounds in springs of pure water well distributed, and two considerable creeks, viz.: a branch of Rocky River, which flows for a mile or two through the west part of the township in a southerly direction, then enters Medina County and Furnace Run, which rises in the northwest part of Richfield, flows southeast and empties into the Cuyahoga River at Everett, in the southwest part of Boston Township. The name of Furnace Run was obtained through the discovery of iron ore in the valley bordering it, and the probability of the erection of a furnace in the immediate neighborhood. When first seen by white men there were in the west and south parts of the township a heavy growth of beech, maple, hickory, ash, black and white walnut, interspersed with large oaks of the different varieties, while nearly all the eastern part was covered almost exclusively with white oak.
In 1795, a group of 36 real estate prospectors began a company they called, "The Connecticut Land Company" and bought the whole reserve for over a million dollars. Richfield Township was then sold to six individual men: Col. Benjamin Tallmadge, Capt. John Smith, John Wilcox, Uriel Holmes, Edwards and Green. The first settlers came here in 1809, Mr. & Mrs. Lancelot Mays and their daughter Betsey. Richfield was organized in 1816. Later Herman Oviatt of Hudson bought a quarter of the township from Col. Tallmadge for $1.25 an acre and his brother, Nathaniel Oviatt, was also a very early settler here. These daring pioneers from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York began to penetrate this unknown wilderness, bringing their families and all their equipment for building a home and all the necessities for sustaining life until crops could be raised and harvested. It was a perilous and tedious journey, fraught with danger and hardships. Many families were three or four months on the way from Connecticut by ox team, a trip now made in a few hours. Pioneers had pushed in from the East to Hudson and established there an outpost several years before the first settler came to Richfield.
This was some years before Akron was settled and Cleveland was a village of only a few homes. The Township of Richfield was first a part of Portage County, then Medina County before becoming part of Summit County. For two years after the organization of Richfield, it included what is now the township of Bath. In the year 1818, the township of Bath was set off from Richfield, leaving the boundaries of the latter as they are at the present day. (Some information came from the Richfield Historical Society)
The name Richfield seems to have originated from a weed which grew here in great abundance, in the early days, and which was very nutritious and greatly relished by the livestock. It was called by some “ox-balm” but more generally known as “rich-feed” and by a very slight corruption it became “Richfield”. This name was given to the Township at the time of its organization in 1816 by the Commissioners of Portage County. Among one of the first officers of Richfield was Isaac Welton, as Treasurer and he later became the first Master of Meridian Sun Lodge No. 69 F. & A.M.