Alma Roach Mercer

Ninety years ago, the small town of Twinsburg, Ohio, was filled with excitement and pride as one of their own, a 10th grader named Alma Roach, became the 1933 National Spelling Bee Champion. This remarkable achievement was celebrated by the town’s 1,241 residents, marking a significant moment in Twinsburg’s history. Alma Roach, sponsored by the Akron Beacon Journal, won the competition in by correctly spelling the word “torsion,” showcasing not only her spelling prowess but also the educational strengths of her community. Her victory was a testament to the dedication and hard work of the students and teachers in Twinsburg, and it remains a proud part of the town’s heritage to this day. The story of Alma Roach earned her a memorable journey to Washington D.C., where she had the honor of meeting newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt. Her victory was celebrated by her hometown of Twinsburg, Ohio, with the local school principal and pastor preparing a warm welcome upon her return. Alma’s legacy continued to be recognized years later, as she received commendations from the Ohio Senate and Governor George White. Her journey through the spelling bee circuit, her subsequent life in California, and her return to Twinsburg after the Korean War, reflect the rich tapestry of experiences that followed her early success. Alma’s story, punctuated by her humble reaction to her victory, remains an inspiring example of how academic achievements can lead to extraordinary opportunities and recognition. Her dedication and hard work continue to resonate, illustrating the impact that such accomplishments can have on an individual’s life and community.

The First Twins in Twinsburg

  • May 1817 – Thirty-seven-year-old Elisha Loomis came from New Haven, Connecticut, to settle in Millsville. Mr. Loomis, the former Captain of the ship “Oneida.” He was a picturesque character that sailed around the World twice; He has once held prisoner aboard a Spanish man-of-war on the coast of Peru. He escaped through a port hole and swam 3 miles through the shark-infested waters to the shore. Capt. Loomis became Captain of the settlement’s first Military Company on a trip on the Oneida to the Sandwich Islands (the name Capt. James Cook gave the Hawaiian Islands). The Oneida returned to Connecticut with Henry Obadiah and Thomas Happo. Both were educated at the Cornwall Mission School. Their education at the Mission School sparked local support to send missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands. 
  • Later that year, Elisha’s newly widowed twin sister, Lucretia Loomis-Cowles, arrived by horse and wagon with her 11-year-old twins, Elisha Loomis and Caroline Jerusha.  The 37-year-old Loomis twins and 11-year-old Cowles twins were the first known twins in Millsville, later renamed Twinsburg. In 1827, Caroline married a twin from Aurora, Justice T. Herrick (twin of Augustus T.) In 1834 Justice and Caroline move to Twinsburg. They had a farm in the south part of town and a Sawmill. The Herrick twins from Aurora were two of sixteen children. Their youngest brother, Johnathan Herrick, also came to Twinsburg and is better known for the Stone House he built on Darrow Road in 1843 where he lived for 60 years. The Herrick House was later disassembled and restored at Hale Farm.
  • The lumber for the first wood-framed buildings in Twinsburg came from the Loomis Sawmill. The Alling family Barn and House were built between the spring and fall of 1818.
  • April 1819 – The residents of Millsville petitioned the commissioners of Portage County to organize a township. The commissioners issued a proclamation, and the first election occurred. Although women couldn’t vote, the men voted to elect a Town Clerk. Justice of the Peace was appointed by the court.

Twins Days Meets Locust Grove
On Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 6:30PM, any Twins that are in town for Twins Days can meet at the parking lot behind the Twinsburg Historical Society (8996 Darrow Rd.) for a tour of Locust Grove Cemetery. Behind the Freeman Barn (It is the only Barn in downtown Twinsburg)
The idea is that we can show some of our history with a “Mini Tales of Locust Grove” to the Twins that are in attendance for the annual Twins Days Festival but are not able to get to the “Tales of Locust Grove”  in October.
Sally Nick and identical sons Skyler and Spencer Nick have come to Twins Days for over 30 years. When they get into town their first stop is at Locust Grove Cemetery to clean and decorate the graves of Aaron and Moses Wilcox, the namesake of Twinsburg. 2 years ago they came back in October to see our fundraiser “Tales of Locust Grove”. It was after a return trip with other twins, that the idea to share the Locust Grove history could be presented before the Twins Days Festival.  After the tour, you are more than welcome to walk back to the Museum and Freeman Barn to see more of the history of Twinsburg.
We hope this event will show how rich our history is and that Aaron and Moses Wilcox are the twins that started it all for Twinsburg.
We will accept any monetary donations that you feel free to give to the Museum or at the Cemetery. This money goes toward the maintaining of our buildings, Locust Grove Cemetery and keeping the history of Twinsburg Alive.