By 1812Blockhouse

In our Richland Roots series, we briefly present the lives of men and women from Richland County — either by birth, or residence — that have made important contributions to American history but who may not be household names. Other posts in our series can be viewed and read here.

Some of these individuals made names for themselves here at home. One such man was Samuel Stambaugh Bloom, who was a state legislator that helped to establish an important institution of higher education you may know (especially if you like anything Buckeye-related).

Bloom was born in Pennsylvania in 1834, and lost her mother shortly after his birth. After his grandfather died when Samuel was 19, he moved west to the then-village of Shelby, a place where his father had emigrated a decade earlier, permanently settling there in 1856.

S.S. Bloom

Bloom’s life was soon one of misfortune and tragedy, losing both his wife and newborn son the year after his arrival, but his fortunes soon turned and he became a successful businessman, politician, and family man — having one son and two daughters.

Politics saw Bloom elected first as Mayor of Shelby for five years, and then election in 1863 to the Ohio General Assembly as one of few Democrats in that body. He served as a member of important committees, with special areas of emphasis being those of insurance, agriculture and taxation. He served a total of eight years in Columbus.

One achievement of Bloom’s was to assist in drafting legislation providing for the establishment of what would become The Ohio State University.

In 1864, Bloom was admitted to the Bar and maintained a practice throughout the remainder of his life. His civic work in Shelby was nothing short of extraordinary. He established the first Shelby newspaper, the Pioneer; in 1881 established the first telephone exchange in Richland County (at Shelby); and helped to organize the First Evangelical Church. Bloom also served as justice of the peace, Deputy Postmaster, township clerk, and as a member of the Shelby school board. continues to offer works of S.S. Bloom for sale.

Bloom died in 1902 and is buried in Shelby’s Oakland Cemetery. Bloom’s house (photo above) still stands on North Gamble Street.

Sources:, The Mansfield News, Find-a-Grave, Shelby Daily Globe

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