“Colonel” Simon Perkins (1805–1887) was a businessman, farmer, state senator, and entrepreneur. He spent most of his life in Akron. The title “Colonel” was honorary; no records exist that show he served in the military. Col. Perkins’ father, General Simon Perkins (1771-1844) was an early settler, businessman, and surveyor of the Connecticut Western Reserve, which would later…
A gift from Colonel Simon Perkins to the people of Akron, Grace Park (named for his wife) was one of two parks provided by Perkins. The other was Union Park.
With a history dating back to 1890, Grace School served the community for nearly 90 years. Grace was located at West Exchange Street and South Maple Street in Akron. The school closed in 1977 and was demolished in 2002.
Location across from Akron’s Union Station, Grace Park became a hotspot for political campaigns and “whistle stop” speeches. Rutherford B. Hayes, William H. Taft, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt all gave speeches to large crowds at Grace Park.