The Old Hickory – Benjamin Jones Tradition

This dinner celebration is named after President Andrew Jackson who was born March 15th 1767 and died June 8th 1845. He was the 37th president of the United States, (1829 to 1837), and was the dominant actor in American Politics between the Presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. He was a “self made man”and the first westerner to reach the White House. Jackson left behind a permanent imprint upon American Politics and the Presidency. Within only 8 years he melded together the coalition of personal followers who had elected him into the country’s most durable and successful Party, an electoral machine whose organization and discipline would serve as a model for all others. The Democratic Party was Jackson’s child; the national two party system was his legacy.

Jackson visited Wooster once, staying at the residence of Benjamin Jones, now the Anderson Residence Southwest of Wooster, just off of Route 30. Jones was born in 1787 and died in 1861. He was an early settler who helped to clear, build, serve and govern the Wayne County area. He settled in Wooster in 1812 and is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery. Ben Jones’s name was placed on the Jackson electoral ticket as a District Elector when Jackson ran for President in 1828. Jones planned and held the first Democratic Picnic in a grove of trees on South Street, and in 1855 served as President of the first Jackson meeting in Wayne County. The event has continued ever since as the longest continuous consecutive event of it’s kind in the United States.

~ History of Wayne County Ohio, By Ben Douglas 1878