In 1886, a group of citizens led by I.F. Mack of Sandusky, successfully petitioned the State Legislature to establish a home for Ohio’s honorably discharged Civil War veterans. These veterans, because of incapacitating disease, wounds, or other cause, were unable to earn a living. Governor J.B. Foraker appointed a commission charged with selecting a site and arranging for construction of the home.
This commission became the first Board of Trustees. Members I.F. Mack, Sandusky; P.I. Brown, Zanesville; W.P. Orr, Piqua; Thomas Dill, Mansfield; and Thomas Paxton, Cincinnati, met on June 3, 1886 and elected Mr. Mack chairman and Mr. Brown secretary.
A contract was entered into with the City of Sandusky deeding approximately 100 acres to the State. Construction was completed and on November 19, 1888, under the supervision of General Manning F. Force, the first 17 men were admitted to the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home. Since that day, more than 50,000 veterans have been admitted to residency.