Sampson Estate Occupies a Central Place in Youngstown History

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The former Sampson estate, which awaits its conversion into a winery by the owners of Woodland Cellars, has a storied history in the city.

It begins with the Civil War when Gen. John A. Logan of Illinois befriended Chauncey Andrews, a Youngstown industrialist whose holdings included ironmaking, railroads and mining.

According to an article published in 1972 by The Liberty Reporter, Gen. Logan’s son, John A. Logan Jr., married Andrews’ daughter, Edith, in a high-society wedding that drew the notice of famed New York journalist Nellie Bly, who attended the ceremony.

The wedding took place in 1887 in Andrews’ mansion on Wick Avenue, which was located on the present-day site of Ursuline High School.

Gen. Logan, a war hero who later became a U.S. senator and a candidate for vice president, founded Memorial Day in 1868, when he was commander in chief of the Union veterans group known as the Grand Army of the Republic.

After their honeymoon, Logan Jr. and his bride returned to Youngstown where they founded a horse farm on what would become Logan Road, named for his family. They later bought the Munnell Farm, which is the present day site of 3128 Logan Road. They built a residence there that they called Gloan Lodge.

Logan Jr. formed the Logan Rifles, a company of the Ohio National Guard, and he served with distinction in the Spanish-American War in 1897. In 1899, Maj. Logan was  shot and killed in the Philippine Insurrection. He  posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In 1914, Gloan Lodge – then occupied by his son, John A. Logan III –  was damaged in a fire. Logan then moved to California. His mother, Edith, was living in New York and Paris at this time, and was part of the era’s elegant society.

sampson interior

Interior shots of the Sampson and Thomas mansions

The property was then purchased by William and Florence Sampson. He was a landholder in the township and his wife was the daughter of Youngstown industrialist Henry Wick. The Sampsons rebuilt the mansion and moved into it in 1922.

Also in the 1920s, a tudor mansion was built by William and Mary Bentley Thomas a few hundred feet south of the Sampson mansion, and it would later become part of the same property. The Thomases owned the Brier Hill Steel Co.

Mrs. Sampson is credited with bringing the Sampson mansion and its grounds to a state of opulence and natural beauty. She brought back carved marble mantels from her extensive travels and installed them in the Logan Road home, and also planted daffodils, and willows and other unusual trees.

The house was again damaged by fire in the late 1920s and was restored. After her husband’s death in the years that followed, Mrs. Sampson moved to New York and her son continued to live at the mansion.

In 1953, the property was sold to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. In 1956, the brothers added a 36-room dormitory to the Sampson mansion, which was used for spiritual retreats. 

The neighboring Thomas mansion was sold to William and Alice Cafaro in 1948, who sold it a few years later to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The brothers used it for their own residences.

The Diocese of Youngstown acquired the property in 2003, and sold it to Nathan and Dani Wilson in April.

Related coverage:

May 18 | Woodland Cellars Plans Logan Road Winery, Inn