David Hoover is credited with being the first settler to come to the area that would become Richmond and was one of the early influential citizens of Wayne County. Born into the Quaker family of Andrew Hoover in Randolph County, North Carolina, he moved with his father’s family in 1802 to what is now Montgomery County, Ohio. The family was unhappy with the area, and David was sent to find a better location for settlement. In the winter of 1806, he and his companions followed a section line about thirty miles west and came upon the Whitewater River. He recognized that it was an ideal spot and sent for his father, who agreed. They claimed the land and moved to the area in 1807 at about the same time that Jeremiah Cox and John Smith were building their homes.
Smith and Cox hired Hoover to lay out the city of Richmond and to write the deeds for the property. In his memoir he took credit for naming the city. It had first been called Smithville, but some years later Hoover and two other men were tasked with choosing another name. Each man suggested a name, and Hoover’s suggestion, Richmond, was the most popular among the current residents.
In 1810, Hoover was appointed Wayne County Justice of the Peace, and in 1815 associate judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court. Beginning in 1817 he spent fourteen years as clerk of the Wayne Co. Circuit Court, and served as a state senator for six years.
In 1854, Hoover wrote his memoir, which Isaac Julian published in 1857. This has been reproduced in several of the published local histories, and can be read by following the link below.