The Buckeye Hat Story

Myrtle Westbrook of Ashley, Ohio made this hat from buckeye shavings around 1890. it is 18 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. The buckeye tree, Aesculus glabra, is the state tree of Ohio. Barton Whipple of Stantontown, Morrow County, Ohio created a hat made of hickory shavings to show his support for President Andrew Jackson’s reelection campaign in 1832. The hats proved popular, convincing Whipple that there might be a market for hats made from wood shaving. He discovered that the buckeye tree yielded shavings that were more pliable, and thus easier to make into hats. His family began making the hats and selling them locally.

This article taken from the Ohio History Connection – Ohio Memory Collection