Thomas Baxter first arrived in Ohio in 1843, being persuaded to move from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by his friend, grocery store clerk, Charles Atwell. Upon his arrival in Hanover Township, Columbiana County, he started a tin and stove business. He later sold that business to Vineca & Pritchard and moved to Salem, Ohio in 1859. In 1867, with the firm Baxter, Boyle & Co., Thomas Baxter started the Perry stove works in Salem, Ohio. The company was incorporated in 1870 as the Perry Stove Company with $60,000 in capital. On August 12, 1872, a disastrous fire would destroy the plant. It was rebuilt that year and added to over the following years. This would not be the last time fire played a role in Baxter’s business affairs. Thomas and his wife, Isabella, had 9 children, all boys, while in Columbiana County: John (b. 1841), James (b. 1843), Robert (b. 1845), William (b. 1847), Thomas (b. 1850), Emmett (b. 1853), Cassius (b. 1856), Edwin (b. 1858), and Asberry (b. 1860).
Around 1882 the Perry Stove Works began looking to move their operation to a city where there would be room to expand. Canton, Ohio was considered and the company requested four acres of land be donated near the railroad This never materialized and Mansfield, Ohio jumped at the opportunity. On March 8, 1882, a letter arrived in Mansfield from the Perry Stove Works offering a proposition. If the city could furnish $3,000 or $4,000 and 3 or 4 acres of land, the company would move to this city and begin operations as soon as possible. A few hours later, a telegram was sent to the company saying that this could be arranged. Two weeks later, John and Emmett Baxter arrived in the city to check out the available land. They were impressed with what they saw and returned to Salem to make a decision. In August of 1882, John, this time with brother Asberry, or Berry as he was called, visited Mansfield again to select a site. A site on the Hedges property was selected and donated by the Hedges’s heirs to the company. The works would be located on Bloom Street, today East Fifth, past the tracks once the street was extended. In September construction began.
The entire Baxter family, minus brother’s Robert and William who died in 1861 and 1873 respectively, would move to Mansfield to work for the new Baxter Stove Company, which was incorporated May 31, 1883, with a capital stock of $60,000. Thomas, head of the family, remained president of the company; Berry, vice president; John, secretary; Emmett, treasurer; Edwin, superintendent; Cassius, traveling salesman; James, foreman of the warehouse, and Thomas Jr. was assistant foreman of the moulding room. About 75 or 80 men were initially employed, many of whom followed the Baxters from Salem. Moulders would make $3 to $4.50 per day, mounters $2 to $3.50, pattern makers $2 to $3, and other laborers $1.25 to $2 per day. In August of 1883, the company sent its first shipment, containing 62 stoves, to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Fires would continue to plague the factory. On Thanksgiving Day 1890, the first occurred and another happened in 1893. John L. Baxter, then head of the company after his father’s death in 1892, rebuilt the factory after the disastrous 1899 fire, only to have another one nearly destroy the factory in 1910. They never fully recovered from the 1910 fire and, by 1916. the decision was made to close the plant. Two years later Westinghouse would move into the former Baxter factory.
 History of Hanover, Columbiana County, Ohio, 1804-1908, p. 76-77. https://archive.org/details/historyofhanover00vogl_0
 History of Columbiana County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, edited by William B. McCord. P. 142.
 The Stark County Democrat. [volume], March 02, 1882, Page 5
 Page 6 of Mansfield Herald, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Thursday, March 9th, 1882
 Page 6 of Mansfield Herald, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Thursday, March 23rd, 1882
 Page 3 of Mansfield Herald, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Thursday, August 31st, 1882
 Page 3 of Ohio Liberal, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Wednesday, June 6th, 1883
 Page 2 of Richland Shield and Banner, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Saturday, August 4th, 1883
 Page 3 of Richland Shield and Banner, published in Mansfield, Ohio on Saturday, August 18th, 1883