Clio Logo

The Carter House, which has also been known as the James House and Reed House, has been a part of the Wood County District Public Library since 2006. The home was donated to the Wood County District Public Library by Robert and Patricia Maurer. It is named after Robert Maurer's aunt, Martha Carter Maurer, who was a life-long resident of Bowling Green. She was a school teacher for 35 years and taught for some time at the Church Street School, which was located across the street from where the Carter House is today.

The Carter House in 2021

Plant, Property, Building, Window

The Carter House, ca. 1930-1945

Plant, Building, Sky, Tree

The Carter House, ca. 1920-1930

Building, Tree, Architecture, Rectangle

This home was built around 1877 by Norton Reed. Reed came to Bowling Green in 1865 and quickly rose to prominence as a successful businessman. In addition to running several successful businesses, he invested heavily in real estate and became involved in local politics. He was elected to city council for three terms in 1867, 1869 and 1871. He was also very active in the campaign that advocated to move the county seat from Perrysburg to Bowling Green.

Reed sold the home to Attorney and Ohio General Assemblyman Benjamin F. James in 1897. James started his career as a Greek and Latin professor at Bardstown College (Kentucky) and Burlington College (Iowa). He later received his Bachelor of Law degree from Yale University, and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1887. He also served as a city solicitor and an Ohio State Representative.

Mrs. James was a member of the Shakespeare Round Table group, which exists to this day, and was known to offer up her home as a meeting place for the organization. According to the groups records, a meeting took place at the home in 1911 in which members discussed launching a fundraiser for the first public library in Bowling Green. This eventually became the Wood County District Public Library.

The Carter House is currently used by the library and community members for both private and public events. More information on the building and renting it can be found on the library's website (