John Omwake (1855-1939) was originally from Greencastle, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and moved to Ohio in the late 1800s as a child. He wrote a book Conestogas of the West about his family's travel experience. He started out as a shop boy in one of Norwood's industrial plants which printed posters. Eventually, he worked his way up the ladder in business to become company president of United States Playing Card Co. Mr. Omwake was a noted Midwestern business man traveling between Cincinnati, Chicago, and New York.
He was one of the original "Y team" members to raise funds for our soldiers going to war in WWI, then helped to established the Norwood Welfare Department which became the Norwood Service League, and was very involved in civic matters. Mr. Omwake served for many years as the Board President or board member of NSL to help needy people. His daughter Evelyn Omwake Bosworth gave an oil painting of her father to Norwood Service League in 1939. Today, his presence is still felt in the NSL Board Room as a testimony of the great things that can occur when good people work together.