Founded in 1820 by Peter Penfield and Calvin Spencer, both from the State of New York, the township today has 25 Square miles containing 14,080 acres and is the only Penfield Township statewide. 60% of the usable land is devoted to Agriculture (mostly row crops) while 30% contains woodland and 10% is rural residential.
Township 3, Range 17, became by the original drawing, the property of Caleb Atwater who paid the Connecticut Land Company 25 cents an acre or about $4,000. He deeded the land to his six daughters in equal section that were put on the market when the original settlers came.
In 1818, Peter Penfield and Calvin Spencer came from eastern New York and found the land suitable for settling. In the fall of the following year, Penfield returned with his son, Alonson and selected land. The 1820 census reveals one family of two persons, that of Alonson Penfield. The following year, Peter and his nephew, Lathrop Penfield, returned. They had to cut their way through the woods that was a wilderness that stretched from Elyria to Harrisville (Lodi) and from Medina to Wellington. For 30 days they cleared the forest to open the road to Butternut Ridge Road, with no remuneration.
The township is governed by a three-member board of trustees, who are elected in November of odd-numbered years to a four-year term beginning on the following January 1. Two are elected in the year after the presidential election and one is elected in the year before it. There is also an elected township fiscal officer, who serves a four-year term beginning on April 1 of the year after the election, which is held in November of the year before the presidential election. Vacancies in the fiscal officership or on the board of trustees are filled by the remaining trustees.