CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF COLUMBUS AND FRANKLIN COUNTY, OHIO - WILLIAM ALEXANDER TAYLOR.
ILLUSTRATED - VOL. I.
Chicago-Columbus: THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING CO. 1909
Blendon Township was first named Harrison but later changed to Blendon, as explained further along. The original Harrison township hitherto described having most largely been stricken off Franklin County in the formation of Pickaway, in 1810, the remaining part of it was included in the townships of Hamilton and Madison. In 1825, however, the county commissioner changed the name of Harrison to Blendon responsive to the generally expressed desire of the inhabitants to have the change made. The township, as set off consisted of one originally surveyed five mile square township and designated as township number 2, range 17, United States military lands. The section of the county embracing this township, for some reason, which at this instance is not exactly clear, was not opened to settlement as early as most of the other townships and localities.
Two First Settlers
The two first settlers in Blendon were Edward Phelps and Isaac Griswold, natives of Windsor, Connecticut, who came into Franklin County in 1806, to make preparations for the coming of their families. It is related that Mr. Phelps was the first white man to chop down a tree in the township. He was well advanced in years when he came to the new country, having been born in 1759, and participated in the war of the Revolution when a young man. He died in 1840 in his eighty-first year. His comrade, Isaac Griswold, lived until about the beginning of the Civil war.
Some Later Comers
In 1808 several other Connecticut emigrants with their families came to Blendon and joined the two original pioneers. These included George 0sborn and Ethan Palmer from Windsor, and Francis Olmsted of Simsbury, Connecticut and his family of sons, of whom was the later General Philo H. Olmsted. one of the most prominent among the earlier mayors of Columbus.
Almost simultaneously with these Connecticut emigrants, there arrived Cruger Wright, John Mattoon and Reuben Carpenter from faraway Vermont; Henry Hane from Pennsylvania; and Isaac Harrison and John and William Cooper from the state of Virginia. A year or two later came Captain John Bishop, Timothy Lee, Gideon W. Hart, the Westervelts and others whose names cannot be recalled.
Two Towns Founded
Two towns were laid out in the township, one in 1839 and the other in 1849. The present flourishing town of Westerville, the seat of Otterbien College, was laid out by Matthew Westervelt, and the popular pronunciation of the name seems to have been bestowed on it. The second town to be laid out was Amalthea, a name almost forgotten even in Blendon township. It is better known, and has been for half a century or more, as Central College, once a far-famed seat of learning now a quaint and picturesque village, such as one sees in dim outline in reading many of the classic narrations. It was laid out under the direction of the board of trustees of Central College on the lands of Mr. Timothy Lee in 1949.
Three Post offices Established
In 1858 there were three post offices in the township. They were Blendon Four Corners, first called Harrison, established in 1824, the name of the township then being Harrison as already stated. In 1825 the name of the township was changed from Harrison to Blendon, and the post office was renamed Blendon , Cross Roads or Four Corners. The second post office was established in 1841, and named Blendon Institute. A year later it was changed to Central College. The third was Westerville, established in 1846, the name remaining unchanged. The town has kept fully abreast the minor municipalities at all times, and for a quarter of a century or more has led the procession.
The Pioneer Postmasters
The first postmaster at Blandon Four Corners was Isaac Griswold, appointed in 1825, and continued by continued re-appointments until 1853, when he was succeeded by his son, Cicero Griswold, whose official tenure was equally extended. There was but one pioneer postmaster at Central College, namely Austin Stibbins, appointed in 1842 and continuing for more than a score of years. The first postmaster of Westerville was Jacob B. Connelly, appointed in 1846; W. W. Whitehead 1850, followed by William Brush; W. W. Whitehead, again, Henry Dyxon, N. M. Hawthorn, James Westervelt and Milton H. Mann who held the office from 1857 to 1860-1.
The most prominent religious denominations in Blendon township in its pioneer days were old school and new school Presbyterians, United Brethern and Methodist, all of them possessing their own church edifices and having large congregations.
A Number of Later Pioneers
The following were among the pioneers and heads of families between 1818 and 1858. Gideon W. Hart, Robert Jameson, Abram Phelps, Welch Rickey, Jared W. Copeland, Easton Sherman, Randall R. Arnold, Alexander Arrison, Homer W. Phelps, Thomas J. Alexander, William H. Grinnell, Ezra Munson, Theson Lee, Asa Bills, John Knox and J. L. Westervelt.
In 1840 the population of Blendon was nine hundred and seventy-two; in 1850 it rose to one thousand three hundred and three; in 1858, one thousand five hundred and seventy five; in 1900, it had a population, exclusive of Westerville, of two thousand three hundred and sixty; the estimate for 1908, exclusive of Westerville, is two thousand five hundred and eighty-nine. The population of Westerville in 1858 was two hundred and seventy-five; in1900, one thousand four hundred and sixty-two, estimated in 1908, one thousand six hundred and twenty-one.
The eighteenth and penultimate township organization in Franklin County (Marion being the last) was Brown, was organized in 1830; Norwich, Prairie and Washington townships contributed nearly equal amounts of territory in its formation. Originally it was embraced in Franklin Township.
The Darby Greek Settlers
Along Darby creek, as far back as 1810, or twenty years before the township was set off and organized, there were some improvements and a small settlement formed.
These, the original founders of the township, were James Boyd, John Hayden, John Patterson, and W. Renier and their families. Other settlers came in at intervals until 1825, but they located along the Darby banks, until a number of Welsh families came in 1825, and up to 1835 and began numerous interior settlements and the township began to show as much progress as many of the older ones.
In 1837 Isaac Hayden erected a. saw mill on Darby, and later, when the Urbana and Western Railway was in process of building, a steam sawmill mill erected which furnished the cumbersome railway timbers on which the strap iron was laid in that day in lieu of the present steel rails.
Post office Established
Darby post office was established in 1848 and Joseph O'Harra was appointed as the first postmaster and he held the office for ten or twelve years. An association of negroes bought a tract of land in the township in 1847, and erected a seminary, which, for a time, had a precarious existence. At the middle of the century there was a single church in the township and it belonged to the Methodists. The schoolhouses however, were open for church services to all denominations.
Among the other pioneer families in the township were those of Jacob Rogers, James Langton, John D. Acton, Paul Alder, William Walker, Henry Francis, James Huggett, Chauncey Beach, N. E. Fares, George M. Clover And .John Kilgore.
In 1840 the population of the township was four hundred and twenty five; in 1850. six hundred and eighty-one; in 1858, seven hundred and thirty" nine; in 1900, eight hundred and in 1908, estimated eight hundred and seventy-five.
There is another of the townships under the original survey of five miles square, and which was designated on the original plats as township 1, range 18, United States military lands.
Some First Settlers
Among the first settlers taking up lands in Clinton ware the families of Hugh and Robert Fulton, John Hunter, Samuel Elvaire, John Lisle, the Hendersons, the Hesses and the Beers. The township was organized as such in the year 1811. Roswell Wilcox came into the township in 1814 and erected what for a period of many years were known as the Wilcox Mills; later they passed into the possession of the father of John James Piatt, the poet, and still later passed into the possession of the Messrs. Hess.
These mills were located on Olentangy River or creek, as some preferred at that date to denominate it. Further up the creek were the mills of George Whips, which also did a large business in producing flour not only for the home trade, but for shipment to New Orleans and other southern points by way of the Scioto to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
In 1858 and prior thereto there were three very considerable distilleries engaged in the production of whisky, fattening hogs, cattle and the like. All these things have disappeared almost wholly.
The Rise of Clintonville
Clintonville rose rather as an accommodation than as a town. Mr. Alanson Bull, a land owner, desiring to accommodate several mechanics in that part of the township, who were not only possessed of industry, but growing families, sold in 1846-7, a number of building lots on the side of the road leading from Columbus to Worthington to these industrious mechanics, who erected modest but substantial dwellings upon them, and so Clintonville rose as a way station between the old town of Worthington and the newly enfranchised city of Columbus.
A Post office Established
In 1847 a post office was established at Clintonville, and James Ferguson was appointed postmaster and was later succeeded by his son, James M. Ferguson. The post office has been maintained ever since. The favorable growth of Clintonville, seems to have moved Messrs. Solomon and George Beers to start another town further down the plank road toward the statehouse, so they laid out and platted lots and the town plat, bearing the name of "North Columbus" was duly recorded, lots were sold, houses erected, and in the lapse of time North Columbus became a part of Columbus; the plank road passed on, the turnpike continued to be and the interurban electric cars brought the public square of Worthington and the Statehouse Park in Columbus within fifteen minutes of each other, when business was urgent.
Churches and Cemeteries
Mr. William T. Martin writing of Clinton at the turn of the first half century of Columbus, says that "there are in this township three churches and three cemeteries-a Methodist church and burying place on the Worthington Plank Road near the residence of Rev. Jason Bull; another about five miles from Columbus on the Lockwin pike near the residence of G. S. Innis, Esq., and a church at Clintonville, belonging to the Christian denomination, and a burying place three or four miles north of Columbus on the west side of the Olentangy."
There were in the township in 1840 a population of nine hundred and sixty-nine. In 1850 the population reached one thousand one hundred and eighty-six, and in 1858 one thousand two hundred and ninety. The Census of 1900 gave the population of four thousand three hundred and eighty-five, and the present population is conservatively placed at four thousand seven hundred and fifty. This is the first township in the order of their organization to maintain a steady and uninterrupted growth.
Among the Later Pioneers
Between 1818 and 1858 the following heads of families were active factors in the upbuilding of Clinton township: Messrs. William McElvain, William Drody, John Smith, John Hunter, Elam Jewett, Aristarchus Walker, Jacob Slyth, Samuel Kinnear, Washington Lakins, Truman Skeels, Joseph Pegg, Edward A. Stanley, Eli M. Lisle, G. S. Innis and Moses Beers. Many of these names are as familiar in the city and throughout the townships today as they were fifty or sixty years ago and in both periods they were the synonyms of good citizenship.
Of the four original townships in the county, Franklin is the only one that retains its name. Its organization is coeval with the erection of the county in 1803. When organized Franklin Township alone embraced twice as much territory as the whole of Franklin County of today. In this township the first settlement of the county and city began in 1797, in the present west side of Columbus then designated Franklinton, the county seat. The trend of settlement was south along the west bank of the Scioto, and the first settlers in that direction were the families of Samuel White, John Huffman, William Harrison, Sr., and one or two others whose names have not been preserved.
The limits of the township, however, were gradually contracted and after Jackson Township was organized in 1815 and Prairie in 1819, its proportions were more in keeping with the idea of a township, and so continued until Franklinton itself was attached to and became a part of Columbus. The population was largely agricultural, the great prairies stretching west as well as north and south, inviting an agricultural people; corn, wheat, broom corn, oats, potatoes and the like were produced in great abundance-especially broom corn, and was shipped to the down-river markets.
People Fond of Sports
The people of that day were as fond of sports, especially horse racing: as those of today, and primitive race tracks were maintained on the prairies bordering upon the town, especially in the vicinity of the Four-Mile House, and candor compels the statement that there was more or less betting on the nags, according to the volume of the currency at the track and the enthusiasm of the bettors. Along in the 40’s, Lucas Sullivant established the Ohio Manufacturing Company, worked a milling establishment and operated stone quarries, while further down the river were Moler's Mills and Carding Machine, erected originally by John Rausburgh.
In 1858 Franklin township, including Franklinton, had a population of a little more than two thousand, of whom six hundred seventy-six were between the ages of five and twenty-one years. In 1900, with Franklinton absorbed into the city of Columbus, the township had a population of two thousand six hundred eighty-nine and it is estimated that in 1908-9, it contained approximately three thousand inhabitants.
Among the pioneers prior to 1858 were the families of Adam Hosack, Henry Brown, James B. Gardiner, Joseph Grate, Jacob Kellar, Joseph McDowell, William Lusk, William Risley, Zachariah Stephen, James Marshall, Arthur O'Harra, Samuel White, Nicholas Goeehes, James Gorton, Robert W. Riley, Joseph Badger, Jacob Gruber, Reuben Golliday, William Lusk, Stewart White, James Graham, Samuel Deardurf, Jacob Fisher, William Caldwell, Adam Alkire, William Henderson, Lemuel Frizzell, Bartley Boyd, Benjamin Overmire, Robert King, Bazil Riddell, Jesse Alkire, John A. Kellar and William B. Preston. The descendants of many of these pioneers still reside in this county and central Ohio, while the greater number have followed the star of empire westward, and the same is true of the descendants of the pioneers in all the townships.
Franklinton Post office
Franklinton post office was established in 1805 and continued until 1835. The respective pioneer postmasters were: Adam Hosack, 1805; Henry Brown, 1811; Joseph Grate, 1812; James B. Gardiner, 1813; Jacob Kellar, 1815; Joseph McDowell, 1819; William Lusk, 1820; William Risley, 1831, to discontinuance of the office.
The Old Union Church
The following article touching the history of one of the most famous and historic churches of Franklin county, outside the city, located in Franklin Township, appeared a year or two since in the leading Columbus newspapers. Some of the pioneers mentioned therein have passed away since its publication. The new church referred to has since been completed, and the congregation meet in it regularly for Divine services.
About one-half mile northeast of Briggsdale, which is located on the Harrisburg pike, and about three miles southwest of the city, stands a little one-story brick church with a history of intense interest. It bears the name of "Union Church," which title it has possessed many years, and which was given it in days when this section of the country was inhabited by Indians. In this modest appearing little edifice, hundreds of souls have found the Saviour, hundreds of dear friends of the members have lain before the pulpit cold in death.
A New Church
A beautiful new church is to take the place of the little chaped that has such a record. The membership has grown to such an enormous -size in the past few years that the present building will not accommodate the increasing numbers, and at a meeting held a few days ago it was decided that the new church would have to supplant the little edifice to which the older members look back upon with many happy, and at other times many sorrowful recollections. The new church will not be located on the present site, but will be nearer the Briggsdale school building. Mr. Joseph Briggs, who is one of the prominent members, was also instrumental in agitating the idea of the new church. Mr. Briggs headed the subscription paper, which was started at a business meeting of the members a few days ago, and the amount placed opposite his name was one thousand dollars, and from this amount a reasonable sum is to be taken to invest in a church lot, which is to be selected from any part of his property which runs a half mile on either side of the Harrisburg pike through Briggsdale.
Raising Church Building Funds
Since the petitions, three in number, have been in circulation, they raised over one-half the amount necessary, and according to the church laws, when three-fourths of the amount is secured they will be allowed to proceed with the construction. This Mr. Briggs thinks will be commenced about March, as the prospects are bright for raising the necessary funds. The new building is to be modern in every way, and will be built from briek. The building committee is comprised of the following members: Joseph Briggs, A. K Whims. J. J. Eakin and John E. Chambers. The church committees are: J. E. Chambers, Thomas Hart, A. K. Whims, E. C. Armstrong, William House, Jesse Walton, D. Sibley, John Eakin and Joseph Brigg.
The new church will, as it has been for a long time, be known as the Union Methodist Episcopal church. The present pastor is Rev. George Creamer, of Grove City, who, assisted by his brother, has during the past few weeks been conducting a most successful series of protracted meetings, und has increased the membership immensely.
The Press Post has endeavored to secure a few reminiscences of the old church and after many interviews with those well acquainted, the following story has been compiled, which will prove very interesting to those having any acquaintance:
A Famous Church Edifice
Among the early religious gatherings in Franklin township outside of Franklinton were a series of meetings held at the house of Henry Goetschius, by the Rev. Messrs. Austen and Sims, of the Methodist Episcopal church. The date cannot be given; but it was prior to 1828. The result was the formation of a pioneer class in Methodism, consisting of John and Nancy Goetschius, Richard and Sarah House, Elisha and Elizabeth Chambers, Giliom and Leah Demorest, Jacob and Eliza White and a few others, whose names are forgotten. Soon after this class was formed a log meeting house was built on Scioto big run. This was a small affair and rude in its appointments, yet for as many as ten years this devoted band of Christians held frequent meetings within its bush-covered walls. Its successor was the brick edifice known as Union church, occupying the site of the first church. This charge was formerly attached to Darby circuit, and subsequently to Harrisburg.
Immediately after the formation of Franklin County in 1803 it was divided into four nearly equal parts or townships, the southwest quartet was called Franklin. It was then nearly double the size of the present county. It was reduced to its present limits in 1819.
Franklin County Indians
The red men of the forest were quite numerous in the early settlement of this township. They were principally of the Wyandot tribe, though there were scattering members of the Delaware’s and Mingoes.
First Settler, Joseph Foos.
The first 8ettler of the township was Joseph Foos, who, in the fall of 1798 came from Kentucky and built a log cabin on what is now Hamilton Place addition.
Scalped at Stony Point
Samuel White was prominent in the pioneer settlement of Franklin township. He was a soldier in the Revolution and served nearly seven years during that determined struggle. It is said by descendants of the family that Mr. White, at the battle of Stony Point, was scalped by the Indians and left on the field of battle. After the war he returned to his home in Virginia, married Jane Stewart, and emigrated to Ohio, and settled on Scioto big run. The old log church was located on his land and when the present church was built his son, Samuel M., made the trustees a deed for the land. Both are buried in the graveyard of the church.
Samuel White came from Virginia; he was born in New Jersey, March 16, 1758, and died from injuries received in a runaway in 1841. His son, Samuel M., came in possession of the part of his farm on which the church stands, and the late Hon. Clark White, his son, then came into possession of the farm. His wife and son and one of his daughters still live on the same place. His son Jacob, mentioned elsewhere, was one of the founder, of the church. Samuel White's descendants are numbered by the hundreds in this county.
The Union Camp Grounds
As a camp-meeting grounds and place for summer religious services, those about the Union church were known far and wide and there is not an old resident in the entire county or the surrounding ones but know; about the Union church camp meetings. All who have talked relative to the matter bring up the most interesting stories. Mr. A. G. Grant, in speaking of the camp meetings held there, stated that he well remembered that one Sunday morning during the camp meeting when nine large Indians bedecked with their feathers and war paint, walked up to front seats. Their presence naturally caused a commotion, but their was no disturbance. This, Mr. Grant states, was about fifty-five years ago. The camp grounds were located in the grove which then surrounded the little church. The places for sleeping and living during the camp-meetings, which would last from three to four weeks, were erected from small trees on the log-cabin plan and covered with brush and the like. The huts were erected side by side and occupied the amount of space about the size of a solid square. In the center the services were held and were attended by mammoth crowds.
The Union Preachers
Among some of the older preachers better known to many of the residents of the city and county were Rev. Young, who was blind. He was grandfather of Ex-Sheriff Young. Rev. Peter Cartright was also one of their pastors. Another who still survives, is Michael Halm, residing in this city on East Mound street.
The Union Cemetery
The cemetery adjoining the church also affords a history which in all probability is equaled by few in the county. It contains the remains of veterans from four wars. Among those remembered are the following:
Revolutionary war - Samuel White. War of 1812 - Thomas Goldsmith, Henry Goetschius, Richard House. Mexican War - Elijah Harris. War, 1861 to 1865 - Captain E. O. House, William Goldsmith, Thomas Goldsmith, G. W. Alkire, Richard White, Alfred Goetschius.
The aged father of Mr. Joseph M. Briggs, who is the promoter of the new church, was buried also in this cemetery fifty-seven years ago, but later the remains were removed to their family lot at Green Lawn cemetery He was the founder of the Sabbath school of Union church.
The first memorial services ever held over the graves of the dead soldiers who lie in this little cemetery were held last summer, the last Sunday in June. The services were arranged at the instigation of William Miller, of this city, who is also officer of the day of the Wells Post, G. A. R. He was assisted by Martin Benjamin, of Briggsdale, and the services were so successful and appreciated by all that it was then decided to hold the same annually, the second Sunday in June.
In 1799, John Matthews, 8un'pyor and civil engineer, on behalf of the, United States government surveyed the lands comprising Hamilton township and the early records speak of it as "Matthew’s Survey," a term still used in conveyance descriptions. These lands (carne into market in the year 1800. and in that year and the year following they were taken up in the usual form of "entries” in vogue in that date, and settlement began.
The Early Settlers
Among the very earliest settlers were .John Dill and Michael Fisher. Only a little later came Percival Adam:', Thomas Morris, the Worthington’s, the Stewarts, the Johnston’s, James Culbertson, the Stombaughs, George W. Williams, and Robert Shannon with his six sons named respectfully, Samuel, Hugh, John, James , Joseph and William.
Hamilton township was formally organized in 1807 and at that time' embraced within its boundaries the territory from which Madison township was subsequently erected. The township is about eight miles in length , north and south, and four miles wide, east and west, the width varying with the curving and meandering of the Scioto river. When the original division of the county was made in 18903, this territory was part in Liberty and part in Harrison township. It was also generally regarded as containing a greater proportion of first class land than any like quantity of territory anywhere in the county. Later, when the canal was located through it greatly enhanced its natural advantages, especially in water powers.
Shortly after the completing of the canal, the Hartwell Mills, at the Four Mile Lock was erected, and subsequently the Cottage Mill" were erected in 1811 by Messrs. Hibbs and Dalzell.
Lockbourne and Shadesville
In 1831, Colonel James Kilbourne, acting as agent for Joel Buttles, Demas Adams and others laid out the town of Lockbourne, which soon grew into a considerable village with good church building, school house, stores, warehouses with a population comprising about seventy families, two or three physicians and a like number of taverns, saw and grist mills, etc.
The Lockbourne post office was established in 1837 and Nathan G. Smith, 1837; Zebulon Marcy, 1838; John H. Stage, 1839; C. M. Porter, 1849; Dr. A. N. Boales, 1851; Dr. J. R. Marshall, 1853; John A. Sarber, 1854; and J. H. Haire, 1856-58, were the pioneer post masters. Lockbourne was incorporated by an act of the legislature in 1839-40, but the citizens never availed themselves of its provisions.
Hon. Adin G. Hibbs laid out the village of Shadesville in 1853 and was made the first postmaster of Shadesville; the other pioneer postmaster, Joshua Hartzel holding the position till past the half century.
The population has remained almost stationary since 1840. In that year the population, including the villages of Lockbourne and Shadesville was one thousand two hundred fifty-eight; in 1850, one thousand four hundred eighty-five; in 1858, one thousand four hundred ninety-eight; in 1900, one thousand five hundred; in 1908, one thousand four hundred ninety-three, estimated. The soil of the township is productive, the highways, as throughout the most of the county, are well kept and the farms bespeak rare and thrift.
Among the Later Pioneers
Among the prominent heads of families of the second growth, so to speak, of the pioneers may be mentioned. William Dunning, William Irwin, David Spangler, Thomas Morris, John B. Johnson, Percival Adams, .John
Stipp, George Hays, Joseph Murray, William Champ, M. Fisher, John Landes, William Jacobs, William Shannon, Z. P. Thompson, George Earhart, Patterson Harrison, Robert E. Shannon, Adin G. Hibbs, Rev. N. S. Ransom, Rev. J. D. Smith, Rev. Thomas Woodrow and Rev. W. Maynard.
As singular as it may appear at this time, Jackson township for a number of years enjoyed the distinction of being the backwoods township in the county, and the farthest away from any place and all places of any of its sister townships. But with the construction many years ago of the Harrisburg pike, the Franklin pike, and the Cottage Mill pike, all the inconveniences were removed, and modern road making has added to its nearness to all desirable points and it has grown in population and productions as rapidly as any of the rest of the sisterhood, except in the now extinct Montgomery township, of course.
Some of the Original Settlers
"The township was" detached from Franklin, and organized as Jackson township in the year 1815, and was so named in honor of General Andrew Jackson, who had just covered himself and his country with military glory in the battle of New Orleans, or rather on the Plains of Chalamette, below the city. Among the early settlers of the town were William Brown, Nicholas Haun, Jonas Orders, William Badger, Woolry Conrad, William Sinnet, and the large Branckeridge, Boror, Strader and Goldsmith families.
Grove City Laid Out
There was neither village nor post office in Jackson township until 1852. In that year William F. Breck laid out the present pretty suburban town, the post office of Grove City was established, and Mr. Breck was made postmaster. In 1857 he was succeeded by Randolph Higgy.
Grove City Fifty Years Ago
The founder was an optimist, as one must conclude when he scans the following description of the city by William T. Martin, for one of the Gazetteers of 1858:
"Grove City now contains about thirty families, two stores, one tavern, one physician, a large school and three churches-a Lutheran, a German Reformed and a Presbyterian. The Methodists also hold their meetings III the same house with the Presbyterians. Besides these churches there are in the township three others of the Methodist denomination j the Hopewell on the Jackson turnpike, a wooden building erected some years before, near the Shadesville pike, and Hickory Seminary, erected since both the above for the double purpose of church and schoolhouse. Rev. Benjamin Britton of Norwich township used to preach occasionally for the New Lights in Jackson and Rev. Chandler Rogers of Perry for the Universalists." Jackson township is a fine agricultural section of the county, and its rural and village population is of the substantial kind. While it was a little slow in the building of grist and saw mills in the earlier years, as well as the smaller workshop's which characterize the growth of progressive sections and communities, it is now well to the front in all these.
Growth of Population
In 1840, Jackson township had a population of seven hundred and eighty-four; in 1850 it had risen to one thousand five hundred and fifty; in 1858, one thousand six hundred and seventy-five; in 1900, two thousand two hundred and eighty-nine, including the six hundred and fifty-six population of Grove City. The estimated population of the township in 1908 is, in round numbers, two thousand five hundred, of which seven hundred is in the town of Grove City.
Some of the Pioneer People
Among the heads of families settling in the township prior to 1850 were William C. Duff, William Seeds, Jacob Deimer, John Gantz, Joshua Glanville, Robert Seeds, John Dunn, Isaac Miller, H. D. Mitchell, Isaac White and E. C. Brett.
Jefferson township was established on the 6th of September, 1816. It is a regulation township five miles square, township 1, in range 16, United States military lands. Originally it had been a part of Liberty township, and subsequently became a part of Plain until it was detached as stated.
General Jonathan Dayton's Patent
The first settlements were made in 1802-3, the impetus being given by General Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, the patron saint of Dayton, Ohio, whither he journeyed later. In 1800 General Dayton patented the first or northeast quarter of the township and had it platted in lots of one hundred acres each, and sold the most of these lots "sight unseen" to a number of citizens of New Jersey, who knew nothing of the lands beyond the General's description.
Divided the Lots by Lot
All the lots, it is said sold at a uniform price supposed to be one dollar an acre or one hundred dollars a lot. At all events it is related that after all the lots had been disposed of at a uniform price they were drawn by cards numbered from one to one hundred. The purchaser of a single lot drew one card the purchasers of two or more lots drew a corresponding number of cards--sometimes the drawer of two or more cards got two or possibly three tracts adjoining or possibly on opposite sides of the quarter township. As a rule the lands were of uniform value, and the drawing was quite satisfactory.
The Pioneers from New Jersey
The early settlers of the township in so far as they may now be ascertained were Daniel Dague, Moses Ogden, Peter Francisco, William Headley, Michael Stagg, Abraham Stagg, Jacob Tharp, Jacob Smith, John H. Smith. Jonathan Whitehead, Joseph Edgar, John Kelso, Michael Neiswander and Shuah Mann and their families and some of these families reached half a score.
Mills, Villages and Post offices
Jefferson township has not yet builded an emporium. In 1853 David Taylor surveyed and platted Grahamsville. It became known to local history as Taylor's Station. The year previous William A. Smith laid out a town and called it Smithville, but when the locator of post offices had come and gone, it was transformed into Black Lick post office.
Some Pioneer Postmasters
The first postmaster at Black Lick, which became a post office in 1852, was Thomas McCollum. In 1856 he was succeeded by C. S. Morris, in 1857 and Morris, in turn was succeeded in 1857 by Ezekiel Campton, who continued beyond the line of pioneer demarcation, and until some time in the early '60s. The first post office in the township was established at Headley's Corners and named Ovid post office in 1832, and Dr. Ezekiel Whitehead was appointed first postmaster. He held the office four years and was succeeded by William Headly, who looked after its affairs for something like a score of years.
The First Grist Mill
Bread was an insistent problem in pioneer days and the man who erected a gristmill in a neighborhood was brevetted a benefactor, and put in the line of regular promotion. In 1811-12 Jacob Tharp erected and put in operation the first gristmill on Black Lick creek. Later on it was more generally known as the Somersville Mill and eventually passed into the ownership of Thomas Rees. The third or southwest quarter of Jefferson township was held intact by the heirs of L. Brien until 1850, when they sold and conveyed it to David Taylor in consideration of ten dollars per acre. It was on this purchase that Mr. Taylor laid out the town of Grahamsville now known and designated as Black Lick post office.
Midway and Later Pioneers
Among the heads of families who came into and settled in Jefferson township between 1816 and 1858 were Henderson Crabb, William Dean, John Inks, Isaac Painter, Andrew Allison, George Beals, Michael Nieswender, Peter Mills, Jacob Smith, Jr., Charles L. Morris and William S. Armsted. The population of the' township in 1840 was one thousand and forty; in 1850, one thousand two hundred and thirty-six; in 1900, nine hundred and sixty-four and in 1908 is estimated at one thousand.
Madison township is the premier in size compared with any other township in the county, being eight miles in extent north and south and seven miles east and west, save for a small jog in the southeast corner. It was organized as a township 10 1809, having previous to that time been a part. of Hamilton township.
The settlement of the territory had begun in 1802, one year before the admission of the state to the Union. In 1805 John Swisher, of New Jersey, settled here, but later located in Perry township. When Mr. Swisher came into Madison he found himself preceded by Isaac Decker; Elias Decker; Charles Rarey and his five sons, Adam, Benjamin, William, Charles and George, growing and promising boys; and a few others inhabiting the rich lands.
More Recruits Came
It was only a little later when more additions were made to the community, including John Kill and his large family, Matthew Taylor, Jacob Gander, George Rohr and six sons and as many other members of the family as well as an equally large family of the Ramseys, three of the Ramsey boys being Samuel, James and Robert M. Mooberry and family, Mr. Ball and family, Daniel Kramer, Matthias Wolf, Thomas Rathmell, Emmor Cox, James McClish, Philip Pontius, William D. Hendron, Philemon Medles and others.
The school sections (section 16) appropriated by the government for the aid and support of public schools for Madison, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Truro townships, were all located adjoining in Madison township, making a body of two thousand five hundred acres in the garden' spot of Franklin county, all the other townships received a similar land grant.
Providing Daily Bread
The first mill erected in the township was by Mathew Taylor on Alum creek near its mouth in 1808. It gave great impetus to the settlement. No vestige of this agent of civilization now remains, and the site is conjectural. In 1810-11 George Sharp erected mills on a Gahanna. They afterward passed into the ownership of John Sharp. They did a prosperous business in the mid-pioneer days, but they are gone leaving no monument behind them.
A Solitary Grist Mill
At the half century of history, 1858, there was but a single milling establishment in the township, and that was the Chaney grist-mill on the canal near Canal Winchester, and near by was a wool carding and fulling mill, also owned by the Chancys. But Madison township has more than held her own in this and other respects between 1858 and 1908.
A Forgotten Town
Middletown was the original name for a town laid out in 1817 in the township. The legislature of Ohio changed its name in 1830-31 and incorporated it as Middleton. In 1829 the government established a post office there, and Dr. Thomas Hersey was appointed the first postmaster in the same year. In 1833, Isaac D. Decker, who had been appointed as Dr. Hersey's successor, resigned; for the very excellent reason that the post office was removed.
Rival Pod and Grove
In 1843 the western portion of what is now the pretty village of Groveport was laid out as a town by Mr. Jacob B. Wert, and was modestly named by him Werts Grove; he being naturally and patriotically one of the first settlers of the future emporium. In February, 1844, Mr. William H. Rarey laid out the eastern half of the present town, and being modest and likewise patriotic named it "Rarey's Port". Thus it was that the Hocking branch of the Ohio canal played the role of the Rubicon with Rarey's Port on the east and Wert’s Grove on the west bank thereof.
Both villages improved becomingly and satisfactorily to the respective proprietor. The proximity of the two rival municipalities at first confused strangers and later perplexed citizens, who happened to be out of evening, and finally public opinion rose up and demanded a consolidation of the town and names. After divers and sundry conferences between the citizens and the proprietors it was decided to reduce the name of the west side town to "Grove" by striking out "Wert's” and reduce the east side metropolis to "Port" by striking out Rarey's and then joining them together make it Groveport which it is even unto this day. The compact was ratified and Sealed by the legislature in the session of 1846-47 in the form of a charter of incorporation. The first board of councilmen consisted of Samuel Sharp, E. M. Dutton, J. P. Bywaters, C .T. Stevenson and William Mitchell.
The Pioneer Mayors
A. Shoemaker was elected the first mayor in 1847 and was followed by Henry Long, 1848-49; Z.P. Thompson, 1850-1; E.W. Edwards, 1852; Jeremiah White, 1853-4, T.P. Thompson 1855-6; N. Steel 1857; L. Saber 1858. With this the pioneer mayors ceased and determined, and the modern type became the vogue. Groveport was a business center for that period, 1848-58; there being several stores, groceries, shops and the like, four or five churches and three physicians. The population in 1850 was four hundred thirty-eight.
The Pioneer Postmasters
In 1844 the post office of Groveport was established. Mr. Jacob B. Wert one of the rival founders of the town was honored by being made the first postmaster, and held the office to 1848. He was succeeded by Edward Gares who held until 1854. In that year Samuel Sharp was appointed to the office and held it until 1858.
When the six sections of land were annexed to the east of Madison township in 1851; it threw Canal Winchester, then of Fairfield, into Franklin county. Canal Winchester like Groveport lies on the canal; was in 1858 and previous thereto a place of considerable business especially in grain and produce. The town was laid out in 1826, by John Coleman and Rueben Dove, Fairfield county citizens. It resembled Groveport in most particulars and in 1856 had about the same population, each being approximately four hundred and nearly five hundred each in 1858. The total population of Madison township in 1850 was two thousand four hundred eighty; in 1900 three thousand two hundred seventeen. The estimated population for 1908 is three thousand three hundred fifty. Of late years Canal Winchester has increased most rapidly in population. Both towns are alike wide awake, however, and are situate in rich and well lying lands.
Some of the Later Pioneers
Among the heads of families following the original migrants in Madison, were Ebenezer Richards, W. D. Hendren, Elijah Austin, James McLisle, Nicholas Goeches, William Godman, J. Gander, John Swisher, William Patterson, Alexander Cameron, W. W. Kile, James Pearcy, John Cox, William Mason, Joshua Glanville, M. Seymour, M. K. Earhart and John Helpman.
The first postmaster of Canal Winchester was Peter T. Krag, who was appointed in 1853 and held office for ten years, bringing him within the pioneer limit of office holding.
Marion township was organized February 24, 1873. It lies in a narrow strip in the form of a half bracket, along the eastern line of the city (originally Montgomery township) and partially across the northern and southern boundaries almost half encircling the city proper. The township was named after William Marion, Sr., who came to Ohio from Boston, Massachusetts, in 1807, accompanied by William Palmer. In 1807 he married Sally Waite, who came from Johnstown, New York, with her father, Jenks Waite, in the previous year. He died in 1837 at the age of fifty. William Marion in connection with his brother, Nathaniel Marion, owned between eighteen hundred and two thousand acres of refugees lands in Truro and Marion townships, which they had purchased shortly after their arrival on favorable terms.
First Settlement and Settlers
The first settlement was made in Marion along Alum in 1799. Among the first settlers were John White and wife, Colonel E. C. Livingston and wife of New York, David Nelson, Colonel Frankenburg, an officer of the Hanoverian army, George Turner, William Show, William Reed, John Starr, Nathaniel Hamlin, John McGown, Andrew Culbertson, William Moobrey, Thomas Hamilton, Alfred E. Stuart, David Aultman, Jacob Hare, John Wallace and Herman OCM.
The population of Marion township in 1900 numbered five thousand five hundred and thirteen, and in 1908 it is estimated at something over eight thousand, while almost the whole of it is within the assimilating influence of the constantly expanding city.
Migrants coming from Pennsylvania in 1799-1800, began the first settlement in Mifflin township. The first settlers comprised William Read, afterward widely and favorably known as Judge William Read, William Simmons, Frederick Agler, George Baughman, Daniel Turney, Matthias Ridenour and Ebenezer Butler. In the division of the county into townships in 1803, this territory was included in Liberty township j when, in 1811, Mifflin township was organized, the Pennsylvania settlers selected the name for it in honor of Governor Mifflin, of Pennsylvania, with whom many of them were personally acquainted.
The township as organized consisted of one of the originally surveyed townships, of five miles square, and was noted on the map as township 1, range 17, United States military lands. There were no striking incidents connected with the settlement of the township, the inhabitants being of the study, industrious Pennsylvania type, who minding their own business and not interfering with others, prospered and reared their families, and added in all other ways to the steady progress of the entire county.
An Early Drawback
A writer in the '50s, speaking of this township, said that no flouring-mills had as yet been erected in the township, although quite a number of sawmills had been put into operation, some of them doing a good business, while others met with only indifferent success. Among the very early sawmills spoken of, was the Dean Mill, erected prior to 1820, and which passed into the possession of Judge Heyl, and also the Old Park's Mill, which was erected about the same time. In 1835-6 a sawmill was erected on Walnut creek by J. J. Janney, and which later passed to the ownership of J. M. Walcutt, and another erected by A. McIlvaine in 1838-39.
In 1848-9 Messrs. John Clark, Esquire, and Jesse Baughman, Esquire, living in close proximity, were mutually inspired to found a town, which, mayhap, might sometime grow into a city. Squire Clark, on one side of the dividing line, laid out and had platted a town bearing the name of Gahanna. Squire Baughman proceeded to layout and have platted a town which he christened Bridgeport, and it became a race as to which name should survive- it is Gahanna now. In 1849 Gahanna post office was established and it still retains a place on the map. Thomas Young was the first postmaster serving from 1849 to 1853, to be succeeded by John T. Baughman who held the position in 1859. Another post office was established at Park's Mill, on - Alum creek, in 1851. Jeremiah Lasure was postmaster until 1853, and James Parks for some eight or nine years.
A Steady Growth.
There was a population in 1850 of one thousand and ninety-five in the township and one thousand one hundred and forty-three in 1858. In 1900 the United States census gave the township a population of two thousand nine hundred and ninety-three, of which two hundred and seventy-six were residents of Gahanna. The estimated population of the township in 1908 is three thousand one hundred, of which three hundred reside in the village. Mifflin thus shows a marked and continuous growth in population greater proportionally than either of the preceding townships.
Some Later Pioneers.
Among the later pioneer heads of families in Mifflin township, were John Scott, Stephen Harris, Stephen R. Price, Henry Hawken, Samuel Gillet, John Hawken, James Smith, Hugh Ijams, David Beers, James Price, John Starret, A. W. Jeffries, Philip Klein.
Champion Office Holder.
The champion office holder in the township in the pioneer days was David Beers, who was elected justice of the peace ten times in succession in thirty years, his terms of office being three years each.
In 1813 when Norwich township was surveyed and established, it extended across the river, including what is now the south end of Perry township. It should be remembered in this connection that where the county was originally divided into townships in 1803, what is now Norwich township was a part of Franklin; and when Washington was surveyed and organized in1809, it then constituted a part of that township until the year 1813.
The First Village in Norwich
No village existed in the township until toward the end of the year 1853, when the village of Hilliard was laid out by John R. Hilliard. The Columbus, Piqua and Indiana railroad now a part of the great Pennsylvania system was then built and Hilliards station thereon was established in the village. Five years after its establishment, Hilliards was described as “quite a small village of probably a dozen families, two grocery stores and a Post office." In 1908, after a lapse of half a century it is a more pretentious and business like place-a pretty rural village in a beautiful section of the county and in close touch with the state capital.
Hilliards Post office
Prior to the establishment of Hilliards, and in 1852, a post office had been established at Smiley's Corners in the township with David Smiley as postmaster. In 1854, the post office at Smiley's Corners was discontinued by the United States government and a post office established at Hilliards of which Thomas W. Dobyns was postmaster for a long series of years.
Gristmills and Sawmills
Norwich township did not lack these adjuncts to civilization and progress, the Scioto furnishing ample water power. A grist mill was erected on the Scioto, about 1843, by Joseph Corban at a point where Samuel Wilcox had previously erected a sawmill. These mills were subsequently known as Howard's Mills and for a long time did a large business. As early as 1857 there was a steam sawmill at Hilliards, and two or three others at other points of the township. This innovation soon revolutionized the earlier lumber business.
Among the oldest families at the period of 1850-58 in Norwich and of the first comers were those of Benjamin Britton, William Armisted, Asa Davis, Asa Wilcox, John Hart, Moses Hart, David Thomas, Daniel Buck, Ezekial Lattimer, David Smiley, Daniel D. Lattimner and Daniel Brunk. Half a century ago the leading religious denominations in the township were Methodists and United Brethern. The Methodists possessed a church of their own near the residence of David Smiley, and also held services in two or three of the district schoolhouses. The United Brethern held their services at the time, at what was then known as Carter's schoolhouse.
Some Additional Pioneers
Among the other prominent early settlers and their families in the township were those of Thomas Backus, Ebenezer Richards, Robert Eliott, Amaziah Hutchinson, John McCan, L. L. Lattimer, John Weeden, George Black, Miner Pickle, Miskell Saunders, Henry McCracken, Benjamin Scofield, John T. Britton, John Caldwell, James H. Ralston and John Caldwell.
How He Lived and Died
In this township resided a good citizen, Squire Miskell Saunders, above named, an intense democrat and the devoted friend of President Andrew Jackson. Some Whig neighbors, either in jest or seriously, said that he would not want it known after he was dead that he was a Democrat, and that it was incompatible for a good Christian to be a member of the democratic party. He passed away October 16, 1848, aged fifty-eight, and by his direction this inscription was placed on his tombstone which may be still soon in the country graveyard. "He died a Christian and a Democrat."
The population of Norwich township in 1840 was seven hundred and thirty-one; in 1850, one thousand and fifty-three; in 1858, one thousand one hundred and fifteen; in 1900, one thousand four hundred and eighty-one. Of this three hundred and seventy-six resided in the village of Hilliards. The population of the village in 1908, is roundly estimated at four hundred, and the township, one thousand five hundred.
Two half townships, in acreage, were welded together in 1820, forming Perry township, these fractions, bounding on the Scioto are in range 19, United States Military lands. Perry township has an extreme length of ten miles, north and south, along the meanderings of the Scioto river, and is from one to three miles wide according to these meanderings. Originally it was a part of Liberty township; then a part of Washington; next attached to Norwich and in 1820 organized as at present.
Without a Post office
Owing to the fact that there were no post offices in the township at the middle of the century and still later, the residents received their mail, some at Dublin, others at Worthington and still others at Columbus, according to proximity. The nearest approach to a town was Shattucksburg, so called because of the selling of some building lots by Simon Shattuck which eventually brought several families close together.
In 1813-14 Thomas Backus erected mills on the Scioto, which for a time bore his name; later they were known as McCoy's Mills, then as Matere's Mills and finally Marble Cliff Mills. In 1858 these mills had been successfully operated for forty-five years and continued to do a profitable business long afterward. .
Near these mills in early days in, a rocky cliff was a famous den of rattle snakes, or rather a series of such dens, which was terror to young and old. The snakes disappeared long ago, but no explanation as to the cause of their disappearance is vouchsafed by the ancient chroniclers; so also, the records are silent as to the number of fatal snake bites.
Gen. Kosciusko's Perry Township Land
There was a body of five hundred acres of land of great historical interest. It was patented to General Thaddeus Kosciusko, by the United States government as part payment for his services in the war of the Revolution. Shortly after the Revolutionary war this Polish patriot returned to his native land, which soon became involved in a defensive war with Russia. Kosciusko was appointed to the command of the army of defense and fell defeated and severely wounded on the battlefield and was taken prisoner, the poet describing the effect of the action in the couplet:
"Hope for a season bade the world farewell,
And freedom shrieked when Kosciusko fell."
Kosciusko was carried to St. Petersburg as a prisoner of war where he was detained for a time, then going to France, where he died in October, 1817. When his death was announced in congress, the gifted General William Henry Harrison, who was a member from Ohio, moved an adjournment in honor of the great patriot, and delivered the most brilliant and touching eulogy that had ever been listened to in the stately chamber. General Kosciusko transferred his Perry township lands to others before going back to Europe and some defect in the indorsement subsequently led to litigation between his heirs and the assignee.
Leading Perry Township Pioneers
Among the leading pioneers of the township were Asaph Allen, Chandler Rogers, Uriah Clark, Robert Boyd, Amaziah Hutchinson, Samuel S. Davis, Jacob Leaf, Richardson Gale, Jr., John Hutchinson, Daniel Beard, William Mitchel, John Swisher, Jacob Poppaw, Barzilla Billingsly and Isaac Davidson.
The population of the township in 1850 was one thousand one hundred and nineteen; in 1858 one thousand two hundred and forty-five; in 1900 one thousand six hundred and seventy-six; 1908, estimated, one thousand seven hundred and twenty-five.
When Plain township was organized in 1810, it embraced fully twice and a half as much territory as at present. It was reduced to its present limits, five miles square, in 1815 and 1816 when the townships of Jefferson and Blendon were erected out of it and organized. It is township 2 of range 16, on the old time maps of the county, being a part and parcel of the United States military lands.
Revolutionary Soldier Lands
The fourth quarter of the township, being the southeast quarter of the same was surveyed into lots of one hundred acres each for the benefit of revolutionary soldiers, holding one hundred acre land warrants, which they had taken in part as payment for their military services during the war for national independence. Upon the presentation of these warrants a patent was issued thereon. They were all taken up by the holders of such warrants. Quarters one and two of the township, being the north half thereof, were laid out in squares or sections of six hundred and forty acres each, and these were sub-divided into four quarter.~ of one hundred sixty each and these quarters being divided into half quarters or eighths of a section, so that the government surveys gave: Section, six hundred forty acres; quarter section, one hundred sixty acres; eighths or half quarters eighty acres each. Under the land entry laws, they were disposed of to purchasers at $1.25 per acre in one or more of these units beginning with the lowest or next above.
The Woodbridge Patent.
The third quarter of the township being the southwest, quarter of the township, containing four thousand acres, was patented by the United States government to Dudley Woodbridge in 1800. It would appear that Mr. Woodbridge had taken out his patent not so much for agricultural purposes. The grounds or consideration upon which the patent was issued is not available, but presumably was upon a warrant or warrants issued in payment of military claims to citizens of Virginia most largely, during or after the close of the war of the Revolution.
One Gallon of Whisky per Acre
According to the historical records of the period, Mr. Woodbridge, in 1802, sold his four thousand acres of land, taking in payment therefore four thousand gallons of Monongahela whisky-a gallon of whisky for each acre. Nor was this considered as anything but a fair and legitimate business transaction in that day. The deed of conveyance however gave the consideration as "one dollar per acre," the price per gallon of whisky on board the flat boat at Marietta, Ohio, being one dollar per gallon. More than half the business transactions in that day being barter or exchange of goods. The scarcity of money in those days made the exchange of commodities, especially in large quantities, a necessity. The whiskey was delivered at Marietta because that was the western shipping point to the southern and Mississippi markets, where it eventually went to the consumers, who paid in cash for the smaller quantities, which in turn, going back up stream in cash or money exchange reached the pockets of the original barterers.
Woodbridge, the seller, was later Judge Dudley Woodbridge of Marietta noted for his probity and good citizenship and left behind him a name of which his descendants were justly proud. The purchaser of the four thousand acre farm was John Huffman of Washington county, Pennsylvania, hut not even tradition account, for his possession of the liquor, hut the chances are that he as in the case of Woodbridge, took it in trade. He came from Washington county to Franklin soon after acquiring the lands and became a prominent citizen. In 1822 he divided the four thousand acres of land among his numerous children.
The First Settler
It appears to be a well-settled fact that the first actual settler of Plain township was Joseph Scott, who took a lease on a part of the Huffman tract early in 1802. It was but a few months later when Adam and Samuel Baughman and one or two others came on from Pennsylvania, cutting their way as they went, through the thick forests, which they frequently encountered, with only a compass for a guide to their destination. Henry Huffman, a brother of John, Thomas B. Patterson and others came within the next few months. Samuel Baughman continued to reside in Plain township until he passed off the stage of mundane existence, which occurred at the beginning of the period of the Civil war. He accumulated a competence and made for himself a good name.
Some Other Early Pioneers
Among the other early settlers in Plain, whose names have been ascertainable after the lapse of more than a century, were Lorin Hills, Jesse Byington, Gilbert Waters, William Yantis, Abraham Williams and Joseph Moore, all of whom were the heads of families and the most of them of large ones.
The land was not regarded as first class by the settlers when placed in comparison with the rich bottom lands, but this was compensated for by an abundance of the best water and the freedom of the locality from the original malaria from which the locality was immune. The result was that the population increased rapidly and by the turn of the half century (1858) it was one of the densely settled portions of the country.
Plenty of Saw Mills
In 1858 there were seven saw mills in the township, but not a single flouring mill. Evidently the sale of Plain township lumber was so ready and profitable that the people considered sawmills as more valuable community assets than flouring-mills, and so went to the mills in other neighborhoods for their bread stuffs. Daniel Kramer erected the first sawmill in 1827, and later additional ones were erected by Archibald Smith, Christian Bevelheimer and David Swickard. These sawmills are now, however, but the merest reminiscence. Churches of various denominations sprang up in each community or quarter of the township, and the people being of a religious turn of mind they were well attended, especially the camp-meetings of that day.
Early Town Building Attempts
In 1826 Lorin Hills and Lester Humphrey laid out a town on the Granville road, not far from the present site of New Albany and named it La-fayetteville in honor of the Marquise de LaFayette; the plat was recorded, but the town was never built, and so far as can be ascertained no building lots were sold, and the proprietors continued to farm the town site. Mr. Francis Clymer likewise sought to transform his farm into the town of Mt. Pleasant, and laid it out into lots, streets and alleys but that was the end of the undertaking.
New Albany Founded
In May, 1837, Messrs. Noble Landon and William Yantis laid out the present town of New Albany. They were not partners, however. They were owners of adjoining farms which lay on either side of what was to constitute Main street. They had two tracts laid out and platted as one, but each owned, held and controlled the sale of lots on his side of the street. It grew into a thriving village; was a good country business point, and still continues to be a pleasant and hospitable village.
Was Duly Incorporated
In 1856 the legislature incorporated the town. At the April election of that year; the following officers were elected: mayor, S. Ogden; recorder. C. S. Ogden; marshal, R. Phelps; councilmen, F. Johnson, J. McCurdy, C. Baughman, A. B. Beem and S. Stinson. In 1850 the population of the township was one thousand five hundred and sixty-one; in 1858, one thousand five hundred and ninety-seven, and the population of New Albany was fifty. In 1900 the population of the township according to the United States census was one thousand one hundred and sixty-three, and of the village two hundred and twenty-four. In 1908 the township population is estimated at one thousand two hundred and of the village at three hundred. The post office at New Albany was established in 1838 and was named Hope, but subsequently changed to the name of the town.
Pioneer Postmasters and Other Pioneers
Noble Landon was the first postmaster and held the office from 1838 to 1853. Daniel Horlocker served from 1853 to 1855 and Jacob Ullery served from 1855 to 1860. Among the other pioneer heads of families who came into the township were: John Scott, Simeon Moore, Jacob Thorp, Jacob Smith, Thomas B. Patterson, George Wells, Asa Whitehead, John Davis, Abraham Williams, Daniel Swickard, Paul Farber, Daniel Hamaker, James Carpenter and George Wagner.
First Settlers and Later Pioneers
The settlement of this township began about 1803-4 on Darby creek near Georgesville, even before the township organization.
Among the earliest settlers were the families of Thomas Roberts, John Bigger, James Gardiner, Samuel Dyer, Samuel Kerr and John Turner. In 1805, Samuel Dyer erected a mill, which eventually passed to William Dyer, and was for half a century' the only flouring-mill in the township.
Some of the Later Pioneers
John Smith, Alexander Blair, Michael Dickey, Rueben Golliday, Jacob Gundy, John Topton, William Walker, Richard Heath, Henry Shenefelt, George W. Helmick, Zelotes G. Weddle, J. B. Mitchel, Rueben Chaffin, J.
R. Sheeders, Titus England, S. Swisgood, S. H. Cobert, J. Fuller and John Snyder with their families. The township was organized by its present name in 1807, and then embraced a much greater area than at present. When Jackson and Prairie were formed in 1819, its boundaries shrunk to their present limits. Pleasant township was so named because of the pleasant prospect it presented to the pioneer farmers when they came into this portion of the Scioto valley.
Pleasant Post office
The first post office in the township was established in. 1815, and named as above. The first postmaster was Thomas Roberts, and the post office was in his house. But ere long the beautiful and pleasant name of the post office was changed.
Georgesville Post office
In 1816 Postmaster Roberts laid out the town of Georgesville, and in 1818 the name was changed from Pleasant to Georgesville, and Mr. Roberts continued on as p08hnaster until the month of September, 1828, when he was succeeded by Thomas Reynolds, who held the office until July, 1851, when he deceased, and his widow was retained in the office until November, 1851, when William Scott was appointed postmaster, who held until past 1858, being the last of the strictly pioneer postmasters.
The Town of Harrisburg
In1836, Joseph Chenowith founded the town of Harrisburg, Frederiek Cole, being the "surveyor" who laid it out. Originally Darby Cross Road, a post office had been established at the same point, but when Harrisburg was established, the name of the post office was changed to correspond. The first postmaster was John Haines, appointed 1828, succeeded in 1833 by George Geiger and Abram Buckles, 1836; then followed Dr. T. Thompson, 1838; Henry Miller, 1841; J. W. Goetschius, 1841; and Henry Miller again who held the office to 1860, constituting the pioneer postmasters.
The Pioneer Mayors
The legislature of 1850-51 passed an act, and the following were elected Trustees: Henry Miller, J. Chenowith, O. T. Curry, L. W. Seifert and George W. Helmick. The pioneer mayors were .J. Helmick, 1851-54; J. Seeder, 1855; J. Helmick, again, 1856; George W. Helmick, 1857-58.
As far back as 1836, Harrisburg was described as “a lively village," containing about thirty families, two taverns, four stores, two physicians, a church belonging to the Methodist denomination, and a post office. It is a somewhat larger village now and not at all sleepy at that: The population of Pleasant township in 1840 was eight hundred sewn, estimated in 1908 at two thousand three hundred fifty-five. The population of Harrisburg in 1858 was one hundred fifteen; in 1900, two hundred fifty, and estimated in 1908 at three hundred.
Prairie was originally set off and organized in the year 1819. Then, however, its bounds extended farther north and took in a very considerable territory which is now an integral part. of Brown township. The whole originally was embraced in Franklin township.
The Three Original Families
The three original families in Prairie were the Samuel Higgins, the Shadrack Postle and the William Mannon, but these families were in one respect, if not in others, put into penumbra, if not wholly eclipsed by the arrival of a Virginia family in 1813, these emigrants coming to Franklin county via Chillicothe, Ross county, where they tarried a brief season and then came up to the higher latitude of the. Scioto country.
Clover Blossoms and Buds
In the year last named "The Clover Settlement" was made by Father and Mother Clover, sons Peter, Joshua, Jacob, Solomon, Henry, Samuel, Philip, John, William and Aaron Clover, and daughters Mary and Jane Clover fourteen in all. However, this was not the largest family, perhaps, that there was in Franklin county during the first half century of its existence, the thing most noted at that period was the great disparity of the sexes - eleven to three.
Two Pioneer Nimrods
Two of these boys, Solomon and Samuel (how suggestive their names of other pursuits) like Nimrod, were mighty hunters, or to give it in the, more expressive and less Biblical form of expression current in that day, they were "Brag Hunters," beyond which there are no degrees of comparison. They were extremely fond of hunting, made many excursions into the surrounding woods, filled with panthers, wolves, bears, wild turkeys, deer and many other kinds of beasts and bird." and they never failed to bring home the trophies of their prowess. They never came home empty-handed. Solomon was especially successful in the chase. He led every competitor in the taking of bear, deer and wolves, and that at a time when wolf scalps were worth three dollars-equal to about twenty-four dollars today, relatively speaking-as a stimulus.
A Hunter to the Last
He lived up to the era of the great Civil war, fond of his gun and the excitement of the chase, and when nearing four score, after this section of the state was cleared up, he went annually in the hunting season: into northwestern Ohio where big game still abounded.
The first justice of the peace elected in Prairie township was Peter Clover, and he was noted as the "Just Squire," and there is a Squire Clover in Prairie township who traces his lineage back to that model judge of the people's court.
Town and Mere Attempts
In so far as the building of towns is concerned, there was one success and there were two failures in Prairie township. When the National Road was constructed in 1836, Thomas Graham laid out the town of Alton, and a post office was established therein. Shortly after Alton had been founded, Messrs. James Bryden and Adam Brotherlin laid out Rome, about two miles east of Alton, so that the latter had a very distinguished rival. Competition was lively for a few years, but Alton continued and Rome discontinued. Fifty was the high-water mark of its population.
In 1832, Job Postle laid out and plotted the town of Lafayetteville. This town never progressed further than its delineation on paper. However, it has produced fine crops of corn, wheat, oats, potatoes, etc., for more than sixty years.
Postmaster and Pioneers
The post office of Alton is still doing business, and the village itself is not a sleepy one. John Graham was the first postmaster, followed by Mervin Stiarwalt, David P. Cole, Solomon Putnam, Goodhue McGill and A. W. Shearer, who held the office up to the early '60s.
Among the other pioneers were Francis Downing, Israel P. Brown, William Stiarwalt, George Richey, Russell N. Grinnold, John G. Neff, Reuben Golliday, Thomas O'Hara, David Howard, Thomas J. Moorman, John Gantz, Samuel Kell, Andrew W. Shearer and Smith Postle.
A local writer in 1855 says "There are three Methodist churches in this township; one at Clovers' settlement, and one in the south part of the township known, as the Henderson church. There is a German Lutheran church about two miles north of Rome, a hewed, log building which serves both for church and schoolhouse. In this a well conducted German school is taught."
In 1840 the township had a population of six hundred and six; in 1850, one thousand and forty three; in 1858, one thousand one hundred and seventy-two; in 1900, one thousand five hundred and eighty-two; in 1908, estimated one thousand six hundred and fifty.
Sharon township consists of a five-mile-square block, which constituted a very small fragment of what was once Liberty township. It is geographically known as township 2, in range 18. It was erected March 4, 1806, and christened Sharon from the Biblical Sharon. The settlement of the township began in the spring of the year 1803 under the auspices of the Scioto Company composed of migrants from the state of Connecticut under the lead of Colonel and Rev. James Kilbourne who had come west a few years previously and "spied out the land" of the New Canaan.
A Famous Dwarf.
The town of Worthington was duly "laid out" in 1804, and in 1805 it was made a government post office, and William Robe was installed as the first postmaster. Mr. Robe' was a dwarf and an undersized one at that, and was, in stature at least, the prototype of P. T. Barnum's celebrated Tom Thumb of the middle of the nineteenth century.
His maximum weight was fifty pounds, and his stature did not exceed a yardstick. And withal, he was highly educated, cultured and was neat in appearance, perfectly proportioned, dressed in the highest style of his day and was "a perfect gentleman" in every respect.
He became a teacher in the Worthington Seminary, the foremost educational institution west of Pittsburg in that day. Later he was made chief clerk or deputy in the office of the state auditor. He died January, 1823, at the age of forty-five.
The Pioneer Postmasters
Mr. Robe continued as postmaster until 1815, when he was succeeded by Aurora Buttles, and he was followed by Recompense Stansberry who held from 1821 to 1841 in which year he was succeeded by R. W. Cowles, who died within less than a year. Recompense Stansberry was again appointed postmaster and held the office until 1843, during which year he passed away and George Taylor was in charge from 1843 to 1849; George H. Griswold from 1849 to 1853; and Charles Martin, Jr., from 1858 and past.
Manufacturing Company Incorporated.
In 1811 the Worthington Manufacturing Company was incorporated by act of the legislature, and Colonel James Kilbourne became president and general agent of the company. With the erection of the necessary buildings completed, the company went actively into business in 1813. The company manufactured a high grade (for that period) of woolen goods, but carried on numerous mechanical branches in other lines. The company also engaged in banking, its charter being 80 comprehensive that it. could engage in any and all kinds of business. In both banking and mercantile business, it became the most important concern in Ohio or the west for a number of years, and it maintained stores in Columbus and Franklinton as well as in Worthington.
The company met with reverses, however, in 1819-20, and went into liquidation. It paid out all of its liabilities, but when its affairs we’re settled, the stockholders had sacrificed proportional shares of their private fortunes, while the community as a whole had profited by the energy and enterprise of the concern and its projectors. Co-incidental with the incorporation of the above company, Colonel Kilbourne launched the first newspaper in Franklin county and among the early papers west of the Alleghenies. This was the Western Intelligencer, the progenitor of the Ohio State Journal of the present day.
Worthington Incorporated. •
The town of Worthington was incorporated by act of the legislature in 1835, and in the spring of 1836 the first town officers were elected as follows: Mayor, James Kilbourne; recorder, G. H. Griswold; trustees, Samuel Abbott, William Bishop, Ira Metcalf, A. H. Pinney, William S. Spencer and R. W. Cowles; treasurer, Levi Pinney; marshal, Chauncey Barker; street commissioner, Abner P. Pinney; fire wardens, Dayton Topping and D. W. Harrington.
The Pioneer Mayors
The pioneer mayors of Worthington in their order and date of election were: 1836, James Kilbourne; 1837, G. H. Griswold; 1838, Peter Wright; 1839, John Snow; 1840-41, James Kilbourne; 1842, Levi Pinney; 1843, Sylvester Hayes; 1844, William Bishop; 1845, George Taylor; 1846, James Kilbourne; 1847, G. H. Griswold; 1848-54, Stephen Hoyt; 1855-58, Stephen L. Peck.
Other Pioneer Citizens
Among the heads of the pioneer families of Sharon township in addition to the foregoing named prominent citizens and public officials were Ezekial Brown, Alexander Morrison, Jr., Ezra Griswold, Isaac Case, Azariah Pinney, Glass Cochran, Rueben Carpenter, Crager Wright, Stephen Maynard, Samuel Maynard, Nathaniel Little, John Goodrich, Jr., John W. Ladd, Stephen Maynard, Jr., Asaph Allen, Ira Metcalf, Philo Burr, Luther Case, Charles E. Burr and I. N. Case.
Almost Stationary Population
For more than forty years there has been but little change in the population of Sharon township and Worthington. town. In 1840 the town and township had a population of one thousand one hundred sixty-eight; in 1850, one thousand five hundred nine; in 1858, one thousand six hundred twenty-one; in 1900, one thousand seven hundred ninety-nine, of which four hundred fifty were residents of Worthington. The estimate for 1908-9 is one thousand eight hundred thirtY-8ix. It will be observed that the actual population of Sharon township, as indicated by the census of 1900, was but two hundred ninety more than it was by the official census of 1850, an increase of less than six persons per year. This may be accounted for, however, on the theory that outside the town of Worthington, the real-estate owners hold extensive tracts, and lease only to those who assist in agricultural pursuits, thus reducing tenants to the minimum; while in the town itself, the large majority own their own houses and lots and tenants are the exception.
This township was erected and organized in 1810. In the first division of the county into townships, it was embraced in and formed a small part of Liberty. The first settlement was made in 1805-6.
The Early Settlers
In 1806 Robert Taylor with his family, a part of which consi8ted of five stalwart sons, Abiather, Vinton, Matthew, James and David, removed or rather were driven out of Nova Scotia and their property confiscated because they took the side of the Colonists in the war of the Revolution, and landed at Chillicothe. In 1808 they came to Truro township, locating on Walnut creek.
They found tan families, who had preceded them into the wilderness, three years previously, namely: Thomas Palmer, from the state of Maine; John Medford, Charles Medford, George Powell and Charles Chancy from
Pennsylvania. In 1806 had coma John Edgar and John Lynch from Pennsylvania; and William and Benjain Connell from Virginia. John Long, a Nova Scotian, came in 1807, and in 1808 Robert Wilson from Pennsylvania, and Daniel Ross and a large family of sons from Nova Scotia; Zachariah Paul, of Virginia, and William Thompson of Pennsylvania, came in 1811; John Cambridge, of Pennsylvania, and Captain John Hanson, of Virginia, in 1812, and Elias Chester and Jeremiah Nay, of New York state, in 1814. When the township was organized in 1810, the head of the Taylor family had the pleasure and honor to name the township Truro after his native township in Nova Scotia, whence he was driven because of his love for political liberty and real manhood.
Reynoldsburg Laid Out
In 1831 John French concluded to found a town, and so laid out his farm into lots, streets and alleys. A young man from Zanesville, named John C. Reynolds, had temporarily located at the spot with a small stock of goods, and the proprietor of the town unselfishly honored him and his enterprise by naming the town Reynoldsburg, whereas a more selfish man would have christened it Frenchtown.
In return Mr. Reynolds (afterward Gen. John C. Reynolds) married a young lady of the village and became the leading merchant and business man of that section of the county. He not only continued his store, but erected a steam mill in the town, and later removed to Carroll, Fairfield county, where he died in the fifties, a highly respected man.
At the time that Reynoldsburg was laid out the National Road was being pushed westward through Franklin county, and business naturally grew up in all directions and of various kinds contiguous thereto. In 1850 the town had a population of nearly six hundred. The callous-hearted editor of the National Census for 1900 figured it at three hundred thirty-nine, but in 1908 there are marks of a revival and it is estimated that the population has again reached four hundred.
The town was incorporated by act of the general assembly of the state in 1839-40. The first borough election was held in the fall of that year and Abraham Johnston, D. K. Wood, Samuel Gares, John W. Thompson, Mark Evans, James O'Kane and Archibald Cooper were elected the first board of trustees.
The pioneer mayors, elected at the date preceding their names were: 1840, Abraham Johnston; 1841, Daniel Taft; 1844, Robert Shield; 1845, Archibald Cooper; 1846, James O'Kane; 1847-53, R. Shield; 1854-55, J. B. West; 1856, Richard Rhoads; 1857-58, J. B. West.
Among the Later Pioneers
May be mentioned George D. Graham, John Miller, R. S. Looker, Silas Howard, Hiram Sibel, H. M. Morton, William Boyd, C. S. West, J. C. Abbot, Jackson Clark, Orin Harris, Ebenezer Richards, Richard Suddick, John Stevenson, James Taylor, John Long, Richard Cartright, Matthew Crawford, David Whetzel, Jonathan McComb, Joseph A. Reynolds, Sylvanus Baldwin, James Fancher, John Miller, S. Schultz and E. C. Green.
Reynoldsburg became a post office in 1833 and John C. Reynolds was the first postmaster, being appointed in 1833, serving for seven years. His successors were: 1840, Hiram Sibel; 1842, John C. Reynolds; 1843, E. G. Hardesty; .1846, John Miller; 1847, Lewis Sells; 1849, L. P. Rhoads; 1853, R. R. Johnston; 1855, John Cookes; 1855, H. E. Miller; 1856-58, John Wright.
Shortly after Reynoldsburg was established, Thomas sold some building lots on the National Road near the crossings of the Walnut creek and the place took, by common consent, the name Hibernia. No town was laid out, however. A post office was established in the burg in 1849, and Wm. F. Armstrong was appointed postmaster. He held the office until 1857, when he resigned and it was discontinued. In 1840 the population of Truro township, including Reynoldsburg, was one thousand four hundred thirty-nine; in 1850, two thousand one hundred fifty-six; in 1858, two thousand three hundred fourteen; in 1900, one thousand eight hundred sixty-four; in 1908 estimated at two thousand.
In 1809 this town erected and organized, being its present name and at that time comprised all the territory now embraced in the townships of Washington, Norwich and Perry and a part of Brown, and was made up of portions of the original townships of Franklin, Darby and Liberty. In 1801 or 1802 (the date is not precisely fixed), a settlement was made at the place where the town of Dublin was subsequently located.
The Sells Family
Among the first" settlers was the patriarchal Ludwick Sells, a migrant from Huntington county, Pennsylvania, and his family of sons, Samuel, Peter, Benjamin and William. In 1808 another son, John Sells, joined his father and brothers, and subsequently in 1818 he laid out the town of Dublin, which grew and prospered rapidly, had a population of some four hundred, half a century ago and did much business in its stores, taverns, mills and shops of all kinds of mechanics, who produced cloth from the sheep's hack, with tailors to make clothes, hatters to make hats, wagon makers to make vehicles, shoemakers and the like, every growing community of that day attracting artisans from far and wide. In 1818-20 Dublin ranked Columbus, and was a strong rival of Worthington, and a few years previously came near being the state capital.
Borough of Dublin
Dublin was incorporated in 1855 as a borough and organized by the election of officers, including Z. Hutchinson, as mayor, and Wm. Graham as recorder. At the end of the first year the citizens threw off the burdensome machinery of borough government and declined to hold further elections thus, as a Hibernian politician of the day and place remarked, "putting a sudden end to a number of promising political careers before they had begun. In 1850 the population of the township was one thousand two hundred eighty-two of which two hundred fifty were residents of Dublin. In 1858 the population of the town and township was approximately one thousand three hundred. In 1900 the township and village had a population of one thousand two hundred ninety-nine, the village population numbering two hundred seventy-five, showing that both held their own during the half century.
Dublin's Pioneer Postmasters
Dublin was made a post-town in 1820, the first postmaster being David Wright who served from 1820 to 1826; Moses Davis, 1826-28; Isaac N. Walters, 1828-31; John Eberly, 1831-58 and beyond.
Early and Later Pioneers
Among the pioneers, whose names have been handed down, and all of whom were the heads of families, and generally large ones, were Daniel M. Brown, Daniel Bruck, Robert Justice, Justice Miller, Simeon Wilcox, George Robert, Tracy Wilcox, Patrick Connor, David Smith, Chandler Rodgers, Alexander Bassett, William Kilbourne, Charles Sells, Brice Hays, David Bailey, Henry Coffman, Jacob Poppaw, John Eberly, John Uffner, James Howard, William Harris, Zenas Hutchinson, George Churchman, George W. Evans, Eri Douglass.