History of Franklin County, Ohio

It is the design of this Work to preserve for the people of Franklin County an imperishable record of its early history now existing only in the memory of the more aged settlers, and in scattering and detached papers and records, which are every year wasting away.

To write the history of a single county, may to some appear like a very small business; while to others it is considered very desirable that some one should do so in every county. How else are the names and memory of our early settlers and friends to be preserved? And who is there that would not be pleased to look back, or to have his children look back, upon some record of his early days, and of departed friends? And how else should strangers, settling among us, so readily obtain a knowledge of our institutions and public characters, as by some such local publication?

It has been the writer's object in this compilation, to give a correct statement of all events worthy of remembrance, with their proper dates, so as to form a book of ready reference, such as will be convenient and interesting to all residents of the county. For this purpose, he has relied upon public records and documents, where they could be obtained; and in all other cases, upon the best information that could be derived from early and intelligent settlers of the city and county, aided by his own personal knowledge.

It is but a little over sixty years since the first settlement was commenced more than two-thirds of that time the writer has been a resident of the county. Over twenty years ago, while on terms of intimacy and daily intercourse with some of the very first settlers, he compiled a small pamphlet entitled "Franklin County Register," a few copies of which were printed; and which may be considered as the basis of this work. In that way he obtained and preserved the recollections of those pioneer friends.

And now, as some of the matter contained in these pages has heretofore appeared in different prints, to avoid the charge of plagiarism, it is but necessary to say, that when Mr. Wheeler published his map of Franklin County, in 1842, he accompanied it with a very small pamphlet, historical and descriptive of the county, which was taken wholly from the Franklin County Register, without giving credit; and when Mr. Howe published his " Historical Collections of Ohio," in 1847, he copied from Wheeler's pamphlet, and gave credit to it. It may not be amiss, also, to add that the "Brief History of Columbus," accompanying Mr. Armstrong's "Columbus Business Directory," published in 1843, was also prepared by the writer hereof, which may be an apology for the free use of it in this work.

To suppose that this publication contains no errors or omissions, would be folly in the extreme. But the writer has labored assiduously to have it as free from errors as possible. And to those who have kindly rendered him assistance in the collection of facts, he tenders his grateful acknowledgments.


Table of Contents

Chapter I. Early settlement until 1803 1
Chapter II. From 1803 until the founding of Columbus 8
Chapter III. Franklin County from 1812 to 1858 38
Chapter IV. Newspapers 57
Chapter V. Turnpikes & Plank Roads 70
Chapter VI. The Columbus Canal 84
Chapter VII. Poor House, or Infirmary 89
Chapter VIII. Agriculture & Horticulture Societies 96
Chapter IX. John Brickell His Captivity 105
Chapter X. Jeremiah Armstrong His Captivity 122
Chapter XI. Public Officers 136
Chapter XII. Masons & Odd Fellows 163
Chapter XIII. Franklin Township 173
Chapter XIV. Sharon Township 179
Chapter XV. Montgomery Township 186
Chapter XVI. Pleasant Township 192
Chapter XVII. Hamilton Township 197
Chapter XVIII. Washington Township 202
Chapter XIX. Madison Township 206
Chapter XX. Truro Township 213
Chapter XXI. Plain Township 220
Chapter XXII. Mifflin Township 226
Chapter XXIII. Clinton Township 230
Chapter XXIV. Blendon Township 235
Chapter XXV. Jefferson Township 239
Chapter XXVI. Norwich Township 243
Chapter XXVII. Jackson Township 247
Chapter XXVIII. Prairie Township 251
Chapter XXIX. Perry Township 255
Chapter XXX. Brown Township 260
Chapter XXXI. Columbus (1812-1817) 263
Chapter XXXII. Columbus (1817-1834) 292
Chapter XXXIII. Columbus (1834-1857) 307
Chapter XXXIV. The Old State House 333
Chapter XXXV. Penitentiary 346
Chapter XXXVI. Churches of Columbus 364
Chapter XXXVII. Columbus Cemeteries 389
Chapter XXXVIII. Literary Institutions 398
Chapter XXXIX. Ladies Benevolent & Mechanics Societies 407
Chapter XL. State Benevolent Institutions 412
Chapter XLI. Tragedies 421
Chapter XLII. Manufacturing in 1858 429
Chapter XLIII. Post Office & City Officers 438
Chapter XLIV. State Officers 447


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A wag once said, "Hindsight has 20/20 vision." If that be true, we who are interested in the study of history should have the best eyesight in town.

In deciding to re-publish William T. Martin's HISTORY OF FRANKLIN COUNTY, the Linden Heights Kiwanis Club is in hopes that there will be a great deal of value and respect added to the contemporary residents of the County through the realization that Columbus and its environments were not an "instant town" where the story of its early years was a string of accidental happenings.

Strong in the air was the will to survive and hard-core patriotism was just as difficult to maintain then as now.

To the younger generations who are impatient for perfection, we say, "look back and realize you are a small but important part of the continuing story of a great community. Train yourself to be politically aware and our form of government will serve you well."

"As you involve yourselves in the lives of the founding fathers, remember, it was the overwhelming challenge that kept them going as it must be today."