Franklin County, Ohio
Genealogy and History

   

HISTORICAL NOTES
MIFFLIN AND PLAIN TOWNSHIPS
FRANKLIN CO., OHIO


by Robert Waldron

Transcribed by Peggy Thompson

MIFFLIN TOWNSHIP

The territory which now comprises Mifflin township was first settled about 1799 or 1800, by emigrants from Pennsylvania-William Read is believed to have been the first settler, but among other early pioneers were Frederick Agler, Daniel and John Turney, George Baughman, John Saul, Stephen Price, James Price, John Scott, Louis Patterson, John Dalzell, Zachariah Kramer, John Dill, James Park, George Harwood, Henry Carpenter, Matthias Ridenour, Ebenezer Butler, Libbeus E. Dean, Philander Patterson, Andrew W. Smiley, James Latta, John Starrett, William Smith, Nathanial Harris, D. Stygler, Geo. Bartlett, John Clark, Robert Paul, T. G. Schrock, Sarah Crouse Ramsey, Thomas Harward and others.

In the division of Franklin county into townships in 1803, this territory was included as a part of Liberty township. Then in September, 1811, Mifflin township was organized and established with its present boundaries, and named by the pioneers for their old Pennsylvania governor, Mifflin. It is designated as Twp. 1, in Range 17, of the U. S. Military Lands.

The nrst road in MifTlin township was the old Zanesville road, leading to Columbus and running through the southern part of the township. Some of the early settlers came in on this road, and then cut their way through the forest to their locations. It was afterward abandoned.

Several saw mills were established, including Dean's mill and Park's mill. The first grist mill in the township was built in 1859 by Joel and Jesse Baughman.
John Clark founded the town of Gahanna in 1849, at its present location, and Jesse Baughman followed in 1853 with the village of Bridgeport. There was considerable rivalry between the two towns, which were divided only by what is now Granville street.

A post office was established in Gahanna in 1849, and another at Park's Mill on Alum creek in 1851.

Two other communities, which have since been annexed to the City of Columbus, were originally in MifTlin township. East Columbus grew up along the Pennsylvania railroad, about the Ralston Steel Car Works. The modern residential section of Shepard was the site originally chosen by Dr. W. Shepherd for his private sanitarium and water cure. What is now Nelson road was then known as Alum creek road.

St. Mary's of the Springs, a Catholic seminary, was established in 1868. Several excellent springs were found on the property, including one or two with fine medical properties.

The first tavern in Mifflin township was kept by George Read, where the McMillen Sanitarium in Shepard now stands.

James Price, a Mifflin pioneer, earned quite a reputation as a deer hunter in those early days. He had a natural instinct for hunting, and his knowledge of woods and animals was very thorough.

The Lutherans and Presbyterians were the first to hold religious services in Mifflin township, with the Methodists and Evangelical following a few years later. The first Lutheran services are said to have been held in the homes of George Ridenour and Daniel Forney. The first church was built in 1838. The Presbyterians, led by Rev. Ebenezer Washburn, first held services in William Smith's barn, in 1819, but did not erect a church building until 1840.

Mifflin township's first school was erected on Big Walnut, where Gahanna is now located ; the second, on top of the hill west of Alum creek; and the third, in the Park's neighborhood. Mifflin Lodge of Odd Fellows, No. 518, was instituted June 27th, 1827.

[
This was originally pub. in "Ohio Source Records" The Ohio Genealogical Quarterly which was in print between 1937-1944]



HISTORICAL NOTES
MIFFLIN AND PLAIN TOWNSHIPS
FRANKLIN CO., OHIO


by Robert Waldron

Transcribed by Peggy Thompson

PLAIN TOWNSHIP

The third time is the charm, it is said, and this axiom has proved true in the history of Plain township, where three separate attempts were made over a century ago to establish villages, before one finally succeeded.

In 1826, Lorin Hills and Lester Huphrey laid out a town which they called "Lafayetteville", on Granville road near where New Albany is now located. They had the plat recorded, but never made any improvements, and it was finally abandoned.

In 1835, Francis Clymer laid out a town on his farm, which he called "Mount Pleasant", but this also was a failure.

Then in May, 1837, Noble Landon and William Yantis laid out the town of New Albany. Kach owned land on opposite sides of the street, and although they had the whole village platted together, each disposed of his own lots as he saw fit.

Early Settlers

There is some doubt among historians, as to who was the first settler in Plain township. The first authentic account of land transactions there, is the record of a patent issued to Dudley Woodbridge by President John Adams, in 1800, for 4,000 acres in the southwest corner of the township. In 1802, Woodbridge sold the land to John Huffman for 4,000 gallons of whiskey, delivered at Marietta.

Joseph Scott and a man named Morrison were perhaps the first settlers in Plain township, although some records claim that honor, for Adam Baughman, whose daughter is said to have been the first white child born here. "Scott's Plains" and "Morrison's Prairie" are still familiar phrases.

Among other early settlers were: Samuel Baughman, Henry Huffman, Thomas B. Patterson, Lorin Hills, Jesse Byington, Gilbert Waters, William Yantes, Abraham Williams, Joseph Moore, Mathias, Daniel and George Dague, Mathew and George Campbell, John Robinson, William Goodhart, Roger Hill, David and Kmil Cook, Jacob Wagner, John Clymer, John Alspach, Daniel Triplett, Christian Horlocker, Jacob Bev-elhymer, Peter Quinn, Wayne Taylor, Ezekial Park, Samuel Riggle, David Morrison, Daniel Swickard and others.

The first saw mill was erected on Rocky Fork creek by Daniel Kramer, in 1827.

Early Churches Built

In 1837, the Methodists erected a brick meeting house which they called "Plain Chapel", in the northern part of the township. Later, in 1846, they built the frame church in New Albany. Circuit preachers at that time were G. G. West and Sheldon Parker.

The United Brethrens erected their church in 1836. The Albrites met about a mile west of Plain Chapel, and a small Presbyterian organization held meetings in New Albany.

Schools Of Township

Philip Walters and Jacob Smith were the first school teachers in the township. Smith taught a select school in the winter of 1820-21, before the days of public schools. The tuntion fee for one term was $1.50 per scholar.

Softhead school, a double log structure, was built in 1839. The Wagoner school building to the west was erected several years earlier.

School buildings served a double purpose, for education and religion, in those days.

Was Much Larger

When first organized, Plain township was much larger than at present. It then included all of what is now Blendon township, and about half of Jefferson.

The southeast quarter was laid out in 100-acre lots to satisfy claims of Revolutionary soldiers.

The first cemetery in Plain township was set apart on land donated in 1814 by John Smith, and he was the first to be buried there.

New Albany Incorporated

New Albany was incorporated in April, 1856. The first village officials were: S. Ogden, mayor; C. S. Ogden, recorder; R. Phelps, marshal; F. Johnson, J. McCurdy, C. Baughman, A. B. Beem and S. Stinson, councilmen.

"Hope" post office was established at New Albany in 1838.

Teetotalers Organized An attempt to stop the dispensing of whiskey at public gatherings such as house raisings, corn huskings, and turkey shootings, was made as far back as 1820 when a group of "teetotalers" was organized.

Abraham Adams was the leader of this reform effort, but it met with so much opposition that it was finally dropped. Whiskey continued to be a prime attraction at gatherings where men predominated.

[This was originally pub. in "Ohio Source Records" The Ohio Genealogical Quarterly which was in print between 1937-1944]




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