History of Perry Township, Franklin County OH

From: History of Franklin County, Ohio
By: Opha Moore
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis, 1930


Perry Township is the longest and narrowest township in Franklin County. It stretches from the Delaware County line on the north to Fifth Avenue in the city of Columbus, a distance of ten miles, and is from one to three miles in breadth. It is bounded on the north by Delaware County, on the west by the Scioto River, on the east by Sharon and Clinton Townships and on the south by Fifth Avenue. It was originally a part of Liberty Township, afterwards a part of Washington and then a portion of it was attached to Norwich Township. Its present boundaries were established in 1820, when it received its permanent name.

The township was until very recent years purely agricultural, but the growth of Columbus has had influence here and now it contains Upper Arlington, which lies along the northern side of Fifth Avenue and is an exclusive residential district and an incorporated village. This village was laid out on artistic lines on the farm of the late James Miller, a progressive and cultured citizen, and was developed by the brothers, King G. and Ben S. Thompson. It is a remarkable community of a high type. The restrictions as to the value and type of buildings were severe, business was for a long time excluded and every intelligent effort was made to build up a refined community sentiment and life. In this the projectors have been marvellously successful. There are community playgrounds, community churches and recently community retail shops have been opened, but the building of business centers is thoroughly restricted. Upper Arlington, by the constant care of the founders and the cooperation of the owners of the many fine homes erected, has become one of the most beautiful and unique residential sections in the state of Ohio.

Just west of Upper Arlington is the village of Marble Cliff, with according to the census of 1930 a population of 293, most of whom are employed in the enormous stone quarries on the west side of the Scioto River.

The Toledo division of the Hocking Valley Railroad traverses the township from north to south and on that line are the hamlets of Lane Avenue, Olentangy and Linworth. The last named was formerly known as Elmwood, but the name was changed on account of constant confusion with the village of that name in Hamilton County.

The first huge dam to store water for the supply of the city of Columbus was constructed in the Scioto River between Perry and Norwich Townships, forming a beautiful body of water which overflowed the original Dublin Pike, which runs along the east side of the Scioto, and necessitating the removal of that thoroughfare a few rods east, to the top of a small bluff. The great beautification of the scene has made this a delightful place for suburban homes and some of the handsomest and most costly residences in Franklin County have been built along the Dublin Pike overlooking the impressive stretch of river above the dam.

For his services in the American Revolution a tract of 500 acres in the northern part of this township was assigned in 1800 by Congress to Thaddeus Kosciusko, the Polish patriot. He tried to assign the patent, but there was a defect in the title, and Kosciusko never gained any benefits from the gift. The land was later claimed by relatives of that patriot of two nations.

A large part of the township was originally owned by residents of Baltimore, Maryland, who had the land divided into 100 acre tracts and sold to actual settlers. Among the first settlers were Ezekiel and Morris Brown, Bela M. Tuller, Samuel Boyd, Peter Millington, Paul Deardurff, Samuel S. Shattuc, Harding Pearse, Amaziah Hutchinson, William Walcott, his son Robert and John McCoy. The old Tuller farm was still in the possession of Tuller heirs in 1830 and a descendant of Paul Deardurff owned and ran the principal store in Linworth, while Fred Shattuc, who was at one time champion professional clay pigeon shot of the United States, owned and made his summer home on a farm on the east bank of the Scioto about two miles north of the Worthington and Dublin Pike.

About 1813 Thomas Backus built a flour mill on the Scioto, which afterward became McCoy's Mills, Matere's Mills and finally Marble Cliff Mills and was a great boon to the settlers, who in the first years of settlement were compelled to go as far as Chillicothe and later to Franklinton to have their wheat ground. In 1830 a brewery was started a short distance south of where Olentangy Station later stood and was run for several years, but was finally, after being turned into a dwelling house, destroyed by fire. Shortly after the establishment of the brewery a distillery was started close by in a log house by Simon Shattuc. The business did not last long and the log house, strange transformation, became the meeting place of a Methodist congregation. This small society grew later into Asbury Church and erected a brick church under the leadership of Rev. Uriah Heath, who organized also Fletcher Church. Later church edifices dotted the township.

The remains of a number of prehistoric works, attributed to the Moundbuilders, are to be found in different parts of this township, some of them of considerable size. Three such works were formerly plainly to be distinguished on the farm of Joseph Ferris, about a mile north of the Dublin bridge. One of these measured eighty feet in diameter and another was larger still.

A peculiar phenomenon is found on the farm of Fred Butler, adjoining on the south that of Fred Shattuc, a short distance north of the Worthington and Dublin Road on the highway that follows the east bank of the Scioto River. Just at the foot of the little bluff that rises on the east side of the road and within a few yards of each other two never failing springs give a copious flow of water. One of these is of the usual "hardness" of water running through a limestone district and is deliciously cool in the hottest weather. The other spring is as soft as newly fallen rain. Mr. Butler installed an hydraulic ram and supplies his house and outbuildings with a constant supply of water, either soft or hard as the need may be and without any other effort on his part than that of turning on the faucet.

The township always had good farms, but, since the growth of the good roads movement, these lands have increased greatly in value, being priced now at many times what they were before the development of the automobile and the improvement of highways. The farms along the Scioto, which were at one time of not so much value, are now high priced, being in great demand for the suburban residences of persons of means.

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