History of Plain Township, Franklin County OH

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


Plain Township occupies the northeast corner of Franklin County. It is bounded on the north by Delaware County, on the east by Licking County, on the south by Jefferson Township and on the west by Blendon Township. It is part of the United States Military Survey and was first known as Township Number Two, in Range Sixteen. The southeast quarter of the township was laid out in 100 acre lots for the benefit of Revolutionary soldiers, and the north half in sections a mile square which were afterward divided into quarter sections. The southwest quarter was patented in 1800 to Dudley Woodbridge, who two years later sold it to John Huffman for a gallon of whisky an acre, or 4,000 gallons, to be delivered at Marietta.

In the first year of the nineteenth century Joseph Scott and a Mr. Morrison settled in the township, the first to do so, Scott near the south line of the township and Morrison farther north. Scott's Plains and Morrison's Prairie are names of localities that still keep alive the memories of these early settlers. Descendants of Mr. Morrison have owned property in the township ever since and a farm not far from New Albany was in their possession until very recently.

These first arrivals were followed quickly by Adam Baughman, Henry Hoffman, George Baughman, Thomas B. Patterson, Jesse Byington, Lorin Hills, Gilbert and Philip Waters, Mathias Dague, Daniel Dague, George Dague, Matthew Campbell, George Campbell, John Robinson, Jacanias Rose, William Goodhart, John Shesler, Roger Hill, Benoni Hill, David Cook and his son Emil Cook, John Smith, John Daniels, Christian Horlocker, James Daniels, Jacob Wagner, John Clymer, Jacob Bevelheimer, John Aispach, and Daniel Triplett.

The township was organized in 1810, including at that time the territory of what is now Blendon and Jefferson Townships, which were set off later on. The soil of the township is not as rich as soil in some other parts of the county, but some prosperous farmers have lived there and live there still, the land being good for grass and the raising of stock. The natural water supply is especially good and adds a factor needed in the dairy and stock industry.

Several attempts to found villages were made, but only one succeeded. In 1837 the village of New Albany, near the center of the township, was laid out on the Worthington and Granville Pike and became a permanency, where is located the only postoffice in the township The founders of the village were Daniel Landon and William Yantis, members of a family that became very prominent in that part of the county. Dr. C. P. Landon was later one of the most prominent physicians in Westerville and the father of two sons who were well known in the newspaper work of Ohio, and a Yantis was at one time a congressman from another state. The first mayor of New Albany was S. Ogden, and the other officers of the municipality were: Recorder, C. S. Ogden; councilmen, F. Johnson, J. McCurdy, C. Baughman, A. B. Beem, S. Stinson; marshal, R. Phelps. Most of these names are still borne by residents of the village, which has become a very handsome place of semi rural residence, with good streets, improved sidewalks, handsome homes and considerable business.

Earlier than the organization of New Albany an effort was made by Lorin Hills and Lester Humphrey to found a village not far from where New Albany now stands, but no improvements were made and the village lots were merged back into the adjacent farm land. Francis Clymer, too, tried to develop a village center on his farm, but the effort failed. Descendants of the early settlers are found among the prominent people of Columbus, for the pioneers were interested in education and general improvement. Dr. R. A. Kid, raised on a farm in this township, is at the head of the famous old sanitarium at Shepard's Station, and the names of the Swickards and Horlockers, besides those already mentioned, are known throughout the county. George Dague and Mary Baughman contracted the first marriage in the township, in 1810, and the first death was that of a daughter of Adam Baughman. The first cemetery was set apart on land donated in 1814 by John Smith, and the first person buried there was John Smith, the donor. The first barn was built by George Baughman, the first frame house by Daniel Triplett and the first brick house by Henry Smith. The first school was taught by Philip Waters, and the first schoolhouse, in which the first teacher was Jacob Smith, was built in 1821. The Methodists and United Brethren were the first to organize churches in the township, but their activities did not precede by great length of time those of the teetotalers, who as early as 1820 began a movement to stop the dispensing of whisky at house raisings, corn huskings, turkey shootings and like affairs. Abraham Adams was the prime mover in this effort at reform, but his missionary work met so much opposition that it was dropped and whisky continued to be a prime attraction at social affairs in which the male sex predominated.

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