Prairie Township is one of the smaller townships of Franklin County. It is bounded on the north by Brown and
Norwich Townships, on the east by Franklin Township, on the south by Pleasant Township and on the west by Jefferson
Township in Madison County and by Brown Township in Franklin County. The line between Prairie Township and Madison
County is the Big Darby, once a famous stream for fishing and even yet occasionally rewarding the Waltonite with
a full creel. The Darby bottoms are noted for their fertility and, where the surface is rougher, the picturesque
scenery has attracted many city dwellers who have built summer cabins there. The National Road traverses the township
from east to west and the trend of residential construction along that highway is carrying urban population far
out into what only a few years ago was purely farm land. The Pennsylvania and the Big Four Railroads and the Ohio
Electric Railway cut through the breadth of the township, the last named following the line of the National Road,
and Darby Creek, Darby Run and Scioto Run furnish natural drainage. Most of the land is extremely fertile and in
the early days of the county attracted settlers, whose descendants have been among the most prosperous farmers
in the county.
Among the earliest settlers were Samuel Higgins, Shadrack Postle, William Marmon and the Clovers, a sprig from
the latter family being Phil Clover, for many years the foremost painter of Columbus. The Postles have long been
among the prominent people of Columbus and vicinity.
After the construction of the National Road there was a steady stream of travel along its length and of course
through Prairie Township, many of the travelers having in mind entertainment at the old Five Mile House, a famous
tavern situated at the western end of what was to be Camp Chase, now a part of the city of Columbus. Scattered
throughout this vicinity, in both Prairie and Franklin Townships, was a large settlement of Quakers, who built
a church in a part of Franklin Township that has long been incorporated with the city of Columbus. Their homes
were always open to visitors.
Of the later early settlers probably the most interesting was Daniel Harrington, who settled in Prairie Township
in 1824, five years after it had been set off from Franklin Township. His father, mother, brother and sisters were
all killed by the Indians in Kentucky, where he was born. He and Solomon and Samuel Clover, brothers, were expert
hunters, Solomon Clover especially being proficient with a gun. Solomon was credited with killing more wolves,
bears and deer than any other man in the county. Peter Clover, another member of this family, was more inclined
to intellectual pursuits than to the chase, and he established in a log house on his farm the first school in the
Hamlets sprung up at Galloway, Alton and Rome, the latter two being on the National Road and Alton being the seat
of the first tavern in the township.
The city is fast extending its way along the National Pike, residence construction being almost continuous as far
as Rome, but it will probably be many years before Prairie loses its township identity, if it ever does.