History of Truro Township, Franklin County OH

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


Truro lies in the middle tier of townships in the eastern part of Franklin County. It is bounded on the north by Mifflin and Jefferson Townships, on the east by Licking and Fairfield Counties, on the south by Madison Township and on the west by Marion Township. It is traversed from east to west by three great highways, the Columbus and Granville Road, the National Road (the Main Street of the nation) and by the extension of Livingston Avenue, all wide and paved with permanent hard surface material. The Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad also passes through it. Alum Creek touches its southwest corner and Big Walnut and Black Lick flow through it from north to south. Until recently the Ohio Electric Railway had a line along the National Road, but this means of travel, after serving a purpose in building up the rural community through which it passed, has been abandoned. The soil is not so uniformly productive as that in Madison Township, immediately south, but for the most part it is fertile and in the creek bottoms is as rich as can be found anywhere in the state. Two prosperous villages are located within its limits - Reynoldsburg, on the National Road where it crosses Black Lick, with a population in 1930 of 569, and Brice, on the T. & O. C. Railroad, whose population was not recorded by the census takers, as the village, although it lies on a railroad and has a grain elevator, is not incorporated. The travel on the National Road and the Columbus and Granville Road is so great as to give those highways the appearance of city streets, and the National Road is building up with residences so as to be almost a continuous street from the city limits to Reynoldsburg. On Broad Street, as the Granville Road is called, the residences are becoming more and more numerous and they are all of a high grade. Just east of Reyrioldsburg is a state farm on which serums for men and animals is prepared, and on Broad Street, just east of Black Lick, in Jefferson Township, the Columbus Railway, Light and Power Company has a power plant to reenforce the lines which stretch throughout the territory. Broad Street and the National Road have the advantage of electric lighting throughout their course and are as well illuminated as city streets.

The township, organized in 1810, was named after a township in Nova Scotia, from which the Taylor family, to whom was given the privilege of naming the new political division, originally came. This family, members of which owned land in Jefferson Township also, was one of the foremost in the county and furnished several distinguished lawyers to the bar at Columbus, one of them representing the district in Congress for several terms. There is a peculiar jog in the southeastern corner of the township, which was caused by the transfer of a number of half sections between Franklin and the next county east in 1858. The surface of the township is generally level. The Pugh family, another family that has been prominent in the county and city's political and social life, descended from an original settler of Truro Township, David Pugh.

The first settlement in Truro Township was made in 1805, and the following were among the first arrivals: John and Charles Medford, Thomas Palmer, John Edgar, John Lynch, Benjamin Cornell, Matthew Long, Robert Taylor, William McIntyre, Zachariah Paul, William Thompson, Captain John Hanson, Daniel Ross and his six sons, Richard Rhoads, David Graham, John Cambridge, George Powell, David Pugh, John Enlows, Daniel Whetsel, Jacob Wolf, Benjamin V. Lunn, William E. Bulen and Basil Batchelor.

A school was built of logs on the east bank of Big Walnut as early as 1820, and grist and saw mills were constructed on Big Walnut just south of Broad Street and at Livingston Avenue and on Black Lick near Reynoldsburg, besides a steam power mill in the village itself. All of these water power mills have long since been abandoned and there is hardly a vestige of them remaining. A valuable stone quarry near Reynoldsburg was discovered and opened by Henry Besse and stone from it was shipped to many parts of the state. It is a free stone, twenty inches to two and a half feet thick, and is used for bridge and building purposes. Most of the abutments on Broad Street and National Highway bridges were formerly made of this stone, but its use has been naturally largely displaced by concrete construction. Mr. Besse sold the quarry to William A. Forrester, who in the seventies built a mill for the sawing of the stone into proper dimensions for building purposes. Members of the Besse family are found along the National Road and Broad Street from Columbus to Pataskala in Licking County. A tile factory in Reynoldsburg was owned by Hiram Dysart & Company, but it has not been running for some years.

Reynoldsburg was laid out in 1831 by John French, who named it Frenchtown in honor of his own family. Later, however, there arrived in the village from Zanesville a young man, James C. Reynolds, who became the foremost citizen of that part of the county and, being interested in military matters, arose to the rank of a general in the militia. He had a store and prospered through the patronage of the laborers on the National Road, which was then in course of construction. The local people did not like the name of their town and they changed it to Reynoldsburg in honor of their new and popular fellow citizen, who subsequently moved to Fairfield County. Other stores were opened by B. B. Bronson, Rhoads and Clendenning, Metler and Clendenning, Rhoads and Hutson and Elias Weaver.

A postoffice was established in Reynoldsburg in 1833, with General Reynolds as the first postmaster, and a long line of physicians settled there. The village was incorporated as a municipality in 1839, the first mayor being Abram Johnston.

An effort was made to establish a village on the National Road where it crosses Big Walnut Creek, but it never progressed far, although a hamlet at that point is known as Hibernia. The Columbus Railway, Light and Power Company has built a power "booster" plant here, which reenforces the many lines of light and power wire that extend over the country.

The United Presbyterian Church was the first formally organized in the township, although, as was usual in pioneer communities, there had been meetings for religious service at the homes of the more pious settlers. A Baptist Church was formed five years later, in 1823. The Methodists followed with organization two years later and in 1836 a Presbyterian congregation was formed in Reynoldsburg through the missionary activity of Rev. James Hoge. Their church was built in 1840 and was burned in 1861, but the congregation put up a new building. The First Universalist Church of Reynoldsburg and the Disciple Church came later.

Truro Township, like other territroy lying within the influence of the Capital City, is fast succumbing to the suburban residence habit and much of its old farm land is being broken up into allotments for homes where city workers can enjoy the advantages of country freedom and large gardens. The city limits are reaching out steadily in its direction and it would not be surprising to see part of this one time purely agricultural community become a part of the state's capital.

The influence of the city is seen in the building of handsome residences on East Broad Street and the extension of the city limits beyond those of the suburban city of Bexley. The Columbus Country Club, an exclusive social organization, owns a beautiful tract, with fine buildings and a good golf course, on the south side of Broad Street at Big Walnut, and just east of Big Walnut, on the line between Truro and Jefferson Townships, a new cemetery for the use of the city of Columbus has been laid out and already contains a number of graves. Norton Field, the first aviation field in the vicinity of Columbus, is situated on Broad Street, in this township.

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