(The following was written by WIlbur Gantz, and is reprinted from “Reflections”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
Adam Gantz was born 10 May 1805, the fourth child and oldest son of Andrew (Goose) Gantz and Margrett Harn, in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
His father raised a family of eight children in the rough terrain of Washington County. At that time most farm families, by hand work, provided for their families and lived on the produce of their farms. Their extra grain and other products would likely be sent to market to the east coast cities. The grain could be processed into whiskey and transported by horseback to the markets beyond the mountains.
Andrew Gantz became prosperous enough by 1817 to buy 200 acres of land in Franklin County, Ohio, by paying Joseph Foos $1,000. This land was deeded by President Andrew Jackson to the heirs of Bailey Washington in 1836 on November 10th, though not filed for recording until May 30th, 1839.
These dates are interesting in that they show the speculation in trading of land before the titles were cleared and before permanent settlers came to live on the parcels. The Washington heirs sold first to Aaron Kendall in 1812, who transferred title to Daniel Richardson January 10th, 1815, for the 200 acre parcel for $475. Richardson then sold this same 200 acres to Joseph Foos, a merchant in Franklinton, on 25 December, 1815, for $1,200. Richardson thus gained $525 on his investment from January to December the same year. Foos sold to Andrew Gantz on 17 July, 1817, the 200 acre parcel that was to be the first foothold of the Gantz family in Franklin County, Ohio. The price at this time was $1,000 for the 200 acres, or $5 per acre. This parcel is located at the northeast corner of survey 1388, awarded by military Grant No. 2263 to the Washington heirs. This survey is bounded on the east by Hoover Road and on the North by Home Road.
Adam Gantz was 12 years old when his father purchased this land. We have no record of the family living on this land before 1830. We know from the 1830 census that Adam was with his sister Salome Gantz Harsh, who lived with her family in Carroll County, Ohio. Adam Gantz was married the 30th day of September, 1830, to Katherine Pennix. The Green Lawn Cemetery records say that she was born in Washington County, PA, and that her parents were Edward and Mary. Catherine was 16 years old when married. Family tradition suggests that they first lived in a cave or other primitive type of lean to dwelling until a home could be built for them. This site was likely near a spring by the creek that flows from east to west through the property. I can only assume that this first temporary dwelling was near a spring by the west side of the property. We used to water cattle at this spring. It is near what is now north of Independence Way and south of the Walden Bluff subdivision of Grove City off Home Road.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry.)