(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.)
Their first child, Elizabeth Gantz White, was born on 21 October, 1831. Oral history of the family says that Catherine became afraid for herself and her child. She traded a cow for a shotgun to protect themselves from the wolves that roamed ”Wolf Ridge”, the local name for the area. The second child, Andrew Jackson Gantz, was born 9th January, 1833.
We find in the abstract of the Gantz land a record of purchase by Adam Gantz, dated 25 June, 1832, of “100 acres of land and other property for a consideration of $7.50.” This land had changed hands after being defeated by President James Madison to Henry Massie for consideration of the services of Thomas Snead and James Craig during the Revolutionary War. The first record of transfer to person from government is dated 20 February, 1813. Massie and his wife Helen sold to John O’Harra in March, 1814. O’Harra and his wife Priscella transferred to Wm. McMillen and Joseph Barker in August, 1819–who in turn sold to Henry Shurtz in October, 1825. Evidently Shurtz was unable to pay for the land, and it was returned to McMillen in 1831, who then sold to Jacab Stimmell In 1832. Thus when Adam Gantz purchased from Stimmell in June of 1832 he became the sixth owner in a period ff 19 years. It would be interesting to know the details of the transaction where he bought “100 acres and other property for consideration of $7.50.” This portion of the farm was located in survey 6839 lying across Hoover Rd. to the east of the land owned by his father, Andrew. It was on this parcel that the brick home was built and became the center of operations for the farm and the family.
The settlers of the early Franklinton area where often victims of disease that was blamed on the mosquitoes that were coming to the low swampy land near the rivers. Our folks seemed to think that if they came to the higher ground away from the river they would be more healthy. This was told to our parents as the reason for settling on “Wolf Ridge” rather than near the river area.
I have been curious about the method of farm operations that took place in this time span. The Ohio Historical Library has a film of the 1832 land and personel property ownership with values and ton records of the Franklin County population.These records indicate that Adam Gantz owned two horses and one cow. Cows were valued at $8 each while horses were valued at $40 each. This value was recorded for all other persons who owned this livestock, which were the only species counted for record.
This census must have been taken early in the year of 1832. Adam purchased his 100 acre farm in August of 1832 and it was not reported in the census. I did find that Andrew Gantz was the recorded owner of 200 acres of land being a part of the original 2000 acre grant to the Washington family as described in survey 1388.
A welcome item of information was found in the real estate portion of the Franklin Township records when I saw the record of Edward Pennix’s owning a 100 acre farm in survey 2442. Evidently this was the Edward Pennix whose daughter Catherine married Adam Gantz in 1830. If this is true, it suggests that the families knew each other from Washington County, PA, where the names appear in census records. This information suggests to me that Adam Gantz came to Franklin County before 1830 when he was married.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry.)