An 1870 Atlas of Columbus and Franklin County provided a window into the past of Grove City and Jackson Township.

At that time, there were only three buildings west of Broadway in the Grove City’s downtown.  According to the map, Broadway was then called Columbus Street.  Two of the structures west of Broadway were the private residences of William Nichols and John Malatt.  The other building was a general store operated by Malatt located where the Grove City municipal building now stands between Park and Grove City Road facing Broadway.

To provide a comparison of land mass, Grove City was half the size of Rome (New Rome) and about a fourth the size of Alton.  It was also smaller than Shadeville, Groveport and Canal Winchester.

The mayor of Grove City at the time was Joseph Pence, the recorder Dr. Joseph Bullen and the village treasurer was A. G. Grant.  Council then had six members including W. R. Mench, S. C. White, S. A. Russel, G. W. Orders, R. D. Grant and Al McGiven.  Gabriel Postle was the town marshal.

The town had three merchants operating general stores, a hotel, seven mechanics, a teacher, farmer and a seamstress.

Grove City and Jackson Township had been isolated from the rest of Franklin County since the township was formed in 1815 because it lacked good roads to markets and neighboring communities.  The Harrisburg Turnpike, the Franklin Turnpike and the Cottage Mill Turnpike changed that perception. 

At the time, Grove City had a total population of only 143 people and 20 of those were counted as white foreigners.  The census said there were no colored residents. Jackson Township’s census recorded 1,923 residents with 175 of those counted as white foreigners and 23 colored residents.

The only other settlement in Jackson Township at the time was Borror’s Corners The Pleasant Corners Post Office was just south of Grove City but it was in Pleasant Township.

The map also pinpoints the German Lutheran Church (now St. John’s) on Columbus Street.  That building still stands and is now home for Tristano Pizza.  The map also shows a second Lutheran Church on Park Street just one block east of the old Park Street School.

The atlas also provided information about Jackson, Pleasant, Prairie and Franklin Townships.  It also stated Ohio was the third most populated of the 37 states, following the larger New York and Pennsylvania.

More entries on the Townships coming up!