(The following was compiled by the (Columbus) Historical Publishing Company, and is reprinted from “Reflections II”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
The Township of Pleasant was organized in 1807, and during that time, embraced about five times its current area. It was reduced to its present limits by the formation of Jackson in 1815 and prairie in 1819. The township is bounded on the North by the township of Darby and Pickaway County; on the east by Jackson Township; West by Fairfield and Jefferson townships, Madison County. Is a farming Township exclusively. The surface is varied, some portions presenting an almost level plain, While others, especially along Darby Creek are exactly the reverse, and often, decidedly hilly. The soil along the bottom is a strong black marl of great fertility, and on the upland, it is mostly clay, well adapted to the growing of corn and grain crops generally. These streams are the Big and Little Darby, which enter the township near the northwest corner and form a junction near Georgesville, and from here the Big Darby continues a general Southeast course through the township. The pioneer settlers in Pleasant were the brothers, Thomas and Elijah Chenoweth, natives of Maryland, who moved here with their families, from Pike County, Ohio, in the fall of 1799. They purchased each two hundred acres of land, in the present Village of Harrisburg, and built crude log cabins to protect them from the severity of the long winter, then rapidly approaching. Elijah’s cabin stood at the foot of the hill. The work of clearing the land was it once begun, and, in time, the Indian neighbors were supplanted by hardy backwoods settlers. The log cabin was exchanged for the substantial mansion, the dense forest gave way before the keen axe of the settler, and in its place came broad acres rich with their store of waving corn. Benjamin Foster and Samuel Kerr, with their families, settled in this vicinity soon after the Chenoweth’s, and other early settlers were: John Biggert, John Dyer, Thomas Roberts, James Gardner, Philip Hoffman, Adam Spangler, Foster Price, James Walker, John McKinley, William Cummins, Manor Duke Story, Handy Smith, William L. Foster, James Bradfield, George Francis, R.M. Worthington, Gideon Walton, Samuel Kerr, Ruben Chaffin, William D. Adams, John V. Leach, John Turner, Charles Hunter, Morris Yates, John Harvey, George Goodson, Simon Cochran, and James Walker.
The first White child born in Pleasant was a daughter to Elijah and Rachel Chenoweth, on December 9, 1800, the first marriage was that of John Chenoweth to Elisabeth Foster, about the beginning of the century. The first frame house was built by Samuel Kerr; the first brick house by John Biggert. The first tavern was built in Harrisburg by John Morgan, and was named White Hall. It afterwards became the United States Hotel. The first orchard was planted by Thomas Chenoweth, about 1800, and some of the trees are still standing. The first business house was opened in March 1837, by George Geiger, and William Foresman, in a small building in the southwest corner of Harrisburg.They subsequently built what is known as post-office row, and for years carried on business operations there. There are now numerous shops in small manufactories. The first post-office was opened in Pleasant in 1815, and bore the name of the Township. In 1816, Georgesville was laid out, and the post-office was changed to that name. The first grist mill was built in 1805 by Samuel Dyer, and the second flouring mill on Darby Creek was built about 1864 by Thomas Chenoweth. Among the physicians to settle in Harrisburg were Drs. Lemuel Boyd, Thomas Thompson, George W. Helmick. William J. Bashaw, George W. Bashaw, Jr., Edward F. Morgan, George W. Gardner, W.N. Shoemaker, the latter settling in Georgesville.The village of Harrisburg was incorporated in 1851, and at the election which followed, the following were chosen officers: Mayor, Dr. J. Helmick; Recorder, Z. G. Weddle; Trustees, Henry Miller, J. Chenoweth, O.T. Curry, L.W. Sifford, and Dr. George W. Helmick.
(The conclusion of this story in the next blog entry.)