(The following was written by Lewis Garrison, and is reprinted from 1927’s “Grove City – The Town with a Future”, available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
One of the oldest and best-known villages around Columbus is Grove City, situated seven miles in a southwesterly direction from the Capital City on the old Harrisburg Pike, now known as the Three C’s Highway.
The earliest settlers in this section came to Jackson Township in 1803. Most of them came from Pennsylvania in wagons drawn by oxen. It was a veritable wilderness in those days and the land had to be cleared of trees before farming operations were begun. The records of Franklin County show that bounty was paid for panthers shot in the vicinity of what is now Grove City.
On March 5, 1866, 37 of the early settlers in Jackson Township prepared a petition seeking for the incorporation of the village of Grove City, which petition was granted by the Commissioners of Franklin County. The establishment of the name was due to the fact that the section to be incorporated was a magnificent grove.
The original plan was that tract of land comprising the territory from where the Lutheran Church now sends, thence westward to Broadway, opposite to what was then the old Breck saw and grist mill, and thence extending southward to the alley which runs between the Ketterer place and the White homestead. Nothing west of Broadway was included in the early incorporation.
The petition read as follows: “The undersigned citizens and legal voters of the village of Grove City, in the Township of Jackson, County of Franklin, hereby petition your honorable body for this incorporation of the above named village. Said proposed incorporated town is situated in Jackson Township, Franklin County, on the Columbus and Harrisburg Turnpike, seven miles west of the city of Columbus, and being part of the Virginia Military Survey No. 1388 entered originally by Washington and Morgan, an accurate plat of said village being attached to this petition. The incorporated name of said town to be the incorporation of Grove City.
William F. Breck, who founded the saw and grist mill of his name, was a moving spirit in the locality prior to its incorporation. He later removed to Pennsylvania and there founded a town and named it Grove City (Note: further research is determined this is NOT the case).
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry).