(The following was written by Jill Billman Royer in the Southwest Messenger (2003), includes material from the obituary of Louisiana Briggs, 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.)
Briggsdale, located in Franklin Township along the 3C Highway, going north from Grove City to Columbus, received its name the same way many early Ohio settlements did. The community was named for the Briggs family, which was one of the prominent families of the area.
Edward Briggs, a soldier in the War of 1812, immigrated to Ohio for New Jersey in 1816, but the family’s ancestry is tied to England, Ireland and Holland. Edward’s sons were Nicholas, John, and Henry. They eventually bought a large tract of land in the vicinity now known as Briggsdale.
Nicholas Briggs was born February 26th, 1807. His son Joseph M. Briggs was born November 25th, 1833 in Briggsdale. He married Louisiana Ransburgh who was born in Madrid, Missouri, the daughter of John and Nancy Ransburgh. Her mother died when Louisiana was 14 and she was sent north to live with relatives who lived near Briggsdale. She later attended Ohio Wesleyan University, as did Joseph. They were married in 1867 while he was still a captain in the Union Army.. Joseph was a large landowner and widely known. He was elected to the position of Franklin County Commissioner in 1880, serving more than six years with his re-election. He was also postmaster from 1887-1901, promoted the construction of the interurban railway that ran from Columbus to Grove City, was instrumental in building the United Methodist Church in 1901 and other civic organizations.
Joseph and Louisiana had seven children. Mrs. Briggs became known as “grandma” by the community. She was fond of people and her house was a landmark, the old homestead that was situated far back from the highway at 1575 Harrisburg Pike. She disliked publicity and was shy about one incident for which she was remembered. Being born in Missouri and her mother in Louisiana, she still had southern feelings about the Civil War, but her husband had been in the Union Army. She was the first woman in this vicinity to decorate the graves of the confederate soldiers buried in Camp Chase Cemetery. This took a great deal of courage. To guard her appearance she would wait until dark, don a lace veil, go to the cemetery and toss the flowers over the stone wall. She was known for years as the “Veiled Lady of Camp Chase”.
Louisiana lived to be 100 years old and five of her. They were W. Irving and Claude Briggs, mrs. Lewis Morehead, Mrs. Arthur DeVinnish and Mrs. Merritt B. Cheney. Joseph Briggs “Uncle Henry” was also a township trustee with an affiliation to the Republican and Whig parties, but in 1860 he changed his turn and cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln.
In early years, the Union Methodist Church was located on the north side of Frank Road where Gantz Road ends. The cemetery is still located there. This land was owned by Jason M. Briggs. In 1901, Joseph and other trustees worked very hard and the new United Methodist Church was built on Harrisburg Pike for $5,000.