(The following was written by Faye and Harold Morland, and is reprinted from “The Epoch of the Park Street School 1853-1964 and Grove City, Ohio”. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
The Virginia Military lands are a body of land lying between the Scioto and Little Miami Rivers bounded on the south by the Ohio River and on the North by Auglaize, Hardin, and Marion counties. This body of land contains about four million two hundred acres. This district is not surveyed into townships of any regular form.
Any individual who held a Virginia Military Land Warrant for his services on the Continental Line in the Revolutionary War could locate wherever he chose in the district. You could take land in any shape wherever it had not been previously located by another individual. Warrant holders made their claims and later sold parts or all of them to settlers moving in. The lands were heavily forested. They were abundantly filled with wild animals.
In 1797, Lucas Sullivant headed a surveying party from Kentucky. He came to the first Forks of the Scioto and set up headquarters. His mission was to survey the Military Lands and locate the warrants. He named the settlement Franklinton. This was the beginning of Columbus.
During the Indian Wars, Franklinton became a frequent headquarters for the Northwestern army of two to three thousand soldiers. They paid high prices for food:
Pork – $4.00 Cwt.
Oats – $0.50 bu.
Flour – $4.00 Cwt.
Corn – $1.00 bu.
Homes were log cabins. Living was not easy. Conveniences and implements work rude. In 1823, prices were very low:
Corn – $0.10 bu.
Pork – $1.50 Cwt.
Flour – $1.00 Cwt.
Potatoes – $0.12 bu.
Land – $1.00-$2.00 per acre
A House Lot – $0.47
The pioneers were undaunted. They kept coming and settling. There were no roads at this time. Only trails existed.