The granary that was moved to Century Village in 2014 was from the old Ziegenspect family farm that once stored and dried grain and other seeds local farmers used for the next season of crops. Steve Funk, who lives on White Road, donated the 1927 building to the society.
It is believed the building was constructed by Heinrich Herman Ziegenspect, a native of Ronnes, Prussia born Aug. 25, 1844.
Four years after Herman’s birth, according to a historical account written by Emory Norris, editor of the Grove City Record in 1937, Herman’s father, Christian Heinrich Ziegenspect left their native land with his family for Hamburg. He and his wife, Friederike Catherine Rosine Meier Ziegenspect, boarded a ship to the United States for a better life.
The Ziegenspect family arrived in New York and soon thereafter left and settled in Springfield, Ohio as farmers. Herman’s father, somewhere around 1852, was encouraged to relocate to a new settlement in Jackson Township, Grove City.
Norris described Grove City as acres of good rich soil under swamp waters and overgrown with tall trees. Some neighbors couldn’t understand why he later purchased swampy land but after being drained, it proved Christian Heinrich was good at judging land. It became rich farmland, much better than the available dry lands.
Herman’s father built their first home in the village; the third house in what had become the village of Grove City. Just beside their house he constructed a shop where he built wagons.
This move into the new settlement provided him with the opportunity to give up farming, at least temporarily, and practice his trade as a wagon maker and wheel-wright. Herman, 8, helped his father in his shop painting wagons and fitting rims on the wheels.
Herman attended the Barbee School House until it was destroyed by fire. Soon after, classes were held in a log church, possibly the old Highland Mission. It was around this time Herman’s father urged the construction of a Lutheran Church. Herman helped build the log building.
A cholera epidemic was spreading throughout the county but it hadn’t reached the family’s farm. A man who was hired to help with the farming became sick and died. The cholera had finally reached Grove City. Three family members died and neighbors were afraid to help the family. Herman’s father had to construct four coffins, dig the graves at the Lutheran Cemetery and transport the bodies there.
It was evident though that Herman wasn’t going to become a wagon maker; he wanted to be a farmer. The only thing Herman wanted was a horse, wagon, plow and a chance to use them. When 19 years of age, Herman enlisted in the Union Army while the Civil War was raging. He enlisted at the Farmer’s Hotel in Columbus and was sent directly to Camp Chase for training.
After the war, Herman returned to the family farm and worked alongside his father. After two years, he met and married Caroline Hensel and settled on a 50-acre farm he had purchased from his father. As years passed, he purchased additional land. Herman and his family moved to Grandview Heights as he became older. In 1927, after his wife’s death, he moved in with his daughter Mrs. C. F. Miller at Harrisburg. Herman died in 1939 and is buried in Concord Cemetery.
Story by James F. Hale