HISTORY OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY
LANCASTER AS AN INCORPORATED VILLAGE AND CITY---FORMATION OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY.
In 1831, upon petition, an act of incorporation was passed by the Legislature, incorporating the village of Lancaster, and endowing it with certain specified municipal powers and privileges. The municipal officers were one mayor, one marshal, one recorder, one treasurer and a board of trustees. The respective officers were elected by the qualified electors, annually, on the first Monday of April. The act of incorporation conferred power to levy a tax for revenue. The fiscal resources were light---taxation, and license to shows and exhibi- tions. The following exhibit is from an old copy of the Ohio Eagle, of the date of June, 1827, and shows the finances of the village of Lan- caster, for two years, viz.: from April 20, 1825, to April 23, 1827, thus: Amount of income from all sources, for two years, $888.14 1/4; total disbursements for all purposes, for the same time, $932.88 1/2; showing a balance against the treasurer of $44.77 1/4; signed, Benjamin Connell, treasurer: attested by Gotleib Steinman, recorder. The total absence of all records for the twenty years between 1831 and 1851 renders it impossible to furnish much of the municipal history of the village during that period. It is known that for the years 1848 and 1849, John Garaghty was mayor. Beyond that, nothing appears on record. In the year 1851 Lancaster was made a city of the third class, by a special enactment of the State Legislature. The act provided for one mayor, whose term of office should be two years; one city clerk, one city solicitor, one marshal, and two councilmen for each ward, the latter to serve two years, and so arranged that one councilman in each ward should be elected each year, and one term expire each year. The act of incorporation at the same time divided the city into four wards, and fixed their boundaries. And thus, when the Fifth ward was created by the annexation of East Lancaster, the city council was made to consist of ten members, one-half of whom should be elected annually. The succession of mayors, from 1851, under the city government, was as follows: 1851-53-William P. Creed. 1853-55-John D. Martin. 1855-57-Silas Hedges. 1857-59-Alfred McVeigh. 1859-63-Kinnis Fritter. 1863-67-Samuel Ewing. 1867-75-Tallman Slough. 1875-77-Philip Bennadum. 1877-79-John McCormic. 1879-81-William Vorys.
Samuel Rainey, elected in 1881, is the present incumbent. The city elections are held on the first Monday of each April. The financial showing fifty years later than the foregoing exhibit, by way of contrast, will measure the growth of the population and business of Lancaster for a half century. The gross receipts for the two years of 1875 to 1877, from all sources, for city purposes, and not in- cluding school funds, as shown by the treasurer's books, was $61,437.56; and the total expenditures for the same time, not including school funds, was $53,220.08, leaving a balance to the credit of the city of $8,217.78. There is likewise a showing, that during the two former years, $5.00 were paid to Thomas Ewing by the village for legal advice, and that during the two latter years, about $1000.00 were paid for counsel. The burdens the city bears is a legitimate part of its history. It supports ten churches at an annual expense of about $15,000, exclusive of Sunday school and missionary collections, and the building and repairing of church edifices. The amount levied on the city for corpora- tion purposes, and to meet the interest on city bonds, school bonds and other purposes, with not fall short of $30,000 annually. In addition to the foregoing the city has built---within the last ten or fifteen years two new school buildings, at a cost of about $80,000, including the cost of building lots. The annual levy for school purposes alone, including interest on school bonds, is about $26,000. These burdens are sustained by a population of something less than eight thousand souls. Lancaster has always, until within the last twenty-five or thirty years, been a slow-growing, conservative community, though possess- ing many superior local advantages. But its growth has been steady and substantial. There are perhaps a greater proportion of its citizens who live under their own roofs, than any other town of Ohio of equal or approximate population. Within the last dozen or more years, its manufacturing and other interests have been greatly extended. Lancaster has acquired abroad, a reputation almost classic, more especially in its early history, which it owes not to its institutions of learning, but to an unusually large number of distinguished citizens who found their way to it. The death rate in Lancaster during forty years is probably in about the same ratio of other communities, though the place sustains a repu- tation for general healthfulness and exemption from epidemic disease. The epidemic of 1823, elsewhere referred to, has never had an approx- imate parallel in the place. But the natural death rate may be noticed. The citizens of Lancaster of forty years ago, who were past the middle age, and who were the leading business men and women of the place are all dead. Less than a dozen business men of Lancaster of 1840 are alive, and the few there are of them remaining have, with few exceptions, retired from active duty. An entirely new popu- lation has come in. The Lancaster of to-day is in no respect the Lancaster of forty years ago, neither socially, commercially nor in any single one of its features. In August 1850, Lancaster suffered a visitation of cholera. The disease was prevailing in Columbus at the time, and it was supposed to have been brought to Lancaster by a foot-man, who walked down
on a hot day with the disease upon him. He stopped a short time in East Lancaster, and died on the following day. The disease immedi- ately broke out, and during about two weeks some thirty deaths occurred. In three instances nearly the entire family was swept away. Great alarm prevailed, and many left the place. The deaths were chiefly in East Lancaster and the immediate vicinity. In Lancaster proper there were only five deaths. There have been several visitations of small-pox, at various intervals of time, generally malignant and confluent, many of the cases proving fatal. A rigid system of non-intercourse with the affected houses, and the use of the yellow flag, usually confined the malady to its first locality, thereby presenting its spread and saving the town from its epidemic influences. ADDITIONS: That part of the city of Lancaster known as "Car- penter's Addition" embraces all lying south of an alley running east and west parallel with the south end of the first tier of lots on the south side of Chestnut street, and extending east, west and south to Zane's section lines, and was purchased from Mr. Zane by Emanuel Carpenter, jr., in 1814. Mr. Carpenter at once platted his addition to the town of Lancaster, which plat and the list of sales were recorded Sep- tember 13, 1814. The alley referred to, which runs between the original town and the Carpenter addition is now called Center alley---its original name being Jackson's alley. Its eastern terminus at High street is about opposite the line dividing the old grave-yard from the Methodist church premises. The grounds upon which the M. E. and A. M. E. churches stand and also a third lot adjoining the A. M. E. church on the south were devoted by Mr. Carpenter for church and burial purposes. The last named lot was subsequently condemned by the city authorities and made a part of Walnut street. The continu- ation of Columbus and Broad streets from Jackson alley through the new addition was effected without changing their names. High street ---Fourth street of the old town---south of Jackson's alley he named Jackson street. To the first street running east and west in the new addition he gave the name of Walnut, which it still retains. Perry street of Carpenter's addition extending diagonally from Broad street at the railroad to High street south of the Methodist church, was named by him and Winding street of this addition is still the same. The Lawrence street, surveyed and named by Mr. Carpenter, is now the railroad bed. Grogon is a short street, which runs from the railroad south towards the canal, on the west side of Hood's row. The large hill, the south end of which is cut by Walnut street, which is familiarly known as "Green's Hill" is marked "Mount Prospect" on Carpenter's plat. The open space at the south end of Broadway, through which the railroads pass was called "Center Circle" by Mr. Carpenter, as several streets converge there. He gave lots sixty-nine and twenty- three, both triangular, for school purposes. Lot sixty-nine is at the southwest corner of High and Perry streets; twenty-three is on the southeast corner of Columbus and Walnut streets. Carpenter's plat extended to the present canal. All beyond as far as the original boun- dary of Zane's section, west, south and east, was subsequently sur- veyed and sold as out-lots, and is principally so used, though portions
of this ground have been sold as town lots and improved. Up to the present time more than twenty other additions have been added to the original plat of the town of Lancaster. The Hop Company addition, comprising the northeast part of the Fifth ward is among the largest. Its principal street is Hop avenue, running north and south. This is properly Talmade's addition, as Theodore Talmade laid the ground off into town lots after having purchased it of the Hop Company, in which he was a large stockholder. The ground originally contained about eighty acres. Joseph C. Kinkead laid out an addition, situated chiefly between the north end of Broadway and Chestnut streets. Thomas Ewing's addition was to the southeast corner of the city, and extended down to the east graveyard. Hunter's addition borders on the west side of the east graveyard, embracing Maple street. There is also an addition called "Hunter's heirs' addition," all belonging to the original tract. Carter's addition lies along Main street, east of the hill. John C. Weaver. being the owner of some land over the hill and in the present southeast part of the city, laid it off into lots, which he sold. John G. Willock made an addition to the north part of town. His lots were on North Broadway near the fair grounds. The Wagonhals addition is on North Columbus street, in the northwest part of the city. At an early day a man named Branstadt laid out and sold a number of lots in what is now known as the "Hood neighborhood." John Latta laid off and sold some lots lying north of Mill street, between Broadway and Columbus streets. The section of buildings south of Columbus street, between Pratt's tanyard and the old Logan road, is known as Giesy addition. Daniel Sefford made two additions to Lancaster, one east of the hill and on the north of the Zanesville pike, the other north of Mill street, between Broadway,and Columbus street. Hugh Boyle's addition was on Mulberry street, embracing the Keitz corner, and extended up Broadway to the first alley on the north side, and also extending on Columbus street. Henry Sutsen sold some lots on the west side of the canal, embracing the old tanyard. East of Broadway and south of Main street, additions were made to the original plat of Lan- caster by Michael Garaghty, John Reber, and Jesse B. Hart. The Cox heirs' addition is principally on King street, between Broadway and High streets. Abraham Syfert made a small addition to East Lancaster. Thomas Sturgeon has made additions to various parts of the city, but chiefly to the northeast part, on both sides of Mulberry street, east of High street. John H. Tennent sold one tier of lots on the south side of Chestnut street and west from Maple. Tunis Cox was the proprietor of a small addition of town lots in the vicinity of the old starch factory, on the north bank of the canal. Rising's addition comprises a number of lots in the north part of the city, lying between Broadway and Columbus streets. The plat of a town of the same size as Lancaster was originally is among the county records, though not half a dozen persons now living have ever heard of it. The name of this paper creation was "The Town of Fairfield." It was surveyed and platted by John Murphy in 1802, and was regularly entered in the recorder's office. The lots were all numbered and the streets named. It is not certain that any lots
were ever sold. It is reasonably certain that the plat of the town of Fairfield was in section 34 of the original township of Richland, and about one mile west of West Rushville. Zane's section was located and bounded before the Government surveys were made. It happened, therefore, that when the Government sections were established Zane's section was surrounded on all sides by irregular and inconvenient gores, from which have arisen many difficulties in establishing metes and bounds in the resurveys, as witness the contest between the city and the Cox heirs, some years ago. As an instance of the awkwardness of some of the section lines, it may be mentioned that Zane's section line was some four hundred yards south of the north line of Hocking town- ship, and on the east, the west boundary of Berne township extended into Lancaster originally to Center alley, while Zane's section extended east as far as Maple street---nearly three squares from the township line. The same difficulties, therefore, necessarily existed with regard to the section lines on the south and west. Fairfield county was established by Governor St. Clair, December 9, 1800. That part of the proclamation defining its boundaries reads as follows: "Beginning at a point in the east line of the fifteenth range of town- ships, and west of the fourteenth range, as surveyed in pursuance of the ordinance of Congress of the 20th of May, 1795, where the said line intersects the south boundary line of the military land, and running from thence north until it intersects the Indian boundary line; thence returning to the before-mentioned, and running south by the said range line between the fourteenth and fifteenth ranges, until it intersects the northern boundary line of the Ohio Company's Purchase; thence with the said northern boundary line due west to the north-west corner of the said Ohio Company's Purchase; thence south six miles; thence with a line drawn due west until it intersects the western boundary of the twentieth range of the townships, thence with the western boundary of the said twentieth range to the before-mentioned Indian boundary line, and with that line of limit to the before-mentioned intersection of that boundary line."---Territorial Land Laws.