IT is the design of the Work to preserve for the people of Franklin County an imperishable record of its early history — now existing only in the memory of the more aged settlers, and in scattering and detached papers and records, which are every year wasting away.
To write the history of a single county, may to some appear like a very small business; while to others it is considered very desirable that some one should do so in every country. How else are the names and memory of our early settlers and friends to be preserved? And who is there that would not be pleased to look back, or to have his children look back, upon some record of his early days, and of departed friends? An how else should strangers, settling among us, so readily obtain a knowledge of our institutions and public characters, as by some such local publication?
It has been the writer's object in this compilation, to give a correct statement of all events worthy of remembrance, with their proper dates, so as to form a book of ready reference, such as will be convenient and interesting to all residents of the county. For this purpose, he has relied upon public records and documents, where they could be obtained; and in all other cases, upon the best information that could be derived from early and intelligent settlers of the city and county, aided by his own personal knowledge.
It is but a little over sixty years since the first settlement was commenced — more than two-thirds of that time the writer has been a resident of the county. Over twenty years ago, while on terms of intimacy and daily intercourse with some of the very first settlers, he compiled a small pamphlet entitled "Franklin County Register," a few copies of which were printed; and which may be considered as the basis of this work. In that way he obtained and preserved the recollections of those pioneer friends.
And now, as some of the matter contained in these pages has heretofore appeared in different prints, to avoid the charge of plagiarism, it is but necessary to say, that when Mr. Wheeler published his map of Franklin County, in 1842, he accompanied it with a very small pamphlet, historical and descriptive of the county, which was taken wholly from the Franklin County Register, without giving credit; and when Mr. Howe published his "Historical Collections of Ohio," in 1847, he copied from Wheeler's pamphlet and gave credit to it. It may not be amiss, also, to add that the "Brief History of Columbus," accompanying Mr. Armstrong's "Columbus Business Directory," published in 1843, was also prepared by the writer hereof, which may be an apology for the free use of it in this work.
To suppose that this publication contains no errors or omissions, would be folly in the extreme. But the writer has labored assiduously to have it as free from errors as possible. And to those who have kindly rendered him assistance in the collection of facts, he tenders his grateful acknowledgments.
|W. T. MARTIN.|
|Columbus, May, 1858.|