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Where our story begins...

1779, John Matthews, surveyor and civil engineer, on behalf of the United States government surveyed the lands comprising Hamilton Township (which includes Lockbourne) and the early records speak of it as "Matthew's Survey," a term still used in conveyance descriptions. These lands came into market in the year 1800 and in that year and the year following they were taken up in the usual form of "entries" in vogue in that date, and settlement began.

1800 - 1st Hamilton Township settler was probably John Dill from Pennsylvania; he later became Justice of the Township. He entered 1200 acres of land in the northwest part of the Township. He later sold half of the tract to Michael Fisher, who was from Virginia and lived in the bend of the river, where he ran a sawmill. 1st child born in Hamilton Township was Maximilla Fisher to Sarah & Michael Fisher and she became the wife of Arthur O'Harra.

1803 - Ohio became a State

1807 - In Hamilton Township, close to Lockbourne, were formerly the remains of a prehistoric fort which have been almost obliterated by the plow and several Indian mounds. We have pretty good proof that some of the first settlers in Hamilton Township were the Mound Builders, for there was a pre-historical mound, for many years, at Baker's Hill at the intersection of Lockbourne Rd and Groveport Pike. Hamilton Township was named after Alexander Hamilton and became a Township in 1807.

1811 - John Hornbacker died and has the distinction of having the earliest stone in Walnut Hill Cemetery

1811 - North of Lockbourne the "Plague Cemetery" sets a couple of hundred feet off of Lockbourne Road. Jacob Landes 12 years old died and has the distinction of having the earliest stone in the Landes (Plum Travis) Cemetery ) in the Plague Cemetery. The story has these deaths from some type of plague and it has been rumored these graves have never been moved due to fear that the plague would somehow been borne anew. The area all around this cemetery is farmed and vehicles are not permitted in the field. Corn is planted obscuring the view and then beets have been planted over the years. The dates have mostly eroded with time but some appear to go back to the 1830s, when Lockbourne was established and were probably people from the canal boats, workers in Lockbourne or on the canal. This cemetery dates back to one of Ohio's oldest Catholic cemeteries in Somerset, Ohio.

1812 - JOHN PLUM came to the territory

1818 – The Decker Cemetery came into existence when John Decker age 67 years old was buried there. Several Veterans from the War of 1812 are also buried there.

1819 - Visit from Governor Brown when he was making plans for the "Big Ditch" which later became the Canal.

1822 - The Ohio legislature passed a bill putting Ohio in the canal business. As the news of the legislature's action spread through the state, the hills, valleys, and plains blazed up in a bonfire celebration which illuminated the countryside as it's never been illuminated since.

1825-1847 - The canals in Hamilton Township came across Rohr Road and Shook Road to the Canal Road, then into Lockbourne. The Lockbourne Feeder Canal went to Shadeville and the Scioto River. Buckeye Lake is a man-made lake that was created to keep the canals full of water.

1827 - Work began on the lateral branch of the Ohio Canal connecting Columbus with the main channel at Lockbourne. At the northeastern end of Lockbourne was the North Basin, including Lock 28 and 29

1828 - 1st store was erected and eventually 5 more were built.

1830-1900 - Lockbourne thrived as industrial center included a foundry known for making steel & iron rims for freight hauling wagons. The historical significance of the Columbus Feeder at Lockbourne provided an additional water supply to the Ohio & Erie between the Lancaster Lateral Canal (Hocking Canal) and the slack water crossing of Walnut Creek at Bloomfield, seven miles below Lockbourne. It provided canal transportation to Columbus, the State Capital, from the main canal.

1831 - Lockbourne was platted and established on the Gahanna River (Big Walnut Creek) and Ohio-Erie Canal. The eight locks thru the Village enabled barges to be lowered toward the Ohio River. The Columbus Feeder ran from the Scioto River from a pool at Mound and State Streets in Columbus to the Ohio & Erie at Lockbourne with a distance of 11 3/4 miles long. The canal was 309 miles long from Cleveland on Lake Erie to Portsmouth on the Ohio River and was completed in 1831. A toll was paid by boats using the canal, and passengers paid a penny a mile to ride. Morgan horses pulled wooden boats that were 90 feet long and 15 feet wide and carried up to 80 tons of cargo.

The 1st syllable of Village of Lockbourne name derived from the circumstance of a number of locks in canal, to which Col. Kilbourne (1770-1850), agent for Joel Buttles, Demas Adams, and others, added the last syllable of his own name thus, Lockbourne was the junction located at the Ohio-Erie Canal and the Columbus Feeder.

1833 - Dr. Holbrook was the 1st physician and came from New York

1835 - John Marshall Minitree (age 2 years 2 months and 29 days), son of Archibald & Mary, died on March 6 and has the distinction of having the earliest stone in the Olde Lockbourne Cemetery

1836 - Dr. A.N. Boales was the 2nd physician

1837 - 1st Lockbourne Post Office built with Nathan G. Smith as postmaster. Lockbourne also boasted they had the Canal House Hotel, 5 taverns, a stock yard, a distillery, a sawmill, several doctors, a store, and a gristmill which used the head of water at Lock 30 for power.

1838 - Law passed renaming the Gahanna River to the Big Walnut Creek, reportedly from an Indian name meaning three united into one.

1839 - William Monypenny distillery was established by Daniel Kellogg and produced 100 barrels of whiskey a day and was located at the northeastern end of town. The distillery owned two canal boats, the Magnolia and the Cruiser, to haul corn and rye in and the whiskey out of Lockbourne. While a considerable amount of grain was produced by area farmers, no storage building was needed. All of the grain was used by the local distillery to produce whiskey. The distillery complex housed a cooper shop, a whiskey warehouse, several corn cribs, and a large hog lot which could accommodate up to 1,000 animals to eat the spent mash. At its peak, the distillery employed about 30 people and another 20 worked at the cooper shop making barrels.

1840 - The 27th anniversary of the raising of the siege of Fort Meigs was celebrated at Lockbourne by the citizens of Franklin, Pickaway, Licking, and Fairfield counties on the 11th of June. A table two hundred feet long was spread under an artificial shade, which Lockbourne residents and citizens of the surrounding country brought voluntary offerings of "Hog and hominy" with bountiful sprinkling of hard cider and Johnny cake, etc. Several boat loads arrived; multitudes came in on horseback and in carriages, and 2 excellent bands. A procession, numbering upwards of six hundred, slowly approached from Pickaway county, in which was Tom Corwin's Coach (The Great Western), drawn by 12 yoke of fine oxen. The Coach contained 110 passengers from Bloomfield the residence of Baer and Kellogg, the eloquent Ohio blacksmith and shoemaker. The coach consisted of Buckeye frame-work, mounted on two pair of immense timber wheels, 12 ft. in diameter, on which were arranged two tiers of seats (one over the other) calculated for the accommodation of 120 passengers. Next followed a log cabin from Jackson Township, Pickaway County, the jolly inmate of which dealt out the hard cider with profuse liberality to all such as favored him with a call. Next came numerous Tippecanoe clubs, with their appropriate banners and badges, from Harrison, Scioto, Darby, Muhlenberg, Jackson, and Walnut Townships These were met, at a short distance from the town, by the Tippecanoe Clubs of Circleville and Pickaway Townships, and citizens from various parts of adjacent counties. The crown numbered upward of 2,000 to 2,500, but the number was estimated much higher. The scene was graced by the presence of 300 or 400 ladies. The venerable J. Kilbourne presided.

1842 - Hewlett's Mill was built as a canal warehouse at the west end of Commerce Street and converted to a gristmill in 1863. The body of Daniel Crossen, was found in the Main Canal, but the verdict of the jury was that the deceased came to his death in a way and manner unknown.

1843 - United Brethren Church erected, later, meeting much opposition from rougher element which was attracted by the canal system, disbanded and the building became the Lockbourne Town Hall.

1846 - Dr. Carl moved to Lockbourne.
Dr. Marshall from Blendon Township was a physician for a number of years then became a representative in legislature in the General Assembly from 1866-1868

1848 - The United Methodist Church was erected

1851 - A record $799,024 in tolls was collected in 1851, but then declined because of railroad competition.

1852 -  Josiah Hulva Old Hotel/Tavern was built along with the Masonic Society Lodge #232 F+M granted Charter in 1853

1853 - Shadeville was established and also a Post Office was established and operated for about 10 years.

1853 - The Monypenny Distillery was destroyed by fire & rebuilt . At that time, the Village had 300 inhabitants, 2 stores, 2 churches, a post office, a school, 2 or 3 mechanic shops, 1 distillery, 2 saloons, and 2 physicians.

1856 - Lockbourne Lodge No. 282 F. and A.M.- Dec 14, 1856 set up a meeting at the M.E.Church on Wednesday evening, Dec 27th where a lecture was delivered on the subject of Masonry.

1860s - A log cabin at the North end of Lockbourne served as the village's first schoolhouse, although it's exact location is undocumented. However, according to district records, it became overcrowded in the 1860s and a room was rented in the local Masonic Lodge (located at the time on Commerce St near the canal) from 1864-1868 by the school board. In 1868, there were 119 pupils in the Lockbourne district.

1868 - Local board passed a $3,000 tax levy in April to construct new school building, additional $800 appropriated a month later to purchase land. Expenses included $12 for bricks for a wall, $13.75 paid to A.J.Carder for a well, $217 for seats and desks, and $9 for a bell. The school was located at Vause and Mechanic Streets, opposite the Methodist Church and served students until 1896, when a larger school was built at the same location. *Note:Caldwell's 1872 map of Lockbourne indicates a second school building located on Mechanic Street.

1870 - Dr. W.H.Blake became doctor in Shadeville

1874 - HAMILTON GRANGE #436 organized in Schoolhouse in Lockbourne

1875 - Several Lutheran families formed the nucleus of the group which decided to affiliate

with the Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (now the American Lutheran Church) The cornerstone for the Church Building was lain that spring and the "Formula for the Government and Discipline of Saint Matthews Lutheran Church of Lockbourne, Franklin County, State of Ohio" was adopted May 24, 1875.

1876 - Dr. Henry C. Blake (1846-1926) (Lucille Blake's Grandfather) became the Lockbourne physician

1879 - Dr. M.A. Boner 

Late 1870s - The government padlocked the Monypenny Distillery whiskey warehouse as part of their new taxation on whiskey and Mr. Monypenny quit the distillery business. This was a major blow to the Lockbourne economy

1882 - An elevator was erected.

1885 - Saint Matthews Lutheran Church decided to finish the Tower.

1887 - The 150-foot steel bridge at the west end of Lockbourne at Rowe Road was built and spans Big Walnut Creek.

1892 - Saint Matthews Bell Tower was raised 12 feet, at a cost of $159 and a bell was purchased for the sum of $144.78 from the Buckeye Bell Foundry.. Worship services at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church during the early years were held every other Sunday, usually in the afternoon.

1893 - St Matthew collection minutes listed three Sundays (January 22 -$.93; and March 5 -$.90; and March 19 -$1.48) then no further amounts were entered.

1894 - A petition drive by 28 taxpayers resulted in the appropriation of $3,000 to build a new brick schoolhouse and the board approved a 7-mil levy. The Board requested that the Board of Health ask nearby residents and businesses to clean up their pig sties and feed lots.

1895 - HAMILTON TWP HIGH SCHOOL 2 story brick 1st 4 yr. high school was completed

1897 - Taxpayers petitioned the district to hire another teacher and create another room. There were 25 students throughout the township attending high school in Lockbourne. They provided their own transportation - usually horseback.

1898 - 1st class graduated from Hamilton Township High School (HTHS) in Lockbourne

1900s - Construction of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O) grade obliterated Lock 28 in the North Basin of the canal, the distillery site, and several of Lockbourne's historic buildings.

1900 - Woods Red & White Grocery Store was built. Mr. Monypenny, who owned the distillery, died in October.

1901- Lockbourne was incorporated, the town wanted organized law and named a mayor & rented a jail

1902 - 1st Council Meeting 4/29/1902 . Eventually Council, in 1 night, passed 50 ordinances to stop prostitution. 8/12/1902-jail built 18 ft. by 12 ft. wide with a slate roof on Miller Street. 7/15- Franklin Telephone Co came through the Village

1903 - First case of Smallpox reported (Mrs. Lizzie Krider) by Dr Thrall. The Village solved the problem by hiring a doctor to care for the first case at $5.00 a day.

1904-1930 - The Scioto Valley Traction Company, Standard Gauge - third rail, was 47 miles long from Columbus to Valley Crossing, Obetz Junction, Lockbourne, Circleville, and Chillicothe with a 24 mile branch from Obetz Junction to Groveport, Canal Winchester, and Lancaster.

1907 - 11/6/1907 Village authorized electric lights from Scioto Valley Traction Company to come on at 5pm and go off at 9am

1910 - The C&O and N&W Railroads started running thru Lockbourne.

1913 - The last section of canals was abandoned.

1918 - The dedicated Miner High School opened near the intersection of Rohr and Bixby Roads.

1921 - The Eitel Grocery Store was purchased and became the BARD COON Grocery Store.

1923 - Jim Ray blacksmith shop opened making a total of 4.

1924 - The Church of Christ was erected.

1942 - Lockbourne Army Airfield, named after the Village, opened as a WWII pilot training airfield (WASPS) later on January 13, 1948 renamed Lockbourne Air Force Base an on January 1951 housed the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) After the war, flight-training activities were halted and the airfield was used as development and testing facility for all-weather military flight operations, the primary unit was the all-Black 447th Composite Group, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen , commanded by Colonel (later General) Benjamin O Davis in 1946. This unit merged with the 477th Composite group in 1947, becoming the 332nd Fighter Wing, one of the first all-Black flying units in the newly created United States Air Force.

1944 - The Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department held its first recorded meeting.

1945 - The Lockbourne Farmers Exchange was built

1952 - Big train derailment

1953 - The Lockbourne Hamilton School was closed and students attended the newly built schools located at Lockbourne and Rathmell Roads.

1954 - Masonic Lodge purchased Lockbourne school building , association w/school district full circle after nearly 100 years

1956 - James Ray, Lockbourne's last blacksmith lived on Mechanic Street and served as a Village Council Member.

1960 - The Hamilton Township Fire Department employed its first fulltime firefighters.

1961 - The steel bridge in Lockbourne was replaced by a steel stringer that lasted until 1996 when the current bridge was built.

1974 - The Lockbourne Air Force Base is renamed The Rickenbacker Air Force Base on May 18th.

1974 - The Lockbourne Youth House was dedicated and sponsored by St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

1994 - In an effort to preserve Lockbourne's 162 year old roots, the Ohio prison system along with other public and private donors worked to clear the lock and canal areas.

Submitted by: William Fischer, Jr and Dave Meyer

23 - The last lock in the flight of locks and is located near the rail spur leading into Rickenbacker
24 & 25 - Stone work has been removed, but their sites can be identified with the canal plats.
26 - West side of Canal Road near roadway which was built on the towpath
27 - West side of Canal Road near roadway which was built on the towpath.
28 - was located just east of the east line of the North Basin. Destroyed when C&O Railroad was built
29 - Northeastern end of Lockbourne over the hill on Canal Street off of Lockbourne Road located in the North Basin on an extended line of Lock St. No parcel number exists for this tract

Due to the elevation differential between Circleville and Groveport, seven locks were required to accomplish the transfer of canal boats up and down the Ohio Erie Canal System. The locks at Lockbourne were numbered #23,24,25,26,27,28,29, and 30. The Lock Tender's house was located adjacent to this particular Lock #30.

According to the Ohio Canal Plats of 1897, the lifts of this series of locks were as follows: Locks 23 - 8 feet, 24 - 8 feet, 25 - 8 feet, 26 - 8.75 feet, 27 - 9 feet. These handwritten notations are the only lock lifts found so far for the central portions of the canal. The canal continues generally northward, then turns eastwardly and follows Shook Road and then Rohr Road.

30- Located just west from "Harrison's Reserve" and in the northern extension of the Denny St. PIN 150-943 Part of Locke Meadow Park
Guard Locks- located at or near the east and west banks of the Big Walnut Creek Identical PIN 150-943

These accounts came from numerous sources including Canal expert Dave Meyer of Canal Winchester. Information was also found and submitted by William Fischer, Jr. said:
78-Lock 47, Howard's Mill, and Flowers Mill, were one in the same. The mill sat dormant for nearly 30 years next to Ganderhook Creek. On the sections of the Ohio & Erie Canal below the Circleville State Dam, all mills were doomed after the 1880s for further operations if they depended on using canal water to power their mills. After that date, the water wasn't dependable; electricity wasn't available. The mills closed. The state unofficially closed the lower end at Circleville in the early 1880s. This decision was brought on by dam failures on one of the two state dams in the area and constant repairs at the feeder at Lockbourne and the slack water crossing at lock 18 in Lockville. Around 1880, the state dam at the Circleville Feeder gave way, collapsing. With the water supply gone, the next feeder was a good 20 miles south of Circleville, 3 miles south of Chillicothe at the Tomlinson dam and feeder. The entire canal went dry for more than 20 miles. These breaks eventually ended the canal era from Chillicothe and further down the canal to the Ohio River and north to Circleville. The only southern section of the canal left open for the time-being was the Tomlinson Dam south of Chillicothe at mile 264 to the Ohio River, a little over 40 miles. Within that section sat lock 47. Business was barely hanging on but it was still operational when they had water. Before long, the other state dam, its water supply which came down from Chillicothe, met its fate. This was the most southern feeder on the canal. Its water entered at Tomlinson's Mills from the Scioto. This wooden dam which spanned the Scioto River finally deteriorated from age and rot, but held nearly 50 years. The mighty Scioto River broke through. With the canal's most southern state dam destroyed, it ended the canal era on the southern end which included the huge operation at the Union and Moss Mills and their distilleries at locks 50, 51 and 52 near West Portsmouth. The northern end suffered with similar problems also and labored, keeping it going about thirty more years. The northern end held a glimmer of hope. A plan was put into operation in 1912 to make a new southern terminus at Dresden Junction, about half the distance to Portsmouth. The southern end was completely discarded by the end of the first decade of the 20th century.

82-Hello author. The Ohio and Erie Canal and its history fascinate me. I'm at an impasse; your information seems to vary from another publication that covers the areas between the Licking Reservoir and Lockbourne. Here's the indifference, you claim at Creek lock 18 near Lockville there was a slackwater crossing. The other book has a picture of the Aqueduct at Little Walnut Creek. Which do I believe? Could the picture be wrong? Your book is a true adventure, that's for sure. --S.Marshall.Southern, Ohio
January 9, 2008 at 5:00 PM

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