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Franklinton Church, 1811.jpg

Franklinton Founded 1797

Lucas Sullivant, a Virginia surveyor, made several surveying trips to the forks of the Scioto River. In 1797, being 30 years of age at the time, he founded and platted Franklinton with 220 lots, naming the settlement in honor of Benjamin Franklin; later building a church, courthouse, school, and land office for the young settlement. To encourage people to move to the new settlement, Sullivant offered free land for anyone willing to build a house along Gift Street, near the eastern edge of his plat.

The 1795 Treaty of Greenville signing with the territory's native Indians had occurred only two years prior, encouraging pioneers to feel safer settling in the new territory. The wagon roads that led into Franklinton were from Lancaster, Newark, and Springfield and to Worthington. The settlers brought with them horses, cows, and hogs, stock that could take itself to market. 

The town of Franklinton was then made the county seat of Franklin County in 1803 when Franklin County was created from Ross County. The population and town grew during the War of 1812, as Franklinton served as a staging point for General William Henry Harrison's Army of the Northwest. Following the war, the community continued to grow with the expansion of the country's railway system along with the construction of a new state capital, Columbus, on the opposite high banks of the Scioto River. Columbus's growth eventually led to it being named county seat in 1824 and Franklinton was annexed by the city in 1859. It may be said that if Lucas Sullivant had not founded Franklinton the capital of the state would not have been located where it is.

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