Thursday, May 22, 2014

#MarionCounty, Ohio: What In The World Is A Township?

 Marion County, Ohio: The History and Culture

Welcome back to my blog. Last week I introduced you to a small village in the Green Camp Township of Marion County, Ohio known as Green Camp. Green Camp plays a vital role in my latest book, Field of Grace.

Whenever someone is learning about government we usually learn the hierarchy works like this:


Most of the times, unless you are from an area that has them, you rarely hear about townships. 

Townships are all over the place in Ohio and it's hard to forget if your from Ohio that some states don't have them.  Marion County, Ohio has fifteen townships. 

  • Big Island
  • Bowling Green
  • Claridon
  • Grand
  • Grand Prairie
  • Green Camp
  • Marion
  • Montgomery
  • Pleasant
  • Prospect
  • Richland
  • Salt Rock
  • Scott
  • Tully
  • Waldo

So what is a township?

It depends on the state. In the United States, there are two ways to define a township. 

1) A survey of land within the county that is defined by the Public Land Survey System.

2) A unit of government. The township acts as a municipal corporations and is subordinate to the county they reside in. How much governing power a township has depends upon the state. 

Marion County, Ohio's townships actually fit both of these definitions. The map above shows the location of the townships and the towns located in each one. There are some very interesting historic maps of each of the townships from 1878 located here

Marion County, Ohio was a part of Delaware County until 1820 but wasn't officially recognized until 1824. The City of Marion was platted north of Jacob's Well in 1822 by Alexander Holmes with Eber Baker as his agent. Mr. Holmes sold lots of the city to settlers. My family was one of those who moved into Marion when it was established. The city and the county were named after the Revolutionary War hero, General Francis Marion (aka: The Swamp Fox).

A local legend claims Jacob Foos, a surveyor for General Harrison's army during the War of 1812, woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible thirst. He told his companions he was going to dig until he either found water or hell. Foos found a spring on top of a small hill. He established a well known as "Jacob's Well. The location was used as a stopover for soldiers along the trail between Fort Franklin (Columbus) and Toledo. Jacob's Well is located where the Marion Towers stand on Delaware Avenue. 

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