A Brief History of Bexley

Bexley History


Indigenous Cultures Along Alum Creek

Indigenous Cultures Along Alum Creek

As early as 1 AD, human life is known to have existed along Alum Creek, as evidenced by a prehistoric Adena Mound found here. Currently on display at the Historical Society are Adena artifacts from the mound unearthed by Mr. McCalla on his farm in 1880 – in the area..Read More


Treaty of Paris cedes Northwest Territory to Britain

In 1763, the territory that would become Ohio was ceded by France to Great Britain as part of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French and Indian War. While the English issued the Proclamation of 1763 prohibiting white settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, this proclamation was widely ignored..Read More


1801 Act establishes boundaries of Refugee Tract

A tract of 103,527 acres was established by an act dated February 18, 1801 for persons from British Canada who fled south to aid the American cause during the Revolutionary War. In Columbus, the Refugee Tract lies approximately between Fifth Avenue on the north and Refugee Road on the south,..Read More


The Opening of the National Road and the Turnpike Plank Road

The Opening of the National Road and the Turnpike Plank Road

The opening of the portion of the National Road (Main Street) connecting Zanesville with Columbus in 1833, and the building of the Turnpike Plank Road (Broad Street) connecting Granville with Columbus in 1852, created the groundwork for settlement of the Bexley area. Pioneers created farmlands from the lush forests. Homes,..Read More


First Schoolhouse

In 1864, the first brick school house was built at what is now College and Livingston.


1875 Schoolhouse

In 1875, a two-room red brick schoolhouse was built on Pleasant Ridge Avenue near Main Street for the benefit of the farm children in the area, and just one year later Capital University moved from Columbus to its present campus site.  Urbanization had begun.


Early Community

By 1878, the neighborhood consisted of a few farm houses, the school, the small university and a growing number of permanent residents. In 1880, the first church, The Christ Lutheran Church, organized by the university, was constructed on the northeast corner of what is now Main Street and Drexel Avenue.


Early Growth and Camp Bushnell

In the late 1880’s, development took a turn which would have a profound effect on the eventual character of Bexley.  Several wealthy Columbus businessmen, recognizing the area’s quiet beauty, began building large homes in estate settings along the east bank of Alum Creek north of Broad Street. This new growth..Read More


Early 1900s

By 1906, the area north of Town Street (now Bryden Road) continued to develop as an exclusive residential community of prominent Central Ohio families led by R.H. Jeffrey, who later became Mayor of Columbus.  They established rigid building restrictions which are credited with the character of the areas subsequent growth...Read More


Becoming a Village

Barely a year after starting the association, the founders decided to incorporate as a village the area south of Town Street (now Bryden Road).  This would have left the Jeffrey community to fend for itself as each area lacked sufficient population to incorporate separately and both were unwilling to be..Read More

Early Laws

In August, 1908, the first Bexley village council representing approximately one thousand citizens, met in the University’s Recitation Hall.  With Frank P. Holzman as Mayor, the first council passed ordinances prohibiting residents from allowing cattle to graze on village property, outlawed intoxication, assault and the discharging of firearms and banned..Read More


Columbus Taxation

The young village was soon embroiled in a legal battle with neighboring Columbus.  The city regarded Bexley as annexed territory, refusing to acknowledged its incorporation, and sought to tax its residents accordingly.  Villagers protested and appointed Mayor Holtzman as an individual taxpayer to file an injunction suit. Later in the..Read More


New Marshal

New Marshal

By 1915, the village had hired its first marshal, and the council was meeting in the basement of the new East Main Street school building.  Total assets of the village were listed as a road scraper, a wheel barrow, the marshal’s bicycle and a vacant lot which was to be..Read More


Bexley Village Hall 1923

Bexley Village Hall 1923

The Bexley Village council passed an ordinance in 1923, approving a $2500 expenditure to build a village hall.  This was “City Hall” until 1950.  The building was located off of Margaret Street, north of the railroad tracks.


New Schools & Cityhood

New Schools & Cityhood

1921 was a year of both growth and plans for growth. The high school was nearing completion, and the Cassingham Elementary School was to be built soon. With the population at nearly two thousand, Mayor Stephen Ludwig undertook to govern future expansion by appointing the first zoning commission and revising..Read More