Esau Decker walked to southeastern Franklin County from the Shenandoah Valley in 1805.
Legend has it Decker cut a willow cane in Virginia to use as a walking stick and, that when he arrived on his new Ohio land in what would become Madison Township, he stuck the cane in the ground to mark his property. Decker then returned to Virginia to retrieve his family. The next year the Deckers discovered that the willow cane had taken root and was growing!
For much of its history, Madison Township was known as the “garden spot of Franklin County” because of its fertile agricultural lands. The township is named for James Madison, one of the country’s “Founding Fathers” who owned land in the area. Madison Township, when it was first established, was also the largest township in Franklin County by square mileage.
Now more than 200-years-old, the township has not only been a place where crops have grown in abundance, but also where the towns of Canal Winchester and Groveport flourished and where schools and industries blossomed.
You can see photos and artifacts documenting Madison Township’s history in an exhibit through Jan. 30 at Groveport Town Hall/Groveport Heritage Museum, 648 Main St. Admission is free. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
- Rick Palsgrove, Southeast Editor, Jan. 12, 2012