history of the lexington village
Lexington (Ohio), Village History
Lexington is a village located in Richland County, Ohio with a population of 4683 as of the 2017 census. The village is a part of the Mansfield Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was founded back in 1812 by Amariah Johnson Jr., a speculator who had bought vast local lands so he could sell them to other settlers.
Lexington used to have many taverns, hotels, grills, and bars during the 1800s, but most of them were burned to the ground at one point or another. By the 19th century, Jacob Cook, William Cockley, Thad Kell, Martin Kell, Sgt. Patrick Grass, Les Griebling, and Erwin Castor were the community’s most prominent members.
State Route 97 was the first road to be ever constructed in Lexington, while the Lexington-Ontario Road was the second. Lexington’s first inhabitants were members of the Wyandot, Delaware, and Mohawk Indian tribes. The hills of Lexington served as their hunting grounds and they used to bring back wild berries with them after every hunt.
The natives welcomed Watson warmly when he first came to the area with his wife and daughter, but this peace would be temporarily cut short when Watson’s pig ate one of the native’s babies. They demanded that Watson handover his new born daughter as a peace offering since she was the first white child to be born in the area. Watson would settle this argument by giving them the pig instead.
Watson named his new home Lexington in honor of his father who fought in the Revolutionary War in Lexington, Massachusetts. Watson built a water-powered sawmill near Clear Fork River in 1813, this not only helped make work easier, but it also attracted more settlers to the area, too. 1839 was when Lexington was officially recognized by the Federal Government as a village. By 1850, Lexington had completely blossomed, and anyone could get their hands on just about anything whenever they passed by the village.
Lexington had 50 businesses establishments by 1853 and many of them were competing with one another. The cemetery lies on land that was originally owned by Watson himself, and in 1857 the village fenced the area to make it a safer resting place for the deceased. Lexington Square once had a Civil War-era Gatling gun on display, but the gun was given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 and it is still on display to this day in Washington D.C.
Today, Lexington has become a place where the old is mixed with the new. It serves as the perfect little town for those who love to live life far away from the busy and stressful environment of the big cities. In case you happen to be on a road trip with friends and family, try stopping over at Lexington for a bit and explore everything that this small and humble village has to offer. Who knows? You might like it here so much that you will probably think about coming back to the place again after you leave.
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