Place:Circleville, Pickaway, Ohio, United States


Alt namesRound Townsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS39003584
Coordinates39.603°N 82.939°W
Located inPickaway, Ohio, United States
Contained Places
Forest Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Circleville is a city in and the county seat of Pickaway County, Ohio, United States, along the Scioto River. The population was 13,314 at the 2010 census. The city is best-known today as the host of the Circleville Pumpkin Show, an annual festival held since 1903.

The city's name is derived from its original layout created in 1810 within the diameter of a circle of a Hopewell tradition earthwork dating to the early centuries of the Common Era. The county courthouse was built in the center of the innermost circle. By the late 1830s, for numerous reasons residents decided to gain authorization from the state legislature to change the layout to a standard grid, which was accomplished by the mid-1850s. All traces of the Hopewell earthwork were destroyed in Circleville, although hundreds of other monuments may be found in the Ohio Valley.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early history

By the mid-18th century, the Lenape (Delaware Indians) were pushed west from Pennsylvania by European settlers flowing into the colony. The Lenape were given permission by the Wyandot people to settle in the Ohio country. One of their settlements was Maguck, built by 1750 on the banks of the Scioto River. Modern Circleville was built to the north of this site.

The frontier explorer Christopher Gist was the first recorded European visitor to the Circleville area. Gist reached Maguck, the small Lenape village of about 10 families on the east bank of the Scioto River, on January 20, 1751. He wrote that he had stayed in the town for four days. Between the time of establishment of the United States and of the city's settlement, the land was owned by the US federal government, as opposed to other land in the county which was part of the Virginia Military District.


On January 12, 1810, Pickaway County was established by order of the Ohio General Assembly. On February 19 of that year, the assembly appointed David Bradford, George Jackson, and Hohn Pollock to choose the location for the county seat. The men ventured into the county and inspected numerous sites. At the time, the Hopewell fortifications were still intact, and were selected for the site. An 1880 history of the county presumes that the men thought the site location would spur the preservation and maintenance of the Hopewell mounds. The group was then given a director on July 25 to oversee them, with Daniel Dreisbach appointed. Dreisbach was to purchase the land, determine lots, and distribute them. At the time, the land was owned by Jacob Zeiger, Zeiger Jr., and Samuel Watt; Dreisbach purchased 200 acres for $800 to $900.

Circleville was founded by European-American settlers during 1810, as people relocated westward after the American Revolutionary War.

The first sale of property in the new town was followed with a celebration: a barbecue, and the manufacture of a several-hundred-pound wheel of cheese, which was drawn to the barbecue on a sled. A competition for the honor of constructing the first house also took place. By 1827, the town had 725 people in 102 individual houses, a courthouse, jail, government office building, a private and public school, one church, nine stores, three pharmacies, three groceries, and a market house. All were built in brick, except the jail, built in stone.[1]

The settlement was formally incorporated as the town of Circleville in 1814, and it was made a city on March 25, 1853.[1]

Squaring the circle

Dissatisfaction among residents rose over Circleville's layout, however. Some believed the design was "childish sentimentalism", and others complained that the lots were too irregular and inconvenient, and that a circular plan wasted space that could become profitable. As well, the space around the central courthouse was unpresentable. People from the countryside would hitch their horses around the courthouse, which would draw hogs and domestic animals to the area and surrounding city.[1]

In March 1837 at the request of the town, the Ohio General Assembly authorized the town to make the alterations, given the consent of all property owners in the circle. In March 1838, after no activity, the assembly authorized alterations to any quarter of the circle given consent from property owners in the quarter.[1] The "Circleville Squaring Company" was created to convert the town plan into a squared grid, as was typical of other platted towns. Later that month, the southeast corner was the first to be altered, followed by the northwest quarter in September 1838. The northeast corner was only squared in 1849, and the final quarter, the southwest, was altered in 1856. The work involved destroying, moving, or constructing buildings, grading and repaving roads, and more. Due to these changes, no traces of the original earthworks remain, beside a section of elevated ground at the corner of Pickaway and Franklin streets.[1]

The only drawings of Circleville before its squaring were made by G. F. Wittich. He made sketches of the courthouse, the circle, and other buildings in 1836, and used those and information from residents to create a map around 1860, which he made a watercolor of in 1870.[1]

A history of the county makes note that the citizens of Circleville regret the rare circular layout of the town was ever changed.[1]

20th century

During April 1967, Bingman's Drug Store and several neighboring buildings on West Main Street in downtown Circleville were destroyed when Lee Holbrook, the husband of a drug store employee, brought a wooden box containing bundled dynamite to the store and it detonated during a struggle with the store's staff. Holbrook and four store employees died in the blast and ensuing fire; nearly thirty others were injured. Holbrook's wife was not at the store and was not among the injured.

On October 13, 1999, an F-3 tornado hit the city, set off by a squall line moving through the region. The tornado touched down on the north side of town, doing substantial damage to a barber's shop and a masonry building. A furniture store was also damaged with a hole in its roof, where it was reported that items from inside the store were sucked out. Damage to nearby buildings occurred as the tornado moved east across the north-central part of town. The tornado moved into a residential area in the Northwood Park neighborhood, destroying several homes and damaging trees and vehicles.

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