History of Franklin Township
Franklin Township covers (22) twenty-two square miles and is bordered by
the irregular shoreline of Grand Lake, once known as the Grand Reservoir,
to the north. Its east borderline is Auglaize County, with the west border
Butler Township and the south border Marion Township. It is approximately
(6) six miles in length, stretching from State Route 127 on the west to
The Auglaize/Mercer County line. It covers nearly (3 1/2) three and
one-half miles from its northern most boundary to its southern most
The township was organized December 7, 1841 with the first elections held
on Christmas Eve 1841. The first settlers to Franklin Township were
Stephen Sprague, Abraham and John Miller, and the Lacey, Beauchamp, and
Johnson families. The Botkin family settled on the Big Chickasaw Creek.
Other early settlers to the township were William Winter, the Ballinger,
Bennett, Brandon, Long Preston, McGee, Buxton, Selby, Dabbelt, Dammeyer,
Burdges, and Trim families. Isaac Ellis, another early settler, was the
chief fur buyer in this part of the country. Descendents of these early
settlers still reside in the township and the county.
At the time of settlement, the Big and Little Chickasaw Indian tribes
occupied the township. Two township streams currently bear their names.
The citizens of the township and the Indians lived peaceably. The Indians
never gave settlers cause for alarm. They lived along side one another for
This township was, and continues to be, one of the county's best farming
districts. Grains were the crops of choice. From the beginning of
settlement, the residents of the township belonged to the important Mercer
County fair board.
After the Grand Reservoir was dug, it was an abundant supply of fish.
Wild ducks and geese were also plentiful. This gave individuals the
prosperous vocation of shipping ducks, geese and fish. It was through this
vocation that many farmers paid for their homes and farms. Fish, at this
time, went for a very high price, making it an important business.
Once the fish and game resource was exhausted, a new wealth was
discovered. Oil and natural gas were discovered in the township. More
wells were drilled in Franklin Township than any other township of the
county. Natural gas proved to be more profitable and many large wells were
drilled. This proved to be such a profitable venture that many towns in
this part of the state were supplied with gas from these wells. Two
pipelines supplied Celina, Greenville, Piqua, Springfield and all nearby
towns. The gas era was short lived, with towns reverting to coal and wood.