History of Madison Township


 
Once called, the ³Garden spot of Franklin County, Madison Township is located in the southeast corner of the county, sharing borders with Fairfield and Pickaway counties. 


Madison Township was formed on March 4, 1810 and named for our nation¹s fourth president, James Madison.   
Since its inception, the township¹s form of government has been three trustees and a clerk (now called a fiscal officer). 

The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) deems how a township may operate. Elected officials salaries are based on the township budget, per the ORC. In 1994 the Board of Trustees created the position of administrator to help oversee the daily operations.

Madison Township was originally the largest township geographically in Franklin County. It¹s fertile soil and many waterways, along with four major creeks - Big Walnut, Blacklick, Alum and Little Walnut, encouraged farming and other related agricultural enterprises. 
  
In 1876 the township and Groveport joined together with the Masons and the Odd Fellows to build a three story Town Hall at the corner of Main and Front streets in Groveport, on donated land, at a cost of $10,745. The Town Hall showed the world the community was ³civilized,² with a theater/auditorium housed on the second floor. The third floor held meeting rooms, and was later home of the administrative offices of the township. When built, the first floor held government offices in the rear and a grocery and hardware store up front, until the 1960s. The village of Groveport became owner of the Town Hall in 1996 when the township complex on Hamilton Road was completed, and the offices were moved.

Transportation was key to the township¹s growth. In the 19th century, the Ohio and Erie Canal provided agricultural and commercial shipping as well as passenger service. The railroad came to the area in 1868 further expanding shipping and travel opportunities. In 1904, the first electric traction line (interurban railway) ran from Columbus to Canal Winchester, and was capable of speeds up to 60 mph, making the trip between Groveport and Canal Winchester, in five minutes. 

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Madison Township remained primarily an agricultural area, with the towns of Groveport and Canal Winchester being the main areas of residential and commercial growth.

However, following World War II, the nation¹s population boom and resulting residential growth led to the building of large residential subdivisions, which sprouted in lands that were once large farms in the township.

As the township¹s population expanded, the need for township services - such as roads, fire  and police - also grew.
 
There were three community volunteer fire departments.  Groveport station was located on College Street and later became known as station #181.  The Canal Winchester station (known as #182) started out in a building behind 36 S. High Street, later moved into the 36 S. High Street location, which now houses the Canal Winchester City Offices.  Station #183 was on Floyd Drive in Edgewater Park.   
 
Through the years the volunteer departments came under the umbrella of the Madison Township Fire Department.   When the new station #181 was built in 1985 and is still located at Fire House Lane and South Hamilton Road.  The stations on College Street and Floyd Driver were closed and their equipment moved into the new location.
In 1996 Canal Winchester's new station #182 opened on Gender Road. 
 
A township police force was created in 1972 and based out of the College Street Fire Department.   Once the new fire station was built, the Police expanded and they took over the entire building.   In 1995 the Police Department moved into their new building on Madison Lane. 

Also in 1995, the road building was added to the complex and finally in 1996, the administration building finished out the complex.    
 
The township has five cemeteries, which are closed (no longer accepting burials).   They also maintain the Middletown Cemetery on Gender Road, and Mennonite cemetery in Columbus along Gender Road near Lehman Road.  

Today the towns of Groveport and Canal Winchester are small cities while Madison Township itself is a mix of dense residential areas, commercial properties, park lands and, true to its pioneer origins, farms.