The History of Columbus, Ohio

Columbus is the capital of Ohio. It is currently the most populous city in Ohio. Initially, The history of Columbus OH dates back to the year 1797 when the first settlement was erected by Lucas Sullivant west of Scioto. Columbus was not the state capital. Due to its location and access to good transport routes and channels (primary rivers), the legislature chose Columbus as the state capital over Worthington,Dublin, Delaware and Franklinton. Columbus was then laid in 1812 after this decision. In 1816, Columbus was later made the capital.

City slots were put up for sale. This made Columbus grow significantly within a short period. A penitentiary was built by 1813 and in 1814 a school, a newspaper and the first church was established. The statehouse was also built during this time as well. Columbus grew rapidly by 1815 and in 1824 it became the county seat. Columbus was already elevating to city status by 1834 having an estimated population of four thousand inhabitants. In 1834, John Brooks was elected as the first mayor.

Due to its proximity to major transportation routes, Columbus rapidly grew economically despite suffering as a result of the 1819 panic. An eleven mile canal connecting Columbus and the Ohio Erie canal was later erected in September 1831. Columbus was also connected to Cumberland, Maryland by the National Road which was later extended to Illinois. Columbus served as a prison for the confederate soldiers during the civil war. Conditions worsened during the war and before the confederacy surrender in 1865, Fort Chase had about 10,000 prisoners and 2,000 men died that time.

Army camps were erected everywhere even in the statehouse grounds as young men came for training. Camp Chase was the largest one but also there was the Columbus barracks which was situated where Ft Hayes is today. The penitentiary also housed soldiers in training.

A great number of inhabitants left Columbus. This made it difficult to reside in Columbus. The residents were affected by diseases and poverty. Some people stayed and once again the living standards started improving. The rail network built during the war enhanced the connection between Columbus and the rest of the world. Telegraph lines that connected Columbus to other areas were also erected.

The Grand Army of the Republic(GAR) was later created to advocate for rights and the welfare of veterans. GAR met in 1888 in Columbus with over 250,000 veterans visiting. By that time Columbus had about 80,000 inhabitants. To curb traffic an overpass on North High Street was constructed. Natural gas Arches lit the city and were embraced after the veterans left. Columbus then became the Arch city. In the 1900s the arched lights were replaced by globed street lamps as they were expensive to maintain. They were later re-introduced by the Short North in the early 2000s and have since become a reminder of the old era.

As the capital, private and public schools were built and Columbus became a social activities and learning center. Columbus also housed two universities- The Capital and the Ohio State Universities. Industrialization kicked off and in the mid 1900s, Columbus had over 200 factories. Despite this growth, Columbus was not the largest city.

Columbus grew and prospered in the 20th century. In 2010, the city had the largest population in Ohio. It has also experienced territorial growth over the years as it annexed land in the 19th century.