Reynoldsburg Street Names I

by Connie Parkinson

In case you're wondering how some local streets got their names, here are a few: John French, who had the area surveyed for a town, used the custom of the time, naming streets Broad, Main, South, North; Ash, Apple, Sugar, Beech, and Walnut for trees. I don't know when Jackson Avenue was named; but General Andrew Jackson was elected 7th President of the US in 1828 and 1832; and naming after Presidents is still popular. Cypress Alley was named in the 1980s by a fireman trying to get a fix on where to send fire trucks. Rickly Street, an alley, was named for Ed Rickly, justly famous in all Central Ohio for his whole-hog sausage. His plant was at the foot of the hill west off Lancaster Avenue. Ed, a builder also, erected sturdy houses in the New Addition (Highland Terrace, lots $150, $10 down, $1 a week, pay at the Reynoldsburg Bank).

After World War II Waldo Wollam (Wool-am) 1901-1967 did the same, starting with a double house on Truro Road (named for the township), then some houses on Bryden Road. The Truro Road house burned down and the lot is empty now. Waldo was an excellent mayor for three terms, a genial, practical gentleman under whose quiet guidance the town had good government without a lot of controversy. He suffered from blood pressure so high that sometimes blood spurted out his ears. His houses were well built, with meticulous joinings and woodwork finely finished by Ralph Smoots (later a Pickerington builder), then by Mel Clemens, Waldo's son-in-law. Wollam Avenue is named for Waldo. Clemens Place is named for the long-serving city councilman.

Haft Drive is named for Al Haft, wrestling promoter and owner of major acreage and of Haft Motel and Restaurant. Stouder Avenue and Lemert Lane are named for mayors Harold "Jack" Stouder and Charles Lemert. 

Palmer Road is named for the Palmer families, particularly for Thomas Palmer, who came to Franklin County in early 1803 as agent for Col. Carpenter Bradford to sell the refugee acreage Bradford had earned. Palmer lived in the area, was our first registered settler, and was a respected local landowner and mill owner. He was killed trying to separate participants in a domestic quarrel.

Rodebaugh Road gives you a choice. There were three Rodebaugh men (relationship now lost): Edward Wesley Rodebaugh 1856-1923 was a blacksmith (mentor of and partnered with John A. Henderlick 1873-1919. Their shop was located at the rear of the Knights of Pythias building [burned] and they guaranteed all work.) C.C. Rodebaugh was a local grocer who went broke giving credit. Dr. Harry A. Rodebaugh kept up to date on new medicines, went to Marysville and opened up a successful Keeley Cure sanitarium for alcoholics. Much respected, good family man, said historian Fay May. All the Rodebaugh men were Masons.

Waggoner Road has had several names: until about 1936 it was usually called Graham Road (several Graham families owned land along it), or Stone Quarry Road, for the stone quarry that operated from about 1828-1909, and ultimately Waggoner for Martin Waggoner and his brother John, both signers in January 1830 of a petition for a road from the Seceder meeting house (now Five Points) to the Jersey Road (now Clark State). The petition was signed by 66 men, ". . . inhabitants of the township of Truro and Jefferson . . ." The initial road was built probably in the summer of 1830, is known to have been paved in 1938, and as a major north-south avenue has had constant use. (See Historical Tales, p. 51.) Graham Road (now that part south of Main Street) was named for the Graham families, dependable, industrious, and influential pioneers in the area.

Broad Street became Broadwyn Drive when home mail delivery came to Reynoldsburg in late 1950s. Seymoure Hickman petitioned City Council to make the change so as to differentiate The Burg's Broad Street from Route 16, north of the city. We began to get street signs at that time.

French Drive was named to honor John D. French, who had a town surveyed. It is repetitive to say "French Run Creek" when "run" means "creek.“ Roshon Avenue is named for Clayton Roshon, grocery store owner and Postmaster in the same location. Behind his house on North Lancaster Avenue lies Brookside, a large 1950s development of small-to-medium-sized houses. Residents at the time were outspoken against the development, predicting that it would soon become a trashy neighborhood. Instead it is neatly maintained, an area we can be justly proud of.  Lancaster Avenue becomes State Route 256 and leads to Lancaster, Ohio, and beyond.

Burkey Avenue and Court are named for Wayne Burkey, who sold his farmland to the developers of Marabar. His daughters were Mary Elaine and Barbara; therefore, Marabar.

Schenk Avenue and Merringer Avenue are named for two heroic young men, Harold Schenk and Joseph "Bo" Merringer, who gave their lives to save a boy who decided to swim Blacklick Creek while it was in flood. He lived.

Rose Hill Road was named for Rose Hill, the horse farm of Daniel Hickman 1858-1892. He died following an accident involving himself, a horse, a gate, and a vehicle.

Quite a number of men were surnamed Noe (No-EE): Williams Noe, his sons David Pugh, Oscar, and Daniel; Alpheus A., Eli, Jonathan C., all farmers and most of them Masons … (For at least 200 years nearly all men belonged to some fraternal organization.) Jonathan was one of nine Master Masons who petitioned Ohio's Grand Master to create a Masonic Lodge in Reynoldsburg (first meeting March 5, 1862). Most notable is Daniel Noe, who died in the Civil War at age 17, and for whom the Reynoldsburg Post of the Grand Army of the Republic was named. The G. A. R. honored Civil War veterans. Its members of the Women's Relief Corps did much charitable work, including giving oyster suppers to raise funds. Noe-Bixby Road extends to Groveport and there was likely some important person there named Bixby.

Don Hammond was a popular local barber for years; Kay Clymer was village clerk, also for years. Charles Munson ("Mun") Laird and Hartl W. Lucks were businessmen. Ernest C. Brauning was a greatly respected Presbyterian Church elder; Bryant "Mickey" Slack owned businesses including a gas station at the traffic light, Main Street and Lancaster; Richard W. Parkinson added his own sparkle to a pioneering Reynoldsburg family; John Samuel Ayers created Ayers Addition on Truro Road in 1914. Henry K. "Doc" Steckel was a veterinarian who started Tornado Pest Control; Harold Cottingham was a realtor; Richard Daugherty (Dick Dock-erty) was an aware and competent mayor and had a great sense of the ridiculous; Clifton R. "Red" Hootman served on municipal boards; several Tussing ("Too-sing"- the name is Swiss) families lived along the road named for them: George N. Tusing was an active Primitive Baptist minister; Fred served as school board clerk, Homer, who with his family lived in a house James Reynolds had built, ran a Shell gasoline station and kept many canaries in cages there; sister Laura married Robert Lowell McClarren, DVM, for a long time our only practicing veterinarian. Perry Walz was Building and Zoning Inspector, a cheerful, talkative, very likeable man. John Hentz was an insurance salesman. All these people served on local boards, were prominent in church, charity, and community work, created businesses, or were in some way qualified to have a street named to honor them.

Musical terms were used for Roundelay, Nocturne, and Aida (Ah-eeda, an opera). Livingston Avenue was named for Col. John Livingston, a Revolutionary War veteran and not Alexander's father, and other well-known family members. Anne, Lauretta, and maybe Feather Walters were daughters of the man who, along with others, sold his land to Brookside developers.

Brice and Brice Road were named for Calvin Stewart Brice, a lieutenant colonel at age 21, attorney for the T & C Railroad, 6 years a US Senator, and influential enough to change a railway route to go through Joseph B. Powell's 300 acres. In 1833 Powell's plat for 11.7 acres became a "dry“ town named Brice. The requirement was no liquor or the town would revert to the Powell family, and it was many long thirsty years before you could get a drink there. The Powells have not tested the original stipulation. McNaughten Road, another major north-south way, is named for the McNaghten* family who came early, and whose family papers RTHS now owns.

At Brook Farm development is Lunn Court, named for Josiah and/or Dr. Lewis T. Lunn. It is told that Josiah was on his way West when he had to stop here to repair his wagon, saw the magnificent sunset on the then-wide waters of Blacklick Creek, and just stayed. William Forrester owned and ran the stone quarry. Its blue freestone was used for only two houses in town, but the stone made many US road bridges and house lintels and doorsteps, and tradition holds that one is in the Washington Monument in Washington DC. Stone Quarry Park is now on the land. Whetsel Court is named for the pioneering Whetsel family here. They are relatives of McNaghten.

 Connell Court honors our Ralph, RHS grad, ex-Coast Guardsman, active Mason and Past Master, RTHS member/officer, owner/operator of Connell Hardware which was the only hardware store and the oldest business in town for years and years. His breakfast buddies kidded Ralph about not wanting to pay for his second cup of coffee; all the same Ralph was a kind and generous man who knew everybody, quietly helped many, and welcomed kids to warm up in his store in winter.

These are some of the major streets, roads, courts, avenues, alleys and thoroughfares in and near The Burg. If you can't find one you know of, the information may be available.

* The "U" wasn't added to the McNaghten name (McNaughten) until the early 1900s