Reynoldsburg Street Names II

by Connie Parkinson


The article on Reynoldsburg Street Names proved popular enough that it's worth a second go at it. First, we'll clear up one known error (and wait for feedback on others). Livingston Avenue was first known as South Public Lane in Columbus. At some point it was renamed for Col. James Livingston, claimant to 1,280 acres in the Refugee Tract (p. 184, History of Reynoldsburg. . . .) John Livingston claimed 640 acres of military lands here, but the street wasn't named for him. Nor, contrary to the Eastside Messenger some time ago, was it named for Edward Livingston. Edward 1764-1836 may or may not have served in the Revolutionary War; no Edward Livingston was one of the 67 claimants to receive refugee lands.

My apologies about Col. James. As the man reflected after he told his wife he'd shave when her mother did, I should've known right then it was the wrong thing to say.

Memory can and will deceive; but in general, these are as I recall or learned them.

Not too often, you may spot a supposition from what I do know.

Noe-Bixby Road was once known as Green Road, for all the Green families living on it. The mother of our much-revered Hannah J. Ashton was Birdie Alice Green, daughter of Sarah Jane Parkinson and John Covert Green.

Baldwin Road was named for Russell Baldwin, sales representative for Quaker Oats, who served on a town board and was an annual participant in the Pony Chorus of the Reynoldsburg Minstrel Show.

Waggoner Road, early on, might have been referred to as Hill Road merely to identify it, for the cemetery just north of Main Street sits on a hill and was listed as "Hill Road Methodist Cemetery" or "Methodist Hill Road Cemetery." Its earliest stone is 1811, being used as a burying ground before John D. French and family came in 1816, for French 's wife Jane gave eight acres for that purpose. Was it originally a Methodist cemetery?  John and Jane French were staunch Covenanters.

On the Reynoldsburg 1872 map, Jackson is Street, and its direct continuation north (merely a pathway) is not named. Now, it was discovered, Jackson is Street south of Main, but north of Main the pathway is Epworth Avenue, and Jackson Avenue is farther west. The Franklin County Auditor Parcel identifications for every property on Jackson south of Main are given a Jackson Avenue address, but the crossroad signs say Jackson Street. When Dusenbery and Koontz developed Highland Terrace in 1904 they may have thought Avenue sounded more high-class. Or maybe city workers just messed up the street signs.

This further list of street names is bounded on the west by Noe-Bixby Road, north by Broad Street/SR16, east by Taylor Road, south by Route70.

Subdivision developers can have a hard time thinking up street names that haven't already been used. All these men were US Presidents: Harry S Truman (33rd) Truman Trail; James Knox Polk (11th) Polk Path; Abraham Lincoln (16th) Lincoln Lane; Millard S. Fillmore (13th) Fillmore Lane; James Madison (4th) Madison Avenue; Franklin Pierce (14th) Pierce Path; Herbert Hoover (31st) Hoover Avenue; Ronald Reagan (40th) Reagan Road; John Adams (2nd) and John Quincy Adams (6th) Adams Avenue; George H.W. Bush (41st) or George W. Bush (43rd), Bush Boulevard; John F. Kennedy (35th), Kennedy Park (not a street.) Davidson Drive was named for Jo Ann Davidson, local councilwoman and later Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Hanson Street could have been named for Capt. John Hanson who bought land here in 1806. Godfrey Circle was named for John "Jack" Godfrey, Columbus Dispatch writer and later, with Doral Chenoweth, owner of the Reynoldsburg Reporter; also, shy and reluctant 1996-1997 Senior King of the Tomato Festival (with Senior Queen Connie Parkinson, not at all shy, merely astounded.) Slight digression here: Not all are tuned into every aspect of that honor, for when Dairy Queen owners Owen E "Buck" Adams and his wife Cassie were Senior King and Queen he refused to wear the usual crown. So the festival committee provided him a baseball cap embroidered with his title.

Cypress Alley (beside the old Methodist Church) was named for the baldcypress tree, marked by an RTHS plaque, across Main Street from the alley.  It was planted 125-150 years ago, by Samuel Chamberlain 1844-1912. Baldcypresses are conifers related to redwoods.   They shed their needles in fall and only rarely survive Northern winters.

Taylor Road and Taylor Square could have several derivations: the early 1800s Taylor family who came here from Truro, Nova Scotia, which included Robert who named our township; David, cattle drover, strong man, owner of several thousand acres in Truro and Jefferson Townships, platted “Taylor's Station" and sold lots for a town there, also built "Westcrest," of which RTHS has a model and which had seven outside doors; Abiather Vinton, 1830 surveyor of Waggoner Road, and in 1831 of John French 's land; or the various later Taylor families that included Zella, well-known piano teacher, Frank, real estate mogul,  Frank G., Reynoldsburg general practitioner, Drs. Walter Boivin (W.B.) and Kenneth Taylor, general practitioners in Pickerington; dentist Dr. George Taylor; Georgia (m. Headley), a long-time teacher here. Less likely, they are named for President Zachary Taylor (12th).

Redman Lane commemorates Bernard Redman, who served several town posts, and who, with Evan Williams and others, donated the land the old quarry stood on and donated it to the city for Pine Quarry Park. Evan was handsome; so was his wife Evelyn; they founded Williams Trailer Sales soon after WWII, and kept and rode horses. Carrousel Drive is another music-referenced subdivision street. Walnut Hill Boulevard refers to Walnut Hill Farm, a large egg farm once on Livingston Avenue. Highbanks was a swimming hole in Blacklick Creek. Ayers Drive was called after John Samuel Ayers, originator of the Ayers Addition on Truro Road.

Pickering Drive is so called for the numerous Pickering families who, without my trying to identify them all, founded towns, served in county offices, and owned businesses, including a clean and attractively cluttered second-hand store on Columbus's High Street, and the local meat market. King Pickering, Franklin County Sealer of Weights and Measures, was a genial, well-known local character who sat on a chair on the sidewalk right outside his house on Main Street and talked to passersby. Once King got a broken leg. His hat blew off, and when he hurried into the street to retrieve it, he failed to notice an oncoming car. Said King, "And don't you know, that s.o.b. hit me?"

Chances are good that Reynolds Crossing Drive is named for James C. Reynolds (see page 3, September 2016 Courier.) Bartlett Court honored Walter Bartlett.

Penick (Pea-nick) Drive was named for a farming family east of The Burg. Marty Drive was so called for John (?) Marty and/or for his wife Carol, a good-looking soprano with a big beautiful voice. Goss Place got its name from Wayne Goss, a local contractor. Ralph Shively's name was used for Shively Road. Ralph, a Mason, served on the planning/zoning board.

All these people had jobs, in addition to working to improve The Burg.