Below is a complete listing of all Ohio Historical Markers. To find a detailed marker listing including text, photographs, and locations, click on a county below. Our listing is updated by the markers program as new markers are installed and older markers are reported damaged or missing.
10-21 Anson Williams and The Village of Williamsville / James Kilbourne and The Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike
Side A: Anson Williams visited Ohio in 1834 before he moved to Orange Township. A former resident of New York State, Williams purchased this site and the surrounding 1,000 acres of U.S. Military District lands and hoped to find opportunity for himself and his family. He bought the land for $6.00 an acre from James D. Wolf, who owned the 4,000-acre section three of Orange Township. The Village of Williamsville was laid out with 80 lots in 1836 on both sides of the Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike. Williams built his home and a hotel with a store and tavern. A hotel and tavern, owned by George Gooding and where the stage changed horses, had already been established north of Williamsville. Competition may have led to Williamsville’s decline. A church was built in 1845 and remained until 1900. Anson died in 1847, and his wife Hannah passed away in 1851. Both are buried in nearby Williamsville Cemetery.
Side B: James Kilbourne, an Ohio pioneer who led settlers to the Worthington area in 1803, was born in Connecticut in 1770 and died in Ohio in 1850. In 1805 he was appointed to a federal district surveyor position in charge of 4,800 square miles from Delaware County to Lake Erie. He surveyed and laid out several towns and 100 miles of roadway for the Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike, which was completed in 1834. Famed novelist Charles Dickens wrote of the road, “A great portion of the way was over what is called a corduroy road, which is made by throwing trunks of trees into a marsh, and leaving them to settle there.” Despite its early difficulties, Anson Williams saw potential benefit to having a tavern and hotel on the turnpike. Besides being a surveyor, Kilbourne served Ohio as a U.S. Representative and later as a member of the Ohio General Assembly.