From Ohio History Central
On March 30, 1803, the State of Ohio authorized the creation of Franklin County. The county originally was part of Ross County. The county was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. In 1812, Columbus became Ohio's state capital. Surveyors laid out the city in 1812, and the Ohio General Assembly met for the first time in the new capital in 1816. The first capital of Ohio was in Chillicothe and it later was moved to Zanesville and back to Chillicothe. Columbus was chosen as the site for the new capital because of its central location. The legislature selected it as Ohio's capital over a number of other competitors, including Franklinton, Dublin, Worthington, and Delaware.
Prior to the state legislature's decision in 1812, Columbus did not exist. The city was designed and platted to be the state's capital. The first state penitentiary was completed in 1813. The first church, school, and newspaper as well as the new statehouse were opened in 1814. The new capital had a population of seven hundred people by 1815. Columbus officially became the county seat in 1824. In 1834 the population of Columbus was five thousand people and the capital officially became a city.
Most voters in Franklin County claim to be independents. Among Franklin County's more prominent residents were a number of national, state and local political figures who either came from Columbus or stayed here to live after their terms in office. American artists George Bellows and Alice Schille were Columbus natives as was Eddie Rickenbacker, America's World War I Ace of Aces. The home of Columbus humorist James Thurber has been restored as a museum and literary center.
[[Category:Exploration To Statehood]]