Staff Book Reviews

History of Franklin County by William T. Martin, 1858

by BPL Team Member David

Written in 1858, William T. Martin’s History of Franklin County shares stories of the early settlement of Franklinton, by Lucas Sullivant, and how Columbus was formed as the site of Ohio’s capital. Written before the Civil War it is a rare account of the early history of places, such as the State Penitentiary and Columbus Canal, long since demolished and events, including the execution of Leatherlips, long forgotten. Illustrated with several early views Martin’s history is both educational and enjoyable.

Though original editions are rare and a 1969 reprint somewhat difficult to find this book is an easy find online. It as well as countless other volumes that have entered the public domain can be accessed via HathiTrust, a digital library founded in 2008. A collaborative effort of academic and research libraries, HathiTrust provides digital access to over 17 million digitized items. Go to and search for “History of Franklin County Ohio William Martin,” or any topic you desire.