Barnabas Phinney (ca. 1813-1899) came to the area in 1838, and purchased 60 acres of land near the northwest corner of today’s Henderson Road and North High Street. In addition to farming, Phinney was an investor in the toll road running from Columbus to Worthington, and in the electric streetcar company. His house was said to be majestic. He and his wife had no children, and after his death most of the property was sold. A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) p. 872 excerpted here. His obituary from the Columbus Dispatch January 30, 1899 is here.
Another one of the first families of Clintonville was the Cooke family. According to the family’s history, Roswell Cooke (1764-1827) came to Ohio with his wife and five children in 1800 from Connecticut. His two eldest sons, Rodney and Chauncey, took up land 6 miles north of the state house, their farms adjoining (in the vicinity of Cooke Road and North High Street). They cleared the land and both erected “houses out of round, unhewn logs, with puncheon floors and primitive fire places, with mud-and-stick chimneys.” The brothers lived the rest of their lives on these farms. Family history states that in 1827 they constructed one of the first grist and saw mills on the Olentangy River, which later became known as the Whipp and then as the Weisheimer Mill. They also operated a distillery. (Photo courtesy of Terry Miller.)
Rodney’s son, H.C. Cooke, was born in 1825, and took up residence on the old Cooke homestead at 4243 North High Street. Over time H.C. amassed 300 acres. He was a successful businessman, including in the stock business, and then owned the firm Cooke, Grant & Cooke, contractors in the construction of heavy masonry for railroad and other bridges. He was one of the officers of the Worthington & Columbus streetcar line. (You can click on this map to enlarge it.) (Photo courtesy of Carl Cooke.)
Just a bit more background information. The current name of the company Henry C. Cooke founded is the Fritz-Rumer-Cooke Co., Inc. They are still in business. The Secretary of State’s website states that one of their prior names was the Fritz Rumer Cooke Grant Company, changed to Fritz-Rumer-Cooke Co., Inc. in 1918. The company’s website states that it was founded in 1879 and incorporated in Ohio in 1911, and is still managed by descendants of the Cooke family. (This information courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.)
Another noted family in the vicinity of Henderson and High Street was the Armstrong family. Henry C. Cooke’s daughter Flora had married Llewellyn Armstrong. This is their house on the corner of Cooke Lane and High Street. A caption by Lulu Pearle Browne (Ohsner) also states “Clem Cooke [a son of Albert C. Cooke] born here—when first built Al and Lulu Cooke lived here.” (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)
Alice Cooke (daughter of Henry C. Cooke) married Charles Hess, a great grandson of Clinton Township pioneer Balser Hess. Alice had been a teacher at Clinton School. The Cooke-Hess house and farm were located just south of the corner of Henderson and High between Deland and West Cooke Roads on the west side of High Street, opposite the Ed Cooke home. The house was originally the home of Henry and Abigail Cooke. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)
Orlando Aldrich was a prominent lawyer and OSU law professor. Aldrich was the first president of the Worthington, Clintonville & Columbus Street Railway Company and served in this position from 1891 to 1898; he subsequently held an office of the Columbus, Delaware, & Marion Electric Railway. Aldrich had purchased 23 acres of land on the southwest corner of Henderson and North High in 1882; it was a fruit farm called Maple Grove Farm. Aldrich had three great hobbies: horticulture, collecting great art, and collecting rare books about archaeology, and he engaged in these avocations from his lovely house located about where Maple Grove Church parking lot is located today. A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) pp. 280-282, excerpted here.
The land just south of Henderson and High was originally owned by Asa L. Parker, and was called Maple Grove Farm. Parker had purchased the land at sheriff’s sale in 1875 for $3,144. Judge Orlando W. Aldrich acquired the land from Parker in 1882, for the sum of $10,000. The old Aldrich home was charming, with a tower jutting two stories above the roof of the house. Judge Aldrich had used the tower as a study and a personal art gallery. From it one got a very good view of the Ohio State University buildings and the river valley. (Drawing by Bill Arter)
The farm remained in the Aldrich family until 1923, when Charles F. Johnson purchased it and sold it in turn to Frank Sweigart. Sweigart remodeled the house, converted it into what has been variably called “Southern Colonial” or “Greek Revival”, and moved it so that it would face Aldrich Road instead of High Street. The house was later demolished to make way for a parking lot.
Frank Sweigart worked for Charles F. Johnson for eight years. Sweigart was a sales manager, treasurer and then advertising manager under Johnson. He was also on the educational committee of the Columbus real estate board for two years. and a member of the state educational committee. He eventually resigned from Charles Johnson’s employ to become vice president and general manager of J. E. Martindill Inc., and was in charge of Marburn, a country estate development on Olentangy River Rd. This is a picture of him in 1923, given to me by his granddaughter Karen.
He eventually owned the house which stood just south of the southwest corner of Henderson and High Street. Here’s a picture of his wife, Anna Sweigart, and six of her children on the porch of that house at 22 Aldrich Rd. Her sister is also in the picture. Frank Sweigart is the one taking the photo. (Photos courtesy of Karen Sweigart Longava.)
Ed Cooke was one of the sons of H. C. Cooke. This was the house of Ed Cooke; it was located on the east side of High Street where the Beechwold Theatre building—now the Columbus Sports Connection– now stands.
This is a picture taken from Ed Cooke’s yard, looking northwest toward the Webster and Browne homes. According to the picture caption written by Lulu Pearle Browne (Ohsner), the fence at the right divided Ed Cooke’s “dooryard” and “barnyard;” and a hollowed stone watering trough stood under the big tree at the corner of the picket fence to water horses going and coming from the barnyard. The larger figure standing in High Street looking north is Al Cooke. The barn across High Street is the Hess barn. (Photos courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)
Albert Clement Cooke (shown here) was one of the sons of H. C. Cooke. To the right is a picture of Albert’s house.
Albert’s land was in modern times rented for a Sandy’s restaurant, which later became a G.D. Ritzy’s ice cream parlor. Albert’s son was the first OSU athlete to participate in the Olympics; he ran in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. Albert’s grandsons Carl and Grant Cooke still live in central Ohio (Photos courtesy of Carl Cooke)