Granville’s beginnings


Denison professor and author Bill Kirkpatrick at the Granville Historical Society Museum

The origin of our little village is the subject a new book by Assistant Professor of Communication Bill Kirkpatrick.

The Founding of Granville, Ohio, which is the first book in a series from the Granville Historical Society, delivers a fascinating story of settlers from Granville, Mass., their migration, the founding of the village in 1805, the War of 1812, and the coming of prosperity to the place where Denison University was born in 1831.

The Granville Historical Society was created in 1885, and one of its founders, Francis W. Shepardson, graduated from Denison in 1882, just three years earlier. That was the beginning of the close relationship between the college and the society that has blossomed over time.

A number of Denisonians have served as officers and members of the group’s Board of Managers over the years. Among these are the current Granville Historical Society president, Professor Don Schilling (history); vice president, Cynthia Cort (library); editor of the society’s quarterly newsletter, Professor Tony Lisska (philosophy); board managers, Kirkpatrick and Professor Karen Graves (education). Kirkpatrick is also the editor of the entire pocket history series.

Volunteers who have retired from Denison include former society presidents Tom Martin (advancement) and Maggie Brooks (public affairs); board manager, Stewart Dyke (public affairs); archivist, Flo Hoffman (library); and Lyn Boone (advancement), who serves on the society’s Publications Committee.

Subsequent Granville Historical Society Pocket History books scheduled to be published in the coming year include Granville’s Industrial Past by Theresa Overholzer, The Role of Transportation in Granville’s History by Tom Martin, Granville’s Cemeteries by Theresa Overholzer, and Granville in the Civil War by Kevin Bennett.

The books can be ordered for $4.99 each by calling the Granville Historical Society at (740) 587-3951, or writing to them at P.O. Box 129, Granville, OH 43023. They also can be purchased at the Granville Historical Society Museum on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., or at Readers Garden Book Store at 143 E. Broadway, Granville. To learn more about the Granville Historical Society, its museum, and Kirkpatrick’s new book, visit

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4:08 PM January 31, 2012

Emma webber wrote:

As a High School graduate of 1935, My memories of Granville are of the 20’s and 30’s of the last Century….I was one of the Missionary kids, of the Latta fanily….there were Darrows galore and Springs and Geils and Hannas……and Jimmy Marrow, our Lawyer and Undertaker of the town. I’ll be buying Kirkpatrick’s book,yes..


2:44 PM February 1, 2012

laura enos wrote:

I have always believed that Denison was a New England college that happened to be located in Ohio, and I suggest Denison should present itself as such to prospective students and faculty. There is no material difference between Granville and the small villages in New England where the small Ivy’s are located.


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