Services & Business 1900 – 1939


People living in Northwest Franklin County at the turn of the century saw many changes. Life became much easier with new services. One big change came in 1915 when electricity came to Hilliard. 212 customers in the area had electricity. In 1919 streetlights were added in Hilliard to help people to travel at night. Another service that made life easier was the telephone. In 1901 the Hilliard West Jefferson Mutual Telephone Company began. Then in 1904, the Central Union Telephone Company also started. Having two phone companies sometimes was frustrating because if you called someone who used a different phone company you had to pay a toll, even if they only lived a few houses away. When you wanted to call someone, you picked up the telephone and spoke to a switchboard operator. You told her who you wanted to talk with and she would connect you.

In the early 1900s the post office continued to improve its service. Using cars made mail delivery easier and faster. It also increased the mail delivery area. In 1917 there were 5 rural routes. Each carrier would travel 24 miles per day. In 1933, it cost 3 cents per ounce to mail a letter.

In 1915 the first library in the Hilliard area opened. This library was not a permanent library. It was a traveling library created by the State Library. The library was open to the public from 2:30-4:30 on Thursday afternoons and 7:00-9:00 on Saturday nights. Then in 1939, Hilliard became the eleventh library branch in the Columbus library system. It was located in the high school (where Scioto Darby Elementary no stands).

The Police department in the Village of Hilliards began in 1916 when Hosiah Romick was appointed as marshal. The first jail was built on Norwich Street in 1929. It consisted of an office and two cells. Prisoners held over night had their meals supplied by their families and sometimes by the marshal's wife.


In the early 1900s, many businesses opened making life easier. Several dry goods and grocery stores opened in the area making grocery shopping more convenient. In 1903, the first bank, the Merchants and Farmers Bank, was formed and located in the Westerweller Building on Main Street. In 1914, the bank built a new building at the corner of Main and Norwich Streets. In order to make room for the bank, the Hotel Franklin was moved to Norwich St. In 1932 the Russells Grain Company opened. This mill was used to dry and grind grain from local farmers.


Overview Compiled and Edited by Kathy Parker-Jones