Services & Business 1940 – 1969


Northwest Franklin County continued to see many changes and improvements in service from 1940-1969. Many families came to live in the area as 12 new subdivisions were built in the 1950s. The population of Hilliard grew from 600 to 6,000 between 1950-1960! More people in the area meant more services were needed or improved. In 1953, electric service expanded to 1,213 customers (632 were farm customers) when a hundred miles of lines were laid and a new substation and power transmission were added.

In the 1950s, the Hilliard Post Office Department moved to a larger building that had a drop off box. Now people could drive around and drop them in the box making it more convenient to mail a letter. In 1957 the first mail carrier, Ellis Vernon Gray, was hired to deliver mail on foot. The cost to mail a letter went from 4 cents in 1959 to 6 cents in 1968.

The fighting of fires, until the 1940s, was an unorganized volunteer project. There was no equipment except the "bucket brigade." When a fire broke out, the church bell would be rung and the neighbors would phone each other. All able-bodied persons who had been contacted would arrive at the scene with ladders, buckets and anything else they thought they might need. Then in 1941, Chester High and other citizens decided to organize a volunteer fire department. Chester High was elected Fire Chief with about 12 volunteers. Their equipment consisted of buckets, an axe, and a fire hose. Finally in 1944, the Hilliards Volunteer Fire Department with 28 members began its service to the local area.

In 1952, book mobile service began in Hilliard and surrounding areas bringing a collection of books from the Columbus Library. Then in 1960, Hilliard got its first building for the Library.  It was opened on the east side of Main Street, south of Scioto Darby Road. Dominos Pizza is now located in this building.


Many local businesses were popular with students. One favorite hangout was the Dairy Queen on Main St. where you could get a shake or a hamburger. Another place students liked to go to was the Rexall Soda Fountain located in the Rexall Drug store where the Big Lots shopping plaza is today.

The Russells Grain company continued to process grain for local farmers. In 1945, they built four large silos to house the grain. They doubled the capacity in 1953 when they added a new grinder and mixer. They also founded the Russells Freight Company and started a local hardware store.


Overview Compiled and Edited by Kathy Parker-Jones

[Library1950s.jpg] –photograph courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Historic Photograph Database