Joy of Medina County Magazine March 2020

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Joy of Medina County Magazine | March 2020


was only an investment to profit from, said Boruvka. Henry Remsen bought 4,282 acres from Granger for almost $15,000. Granger then sold the remaining 10,847 acres of the future township to Anthony Low, Burt Codding, James Gaynard, and Elizur Hills for $44,800. Low, Codding, Gaynard, and Hills were all farmers from the Canandaigua Finger Lakes area of New York who were ready to farm the fertile Ohio soil. At that time, the land was abundant with wildlife, including wolverines, bears, wolves, otters, turkeys, foxes, beavers, and rabbits. It did not take long for word to spread of the rich farmland that was available and for people to arrive seeking a piece of good fortune, increasing the population and the need to become an official township. Among the names considered for Granger Township were Codding, after the Codding family, the first family to settle on the land that was to become the township; Berlin, after Berlin, New York; and Ontario, a New York county. Berlin and Ontario were JoAnn Boruvka holds open the township office door for Roberta Gifford. The two women are co-chairs of the Granger Township Bicentennial Committee. considered because many of the early settlers of the township had come the Connecticut Land Company, which was formed from that area. by 36 investors. Lots were drawn to determine Since Granger was chosen over Codding, a nearby ownership of sections of land. area was named Coddingville. While never a Judge Oliver Phelps became the owner of several township, it still bears the Codding name. townships, some city lots in Cleveland, and part “It’s just a bump on the map,” quipped Ken owner of the land that would become Granger Codding, a descendant of the original Codding Township. However, the land could not be opened to family. settlers because the American Indians first had to be “It was the consolation prize,” said a smiling Ellen removed and the land surveyed and parceled. Codding, Ken’s wife. In 1809, Phelps died deeply in debt, according to The township’s first officials allegedly were chosen Boruvka. To settle his almost $43,000 in debts, by drawing names from a hat, even though the 1803 Phelps’ daughter sold the land, which eventually Laws of Ohio outlined how officials were to be ended up in Gideon Granger’s hands in 1811. chosen involving a very specifically designed ballot Granger was a lawyer and was the postmaster box, according to Boruvka. general while Thomas Jefferson was president. He People continued moving into the township over never stepped foot in the township, because to him it continued, Page 6