Blog 8 - A Little Village History

Blog 8 - A Little Village History

Our little house sits just outside Columbus, Ohio in the very small Village of Lithopolis running just over two acres in size.  Originally laid out in 1815 as Centerville, it was chartered as Lithopolis in 1836.

The following population chart gives you an idea of just how small Lithopolis is.

If you read our second BLOG about the history of the property, you would see the note from the original owners of our property:

The Wagnalls Memorial in Lithopolis, Ohio

Now we’re going to talk a little bit about the accomplishments of those honored in the Wagnalls Memorial. 






Here is the biography of Mable Wagnall taken directly from their website.

"Mabel Wagnalls Jones

Mabel Wagnalls, only child of Adam and Anna Wagnalls, was born in Kansas City, Missouri on April 20, 1869.  She was educated at home by her parents.  At the age of fourteen, Miss Wagnalls' mother took her to Europe to study piano.  She received instruction in Paris, Vienna and under the noted Franz Kullak in Berlin, where in 1889 she made her debut as a concert pianist.  On January 11, 1891, she made her American debut in New York City with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra.  She toured the United States after her debut, but frail health and a strenuous tour schedule forced her to give up the concert stage.

As a young girl, Miss Wagnalls was also encouraged by her mother to develop her writing skills.  After giving up her music career, she authored many books, among them being, Misere, Stars of the Opera, The Palace of Danger, Rosebush of a Thousand Years, Light in the Valley (a biography of her mother) and The Mad Song.  As a direct result of her literary career, she became a close friend of William Sidney Porter, better known as "O. Henry".  Miss Wagnalls was also a close friend of many great literary, musical and stage personalities of the 1900's such as Oley Speaks, Houdini and Edwin Markham.

In 1920, Miss Wagnalls married Richard J. Jones, at one time a law professor at Yale University.  Later, he entered the steel business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and held a position with Pittsburgh Steel Corporation until his retirement in 1920.  The Jones's established a home in Northport, Long Island where Richard Jones died in 1929.

Mabel Wagnalls Jones dies March 22, 1946 in New York City at the age of 77."

Here is the biography of Adam Wagnalls courtesy of Wikipedia.

"Adam Willis Wagnalls (September 24, 1843 – September 3, 1924) was an American publisher. He was the co-founder and co-eponym of the Funk & Wagnalls Company in 1877.

Wagnalls was born in Lithopolis, Ohio, but moved away at age 5. Wagnalls attended Wittenberg College (now Wittenberg University) in Springfield, Ohio, with Isaac Kaufmann Funk, where he became a lutheran minister. He married Hester Anna Willis, also a native of Lithopolis. They had one child, Mabel Wagnalls Jones.

Isaac Kaufmann Funk had founded the business of I. K. Funk & Company in 1876.  In 1877, Adam Wagnalls joined the firm as a partner. The two changed the name of the firm to Funk & Wagnalls Company in 1890. Prior to 1890, F. & W. published only religious-oriented works. The publication of The Literary Digest in 1890 marked a change for the firm to a publisher of general reference dictionaries and encyclopedias. The firm followed in 1894 with its most memorable publication, The Standard Dictionary of the English Language. 1912 saw the publication of the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Encyclopedia.

On the death of her mother in 1914, Mabel Wagnalls Jones established the Wagnalls Memorial Library as a gift to Lithopolis and Bloom Township. The Wagnalls Memorial Library is constructed of native free stone in the Tudor-Gothic Style. A few years later she established the Wagnalls Foundation. The Wagnalls Memorial Foundation is constructed of native free stone in the Tudor-Gothic style. This facility provides people living in the area and its visitors with a center for educational, cultural and literary arts activities.[1][2]

Wagnalls died on September 3, 1924, in Northport, New York and is buried with his wife and their daughter at Lithopolis Cemetery."

Now circling back into our personal history.  When my husband was a child growing up, he and his friends would ride their bikes into Lithopolis.  He was a country boy then, too.  He would go into Bay’s IGA to buy some gum and pop.  He tells stories of being able to ride in their shopping carts because they were raised higher than the normal ones.

Any time he needed to research something for school, he went to The Wagnalls Memorial Library by bicycle to check out a book or use their computers.

For more information on Wagnalls Memorial and Library please visit their website at:

There are a lot of folks who are trying to bring their little village back to life.  It really is thriving with antique shops, a coffee shop, a Mexican restaurant, a gym and more.  There is a well-known Memorial Day gathering where they have vendors and sell fried fish, lots and lots of it.

They also have something called the Honeyfest.  It is a not-for-profit event with the mission to raise the awareness of the importance of the honey bee on crop pollination and to educate about the science and industry of beekeeping.  For more information, check out their website:

They offer all kinds of things for all ages, artisans and crafts, homemade foods and of course honey!  This village has so many historical and fun things, it will be around for years to come!



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