This history of Bexley Village is from Bexley Images by Edith Mae Hamilton Herrel and Lavada Kuhn Hogg (copyright 1978, Bexley Historical Society).

By 1906, the area north of Town Street, now Bryden Road, continued to develop as an exclusive residential community of prominent Central Ohio families led by R.H. Jeffrey, who later became Mayor of Columbus. They established rigid building restrictions which are credited with the character of the area’s subsequent growth. At the same time, residents in the [Capital] university area established the Pleasant Ridge Improvement Association. Its founders pledged to organize and develop the flourishing community by building roads and cinder sidewalks, installing lights, encouraging residents to plant trees and inducing “desirable people to buy property and locate in the community.”

The Pleasant Ridge Improvement Association also pioneered the first street lighting system in the community. A Capital University student submitted the lowest of the bids, which ranged from two dollars to ninety-five cents, to install each of the sixteen gas lamps.

Barely a year after starting the association, the founders decided to incorporate a village in the area south of Town Street (now Bryden Road). This would have left the Jeffrey community to shift for itself, as each area lacked sufficient population to incorporate separately and both were unwilling to be absorbed by Columbus. Talk of combining the two groups soon began. On a day early in the summer of 1908, 144 representatives of the two communities met on the terrace of Mr. Jeffrey’s mansion and agreed to unite forces.

There was much disagreement, however, over a name of the proposed village. The southern contingent proposed the name Pleasantridge while the northern group had other suggestions. The dispute was resolved when Colonel Lincoln Kilbourne … came upon the name Bexley, a parish near his family’s home in the County of Kent, England. The name met with almost immediate approval.

In August 1908, the first Bexley village council … met in the University’s Recitation Hall. With Frank P. Holtzman as Mayor, they passed ordinances prohibiting … cattle to graze on village property, outlawed intoxication, assault and the discharging of firearms and banned slaughter houses from the area.

Originally published in Historical Herald, February 2008

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