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Franklin Township, Portage County, Ohio facts for kids

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Franklin Township
Civil township
Franklin Township Hall, built 1837
Franklin Township Hall, built 1837
Location in Portage County, Ohio
Location in Portage County, Ohio
Country United States
State Ohio
County Portage
Named 1798
Organized 1802
First election 1815
Founded by Aaron Olmsted
Named for Aaron Franklin Olmsted
 • Total 14.4 sq mi (37 km2)
 • Land 12.9 sq mi (33 km2)
 • Water 1.5 sq mi (4 km2)
Elevation 1,102 ft (336 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,527
 • Density 428.4/sq mi (165.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes 44240, 44266
Area code(s) 330, 234
FIPS code 39-28392
GNIS feature ID 1086827

Franklin Township is a civil township located in Portage County, Ohio, United States. It is located along the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio on the western edge of the county. The 2000 census found 5,276 people in the township and 5,527 at the 2010 Census. The township is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area and the larger Cleveland-Akron-Canton Combined Statistical Area.

Franklin Township was originally surveyed as Town 3 Range 9 as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve and was purchased by Aaron Olmsted in 1798. It was one of the first civil townships organized in the Western Reserve and initially covered a large area. The township was named by Aaron Olmsted after his son Aaron Franklin Olmsted. It was first settled in 1805 by John Haymaker and its government structure, which consists of three township trustees, was established in 1815. Today Franklin Township is a mostly rural area largely associated with the neighboring city of Kent as the two share a common history, public school district, ZIP code, and fire department.

Name and history

See also: History of Kent, Ohio
Standing Rock
Standing Rock, located in the Cuyahoga River in what is now northern Kent, was an important landmark for Native American tribes in the area.

The area that makes up Franklin Township was originally inhabited by a number of American Indian tribes including the Mound Builders who built a burial mound in the eastern part of the township sometime during the 1st century in what would become Towners Woods Park. Captain Samuel Brady crossed the area around 1780 as part of his campaigns against an unknown tribe, escaping by leaping the Cuyahoga River in present-day downtown Kent and hiding in Brady Lake. In 1796 the area was surveyed by the Connecticut Land Company as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve. The original survey township was known as Town 3 Range 9 and contained 25 square miles (65 km2) and 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) of land. Aaron Olmstead of East Hartford, Connecticut purchased this township at a cost of 12.5 cents an acre and named it for his son Aaron Franklin Olmstead. It is one of twenty-one Franklin Townships statewide. In 1802, much of the original Trumbull County, which covered the entire Western Reserve, was organized under the name of Franklin Township. The area under the Franklin Township name included all of present-day Portage County and much of present-day Summit County as well as parts of present-day Trumbull County. The following year, the township was surveyed into individual lots. At the formation of Portage County in 1807, Franklin Township included what would become Brimfield, Charlestown, Ravenna, and Rootstown townships.

The first settlers arrived in November 1805 when John Haymaker and his family moved west from Warren to the banks of the Cuyahoga River. They were joined by John's brother George and their father Jacob Haymaker and their families early the next year, and built a gristmill in 1807. Initial growth in the area was slow, but eventually two small villages would develop due to the potential power generated by the Cuyahoga River that could be used in gristmills and manufacturing. The first village, known as Franklin Mills, or locally as the "Lower Village", developed mostly around the original Haymaker property. In 1818, Joshua Woodard arrived in the area and began constructing buildings just north of the village forming the "Upper Village" that would come to be known briefly as Carthage.

In the 1820s, Franklin Township was included in the route of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal (P & O Canal). When construction began on the canal in the mid-1830s, land speculation was rampant in many areas of northeast Ohio along the canal, including Franklin Mills. As a result, an industrial and business region was established along the east side of the river in what is now downtown Kent. Factories and mills were either planned or constructed along the Cuyahoga River, some of which either were never built or ultimately failed, due mostly to effects of the Panic of 1837. The canal officially opened in 1840, but it would be relatively short-lived, lasting into the 1860s. By 1870 the canal was completely shut down. During this time, what would become the Franklin Township Hall was constructed in 1837 as the intended home of the Franklin Silk Company. The company failed before the building was finished so the township took over the building, finished construction, and began using it for the seat of township government beginning in 1840.

In 1851, the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad was built across the northern part of the township with a station at Earlville, a small settlement that once existed along present-day State Route 43 north of Kent. Though the railroad did little in terms of spurring economic development in the township, it would indirectly lead to later economic and population growth. The creation of what would become the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad under the direction of Marvin Kent began that year after Kent was upset by the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad bypassing Franklin Mills. The arrival of the Atlantic and Great Western in the township in 1863 and the establishment of Franklin Mills as the site of the railroad's maintenance yards and shops the next year fueled a new spurt of prolonged economic and population growth in the village, culminating in it being renamed Kent in 1864 and formally incorporating in 1867.


Lake Pippen
Lake Pippen, located in the eastern part of the township

Franklin Township is located in west-central Portage County in Northeast Ohio approximately 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Akron and 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Cleveland. It is bordered by Kent on the south and west, Brimfield Township on the south, Stow on the west, Streetsboro and Sugar Bush Knolls to the north, Ravenna Township on the east, and the township completely surrounds the village of Brady Lake. Franklin Township also touches the city of Hudson on the northwest corner, Shalersville Township on the northeast corner, and Rootstown Township on the southeast corner. Within the boundaries of the township is the unincorporated community of Twin Lakes, a residential area on either side of State Route 43 just south of Sugar Bush Knolls. Immediately south of Twin Lakes is the location of the historical town of Earlville which existed primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a stop on the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad. Originally, Franklin Township covered approximately 25 square miles (65 km2). Most of the city of Kent, all of the village of Brady Lake, and a small part of Sugar Bush Knolls occupy land that was once part of the township. Sugar Bush Knolls withdrew in 1965 and both Kent and Brady Lake formally separated from the township in 1993. Franklin Township is included in the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area and the larger Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area.

Located on the western end of the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau, the topography of Franklin Township includes rolling hills and varied terrain. Lake Rockwell, the main drinking water source for the city of Akron, is in the northeastern part of the township. It was created in 1913 and impounds water from the Cuyahoga River, covering approximately 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2). In addition to Lake Rockwell, there are seven natural kettle lakes in the township. The largest, Lake Pippen, is owned by the city of Akron as an unused part of the city's water supply. Brady Lake, which is largely within the village limits of Brady Lake, is used for recreation along with East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake, which straddle each side of State Route 43 in the northern part of the township. The United States Geological Survey lists the township's elevation at 1,106 feet (337 m) above sea level at a point inside the Kent city limits near the township's original geographic center. According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2000 the township has an area of 14.42 square miles (37.3 km2) of which 12.91 square miles (33.4 km2) is land and 1.52 square miles (3.9 km2) water.


Franklin Township's climate is classified as a humid continental climate in the Dfa Köppen climate classification meaning it typically has very warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters with moderate and variable spring and autumn seasons. During the spring and summer months, thunderstorms are fairly common and the area is susceptible to tornadoes. Effects from tropical systems can also be felt, usually taking the form of increased humidity, rain, and wind, such as with the remnants of Hurricane Ike in September 2008. During the winter months, snowfall is common and can occur in large quantities with considerable cloud cover. Franklin Township is not considered part of the Lake Erie snowbelt, though lake-effect snow does occur at times. The township is in what is referred to as the "secondary snowbelt", meaning it will receive heavier snowfall totals from lake-effect snow when certain wind directions are more prevalent, but typically sees far less snowfall than areas to the north closer to Lake Erie. While temperatures below the freezing point are typical in the winter months, thaw periods where temperatures exceed 50 °F (10 °C) and even 60 °F (16 °C) are not uncommon in January and February.

Climate data for Kent, Ohio
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
Average high °F (°C) 34
Average low °F (°C) 20
Record low °F (°C) −22
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.02
Source: The Weather Channel


Initial population growth in Franklin Township was influenced by the location on the Cuyahoga River which led to the development of industrial and manufacturing jobs. Early settlers mainly came from the northeastern United States and were largely of German descent.

As of the 2000 Census, there were 5,276 people, 2,174 households, and 1,325 families residing in the township. The population density was 408.8 people per square mile (157.8/km²). There were 2,275 housing units at an average density of 176.3/sq mi (109.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.7% White, 2.0% African American, 2.2% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 0.7% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,174 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the township the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.4 years, slightly above both the median age for Ohio (36.2) and the United States (35.3), but significantly above the median age for the city of Kent (22.9). For every 100 females there were 104.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.4 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $47,750, and the median income for a family was $64,792. This compared with Ohio's median household income of $40,956 and $41,994 for the United States. Males had a median income of $43,281 versus $27,262 for females. The per capita income for the township was $28,656. About 2.8% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 0.5% of those age 65 or over. These are slightly below the levels for both the state and national averages, with 10.6% of individuals in Ohio and 12.4% in the United States being below the poverty line and 7.8% of families in Ohio and 9.2% in the United States.

Educationally, like Kent, Franklin Township is above the national, state, and local averages for residents who have attained a bachelor's, master's, or above a master's degree. At the 2000 Census, approximately 42.9% of the township's population above the age of 25 had obtained a college degree compared to 37.1% of Kent's population, 21.0% of the population of Portage County, 21.2% statewide, and 24.4% nationally.

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