From Ohio History Central
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<p>Westerville is a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, located to the northeastern corner of Franklin County.
In 1806, the first settlers to the area came from Connecticut in 1806. Soon many other people arrived. Among these settlers were the Westervelt brothers, who traveled from New York in 1816. By 1838, the population of Blendon Township had grown to approximately nine hundred people. The Westervelts donated land to build a new school, which was named the Blendon Young Men's Seminary. By 1840, the community had grown to the point that it had its own post office, which was named Westerville in the Westervelts's honor.</p>
<p>The seminary did not survive long, but in 1847, Otterbein University, now known as Otterbein College, opened on the site of the defunct school. By this time, Westerville was growing rapidly. In addition, the townspeople had a reputation for their abolitionist sentiments and a number of residents participated in the Underground Railroad. Westerville resident Benjamin Hanby became known for his song, "Darling Nelly Gray," which referred to signals used on the Underground Railroad. Westerville was connected to the capital of Columbus by way of a plank toll road. Travelers paid ten cents to travel on the road. Westerville formally incorporated in 1858.</p>
<p>During the late 1850s, Westerville residents began to earn a reputation for opposing the sale and consumption of alcohol. The town voters passed a law that banned the sale of "fermented spirits," becoming one of the first communities in Ohio to do so. In 1875, saloon keeper Henry Corbin attempted to ignore the law. Many citizens of Westerville organized protests against the saloon. When Corbin refused to listen to the townspeople's complaints, someone set off gunpowder in the saloon and destroyed the business. Another saloonkeeper experienced a similar result in 1879. These events were known as the "Whiskey War."</p>