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UA's History

Upper Arlington was originally located in Perry Township. At that time it was 10 miles in length from north to south and 1-3 miles wide from the Scioto River eastward. Simon Shattuck who owned a farm near the middle of the township sold a part of his farm in small lots which brought 8 families together in close proximity. The settlement was known as "Shattucksburg" but it was never intended to be a town.

In 1870 Henry Miller acquired 100 acres north of what is now Fifth Avenue, overlooking the Scioto River Valley. By 1913 the Miller family lands had grown to include the entire area bounded by Fifth Avenue, Dublin Road, Lane Avenue and North Star Road. In 1913, James Miller sold 840 acres to the Thompson brothers, King and Ben for the development of a residential community. The first homes were built on Roxbury Road and Cambridge Boulevard. However, with problems with Mexico in 1916, a temporary Ohio National Guard camp was established in the area and interrupted construction.

Camp Willis, Upper Arlington

Camp Willis

Jones Middle School, Upper Arlington

Jones Middle School, Upper Arlington: Site of Camp Willis

When the Ohio National Guard was mobilized for service along the Mexican Border in June 1916, more than 7,000 Soldiers mustered at Camp Willis, near where Jones Middle School is now located. The troops were getting ready to fight against Pancho Villa's Mexican outlaws who were destroying American property along the border. Camp Willis was organized under the direction of Adjutant-General B.W. Hough and named for Ohio's 47th Governor, Frank Willis. The first troops arrived in July 1916 and left for Camp Pershing in El Paso, Texas and began to arrive in Texas by late August. A majority of Ohio’s units had returned home when the entire National Guard was drafted into Federal service on Aug. 5, 1917, as the United States entered World War I.

Inspired by the Country Club development in Kansas City, King Thompson envisioned an idealistic residential community for Columbus. Conveniently located close to the city of Columbus, 2 streetcars provided easy access to the city, one running to the intersection of Fifth and Arlington Avenues and the other ending at Fishinger Road, just north of Griggs Dam. Not only did these streetcars provide a way for Upper Arlington residents to commute to work in downtown Columbus, but it also allowed for housekeeping personnel to come to work in the new homes.

The chosen area also enjoyed a favorable westerly winds, shielding new residents from the fumes and odors associated with Columbus’ turn of the century downtown factories, cattle pens, and slaughterhouses.

Originally, King Thompson planned to call the area the Country Club District, however, by 1917, the community had taken on a different name. Marble Cliff, located immediately to the south of Upper Arlington, was named Arlington at that time, which led to the term Upper Arlington. This term stuck, however today it leads to some confusion among non-residents as to where Lower Arlington is located. On June 17, 1918, Upper Arlington was incorporated as a village.

In 1916 the Scioto Country Club opened in the southwestern edge of today's Upper Arlington and it immediately became one of the country's finest golf courses. Forty-four years later, a young boy named Jack Nicklaus would take his first golf lesson there under the guidance of Jack Grout, the only man that Jack ever took lessons from.

The village of Upper Arlington became a city in 1941 and was chartered in 1956 with the council/manager form of government that exists today.

The city of Upper Arlington is completely surrounded by other municipalities, so its growth is limited, and land is at a premium. In some rare cases, million dollar homes are purchased and torn down so newer multi-million dollar homes can be built in the most desirable areas. Efforts are underway to preserve UA's historic homes and buildings from such actions.

Upper Arlington Rock

Upper Arlington, Ohio

Upper Arlington has a strong sense of community, with a population that has both higher education and income levels compared to the rest of the city.

The city has one high school is in an independent school district that consistently ranks high in test scores and has a strong reputation as being one of the better high schools in the state.

See also:

Upper Arlington >>

Upper Arlington's Master Plan >>