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settlement grew rapidly.
J. H. Whetstone brought in a valuable saw-mill. The Ottawa House, which has since been, by turns, hotel and post office, stable,
railroad depot, and stable, was erected. And the old Capitol building at Minneola was taken down, removed to Ottawa, and again
set up on the northeast corner of Second and Main streets. Here G. S. Holt opened the first dry goods store in town. The rest
of the first floor was used for offices. The upstairs was furnished as a hall--known as Lathrop's Hall--and became the general
rallying place for the town and county. In it were held the courts, public meetings, festivals and entertainments; and the
Baptist Church worshipped here for the space of two years, ministered to by Messrs. Kalloch, Hutchinson, and others. Passing
later into the Wilkerson House, this historical building was moved across the alley in 1876, where it still serves the purposes
of a hotel. In July the Chippewa and Ottawa reservations were erected by the County Commissioners into a township, under the
name of Franklin Township. On the first of August, 1864, Ottawa was made by popular vote the county seat of Franklin County.
The county officers at the time were C. L. Robbins, Sheriff; H. F. Sheldon, County Clerk and Register of Deeds; John Malruff,
County Treasurer; and H. P. Welsh, Jacob Sumstine and Mr. Bicketts, County Commissioners. Among other notables early on the
ground, should be mentioned P. P. Elder, C. A. Bunting, G. W. Beeman, Judge Valentine, James Davis, E. J. Nugent, and D. W.
Zimmerman, who, without special capital, but with indomitable pluck, carried to completion two years later the Luddington
Hotel. By June, 1865, Mr. Kalloch had issued the
first number of the Western Home Journal. This paper, ably conducted and widely circulated, became greatly instrumental
in attracting settlers and building up the town. One year later Ottawa was incorporated as a town, and the control of its
municipal affairs passed from a town company to a Board of Trustees. That fall the brick public school building on Walnut
street was completed and school opened. And, under the auspices of the Trustees of the Ottawa University, two departments
of the college were started, namely, an Indian school on Hickory and Second streets, with forty pupils, and an advanced grade
for the whites in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on Main street.