Yesterday, Feb. 12, marked the 150th anniversary of the Village of Gambier’s incorporation into Knox County.
“Obviously there was something like Gambier more than 150 years ago, but [this event] is sort of being officially recognized as an incorporated municipality,” said Mayor Leeman Kessler ’04.
In 1870, a petition was written to the Commissions of Knox County requesting that “the inhabitants residing in said territory may be organized into an incorporated Village for special purposes to be named Gambier.” The petition further explained that the Village was situated inside of College Township and designated its borders.
“There are people who live in College Township who don’t live in Gambier. [But] everyone who lives in Gambier lives in College Township,” Kessler explained. He also said that the Township is responsible for certain utilities such as the Fire Department and some snow removal, while Gambier, as its own municipal entity, is responsible for infrastructure such as roads, water, waste pickup, and the Sheriff’s Office.
Being its own incorporated, statutory municipality means that under the Ohio Revised Code, Gambier has its own government, including a mayor, a council and a fiscal officer. The Village can also collect certain taxes and provide benefits and services to its residents.
“This is essentially establishing Gambier as its own distinct municipal entity— that’s what incorporation is,” Kessler said.
After being filed on Dec. 7, 1869, the County Commissioners of Knox County granted the Village’s petition for incorporation on Feb. 12, 1870.