What is now Franklin Square was near the center of the Hempstead Plains, and used as grazing land, and later farmland, by the first white settlers. The southern portion included oak and dogwood forests.
In late 1643, Robert Fordham and John Carman made a treaty with members of the Massapequak, Mericoke, Matinecock and Rockaway tribes to buy roughly 100 square miles upon which they intended to start a new settlement. They purchased this tract, including much of what are now the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead. The source of the name "Franklin Square" is unclear. It has been speculated that the name honors Benjamin Franklin, but he had no historical connection to the area. It has been suggested that it was named for some now-forgotten local settler or notable.
In 1790, George Washington passed through the town while touring Long Island. He wrote in his diary that the area was "entirely treeless except for a few scraggly fruit trees." Walt Whitman spent three months in the spring of 1840 as the schoolmaster of the Trimming Square school district, in the area where Franklin Square, Garden City South and West Hempstead intersect.
In 1852, one Louis Schroerer built a hotel near a tollgate (by what is now Arden Boulevard) of the Hempstead-Jamaica Turnpike (toll road). The hotel attracted an increasing number of visitors and immigrants (the latter often German) from New York City to the formerly rural hamlet. Population grew steadily until the sudden intensified surge of suburbanization into post-World War II Long Island reached the village. By 1952, the farms were all gone, replaced by newly built houses full of emigrants from nearby New York City. Franklin Square is part of the Town of Hempstead and is represented by 3rd District Council Member, Councilman Bruce Blakeman.
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