The village of Appleton is located in Bennington Township at the intersection of Appleton, Van Fossen, and Cooper Roads.  A community known as the “Cook Settlement” was first established in the location of Appleton sometime after the end of the War of 1812 by Titus Knox and a Captain Cook. The community quickly drew settlers, including the Van Fossen family, Jesse Smith, Jacob Clem, the Wright family, the Sanger family, the Carver family, the McClintock family, the Fishburn family, and the Trout family. 
Appleton was formally laid out near Cook’s Settlement in August of 1832 by Titus Knox and Carey Mead. It was named in honor of Appleton Downer, a lawyer in Zanesville who had owned a large amount of land in the township.  The first home in Appleton was built by Carey Mead, who also built the first store. Mead had anticipated that his son-in-law would operate the store room, but it was not to be. The storefront sat vacant until 1833 when Gideon Long bought the building. Long established Appleton’s first post office in that building on May 26, 1836, and became its first postmaster.
Although businesses started to pop up throughout the nineteenth century, as well as a Methodist church and a school, the village was described in 1881 as “never having attained the proportions of a town by one hundred inhabitants and has been on the decline in later years.” The Appleton post office closed on November 30, 1904, and mail service was transferred to Johnstown. 
- Richard M. Helwig, “Appleton,” in Ohio Ghost Towns, No. 44, Licking County, ed. Richard N. and Richard M. Helwig (Sunbury, OH: The Center for Ghost Town Research in Ohio, 1998), 27-28.
- N.N. Hill, History of Licking County, Ohio, Its Past and Present (Newark, OH: A.A. Graham & Co, 1881), 398.
- Hill, History of Licking County, Ohio, 398.
- Helwig, “Appleton,” 27.
- Helwig, “Appleton,” 28.