Grandview Heights Moment in Time

Wayne Carlson
GH/MCHS
Six motorcycle patrolmen from central Ohio pose with their Harley-Davidson service bikes. Five are from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and one is a Grandview Heights patrolman. Pictured second from right is Robert Livingston of the Grandview Heights Police Department.

Robert R. “Rancho” Livingston was only 59 years old when he died in Mount Carmel Hospital of kidney failure in 1958.

He had been with the Grandview Heights Police Department since 1937 and was the chief of police for 14 years.

Livingston arrived in Grandview at age 7 and graduated from Grandview Heights High School, where he was given the nickname of “Rancho” in 1920.

When Livingston sought work with the Grandview Heights Police Department in 1937, after serving in the military, the only vacancy was in the fire department, and he worked there for a short time before he transferred into the police department.

He and his wife, Ella, purchased their home at 1286 Wyandotte Road, next door to his parents’ home at First Avenue and Wyandotte.

He was well known by the residents of Grandview and was not always in uniform, often recognizable for his trademark white Stetson hat.

His grandfather founded the Livingston Seed Company, which was one of the first and most prolific tomato-seed hybrid providers in the country.

Founded as A.W. Livingston’s Sons by Alexander Livingston in 1850, they branched out to Iowa, with his son Josiah (Robert’s father) taking the helm of the Iowa operation.

In 1898, it was renamed Livingston Seed Co., and Josiah moved back to Ohio to raise his family in Grandview.

This historical narrative from the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was provided by Wayne Carlson.