About Lawrence County

About Lawrence County, Ohio

In the year 1803 a patent was issued to Luke Kelly for Sec. 9 and 14 in township 1 north of the Ohio River base containing 662.25 acres. This patent was issued by the United States Government and signed by Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States and James Madison, Sec. of War. This was the method of purchasing public lands by an Act of Congress in 1800. The lands hereabouts were under the North West Territory. He paid $1324.50 averaging $2.00 an acre which he paid in six installments and completed his payments before maturity of his final one fourth. He saved an eight per cent per annum allowed for prompt payments.


Lawrence County, Ohio borders the Ohio River at the Southernmost part of the state. Six architecturally interesting bridges span the Ohio River, connecting Lawrence County with various locations in both Kentucky and West Virginia. Because of these bridges, metropolitan Ashland, KY and Huntington, WV are just minutes away from virtually anywhere in the county.

Lawrence County Ohio was organized December 20, 1816, the first Court of Common Pleas was organized March 4, 1817. The first election was held April 7, 1817, with Joseph Davidson, Joel Bowen, and David Spurlock elected county commissioners. Their first meeting was held Monday afternoon, April 21, 1817, at the home of Joseph Davidson in Burlington. It was named after Capt. James Lawrence, a native of Burlington, NJ and a gallant naval officer of the War of 1812.

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