Want to learn more about Lawrence County history? You’re in the right place!

Lawrence County was founded in 1816 and was named for Captain James Lawrence who uttered the famous phrase, “Don’t give up the ship!”

Captain James Lawrence

Our region was brimming with natural resources, such as coal, timber, and iron ore, which are the perfect ingredients for pig iron, steel, and cement.

John Campbell is credited as being the founder of Ironton, however he had plenty of help from his friends.

John Campbell’s home is still standing at 305 North 5th Street in Ironton.

In 1837 he married Elizabeth Clarke and together they had 7 children.

He was a staunch abolitionist – that means he was against slavery and worked tirelessly to help slaves escape via the Underground Railroad. Here in Lawrence County it followed the literal Iron Railroad.

The town of Ironton came to be because of this Iron Railroad, which serviced the county’s 23 iron furnaces. At one time, the Hanging Rock Iron Region was the WORLD leader in pig iron production!

Nannie Kelly Wright in front of Center Furnace in Superior, Ohio

Nannie Kelly Wright was the only female ironmaster in the Hanging Rock Iron Region and one of only a few in the entire world.

Tanks Stadium in 1926

Did you know Ironton once had a semi-professional football team? The Ironton Tanks were formed in 1916 and played at Tanks Stadium.  In twelve seasons the Tanks had a record of 85 wins, 19 losses, and 14 ties.

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