Moving the County Seat to Ironton

AN OLD RECORD
On the Removal of the County Seat

Ironton, Ohio, Thursday, February 17, 1887

Submitted by Linda Adkins

We have received from J. K. KIDD, under the date of Jefferson City, Mo., February 7, 1887, the following interesting letter giving a copy of the minutes of a meeting to get the county seat moved from Burlington to Ironton:

Editor of Ironton Register—In overhauling the contents of an old truck the other day. I found the following record. It may be interesting to some of your readers and I send you a copy:
“Removal of the County Seat of Lawrence County, Ohio, from Burlington to Ironton”.

  • At a meeting of the citizens of the town of Ironton, held in the School House on the 6th of Oct., 1851, to hear the report of a committee appointed at a previous meeting, to obtain subscriptions for the erection of a Court House in this place, &c., A. O, SHEPPARD was called to the Chair and J. K. KIDD appointed Secretary.
  • The committee reported that the sum of $3430.00 was subscribed on papers, then in the possession of the committee, and that there were other papers out for subscription which had been sent in the amount not known.
  • Motion made and carried that the committee be instructed to guarantee to the County the erection of the walls of a building for a Court House, &c: that said building be 70 feet long by 65 in width and 32 or 34 feet high and roofed &c.
  • Motion made and carried that a committee be sent to the different townships in the county to induce the voters to vote for removal of the County Seat.

Committees—M. SHEPPARD, Rome tp.; J. PETERS, Washington tp.;

  • J. KELLY, Aid and Symmes tps.;
  • R. M. STIMSON in general through the county.
  • J. M. MERRILL, Aid, Lawrence, and Mason tps.;
  • J. K. KIDD Mason tp.;
  • H. CRAWFORD, Rome and Union tps.;
  • THOMAS KELLY, Perry and Fayette tps.;
  • J. M. KELLY in general throughout the county.
  • J. SULLIVAN, J. IRVIN, J. SMITH, and S. SILVERMAN, Elizabeth tp.;
  • J. CAMPBELL, Decatur tp.
  • Moved and carried that fund be raised for the purpose of printing 3000 Whig and 2000 Democratic tickets with the words “for removal” printed thereon.
  • Moved and carried that the amount of funds necessary for the printing of said tickets be raised forthwith.
  • Moved and carried that all the tickets printed by the fund raised at this meeting have the name of W. KERR printed on them for recorded.
  • Moved and carried that we will vote for W. KERR.
    All the foregoing motions were carried unanimously.
  • Motion made and carried that we now adjourn to meet at the polls.

J.K. KIPP, Secretary

 

 

Ironton Register, October 9, 1851  – ELECTION – On Tuesday next is to be held a most important general election. A full ticket of State officers under the new constitution is then to be elected, which alone will call out a full vote. In Lawrence county, however, in consequence of a local question, viz: the removal of the County Seat, the election promises to be unusually animated and exciting. Full Democratic and Whig county tickets have been nominated, and the candidates and their friends are using much exertion. We may look in view of all things for a heavy vote probably as heavy as ever was cast in Lawrence county.

As very much interest is manifested in regard to the result, we shall try to obtain the full vote of each township for our next week’s issue. In order to do this we ask the assistance of our friends, as it will be difficult for us to obtain the returns for Tuesdays paper. Will not our friends in Elizabeth, Decatur and Washington townships see that we are furnished with an abstract of their vote early on Wednesday, when the poll books are sent to Burlington. We shall try to obtain the abstracts for the other townships from Burlington on Wednesday.

COUNTY SEAT MEETING – The citizens of Ironton held an adjourned meeting on Saturday night last in relation to the question of the removal of the county seat from Burlington to Ironton. It was determined in consideration of the liberal subscriptions made by the citizens of Ironton and vicinity for the erection of Public Buildings, to enter into obligation with the commissioners for the purpose. The obligation appears in another column, and has been printed for general circulation. Ironton Register, October 9, 1851.

Ironton Register, October 16, 1851 – Election. – The election on Tuesday passed off in most parts of the county with considerable spirit. We have been able as yet to get but partial returns from the county, owing to the length of time taken to count out votes.

In six townships, Vinton has 700 and Wood 499.

For Representative, Upper gives Vermillion, Whig, 270, Anderson, Dem. 168, Elizabeth, Vermillion, 109, Anderson 147; Rome, Vermillion 80, Anderson, 100; Mason, Vermillion, 89, Anderson, 33.

For Clerk of Court, Upper gives Proctor 234, Camp, 56, Kouns 142; Elizabeth, Proctor 83, Camp, 46, Kouns 136; Rome, Proctor, 68; Camp, 46, Kouns, 56; Mason, Proctor, 88, Kouns 32; Fayette, Proctor, 4, Camp 61, Kouns 51 – Proctor leading Kouns in the five townships 61.

  1. F. Wheeler for Probate Judge wins ahead of his ticket in the townships heard from, as also does Hambleton for Treasurer.

For Prosecuting Attorney, Upper gives Leet, 383, George, 49; Elizabeth, Leet 176, George 87; Mason, Leet 39, George 77; Rome, Leet 97, George 71; Fayette, Leet 47, George 57.

For Recorder Kerr has in Upper 424, Elizabeth 259, Rome 160, Fayette 47 and Mason 90; and Davidson has in Upper 17, in Elizabeth 7, in Mason 25; in Fayette 62 and 22 in Rome.

There is but little doubt that the question of the removal of the county seat from Burlington has carried by a large majority. The vote stood in Upper, “For Removal,” 384, “Against Removal” 16, besides which 31 were cast “No Removal.” In Elizabeth, for 209, against 58; Decatur 126, for, none against; Washington 64 for none against; Fayette 14 for, 94 against; Rome, 13 for, 101 against; Mason, 3 for, 110 against; beside which Aid is reported to have given but 3 votes against, and Symmes 2 votes against, and Perry gives a large majority for removal.

Ironton Register, October 23, 1851 – Ironton, The County Seat Of Lawrence County. – It will be seen by the official vote given in another column that the voters of Lawrence county determined at the late election to remove the county seat of said county from the town of Burlington to the town of Ironton. The majority for removal is clear and decided, giving no chance for cavil or contest. The vote stood 1043 for removal, 697 against removal – majority 346. The blanks given on the question numbered 195, which counted against gives 151 majority of the entire vote cast at the election. The vote was also a full vote, being but 27 votes less than the entire vote given for Taylor, Cass and VanBuren at the last Presidential election. Counting townships, eight out of thirteen townships gave decided majorities for removal. The removal, however, is not to take place until the commissioners can provide in Ironton suitable county buildings which duty the commissioners by the law are to perform without delay, and to cause notice of said fact to be given in some newspaper of general circulation in the county.

That a large majority of the people of the county will be fully satisfied with the removal there can be no doubt. Even a large portion of those who voted against the removal were not in favor of the county seat remaining at Burlington. It would be safe to say this of the people of Upper, Elizabeth, Aid, and Mason Townships who voted against, all of whom without doubt voted as they did from other considerations than those in favor of Burlington, and all of whom without doubt we will be glad in the end that the removal is made. The fact is, Ironton is far more central than Burlington as regards territory, population and business. It is and will be the town of the county, the place to which the most people will resort for trade – both selling and purchasing – the principal place for business in general. Although some point back from the river is nearer the territorial center of the county, yet there can be no question that Ironton is nearer the center of population and business than any other point within the limits of the county, and it is more central as regards territory than any other river point, unless it be some two miles above Ironton, near the mouth of Ice Creek.

In a word the great majority of the people of Lawrence county will be far better accommodated in every respect by having the County Seat removed from Burlington to Ironton, and although the measure may work inconvenience to the few ‘yet it will subserve the general interest of the county – of the many. Ironton is henceforth to be expressed at a general election, and so be it.

Ironton Register, October 23, 1851 – BURLINGTON, OCTOBER 18TH, 1851 – Messrs. Stimson and Parker: – I am informed that some persons reported at the polls on the day of election, in Upper Township, that I had electioneered in some parts of their county, against the removal of the County Seat from Burlington to Ironton. Permit me through the medium of your paper to say that the report was utterly false. When I was in Ironton I was repeatedly solicited to take some part in favor of removal but my invariable answer was that I could take no part in the matter, either for or against, nor did I. And I defy any voter of Lawrence county to come forward and say that in any way solicited him to vote for, or against said removal. Neither did I volunteer any statements in reference to the matter, but when I was asked how I thought the vote would go, my uniform reply was that I thought it would be in favor of removal.

I have not written the above because I think that I have suffered any loss by my defeat (for I should not have been a candidate, had I not been nominated by the Whig party, and that too without any solicitation,) but I have written to show the people of Upper Township, (who caused my defeat) that said report was entirely false. JOHN S. GEORGE.

 

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