ELLISON FAMILY FROM LAWRENCE COUNTY OHIO
Researched by Sharon M. Kouns
The ELLISON’S in 1819-1811, built Brush Creek Furnace in Adams County, one of the first furnaces in the State of Ohio. From there, some of them came to the Hanging Rock Iron Region. Among them was Andrew ELLISON, a first cousin of the mother of Mrs. John CAMPBELL, of Ironton, Ohio. He lived at Hanging Rock about 1832. He first came to Pine Grove Furnace, which was built in 1828, by Andrew ELLISON, who had capital and Robt. HAMILTON who had some capital. Mr. ELLISON’S children were: Mrs. Henry HANNA of Cincinnati, Ohio; Andrew ELLISON of Louisville, KY; Archibald ELLISON of New Orleans; John and Norcissy ELLISON, both of Walnut Hills, Cincinnati.
Andrew ELLISON died about 1836, at his own request was buried above ground in a coffin covered by an iron casket, over all was built a vault made of wood. See account of same in Howe’s History of Ohio, which also gives and account of the capture by the Indians of his father, Andrew ELLISON at Manchester, Ohio, in 1793. The ancestor of all the ELLISON’S was John ELLISON, Sr., born 1730, emigrated 1785 from County Tyrone, Ulster, Ireland, shipping at Belfast to Limestone, now Maysville, KY with General Nath. MASSIE they built a Block house on Manchester Island, then founded Manchester, Ohio in 1790. His son John, emigrated 1795 to Manchester. Robt. HAMILTON came from Penn, clerked at Brush Creek Furnace, Adams County, Ohio. He opened the Newcastle mines, built the Rock R.R. lived at Pine Grove 24 years, moved the Hanging Rock in 1853 and died there. His first wife was an aunt of Mrs. John CAMPBELL, which marriage was the beginning of his success and fortune.
Andrew B. ELLISON, son of John, together with Robt. HAMILTON and John CAMPBELL and others, were the subscribers to the building of Mt. Vernon Furnace in 1833. Mr. John CAMPBELL was employed by J. Riggs & Co. in keeping books and helping oversee the building of Mt. Vernon Furnace for a period of one year and ten months, and his salary made part of a loan of $1500 he made that company for his expenses were few in the woods, and he had something less than $800 when he came to Hanging Rock in March 1833. His subscription to build Mt. Vernon was by borrowing, which had to be paid in 1835 and later. For this purpose he arranged to procure funds from his father and his aunt Fidella HOPKINS of Ripley, Ohio upon his home visit in January 1835, and which he might in the summer of 1833, have procured from his two uncles, Jos. N. CAMPBELL, Judge of Common Pleas at Ripley, or John W. CAMPBELL Federal Judge at Columbus, both of whom died of cholera that year. Mr. CAMPBELL stated that the most trying experience was the first night in the woods at “Cranes Nest” or Lawrence Furnace. A cabin or shelter protected him from the weather, but there was no bedding and he had only a stove pipe buried in the earth for a pillow. Andrew ELLISON was then 47 years of age, a man of family and expected him to remain at the furnace site, Mr. ELLISON not giving all of his time to its erection. It did not take very money money to erect one of the very early furnaces.
The Hot Blast had not been invented. A small engine at base of stack, with boiler fired by stone coal, furnished the blast for one to two tons per day. And 1 ton iron required a little over two tons of the rich red out drop ore and about 250 bushels charcoal. The latter was made next to the furnace in clearing ground for the houses and farming. Two ox-carts would haul all the fuel ore and limestone. These remarks apply to furnace condition 75-80 years ago, when Union, Pine Grove, Lawrence, Mt. Vernon, Hecla and Vesuvius Furnaces were built. After 1840 furnaces expanded, made more iron with Hot Blast, and lands cost more. Mr. CAMPBELL stated that while he was clerking for J. Riggs & Co. at Hanging Rock and The Forge was building, he obtained the impression that the company did not care for his services, because they did not express themselves on the subject, so he had his trunk taken down to the river for the steamboat in order to leave. Just as it was disappearing over the bank, Andrew ELLISON happened to –py-t and called him back. Mutual explanations resulted in his remaining in this iron district. In corresponding upon this subject, Mr. John MEANS stated by letter in April 1907, that the Andrew ELLISON for whom John CAMPBELL superintended the building of Lawrence Furnace or “Cranes Nest” furnace in 1833, was his mother’s uncle. The deed to Mr. CAMPBELL for the ELLISON home (the Hempstead place), at Hanging Rock, reserves 20 feet square for a burial ground for Andrew ELLISON’S grave above ground. Mr. CAMPBELL’S uncle gave him the following recommendation in 1833:
Ripley, Ohio March 4, 1833.
I do hereby testify that the within named John CAMPBELL was in my employ from August 1830 as a clerk until about the first of May 1831, at that time I sent him with a store to a neighboring town, of which he had the whole management until 1832, all of which he managed to my satisfaction so that I can say that whatever he may engage to do, it will be performed with honesty and integrity. (signed) Wm. HUMPHREYS.
Messers ELLISON and HAMILTON, who invited Mr. CAMPBELL to Hanging Rock in 1833, and gave him early employment till 1835, joined him in subscribing for the erection of Mt. Vernon in 1833, of which they made him Manager in 1835; they also accepted him in 1837 as the husband of a young lady who was the cousin of one and the niece of the other and these were the only occupations in which Mr. CAMPBELL ever engaged.
It is difficult to realize the lapse of time since thee events in a few weeks, on January 14, 1908, it will be 100 years since Mr. CAMPBELL was born, Andrew ELLISON died 71 years ago, and Robt. HAMILTON 51 years ago.