LAWRENCE COUNTY OHIO
Written and researched by Sharon M. Kouns
The following stories relate to the Hoge, Poage, Pogue, Campbell, Wilson, and related families. Charles Campbell that writes this first article was the son of John Campbell, the founder of Ironton. I
Sharon M. Kouns
SEMI-WEEKLY IRONTONIAN, FRIDAY, MAY 01, 1908
CHAS. CAMPBELL WRITES OF OLD FAMILIES
The following communication appears in an issue of The Ohio Magazine:
To the Editor:
Some recent genealogical facts stated in correspondence to The Ohio Magazine prompts me to offer the following regarding two old families of Virginia and Ohio:
THE HOGE FAMILY
Near Winchester, Va., lived William Hoge and wife, (Miss Hume), after emigrating from Scotland to New Jersey; thence to Delaware, to Pennsylvania, finally to Opeekon Creek, Virginia, becoming the first settlers there. Their son James was born in Pennsylvania, and went to Virginia in 1735, and died June 2nd, 1795. Their grandson Moses Hoge, attended Liberty Hall, now Washington and Lee University in 1778, received from it jointed with the Rev. William Wilson and others, the degree of A. B., in 1785, and was made President of Hampden-Sidney College, Virginia, 1807. He married twice: First, to Elizabeth Poage, August 23, 1783, daughter of John Poage. She died June 18, 1802; second to Mrs. Susannah Hunt, October 23rd, 1803, daughter of Joel Watkins. In 1787 he moved to Sheperdstown, Va. There were three sons by the first wife, all ministers, Rev. James Hoge of Columbus, Ohio; John Blair Hoge, who died early and was buried at Martinsburg, Va., and Samuel Davies Hoge, who died young, the father of Rev. Moses D. Hoge, D. D., of Richmond, Va.
Three miles north of the site of Staunton, Va., then called Beverly’s Mill place, lived Robert Poage, his wife and nine children, emigrants, May 22, 1740. They located on the pike on 772 acres; his will was proved March 6th, 1774. One daughter married Robert Breckinridge, son of Alexander Breckinridge, and was his first wife; they have two sons – Robert and Alexander, both prominent in Kentucky. His second wife who was Lettuce, daughter of John Preston, emigrant. The two Robert Breckinridge, and John Preston were the ancestors of the renowned families of those names in the South and West. Robert Poage’s son, John was the father of Elizabeth Poage, first wife of Rev. Moses Poage, whose descendants are famous in the Presbyterian pulpit. Thomas Poage, another son had two daughters who married brothers named Wilson. Elizabeth married Rev. William Wilson, born 1751, graduate and A. B. tutor, and trustee for twenty-five years of Washington College, Va.; pastor, 1780-1811, of Augusta Church, organized 1737, eight miles north of the site of Staunton, Va. Polly Poage married the Hon. Thomas Wilson, M. C., of Morgantown, Va. Their son, Edgar Campbell Wilson was a member of Congress in 1832, and their grandson, Eugene M. Wilson, in 1868. Bishop Alpeheus Wilson of Baltimore, is a grandson. Rev. Norval Wilson was a son, prominent in Alexandria in 1832; and a daughter, Mrs. Louisa Ann Lowrie, whose letters were published, was the second cousin of Rev. James Poage. She died in 1833, a missionary in Calcutta, India, the wife of Rev. John C. Lowrie, sixty years connected as secretary, etc., with the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, Moderator of the General Assembly, in 1865, son of U. S. Senator, Hon. Walter Lowrie of Pennsylvania. The Wilson Scotch ancestor located in Ulster, Ireland; a son James, born 1715, emigrated very young, to Philadelphia; 1771, moved to Rock Bridge, Virginia, and was an elder in New Providence Church; appointed 1775 with Captain Charles Campbell by Hanover Presbytery to solicit funds to establish Augusta Academy, the germ of Washington and Lee University, on James Wilson’s lands on Mount Pleasant, afterwards inherited by his son, Moses Wilson. Elizabeth, daughter of Jas. Sister of Hon. Thomas Wilson, born 1758, married (1775) Wm. Campbell, and they were the grandparents of John Campbell of Ironton, Ohio, and were located five miles north of Staunton, Va., on the pike.
The two first cousins were named John Wilson Campbell – one a Federal judge at Columbus, Ohio, who died in 1833, and the other a graduate of Washington College, and a historian of Virginia. He died in 1842. The first married Eleanor, daughter of Col. Robert Doak, who in 1740 secured the Presbytery the services of Rev. John Craig, the first minister of the Valley of Virginia, the predecessor of Rev. William Wilson in Augusta Church. The second John Wilson Campbell of Petersburg, Va., bookseller and publisher married Mildred Walker Moore, the great grand-daughter of Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia. His brother, Dr. Samuel L. Campbell was the second President of Washington College, in 1798, now Washington and Lee University. He married Sally the sister of Rev. Dr. Archibald Alexander, President of Hampden-Sidney College whose memory is dear to the Presbyterian Church as its exponent and profound theologian, who won the hearts of men. Dr. Campbell, an able writer, is quoted at length by Foot and others. His peon to the Mount Pleasant location of Augusta Academy has not been successful imitated. Charles Campbell, Historian of Virginia (1860) son of John W. Campbell and Mildred Walker Moore, was the second cousin of John Campbell of Ironton, Ohio. All the families mentioned were Scotch Irish, all were Presbyterians up to 1800 and very few have changed since.
Rev. John Poage Campbell was my grandfather Charles’ second cousin. Rev. Campbell died at Chillicothe in 1814. He was a very brilliant man of whom Dr. Timothy Dwight spoke as being “a remarkably accomplished scholar and divine.” He was born in 1767 in Augusta County, Va., graduated in 1790 from Hamden-Sidney College and his theological studies were under the Rev. Dr. William Graham at Liberty Hall, and under the Rev. Dr. Moses Hoage, then of Shepardstown, Va. He was licensed to preach in 1792. His life was spent in Kentucky and Ohio and he was a physician and naturalist. His second wife was Miss Poage of Kentucky and he was named for Rev. Thomas Poage, brother-in-law of Rev. Moses Hoge. His essays were published between 1800 and 1812. There is a copious notice of him in “Sprague’s Annals of the American Pulpit” (vol. 111, p. 626), and also in Green’s “Historical Families of Kentucky.” His grandfather, John Campbell, emigrated in 1730 from near Newry Carlingford Bay on the east coast of Ireland. He married, 1721, Elizabeth Walker, descendant of Samuel Rutherford, one of the members of the “Westminister Assembly” and author of “Rutherford’s Letters.” Her father, John Walker, married Catherine Rutherford and the latter’s mother, whose maiden name was Isabel Allein, was a descendant of Rev. Joseph Allein, who wrote “Allien’s Alarm.” The Rev. John Poage Campbell had therefore a truly noble heritage in the church.
The Ironton Register Thursday, Feb. 3, 1853 General John Poage
Reminiscence No. 1
On last Friday, it being a very pleasant day, we took a foot trip into Kentucky, crossing the river at Tanner’s Ferry. About a mile above the ferry we stopped in at General Poage’s and here was an end to all further progress that day – so interesting was the conversation of the hale and hearty old gentleman, relating early reminiscences. And as he is almost universally known to our readers, by reputation at least, and is intimately acquainted with much of the early history of this region we have concluded to sketch down some points elicited in our rambling conversation.
General John Poage was born Dec. 11, 1775, in Augusta county, Va., about four miles from Staunton, but was raised principally in Bath county. He was the son of Major George Poage.
The father, George Poage, was one of the party that accompanied Col. James Harrod to Kentucky in the year 1774, at which time Col. Harrod built the first house that ever stood in the interior of Kentucky, at Harrodsburg; Daniel Boone had previously built a cabin upon the borders of the state. Col. Harrod was a pioneer party and there were no women in the company; Mrs. Boone and her daughters were the first white women in that section, in the year 1775, while a party of Harrod’s men were out surveying, they encamped at Fountain Blue, about three miles from Harrods Burgh – early in the morning, some of the party being in engaged in making preparation for the day, George Poage still asleep had a remarkable dream, and was observed by the men to be kicking about; he was dreaming that the guns were all pointed at him, and the campfire burning near the breeches it seemed that they would catch fire and burn until the guns would discharge at him; he awoke and while relating his dream, they were fired upon by Indians. The surveyor, who was drying his papers by the fire, was killed and one other man. Mr. Poage snatched his gun and ran, the Indians followed him closely; he threw his gun over a creek, and the Indians quarreling about it he gained upon them and made his way safely to the fort. Soon after several of Harrod’s party having by various accidents lost their rifles, about thirty, among whom was Poage, returned to Virginia, and immediately he with the others joined the command of Col. Lewis and were at the battle of Point Pleasant, the far-famed Indian battle, in the fall of 1774. George Poage afterwards served in the army of the Revolution, and was at the siege of Yorktown.
By the way, we came near forgetting to state that “Dick Taylor, ” the father of General Zachary Taylor, was one of Harrod’s party; he was with the surveying party which was surprised by the Indians at Fountain Blue, and escaped into the woods. He made his way to the Ohio river near where is the city of Louisville, and by some means went down the river to New Orleans, where he took ship for Virginia.
One other circumstance in connection with George Poage’s first summer in Kentucky, in 1774. He with others were out hunting, and in a long ramble of 75 or 80 miles they chanced to come upon the Blue Licks, which no white man had ever before visited unless it was Boone. These famous licks, it will be recollected, are near Licking River, some 25 or 30 miles S. SW. from Maysville. They came upon a ridge which overlooks the basin in which are the Licks, and there, perhaps, was one of the greatest sites ever seen; ten thousand or more, buffaloes were there, it maybe, ten thousand other animals of every species known in the western wilds, bears, wolves, panthers, foxes, wild cats, deer, elks, &c. – 20,000 wild animals, all moving about in one vast throng and rubbing against each other, the stronger frequently praying upon the weaker. The ground about for miles was a perfect barren waste, worn out and torn up by the stamping and pawing of these wild nyriads. What a site!
Among the first settlers of Harrods – Burg was William Poage, an uncle of George Poage. William Poage was with a party of men going to attend a court, and when near were the town of Danville now stands, they were fired upon by Indians, and Mr. Poage fell from his horse, shot in the abdomen. The rest of the party escaped, but returning they found him in the bushes, his horse and rifle gone; they carried him some 3 or 4 miles to a deserted cabin, where part of the men returned to Harrodsburg for pillows with which to support the wounded man, and the remainder watched over him through the night in the cabin; they heard Indians about the cabin and supposed that an attack would be made about daylight, hence all slipped out, leaving Mr. Poage in the cabin, protected with their saddles. – The Indians made the attack on the cabin, supposing that the whites were still within – but they found out their mistake when they received deadly shots from the unerring rifles in their rear, – they took to flight in great consternation; one of them having in his possession Poage’s rife was killed. That same rifle is now in possession of William L. Poage, of Hannibal, Mo., familiarly known here as Lindsey Pogue, who is a grandson of William Poage of whom we are speaking. The men returning with the pillows Mr. Poage was taken to Harrodsburg, but died in about 2 days afterwards.
A daughter of this William Poage named Ann, was then an infant, and afterwards became the wife of General John Poage, whose name is at the head of this article. She was the 4th white child born in Kentucky; the first was Harrod Berry (or Barry) born in Harrodsburg, of an obscure family, and grew up to be a worthless man; the second was Lovoisa Whitley, daughter of Col. Whitley, who was killed at the battle of the Blue Licks; and the third was Judge Logan, a son of General Benjamin Logan.
After the death of Wm. Poage, the attorneys who settled the estate &c. in their papers spelled the name Pogue, according to the sound, as they were ignorant of the true spelling, hence the spelling of the name of that branch of the family to which Wm. L. Pogue belongs.
The widow of Wm. Poage soon married Col. Lindsey, and he together with five others of her family was killed at the Battle of the Blue Licks; she married the third time a man by the name of McGinty. Wm. Lindsey Pogue derives his name from his grandfather and his step-grandfather Col. Lindsey.
As we have just stated the name of the family of Wm. Poage was changed by the lawyers to Pogue. Ann, as before related, married Gen. John Poage and died some six or seven years since. An elder sister, Elizabeth, who was about 13 years of age when her father was killed, afterwards in the family of her stepfather, Col. Lindsey, became acquainted with a young man by the name of Overton; they were engaged to be married, but he was one of the six of her mother’s family who was killed at the Battle of the Blue Licks. Overton willed her 50 acres of land near Harrodsburg and on this same track of land she is still living. (Having married a man by the name of Thomas, ) at the advanced age of about ninety years. Robert, a brother, became Col. Robert Pogue, of Mason County, and was the father of Wm. L. Pogue. He commanded a regiment of Kentucky volunteers in the campaign of 1812; and together with his sons, among whom was Wm. L. Pogue, built Amanda Furnace, on the Kentucky shore, about a mile above Ironton.
The first winter which Gen. John Poage spent in Kentucky, was that of 1796-7, in which he was 21 years of age. He was visiting among friends, and occupied much of his time in hunting. He passed the time with Col. Robert Pogue of Mason county, with friends in what is now Fleming county, and was at the laying out of the town of Flemingsburg; also a portion of his time was passed with George Poage, we believe a cousin of his father, who was then a member of the Ky. Legislature from Montgomery county – the same who afterwards laid off an established the town of Ripley, Ohio and who, in connection with others built Bellefonte and Clinton Furnaces, above Amanda. In the spring he returned to Virginia, where he remained until the fall of 1799, when he again come to Kentucky, and settled in what is now Greenup county, at which point the conversation with reference to this immediate vicinity commences –
But we must reserve for next week.
Ironton Register, Thursday, Feb. 10, 1853
General John Poage:
Reminiscences No. 11
We continue our reminiscences of last week – points elicited in a rambling conversation with General John Poage, who as we then stated, settled in Greenup county in the fall of 1799.
In the summer of that year his father, Major George Poage, his uncle, Col. Robert Poage, who was grandfather of the present Cyrus Poage and Harvey H. Poage, and Col. Robert Pogue, the father of Wm. L. Pogue bought all of the land on the Ohio river from a few yards below Catletts Creek in the present town of Catlettsburg the lower line of Catletts land down to the upper line of the farm now owned by H. A. Meade, opposite the lower part of Ironton – a little more than 10 miles on the river, – on the upper portion of this land General John Poage settled together with his brother, Allen Poage, who now resides in Illinois. They arrived on the 15th day of Oct. in company with them six black servants, and their father who soon returned to Virginia, and did not make a final settlement in Kentucky until 1812.
The party first broke ground about 4 miles below the mouth of the Big Sandy, near where Col. Hugh Poage the youngest brother of John now lives; where they built a half faced camp for temporary use, and soon after built a cabin in which the two young men, John and Allen, lived two years – keeping “bachelor’s hall.” On the arrival of the party, and for some days previous, all they had to subsist on was pounded corn and dried buffalo; and on the next day John was dispatched to “Kelley’s Mill” for two bushels of meal. Luke Kelly, the father of the present Rev. John Kelley, it seems had a floating mill then in operation propelled by the current in the chute at the head of Ferguson’s bar. About a mile and a half below Hanging Rock – the mill being anchored in the stream and made fast to the shore with grapevines. The mill was obtained, and late in the evening John returned with it to the half-faced camp through darkness and rain, where “Cris” the Negro cook was called on to bake a Johnny cake, on which they all had a real “feast” before going to bed.
Early the next morning the father gave John a few shakes with; “John, o John! – isn’t it nearly daylight? Come get up and see if you cannot kill us some game to go with out meal; I ranged the woods all day yesterday, and could not get a shot at a turkey nor a squirrel.” John ” rolled out, ” and soon had the satisfaction of killing a deer near the top of the hill – and hearing a dog bark down on the flat below he descended and found a strange dog which had “treed” a bear. He shot the bear which fell to the ground and commenced to fight the dog; but while the rifle was being re-loaded the bear dropped over dead. The dog was a shaggy gray – a fine animal in appearance – but could not understand a word of English, hence is supposed to have belonged to a party of Indians hunting at that time on Symmes creek; he was evidently an “Indian’s dog” and could not be coaxed to follow a white man by feeding or any kindness. On returning for horses to bring in the deer and the bear the father would not believe that “John had killed a bear” – it was all a “joke” – “too good to believe, ” &c. Nevertheless it was reality as their gratified pallets testified at the breakfast board on that morning. And from that time they were never out of meat; game was so plenty that when Cris would say, “Massa John, the meat is out, ” he could go out before breakfast and kill a deer, a bear, wild turkeys, or squirrels. Bears carried off their hogs constantly, but the rifle always made reprisals among the bears, enough to compensate for the loss of the hogs.
At this time – the time of Gen. Poage’s settlement – there were but 10 families in what is now Greenup county. Alexander Catlett lived at the mouth of Big Sandy; Bryant, a squatter, who soon moved away, at what is now Bellefonte landing; Reuben Rucker, Joseph Powell, Stephen Colvin and Si Davisson, opposite Hanging Rock; Jesse Boone, made Judge on the organization of Greenup county and with whom his father Daniel Boone was then living, on the place where E. Hockaday now lives, above Greenupsburg; Major Andrew Hood, grandfather of William Hood, now in Greenup jail, just above Greenupsburg; – – Wilcox, where Greenupsburg now stands, and John Nichols, below little Sandy.
Also at this time there was but one family on this shore of the river from above the mouth of big sandy to Hanging Rock (or below) – a family which lived a short distance below Ice Creek; we do not recollect the name.
During the first winter – 1799 – 1800 – of General Poage’s residence in Greenup county he spent much of his hunting time in company with Horatio Catlett, (son of Alexander Catlett at the mouth of Big Sandy, ) then a boy of some 16, and who died some five or six years since at Catlettsburg.
On one occasion they came upon a buffalo trace and killed two buffaloes, about 15 or 16 miles back from the Ohio river; in the edge of what is now Carter county. They skinned and dressed them, built a high scaffold on which to place the meat out of the reach of wolves, and covered it over with the skins; and on the next day they returned with their horses and took the meat home. These, Gen. Poage, says were the last buffalo killed in this section of the country; the white men had taken possession of their grounds, and they moved off to the west.
On another occasion they hunted on Ice Creek, in this county, starting out on Monday morning, and in a five days hunt they killed 13 bears, all but 2 or 3 of them full grown. The last one killed was an exceedingly large one, while they were on their way home with their bear meat hung across the backs of their horses. They observed short scratches up a tree, “bears make long scratches coming down,” and knew that he must be in a large hole high up the tree. The rub was to get him out – which they did by discharging their rifles into the rotten and dry wood of the trunk, setting the tree on fire. The flames rolled up the tree and soon reached the hole, into which fire fell and immediately brought out his bear ship who perched himself on a limb, when the rifle soon brought him down.
The General relates another circumstance of interest. Early one morning in the spring of 1800, Cris calling for meat he took his rifle and canoe, and crossed the river. About a mile above where George C. Weaver’s pottery now stands, at a lick near the creek, he shot a deer. He took it to his canoe and was re-crossing the river when he passed immediately in front of an “ark” of emigrants. One of them asked him how far it was to Limestone “now Maysville” which was answered civilly; and immediately the same individual asked; ” whose horse have you been stealing and secreting over the river?” Which the General says he did not answer. A profusion of oaths of vulgarity was then showered upon him, together with epithets of ” horse thief, ” &c. Poage’s rifle was in the bow of the canoe, which he caught up, when the fellow dropped down, but soon re-appeared also with a rifle, when the General’s own words; “I drew as nice a bead upon his breast as ever I did upon a deer – – intending to kill him; but the distance was greater than my supposition, and the ball fell and passed between his legs.” The miscreant escaped but the best horse on the ark had one of his legs broken by the ball.
Also about the same time Thomas Buffington, “father of the present Col. Wm. Buffington and Major Jas. Buffington, (living just below the Guyandotte, fired upon an ark for vulgarity and obscenity used towards his wife who was washing at the waters edge; also the present Rev. John Kelley, below Hanging Rock, once fired upon a boat for a similar offense with respect to his wife. The General remarks that these 3 shots put a stop to like offenses on part of boat men.
After living about 2 years at the place of his first settlement, Gen. Poage married, as we have before stated Anna Poage, of Harrodsburg, and moved down to the place where he now lives – and built a house in which he at present resides in the year 1810.
He was upon the first jury and panel in Greenup county – which jury convicted one McClure from Twelve Pole of passing counterfeit gold eagles. The jury ” hung” for a long time, General Poage, Col. Robt. Poage, and another being for conviction.” The other nine admitted that the man’s guilt by the evidence, but said it was “a pity to send him to the penitentiary.” The honesty and firmness of the three, however, in time overcame the obstinacy of the nine, and the culprit went to the penitentiary notwithstanding the “pity.”
In after year – Gen. Poage came quite a noted surveyor. He says that he has surveyed every farm from three miles below Portsmouth on the Ky. side of the Ohio river to the mouth of the big sandy, thence up the latter river up the Tug Fork about 70 miles, in all about 115 miles on the river border, besides a large portion of the back lands in Greenup and Carter counties; and upon this side of the river he has surveyed every farm from Burlington down to French Grant – – and surveyed in this county most of the original state and county roads.
He has seen in his life some hard service. He commanded a regiment of Ky. Volunteers – – the troops of Greenup, Lewis, Mason and Nicholas counties – in the campaign of 1813, and was at the battle of the Thames with his regiment. He is a hearty healthy looking old gentleman, and now in his 78th year, appears quite vigorous – – which he attributes to early rising and abundant exercise. He has had some misfortunes caused by going “security” for friends who did not prove to be friends – – on account of which he has paid at different times about 5,000 dollars; yet he has enough left to carry him comfortably through his few remaining years.
But enough – – we have spun out this and the article of last week to a much greater length than we had anticipated, those, however, who know Gen. John Poage, will excuse the length.
NOTE: Gen. Poage informs us that there were two mistakes in our article of last week – Col. Whitley was killed at the Battle of the Thames, and not at the Blue Licks; and it was James Poage who located Ripley, and not George Poage.
STATEMENT BY JOHN CAMPBELL AND WIFE, AND OF OTHERS, MADE IN THE YEAR 1875 AND UP TO 1890
Andrew Ellison first cousin of the mother of Mrs. John Campbell lived at Hanging Rock about 1832; he came there from Pine Grove Furnace, which was built in 1829, by Andrew Ellison who had capital, and Robert Hamilton who had some capital. Mr. Ellison’s children were; Mrs. Henry Hanna of Cincinnati, O., Andrew Ellison of Louisville, Ky., Archibald Ellison of New Orleans, John Ellison 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. Robert Hamilton came from Pennsylvania clerked at a furnace in Adams county, Ohio; he assisted in the building of Mount Vernon Furnace. Mr. Hamilton opened the coal mines at New Castle and built the Hanging Rock Railroad running to the mine. He lived at Pine Grove twenty-four years, moved to Hanging Rock in 1853, and died there. The Ellison’s and he were the wealthiest iron masters in the early days. Mr. Hamilton married Nancy Ellison an aunt of Mrs. John Campbell, which was the beginning of his success and fortune. John Campbell, young Andrew Ellison and Hamilton and others had built Mount Vernon, the firm being known as Campbell, Ellison & Co. Wm. Ellison, an uncle of Mrs. John Campbell, managed at Mt. Vernon after its erection in 1833 to 1835, and John Campbell from 1835 to 1846 to the end of the year, then moved to Hanging Rock and in 1850 to Ironton; having married in 1837, March 16th. In 1833, in March, the Hanging Rock Forge was commenced, and this was the beginning of the Hanging Rock Rolling Mill. Stockholders in “The Forge” were the same in the building of Lawrence Furnace, called “Crane’s Nest,” entitled “J. Riggs & Co.,” to-wit: James Rodgers, Robert Hamilton, Andrew Ellison, Rev. I. Dyer Burgess, Jos. Riggs. (these men subscribed even amounts).
Andrew B. Ellison and John Campbell were then sent to build Lawrence Furnace; Mr. Campbell had the privilege of taking stock, but declined; he loaned J. Riggs & Co. $1500 in building the furnace. At the furnace Andrew Ellison was manager, John Campbell, clerk aged 25 years. Mr. Ellison left Mr. Campbell to superintend the work, and Ellison remained away until homes were built.
John Campbell assisted in building “The Forge” at Hanging Rock, from March to August 1833; then he went to the site of Lawrence furnace, and assisted in its erection as Superintendent under Andrew Ellison, from August, 1833 to January 1st, 1835, then visited his home in Brown county, Ohio two months till March, 1835, then returned to Hanging Rock and clerked at the Landing until June, 1835, then managed at Mt. Vernon Furnace till July, 1846, then moved to Hanging Rock and in September 1850 moved to Ironton.
William Ellison managed at Mt. Vernon from latter part of 1834 till June 1835, them moved to Hanging Rock until 1838, then moved to Manchester, Ohio, lived there till his death in 1865. At Hanging Rock, Mr. Campbell owned and lived in the Andrew Ellison home, bought from his widow. During all the early times James Rodgers lived at Hanging Rock. In 1852 or 3, Robert Hamilton bought from his son-in-law, Samuel B. Hempstead, the large house just above Hanging Rock. James Rodgers died in 1858.
In June 1848, Davidson’s farm (on which Ironton is now located), was sold. John Campbell had designed buying it as he supposed that a town would sometime be laid out at that location, even if his own plans to do so should fail. But in June he had to go to the convention at Buffalo as the delegate from this district. He thought that the farm would sell for half price anyhow, and that the convention was important. While gone, Wm. D. Kelly purchased the farm. When Mr. Campbell returned he entered into negotiation with Robert Hamilton to extend the Hanging Rock Rail Road to Chillicothe. Mr. Campbell was elected President of the Hanging Rock & Chillicothe Rail Road and Mr. Dempsey, Secretary. But their proposition did not suit Mr. Hamilton, and his proposition was refused by them. Mr. Campbell, then quietly urged on old Mr. Dempsey and Mr. Willard et al, the purchase of land at Storms Creek above Hanging Rock, and or above Storms Creek, for the location of a town and terminal of another railroad. And here is an interesting episode. On the evening of October 31, 1848, Mr. Jas. O. Willard and Mr. John Peters met upon the road, as they were passing to and from Hanging Rock and their respective furnaces. They stopped and talked about the failure of the scheme to build at Hanging Rock, and of the project as talked of by John Campbell, to build a railroad above Hanging Rock, and locate a town. These two gentlemen turned their horses heads to the “Rock” and riding all night, waked Mr. Campbell up just before daylight. His astonishment at the sudden awakening was great but was delighted to find that they were in favor of the new town. The next day, November 1st, 1848, an article was drawn up in which they agreed to stand by Mr. Campbell in his purchases of land for the town. At that time, Dr. Caleb Briggs had his office beside Mr. Campbell’s and he also signed the agreement. James W. Means, a brother-in-law of Mr. Campbell, also signed, making five signers. Mr. Campbell the same day bought two farms from William D. Kelly and authorized him to purchase other farms. This was done quietly. Mr. Kelly reporting daily as he passed Hanging Rock from his home below on the river, people wondering where he procured the money for such large purchases. See page 124 of this (scrap) book, see printed memorial to the Legislature of the Ohio Iron & Coal Co., dated six years later, in April, 1854, signed by the stockholders. It was prepared by Dr. Caleb Briggs, Secretary, who, on page 4, states three objectives in view, First, a railroad, Second, a location of a manufacturing town, third, using stone coal in place of charcoal in making pig iron, and adds in parenthesis “(which for a long time had been entertained by Mr. John Campbell and your memorialist, and before they were personally known to each other).” Mr. Campbell stated to his family that he did not know if others had thought of it or not. On page 105 of this (scrap) book, Jas. (or Jos.) W. Dempsey writes Mr. Campbell that he “forestalled” him in the proposal of carrying out these plans. It may have been thought of by several persons, independently, but Dr. Brigg’s printed statement in 1854, precludes the thought that Mr. Campbell, obtained the idea from him.
Mr. Campbell held the principal stock in the building of the “Star Nail Mill” about 1854. The old Rolling Mill was built in 1852-3 by a party of Welshmen from Pittsburgh, they did not succeed well, and were bought out by John Campbell and John Peters. Mr. Campbell bought into the Zanesville Rolling Mill in 1856-7 and became a director.
Mr. John Campbell several times states that in naming Ironton, he had wished to include the word “iron,” and the addition of “ton” seemed to be the best way, a “ton” of “iron”, an iron ton: and no doubt Mr. George T. Walton has given the correct details of the final conclusion in his letter of February 25th, 1901, to the Ironton Register.
Mr. Campbell stated that while he was clerking for J. Riggs & Co. 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 quietly 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 espied it, and called him back. The explanations resulted in his remaining in this iron district. Andrew B. Ellison and Robt. Hamilton were also with John Campbell as builders of Mt. Vernon Furnace, in 1833. Mr. Campbell was employed by J. Riggs & Co., at The Forge and Lawrence Furnace one year and ten months, and his salary made part of the loan he made that company, for his expenses were but little in the woods. He had a little less than $1,000 when he first came to Hanging Rock. His subscription to build Mt. Vernon was by borrowing which had to be repaid 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 July, 1835.
As Mt. Vernon was very profitable, he was enabled to subscribe largely in the building of Greenup (Hunnewell) 1844, Olive Furnace 1846, and Gallia Furnace in 1847; and these furnaces kept him in funds for building Keystone 1849, Howard 1853, Washington 1853, Monroe 1856, and other enterprises.
It didn’t take very much money to erect the very early furnaces. The Hot Blast had not been invented. The blast was furnished by a small engine, located at the base of stack, – enough air to make one ton of iron per day. The pioneer iron men let the gas from the furnace escape into the open air, and patiently fired the boiler with stone coal. One ton of iron required a little over two tons of the rich red ore on the out-crop and about 250 bushels of charcoal. Two ore carts with oxen would haul both the fuel and ore and a little limestone. The charcoal was made next (to) the furnace, in clearing ground to build upon and for farming. After 1840, furnaces expanded, more money was spent, both for lands and building.