Ironton, Ohio

Ironton, Ohio

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Ironton, Ohio
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Ironton, as seen across the Ohio River in Russell, Kentucky


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in the State of Ohio

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Ohio
subdivision_name2 = Lawrence
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Rich Blankenship
established_title = Founded
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date = 1849
established_date2 =
area_magnitude =
area_total_sq_mi = 4.4
area_total_km2 = 11.4
area_land_sq_mi = 4.1
area_land_km2 = 10.7
area_water_sq_mi = 0.3
area_water_km2 = 0.7
population_as_of = 2005
population_total = 11417
population_metro = 288649
population_density_km2 = 1046.8
population_density_sq_mi = 2711.3
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 38 |latm = 31 |lats = 51 |latNS = N
longd = 82 |longm = 40 |longs = 42 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 168
elevation_ft = 551
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 45638
area_code = 740
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 39-37464GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1076122GR|3
footnotes =
website =

Ironton is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Lawrence County.GR|6 The municipality is located in southern Ohio along the Ohio River. The population was 11,211 at the 2000 census. Ironton is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 288,649. Ironton is one of the few cities in the MSA with an increase in population. As of 2005, the Census Bureau estimated that Ironton had a population of 11,417.


Ironton was founded in 1849 by John Cambell,Malloy, David E. "Ironton." Herald-Dispatch. 27 Sept. 2006. 28 Sept. 2006 [] .] who was the biggest pig iron manufacturer in the area. He was interested in the lands surrounding what would later become the city of Ironton due to his foundry businessFact|date=February 2007 and the fact that the hills to the north encompassed very rich iron-ore. The location of Ironton was chosen for its position along the Ohio River, which would allow for transport of the much-needed commodity, iron-ore, and the slope of the land itself, which facilitated movement of the raw material to the local blast furnaces.

Between 1850 and 1890, Ironton was one of the foremost producers of iron in the world. England, France, and Russia all purchased iron for warships from here due to the quality; iron produced in Ironton was used for the USS Monitor, the United States' first ironclad ship. There were more than ninety furnaces in operation at the peak of production in the late 1800s. The immense wealth that was created from the bustling pig-iron industry led to the construction of many opulent residences.

With much wealth pouring into the city from the iron industry, new industries opened that included soap and nail production. The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad, which stretched through two states, helped fuel Henry Ford's plants in Michigan. The city had a street railway, the Ironton Petersburg Street Railway, and four daily newspapers and a few foreign-language publications.Fact|date=February 2007 Ironton was also known for its lax attitude towards sin and vice. It was home to a racetrack,Fact|date=February 2007 numerous saloons, and brothels. Numerous chapels offered "quick and quiet" marriages.Fact|date=February 2007

The downfall of Ironton came as the market for iron changed. The quality of the iron that had once made Ironton one of the leading producers of pig iron was no longer considered as desirable. All of the easily accessible iron (close to the surface) had been mined by 1899, and the continued production costs began to outweigh the benefit. Also, the nation was making the transition from a demand for iron to steel. After a nationwide economic recessiondepression in the late 19th century, Ironton was no longer growing. The great depression of the late 1920s and two major floods (1917, 1937) devastated the city to the point that most if not all the city's industries had closed down for good.

As the iron industries closed, Ironton had little with which to replace them. A labor-oriented town, Ironton managed to keep alive by trying to attract heavy industry to the region. Companies like Allied Signal and Alpha Portland Cement did build in town, but even so the boom days were now over. The continued dependency on labor industries has severely hurt the region as a whole, and Ironton even more so. By 2004, both Alpha Portland Cement and Allied Signal were gone, and Ironton had shrunk to the point where there were fewer people living in the whole county than had lived in the city of Ironton 110 years before.

Ironton has been credited as being part of the Underground railroad that helped runaway slaves flee the South. Both the founder of the city and other city notables helped hide slaves in their homes.

Ironton's military heritage

During the American Civil War, local military regiments were mustered, quartered, and trained at Camp Ironton, a military post located at the county fairgrounds. Among them was the 91st Ohio Infantry, which was organized at Camp Ironton on August 26, 1862.

Civil War Medal of Honor Recipents

* James W. Parks Date of Issue 2/24/1865 (captured battle flag at the Battle of Nashville 12/16/1864)
* William Powell Date of Issue 7/22/1890 (led 20 men and captured enemy encampement of 500 without loss of life on 11/26/1862)

World War I

*William C. Lambert achieved the second highest air victory totals for an American flying ace in the war with 21.

Professional Football

*Ironton had one of the first professional football teams in the United States called the Ironton Tanks. The team was first organized in 1919 and had a record of 85 wins, 19 losses, 14 ties, including an undefeated season in 1922, a state championship in 1926 and dual victories in 1930 over National Football League (NFL) powerhouses the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. The football field previouly used by the Tanks is now home to the Ironton High School Football team, the Ironton Fighting Tigers.

Geography and climate

Ironton is located at coor dms|38|31|51|N|82|40|42|W|city (38.530720, -82.678309)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.4 km²), of which, 4.1 square miles (10.7 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (5.91%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 11,211 people, 4,906 households, and 3,022 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,711.3 people per square mile (1,048.1/km²). There were 5,507 housing units at an average density of 1,331.8/sq mi (514.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.33% White, 5.24% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.51% of the population.

There were 4,906 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 82.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,585, and the median income for a family was $35,014. Males had a median income of $31,702 versus $24,190 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,391. About 17.2% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.4% of those under age 18 and 17.0% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

The city is managed by an eight-member city council, the current members of which include Bob Cleary (Chair), Ralph "Butch" Huff, Leo Johnson, Mike Lutz, Frank Murphy, and Chuck O’Leary. The elected mayor is Rich Blankenship. [Information from official city website.]



There are three public and one private elementary schools, one public and one private high schools, and a community college in Ironton. One non-traditional school also serves the city. The public city schools are currently building new facilities and are subsequently housed at in various buildings.

Portions outside of the Ironton city limits are served by the Dawson-Bryant Local School District and the Rock Hill Local School District. Both districts have Ironton mailing addresses.


Annual cultural events and fairs

Notable places

* [ Briggs Library]
* Lawrence County Museum
* Tanks Memorial Stadium

Notable people

*Lander McCoy "Coy" Bacon, former professional American football defensive lineman in the NFL, he was selected to 3 Pro Bowls during his 14-year career. Coy played his high school football at Ironton.
*Bobby Bare, former resident who is now a Country and western musician.
*Ezra Dean, U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1841 to 1845.
*William Henry Enochs, elected to Congress in 1891 and was a Brigadier General in the Union Army.
*Emily Folger, wife of Henry Clay Folger, president of Standard Oil of New York. She directed the building of Folger Shakespeare Library in the District of Columbia, and was a Shakespeare scholar and collector.
*Elza Jeffords, born in Ironton, he was elected as a U.S. Representative from Mississippi in 1868.
*Thomas A. Jenkins, U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1925 to 1959.
*William C. Lambert, World War I flying ace.
*George McAfee, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
*Henry Safford Neal, U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1877 to 1883, and Chargé d'Affaires for the United States in Portugal in December 1869.
*John Rankin, abolitionist and founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of America. He also helped over 2,000 runaway slaves flee the South.
*John K. Richards, United States Solicitor General in 1903 and a judge in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court.
*James Alfred Taylor, born near Ironton, he was speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1931 to 1932, and elected as a U.S. Senator from West Virginia in 1934.
*Marti Dodson, born in Ironton, lead singer of Saving Jane.

See also

*List of cities and towns along the Ohio River


External links

* [ Official City Website]
* [ The Ironton Tribune]
* [ Ironton, OH on MySpace]
* [ Rally on the River]

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