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            LAWRENCE COUNTY was organized March 1, 1816, and named from Capt. James LAWRENCE, a native of Burlington, N. J., and a gallant naval officer of the war of 1812.  Most of the county consists of high, abrupt hills, in which large quantities of sand or free-stone exist; soil mostly clay.  There is some rich land on the creek bottoms, and on that of the Ohio river, on which, and at the iron furnaces, are the principal settlements.  This county is rich in minerals, and is the greatest iron manufacturing county in Ohio.  Coal abounds in the western part, while clay, suitable for stoneware, is found under the ore, in the whole of the iron region.  The agricultural products, which are small in quantity, are wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, hay and apples.


            Area about 440 square miles.  In 1887 the acres cultivated were, 50,421; in pasture, 37,048; woodland, 37,094; lying waste, 20, 145; produced in wheat, 122,070 bushels; rye, 410; buckwheat, 64; oats, 65,693; barley, 145; corn, 371,191; meadow hay, 6,179 tons; clover hay, 841; potatoes, 29,633 bushels; tobacco, 11,940 pounds; butter, 210,159; sorghum, 47,371 gallons; maple syrup, 60; honey, 11,018 pounds; eggs, 148,371 dozen; grapes, 3,280 pounds; wine, 520 gallons; sweet potatoes, 7,291 bushels; apples, 39,403; peaches, 5,835; pears, 212; wool, 10,343 pounds; milch cows owned, 2,839.  Ohio mining statistics, 1888: Coal mined, 137,086 tons; employing 248 miners and 63 outside employees.  Iron ore, 104,140 tons.  Fire-clay, 15,280 tons.  Limestone, 114,652 tons, burned for fluxing.  School census, 1888, 13,942; teachers, 202.  Miles of railroad track, 55.



And Census





And Census






















































            Population of Lawrence in 1820 was 3,499; 1830, 6,366; 1840, 9,745; 1860, 23,249; 1880, 39,068, of whom 29,079 were born in Ohio; 2,597, Kentucky; 2,291, Virginia; 937, Pennsylvania; 118, Indiana; 117, New York; 1,116, German Empire; 615, Ireland; 513, England and Wales; 33, France; 22, Scotland; and 22, British America.  Census, 1890, 39,556.


            In the INDIAN WAR, prior to the treaty of Greenville, many boats, descending the Ohio, were attacked by the Indians, and the whites in them cruelly massacred.  After the war had closed, wrecks of boats were frequently seen on the shore, to remind the traveller of the unhappy fate of those who had fallen a prey to the rifle, tomahawk and scalping-knife.  Among the unpublished incidents of this nature is one that belongs to the history of this county, obtained by us orally from one acquainted with the circumstances:


            Among the early settlers of Mason county, Ky., was Mr. James KELLY, who emigrated from Westmoreland, Pa.  Shortly after his arrival, the Indians carried on their murderous incursions with so much energy, as to seriously threaten the annihilation of the infant settlements.  His father, alarmed for his safety, sent another son, William, to Kentucky, to bring his brother and family back to Pennsylvania.  They embarked at Maysville, in a large canoe, with two men as passengers, who were to assist in navigating the boat.  When about a mile below the mouth of the Big Guyandotte, and near the Virginia shore, they were suddenly fired upon by a party of Indians, secreted behind the trees on that bank of the river.  William, who had risen up in the boat, was shot through the body,


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when James sprang up to save him from falling into the river, and receiving a death wound, fell forwards in the boat.  The two men, as yet unharmed, steered for the Ohio shore.  The instant the boat touch land, one of them, panic-stricken, sprang ashore, and, running into the recesses of the forest, was never heard of more.


            The other passenger, however, was a man of undaunted courage.  He determined to protect Mrs. KELLY and her little children, consisting of James, a boy of about five years of age, and an infant named Jane.  They landed, and turned their course for Gallipolis, about thirty miles distant.  In their haste they had forgotten to get any provisions from the boat, and the prospect of reaching there, through a wilderness swarming with Indians, was gloomy.  To add to the horrors of their situation, they had gone but a few miles, when Mrs. KELLY was bitten in the foot by a copper-head, and was unable to make further progress.  As the only resort her companion told her that he must leave her alone in the woods, and travel to Gallipolis, procure a boat and a party, and come for her.  Having secreted them among some paw-paws, he started on his solitary and perilous journey.  The Indians were soon on this track, in hot pursuit; and taking inland to avoid them, three or four days elapsed before he arrived at his destination.  He there obtained a keel boat, and a party of thirty men, and started down the Ohio, with but a faint hope of finding Mrs. KELLY and her little ones alive.


            During his absence Mrs. KELLY had been accustomed daily to send her little son to the river’s edge, to hail any boats that might pass.  Fearing a decoy from the Indians, several went by without paying any attention to his cries.  An hour or two before the arrival of the aid from Gallipolis, another boat from farther up the river passed down.  At first but little attention was given to the hailing of little James; but feelings of humanity prevailed over their fears, and reflecting also upon the improbability of the Indians sending such a mere child as a decoy, they took courage, turned to the shore, and took the sufferers aboard.  They were then in a starving and deplorable condition; but food was soon given them by the kind-hearted boatmen, and their perils were over.  Soon the Gallipolis boat hove in sight, and they were taken on board, and eventually to Pennsylvania.


            Mrs. KELLY, in the course of a few years, married again.  The infant Jane grew up to womanhood, and was remarkable for her beauty.  The little boy James finally emigrated to the Muskingum country.  From him and his mother our informant derived these facts.


            Lawrence was settled about 1797, by people from Pennsylvania and Virginia, who were principally of Dutch and Irish descent.  When the iron works were first established, only about one-eighth of the land was entered, since which the workmen have accumulated means to purchase more.  At that day the inhabitants were principally hunters, and for months together, our informant says, he did not see one wear a coat or shoes; hunting-shirts and moccasons being the substitutes.


            When Lawrence was first organized, the commissioners neglected to lay a tax, and the expenses of the county were carried on by orders, which so depreciated that the clerk had to pay $6, in orders, for a quire of paper.  The county was finally sued on an order, and judgment obtained for the plaintiff, but as the public property could not be levied upon, not anything was then recovered.  Eventually, the legislature passed laws compelling the commissioners to lay a tax, by which the orders were paid in full, with interest.




            The annexed report of a case, that came before the Court of Common Pleas in this county, is from the pen of a legal gentleman of high standing.  It shows that in our day the belief in witchcraft has not entirely vanished.


                _____ _____     )   Lawrence Common Pleas.  Term 1828. 

                      vs.            }   Action on the case, for a false warranty in the sale of a

ENOCH H. FLEECE. )   horse.  Plea, general issue.


                The plaintiff having proved the sale and warranty, called a witness to prove the defendant’s knowledge of the unsoundness of the horse at the time of sale.  This witness testified, that both he and defendant lived at Union Furnace, in Lawrence county, and that the latter was by trade a tanner; that he, witness, knew the horse previous to the sale to the plaintiff, and before he was owned by defendant, and was then, and at the time defendant purchased him, in bad health.  He saw him daily employed in defendant’s bark mill, and was fast declining, and when unemployed, drooping in his appearance, and so continued until sold to the plaintiff.  Having been present at the sale, and hearing the warranty, the witness afterwards inquired of the defendant why he had done so, knowing the horse to be unsound.  He answered by insisting that the horse was in no way diseased, or in unsound health, but that the drooping appearance arose from his being bewitched, which he did not call unsoundness,


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Top Picture


Aged 82 years, the veteran iron-master. “ Father and Founder of Ironton.”


Bottom Picture

J. N. Bradford, del, O. S. University



The celebrated gun known as the “Swamp Angel,” of Charlston Harbor, was cast from

Helca iron.




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and so soon as they could be got out of the horse he would then be as well as ever.


                The defendant further stated, that the same witches which were in that horse had been in one or two persons, and some cows, in the same settlement, and could only be driven out by a witch doctor, living on the head waters of the Little Scioto, in Pike county, or by burning the animal in which they were found; that this doctor had some time before been sent for to see a young woman who was in a bad way, and on examination found her bewitched.  He soon expelled them, and also succeeded in ascertaining that an old woman not far off was the witch going about in that way, and she could be got rid of only by killing her.  At some subsequent time, when defendant was from home, his wife sent for witness and others, to see and find out what was the matter with her cow, in a lot near the house.  They found it frantic, running, and pitching at everything which came near.  It was their opinion, after observing it considerably, that it had the canine madness.  The defendant, however, returned before the witness and others left the lot; he inspected the cow with much attention, and gave it as his opinion that they were mistaken as to the true cause of her conduct—she was not mad, but bewitched; the same which had been in the horse had transferred itself to the cow.  By this time the animal, from exhaustion or other cause, had lain down.  The defendant then went into the lot, and requested the persons present to assist in putting a rope about her horns, and then make the other end fast to a tree, where he could burn her.  They laughed at the man’s notion, but finally assisted him, seeing she remained quiet—still having no belief that he really intended burning her.


                This being done, the defendant piled up logs, brush and other things around, and finally over the poor cow, and then set fire to them.  The defendant continued to add fuel, until she was entirely consumed, and afterwards told the witness he had never seen any creature so hard to die; that she continued to moan after most of the flesh had fallen from her bones, and he felt a pity for her, but die she must; that nothing but the witches in her kept her alive so long, and it was his belief they would be so burnt before getting out, that they never would come back.  Night having set in before the burning was finished, the defendant and his family set up to ascertain if the witches could be seen about the pile of embers.  Late at night, some one of the family called the defendant to the window—the house being near the place—and pointed to two witches, hopping around, over and across the pile of embers, and now and then seizing a brand and throwing it into the air, and in a short while disappeared.  The next morning, on examination, the defendant saw their tracks through the embers in all directions.  At a subsequent time, he told the same witness and others, that from that time the witches had wholly disappeared from the neighborhood, and would never return—and to burn the animal alive, in which they were found, was the only way to get clear of them; he had been very fearful they would torment his family.


                The writer found, after the above trial, from a conversation with the defendant, that he had a settled belief in such things, and in the truth of the above statement.


                In our edition of 1846 we stated that the iron region is about eight miles wide.  It extends through the east part of Scioto, and the west part of this county, and enters Jackson county on the north, and Greenup county, Ky., on the south.  Most of the iron in Lawrence is made into pig metal, which stands high for castings, and is equal to Scotch pig for foundry furnaces; it is also excellent for bar iron.  The principal markets are Pittsburg and Cincinnati.  The four counties of Jackson, Lawrence, Scioto and Greenup, Ky., make about 37,450 tons annually, which, at $30 per ton, the current market price, amounts to $1,123,500.  There are 21 furnaces in the iron region, of which the following are in Lawrence, viz., Union, Pine Grove, Lawrence, Centre, Mount Vernon, Buckhorn, Etna, Vesuvius, La Grange, Hecla and Olive.  The oldest of these, in this county, is Union, built in 1826 by John Means, a view of which is given, showing on the left the furnace, in the middle ground the log-huts of the workmen, with the store of the proprietors, while around is wild, hilly scenery, amid which these furnaces are usually embosomed.  Each of the 21 furnaces employs, on an average, 70 yoke of oxen, “100 hands, sustains 500 persons, consumes 560 barrels of flour, 1,000 bushels of corn meal, 10,000 bushels of corn, 50,000 pounds of bacon, 20,000 pounds of beef, 1,500 bushels of potatoes, beside other provisions, and tea, sugar and coffee in proportion.”  From this it will be seen, that their existence is highly important to the agriculturist.  In the winter season about 500 men come from abroad, to cut wood for the furnaces in Lawrence; some of whom walk distances of hundreds of miles from their cabin homes among the mountains of Virginia and Kentucky.


                The HANGING ROCK IRON REGION is now understood to comprise an area of country embracing more than 1,000 square miles, extending into the States of Kentucky and West Virginia, and Scioto, Lawrence, Jackson and Vinton counties in Ohio, with its centre at Ironton.  This vast mineral region, containing, besides its valuable iron ores, large and accessible deposits of coal, limestone and fire-clays, was in 1825 almost an unknown wilderness; in 1845, as given in our orig-


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Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846




inal edition, it had 21 furnaces, while the Geological State Report of 1884 says of that part of it lying within Ohio: “This region comprises some 42 furnaces in blast and some in course of erection in the counties of Vinton, Jackson, Gallia, Scioto and Lawrence.”


                The purity of the iron ores in this district is attributable in a large measure to the fact that the plane of the veins lies far enough above the general water level to drain the water that accumulates from the rain fall, through the minerals and out into the streams.  The dip of the strata being about 30 feet to the mile to the south of east, the inclination of all coals, ores, etc., gives a rapid fall in the direction of the dip and renders it possible to run all material out on tram tracks by gravitation, as well as to get rid of the water without expense.


            The Hanging Rock ores are peculiarly adapted to the production of an iron of great strength and durability; they are of the red hematite variety—the “hilltop” ores being largely used with underlying limestone ore.  The productions of the Hecla furnace of this region are famous, being in special demand for machinery and car-wheels.


            Prior to the late war the government made a test of irons with reference to ordnance, in which “the cold-blast Hecla was equalled only by results obtained from two furnaces, respectively located at Toledo, Spain, and in Asia Minor.”  During the late war every ton of Hecla iron (excepting armor plates) was used at the Fort Pitt Works, Pittsburg, for casting heavy ordnance and field guns, and ran far above the government required test for tenacity.  The celebrated gun known as the “Swamp Angel,” of Charleston Harbor, was cast from Hecla iron.  There is direct authority for stating that car wheels of this iron have been in use for twenty years.  In a memorial to Congress (1862) for the establishment of a national foundry at Ironton, we find the statement of one who was employed by the English government in 1855, that “while thus employed, my particular duties were to make selection and mixture of metal for heavy ordnance for service in the Crimea.  This employment required the making of numerous tests on different metals, to determine their tenacity, deflection and specific gravity.”  The cold-blast pig made in Lawrence county, Ohio, was found superior not only to the irons of a similar make in other portions of the United States, but also, “as compared with the best English iron, the difference is about thirty per cent, in favor of this metal.”


            IRONTON, county-seat of Lawrence, is on the Ohio river, ten miles from the southernmost point in Ohio, 100 miles south of Columbus, 142 miles above Cincinnati, and 325 miles from Pittsburg.  It is the centre of the Hanging Rock iron region, celebrated for the quantity and quality of iron ore, lime and coal, found in close proximity.  The timber regions of the Virginias and Kentucky supply one of the large industries of the city, and large quantities of fire and pot-


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Lawrence Barrette, Photo, Ironton, 1887.                                                 J. N. Bradford, del., Ohio State University.




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ters’ clay found in this vicinity create another great industry.  Ironton was laid out in 1848, by the Ohio Iron and Coal Co., and was incorporated as a city in 1865.  The first iron smelted in the region was at a cupola built in 1815, by Richard DEERING.  In 1852 the county-seat was removed here from Burlington.  Railroads: D. Ft. W. & C., S. V., and the Ironton, while by transfer across the Ohio river connection is had with the C. & O. Railroad.  County Officers: Auditor, Mark S. BARTRAM; Clerk, John W. SAYRE; Commissioners, Charles BRAMER, Elisha T. EDWARDS, Thompson F. PAYNE; Coroner, John S. HENRY; Infirmary Directors, Isaac MASSIE, Zachary T. FUGITT, William H. HEINER; Probate Judge, Lot DAVIS; Prosecuting Attorney, George W. KEYE; Recorder, Paschal F. GILLETT; Sheriff, John L. FISHER; Surveyor, James T. EGERTON; Treasurer, Joseph A. TURLEY.  City Officers: John M. CORNS, Mayor; Halsey C. BURR, Clerk; John HAYES, Treasurer; John K. RICHARDS, Solicitor; J. R. C. BROWN, Engineer; W. L. VANHORN, Marshal; John CULKINS, Street Commissioner; William GEORGE, Chief Fire Department.  Newspapers: Register, Republican, E. S. WILSON, editor; Republican, Republican, HAYDEN & McCALL, proprietors; Irontonian, Democratic, L. P. ORT, proprietor; Wachter am Ohio, German, Independent, Christian FEUCHTER, editor.  Churches: two Catholic, two Methodist Episcopal, one Baptist, one Lutheran, one Congregational, one Calvinistic Methodist, one German Reformed, one Presbyterian, one Episcopalian, one German Methodist, one Christian and three Colored.  Banks: Exchange (W. D. KELLY), W. D. KELLY, cashier; First National, George WILLARD, president, H. B. WILSON, cashier; Second National, C. C. CLARKE, president, Richard MATHER, cashier; Halsey C. BURR & Co.


            Manufactures and Employees.—C. H. CROWELL, lumber, 12 hands; D., Ft. W. & C. Railroad Shop, railroad repairs, 25; PHILLIPS Carriage Works, 10; the FOSTER Stove Co., stoves and ranges, 50; WHITMAN Stove Co., stoves and ranges, 60; Sarah Furnace, pig-iron, 50; Standard Gas Retort and Fire-brick Co., 30; Etna Furnace, pig-iron, 100; Ironton Fire-brick Co., 30; R. N. FEARON, lumber, 12; Ironton Lumber Co., lumber, 6; the KELLY Nail and Iron Co., 375; NEWMAN & SPANNER, lumber, 60; Ironton Furnace Co., pig-iron, 50; Ironton Carriage Works, carriages and buggies; Ironton Soap Works, soap; Lawrence Iron and Steel Co., 300; LAMBERT Bros. & Co., furnace machinery, etc., 50; R. S. DUPUY, oak harness leather, 11; Eagle Brewery, 10, the Goldcamp Milling Co., 9.—State Report, 1888.  Population in 1880, 8,857.  School census, 1888, 3,528; R. S. PAGE, school superintendent.  Capital invested in industrial establishments, $1,790,900.  Value of annual product, $1,518,225.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1887.  U. S. census, 1890, 10,939.


            From a newspaper correspondence published in 1887, we extract some interesting items of history and reminiscences of the early iron trade:


                In 1819 there went from Spartanburg, S. C., to Hanging Rock, on the Ohio side of the river, a certain man named John MEANS, carrying his slaves with him.  He was an abolitionist, but not being able to manumit his slaves in his native State, he sold his possessions there, and with his family and negroes emigrated to the nearest point where he could set them free.  In 1826 John MEANS built a charcoal furnace near his home, and began the manufacture of pig-iron.  The Union, as he named it, was the first iron furnace north of the Ohio in this district.  In Ashland your correspondent met Mr. Thomas W. MEANS, a son of the pioneer furnace-builder.  This gentleman, now 83 years old, has a vivid recollection of those early times, and of the hardships which all who made iron had to endure because of free-trade tendencies and laws.  In 1837 he leased the Union Furnace of his father, and ever since he has been connected with it as lessee or owner.  At first they made from three to four tons a day, and when they increased the output to thirty tons a week, it was considered a wonderful performance.


                Speaking of those days, Mr. MEANS said: “When I leased Union Furnace corn sold for twelve and a half cents a bushel, and wheat for from twenty-four to twenty-six cents.  Wages for competent laborers were only ten dollars a month.  I made a trip to New Orleans and saw wheat sold there for a quarter of a dollar a bushel, and corn on the cob at the same price per barrel.


                “We used only maple sugar in those days, and paid for the commonest molasses thirty-two cents a gallon.  Our woollen goods were woven on hand-looms.  It took six yards of calico to make a dress, and the material cost


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half a dollar a yard.  There are more people in Ironton now than there were then in the county.  We saw no gold, and little silver coin, except in small pieces.  Our circulation was chiefly bills of State banks, and those were continually breaking.  From 1854 to 1861 I kept my furnaces going, but sold very little iron—only enough to keep me in ready money.


                “Charcoal iron was then worth from $10 to $14 a ton.  In 1863 I had an accumulated stock of 16,000 tons.  Next year it advanced to $40, which I thought a fine lift, but in 1864 it netted me $80 a ton.  For eight years before the war, nearly all the furnace-owners were in debt, but creditors did not distress them, for they were afraid of iron, the only asset they could get, and so they carried their customers the best they could, hoping all round for better times.  We are all right and so is the country, if the fools will quit tariff-meddling.”


                JOHN CAMPBELL was born near Ripley, Ohio, January 14, 1808.  In 1834 he removed to Hanging Rock, and became identified with the iron interests of this region, building in connection with Robert HAMILTON the Mount Vernon Furnace.  The “Biographical Cyclopædia of Ohio” says of him: “It was here that he made the change of placing the boilers and hot blast over the tunnel head, thus utilizing the waste gases—a proceeding now generally adopted by the charcoal furnaces of that locality and others elsewhere in the United States.”  In 1837, through the guarantee against any loss by Mr. CAMPBELL and three other iron-masters, Vesuvius Furnace was induced to test the hot blast principle.  This, the first hot blast ever erected in America, was put up by William FIRMSTONE, and though, by those opposed to the principle, it was contended that by it the iron would be weakened and rendered unfit for casting purposes, the result proved satisfactory to all concerned in producing an increased quantity of iron of the desired quality for foundry use.


                “In 1849 he became prime mover and principal stockholder in the organization of the Ohio Iron and Coal Company, and was made its president.  This company purchased four hundred acres of land three miles above Hanging Rock, and laid out the town of Ironton, to which Mr. CAMPBELL gave its name.”


                He is justly accorded the honor of being called the “father and founder of Ironton.”


                In 1850 he removed from Hanging Rock to the newly founded town, and has ever since been prominently identified with its remarkable growth and development, as well as that of the entire surrounding region.


                In 1852 he purchased the celebrated Hecla cold blast furnace.


                He now enjoys in his old age the veneration and respect of all who know of him and his grand life-work, in developing the industries and wealth of this region, bringing as it has increased comforts and happiness to a large number of his fellow-men.


                To no other single individual is so much due for developing the resources of Hanging Rock Iron Region.


                For a personal description of Mr. CAMPBELL see Vol. I., page 237.


            Hanging Rock in 1846.—Hanging Rock, seventeen miles below the county-seat, on the Ohio River, contains 1 church, 4 stores, a forge, a rolling mill, and a foundry—where excellent bar iron is made—and about 150 inhabitants.  It is the great iron emporium of the county, and nearly all the iron is shipped there.  It is contemplated to build a railroad from this place, of about fifteen miles in length, to the iron region, connecting it with the various furnaces.  The village is named from a noted cliff of sandstone, about four hundred feet in height, called the “Hanging Rock,” the upper portion of which projects over, like the cornice of a house.


            Some years since, a wealthy iron-master was buried at Hanging Rock, in compliance with his request, above ground, in an iron coffin.  It was raised about two feet from the ground, supported by iron pillars, resting on a flat stone.  Over all was placed an octagonal building of wood, about twelve feet diameter and fifteen high, painted white, with a cupola-like roof, surmounted by a ball.  It was, in fact, a tomb, but of so novel a description as to attract crowds of strangers, to the no small annoyance of the friends of the deceased, who, in consequence, removed the building, and sunk the coffin into a grave near the spot.—Old Edition.


            HANGING ROCK is on the Ohio river, four miles below Ironton.  Population, 1880, 624.  School census, 1888, 214.


            Burlington in 1846.—Burlington, the county-seat, is on the southernmost point of the Ohio river in the State, one hundred and thirty-three miles southeasterly from Columbus.  It is a small village, containing 4 stores, an academy, 1 or 2 churches, a newspaper printing office, and from 40 to 60 dwellings.—Edition of 1846.


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            It lies about ten miles southeast of Ironton, the present county-seat, nearly opposite Catlettsburg, Ky., and in 1888 its school census was 211.


            MILLERSPORT, P. O. MILLER’S, is thirty-three miles above Ironton, on the Ohio river.  Population, 1880, 250.  School census, 1888, 82.


            PROCTORVILLE is on the Ohio river, twenty miles above Ironton.  Newspaper: Ohio Valley News, Republican, Dwight W. CUSTER, editor and publisher.  It has 1 Methodist Episcopal church.  Population, 1880, 385.


            The development of the mineral resources of Southeastern Ohio is due largely to the study of its geology by Dr. CALEB BRIGGS, born in North Rochester, Mass., May 24, 1812, but long a resident of Ironton, O., where he died September 24, 1884.  He was educated for a physician.  He was engaged in the first survey of the coal and iron regions of Ohio, entering upon the work in June, 1837, and exploring Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence and Scioto counties.  Subsequently he also made surveys in Crawford, Tuscarawas, Wood, and perhaps other counties, terminating his earliest labors in 1839, after which he was employed in similar work in the western counties of Virginia.  He was an extremely intelligent, useful, broad-minded and benevolent citizen, giving to Ironton, the city of his adoption, $25,000 with which to found a public library



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