Archived Story

Civil War remembered at museum

Published 12:31am Sunday, August 12, 2012

While the Lawrence County Museum has a permanent military room to honor those Lawrence Countians who have served their country, currently the main exhibit in the downstairs dining room has a patriotic theme for the months of July and August.

Items include newspaper stories, scrapbooks, pictures, awards of recognition, and books.

One publication, Honor Roll of Lawrence County, features pictures and information about those who served in Company I during WWI. This company was mustered into federal service July 15, 1917.

Company I was about 60 men with last names well known in Lawrence County. Captain was M.W. Russell, assisted by First Lieutenant George D. Kingery and Second Lieutenant Lester J. Abele.

This group of soldiers used the Lawrence Street Public School building as a barracks. Training was undertaken immediately including strenuous hikes over the many hills surrounding Ironton. In 1917 and 1918, men were drawn out of company I and sent to various branches of service and then sent overseas to participate in many battles of WW1.

Many never returned. Frank J. Goldcamp was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for sacrificing his life to try to save a comrade. Homer Dawson was the first Lawrence County boy to lose his life during the war.

Also on display in the upstairs hallway are photos of the nationally famous Ironton Tanks football team of the 1920s.

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is being remembered at the museum with an upstairs exhibit of items pertaining to the area’s involvement in the Underground Railroad.

On Saturday, July, 21, several members of the historical society traveled to Burlington and learned more about how this community was an important part of the activity.

Burlington was once the county seat of Lawrence County until it moved to Ironton in 1850. It was a thriving community with three hotels and a pottery plant and many other businesses following its establishment in 1816.

A resident of Burlington, Chris Saunders, led a walking tour of the community that included the site of the first Lawrence County Courthouse, a jail that is the oldest standing government building in Lawrence County, and the cemetery where several known members of the Underground Railroad are buried. Saunders, shared his vast knowledge of the community with the members.

The museum is only open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Arrangements can be made for group tours at other times by calling the museum at 532-1222.

Plans are being made for the annual Historic Cemetery Walk on Sept. 29, and the Historic Church Walk the first Saturday in December.

The museum is located at 506 S. Sixth St. There is no admission charge and docents are always available to share the history of Ironton and Lawrence county.


Sue Jenkins is a docent at the Lawrence County Historical Museum.

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