Researching History easier at Hamner Room

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Isn’t it amazing what you can find at your local library?<!—->.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Isn’t it amazing what you can find at your local library?

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Lawrence County is rich in history from the Civil War to genealogy; from old cemeteries to riverboats and the underground railroad.

After being closed for five weeks, the Hamner Room at the library reopened Jan. 16. It has a new look as well as more space available for those researching their ancestors or looking up the history of Civil War veterans.

The board of trustees decided to make this move last fall because the other room was too crowded. The new room has much more space and the community is pleased with the move, officials say. It is located where the public auditorium used to be.

"In addition to more space for research, the room also allows space for more collection of new materials," said library director, Joe Jenkins.

New materials will be added in the near future, he said. In addition, the library is beginning projects to add histories of older citizens and World War II veterans. The library also plans to purchase a camera and computer for digitalization of records.

Some of the collection is on microfilm, including the Ironton Register dating back to 1852. Jenkins said there are some "lost" volumes, such as ones that were destroyed during the ’37 flood. Also there are numerous volumes of historical documents, including death, birth and marriage certificates, census records, wills and more.

The Hamner Room also includes volumes of some of the first families of Lawrence County, which officially became a county in 1817. A "Civil War List" is one of the books available for searching names of local veterans.

The library has public access to computers for anyone interested in researching their family history. There are numerous books on the first families of Ohio and a great deal of information on the first families of Lawrence County.

In addition, students can utilize the room for school projects.

"I’m looking up Civil War information for a school project," said Kimberly Bond, an eighth-grader at Ironton Junior High who was at the Hamner Room Monday afternoon.

The Hamner Room was dedicated in 1987 in memory of Phyllis Hamner, a former employee of the library. She had a great love for the history of the county and was dedicated to her work officials say.

For more information on the Hamner room, contact the library by phone at 532-1124 or by e-mail at