Wife of Ironton founder honored

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another remembrance of Ironton’s past as an industrial player in the 19th Century has been put in place. Monday morning a banner commemorating Elizabeth Clarke Campbell went up on the corner of Park Avenue and Third Street.

Campbell was the wife of ironmaster John Campbell, who was one of the leaders in the pig iron industry, well-known abolitionist and organizer of the city of Ironton.

The Campbells were married in Hanging Rock on March 16, 1837, at the home of her uncle Robert Hamilton, who built the famous estate there of Grey Gables, later the home of a member of the Means family and colorful businessman Ducky Corn. The couple had seven children and Elizabeth Campbell was born in 1815 and died in 1893.

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Soon John Campbell’s banner will be placed above Park Avenue at the location of the banner now of singer Bobby Bare. Bare’s banner will be placed a block away at Bare Boulevard.

On the other two corners will be other founding fathers of the one-time industrial hub of the Tri-State — Hiram Campbell and W.D. Kelly.

Selecting the banners and finding financial backing has been the work of Carolyn Carter, a representative of the Ironton Port Authority. She has spent the past 10 months researching the background of those who were pivotal people or places that are part of the city’s history.

“My reason for doing this is to bring out historical facts and pictures,” she said in a recent interview. “The people of Ironton who didn’t realize how steeped the city is in history can see this on the pictorial panels.”

Upcoming projects include putting up four panels commemorating the Ironton-Lawrence County Parade at the intersection of Fourth and Center streets, where the parade traditionally kicks off.

On the corners will be a panel for the parade’s committee; Twister, the riderless horse who appeared in 11 parades; a Union soldier; and Confederate soldier.