World War I
The “war to end all wars” was first mentioned in the Ironton Tribune in a “extra” on April 6, 1917.
Lawrence County men between 21 to 31 registered on June 5, 1917. The first bugle sounded on April1 0, 1917 for Company 1 who drilled at the Princess Armory on 3rd Street near Vernon Street. On June 10, 1917, M. Waite Russell was commissioned captain of Company 1. George Kingery was named 1st Lieutenant. Lester Abele replaced Horace N. Hill as 2nd Lieutenant. Horace Hill was transferred to Fort Benjamin Harrison for further training.
June 15, 1917 saw the first Liberty Loan Bonds sold in Ironton.
The first draft for Ironton men occurred on July 20, 1917. The first draftee was Elmer E. Summer, #258. On September 5, 1917, the first draftees left for Chillicothe, Ohio for training.
Company 1 remained in Ironton to drill. On October 14, 1917, they left for Montgomery, Alabama. Each member of Company 1 received a wrist watch from Oscar Richey before they left.
Miss Katherine Fowler was nominated as the first chairman of the Lawrence County Division of the Red Cross.
During World War I, people were asked to conserve supplies. It was considered to be their patriotic duty. Construction was halted on the Elks Home and Hotel Marting to conserve steel for the war effort. Citizens would go wheatless, meatless, and coatless to show their support for the troops.
On June 25, 1918, the largest draft enlistment of the entire war left Ironton. A total of 172 draftees left Ironton for Camp Sherman.
Less than a month later on July 23, 1918, another 161 draftees left for service. These troops were sent to Chillicothe, Ohio for training.
On September 12, 1918, Lawrence County men answered the call for more troops. 1,584 men between the ages of 18 and 45 registered to be called for examination. After the examination, they could be called for military duty.
On March 9, 1918, the first Lawrence County man was killed in the war. Homer Dawson was from Coal Grove, Ohio. He was a part of the Rainbow Division. Because of his sacrifice, the Coal Grove School would use his last name when the renamed their school system. He is the Dawson of the Dawson-Bryant School System.
Ironton lost their first soldier a few weeks later. Frank J. Goldcamp was in France with the engineers when he was killed on March 28, 1918.
On November 11, 1918, the war ended. A parade was held to celebrate peace.