Burlington, Ohio was laid out in February 1817 by Edward Trupper of Gallipolis, Ohio. It was the first village in Lawrence County. The first white settlers in the region were James and William Canter in 1796.
Burlington was named the first county seat of Lawrence County on March 4, 1817. Three days later on the 7th, the first elections were held. John Kelley was elected the first sheriff.
The county seat needed a new courthouse and jail. Asa Kimball was awarded the contract to build the courthouse. $1,606 was spent to build the 2 story, 40 square feet building. The first floor held the courtroom and the second floor had three offices. The courthouse was moved to Ironton in 1851. The former courthouse in Burlington was used as a school building.
In the summer of 1872, a packet, Granite Slate, landed in Burlington. On board was the Dan Rice show. Tents were raised in the school yard for the show. It was considered an honor to have such a show, so everyone in town attended the show. Members of the M.E. Church were forbidden to attend. However, church members did attend and were kicked out of the church. The former M.E. Church members formed in Methodist Protestant Church.
In 1878, Burlington had the first telephone used in Lawrence County.
The first chapel and school were built in 1920.
Taken from http://www.briggslibrary.com/hamner/Places/Burlington.html
BURLINGTON – THE OLDEST NAME
By Charles Collett
(no date – circa 1940’s)
Burlington, the oldest name in the Tri-State … When Ohio was admitted to the Union in 1803, more people lived in the vicinity of Burlington than elsewhere in this section … When Lawrence county was laid out in 1816, the court house and jail were erected at Burlington… The first newspaper published on the river between Portsmouth and Gallipolis was the Lawrence County Gazette at Burlington, established by W. C. Wheeler, November 22, 1845… That was 4 years before Ironton was founded.
Before the Civil War, Burlington had a distillery making good whiskey… This little community today is not listed in the postal guide, with such other cities as Burlington, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Maine, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado…which states all have a Burlington. .. Instead, the citizens here now receive their mail on rural route South Point.
Many stories have been told about the period leading up to the Civil War, when Burlington was known as a stop on the “Underground Railway” a path followed by slaves running away from the South for freedom to the North… Cross the river than was Virginia,” as the state had not been divided in the West… The fact that run away slaves received such humane treatment, many remained and others returned after the war…
The stories of the underground bring to mind another underground experience 40 years ago when the nation was undergoing the noble experiment remembered as national prohibition… A friend invited me and two others to show us a real Speak Easy… Our party arrived in Burlington about 9 p.m. parked the car off the main highway, walked in the dark about a block to a home where only the hall lamp was burning… A woman with a candle in her hand answered the doorbell, and the leader of our party identified himself and we were ushered into the parlor… The house had three doors leading from the hallway and we could hear voices in the other rooms.
The parlor had a fancy oil lamp and an old fashion organ. The waitress took the order for four ginger highballs…. When she returned she had a little hand bell on the tray, saying if we wanted anything else, to ring the bell… The drink must have been good, because our party rang several times.
The proprietoress or landlady entered the parlor and was introduced… I remember her words ” I hear Lawrence County’s biggest politicians are in the house.”… That made us all feel important… She talked in a low quiet tone and was quite gabby… Her husband worked nights in Huntington and she operated the “blind tiger” only after 8 p.m. with lights out at 11 … She spoke of her list of select clientele… No party of more than 4 were admitted at a time, and each party assigned a private room. “You never can tell” she said, “the Mayor of Huntington might be drinking with a party in the next room – We never mix company.” … That’s our memory of Burlington 40 years ago.
Our memories of the town where the highway on old US 52 makes the big “Z” curve has one of the first tourist cabins between Ironton and Chesapeake… Those cabins attracted attention because on the doors of two adjoining small buildings were the words “Maggie and Jiggs”… Those signs could be read from the highway and provided many a smile in mixed company… Not long ago I heard similar buildings called “summer houses” because some are for men and some are for women.
Today Burlington has a drive-in theatre, new churches and the old building was a part of Lawrence County’s first courthouse, 120 years ago remains.
1825 – Crumlish, Amelia – Born just above Burlington on Oct. 31, 1825; see obituary of Mrs. George, I. R. May 7, 1891.
1827 – Wheeler, Urania M. – Born November 26, 1827; see obituary of Mrs. McCoy, I. R. June 4, 1903.
1832 – Combs, John – Born Burlington in 1832; see obituary I. R. Aug. 23, 1894.
Burlington – Fayette Tp. – The town was originally located on lands owned by John Ferguson and Wm. Elkins, and was owned at that time by E. B. Greene, now known as the Delta, the school house and church of that name being on or nearby the same land. There were several log cabins erected, but the question of title arose, and upon examination, they concluded to move their location and selected the present site; John Davidson and William Burton each giving 25 acres of land, in all 50 acres, which now composes the present town of Burlington. Several of the houses which had been built on the Delta lands were torn down and hauled to and erected at the new place, which was named Burlington for a Burlington in Vermont. Ironton Register July 11, 1895. Burlington was named by E. B. Greene and Carpus Clark for Burlington, Vt., and Carpus Clark and S. M. Browning named Burlington, Iowa, for our chief town. Burlington was organized in March of 1817 as the county seat of Lawrence county. Burlington was the only post office in the county until 1821. Thomas Kerr was the first postmaster. Burlington was the first town laid out. The brick tavern at Burlington, was the first brick house. The first road surveyed was from Burlington to the mouth of Symmes.