A Date To Remember
March 5, 1966
Written by Charles Collett
Submitted by: Robert Kingrey
March 5 marks the 116th anniversary of the first school in Ironton. The frame building, on this date in 1850, was erected on the corner of Fourth and Center, now the site of Goldcamp Hardware Building.
Leaders in the movement were John Campbell, William D. Kelly and Sheperd Luke, trustees, who raised $444 by public subscription. Students entering the school had to pay tuition. The building was a single-floor frame with a front porch and only two rooms.
Much of the history of the city had its beginnings in the little school house on that corner across from the public square which the founders of the town had great foresight in setting aside in 1949 when the town was laid out with hopes that it would be the site for a courthouse. The county seat of Lawrence was moved from Burlington to Ironton in 1852, two years after the school was built.
The two public meeting places of the new town in 1850 were the Iron Railroad Depot, now the location of the D. T. & I. Depot, and the school building, which later was called the “Pioneer School” in newspaper stories.
All the public meetings to organize the moving the moving of the courthouse from Burlington to this city and the organization of the First National Bank took place at the depot. Most of the meetings to organize the first churches in the new town were held at the Pioneer School.
The Ohio Iron and Cola CO., owners of the new town site of which John Campbell was president, published notice by tacking printed bills on trees that a free lot would be donated to any organized group of 20 or more for a site for a church building. The religious people of the community quickly accepted the offer, and meetings were held at the Pioneer School to make their applications legal.