Monitor Furnace

38.490505, -82.642645



Furnace companies sold and bought their furnaces to themselves all the time…the furnaces were supposed to go to a public auction once they were in receivership. Like with Big Etna, sometimes the original owners couldn’t buy back their furnaces….with Center Furnace, a family member of the original company bought it back…the Iron & Steel Furnace on the river was, at one point, owned by the Union Iron & Steel Company, who sold it to….the Union Furnace Company (same people). But in the case of Monitor Furnace, it was owned by the same people who owned the Lawrence Furnace, and they attempted to sell it to themselves without the public notification AND while it had liens against it. My interpretation is that the sale was allowed and the Monitor Furnace Co. could remain dissolved but that the creditors were entitled to their share of the money from the sale….but I’m no lawyer, read it for yourself =)

John Peters, Sr.

Picture John Peters Sr., iron master. He was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, on February 18th, 1814. His parents were Henry Peters and Rebecca Wilhelm, both natives of Pennsylvania. Our subject, John Peters, at the age of nineteen, began for himself by learning the molder?s trade at Pine Grove Furnace, Lawrence County, Ohio. Having followed this business for two years he began to manufacture charcoal at Mount Vernon Furnace, a business, which he followed for five years. He then associated with the late J. 0. Willard and leased Buckhorn Furnace, and for two and a half years was manager of that concern. In 1844, he built Greenup Furnace in Greenup County, Kentucky, now called Honeywell Furnace, and after managing the same for one yea, returned to Ohio, and joined John Campbell, Madison Cole, William Clements and J. L. Thompson in erecting Olive Furnace, in the building of which Mr. Peters became superintendent. After its erection he continued active manager of it for about six years. He then moved to Ironton, and became one of a company, consisting of Samuel McConnell, Isaac Peters, John Campbell, W. M. Bowles and Thomas McGovney, to build the Washington Furnace, and the erection of which he superintended. In 1855110 superintended the building of the Monroe Furnace in Jackson County. The company consisted of S. McConnell, Thomas McGovney, Isaac Peters, W. M. Bolles, Professor Mathers, John Campbell and John Peters. The last two owned a controlling interest in this furnace. In 1855 he built the Madison Furnace in the’ same county. The owners of this furnace were J. P. Terry of Portsmouth, J. Bentley, M. R. Tuksbarry, F. Duduit, John Campbell and John Peters. He disposed of his interest in Madison in 1867. In 1865 he formed a partnership with his brother, Isaac Peters, and opened a banking house in Ironton under the firm name of J. Peters & Co., and continued this business for three years, when he engaged superintending the building of the Monitor Furnace, owned by Isaac Peters, Joseph Bimpson, F. E. Duduit, William Simington, John Ballard and himself. He afterwards bought, individually, the Lawrence Furnace from Culbertson, Means & Co. This is an old furnace, built in 1834, and, when a young man, our subject had been employed as laborer in it. In addition to these enterprises, he was one of the principal men who laid out the town of Ironton, and built the Iron railroad. Also one of the originators of the old Star Nail Mill, under the firm name of Peters, James & Co.; the establishment being now called the Bellefont Iron Works. Also one of the original owners of the Olive foundry and machine shops, now operated by Lambert Brothers. He likewise laid out the town of Petersburg, four miles above Ironton, and built the Monitor Furnace at that place, the town being named for him. After disposing of the Washington and Monroe furnaces, he purchased three hundred acres of land and laid out an addition to the town of Portland, Jackson County, Ohio. He has been twice married. His first wife was Sarah McDannel, who died August 30th, 1842, having been the mother of four children. His second wife was Mary C. Duduit, whom he married December 23d, 1843. The issue of this union has been six children. Three of the sons are engaged at Lawrence Furnace, George being manager, Charles bookkeeper, and Ptolemy storekeeper. William H. Peters is superintendent of the ore mines at Bartle’s Station on the Iron railroad, for Bellefont Iron Works Company. John Peters, Jr., is superintendent of the Car Wheel Iron Company at Petersburg. James F. Peters, the youngest son, is engaged in the insurance business in Ironton. The oldest daughter of our subject, Mary A. Peters, is the wife of Dr. C. H. Spaler of Jamestown, Ohio; and her sister Rebecca, is the wife of the eminent divine and vocalist, Chaplain C. C. McCabe of Chicago; Martha A. married M. S. Bartram, present auditor of Lawrence County, Ohio; and Josephine is wife of A. B. Cole, a lawyer of Chillicothe, Ohio.

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About Lawrence County, Ohio

Lawrence County, Ohio borders the Ohio River at the Southernmost part of the state. Six architecturally interesting bridges span the Ohio River, connecting Lawrence County with various locations in both Kentucky and West Virginia. Because of these bridges, metropolitan Ashland, KY and Huntington, WV are just minutes away from virtually anywhere in the county.

Lawrence County Ohio was organized December 20, 1816, the first Court of Common Pleas was organized March 4, 1817. In 2016, Lawrence County celebrated its Bicentennial… click here to view photos of the Grand Finale event.

The first election was held April 7, 1817, with Joseph Davidson, Joel Bowen, and David Spurlock elected county commissioners. Their first meeting was held Monday afternoon, April 21, 1817, at the home of Joseph Davidson in Burlington.

Lawrence County, Ohio was named after Capt. James Lawrence, a native of Burlington, NJ and a gallant naval officer of the War of 1812.

Lawrence County was home to 23 blast furnaces and was once the world leader in pig iron production.

The county seat is Ironton, where you will find our government offices, restaurants, museum, library, splash park, civic organizations, and is home of the famous Memorial Day Parade.

Check out what’s new in Lawrence County, with the Lawrence County Guide Book. 

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