Proctorville is located
twenty two miles above Ironton and is on the
Ohio river almost opposite the old town of
Guyandotte. The village was named for Jacob
Proctor. – Ironton Register, Thursday,
September 20, 1877 -It seems that at the
incorporation of Proctorville, a variety of names
for the town, was suggested among which was
“Cherrington,” as a sort of a golden mean
between Grant town and Proctorville, but the
latter was adopted. Now why not call it for
short, Proctor, and thereby save a lot of useless
writing? By the time a hundred years or so roll
around, that unnecessary tail ville, will have
absorbed several days’ hard work. Amputate
the tail. Ironton Register, May 5, 1892 – T. A.
Walton wrote about the “Mound Builders,” the
Indians that were in this area. He wrote,
“Where Proctorville now stands was one day
part of a well paved city, but I think the greater
part of it is now in the Ohio River. Only a few
mounds there; one of which was near the C.
Wilgus mansion and contained a skeleton of a
very large person, all double teeth, and sound,
in a jaw bone that would go over the jaw with
the flesh on, of a large man; the common
burying ground was well filled with skeletons at
a depth of about 6 feet. Part of the pavement
was of boulder stone and part of well preserved
brick…. Other: W. G. Curtis was postmaster in
1904. Proctorville was first known as Proctor
Ironton Register, Aug. 14, 1890
In 1797, the Proctorville area has its first settlers, the Jesse Baldwin family. During its first years, the village was known as Quaker Bottom and Grant Town.
In 1834, the village was named Proctor’s Landing after Mr. Proctor.
In 1837, the name changed again to Proctorville. This time the name stayed the same. The village was named for Jacob Proctor, Jr.
In 1852, the land in the Proctorville area sold for $4.00 per acre. By 1864, the area had enough residents to found the village.
G. T. Shirkey, a junior surveyor, surveyed and laid out much of the village of Proctorville, Ohio.
In 1870, the first school was established in Proctorville. In 1879, the first school building was built.
In 1877, Proctorville residents applied for incorporation.
In 1887, the first officials were elected. J. F. Parker was elected the first mayor. I. H. Lloyd was elected the first marshall.
In 1893, the first students graduated from the Proctorville schools. There were only three graduates, Emma Eaton, Maude Wilgus, and Ernest Suiter.
From the 1800’s to the early 1900’s, wharf boats were the only source of supplies to the village.
In 1900, tragedy struck the village. A fire destroyed most of the business district. Many of the businesses did not rebuild.
In 1913, Dick Cassidy installed the first phone service. Eva Mannon was one of the early phone operators.
The village of Proctorville boasted two newspapers in its early days. The Ohio Valley News published its first paper on May 17, 1888. D. W. Custer was the publisher. G. R. McIntosh, was the publisher of the Proctorville Gazette, a weekly newspaper.
The following interesting personal sketch we clip from the Ohio Valley News:
Jacob Proctor, for whom Proctorville was finally named, was born in 1799, and now lives
near the place, a remarkably well preserved man. He formerly lived in Washington county, O.,
and followed the river with a trading boat. Landing here in 1834 he decided to remain, and began
merchandising in a small room rented from Abner Smith, and in 1836 built the brick building
near the ferry landing, now occupied by C. E. Watters family. Mr. Proctor then moved his store
into a portion of this building. Prior to 1837, the postoffice had been kept by a Mr. Kimball who
lived in the country. Mr. Proctor was appointed P.M. in that year by Martin Van Buren, and
Kimball, placing the postoffice on his back, carried it to town and delivered it to his successor,
who at once entered upon his arduous duty of handing out three newspapers a week, and an
occasional letter, and drawing his salary, which amounted to about $10 a year. Letter postage
then was from 10 to 25 cents. McGinnis & Hall, then doing business there, had their shipment of
goods sent to Proctorville, and the name of Quaker Bottom began gradually to give place to the
new nomenclature. Abner Smith, from whom Proctor rented upon this arrival here, still resides in
Ironton Register, Sept. 27, 1888