U. S. Steel Mill 

(BiCentennial History of Mingo Jct. Oh., pg. 49) 

Mingo Town (now Mingo Junction) was a camping site for Indians and early pioneer settlers until 1860. The scene changed with the erection of the small Mingo Iron Works. The town began to grow from an agricultural to an industrial community.

In 1869, Mr. Potter sold 30 acres of the lower locust grove and a tract on the hill to a party of capitalists for the location of the mill. Matthew Hadkinson sold adjoining plots for an oil refinery of what was then known as Carbon Street. Coal shafts were sank, coke ovens and a blast furnace was built. The first furnace was called the “Isabelle.”

In 1890 the company merged into the Junction Iron and Steel Co adding two blast furnaces, a bar mill and a nail factory. It produced 275 tons of steel per day. The nail factory produced 600 kegs of nails.  In 1895 it changed names again to the Laughlin Steel Co.

In 1900 the property changed hands with National Steel Company and in 1901 again a subsidiary of U.S. Steel known as the Carnegie-Illinois Corp. and quit rolling operations in 1939. During WWII, U.S. Steel built deck plates for war ships and submarines.  These operations ceased in July of 1945 after the war ended. The mill was commended for its record-breaking contributions to the war effort.

Wheeling Steel Corporation, a large steel making concern which was founded in 1921, purchased all of the Mingo Plant facilities plus all the homes and the entire land at the Mingo Bottoms in 1945. They immediately expanded operations and began the process of producing steel at a rate 10 times faster then the open-hearth method. The plant was known as the Steubenville South Plant, even though it is still located in Mingo Jct. The merger on December 5, 1968 changed the name once again to the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, which is listed as the 9th largest steel-makers in the country.

{The following photo is an example of industry up and down the Ohio riverbanks.} 

(LaBelle Iron Works- Steubenville, Ohio)

      New Pennsylvania Railroad Station Steubenville, Ohio
{This station replaced the original R.R. station featured on page 8. Both are long gone!}

MANY METHODS OF EARLY TRANSPORTATION WERE FOUND IN THE COUNTY

  • 700’s- Flat boats on the Ohio River
  • 1700’s- Horse drawn wagons
  • 1830’s- “Little” steamers
  • 1847- First talk of Railroad building. On October 8, 1853 three fine locomotives ran into the city of Steubenville across Market St drawing two cars.

As the train approached for the first time, a large crowd gathered to gaze upon the modern iron horse, which seemed to say: “Beware! Beware! For I come in my might, with a scream and a scowl of scorn- with speed like the mountain eagle’s flight when he rides the breezes of morn.”

What brought your pioneer ancestors here? Could it have been the waterpower, inexhaustible supply of coal, limestone, ore or rail? Was it the rich valley soil for farming or raising sheep? Or was it when the mills flourished and industrial manufacturing and factories took off?  Or a small business or craft?

{SOME of the EARLY BUSINESSES- Steubenville}

  • Grist and Saw mills- 1802, Wells Run
  • Tanneries- 1798 Benj. Dale, North St, Steubenville
  • Distilleries- 1798 P. Snyder, Adams St, Steubenville
  • Pottery Works- 1806 J.C. Fisher, Market St.
  • Nail Manufacturing- 1803, Andrew & Robert Thompson, Wm. Kilgore and Hugh Sterling.
  • Flour Mill & Cotton Factories- 1812, High St.
  • Paper Mills- 1813
  • Woolen Mills- 1812
  • Brewery- 1815, Mr. Dunlap

 {SOME EARLY BUSINESSES OF MINGO JCT.}

  • Theatre- Matinees Adults 10 cents, Child 5 Cents.
  • Hatcher Brothers Meat Market & Delivery
  • W.H. Davis Grocery- 1909
  • Otto Maul’s Hotel and Restaurant- “Oysters in all styles,” 519 Commercial St. dated 1913.
  • Otto Maul’s Diner- 1914-1920
  • Ash Hotel- owned by Mr. Phillips
  • Foundry & Machine Shop- 1816, M. Phillips and Robert Carrol.

Foundry Business, continued

The demands of progress turned the plant’s attention to the exclusive manufacture of coal and gas grates in various patterns. They erected a modern building along the Railroad tracks at the intersection of Slack Street. The largest building then was 400 feet by 70 feet.

The railroad ran into the main building where cars were loaded for shipment. Coal, coke and iron were unloaded. At the peak of business the foundry employed 150 to 175 skilled workmen at the highest prevailing wages, many of whom grew up with the business. For years and because of the Excellency of workmanship the demands for the products of the plant increased. (Taken from Herald Star newspaper, January 24, 1907)

   (Acme Glass Works, 7th & Franklin, Steubenville, Ohio)

(When Glass was King!)

Brick Work Business Tour

  • Freeman’s Landing Firebrick Works- W.B. Freeman, Mr. Jenkins foreman.
  • Connelly Hood & Company- Mr. Connelly
  • Carlisle Company Works at Sloan’s Station- Mr. Daniel’s. This was the only manufacturer in this line west of the Allegheny Mountains.
  • McCoy’s Station- Mr. Ford
    (Taken from Herald Star newspaper, March 8-20, 1875)

Iron and Nail Business

In Steubenville and the immediate vicinity there were ten large Iron and Nail Company employing in all departments about 5,500 men and boys. In the same locality there were twelve glass works in which were employed about 2,650 persons. Like those that followed other trades and occupations these iron and glass workers were liable to certain diseases and injuries.

The “rollers” and “hookers” from the nature of their work were more liable to the strains of muscles as well as joints. Muscular rheumatism, cramps in the muscles and inflammation of the sheaths of the tendons, were not infrequent among them.

The “nail feeders” sitting for hours at a time on their hard backless stools became more or less stooped shouldered. Burns were probably more frequent than any other surgical causes. This would happen with those that worked around the blast furnace. They would receive horrible burns. 

More formidable, however to all other job related injuries and diseases was the so-called, “nailers consumption.” It was due to the irritation set up by the particles of steel and stone dust.  10 to 12 hours a day the nailers and nail feeders breathed in atmosphere laden with minute particles of iron and steel.

The LaBelle mill introduced large and powerful fans for removing the dust. Handkerchiefs were sometimes worn over the nose and mouth. A sponge was tied in front of the face. The best pioneer type inspirator was small frame wired gauze fitted to the nose. Inside the frame was a bunch of cotton, which caught all the fine particles and the cotton would be frequently changed.

Workers in the glass were liable to certain diseases and injuries from their surroundings as well. In many factories most of the workmen divided into turns of 5 hours each which limited their exposure to a high degree of heat and improved as methods of ventilation improved. Materials used in manufacturing glass were sand, soda and lime to which smaller quantities of arsenic and magnesium were added. The mixers would cover their mouths and noses with handkerchiefs. They were subject to fits of coughing and sneezing. Their mucous membrane of the eye also suffered along with chronic lead poisoning occurring in the mixers where fine glass was made. These workers both from the nail and glass manufacturing companies seemed to have a short life span.

   The Ohio Valley Clay Co, Steubenville, Ohio
Post Card Photo, dated 1909