Ironton is a city in and the county seat of Lawrence County, Ohio, United States. Located in southernmost Ohio along the Ohio River 15 miles northwest of Huntington, West Virginia, the city includes the Downtown Ironton Historic District.
The population was 11,129 at the 2010 census. Ironton is part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 287,702. New definitions from February 28, 2013 placed the population at 363,000.
Ironton is a contraction of "iron town." The city has a long history with the iron industry. It also had one of the first professional football teams.
Ironton was founded in 1849 by John Campbell, a prominent pig iron manufacturer in the area. He chose the location of Ironton because of its site along the Ohio River, which would allow for water transport of iron ore to markets downriver.
Between 1850 and 1890, Ironton was one of the foremost producers of iron in the world.