Mingo  Junction  History  Homepage
Old Mingo Postcards

Famous Folks from   Mingo           
A Brief History and Map Drawing Timeline of Mingo
Junction, Ohio
Celebration of the Mingo History Book...March 5th at 2 pm, Hills School,
Mingo Junction
,  Co-sponsored by the Mingo Women's Club and Guy
Mason and Larry Smith and Photos by Bea (Petroskey) Dailey
* Click here for a slideshow from the event.

A Photo History book of Mingo Junction...
Here is an updated YouTube video of some of the images of the town, shared by residents.

Films Shot in

Excerpt from A Mill Town Pastor, biography of Rev. Daniel Coffey

A Brief History on the Origins of Mingo Junction, Ohio

From History of Belmont and Jefferson Counties, Ohio and Incidental Historical Collections

                         by J.A. Caldwell (Wheeling, WV Historical Publishing Company, 1880)

[Compiled here by Dr. Larry Smith]

“Mingo Junction” As it is now named, is at present the site of a thrifty and prosperous village, designed for a town in the near future. The location referred to, including the property known as Potter’s farm, and also the Mean’s farm, was purchased, to the extent of six hundred acres, in 1800, bu the Rev. Lyman Potter, and his son-in-law, Mr. Jasper Murdock, the former, at the time, being a missionary from the Presbyterian church through Ohio and Pennsylvania. At his death the property was divided into two farms. . . . Daniel [Potter] Jr., at present a lumber merchant in Steubenville, in company with Mr. Abrahams, and Mr. Robert Sherrard, banker also of Steubenville, were made executors of the estate. These gentlemen, under date of June 1871, engaged the services of a surveyor, who laid out the land, consisting of forty-five lots. Mr. Elisha P. Potter next opened up an addition of twenty-five lots. . . . while in December, 1872, Mr. D. Potter and Mr. R. Sherrard, further added a second addition of forty-seven lots—this making the sum total of one hundred and seventeen lots submitted for building upon. It was the fact of the fine iron works being erected at this point that induced the idea of laying out a town, which works run successfully down to 1878, then stood idle for a considerable time, but opened up again brighter than ever in September last, under a new firm known as Mingo Iron Works Company. In 1872, a neat frame Presbyterian church was put up, at a cost of $2,500 at which the Rev. S. Forbes at present [1880] officiates, while the M. E.[Methodist] Church has also a mission here. A very nice public school was built in 1873, at a cost of $3,000, and is well attended. For several years lots sold freely, and fetched good prices, but in consequence of the recent stoppage of the iron works for some twelve to eighteen months, the real estate market in that locality has been exceedingly inactive—a state of affairs, however, that does not appear likely to continue. Nor should we [o]mit to state that about 1871-1872, there was a neat railroad depot erected here, at which there is express and Western Union telegraph agencies, and accommodations for passengers traveling the Cleveland and Pittsburgh or Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis railroads, while the station house is used for a post office, Mr. Robert Turner being in charge of the united departments conducted in the building. The iron works company have a mine in operation, with a shaft 238 feet deep, near the depot, which produces an excellent quality of coal from veins varying from two feet to three feet in thickness. On the Means farm there is also a capital drift mine, hence there is no lack of fuel in the neighborhood. In the village there is a hotel, run by mine host A. Carson, and there are also several stores—including a dry goods and notion house by Mrs. Hirshfield, a grocery and dry good store by Mr. David Simpson, and groceries by Mrs. McClusky, P. Goff, &c. In fact, with it railroad and river facilities, an ample supply of coal and abundant excellent water—ready access to Steubenville, and the advantage of a most healthy location, teeming with historical associations, we see every reasonable prospect of this favored spot of centuries ago, yet securing equal popularity in future with certainly enjoyed in the past.


Old Postcards of the town c. 1920
(Thanks to Schiappa Library in Steubenville, OH)

During the great Steel Strike of 1919, political radical unionist and feminist
Mother Jones spoke to the crowds in Mingo Junction, Ohio.
This is from The Autobiography of Mother Jones (Charles H. Kerr Publishing)

Film The Deer Hunter (1978) shot primarily in Mingo Junction, Ohio

Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro, Michael Cimino (director)
on Mingo's Commercial Street (Photo by Guy Mason)

Car and truck racing down lower Commercial Street in scene from The Deer Hunter,
Welsh's Bar to the right where many scenes were filmed.

Some of Chief Cast Members from The Deer Hunter outside Mill Gate
* * * * *

Heart of Steel (1983)

Heart of Steel film made in 1983 with Peter Strauss (arrow).
Preparing for the Climax Scene outside the Mingo Mill Gate

Peter Strauss around time of filming Heart of Steel
* * * * *

                     Other films shot in Mingo

           Reckless (1984) 


Vision Quest  (1985)


James Wright's Ohio (1988)


Unstoppable (2010)

Some Famous Mingo Folks

Spud Hughes 1928
Discovered menthol cigarettes and sold idea to tobacco companies.

An apocryphal story tells of how Mingo Junction native Spud Hughes discovered the menthol cigarette craze.
Young Spud Hughes was asthmatic and so his mother supplied him with menthol crystals so that he might inhale
the vapor in hopes of improving his breathing. Asthmatic or not, young Hughes was not averse to gathering with
some of his buddies and sneaking cigarettes on the side. To escape the wrath of his mother, young Spud began
hiding his cigarette stash in the same box as the menthol crystals. Upon smoking them he found that they had
picked up the menthol flavor and tasted really good.

Always the entrepreneur, Spud started offering them to railroad workers and friends, but for a price. Once they
became very popular with the locals, Spud loaded up his car trunk and started selling them town to town,
door to door. Spud was a salesman and sensing a golden opportunity he did obtain a patent on his process and
offered his mentholated cigarettes to Axton Fisher Tobacco Company who almost immediately realized their
potential. They offered Spud $90,000.00 in 1926! He immediately accepted and went off on a spending spree
that few local men would ever match, buying and crashing several airplanes
yet always walking away unharmed. He blew through the entire $90,000.00 in two years. Axton Fisher Tobacco
Company eventually marketed the "Spuds" Menthol Cigarettes nationally and by 1932 they were the 5th largest
selling cigarette in the U.S. (Guy Mason)

  *     *     *     *     *     *     *

  Bill "Lil' Squirt" Albaugh

Mingo's most famous football player, Joe Fortunato

Joe Fortunato 1948 Mingo High graduate starred in football, basketball and track. Joe received a football scholarship
and played linebacker-fullback as a Mississippi State Bulldog. He was selected Senior Bowl defensive captain in 1952.
Joe was drafted by the Chicago Bears and after serving two years in the U.S. army joined the team for 12 years 1955-1966
captaining the Bears’ 1963 team and NFL Champions. He was selected All Pro for five straight years and also selected
to the NFL player of the decade team and among the top 300 NFL players of all time. Joe and his wife Catherine now
reside in Natchez, Mississippi, where they remain a very active member of the community. In 2007 Joe returned to
Mingo for a celebartion in his honor at the Knights of Columbus Hall. A beautiful sign was erected downtown in his
honor and part of Route Seven was renamed “Joe Fortunato Highway.” Fortunato recalled of his hometown, “It was rough.
My grandfather owned a grocery store and I worked there until old enough to work in the steel mill. Growing up there
taught me it takes a lot of hard work to get where you want to go.” At the event he announced he was starting the
“Joe Fortunato Scholarship” fund for an area high

Larry Smith Homepage