Our quiet village offers the visitor reminders of its historic past as well as many opportunities for enjoying the life of a small community in a beautiful natural setting.The Village of Leetonia in Salem Township, Columbiana County was founded as a company town associated with the Leetonia Iron and Coal Company. The company was founded in 1866 and played a prominent part in the local and regional economy until 1930. Leetonia Iron and Coal Company was founded by several railroad managers and local financial backers who were in the area during early railroad construction. The company and town are named for the railroad promoter William Lee, who was largely responsible for purchasing the land and mineral rights where the town and company were laid out. The success of the Leetonia Iron and Coal Company lead to a huge population inflation and by 1869 1,800 people resided in the Village. This lead to the incorporation of the town in May of that year. In 1872 the company was forced to close its doors due to global economic troubles that plagued industry.
By 1873, however, Jacob G. Chamberlain, one of the original company founders, reincorporated and created a new company - The Cherry Valley Iron and Coal Company. Subsequent financial issues led to the property being reorganized and changing hands several times. This included takeovers by conglomerates of Republic Steel (1893) and M.A. Hanna (1920), finally closing its doors in 1930. Luckily, other industries and successful ventures in nearby Salem and Youngstown allowed the residents of Leetonia to carry on.
Throughout its history, Leetonia has seen the construction of a new K-12 school building, a new library building, and the installation of a major leg of the Greenway Bike Trail. The site of the Leetonia Iron and Coal Company got an historic marker in 1993 and plans are in place to turn the site into a historic park and education center.
We are always looking for contributions to the town history! Please stop by the Administrative Office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any photographs or information. Also, be sure to find us on Facebook!