They took farmlands on the Ohio River bottoms between the mouths of Keys Creek and Hoods Creek and operated a water-powered sawmill near the mouth of Hoods Creek, perhaps as early as 1799.
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In 1920, Armco employed 3,600 but just eighteen years later, that had increased to 5,500.
In 1954, the payroll increased to 7,500 before decreasing to 4,500 by 1972, 3,500 in 1982, 1,630 by 1986 and just 700 by 1992.
More furnaces were built and soon iron from Hanging Rock Iron Region became nationally known, due to the high quality of the product.
Iron produced at these charcoal fired furnaces were hauled to Poage's Landing and Hanging Rock, Ohio, for shipment on the Ohio River to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.On March 12, 1941, ground was broken for the Bellefonte Furnace.Completed in 1942 at a cost of million, it produced 1,000/tons of steel per day. A new hot-strip mill was opened on May 20, 1953 that employed 3,000.Robert Poage and his sons Robert, Jr., and George, along with Major George Poage and his son John, held title to thousands of acres obtained by assignment from the William Bell patent and treasury land warrants.The first recorded land grant in the area was made to General James Wilkinson in 1783, from whom Robert Poage purchased a 5,000-acre (20 km The Poages were of Scots-Irish stock, some coming to Kentucky directly from Virginia through the Cumberland Gap in 1786 and some from Virginia by way of Harrodsburg and Mayslick.The present mounds are actually restorations, having been rebuilt from smaller heaps; by the Fort Ancient Culture.