Marcus Alonzo Hanna
New Lisbon was situated at the center of the county and would evolve into a thriving community. In addition to being the county seat, it was also the headquarters of the Sandy & Beaver Canal Company. The canal – which traversed 70 miles through Columbiana County, connecting the Ohio River with the Ohio Erie Canal – was owned by Benjamin Hanna, one of the leading early citizens of the county. He was also the grandfather of a future U. S. Senator, Chairman of the National Republican Party, and influential advisor to President William McKinley ~ Marcus Alonzo Hanna. Mark Hanna was born in New Lisbon in 1837. In 1852, about the time of the collapse of the family’s Sand & Beaver Canal, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio with his family. There he enrolled in high school, becoming a classmate and friend of John D. Rockefeller…and eventually becoming one of the leading industrialists not only of Cleveland, but in all of the United States. By the late 1860’s, Hanna’s business interests included vast coal and iron mines, steamship operations, street railway lines, various banking institutions and newspapers. He would become one of the most noted industrialists of America’s so called ‘gilded age’. This, in turn, led to his prominence in Republican Party politics. In 1896, Mark Hanna had become the Republican National Chairman and managed the successful presidential campaign of William McKinley – whose family roots also go back to Columbiana County. McKinley’s parents and grandparents had resided in New Lisbon, Ohio – their homestead is now the Boy Scouts of America retreat just west of Lisbon. In 1897 Hanna was appointed to the U. S. Senate from Ohio. He was re-elected in 1900 and served as one of the most powerful members of that body until his death in 1904. In the final analysis, Mark Hanna is regarded by many political historians and scholars to be one of the most successful Republican leaders in the history of the Party. Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President George W. Bush, places Hanna as top on his list of “most admired” political figures in history.
Secretary of War – Edwin Stanton
Edwin M. Stanton served as the U. S. Attorney General under President James Buchanan from 1860-61 and then was Secretary of War throughout the most of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. From 1840 to 1850, Stanton had been a circuit lawyer working out of the Jacob Picking Building in New Lisbon, Ohio – the historic building immediately east of the present day Columbiana County Republican Party Headquarters. Following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Stanton remained as Secretary of War under President Andrew Johnson. But the two became bitter enemies, culminating in Johnson’s firing of Stanton in 1868. Stanton refused to leave, though – barricading himself in the Secretary of War’s offices. He finally resigned his office in May of 1868. Later that same year, newly elected President Ulysses Grant appointed Stanton to the U. S. Supreme Court, an appointment he had long sought. However, before he could even take office, four days later, Stanton died.
Ronald Reagan’s Chief Economic Advisor – Arthur Laffer
Arthur Laffer would become the Chief Economic Advisor to President Ronald Reagan and the architect of Reagan’s massive tax reduction program of the 1980’s. A Stanford University Professor with a PH.D. in economics, Laffer became most well known for his “Laffer Curve” – an economic bell curve that illustrated how reductions in individual tax rates could result in actual increases in gross tax receipts. Laffer first popularized this simple concept on the back of a napkin in an attempt to explain it to then Congressman Dick Cheney over lunch at a Washington, D C restaurant. Laffer’s economic theories ultimately led to Ronald Reagan’s 30% across-the-board reduction in marginal tax rates, spawning the largest economic expansion of the 20th Century. As a young boy, Laffer would spend much of his summer time visiting with his grandparents who had a wonderful old “century home” along Plymouth Street in Hanoverton, Ohio (Columbiana County). His Great Grandfather had been a Presbyterian Minister at the large Queen Anne style Presbyterian Church along Plymouth Street next door to the family home…and just down from the Historic Spread Eagle Tavern. Laffer returns back to Hanoverton for visits from time to time. See more on Laffer here.