Famous People in Martins Ferry

Elizabeth (Betty) Zane – Lived with family in the Wheeling area.  In 1782 at age 17, during the siege of Fort Henry, she ran from the Fort to the Zane cabin to obtain much needed gun powder; her actions brought about a successful end to the battle.  She later married Jacob Clark of Martins Ferry and resided on Ferryview Road until her death in 1828.

William Dean Howells – novelist and dean of American letters – born in Martins Ferry on March 31, 1837.  Moved to Hamilton, OH at age three.  In the years after the Civil War, he rose into prominence and became one of the best and most recognized literary geniuses in the United States.  He was awarded a gold medal of excellence by the National Institute of Arts and Letters.  He was also known for his forty-four year friendship with Samuel L. Clemens.

James Wright – Pulitzer Prize winning poet – Born on December 13, 1927.  Graduated valedictorian in 1946 from Martins Ferry High School.  He began writing poetry during his high school years.  He won his Pulitzer Prize for his work in literature in 1972.  He died on March 25, 1980.

Lou Groza – Professional Football Hall of Fame Member – Born in Martins Ferry on January 25, 1925.  Lou attended Martins Ferry High School where he played football, basketball and baseball and served as captain of all three sports his senior year.  In 1941, he and his teammates won the state basketball championship which was followed the next fall with them sharing the state championship in football with a team from Toledo.  Lou received attention for his excellent kicking skills during his high school career.  Following graduation in 1942, Lou enrolled at Ohio State where he played football.  He was drafted into the US Army afer his freshman year.  After serving as a surgical technical medical battalion, he returned home and signed with the Cleveland Browns.  His nickname was The Toe and he was enshrined in the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1974.  Today the award given to the best kicker in the NFL is named the Lou Groza Award.  Lou died in 2000.

Learn more about Martins Ferry Ohio and the variety of attractions in the community.