Although the actual date and events surrounding the town's founding are vague, 1798 generally is listed as the year of its establishment. Records show that a Robert Boyce arrived in the area in 1798 along with Thomas Fawcett, who is credited with founding the town.
Robert E. Boyce, a descendant of Robert Boyce, was once of the finest communicators in East Liverpool history. The Boyce Family held the principle share in the former Harker Pottery in nearby Chester, W.Va. Following graduation from East Liverpool High School, Robert E. Boyce matriculated to Alfred University in upstate New York, where he was class president, later serving as trustee and was granted an honorary degree for service to the university.
With the declining ceramic university plunging deeper into despair in the 1950s, the personable Boyce was asked to replace Tom Fisher as president of the First National Bank in 1958 - a request he pondered but ultimately fulfilled given the downslide at Harker's.
Moving from pottery executive to running a financial institution was easy for Bob Boyce. Much like any successful leader, he simply moved his system of motivating people, shrewd money management and his ability to "walk with kings, never losing the common touch" from Harker's to the East Fifth Street bank.
Always active in community affairs, he skillfully guided the local hospital through two major fund-raising campaigns and was instrumental in bringing a variety of industrial and transportation venues to the region. His collaborations with local auto dealer Mike Turk and foundry operator Bill Barker were fruitful ventures resulting in an upgraded Columbiana County Airport and the establishment of a major porcelain operation in nearby Newell, W.Va.
There is no way to measure Bob Boyce's personal contributions of time and money to these projects, a debt that could never be repaid. He ranks high on the list of outstanding citizens in East Liverpool history.
His family includes his two children, Cynthia Sheehan and Robert "Bo" Boyce.
Another First National Bank mainstay was attorney Francis Lang, coincidentally, a brother-in-law to Bob Boyce having married his sister, Rachel Lang, in 1934.
Francis Lang was a native of Manchester, Ohio, and came to East Liverpool to practice law. He met his future wife at the First Methodist church, where her father, Charles Boyce, taught the Asbury Power Sunday School Class to reportedly as many as 400 men each week.
Lang immersed himself in a multitude of projects, including high positions with the Jaycees, Boy Scouts, Rotary International and all Masonic bodies. He became the first president of the Ohio Junior Chamber of Commerce, received the Scout's Silver Beaver award and was named a 33 rd degree Mason.
In addition, for many years, he served as the lead attorney for the estates of virtually all the "Who's Who" in East Liverpool and was the driving force for the Lake to River Highway, now Ohio Route 11.
He was a long-standing director of the First National Bank and was on the board when his son, Charles Boyce Lang, was named to succeed his Uncle Bob as president in 1972. Charlie, also an attorney, left the bank when it merged with Bank One in 1984, forming his own successful endeavor under the banner of First National Community Bank in 1987.
Like his father, Charles Lang became an East Liverpool mainstay. Both men were Paul Harris Fellows with Rotary International, having served as district governors with the organization, as did another son, James Lang.
A daughter, Mary Sue Lang, an incredible talent in her own right, also followed the family tradition of community service as well as dedication to the First United Methodist Church. She, as were her father and brother before her, became a highly qualified attorney, after receiving her initial degree in art from Ohio Wesleyan University.
The theme of the Boyce/Lang family remains as that of Rotary International, service above self.