Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | Index
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FLOOD OF 1937. While many “great” floods are remembered in the Ohio River Valley, none rivals the flood of 1937. Over the course of 10 days, the Ohio River swelled to a height never seen before or since... (cont’d on pg. 345)
The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky Contents Introduction, Foreword, Acknowledgments and Guide for Readers Chapters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z Index, Bibliography, Illustration Credits
Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool THE UNIVERSITY PRESS OF KENTUCKY Republished for the World Wide Web by NKY.com and Enquirer Media
A Project of the Thomas D. Clark Foundation, Inc. Mark A. Neikirk, President Sherry Jelsma, Vice President
Dave Adkisson, Treasurer Melanie J. Kilpatrick, Secretary
Thomas R. Brumley, Immediate Past President Michael J. Hammons, Past President
Dave Adkisson, Frankfort Jane Beshear, Frankfort Thomas R. Brumley, Lexington John S. Carroll, Lexington Sara W. Combs, Stanton
Board of Directors Michael J. Hammons, Park Hills Sherry Jelsma, Shelbyville Martha C. Johnson, Melbourne Mark A. Neikirk, Highland Heights Alice Stevens Sparks, Crescent Springs
Robert Ted Steinbock, Louisville Mrya Leigh Tobin, New York City James M. Wiseman, Erlanger
Editorial Staff Editors in Chief: Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool Associate Editors: David Hatter, John Schlipp, David E. Schroeder, Robert Stevie, Michael R. Sweeney, John W. Thieret (deceased), Thomas S. Ward, Jack Wessling Topical Editors: Agriculture: Lynn David & James Wallace; Art: Rebecca Bilbo; Biography: Michael R. Sweeney; Business & Commerce: John Boh; Counties & Towns: David E. Schroeder; Ethnology: Theodore H. H. Harris; Government, Law, & Politics: John Schlipp; Literature: Danny Miller (Deceased); Medicine: Dennis B. Worthen; Military: James A. Ramage; Music, Media, & Entertainment: John Schlipp; Religion: Thomas S. Ward & Alex Hyrcza; Sports & Recreation: James C. Claypool; Transportation Joseph F. Gastright (Deceased); Women: Karen Mcdaniel. Maps: Jeff Levy at the Gyula Pauer Center for Cartography & GIS, University of Kentucky. Copyright © 2009 by The University Press of Kentucky, 663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008 www.kentuckypress.com. Print editions: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data The Encyclopedia of northern Kentucky / edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool. p. cm. ISBN 978-0-8131-2565-7 (hardcover : acid-free paper) ISBN 978-0-8131-2585-5 (limited leather edition) 1. Kentucky, Northern— Encyclopedias. 2. Kentucky— Encyclopedias. I. Tenkotte, Paul A. II. Claypool, James C. F451.E55 2009 976.9'3003—dc22 2009027969
F&N STEAKHOUSE. George and Norma Schlueter Thomas opened their combination hot dog stand and sandwich shop just outside of Dayton, Ky., in 1929, even though the Great Depression was not the best economic time in which to start a new business. Once Prohibition laws were repealed in 1933, the Thomas family converted their food business into the F&N Steak house (named for the two Schlueter sisters, Florence, who died early in the venture, and Norma). The new steak house’s building was carved into the hill on the south side of Ky. Rt. 8, the Mary Ingles Highway, just east of Dayton in Campbell Co. The restaurant quickly became a Northern Kentucky dining tradition. George and Norma Thomas learned to cut and age meat, and their menu featured delicious and highquality prime ribs, charcoal steaks, and baby back ribs. The restaurant served large and tasty welldone baked potatoes, along with fresh salads with homemade dressings on chilled pewter plates, and German hot slaw. Diners gathered for late-night meals and after-hours drinks. The dark interior motif, soft lighting, and fireplaces contributed to a romantic mood. Over the years, the F&N Steak house was remodeled and expanded. The restaurant suffered several fires. In 1968 a fire nearly destroyed the place, but it reopened within two months. The family later built the Thomasville Party House across the road along the Ohio River; this facility gave them a new line of business (large private gatherings) and the parking spaces they needed, along with a popu lar new boat landing. Before the many steak house restaurant chains of today made their appearance, gourmands generally agreed that there were two places in all of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to find a good steak: Maury’s Tiny Cove in Cheviot, Ohio, and the F&N Steak house in Dayton, Ky. Customers came from all over the Ohio River Valley region. Politicians, sports stars, entertainers, and disk jockeys all hobnobbed at the F&N Steak house. For a time, the restaurant had an old fire truck that was used to pick up boaters at the landing on the river and transport them to the restaurant, with the fire truck’s sirens blaring. Waiting in line for up to two hours to be seated at the steak house was common in the F&N’s heyday. Norma Thomas died on August 21, 1971, at age 71, of a heart attack; Gene (Eugene) Thomas, the couple’s exuberant son who became heavily involved in the business after his mother’s death, died on December 21, 1986, at age 59; and on April 4, 1988, at age 85, George Thomas died. Thirdgeneration family members continued the restaurant’s tradition as best they could until beset by the long-term consequences of the new AA Highway,
which diverted traffic away from Ky. Rt. 8, and the opening of several new restaurants at nearby Newport-on-the-Levee. The F&N Steak house had always been difficult to find, and the appearance of glamorous upscale dining alternatives just off the bridge into Newport did not help matters. The F&N Steak house’s kitchen shut down for good at the close of business on Wednesday night, August 11, 2004, and shortly thereafter the owners fi led for bankruptcy. The family sold the properties to David Hosea, a local businessman, who planned to restore what was once one of Northern Kentucky’s great steak houses. “Death Notice—Norma Thomas,” KP, August 23, 1971, 5. “F&N Owner Thomas Dies,” KP, December 22, 1986, 1–2. “F&N Steak house Shuts Down, Files for Bankruptcy,” KP, August 13, 2004, 4K. “F&N Steak house’s Thomas Dead,” KP, April 5, 1988, 3K.
Michael R. Sweeney
FAIRBANKS. Fairbanks is a small community in southern Owen Co., along Ky. Rt. 607, where that road intersects the Owenton-Georgetown Rd. It is in the Hesler Precinct. Once there was a oneroom school at Fairbanks.
spices, cloth, glassware, and other items. Even the Olympic Games had their beginnings in such a setting. In the United States there have been world fairs, state fairs, and county fairs, but county fairs are the ones that have had the greatest impact on the lives of rural Americans. Many of today’s sophisticated elite might describe such fairs as oldfashioned, obsolete, or even boring, but rural people continue to make them popu lar. The county fair as conceived in early Kentucky served a very useful purpose in that it encouraged friendly competition to develop among the participants. People wanted to see who could grow the best fruit, sew the prettiest dress, bake the tastiest pie, or raise the cow that produced the most milk. That intense competition resulted in a wide exchange of ideas, which led to better farming practices and to healthier farm animals and families. Life was difficult on early Kentucky farms, where most people had to work from dawn to dusk. Nothing could rejuvenate those individuals like a few days of fun and games at the end of the growing season. Commonly, fairs lasted for three days and most people attended for the duration. The longest-running Kentucky county fair started in 1856 at Alexandria, Campbell Co. The longest-running fairs in the Northern Kentucky region are Campbell Co.’s fair in Alexandria (see Alexandria Fair) and the Germantown Fair in Mason Co.
An Atlas of Owen County, Kentucky. Philadelphia: Lake, 1883. Houchens, Mariam Sidebottom. History of Owen County: “Sweet Owen.” Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1976.
Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994.
FAIRS. Fairs have always been important celebra-
FAIRVIEW. The Kenton Co. community of
tions for Northern Kentuckians. Their origin can be traced to religious celebrations in ancient times, usually held at harvest time. Ancient Greek fairs were held to honor the Greeks’ many deities, but enterprising people soon learned to use fairs also as an opportunity to sell their wares, such as
Fairview is located along Decoursey Pk., just south of Latonia. The town was first settled during the early 1800s. A lady who once lived there, who felt that the town had a pleasing, or “fair,” view, is credited with naming it. A small group of German and Irish railroad workers moved to Fairview in the
Grandstand at the Fair Grounds, Erlanger, ca. 1908.
mid-1800s, shortly after the Covington and Lexington Railroad was built along the Licking River. To reach those workers, the St. Anthony Catholic Mission was built in 1877, at the intersection of Decoursey and Locust pikes. The mission also opened a school at Fairview in 1902. A large Louisville and Nashville Railroad rail yard was built near the city, and to escape the noise and pollution it created, the church and school were moved in 1928 to Grand and Harvard Sts. in what is today Taylor Mill. In 1932 Ray Hansel opened a grocery store and gas station at Fairview. When Prohibition ended, he converted the store into a tavern, which became a popu lar gathering place for local residents. The business changed hands several times before it was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. The DeCoursey Baptist Church was organized in Fairview at 8276 Decoursey Pk., in 1950. Fairview was incorporated as a sixth-class city in 1957. The 2000 U.S. Census revealed that it had a population of 156, making it one of the smallest incorporated communities in Northern Kentucky. The median age of residents in that census was 41, and the per capita income was $20,737, with no one living below the poverty level. “Fairview to Remain City,” KP, November 8, 1989, 9K. “Railroad to Speed Trap, Fairview Just a ‘Little Town’—Everybody Helps Everybody Else,” CE, December 1, 1998, A12. Reis, Jim. “Tiny Towns,” KP, June 30, 1986, 4K. Wikipedia. “Fairview, Kenton County, Kentucky.” http://wikipedia.org (accessed December 31, 2005).
FAITH, CARL CLIFTON (b. April 28, 1927, Covington, Ky.). Carl C. Faith, a world-renowned mathematician, is the son of Herbert and Vila Foster Faith. Growing up on W. Fift h St. in Covington, he attended Covington schools and graduated from Holmes High School (1945). He is a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician Mate (1945–1946). He graduated from the University of Kentucky at Lexington in 1951, cum laude, with honors in mathematics. His master’s (1953) and doctoral (1955) degrees are both from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. His academic career has included teaching at Purdue, Michigan State, Pennsylvania State, and Rutgers universities; at the latter institution he is an emeritus professor of mathematics. He served as a Fulbright-NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Heidelberg, Germany, in 1959–1960. In 1960–1962 he held a two-year membership and an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J. He has studied and taught in Europe, the Middle East, and India and throughout the United States. Carl Faith’s publications, awards, honors, and editorships in the special area of mathematics known as ring theory are numerous. In May 2003 he was awarded a bronze engraved plaque and inducted into Holmes High School’s Hall of Distinction. Today, he and his family live in New Jersey.
Carl Faith, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics, Rutgers University. www.phoenix-designs.com/carlfaith/ cv.htm (accessed June 20, 2007). “Covington Man Named to MSU,” KTS, August 3, 1956, 4A.
Michael R. Sweeney
FALMOUTH. The first permanent settlement in what is now Pendleton Co. was established in 1776 when pioneers arrived from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other eastern states. They settled near springs, where they raised flax and a few sheep. The settlers’ log cabins had clapboard roofs, slab doors hung on deerskin thongs, and earthen floors. Many of the early settlers of Kentucky (a place American Indians called “the dark and bloody ground”) were Revolutionary War veterans. Falmouth received a town charter on June 23, 1792, during the fi rst session of the Kentucky legislature, six years before Pendleton Co. was created. However, there were citizens living at the Forks of the Licking River long before the city was chartered. John Waller, a Kentucky pioneer and the founder of Falmouth, who represented this area in the state legislature, brought Falmouth’s charter home with him. The town is part of the 1,000 acres given to Col. Holt Richardson for military ser vice in the Revolutionary War as a Virginia soldier. Falmouth was established on December 10, 1793. The town was laid out in lots of a quarter acre each, with streets included. Waller was a native of Stafford Co., Va., which had a town named Falmouth, and it is assumed this fact determined the name of the new town in Kentucky. The trustees held their fi rst meeting on April 12, 1794, at the house of John Hume, near Morgan. On December 13, 1798, the Kentucky legislature approved an act to create from the counties of Campbell and Bracken a new county, to be called Pendleton Co., and Falmouth was chosen as the county seat. William C. Kennett was the fi rst county clerk and James M. Wilson was elected the town’s fi rst mayor. The fi rst courthouse was a stone building constructed on the present site in 1812. The land on which it was built had been acquired by Waller and Alvin Mountjoy (see Mountjoy House). Waller surveyed the town and gave the county the square surrounded by Main, Chapel, Main Cross (now Shelby), and Second Sts. for the court house. The present building was built in 1848. The fi rst jail, built in 1800, was at Second and Maple Sts. It was replaced in 1854 by a new jail built behind the court house, facing Chapel St. One of the fi rst roads was from Falmouth to the Harrison Co. line, marked out along the pathway used in 1780 by the English captain Henry Bird (see Bird’s [Byrd’s] War Road) in the attacks he led upon Ruddells and Martin’s stations. In 1796 men were chosen to select the best route for a new road from John Sanders ferry on the South Licking River to intersect with Grassy Creek Rd., now U.S. 27, near the headwaters of Harris Creek. The first house in Falmouth, a log cabin owned by Mountjoy, was built in the 1790s on Chapel St. Augustus Robbins owned the first
mill in Falmouth, at the foot of Chapel St. It was both a sawmill and a grain mill, operating by water from a dam across the Licking River from a point near the north abutment of today’s railroad bridge. This mill, later sold to Joseph Woodhead, became the Falmouth Woolen Mill. Henry Deglow was the proprietor of a tannery at the corner of Fourth and Maple Sts. There were no paved streets or sidewalks, but in a few places wooden planks had been laid down. Many times wagons sank up to their hubs and became stuck in the muddy streets, where livestock freely roamed. Mussel shells, along with a greasy rag or tallow dip, provided lighting indoors, and lanterns were used outside. Dr. Jeremiah Monroe, who came to Falmouth in 1792, was the first physician. He had two brothers, one a lawyer and the other a Baptist minister, Alexander Monroe. Henry Gordon was the only shoemaker in town. He remained in Falmouth until the outbreak of the Civil War. There were two lawyers, S. F. Swoope and Samuel T. Hauser, both from North Carolina. Ansel Johnson was the village blacksmith. Major Wheeler operated a carding factory on Chapel St. In early days, the nearest bank was the Northern Bank of Covington, but it was patronized little by Falmouth residents, who usually carried their money in their pockets. Loans were made freely from one neighbor to another. The First National Bank of Falmouth was established in 1921. The Covington and Lexington Railroad fi rst came through town in 1854. In the mid-19th century, Falmouth had three hotels, the Kennett Tavern, the Lightfoot Hotel, and the Phoenix Hotel. The Oldham Plantation on Ky. Rt. 159 in Shoemakertown, just across the Licking River, was once a 1,000-acre tract purchased by Tyree Oldham and Samuel Hayden in 1816 from Henry Clay and James Hughes. Jesse Oldham, Tryee’s father, brought his family here and built a stately house about 1825. The last Oldham occupant willed the property to the Northward Christian Assembly. There is a family graveyard on the property. Falmouth has two other cemeteries, Riverside Cemetery on U.S. 27 and St. Xavier Catholic Cemetery on Woodson St. At one time, there was an old burial ground along Mountjoy St., where the fi rst settlers, their slaves, and American Indians were buried; the gravestones were removed during the Great Depression and crushed for use on roads. There is a memorial historical marker there today. A suspension bridge completed in 1854 spanned the Main Licking River until it collapsed into the river in 1868 (see Falmouth Suspension Bridge). Before 1854, people forded the river when it was low or crossed it on a ferry. The bridge that collapsed was replaced with a covered bridge, which burned in 1926 and was, in turn, replaced by the steel and concrete bridge standing today. Falmouth has been subject to a number of devastating floods, including those in 1964 and 1997 (see Flood of 1964, Licking River; Flood of 1997, Licking River). In 2000 the city had a population of 2,058.
318 FALMOUTH, BATTLE OF Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994]. U.S. Census Bureau. www.census.gov/ (accessed December 31, 2007).
FALMOUTH, BATTLE OF. In Pendleton Co., on a busy two-lane section of U.S. 27, a historical marker notes the location of a Civil War skirmish between 28 Confederate Cavalrymen and 11 Union Home Guardsmen. The marker states that the battle took place on September 18, 1862. Col. George W. Berry led the Union Home Guards. He was the first postmaster of Berry in northwestern Harrison Co. and had donated land to be used for the establishment of the village of Berry. He was also a provost marshal during the Civil War. Provost marshals, stationed by the federal government in Kentucky counties, controlled all intrastate military affairs and were in charge of recruiting Home Guards. Because Colonel Berry was too old to volunteer for the army at the outbreak of the war, he organized a company of the Harrison Co. Home Guards. The Berry Home Guards fought side-by-side with the 18th Kentucky Volunteers under Col. John J. Landram, lending support to federal troops as they protected railroads, telegraph lines, and public properties. The primary responsibility of Berry’s group, originally called Police Guard–Kentucky Central Railroad, was to guard railroad bridges. The early mission of the Kentucky State Guard was to provide neutral protection on the state’s soil. The Home Guards were not compensated unless they became wounded. Today, the successor to that Civil War organization is the Kentucky Army National Guard. According to a contemporary newspaper account, the Confederate Cavalrymen who fought at Falmouth were Texas Rangers, led by Capt. Charles Duncan. The Texas Rangers were scouts and guerrilla fighters originally organized before the Civil War to defend American settlers homesteading in Texas. On September 18, 1862, Colonel Berry’s Union Home Guard was traveling south toward Falmouth with 600 of Col. Joshua Tevis’s 10th Kentucky Cavalry. Colonel Tevis, an attorney from Louisville, had orga nized the 10th Kentucky Cavalry. Accompanying the troops were a U.S. marshal from Bourbon Co. named Greenbury Reid and nine other men. They had traveled from Covington inspecting the roadbed of the Kentucky Central Railroad. Shortly before reaching Falmouth, the cavalry left the Home Guardsmen and returned to Covington. The guardsmen found the city of Falmouth evacuated. Not long thereafter, they came under fire from the Confederate Cavalry. During the attack, one Home Guard, A. McNees, was seriously wounded. On the Confederate side, two men were killed, four were wounded, and one was taken prisoner. The skirmish started at 3:30 p.m. and lasted about 40 minutes. As the Confederates retreated, they burned the railroad bridge over the south fork of the Licking River in
Falmouth. Colonel Berry realized that his guardsmen did not have enough ammunition for another battle, so he repositioned his troops a few miles south of the city to wait for reinforcements and supplies. No further exchanges took place between the two factions. Colonel Berry fought in the second battle of Cynthiana, on June 11, 1864, was wounded, and died on the day of the battle. U.S. marshal Reid joined the 18th Kentucky Volunteers as a captain and later earned the Distinguished Ser vice Award. After the war, Reid returned to farming and continued that occupation until his death in 1882. “Covington,” CDC, September 20, 1862, 3. McClanahan, Emma. “Influence of the War,” 1934. www .rootsweb .com/ ~kypendle/ civilinfluence .htm. Reis, Jim. “Civil War Battle Fought in Falmouth,” KP, May 9, 1988, 4K.
FALMOUTH BAPTIST CHURCH. This church in Falmouth, Pendleton Co., began as the Forks of the Licking Church. Its first pastor was Alexander Monroe, who served for some 30 years. He came to Kentucky from Virginia as early as 1789 and was initially associated with the Bryant’s Baptist Church in Fayette Co. The church in Falmouth started with members dismissed from the Bryant’s Baptist Church, and its constitution became effective on the fourth Saturday of June 1795. In August 1795, at the time when it united with Elkhorn Baptist Association, the Falmouth church reported having 18 members. In 1802 membership numbered 54, and the next year the church joined the North Bend Association of Baptists, just as the great religious revival that swept through Kentucky from 1800 to 1802 was winding down. Membership at the church in Falmouth declined in the years that followed, and by 1812 there were only 12 members. In 1817 the Falmouth Baptist Church joined the Union Association. In 1825 Pastor Monroe was succeeded by Blackstone L. Abernathy. In 1830 Abernathy joined the Campbellites (see Disciples of Christ), taking a large part of the membership with him. In 1831 William Vaughn took charge of those who remained in the Falmouth Baptist Church and ministered to them for one year. Since then, the church has had many pastors, including Robert Elrod. As early as 1801, there were two places of worship under the same church leadership; one was in Falmouth, on the South Fork of the Licking River, and the other was at the Union schoolhouse in Falmouth, near the Main Licking River. The South Fork church was built of logs in 1802. In September 1830, a new brick church was constructed in Falmouth on Main St. That structure was torn down in 1854 and replaced with a new church building at the corner of Chapel and Church Sts. that opened in 1861. In 1872, the church changed its name to the Falmouth Baptist Church. The present church building in Falmouth was dedicated in 1930 at the corner of Maple and Fourth Sts. Another longtime pastor of the Falmouth Baptist Church was Carl Sears, who served there for 45 years.
Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994]. “100th Anniversary,” Falmouth Outlook, December 25, 1942. Spencer, John Henderson. History of Kentucky Baptists from 1769 to 1885. 2 Vols. Reprint, Lafayette, Tenn.: Church History and Archives, 1976.
FALMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL. The Falmouth Academy in Falmouth, later known as the Falmouth Graded School, and then as Falmouth High School, was opened between 1883 and 1900. As Falmouth High School, it provided instruction for grades 1 through 12 until 1968. There was a graduating class every year between 1900 and 1968. The school’s colors were red and white, and its athletic teams were known as the Red Dev ils. Events were recorded in an intermittently published school newspaper, the Falmouth Firecracker. The yearbook’s name changed from time to time, but most years it was Retrospect. School sports included baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, and softball. The school had a small band, and the music curriculum included flute-a-phone and accordion classes. The Falmouth High School was located at first in a two-story brick structure with eight classrooms at Fourth and Broad Sts. The school was later moved to the site of the former Pendleton Academy, at 205 E. Fourth St. By the early 1930s, the school was in its final home, a multistory brick building at 500 Chapel St., on land donated by Joshua Woodhead. In the 1950s an addition was built, which consisted of two first-grade classrooms, a library, a biology room, and a home economics room. As late as 1963, a storage area in the basement still had a dirt floor. Even though the high school operated a cafeteria, nearly all students either walked home for lunch or frequented a local diner, the 3L Restaurant. In fall 1968, Falmouth High School merged into the Pendleton Co. Memorial High School, which had opened in fall 1959. From the time of the merger until the early 1970s, the Falmouth High School’s building served as one of the county’s primary schools. In the early 1970s, the Falmouth High School building was converted into the countywide Pendleton Co. Middle School, for grades seven and eight. After January 1998, when the middle school was relocated to a new facility at 35 Wright Rd. and U.S. 27 North in Butler, the Falmouth High School building became the Falmouth School Center, offering GED, career placement, and other ser vices. The Falmouth School Center is also the performance home of the Kincaid Regional Theatre Company. Falmouth High School has an active alumni association, which holds reunions every five years. Belew, Mildred Bowen. “History of Pendleton County Schools.” www.rootsweb.com/~kypendle/school history.htm (accessed September 29, 2006). Bray, Nancy, transcriber. “Pendleton County Common School Directory.” www.rootsweb.com/~kypendle/ comschool.htm (accessed October 2, 2006).
FALMOUTH SUSPENSION BRIDGE Dennie, Debbie, and Patty Jenkins, comps. Forks of the Licking, Bicentennial Edition, 1798–1998. Falmouth, Ky.: Falmouth Outlook, 1998.
Michael D. Redden and Aprile Conrad Redden
FALMOUTH METHODIST CHURCH (MARY’S CHAPEL). When Paul C. Lair donated a lot in Falmouth, at the corner of Main Cross and Upper Mill Sts. (today Shelby St. and Maple Ave.), to the Falmouth Methodist Episcopal Church South, he helped start one of the leading churches in the city. Until then, the members of the Methodist Society, as the group was known in the early 1800s, did not have a regular meeting place; they met in the homes of members, for instance, in the home of Birkett Colvin Sr. of Mount Vernon in southeastern Pendleton Co., and later in the court house. Th is small group was included at first in the Cynthiana circuit, which extended from Cynthiana to Newport and included Harrison and Pendleton counties, as well as parts of Campbell, Grant, and Kenton counties. In 1832 the Methodist congregation at Falmouth left the Cynthiana circuit and became a member of the smaller Falmouth circuit, which included Mount Vernon and Boyd, a town in northwestern Harrison Co. When the congregation erected a building on the land Lair had provided, Augustus Robbins named the new church Mary’s Chapel in honor of his wife, Mary, who was a sister of Paul Lair. The original building had one entrance, facing Shelby St., with a small vestibule inside the entrance. A stove in the center of the room heated the church. The altar rail was in the same place where it is today, and an organ and the choir were on the side. Th is building was remodeled first in 1890. At that time the vestibule was replaced with three artglass windows, and the other windows in the church were replaced with glass matching the front three. Two vestibules were then constructed, one on each side of the building, as they remain today. The building was remodeled for a second time in 1926. It was enlarged by several feet to make room for the seating of the choir behind the pulpit, and a small pastor’s study was added. The pulpit and the altar rail have remained in the same locations where they were placed more than 125 years ago. Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994].
FALMOUTH OUTLOOK. The Falmouth Outlook was founded by Warren Jeff rey Shonert Sr. and first published on June 21, 1907. Shonert, who had worked setting type and as a news editor in Cynthiana and Georgetown, started and printed the newspaper in a blacksmith shop owned by his father, Henry Shonert. Warren Shonert began with five subscribers. Several friends and his sister, Mayme McBride, helped him with finances.
Warren Shonert, a staunch Democrat, was not bashful about offering his opinion in weekly editorials titled, Think about It. The paper moved to its present location at 210 Main St. in 1922. Shonert’s son Warren Jeff rey Shonert Jr. grew up around the newspaper’s offices, watching and working with his father. In 1942, after graduating from college, Warren Shonert Jr. became the paper’s editor. Publisher W. J. Shonert Sr. died in January 1953. After his father’s death, the younger Shonert became both editor and publisher. He married Genevieve Hancock, and the couple had twins, Jeffrey and Genevieve. The Shonert family spent most of their early life working in the newspaper business. Daughter Genevieve was editor from 1983 until 1985. Warren J. Shonert Jr. continued as editor and publisher until January 1986, when he sold the paper to Delphos Herald Inc. The Falmouth Outlook was set with hot type until it went to offset printing in 1967. However, James Shelton and Warren J. Shonert continued to set type on the old linotype machines until 1985, printing auction flyers, business cards, and many other printing jobs. The old press stands in the back room of the business today. Gone, however, are the old linotype machines used to set type, along with the old headliner machines. The compugraphic machines that Shonert used to get the paper out in the early 1980s are also obsolete. In January 1986 Richard Fry became the newspaper’s publisher and editor. In January 1987 the Shopper’s Outlook, a supplement for shoppers, was born, with a subscription list of 9,090. For a short time, until August 1988, Sue Pullin edited the newspaper after Fry. In the following month, a native-born and lifelong Falmouth resident, Debbie Dennie, became publisher and editor. Dennie started working at the newspaper in 1981, where she learned much from Warren Shonert. The modernization brought about by computers has taken a lot of the personal touch away from weekly newspapers. The Falmouth newspaper has never missed an issue of publication, and it has survived many hardships over the years since 1907, including the Great Depression, floods, blizzards, and tornados. In 1964, when a flood spread over the city of Falmouth, the newspaper had about three inches of water in its building. On March 1, 1997, when the great flood hit, the newspaper offices had five feet of water, which destroyed everything. Over 85 percent of the city of Falmouth was flooded. The newspaper that week was only two days late, though. The staff worked out of publisher Dennie’s basement for 10 weeks until May, when the newspaper’s building had been cleaned and was ready to occupy. Today, the newspaper is assembled by pagination on computers. There are nine employees, four of whom are full-time. Current circulation is 3,875 paid subscribers, with 1,400 copies placed in the newsstands and 9,000 Shopper’s Outlooks mailed out each Tuesday. Debbie Dennie
FALMOUTH RAILWAY DEPOT. The Falmouth Railway Depot in Falmouth was built along
the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N), 40 miles south of Cincinnati. The wood-frame structure was completed in 1912. It was originally designed with express and baggage rooms, three waiting rooms, and an agent’s office. Later, new platforms and train sheds were added. In 1968 the L&N’s last passenger train passed through Falmouth. One result of discontinuing ser vice to Falmouth was that the railroad no longer needed most of the depot’s space. On April 17, 1980, before the railroad was able to have the depot demolished, this 68-year-old railroad station burned to the ground. “News Briefs,” KP, April 18, 1980, 10K.
FALMOUTH SUSPENSION BRIDGE. One of the first wire suspension bridges in the United States was built across the Licking River at Falmouth in 1853. Falmouth, the county seat of Pendleton Co., is on the east side of the Licking River, some 60 miles south by river from the river’s mouth at Covington. Falmouth was to be the fi rst major stop on the new Covington-to-Lexington railroad that was being built at the time. Moreover, a turnpike system connecting Falmouth to Alexandria, Ky., and Cincinnati was planned. After much discussion, a wire suspension bridge was selected for this site and a contract was executed with a fi rm from Pittsburgh, Pa. The best public road in Pendleton Co. at this time led to Foster’s Landing, a steamboat stop on the Ohio River located about halfway between Newport and Maysville. The iron, the rolled iron wire, the anchors, the saddles, the anchor chains, and other supplies to build the new suspension bridge were transported to Foster’s Landing from Pittsburgh and then moved on to Falmouth by ox-drawn wagons. The crew to build the bridge was also imported from Pittsburgh and was housed in shacks on the shore opposite the town. The constructor of the bridge was D. Griffith Smith, a civil engineer from Pittsburgh. The main span of the new bridge was 323 feet. The floor was supported on eight iron wires that were connected to anchor chains; the anchors were constructed of masonry. The 30-foothigh towers were described as wooden in one report, but it is unlikely that they were of wood construction. It is possible that stone towers were covered with wood for a more fi nished look. Another report says that the tollbooth was in one of the towers. The bridge never made money, since toll collection was lax. The bridge’s greatest business was as a “kissing bridge.” Its floor was occasionally damaged by flood-driven debris, but this span survived until 1868, when it collapsed for unknown reasons. Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994]. Bridgemeister. “1853 (Suspension Bridge) Falmouth, Kentucky, USA.” www.bridgemeister.com (accessed December 6, 2006).
Joseph F. Gastright
320 FALMOUTH WOOLEN MILL FALMOUTH WOOLEN MILL. Joshua Woodhead (1824–1886), later the owner of the wellknown woolen mill in Falmouth, and his wife, Ann Bottomely (1828–1904), immigrated to the United States from England in 1854, along with their three sons. Upon arrival, they engaged in woolen manufacturing at Lowell, Mass., for two years. In 1866 the Woodhead family moved to Falmouth, where Joshua built the Falmouth Woolen Mill on Water St. There they created the nowfamous Pendleton blankets. Joshua Woodhead continued in this business until his death, and eventually, two of his sons, Joseph and John, took over the operation of the mill. Joseph Woodhead, who was born in 1854, married Elizabeth Kennett, and they had five sons who worked in the family’s mill at various times. Joseph gave much of his time to civic endeavors for the city of Falmouth and founded the Woodhead Funeral Home, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002. Charles Kennett, a nephew of Joseph Woodhead, explained in a letter to the Falmouth Outlook: “The last ownership of the old Falmouth Woolen Mill, to my knowledge was my uncle Joseph Woodhead, for whom my two older brothers and I all worked in the mill at various times before we left Falmouth for other fields. I being the last to leave in 1905. During three summers I operated three of the machines in the preparation of making blankets, yarn and other woolen goods. My brothers wove blankets, some of which may still be in use in Pendleton Co. homes. Uncle Joseph ran the spinner and also worked in the mill.” Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994]. Woodhead family fi les, Pendleton Co. Public Library, Falmouth, Ky.
FAMILY NURTURING CENTER. The Family Nurturing Center in Florence, Ky., is a private nonprofit agency, with a mission to end child abuse and promote individual well-being and healthy relationships within families and their communities. Ser vices are provided primarily to residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton counties in Kentucky, but there are no geographic restrictions. Initial work to form the agency was begun as early as 1975 by a group of citizens and community leaders concerned about the problem of child abuse. The group shared a common concern for children, had a vision of the need to help build safe, nurturing families, and was willing to act on their beliefs. This visionary group learned that Northern Kentucky residents, unfamiliar with the law, were not reporting child abuse to the authorities. The very first program, Parents Anonymous, was established in September 1978 at the YMCA in Covington. Since then, the agency’s ser vices have evolved based on community needs and available funding. The agency incorporated in 1979 and was known as Citizens Committee Against Child Abuse. Initially it operated from a volunteer’s basement
with an annual budget of $2,200. The two ser vices first offered were Parents Anonymous and a 24hour hotline. The first employee, hired in 1983, was housed at Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington. The organization’s name changed to Committee for Kids in 1987 and then to Family Nurturing Center in 1993. Today the Family Nurturing Center is one of the largest affi liates of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. The center became a United Way Member Agency in 1988 and later an affi liate of the National Family Nurturing Center, located in Park City, Utah. The local center’s programs and ser vices are rooted in the cross-cultural nurturing philosophy of Stephen Bavolek, PhD. In 1999 the Family Nurturing Center’s board of directors reaffirmed the following philosophy as the guide for the agency’s ser vices: families are capable of incorporating love and respect for family members; the daily life of families requires structure and discipline that is balanced with open communication, laughter, and fun; families can learn the skills necessary to create a nurturing environment for members; alternatives exist to spanking as a form of discipline; children are entitled to be and to feel safe in a healthy, nurturing environment; and environments should be free of physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse. Pioneers involved with the Family Nurturing Center, such as Kathy Kunkel-Mains, Kathy Collins, and Mike Farrell, helped to form and shape the agency in response to the needs of the communities the agency serves. Literally thousands of individuals have contributed ideas, time, talent, and financial resources to make the Family Nurturing Center a leader in child abuse prevention, education, intervention, and treatment. Today the Family Nurturing Center has a budget of nearly $800,000 and provides a continuum of specialized ser vice programs touching the lives of more than 20,000 people each year. Agency archives: scrapbooks, annual reports, and news clippings, Family Nurturing Center, Florence, Ky. “Center to Fight Child Abuse Has a New Name and Home,” KP, April 24, 1993, 13K. “Group Therapy to Begin,” KP, August 14, 1997, 2B. Herms, Jane, executive director, Family Nurturing Center. Interview by Patricia Nagelkirk, December 2005, Florence, Ky. “New Director Named,” KP, April 24, 1996, 2K. “N. Ky Agencies Get $5.1 Million,” KP, December 14, 1994, 11A.
FARNY, HENRY F. (b. July 15, 1847, Ribeauville, France; d. December 23, 1916, Cincinnati, Ohio). This artist of American Indian culture was born François Henri Farny but in later life anglicized his name to Henry Frank Farny. He was the third child of carpenter Charles Farny and Jeannette Weyband Farny. The family immigrated to the United States in September 1853, to escape religious and political persecution in their homeland, France. They landed in New York City, where they stayed for about three months, and then moved to a 165-
acre farm that they purchased in Warren Co., Pa. To support his family, Charles Farny operated a sawmill on their farm; their home was a small log cabin. Charles and Jeannette home-schooled their children, with the help of a part-time tutor, who lived with the family for about three months each year. It was at the family’s farm that Henry had his first contact with American Indians; they were members of the Onandaigua tribe, who lived on a nearby reservation. In 1859 the family left the backwoods and sought a more comfortable life in a large city. They bought a 28-foot raft, on which they loaded their belongings, and floated down the Ohio River to Cincinnati. Henry attended Woodward High School in Cincinnati for about two years. In 1862, when Charles Farny became seriously ill, Henry had to leave school and support the family. Henry was age 16 when his father died on December 19, 1863. He held several different jobs, first as a bookkeeper, then as a decorator, and later as a lithographer in Cincinnati for Gibson & Company (see Gibson Greeting Cards Inc.). During the Civil War, Farny drew war-related sketches, which appeared in several publications. The sketches were not of exceptional quality but demonstrated that he had some artistic talent. In 1865 he took a position with Harper’s Weekly as an engraver, illustrator, and cartoonist, and periodically worked for Harper’s over the next 35 years. In 1867 the young artist traveled to New York City, then to Rome and later to the art centers of Germany. In Rome he studied art under the renowned painter Thomas Buchanan Read and the sculptor Randolph Rogers. When Read accepted him as a student, he invited Farny to live with him during his training. Farny worked as a secretary and studio assistant to Read but was never permitted to help with any of Read’s paintings. Farny painted in his room at night but longed for the day when he could have his own studio. In July 1868 Farny left Read’s employment and moved to Düsseldorf, Germany, for additional training. About that time Farny created one of his first significant paintings, which he called Landscape. At Düsseldorf Farny met an American artist, Albert Bierstadt, who painted mostly western American landscapes. Bierstadt was quite impressed with the young painter’s talent and encouraged him to continue his education for at least another year. He also suggested that Farny visit the Rocky Mountains for inspiration. In 1868 Farny inherited 1,200 francs from an aunt, which he used for two additional years of training in Europe. While visiting Munich, he met the talented Kentucky artist Frank Duveneck. Farny arrived in Northern Kentucky in 1874 but had a difficult time finding work as a painter. To support himself, he continued to do illustrations for Harper’s Weekly. He also illustrated a local brochure for the Procter and Gamble Company, books printed by Van Antwerp and Company, and promotional material about the city’s porkpacking industry for the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The latter work won him a medal at the Vienna International Exposition in Vienna, Austria.
In summer 1874 Farny joined with a young Cincinnati Enquirer reporter, Lafcadio Hearn, to publish a humorous weekly magazine that they called Ye Giglampz; however, it failed after only nine issues. In May 1875 Farny and Duveneck worked together on a huge oil painting of Joan of Arc, called Prayer on a Battlefield. That August, Farny again traveled to Europe, this time with Duveneck and two other artists, Frank X. Dengler and John Henry Twachtman, remaining there for about a year. Farny served as one of the major illustrators for a new version of the McGuffey Readers, published in 1879. By 1880 he had been a practicing painter for about 15 years and was also well known for his artwork in children’s books. Between 1880 and 1892, he illustrated for Harper’s, Century, and other similar publications but began spending more of his time painting western scenes in both oil and watercolor. He completely phased out his illustration work in the early 1890s, to concentrate on American Indian artwork. Farny began spending considerable time in the West, where he met future U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt and was adopted into the Sioux Indian tribe. During that time Farny collected Indian artifacts, relics, photographs, and other materials, which he used in later paintings. From about 1890 to 1902, Farny lived in a Covington duplex at 1029 Banklick St. and had his studio in the other half of the building, 1031 Banklick St. In 1902 he moved his studio to Fourth and Race Sts. in Cincinnati. That same year, he bought a farm, which he named Umberville (Latin for “shady farm”) along what is today Skyline Dr. in Cold Spring. Friends and associates of Farny considered him a confirmed bachelor, but in August 1906, at age 59, he married his 18-year-old ward, Anna Ray. The couple honeymooned in the Canadian wilderness and set up housekeeping at the Cold Spring farm, where they lived until 1910. Their only child, Daniel, was born in 1908 while the Farnys were living at Cold Spring. The house is presently owned and operated as the Campbell Lodge. Hundreds of Farny’s pencil sketches, watercolors, and oil paintings are held in museums around the world and in the homes of private collectors. His work ranks with such American masters as Frederick Remington, Charles Russell, John Singer Sargent, and James Whistler. Some of Farny’s most famous paintings were Hiawatha, Tellers of the Plain, The Last Vigil, Coming of the White Man, and Song of the Talking Wire. In addition to his artwork, Farny also occasionally wrote short stories and acted in various plays. In Northern Kentucky he was a close friend and contemporary of two of Covington’s most celebrated artists, Frank Duveneck and Dixie Selden. After a short illness, Henry Farny died in the Deaconess Hospital, Cincinnati. He was cremated and his ashes were buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati. His wife, Anna, and his son, Daniel, survived him. At the time of his death, Farny was living at 424 Straight St. in Cincinnati.
Carter, Denny. Henry Farny. New York: WatsonGuptill Publications, in cooperation with Cincinnati Art Museum, 1978. Cincinnati Art Museum. The Golden Age: Cincinnati Painters of the Nineteenth Century Represented in the Cincinnati Art Museum. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Art Museum, 1979. “Farny, His Flitting to Ohio Is Kentucky’s Loss,” KJ, March 6, 1893, 4. “Farny House Debate Is Settled Once and for All,” KP, January 13, 1987, 1K. “Farny Weds His 18 Year Old Ward,” KP, August 16, 1906, 1. Spring Grove Cemetery Records, Cincinnati. Vitz, Carl. “Henry F. Farny and the McGuffey Readers,” Bulletin of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio 12, no. 2 (April 1954): 91–108.
FAUNA (VERTEBRATE). French explorers were the first Europeans to visit Boone Co.’s Big Bone Lick. They arrived in 1739 and collected bones and teeth from an extinct group of mammals that included the giant ground sloth (Mylodon sp.), the mastodon (Mammut americanus), the large bison (Bison antiquus), the musk ox (Bootherium sp.), a giant moose-like deer (Cervalces scotti), the mammoth (Mammathus sp.), the caribou (Rangifer sp.), and the horse (Equus cf. compliatus). Modern bison (Bison bison), American elk (Cervus canadensis), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), extant species, were also found in various excavations, most notably by a scientific team from the University of Nebraska during the 1960s. Time and land-use changes have altered most of the habitats in Northern Kentucky. Few pristine areas remain, and the species now present may not be the same as in earlier times. Some species that were nearly exterminated have made comebacks, alien species have been added, and some of the latter have replaced native species. The species listed below are regarded as representative of the Northern Kentucky vertebrate fauna today. Fish In 1820 Constantine Rafi nesque, a scientist from Translvania University in Lexington, published Ichthyologia Ohiensis, in which he listed 111 species of fish for the Ohio River; approximately 90 percent of these were newly described. In the ensuing years, the Ohio River has experienced alterations due to siltation, pollution, alien introductions, and especially the effects of damming that have caused shifts in the population levels of native species. The gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) is perhaps the most abundant fish in the river, but other rough fish including various species of minnows, suckers, and catfish have been successful. The freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), gars (Lepisosteus spp.), and the introduced carp (Cyprinus carpio) are fairly abundant. The Licking and Kentucky rivers have undergone similar environmental and biotic changes. Smaller streams and creeks, especially the less polluted ones, maintain strong populations of darters, especially greenside (Etheostoma thalassi-
mum), johnny (E. nigrum), orangethroat (E. spectable), rainbow (E. caeruleum), and others. Creek chubs (Semotilus atromaculatus) and northern hogsuckers (Hypentelium nigricans) also are found in smaller streams. Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) have been widely stocked in farm ponds across the area but also are abundant stream and river species. Amphibians The 24 species of amphibians (frogs, toads, and salamanders) that have been reported for Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties perhaps are representative for the region. The redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is generally confi ned to the glacial areas of Boone and Kenton counties but is perhaps the most abundant salamander in the region. In spring-fed streams, dusky salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus) are common. Ambystomid salamanders are uncommon except locally. Frogs, especially bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) and green frogs (R. clamitans), are commonly found; however, there appears to be a decline in the leopard frog (R. pipiens) numbers. The American toad (Bufo americanus) is more commonly encountered than the Fowler’s toad (B. woodhousii). Reptiles The 24 species of reptiles (turtles, snakes, and lizards) reported for Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties also seem to be representative for Northern Kentucky. Eastern box turtles (Terrepene carolina) are commonly encountered throughout much of the region. Distributions of other turtles are less well known. Lizard populations are not well known, however; native species such as the broadhead skink (Eumeces laticeps) and the fence swift (Scleporus undulatus) may be less abundant than in the past. Populations of the introduced European wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) have expanded throughout the Cincinnati area, on both sides of the Ohio River. The most commonly observed snakes in the region are the black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta) and the garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) across the uplands and the northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) and the queen snake (Regina septemvittata) along streams. The only poisonous snake found in the region is the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), and its numbers appear to be declining because of loss of habitat. Other snakes are secretive in nature and their status is uncertain. Birds The status of breeding bird populations at the Boone Co. Cliffs Nature Preserve are as well documented as any in Kentucky. There, vireos, warblers, woodpeckers, wrens, and nuthatches appear to be abundant. Great horned owls are confined to older forest remnants. However, owing to fragmentation of forests, brown-headed cowbirds have increased. Introduced species, especially the starling, the house finch, the house sparrow, and the rock dove,
322 FEARN FAMILY are most noticeable around human habitations. Canada goose populations around suburban lakes and ponds have dramatically increased to nuisance levels. The expansion of urban and suburban areas has allowed shifts in populations and species to occur. Northern cardinals, catbirds, mocking birds, and blue jays are common neighborhood residents. The widespread use of bird feeders has benefited such species as the ruby-throated hummingbird, the Carolina chickadee, and the tufted titmouse. Christmas bird counts have revealed long- and short-term shifts in populations, especially those of the eastern bluebird and the Carolina wren. Some birds, especially the red-tailed hawk, appear to have taken advantage of open country along roadways. Mammals Although large mammals such as elk and buffalo disappeared from the region long ago, some large mammals, most notably white-tailed deer, have experienced great population increases. Reintroductions of beavers (Castor canadensis) and otters (Lontra canadensis) have also been successful. Coyotes (Canis latrans) have expanded their geographic range into the region and are now a problem. The most abundant mammal species are small and secretive—white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), short-tail shrews (Blarina brevicauda), and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). Feral house mouse (Mus musculus) populations have expanded as human population has expanded across the region. Other native species that have adapted to human modifications of the environment are the opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and the raccoon (Procyon lotor). Bats, most notably big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) and little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), are most successful around human settlements. Woodchucks (Marmota monax) and eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) are often encountered throughout the region. Black squirrel (Sciurus caroliniensis) populations in the Fort Mitchell area are of local interest. Barbour, R. W., and W. H. Davis. Mammals of Kentucky. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1974. Ferner, J. W., P. J. Krusling, and M. Obermeyer. A Survey of Reptile Populations in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Final Report. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Gas and Electric, 2000. Krusling, P. J., and J. W. Ferner. Distribution and Status of Amphibians in the Northern Tier Counties of Kentucky. Final Report. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Gas and Electric, 1993. Page, L M., and B. M. Burr. Freshwater Fishes. Boston: Houghton-Miffl in, 1991. Palmer-Ball, B., Jr. The Kentucky Breeding Bird Atlas. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1996. Schultz, C. B., L. G. Tanner, F. C. Whittmore Jr., L. L. Ray, and E. C. Crawford. “Big Bone Lick, Kentucky: A Pictorial Story of the Paleontological Excavations and the Fauna Found Locally from 1962 to 1966,” University of Nebraska News 46 (1967).
William S. Bryant
FEARN FAMILY. In an age when land speculation was common and starting a family business was routine, the Fearn family of Hunter’s Bottom in Carroll Co. was unique in the number and scope of their entrepreneurial activities. Over four generations, the Fearns built a substantial fortune based on utilization of 1,000 acres of prime Ohio River bottomland and of a large gristmill in Milton, in Trimble Co. Members of the Fearn family served as trustees of local turnpike toll roads and were owners of an Ohio River packet steamer business and a fruit company. In addition, family members speculated on timber tracts in Jackson Co., Ind., and owned mercantile locations near the wharf at Madison and at other locations along the Ohio River. The Fearns became the wealthiest family in Hunter’s Bottom; yet by the end of the 19th century, many of the family members had died or moved away and their steamboats had been sold. But five of the antebellum mansions built by this family from profits made in the steamboat business still stand—reminders of the golden age of steamboats on the Ohio. In 1803 the Fearn family started a financial empire when Samuel Fearn and his oldest son, George Fearn, purchased 1,000 acres of prime Gallatin Co. bottomlands along the Ohio River and moved their family from Bourbon Co. to Hunter’s Bottom. A few years later Samuel Fearn Sr. (1807– 1888), another son of Samuel Fearn, was born. The Fearns developed their farmland and, well before 1850, constructed a gristmill at Milton. Samuel Sr. had the major interest in the mill, while George Fearn began speculating in Indiana land at Madison and along the Ohio River on the Indiana side. Although a bachelor, George built a large home overlooking the river that he named Fearn Hill. It was one of the grandest homes of the period. Samuel Fearn Sr. married Elizabeth Owen of Henry Co. in 1826 , and they had two sons, Samuel Jr. and George, and five daughters, all of whom had musical talent. The sprawling brick home Samuel Sr. built is still occupied. Samuel Sr.’s chief interest was the large flour mill at Milton, but, joining in business with his father, he became a trustee and head in 1877 of the Carrollton and Louisville Packet Company and in 1882 of the Milton and Hunters Bottom Turnpike Road Company. Samuel Fearn Jr., who was born in Hunters Bottom in 1831, may have been the most enterprising of all the Fearns. He married Annie Hitt in 1856, and shortly thereafter he and his brother, George, moved to lands where there was a large timber tract along the Muscatatuck River in Jackson Co., Ind., southeast of Seymour, Ind. By the mid-1860s, the brothers had moved back to Hunter’s Bottom and Samuel Fearn Jr. had become involved in both the flour mill and the family’s packet steamboat business. He also became a trustee of the North View Fruit Company and the Madison and Bedford Turnpike Company. Samuel Jr. married three times, first to Annie Hitt, then to Emma McClaran, and then to Bettie P. Craig. He had one son, Samuel S. Fearn, known as Captain S. S. Fearn, and four daughters; all of the daughters died at relatively young ages. Meanwhile, his brother, George,
inherited a family home, Fearn Hill, from his uncle in 1869 and married Maggie Porter. George was the major advocate of his family’s packet business and in September 1877 launched the Maggie Harper, which became their main steamboat. George Fearn received his master’s certificate as an Ohio River steamboat captain in 1880 and raised a family at Hunter’s Bottom. At some point, he moved south to Georgia and later died there in 1930. The Maggie Harper was a 133-foot sternwheeler. Most of its trips involved routine triweekly round trips from Madison to Louisville, carry ing passengers and freight. In 1880, when the Bay Brothers and the U.S. Mail Line brought a competitive 182-foot side-wheeler, the Minnie Bay, to make daily trips from Louisville to Madison, the Fearn family expanded their steamboat route and founded, on August 31, 1880, The Louisville, Madison, and Kentucky River Packet Company. As the steamboat competition increased on the Ohio River, the Maggie Harper entered upon the Kentucky River’s commercial trade by running popular steamboat excursions for groups. A newer boat, the Fannie Fearn, was ordered by the Fearn steamboat company from the Howard Shipyards at Jeffersonville, Ind. The Fannie Fearn, using the machinery taken from the Maggie Harper, was delivered in 1886, and Captain S. S. Fearn was listed as captain. But by then it was too late; the Bay Brothers had absorbed the major and most lucrative part of the Fearn company’s trade. The Fearns, forced to liquidate their packet business, sold the Fannie Fearn to an operator in Apalachicola, Fla., to be used in steamboat commerce on the Chattahoochee River. With encouragement from Captain S. S. Fearn, the White Collar Packet Line brought the Big Kanawha, a 152-foot sternwheeler, to the LouisvilleMadison trade, and Fearn served briefly as its captain. Shortly thereafter, Captain Sam Parsons brought the Helen M. Gould, a faster boat, to compete for commercial trade on the Ohio River. According to Frederick Way, “a swap was made in which Parsons acquired the Big Kanawha and the White Collar Line bought the Helen M. Gould with the proviso that Parsons would vamoose.” Sometime before 1891, Captain S. S. Fearn moved to Cincinnati and worked as a steamboat inspector for 11 years before he died in 1905. By then, railroads crisscrossed Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The steamboat era was fading into its twilight and was but a ghost of its former self. Allen, Michael. Western Rivermen, 1763–1861. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1990. Hunter, Louis C. Steamboats on the Western Rivers. New York: Dover, 1993. Smith, Larry Douglas. The Fearns of Hunters Bottom, Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: L. D. Smith, 1992. Way, Frederick, Jr. Way’s Packet Directory, 1848– 1994. Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 1994.
Diane Perrine Coon
FEDDERS, EDWARD L. (b. December 14, 1913, Covington, Ky.; d. March 11, 1973, Pomato, Peru).
Edward Fedders, the son of Frank J. and Mary V. Schiffer Fedders, was one of two persons from the region to rise to the rank of bishop within the Roman Catholic Church. Four of his siblings also entered Catholic religious orders. Both Edward and his brother Albert became Maryknoll priests at the Catholic Foreign Mission Society, based at Maryknoll, N.Y.; three of their sisters joined the Benedictine order of nuns. Edward attended St. John Elementary School in Covington and St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. He joined the Maryknoll order of missionaries in 1934 and, after his ordination in 1944, was assigned to Peru. He was one of the first Maryknoll priests assigned to South America. Fedders became a specialist in educational projects and his talents were quickly recognized. In 1963 he was made the bishop of Juli, Peru, and was consecrated at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington. In 1970 he suffered a heart attack and in 1973 died from a second attack, collapsing just as he finished saying Sunday Mass. He had funerals both in Covington and in Juli, Peru, where he was buried in a crypt at the Juli cathedral. Raver, Howard. “Covington-Born Bishop of Peru Dies Saying Mass,” KP, March 12, 1973, 1–2. Reis, Jim. “Only Bishop Born Here Built Pastoral Career around World,” KP, April 15, 2002, 4K.
Michael R. Sweeney
FEE, JOHN GREGG (b. September 9, 1816, Bracken Co., Ky.; d. January 11, 1901, Berea, Ky.). John Gregg Fee, a noted abolitionist and the founder of Berea College, in Berea, was the son of slaveholders John and Sarah Gregg Fee. He was born on the family farm along Hillsdale Rd. near Germantown, and Hillsdale was the location of his first church and school. Fee attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and obtained a BA from Augusta College before entering the Presbyterian Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati in 1842. A personal epiphany initiated his antislavery convictions. When he returned home to Bracken Co., he was met with angry mobs who did not support his antislavery teachings. He was subjected to beatings, ridicule, and finally banishment. The American Missionary Society placed Fee in charge of 15 to 20 young ministers, and Fee and these associates were often accused of and charged with enticing slaves to escape. In September 1844, Fee married Matilda Hamilton, who shared his zeal for advancing the rights and education of the enslaved. In 1854 Fee moved to Madison Co. at the inducement of his friend and fellow abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, who had given Fee 10 acres of land. However, their relationship did not endure, since the two men took contrasting positions about how to end slavery. Clay favored a gradual approach, whereas Fee maintained the need for immediate emancipation. Fee’s belief in immediate emancipation prompted him to purchase a family slave, Juliet Miles, from his father to prevent her from being sold. A court action followed that resulted in the
Nelson experiences could serve as models for other such institutions in the South. From 1866 until 1889 at Berea College, which began as both a college and a 13-grade (K-12) preparatory school, at least half of the students enrolled were African Americans. Thus, Fee’s goal of demonstrating that education should be color blind was achieved. However, there developed a period of turmoil and disagreement among the trustees about sustaining this mission. The issue was settled when William Goodell Frost became Berea’s new president in 1892. Fee, who had been concentrating for years on his work as a minister, no longer was in control, and the prevailing educational thought in America favored “separate but equal” education; Berea College was forced to segregate after its unsuccessful legal attempts to challenge the state’s racist Day Law (1904). In 1950 the college was reintegrated. Fee, who saw his noble dreams for Berea College come to an end, died in 1901 and was buried in the Berea Cemetery. John G. Fee.
emancipation of Juliet and her son Henry. However, after a move to Clermont Co., Ohio, Juliet returned to Bracken Co. to attempt to rescue her other children. This daring action was unsuccessful; she and her family were arrested and she was remanded to the state penitentiary at Frankfort, where she died two years later. By 1859 Fee had proposed an abolitionist colony at Berea in Madison Co., along with a coeducational, integrated college. Berea College, based on the New Testament principle of “openmindedness,” was intended to be similar to Oberlin College in Ohio. Just as he and his colleagues were preparing to open their new school, the abolitionist John Brown led his attack on Harper’s Ferry in Virginia. Slaveholders from Madison Co. decided the abolitionist Fee represented a similar threat, and on December 23, 1859, a band of prominent citizens and slaveholders from nearby Richmond rode to Berea and told Fee and his associates they had 10 days to leave the state. When the governor of Kentucky, Beriah Magoffin (1859–1862), refused to help the Berea abolitionists, Fee and his associates fled to Ohio. Thus, the college at Berea failed to open as planned. It opened in 1866, one year after the Civil War (1860–1865) had ended. During the war, Fee kept in touch with the situation in Berea by occasionally visiting relatives and churches there. Fee also returned to Kentucky during the war to offer food, shelter, and the promise of education to recently freed slaves reporting to Camp Nelson, a Union recruitment center in Jessamine Co. not far from Berea. While he was at Camp Nelson, Fee, now a Union Army chaplain, founded a trade school for former slaves, the Ariel Academy. Fee’s work with freed slaves in Kentucky and his earlier plans to build an interracial college with biblical underpinnings delivered a hopeful message to Northern abolitionists: that the Berea and Camp
“Abolitionism,” CJ, May 1, 1852, 2. “Bracken County Marker to Honor Abolitionist, Slave,” KP, June 21, 2002, 3K. Lucas, Marion. A History of Blacks in Kentucky. Vol. 1. Frankfort: Kentucky Historical Society, 1992. Sears, Richard D. The Day of Small Things: Abolitionism in the Midst of Slavery, Berea, Kentucky, 1854– 1864. Lanham, Md.: Univ. Press of America, 1986.
Caroline R. Miller
FERGUSON, BRUCE (b. March 21, 1929, Covington, Ky.). Bruce Ferguson, who became a Northern Kentucky judge, is the son of Walter and Shirley Rice Ferguson. Walter Ferguson was very active in the community and in the Democratic Party. Bruce married Elizabeth Reynolds in 1951, and they have five children. In 1967 he earned his BA in history and political science from Thomas More College in Crestview Hills. As a young man, Bruce Ferguson was involved in many organizations. During the early 1950s, he served as president of the Big Bone Lick Historical Association, a group that succeeded in establishing Big Bone Lick as a Kentucky state park in 1958. Ferguson’s political career spans more than 40 years. He fi rst served on the Boone Co. Board of Education from 1955 to 1961 and then became the Boone Co. judge. He served as judge from 1963 to 1982 and again from 1986 to 1992. During this tenure, he opened the county’s first hospital, started a county water system, and developed the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation, thereby helping to build Boone county into the thriving area it is today. In 1992 he resigned as Boone Co. judge to accept the position of commissioner of the Department of Local Governments under Kentucky governor Brereton Jones (1991–1995). Ferguson retired in 1996 and returned to Boone Co. Although he retired from seeking public office in 2001, after serving on the Boone Co. Soil Conservation Board, he remains very active in the community,
324 FERGUSON, HUBBARD “HUB” often delivering speeches to local civic groups. He lives at Glencairn Farm, which has been in his family for generations. Ferguson, Bruce. Interview by Laurie Wilcox, September 14, 2005, Union, Ky. Warner, Jennifer S. Boone County: From Mastodons to the Millennium. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Bicentennial Book Committee, 1998.
FERGUSON, HUBBARD “HUB” (b. December 18, 1889, Gallatin Co., Ky.; d. June 18, 1954, Gallatin Co., Ky.). Gallatin Co. sheriff Hubbard Ferguson, the son of William and Julia Sanders Ferguson, disappeared on the night of June 18, 1954. He owned a farm that was located between Lick Creek and Park Ridge Rds. near Sparta, Ky., and had visited the farm’s tenant at the farm earlier that evening. Ferguson’s abandoned car was found on Park Ridge Rd. the next day, and his gun was missing from the car’s glove compartment. His friends organized a search party, and hundreds responded; but it was not until two farmers noticed that their horses shied away every time they disked weeds near a certain section of Eagle Creek that the sheriff ’s dead body was found. Ferguson had been shot above the right ear, and a heavy railroad tie plate had been tied around his neck. The motive was a mystery. County judge Earl Spencer said, “Hub just wasn’t the type of man to get into trouble.” Ferguson lived alone in an apartment in Warsaw. He had separated earlier from his wife of 30 years and had been divorced only a year before his death. The Gallatin Co. News described him as “not the most popu lar man in the county, but the least disliked.” Various news reports characterized him as a loner, a nondrinker, and not a ladies’ man. More than 25 persons were given lie-detector tests, some as suspects, some merely to get good information, but none of those tested provided suitable leads. More than 200 people were questioned. The gun was never found. Former Gallatin County News editor Charles Adams argued that the death was a suicide, but most of the authorities and citizens in the community believed foul play was involved. The murder remains unsolved. Hub Ferguson was 64 years old at the time of his death and was survived by one son. He was buried at the Warsaw Cemetery. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 11175, for the year 1954. “Year-Old Slaying of Gallatin County Sheriff Still Unsolved,” KP, June 26, 1955, 1.
FERRIES. Ferries, among the first public utilities in the United States, played a major role in the history of Northern Kentucky, even before Kentucky became a state. They provided the link to Indiana and Ohio for westward expansion, economic development, and the growth of roads. Winthrop Sargent, the territorial secretary and sometimes governor of the Northwest Territory, signed many
ferry licenses for Kentucky before it gained statehood, such as the license for a ferry at Limestone Landing (now Maysville). American Indians crossed rivers with various types of ferries. Each Indian tribe had certain specific design features that suited its conditions for use. In general, though, if an individual or a small group needed a ferry, a collapsible skin boat was made. These boats could be constructed in about two hours by sewing three or four deerskins together over a frame. For larger groups, the birchbark canoe was the most popu lar, but dugout or elm-bark canoes were also used. The dugouts were made from oak, pine, or chestnut wood. The Indians would cut a tree down and then use fire, hot stones, and gouging to shape and hollow the log into a dugout canoe. Each dugout canoe took 10 to 12 days to complete and could hold from 3 to 40 people. As the early white settlers moved into the Ohio River Valley, they used dugout canoes too, as well as pirogues and flat-bottomed boats, for river crossing. The first small ferries that carried passengers could be paddled, rowed, or poled in the shallow waters when the river was low. Sail-propelled scows were another type. However, sail ferries were notoriously unreliable, because the winds often did not blow when needed or in the right direction to push the ferry across the river. At narrow crossings, many of the early ferries were flatboats, about 45 feet long; one man would pull the boat with a rope or wire stretched from bank to bank. The rope ferries worked very well, as long as the rope could be kept above the water. The cable was first stretched across the river, and the front of the ferry was attached with a sliding hitch. The current would exert force on the drifting back end and push the boat against the current. However, rope exposed to the weather over a period of time was likely to break. It snapped usually when the strain was heavy, such as when spring rains brought strong currents and floodwaters. At such times, passengers and ferryman could only hope that as the flatboat and all on board floated downstream, the boat would drift to either shore, not far below the landing place. In the 19th century, wire replaced the rope used for ferries. Wire ferries were inexpensive, easy to operate, and simple. Horses and buggies were able to make the trip in sufficient time, and the operation of these ferries was easier on the operator’s back than using poles and oars. By 1819 the horse ferry, also called a teamboat, was introduced on the Ohio River. In that year, a large boat propelled by eight horses was in ser vice at Maysville. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant wrote about that ferry in his memoirs. Horse boats were long and wide enough that some were operated with as many as eight horses. The horses, usually blind (or wearing blinders), worked in a treadmill well in the back of the boat. The treadmill was attached to paddlewheels, one on either side of the ferry. Two horses, walking in place on opposite sides of the tread-wheel, generated enough power to turn the two side wheels. The driver sat in the back close to the horses but also near enough to the stern that
he could control the direction of the boat with a long sweep or oar. If the pi lot wanted to go faster, he would tell the deckhands to grab the horses’ tails, causing them to walk faster and pull harder on the treads. Rowing the horse ferry was next to impossible on a windy day. Therefore, sails were used. However, if the current was swift and the wind in full force, sails could create a problem by diverting the ferry to a point far below the landing. It took several good horses per day to operate a busy ferry. The hulls of the horse ferries were usually made of oak. Some were framed with straight boards of oak that were cut across their width, steamed, and then bent on a mold to the proper shape. A Royal Navy shipwright in England, William Hookey, developed the technique of sawing, steaming, and bending timbers for frames. As the number of travelers increased, steam ferries replaced the horse-propelled ferries. The original paddle side-wheeler steam ferries were built to accommodate a lighter volume of horsedrawn vehicles. Then when most of the ferry traffic consisted of larger and heavier vehicles, the sideloading boats were replaced with end-loading vessels and new causeways to make loading and off-loading easier. End-loading allowed the vehicles to load at one end of the vessel and unload at the other. Such ferries were double-ended and able to proceed equally well in either direction. Later, diesel electric propulsion became more efficient and replaced the steam ferries. Early ferry licenses were granted to individuals, and licensees were directed to meet certain expectations, such as keeping a passable road leading from the ferry. Because there was little traffic in the early days, ferries did not run every day, but as settlements developed, ferries developed a schedule. The early ferries were called by the owner’s name, such as Dufour’s Ferry and George Ash’s ferry. Later they were named for a family member or a location, such as the Martha A. Graham or the Ohio (River). In early years, the license was granted to run only one way across the river, so some ferry owners bought land on both sides of the river in order to have a more profitable business. At first, the local county courts determined the toll rates. Gallatin Co. Order Book B described the change in ferry rate for a ferry on the Kentucky River near Carrollton on June 11, 1810: “The rate of Thomas Carraco’s ferry will be nine pence for a man and horse and four pence and half penny for a single horse instead of rates established at the last court.” Since the water could be treacherous with floating ice in the winter, the rate could be increased. For instance, Gallatin Co. Order Book B stated on January 13, 1812: “Ordered the owner of the ferry across the Ohio, opposite the mouth of Kentucky, be allowed 37 1⁄2 cents for taking a man and horse across the river during the three winter months.” The Kentucky legislature later set the fees that could be charged. Ferrymen were not allowed to charge a toll for mail stages, funeral processions, or ministers. The first ferries were spaced fairly close together when travel was by oxen, mules, or horses,
and even after automobiles became fairly common, because of the number of miles people had to travel. Kentucky law required that ferries had to be at least one mile from each other. In the early days, the ferries quit running at sundown; rarely did people travel after dark, because dangers abounded. The overland trails were treacherous enough during the daytime, horses needed to rest, and the traveler sought a good place to sleep, many times at a tavern, a ferry-house, or an inn. Usually travelers stayed overnight in the vicinity of the ferry, since that is where the settlements were established. Ferries that operated at the end of a major route from Virginia or Tennessee or across the mountains of Kentucky that connected with another state were the most profitable, such as those at Maysville, Covington, Ghent, and Carrollton. Before the building of the dams on the Ohio River, the water level was uncertain for navigation (see Ohio River Navigation). At times of drought, one could walk across the river in places. At other times, after a major rain, a ferry was a necessity. The U.S. Congress appropriated funds to build dams on the Ohio River in order to provide a channel at least nine feet deep between Pittsburgh, Pa., and Cairo, Ill. The Fernbank, Ohio, Dam opened in 1911; the McVille, Ky., Dam in 1921; and the Markland, Ind., Wicket Dam in 1921. Once the nine-foot channel was created, the use of the ferries increased. Many stories accompany the history of the Northern Kentucky ferries. The Marquis de Lafayette, a hero of the Revolutionary War, was personally escorted across the Ohio River to Cincinnati on a small barge ferry at Covington during his tour of the United States in 1825. Beasley’s ferry at Maysville was very popu lar in the 1800s, because Beasley had a large house on the Ohio side of the river where he married couples wanting to elope. It had a thriving business until the opening of the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge at Maysville in 1931. The Augusta Ferry was involved during the Civil War in the escape of Confederate general John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders. The Brent Ferry in Campbell Co. catered to entertainment. Its sole mission was to transport persons to the Coney Island Amusement Park/River Downs Race Track in Ohio for a day of fun. It ceased with the completion of the nearby I-275 bridge; its last owner was John D. Laughead. George Ash’s ferry at Carrollton (Port William) posed notable dangers for a time, since Ash was known for hiding along the riverbank and acting as a decoy to rob early settlers. His actions did not continue long, because he was converted to religion at an early tent revival. Captain William McCoy operated a ferry ser vice between the Ludlow wharf and W. Fift h St. in Cincinnati. Ferry ser vice was vital to this area, but McCoy refused to operate on a consistent schedule. In 1864, the town fathers of Ludlow petitioned the state for a city charter, thinking that an incorporated city could regulate McCoy’s ferry. This strategy failed and the problem continued for another 20 years. Northern Kentucky has two ferries still in operation on the Ohio River: the Anderson Ferry
near Constance and Boude’s Augusta Ferry at Augusta. Cotterell, Harry, Jr. “Ohio River Crossings.” Steamboat Bill, Spring 1976, 7–12. Crisman, Kevin J., and Arthur B. Cohn. When Horses Walked on Water: Horse-Powered Ferries in Nineteenth- Century America. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998. Fishbaugh, Charles Preston. From Paddle Wheels to Propellers. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1970.
Reis, Jim. Pieces of the Past. Vols. 1 and 2. Covington: Kentucky Post, 1991. ———. “Small Brent Once Boomed, but Lost Out to Silver Grove,” KP, November 29, 1999, 4. Stivers, Eliese Bambach. Ripley, Ohio: Its History and Families. Self-published, 1965. Way, Frederick, Jr. Way’s Packet Directory, 1848–1973. Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 1983.
FIDELITY INVESTMENTS. One of the newer corporate residents of Covington is the Boston-
Northern Kentucky Ferries In the following list, a single year indicates when the company or ferry was licensed. For some companies and ferries, no specific date is available; their placement in the list may be taken to indicate roughly when they operated. In the case of crossings listed with no further details, it is known only that a licensed ferry operated at those places. The crossing locations are arranged upstream to downstream for the Ohio River only.
OHIO RIVER FERRIES Maysville, Ky. (Limestone Landing), to Aberdeen, Ohio Nathan Ellis Ferry William Brooks Ferry Benjamin Sutton Ferry Mr. York Ferry John Taylor’s Ferry Edmund Martin’s Ferry Jacob Boone Ferry J. K. Ficklin’s Ferry William B. Campbell Gleaner Shanghai Relief Laurance Kawanis
1795 1795 1795 1797 1797–1827 1808 1818 1820
1925 1928 1931
South Ripley, Ky., to Ripley, Ohio Maggie May Proctor K. Smiley Senate City New Richmond Relief Nora Belle W. S. Taylor Ferry H & C Ferry
1881 ca. 1882–1921
Dover, Ky., to Levanna, Ohio Augusta, Ky., to Boude’s Ferry, Ohio Edward Salts Ferry John Coburn Ferry James Bonwell Ferry John Boude Ferry Mr. Fleming Ferry John Taylor’s Ferry Augusta College Ferry Dr. Joshua T. Bradford Ferry Belle of Augusta Dr. George Mackay Whisper O’Neill Mister Haines
1796 1796 1796 1798 ca. 1798 1820–1822 1822 1899 1900 ca. 1930 (shut down in 1973, back in service by City Fathers 1976) (Continued)
326 FIDELITY INVESTMENTS based financial ser vices company Fidelity Investments. Located atop Winston Hill south of Latonia, in the northwestern quadrant where Ky. Rt. 16 (Taylor Mill Rd.) crosses over I-275, the company’s 188-acre campus has expanded Northern Kentucky’s employment base. In 1943 Edward C. Johnson II took over management of the Fidelity Fund (mutual fund) in Boston, which had been founded in 1930. In 1946 he started the Fidelity Management and Research Company as an adviser to the Fund. He believed that through research and active management of stocks, he could outperform the market in general. For many years, the company’s successful Magellen Fund did exactly that. In 1972 Edward C. Johnson III succeeded his father as president of the privately held enterprise. He began his career with the growing company in 1957 as an analyst. Fidelity Management and Research started to invest in infrastructure and technology, allowing for growth in the retirement and outsourcing lines of business. In the early 21st century, the firm attained the milestone of having $1 trillion in assets under its management. The fi rm became Fidelity Investments and opened in Northern Kentucky in 1994, after obtaining some lucrative tax breaks from local and state government. Its fi rst building was designed by KZF Inc., of Cincinnati; its fourth building, completed in 2008, has 360,000 square feet and cost $144 million; at the same time, a 17,000square-foot addition was added to Fidelity’s main building. The Commonwealth of Kentucky recognized the importance of the fi rm when it agreed to construct a 1.7-mile connector highway from the west side of the Fidelity campus to Ky. Rt. 17. Completed in 2007, the Highland Pk. (Ky. Rt. 1072) extension spans the CSX railroad tracks and Banklick Creek, providing additional egress for Fidelity’s campus and opening up another 100-plus acres for similar development along its path. Fidelity Investments has been a good corporate citizen of the region. Its people are involved in many activities to improve life in Northern Kentucky, and the company has donated generously to causes within the region. Fidelity has joined with Northern Kentucky University (NKU) to create a Fidelity call center on campus, providing students with work experience on the NKU campus. In early 2005, Newport native Kevin Canafax, a 1982 graduate of Newport Central Catholic High School, was named the regional general manager of Fidelity Investments in Covington. Twenty years ago, Fidelity Investments rose to prominence as a mutual fund company and became a financial ser vices company; 10 years ago it got into insurance, brokerage, and retirement planning. With the knowledge of how large the demographic of the baby boomers will be, and all the discretionary investment income they will have available, Fidelity seeks to position itself to capture that market and the millions of financial transactions that will be made by that group. Fidelity Investments in Covington will be the home of that
Brent, Ky. (Campbell Co.), to Coney Island, Ohio (Ferry company closed with the opening of the I-275 bridge) James Bateman Ferry William Wilson Whoopee Girl John D Ferry Queen Ferry Princess Ferry Prince Ferry Princess II
1874 1899 1933 1934 1940–1949 1949–1968 1956–1978 1968–1978
Bradford, Ky., to Chilo, Ohio Horse Ferry
Foster, Ky., to Neville, Ohio Ivory, Ky., to Moscow, Ohio New Richmond, Ky., to New Richmond, Ohio Dayton, Ky., to Cincinnati Newport, Ky., to Cincinnati Robert Benham Ferry Lady Gay City of Newport
1792 (both banks of the Licking) 1865–1870 1882–1890
Covington, Ky., to Cincinnati Francis Kennedy Thomas Kennedy Ferry (see Thomas Kennedy) Robert Benham Ferry Samuel Kennedy Main St. (Covington) Ferry Scott St. Ferry
1789 1791 1792 (both banks of the Licking) 1815 19th century 19th century
Ludlow, Ky., to Cincinnati Ludlow Ferry
Constance, Ky., to Sedamsville, Ohio (see Anderson Ferry) Raleigh Colston Ferry George Anderson Ferry John Wilson Ferry Boone Boone 2 Boone 3 Boone 4 Boone 5 Boone 6 Boone 7 Boone 8
ca. 1817 1817–1841 1865 1867–1874 1874–1885 1881–1890 1891–1909 1900–1918 1920–1936 1937 1964
Bullittsville, Ky., to Lawrenceburg, Ind. Johnson Ferry
Touseytown, Ky., to Lawrenceburg, Ind. Moses Tousey Ferry Samuel C. Vance Capt. Thomas Porter General A. Saunders Piatt Ferry Judge Jacob Piatt Ferry Charles Piatt Ferry Abram Piatt Sr.
1820 1826 1835 1842 1844 1845 (Continued)
product line. In 2008 Fidelity Investments employed about 4,600 workers in Northern Kentucky, including 4,400 at its main Covington campus, 100 in downtown Covington (see Covington, Downtown), and 85 at Northern Kentucky University. It is the sixth-largest private-sector employer in Kentucky. Driehaus, Bob. “Fidelity Names Canafax to Post,” KP, January 14, 2005, 1K. “Fidelity a Boon to Local Economy,” CP, March 3, 1999, 7B. “Fidelity Celebrates Its Newest Building,” KE, May 22, 2008, B1. Fidelity.com. www.fidelity.com (accessed on December 8, 2006). “Fidelity Tapping NKU for Workers,” KP, October 29, 1998, 6C. “Firm Plans Scenic Campus,” KP, April 24, 1992, 1K. “High Fidelity in Covington,” SC, December 18, 2005, 4B. Mitsoff, Tom. “Highland Pike Connector on Schedule,” KP, July 12, 2006, A2. ———. “Work Begins on Fidelity Connector,” KP, June 14, 2006, A2. Newberry, Jon. “Fidelity Will Be the No. 2 Employer,” KP, June 3, 2005, 1K. “Tax Break to Help Lure Brokerage,” KP, March 20, 1992, 1.
Touseytown, Ky., to Lawrenceburg, Ind. (Continued) Peter Hartman’s Ferry Robert Terrill George Terrill Capt. William Huff Shirley T. Pearl
Petersburg, Ky., to Aurora, Ind. John Watts Ferry John Grant John I. Flournoy James Marshall Archibald Huston J. W. Loder Ferry Swing Ferry Buffington Ferry Appleman Ferry Frank Klopp Ferry Jacob Klopp Aurora Everett Lee Etta Belle C. J. Ferry
1800–1815 1806 1806–1813
Middle Creek, Ky., to Rice’s Landing, Ind.
FIELDS, GREG (b. June 11, 1955, Fort Thomas, Ky.; d. April 15, 2002, Woodland Hills, Calif.). Comedy writer Kenneth Gregory Fields was the son of Kenneth and Joann Derrick Fields. He grew up on the south side of Newport, on the hill behind the shopping center, where he attended Mildred Dean Grade School and Newport High School, graduating from the latter in 1973. Fields played quarterback on his high school football team and guard in basketball. He earned a basketball scholarship to Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) in Memphis, Tenn. By age 14, he knew what he wanted to do in life and worked during high school as a stand-up comedian at local nightclubs (see Beverly Hills Supper Club). While in college he opened for musical acts such as, Brook Benton, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1977 he moved to Los Angeles and took a job delivering liquor as he began writing material for other comedians. He eventually wrote for television shows such as The Tonight Show, The Pat Sajak Show, Solid Gold, In Living Color, The Parenthood, and The New Smothers Brothers Show. He went on to write for Dean Martin’s Roasts, and he wrote the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School. Fields also scripted the 1998 movie Garbage Picking, Football Kicking, Philadelphia Phenomenon. He authored material for David Brenner, Jim Carey, Charo, former president Gerald Ford, Bob Hope, Jay Leno, Rich Little, Joan Rivers, and Slappy White. Fields was a personal friend of Disney’s Michael Eisner, and he was known to fi nancially help out other comedians with whom he had worked. At age 46, while working on two movies and a cartoon pi lot about a dysfunctional family, Fields died of a heart attack at his home in California and was buried at Oakwood Memorial Cemetery
McVille Ferry D. G. Rice Ferry J. W. Rice Ferry Rabbit Hash, Ky., to Rising Sun, Ind. Edward Meeks Ferry Flat James Alexander Wilson Ferry James Carlton Ferry George Carlton Ferry James Calvert Ferry John Q. A. Stephens Pembroke S. Ryle T. C. S. Ryle and William Rice Ferry William P. Ryle Leonard Clore Charles Craig James Perkins Jacob Piatt Robert Piatt Richard S. Ryle John Huey Thomas Lumpkins Benjamin Wilson Josie Piatt and others J. W. Whitlock Swan Katie Platt Ferry Kittie Whitlock See Me Passenger Mildred Rabbit Transit Company
1830 1842–1850 1848 1848–1861 1852 1855 1856 1858 1859 1867 1872–1877 1874 1888 1890 1899 1899–1908 1906 1911–1918 1922 1922–1945 1983
Gunpowder Creek, Ky. ( just below Rabbit Hash), to Rising Sun, Ind. John Bush Ferry Lott North Johnson Ferry
1803–1810 1807 1807
328 FIFTH THIRD BANK in Woodland Hills. His wife, a son, and a daughter survived him. “Greg Fields, Respected Hollywood TV, Film Writer,” KP, April 22, 2002, 6A. Obituary, Variety, May 16, 2002. www.variety.com.
Michael R. Sweeney
FIFTH THIRD BANK. The Fift h Third Bank of Cincinnati traces its origins to a bank founded in 1858, called the Bank of the Ohio Valley. That bank was later acquired by the Third National Bank of Cincinnati. Fift h Third Bank’s present unique name comes from the 1908 merger of the Fift h National Bank of Cincinnati with the city’s Th ird National Bank. Since that time, Fift h Third Bank has acquired numerous other financial institutions and is today a large regional bank with numerous branches in 10 states. In the Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton, Fift h Third Bank acquired the American National Bank of Newport, the Boone State Bank, the First National Bank of Falmouth, the Kentucky Enterprise Bank of Newport, and the Security Bank of Covington. One of Fifth Third Bank’s important Northern Kentucky acquisitions was the First National Bank of Covington, located at the corner of Sixth St. and Madison Ave. That bank was established in 1864 by a group of prominent citizens, including members of the Shinkle family, who were also responsible for the building of the John A. Roebling Bridge. Amos Shinkle, one of Covington’s leading citizens, served as the bank’s first president. In later years the First National Bank absorbed the Merchants and Traders National Bank, the Farmers and Traders Bank, and the First National Bank of Latonia. The First National Bank’s impact on the health and growth of the Northern Kentucky economy was considerable. With its financial assistance and guidance, many businesses flourished in the area; it also played an important role in the development of the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport. “Cincinnati Bank Backs Purchase of 1st National,” KP, May 9, 1983, 1K. Fift h Third Bank. “History and Expansion.” www.53 .com (accessed April 11, 2007). “Our Hundredth Birthday,” KP (suppl.), December 10, 1967.
FILMS AND FILMMAKING. Northern Kentucky has been the backdrop for several major motion pictures, fi lmed in locations from Pompilio’s Italian restaurant and the John A. Roebling Bridge to Covington’s historic railroad passenger station (see Louisville and Nashville Railroad) and the small-town charm of communities such as Augusta and Ludlow. High production costs and location licensing restrictions in Los Angeles and New York have made shooting movies elsewhere, such as in the Northern Kentucky– Cincinnati area, increasingly appealing to directors and producers. Filmmakers also look for new scenery to interest audiences who are tired of familiar landscapes. Since 1987 the his-
Steel’s Creek, Brashear, Ky., to Patriot (Troy), Ind. Elisha Wade and James Hearick Ferry R & C Coffin and Sylvanus Howe Ferry Elijah H. Johnson Ferry Judge McClure Ferry Silas Howe Ferry Frank Emerson Ferry
1819 1836 1852 1881 1915
Warsaw, Ky., to Wiley’s Landing/Florence, Ind. Henry Hampton Ferry William Campbell Ferry James Clancey Ferry John P. Lillard, William R. Wiley, and A. Hinman Ferry Samuel Howards Ferry Joseph Malin Elijah Wiley Kentucky Home Everett Lee Hazel S. Pearl Warsaw Kelli Big Mamou, renamed Troy D
1814 1817 1821 1833 1836 1846 1864 1930 1947 1950–1951 1960 1961 1977
Ethridge, Ky., to Markland, Ind. Taylor Beard A. Benedict & Sons
Ghent (McCool’s Creek), Ky., to Vevay, Ind.—two locations, a mile apart William Scott John Francois Dufour Ferry George Craig Ferry Samuel Sanders Ferry John Sheets Ferry Canary I Canary II Eva Everett I Eva Everett II Robert T. Graham Martha A. Graham
1806 1807 1816 1826 1830 1848 1872 1898 1900–1917 1918–1942 1942–1978
Carrollton, Ky., to Lamb (Erin), Ind. Charles Kilgore Ferry James McKay Capt. George Ash Ferry George Craig Edward McIntire Leeon Mary Jo Ohio Indiana Minnie David McKay
1805 1806 1811 1811 1816
LICKING RIVER FERRIES Falmouth, Ky. Alvin Mountjoy John Sanders William Anderson
FINNELL, JOHN WILLIAM, GENERAL
toric architecture, the rolling hills, and the river ambience of Covington, Newport, and Cincinnati have provided the settings for many major motion pictures. A large-scale motion picture production facility was considered for Northern Kentucky long before the heyday of Hollywood. In 1915 the newly formed Highland Film Company of New York investigated sites in the Highlands (Fort Thomas) and later in the Lagoon Amusement Park in Ludlow as a fi lm studio. These were among the fi rst fi lm production sites considered in the Midwest. In 1924 the fi rst Studio Mechanics Local union, representing entertainment industry workers, was chartered by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in 1924 at the International Alliance Convention in Cincinnati. Among the first fi lms shot on location in Northern Kentucky was the high-profi le, madefor-television movie-miniseries Centennial (1978), based on James Michener’s best-selling 1974 novel. Augusta’s splendid 18th- and 19th-century buildings on Riverside Dr. served as the background for the St. Louis waterfront scenes. Extras for these fi lm takes included a local resident (then still in high school), George Clooney, who was making his motion picture debut. The theatrical fi lm Eight Men Out (1987) was the first major Hollywood fi lm shot on location in Northern Kentucky. Covington’s Railway Exposition Center in the Latonia neighborhood of Covington (see Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati) provided backdrops. Fort Thomas native Lori Holliday influenced the producers of Eight Men Out to come to the region for the on-location fi lming. The success of Eight Men Out prompted Holliday to establish what became the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission. The Kentucky Film Office (formerly the Kentucky Film Commission) has also been supportive in attracting fi lms to the region. On-location fi lming of Rain Man (1988) followed and featured many Northern Kentucky surroundings. Th is Oscar-winning movie, starring Dustin Hoff man and Tom Cruise, was the most noteworthy fi lm shot in the region. Its legendary “dropped toothpicks” scene was fi lmed at Pompilio’s Italian Restaurant in Newport. Other regional images in the movie included a drive across the John Roebling Bridge, interior scenes from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and shots from Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate and St. Anne’s Convent (see Sisters of Divine Providence) in Melbourne. More than 55 million people in over 36 countries viewed Rain Man during its initial theatrical release. The surrounding hills and the Hudson-like Ohio River, with neighborhoods reminiscent of the 1940s, attracted the production designer of Lost in Yonkers (1992) to shoot many of that fi lm’s scenes in Ludlow. The corner of Elm and Kenner Sts. at the west end of Ludlow’s business district was transformed into Grandma’s two-story apartment, with a candy storefront as the main set.
KENTUCKY RIVER FERRIES Carrollton, Ky., to Prestonville, Ky. James Coghill William Fauntleroy James Spoull Thomas Carraco Abner Hanks Heath Ferry
1804 1804 1809 1808–1810 1809 1870–1900
Some other Lost in Yonkers scenes were fi lmed in Augusta. Since the inception of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission, the region has become somewhat of a Hollywood on the Ohio River. Other fi lms and Northern Kentucky locations include Fresh Horses (1987), Covington, Newport, and Union; A Rage in Harlem (1990), Covington; and Airborne (1993), Bellevue, Covington, and Newport. Northern Kentucky University student interns served as the support crew for Crossing Field (1998), for which some scenes were shot in Northern Kentucky, and local extras were used in Seabiscuit (2003), which was fi lmed in multiple Central Kentucky locations. Rabbit Hash: The Center of the Universe (2004), fi lmed in Rabbit Hash, Boone Co., was the latest movie shot on location in Northern Kentucky; it included Wynonna Judd in the cast. Northern Kentucky natives who won Academy Awards include Robert Surtees, cinematography (1950, 1952, and 1959); George Clooney, acting (2005); and Bub Asman, editing (2006). George Clooney, Rosemary Clooney, Dick Curtis, and Una Merkel are among the most well-known Hollywood fi lm stars from Northern Kentucky. Other motion picture stars from Northern Kentucky include Bob Braun, Bob Elkins, Don Galloway, Josh Hutcherson, and Kathy Walsh. In the 1940s Anna Bell Ward was a producer of western fi lms. In the 1930s and 1940s, Covingtonborn photographer George Hurrell developed the glamour mode of photography stills, which helped immortalize the images of Hollywood luminaries.
FINCHTOWN. Today it is part of Wilder, but until 1938 Finchtown was a five-block-long area south of Newport along the Licking River, just north of Wilder. Ky. Rt. 9, the Licking Pk., runs through it. Th is was the location of the G. W. Robson Jr. and Company Distillery, later known as the “Old 76 Distillery.” A large concrete shell of that plant remains and is used for storage. The former Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad (Short Line), which became the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and, of late, the CSX, passes through old Finchtown. It is not known how the town received its name. In addition to the distillery, Finchtown has had hotels, slaughterhouses, a soap factory, and coal companies. Buck Brady operated his famed Latin Quarters Night Club there in the supposedly haunted building of today’s Bobby Mackey’s place. In the last few years, a new gentlemen’s club has appeared just up road along the Licking Pk., continuing the long tradition of wild bars. The town has had several major fi res, and dogfighting was once popu lar there. Most of the streets of Finchtown are gone and forgotten, just as most of its history is.
DeBrosse, Jim. “Horray for Cinciwood,” CE, October 1, 1987, D1. DeChick, Joe. “Lost in Yonkers Film Finds 1942 Street of New York in Ludlow, Ky.: Time Travel,” CE, July 22, 1992, C1. Josten, Margaret. “Movie Makers Shoot Bright Economic Pictures in the Tristate: Scenes from the City,” CE, October 12, 1992, D1. Kings, John. In Search of Centennial: A Journey with James A. Michener. New York: Random House, 1978. “Lagoon May Change Hands; May Become Highland Park,” KP, March 17, 1915, 1. “Made in Cincinnati: ‘Traffic’ Adds to Long List of Movies Filmed Here,” CP, January 4, 2001, 3. Wheeler, Lonnie. “John Sayles Finds His ‘City of Hope’ in Cincinnati,” NYT, November 25, 1990, H6.
An Atlas of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D.J. Luke, 1883. Reis, Jim. “Fire Plagued Finchtown Finally Faded,” KP, July 5, 1993, 4K.
FINNELL, JOHN WILLIAM, GENERAL (b. December 24, 1821, Winchester, Ky.; d. January 25, 1888, Helena, Mont.). John W. Finnell, a Kentucky adjutant general, was the son of Nimrod L. Finnell, a printer and newspaper editor. John Finnell graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington in 1837, at age 17, and immediately joined his father in the printing trade. He worked as an editor for a brief time before returning to Transylvania for a law degree, which he received in 1840. Shortly after starting his law practice, Finnell became involved in state politics. As a member of the Whig Party, he served in the Kentucky legislature as a representative of Nicholas Co. in 1845 and 1846 while also working as editor of the Frankfort Commonwealth in Frankfort. Impressed with Finnell’s ability and potential, Governor John J. Crittenden (1849– 1850) appointed the young lawyer secretary of state, a position Finnell held until 1852, when he moved to Covington to practice law. In 1856 he served as legal counsel for Archibald Gaines,
330 FIRE DEPARTMENTS whose slave Margaret Garner murdered her two-year-old daughter during a failed attempt to gain her family’s freedom. During the fugitive slave trial for Garner held in Cincinnati, Finnell, also a slave owner, defended the institution of slavery and challenged local abolitionists’ unsuccessful efforts to win Garner’s freedom. Like many other Ohio Valley residents, Finnell, though holding proslavery ideas, was not proSouth. He objected to the secession of the Southern states and, during the Civil War, became an outspoken Unionist and member of the Republican Party. At the beginning of the Civil War, Kenton Co. Unionists elected Finnell to be their representative to the Kentucky legislature. Governor Beriah Magoffi n (1859–1862) chose Finnell to assume the post of state adjutant general shortly after Kentucky abandoned the problematic policy of armed neutrality. He had the difficult task of orga nizing the pro-Union home guard in order to bolster the dwindled ranks of the state guard, which lost a number of its officers and men to the Confederate Army. Finnell was not able to completely reinvigorate Kentucky’s military orga ni zation because many Kentuckians wished to remain uncommitted to either side. Additionally, Finnell worked diligently to fi ll the state’s portion of the national government’s military quota by raising volunteers for federal regiments, but he eventually accepted the necessity of a statewide draft. Finnell retired from his post as state adjutant general in 1863 and returned to his Covington law practice. In 1872 he moved to Louisville and spent two years there as editor of the Louisville Commercial. He then returned to his farm and orchard 20 miles south of Covington. During the 1880s he moved to Montana and died there of heart disease in 1888. He was buried in Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington.
nearest source of water and passed to the fire from person to person, in what was called a bucket brigade. As communities grew and homes and businesses were built closer together, better firefighting methods were developed to cope with the tendency of fire to spread from one wooden structure to another. A major improvement in firefighting, the fire pump, came into use in the early 1800s. It had a tank into which water was poured either from buckets or with a hose connected to a water pipe. Several men were needed to pull the heavy fire pump to the scene. It took six or more men to operate the pumping mechanism; they had to move bellows inside the tank by an action similar to rowing a boat or operating a railroad handcar. Around 1850, the hand-drawn and hand-operated fire pumps were replaced with steam-powered pumps drawn by horses. Municipal water systems, when they were created, provided a more reliable water supply; fi re hydrants were spaced to permit quick access. In the period when wooden water pipes were used, fi refighters often had to dig to expose the pipe and then cut a hole to get water to fi ll their fi re pumps. After the fi re was extinguished, the hole was repaired with a wooden plug. The term “fi re plug,” which is still used to refer to a fi re hydrant, stems from this practice. In rural areas, fi re departments had to rely on water from farm ponds, wells, or creeks, and they continue to do so in some areas, although most localities have tanker trucks, which can carry more than 1,000 gallons. Most fi re trucks now also have a built-in water tank of about 500 gallons, permitting instant fi re
attack even while connection to a water supply is being established. Flexible fi re hoses and more dependable equipment make it possible for fi refighters to enter the structure and extinguish the fi re more quickly. Alarm methods came to include fire alarm boxes placed at various intersecting streets in the larger Northern Kentucky cities like Covington and Newport; when activated, these alarms telegraphed an identifying number to fire headquarters and alarm bells tapped out the number at fire stations, which were quickly cross-checked on a list for the location. Firefighters soon memorized the numbers of the boxes in their district. As the telephone became available, citizens in less populated and rural areas had a means of direct contact with their fire departments. The street alarm boxes eventually were not needed, since nearly everyone had access to a telephone. Until about 1920, firefighting equipment was drawn by horses. The trained horses would quickly back into their harnesses, ready to pull the equipment, when they heard the alarm bells. The precision movements of the two or more horse teams, the apparatus bell clanging, with smoke billowing from the steam pump, and the barking of the traditional Dalmatian dog mascot atop the fire engine often brought people out on the streets to watch. In Covington and Newport, such horses as Charley, Captain Jim, Dick, Pat, and Pete acquired almost as much local celebrity status as the best-known firefighters from those cities. As the urban areas of Northern Kentucky grew, it became obvious that a force of full-time paid firefighters was needed to provide constant and
Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky. Cincinnati: J. M. Armstrong, 1878. Federal Writers Project. Military History of Kentucky. Frankfort, Ky.: State Journal, 1939. John W. Finnell letter book, Kentucky Historical Society Archives, Frankfort, Ky. Reis, Jim. “Surprise Eulogy for Lee,” KP, August 18, 2003, 5K. ———. “They Served as Legislators When War Clouds Billowed,” KP, January 27, 2003, 4K.
FIRE DEPARTMENTS. The roots of modern fire departments in Northern Kentucky go back to the days when people settling the area first began collectively confronting the danger of fire. An early fire-extinguishing method was water buckets, constructed of shoe-sole leather, kept at each structure within a settlement and reserved for fighting fires. If a fire was discovered, a distinct alarm, often a drum, a rattle or clacker, or church bells, used only for fires, was sounded to alert citizens, who were required to respond and help fight the fire under penalty of a fine. The buckets were fi lled from the
Theodore Joseph Hanneken driving an antique ﬁre wagon to commemorate Covington’s ﬁrst paid ﬁre department, ca. 1941.
adequate fire protection. Full-time paid firefighters in the region were hired in Covington in 1864 and in Newport in 1868, and later in Carrollton, Fort Thomas, and Maysville. For reasons of economy, some fire departments used volunteer firefighters to supplement the paid staff, especially during nights and weekends. Similar arrangements in several of the municipalities in Northern Kentucky continue today. Moreover, some rural areas still rely entirely on volunteer firefighters, though many are merging and forming fire districts with paid full-time staff to be on duty during the daytime when most volunteer firefighters are working at their regular jobs. Women have always been involved in the firefighting endeavor, initially through the ladies’ auxiliary. They prepared meals; brought dry clothing, hot drinks, and food to major fires; and raised funds for the purchase of equipment. As time went on, they often served as drivers or emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to free the men for firefighting tasks. Currently, women are employed as full-time paid firefighters and carry out all of the firefighting duties. Personal protective gear enables a fi refighter to enter a fi re more safely and achieve better results. The familiar helmet is now constructed of high-impact fiberglass rather than metal, preventing electric shock. The rubber coat has been replaced with a coat, and usually pants, made of highly insulated water-resistant and flameresistant materials. The suspenders are often brightly colored with reflective striping, for better visibility, rather than the traditional black. Firefighters wear knee-length rubber boots with steel toes, soles, and shin guards. The modern Self Contained Breathing Apparatus permits the fi refighter to work in a toxic atmosphere, which is present in every fi re situation. Thermal image cameras detect any image producing heat, even through heavy smoke and interior walls. As a result, search, rescue, and fi nding hidden fi res can be completed quickly without subjecting the fi refighter to the dangers of blind groping through dense smoke. Knox boxes for businesses or residences give fi refighters access to locked buildings via a radio-controlled key release, permitting quick entry for investigation or fi re attack without causing damage to doors or windows. Early fi refighters had no such equipment and often lost their lives while attempting to extinguish fi res and rescue people. Even today, with all the protective equipment, which might weigh 50 pounds or more, fi refighting remains a dangerous job. Heart disease is a leading cause of disability or death for fi refighters. There was a time when a firefighter could succeed knowing “a little bit about everything,” but that day is long past. Today’s firefighter needs to be highly trained; often a person who intends to be a firefighter will specialize, in college, in a par ticu lar segment of the profession. The specific training and knowledge necessary to extinguish and prevent fires include such matters as building construction, materials, and contents; hazardous ma-
terials and chemicals; rescues of all kinds (high above ground, on the ground, under the ground, and under water); fire prevention and inspections; public education; and many kinds of medical emergencies and terrorist threats. Fire vehicles, like firefighting teams, are often divided into specialty units. With costs exceeding $200,000 for each vehicle, fire departments plan carefully to achieve maximum value from their investment. The fire pumpers of today can produce 1,250, 1,500, or more gallons of water per minute. Water is still the most common extinguishing agent, although various additives may be used to produce foam or to enable more penetration or better “soaking” qualities of the water. The hoses used for supply from fire hydrants are commonly up to five inches in diameter. The handlines for fire attack are usually one and a half to three inches in diameter; each fire pumper carries several hundred feet of each hose size. Ladder trucks have an assortment of ground ladders in addition to elevating ladders, “cherry pickers,” or a combination of both; some reach 135 feet, and new models are nearing a 150-foot height. Rescue trucks carry a vast array of tools, such as the “jaws of life,” hazardous materials (HAZMAT) equipment, portable lighting equipment, and tarpaulins for covering storm-damaged roofs, furniture, or other items to prevent additional damage. Computers on many of the apparatuses can provide a complete description of the building or site where help is needed, including floor plans, contents, occupancy, where each apparatus should be placed in relation to the water connections, and many other details, to provide a quick setup and fire attack.
Dry Ridge, ca. 1909 Eastern Campbell Co., 1964 Edgewood (Sanfordtown, 1955; Southern Hills, 1961; Edgewood, 1996) Elsmere, 1899 Erlanger, 1904, 1927–1928 Falmouth Fernleaf Highland Florence, 1936 Fort Mitchell, ca. 1927 Fort Thomas (District of the Highlands), 1904 Fort Wright, 1949 Germantown (Bracken Co.) Ghent Glencoe, 1964 Hebron, 1937 Independence, 1937 Jonesville, 1971 Kenton Lewisburg (Mason Co.), organized 1970, operational 1972 Ludlow, 1884 Mayslick Maysville, 1804 (bucket brigade); 1851 Melbourne, 1951 Monterey Mount Olivet New Liberty, 1972 Newport, 1840s Northern Pendleton Orangeburg
Establishment of Some Fire Companies and Fire Departments (Both Volunteer and Paid; Dates Given If Known) Alexandria, 1937 Augusta, 1930 Belleview-McVille, 1966 Bellevue, ca. 1880 Bellevue/Dayton, 2002 (merger) Bromley, 1895 Brooksville, 1927 Burlington, 1943 Butler Camp Springs, 1949 Carrollton Central Campbell Co. Fire District, 1999 (merger of the Cold Spring–Crestview and the Highland Heights Fire Departments) Cold Spring–Crestview, 1943 Corinth Covington, 1833 Crescent Springs, 1928–1929 Crittenden, 1949 Dayton, 1898 Dover
Owenton/Owen Co. (Owenton, 1893; reorganized as Owenton/Owen Co., 1954) Park Hills, 1942 Petersburg, 1959 Piner-Fiskburg, 1964 Point Pleasant, 1956 Ryland Heights Sanders Sardis Silver Grove Southern Campbell Southgate, 1909 South Owen Sparta Taylor Mill, 1957 Union, 1969 Verona, 1968 Walton, 1880 (bucket brigade), 1947 Warsaw/Gallatin Co., 1952 Washington-Maysville Westside Wilder, 1957 Williamstown, ca. 1890s
332 FIRES Woodlawn Worthville, 1948 Annual Reports of City of Covington, Kentucky, Fire Department, 1864 to present, Office of the Chief, Covington, Ky. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994. Campbell County Firefighter Educational Association. Campbell Co., Ky.: Campbell Co. Firefighter Educational Association, 2002. Clift, G. Glenn. History of Maysville and Mason County. Lexington, Ky.: Transylvania Printing, 1936. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992. Conrad, William, ed. Boone County: The Top of Kentucky, 1792–1992. Fort Mitchell, Ky.: Picture This! Books, 1992. A History of the Fort Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department, 1928–1980. Fort Mitchell, Ky.: Fort Mitchell Fire Dept, 1980. Ludlow Volunteer Fire Dept. Records, 1884–1946, Ludlow Volunteer Fire Department, Ludlow, Ky. Reis, Jim. “Big Blazes of ’20s and ’30s—in Rural Areas, Bucket Brigades Were Still Used,” KP, January 6, 2003, 4K. ———. “Four-Legged Firefighters Once Raced to Blazes,” KP, January 12, 2001, 4K.
Robert Joseph Williams and Nancy J. Tretter
FIRES. In the Northern Kentucky region, the urban areas of Covington, Maysville, and Newport were the first ones to develop fire departments. They started out using horse-drawn wagons to transport firemen carry ing axes, picks, shovels, and ladders. Eventually, the departments had steam-engine pumpers with long hoses that they could dip into a nearby river, lake, well, or cistern and obtain water to spray onto the flames. Later, gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles with pumpers replaced horse-drawn equipment, and the installation of citywide water systems provided fire hydrants as a source of water. As cities grew, fire departments could be summoned by means of a local alarm box or fire box. Until the early 1960s, one of these call boxes stood at the corner of Park and Grand Aves. in Newport. It was mainly a way for police and fire personnel to communicate with their counterparts in downtown Newport; yet there it remained, a relic from the past, long after its practical life had ended. At one time, when few households had telephones and VHF radio communications did not exist, Covington had 140 such fire call boxes, and Newport had half that number. Urban fire departments often were called to fight fires in adjacent areas. Newport’s fire department, for example, responded to fires in Cote Brilliante even before that neighborhood was annexed to Newport during the 1920s. The promise of professional fire protection, along with lower home and fire insurance rates, was a major consideration in the vote that favored this annexation. Ever since Mrs. O’Leary’s cow purportedly kicked a lantern and started the fire that burned
down most of Chicago in 1871, insurance companies have encouraged incorporation of fireresistant features in the design of buildings. The Sanborn Map Company was developed to track the details of construction type, location, size, number of stories, and materials used in each structure in any given urban city, on a block-byblock grid basis. Those maps were and are continually updated to help underwriters set fire insurance rates. In the suburbs, volunteer fire departments sprang up, and as these appeared in the small cities and townships in Northern Kentucky, they helped foster the development of formal government; it turned out that local firehouses essentially became surrogate city halls. Woodlawn in Campbell Co. is one city where that occurred. Over the years, there have been many nonresidential fires in the region that are worthy of note. Some of the most destructive ones are described in the following paragraphs. For fires associated with aviation accidents, see Aviation Accidents. Statistics on residential fires, including those involving loss of life, are kept separately by the individual fire departments in the region. On September 21, 1880, the Ninth St. Presbyterian Church in Covington was totally destroyed by fire, as fire crews from Cincinnati assisted in the futile efforts to save the building. Also in Covington, on January 16, 1885, the David Keefer and Sons Flour Mill at Fift h and Craig Sts. was destroyed. Crews had just arrived when its north wall fell, covering much of the firefighting equipment with debris. Several neighboring buildings were also lost. Later that year, on March 24, 1885, Cook and Rich’s Flour Feed store along Madison Ave. in Covington burned to the ground. Frozen hydrants delayed the response of the fire crews; about 12 buildings were lost during this incident. On March 5, 1893, the Fred J. Meyers Manufacturing Company on Madison Ave. in Covington, the Crawford Tobacco Warehouse, and the Central Christian Church were destroyed by fire, and three other businesses were damaged. This remained the largest fire in Covington’s history for a long time. In Newport, on July 19, 1898, the Unnewehr Sawmill and Lumberyard on Lowell St. in the West End lost its mill, and 16 adjacent homes were destroyed. Both Cincinnati and Covington fire units responded to the call, and their firefighting efforts contained the fire, thereby saving the remainder of the city. After the turn of the century there was no decrease in the frequency of major nonresidential fires. On December 9, 1909, a major blaze threatened the entire town of Butler in northern Pendleton Co. Six buildings were destroyed. On April 24, 1912, the Paris Dry Cleaning shop at 216 Pike in Covington caught fire. Several firefighters were injured when a gasoline tank inside exploded, and flying debris killed a bystander. In Boone Co. on June 7, 1921, at Burlington, an explosion was the cause of a fire that destroyed two businesses, two apartments, and the post office. Volunteers from Walton battled the flames until assistance from both Cincinnati and Covington arrived. In Day-
ton on January 20, 1924, the Dayton High School at Eighth and Walnut Sts. (see Dayton Public Schools) was destroyed as low water pressure and frozen hydrants handicapped firemen’s efforts to contain the blaze. Bellevue, Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport provided help at the scene. There were no injuries, because the fire occurred in the early morning. In Grant Co., at Dry Ridge, on February 25, 1927, flames ripped through much of the business district, including the historic Carlsbad Hotel, destroying 11 businesses and several homes. Later that year in Williamstown, on July 23, 1927, three businesses and a home were destroyed. Dry Ridge’s fire units assisted, preventing the flames from sweeping the town. Also in Grant Co., the Williamstown Lumber and Hardware was destroyed on June 5, 1930, as help from five cities arrived to try to contain this fire. Four adjacent buildings were lost, and a spectator was hit by a passing truck and died. On March 20, 1931, the Boone-Kenton Lumber Company on Crescent Ave. in Erlanger caught on fire; firefighters from four cities fought the blaze. The same site burned to the ground on June 20, 1966. On December 9, 1946, the huge, three-story Klaene Foundry at 16th and Russell Sts. in Covington was destroyed; on this occasion Fort Mitchell and Ludlow fire crews helped supplement Covington’s crew. The First Methodist Church (see First United Methodist Church) at Fift h and Greenup Sts. in Covington burned on January 19, 1947. Covington’s, Ludlow’s, and Newport’s fire departments fought the fire. The church was rebuilt, reopening on August 8, 1948. Another church, the Williamstown Methodist Church (see Williamstown United Methodist Church) was completely destroyed on April 5, 1948, in a fire fed by high winds. Fire crews from Williamstown, Dry Ridge, and Falmouth participated in extinguishing the blaze. In the last half of the 20th century, there were numerous major fires in the region. On February 15, 1950, the Covington Paper and Woodenware Company at 212 Greenup erupted in flames. The blaze spread to adjacent businesses as firefighters fought the fire for 11 hours and several firemen received minor injuries. Exploding ammunition and paint housed in the store added to the inferno. On March 17, 1950, the two-story, 100-year-old Phoenix Hotel on Main St. in Walton was destroyed. Th irteen occupants of the hotel escaped unharmed. On February 7, 1952, in another Dayton school fire, the Lincoln Elementary at 715 Fift h Ave. caught fire with more than 300 students in their classrooms. All the children and the school’s staff escaped uninjured; however, 27 emergency personnel sustained injuries. The W. W. Welch Company, a fan manufacturer at Second and Scott in Covington, burned on January 7, 1956. More than 200 firefighters from Covington, Ludlow, Newport, Park Hills, South Fort, and Mitchell were called to the scene. Five explosions rocked the neighborhood, slightly injuring three firemen. The fire spread throughout the adjacent buildings. On March 21, 1956, Milford, located
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, ALEXANDRIA
along Ky. Rt. 19 in Bracken Co., almost was wiped off the map when a fire broke out in the town. Much of the city, including the post office and six businesses, was lost. Fire departments from Augusta, Brooksville, and Cynthiana responded to fight the blaze. On January 2, 1957, an explosion and fire destroyed the First Presbyterian Church in Dayton. Later that year, on September 2, 1957, the Perry and Derrick Paint Company on Lindsey St., also in Dayton, burned in dramatic fashion, fueled by exploding paint containers. Bellevue and Newport fire crews assisted. Many regard the Perry and Derrick fire as the worst in Campbell Co.’s history before the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire. In Fort Thomas on January 6, 1962, fire destroyed the Highlands Junior High School building, causing more than $500,000 in damages. Departments from as far away as Park Hills responded. Nearly a dozen of the 118 firefighters at the scene were injured, two seriously. A favorite nightspot in Campbell Co. was lost on March 23, 1963, as the Avenue Nite Club and Restaurant in Bellevue burned. Two persons were killed. It was thought that a smoldering cigarette swept into a trash container started the blaze. At least three fires have plagued the Duro Bag Manufacturing Company in Ludlow. The first was on November 21, 1959, when flames destroyed the Duro plant at Kenner and Poplar. The second occurred on March 1, 1964, when 200 firefighters from 10 cities fought a blaze that spread to 16 nearby homes, 7 of which were totally lost. It has been called the biggest fire in Kenton Co. during the last 100 years, and it resulted in $2 million in total damages. Finally, on the same night as the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, May 28, 1977, Duro had another major fire at its plant, resulting in $300,000 in damages. Ten area fire departments fought that fire; Cincinnati fire units assisted at two different fires occurring in Northern Kentucky that evening. On July 13, 1971, the Cabana Restaurant and the Kenton Bowling Lanes in Erlanger erupted in flames, resulting in $500,000 in damages. Firefighters from seven fire departments arrived on the scene, and four fighters received minor injuries. Ben Castleman’s White Horse Tavern, along Dixie Highway in Park Hills, burned to the ground on January 26, 1972. On June 15, 1973, the administrative offices at the Greater Cincinnati Airport (later the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport) burned. Crews from Hebron, Covington, and Fort Mitchell battled the fire, in which two firefighters, Donald Phillips and Thomas Zaferes, were killed. On August 14, 1973, the Lookout House supper club burned. Ten fire departments fought the fire for eight hours, but the famous landmark was totally lost. In Gallatin Co. the Warsaw Baptist Church was destroyed on November 20, 1973. Only a portion of the outer walls of the 91-year-old structure was left standing. The worst fire in the history of the state was the May 28, 1977, Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in
Southgate, which made national news. In that fire 167 persons died (165 adults and teens and 2 unborn children), and 500 fire and emergency personnel were on the scene of the disaster for days; ambulances came from as far away as Tennessee to help; a temporary morgue was set up at the Fort Thomas Armory. Many state laws and fire codes were changed or new ones implemented as a result of this fire. On October 9, 1980, at the Simon Kenton High School in Independence, a gas line exploded, rocking the central building in the middle of a busy school day. Personnel from 14 fire districts responded. A second blast sent debris flying toward firefighters. One student was killed in the first blast, and more than 20 firefighters were injured in the second explosion. In one of two illegal fireworks explosions in the region, on April 2, 1981, at 938 John St. in Newport, a blast devastated a six-block area. Two persons were killed and 24 were injured as small fires burned throughout the area. Some 260 buildings in Newport received some damage. In Covington, at Second and Madison on November 2, 1981, approximately 120 firefighters from Covington, Fort Mitchell, and Ludlow responded to 70-foot-high flames at the Escue Datsun car dealership. The main building was destroyed, as well as 50 automobiles, adding up to a $2 million loss. On May 16, 1985, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Covington, a lightning strike caused a fire that destroyed the 118-year-old landmark. More than 100 Covington and Fort Mitchell fire personnel battled the blaze for several hours. On November 21, 1985, the Brown Hotel in Warsaw in Gallatin Co. burned to the ground. Previously, the building had been saved from fires on more than one occasion. On September 25, 1986, the dome of the historic Mother of God Catholic Church on W. Sixth St. in Covington caught fire. The fire was confi ned to the massive dome as two firefighters were slightly injured. The church was subsequently restored at a cost of $1.5 million. In Maysville, on January 4, 1998, the Cargill Fertilizer Warehouse exploded prior to a massive fire. Some 2,300 residents were evacuated for 13 hours, including many who lived across the river in Ohio. On August 11, 1999, a tremendous explosion occurred and flames and smoke rose from a three-story condominium building on Saddlebrook Lane in Florence. Sixty firemen from six different departments battled the blaze, which either destroyed or badly damaged about 24 apartment units. On October 9, 1999, also in Florence, the Garten Restaurant and the adjacent Bessler’s Economy Market on Main St. burned to the ground. Fire crews from Erlanger, Elsmere, Hebron, Point Pleasant, and Walton assisted. Thus far in the 21st century, there have been two noteworthy nonresidential fires. On May 21, 2002, a massive fire destroyed the historic 1856 Odd Fellows Hall (see Independent Order of Odd Fellows) at Fift h St. and Madison Ave. in Covington. Fire units from Fort Mitchell, Ludlow, Park Hills, and Newport helped extinguish the
blaze. With the exception of the front wall, the building was a total loss, but it was rebuilt. On January 16, 2004, the First Baptist Church of Dayton was destroyed. Seventy firemen from five cities fought the fire. A firewall saved the gymnasium and the church office from destruction. Earnest, Ernest. The Volunteer Fire Company: Past and Present. New York: Stein and Day, 1983. Jewell, Simon, ed. Campbell County Firefighters Educational Association. Campbell Co., Ky.: Campbell Co. Firefighters Educational Association [ca. 2002–2003]. Reis, Jim. “Alarm Boxes Forerunner of 911 System,” KP, May 20, 1996, 4K. Webster, Robert D. Northern Kentucky Fires: A Summary of the Most Memorable Fires of the Region. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 2006.
Robert D. Webster
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, ALEXANDRIA. A group of people met on April 17, 1820, and agreed to establish a Baptist church in Alexandria in Campbell Co. The meeting took place at the home of William DeCoursey, who in 1794 had been involved in the starting of the First Baptist Church of Cold Spring. Raymond Absalem Graves was appointed as the new church’s first minister. Ser vices were held in private homes in the area until a building could be constructed. The brick structure behind the courthouse on Main St. in Alexandria was the church’s first permanent place of worship. This building was never fully completed, and ser vices were moved to the courthouse. In 1864 the congregation moved to the Methodist Episcopal Church South, also on Main St. A new building was finally complete in 1870, 50 years after the founding of the church. This structure, at 104 Washington St. in Alexandria, remains in use today. Several anniversaries have been celebrated over the years, and the church has also conducted several revivals. In 1995 a few problems arose when the community decided to clean up some tombstones that had been at the back of the church for years. Apparently, the tombstones had been moved from a graveyard to the church in 1949, and no one knew where the graves were. The church was planning to establish a memorial garden in which to place the tombstones, but the descendants of the deceased preferred that the original grave sites be found. The church worked with the descendants to correct the problem. The First Baptist Church of Alexandria expanded in 2003. A zoning change was approved in August of that year, and plans called for addition of a youth center containing a gymnasium. “Annexation OK’d,” KP, August 22, 2003, 2K. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994. “Church Building,” KP, May 5, 2004, 2K. Main, Frank. “39 Tombstones and a Lot of Questions,” KP, April 29, 1995, 1K.
Elizabeth Comer Williams
334 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, BELLEVUE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, BELLEVUE. Th is church was orga nized on April 12, 1904, with the support of the Bellevue Sunday School Mission, which was established by the Campbell Co. Baptist Association with the intention of incorporating a Baptist church in Bellevue; the neighboring Baptist churches of Dayton and Newport offered their support and sponsorship. The fi rst ser vice, attended by 34 charter members, was held at Ideal Hall on Bellevue’s Fairfield Ave. T. J. Johnson served as the church’s fi rst pastor. In August 1904 the church purchased a building lot on the corner of Washington and Prospect Sts., and the church’s fi rst sanctuary was dedicated on November 24, 1907. Church membership increased, and on November 26, 1922, the church dedicated an addition that provided Sunday school classrooms, an auditorium seating 600, and a gymnasium complete with a large spectator balcony. In 1931 the Covington YMCA sponsored an amateur basketball church league, in which the First Baptist Church of Bellevue won fi rst place in its division of competition. As the ministry and the congregation expanded, there was a need for a larger and more modern structure. A new church was erected on the original site, and the congregation moved into its second sanctuary in 1973. In 2003 a steeple was donated to the church by the Hebron Baptist Church. The First Baptist Church at Bellevue celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004. “Church League Opens; 28 Teams in Cage Play,” KP, November 29, 1931, 9. Good, Cecil, comp. First Baptist Church of Bellevue: One Hundred Years of Ser vice. Bellevue, Ky.: Bellevue First Baptist Church, 2004. “New Addition to Bellevue Church Will Be Dedicated,” KTS, November 24, 1922, 41.
Around 1800 the church erected a log building near Leitch’s Station (see David Leitch), on the east side of the Licking River, and with that move became known as the Licking Church. In 1805 the church secured property and moved to its location on Alexandria Pk. (U.S. 27) in Cold Spring. In 1820 the name was changed to Old Licking Church. On May 1, 1841, a committee was named to secure the ser vices of Rev. James Monroe Jolly, who erected a new building, since replaced. In 1910, with 71 members, the church celebrated its centennial, which had been overlooked for 16 years. The name of the church was changed again, to the First Baptist Church of Cold Spring, in the 1940s. In 1944 the church celebrated its sesquicentennial, and on November 6, 1949, the cornerstone of a new building was laid. Construction of a new auditorium began on September 26, 1949, with much of the work being done by the members of the church under the leadership of Charles Graziani, Charles Howe, and Henry Reder. The first ser vice in the new building was held on June 3, 1951, and the dedication ser vice on July 15. A new education building was erected and dedicated on November 1, 1959. In May 1989 a long-range planning committee was formed to seek land on which to build a new church. A location was found just to the south, at the corner of Murnan Rd. and U.S. 27 in Cold Spring, and was purchased for $275,000. The church continued to grow in subsequent years. In the early part of 2004, however, about 230 people left the church to form the Christ Baptist Church. “After Split, New Church Making It on Its Own,” KE, June 12, 2005, B1. “Christ Baptist Members Buying Rolling Hills Site,” KE, June 20, 2004, C4. “History of First Baptist Church of Cold Spring,” News of Northern Kentucky Association, May 27, 1976.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, COLD SPRING. The First Baptist Church of Cold Spring has
Donald E. Grosenbach
been known also as the Mouth of the Licking Baptist Church, the Licking Church, and the Old Licking Church. It was organized in October 1794 by eight Northern Kentucky members of the Columbia Baptist Church at Fort Columbia in what is now eastern Cincinnati, near the mouth of the Little Miami River. They had withdrawn with the blessing of the Columbia Baptist Church. This church in Ohio, organized in 1790, was where the early Baptists of Northern Kentucky worshipped. The new church was called at first the Mouth of the Licking Baptist Church and began in the home of William DeCoursey, west of the Licking River in present-day Kenton Co. His house was about six miles from the Ohio River. For six years the church met at the homes of its members. A movement was then started to secure land and a meetinghouse east of the Licking River. The church became a member of the Elkorn Association (Baptist) in 1795 or 1796. An early preacher-statesman who preached there on several occasions was James Garrard, who was elected the second governor of Kentucky in 1796.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, COVINGTON. A committee from six area Baptist churches met on March 10, 1838, to discuss plans to establish the First Baptist Church of Covington. The meeting was held in a schoolhouse at the corner of Fourth and Scott Sts. Exactly where the church held its first ser vices is not known, but it is believed that some of the meetings were conducted at a pork packing plant on Greenup St., north of Second St. The church’s first building was constructed in 1842 and was described as a modest, one-room structure. In 1855 that building was enlarged and remodeled to better serve the congregation. During the Civil War, the congregation of the First Baptist Church of Covington was divided in their loyalties, as were many other area congregations, but the Covington church managed to survive and prosper. By 1870 the congregation had grown so much that a new building was needed. The old church building was demolished, and a new, larger one was built on the original site, along W. Fourth. The architects were from the Cincinnati-based firm of
First Baptist Church, W. Fourth St., Covington, ca. 1915.
Walter and Stewart. During the two years of construction, the church held ser vices at the Franklin Library Hall in downtown Covington. On December 13, 1873, the church’s pastor, W. H. Felix, dedicated the new building. In 1883 the church announced that all debt had been retired. The congregation of the First Baptist Church of Covington was instrumental in starting several new churches in Covington, including the Southside Baptist Church and the Madison Avenue Baptist Church. During World War I, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Covington, Llewellyn L. Henson, helped to orga nize a $6.5 million drive among Baptists statewide for foreign missions. While Henson was pastor, a building next to the church was bought for educational purposes and the church’s membership grew from 621 to 841. The congregation at the First Baptist Church of Covington encountered problems during the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression and the flood of 1937, but they managed to suffer through those trials. In 1957 the church had a new 40-room addition built onto its educational complex, and church membership peaked at around 1,200. However, incursion into the area by business and industry and fl ight to the suburbs by many members of the church’s congregation during the 1950s and 1960s took their toll. The church, once fi lled to capacity, now suffers the plight of many other inner-city churches and has few worshippers. Over the long history of the church, many pastors have served, but because church records were lost during the 1937 flood, a complete list is not available. “The City—Free of Debt,” DC, July 2, 1883, 2. “Congregation Will Erect New Building,” CJ, October 29, 1870, 3. “Congregation Will Occupy Franklin Library Hall,” CJ, December 9, 1871, 3.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, FORT THO MAS “First Baptist Church, Covington,” vertical fi le, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Reis, Jim. “Church Pioneered Other Baptist Missions.” In Pieces of the Past, by Jim Reis, vol. 2. Covington: Kentucky Post, 1991. Tenkotte, Paul A. A Heritage of Art and Faith: Downtown Covington Churches. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 1986. “To Orga nize New Church,” KP, September 28, 1907, 2.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, COVINGTON [AFRICAN AMERICAN]. In August 1864 Rev. George W. Dupree, along with 22 charter members, organized the First Baptist Church of Covington, which was first known as the Bremen St. Baptist Church. It is the oldest African American congregation in Northern Kentucky. The church’s first building was located on Bremen St. and Jacob Price was its first pastor. From its earliest days, the church has been involved in community activities, including education and civil rights. Under the leadership of Price, the Baptist church hosted a number of rallies and organizational meetings to prepare the way for local African American private schools. In April 1866 the first private school opened at the church, directed by the Freedmen’s Aid Commission and the Freedmen’s Bureau. In late 1866 the Ninth St. Methodist Episcopal Church was formed out of the Bremen St. Baptist Church. In 1869 the church on Bremen St. moved to Third St. and changed its name to Third St. Baptist Church; the school remained on Bremen St. It was after this move that Jacob Price and a small group of parishioners left the congregation following a disagreement with other members. In 1870 the Third St. Baptist Church called William Blackburn as pastor. When citizens of Covington were asked to select delegates to attend the first statewide African American political convention in Frankfort, the delegate-selection meeting was held at the Third St. Baptist Church. Through the ensuing years, the church grew and became more involved in the struggles of the African American community. In 1874 the Th ird St. Baptist Church moved from Th ird to Robbins St. and erected a building at the new location; the congregation moved again in 1877 to a site on W. 13th St., where another church building was built. At that time, it changed its name to the First Colored Baptist Church of Covington. Placed in the cornerstone, laid on May 20, 1877, were copies of the Bible, several religious periodicals, Covington’s 1877 city directory, a list of prominent city officials, and copies of that day’s newspapers: the Ticket, the Enquirer, the Volkesblatt, the Volksfreund, and the Commercial Gazette. After the move to 13th St., Price and his splinter group returned, and Price succeeded in uniting the congregations briefly. A second separation resulted in establishment of the Ninth St. Baptist Church by departing members. A number of pastors followed Blackburn at the First Baptist Church. In 1911 Rev. F. C. Locust
became pastor. On July 7, 1915, a tornado destroyed the church building. Then in 1916, the church purchased a site on E. Ninth St. and construction began. One of the guest speakers at the new church dedication, April 7, 1917, was Mrs. L. B. Fouse of Lexington. The new structure included beautiful stained-glass windows, fi nanced by some of the oldest African American families of Covington and by the auxiliaries of the church. On August 30, 1941, Rev. Locust and First Baptist Church celebrated his 30th and the church’s 77th anniversary. In 1947, when Locust was suffering from a serious illness, William P. Halbert was called to serve as his assistant. Halbert officially became pastor in July 1948, after Locust’s death, and the congregation prospered under his leadership. He orga nized new auxiliaries and led a progressive program of development and advancement, encouraging community and civic involvement. The L. B. Fouse Civic League’s leadership drew much of its membership from the First Baptist Church. Halbert retired in 1971, and A. B. Moore was called to serve as pastor in 1972. Moore served two years and resigned; he later founded Crucifi xion Baptist Church on E. 10th St. On October 26, 1975, Willie R. Barbour became pastor of the First Baptist Church and served until 2001. On June 22, 2003, the First Baptist Church appointed Adam P. Crews Sr. as its new full-time minister. “Colored Baptists to Dedicate Church,” KP, April 7, 1917, 1. Covington Ticket, May 19, 1877, 1; May 21, 1877, 3. “New Church to Be Erected,” KP, January 9, 1915, 1. Newport Local, May 22, 1877, 2. 125th Anniversary Booklet. Covington, Ky.: First Baptist Church, 1989. Reis, Jim. “Black Churches Offered Stability in Troubled Times,” KP, January 20, 1997, 4K. ———. “Black Past Often Unsung,” KP, February 5, 1996, 4K. “Two Anniversaries for Negro Baptist Church,” KP, August 30, 1941, 1.
Theodore H. H. Harris
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, DAYTON. This church began in Jamestown in May 1850, before the communities of Jamestown and Brooklyn merged in 1867 to form Dayton. Sixteen members assembled in the Jamestown’s old district schoolhouse to establish the First Baptist Church. Among them were Ann Bennett, William Bennett, Margaret Hatfield, Mrs. Jefferson McArthur, Rev. James Vickers, Margaret Vickers, Sarah Vickers, Thomas S. Vickers, Isaac N. Walker, James H. Walker, and John O. Walker. The church chose Rev. Asa Drury as its first pastor and established its first meetinghouse at what is now Fift h and Main Sts. in Dayton. This first building served the church for many years, thanks to additions and modifications, but eventually it became clear that the growing church needed a larger building. The congregation erected a beautiful new church at the corner of Fift h St. and Dayton Ave., on land valued at $1,100 that Henry Walker donated in 1895. Lula Mason, F. M. Spillman, Wil-
liam Tieman, and Henry Walker made donations for beautiful stained-glass windows in memory of beloved deceased citizens. O. F. Barrett gave a pipe organ in memory of his parents. The total cost for the new church was $25,000. At the time the church had a membership of 340, a Sunday school, and a young people’s society. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Rev. E. H. Mariner, a native of Newport who was the church’s pastor, was given a leave of absence to serve as an army chaplain . The church hosted a flag-raising ceremony in 1918 in honor of its ser viceman. A diamond jubilee celebration was held at the church in 1925. Later, a tower music system was installed as a memorial to the young men and women who served in World War II. In 1995 the First Baptist Church had a centennial celebration, remembering the many years that had been spent in the church’s beautiful building. The celebration included several special events, such as concerts, guest speakers, information booths, and the ordination of a former member of the congregation. Then came the calamitous morning of January 16, 2004, when roofers using a blow torch to work on the education section of the church building ignited something flammable under the roof’s surface. Firefighters from five area fire departments responded, but the fire spread to the entire inside of the church, popping out stained-glass windows and destroying the antique pump organ along with much of the church building. Fortunately, the educational wing and the gym were protected by firewalls, but the offices sustained smoke and water damage. The shock of this sudden loss was somewhat offset by the immediate supportive response of the community. Church ser vices were initially held in several places, including the YMCA and other churches, but the membership wanted to return home and use the two-thirds of their complex that was not damaged. Worship ser vices were held in the gym, using folding chairs instead of pews. Insurance coverage paid for most of the $1.9 million loss and made it possible for the church to rebuild on the same site, incorporating improvements into the new building such as handicap access, projection screens, and better heating and air conditioning. The tower, several stained glass windows, and some of the stones from the former church were saved and used prominently in the new structure. The 25-by-15-foot stained glass window in the original church was repaired and included in the new sanctuary. On April 17, 2006, the First Baptist Church of Dayton reopened with a special sunrise ser vice on Easter Sunday. “Burned Church Restored on a Strong Foundation,” KE, May 1, 2006, B1. “Celebrating 150 Years,” KP, April 25, 2000, 8K. “What Becomes of Old Churches,” KP, August 27, 1913, 4.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, FORT THOMAS. In August 1915, 52 people met in the Fort Thomas City Building to organize the First Baptist Church
336 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, LUDLOW of Fort Thomas. Shortly thereafter, 77 members of the First Baptist Church of Newport joined the congregation. The church hired as its first pastor Rev. Frank G. McFarlan and affi liated itself with the Campbell Co. Baptist Association. For the next six years, the church held ser vices in the Central Public School building. The City of Fort Thomas also used part of the school as its municipal building. The congregation purchased a lot in 1924, and another in 1927, where they planned to build their first sanctuary. In 1929, during the pastorate of Rev. Frederick Ellsworth Wolf, a Gothic Style edifice was constructed of pure limestone at 600 N. Fort Thomas Ave. Weber Brothers Architects designed and built the facility, which included a sanctuary, Sunday school rooms, a social hall, a kitchen, a pastor’s study, a nursery, and a choir room. The First Baptist Church of Fort Thomas held its 25th anniversary ser vice on August 11, 1940; the pastor, Rev. Jesse M. Rogers, preached a sermon entitled “The Romance of Twenty-five Years.” The longest-serving pastor of the fellowship was Rev. George Stephenson Munro, who came to the United States from New Zealand in 1948. He attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and received his BA from Georgetown College (Ky.) in 1953. He later earned his MA from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Munroe served as pastor of First Baptist from 1955 until 1984. The First Baptist Church of Fort Thomas now has about 400 members, and the pastor is Rev. Joseph D. Boone, who has been there since 2000. “Baptists Plan New Church,” KP, September 24, 1929, 5. “Baptists to Start New Church in Ft. Thomas,” KP, August 10, 1915, 1. “Cornerstone of Ft. Thomas Church to Be Laid Sunday,” KTS, October 12, 1921, 25. “First Baptist Church of Ft. Thomas,” KP, May 27, 2004, 4K. “Ft. Thomas Baptists Plan New Building,” KP, July 18, 1930, 1.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, LUDLOW. This church is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in Northern Kentucky. Evidently, it was begun in 1847, as a mission of the Second Baptist Church, Covington. That would place its origin at 15 years before the incorporation of the City of Ludlow and just 7 years after Kenton Co. was formed from Campbell Co. The group held its first ser vices in a public school building in Ludlow on Ash St., just east of Locust St. Sponsored by Covington’s Second Baptist Church, the new group officially became the First Baptist Church of Ludlow on December 11, 1849. William Hay, who later served as a Ludlow city councilman, gave the church a lot at the corner of Carneal and Hay Sts., where a small meetinghouse was built. One individual, C. W. Scott, paid the entire cost of construction. The new church group affi liated itself with the North Bend Baptist Association but withdrew in 1870, when a resolution
was passed forbidding women or minorities from serving as delegates to their meetings. The church then joined the Miami Baptist Association of Ohio. In March 1875, to emphasize further its commitment to minority rights, the First Baptist Church of Ludlow brought in a black minister, Rev. Daniel H. Davies, to conduct special ser vices. Growth of the congregation was slow in the early years; however, the pace picked up in 1875, when Rev. Samuel H. Burgess became pastor. Burgess suggested that a new, larger facility be built farther away from the Ohio River, in an area where most of the city’s growth was occurring. The new edifice was constructed at Kenner and Linden Sts. and was dedicated on October 25, 1891. The new church building caused renewed interest within the congregation, and attendance soon reached 145. Because of sacrificial giving by dedicated members, all church debt was retired by 1906. A parsonage was purchased in town in 1920, on Oak St., between Adela and Helen Sts. In 1924 the First Baptist Church of Ludlow participated in an ecumenical ser vice at the Ludlow Presbyterian Church in honor of seven area soldiers who had been killed during World War I. Many other Protestant and Catholic churches in the area also joined in that memorial ser vice. By 1926 the First Baptist Church of Ludlow had grown to 471 members, creating the need for a larger facility. A two-story addition was built at a cost of $27,000 and was dedicated on April 1, 1928. By the time of the church’s centennial service on December 17, 1949, membership had increased to 577. During the next several years, additional land was purchased to allow for future expansion. A new larger facility was constructed in 1964, at a cost of $300,000. The pastor at that time was James E. Howell, who served the congregation from about 1955 until his death in 1976. During his pastorate, church membership reached 1,000. A new multipurpose building, containing classrooms, offices, a library, and a fellowship hall, was built in 1988, at a cost of $379,859. The larger membership required that more parking spaces also be provided. Several buildings across the street from the church were purchased and razed for that purpose. By 2000, church membership had climbed to 1,100, and the pastor was Rev. James P. Daniels. In 2007 Rev. Paul Anglin Jr. became pastor. The First Baptist Church of Ludlow is now affiliated with the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association. Reis, Jim. “Congregation Plans Celebration of 150th Birthday,” KP, December 6, 1999, 4K. ———. “First Baptist of Ludlow Reflects Proudly on Its Past,” KP, December 6, 1999, 4K.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, MAYSVILLE. The present-day First Baptist Church of Maysville began in 1838 through the work of Thomas J. Fisher and his revivals. Rev. Gilbert Mason was the new church’s first pastor. The next year, Thomas Y. Payne gave the church a bell from the Verdin Bell Company in Cincinnati. During this period the former slave Elisha W. Green, re-
membered as a person who loved to sing, was a janitor in the church. Green later formed the Bethel Baptist Church in Maysville, even before his ordination in 1847. In 1858 several men from the First Baptist Church of Maysville collected $850 to purchase the freedom of Rev. Green’s wife and their three children so that the family could live together. The church started a Sunday school in 1840. In 1875 Dr. J. M. Frost Jr., of the church, helped orga nize the Baptist Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and served that orga ni zation as its first executive secretary. In 1886 the Gothic-style structure of the First Baptist Church was built on Market St. using the old cornerstone. Then in 1902 Mary Caroline Cox donated money for the purchase of a pipe organ for the church. The First Baptist Church of Maysville celebrated its centennial in 1938 under the leadership of Dr. A. D. Odom. Because large crowds were attending, the church built a full basement under the building to accommodate Sunday School classes and fellowship meetings. In 1973 this church hired its youngest pastor, Rev. Jim England, who helped find a home for the Day Care Center for Retarded Children, sponsored by Comprehend Inc. Calvert, Jean, and John Klee. Maysville, Kentucky: From Past to Present in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Mason Co. Museum, 1983. Cathcart, William. The Baptist Encyclopaedia: A Dictionary. Philadelphia: Everts, 1883. Hughes, Gary K. “150 Years of Faith and Witness,” Church Bulletin, May 29, 1988, First Baptist Church, Maysville, Ky. Vertical fi les, Kentucky Gateway Museum, Maysville, Ky.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, NEWPORT. A group of Baptists in Newport wanted a place to worship, and on August 8, 1812, the First Baptist Church of Newport was formed by seven charter members. One month later, on September 12, 1812, the church was formally received into the North Bend Baptist Association. Since this church group did not have a regular pastor for about five years, the members met in the homes of its members. In 1828 the church changed its name to the Covington Baptist Church, because most of its members lived in Covington. By 1840 the church was once again reorganized and was renamed First Baptist Church of Newport. From February 1840 until 1843, the First Baptist Church of Newport held church ser vices at the Newport Court House, at the Newport Seminary, and at various city school buildings. In 1844, James Taylor Jr. transferred property on the south side of Bellevue St. (Fourth St.) between E. Row St. (Washington Ave.) and Saratoga St. to the church trustees, for the sum of $1.00. Although the church was strapped for construction funds, the members donated ser vices to finish the project, and the first church building was completed sometime in the late 1840s. In 1881 the congregation purchased a frame building at Ringold (now Eighth) and York Sts.
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, MAYS VILLE
This building was previously occupied by the town’s Congregational Church. Over a period of time, Newport’s First Baptist Church organized various missions, including one in town known as the Walnut Street Mission at Ninth and Patterson Sts. An 1889 report of the North Bend Baptist Association indicated that the First Baptist Church of Newport was operating two mission Sunday schools as well as one in the main church building. The present church building at Eighth and York Sts. was dedicated on Sunday, February 14, 1892. The architects were S. W. Rogers and Son, and the auditorium seated nearly 700. In 1902 the building’s auditorium was enlarged, giving additional space to the front of the church. Another local off-site mission effort, called the West Side Mission, was organized in 1914. Initially, this mission was located at 327 W. Sixth St. Later, it moved to Eighth and Brighton Sts. and became Newport’s Brighton St. Baptist Church. On August 15, 1916, the First Baptist Church of Fort Thomas was organized, with 77 members from Newport taking their membership transfer letters to unite with the newly formed church. In spring 1924, plans were drawn up by the First Baptist Church of Newport to add an additional Sunday school building, located on York St., adjacent to and on the south side of the current church building. In 1933 the church established a work program (called the Good Will Center) for the unemployed in Newport at 519 Isabella St. In 1940 about 41 members left the First Baptist Church of Newport to form the Trinity Baptist Church of Newport. On June 29, 1958, the cornerstone was laid at the First Baptist Church of Newport for a new three-story educational building, to house Sunday school rooms, the church office, and a gymnasium. A new educational building was constructed on Eighth St., adjacent and to the rear of the church, and was dedicated on April 19, 1959. During the 1960s, members of the church became active in the Committee of 500 to clean up gambling and crime in Newport. In 1987 the congregation held a special celebration commemorating the church’s 175th anniversary. “First Baptist. Dedication of the New Church Tomorrow,” KJ, February 13, 1892, 1. History of the First Baptist Church, Eighth and York Streets, Newport, Kentucky. Newport, Ky.: First Baptist Church, 1987. Stegar, J. W., et. al., comps. History of the First Baptist Church, Newport, Kentucky, 1812–1962. Newport, Ky.: First Baptist Church, 1962.
Donald E. Grosenbach
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, COVINGTON. Educator James Grimsley Arnold moved to Covington in 1818 and helped to form the First Christian Church there in 1827. Serving as first elder of the church, he played a major role in its growth and success until his death in 1876. Arnold began First Christian with the assistance and guidance of a friend, James Challen, who was the first minister of the Sycamore Christian Church in Cincinnati. The Christian Church (Disciples of
Christ) was a new denomination begun in Paris, Ky., in 1804 by a group of Presbyterian ministers. They signed a document at the Cane Ridge Meeting House in Paris that “called for unity among Christians along non-sectarian lines.” It was one of the first denominations to get its start in the United States. In Covington, 15 people met in a one-room house on Second St. In 1833 the congregation was virtually wiped out by a cholera epidemic, and it disbanded. Arnold, a businessman and politician who eventually made his fortune in real estate and tobacco, revived the church in 1840. Members worshipped in his tobacco warehouse, probably on lower Greenup St. Arnold was determined to build a church and, in 1843, donated land on the south side of Third St. He bought building materials and hired construction workers and paid the costs himself—in silver half dollars. When the congregation outgrew that space, Arnold bought another plot of land, at 14 W. Fift h St., next to his home, for $4,000. Then he loaned the congregation $3,000 to build the church, which was dedicated on March 23, 1867. Five years later the loan had not been completely repaid, and Arnold himself pledged $275 toward the $700 balance. In 1875 a disagreement over the recalling of a minister divided the congregation. The result was the formation of Madison Avenue Christian Church, called the Fourth Street Christian Church at the time. On March 5, 1893, a fi re that started in the Fred J. Meyers Company, a manufacturer of iron products on nearby Madison Ave., destroyed the First Christian Church and the buildings surrounding it. The congregation raised the money to rebuild the church, making the new building a little larger than the old one. Designed by the architectural fi rm of Dittoe and Wisenall, the new church building had stained-glass windows from the Artistic Glass Painting Company of Cincinnati and was dedicated on October 14, 1894. The congregation grew over the years. In the 1940s, First Christian was famous for its Election Day turkey dinners. In the 1950s a major renovation took place. The front of the sanctuary was remodeled, the organ and choir being moved to the rear of the church. New lighting and furnishings were purchased and an 11-room Sunday school was added. The congregation bought the Arnold house next door and used it as an annex. In the 1980s two important events happened to the church: another rift and the advent of an evangelical program. A “number of good folks” left First Christian over a disagreement about the minister. “From these painful experiences of division in the church family, the congregation renewed the desire for unity in the body of Christ and for the ability as Christians to learn how to better accept each other, even when we disagree,” a church history claimed. The congregation embarked on a 10-year evangelical program. The purpose was to bring worshippers back to the urban church. In 1985 a capital improvement campaign raised more than $130,000, which was used to install air conditioning and protective covers for the stained-glass windows and to purchase a
church bus. An elevator, added in 1990, was large enough to carry a casket from the ground level to the third-floor sanctuary. The pipe organ was renovated and moved once again to the front of the sanctuary. “In the 1990s, the congregation decided to reach out to the community,” Patricia Hatfield, the church’s pastor, said. First Christian joined the Interfaith Hospitality Network, and now about every eight weeks the church houses families who need temporary shelter. “The program keeps families together,” said Kay Peacock, copastor, in 1994. In 2000 the church’s pastor inaugurated a Sunday worship ser vice for senior citizens at the nearby Panorama Apartments, and in fall 2001 the congregation started offering free community dinners every Saturday night for those in need. Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky. Cincinnati: J. M. Armstrong, 1878. DeVroomen, Sacha. “Hearts, Doors Open to Homeless Families,” KP, December 8, 1994, 14A. Hatfield, Patricia N., pastor, First Christian Church. Interview by Ann Hicks, June 8, 2005, Covington, Ky. Nichols, Edythe. “Narration for ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ for the Musical Celebration and Dedication of the Refurbished Church Organ, Grand Piano, Elevator and Chancel Renovation,” October 6, 1991, First Christian Church, Covington, Ky. Reis, Jim. “Church Arose from Ashes—First Christian Still Covington Landmark,” KP, August 5, 2002, 4K. ———. “James Arnold Left Bourbon Co. to Find His Fortune in Covington,” KP, April 16, 2001, 4K. Stein, Tim. “Reborn First Christian Conquers Inner City Blues,” KP, April 6, 1991, 7K. Tenkotte, Paul A. A Heritage of Art and Faith: Downtown Covington Churches. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 1986.
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, MAYSVILLE. The First Christian Church in Maysville is one of the earliest churches of the Disciples of Christ movement. Occupying a strategic position as a port of entry into Kentucky, Maysville was visited on many occasions by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Scottish immigrants who espoused the ideas of doctrinal reform in the Baptist churches. Thomas Campbell, a schoolmaster and a Presbyterian minister, had come to the United States in 1807 from Scotland seeking a more healthful environment. A graduate of Scotland’s University of Glasgow and its divinity school, Campbell was assigned to the Presbytery of Chartiers in Washington, Pa. He soon found himself in disagreement with the beliefs of this religious body. Upon the urging of friends, he wrote the Declaration and Address, a document that proved to be the basis for a new religious movement, the Disciples of Christ. Thomas Campbell’s son Alexander, also a graduate of the University of Glasgow, expressed his agreement with the articles of faith articulated in his father’s published declaration, and together the two men made a great impact on the lives of
338 FIRST NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY OF COVINGTON people in Maysville and the surrounding areas. The Maysville First Christian Church was the direct result of the influence of Thomas and Alexander Campbell on the local Baptist church. Alexander Campbell’s first visit to Kentucky was in 1823 to participate in a debate on baptism with the Presbyterian minister, Rev. William McCalla of Augusta. The Campbellite Reform Movement was spreading rapidly through the Baptist churches in all parts of the state. It divided the Baptist Church in Maysville, most of whose members in 1828 united with the Reformed Church; the remainder joined the Baptist Church in nearby Washington. Since the 28 charter members of the new First Christian Church in Maysville constituted a majority, they retained the use of the building, paying an annual rent to the regular Baptists in Washington. But during a meeting held by Elder John O’Kane, the Reformers were forced to leave and find a temporary home in a carpenter’s shop in Graves Alley. With a membership of 84 in 1836, they built a church on Third St. in Maysville at a cost of $1,638. The church, built by William B. Mooklar, was constructed of red brick in a simple style. The sanctuary was the only room. Since there was no baptistery, candidates for baptism were immersed in the Ohio River at the foot of Fish (now Wall) St. in Maysville. The first 48 years after the church’s founding were marked by such rapid growth that a new building was built in town on E. Th ird St. in 1877. The Gothic structure was erected on a lot 60 by 300 feet, running from street to street, at a cost of $24,000. The architect and builder was E. H. Hanna of Dover. One of the features of the new church, the baptistery, was far in advance of those being used by most immersionist churches of the time. The Maysville Christian Church continued to grow in membership and activities. In 1923 a new 15-room educational plant was completed, built by J. F. Hardymon. Included were a gymnasium with lockers and showers, and a kitchen. The gymnasium was furnished to make it a complete physical department for both children and adults. The Maysville Christian Church was one of the fi rst churches in the state to recognize the need for such facilities. For many years this was the only gymnasium in town, and high school games were played there. In 1951 the basement was excavated to provide additional classroom space. An associate minister was added to the church staff, and an outstanding program for youth was established. In 1964 a three-level addition was constructed for expansion of the Sunday school and offices for the ministers. Membership reached its peak in 1954, when 316 persons were added on a single Sunday. Th is was the culmination of a membership drive directed by Rev. Bayne Driskill, a guest evangelist. The Maysville First Christian Church has contributed several ministers to the Disciples of Christ ministry: Marla Wilson Brock, Walter Cady, James Cox, Joseph Frank Jr., Lawrence Hay, and John Shackleford.
Decreases in membership to 474 and an average attendance of 145 have prompted the First Christian Church in Maysville to defi ne its vision for the future. A plan for revitalization is in progress under the guidance of Dr. Richard L. Hamm, former general minister of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. The plan calls for 99 members to be divided into groups of three, who will meet for 100 days of prayer and contemplation. The minutes of these meetings will be sent to Hamm, who will develop a plan to be presented to the congregation for approval and implementation. Rev. C. Wayne Barnett, senior minister, looks upon this plan as the most meaningful of his three decades of ministry. Together with Barnett and the associate minister, Rev. Marla Wilson Brock, the church has become a Bible-studying congregation. Braden, Gayle A., and Coralie J. Runyon. A History of the Christian Church, Maysville, Kentucky. Lexington, Ky.: Transylvania, 1948. “Church Says ‘Amen’ as Mortgage Burns,” KE, January 18, 1971, 18. Mason Co. Deed Book 70, p. 75, Maysville, Ky. Maysville Bulletin, January 20, 1877. Maysville Eagle, January 17, 1877.
Coralie Runyon Jones
FIRST NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY OF COVINGTON. One of Covington’s earliest and largest fi nancial institutions, the First National Bank of Covington was organized in 1864 by prominent Covington residents John G. Carlisle, John Fisk, Amos Shinkle, and others. Shinkle served as its fi rst president, and the bank’s fi rst location, officially opened on January 10, 1865, was in the Odd Fellows Hall on the northeast corner of Fift h and Madison Aves. (see Covington, Downtown). By 1878 the bank had moved to an Italianate-style building at 515 Madison Ave. After the death of Shinkle in December 1892, the board of directors named Frank P. Helm, formerly of the Farmers and Traders National Bank in Covington, the second president in January 1893. About the same time, First National merged with the Covington City National Bank. Helm held the position of president of First National until January 1907, when he was succeeded by E. S. Lee, who served as president until his death in 1932. Lee oversaw a period of great expansion, including acquisition of the Merchants National Bank of Covington in 1908 and merger with the Farmers and Traders National Bank in Covington in 1910, at which time the First National Bank moved its headquarters to the Farmers and Traders National Bank on the northwest corner of Sixth and Madison Aves. The six-story Beaux Arts–style headquarters, designed by Cincinnati architect Harry Hake in association with architects Lyman Walker and George W. Schofield of Covington, had been completed in 1904. Lee also applied to establish a trust department, and following the Federal Reserve Board’s approval, the bank’s official name was changed to First National
First National Bank and Trust Co., Sixth and Madison Aves., Covington.
Bank and Trust Company of Covington in January 1926. After the 1932 death of Lee, Ben Bramlage became the bank’s fourth president in 1933. In March 1933, during the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–1945) declared a “bank holiday” to allow government officials time to examine the solvency of banks nationwide. Federal examiners found First National’s situation less than satisfactory, although some directors claimed that the report was politically motivated. The bank was forced to close, but it reorganized and secured sufficient assets to reopen. In September 1933, E. A. Vosmer became the fift h president of the reorganized First National and guided it successfully through the remainder of the Great Depression. The bank’s assets more than doubled between 1933 and 1943. The year 1950 witnessed the naming of a new president for the bank, Harry J. Humpert, under whose guidance the bank announced a merger with the First National Bank of Latonia in August 1961. The assets of the First National Bank and Trust Company of Covington reached nearly $17.3 million by the end of 1961, and deposits were $15.2 million. In 1962 T. Byron Stephens succeeded Humpert as president of the bank and served until 1970. A succession of presidents followed: V. J. Hils, Harold C. Truitt, and Harry K. Lowe (1974– 1983). Suburban development in the 1960s and 1970s led to the opening of branch offices, including branches at Latonia Plaza (1964), Expressway Plaza in Fort Mitchell (1967), Crescent Springs (1969), and Elsmere (1975). With the impending passage of new federal and state banking laws in the 1980s, bank holding companies were formed to acquire the assets of banks. David Barry Briggs of Kentucky Bancorporation Inc., representing a number of investors, including Central Bancorporation (the parent company of Central Trust Company of Cincinnati),
FIRST TWELVE MILE BAPTIST CHURCH
purchased First National in 1983; the Federal Reserve Board approved the acquisition in autumn of that year. Kentucky Bancorporation Inc. operated subsidiaries under the name of Kentucky National Bank (KNB), including the First National Bank, which was officially renamed Kentucky National Bank in 1985. In 1990 it moved its headquarters to RiverCenter in Covington, where it leased 37,500 square feet on five floors. In turn, RiverCenter’s developer, Corporex, purchased the bank’s former Sixth and Madison Aves. home offices. The following year, 1991, Cincinnati-based Star Banc Corp. acquired KNB, and the bank became known as Star Bank, N.A., Kentucky. In 1993 it moved its headquarters from RiverCenter to the old People’s-Liberty Bank on the southeast corner of Sixth and Madison Aves., the longtime home of Peoples-Liberty Bank, which Star (First National Cincinnati Corp.) had acquired in 1987. In 1999 Star Bank changed its name to Firstar, and in 2000 US Bank purchased Firstar. Hall, Gregory A. “Star, KNB Wrapping up Merger,” KP, July 2, 1991, 1K. Hartell, Greg. “First National: A New Image for New Home,” KP, October 30, 1985, 1K. Kingsbury, Gilbert W. “History of the First National Bank and Trust Co., Covington, Ky., 1864–1975,” vertical fi les, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. “Our 100th Anniversary,” KP, December 10, 1963, special section. Williams, Tom. “Cincinnati Bank Backs Purchase of 1st National,” KP, May 9, 1983, 1K. ———. “Federal Reserve OKs Purchase of First National,” KP, November 2, 198, 6K. ———. “Star Bank Set to Move Home Base,” KP, July 10, 1993, 2K.
Paul A. Tenkotte
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, MAYSVILLE. The First Presbyterian Church at Maysville was orga nized June 14, 1817, as part of the West Lexington Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church. Rev. Robert Wilson, Elder William Richey of the Washington Presbyterian Church, and Robert Robb and John Boyd of the Cabin Creek Ebenezer Church in Mason Co., Kentucky took on the initial work of establishing the church. Th is action was the result of the great religious revival that took place in the western states in 1800. The first pastor was Dr. John T. Edgar, who was elected March 29, 1820. Records do not show where the earliest congregation met for worship, but the first building was erected in 1835 where the Washington Opera House now stands in Maysville. Th is first church was affectionately called the Old Blue Church, because of its deep-blue paint and its tall spire modeled after the old English churches. In 1850 the building was destroyed by fire; services were then held in the courthouse, and Sunday school was held in the local Academy of Rand and Richeson. In June 1850, Andrew M. and Harriet January deeded to the church the present property, where ser vices were first held in December of that year. The building was completed in 1852. In 1867 the church split over the Civil War, and the
two groups worshipped in the building on alternate Sundays. In the 20th century, the church building was used as a headquarters for the distribution of clothing after the flood of 1937. The church was later given a brass chandelier, made in France. The early 1950s saw an expansion that necessitated the development of a four-level educational unit and an additional chapel. In May 1980 the building was completely redecorated. On July 27, 1980, an earthquake caused minor interior damage to the church. Pickett, Thomas E. “W.W. Richeson: The Kentuckian That ‘Taught’ Grant,” RKHS 9, no. 27 (September 1911): 14–22. Wilson, Mary L., and Florence Wilson. A History of the First Presbyterian Church. Maysville, Ky.: Session of the First Presbyterian Church, 1950. Young, Bennett H. “Division of the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky,” Archives, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond, Ky.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, NEWPORT. The First Presbyterian Church of Newport is descended from two older Presbyterian churches within the city, the Old School Presbyterian Church and the New School Presbyterian Church. In September 1845 Newport was selected as the site of a Presbyterian Church, and on January 16, 1847, a Presbyterian church, later referred to as the Old School Presbyterian Church, was incorporated. A church building was dedicated on October 6, 1848. In 1851, 14 Newport citizens organized the New School Presbyterian Church (so named to distinguish it from the Old School Presbyterian Church). Then in April 1852 it adopted the name Second Presbyterian Church. In 1859 that church built on a site at 520 Columbia St. and changed its name to Columbia St. Presbyterian Church. When in September 1861, a tornado destroyed the Old School Presbyterian Church’s building, the elders of that church approached the members of the Columbia St. Presbyterian Church, asking to use their church building for worship. It appears that subsequently the Old School membership became integrated gradually into that of the Columbia St. church. In May 1870, 40 members withdrew from the Columbia St. Presbyterian Church and formed a new church, the Second Presbyterian Church, resurrecting a former name. On October 3, 1876, the members of the Columbia St. Presbyterian Church and the Second Presbyterian Church agreed to reunite under the name Westminster Presbyterian Church. However, strong differences of opinion between the two churches prevented the merger from occurring. In spring 1878 the Second Presbyterian Church was removed from the rolls of the Presbytery because it became a Congregational Church. Another name change took place in January 1888, when the Columbia St. Presbyterian Church became the First Presbyterian Church of Newport. In December 1891 this congregation sold its 520 Columbia St. property to an African American
congregation, the Corinthian Baptist Church, because the First Presbyterian Church was moving across town to East Newport. In 1893 the members of the surviving First Presbyterian Church laid the cornerstone of their new building at 625 Overton St.; the structure was dedicated in 1894. In 1896 the congregation purchased a massive Köhnken and Grimm pipe organ. In the early 20th century, before Prohibition, the church became involved in efforts to enforce Sunday closing laws against local saloons. The congregation was dissolved on November 12, 1985. For several years the church building stood vacant and neglected, and then the property was sold on March 21, 1990, to David Hosea. The building was converted into housing; the original Köhnken and Grimm pipe organ has been retained. The smokestack at the rear of the building for the old boiler has been taken down, but otherwise the building, with its stained-glass front, appears much as it has for many years, set in a residential neighborhood. Today, there is no Presbyterian church in Newport. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky: 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: Campbell Co. Historical Society, n.d. [ca. 1995].
Donald E. Grosenbach
FIRST TWELVE MILE BAPTIST CHURCH. In December 1799 a small group of Baptists began holding ser vices at Camp Springs in Campbell Co. They called their congregated body the Four Mile Baptist Church. Early meetings of the congregation were held in the homes of various church members. In 1822 the group built a tiny meetinghouse nearby, along Twelve Mile Creek, and changed their name to the Twelve Mile Baptist Church. In later years, when another Baptist church was formed in the area, the name was changed to the First Twelve Mile Baptist Church. As the congregation grew, a larger church was needed, and one was constructed in 1836 on a hill high above the creek. Since the congregation of the First Twelve Mile Baptist Church was small and unable to support a full-time pastor, numerous circuit preachers fi lled the pulpit in the early years. They included Rev. James Monroe Jolly, who built and was pastor of the Flagg Springs Baptist Church; Moses Vickers; Elam Grizzle; James Spilman; James Vickers; and Nicholas C. Petit, founder of the Walnut Hills Academy in Cold Spring. Most of those early preachers were not paid a salary but were given various amenities, such as having their horses fed and shod; the preachers also received an occasional chicken dinner in the home of a church member. Church records indicate that during the late 1800s the church began paying its part-time preachers a salary of $50 per year. One of the longest-serving of those early pastors was Rev. Jesse Beagle, who was there from 1858 to 1870. Lightning struck the church building on June 5, 1905, and it was completely destroyed by fire. Undeterred, church members rebuilt immediately
340 FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH on the same site. Construction materials for the new church were floated down the Ohio River from New Richmond, Ohio, to Oneonta, Ky., from where they were hauled overland by wagon. The present church building was completed in September 1905. During the Ohio River flood of 1937, the church was surrounded by floodwaters, but since the building was on a hill high above the creek, it was untouched. Over the years many additions have been made to the building, including a Sunday school wing and a church library. A parsonage was built in 1961 and a fellowship hall in 1985. Most recently, a 10-acre tract of land adjacent to the church was purchased to allow for future expansion. In a church cemetery near the creek, many of the early church members and two of the circuit preachers are buried. In 1949 the First Twelve Mile Baptist Church hired as its first full-time pastor, Rev. Russ Hayne. He was followed by Bill Pack, Bob Brumback, W. D. Hullette, Elmer Cunningham, J. T. Ryan, Keith Blair, Chris Field, and, since January 2003, the present pastor, Cohen Copley. “First Twelve Mile Baptist Church Boasts a Rich Heritage,” Kentucky Explorer, October 2003, 37–38. “History of First Twelve Mile Baptist Church,” First Twelve Mile Baptist Church, Camp Springs, Ky. “Worship, Drama Mark Holy Week,” KP, March 22, 1997, 15K.
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. The roots of the First United Methodist Church of Covington (now Grace Campus of Immanuel United Methodist Church) go back to 1786, when Methodist missionaries and circuit riders were appointed to the area in Covington known as the Point. The original congregation of what became the First Methodist Church of Covington started in 1827 with a membership of 10 persons who met in homes and public buildings. As it grew there was a need for a church structure the congregation could call its own. Its first building was constructed at 233–235 Garrard St. in 1832. With 350 members by 1843, the congregation built a new brick church at 530–532 Scott St. In 1846 the Scott St. church became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, which supported slavery. Dissenting antislavery members withdrew to form Wesley Chapel (later called the Greenup Street Station, then the Union Methodist Episcopal Church, and finally, the First Methodist Episcopal Church), which met in a number of different locations until the congregation built an imposing Gothic Revival church on the southwest corner of Fift h and Greenup Sts. Designed by the noted architectural firm of Walter and Stewart, it was dedicated on July 14, 1867. Covington businessman Amos Shinkle was a large contributor. At the same time the congregation was building its new building on Greenup at Fift h Sts., members led by Amos Shinkle and Jonathon David Hearne started a Sunday school at Powell and Stevens Sts. (now 15th and Garrard Sts.). Later, this Sunday school turned into a mission located at 211–215 Byrd St. The mission was known as the
Shinkle Mission, although the city directory of 1869–1870 lists the name as the Powell St. M.E. Church. In 1892 this church was formally dedicated as the Shinkle Methodist Episcopal Church and continued to be known as such until it moved to Independence and became known as Faith Community United Methodist Church. The first “Father’s Day” Ser vice in Covington was commemorated by Rev. George Bunton on June 28, 1914. According to the Kentucky Post of May 22, 1914, Bunton was the “originator of ‘Father’s Day’ in Covington.” During the evening of July 7, 1915, the Union Methodist Church on Greenup St. and the First Methodist Episcopal Church South on Scott St. were damaged by a tornado along with more than 1,000 homes in Covington. On September 1, 1939, the Union Methodist Episcopal Church and the First (formerly Scott St.) M.E. Church South (located within the same block) merged into one church known as the First Methodist Church. This merger was part of a plan of the Kentucky Conference of the Methodist Church to seek mergers of various congregations. The Scott St. Methodist Church South, which from 1928 had been known as the First Methodist Episcopal Church South, was demolished in about 1970 for the construction of the Kenton Co. Public Library. On January 19, 1947, the First Methodist Church suffered a devastating fire that took three hours to control. The fire caused around $100,000 damage, destroying many items going back to the early 1800s. In 1965 the church founded a Day Care Center. In 1968 the First Methodist Church became known as the First United Methodist Church. Between 1977 and 1985, the First United Methodist Church of Covington and the Ninth St. United Methodist Church shared pastors. The Ninth St. United Methodist Church was a predominately African American Methodist Church. Even after 1985, the two churches held joint Vacation Bible Schools, Wednesday Evening Lenten Services, and Thanksgiving and Christmas Ser vices. In respect to the African American membership in the church over the years, the membership roster of 1835 included 15 black members. Cooperation between these two churches goes back to when Amos Shinkle purchased the building for the congregation, which originally housed the Ninth St. United Methodist Church. In March 1986, a microburst toppled the spire of the First Methodist Church of Covington and caused more than $124,000 damage. Architect George Roth assisted the congregation in repairs, including the reconstruction of the spire. The membership of the First Methodist Church of Covington in 1939, after the merger of the First Methodist Church of Covington and the Scott St. Methodist Episcopal Church, totaled 901. It stayed relatively stable until 1960, when the population of Covington and the river cities began to decline as members moved to the suburbs. Membership and attendance declined into the first four years of the 21st century. As a result, in 2004 the church was closed and reorganized into one of the campus
ministries of the Immanuel United Methodist Church of Lakeside Park. It is now the Grace Campus of that church, conducting contemporary ser vices in order to meet the needs of the changing Covington community. Several famous and notable persons visited Union M.E. Church, including President U.S. Grant (1869–1877) whose parents lived on Greenup St. across from the church. His parents owned a pew at the church, and the funeral of his father, Jesse Root Grant, was held there in 1873. The head of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Carrie Nation, came to the church in 1901. Notable individuals who belonged to the church include actress Una Merkel, businessman and philanthropist Amos Shinkle, and Covingon’s first mayor, Mortimer Murray Benton. Four pastors of this church became bishops in the Methodist Church: Davis W. Clark, Urban Valentine William Darlington, Hubbard H. Kavanaugh, and S. M. Merrill. Kavanaugh, a native of Clark Co., was pastor at the Scott St. Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1850. In 1854 he was elected bishop in Columbus, Ga. He was known for his two-hour sermons that could move people from laughter to tears. Darlington was a native of Grafenburg and served as pastor of the Scott St. Methodist Episcopal Church South from 1901 to 1904. At the time he was elected bishop in 1918, he was serving as president of Morris Harvey College in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Closing Not End of Line for Church—New Home to Outreach Programs,” KP, June 11, 2005, 3K. Donsback, Edna Tyson. Our Church through 175 Years. Covington, Ky.: First United Methodist Church, 2003. Immanuel United Methodist. www.immanuelumc .org (accessed October 16, 2006). Tenkotte, Paul A. A Heritage of Art and Faith: Downtown Covington Churches. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 1986.
Paul L. Whalen
FIRTH, JESSIE (b. June 5, 1864, Louisville, Ky.; d. October 10, 1950, Covington, Ky.). Civic-minded Jessie Edith Riddell Firth, the first woman to run for public office in Kenton Co., Ky., was also a leader in the women’s suff rage and temperance movements. She married Charles F. Firth, a railroad freight agent. By 1913 she was elected second vice president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association; her election was an honor for both Firth and Kenton Co. Other counties had more members, but Kenton Co. was recognized for its “earned effort to arouse the sympathies of the people.” Firth served as chairwoman of the association’s state convention in 1914. The Kentucky Equal Rights Association created the Covington Protective League in 1919. Firth was in charge of the league’s food distribution program and the “barefoot campaign” to help Covington children who were going barefoot in summer. When the Kentucky Equal Rights Association was reorga nized and became the League of Women Voters, Firth was secretary of the state orga ni zation and president in Kenton Co.
She received the Republican nomination for state representative from the 64th legislative district in 1923. In announcing her candidacy, she said she wanted better schools and roads. Furthermore, she pointed out: “I believe in honesty and economy in public affairs. I pledge, if elected, to render a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.” She lost the election to Democrat John L. Cushing, although it was said that she “ran far ahead of her ticket.” In 1930 Firth was elected president of the Covington Women’s Christian Temperance Union. A writer and painter, she served as society editor of the Kentucky Times-Star for some 18 years. She was a member of the First Methodist Church in Covington (see First United Methodist Church). Firth died in 1950 at her home, 911 Scott St. in Covington, and was buried in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. “Covington Woman Is Republican Nominee,” KTS, October 23, 1923, 33. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 20963, for the year 1950. Reis, Jim. “A Big Year for Women’s Movement,” KP, August 3, 1992, 4K. “Seeks Office,” KP, October 26, 1923, 1. “Taken by Death,” KP, October 11, 1950, 6. “W.C.T.U.: Mrs. Jessie Firth Named Union President,” KP, November 12, 1930, 1.
FISHER, BOBBY (b. May 28, 1952, Cincinnati, Ohio). Bobby Fisher, an internationally famous liturgical musician, is director of music ministries at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Fort Wright, where he has worked since July 1995. He is the son of David and Esther May Kahn Fisher. Bobby Fisher graduated from Woodward High School in 1970 and studied classical guitar and music theory at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He played banjo, fiddle, guitar, keyboard, and mandolin in bands throughout the region, including, chronologically, Melange, Smyth Brothers, Coyote, and Jill and Bobby. As a studio musician playing on recordings for wellknown pastoral musicians such as Ed Gutfreund, David Haas, Marty Haugen, and the St. Louis Jesuits, Fisher became interested in liturgical music as well as Catholicism. He converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1970 and was baptized a Catholic in 1977. Fisher has recorded for a number of labels, including GIA Publications Inc. and OCP. His CDs include Catholic Classics, Vol. III; Go Out and Tell; Guitar Prayer; Hymns and Hers for Happy Hearts; If We Dare to Hope; Misa Santa Bárbara; One Breath (with Ed Gutfreund); Play before God; Season of Peace; and Waiting for the Light. Fisher is the author of The Pastoral Guitarist, and he has a series of instructional videos entitled The Liturgical Guitarist. He gives concerts and leads music workshops worldwide. His workshops include annual guitar schools for the National Pastoral Musicians Association; an annual youth liturgy conference entitled “One Bread, One Cup” at St. Meinrad, Ind.; “Music Ministry Alive!” Summer institute for young people and adults in
St. Paul, Minn.; and the Knockadoon Folk Liturgy summer camp for youth in East Cork, Ireland. Recently, Fisher has been working on music for fi lm and television, including a PBS special documentary on Christian-Muslim dialogue (to air in 2010). He lives in Cincinnati with his wife Tarri Baker. “Bobby Fisher.” www.giamusic.com/bios/fisher_bobby .cfm (accessed August 10, 2008). Fisher, Bobby. Telephone interview by Paul A. Tenkotte, Fort Wright, Ky., August 10, 2008.
Paul A. Tenkotte
FISHING. Fishing in Northern Kentucky is always fresh-water fishing, but beyond that, it varies depending on whether it is done in a river or in a lake. River fishing, along the Ohio, Licking, and Kentucky Rivers, is generally conducted deadline, using a sinker with a taut line back to the reel. A good tug on the line, bending the reel, generally means a fish is nibbling or caught on the hook at the bottom of the stream and that it is a good time to set the hook. Bait for fishing in the rivers is often live bait, worms or minnows; however, dough balls, corn flakes, cheese, or beef smelt (the lining of a cow’s stomach) may be used instead. The other main type of fishing is lake fishing, which may occur in pay lakes, in state or public park lakes, or in farm ponds. Depending on weather conditions, clarity of water, and turbulence of the water, bait for lake fishing can be either live or artificial (spinners, rubber worms, spinning lures, and flies). Smaller farm ponds throughout the region yield nice-sized largemouth and smallmouth bass, which are full of fight and are flavorful when cooked. Fishing is done in the rivers or lakes from boats, from shore, or with trout lines (baited hooks attached to long lines, which are checked occasionally for catches). Favorite Northern Kentucky fishing spots along the Ohio River are the areas just above and below the Meldahl Dam upriver and the Markland Dam downriver. The confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers between Newport and Covington has yielded countless fish over the years, especially to the vagrant populations living nearby. Carp and channel catfish are common catches there. The area between the Newport shore and the first pier of the old Louisville and Nashville Railroad Bridge has given up as many as 75 perch, 8 to 10 inches long, in an hour. Whether one wants to eat these fish or not, such fishing certainly is fun. Up the Licking River south of the I-275 bridge to Falmouth, and in the branches of that river beyond Falmouth, live several varieties of game fish not generally found in the Ohio River. However, as the Ohio River has become cleaner in the past 50 years, more exotic varieties of game fish have begun to appear. The river is full of large catfish, and mythical stories of man-sized catfish lurking in lethargy at the bottom of the dams have been told by the Corps of Engineers divers who inspect that part of the river’s bottom. Pay lakes (sometimes called commercial lakes), where one pays a daily rate for permission to fish,
usually with a limit on the catch, are common in some parts of Northern Kentucky; elsewhere in the nation, where streams and lakes are plentiful, pay lakes are rare. The pay lake flourished in the 1940s and 1950s. Stocked sometimes as often as weekly, and advertised in the sports pages of newspapers, with specially tagged fish for prizes, these lakes were located near the urban areas, where people might fish all night in hopes of getting the catch of their life. One of the first pay lakes was Belle Acres in Southgate in Campbell Co.; it was also known as Lake Berry for its owner, Albert Seaton Berry. In 1928 cottages were built around the shores of the two lakes at Lake Berry. Today the municipal building–community center in Southgate is located where Lake Berry was. Just downstream to the south was Joe’s Fishing Lake, notorious for the fights that broke out there among drunken all-night fishermen. It is reported that the lake, though not the business, remains today just behind Evergreen Cemetery in Wilder, teeming with fish jumping up out of the water. Around 1950, Belmont Lake was developed at the top of Belmont Hill in Dayton. Belmont was famous for its annual fishing contest, where young contestants lined the shore shoulder to shoulder, hoping to hook into the largest fish. It was so crowded that it was dangerous, with baited hooks threatening the eyes and faces of participants. Igo’s Lake (later known as Wilbur’s Lake) was along Grand Ave. in Fort Thomas, and the WLW Lake was along Ky. Rt. 10, beyond Flagg Springs. WLW stood for William L. Woodie, not for the radio station. Farther out in Campbell Co., lakes like Tiemier’s in Silver Grove (it is still there); Darlington Lakes, off Uhl Rd. in Melbourne; Dietz’s Lake, along Nelson Rd.; Neltner’s Lake, off Ky. Rt. 8; Claredan Lake, along John’s Hill Rd. in Highland Heights (home to that city’s municipal building today); and Cedar Wood Lake, in Claryville, were also pay lakes. Private pay lakes included Bartlett’s Lake in Sun Valley, south of Alexandria, Ky., and the Bob White Club (still operating today), along Licking Pk. (Ky. Rt. 9). Kenton Co. had a few pay lakes. Hatchet Lake, at the west end of 16th St. in Covington, where the cut in the hill for I-75 is today, was a popu lar fishing location for city boys. Its two lakes drained northward into Willow Run Creek. Both of the well-known eateries the Lookout House, at the top of the Dixie Highway, and Retschulte’s (see Barleycorn’s Five Mile House, Lakeside Park), in old South Fort Mitchell, had places to fish. Funke’s Lake was along Turfway Rd., about one mile from Dudley Rd., and Doc’s Lake was along Richardson Rd. in Erlanger. In southern Kenton Co. was Ehrhardt’s Lake, at Nicholson, and Kenton Lakes, reportedly stocked by the government in 1880. It was along the Three-L Highway, near Visalia, as was Redlick’s Triple-L Lake, near Ryland Heights. Miller’s Lake was near Covington also, along the Three-L Highway. Shady Shore Lake was on the edge of Latonia, in Rosedale, near where Banklick Creek flows into the Licking River. Today, it is the Marshall Schildemeyer VFW Post No. 6095.
342 FISK, CHARLES H. Boone Co. once had Lake Air View, offering both fishing and cabins, off Hopeful Rd. near Florence. Idelwhile Lake was in Richwood, Dixie View Lake was along U.S. 25 south of Florence, Lake Echo was on Maher Rd., and Henderson’s Shady Farm was on Moffett Rd. During 1953–1954, the drought in Northern Kentucky prompted the state to think about building some recreational and water-supply lakes in the region. Thus appeared Williamstown Lake in 1957, built as a recreation and fishing spot and as the reservoir for Grant Co. Plans are afoot today to enlarge the lake and perhaps make it into a state park. Also in Grant Co. are Bullock Pen Lake, near Crittenden, and Boltz Lake, northwest of Dry Ridge. Owen Co. received Elmer Davis Lake (the county reservoir) at about the time the private Elk Lake Shores was built. In Pendleton Co. the state created Kincaid Lake State Park, once known as Falmouth Lake State Park, around a dam across Kincaid Creek in the early 1960s. In Carroll Co. the General Butler State Resort Park offers fishing; and there is fishing in the lake at the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park in Robertson Co. In Kenton Co. the relatively new Doe Run Lake, built for flood control, is now the largest lake in the county. In southern Campbell Co. is the A. J. Jolly Lake at the park of the same name, which was opened in the early 1960s as Campbell Co. Park. Persons 16 years of age or older who fish in these public fishing places or in the rivers are required to have Kentucky state fishing licenses. Fishing was a popu lar enough sport that the local newspapers had weekly if not daily fishing columns. For many years John E. Murphy and Bob Rankin both wrote informative and interesting articles in Northern Kentucky newspapers. Their pieces were full of local history, and the newspapers often sponsored area-wide fishing contests. Stores such as Rink’s Bargain City, Sports of All Sorts, and Wal-Mart today carry extensive lines of fishing equipment, and at one time it seemed that every river city in Northern Kentucky had its own bait shop. Boys gathered night crawlers after heavy rains and sold them to bait stores for 25 cents per dozen; dealers stored them in old soft-drink coolers before reselling them. In recent years the State of Kentucky has experimented with stocking some local lakes with rainbow trout, to the delight of fly fishers; the problem appears to be that the water temperature of area streams and ponds is generally not cool enough for trout to flourish.
men, the “Squirrel Hunters.” A volunteer group of Union sympathizers, they were recruited to help defend Cincinnati against an anticipated invasion by Confederate general Kirby Smith’s forces. Fisk was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1865 and practiced law in Lexington for a year. He then moved to Covington and joined the law firm of his father, John F. Fisk. Charles later became president of the Kenton Co. Bar Association, was a 33rd degree Mason, and was secretary of the Covington and Cincinnati Bridge Company. He died at his Covington home in 1930 at age 87 and was buried in the Fisk Mausoleum at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. The day he was buried would have been his 64th wedding anniversary. He was survived by his wife, Margaret, and a son and a daughter. “Fisk Is Dead,” KP, October 20, 1930, 1.
FISK, JOHN FLAVEL (b. December 14 or 15, 1815, Genesee Co., N.Y.; d. February 21, 1902, Covington, Ky.). Educator, Democratic politician, and lawyer John Flavel Fisk was educated in the common schools of New York and then at Cary’s Academy in Cincinnati. He began his academic life as principal of the Germantown Academy and later served as principal at Mason Academy in Mason Co. He studied law under Frank Hord at Maysville and under James T. Morehead and James Pryor in Covington. He married Elizabeth S. Johnson on October 14, 1842; they had seven children. Fisk served on the boards of directors of many organizations, including the Covington and Cincinnati Bridge Company, the First National Bank of Covington (see First National Bank and Trust Company of Covington), the Highland Cemetery, the Covington Gas Light Company, and the Kenton Insurance Company. He also served as Covington city attorney, president of the Covington school board, and Kenton Co. attorney. He was a Kentucky state senator from 1857 to 1862 and served as Speaker of the Senate. Fisk was also the lieutenant governor from 1862
Forest, Wally. “Bullock Pen Versatile Lake,” KP, May 5, 1970, 26. Murphy, John E. “Astream and Afield,” KP, May 31, 1940, 13. Reis, Jim. “Fishing at the Old Pay Lake,” KP, August 16, 1993, 4K.
Michael R. Sweeney
FISK, CHARLES H. (b. August 31, 1843, Fiskburg, Ky.; d. October 19, 1930, Covington, Ky.). Attorney and Civil War veteran Charles Henry Fisk earned his bachelor and law degrees at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. At the start of the Civil War, he was instrumental in recruiting a company of
John F. Fisk.
until 1863. He returned to the Senate from 1863 to 1865. From 1868 until he retired in 1890, he practiced law with his son Charles Henry Fisk. John Flavel Fisk was considered to be one of the most successful and able lawyers in the region and also an outstanding orator. He was buried in Highland Cemetery. Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky. Cincinnati: J. M. Armstrong, 1878. “Fisk Is Dead,” KP, February 22, 1902. Levin, H., ed. The Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky. Chicago: Lewis, 1897.
FISKBURG. Fiskburg is an unincorporated community located in southeastern Kenton Co., in the vicinity of Madison Pk. (Ky. Rt. 17) and Fiskburg Rd. (Ky. Rt. 2046). Settled in the early 1800s, Fiskburg became a small but prosperous farming community. By the 1880s, the town contained several farms, a school, a Grange hall, a general store, and a church. With its tobacco warehouse and cigar-making factory, Fiskburg was a center for tobacco farming. The community presumably received its name from the Fisk family, one of the area’s larger families. Well-known members of that family include John F. Fisk and his son Charles H. Fisk; both were prominent attorneys and politicians in Northern Kentucky during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fiskburg’s most enduring institution is the Wilmington Baptist Church, whose cemetery contains the graves of several local area pioneers. Fiskburg has a rural charm typified by its well-preserved farmhouses and open spaces. An Atlas of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1883. “Fiskburg,” Newport Local, September 5, 1878, 2.
FITZPATRICK, THOMAS P. (b. May 14, 1894, Cleveland, Ohio; d. June 22, 1962, Covington, Ky.). Thomas P. Fitzpatrick, a professional boxer and a colorful Democratic politician, was the son of a mill hand, Timothy Fitzpatrick, and his wife Margaret Daly. The family moved to Covington, and there, as a young boy, Thomas attended St. Patrick Elementary School. He later graduated from the St. Xavier Business College in Cincinnati. Fitzpatrick served in the U.S. Navy for four months at the end of World War I. As a young adult, he became a well-known lightweight boxer and later worked as a boxing referee, promoter, and matchmaker. In partnership with “Biddy Bishop,” he was personally responsible for bringing many highprofi le boxing matches to the old Riverside Arena at Second St. and Madison Ave. in Covington. Fitzpatrick was elected as a Kentucky state representative in 1933, a position he held for 10 years. He served as Covington mayor from 1944 to 1946 and as Kenton Co. sheriff the following four years. After his term as sheriff ended, he left politics for four years, before again being elected a state representative in 1954. He held that position for the remainder of his life, serving as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1956 until 1958. On the final day of the 1962 session of the
FIVE AND DIME STORES
state legislature, Fitzpatrick suffered an asthma attack, for which he was hospitalized and from which he died several months later, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington. At the time of his death, he and his family were living in Covington at 305 W. Sixth St. Funeral ser vices were held at Covington’s St. Patrick Catholic Church, and burial was in St. Mary Cemetery, Fort Mitchell. Thomas P. Fitzpatrick was survived by his wife Ida Welsh Fitzpatrick and a daughter, Charlotte Fitzpatrick Richter. During his long and colorful career, he was a member of many clubs, including the Covington Eagles, the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, and the Holy Name Society. He was also a prominent figure in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations locally. “Thomas Fitzpatrick Dies at 68,” KP, June 22, 1962, 1. “Thomas P. Fitzpatrick,” vertical fi le, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Thomas P. Fitzpatrick U.S. Navy World War I record, on fi le at the Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky.
FIVE-AND-DIME STORES. These stores were also known as 5-and-10 stores, 10-cent stores, and dime stores. For much of the 20th century, most large and medium-sized Northern Kentucky cities had a Woolworth or a Kresge five-and-dime store, and sometimes both, on their main streets. In 1879 Frank Winfield Woolworth opened one of the nation’s first successful five-and-dime stores, selling inexpensive items. Soon he started a national chain of outlets that operated as F. W. Woolworth Company. In 1897 Sebastian Spering Kresge entered a partnership with J. G. McCrory in 5-and-10-cent stores; in 1912 he incorporated the S. S. Kresge Company. These two national chains, Woolworth and Kresge, achieved great success, purchasing inexpensive items in large quantities, so that their stores could sell more cheaply than local independent merchants. An early feature of the dime store was the open display of merchandise on tables, so customers could examine the merchandise themselves before purchase. Before this time, storekeepers generally kept merchandise in cases and behind counters, requiring customers to ask for the items they wanted. Another innovation of dime stores was the inclusion of lunch counters, which soon became affordable and popu lar gathering places, featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks, and daily “blue plate” specials. The 5-and-10-cent stores also provided employment opportunities for women, who were typically called salesgirls. The prosperity of the Woolworth chain was evidenced in 1913, when it opened a corporate headquarters building, then the world’s tallest building, in New York City. By 1922 Woolworth operated 1,174 stores in the United States and Canada. Woolworth’s main competitor, S. S. Kresge Company, remained a formidable opponent by pioneering in the use of newspaper ads and radio commercials to advertise its business. The fi rst Woolworth in Covington opened in 1898 at Pike and Washington Sts., eventually moving to 734 Madison. A cousin and former partner of F. W. Woolworth was Seymour H. Knox,
S. S. Kresge Company lunch counter, Madison Ave., Covington, 1965.
who opened his own chain of 5-and-10-cent stores, including two S. H. Knox & Company stores in downtown Covington, the first at 40 Pike St. and the second at 632 Madison Ave. (the latter opened in 1910). In 1911–1912, Knox merged his 112 stores nationwide with Woolworth’s 318; thereafter the S. H. Knox store at 632 Madison became an F. W. Woolworth store. In 1927 the Woolworth store at 632– 634 Madison Ave. doubled its size, opening a lunch counter and increasing its salesgirl staff to 35. By far the largest five-and-dime store in Northern Kentucky was the three-story (plus a basement) F. W. Woolworth on the southeast corner of Seventh St. and Madison Ave. in Covington (currently the Madison; see Covington, Downtown). F. W. Woolworth Company built this new Art Deco– style, air-conditioned store in 1941, with a grand opening in March 1942. The store featured candy, perfumes, jewelry, toiletries, sundries, stationery, books and magazines, and a 110-foot-long lunch counter on the entry floor. On the lower (basement) floor were toys, pets, housewares, domestics, and clothing for men, women, and children. The kitchen was located on the second floor, with cutting-edge conveniences such as two large refrigerators, an electric dishwasher and drier, an electric potato peeler, three garbage disposals, and a silverware washer and polisher. Offices, employee washrooms, and a salesgirls’ hat-check room were also located on the second floor. The third floor contained a stockroom, a horticulture room where plants were prepared and kept at cool temperatures, and “a locker and shower room for Negro porters.” Downtown Newport also had an F. W. Woolworth, located at 728 Monmouth St., which opened
in about 1914. In February 1925, the Newport Woolworth store burned; it reopened in September 1927 with 5,000 square feet of retail space, including a lunch counter and soda fountain. The company opened a new store in the Newport Shopping Center in 1956, operating there successfully until the early 1990s, again with a lunch counter, where 35-cent hamburgers were the featured hit. Through 1959, F. W. Woolworth operated both stores in Newport, but by 1960, the downtown Newport location had closed. S. S. Kresge opened its 15th outlet nationally in Newport in 1916. Eventually, Kresge operated two stores simultaneously within the 800 block of Monmouth St. (812 and 822) in Newport: one was called a dime store and the other a dollar store. In 1941 Kresge built a new building at 822 Monmouth St., continuing to operate out of both locations. The Newport Kresge stores were remodeled in 1963. In the 1970s, Kresge closed its store at 812 Monmouth but continued operations of its outlet at 822 Monmouth before closing in about 1983. Downtown Covington’s S. S. Kresge store, at 618– 622 Madison Ave. in the ground floor of the YMCA building, opened in about 1916. In 1932, when an adjoining store moved out, Kresge opened larger quarters in the YMCA building at 624 Madison. The downtown Covington Kresge’s closed on December 31, 1966. In Maysville, Woolworth operated a store from 1922 to 1956, and the smaller G. C. Murphy chain was there for 60 years, 1924 to 1985. S.H. Kress & Company, a small chain of stores, also was represented in downtown Maysville for a time. The Ben Franklin dime-store chain operated in Brooksville and Carrollton and also in the Latonia Shopping
344 FLAGG SPRINGS Center in Covington. The W. T. Grant chain had an outlet in the Expressway Plaza in Fort Mitchell. There were also small privately owned single-store operations such as Boyer’s in Silver Grove, Dayton Dime Store, Erlanger 5¢ to $1.00 Store, Fort Mitchell 5¢ to $1.00 Store, Greenup 5¢ to $1.00 Store in Covington, Latonia 5¢ to $1.00 Store, Ludlow 5¢ to $1.00 Store, and Morris Department Store in Erlanger. By the 1960s, the heyday of the 5-and-10-cent stores was quickly fading. In 1962 S. S. Kresge Co. opened its first Kmart stores, “big box” discount department stores generally located in suburban shopping centers with plenty of free parking and longer hours of operation. The move heralded the growth of suburbia and the steady decline of downtown retail centers and of dime stores. Likewise, Woolworth’s opened Woolco discount department stores, although there were none in Northern Kentucky. Covington’s S. S. Kresge store closed in December 1966, and its downtown Woolworth outlet in January 1990. Kmart Corporation sold its remaining Kresge stores to McCrory in 1987; the last Woolworth stores in the United States closed in 1997. The first Kmart in Northern Kentucky opened in Edgewood in November 1972; in addition, there are now Kmart stores in Newport, Florence, and Maysville. If there are modern replacements for the classic fiveand-dime stores, they are the contemporary Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree store chains.
The church cemetery at Flagg Springs contains the remains of Thomas Jefferson McGraw, one of two Campbell Co. residents executed by Union authorities during the Civil War for recruiting for the Confederacy. Flagg Springs had a post office, and several important structures also played a part in the area’s history. The oldest and most prominent building, other than the Baptist church, was the Beech Grove Academy. Next door was a campground called the Beechgrove Sunday School Union. Still functioning today, it holds outdoor singing and religious meetings on the site of the former seminary. Later, a smaller school was built on the property of the former seminary; it was also called Beechgrove. The Eastern Campbell Co. Fire Department, is located in town. Just across the road was a facility called Camp Sunshine. Beginning in 1928, this camp was a place for “city” kids to experience (free of charge) the outdoors and country life. It eventually closed, and the Mentor Baptist Church bought the property and built a new church there in 2001. Today a golf course called Flagg Springs is located next to the church. The development of the AA Highway has impacted the area in that many new homes are under construction and new growth is sprouting up around Flagg Springs.
“Everything but Miracles Worked by Equipment in New Covington Store,” KP, March 24, 1942, 1. Kresge, Stanley S. The S. S. Kresge Story. Racine, Wis.: Western, 1979. “New Business,” KP, May 10, 1951, 3. “New 5-And-10 Store,” KP, September 4, 1925, 1. Pitrone, Jean Maddern. F. W. Woolworth and the American Five and Dime. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2003. S. S. Kresge Company Records, Bentley Historical Library, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. Vertical File, Library, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville, Ky.
Kenneth A. Reis
Jack Wessling and Paul A. Tenkotte
FLAGG SPRINGS. The area known as Flagg Springs (also called Flagg Spring) is located in southeastern Campbell Co. in an area along the AA Highway, Smith Rd., and Ky. Rt. 10 (originally called the Alexandria–Flagg Springs Turnpike). Flagg Springs is shown on the local 1883 Lake atlas as having a couple of stores, a gristmill, a blacksmith shop, the Beech Grove Academy, numerous springs, and the Flagg Springs Baptist Church. Although never a part of any incorporated town, the Flagg Springs Baptist Church has long been the area’s meeting and social centerpiece. At first the Flagg Springs area was named Kennedy’s Ferry, after the early settlers; it became Flagg Springs in 1817, deriving this name from the Kennedy family’s farm, named the Flagg Springs Farm. Flagg in the farm’s name came from the irises growing in abundance on the farm, and Springs refers to the many freshwater springs found there.
An Atlas of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1883. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994.
FLAGG SPRINGS BAPTIST CHURCH. The historic Flagg Springs (also known as Flagg Spring) Baptist Church is located along Ky. Rt. 10 near Smith Road in southern Campbell Co. Tradition suggests that a small log cabin, and later a frame building, preceded the present brick structure. A stone sign mounted on the front of the building is engraved with the date of December 7, 1833, and according to church records, that is when the church was organized, not when the building was constructed. Rev. James Monroe Jolly is thought to have built the present structure, although at that time he was age 15 and living across the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, Ohio. James Moses “Monroe” Jolly moved to rural Campbell Co. about 1840, when he built the Campbell Co. Courthouse. If he constructed the church, it was evidently after 1840. Jolly was a circuit preacher who held ser vices once a month at various local churches. Over the years many different ministers have fi lled the pulpit at Flagg Springs, including Jolly and his son William. The family names of some of the early church members were Dicken, Jolly, Kennedy, Maddox, Stevens, Taylor, and White. Many of those families remain in the area. Church records indicate that about 700 people became members of the church between 1840 and 1890. However, attendance figures and the number of living members at any given time are not known. There is a graveyard at the church, with the older graves on the north side of the building and the newer ones on the south.
The land occupied by the church and the graveyard was donated by the estate of Edward Morin and was originally a public burial ground. Between 1829 and 1890, there were about 140 burials. The most noteworthy grave is behind the church, that of executed Confederate soldier Lt. Thomas Jefferson McGraw. Regular ser vices continue to be conducted at the church, and in 2008 the congregation celebrated its 175th anniversary. Records of the Flagg Spring Baptist Church, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Turner, Gary R. “Oral History of the Jolly Family,” Northern Kentucky Univ. Oral History Interviews, 1976, Northern Kentucky Univ., Highland Heights, Ky. Wessling, Jack. Early History of Campbell County, Kentucky. Alexandria, Ky.: Self-published, 1997.
FLESCH, STEVE (b. May 23, 1967, Cincinnati, Ohio). Steve Flesch, the son of Jerry and Melinda Flesch, has traveled a long road through professional golf ’s minor leagues and arrived at a lengthy Professional Golf Association (PGA) career and two victories in PGA Tour events. The left-hander led Covington Catholic High School, in Park Hills, to the state golf title in 1985, his senior year. He also played golf at the University of Kentucky at Lexington, where he graduated in December 1990 with a BA in business marketing. Flesch turned professional in October 1990, and beginning in January 1991, he played on the Asian Golf Tour for five years. He returned to participate in the Nike Golf Tour in 1996 and 1997 and earned his PGA Tour card by winning the 1997 Nike Golf Tour Championship. In 1998, at age 31, Flesch earned PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors, the fi rst left-hander to receive that distinction. He fi nished 35th on the tour’s money list that year, totaling five top-10 fi nishes, including a second and a third. He posted a runner-up fi nish in a tournament in 1999 and again at an event in 2000, and in 2000 he totaled 13 top10 fi nishes—second only to Tiger Woods on the tour—and fi nished 13th on the money list with $2,025,781. In May 2003, having totaled 38 career top-10 fi nishes in 174 starts over six years, Flesch fi nally won a PGA Tour event, outdueling Bob Estes in a one-hole playoff at the HP Golf Classic at New Orleans. Flesch ranked 21st on the money list that year, then 18th in 2004, with a career-best $2,461,787. In May 2004 he added his second PGA title by winning the Bank of America Colonial Golf Tournament in Fort Worth; he beat Chad Campbell by one stroke. As of June 2006, Flesch’s career PGA Tour earnings were $11.8 million, ranking him 48th on the all-time money list. He had fi nished in the top 100 of the money list each of his fi rst eight seasons on the tour. Flesch lives in Union, Ky., and plays out of the Triple Crown Country Club. He married his wife, Lisa, in 1995; they have two children, son Griffi n and daughter Lily. Archer, Todd. “Flesch Living out His PGA Fantasy,” CP, May 14, 1998, 1B. Schmidt, Neil. “Elusive Trophy Now in Flesch’s Grasp,” CE, May 8, 2003, B1.
FLOOD OF 1937 ———. “Flesch Rewarded after 7 Years of Roughing It,” CE, August 10, 1998, D6.
FLINGSVILLE. Flingsville in northern Grant Co. was named for George Fling (1854–1932), who became the first postmaster when the post office was established there in 1876. Earlier, the community was known as Newtown, the origin of the name of the Sherman-Newtown Rd. Located in Flingsville in the 1870s were a tobacco warehouse, a veterinarian, two blacksmith shops, several general stores, a physician, and a chicken hatchery. Nearby was the Liberty Baptist Church, whose building served as a school during the week. The post office closed in 1903. Residents now go to Crittenden and elsewhere for goods and ser vices. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992.
John B. Conrad
FLOOD CONTROL. Heavy rains, sometimes in combination with melting snow, have often caused flooding along the Ohio River and its tributaries. Major floods are known to have occurred in 1883, 1884, and 1913 (see Flood of 1884; Floods of 1913). Record flooding took place in 1936 and 1937 (see Flood of 1937), causing devastation in many Northern Kentucky communities and elsewhere. The federal government responded to these 1930s events, enacting flood-control legislation that created a nationwide comprehensive program for flood control, administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Flood-control programs lessen or prevent flood damage by regulating water flow from reservoirs, by local protection projects, or by combinations of the two means. Channel improvements— deepening, widening, or straightening the channel—may suffice to keep small streams from overflowing during flood seasons. Reservoirs located on tributary streams of the Ohio River store waters during times when downstream floods are likely to occur. (The navigation dams on the Ohio do not provide flood control.) Reservoirs constructed for flood control may also be used for other purposes, including municipal and industrial water supply, development of hydroelectric power, navigation, conservation of fish and wildlife, and recreation. The nearest reservoir to the Northern Kentucky counties is Cave Run Lake on the upper Licking River, near Morehead. Local protection projects, usually levees and floodwalls, are built along the banks of rivers and are located both on the Ohio River and on tributary streams. Levees are wide-based earthen structures used where land is relatively inexpensive; they are usually located in rural areas. A floodwall, a concrete structure, is more practical for urban areas. Both levees and floodwalls are likely to have devices to close openings that allow movement of traffic at times when flooding is not imminent. In the Ohio River comprehensive flood-control program, the reservoirs and local protection projects are built to provide a level of protection three feet
higher than the levels reached in the 1937 flood. In the national flood-control program, the local projects are built by the U.S. Army Corps and, when completed, are turned over to the local governments that shared in construction, operation, and maintenance costs. In Northern Kentucky the following cities have local protection projects built by the Army Corps of Engineers: —Covington, Kenton Co. The project is located at the confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers and consists of work along streams, comprising 1.8 miles of earth levee, 1.1 miles of concrete wall, 10 pumping stations, and 8 traffic openings. Construction began in 1948 and was completed in 1955 at a cost of $8.9 million. Damages prevented by the project are estimated in excess of $5 million. —Dayton, Campbell Co. The project is located along the Ohio River upstream from Newport and consists of 8,170 feet of earthen levee and 2 pumping stations. It was constructed between 1978 and 1986 at a cost of $13 million. Damages prevented by the project are estimated at around $4 million. —Newport, Campbell Co. The project is located at the confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers and consists of work along both streams, comprising 1.5 miles of earthen levee, 1,500 feet of concrete wall, 2,500 feet of cellular steel sheet piling wall, and 3 pumping stations. Construction began in 1946 and was completed in 1951 at a cost of $7.8 million. Damages prevented by the project are estimated in excess of $30 million. —Maysville, Mason Co. This project is located along the Ohio River and consists of 1.2 miles of earthen levee, 1.5 miles of concrete wall, and 5 pumping stations. Construction was completed in 1956 at a cost of $7 million. Damages prevented by the project are estimated at around $22 million. The Corps of Engineers fights flood problems also by providing detailed technical information on flood hazards to other federal agencies, state and local governments, and private citizens, through its Flood Plain Management Ser vices Program. This information is used in developing zoning regulations, building codes, sanitary codes, and other measures to reduce property loss and to protect the environment by avoiding unwise development in flood-prone areas. Project Maps and Data Sheets, Louisville District, Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Ky. Water Resources Development by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1995.
Charles E. Parrish
FLOOD OF 1884. Before the flood of 1937, the most devastating flood to strike the Northern Kentucky region took place in 1884, when the Ohio River reached 71.1 feet at Cincinnati, 26.1 feet above the flood stage at that time of 45 feet. The worst recorded flood before 1884 was just the year
before, when the river rose to 66.3 feet and it was immediately proclaimed that the river could never get that high again. Late December 1883 had brought snow and cold weather such that the snow had not melted easily but had turned to slush. In mid-January of 1884, the Ohio River began to rise slowly, and on February 14, 1884, it crested at its then new record level of 71.1 feet at 1:00 p.m. Upriver in Mason Co., east Maysville and the city of Chester were completely under water; Augusta in Bracken Co. was also completely covered; the Four Mile Creek Bridge near California in Campbell Co. was lifted and carried away; the residents of Boson in Pendleton Co. saw the Licking River rise 12 feet in one day; the cities of Warsaw in Gallatin Co. and Carrollton in Carroll Co. suffered similar fates; Monterey, up the Kentucky River in Owen Co., was swamped. Petersburg in Boone Co., elevated well above the normal pool of the Ohio River, was the only river city in the region not to be seriously harmed. The ferry in Newport halted ser vice to Cincinnati because the current was too swift. School buildings were turned into houses of refuge for the newly homeless. John C. Dueber, the owner of Newport’s Dueber Watch Case Company, kept his workers busy building temporary shelters. He opened his Washington St. home in Newport to 25 children who needed care. Dueber also succeeded in placing a request for help on a national newswire, and as a result supplies and help started arriving from around the United States. Homes in Dayton in Campbell Co. were swept off their foundations into the fast-flowing river, and Link’s rope factory in that city was washed away. By 63 feet, some 3,000 homes in Newport had been evacuated; the L&N Bridge in Newport had a temporary causeway built up to it to keep it usable. Roughly one-third of Newport became submerged. Covington, although flooded in its lower spots, did not suffer as much as Newport. Perhaps the most obvious long-term consequence of the flood of 1884 was the U.S. Army’s decision to retreat from the Newport Barracks, which had endured floods at the confluence of the Licking and the Ohio rivers since 1803. In a large basin area around present-day Ninth St. in Newport, a low spot, pools up to 10 feet deep persisted long after the river receded. The effects of the flood continued to haunt Northern Kentucky river cities. Reis, Jim. “Flood of 1884 Wreaked Havoc,” KP, December 18, 1995, 4K.
FLOOD OF 1937. While many “great” floods are remembered in the Ohio River Valley, none rivals the flood of 1937. Over the course of 10 days, the Ohio River swelled to a height never seen before or since. The final figure of 79.99 feet, more than 27 feet above flood stage, is still one for the history books, as are the experiences of those who lived through the greatest natural disaster seen in Northern Kentucky. Water levels in 1937 had been rising slowly throughout the course of a very wet January as rain and snowmelt combined to swell both the Ohio River and its tributaries. By Friday, January 22, the
346 FLOOD OF 1937
The Depery Home, Keturah St., Newport, after the ﬂood of 1937.
river was recorded at 70.4 feet at Cincinnati. People began to talk about the last record-setting flood, which occurred in 1884, but few believed the river would flood at such levels again. A U.S. weather forecaster predicted that the river would soon crest between 71 and 72 feet. It rose to 72.8 feet the next day, a new record, and continued rising at the rate of about three-tenths of a foot each hour. The City of Cincinnati put pumping crews to work in an attempt to keep the flood out of the electrical stations and other utility plants. Already 12,000 to 15,000 residents of Northern Kentucky had been forced to evacuate their homes. The vital links connecting the communities of Northern Kentucky with Cincinnati were already disappearing. Lunken Airport, then called the Cincinnati Municipal Airport, was closed as the floodwater reached its runways. The flood eventually covered the entire airfield, leaving only the top of the new control tower above water. The approaches to the Central Bridge in Newport and Cincinnati were submerged. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad Bridge (L&N Bridge) was closed that Friday, leaving only the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Bridge and the John A. Roebling Bridge for transportation of people and supplies. As the Covington approach to the Roebling Bridge began to flood, a new path was constructed, raising the roadbed out of water that was between two and six feet deep. Martial law was considered for Covington, and special permits were needed to cross the Roebling Bridge and enter the city. Thus bridge traffic was limited to the transport of food and medical supplies. The next day, January 24, is still known as Black Sunday in the tri-state region. The Ohio River had continued to rise and was now at 75 feet. The utility companies were in danger of being shut down by the flooding, and water rationing was imposed. Then the flood broke an electric cable for the streetcar lines, sparking a fire in the Camp Washington industrial district of Cincinnati that raged out of control in the flooded neighborhood.
Gasoline from breached fuel tanks at the Standard Oil storage plant floated on the surface of the water, giving the fire a fast route across the area. Other tanks and drums exploded when the fire reached them, and flames shot 50 feet in the air. Th irty-five fire companies converged at the Crosley Radio Corporation in Cincinnati, struggling to save the radio plant and to halt the fi re at that point. Off-duty and retired firemen from all over the area and from places as far away as Columbus, Ohio, responded to the call for help. The fire was eventually stopped, but it left behind $1.5 million–$2 million in damage over three miles of Cincinnati. An emergency holiday was declared, forcing businesses to close their doors. Only vital shops such as grocery stores were allowed to remain open. Most church ser vices were canceled because of the flooding. Western Union was overwhelmed by the telegrams from out-of-state friends and relatives desperate to learn whether their loved ones were safe. The number of telegrams was so high that the office stopped making deliveries. Instead, lists of the recipients were published in local newspapers with a request that the telegrams be picked up at the office. Police were stationed along the perimeters of Covington to stop people who came from the outlying areas to stare at the incredible site. As the disaster reached epic proportions, President Franklin Roosevelt (1933–1945) declared a state of emergency and ordered government agencies to respond on a “war-time” basis. National Guard troops were sent to augment the local police. The New Jersey Coast Guard arrived with small cutters to row through the flooded streets. Many people were rescued from rooftops and upper-level windows, often being lowered by ropes to waiting boats. The electric company fought to keep the power on as long as possible despite flooded plants and substations. Workers traveled to the plants by boat, then crossed plank bridges across abandoned coal
cars and entered the buildings through upper-level windows. Sandbag walls inside the buildings protected the equipment from the floodwater. Rail lines were flooded out, and workers carried coal to the boilers in wheelbarrows and in sacks on their backs. By Monday the electric company had lost its fight with the rising waters, and the steam turbines that powered the area were shut down. Waterpumping stations had been flooded and forced to shut down. Even in the more rural areas, outside of the flooded inner cities, wells and cisterns were flooded, the water undrinkable. Water rations were running low, and residents of the area walked to springs and wells outside the flood zone to fi ll kettles of water. In many areas water was brought in on tanker trucks. St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center) had been built in a supposedly “flood-free” area, but that was of little help in 1937. After fighting rising waters for three days, firemen finally shut down the boilers and furnaces in the hospital’s basement and subbasement ahead of the inevitable flooding. Even emergency power was lost during the night as the electric company’s plants flooded. Eventually, limited electricity was restored to the hospital, but not enough to supply heat. Blankets were distributed, and hot drinks were continuously supplied from the hospital kitchens. Two city steamrollers were parked outside the building and surrounded by sandbags. The machines piped steam directly into the maternity ward to keep the newborns warm. By Wednesday, January 27, the first sunny day in two weeks, the flood was beginning to recede, although the Ohio River was not confined to its banks again until February 5. Residents continued with rationed water and no electricity for weeks. Relief arrived from neighboring communities, which had been almost unaffected by the flooding. The City of Hamilton, Ohio, remembering the help Cincinnati had provided in a previous flood, mobilized residents to send clothing, blankets, food, and other supplies south. Truckloads of supplies were sent into Cincinnati, and much of the total was brought across the John Roebling Bridge to Northern Kentucky communities. Life continued despite the raging waters. Public officials encouraged churches to reopen for services on January 31, in order to boost morale. At this time most people cooked with gas, rather than electricity, and the flooding did not interrupt gas ser vice in most of the area. Gas pipes ran underground, and the gas company had slowly lengthened the valve handles as the water levels rose, eventually regulating the flow of gas from the roof of the flooded plant. Meals could still be prepared and water could be boiled for drinking. Milk was delivered by boat; the sale of liquor was banned during the emergency. In those areas with electricity, residents were encouraged to limit their use to a single light bulb and a radio, in order to stay abreast of further developments. Boat taxi ser vice sprang up to meet the demand. The streetcars had been shut down, because there was no electricity and several garages full of streetcars were under water, but the Green Line Company
FLOOD OF 1997, LICKING RIVER
put buses into ser vice in the dry areas of the tristate region. Th is shift turned out to be the beginning of a continuing trend, with streetcars disappearing completely in 1951. The C&O Railroad suspended all normal ser vice into and out of Cincinnati but operated a special commuter line between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ky. The ser vice continued until February 4, the last day of the flood. Pontoon bridges were built in some areas, and pontoon ferries were used when the supply of bridge segments ran out. As the water continued to recede, crews (many from the WPA), followed the water line with brooms and shovels, pushing debris and mud into the water to be carried off downstream. Others began to assess the damage. A number of basin-area buildings had collapsed from the pressure of the water. Portions of streets had collapsed. Houses had been swept away, leaving behind nothing but foundations. Numerous boats were lost, many sunk and others swept away completely. The water was 20 feet deep over home plate at Crosley Field in Cincinnati’s West End. As waters receded from the L&N Railroad Bridge, planks were laid along the tracks to accommodate automobile traffic. In the end, 10 states bordering rivers were flooded. Northern Kentucky communities suffered more than $1 million in property damage and 50,000 residents were left homeless. The final flooded area in Kentucky encompassed 55 percent of Newport, 60 percent of Dayton, 40 percent of Bellevue, and 37 percent of Ludlow. Bromley was an island, completely surrounded by water. The flooded area completely covered Silver Grove, Melbourne, Brent, and Rabbit Hash. One local farmer, Frank Rouse, wrote in his diary, “Rabbit Hash washed off of the map.” This turned out to be a slight exaggeration. The Rabbit Hash General Store had survived, though it was completely covered by water. Iron rods installed through the entire structure into the ground secured it against such disasters. According to the store proprietors, there is still river mud in the attic crawl space from the flood of 1937. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994. “Covington Begins Cleanup as Flood Waters Recede,” CE, January 30, 1937, 14. “Flood Expected to Exceed 1884 Record,” CTS, January 22, 1937, 1. Frank Rouse diaries, Elizabeth Kirtley Collection, M1996-0507, Special Collections and Archives, Northern Kentucky Univ. Ludlow Celebrates 125 Years: 1864–1989. Ludlow: Northern Kentucky Typesetting, ca. 1989. “Ohio River Going toward 80 Feet,” CTS, January 25, 1937, 9. Rabbit Hash General Store. “History of the Rabbit Hash General Store.” www.rabbithash.com (accessed December 26, 2006). Reis, Jim. “Coping with Flood of ’37,” KP, January 29, 2001, 4K. 10 Wet Days: A Pictorial History of 1937 Greater Cincinnati Flood. Cincinnati: Cincinnati TimesStar, 1937.
FLOOD OF 1964, LICKING RIVER. In March 1964 Pendleton Co. was hit with one of the worst floods the county had experienced up to that time. Before 1964 the flood of 1948 had set a record depth of 43 feet, exceeding the flood of 1937, which rose to 42 feet. Flood stage at the city of Falmouth in Pendleton Co. is 28 feet. On Wednesday, March 4, 1964, the first of two intense rains fell on the area, bringing a total of 51 ⁄4 inches, with about 3 of those falling in a 24-hour period. Some 50 families were forced to move from the flooded sections in Falmouth, and several mobile homes in Butler were moved. The Licking River at Falmouth crested at 37.5 feet the following day, just short of a major flood. Friday brought cold temperatures as the river began its descent. With skies bright and clear, all danger seemed to have passed, but March 9 still lay ahead. The second rain fell in sheets hour after hour. The Licking River, full from the previous week, was standing at 16 feet when the new rise began. By Monday afternoon, March 9, the river had returned to its peak of 37.5 feet and was still rising. The rain continued as families began moving from low-lying areas. No one expected the river to reach the heights of 1937 and 1948, much less surpass them. The receding waters in the upper reaches of the Licking River were still extremely high. This was a bad sign, since that water would be reaching Falmouth sometime Monday evening. For the first time in the 173 years of the city’s existence, water broke over U.S. 27 and flowed into the west end of town. It was one of the two Licking River branches at Falmouth, the South Licking, that broke all records and covered west Falmouth. What many people reported was two to three feet of rushing water that resembled a wave crashing on an ocean beach. The floodwaters came so fast that property owners were trapped in their homes and places of business. Rowboats, motorboats, and canoes were used to evacuate residents as the rain continued to fall heavily. Confusion set in; people were in their living rooms with furniture beginning to float around them. Men were wading in waist-deep water, frantically moving furniture up to the second floors of houses. Falmouth firemen helped to move families from distressed homes. The patients from the Falmouth Rest Home were evacuated by laying them on mattresses in boats. With the rain beating in their faces, the aged residents were soaked by the time they reached ambulances waiting to take them to the school shelter. By 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, March 10, the water was breaking in a waterfall over the railroad tracks in town at Shelby St. Basements in the business district were full of water, and 10 inches or so of water stood on the first-floor levels. Owners were pumping water out of their basements into Wednesday night. With the exception of civil defense, police, and fire radios, the town had no telephone ser vice and no outside contact. Disaster areas were set up. The American Red Cross established headquarters at the old Falmouth High School building, where they served food. Although many people
stayed at the Pendleton Co. Memorial High School, the Corral Motel also furnished lodging to residents who were displaced. The town of Butler also suffered heavily during this flood, many families being forced to leave their homes. An emergency was in effect on Monday afternoon because it was feared that the Falmouth Lake Dam on Kincaid Creek (see Kincaid Lake State Park) would break. A total of 91 ⁄4 inches of rain fell between late Saturday night, March 7, and Tuesday morning, March 10, adding to the 51 ⁄4 inches from the previous week. It was estimated that three-fourths of the city of Falmouth was under water. Officially, the main Licking River crested at a record 47 feet. About 400 homes were flooded, and some 200 automobiles were lost to the waters. Many boats were overturned and swept away. The estimated loss to the city of Falmouth exceeded $2 million. Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994]. “Falmouth Hi Boys Doing Their Part,” Falmouth Outlook, March 13, 1964, 2. “Falmouth Recovering from Flood; Loss Estimated More than 2 Million,” Falmouth Outlook, March 27, 1964, 1. “Little Flood on Licking River in Pendleton Causes Inconveniences,” Falmouth Outlook, March 13, 1964, 2. “March 9th Will Go Down in History: The Worst Ever Encountered Here,” Falmouth Outlook, March 13, 1964, 1. “Near Tragedy in Falmouth Park,” Falmouth Outlook, March 13, 1964, 3. “The Night of Monday, March 9th Will Be One to Remember, Surely,” Falmouth Outlook, March 13, 1964, 2.
Melissa J. Wickelhaus
FLOOD OF 1997, LICKING RIVER. Pendleton Co. has seen many floods over the years, but the flood of 1997 brought more devastation to the area than any of its predecessors. On Friday, February 28, 1997, the depth of the Licking River stood barely above four feet as it flowed under the bridge going into Shoemaker Town. However, in just two days the river swelled to 13 times that depth; it devoured the small town, turning many homes into ruins and some into tombs. The rain began Friday night and continued through Sunday. At about 10:30 Saturday morning, March 1, 1997, the National Weather Ser vice issued its first flood warning, predicting that the Licking River would crest at 40.5 feet at 7:00 Sunday evening. Those whose houses had not been touched when the river reached 42 feet during the flood of 1937 or when it reached 47 feet in the flood of 1964 were not alarmed by the warning, so they stayed. As time went on and the rain continued, it became apparent that Falmouth and the adjacent communities were in trouble. On Saturday evening, firefighters and police began evacuating the 60 patients from Falmouth’s nursing homes. Fire trucks drove up and down the streets and, using loudspeakers, warned the rest of the town’s 2,700 residents to evacuate. Based on
348 FLOODS OF 1907 earlier predictions, rescuers believed that they had more than 12 hours to complete the evacuation of Falmouth, but the river rose faster than expected, and as the flood waters began engulfing the town, residents who were still in their homes had to flee. Some escaped with a few of their personal belongings and many with just the clothes on their backs; others were stuck on the roofs of cars and houses, calling for help in the darkness. By midnight Saturday, both of the converging branches of the Licking River had broken over the banks at the fairground west of town. A mass of water rushed at the town with such force that homes were wrenched from their foundations. One by one, sections of town lost electricity as the water rose. Several homes caught on fi re. Phone ser vice was lost by 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 2. Trying to keep up with rescue efforts, emergency workers were using hand-held radios. Meanwhile, residents in Butler and other areas were battling the Licking River’s flood waters as well. Flash flooding was reported in low-lying areas. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the residents of Butler were evacuated. About 60 homes and businesses in the town were flooded, the water reaching as high as 17 feet inside buildings along Mill St. When the sun rose, Falmouth was a brown lake dotted with rooftops. Most of the town’s residents had fled, though some were still trapped on roofs or in second floors of homes. Emergency shelters were set up quickly in local churches and schools to accommodate those affected. The National Weather Ser vice continued to update its predictions—and continued to underestimate the crest. Sunday morning it predicted a crest of 50 feet by 1:00 a.m. on Monday. At the time of that update, the water was at 40 feet, a level it had reached 13 hours earlier than the first warning had predicted. The Licking River finally crested at 52 feet around 7:00 Sunday evening. About 80 percent of the town of Falmouth was under water. Police and sheriff departments responded to calls for help throughout the night and the day. Volunteers and donations began arriving from all over the region. The National Guard, the American Red Cross, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Emergency Management Administration Agency (FEMA) reached the flooded area and offered their assistance. Many of Falmouth’s residents awoke on Monday morning homeless and in shelters. A list of names was created so that people could find family members and friends at the various sites. As the Licking River began to recede, the city’s residents began to see what the river had done. Separated from the flood’s edge by yellow police tapes, small groups stared at the destruction before them. The city was without drinking water, gasoline, kerosene, or grocery stores. The town’s two drugstores set up temporary mobile units to fi ll prescriptions. Tetanus shots were provided for volunteers and residents. Before residents were allowed to return to their homes, volunteer teams had to turn off broken natural gas lines. Houses, businesses, and cars had to be checked for bodies. The
streets were cleared of logs, brush, and inches of mud. Crews of firefighters went door-to-door to inspect buildings. A house would be marked with a blue X if it had been checked. A red plastic ribbon meant nothing was wrong. An X in yellow meant the house was unstable. But if a house had a yellow ribbon, that meant it needed a more thorough search. Most were marked with a yellow X and would likely have to be demolished. On Thursday, March 6, residents boarded busses and were driven through town to look at their homes and businesses; what they saw was startling devastation. No one was prepared for the scene that lay before them: broken windows, smashed buildings, ravaged trees, cars underneath houses, and empty foundations. The New Pastime Theater still advertised its scheduled movie, Scream. People made their way into broken houses, through mud up to their knees, and began to clean. Power washers, pumps, and generators roared as houses were emptied of their contents. All work ceased at 7:00 p.m.; the residents moved out and the National Guard arrived. The day’s piles of rubble were hauled away by dump trucks. Countywide, about 78,600 acres of land were flooded. Structural damage totaled more than $36.5 million, more than $29 million in Falmouth and $7 million in Butler. Some 700 buildings were flooded and 110 completely destroyed. Thirtyseven businesses in Falmouth did not reopen. Around 1,500 residents were displaced, and the Licking River had claimed five lives. Gerth, Joseph, and Michael Quinlan. “Forecasters Missed Licking River’s Crest at Falmouth,” LCJ, March 7, 1997, A9. Prendergast, Jane, and Kathleen Hillenmeyer. “Mother, Daughter Died Together: Memories and Tears for Four Killed in Falmouth,” CE, March 7, 1997, A1. “24 Hours of Terror,” KP, March 22, 1997, 1.
Melissa J. Wickelhaus
FLOODS OF 1907. The winter of 1907 proved to be a hard one for Northern Kentuckians, especially those in Campbell and Kenton counties. Two devastating floods occurred. In the flood of January 1907, it took five days, from January 16 through January 21, for the waters to crest at 65.2 feet. Then during the night of January 21, temperatures plummeted to the low teens, and a fierce snowstorm with very high winds caused additional damage to property and prevented rescuers from reaching people in peril. The waters receded as slowly as they had risen, prolonging the misery of the thousands of people misplaced by the natural catastrophe. In Campbell Co., the city of Newport suffered the most, for the Licking River to its west also overran its banks; floodwaters from the Ohio River and the Licking River inundated 45 city blocks of Newport, submerging hundreds of homes and businesses and forcing thousands of residents to flee. Dayton and Bellevue were flooded as well, but not as severely as Newport. In Kenton Co., Covington’s difficulties were compounded as Banklick
and DeCoursey Creeks overran their banks, causing waters to reach as far as Madison Ave. Ludlow and Bromley also had major areas completely swamped. Another consequence of the high waters was that rail ser vice on both sides of the Ohio ceased, cutting off the delivery of freight and coal. The reported loss was about $7.5 million in business; however, very few people lost their lives as a direct result of the flooding waters. Northern Kentucky was just beginning to recover from the January catastrophe when, as a result of heavy rains in Pennsylvania and southern Ohio, the Ohio River rose out of its banks again in March and reached 62.1 feet. The river rose quickly between March 14 and 18 and receded rapidly. However, owing to the heavy rains and alreadysaturated lands, there was considerably more damage caused by mudslides and sinking roads. Buildings that survived the January waters succumbed to the March flood because of their weakened state. Again, men were thrown out of work, rail transportation was disrupted, and people were displaced. This time, though, frigid temperatures did not follow the flood. KP, January 14–February 1, March 13–21, 1907.
FLOODS OF 1913 Northern Kentucky experienced severe floods in both January and March of 1913, when the Ohio River and its tributaries crested at new heights of 62.2 and 69.9 feet, respectively. In January 1913, an unusually warm month, there was an exceptionally high amount of rainfall throughout Kentucky, 11.89 inches. Every river in the state flooded. In Campbell Co. the Licking River jumped its banks on January 6 and then combined with floodwaters from the nearby Ohio River. Newport was referred to as “the New Venice.” Rescuers came from Cleveland and Louisville, and soon breadlines formed. In Kenton Co., Bromley, Covington, and Ludlow, and in Campbell Co., Melbourne, Ross, and Silver Grove all experienced flooding from the Ohio River and its tributaries. In Mason Co. the floodwaters flowed east of the Limestone Creek Bridge in Maysville. The Ohio River overran the levees in Louisville in Jefferson Co. and at Paducah in McCracken Co.; towns in Ohio Co. along the Green River were submerged. On January 13, temperatures plummeted and a wind and snow storm lashed the Northern Kentucky region, making rescues difficult and flattening houses whose foundations had been weakened by the floodwaters. By the time the flood crested on January 14 in Northern Kentucky, hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage had been done, as many as 8,000 residents were homeless, businesses and schools were closed, streetcar and rail ser vice had been discontinued, and coal shipments had been suspended. Northern Kentucky was just beginning to recover from the January catastrophe when two months later, from March 13 to 27, heavy rainstorms dropped from two to seven inches of rain in 24-hour periods on the region. There were severe winds, squalls, gales, and snowstorms. The
Looking north on Monmouth St. from Third St., Newport, in April 1913.
resulting floodwaters kept building until April 1, when they crested at 69.9 feet, 7.7 feet higher than the record reached in January. In Campbell Co., Newport once again was marooned, with 90 city blocks under water and 12,000 people homeless. In Kenton Co., the city of Bromley was half submerged and Ludlow was described as marooned. Covington was able to send relief help to Newport, Bromley, and Ludlow. In a contemporary account recording business and personal losses from these floods, the South Covington & Cincinnati State Rye Company stated its loss as “Enormous. Can’t estimate.” The losses in Newport alone amounted to $200,000. The March flooding left people cut off from food and coal supplies; communities were subjected to grave health concerns and looting, as well as dangers caused by wildlife (for example, snakes sought refuge in the same places where people went); and an unknown number of people died from drowning, exposure, or disease. While the Ohio and Licking Rivers ravaged Northern Kentucky, the Great Miami River devastated much of the Dayton, Ohio, area, killing 454 people and leaving 40,000 homeless. The state of Indiana also suffered a heavy loss of life due to this same period of flooding. The floods of 1913 made the all-time “Top Disasters: Floods and Tsunamis” list with a total of 732 people killed. In the aftermath of these floods, there was a renewed outcry, from President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–1945) and many others, for a congressionally funded flood-control program in the region. In response the Flood Control Act of 1936 was finally passed by the U.S. Congress in June 22, 1936, but it came too late to help prevent the devastating flood of 1937 that occurred in the Ohio River Valley when once again the Ohio River and its tributaries overflowed their banks. “Bromley Is Nearly Half Submerged,” KP, January 29, 1913, 6. Dick, David, and Eulalie C. Dick. Rivers of Kentucky. North Middleton, Ky.: Plum Lick, 2001. “The Flood in Newport,” KP, January 31, 1913, 2. “Flood Waters Have Invaded Newport,” KP, January 11, 1913, 1.
“Ludlow Marooned; Fights the Waters,” KP, January 29, 1913, 6. “North Kentucky Suffers Worse Than in 1884 Flood,” KP, January 31, 1913, 1. “Sixty Blocks under Water in Newport,” KP, January 28, 1913, 1. “With Cincinnati Cut Off by Flood, Key to Vast Territory Is Lost,” KP, April 2, 1913, 1.
FLORA. At the time of the European exploration and settlement of Northern Kentucky, the landscape in this region was primarily covered with closed forests, but pockets of open forests, glades, and prairies were also present. Geographically, the area is about evenly divided between the Outer Bluegrass (OBg) and Eden Shale Belt (ESB) subregions of the Bluegrass region (see Eden Shale Farm). Parts of the OBg experienced Pleistocene glaciation, especially deposits of outwash, and these influenced topographic, geologic, and edaphic diversity, which in turn caused biological diversity. Today’s highly modified landscape is the result of more than 200 years of land-use changes including clearing of forests for agriculture (crops and livestock raising), urbanization and suburban sprawl, and the building of roads and highways. Remnants of original vegetation, however, provide information about the region’s native flora. Closed forests are found on uplands and lowlands. Upland forest associations include Mixed Mesophytic, similar to those in Eastern Kentucky but without hemlock. These are most prominent in dissected areas of Kansan glacial outwash. The dominant trees are sugar maple (Acer saccharum), basswood (Tilia americana), beech (Fagus grandifolia), white ash (Fraxinus americana), yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), and red oak (Quercus rubra); locally, yellow buckeye (Aesculus octandra) is found. These forests have a rich herbaceous flora reflecting microenvironmental and microclimatic influences. Beech and beech-maple forests are now rare but formerly occupied the upland flats where loess deposits and Rossmoyne (glacial) soils predomi-
nate. Newport Central Catholic High School in Newport was constructed atop a hill on a loess deposit in the mid-1950s. Oak-ash-maple forests are found on slopes where glacial deposits have been eroded. Oak-hickory forests are most prominent on the ridges and V-shaped valleys of the ESB. These forests are dominated by white (Quercus alba) and red (Q. rubra) oaks and by hickories, shagbarks (Carya ovata), and pignuts (C. glabra). Sugar maple is now the subcanopy dominant. Two types of forest are found in the lowlands, on the floodplains of the Ohio and Licking rivers and their leading tributaries. Typical floodplain forests are characterized by various combinations of silver maples (Acer saccharinum), cottonwoods (Populus deltoids), box elders (A. negundo), green ashes (Fraxinus pennsylvanicum), and willows (Salix spp.). Depression forests along the Ohio River are uncommon. Their dominants are pin oak (Q. palustris), red maple (A. rubrum), green ash, American elm (Ulmus americana), and swamp white oak (Q. bicolor). The herbs in this association are adapted to hydric conditions. Open forests include the blue ash–oak savanna–woodland in the vicinity of Washington and Mayslick, Mason Co. These forests were composed of wide-spaced open-grown trees that were found on rich soils and rolling topography. Blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata), bur oak (Q. macrocarpa), and chinquapin oak (Q. muehlenbergii) characterized these communities. Glades are treeless or almost treeless areas where limestone or dolomitic bedrock is at or near the surface. They may be surrounded by trees, usually red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). The flora consists mainly of herbaceous plants. Glades are found in the vicinity of the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. Prairies in Northern Kentucky are exceedingly rare, but a few have been found on exposed glacial outcrops in Boone Co. Grasses including little bluestem (Schizacrium scoparium), Indian grass (Sorgastrum nutans), and side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) are common associates along with a number of other herbs. Across the region, flora is rich and diverse, reflecting both habitat diversity and disturbance. Two federally listed plants, Short’s goldenrod (Solidago shortii) and running buffalo clover (Trifolium stolonifera), are known to occur in Northern Kentucky. Other species of special interest include ginseng (Panax quinquefolia), synandra (Synandra hispidula), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Great Plain’s ladies’ tresses (Spiranthes manicamporum), and side-oats grama. Throughout much of the area, nonnative plants (exotics) have become established and pose problems to native plants and communities. The two species that appear to be the most difficult to eradicate are Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) and false garlic mustard (Allairia petiolata). Baskin, J. M., and C. C. Baskin. “A Floristic Study of a Cedar Glade in Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, Kentucky.” Castanea 50, no. 9 (1985): 9–25.
350 FLORENCE Bryant, W. S. “Oak-Hickory Forest of the Eden Shale Belt: A Preliminary Report,” Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science 42 (1981): 41–45. ———. “Savanna-Woodland in the Outer Bluegrass of Kentucky,” Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science 44 (1983): 45–49. Bryant, W. S., S. L. Galbraith, and M. E. Held. 2004. “Natural Terrestrial Vegetation of Boone County, Kentucky,” Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science 65 (2004): 132–39.
William S. Bryant
FLORENCE. Florence, the largest and most industrialized city in Boone Co., is located in the east-central part of the county, along I-75. It was designated a third-class city in 1958. Proximity to major transportation avenues has been an important force in the development of this city. Florence was first called Crossroads, because it was situated where the road to Louisville, the Georgetown Rd. (later the Covington and Lexington Turnpike), and the road to Burlington, the county seat, all met. In 1805, 11 people from the Germanna Colonies of Madison and Culpepper counties in Virginia settled in the Crossroads area. They organized the Hopeful Lutheran Church in January 1806, which was the first Lutheran church west of the Allegheny Mountains. By 1818 the stagecoach line owned and operated by Abner Gaines of Walton (see Gaines Tavern) stopped regularly in Florence to change horses. This stagecoach ran from Cincinnati to Lexington three times a week. In 1821 the town changed its name from Crossroads to Maddentown in honor of prominent citizen Thomas Madden, a lawyer from Covington, who operated the town’s Inn & Tavern. By 1825 Madden had moved to Missouri, and the town was renamed Connersville for another prominent land owner, Jacob Conner. In 1828 Connersville applied to the U.S. Post Office Department for a post office. Although the
Main St., Florence, ca. 1960.
application was approved, it was necessary to change the town’s name, since there was already a Connersville in Harrison Co., Ky. The Post Office Department offered two choices for a new name, and 16 of the 25 eligible citizens voted for Florence as the new name of the post office and the town. When the Kentucky legislature incorporated Florence in 1830, the town had a population of 63 and a physical area of less than five acres. The town trustees were William T. Bainbridge; Pitman Cloudas, who was also the first postmaster; B. A. Collins; Jacob Shotts; and Henry Stuck. In 1842 the Kentucky legislature expanded the town’s limits to just over 50 acres. The largest influence of this growth, just after Florence’s incorporation, was to place it on heavily traveled roads. By about 1840 the Covington and Lexington Turnpike was macadamized to Florence, enabling individual farmers to drive their livestock and crops to the Cincinnati markets. Business boomed in Florence to support the increased traffic. Kentucky historian Lewis Collins reported that in 1847 Florence had two churches, three doctors, two stores, two inns, two schools, four mechanics’ shops, and a population of 200. Also in 1847, a new road to Union opened, today U.S. 42. Within three years, by 1850, the population of Florence rose by 25 percent, to 252. Through most of the 19th century, Florence prospered and had a constant influx of residents. Among the families that came to live in Florence during this time was the Nelson and Sophia Lloyd family. The Lloyds, who were both teachers from New York, moved to Boone Co. around 1853, and by 1856 they had settled in Florence. Nelson Lloyd opened a school in the lower floor of the Florence Town Hall. Their son John Uri Lloyd, who held an affi nity for Florence all of his life, had been born April 19, 1849, in New York. He became a worldfamous novelist at the turn of the 20th century and
was instrumental in the Eclectic Pharmacy movement. Several novels by John Uri Lloyd were based on his childhood in Florence. His most famous book, Stringtown on the Pike, popu larized Stringtown as the nickname for Florence. Lloyd also wrote an account of the Civil War fighting that occurred near Florence. On September 17, 1862, an advance guard of a detachment of the Confederate Army that had camped at Snow’s Pond met with Union men of the 10th Kentucky Cavalry who were in Florence, and a small running skirmish occurred. As the Confederates were retreating south down the road, firing back, a stray bullet killed Larken Vaughn, a citizen of Florence, who was standing on the corner of Main and Girard Sts. Men who were wounded in this incident were taken to the Florence Christian Church, which served as a hospital. An attraction of the Florence area during the 19th century was the county’s agricultural fair. The first fair, in 1855, was on the Kenton-Boone county line. No fairs were held during the war, but they resumed afterward and continued until 1881. A larger fair was orga nized and incorporated in 1896 by a group called the Northern Kentucky Fair Society. They built an amphitheater and permanent livestock stalls on the land of William Carpenter, located on the southeast corner of U.S. 42 and U.S. 25 (Dixie Highway). The site was enclosed by Gibbons St. off of U.S. 42 and Smith St., off of the Dixie Highway. These two streets remain connected today by Fair St. in Florence. The Northern Kentucky Agricultural Fair operated at this location until 1932, featuring events that ranged from livestock showings to horseracing. The fair then moved to the Harvest Home fairgrounds in Limaburg and a few years later moved to its current location, the Boone Co. Fairgrounds in Burlington. In 1877 the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, bypassing Florence, established a depot at Greenwood Lake, currently Erlanger. The railway provided a faster way for farmers to move produce and livestock to the markets of Cincinnati and Lexington. For nearly 50 years during this period, the population and businesses of Florence declined. By the 1880 census, the population had decreased to 309, a loss of 63 people. By 1900, Florence had only 258 residents and one of the oldest hotels operating in town, the Southern Hotel, had closed. In 1920 the population had increased only to 268. Although Florence was no longer a booming city, there were important improvements during this time. It acquired electricity in 1917, natural gas lines in 1926, and city water in 1933. In 1931 a three-story brick school, which stands today, was built on Center St. By 1940 the population of Florence had grown to 776. The 1940s and 1950s were an active time for Florence. The increased availability of the automobile brought more and more people to settle in Florence, thus turning it into a bedroom community. There were major road projects, not the least of which was the construction of an interstate highway, I-75, which cuts right through the middle
FLORENCE BAPTIST CHURCH
of Florence. The rationale for the location of this road, in discussions as early as 1945, was based on the thought that a better road from Covington to Erlanger would ensure the longevity of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The airport, which had been used by the military during World War II, was opened in 1947 for commercial flights, stimulating more traffic and business in Florence. Construction of I-75 did not fi nally begin until 1955, because of necessary changes in the road location. However, Florence was quickly revitalizing and becoming a bedroom community. In the 1950s the Northern Kentucky Industrial Foundation started the Florence Industrial Park, which has grown to include 57 industries and employ 8,000 people. In addition, annexation during the 1950s increased the physical area of Florence. After the opening of I-75 in 1963, Florence was well on its way to becoming the major economic force in Boone Co. It had far surpassed its old rivals of Walton and Erlanger as an industrial center in Northern Kentucky. In 1961 Carroll “Hop” Ewing was elected mayor of Florence. During his 20 years as mayor, he was instrumental in the growth of Florence. He helped to create the Florence fire and police departments, and he regularly encouraged industries to build in Florence, spurring further economic growth of the city. He was also directly responsible for the one structure in town that is instantly recognizable by outsiders and has been featured in national magazines and newspapers, the “Florence Y’all” water tower. The water tower was completed in 1974 on land that was donated by the developers of the Florence Mall, which was under construction. When the tower went up, the name “Florence Mall” was painted on it, but since state highway regulations forbade such advertising, the water tower had to be repainted. Ewing, after playing with the words, came up with the solution: to paint the legs of the M white, matching the background paint, and add an apostrophe. The “Florence Y’all” water tower is now a landmark seen by thousands of I-75 travelers yearly. The Florence Mall opened in September 1976. With its proximity to I-75 and easy access from the highway, this new commercial mall soon became a fi xture for tri-state shoppers. The economic success of the mall encouraged further development along Mall Rd., where seven separate business complexes have since been built. A revitalization project is currently in the works for the Mall Rd. area. In the 1980s and 1990s, the shopping district of Florence expanded to include new stores and attractions on Houston Rd. Turfway Park, once known as Latonia Racecourse, is a thoroughbred racetrack that has been located in Florence since 1959 and had long been surrounded by farmland. But after Jerry Carroll bought it in 1986 and renovated it, a large number of shops and restaurants have been opened around the track, creating the largest shopping district in Florence today. The 1980s also saw the development of cultural organizations like the Arts Council; the Florence
Community Band, started by Carl Biehler in 1984; and the Florence Community Chorus, organized in 1989. Most of the city’s offices and the Florence Police Department moved into a new 90,000-squarefoot city building on Ewing Blvd. in 1998, having outgrown their previous location on U.S. 42. The new city building holds all the government offices of the City of Florence as well as some state offices. There are also meeting rooms for public events. The Florence Recreation and Parks Department in 2003 opened a 20,000-square-foot park featuring the new Aquatic Center and a skate park. The Florence Aquatic Center has a swimming pool, a lazy river, and other water activity areas, as well as skateboard ramps for all skill levels. Also in 2003, Florence acquired a Frontier League baseball team, the Florence Freedom, whose home is the Champion Window Field, a stadium next to I-75 that seats 4,500. Its lawn area allows for a maximum capacity of 7,000. The field also has a playground. The baseball games, geared toward families, are well attended; the city of Florence has embraced the team. Although it has grown from the least-populated city in Boone Co. to the largest in population, Florence has retained its warm atmosphere. Moreover, since Boone Co. is the second-fastest-growing county in Kentucky and new industries are establishing bases of operations in Florence, it seems likely that the population of Florence will continue to increase. In 2000 Florence had a population of 23,551. Conrad, William. Yesterdays: An Enriching Adventure in Boone County’s Past. Florence, Ky.: Boone Co. Schools, ca. 1981. ———, comp. 41042, a Story about Florence, Kentucky and the Florence Rotary Club. Florence, Ky.: The Club, 1989. ———, ed. Boone County: The Top of Kentucky, 1792–1992. Fort Mitchell, Ky.: Picture Th is! Books, 1992. Reis, Jim. “Birth of I-75, the Groundwork for the Region’s Primary Route Was Laid in the 1950s,” KP, August 22, 2005, 4K. Tanner, Paul. Florence, Kentucky: The First Century. Frankfort, Ky.: Paul Tanner, 1993. U.S. Census Bureau. “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed September 7, 2006). Yealey, A. M. History of Boone County Kentucky. Covington, Ky., 1960.
FLORENCE BAPTIST CHURCH. The Florence Baptist Church was constituted in 1855 with 11 members, most of them from the Dry Creek Baptist Church in Kenton Co. The cornerstone indicates that the church’s first meetinghouse was built that year. Gen. Leonard Stephens, who lived at Beech Grove in what is now the Richardson Rd. area, was one of the earliest leaders in the new church. Like most churches of that time, it met only once a month. A Covington Journal article in 1858 referred to the congregation as “the little church at the crossroads,” since it was situated at
the intersection of the Covington and Lexington Turnpike (modern U.S. 25) and the road to Union (modern U.S. 42). The church had a small membership when it began, and a few years after the Civil War it had only 29 members. As the 20th century commenced, and railroads became the primary means of travel, traffic from Covington to Lexington bypassed Florence. When stagecoaches no longer came through town on a regular basis, the town suffered. At this time the church met on an irregular basis for several years. The city was cut off from easy access to other areas, and the church did not thrive. In 1908 the church was reorganized; a new covenant was drawn up, and 30 members signed it. Under the leadership of W. A. M. Wood, the Florence Baptist Church erected a new building of modified Greek Revival design, which was completed in 1930. It was located in front of the original meetinghouse. By 1931, when the Covingtonto-Louisville highway (U.S. 42) was completed, the Florence population had increased to 450 and the church’s membership rose to 132. In 1931 Rev. R. F. DeMoisey, a native of Walton, was called as pastor. During his 10-year pastorate, the church’s membership nearly doubled, from 132 members to 247. Rev. Harold Wainscott served the church as pastor for six and a half years, during the latter part of World War II and the years following. From about 1953 to 1958, Pastor Roy A. Johnson ministered at the Florence Baptist Church, and when he retired in 1958, the church had more than 900 members. Rev. Bob Couch was the next pastor. In 1960 the Florence Baptist Church sponsored the Greenview Baptist Mission on Ky. Rt. 18 and called Bob Campbell, who had grown up in the Florence church, as pastor. The Greenview mission church was orga nized by the Florence Baptist Church in 1963, and Campbell later became an army chaplain. Rev. Jack Sanford began serving as pastor in 1963, and he led the church through a major building renovation in 1966–1967. The new structure, with a brick and stone exterior, is contemporary in style and has a 100-foot, diamond-shaped spire. Its seating capacity of 1,000 was enough to accommodate the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which met at the church in 1968. Rev. W. Bill Jones pastored the Florence Baptist Church from 1971 to 1980. During his ministry, the church purchased a bus for the first time, and Rev. William Hodge became associate pastor. The Kentucky Baptist Convention again met at the Florence Baptist Church in 1977. Rev. Gary Watkins, who was called as pastor in 1981, served a little over three years. Dr. Timothy Alexander, the current pastor, came in 1985. In that year, the church dedicated its new preschooloffice building. By the beginning of 1987, Florence Baptist Church’s membership was greater than 1,700. In the late 1980s, the church began a television ministry. During the 1990s, Herbert Booth, MD, a prominent physician in Florence and a member of the church, began medical mission trips to foreign nations. In 1994 the church began HOPE Ministries, a volunteer group to help the needy. The church has ordained eight men and has
352 FLORENCE CHRISTIAN CHURCH licensed seven to preach. In late 1999, the deacons recommended that the church purchase 67 acres at the intersection of I-75 and Mount Zion Road. In September 2006, groundbreaking was held for a new $15 million church facility on Mount Zion Rd. With a sanctuary seating 1,300, the new church, designed by Terry Simmons of Lexington, was opened in 2009. Capek, Michael. Church at the Crossroads: The Story of Florence Baptist Church, 1855–2005. Knoxville: Tennessee Valley, 2005. “Florence Baptist Ready to Grow,” KE, August 8, 2004, C3. “Florence Congregation in Existence 85 Years,” KTS, May 3, 1930, 5. “New Church for Florence,” KP, July 19, 1929, 1.
James R. Duvall
FLORENCE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. The Christian Church in Florence in Boone Co., a Disciples of Christ congregation, was organized in 1831 and was the first church built in the city. It was one of the original Disciples of Christ branches in Kentucky. The first sanctuary was a log building that burned within a couple of years. The second structure was built of brick, reportedly in 1835, but the land was not transferred until April 1842, when John Stephens sold the property to the trustees of the church (George McDonald, William Nichols, Thomas Sanford, and James Varner). The brick building served the congregation, with occasional remodeling, until 1965, when the “Little White Church,” as it was affectionately known, was torn down and replaced in its present location at the corner of U.S. 25 (see Dixie Highway) and U.S. 42 in Florence. In September 1862 the Union Army under Gen. Lew Wallace, which was stationed at Fort Mitchell, was retreating north after fighting in a small engagement in Walton, at Snow’s Pond, against some of Confederate general Kirby Smith’s men. As the Union soldiers retreated, they were firing back down the road, and a stray bullet killed a civilian named Larken Vaughn at the corner of Main and Girard Sts. According to local author John Uri Lloyd, the Union soldiers who were wounded in this running skirmish were taken to the Florence Christian Church, which was being used as a hospital. The church has a long history of community involvement. Its members helped in the recovery efforts of the Ohio River flood of 1937 by drying linens for the local St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center). Emma Schild organized the church’s Ladies Auxiliary in the early 1920s. The Missionary Society was organized in 1920 and led by Mrs. Charles Bradford. Rev. H. C. Runyan initiated Sunday school ser vices in the early 1900s. In 1948 Rev. Herbert L. Reid of Lexington came to minister to the congregation. He proposed and edited a monthly ecumenical newspaper, the Stringtown Christian. Although Reid left in 1951, this publication was continued under Rev. R. C. White. In addition to covering events of all the
Christian churches in the Florence area and current events, the newspaper had historical articles written by local historian A. M. Yealey. The Florence Christian Church’s commitment to the community took on a tangible form in 1978 when it opened a day care center. In 1981 the church dedicated the Florence Christian Center. This senior living facility was expanded in 1985 and again in 1995. Today in its four buildings it has 215 onebedroom apartments in which seniors can enjoy retirement life. More recently, the church has sponsored refugees from Bosnia, gathered items for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and participated in building houses with Habitat for Humanity. The current pastors of the church are Jerry and Denise Zehr, a husband-and-wife team hired in 1997 who have shared the duties of pastor. Denise is one of the first female pastors to serve a church in Boone Co. They have also embraced new technologies by hosting a Web page and having their services aired on local cable channels. Florence Christian Church is looking toward the future: it recently purchased 12 acres in Union, where it will build a new satellite church while retaining the one in Florence. The new church is to be named Harmony Place; a nearby house will be used until the sanctuary is completed. The Florence Christian Church is a liberal Christian church that has a strong respect for and tolerance of differences, which is emphasized by a sign on the front of the church that reads “Come as you are.” Unlike many churches in Northern Kentucky, the church is gaining members. Membership increased from 180 in 1997 to 260 in 2006. Conrad, William. Yesterdays: An Enriching Adventure in Boone County’s Past. Florence, Ky.: Boone Co. Schools, 1987. “Different Kind of Church,” KP, July 21, 2006, A1. “Filling a Growing Need Churches Are Establishing Homes for Older Citizens,” KP, March 13, 1995, 1K–2K. “Florence Church Building,” KTS, July 24, 1956, 4A. Schramm, Lillian. History of the Florence Christian Church, 1831–1981, 1981. Available at Boone Co. Public Library, Burlington, Ky.
FLORENCE COMMUNITY BAND. The Florence (Ky.) Community Band, established in 1984, is the only formally organized community band in the Northern Kentucky region. The band was initially organized by Carl Biehler, a band-lover with a passion for music, who formed the group with 13 members and held rehearsals during the first few summers in his backyard. Neighbors would gather to visit with one another and enjoy the lighthearted spirit of these rehearsals. The band is supported and sanctioned by the city of Florence and other generous sponsors. It is a traditional community band made up of amateur and semiprofessional musicians from both Florence and the surrounding communities. A variety of music is performed, including “traditional” band music, show tunes, marches, and big band music. In age, the band’s members range from teenagers to senior citizens; and they represent a wide variety of pro-
fessions, including area music teachers and band directors. The band normally performs with 30 to 40 musicians playing at any given concert, but the band’s “membership” roll has about twice that number. Per for mances take place in churches, parks, festivals, parades, and other venues. Summer is generally the most active season, with a concert scheduled every two to three weeks. There are occasional concerts in the other seasons, but that is also when the band reads and prepares new music. Initially, the band practiced in the former Florence City Building, when not rehearsing in Biehler’s backyard. When the group grew in numbers, rehearsals were moved to the band room of Boone Co. High School in Florence. After several years of growth, both by the community band and by high school bands, scheduling of rehearsals in the high school became problematic and the Florence Community Band moved to a succession of empty office spaces in the Florence area. Currently, it rehearses every Monday evening at the Florence Government Building on Ewing Blvd.; rehearsals take place year-round, with occasional breaks over the winter holidays. Over the years, various individuals have conducted the ensemble, beginning with Biehler and Tom Houston. Other conductors of note have been Gary Adams, Dennis Akers, Tonya Bromley, Royce Crabtree, Keith Howard, Constance Sanders, Todd Whitford, Gary Whitis, and Hugh Wickes, the band’s current director. Harden, Crystal. “Band Hits High Notes with Persistent Director,” KP, May 10, 1989, 1KK. Roberts, Alice Kennelly. “Community Band Began with One Man’s Dream,” KP, January 25, 1989, 2KK. Simmons, Tim. “Florence Band Swings to Merry Melody,” KP, August 29, 1984, 1K.
FLORENCE FREEDOM. A resurgent interest in minor league baseball surfaced in Northern Kentucky in 2003, with the arrival of the Florence Freedom. The team is part of the independent Frontier League based in Zanesville, Ohio, and is not associated with major league baseball (MLB). Without the permission of the Cincinnati Reds, no team can be a part of MLB and operate within 25 miles of downtown Cincinnati. The Freedom team plays in Florence, Ky., at the southeast quadrant of I-75 and U.S. 42, only 10 miles from the home field of the Reds. The Freedom franchise began in Johnstown, Pa. The team was known as the Johnstown Johnnies before moving to Erie, Pa., where it was called the Erie Steal. After the 2002 season, the franchise was sold and moved to Florence. It played its 2003 home games in Hamilton, Ohio, while a new stadium, Champion Windows Field, was under construction in Boone Co. In 2004 the owner of the Freedom was charged with fraud. Creditors lost some $3 million, and eventually the owner was sentenced to five years in prison. In 2005 Northern Kentucky businessman Clint Brown acquired the team, and 2006 was a successful season.
FLOUR CREEK CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Several former Cincinnati Reds have been managers of the team: Tom Browning; Chris Sabo, who quit before ever coaching a game; and Pete Rose Jr. It is common to find Freedom players signing MLB contracts—which, after all, is the purpose of minor league baseball. The Freedom has brought the closeness and fun of minor league baseball to Northern Kentucky as affordable family summer evening entertainment, playing teams such as the Zanesville Greys, the Evansville Otters, and the Chillicothe Paints. Florence Freedom. www.florencefreedom.com (accessed January 25, 2007). Wikipedia. “Florence Freedom.” www.en.wikipedia .org (accessed January 25, 2007). Wilson, Denise. “For the Love of Baseball,” KP, August 31, 2002, 1K.
FLORENCE HIGH SCHOOL. The Florence High School was established in 1911 because the new high school in Burlington, the county seat of Boone Co., was so far away from Florence. The Burlington High School had been started in response to a 1908 state law that required every county in Kentucky to have at least one high school located in the city that was the county seat. A petition fi led with the county judge on April 5, 1909, had paved the way for a two-year, graded high school in Florence. To accommodate it, two rooms were added to the Florence Elementary School at U.S. 42 and Hopeful Rd. Upon completing the two-year program at Florence, students could continue their high school education at the Burlington High School or they could pay tuition and attend high school in Erlanger. The first four-year curriculum at Florence High School began in 1913, and the first class graduated in 1915. Florence High School, along with the Burlington, Hebron, and New Haven high schools, was consolidated into the Boone Co. High School in Florence in 1954. Warner, Jennifer S. Boone County: From Mastodons to the Millennium. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Bicentennial Book Committee, 1998
FLORENCE MALL. Northern Kentucky’s largest shopping mall, Florence Mall, contains 3 department stores and 130 specialty shops. A shopping mall was planned for the Florence area as early as 1968; 100 acres of land was optioned in July 1973, ground was broken on December 31, 1973, and the $30 million project was opened and dedicated on September 22, 1976, initially with 85 retail stores. Sears had closed its retail outlet store in downtown Covington just two days before (see Covington, Downtown). Homart Development, the real estate arm of Chicago-based Sears, Roebuck and Company, developed the project. Original tenants included Sears, Pogue’s, and Shillito’s department stores. JCPenney arrived in July 1978. The mall is located west of and adjacent to I-75 (see Expressways), between Ky. Rt. 18 on the north and U.S. 42 on the south. Eventually, it contained 130 stores and 1 million square feet under its roof and was the first two-level mall in Kentucky and
Greater Cincinnati; it radically changed retail shopping in Northern Kentucky. Downtown Newport (see Monmouth St. Business District) and downtown Covington, affected years earlier by the opening of the Newport Shopping Center and places like Expressway Plaza in Fort Mitchell, suffered further commercial decline. The Florence Mall was sold to the Cincinnatibased Western-Southern Life Insurance Company for around $40 million in 1982, with Homart Development continuing as the mall management company; in 1994 the mall underwent a major renovation; and in 2000 the Woolly Mammoth Playland, a children’s play area that tells the story of prehistoric Northern Kentucky, was opened on the mall’s ground floor. In 2003 Chicago-based General Growth Properties purchased the mall, hoping to turn its new property into more of a lifestyle center. Through the year 2001, sales increased at Florence each year except for one year in the late 1980s. Occupancy of the mall’s stores has generally been at 90 percent. The Florence Mall has spawned all types of other retail development along the adjacent Mall Rd. The mall and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport are the two engines that have propelled the tremendous growth of Boone Co. The Florence Mall has come a long way from the days when Florence mayor C. M. “Hop” Ewing was dealing with the prematurely painted name of the mall on its milliongallon water tower and shrewdly came up with “Florence Y’all,” in order to conform to statutory law not to advertise. But Florence Mall cannot afford to rest on its laurels, since new competitive venues such as Newport-on-the Levee and the reinvigorated Crestview Hills Town Center in Crestview Hills, both open-air lifestyle centers, keep springing up. In recent years the Florence Mall area has become the largest retail market area in the state, generating some $5.1 million in state income tax revenue, $114 million in wages, and more than $15 million in state sales tax (from more than $250 million in total sales revenue). Crowley, Patrick. “Florence Mayor Pushes for Renovations at Mall,” KE, July 4, 2003, B3. Driehaus, Bob. “Mall Led Way for Regional Shopping,” KP, September 22, 2001, 1K. ———. “The Relentless Fight for Shoppers,” KP, September 24, 2001, 1K. “Florence Mall—Y’all,” Boone County Recorder, June 8, 1988, 2. “Opening Day Fever Hits Penney’s,” KP, July 8, 1978, 10K. Paeth, Greg. “Keeping Up,” KP, April 18, 2006, 1A. ———. “Malls Opening Pulled Retailer from Covington,” KP, September 22, 2001, 9K. “Plan Florence Mall,” KP, September 13, 1968, 1K.
FLORENCE SPEEDWAY. The Florence Speedway is a half-mile, high-banked, clay oval automobile racing track located at 12234 U.S. 42, Union, Ky., approximately nine miles west of I-75 (see Expressways) in Boone Co. It was built during the 1950s, damaged by a fire in 1984, and rebuilt and
reopened the same year. Jerry and Mona King have operated it since 1984. Since then, it has become one of the premier dirt late-model tracks in Kentucky. Hosting such prestigious dirt late-model events as the North/South 100, the Ralph Latham Memorial, and the Spring 50 has established the track as one of the elite racing venues in the dirt late-model world. The track generally operates on Saturdays from March through October with a regular racing program for late models, modifieds, super dirt stocks, and pure stocks. “King’s Florence Speedway.” www.florencespeedway .com (accessed June 28, 2006). “Racing’s Dirty Side,” CP, August 25, 2001, 9B. Reis, Jim. “When Autos First Raced, World War I Hero Eddie Rickenbacker Won Race at Latonia,” KP, May 21, 2001, 4K. “Saturday Night at the Speedway,” KE, May 11, 1995, B8.
FLOUR CREEK CHRISTIAN CHURCH. An independent Christian congregation, Flour Creek Christian Church is one of the oldest churches in Pendleton Co. William Masters, who became a church elder, orga nized it in September 1826 in the home of Robert Taylor, along with five charter members. Th is small band of founders soon moved their meetings to a little log school house with rough benches for seats, about 50 yards from where the present church, constructed in 1894, now stands. The membership first called George Fisher, an elder, to preach. He accepted the position and remained 35 years. In spring 1832 it was decided to build a more spacious building, and the next year Robert Taylor deeded to Charles Yelton and Samuel Cox, deacons of the church, a halfacre lot on which to build the new structure. A hewn log house measuring about 40 by 30 feet was erected near the location of the present church. By 1865 the log church building was too small for the congregation, so it was replaced with a larger building, dedicated in May 1866. Within 50 years, the church’s membership had increased to more than 150. But in 1879 more than 20 members applied for and were given appropriate letters for the purpose of starting a Christian Church in Butler. On February 2, 1879, the Butler Christian Church was orga nized, and the members held ser vices in what was known as the Union Church, above the town hall, until they could build a church building. In 1883 about 40 Flour Creek Christian Church members were given church letters for the purpose of orga nizing another church, which was to be known as the Pleasant Hill Christian Church, near Mount Auburn. A building for this congregation was dedicated September 2, 1883. Since it had followed the spin-off Christian Church established at Butler, the church at Pleasant Hill became known as the second daughter of Flour Creek Christian Church. In 1893 ser vices were held by the Pleasant Hill Christian Church in a new white frame church. On June 6, 1920, a new brick building was dedicated at Pleasant Hill by the church, and this building continues in use today. In recent years the church there has been involved in
354 FOLSOM nursing-home support and flood relief for the local community. Belew, Mildred Bowden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: Privately published, 1994. Driehaus, Bob. “It Restores Your Faith in Human Race,” KP, March 15, 1997, 5K. “Religion Briefs,” KP, February 19, 1994, 6K.
FOLSOM. This settlement, located at the confluence of Ten Mile and Eagle Creeks in a scenic valley in the western part of Grant Co., was first called Lawrenceburg after one of the early families in the area. Other early local family names were Delph, Jump, and Sipple. W. H. B. New donated the land for a schoolhouse at Folsom in the early 1830s. John Ford, who had acquired some of the lands surrounding Folsom in 1811, built a stone house that bears his name near Folsom during the 1830s. Ford died in 1840, and the property passed to his son Elijah. In 1856 a slave named Warrick murdered Elijah Ford. Warrick’s trial, conviction, and execution followed in rapid order. In 1857 the Vine Run Baptist Church, named for a nearby hill covered with vines, was orga nized at Folsom. Early leaders of the new church included Joseph Ambrose, J. M. Arnold, and J. T. Elliston. The Vine Run Baptist Church and the Old Vine Run Cemetery are located about nine miles northwest of Dry Ridge on the Dry Ridge– Warsaw Rd. (Ky. Rt. 467). When it was inventoried in 1985, the cemetery contained 185 identified graves and about 86 unmarked graves. Located on the same road, about six miles from Dry Ridge, is the New Vine Run Cemetery; it was found to contain more than 260 graves in 1987. In 1931 a serious fire at the store in Folsom caused damage valued at $8,000. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992. “Store Burns—Blame Lighting for $8000 Blaze at Folsom, Ky.” KP, June 15, 1931, 1.
John B. Conrad
FOOTBALL. Football has been played in Northern Kentucky since the beginning of the 20th century. The football rivalry between the nearby University of Cincinnati (UC) and Miami University of Ohio dates back to the 1890s, and many Northern Kentuckians attended these schools or at least supported their teams. The old Covington High School, Newport High School, and Highlands High School were playing football in the second decade of the 1900s, at places such as Wiedemann Field in Newport’s West End along the Licking River and at the Covington Ball Park along Willow Run Creek. Lester Black, a chemistry teacher, coached the Covington High gridiron squad. The first Highlands coach, Thomas K. “T. K.” Lewis, was discovered in his team’s huddle, dressed in uniform and illegally playing in a game, just before World War I. Enforcement of the meager rules of the game was lax back then. Lewis later participated in both world wars and, during the 1960s,
Newport Catholic High School football game at Newport Stadium, E. Ninth St., Newport, ca. 1949.
taught chemistry at Newport Central Catholic High School. In 1921 there was a short-lived National Football League (NFL) team in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Celts, which played a total of four games. The first person from Northern Kentucky to score a touchdown in the NFL was Covington High graduate Earl “Yellow” Hauser, as an end for the Celts. Later in 1933–1934, a second attempt was made to establish an NFL team in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Reds, but it ended after 17 games. Covington native and Holmes High School graduate (1925) Stanley M. Stewart was a member of the NFL Reds. Later he was president of his family’s Stewart Iron Works from 1944 to 1955. The late 1930s witnessed another fleeting effort to bring professional football to Cincinnati, again before the modern era of the televised game. This team was the original Cincinnati Bengals, which had as its first quarterback Bill Schwarberg, a Covington native and a former Holmes High School and UC star. The team played at the home of the National League’s Cincinnati Reds, Crosley Field in Cincinnati, on a gridiron squeezed tightly onto the baseball field. Lasting NFL professional football made an appearance in the region in 1968, with the arrival of Paul Brown’s modern Cincinnati Bengals, who played their first two seasons at UC’s Nippert Stadium. The team was later moved to Riverfront Stadium, and then to the nearby Paul Brown Stadium, both along the Ohio River, within easy walking distance for Northern Kentucky followers. Before the Bengals, the region’s fans of professional football followed the Cleveland Browns, whose games were televised during the 1950s and 1960s on Sunday afternoons and were sponsored by Carling’s Black Label Beer (with the jingle “Hey Mabel, Black Label”). Some of those early 1950s Cleveland Brown teams had a backup quarterback from Fort Thomas, Ky., via St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati and the University of Notre Dame, George
W. Ratterman, who became the reform sheriff of Campbell Co. in the early 1960s. After the arrival of the modern Bengals in Cincinnati, some team members discovered the value of living in Northern Kentucky: Max Montoya; Boomer Eiasion; Ken Anderson; Chris Collingsworth, present Fort Thomas resident, national television football analyst, and Highlands High School supporter; and of late, former Bengal lineman Bruce Kozerski, who has been coaching football at Holy Cross High School in Latonia. In the rural areas where high schools were small in enrollment and 11-man teams were difficult to raise, an 8-man-team league existed in the 1930s. In Kenton Co., the old Crescent Springs High School played in that league, as did Hebron High School and Burlington High School in Boone Co. before they were closed owing to consolidation. At the college level, football mostly has been played at one of Cincinnati’s two universities (UC or Xavier, the latter through 1971) or at the more distant University of Kentucky (UK) in Lexington. Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., began playing college-level football in 1990; Cincinnati’s College of Mount St. Joseph had to become coed before establishing a similar program. Both schools have had some success at their level of play, with many graduates of Northern Kentucky high schools appearing on their rosters. Bill Erpenbeck (see Erpenbeck Scandal), a local homebuilder, in the late 1990s led an effort to entice Northern Kentucky University to begin a Division IIA football program. The university opted to delay football at the time. When there were military personnel stationed at the Fort Thomas Military Reservation, the U.S. Army fielded teams that played such opponents as UC and teams sponsored by the Covington YMCA. In 1918 UC beat the Fort Thomas Army (as the team was known), 6-0. The former Army team’s gridiron at the fort is
the playing field for the Highlands High School’s soccer program today. Football in the region has mainly involved high schools teams. Newport coach William “Blue” Foster kicked off the modern era of high school football on October 31, 1931, when Erlanger Lloyd Memorial High School traveled to play Newport High School in the region’s first game at night. Newport won 60-6 at GOHI Field in the West End of the city. Temporary lighting was installed, and there was an agreement with the neighbors (but not with the nearby steel mill) that the lights would be turned off by 8:00 p.m. After that experiment, large crowds began to attend night games instead of the after-school contests previously held, and Friday evenings in the fall throughout Northern Kentucky have meant high school football and the sounds of marching bands ever since. Soon the 8:00 p.m. rule was no longer being enforced. The Works Progress Administration in the 1930s built lighted stadiums in Bellevue, Dayton, and Newport, Ky. In the 1940s and 1950s, Bellevue and Dayton High Schools had several very successful teams; since 1960 Beechwood, Covington Catholic, and Highlands high schools have dominated local gridirons. Except for Louisville’s Trinity High School, Highlands has won more state championships (16) than any other team in the state; Beechwood has won 9, and Covington Catholic has 6 such trophies. Erlanger Lloyd has won 2 state championships: first in 1965, under Jack Turner in Class A, and then in 1976, in Class AAA under fabled coach Jim “Red Dog” Dougherty. Newport Central Catholic High School’s coach Bob Schneider became the high school football coach with the most winnings in the state, amassing more than 300 victories over his 40-year career; he won his third state championship in 2006. Bellevue High School (see Bellevue Public Schools), Conner High School (while competing in its first season in 1983), and Dayton High School (see Dayton Public Schools) hold past state football championships. In the 1920s the William Grant High School (see Lincoln- Grant School) of Covington fielded football teams. They played at the Covington Ball Park and at 15th St. and Eastern Ave. in Covington’s Eastside. Race relations being what they were then, Grant High School, when not scheduled at home against another African American school, was forced to travel long distances out of town to play other African American teams. Paul Redden, a former player at Wilberforce College in Ohio, coached Grant’s team. Grant’s football program was disbanded after the 1932 season, with the opening of its new school building on Greenup St. in Covington. The team had been undefeated in 1929 and 1932, but the emphasis at Grant shifted to basketball because the school lacked a practice football field. Numerous players from the region have played football at the professional level. Clearly, particularly after the 2005 professional season, the most notable football player to come out of Northern Kentucky is Boone Co. High School graduate (1996) Shaun Alexander. A running back in high
school for coach Owen Hauck, Alexander went on to the University of Alabama, where in his senior year (2000) in a game against Louisiana State University he scored a record four rushing touchdowns. In 2005, while in his sixth year with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, Alexander led his team to the Super Bowl. That season, he led the NFL in touchdowns and total rushing yards and was named the league’s most valuable player, but he continues in pursuit of a Super Bowl ring. Alexander, much like former Bengal Doug Pelfrey, has set up a foundation to help the disadvantaged. In Alexander’s case it is to help fatherless young men from Florence, Ky., where he was raised. The athletic field within the stadium at Boone Co. High School is named for him. Irv Goode, also from Boone Co. High School (1958) and UK (1962), played the line some 13 seasons, mostly with the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals. The stadium at Boone Co. High School is named in his honor. John Shannon, UK (1987), is the third NFL player to come out of Boone Co. (1983). He played two seasons during the late 1980s with the Chicago Bears as a defensive end. Another NFL player is Marty Moore, from Highlands (1989) and UK (1994), who played linebacker for nine seasons, mostly with the New England Patriots; that team selected him as the last player in the 1994 NFL draft, the “anchor man” of the selection. Moore, although small for a linebacker, is quite a story, for most of his coaches told him he would never make it. Jeff Brady, from Newport Central Catholic High School (1987) and a walk-on player at UK (1991), was another linebacker who played five seasons with multiple teams. One time, as a Minnesota Viking, playing against the Bengals on a Sunday afternoon at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Brady intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown in front of his family, the hometown crowd, and his former Newport Central Catholic coach, Bob Schneider. Highlands’s Chuck Kyle (1965), a linebacker who earned All-American honors at Purdue University (1969), played in the Canadian Football League (CFL). A plaque honoring Kyle’s abilities hangs on a wall in his high school. Bob Dougherty, coach Jim “Red Dog” Dougherty’s brother and one of the football-playing Dougherty brothers to come out of Bellevue High School (1949), played guard for the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams in the early 1960s. Mark Pike, from Dixie Heights High School (1982) and Georgia Tech University (1986), was a special teams expert for more than 10 seasons with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Bob DeMoss, of Dayton High School (1945), went to Purdue (1949) on a basketball scholarship but finished as an AllAmerican football player and played with the second New York City NFL franchise, the Bulldogs/ Yanks, in 1949. That team played “second fiddle” in New York City to the long-established New York Giants, and DeMoss, known as “De Mo,” played backup quarterback for the Bulldogs/Yanks to Fort Thomas’s George Ratterman. Lineman Hershel Turner, of Campbell Co. High School (1960) and UK (1964), played two seasons in the early 1960s with the St. Louis Cardinals. Doug Pelfrey
came out of Scott High School (1989) and UK (1993) and in college specialized as a place-kicker. He was the field goal kicker for the Cincinnati Bengals for seven seasons, 1993–1999. There were seasons when if there had not been a Pelfrey field goal, the team would not have won a game. Today he continues his charitable work, known as Kicks for Kids, within the region. There have been other pro players from the area. Bob “20 Grand” Davis, out of Dayton High School (1934) and UK (1938), played in the late 1930s with the NFL’s New York Giants. Jack Gearding, from Campbell Co. High (1947) and Xavier University (1951), played in the CFL. Art Mergenthal, from Bellevue, Ky., Cincinnati’s St. Xavier High (1939), and several colleges, the last being Notre Dame (1945), played guard and linebacker with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams in the late 1940s, before serving as a principal in the Bellevue School system for 30-plus years. Earl W. “Bill” Murray was part of the class of 1944 at Dayton High School and the Purdue class of 1950 and played in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts for a couple of seasons in the early 1950s as an offensive guard. Bob Ravensberg was from Bellevue High School (1943) and Indiana University (1947) and played two seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears during the late 1940s as an offensive end and a defensive back. Jerry Reynolds, from Highlands High School (1990) and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (1994), played the line for the New York Giants for two seasons in the 1990s. Larry Schreiber, who was a running back at Dixie Heights High School (1965) and went to Tennessee Tech (1969), had a couple of good seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco Forty-Niners in the 1970s. And Jared Lorenzen, a former Greater Cincinnati Punt Pass and Kick Contest winner out of Highlands High (1999) and UK (2004), recently has taken a few snaps as the backup quarterback for the New York Giants. Many football players from the area, too numerous to mention, ended their careers at the collegiate level. Some became prominent community leaders, including these: Bob White, from Holmes (1956) and Ohio State (1960), who was an AllAmerican fullback under coach Woody Hayes in Columbus; the Burt brothers from Highlands, Jim and John (1959 and 1961), who played at Western Kentucky University; the Chalk brothers, from Newport Central Catholic (Mike  played at Hanover in Indiana, and Dave  went on to Cornell University); Bill Topmiller, from Covington Catholic (1971) and Vanderbilt University (1975), who played in the Peach Bowl in 1974; Phil Taliaferro, from Erlanger Lloyd (1955) and Centre College (1959); Jim Claypool, from Beechwood (1956) and Centre College (1960); Jim “Red Dog” Dougherty, from Bellevue High (1949) and UC (1956), who embarked on a long high school coaching career; Irv Etler, from Erlanger Lloyd (1957) and Xavier University (1961), where he played quarterback; Ed Eviston, from Newport Central Catholic (1998) and Georgetown (Ky.) College, who quarterbacked his team to a national small college championship; Charlie Fredericks, from
356 FORD FAMILY Newport Central Catholic (1955), who played at Notre Dame (1959) before returning to his high school to begin his coaching career; Leo Knoll, from Newport High (1948) and Xavier University (1952), where he played guard on the 1951 undefeated team; Judge James Cammack Jr., who graduated from Owenton High School (1920) and played football at UK (1924); Ralph Mussman, from Newport High (1937), who went to Morehead College (now University), where he was the athletic of the year in 1941; Hank Pogue, who was a high school All-American at Highlands (1967) and played halfback for Indiana University in the 1968 Rose Bowl; Pat Uebel, from Bellevue High (1952) and Army (1956); John “Deep” Wing, from Dayton High (1950) and Army (1954); Alex “Zeke” Zachella, from Newport High (1938), who played quarterback at Navy (1942); and old Covington High’s Earl Wilson (1906), brother of radio station owner L. B. Wilson. Earl Wilson was the Naval Academy’s quarterback in the 1909 season, when he broke his neck; he died the following spring. Collegiate football rules were changed as a result of Wilson’s tragic injury, suffered while playing against Villanova at Philadelphia. One of the most successful collegiate players from the region never played a down as a pro. Ron Beagle, who lived in Winston Park, Ky., attended Purcell High School in Cincinnati and went on to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was named the 1954 College Player of the Year as an end in his junior season. He was commissioned a Marine officer upon graduation from Annapolis. A leg injury prevented him from earning a spot with the 1960 Oakland Raiders of the old American Football League (AFL). He appeared on a players’ football card that year. In 1956 Winston Park mayor Thomas Hunkle presented him with the keys to his hometown, and Covington mayor Harry Schneider honored him with an official scroll. Covington’s mayor had given Beagle the keys to the city in 1955. Beagle is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Although he did not play football at the pro level, one more person needs to be singled out. Frank Jacobs came out of Highland Heights, Ky., and Newport Central Catholic High School (1987). In 1986, the first year of the award, Jacobs was named Kentucky’s Mr. Football. He went on to play two seasons as a tight end at Notre Dame, catching a pass for a touchdown in the 1988 Fiesta Bowl Game for his national championship team. His football future seemed bright at the time, but he settled on playing only baseball and was selected in the seventh round of the 1991 draft by the National League’s New York Mets organization as a first baseman. Although he showed great promise as a minor leaguer, he never played in a big league baseball game. A few coaches have come out of Northern Kentucky. Among those who have coached professional teams, there is Homer Rice, a graduate of Highlands (1945) and Centre College (1950), who returned to his high school to lead its team to their first state championship in 1960. He then coached at UK, UC, and Rice University before
spending a lackluster year and a half as the leader of the Cincinnati Bengals. Rice, who holds a doctorate, fi nished his football career at the University of Georgia as its athletic director. John Merritt, from Falmouth, Ky., who played at Kentucky State University, coached a combined 31 seasons at Jackson State (Miss.) and Tennessee State University. Merritt has the third-highest number of college football coaching victories (232). Only coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Grambling’s Eddie Robinson have won more games. Merritt is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Bob DeMoss of Dayton, Ky., returned to Purdue to coach the Boilermakers; he was assistant and quarterback coach (1950–1969), head coach (1970–1972), and assistant athletic director (1973– 1993). Billy Lyons, a graduate of Erlanger Lloyd (1991) and Marshall University (1995), spent seven seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings as a defensive end. Lyons returned to Northern Kentucky as a defensive coach at Thomas More College. Leroy Hambrick of Newport, who attended William Grant High School in Covington and played football there on Grant’s undefeated teams and later at Kentucky State University, went on to become the first African American to officiate in the NFL. He was a principal at a school in Atlanta, Ga., while he worked Sundays in the NFL into the early 1990s. During the mid-1990s, the gender barrier was broken for football in Northern Kentucky, as a Bellevue girl, Lacey Mile, went out for and made a Pee Wee football team in her town; playing quarterback, she crossed many lines in addition to the first down marker. Boehmker, Terry. Northern Kentucky High School Sports Guide. Self-published, n.d. Carroll, Bob, Michael Greshman, David Neft, John Thorn, and the Elias Sports Bureau. Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.
crat newspaper and published it from October 22, 1886, to June 26, 1888. They then sold the paper to Ed Porter Thompson, who later compiled the History of the Orphan Brigade, an excellent account of Kentuckians who served in the Confederate Army. Ford was a member of the Owenton Baptist Church and was affi liated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (see Civic Associations). On November 10, 1892, he married Emma Garrard, a granddaughter of Kentucky governor James Garrard (1796–1804), a Revolutionary War veteran. In 1895 Ford was nominated on the Democratic ticket for the office of Kentucky state treasurer. In 1896 he established and became president of the Manufacturers’ Bank at Middlesborough. He was a U.S. marshal, acting mayor of Middlesborough, and a 32nd-degree Mason. In 1904 the Manufacturers’ Bank merged into the National Bank, and Ford remained as president. He later served as president of the First National Bank of Pineville and helped orga nize the Manchester Bank of Clay Co. In addition to his extensive banking affairs, he had business interests in coal and timber. R. C. Ford’s sons included Robert “Bob” Carrick Ford Jr. (b. October 13, 1909; d. October 3, 1998), who served as Owen Co. attorney for 44 years, and James R. Ford (b. October 12, 1913; d. April 9, 2003), an attorney and judge of Owen Co. Johnson, E. Polk. A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians. Vol. 2. Chicago: Lewis, 1912. Ford Bible Record, Owen Co. Historical Society, Owenton, Ky. Murphy, Margaret Alice, and Lela Maude Hawkins. The History of Historic Old Cedar Baptist Church and Community, 1816–2004. Frankfort, Ky.: Lynn, 2004. Perrin, William Henry, J. H. Battle, and G. C. Kniffi n. Kentucky: A History of the State. Louisville, Ky.: F. A. Battey, 1888.
Margaret A. Murphy
FORD FAMILY. Robert Carrick Ford Sr. (b. October 12, 1862, Owenton, Ky.; d. June 16, 1941, Owenton, Ky.) was one of the most prominent members of an Owen Co. family known for their public ser vice, banking, and publishing interests. The fourth child of Francis “Frank” Ford (1820– 1894) and his wife Sarah Morton Ford of Bourbon Co., Robert was the great-great-grandson of John Ford Jr., a Revolutionary War veteran, and Apphia Petty Ford. Robert “R. C.” Ford’s parents settled in Owen Co. many years before the Civil War. Their first home, which burned during the war, was located on the first cleared land in Owen Co., where today the junction of U.S. 127 and Ky. Rt. 22 is located. In 1870 Frank Ford built the ancestral house that remains today on S. Main St. in Owenton. R. C. Ford attended Georgetown College in Georgetown from 1882 to 1885. He returned to Owen Co., served two years as a deputy clerk, began reading law with Judge O. B. Hallam, and was admitted to the bar in 1885. Ford, along with his law partner O. V. Riley, bought the Owen Demo-
FOREST LAWN CEMETERY. Forest Lawn Cemetery in Erlanger was created in the mid1930s on a property with a colorful history. Originally part of a 1785 land grant to Robert Johnson and John D. Watkins from the Commonwealth of Virginia, this property later fronted on the Covington and Lexington Turnpike. The land came to be owned by the Buckner family and then by Caleb Manley, who built the mansion that now houses the Forest Lawn Cemetery’s offices. Manley introduced many new trees and plants on the property and developed it as a small plantation. William H. Wilson and Asahel Hathaway subsequently owned the property briefly; they sold it to James P. Garvey, one of the developers of the city of Erlanger. Following Garvey’s death, Anna Bedinger, a descendant of one of Erlanger’s earliest families, owned the property. Restaurateur Thomas R. Cody purchased it in 1913 and operated a popu lar restaurant in the mansion while also using the surrounding grounds for various social activities. Cody’s business waned with Pro-
hibition, and he sold the property to a group of investors, led by Newport funeral director George Stetter, who intended to establish a funeral home, cemetery, and florist business there. Stetter was a partner in the Newport funeral home operation that bought the James Taylor Mansion at 335 E. Th ird St. in Newport in 1919 and operated it as Vonderhaar-Stetter-Betz Funeral Home until the late 1980s. Although the development of the property in Erlanger from Manley’s ownership on had provided attractive elements, much work on the site was required before burials could begin. The old slave buildings were removed, roads were replaced, and new roads and curbs were built. The sale of graves before the time of need began in 1935, and the first burial was of Joseph Guthrie of Bromley, on January 2, 1937. George Stetter served as president of the Forest Lawn Board of Directors until his death in 1950. His son-in-law, James L. Owen, managed the cemetery from 1935 until his death in 1961, at which time his wife, Thelma Stetter Owen, became the cemetery’s manager. When her health failed in 1976, her son James S. Owen became manager. The Stetter and Owens families were assisted in the development of the cemetery grounds by a very capable staff. Bill Workman served as grounds foreman during the early years and was followed by Joseph L. Schaffer Sr. and Joseph L. Schaffer Jr., who worked at the cemetery for many years. June Schaffer also helped to create the beauty of the cemetery. As a result of the Schaffer family’s work, the cemetery has become one of the most picturesque locations in Northern Kentucky. The lake and the cypress trees at the entrance of the cemetery, remnants from Manley’s ownership of the property, are among the most frequently used settings for wedding photographs in the area. When widening of the Dixie Highway threatened to destroy the lake and the trees, Erlanger city officials worked with the cemetery and the Kentucky State Highway Department to preserve the setting. The Owens family sold Forest Lawn Cemetery in 1998 to SCI Kentucky Funeral Ser vices Inc., and this company has continued the work of making Forest Lawn one of the finest burial grounds in the area. As of 2005, about 12,500 burials and entombments had taken place in Forest Lawn Cemetery. The first mausoleum, which included a chapel, was constructed in 1994. Two additional mausoleums have been built, and more such structures are planned. A lawn crypt section was added in 2002, and in 2006 family estates with rights to an upright memorial were offered for the first time. Kenton Co. Deed Book, Covington, Ky. Onkst, Wayne, ed. From Buffalo Trails to the TwentyFirst Century: A Centennial History of Erlanger, Kentucky. Erlanger, Ky.: Erlanger Historical Society, 1996.
Baptists in the Gunpowder Creek area formed the Forks of Gunpowder Baptist Church. The place chosen for their meetinghouse was where the Gunpowder Creek divided, forming a fork; they built on an island located in the fork. Most contemporary church meetinghouses were log structures, but it is believed that this one was a stone building. Although no regular Indian intrusions into this area of the state were occurring then, there remained a fear of that possibility. This location was considered to be a safe place to worship. In April of the same year, requests were made to the Bullittsburg and Middle Creek (now Belleview) Baptist churches to help constitute the new church. The church’s early records are not extant, but Northbend Baptist Association records from September 1812 indicate that the church had 56 members and that Christopher Wilson was the ordained pastor. Th is was the third church established in the county. In 1840 the congregation, led by their pastor, Lewis Conner, withdrew from the Regular Baptists and aligned with the “Old School” or Primitive Baptists. That group was opposed to missionary work, Bible societies, education for ministers, and other means of evangelism. The Forks of Gunpowder Baptist Church helped establish the Salem Predestinarian Baptist Association and soon became its leading church. In the 1850s a wooden structure was built to replace the old building on the island. The new meetinghouse had two front doors: the one on the left was used by the women, who sat on that side of the church, and the one on the right was for the men, who sat on the other side. During the following years, besides Pastor Conner, John Underhill and Martin L. Aylor. served as pastors. The church disbanded in 1897 because of a steadily declining membership. John Uri Lloyd, a local novelist, historian, and scientist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, seemed fascinated by the predestinarianism of the Forks of Gunpowder Baptist Church, and he mentioned the church in several of his books. One of his novels, Warwick of the Knobs, focuses on the family of the pastor of the Forks of Gunpowder Baptist Church during the Civil War. In 1902 a new church, Gunpowder Baptist Church, was established as a Regular Baptist church and met in the building that was once used for ser vices of the Forks of Gunpowder Church. It thrived for a time, but in 1939 this group also ceased to exist. The structure, in a poor state of repair, was dismantled in late 2001 and moved to nearby Richwood, where it was reassembled as a residence. Forks of Gunpowder Baptist Church Church Book, 1865–1897. Available at Northern Kentucky Univ. Archives, Highland Heights, Ky., along with the records of the church organized later.
James R. Duvall
FORREST, EDWIN (b. March 9, 1806, PhiladelFORKS OF GUNPOWDER BAPTIST CHURCH. In 1812, when Boone Co. was just over a dozen years old as a county, a group of Kentucky
phia, Pa.; d. December 12, 1872, Philadelphia, Pa.). Edwin Forrest has been called the greatest American Shakespearean actor of the 19th century. He
was the fift h of the seven children born to a struggling couple from Philadelphia, William and Rebecca Lauman Forrest. Edwin’s father died of tuberculosis when Edwin was 13. As a child, Edwin was very sickly, but through a vigorous exercise program, he developed a healthy, muscular body. He had a keen interest in acting and made his first stage debut at Philadelphia’s Walnut Theater in 1820. He joined a traveling troupe, Collins and Jones, which held shows in Pittsburgh and other cities throughout the Ohio River Valley. In 1823 his troupe performed in Lebanon, Ohio, and after that show the group disbanded. Stranded and penniless, the 17-year-old Forrest walked the 40 miles to Newport, Ky., where he knew Rachel Riddle, a friend from the Prune St. Theater in Philadelphia, lived. She allowed him to stay in her home until he could find an acting job. Out of necessity, he wore his stage costume on the street and rehearsed his parts with the Riddles’ daughter Sallie. During his stay in Newport, he met another actor, James Taylor III (son of James Taylor Jr., founder of Newport). When the younger Taylor was performing at the Newport Barracks, another actor got drunk and was unable to perform, so Taylor asked Forrest to play the part and gave him $5. From that time, Taylor and Forrest were fast friends. They spent many hours together at the Taylor home or sailing on the Ohio River, rehearsing lines and discussing acting. The two remained in contact for the rest of their lives, and Forrest would often visit Northern Kentucky. After a month in Newport, Forrest left for Lexington, accompanied by the Riddles’ daughter Sallie, who aspired to be an actress. In Albany, N.Y., at age 20, Forrest appeared in a supporting role to English actor Edmund Kean. Forrest admired the fiery performance by Kean and endeavored to develop a similar acting style for himself. In Cincinnati in 1823, Forrest played possibly the first ever blackface character in theater, in Tailor in Distress. In 1826 he made his New York City appearance, playing Othello at the Bowery Theater. For the next several years, he performed across the United States and Europe. He became immensely popular and
358 FORT ANCIENT INDIAN SITES received much critical acclaim. At age 30 he married an 18-year-old English girl, Catherine Sinclair. He said at the time that of all the women he had ever met, she was the only one he had ever considered marrying. They had only one child, a son, who died several days after birth in 1838. During a trip to Cincinnati in 1839, Forrest purchased a large parcel of land from Israel Ludlow in the hills west of Covington, which had a spectacular view of the Ohio River Valley and the cities of Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport. He built an 11-room home there, which he named Forrest Hill. The house stands today at 309 Wright St., now a part of Covington. At the pinnacle of Edwin Forrest’s popularity, he owned, in addition to Forrest Hill, a castle on the Hudson River in New York, a brownstone mansion in Philadelphia, and a 100-acre country estate. Edwin Forrest dearly loved his wife but was not an attentive husband. After performing in the evening, he would often play cards with his friends and fellow actors until dawn. One evening after a performance in Cincinnati, Edwin returned to his hotel room unexpectedly to find his wife in the embrace of another actor, George W. Jamieson. After 12 years of a seemingly happy marriage, Edwin insisted on a separation and then fi led for divorce. A very public legal battle ensued, with salacious accounts of the breakup appearing in newspapers across the country. Some have called it the domestic squabble of the 19th century. After the 1852 divorce, Forrest’s demeanor changed markedly. He became very stern, trusting few people, and seemed to lose his zest for life. Because of the divorce, many of his friends and fans abandoned him, but he continued to act. Most of the plays of that period were by European writers, but Forrest longed to perform an American work. Finding none, he ran a newspaper ad, offering $500 for the best new play by an American writer. The winning entry was by John Augustus Stone, called Metamora. It was about an Indian chief of the Wampanoag tribe, who worried about the white man forcing the Indian from his land. The performance was so moving and realistic that some Indians in the audience wept and did a chant, in honor of the beloved chief. In Europe, Forrest met an English actor, named William Macready, who was a close friend of Charles Dickens. Both Macready and Forrest were excellent actors, but intense jealousy soon developed between them. In 1849, when both were appearing in New York City, their fans clashed in what was called the Astor Place Riot, in which at least 22 people lost their lives. In 1871 Edwin Forrest gave his last performance as Cardinal Richelieu at Boston, Mass. He died in Philadelphia, at age 66, and was buried in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Churchyard there. During a distinguished career, he amassed a sizable fortune, which he left in a trust fund. He directed that income from the trust be used to set up a home for aged actors in his former home in Philadelphia. In the 1930s, his former home in Covington was purchased by Harvey Brownfield, a local vaudev ille performer and music teacher and the
father of Bruce Brownfield, the bandleader. Harvey was probably best known as an accordion player but also played the calliope on Ohio River steamboats. Alger, William Rounseville. Life of Edwin Forrest. New York: Arno Press, 1977. “At Cards,” KP, December 25, 1897, 5. Classic Encyclopedia. “Edwin Forrest.” http://63.1911 encyclopedia.org (accessed November 5, 2005). Grayson, Frank Y. “Historic Spots in Greater Cincinnati,” CTS, November 25, 1932, 7. ———. “Sonorous Strains of Accordions Now Fill Home Where Great Tragedian Declaimed Deathless Lines,” CTS, September 27, 1932, 16. Moody, Richard. The Astor Place Riot. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1958. ———. Edwin Forrest: First Star of the American Stage. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1960. Purvis, Thomas L., ed. Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, Ky.: Otto Zimmerman, 1996. “W. Covington,” KP, February 7, 1910, 5.
FORT ANCIENT INDIAN SITES. By a.d. 800–900, the bow and arrow may have been introduced into the cultures of the American Indians inhabiting the Ohio River Valley. Other changes in settlement and subsistence soon changed the character of the Late Woodland–period archaeological record. Soon after 1000, the local American Indian inhabitants of Northern Kentucky practiced maize agriculture, used the bow and arrow, and tempered their pottery with shells instead of grit or limestone. Social and political changes may also have accompanied these changes. Archaeologists refer to this time span (a.d.1000 until after 1600) as the Fort Ancient Period. Divided into three segments (Early, Middle, and Late) by many researchers, the Fort Ancient period produced changes in pottery styles and village layouts or plans throughout its 600-plus years. For the Fort Ancient period, archaeologists have documented that there were permanently occupied villages along most of the major streams in Northern Kentucky. The Petersburg Village site in Boone Co. has recently produced brass or copper artifacts that may date from the 15th to the 16th centuries and likely came from trade with French or other European traders. Northern Kentucky has many villages of the Fort Ancient period, including documented sites in Boone, Bracken, Campbell, and Kenton counties. In southeastern Campbell Co., the Bintz site lies on two terraces overlooking the Ohio River. Investigated by archaeologists during the late 1940s, the site includes two villages and a large burial mound. For many years, researchers from Northern Kentucky University have conducted archaeological field studies at the Dunn Village, another Fort Ancient village in Campbell Co. Terraces along the Ohio River and major streams of Boone and Kenton counties, including Big Bone Creek, Gunpowder Creek, and Mud Lick Creek, also contain Fort Ancient village sites. The modern-day town of Petersburg lies above villages of both the Middle and the Late Fort Ancient peri-
ods. Other well-known villages of the period in Boone Co. include the Cleek-McCabe site, partially excavated by the University of Kentucky in the 1930s, and several village sites at Big Bone Lick State Park. Most of the aforementioned sites were large villages that included houses and in some cases stockade walls. The houses were usually built in a circular pattern, with the doors facing in toward the center of the village, where there was a plaza, or open-space area, used for ceremonies and other community activities. The Northern Kentucky Fort Ancient peoples farmed corn, beans, and squash or pumpkins. They also hunted deer and many smaller mammals, birds, and fish. Their farmlands were the fertile stream valleys surrounding their village site. From the local streams and rivers, they collected large quantities of mussels, which they ate. The mussel shells were used to temper their pottery and to make tools such as hoes. They buried their dead either in mounds nearby or in small cemeteries located within the village itself. Each village contained at least one community building or meeting place. Other buildings in the village included sweat lodges and houses. “Ancient Burial Site,” KE, July 24, 2004, C3. “Building on the Past,” SC, August 1, 2004, 1. “Petersburg Dig Reveals Daily Life of Prehistoric People,” SC, August 1, 2004, 3A. “Petersburg’s Treasury of History—Bone May Be Those of Ancient Indians,” KP, July 20, 2004, 1K. Rafferty, Janet Elizabeth. “The Development of the Ft. Ancient Tradition in Northern Kentucky,” PhD diss., Univ. of Washington, 1974. “Twelve Mile,” KSJ, February 19, 1885, 3.
FORT MITCHELL. The modern city of Fort Mitchell, in central Kenton Co., three miles south of Covington along Dixie Highway (U.S. 25/42; the old Covington and Lexington Turnpike), is the result of mergers and several annexations. The first merger occurred in 1967, when the old city of Fort Mitchell joined with the city of South Fort Mitchell; in 1999 the adjacent small city of Crescent Park was merged with Fort Mitchell. Fort Mitchell now encompasses roughly four square miles. The original Fort Mitchell (old Fort Mitchell) began in the first decade of the 20th century as a streetcar suburb, just after the old Lewisburg streetcar line was extended in 1903 to Highland Cemetery; in 1910 the streetcar line reached its final terminus at a loop (turnaround) opposite where modern Orphanage Rd. intersects. The streetcar passed to the rear (to the west) of the then new Fort Mitchell Country Club, which opened in 1904. The city was developed along the streets between that club and the Dixie Highway. John Menzies and A. G. Simrall served as the earliest trustees of the town, which was incorporated on Valentine’s Day in 1910. Soon, builders such as the Northcutt Brothers and Paul L. Bethel were constructing beautiful homes that remain today as part of Fort Mitchell’s historic districts. It was
FORT MITCHELL BAPTIST CHURCH
high-end development. On the southwest end of town, the Deters family opened the Rowntowner Motor Inn in November 1970, and it served as the main Northern Kentucky convention center until a new convention center was built in Covington. Today, the Fort Mitchell facility is known as the Drawbridge Inn Convention Center Motel. At one time a microbrewery operated there. This is also the area where the Columbia Sussex Corporation had its offices for many years before its recent move to Crestview Hills. In 2000 Fort Mitchell had a population of 8,089.
Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell. Carl Goetz poses in front of stores near the streetcar’s “end-of-the-line,’’ in the 1940s.
not long before city water (supplied by the Covington Waterworks via the Dixie Water Company) and natural gas were brought out along the highway, spurring further development. In the late 1920s, the area known as Fort Mitchell Heights was annexed by Fort Mitchell. Fort Mitchell Heights was the location of the Civil War–era Fort Mitchel, one of the many Northern Kentucky Civil War fortifications built to defend the region and Cincinnati from attack in 1862 by the Confederate general Henry Heth. He reportedly came as close as the southern end of modern Fort Mitchell before turning back. The fort was named for Union general Ormsby Mitchel, but a second l was added for the name of the city. One of the best-known homes in Fort Mitchell Heights was the home of Brady Black, longtime editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer; he lived along a rise to the west along the highway, near where the fortification stood. Another newspaperman, Ollie James, lived across the highway from Black, in what his readers knew as Bullfrog Holler. The city of South Fort Mitchell was incorporated in 1927 with a population of 296. The Dixie Tea Room, later the Greyhound Grill, had already been in operation for a few years at the time. It was at the end of the streetcar line in an area in South Fort Mitchell that locals still refer to as the End of the Line. (See Gourmet Strip.) Nearby were the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, which built a combination church and school on the Dixie Highway in 1920, and the Fort Mitchell Baptist Church, opened in 1924. In 1935 Remke Markets introduced Northern Kentucky to the first self-serve grocery store at Orphanage Rd. and the Dixie Highway. That same year saw the construction of an underpass beneath the Dixie Highway for pedestrians; traffic had grown enough that crossing the road had become dangerous, especially for the students of Blessed Sacrament School.
In 1938 a new city building was dedicated, and it has been expanded since. By 1940 the population of South Fort Mitchell was 2,400. The Fort Mitchell area is served by the high-quality Beechwood Independent School District (see Beechwood Public Schools), which disassociated itself from the county school system in 1912. The Beechwood School is almost 150 years old. The 1960s brought rapid change to the area. In 1962 I-75 was completed through the cities. Traffic increased greatly, and the Expressway Plaza Shopping Center was constructed across from Highland Cemetery, next to the interstate. By that time the streetcar suburb had become a highway suburb. A new Holiday Inn Motel was added to that same intersection of I-75 and the Dixie Highway. Office buildings were also erected near the interstate, and the slow but steady growth of the nearby Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport brought many new visitors and residents to the cities. In 1967 the city of South Fort Mitchell merged with the adjacent city of Fort Mitchell, and the name Fort Mitchell was retained. The police departments, fire departments, administration, and city ser vices of the two cities were combined. At the time, old Fort Mitchell had a population of 500, while South Fort Mitchell had 5,500. Fort Mitchell is rich in history. It is home to three cemeteries, where many famous Northern Kentuckians are buried: St. John Cemetery (1867), Highland Cemetery (1869), and St. Mary Cemetery. Five historic districts in the city have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Old Fort Mitchell Historic District, the Fort Mitchell Heights Historic District, the Beechwood Historic District, the Highland Cemetery Historic District, and the Kruempelmann Farm Historic District. The 26-acre Kruempelmann property was a working farm for some 170 years before it recently became the site of a 58-home
“Board Decides on Underpass,” KP, October 10, 1935, 1. “Data on Three Kenton County Communities Prepared by Mrs. Udry,” KP, October 25, 1940, 17. “Happy at Home,” KP, July 11, 1983, 1K. Keeme, Steve. “Office Building Going Up on Columnist’s Beloved ‘Bullfrog Holler,’ ” CE, January 16, 1982, D1. Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. Reis, Jim. “Beechwood Memory Lane,” KP, July 15, 1985, 4K. ———. “Ft. Mitchell Merger Memories,” KP, January 13, 1992, 4K. ———. “Ft. Mitchell: Town of Tombs Becomes a City,” KP, April 1, 1985, 4K. U.S. Census Bureau. “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed May 8, 2007).
FORT MITCHELL BAPTIST CHURCH. The Fort Mitchell Baptist Church was formed in the early 1920s after the North Bend Baptist Association (now the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association) of the Kentucky Baptist Convention authorized establishment of a church. A lot costing $5,000 was purchased at the corner of the Dixie Highway and Silver Ave., and a “tabernacle,” as it was called, was built. The building was dedicated on Sunday, May 25, 1924. This tabernacle and its congregation were considered a mission until October 9, 1924, when the Fort Mitchell Baptist Church was organized. The pastors from that time to the present, along with highlights of the church’s growth, are as follows. Dr. Andrew Smith, 1924–1926; membership 34 in 1924, 78 in 1926. The first baptism was April 12, 1925; the title for the church property was received from the North Bend Association. G. B. Bush, 1926–1947; membership 266. A new sanctuary and a parsonage were built; the church became debt-free in 1946. Darrel C. Richardson, 1947–1954; membership 469. A building committee was formed to plan expansion of the auditorium and the basement. Dr. Samuel Southard, August 1954–July 1955; membership 503; plans drawn for a future educational building. Dr. Clarence R. Lassetter, 1955–1964; membership 660. An education building was constructed, two properties (one on Silver Ave. and the other on the Dixie Highway) were purchased for future
360 FORT MITCHELL COUNTRY CLUB expansion, and the church began conducting two morning ser vices. Thomas H. Conley, 1964–1966. Additional property was purchased for future expansions. James E. Taulman, 1967–1976; membership 602. More property was purchased, and the church hired Tom Mallory, a full-time minister of Christian education, and Dan Arterburn, a minister of music and youth. Five vocal choirs and two handbell choirs were now included as parts of the music program. A mortgage-burning ceremony was held in September 1975. The church also celebrated America’s bicentennial with various events culminating in a celebration in “1776 style.” Dr. Gilbert Tucker, 1976–1985; membership 799. Ground was broken in April 1978, and a new church sanctuary was completed in 1980. The church parsonage was converted to offices and later razed for additional parking. In 1983 the sanctuary and the choir loft of the “old church” were converted into additional classrooms. Dr. C. Michael Watts, 1986–1990; played a major role in the creation of the chapel program at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The Mother’s Day Out program was established in this period by church member Debby Jump. The church’s education facility was renovated and reoccupied in 1992, and a new minister of music, Dr. Melanie Williams, was hired. Dr. Harry M. Rowland, 1992–1996; membership 818. The singles ministry was expanded, the church began participation in the Interfaith Hospitality Network program, Charles Houp became minister of education and youth (serving until 1995), and Jenna Lusby became the part-time children’s minister. During the interim period after Rowland left the pastorate, Daniel Mackey was appointed as the church’s minister of youth. Dr. French B. Harmon, 1997–2004; membership just over 1,000. The church expanded its outreach ministries in discipleship and missions, offering several music dramas to entertain the church members as well as the general community. Th is was also a time of expansion for the Mother’s Day Out program and a period of reevaluation of the church’s overall structure. After the resignation of Williams, the team of Tony and Joy Burdett led the music ministry’s program. Following Mackey’s departure in 1999, Cohen Copley fi lled the youth ministry position until 2001. After he left, the church’s staff positions were once again reevaluated and several part-time ministerial positions were created.
Northern Kentucky Baptist Association. Annual of the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association. Erlanger: Northern Kentucky Baptist Association, 1992, 1996.
FORT MITCHELL COUNTRY CLUB. At the turn of the 20th century, the so-called fresh-air movement brought urban residents out of the cities and into the countryside. Some went for walks and rides near their homes, others strolled in the newly developed garden cemeteries (see Highland Cemetery), and people who could afford to do so formed their own clubs out in the fresh air, the modern country clubs. In 1904 the Fort Mitchell Country Club (FMCC), the oldest still-existing country club in Northern Kentucky, was incorporated as a private, nonprofit corporation with 128 charter members, including Kenton Co. community leaders J. T. Hatfield and Bradford Shinkle. The club was located west of the Lexington Pk. (Dixie Highway), at the end of Fort Mitchell Ave., in the original section of Fort Mitchell. Formerly, this site was the Perkins family homestead, a 74-acre farm. It was leased for the first two years, and then the club purchased the land that it was quickly improving. Situated along the route of the Fort Mitchell streetcar line (see Green Line), the club had its own streetcar stop at the rear of its property. In those early days, club events were scheduled to end before the midnight departure of the last streetcar back to Covington, where most members lived. When the FMCC opened in 1904, its nine-hole golf course was ready for use, as was the baseball field. The former Perkins family home was used as the first clubhouse. A large, open-air dancing platform, considered to be one of the finest dance floors in Northern Kentucky, was constructed for dancing under the stars, a popu lar activity at the time. The golf course has been redesigned a couple of times, but not enough land is available to
Dr. R. Joseph Tricquet Jr., 2005–present. “Baptist Church Marks 80 Years,” KE, October 22, 2004, C3. “Church Celebrates 75th Anniversary,” KE, October 2, 1999, C1. “Dedication Ser vice,” KP, May 26, 1924, 1. Fort Mitchell Baptist Church. Church History, June 1, 1924 to October 9, 1999. Fort Mitchell, Ky.: Fort Mitchell Baptist Church, 1999.
Fort Thomas Military Reservation.
add another nine holes. Nevertheless, the FMCC course was the site of the Kentucky State Amateur Golf Tournament in 1913, 1917, and 1920 and the Kentucky Open in 1920 and 1928. Bill Deupree was perhaps the best of the many golfers who have called the FMCC their home course. The club’s first swimming pool was built in 1941, a second, larger one in 1961, and another in the 1980s. Over the years, other activities have included basketball, a shooting range, and tennis (early on, and brought back in 1975). The club has endured some difficult times: at least two fires, a period of bankruptcy in the late 1930s, a cyclone in 1948, a robbery in 1976, and a hepatitis scare in 1983. The new clubhouse was opened in 1971, after a 1970 fire. Having endured for more than a century, the FMCC continues to be the scene of numerous meetings, from the Kiwanis Club (see Civic Associations) to political gatherings, proms, and seasonal thematic dances. Events held there have been attended by many important people, including various Kentucky governors and golfing legend Sam Snead. “Country Club Is Formed,” KP, March 7, 1904, 1. “Day Night Golf Games at Fort Mitchell,” KP, August 27, 1914, 10. Edmiston, John H. A Special Place: History of the Fort Mitchell Country Club, 1904–1994. Fort Mitchell, Ky.: The Club, 1994. “Ft. Mitchell an Oldie,” KP, July 1, 1974, 16K.
FORT THOMAS. Originally incorporated as the District of the Highlands on February 27, 1867, with the help of U.S. attorney general Henry Stanbery, this sixth-class city stretches along a fivemile ridge above the Ohio River in northeastern Campbell Co., covering 5.7 square miles. It is bounded by the Ohio River and the Kentucky towns of Dayton, Bellevue, Highland Heights, Newport, Southgate, and Woodlawn. The city was part of a half-million-acre land grant awarded to
FORT THOMAS MILITARY RESERVA TION
the Ohio Land Company in 1749 and surveyed by Christopher Gist in 1750. Later, this land grant was preempted by the U.S. Congress to award lands to Revolutionary War veterans. Patents for service in the war were issued to William Kennedy, David Leitch, Benjamin Logan, Laurence Muse, John O’Bannon, Samuel and David Perry, and Edmond Taylor. The first settlers arrived during the early 1800s to “the Highlands,” situated on the hills behind Newport. Among them was William Richard Taliaferro, from Virginia. His wife was Alice Berry, whose father had given the couple 150 acres extending north to the Ohio River, near what today is Rossford and N. Fort Thomas Aves. Taliaferro built a log cabin, which in 1830 was converted into a mansion known as Mount Pleasant. The house remains standing at 1810 N. Ft Thomas Ave. Classes were conducted at this home before a school was built close by on Holly Ln. The Highland Methodist Church held its first worship service at Mount Pleasant. At 370 Newman Ave. in Fort Thomas stands another early log cabin, dating to 1850, which has been enlarged and covered with siding. Other landowners in the area, many of whom also served as trustees of the town, were John Cline, Jacob Hawthorne, George H. Hilton, Thomas Irvin, Elli Kinney (whose castle became Carmel Manor nursing home), John Lilley, and Henry Stanbery (1803–1881). Stanbery, who was the U.S. attorney general under President Andrew Johnson (1865–1869), planned the successful strategies used to thwart Johnson’s impeachment in 1867. The first census in 1871 showed that the District of the Highlands (Fort Thomas) had a population of 617. In 1873 the post office closest to the District of the Highlands was located in Dale, where mail ser vices were restricted to residents of that community. Inhabitants of the rest of the Highlands had to go to Newport for their mail. However, as the town known as the District of the Highlands grew in population, the smaller settlement of Guyville to the north, as well as Dale to the south, were annexed to the city. During the construction of the Fort Thomas Military Reservation during the 1890s, Col. Melville Cochran (1836– 1904) was instrumental in the closing of the Dale post office branch; a new post office opened on the property of L. L. Ross, just to the north of the entrance of the new fort. Th is became Station A, Newport, and its postmark designation was stamped as Fort Thomas. In-town mail deliveries began in 1896. The citizens of the town voted to change the name of the District of the Highlands to the city of Fort Thomas in an election during 1914, thus acknowledging their city’s close ties to the military base. The post office moved to the Midway, the commercial strip across from the entrance to the fort, in 1918, and later to a more central location, a new structure built at 24 S. Fort Thomas Ave., in 1941. A mural inside this post office depicts Gen. George Henry Thomas (1816– 1870) and Gen. Phillip Henry Sheridan (1831– 1888) standing together at Missionary Ridge,
Tenn., during the Civil War. The mural also shows soldiers standing in front of the fort’s barracks and the historic water tower at the Fort Thomas military reservation. A boulevard that runs the length of Fort Thomas, originally named Jamestown Pk., went through many name changes before it came to be called N. Fort Thomas Ave. north of Highland Ave., and S. Fort Thomas Ave. south of Highland Ave. Other major through streets in the town are Covert Run Pk. and Memorial Pkwy. connecting to Bellevue (Memorial Pkwy. was the former right-of-way of the Green Line streetcar that served the city); Dayton Pk., which connects to Dayton; Highland Ave. and Grandview Ave., connecting to Southgate; River Rd. and Tower Hill Rd., which lead to Ky. Rt. 8 (the Mary Ingles Highway) along the eastern boundary, paralleling the Ohio River; and Waterworks Rd. and Grand Ave., which connect to Newport. In 2000 the city of Fort Thomas had a population of 17,184. “Ft. Thomas—Re Name for New Fourth Class City Soon to Be Created,” KP, August 19, 1914, 3. “Happy Birthday for Ft. Thomas,” KTS, February 27, 1958, 1A. “Highlands Soon to Be Ft. Thomas,” KP, October 6, 1914, 1. Reis, Jim. “Ft. Thomas Besieged by Indians,” KP, July 20, 1987, 4K.
Betty Maddox Daniels
FORT THOMAS MILITARY RESERVATION. The deactivated military reservation at Fort Thomas is located in the southeastern portion of the city. The fort’s grounds, high above the Ohio River, are bounded by S. Fort Thomas Ave. (Ky. Rt. 1120), River Rd. (Ky. Rt. 445), and the Mary Ingles Highway (Ky. Rt. 8). This site, 111 acres of former farmlands and orchards atop the hills of the District of the Highlands (now Fort Thomas), was chosen as a replacement after the Newport Barracks, at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers, was inundated in the flood of 1884, as well as that of 1887. The site was promoted as being desirable both because it was out of the floodplain and because an adequate supply of fresh water was available from the nearby Covington Waterworks. The military installation at Fort Thomas was also accessible to Cincinnati, Newport, and Covington by an electric streetcar line. It was served by the Grand Avenue Turnpike for wagons and carriages and had a special siding of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for moving building materials and supplies as well as for troop transport. The Kentucky legislature ceded the land to the federal government on the last day of February 1887. Dedicated on June 29, 1890, the base was first named Fort Crook. However, Gen. Phillip Henry Sheridan (1831–1888), chief of staff of the U.S. Army, changed its name to Fort Thomas in honor of his comrade in arms, Gen. George Henry Thomas (1816–1870), the Union Army commander known as the “the Rock of Chickamauga.” Generals Thomas and Sheridan are portrayed in a 1942 mural by artist Lucienne Bloch that is displayed inside
the lobby of the Fort Thomas Post Office at 24 S. Fort Thomas Ave. In the 1890s the U.S. Army decided to move operations from its remote and scattered posts and garrisons and consolidate some of them in population centers that had railheads. The Cincinnati– Northern Kentucky region, which previously had two significant military installations (Fort Washington at Cincinnati and the Newport Barracks), was a logical choice. Citizens on both sides of the river expressed support for having the military in their midst. And an assignment to the post at Fort Thomas was the number-one choice of West Point Military Academy graduates, because it put them in a quiet suburban neighborhood near a large city with cultural and entertainment opportunities. Units from the Philippines were routinely rotated and assigned to ser vice at Fort Thomas. Col. Melville Augustus Cochran (1836–1904), of the 6th Infantry Regiment (U.S.A.), was the first commandant. As a career officer during the Civil War, he had fought for the Union Army and had been held prisoner by the Confederates for 16 months before escaping. He later served at a number of small military posts in the West. He was responsible for the layout of the fort and overseeing its construction. The commandant’s home, No. 1 Carriage Loop (Alexander Circle), was the first building to be constructed. Base commanders lived with their families on-site. Henry A. Schriver (1829–1909), a local contractor, used U.S. Army plans for the red brick buildings that he built on the base. For instance, the mess hall was built according to the same plans as the stone mess halls at the Presidio in San Francisco and at Fort Riley, Kans. The tower in the front of the fort was constructed of limestone blocks. Administrative officers and their families had houses on Alexander Circle; field officers and their families lived on Greene St., where the bachelor officers’ quarters (B.O.Q) were also located; and noncoms and their families were housed on Pearson St. These houses, the tower, the armory–drill hall–gymnasium, the mess hall, the hospital steward’s house, and the stable remain; only the B.O.Q. is gone. Other service buildings, which have been removed, included the headquarters building, the barracks, the commissary, the hospital, the chapel, the guard house, the firehouse, and the band quarters. The grounds were well landscaped to give the appearance of a college campus, thanks to planning by Colonel Cochran. A baseball field, an amphitheater for boxing bouts, parade grounds, and a polo field provided for outdoor recreation. The stone water tower, which has become the symbol for the city of Fort Thomas, stands on the western edge of the military reservation on S. Fort Thomas Ave. between Pearson and Douglas Sts. Built in 1890, under the direction of Henry Schriver and engineer Patrick Rooney, and no longer in use, it conceals a standpipe 100 feet high, with a capacity of 100,000 gallons. Water was pumped from the Covington Waterworks reservoir just across the street (now the Northern Kentucky Water District). The water came from the Ohio River below the military reservation’s east
362 FORT THOMAS MILITARY RESERVATION boundary through a 30-inch main under the reservation and S. Fort Thomas Ave. The truncated base, of regular coarse granite, measures 23.5 square feet at ground level. The untapered shaft of limestone, with its projecting crown, brings the height to over 102 feet. A wrought iron gate in the base once made the inside spiral staircase to the top accessible. The cost of the entire installation was $16,328, and daily water consumption was 15,500 gallons. The bronze plaque on the west side of the tower honors 28 officers and men who lost their lives in the Spanish-American War (1898). It was “erected by the citizens of Cincinnati, Covington, Newport, and the vicinity of Ft. Thomas.” The sculptured work was done by artist Clement Barnhorn. A smaller plaque on the south side honors Col. Harry Egbert (1839–1899). The 6th Infantry, commanded first by Colonel Cochran and then by Colonel Egbert, was the first military force assigned to duty at Fort Thomas. The unit’s first military action came after 250 American lives were lost when the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, Cuba, on February 15, 1898. The 6th Infantry was sent to Florida to prepare for battle; however, the unit’s commander, Colonel Cochran, became ill and was relieved of his command. Colonel Egbert, a 36-year army veteran, took charge and led the men to victory during the battle at San Juan Hill in Cuba. Their stay in Cuba was short, and they soon returned to Fort Thomas by train and streetcar line, bringing their injured in litters. In front of the tower are two cannons on stone platforms diagonally placed and inscribed “Barcelona. 1 de Junio, 1768” and “Barcelona. 2 de Junio, 1789.” Trophies from the war in Cuba, they were captured from Spanish admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete during a naval engagement in Havana harbor when American commanders William T. Sampson and Winfield Scott Schley prevented the enemy from leaving the harbor. During the Spanish-American War, 15 men had been left at Fort Thomas under the command of Lt. Harry Lee, Sgt. Paulin, and Lt. Col. Henry Gadner, a surgeon. Customarily, a skeleton military crew, sometimes only three, would stay behind at the fort when one company was leaving and another arriving. There were frequent rumors that the post might close during peacetime, but companies of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, and 10th infantries came at various times and the post stayed open. Situated near a major population center and easily accessible, the Fort Thomas facility became a major site for military recruitment, inductions, and enlistments as men from western West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and southern Ohio regularly arrived to join the ser vice. To provide extra space during World War I, 20 temporary buildings were added. When 1922 began, only recruiting companies and a few medical corpsmen were on the base, but then the 10th Infantry arrived and remained at the post until 1940. Th is unit was called upon for community ser vice at times of flooding. During the Great Depression, the person in command was an ambitious colonel named Edward Croft, who worked to repair the poor appearance of the post. He directed
recent West Point graduates to lead young men from the Civil Military Training Corps in digging up stones from unused areas of the grounds. Then the young men were put to work constructing the walls along the south and west boundaries, the stately gates at the entrances, and steps and benches throughout the grounds. Each group working on the walls made its own patterns; some of the walls were built with jagged tops so soldiers could not sit on them. Local homeowners, who were friendly with the officers, generously contributed shrubs, small trees, rose bushes, and other plants to the beautification crews so that the area could be returned to its former excellent appearance. The commanding colonel insisted that whenever the troops left the base, they were to wear their stately full dress uniform, including white cross belts, white gloves, and highly polished shoes. Soldiers who came to Fort Thomas, for whatever reason—tours of duty, enlistment, recruitment, a posting to the military police barracks, or for Army Reverse duty—always seemed to remember the mess hall after they left. Finished in 1891, at a cost of $20,407, the building has been returned to its original condition through the diligent efforts of the Fort Thomas Heritage League Inc. and was dedicated as a Community Center on September 26, 1992. The main hall is 150 by 50 feet, without central support. There are double doors on the east, south, and west sides and large arched windows, originally topped with lunettes, around the hall. The original red quarry tile floors are intact throughout, even though they were flooded at times to provide winter ice skating when the structure was not in use for other purposes. The pressed-tin ceiling was rusted and has been hidden by new acoustical tiles. Several coats of paint were removed from the interior buttered-brick tile walls, and outside the brick walls have been repointed. The T-shaped rear section once housed the kitchen, a cork-lined meat locker, storage rooms, and an entrance to the basement. Now this area is divided into a caterer’s kitchen, a small museum, a meeting room, restrooms, and storage. With new lighting, ceiling fans, and an airconditioning system, it serves many public purposes throughout the year. Another of the remaining buildings is the armory–drill hall. It has a double-door entrance on the west side from S. Fort Thomas Ave. and one from the east side on Cochran St. A rectangular building, it contains 19,900 square feet on its two floors. When it was built in 1896, it cost $50,235. There are large windows at ground level on the north and south sides; larger casement windows above admit plenty of light for the second level. Red tile covers much of the floor of the lower level, which once housed bowling alleys, pool and billiard tables, and refreshment rooms. The second floor has no central supports, depending instead on roof trusses constructed by bolting or riveting a series of compression and tension members. Hardwood flooring covers the 90-by-100-foot floor. In inclement weather, troops drilled there with the officers observing from a balcony. At other times the
area was used for social events, hops and dances, bridge tournaments, charity luncheons, graduation exercises, and various indoor sports. Citizens from the surrounding cities put on special events during peacetimes. In the aftermath of the Beverly Hills Supper Club disaster on May 28, 1977, in Southgate, the huge armory floor became a temporary morgue. The lower floor now houses city recreation department offices and rooms for games, dancing, meetings, and children’s activities. The second floor is busy daily with exercise classes, basketball and volleyball games, sports leagues for all ages, and large dances. Base housing for the troops was in the four brick barracks buildings, two on either side of the mess hall. The three-story central core contained the company office and billiard, reading, and recreation rooms; the two-story wings on either side had verandas facing the parade grounds. These structures no longer remain, but a fift h barracks, constructed in 1935, is now used as a nursing home–domiciliary by the Cincinnati U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital (see Veterans Administration Medical Center). When the post opened, every officer above the rank of 2nd lieutenant was entitled to a horse. Each one could also have a private mount, as did members of the cavalry attached to the infantry. The resident polo team and the cavalry often performed publicly. A stable was erected on the far southern edge of the property on Carmel Manor Dr. (now part of the Brooks-Lawler Army Reserve Center complex). The road was initially called Boone Dr., since it led to a site where Daniel Boone once camped overlooking the river. The stable’s building of red brick was constructed between 1889 and 1892 and could house 40 horses and mules. The long, narrow building has rather steep roofs and a clerestory along the ridge. Usually, such military structures do not survive. Now it is used for storage in a fenced-off area. Carriage Dr. (renamed Greene St.) was the main entryway when the post was new. It begins at S. Fort Thomas Ave. and turns left into Cochran St. to continue past the mess hall and then to the Carriage Loop (Alexander Circle), with Ohio River overlooks. On both sides of the entrance are homes that housed field officers (starting at lieutenant colonels) and their families; the B.O.Q. was there also. The first house on the left of Greene St. was at one time assigned to Colonel Egbert. It is a single-family, two-story building in Georgian Revival style. The entrance is a reception room of generous size, which was used by base commanders for their many formal entertaining events. Three rooms on the first floor, three on the second, servants’ quarters on the third, and a full basement complete the interior. Fireplaces in six of the rooms are elaborately carved. A wooden porch and an octagonal bay window grace the front facade. The cost was $6,546 for the 3,489 square feet of living area in the house. Next are four duplexes, two on each side of the street. The overall size of each is 51 by 63 feet, and their cost in 1892 was $13,147. Each of these eight units has a wooden porch and lunettes over a large front window and
FORT THOMAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
a door. Each dwelling also has a stairway with ornate landing areas, a fireplace in each room, servant quarters on the third floor, and a basement. The last house on the left is a single-family residence with a floor plan the reverse of Colonel Egbert’s house. Across the street was the B.O.Q., which once housed nurses serving the hospital on Cochran St. It was reported that, at a party in the B.O.Q., Alice Roosevelt, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, smoked a cigarette and “drank whiskey like a man.” Both the hospital and the residence have been removed. Administrative officers (full colonels), who did not rotate from base to base as field officers, were entitled to homes on the Loop. The commandant’s home, built in Queen Anne style, stands at the most prominent position on the circle and provides views of both the Ohio and Little Miami rivers and of downtown Cincinnati. It has a foundation of field stone and walls of locally made red brick. The 15-room structure with three baths, two half baths, a basement, and a porch cost $9,803.53 to build. The front is distinguished by a projection that houses the stairway and by a small balcony on the third floor. Other officers’ homes on the Loop include four single-occupant residences and three duplexes, constructed in 1888. The single houses originally had frame siding on the second floor, but that has been replaced. The structures’ stone foundations, red brick walls, slate roofs (now covered), and corner cylindrical towers with coneshaped roofs also represent the Queen Anne style. Parquet floors are laid on the first-floor rooms, and the stairway landings are window seats with art glass windows, which have “USA” etched into the design. Each duplex has an entrance hall, three rooms with fireplaces on the first floor, three rooms with fireplaces on the second, three servants’ rooms on the third floor, two staircases, transoms above doors for air circulation in the high-ceilinged rooms, abundant closets, a pantry, and a porch. In 1891 two more duplexes were built on Cochran St. While similar in design to the duplexes on the Loop, the newer ones also have overhanging thirdfloor dormers. A headquarters building once located next to the latter two has been removed. Veteran’s Administration personnel have occupied all of these homes in recent times. The oval green space encircled by the drive and the former rose gardens also attracted many visitors to the post’s grounds. Between 1890 and 1894, six modest homes for noncommissioned officers were built on Pearson St. on the north side of the tower. These modest, 999-square-foot homes contain three rooms on the first floor and one or two rooms and a bath on the second floor. Each house was equipped with a coal cooking range and a laundry stove. They have stone foundations, red brick walls, porches (in most cases, closed in now), and stone lintels above the windows, and they cost $2,100 per house to build. Sgt. Samuel Woodfi ll (1883–1951) and his wife, Blossom, lived on Pearson St. after their marriage, which followed his return from France. Woodfi ll was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, by U.S. secretary of war Peyton C.
March, for his heroic actions in combat in France against German soldiers during World War I. Almost immediately after the Fort Thomas Military Reservation was occupied, it was found to be too small. The city was expanding around it, so that there was no room for a very necessary rifle range. To address this need, the Cochran Rifle Range was established on 167 acres purchased from William N. Taliaferro along the Licking River in May 1891. Troops marched 14 miles to the site for frequent practice and often spent a month camping there during summers. When some of the military companies were too large to be accommodated at the post, they set up their tents at the range. Today, the Tri City Sportsman Club Inc. is established at what was the military range’s site (4219 Rifle Range Rd.). Similarly, there was no suitable space for a cemetery at the post. However, the Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate, just a few miles from the post, reserved an area for soldiers, dependents, nurses, and patients from the Veterans Administration Nursing Home. In November 1940 the War Department announced that the fort’s last major infantry unit, the 10th Regiment, would be transferred to Fort Custer in Michigan. The size of the modern army’s regiments had simply rendered Fort Thomas too small. In September 1940 the fort became an induction center only. Throughout World War II, it functioned as such, with recruits undergoing physical and aptitude tests, attending basic lectures and drills, and usually, by the fourth day, being sent by bus and train to army camps elsewhere for basic training. At its peak during World War II, the induction center at Fort Thomas processed about 3,000 recruits per week. Besides its regular staff, it housed about 190 Japanese American soldiers, who performed menial duties. In June 1944 the War Department suspended the induction center at Fort Thomas and transferred inductions to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. On October 1, 1944, the U.S. Army Air Force (AAF) assumed control of the fort and operated an AAF Convalescent Hospital in the new (1938) barracks during 1944–1945, but the hospital was soon closed because it was not near enough to an airfield. After the fort was controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a short period, the War Department declared the fort surplus property. In October 1946 the Veterans Administration assumed control of it and opened a hospital in 1947. In addition, the army post continued to house military equipment, a guard house (closed in 1960), a PX, a reserve unit, and a small number of personnel. The National Guard operated an artillery unit there from 1955 until 1959. In 1961 the U.S. government granted the City of Fort Thomas 43.87 acres of the property for use as a public park. In 1962 the U.S. Army Reserve built its new Brooks-Lawler Reserve Center on 7.19 acres of the grounds, still home to the 478th Engineer Battalion. Apparently, small numbers of recruits continued to be inducted at Fort Thomas until April 11, 1964. The property of the fort was declared U.S. government surplus and by 1972 the federal gov-
ernment had divided the fort’s property into six tracts of land: the Veterans Administration, which had converted its hospital to a nursing home and which used the homes on Alexander Circle for personnel, received two parcels; the Brooks-Lawler Army Reserve Center received one tract; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used one area for its Antennae Farm; and the City of Fort Thomas was given two tracts totaling about 37 additional acres for use as Tower Park (included were the old fort’s homes on Greene and Pearson Sts., which the City of Fort Thomas thereafter rented to individuals until September 1992, when the city decided to sell the homes at auction as condominiums with covenants protecting the exteriors). On May 15, 1986, an 86-acre area entitled the Fort Thomas Military Reservation District became a National Register Historic District (the mess hall had been placed on the National Register in 1980). In 2007 President George W. Bush signed legislation permitting the Veterans Administration–owned houses on Alexander Circle to be sold to the City of Fort Thomas, which, in turn, will sell the properties at auction with similar covenants. Bogart, Charles. “The Military Post at Ft. Thomas, Kentucky,” ca. 1985, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Daniels, Betty Maddox. “Fort Thomas Military Reservation: Description and History,” NKH 6, no. 2 (Spring–Summer 1999): 1–22. Deed Books 347, pp. 44–51; 376, pp. 544–52; 405, pp. 566–73; 406, pp. 371–83; and 463, pp. 283–89, Campbell Co. Court house, Newport, Ky. “Ft. Thomas Center Closes June 15,” KP, May 24, 1944, 1. “Ft. Thomas Gets VA Tract,” KP, December 21, 1972, 2K. “Ft. Thomas Post Passes to Air Force,” KP, September 30, 1944, 1. “Ft. Thomas to Buy Hospital Land,” KP, September 6, 1972, 2K. Knapp, Paul T. Fort Thomas, Kentucky: Its History, Its Heritage. Fort Thomas, Ky.: Fort Thomas Centennial, 1967. “Spence to Lead Dedication Parade,” KP, October 3, 1962, 1K. Stevens, William R., comp. Fort Thomas Military Reservation, 1888–1964, Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Alexandria, Ky.: [Campbell Co. Historical Society?], n.d. Thomas, Bill. Images of America: Fort Thomas. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2006. “U.S. Deeds Tract to Ft. Thomas,” KP, November 10, 1972, 8K. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. “National Register of Historic Places Inventory–Nomination Form” for “Fort Thomas Military Reservation District,” Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Wadsworth, Randolph L. “The Military Post at Fort Thomas,” BCHS 25, no. 3 (July 1967): 184–95.
Betty Maddox Daniels
FORT THOMAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Formal education in Fort Thomas began with the Mount Pleasant School, a one-story log building in the northern part of the modern-day city of Fort Thomas, an area known at the time as Mount
364 FORT WRIGHT Pleasant. This log school was built before 1840 by pioneer resident Richard Taliaferro, on his property. If the school still stood today, it would be at the corner of Holly Ln. and N. Fort Thomas Ave. The Mount Vernon School was started later by a Captain Blackford of Carter’s Ln. (now Highland Ave.) along that thoroughfare, opposite Newman Ave.; the Union School was constructed in the south end of the city by the Hawthorne family, next to St. Stephen Cemetery. Today the Memorial Park is at that site, at the intersection of old Three Mile Rd. and U.S. 27. A fourth school, the Anderson School, was opened at the southwest corner of W. Villa Pl. and S. Fort Thomas Ave.; it was named for the landowner who owned the dairy there. These schools were called “free schools” and were run by local neighborhood residents. In 1872 a school system, the predecessor to the modern Fort Thomas Independent Schools System, was formed for the District of the Highlands. Smaller schools were combined or closed to serve the needs of students better. In 1885, as a result of a new state law allowing school districts to issue bonds for new construction, the new Central School began along N. Fort Thomas Ave. (its building later served as city hall). A high school program was initiated that year also, the first in Campbell Co. James McGinniss served as principal and later was named superintendent. The high school’s first four-year class, consisting of five boys, graduated in 1891. By 1894 two other schools had been erected: the Inverness School, near the Inverness Golf Course, and the Grant Street School, in the south end of town. By 1907 the Central School had been expanded. In 1911 the Grant Street School closed and a replacement one opened where today’s Samuel Woodfi ll School stands. Highlands High School opened in 1915. Its first principal was Anne B. Regenstein, sister of Elsworth Regenstein. That first building, later known as the South Wing, burned to the ground in January 1962. The other wing of the building, the North Wing, was added in 1937. In 1916 the old Mount Pleasant School merged with the Central School. In 1923 the Robert D. Johnson Elementary School opened along N. Fort Thomas Ave.; it has been expanded several times since. The construction of the Samuel Woodfi ll School along Alexandria Pk. soon followed. In 1931 the Ruth Moyer Elementary School was built, allowing the old Central School to become the city building. In 1962, after the high school’s fire, a new building and a gymnasium were built on that campus. In April 2000 the system broke ground for an almost $15 million new middle school, next to Highlands High School. The 95,000-square-foot Highlands Middle School, the first separate middle school in the system, was designed to accommodate up to 600 students in grades six, seven, and eight. Of late, the high school building has been undergoing extensive renovation. Today the Fort Thomas Independent School System has 2,300 students attending five schools: Woodfi ll on the south end of town; Moyer in central Fort Thomas; Highlands High School and the
new Highland Middle School, both on the same campus along N. Fort Thomas Ave.; and farther north along N. Fort Thomas Ave., the Johnson School. Since 2000 the Fort Thomas Board of Education has occupied a central office at 28 N. Fort Thomas Ave. In June 2007 Dr. Larry Stinson finished his 13th year as school superintendent. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994. History of Ft. Thomas: The Highlands, 1867–1914. Fort Thomas, Ky.: Fort Thomas Optimist Club, n.d. [ca. 1994].
FORT WRIGHT. Perched atop a hill overlooking Covington to the south, the area that became the city of Fort Wright was once a family farm owned by Robert Samuel Kyle. Kyle had helped build Battery Kyle, a fortification erected during the Civil War to help defend Cincinnati from Confederate attack (see Civil War Fortifications). Kyles Ln. in Fort Wright is named for the Kyle family. Nearby stood a fort named for Union general Horatio G. Wright, an Ohio commander who was a key organizer of the Cincinnati defense. In addition to meritorious ser vice during the Civil War, General Wright went on to civilian fame as the engineer who helped complete the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. By the late 1930s, Fort Wright was largely an area of farmland, apple orchards, and dairy cow pastures. But then George Kreutzjans arrived from Lorup, Germany, and recognized the area’s potential for residential development. Often referred to as the “Father of Fort Wright,” Kreutzjans and an early partner, Theodore Drees (of the Drees Company), built the first homes along Kyles Ln. (see Building, Residential). Kreutzjans moved into the area in 1937 after 11 of these houses had been sold. The first homes were available for about $7,000 including the lot. Over time, the area
Construction on Lorup Ave., Fort Wright, 1955.
sprouted new streets, including Kennedy, Rose, Augusta, and Barbara. Each street name held a meaning for Kreutzjans; Lorup, for instance, was named for his hometown, and Barbara Circle was named for his wife. Kreutzjans made many other important contributions to the community. He spearheaded the incorporation of the city, served for 20 years on the Fort Wright City Council, and became one of the founding members of the Northern Kentucky Home Builders Association. In 1941 a group of residents banded together to incorporate the City of Fort Wright as a sixth-class city, bordered by South Hills, Lookout Heights, Covington, and South Fort Mitchell. The first mayor of Fort Wright was Irwin Widmeyer, and he was followed by Fred Wolnitzek, Tom Litzler, John McCormack, Joe Nienaber, Don Martin Sr., Cindy Pinto, Paul Hiltz, and Gene Weaver. City meetings were originally held in various residences, including that of George Kreutzjans, and then were moved to the Fort Wright Civic Club, which opened in the late 1930s. The Fort Wright Civic Club, located on Kennedy Rd., has long been a driving force in the community. In 1946 the club initiated a community festival to raise funds to start a volunteer fire department, which was something most of Fort Wright’s neighboring communities lacked. In 1949 a committee from the Fort Wright Civic Club was responsible for funding, recruiting, and equipping the city’s first fire department. Nearly 40 men volunteered for ser vice as firemen, with Vern Ashcraft as their first chief. In 1950 the Fort Wright Civic Club purchased its first piece of fire equipment, a 500-gallon-per-minute Howe pumper. A garage was added to the building to house the pumper, and this became the fire department’s home for the next 40 years. In 1952 the Fort Wright Life Squad Ser vice received its humble start when two members of the fire department began responding to emergencies in their own family station wagons. In
FORWARD QUEST INC./VISION 2015
1954 a panel van was converted for use as an ambulance and was kept in the equipment bay at the Civic Club. Fort Wright began to provide fire protection to South Hills under contract in about 1953; this ongoing relationship with South Hills, coupled with shared concerns over being annexed by Covington, led Fort Wright to an amicable annexation of South Hills in 1960. It was the first of several mergers, which garnered for Fort Wright the nickname “The City of Cities.” Another neighboring city, Lookout Heights, had similar annexation concerns with Covington. In November 1967, a proposal for Lookout Heights to merge with Fort Wright passed by votes of 389 to 150 in Lookout Heights and 532 to 319 in Fort Wright. Another adjoining city, Park Hills, was originally included in these merger talks, but it elected to withdraw before the vote occurred. In 1968 the newly merged cities briefly operated as Fort Wright–Lookout Heights, with two city buildings and two mayors. The next merger occurred in 1978 with the city of Lakeview, which ran along Madison Pk. (Ky. Rt. 17) from the Mother of God Cemetery to roughly where Pioneer Park is located today. Like many small cities, Lakeview suffered from budgetary problems, and it elected to merge with Fort Wright. In November 1977 Fort Wright voted 1,216 to 300 in favor, while the approving vote in Lakeview was 56 to 20. In 1983 a merger with Kenton Vale was considered. Kenton Vale borders Fort Wright on the east, near the old Lakeview area along Madison Pk. The vote in Fort Wright this time was 1,008 to 953 against merger. Talk of other mergers has arisen from time to time during Fort Wright City Council meetings. A major battle was waged with Covington during the early 1980s over undeveloped property that Covington had annexed in Lookout Heights during the 1960s. Once it had been developed, Covington claimed this property and won it in court in 1980. However, a group of citizens living on the properties in question formed Citizens against Forced Annexation and vigorously fought annexation. Using a new state law, Fort Wright reannexed the disputed area and placed the issue on the ballot. In what amounted to a landslide, a record number of these residents voted to leave Covington. Fort Wright was then required to pay $250,000 over seven years to offset debts Covington had incurred in providing city ser vices to these properties. Some of the money owed was raised between 1981 and 1987 from an annual event in Fort Wright known as the World’s Largest Garage Sale, a sale sometimes involving as many as 133 homes in the city’s Fort Henry subdivision. In 1988 Fort Wright purchased five acres at the intersection of Highland Pk. and Kyles Ln. for a new city building where all city operations could be centralized. The new 15,000-square-foot building was occupied on November 20, 1990, and the city’s offices were moved from the Lookout Heights Civic Club and the Fort Wright Civic Club. Both social clubs continue to remain active in the community.
Today the Kyle Farm is long gone, replaced by the Kyles Ln. overpass on I-75 (see Expressways); Fort Wright has become the de facto crossroads of Kenton Co. with I-275 providing access to points east and west and I-75 and the Dixie Highway (U.S. 25) to places north and south. The city is a tight-knit community with many second- and third-generation residents. It is largely residential in nature and is a fourth-class city, covering an area of 3.49 square miles and with a population of 5,681 according to the 2000 census. Fort Wright offers many amenities, including the two civic clubs, a community center (the former South Hills Civic Club), three churches, a school, the Bluegrass Swim Club, the Fort Wright Nature Center, several community parks, and the James A. Ramage Civil War Museum at Battery Hooper Park. In addition, the city is home to a thriving community of nearly 500 businesses and an active business association. Fort Wright celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1991 at the city building with a parade and fireworks; the event, according to newspaper reports, was attended by several thousand people. The city was designated Northern Kentucky’s Most Livable Neighborhood by Cincinnati Magazine in 1995. City of Fort Wright. City of Fort Wright 50th Anniversary Booklet. Fort Wright, Ky.: City of Fort Wright, 1991. “Park Hills, Ft. Wright, Lookout Heights Talk More on Merger,” KE, March 21, 1967, 19. “Pride Fills Ft. Wright’s Golden Day,” KP, August 26, 1991, 3K. Reis, Jim. “The City They All Seem to Want,” KP, November 11, 1985, 4K. U.S. Census Bureau. “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed October 4, 2006).
FORWARD QUEST INC./VISION 2015. Forward Quest Inc., a nonprofit corporation, was orga nized in 1996 to implement Quest: A Vision for Northern Kentucky, a regional community agenda for Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. Led by cochairs Bill Butler and Rev. Bill Cleves, the Quest vision was created by 14 task forces and included 44 strategic initiatives (projects) related to economic development, education, human ser vices, culture/parks, governance, and regionalism. Working with a small staff, Forward Quest engaged hundreds of volunteers and more than 60 organi zational partners to work collaboratively to implement the Quest projects. The organi zation was committed to improving the region’s quality of life and advancing its best long-term interests. The Quest vision has been responsible, through Forward Quest, for establishing Legacy, a young professionals’ group; the Urban Learning Center, which provides college-level instruction for low-income adults; the Duveneck House, which offers art classes and programs for inner-city youth; and the Northern Kentucky Fund of the Greater
Cincinnati Foundation. Forward Quest also sponsored the publication of the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, a comprehensive historical resource for the region. In addition Forward Quest conducted advanced education and governance studies that helped inform the community and key stakeholders about trends and opportunities. It supported efforts to secure state funding for the Metropolitan Education and Training Center and the Bank of Kentucky Arena at Northern Kentucky University, as well as the additional operational funding for Northern Kentucky University and the establishment of Gateway Community and Technical College. Beginning in late 2004, Forward Quest led and supported the community visioning process that produced Vision 2015. The founding director of Forward Quest and of Vision 2015 was Michael Hammons. Northern Kentucky’s 10-year strategic plan, a community agenda produced by more than 2,000 people from throughout the community. The visioning process was led by cochairs James “Jim” Votruba of Northern Kentucky University and Andrew “A. J.” Schaeffer of the Greenbaum, Doll & McDonald law firm. Extensive studies and public-engagement activities were led by six task forces in the strategic areas of economic competitiveness, education excellence, effective governance, livable communities, regional stewardship, and urban renaissance to address the needs of the community. The fi nal report was released to the public in March 2006. In April 2006 Forward Quest dissolved its Board of Directors, turning to the Vision 2015 Regional Stewardship Council for leadership. The Regional Stewardship Council includes more than 50 diverse members from throughout the community. With the change of leadership, the small staff of Forward Quest changed its operating name to Vision 2015. The 10-year plan includes specific goals to increase educational attainment, homeownership, the number of high-paying jobs, and the number of parks in the region, as well as to encourage new investment in the urban core, more effective governance, greater public engagement, more women and minorities in key leadership positions, and increased civic volunteerism. Vision 2015 maintains the primary purposes of Forward Quest: to enhance the region’s quality of life and advance its best long-term interests. It focuses on Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, and Pendleton counties. In November 2006 community leaders from Cincinnati embraced Vision 2015, making a commitment to develop a similar community agenda that could later be integrated with the efforts of Vision 2015 to form a Shared Civic Agenda. The staff of the former Forward Quest Inc. continues to work with community organizations and stakeholder groups to implement Vision 2015. This organization functions in both leadership and supporting roles in identifying priorities; convening, forming, and supporting coalitions of participating partners; providing research and consultants;
366 FOSDICK, WILLIAM WHITEMAN generating financial, governmental, and community support; assuring public engagement; establishing and evaluating outcome measures; monitoring and reporting to the community the overall progress in the implementation of the vision; and celebrating success. Kara Clark
FOSDICK, WILLIAM WHITEMAN (b. January 28, 1825, Cincinnati, Ohio; d. March 8, 1862, Cincinnati, Ohio). William W. Fosdick, a lawyer and a poet, was the son of Thomas R. and Julia Drake Fosdick. His father, a Cincinnati merchant and banker, died August 1, 1829, when William was a child. His mother was a famous actress, and an aunt, Mrs. Alexander Drake, was another famous and talented actress. The Drakes were the pioneer theatrical family of the Ohio River Valley. William was raised in Covington and graduated in 1845 from Transylvania College, where he studied law. He practiced in Covington, Cincinnati, and New York City. The front page of the October 26, 1850, Covington Journal included an advertisement of his law office on Third St. in Cincinnati. After his time in New York, he returned to Cincinnati and edited the literary journal Sketch Club. He was also a poet and a constant punster, and for a few years he was regarded as the poet laureate of Cincinnati. His novel Malmiztic was met with both high praise and loud ridicule. It was said of him that if he had not been consumed by playing chess, he might have accomplished more in literature. Fosdick was buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. Advertisement, CJ, October 26, 1850, 1. Coyle, William, ed. Ohio Authors and Their Books: 1796–1950. Cleveland, Ohio: World, 1962. Ford, Henry A., and Kate B. Ford. History of Cincinnati, Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio: Williams, 1881. Hill, West T., Jr. The Theatre in Early Kentucky: 1790–1820. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1971. “Mrs. A. Drake,” CJ, May 16, 1874, 2.
FOSTER. Foster, an Ohio River community, is located in the northeastern tip of Bracken Co., at the mouth of Holt’s Creek. Originally known as Foster’s Landing, it was named for landowner Israel Foster. On August 19, 1847, Richard Lindsey established the first post office there. On January 30, 1850, Foster was incorporated as a sixth-class city, and the name of the post office was changed to Foster the same year. Early settlers used the river landing to send tobacco, grain, and other goods to markets in Cincinnati and New Orleans. Foster was an important shipping point, and the landing was used in 1853 to receive materials to construct a suspension bridge at Falmouth. In the late 1870s, Israel Foster donated land to build a Northern and a Southern Methodist Church. The Northern Church was soon disbanded, and its members joined the Southern congregation. The 1884 atlas of Bracken Co. depicts Foster as a fairly large town, in which the following men conducted business: W. W. Erion, George Holmes, Harry Ketchum, J. J. Ketchum, A. Lively, the Mar-
kley brothers, and L. B. Plummer. The railroad, built in 1888, promoted additional transportation and shipping. In 1907 Foster received a natural gas line. A Kentucky Historical Highway Marker relates the story of an early American Indian raid at the mouth of Holt’s Creek in summer 1793. The raiders crossed the Ohio River, hid their canoes in Holt’s Creek, and proceeded across country to Bourbon Co. to steal horses. Simon Kenton, who was in the area at the time, gathered a group of men to ambush the war party upon its return to the river. After concealing themselves for four days, Kenton’s men killed six warriors, scattering the others, and retrieved the stolen horses. Today, what remains of Foster is located between Ky. Rt. 8 (the Mary Ingles Highway) and the AA Highway. The new pool level of the Ohio River covers remnants of the old boat landing and of the original town. Foster is no longer incorporated, and the AA Highway has removed most of the traffic that used to pass through town along the Mary Ingles Highway. Bracken Co. Extension Homemakers. History of Bracken County. Bicentennial ed. Brooksville, Ky.: Bracken Co. Extension Homemakers, 2002. Rennick, Robert M. Kentucky Place Names. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1984.
John E. Leming Jr.
FOSTER, RANDOLPH SINKS (b. February 22, 1820, Williamsburg, Ohio; d. May 1, 1903, Newton, Mass.). Randolph Foster, a bishop and an author, was the son of a jailer in Clermont Co., Ohio. The family moved to Kentucky, and he attended Augusta College. In 1837 he was admitted to the Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Over the years, he traveled widely in his preaching and teaching. In 1852 Foster received his BA from Ohio Wesleyan College, and in 1858 the same school awarded him a DD (doctorate in divinity). He served as president of Northwestern University in Chicago (1857–1860) and of Drew Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J. (1870–1872). In 1872 he was elected a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He authored more than a dozen books, the most famous being the religious work Objections to Calvinism as It Is (1849), which was written while he was the pastor of a famous Methodist church in Cincinnati, Wesley Chapel. In 1876 he moved to Boston, where he spent the rest of his life. He was an oftenrequested speaker and traveled widely throughout the country. He died in Massachusetts in 1903 and was buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Bishop Foster,” Newton (Mass.) Graphic Supplement, May 8, 1903. Coyle, William, ed. Ohio Authors and Their Books: 1796–1950. Cleveland, Ohio: World, 1962. Mohs, Mayo. “Your Town: Augusta, Ky., Battleground of Giants,” KTS, June 27, 1956, 21–23. Rankins, Walter H. Augusta College. Frankfort, Ky.: Roberts, 1955. “Recent Death,” Boston Evening Transcript, May 2, 1903, 2. “Translation,” Zion’s Herald, May 6, 1903, 550–56.
FOSTER, STEPHEN COLLINS (b. July 4, 1826, Lawrenceville, Pa.; d. January 13, 1864, New York City). Songwriter Stephen Foster was born at White Cottage, his family’s homestead along the Allegheny River northeast of Pittsburgh. He was the 10th of 11 children of William Barclay and Eliza Tomlinson Foster. His mother was the half sister of Dr. Joseph S. Tomlinson, president of Augusta College, Augusta, Ky., and Dr. John Tomlinson, an Augusta physician. Stephen and his mother are said to have visited them in Augusta at least once, in May 1833. Today a Kentucky Highway marker in Augusta suggests that Foster was influenced by Negro spirituals he heard there. Foster was schooled at home, as was typical on America’s frontier. He evidenced much interest in music and received some formal musical training from Henry Klaber, a German immigrant composer who was influential in Pittsburgh’s musical circles. By age 18 Foster was writing words and music, creating the first of his many songs. At age 20 Foster became a bookkeeper in his older brother Dunning’s merchant firm in Cincinnati and continued to pen music. He saw river life firsthand and noted the mingling currents in American culture. His genius blossomed. In Cincinnati he began to write songs in earnest while establishing friendships with musicians, minstrels, and publishers. He gave manuscript copies of “Oh! Susanna,” “Old Uncle Ned,” and other songs to several acquaintances in Cincinnati. Queen City minstrels sang his compositions, increasing the popularity of these songs. “Oh! Susanna” (1847) became the marching song of thousands of Americans joining the California gold rush. In 1849 Foster decided to devote himself full-time to music composition and sent one of his best songs, “Nelly Was a Lady,” to a New York City publisher. He negotiated a favorable contract with this firm, Firth, Pond & Company, and maintained a satisfactory business relationship with it for several years. Foster returned to Pittsburgh, where the years between 1850 and 1855 were his most successful. He entered into an agreement with Edwin P. Christy, leader of the famous Christy Minstrels, whereby Christy agreed to pay Foster a small fee for the privilege of singing Foster songs before they were published; Foster would then be able to affi x “As Sung by the Christy Minstrels” on his music’s title pages. Foster’s business skills were poor, as he sold the rights to “Old Folks at Home” in 1851 to Christy for a paltry $15; when this song was published, it bore the surprising statement, “Composed by E. P. Christy.” More than 160 compositions poured from Foster’s pen during these years. Many were of only passing interest, but several enduring favorites were created: “Camptown Races” and “Nelly Bly” (1850); “Old Folks at Home” and “Ring, Ring the Banjo” (1851); “Massa’s in de Cold Ground” (1852); “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Good Night,” and “Old Dog Tray” (1853); “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” (1854); and “Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming” (1855). On July 22, 1850, Foster married Jane Denny McDowell, daughter of a Pittsburgh physician. Their daughter and only child, Marion, was born
FOUSE, ELIZABETH B. COOK “LIZZIE”
in Pittsburgh on April 18, 1851. The marriage was not always serene. Even though Stephen was basically kind and sympathetic, he also possessed a genius temperament: moody, and careless about money and practicality. About the time Marion was born, he was working on “Swanee River (Old Folks at Home).” Although he had never seen Florida’s Suwannee River, he immortalized it around the world with this song. Stephen Foster has thus become the only American composer who has contributed what became two official state songs: “Swanee River” for Florida, and “My Old Kentucky Home” for Kentucky. By 1856 Foster’s compositions had decreased in number and quality, and by 1857 his financial situation was bleak; he developed the habit of selling his compositions to publishers for outright cash, thereby undervaluing most of them. After composing “Old Black Joe” (1860), he moved to New York City in a effort to regain his financial footing. Except for “Beautiful Dreamer” (1863), Foster’s compositions written while he was in New York City were of poor quality. He soon found he could not support Jane and Marion, and they both returned to Pittsburgh. In New York City, cut off from sympathetic friends and family, Foster became lonely and despondent. On January 10, 1864, he fell in his room and was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he died on January 13, at age 37. He was buried at Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, not far from his birthplace. Algier, Keith. Ante-Bellum Augusta: The Life and Times of a Kentucky River Town. Maysville, Ky.: Standard Quick Print, 2002. Emerson, Ken. Doo-Dah! Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997. Rankins, Walter H. Augusta College, Augusta, Kentucky: First Established Methodist College, 1822– 1849. Frankfort, Ky.: Roberts, 1957.
FOSTER’S CHAPEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. Established in the late 1840s by Rev. Jedediah Foster, this Robertson Co. Methodist Episcopal North congregation split off from the Mount Zion Church. Originally the membership met in the chapel of the Foster’s Chapel Cemetery, hence its name. It is located 2.5 miles northwest of Mount Olivet along Foster Chapel Ln. After the Civil War, a new meetinghouse was built nearby. Later a bell tower and vestibule were added, but the latter was removed by 1962. The area around the church is also generally known as Foster’s Chapel. Moore, T. Ross, ed. Echoes from the Century, 1867– 1967. Mount Olivet, Ky.: Robertson Co. Historical Society, 2000.
4-H CLUBS. 4-H Clubs have been well represented in the rural areas of Northern Kentucky. It was in the late 1890s and early 1900s that 4-H clubs were established to meet the needs of rural young people in the United States. These clubs united youth through “learning by doing.” In 1907, under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA), corn clubs began in the South. Several years later, pig clubs were added to the program. At that same time, canning clubs were organized, using materials furnished by the USDA. In 1911 the 4-H Club’s four-leaf-clover emblem was designed, and in 1924 the organization acquired its 4-H name and patented the 4-H emblem. The 4-H programs, with volunteer leadership, taught children in farming communities the responsibilities of raising animals and crops, using new and improved techniques. Young women were taught sewing and cooking. During World War II, Northern Kentuckians plowed victory gardens and bought victory bonds. In early 1943, J. A. Caywood, the Kenton Co. school superintendent, supplemented regular high school classes with victory corps, in order to teach students basic military skills. The Boone Co. 4-H Club organized a victory program to promote basic farming skills. Throughout Kentucky, 200,000 students enrolled in the 4-H victory program. Now sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Ser vice of the University of Kentucky at Lexington, under the auspices of the USDA, 4-H clubs in the state are mostly urban. Local chapters, which elect their own leadership, have monthly meetings, where they learn about citizenship and life skills. There are wide selections of projects that fit the rural as well as the urban 4-H member, and the clubs are reaching out to new audiences with after-school programs. No longer just about livestock and crops, today’s 4-H clubs involve members in equine activities, photography, computer technology, and career development. Members also participate in lifestyle programs, nutrition, and cooking; design and sew clothes; gain knowledge about the environment; engage in community ser vice; attend state and national conferences; and can even be part of international exchange programs. Each Northern Kentucky county has a 4-H Club program. It is often associated with the county’s fair, where there is a strong connection to the orga nization’s agricultural roots. Members of 4-H clubs share with the community their projects: livestock clinics and contests, as well as nonanimal activities such as photography, art contests, vegetable and fruit exhibits, needlework, and foods. Kentucky, one of the first states to offer 4-H programs, has some famous 4-H alumni, including governors (Martha Layne Collins [1983–1987], Wendell Ford [1971–1974], and Paul Patton [1995– 2003]), a senator (Mitch McConnell), a Kentucky commissioner of agriculture (Billy Ray Smith), singers/songwriters (Ricky Skaggs and Kevin Richardson), and a Triple Crown–winning jockey (Steve Cauthen). Today, 9 million youngsters nationally of ages 5–19, whether on the farm, in the cities, or in subdivisions, are involved in 4-H programs. A person who is not a 4-H member but wears the 4-H emblem is subject to a $5,000 fine and a six-month jail sentence, under federal law (U.S. Code 707, section 18). This is the same law that protects the seal of the president of the United States.
Cabot, Susan M., and Michael D. Rouse. Boone County. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 1998. Kentucky 4-H. www.ca.uky.edu/agcollege/4h/part nerships/ydpartnership/ (accessed on July 9, 2006). Warner, Jennifer S. Boone County: From Mastodons to the Millennium. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Bicentennial Book Committee, 1998.
Nancy J. Tretter
FOUSE, ELIZABETH B. COOK “LIZZIE” (b. May 14, 1875, Lancaster, Ky.; d. October 22, 1952, Lexington, Ky.). Lizzie Beatrice Burnside Cook, an African American educator, clubwoman, and social activist, was the daughter of William and Mary Burnside Cook. In 1884 she entered the Model Division at the State University in Louisville (formerly named Simmons Bible College) and advanced the following year to the university’s Normal Department. She apparently transferred to Eckstein-Norton Institute in Cane Springs, Ky. when that college opened in 1890, and graduated two years later. At age 17, Lizzie began teaching at the Constitution School in Lexington. She married William Henry Fouse in August 1898, and the couple began a 46-year partnership devoted to uplift ing African Americans. In 1908 William Fouse was appointed principal of William Grant High School, and when the couple moved to Covington, Lizzie joined the Ladies Union and Ladies Improvement clubs. Thus she started her lifelong association with the Northern Kentucky community and the African American clubwomen’s movement. In 1913 the Fouses moved to Lexington, where William was called to head the Russell and later the Paul Lawrence Dunbar schools. Though for the rest of her life she lived in Lexington, where she was equally well respected for her social activism, Lizzie Fouse did not abandon the social causes in which she was involved in Northern Kentucky; she returned often to support them. The Fouses lived by the motto “lifting as we climb.” Lizzie Fouse was part of the network of African American women who organized on the local, state, national, and international levels. The National Association of Colored Women, the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, the Kentucky Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and the NAACP were some of the groups that benefited from her leadership. She was a delegate in 1933 to the International Congress of Women held in Chicago and in 1947 to the world convention of the Women’s Temperance Union in England. The L. B. Fouse Civic Center in Covington, which became the site of many civil rights meetings during the 1960s, was established in her honor in 1953. William H. Fouse died June 1, 1944, and Lizzie Fouse died October 22, 1952, each while residing at their home, at 219 N. Upper St. in Lexington. Lizzie was buried at the Greenwood Cemetery (Cove Hill Cemetery today) in Lexington. Networks created across the country by many African American women such as Lizzie Fouse laid the
368 FOWLER, JACOB foundation for the success of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Fouse Family Papers, folders 1–2, Special Collections, M. L. King Library, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington. “Heart Attack Proves Fatal to Mrs. Fouse,” Lexington Leader, October 22, 1952, 1. Hollingsworth, Randolph. Lexington: Queen of the Bluegrass. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2004. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 13381, for the year 1944. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 23024, for the year 1952. Pettit, Jennifer L. “Consuming, Organizing, and Uplifting: Elizabeth Fouse and the Production of Class Identity,” master’s thesis, Univ. of Kentucky, 1998. Smith, Gerald L. Lexington Kentucky. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2002.
FOWLER, JACOB (b. 1764, either New Jersey or New York; d. October 16, 1849, Covington, Ky.). One of the earliest settlers of Northern Kentucky, Jacob Fowler built a log cabin in the area of Newport in about 1789. In 1782, at age 18, Fowler fought with Gen. George Rogers Clark in Clark’s successful campaign against the Shawnee Indians. Fowler also participated in the battles known as Harmar’s Defeat in 1789 and St. Clair’s Defeat in 1791, where he almost died. Later, he fought in Gen. Anthony Wayne’s victorious Fallen Timbers Campaign of 1794. Fowler returned to Newport, and in 1796 James Taylor Jr. appointed him Campbell Co. deputy sheriff. In 1793 Fowler was given an in-lot in Newport in payment for clearing land. In 1795 he opened Newport’s first tavern in his home, and it soon became a well-known gathering place and the site of some early city meetings. He bought from Taylor out-lot no. 1, which consisted of two acres south of Fift h St. between Isabella and Brighton. Fowler was also one of the founders of the Newport Academy, a Newport City Council member, and operator of a ferry (see ferries) across the Licking River. When two of Taylor’s slaves, Moses and Humphrey, ran away, it was Fowler who helped find them. Fowler also assisted Taylor in surveying the turnpike to Alexandria (U.S. 27), which continues south toward Lexington. In the “James Taylor Narrative,” Taylor talks of hunting buffalo with Jacob Fowler at Big Bone Lick. In 1821–1822, Fowler was a guide of the FowlerGlenn Expedition that blazed the Old Taos Trail to New Mexico. His journal of the expedition was subsequently published by the American scientist Elliot Coues as The Journal of Jacob Fowler. Fowler moved to Covington sometime after 1826, and his place of burial is not known. He married a widow, Esther de Vie Sanders, who was of French descent. Their granddaughter, Henrietta Cleveland, became one of the founders of St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center). “Died,” CJ, October 19, 1849, 2. Fowler, Jacob. The Journal of Jacob Fowler: Narrating an Adventure from Arkansas through the Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, to the Sources of Rio Grande
del Norte, 1821–22. Ed. Elliot Coues. New York: Francis P. Harper, 1898; reprint, Minneapolis: Ross and Haines, 1965. Jones, Mary Keturah. History of Campbell County. Newport, Ky., 1876. Reprint, Fort Thomas, Ky.: Rebecca Bryan Boone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1974. Purvis, Thomas L., ed. Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, Ky.: Otto Zimmerman, 1996. Taylor, James, Jr. “The James Taylor Narrative,” 1840, Kenton Co. Public Library; Campbell Co. Historical and Genealogical Society, Alexandria, Ky. Wessling, Jack. Early History of Campbell County, Ky. Alexandria, Ky.: Self-published, 1997.
FRANCISVILLE. The history of Francisville, a town in Boone Co., is intimately related to its Baptist church. In 1819 in Boone Co., 77 members of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church, who lived north of that church, decided to build a place of worship closer to their homes. The group was made up of 54 whites and their 23 slaves. A three-acre site was purchased to build a church; members met in private homes while the building was under construction. The new congregation was named the Sand Run Baptist Church, evidently after the sandy dirt road running through the area. Both the church and the town of Francisville date their formation to 1819. The church’s building cost $2,100, which was paid partly with money and partly with tobacco, the church group’s primary source of income. The small one-room brick church building had a balcony, where the slaves sat during ser vices. Rings were attached to trees in the churchyard so that members could tie their horses. The first pastor of Sand Run was Rev. Chichester Matthews, who remained the pastor until his death in 1828. A cemetery was started behind the church, where Matthews and others were buried. Well known Boone Co. clerk Cave Johnson (see Cave Johnson House) and his three wives are buried there. Lighting for the church came from several banks of L-shaped candleholders; a different church member was assigned to light these each week. Drinking water was supplied from a local spring, until members of the congregation dug a well in the churchyard. Soon a general store, a hotel, a post office, a school, and a tobacco warehouse sprang up around the church. The town of Francisville flourished for a number of years and then declined as travel became easier in the area, and the community’s businesses moved to other towns. Eventually the public buildings were torn down, leaving just the church building and a number of farms. Today the town has no mayor, no police or fire department, and no businesses. Reis, Jim. “Tiny Unincorporated Communities Abound in Boone,” KP, December 9, 1985, 4K. “Sand Run Baptist Church,” 175th Anniversary Historical Edition, Sand Run Baptist Church, Francisville, Ky.
FRANKLIN ACADEMY. In 1795 the citizens of Washington, Ky., petitioned the Kentucky legislature to grant a charter for a new school in Mason
Co., to be called the Franklin Academy. The request was approved, and the school opened in 1796 on Washington’s Duke of York St. Twenty-five prominent locals were chosen as trustees and assigned the task of running the school. One trustee was a local physician, Dr. Basil Duke, who married U.S. chief justice John Marshall’s daughter, Charlotte. Another was Dr. Duke’s mercantile business partner, Judge John Coburn, whose wife was Mary Ann Moss, sister of Keturah Moss Leitch Taylor. Another trustee was Revolutionary War veteran Capt. Philip Buckner, who donated the land on which the town of Augusta was founded. Monsieur Mentelle, a French immigrant for whom Mentelle Park in Lexington is named, was an early teacher at the academy. A physician, Dr. William Goforth, was both a trustee and a teacher at Franklin Academy. On the very night he arrived in Washington, Dr. Goforth met the daughter of William Wood, one of the founders of Washington, and fell madly in love with her. The couple later married and moved to Cincinnati. During their stay there, 15-year old Daniel Drake left his Mayslick home to study medicine in Cincinnati. The Goforths invited Drake to reside with them during his schooling, and he readily agreed to do so. With the mentorship of Dr. Goforth, Daniel Drake became one of the greatest medical authorities in the area. Franklin Academy hired highly qualified teachers, and the school soon gained a reputation as one of the best educational academies west of the Alleghenies. However, Franklin, like most early schools, was quite primitive, often using handmade textbooks. Penmanship was accomplished with goose quills and homemade ink. The curriculum was centered on the three R’s, plus basic information about the United States and its leaders. Many students arose at daybreak and assisted with chores at their family farms before walking several miles to school. The atmosphere at these early schools was very strict, and corporal punishment was an integral part of a student’s training. Exactly how long Franklin Academy existed is not known. Best, Edna Hunter. The Historic Past of Washington, Mason County, Kentucky. Cynthiana, Ky.: Hobson Book Press, 1944. Clark, Thomas D. A History of Kentucky. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1937.
FRANZ, FREDERICK WILLIAM (b. September 12, 1892, Covington, Ky.; d. December 22, 1992, Brooklyn, N.Y.). Frederick Franz, who became president of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was the son of Edward F. and Ida L. Franz of Covington. He lived at 102 E. 13th St., and his father worked next door at Kreiger’s Bakery. He was baptized Lutheran, according to his father’s religion, but attended the parochial school of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Covington. He always remembered the quality of the Marianist Brothers’ instruction there. Later, adding to the religious diversity of his youth, he became a member of the Presbyterian Church. His family moved to Cincin-
FREEDMEN’S BUREAU SCHOOLS
nati, where he was the valedictorian of his high school class at Woodward High School (then in downtown Cincinnati). He studied Latin and Greek at the University of Cincinnati as preparation for becoming a Presbyterian minister. In 1913 he left the university after his junior year (purportedly giving up a Rhodes Scholarship), to be ordained a minister in Chicago as part of the International Bible Students movement, the group that became the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a minister, he sold religious books for the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the official name of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1920 he moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., to work for that organization; in 1945 he became a vice president, and in 1977, after the death of Nathan H. Knorr, he was elected the fourth president of the worldwide Jehovah’s Witnesses. He believed in the power of the radio and made use of it often. He was broadcasting as early as 1930, locally on station WBBR. In 1958 he spoke to a combined group of more than 250,000 members gathered at both Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds in New York City for an international conference of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Considered the primary theologian of his church, Franz is generally credited with being a major contributor to The New World Translation of the Bible (1961) as well as a 1966 work entitled Life Everlasting in the Freedom of the Sons of God. The latter asserted that the seventh period of 1,000 years of human history would begin in autumn 1975. Franz died from cardiopulmonary arrest at the age of 99. He spent his last days blind and deaf, living at the infi rmary in the church’s world headquarters in Brooklyn, where his funeral ser vices were held. He was buried in Resurrection Park, Watchtower Farms, Wallkill, N.Y. Much of the recent success of this 5-million-member worldwide religious orga ni zation can be attributed to the formative leadership of this native Covingtonian. “Frederick W. Franz, a Religious Leader, Dies in Office at 99,” NYT, December 24, 1992, B6. Kreimer, Peggy. “Church Leader’s Roots in N. KY.” KP, December 25, 1992, 1K. Life Everlasting in the Freedom of the Sons of God. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1966.
Michael R. Sweeney
FREEDMEN’S BUREAU. Northern Kentucky benefited from schools and medical ser vices established in the state by the Freedmen’s Bureau. In fall 1865, voluntary freedmen’s associations in Boston, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York City sent petitions to the 83rd U.S. Congress, claiming that the ser vices and protection needed by hundreds of thousands of former slaves in the South were overtaxing their limited financial resources. They insisted that the federal government take immediate action. Over strong objections by President Andrew Johnson (1865–1869), the U.S. Congress enacted the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands under the War Powers Act and a year later overrode Johnson’s presidential veto,
thereby extending the act. The new bureau was supposed to be funded from confiscated lands and by fees levied on former Confederates. The bureau’s charter stipulated that it was to supervise and manage all abandoned lands and control all matters relating to freedmen and refugees. The Radical Republicans wanted lands owned by Confederate officers and officials to be distributed among former slaves and wrote into the original act a land distribution of 40 acres to freed slaves that became as famous as it was controversial. Chiefly associated with land reform, education, and social ser vices such as orphanages, homes for the aged, medical dispensaries, and federal banks for freedmen, the new bureau was staffed by army chaplains and regular soldiers. The Kentucky General Assembly’s failure to approve the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to eliminate the state’s slave code, as well as its outright hostility toward the education of former slaves, caught the attention of Maj. Gen. Clinton B. Fisk, then head of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Tennessee. In March 1866 Fisk sent a scathing report about the situation in Kentucky to Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, Rev. T. K. Noble was appointed chaplain and chief superintendent for the bureau’s schools in Kentucky. Noble assumed the task of educating former slaves; there were 37,000 illiterate children and nearly 250,000 illiterate adults but only 18 schools with seats for 235 children available in all of Kentucky: two of those schools were in Northern Kentucky, one in Covington at the Bremen St. Baptist Church and the other in Newport on Southgate St., near Saratoga St. (see Freedmen’s Bureau Schools). Noble chose not to get into divisive jurisdictional battles in Kentucky. He worked closely with the American Missionary Association (AMA) and the Western Freedmen Aid Commission (WFAC) and gave them credit for opening schools and bringing teachers in from outside the state. Both of those organizations joined in his efforts to open the Ely Normal School at Louisville to train African American teachers who lived in Kentucky. The AMA and the WFAC supported schools at Berea, Camp Nelson, and Covington, as well as at Lexington and Louisville. The Baptist Missionary Association, the Methodist Missionary Association, and the Right Reverend B. B. Smith, an Episcopal Bishop, were encouraged to open and staff schools. The Freedmen’s Bureau itself funded the establishment of nearly 100 schools across the state. Most were built with fi nances contributed by their local Freedmen’s Bureaus. From July 1866 to January 13, 1869, Noble continued to send detailed narrative and statistical reports to Rev. J. W. Alvord, his superior in Washington, D.C. Contained in those reports were a litany of more than 100 incidents and outrages in which Freedmen’s Bureau schools and churches were burned, teachers harassed, and freedmen assaulted or murdered. Federal troops had to be deployed to protect the schools in many areas of Kentucky, fur-
ther fueling local hostility to the Freedmen’s Bureau. Originally stressing education, the Freedmen’s Bureau in Kentucky soon became enmeshed in a number of critical social ser vices such as opening orphanages to serve abandoned children, establishing homes for the aged, and setting up needed medical ser vice facilities. In Covington the Freedmen’s Bureau established a medical dispensary to supply medicines and medical advice to “invalid and indigent refugees and freedmen” who lived in Covington and Newport. The dispensary was under the supervision of Dr. J. J. Temple, and its headquarters was located on Madison Ave in Covington. That facility was clearly needed, as more freedmen refugees continued to arrive in Northern Kentucky from other parts of the state. A Freedmen’s Bank was also established in the state and was one of the more successful ones in the country. In the April 1869 report, there were 950 depositors with $100,000 in savings in Kentucky. However, the Freedmen’s Bank never opened a branch in Northern Kentucky; its closest branch was in Lexington. In September 1868 prominent Republican lawyer and politician Benjamin P. Runkle, who had replaced Noble as the Freedmen’s Bureau administrator in Kentucky, was ordered to shut down operations in the state. Between October 1868 and January 1869, Runkle closed the regional offices that had been so successful in developing the Freedmen’s Bureau’s schools and reassigned five of the eight career officers reporting to him. He eliminated the civilian agent and reduced the number of clerks from 19 to 4, and those 4 were assigned strictly to paying bounties owed to freedmen. By April 1869 the Freedmen’s Bureau in Kentucky was down to a superintendent of education, one clerk, and three other clerks paying bounties. Runkle’s last report to Washington, D.C., claimed that although “murders and outrages continued” to take place against freedmen in Kentucky, his staff was too small to investigate them and report. Bentley, George R. The History of the Freedmen’s Bureau. New York: Octagon Books, 1970. Du Bois, W. E. Burghardt. “The Freedmen’s Bureau,” Atlantic Monthly 87 (1901): 354– 65. Fisk, Gen. Clinton B., to Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard. House Executive Document No. 70, 39th Cong., 1st sess., 1865–1866, p. 230. Harris, Theodore H. H. “Creating Windows of Opportunity: Isaac E. Black and the African American Experience in Kentucky, 1848–1914,” RKHS 98, no. 2 (Spring 2000): 155–77. Webb, Ross A. “Benjamin P. Runkle and the Freedmen’s Bureau in Kentucky, 1866–1870.” In The Freedmen’s Bureau and Black Freedom, ed. Donald G. Nieman. New York: Garland, 1994. ———. “The Past Is Never Dead, It’s Not Even Past.” In Nieman, Freedmen’s Bureau and Black Freedom.
Diane Perrine Coon
FREEDMEN’S BUREAU SCHOOLS. Before the Civil War, free people of color residing in Kentucky could with great difficulty obtain basic
370 FREEDMEN’S BUREAU SCHOOLS reading and writing skills through subscription schools sponsored by their churches or by attending schools in states north of the Ohio River. In some urban areas of Kentucky, church pastors taught in the subscription schools; in rural areas, however, such educational opportunities rarely existed. Slaves had even more difficulty learning how to read and write. Very few slave owners in Kentucky permitted their slaves to learn to read the Bible; this practice was frowned upon both by social custom and by various local ordinances. In Bracken Co. during the mid-1830s, a slave owner named Jack Tabb taught his slaves to read and “figger” because it suited Tabb’s interests to do so. Tabb’s actions were quite unusual. Most slave owners feared that slaves, if taught to write, would forge “permission to move” slips and escape to the North. Such fears were particularly acute for persons holding slaves in the river counties of Northern Kentucky. Eventually, one of Tabb’s slaves, Arnold Gragston, did just that, leaving Kentucky with his entire family for Canada. At the end of the Civil War, there were nearly 4 million illiterate freedmen in the nation, and almost 250,000 of them lived in Kentucky. In the massive confusion following the war’s end, federal and state governments focused on reestablishing political and economic stability rather than on educating the free blacks and former slaves who lacked a basic education. Rebuilding the railroads and transportation systems were among the warscarred nation’s first priorities. The Radical Republicans in the U.S. Congress sought legislation that would redistribute land from Confederate officials and military leaders to former slaves and provide welfare assistance and jobs for freedmen. Over strong objections and a veto by President Andrew Johnson (1865–1869), Congress enacted legislation in mid-1865 establishing the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (see Freedmen’s Bureau). Part of its mission was to create a system of education for former slaves. Initially, Kentucky was not covered under this legislation. However, the Kentucky General Assembly’s failure to ratify the 13th Amendment, to eliminate the slave codes, and to provide for the education of former slaves caught the attention of Maj. Gen. Clinton B. Fisk, the Freedmen’s Bureau administrator in Tennessee. Fisk’s January 1866 report to Washington, D.C., detailing Kentucky’s intransigence, led to the establishment of a Freedmen’s Bureau in Kentucky, an action seen by Kentucky lawmakers as treating their state as conquered territory. Northern abolitionists, working chiefly through the American Missionary Association (AMA) and the Western Freedmen Aid Commission (WFAC), poured money as well as preachers and teachers into the South from 1865 to 1867. In Kentucky, these benevolent societies established schools at Covington and then eventually across the rest of the state. Appointed as chaplain and chief superintendent of Freedmen’s Bureau Schools, Rev. T. K. No-
ble (working under Maj. Gen. Jeff C. Davis, the Freedmen’s Bureau’s assistant commissioner for Kentucky) began the arduous task of supervising the education of 250,000 former slaves; Noble’s priority throughout his tenure as superintendent was to educate the 37,000 freed school-aged children in Kentucky. In December 1865 Kentucky had only 18 schools educating African Americans: 9 subscription schools and 9 schools funded through the AMA and the WFAC. The federal government funded the Freedmen’s Bureau’s staff salaries, some limited construction funds for schools, part of the teachers’ transportation costs, and a small portion of the teachers’ salaries at the Freedmen’s Bureau schools. The bulk of funding for these schools in Kentucky was supposed to come from taxes paid by freedmen. Since few African Americans owned property in 1866, the taxes collected were minuscule. For several years, the Kentucky General Assembly insisted that freedmen paupers should receive the bulk of taxes paid by freedmen, leaving very little money for the schools operated by the Freedmen’s Bureau. As a result, the Freedmen’s Bureau schools were financed only partly by a shoestring budget from the federal government. Religious and abolitionist sources financed some Freedmen’s Bureau schools, many of the teacher salaries, and even some teacher training. Tuition fees from freedmen themselves defrayed costs of buildings and paid some of the teachers’ salaries. Freedmen, especially in the rural areas, had little access to cash, and therefore most contributions were in kind: freedmen donated their labor in constructing the schools and used their church buildings as schools. Had it not been for the financial resources from AMA, WFAC, and the Baptist, Episcopal, and Methodist missionary associations, the educational effort at the Freedman’s Bureau schools would have failed quickly. Noble established three regional districts in Kentucky—Louisville, Lexington, and Paducah— and began appointing district superintendents, whose task it was to educate black citizens. The Freedmen’s Bureau’s first statistical report on progress at these schools, by Jesse Duns, was submitted to Washington, D.C., in June 1866; only slight gains had been realized in the first six months, and these were mainly in the urban areas. There were 18 schools in Louisville and Lexington and 7 in the rest of the state, serving 80 adults and 2,800 children. Most of these schools operated only three months each year. Moreover, it was reported that operational budgets at the schools were extremely small. The task in Kentucky was so monumental that Noble decided to allow the abolitionists to concentrate on developing freedmen’s schools in the state while he focused on developing community-based initiatives and support for educating freedmen. Accordingly, Noble encouraged the AMA, a longtime supporter of Berea College; the WFAC, an early supporter of efforts in Covington; and the Baptist, Episcopal, and Methodist missionary societies to continue working on developing the freedmen’s schools statewide. By design, the Freed-
men’s Bureau thereafter focused its limited resources on sharing some expenses of freedmen’s churches in order to open their buildings for day and night subscription schools, paying for teacher transportation, and funding school buildings where necessary. One critical shortage, the lack of qualified teachers, was solved initially by using abolitionist agencies to recruit young black and white teachers from the North, many from Oberlin College in Ohio and from New England and New York. Kentuckians disliked the idea of former slaves learning to read and write and despised these abolitionist teachers from the North. Noble’s monthly reports detail examples of the teachers’ being harassed and terrorized by local citizens. Noble placed a high priority on establishing African American teacher training and certification at two locations, and with the aid of the AMA and the WFAC, the new Ely Normal School in Louisville was launched with 40 teacher-certification candidates by December 1868; the same resources funded Berea College in Berea, which had space for 150 students, half of them white. The second critical shortage was the lack of buildings that could be used as schools for the freedmen’s children. Most of the earliest schools were housed in African American churches or in buildings described as shacks. Noble lobbied hard to use the meager Freedmen’s Bureau funds to build new school buildings. Among the earliest schoolhouses built in Northern Kentucky were a 30-by-60-foot wooden structure at Washington in Mason Co., completed in April 1867; and an 18-by30-foot schoolhouse costing $200 at Warsaw in Gallatin Co., completed in mid-1868. In the schoolhouse-construction program, either the Freedmen’s Bureau or the local freedmen trustees acquired titles to the land. Under contract with local freedmen trustees, the Freedmen’s Bureau supplied the lumber, the nails, and other materials, while local freedmen provided free labor. The Freedmen’s Bureau schools were simple structures, no more than rectangular boxes, but at a time when there were few rural common schools for whites, these schoolhouses were treasured by freedmen and despised by many whites. They were often the target of reprisals by night riders, some of whom belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. In October 1868, according to a report on fall classes, the Freedmen’s Bureau maintained 135 day schools, 1 night school, 6 white teachers, and 144 black teachers, with 6,022 students enrolled. However, there were “outrages”; for example, a church school house operated by the Freedmen’s Bureau in Germantown in Mason Co. was burned down by arsonists. By 1869 Ben Runkle, Noble’s replacement as superintendent in Kentucky, reported substantial gains, with a total of 248 schools operating. Thirteen schools had been newly constructed with Freedmen’s Bureau funds. In Northern Kentucky, the Freedmen’s Bureau activity was uneven. Augusta, Covington, Maysville, and Washington were quick to embrace the education of freedmen. But in the river coun-
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
ties of Boone and Carroll, and inland in the heavily Confederate strongholds of Grant and Owen counties, there was little interest and often violent hostility. In 1870 in Boone Co., for example, there was only one freedmen’s school operating at Caledonia, now Petersburg. In some Kentucky counties, great losses of the slave population immediately before and during the Civil War combined with antipathy to create a general indifference toward educating former slaves. Across the Ohio River at Madison, Ind., the Freedmen’s Bureau funded a school in fall 1868 so that freedmen’s children from Carroll and Trimble counties in Kentucky could be educated. Hundreds of former slaves from these and other Kentucky counties fled into Indiana and Ohio. The small A.M.E. church school at Hanover, Ind., funded in part by the Freedmen’s Bureau, taught 75 students, while another 70 per year were being taught in Madison’s black churches. At the same time, the large movement of former slaves out of Northern Kentucky into Cincinnati was being prompted as much by the promise of access to education as by the promise of wage jobs. Boone and Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky experienced 60 percent reductions in their African American populations between 1850 and 1870. Kentucky’s state funding of black schooling remained a chronic problem throughout the five years, 1865–1869, that the Freedmen’s Bureau schools were operating in the state. And during the 1870s, once Confederate supporters had taken control of the Kentucky political structure, funding for the freedmen’s schools essentially ceased. Ultimately, Northern abolitionists had no sustaining interest in further occupying the South. In January 1869 the Freedmen’s Bureau was ordered closed, and by April 1869 its schools in Kentucky were forsaken and still unfunded. Many of the black churches continued educating former slaves in subscription programs in spite of the lack of cash and blatant hostility toward their activities among whites. Clearly, the Freedmen’s Bureau had made a start in the task of educating former slaves. More than 10,750 black children, or about one-third of the total, had received at least three months of schooling. Additionally, more than 100 buildings usable as schools had been designated for freedmen; and a small but eager cadre of newly trained black teachers had graduated from Berea College and the Ely Normal School in Louisville. One of the most important accomplishments of the Freedmen’s Bureau was helping, along with the AMA and the WFAC, to form a statewide convention of black educators. The first meeting, in 1867 in Lexington, petitioned the Kentucky General Assembly for support for black schools; the second meeting, in Louisville, was a three-day conference that featured distinguished national and state speakers. Attended by Covington African American leaders Jacob Price and Isaac Black, the conference’s resolutions petitioned the Kentucky General Assembly to add the African
American population to the common school system. The resolutions noted that the Freedmen’s Bureau was leaving the state and that it was therefore even more critical for the state to take responsibility. Cities that had charters from the state legislature, such as Covington and Newport, were able to take advantage of their mayor’s or city council’s authority to fund their black schools through taxes and then sinking funds, with much drawn from the white school system. However, it was 1874 before the state legislature acted to include African American children in the common school system. In April 1875 the first of the checks funding segregated black common schools in Kentucky were sent from the state government in Frankfort to Campbell, Carroll, Kenton, and Pendleton counties. The Freedmen’s Bureau had established 18 schools in Northern Kentucky with space for 443 students. By 1900, under the common school program, there were 54 schools in Northern Kentucky dedicated to educating 3,959 black students, the descendants of former slaves. Bentley, George R. The History of the Freedmen’s Bureau. New York: Octagon Books, 1970. Marrs, Elijah Preston. “Autobiography of Elijah P. Marrs.” In “Documenting the American South at Univ. of North Carolina. Ledger, Superintendent of Schools of Kentucky (Colored), 1875–1885,” Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Ky. Reports to Superintendent of Public Instruction, January 3, 1839–January 3, 1849, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Ky. Turley-Adams, Alicestyne. Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky. Frankfort, Ky.: Kentucky Heritage Council and African American Heritage Commission, 1997. Webb, Ross A. “Benjamin P. Runkle and the Freedmen’s Bureau in Kentucky, 1866–1870.” In The Freedmen’s Bureau and Black Freedom, ed. Donald G. Nieman. New York: Garland, 1994. ———. “The Past Is Never Dead, It’s Not Even Past.” In Nieman, Freedmen’s Bureau and Black Freedom. Wilson, George D. A Century of Negro Education in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: Univ. of Louisville, 1986. From original Works Progress Administration and Louisville Municipal College documents, ca. 1935.
Diane Perrine Coon
FRENCH, HEATHER (b. December 29, 1974, Fort Thomas, Ky.). The Ohio River cities of Augusta, Maysville, and Louisville, are all homes to this determined, hard-working woman, who was the first Miss Kentucky to become Miss America. Born in Campbell Co., Heather French Henry is the daughter of Diane, a seamstress and child care giver, and Ronni French, a disabled Vietnam veteran. She and her three siblings lived for nine years in Augusta before the family moved to Maysville. She graduated from Mason Co. High School, earned a BA and an MA from the University of Cincinnati, and then worked as a fashion designer and an illustration instructor.
By the age of five, Heather dreamed of becoming Miss America, and her dream came true when she was crowned Miss America 2000. The 5-foot, 6-inch brown-eyed brunette then traveled 300,000 miles speaking on behalf of homeless veterans. Her work influenced the Homeless Veterans Assistance Act of 2001. On October 27, 2000, she married Kentucky lieutenant governor Steve Henry in a ceremony that People magazine said was reminiscent of a page from The Great Gatsby, “with more pomp and ceremony than Louisville ever knew before.” They have two daughters, Harper Renee and Taylor Augusta. A tireless worker, Heather Henry cohosted Louisville’s Fox in the Morning, wrote five children’s books, and is executive director of the Heather French Foundation for Veterans Inc. In honor of Heather’s friend singer Rosemary Clooney, she and Steve opened their home in Augusta as the Rosemary Clooney House museum. She often returns there and to Maysville for benefits attributing her success to roots in those river communities. For her work, she has won the respect of many, including President William Clinton, who hosted her at the White House in Washington, D.C. “Hatchett and Henry,” LCJ, November 19, 2000. Henry fi le, Kentucky Gateway Museum, Maysville, Ky. “No One’s Teasing Miss America Now,” CE, September 20, 1999, 1A.
John E. Kleber
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR. The French and Indian War (1754–1763) between Great Britain and France began in conflict between the two nations over control of Northern Kentucky and the entire Ohio River Valley. The war and its aftermath delayed settlement in Kentucky but whetted the appetite of settlers and travelers who heard about the reports of Christopher Gist and other explorers. The word was that Kentucky was an enchanted place with bountiful game and salt, where the land was so fertile that giant prehistoric bones could be collected at Big Bone Lick, the most curious attraction in the West at the time. Great Britain’s victory determined that the language, culture, and political tradition in Northern Kentucky would be English, but for the first four years of the war, France had the upper hand militarily and it appeared that future settlers in Northern Kentucky might have to learn French. When the war began with Colonial Virginia major George Washington’s surrender of Fort Necessity to a superior force in 1754, the French and their American Indian allies took control of the Ohio Valley from Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh, Pa.) to the mouth of the Ohio River in what was at the time the Illinois country. French commanders encouraged Shawnee and Delaware warriors from Ohio to conduct long-distance raids on English settlements on the Virginia and Pennsylvania frontier, and using guerrilla-war tactics of speed, surprise, and hit-and-run, the Indian war parties
372 FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR FREEDMEN’S SCHOOLS IN NORTHERN KENTUCKY, JULY 1867FEBRUARY 1869
Date and County
July 1867 Mason
April 1868 Mason
Mary E. Wilson
C. M. White
E. C. Wilmot
Ellen N. Leavitt
Church and school
Jeptha Griffin (B)
13 M, 15 F
Alex Howard (B)
26 M, 16 F
Mary Williams (B)
12 M, 13 F
Julia Warner (B)
8 M, 9 F
E. E. Willis (B), Eliza Skillman (W)
44 M, 45 F
Amanda Perkins (B), Green Casey (B) c
39 M, 47 F
Marcia Dunlap (B)
20 M, 21 F
Ellen M. H. Southgate (B)
10 M, 6 F
February 1869 Joshua Kendall (B)
18 M, 18 F
Ellen M. Southgate
9 M, 4 F
Henry Graham School
Mary Warmus (W)
12 M, 13 F
E. C. Wilmot (W) Eliza Skillman (B)
56 M, 48 F
E. C. Wilmot (W) (night)
17 M, 12 F
William A. Patterson (B)
20 M, 15 F
Amanda Perkins (B), Green Carey (B), Mary Nelson (B)
50 M, 52 F
Emma Gardner (B)
25 M, 27 F
Narcissa Dunlap (B)
20 M, 20 F
Mary Southgate (B)
6 M, 6 F
Notes: aB = black; W = white. Wood building 30 × 60 ft.
A third teacher’s name is illegible in the records.
Building 18 × 30 ft.; cost, $200.
The Freedmen’s church and school burned.
12 M, 15 F
devastated the backcountry. The colonial militia was no match for the raiders, and many settlers fled back east in panic. The American Indians intentionally terrorized the settlers with fear of capture. In July 1755, a Shawnee raiding party kidnapped Mary Draper Ingles, her two young sons, and her sister-in-law from their home at Draper’s Meadow (Blacksburg, Va.) The raiders took them down the Kanawha River and the Ohio River to the largest Shawnee village in the Ohio Territory, lower Shawnee Town at the mouth of the Scioto River. Adopted as his daughter by the chief of the tribe and therefore given a degree of freedom, Ingles was taken on a salt-making expedition to Big Bone Lick in presentday Boone Co., Ky., and this probably made her the first woman of European descent to enter Kentucky. In September 1755, while at Big Bone Lick, Ingles escaped and returned home to Virginia, less than six months after her capture. She reported the location and number of the Shawnees living at lower Shawnee Town, thereby contributing to Virginia lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie’s decision to order a militia raid, the only military expedition into Kentucky during the war. Major Andrew Lewis led about 340 men, including several Cherokee warriors, from southwestern Virginia into Kentucky, intending to move down the Big Sandy River to the Ohio River and attack lower Shawnee Town. The raid began on February 19, 1756, but in the bitterly cold weather, and with their supplies gone, the Virginians became demoralized and Lewis had to turn back. The retreat of Lewis and the Virginia militia was the culmination of two and a half years (1754– 1756) of military misfortunes for the British and the colonials. Their worst defeat coincided with Mary Ingles’s capture: on July 9, 1755, British general Edward Braddock suffered a major defeat while marching with a force of 1,400 British regulars and 450 colonials to Fort Duquesne. Surrounded by a smaller force of 900 French and Indians, Braddock and his troops suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of the Wilderness. The excellent road Braddock’s troops built on their march toward Fort Duquesne (Braddock’s War Road), almost 20 years later became the major pathway from Cumberland, Md., that settlers coming to Kentucky used to embark on flatboats at Pittsburgh. Washington’s surrender at Fort Necessity, Braddock’s defeat, and Lewis’s fiasco had by 1756 opened the frontier for Indians to raid the backcountry at will. The tide of war changed when William Pitt became secretary of state and head of the king’s ministry in England. He placed priority on the war in America and strengthened the war effort by supplying funds to encourage the militia and by committing more British regulars to the fight. In 1758 British general John Forbes captured Fort Duquesne, renaming it Pittsburgh, and the next year British forces defeated the French in Canada. Would-be Kentucky settlers thought the 1763 Peace of Paris, in which France ceded most of its claims in North America to Britain, should open lands west of the Appalachian Mountains for settlement, but British officials realized that while the
French were defeated, the Indians were not. Therefore, the Proclamation of 1763 prohibited settlement west of the mountains, and for about 10 years, Kentucky remained a hunting preserve for Indians and long hunters. Finally, at the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, settlers began accomplishing their dream, which had been enhanced by reports from the French and Indian War, of settling Kentucky. Chinn, George M. Kentucky: Settlement and Statehood, 1750–1800. Frankfort: Kentucky Historical Society, 1975. Rice, Otis K. Frontier Kentucky. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1993.
James A. Ramage
FRIENDS OF BIG BONE. The Friends of Big Bone (FOBB) is a nonprofit citizen support organization whose purpose is to promote, preserve, research, and memorialize the history and prehistory of Big Bone Lick and its vicinity in Boone Co. It encourages and promotes research and study in archaeology, paleontology, geology, and other related sciences. The main focus of the group is education, both private and public. Big Bone Lick is of prime importance in the development of American vertebrate paleontology, a science founded by Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States (1801–1809). Earlier attempts to establish an awarenessoriented citizen support group occurred in the 1930s, the 1950s, the 1970s, and the 1990s. The first began on June 10, 1935, with the formation of the Big Bone Lick Association by a group of distinguished Kentuckians. Three of these men are known for their literary contributions in Boone Co. Willard Rouse Jillson authored Big Bone Lick (1936), which remains the authoritative work on the area. He was the Kentucky state geologist for many years and a prolific writer about Kentucky history. W. D. Funk houser coauthored Ancient Life in Kentucky (1928) with William S. Webb, the father of Kentucky archaeology. Funk houser was a professor of zoology at the University of Kentucky (UK) in Lexington, and Webb was a professor of physics. Together, the two men founded the department of anthropology and archaeology at UK. During the Works Progress Administration era of the 1930s, they did intensive archaeological work and research in Boone Co. The third founding organizer, John Uri Lloyd, is a household name in Boone Co. His series of Stringtown on the Pike novels, all set in Boone Co., made him one of the most famous historical novel writers of the 20thcentury Midwest. His professional claim to fame, however, was chemistry and his work in the research and development of pharmaceuticals. Specializing in eclectic medicine and pharmacology, he was a founder of Lloyd Brothers Pharmaceuticals and of the Lloyd Library in Cincinnati. Although the Big Bone Lick Association was planned to run 99 years, Jillson’s book was its only accomplishment. In the early 1950s, a renewed interest in Big Bone Lick was fostered by the members of the
newly formed Boone Co. Historical Society, and ultimately the Big Bone Lick Historical Association was formed to promote the establishment of the Big Bone Lick State Park. After many years of tireless effort in promotion, education, and fundraising, the determined members of the association, through the leadership of Bruce Ferguson, president, and William Fitzgerald, secretary, purchased 16 2⁄3 acres in December 1959 and presented the land to the Commonwealth for use as a state park. In December 1960 the Kentucky Department of Parks announced plans to develop picnic areas and a shelter house. Thus Big Bone Lick State Park, the newest of the four state parks within the Northern Kentucky region, was born. The FOBB was incorporated on July 8, 1999. At an organizational meeting on February 22, 2000, attended by a group of interested citizens, it was decided to proceed with the concept of the FOBB and its mission. This organization was granted IRS 501(C) 3 nonprofit status in January 2002. The group’s purpose is to work with and alongside the Kentucky Department of Parks in furthering the academic and scientific importance of Big Bone Lick and in ensuring its proper interpretation and utilization as one of Kentucky’s premier historical and prehistoric theme parks. Activities of the FOBB include scientific research, historical and prehistoric research, presentation of papers, sponsoring guest lecturers, fundraising for a state-of-the-art museum and research center, archaeological and paleontological projects, assisting in the planning and implementing of interpretive displays, educating and training museum docents, promoting the designation of national and international heritage site status for the park, and establishing and maintaining a comprehensive research library. Thus far, the FOBB has made significant headway in promoting awareness of and education about Big Bone Lick. With assistance, in the form of a grant, from the Boone Co. Fiscal Court, the FOBB has initiated and nearly completed a comprehensive bibliography and database of written and recorded references pertaining to Big Bone Lick. This will continue to be an ongoing project. The FOBB also played a significant role in the Bicentennial Commemoration of the Eastern Legacy of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, highlighting the importance of Big Bone Lick to the scientists, phi losophers, and explorers of the day. Because of the dedicated work of the FOBB, Big Bone Lick has been designated one of only four official Eastern Legacy sites on the Lewis and Clark trail east of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The FOBB partnered with the Ohio River Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation Inc. (see Lewis and Clark in Northern Kentucky) to purchase and install a commemorative Kentucky Historic Highway marker at Big Bone Lick in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Transportation. Numerous fundraising activities and programs have enabled the FOBB to develop its three traveling educational units for use by teachers and schools. These units include lesson plans, written materials, artifacts, and show-and-tell items about
Big Bone Lick and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Additional educational projects and plans will be the focus of the FOBB for the future, along with fundraising activities to support and sustain these endeavors. Don Clare
FRITZ MINERAL WATER COMPANY. In 1873 Felix Fritz started the Fritz Mineral Water Company at the corner of Pike and Craig Sts. in Covington. By 1880–1881 the Covington directory listed Felix Fritz as a manufacturer of mineral water, and his business address was 136 Pike St.; in 1895 Felix Fritz and Son were operating the business at 171 W. Robbins St. in Covington. The Fritzes’ company sold champagne cider, ginger ale, seltzers, and vinegar. By 1906 the firm was known as Louis Fritz and Company Inc., and its officers were Louis Fritz, president; Al Welling, secretary and treasurer; and C. H. Feuss Sr., vice president. By 1914–1915 the firm had moved to 254 Pike St. in Covington, where it manufactured a soft drink called American Favorite and also bottled Lithia, cream soda, Dewey, ginger ale mineral and soda water, sarsaparilla, Selzer, and Vichy. Just after the end of World War I, in 1918, the company was operating at 340–342 Pike St. In 1923–1924 Fred T. Dotchengall was president, Al Welling was vice president, and Arthur G. Muth was secretarytreasurer. At that time the company sold bottles of Gateway brand soft drinks; Lithia, a white cooler mineral water used as a diuretic seltzer; and Vichy, a sparkling mineral water. In 1931 the firm was the Louis Fritz Mineral and Soda Water Company, “manufacturers of carbonated beverages, Lithia, seltzer, and Vichy.” Ten years later the company was producing “13 flavors” of bottled soft drinks and mineral waters: club soda, cream soda, ginger ale, grape, grapefruit, lemon-lime, lime rickey, lithiated lemon, orange, root beer, sarsaparilla, Vichy, and white. The company’s president, Fred T. Dotchengall, retired in 1952, and Ben Castleman and William B. Southgate acquired the company. Before the business was closed in 1957, it had been sold again to G. Vincent Seiler and his son John V. Seiler. At that time its modern plant had the capacity to produce 1,000 cases of bottled products each day; the closing ended 81 consecutive years of business operations in Covington for the popu lar soft drink and mineral water company. “Fritz Firm Quits after 81 Years,” KTS, February 21, 1957, 1A. Murphy, John E. “Fritz Firm Organized When Soft Drinks Were Dubbed ‘Pop’: 68 Anniversary Being Celebrated by Local Company,” KP, April 18, 1941, 19. Reis, Jim. “Records and Memories of Bottling Company Pour a Sip of Local History,” KP, October 14, 1991, 4K. ———. “Soft Drink Firms Survived Prohibition: Carbonated Drinks Became Alternative to ‘Hard Liquors,’ ” KP, October 9, 1989, 4K.
FULLER BROTHERS. Alexander Fuller (b. September 1824, Stamping Ground, Scott Co., Ky.;
374 FUNERAL HOMES d. July 8, 1898, Worthville, Carroll Co., Ky.) and his brother Duncan Fuller (b. February 23, 1823, Kentucky; d. August 14, 1865, Gallatin Co, Ky.), were active in the Underground Railroad. They lived in Gallatin Co. in the 1840s and 1850s and later moved to Carroll Co. in the Sanders Precinct near Worthville. The Fuller brothers were Unionists; Duncan served with Union Company B, 7th Kentucky Cavalry, was captured at Dalton, Ga., in 1864, and was a prisoner of war until mustered out at Edgefield, Tenn., on July 4, 1865. Significantly, Duncan and Alexander Fuller were closely related to members of the New Liberty Baptist Church near Quercus Grove, Ind., a known station on the Underground Railroad routes leading from Patriot, Markland, Florence, Vevay, and Lamb, Ind. Rev. Alexander Sebastian, the founding preacher of that church, spent time in the Warsaw, Gallatin Co., area. According to family historians, Alexander and Duncan Fuller voted Republican in the heavily Democratic precinct of Worthville-Sanders. This was a strongly Confederate-leaning portion of Carroll Co., and voting Republican was not only dangerous but foolhardy during the 1860–1880 period. Only the most dedicated Unionists would brave the nearby Ku Klux Klan activities along the Kentucky River and in Owen Co. Ephraim Fuller, the father of Alexander and Duncan, had settled at Stamping Ground, Scott Co., Ky., before 1830. Ephraim and both sons gravitated to Warsaw, Gallatin Co., in the 1840s, and the two brothers married sisters: Alexander married Amanda Melvina Knox on October 12, 1845, at Warsaw, and Duncan married Angelina Knox on August 14, 1846, also at Warsaw. They were daughters of Robert Knox and Mildred Ann Bohanan, who moved to Warsaw from Franklin Co., Ky., during the early 1840s and were probably associated with the short-lived Presbyterian Church at Warsaw (1837–1867). Two daughters of Ephraim Fuller, Sarah Ann and Mercy Fuller, married brothers, Enos and David Ellis, respectively, settled in Switzerland Co., Ind., and were associated with the Separate Baptist Church at East Enterprise that merged with the Freewill Baptist Church nearby, forming the New Liberty Baptist Church near Quercus Grove, Switzerland Co. Members of this congregation formed a significant Underground Railroad station, providing safe houses and conductors from Patriot, Markland, Vevay, and Lamb. The Underground Railroad was active from 1840 to 1861 along the Ohio River between Gallatin Co., Ky., and Switzerland Co., Ind. There were at least five crossing points where runaway slaves from Gallatin and eastern Carroll counties were aided, or at least sighted, by Underground Railroad activists on the Indiana side of the Ohio River: from Sugar Creek, Ky., to Patriot and Florence, Ind.; from Warsaw, Ky., to Markland, Ind.; from Warsaw or Ghent, Ky., to Vevay, Ind.; from Carrollton, Ky., to Lamb, Ind.; and from Prestonville, Ky., to Brooksburg, Ind. Precisely what role Alexander and Duncan Fuller played in these operations is not clear, but
the two represent a substantial number of white yeomen who, together with numerous free people of color, enabled runaway slaves to reach places of safety in southern Indiana. Coon, Diane Perrine. “Southeastern Indiana’s Underground Railroad Routes and Operations,” 1999, U.S. Park Ser vice and Indiana DNR, unpublished technical report, Indiana Dept. of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indianapolis, Ind. Duvall, Jeffery, to Diane Perrine Coon, June–July 2006, e-mail correspondence regarding family history and genealogy.
Diane Perrine Coon
FUNERAL HOMES. Generally, funeral homes in Northern Kentucky remain private, rather than corporate, enterprises. Before the Civil War, bodies were often preserved for viewing either by placing them on ice or by use of formaldehyde to delay decomposition. Then various events and changing institutions within U.S. life, starting about the time of the Civil War, called for changes in those traditions. The families of soldiers killed on distant battlefields wanted the remains of their sons brought home. Rigor mortis and the general degradation of the corpse, in particular of the face, refused to wait weeks for the funeral of the unprepared body. Thus embalming, a process of preservation that had been toyed with previously, quickly became both necessary and popular. For example, after President Abraham Lincoln (1861–1865) died, embalming was performed on his body; it was carefully prepared for the 20-day railroad tour to Springfield, Ill., with stops in multiple cities. Even when longdistance shipment of the body was not necessary, embalming was appreciated because, when accomplished as soon as possible after death, it helped to preserve a lifelike appearance for viewing. Because the preparation, packing, and shipping of human remains required a modicum of training beyond the skill level of concerned family members or battlefield body collectors, funeral directing developed as a profession. As the country became more urban, it was no longer fashionable or legal, in most places, to use family property as burial grounds. Burials began to be grouped together in public and private cemeteries (see also Cemeteries, Rural), generally away from dwellings or businesses. In larger urban areas, cemeteries, often the most botanical spot in town, were great settings for Sunday family picnics. Concurrently with the appearance of general hospitals (and nursing homes), deaths at home became less common. Both the place of death and the place of final visitation were being moved. There arose a need, as the nation began the practice of hiding death—whether intended or not—to hire a disinterested party to handle the burial. The logical person to turn to was the businessman down the street with a livery station, who already had the horse and wagon teams and, after 1920, a hearse, or the furniture dealer who sold wooden coffins. Some of those tradesmen became experts in embalming and extended their line of ser vices. And since families no longer wanted the corpse returned to their living space, the funeral home, a short-term rentable hall
for final visitations, with all the amenities of the modern practice of death, was conceived. Families in the midst of grief were willing to pay to bid their loved one a last elaborate adieu; the proliferation of life insurance certainly helped to cushion the cost. In the 20th century, both world wars had an effect on the business of funerals similar to that of the Civil War: survivors expected their loved ones who died abroad to be returned for a funeral. Hence, the funeral business, carry ing out tasks that families neither could nor would do, has become a multibillion-dollar industry. In Kenton Co., around Covington, there have been several funeral home operators over the years. As early as 1839, Abraham Rose, who was born in Baltimore, Md., was listed in the city directory as a mortician. He made the natural transition from cabinetmaking to coffi n making. After the business had passed through several generations with sons and partners, the present Allison and Rose Funeral Home was formed in 1925. Others who became established in the local funeral business were named Linnemann, Menninger, Middendorf, Rich, and Swindler; many of these worked at one time for Allison. John Allison, who began working for the Weaver Funeral Home along Pike St. in Covington during the 1890s, lived in nearby Ludlow and was in business later with partners John C. B. Yates and Gus Menninger, as Allison, Yates, and Menninger; afterward he became associated with Rose along Pike St. In 1932 Allison and Rose moved to a historic home in Covington at Robbins St. and Madison Ave., and it has opened a second facility in recent years along Ky. Rt. 16 in Taylor Mill. Other funeral operators in the county have included Chambers and Grubbs in Independence; Connley Brothers in Latonia; Donnelly Brothers in Covington at 12th St. and Madison Ave., serving the Irish community; Don Catchen and Son on W. 19th St. in Covington and also in Elsmere; Hugenberg and Glindmeyer on Sixth St., today a Linnemann home; Jones & Simpson, traditionally serving African Americans in Covington’s eastside (see Charles E. Jones; for Covington’s earliest African American funeral director, see Wallace A. Gaines); Middendorf-Bullock on Covington’s Main St., on Elm St. in Ludlow, and on Dixie Highway in Erlanger; Middendorf in Fort Wright; Ronald B. Jones on Elm St. in Ludlow; and Swindler and Currin in Latonia and in Independence. The Linnemanns have funeral homes in Covington, Erlanger, and Burlington today. During the early 1920s, Henry Linnemann drove the first ambulance in Kenton Co.; it was a sideline service utilizing the downtime of the funeral business. The Linnemanns have operated a funeral home in Erlanger for more than 50 years. In Campbell Co., funeral directors have been in Newport for a long time. The Bunning livery business evolved into the Bunning and Costigan Funeral Home. The Charles E. Smith Funeral Home was in the former George Wiedemann home at Fift h St. and Park Ave. for several years; and the Vonderhaar and Stetter Funeral Home was anchored from 1919 into the 1980s at the former James Taylor Mansion on E. Third St. Muehlen-
FURNITURE AND HOME FURNISHINGS
kamp, Costigan, and Roll began using the Peter O’Shaughnessy home at 835 York St. after O’Shaughnessy’s death in the late 1920s, and the home remains a Muehlenkamp-Erschell venture; across the street is the Fares J. Radel funeral home. The Betz Funeral Home operated along E. Sixth St., and Pye and Erschell at Seventh and York Sts.; Frank Pye retired from the funeral business in 1892, and Fred Erschell moved to E. Sixth St. in Newport before relocating his business to Fort Thomas. Erschell’s son, also named Fred, continued in the business in Fort Thomas, while also serving as mayor. A. C. Dobbling & Son have funeral homes in Bellevue, Fort Thomas, and Alexandria. In Dayton, from the early 1930s through the late 1940s, there was the Tharp and Stith Funeral Home along Sixth Ave., later a Muehlenkamp operation; Muehlenkamp-Erschell also has an operation in Fort Thomas. In recent years, the family operating the Radel Home (Faris J. Radel) opened a new facility in Highland Heights on the site of a former A&W Root Beer stand, but it moved shortly to another new location farther south along U.S. 27, across from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cold Spring. The short life of that venture in Highland Heights shows how difficult it is to open a new location that makes money, even for operators as well established and well known as the Radels. In the southern part of the county, there are Fares J. Radel in Alexandria, the Alexandria Funeral Home Inc. (Middendorf-Bullock, MuehlenkampErshcell) in Alexandria, Peoples Funeral Home on U.S. 27 in Alexandria, and the Cooper Funeral Home on U.S. 27 in Claryville. For many years, as long as the New Richmond ferry was in operation, the T. P. White Funeral Home of New Richmond, Ohio, handled much of southeastern Campbell Co.’s funeral business. It was much easier to cross into Ohio than make the trek to Newport. In Boone Co. there are five funeral establishments. Chambers & Grubbs operates along Dixie Highway in Florence and also on Main St. in Walton, the Stith Funeral Home (a descendant of the Tharp and Stith funeral home earlier in Dayton) in Florence and Hebron, the Linnemann in Burlington, and the Hamilton-Stanley Funeral Home in Verona; there is a branch of the MiddendorfBullock chain in Hebron. Bracken Co. has four funeral homes: in Augusta, the Metcalfe & Hennessey Funeral Home on E. Fourth St. and the Moore and Parker Funeral Home on Elizabeth St; in Brooksville, a branch of the Moore and Parker Funeral Home, along Hackett Ridge Rd.; and in the eastern part of the county, a Palmer Funeral Home on Ky. Rt. 10 on the Bracken side of the city of Germantown. Carroll Co. has two homes at Carrollton: the Graham-Dunn Funeral Home on S. Fift h St. and the Tandy-Eckler-Riley Funeral Home on Highland Ave. Gallatin Co. has one facility, the CarltonLowder Funeral Home on Main St. in Warsaw. Grant Co. has four funeral homes: the Elliston-Stanley Funeral Home on N. Main St. in Williamstown and on S. Main St. in Crittenden,
the Eckler-Hudson-McDaniel Home in Dry Ridge, and the Rogers Funeral Home in Corinth. Mason Co. has two funeral homes in Maysville, Brell & Son and Knox and Brothers, both on E. Second St.; and one in Mayslick, Palmer Funeral Home. In that same city, an African American funeral home opened in August 1929. Lexington native Shirley Arnold began operating a “colored undertaking establishment” in Maysville on E. Fourth St. in that year. How long Arnold remained in business is not known. In 1974, a long-standing funeral business tradition in Maysville ended with the closing of the Porter Funeral Home, which had operated for the previous 105 years. Owner Ashby F. Porter was the dean of funeral home directors and owners in the area. With the closing of the Porter Home, its ambulance ser vice also ceased. Owen Co. has two branches of the McDonald & New Funeral Home, both in Owenton, one along Main St., and another along W. Seminary St. For many years, at New Liberty in the northern part of the county, R. G. Know did the undertaking work. Know was a graduate of the nationally recognized Clark’s Embalming School in Cincinnati and was the leader of the profession in Owen county. He also did wallpapering and painting and sold buggies and whips on the side to fi ll in the slow times of his funeral business. Pendleton Co. has three funeral homes. Two are in Falmouth, the Peoples Funeral Home and the Woodhead Funeral Home, both on Shelby St. The Woodhead family’s firm is one of the state’s Centennial businesses. It also does business in Harrison Co., at Berry, having bought the former Roger P. Blair Home during the early 1940s. The other home in Pendleton Co. is Peoples Funeral Home on Main St. in Butler. Robertson Co. has two homes, both in Mount Olivet: Kain & Kabler on N. Walnut St. and the Robertson County Funeral Home on U.S. 62. For several years during the 1990s, Covington was home to one of the modern leaders in consolidation of the funeral industry. The RiverCenter building housed the Loewen Group, a conglomerate based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that aggressively purchased funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematoria and sold burial insurance and prearrangement plans. Covington was Loewen’s U.S. headquarters until corporate financing forced a consolidation of the company itself. After its financial difficulties, the restraint of trade investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, and some massive lawsuits, Loewen no longer has offices in Covington. In April 1999, the company reported that it employed some 16,000 workers in 1,097 funeral homes and at more than 426 cemeteries in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, with revenues of $1.1 billion. At the consumer level, Loewen did not mesh well locally. There is one operating crematory in Northern Kentucky, the Northern Kentucky Mortuary Service at Richwood in Boone Co. The same company also operates Heavenly Paws, a pet burial and cremation enterprise. Whereas nationally 26 percent of all human bodies are cremated, in Kentucky only 8 percent are cremated.
“The City,” KJ, September 29, 1892, 8. “Colored Funeral Home Opens Here,” August 20, 1929, Funeral Home Vertical File, Mason Co. Museum, Maysville, Ky. “Henry Linnemann, Funeral Director,” KP, August 4, 1969, 8K. Kingsbury, Gilbert W. Allison & Rose Funeral Home, Inc. Covington, Ky.: Allison and Rose, 1977. Laderman, Gary. Rest in Peace. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2003. “Maysville Funeral Home, City Landmark, to Close,” CE, March 13, 1974, 11. Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963. “Public Inspection of Our New Funeral Home,” KP, May 18, 1935, 2.
Michael R. Sweeney
FURNITURE AND HOME FURNISHINGS. The thriving furniture industry that flourished in 19th-century Cincinnati spilled over into Northern Kentucky. As the city’s suburbs expanded into Kentucky, providers of household furnishings and equipment arose, as did manufacturers of some items. In Cincinnati, the firm of Mitchell and Rammelsberg (1847–1939) became nationally known for the furniture it supplied to the growing West and South. Internationally recognized as the world’s largest furniture factory, it employed about 1,500 workers along Cincinnati’s Second St. In Northern Kentucky, several retailers opened businesses along Monmouth St. in Newport and Madison Ave. in Covington. Household furniture was also manufactured in those cities, but to a lesser extent than in Cincinnati. The general area was ideal for the making and shipping of furniture: it was near the hardwood forests of the Midwest and was both a river port and a rail center.
Louis Marx & Bros. Furniture, Monmouth St., Newport, ca. 1923.
376 FURNITURE AND HOME FURNISHINGS The talented, trained German craftsmen among the population contributed greatly to supplying the needed manpower. In Campbell Co., the center of the furniture business was traditionally Newport. City directories suggest that in the antebellum years, there were cabinetmakers or carpenters on seemingly every corner. The Klosterman family was building furniture by the 1880s, as was Newport Industries, which specialized in chairs. Shortly, retail stores appeared. Philip Dine, a former tailor, and his partner Ferdinand Fulner sold carpet, furniture, and stoves roughly between 1880 and 1910 at 518 and 529 York St. In 1910, Dine’s nephew Reuben Dine and Joseph Schabell incorporated and at 913 Monmouth St. began the Dine-Schabell Furniture Company, known in later years simply as Dine’s. Through fires, burglaries, renovations, and the changing face of Newport, the business operated there until the mid-1980s. Just to the north and across the street was the Louis Marx & Bros. Company, which opened in Newport in 1888 at 842 Monmouth St. Founder Louis Marx died in 1924, but the organization remained in the family until it closed in 1987. Louis Marx built a large multilevel warehouse fronting on E. Ninth St. and connected it to the rear of the main store on Monmouth (see Monmouth St. Architecture). The Marx company survived fires, thievery, and a changing market. A third company that tried the Newport market for a short time in the 1930s was the William H. Tillman Company, located at Seventh and Monmouth. Dine’s, the Marx company, and Tillman also had stores in Covington, and the latter even ventured into Cincinnati for a short time. Other operators of furniture ventures in Newport included Camin’s at 638 Monmouth, which began as a linoleum and carpet store on York St. in the 1930s and evolved into offering a full range of household goods; Camin’s had a warehouse at 1101 Monmouth St., next to the train station. The store began selling furniture in 1954 and continued until the 1980s. From the late 1940s until the mid-1980s, the Hall Swenson Company was located at 728 Monmouth St.; it sold some furniture but mainly provided interior decorating ser vices to an elite crowd of Greater Cincinnatians. The existence of several furniture retailers further created a market for interior and design planning. Newport was home to smaller furniture retailers as well: Finkleman’s in the West End at W. 10th and Brighton Sts. and the Bromall family’s Kentucky Sales and Ser vice Company at E. 10th and Saratoga Sts., still operating today at that corner since 1920. Eventually, stoves were added to furniture stores. First came the gas stove, with the introduction of readily available iron and steel. In the beginning stoves were fueled with wood, then with coal oil, and finally with natural gas piped into the home through a line from the street. Dine’s in particu lar sold a vast number of stoves, especially the Red Star Oil brand. The modern stove eliminated the need for summer kitchens and made cooking inside an open hearth unnecessary, allowing for
new types of preparation methods (frying, broiling, and baking). The 54 employees of Pomeroy, Peckover, and Company made an average of 30 stoves daily at their factory in Newport in 1876. By 1880 the firm of Moore, Harkness, and Bayless was manufacturing stoves at its plant on Front St. in Newport, east of Washington Ave. A gas stove retail store opened in May 1887 at 707 Monmouth St. The Favorite Stove and Range Company was making stoves in April 1888, the Stubben Manufacturing Company of Newport in 1892. Smaller manufacturers built items that contributed to the overall furnishing of residential homes. In the mid-20th century, the largest employer in nearby Bellevue was Grote Manufacturing, a maker of medicine cabinets for home bathroom use. Electrical appliances, following the introduction of the radio in the 1920s (Crosley, Philco, and Zenith brands), became another wave of productline expansion. Furniture merchants quickly added radios and, later, televisions to their inventories, and some even sold washers and dryers. In Kenton Co., the furniture industry began in Covington. Louis Marx renovated the former Latonia Hotel in the 300 block of Madison Ave. and opened for business in 1895. In 1898 he moved to 520 Madison Ave., and the Marx store operated there until 1987. The Covington and Newport stores offered the same product lines, and together they won numerous retailing awards over the course of the company’s history. The stores were well known for their unique promotions, and they were major purchasers of advertising space in the Kentucky Post. Dine’s Covington store, located at 530 Madison Ave., had closed by 1962. It withstood a fire in March 1923, as did its warehouse at Second St. and Madison Ave. in October 1927. The third firm to operate in both cities was Tillman’s, which occupied various buildings, beginning in 1927: 812 Madison Ave., 536 Madison Ave., and for the last 51 years, the northeast corner of Eighth St. and Madison Ave. Tillman’s gradually added lines as they became available, closing its doors in 1991 after almost 65 years, a victim of competition from Boone Co.’s Florence Mall. Ball Furniture leased Tillman’s space from 1992 until 1998. Today, the building is home to a wedding reception hall (see Covington, Downtown). Other Covington furniture merchants included the Bellonby Furniture Company in the building formerly occupied by the Walsh Distillery at Front and Scott Sts. It opened in time for the Great Depression in 1927 and was not in business long. Modern Furniture, founded by Sam Greenberg in 1915, operated at 513 Madison Ave., once the Salvation Army building, and later built a new store at that site. Son Adrian Greenberg closed the venture in 1987. The A. J. Ostrow Furniture and Appliance Store began small in 1926, selling electronics at 711 Madison Ave., and added appliances and furniture later in another building. At one time, Ostrow’s even sold automobile tires. Charles Bogenschutz was building stoves in Covington at 523 Madison Ave. in 1880. In 1903, that firm was sold to Ignatius Droege and made a
part of his foundry. The Ohio Scroll and Lumber Company was in Covington for 67 years at the corner of Russell and Stewart Sts. It was owned by the Fuess family of Fort Mitchell. Although mainly known for plaques and other wood decorative products, it made tables, chairs, cabinets, lamps, and other household items. By December 1962, the firm had moved to Cincinnati as a result of the construction of the Internal Revenue Ser vice Center in downtown Covington; one of Ohio Scroll’s last employees was Charles D. “Carmi” Meyers of Fort Mitchell, who went out on his own and built hundreds of custom cabinets and bars for local residences and such places as the Beverly Hills Supper Club and desks or credenzas for the Kenton Co. Public Library. He worked out of his shop in Covington for the last three decades of the 20th century. Other parts of the Northern Kentucky region also participated in the furniture industry. To the southwest along the Ohio River, there were the Warsaw Furniture Factory of Warsaw in Gallatin Co. and the Carrollton Furniture Manufacturing Company of Carrollton in Carroll Co. The Warsaw operation was owned by the family of Carl R. Bogardus, a longtime medical practitioner and historian of that area. Employing almost 200 at its peak, it was established in the early years of the 20th century and specialized in dining room sets and chairs. The Warsaw business left Bogardus ownership in 1969, and the factory was torn down in 1995. The Carrollton Furniture Manufacturing Company began in 1884, operating from two large five-story brick buildings connected by causeways. The company was well known for its high-class bedroom suites and won awards around the nation at furniture shows. Another recognized individual furniture maker for that part of the region was Owenton’s William Jones, who died in 1985. In Mason Co. there have been several individual furniture makers and retailers over the years. Early cabinetmakers include Gerrard Calvert; the mysterious Peter Tuttle, whose “Mason County trunks” have become collector items; and Joseph Wallingford, an apprentice to Archibald Calvert. These cabinetmakers were deceased by 1860. John Foxworthy is a well-respected recent furniture retailer of Maysville. Recent individual furniture craftsmen around Maysville include Joseph Brannen, Johnnie Disher, and Raymond Hester. Maysville furniture retailers over the years have included the names John Brisbois, whose five-story “white palace” began selling furniture in 1908 at 402 W. Second St.; J. H. Brown; Harry Foxworthy; C. L. Mains; Joseph F. Martin; Mattingly; C. H. McEuen; and McIlvain, Humphreys, and Bramel (also undertakers). In recent years, furniture has also been sold by the long-running Krause Awning Company, which carried trendy outdoor furniture at the northeast corner of Fourth and Monmouth in Newport for 60 years, ending in the 1990s; other Covington merchants have included Mertack’s, which went out of business in 1998, only to be replaced by Adobe in the same building on the northeast corner of Fifth
FURNITURE AND HOME FURNISHINGS
and Scott Sts. in 2003; and the now-closed Brock’s Furniture at 19th St. and Madison Ave. In the late 20th century, the Schottenstein family of Columbus, Ohio, opened one of their “big box” furniture stores in Latonia, followed by a second location in Florence. A similar venture is the Furniture Fair chain. Begun in 1963 by Robert Daniels in Erlanger at 3932 Dixie Highway, the firm has eight stores today: the original store is now
an outlet facility, and there are operating Furniture Fairs in Florence and Cold Spring, in addition to Cincinnati suburbs. One of the remaining furniture factories to operate in the area was the Duchess Furniture Company of Florence, which closed in May 1976, with 300 workers losing their jobs. “Furniture File,” vertical fi les, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville, Ky.
International Publishing Company. Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of Cincinnati and Environs. New York: International, 1886. “Marx, Stores to Celebrate Golden Jubilee,” KP, March 10, 1938, 4. “Reuben Dine,” KP, September 27, 1927, 1. Sikes, Jane E. The Furniture Makers of Cincinnati, 1790 to 1849. Self-published, 1976.
Michael R. Sweeney
The Encylopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com. Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, The University Press of...