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
The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy
KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY. The Kentucky Speedway is a 1.5-mile trioval with a state-of-the-art banking design... (contâ€™d on pg. 516)
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
Perrin, W. H., J. H. Battle, and G. C. Kniffi n. Kentucky: A History of the State. Louisville, Ky.: F. A. Battery, 1887.
Margaret A. Murphy
KARSNER, HARRY CLARK (b. October 29,
KARSNER, CASPER (b. ca. 1750, place of birth unknown; d. ca. 1798, Kentucky). In 1779 pioneer Casper Karsner (Carsner) was a soldier in the militia of Capt. Benjamin Logan’s Company at Logan’s Station, near the settlement of St. Asaph’s, in modern Lincoln Co., Ky. In June 1780, when he resided at Ruddell’s (Hinkston’s) Station, which was built by Isaac Ruddell, in modern-day Harrison Co., this station was taken and destroyed by American Indian warriors under the command of British captain Henry Byrd. The people living at Ruddell’s Station who were not killed in the attack were captured and held by the British and the Indians. Karsner was held by the British until they sent him to Fort Ticonderoga, N.Y., in 1783, where he was released. Lexington, Ky., trustee records dated May 11, 1785, show that signed deeds for in-lots were issued to Percival Butler, Casper Karsner, and others. On May 20, 1785, Karsner’s land grant was given Virginia governor Patrick Henry’s seal. On December 10, 1785, Karsner was paid 314 pounds, 15 shillings, and 4 pence for militia ser vice as back pay, four years after the Revolutionary War ended. He was 35 at the time and unmarried. In 1786 Karsner married Eveles “Eva” Lail, who had also been captured at Ruddell’s Station and had been forced to run the gauntlet to escape the Indians. Four children were born to this couple. In 1789 Casper Karsner was on the Board of Trustees of Transylvania Seminary (1785–1799), the precursor of Transylvania University. Karsner’s descendants retained intact the family’s original land patents in what is now Owen Co. On February 11, 1789, Casper and Eva’s first son, John Karsner, was born. John Karsner fought and was wounded in the War of 1812. He married Sallie Patterson of Jessamine Co. on December 20, 1814, in nearby Fayette Co., and Sallie and John had two children; Sallie died sometime during 1828. John married his second wife, Mary Eaton, on January 8, 1829, and John and Mary became the parents of four children. In 1846 John and his family settled in Owen Co. about three miles from Monterey. John and Mary were buried in the Karsner family’s graveyard, just below the Old Cedar Baptist Church on U.S. 127 near Monterey, where several other members of the Karsner family are also buried. Casper Karsner, however, was buried in Jessamine Co. Collins, Richard H. History of Kentucky. Vol. 1. Covington, Ky.: Collins, 1882. Murphy, Margaret A. Karsner. The Karsners of Kentucky: History and Family Album. Frankfort, Ky., Tingle’s, 1981. Perrin, W. H., ed. History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky. Chicago: O. L Baskin, 1882.
1914, Owen Co., Ky.; d. December 21, 1971, Lexington, Ky.). Owen Co. native Harry Clark Karsner, an aviator and a state official, was the eldest child of Johnathan Albert and Lela Brammell Karsner of Monterey. After graduating from the Monterey High School, he pursued training in aviation. He married Sarah Jane Gill on February 13, 1937, and they became the parents of three children. Karsner received his commercial pi lot’s license in October 1938. During World War II, he was a flight instructor at Ryan’s School of Aeronautics in San Diego, Calif., and was appointed a flight commander on August 25, 1942. After the war, he returned to the Old Cedar community near Monterey, constructed a fourplane hangar on a field near U.S. 127 called Karsner Field, and began teaching military veterans to fly. The hangar is well known for the neon sign that states, “Christ Is the Answer.” Influenced by evangelist Louis W. Arnold, Karsner equipped a plane with a public address system. His wife, Sarah Jane, recorded gospel songs, and Arnold recorded a brief sermon. Each afternoon, Karsner flew the “Gospel Plane” within a 100-mile radius of Frankfort, delivering the message to all those within earshot. In 1958 Karsner was elected a director of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association of Kentucky. In 1959 he became commissioner of aeronautics under Kentucky governor A. B. Chandler (1935–1939 and 1955–1959). Karsner was also a farmer and a landowner in Owen Co. He was chairman of the Owen Co. Board of Education, a magistrate in Owen Co., and a director of First Farmers Bank in Owenton. At Old Cedar Baptist Church, he was chairman of the board of deacons and taught the men’s Sunday school class. He died in 1971 and was buried at the Monterey Cemetery. Murphy, Margaret Alice, and Lela Maude Hawkins. The History of Historic Old Cedar Baptist Church and Community, 1816–2004. Frankfort, Ky.: Lynn, 2004. Trout, Allan M. “Prepare for World’s End, Voice from Sky Advises,” LCJ, October 18, 1949, 5.
Margaret A. Murphy
KEEFER. Keefer is a community in southwest Grant Co. along Ky. Rt. 2936 (Keefer Rd.). Keefer (at one time spelled Kiefer) is believed to have been settled before the county was organized in 1820. Early in its history, the community was also called Priceburg, after John Price, who started the first store there. Other early settlers were Jacob Musselman, a surveyor named Payne, and Francis Simon. In the 1980s, archaeologists from the University of Kentucky conducted a dig in the area and uncovered numerous arrowheads, broken pottery, and a rock-lined cooking pit estimated to be at least 1,000 years old and thought to have been used
by American Indians. There was also a salt spring, where hunters came for water that they boiled down for salt. The Antioch Church of Christ was founded in Keefer around 1838. It was moved in 1872 to a plot of land donated by J. H. Musselman. The current church building, whose cemetery contains stones dating from 1873, was dedicated in 1957. Tom Marksberry operated a general store across from the church until 1905. Among the businesses in Keefer were blacksmith shops, grocery stores, a gristmill, and huckster routes. Around 1884 a school was established, and the post office followed in 1885. Today the businesses are gone, but the church and several homes remain. Belew, Mildred J., and Otha Steger. “Never on the Busy Highway—That’s Keefer.” In The Grant County Sesqui-Centennial Bulletin, 1820–1970. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Sesquicentennial Publications Committee, 1970. Chandler, Virgil, Sr. Cemeteries. Vol. 3. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1988. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992.
Barbara Loomis Brown
KEFAUVER COMMITTEE. During the early 1950s, most Americans were introduced to the criminal “conspiracy” of organized crime through the U.S. Senate’s hearings of the Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce. Headed by Senator Estes Kefauver (D, Tennessee), it was more commonly known as the Kefauver Committee, and it had a significant effect on Northern Kentucky. From 1950 to 1952, the Kefauver Committee met intermittently around the nation to investigate and expose the supposed conspiracy of a national crime syndicate. Since the rise of mobster Al Capone and other bootleggers as national figures during the 1920s, the public had always suspected that criminals worked in concert. After World War II, this idea gained more currency. As an attempt to stop any sort of criminal conspiracy, the Kefauver hearings were completely unsuccessful. Their ultimate significance was in providing one of the first major telecasts of a U.S. congressional committee, pioneering the sort of political theater that became famous in 1953 with the attempts by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R, Wisconsin) to root out Communists and continued through to the Watergate hearings of the 1970s and the Iran-Contra hearings of the 1980s. Persons living in Northern Kentucky appeared before the Kefauver Committee; for example, in late March 1951, Jimmy Brink, most closely associated with the Lookout House, sat before the committee in Washington, D.C., accompanied by his attorney, Sawyer A. Smith. Millions of Americans sat riveted to their televisions as Kefauver and other committee members interviewed hundreds of criminal figures, attempting to reveal the existence of a shadow government that controlled the nation’s criminal enterprises. The Kefauver hearings were arguably the first example of television watching as a mass experience,
500 KEHOE, JAMES A., BRIGADIER GENE RAL as people crowded into neighbors’ homes, bars, and restaurants to watch. Although no actual lawenforcement action arose from the hearings, Kefauver parlayed the exposure into a failed 1952 presidential run. The Kefauver Committee hearings were key events in the successful cleanup of Northern Kentucky, even though they preceded it by almost a decade. Northern Kentucky had gained a reputation as the region’s haven for gambling and vice. But the committee’s hearings in Cleveland in the late winter of 1951 demonstrated how Northern Kentucky was broadly connected to a national criminal network. Connections between the Cleveland Syndicate (the Mayfield Road Gang) and gambling in Northern Kentucky were fully revealed, especially how the syndicate had bought up casinos like the Lookout House and the Beverly Hills Supper Club after its operations in Cleveland were shut down in the 1940s. Testifying before the committee, Northern Kentucky law enforcement officials professed ignorance of the gambling operations taking place right in their own backyard. The Beverly Hills Supper Club and other casinos closed their doors during the hearings but announced that they would reopen as soon as the committee disbanded. After the hearings, activities in Newport and Covington were seen as more insidious and dangerous than before. Organized crime was here in Greater Cincinnati and could not be simply relegated to distant ethnic enclaves like Chicago and New York City. The Kefauver hearings sparked the first in a series of reform groups that culminated with the successful work of the Committee of 500 in 1961 (see Newport Reform Groups). Bell, Jack, and John Chadwick. “Local Night Spots Figure in Probe: Two Face Contempt Charges; Mum on Beverly Hills, Lookout House,” KTS, March 29, 1951, 1.
KEHOE, JAMES A., BRIGADIER GENERAL (b. November 11, 1896, Maysville, Ky.; d. November 29, 1983, Maysville, Ky.). James Arthur Kehoe, an adjutant general for two Kentucky governors and a businessman, was the son of James N. and Hannah M. Kane Kehoe. He attended public school in Maysville and in 1914 was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Upon graduation in 1918, he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant. During World War I, he served in China and Siberia and was soon promoted to 1st lieutenant. When Kehoe returned to civilian life in 1920, he became a vice president of the Home Warehouse Company in Maysville. A year later he was appointed secretary-treasurer of the Eastern District Warehouse Corporation, where he served until 1924 (see Maysville Tobacco Warehouses). He also was named the president of the Bank of Maysville in 1921. Kehoe was appointed Kentucky adjutant general for governors Flem Sampson (1927–1931) and Ruby Laffoon (1931–1935). In 1925 Kehoe married Alice Williams of Frankfort, Ky.; they had two children. He reentered the army
during World War II and saw ser vice in India and Burma. At the end of the war, Kehoe retired from the army as a brigadier general. His wife, Alice, died shortly after he returned home in 1945. In retirement he built a frame ranch home in Maysville, overlooking the Ohio River, where he lived for the remainder of his life. In 1983 Kehoe was ill for a short time before his death at age 87. He was buried in Maysville Cemetery. “Brig. Gen. James Kehoe, 87, Helped Build the Burma Road,” KP, November 30, 1983, 1B.
KEHOE, JAMES N. (b. July 15, 1862, Maysville, Ky.; d. June 16, 1945, Cincinnati, Ohio). Banker, lawyer, and politician James Nicholas Kehoe was the son of James and Nora Conroy Kehoe. He was educated in both public and private schools around Maysville. He took a job with a printing company, and at age 22 became owner of the firm. He later studied law in Louisville under the well-known lawyers Hargis and Easton and was admitted to the Kentucky bar on November 1, 1888. Kehoe set up his practice in Maysville, where he served as city attorney for two terms and as master commissioner of the chancery of the Mason Co. Circuit Court from 1893 to 1900. He also served on the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1889. He held several leadership roles in the Democratic Party and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served four years, 1901–1905. He was defeated for reelection in 1904. Kehoe married Hannah M. Kane of Maysville on September 24, 1892, and they had five children. His wife Hannah died on October 28, 1910, and he married his second wife, Frances Reed Calvert, on April 20, 1918. His son James A. Kehoe served in the U.S. Army during World War I and World War II and attained the rank of brigadier general. James N. Kehoe served as one of the engineers during construction of the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge during the early 1930s. He was also president of the 1st Standard Bank & Trust Company (see Bank of Maysville) and president of the Kentucky Bankers Association. He died at age 82 and was buried in the Maysville Cemetery. In 1940 a new bridge in Maysville was named the Kehoe Viaduct in his honor. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Kehoe, James Nicholas (1862–1945).” http://bioguide.congress.gov (accessed August 29, 2006). Levin, H., ed. The Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky. Chicago: Lewis, 1897. “Maysville Viaduct Dedication Is Set,” KP, October 18, 1940, 6. Southard, Mary Young, and Ernest C. Miller, eds. Who’s Who in Kentucky: A Biographical Assembly of Notable Kentuckians. Louisville: Standard, 1936. The Spirit of Greater Maysville and Mason County. Maysville, Ky.: Daily Independent, 1930.
KELLEY-KOETT COMPANY. Organizer and promoter J. Robert Kelley (1871–1931), aided by a German-born craftsman, Albert Koett (1863– 1951), developed the Kelley-Koett Company into a prominent manufacturer and distributor of X-ray
equipment and accessories. About 1903, eight years after Wilhelm Roentgen announced his discovery of X-rays, Kelley and Koett met in Koett’s backyard shop on Bakewell St. in Covington. Together, these men developed an innovative X-ray model unit that produced a 12-inch spark, and afterward they founded a company to produce X-ray equipment. Their invention was introduced at a meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and was praised in the first issue of the American Quarterly of Roentgenology (October 1906). The National Museum of American History (one of the Smithsonian Institution museums) has displayed Kelley and Koett’s prototype under the German title “Grosse Flamme.” Incorporated in 1905, the Kelley-Koett Company moved in 1911 into its permanent new factory and office building on the north side of W. Fourth St., between Russell and Johnston Sts. in Covington, and began marketing the latest X-ray diagnostic and therapy procedures and equipment. From about 12 employees in 1905, the company grew to employ 675 in 1944, not counting office workers and the sales force. Kelley said he foresaw a day when Covington might be called X-ray City. The company donated $1,000 worth of X-ray equipment for the new St. Elizabeth Hospital building (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center). According to the Kentucky Post, the Mayo Clinic purchased X-ray equipment only from this company, and in 1916 Kelley hosted a dinner for Dr. R. D. Carman of the Mayo Clinic at the Covington Industrial Club. In 1917 a group of medical and army officials joined with the company’s technicians to develop a mobile X-ray table unit for use in treating military casualties. Dr. William David Coolidge, from the General Electric laboratory, developed a compatible portable generator and a compact aircooled tube to be used in coordination with the Kelley-Koett mobile X-ray unit. Kelley-Koett developed special relationships with hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. For the Mayo clinic, it tested new ideas, solved problems, and sold its instruments at cost, in return for deriving profits from the innovations developed at the clinic by the use of Kelley-Koett products. In 1928 Kelley-Koett recorded $2.5 million in sales; but in 1929 the General Electric Company was number one in the field of X-ray equipment. General Electric held a patent that forced competitors during the 1930s to purchase its “universal Coolidge tube.” Meanwhile, the Kelley-Koett Company, continuing to compete, had developed a laminator sensitive to body size and a scanograph that compensated for the naturally distorted focus of X-rays. The company was known for both its quality products and its innovations, including an improved rheostat, a constant-potential transformer, a model surge-protection device, and a long list of others. One of the secrets of the local company’s success was cofounder Kelley’s ability to make family-like arrangements with independent dealers, many of whom were former employees of the company or suppliers of its accessories. In 1925 the company claimed to have domestic agents and service branches in 37 major cities.
KELLY, MARY ANN
Major troubles came to the company when Kelley died (probably of cancer from X-ray exposure) soon after the stock market crash in 1929. Koett, the company’s other cofounder, was at this time approaching age 70. Covington native and long-time company employee George Edward Geise (1889–1958) became the interim president. Another Covington native, Wilbur Stanley Werner (1895–1937), took over and served as president for just three years before dying at age 43. As the company foundered, bank officials on the board of directors took control of the company and also became its financial caretakers. In 1938 one of these men, Donald A. Eddy of the First National Bank of Covington, succeeded Werner as the company’s president. After surviving the Great Depression, as well as the flood of 1937, Kelley-Koett found itself in the hands of officers detached from the company’s core culture. The company still had one great opportunity to turn around and prosper during the 1930s. At the time, cancer rates had been increasing and hospitals worldwide looked for answers. Attempting to capture this market, the Kelley-Koett Company, a deep-therapy innovator, now sold a 250,000-volt unit to the Rockefel ler Foundation for a medical center in China. Other orders followed. Werner supervised custom installation of additional units in the Los Angeles Clinic in California, the Harper Hospital in Detroit, Mich., and the Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln, Neb. At Harper Hospital, the installation, which cost the hospital $50,000, included padding the surrounding walls with 26 tons of lead. At the time of his death in 1937, Werner was installing a 1.2-million-volt deep-therapy behemoth costing $76,000 at the Miller Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. In 1938 the Booth Memorial Hospital of Covington acquired a 200,000-volt KelleyKoett deep-therapy unit. In 1939, thanks in large part to the popularity of its deep-therapy units, the Kelley-Koett Company was recovering financially and 15 percent of its sales were overseas. In 1941 Phillip Meyers, a prominent Cincinnati businessman, purchased the Kelley-Koett Company and appointed an MIT graduate engineer, Adolf Feibel, as president. In the pioneer years for use of X-ray equipment leading up to and through World War II, the Kelley-Koett Company’s X-ray equipment was a standard-setter and enjoyed prominence. From January through September 1941, the company sold 18 different items to the government for $650,000. During World War II, the company sold adaptive industrial X-ray units that were used for testing the integrity of cast-metal airplane propellers and for detecting and helping to disable underwater mines. However, the aggressive Picker X-ray Corporation won a contract for supplying the bulk of the military’s X-ray tables, and Picker’s competitors, including the Kelley Koett Company, were left to sell accessories. The war effort still required Kelley-Koett to expand production, to rent off-site warehouse space, to add a second shift, and to hire women. The company also loaned engineers and factory staff to the military for special assignments and product development. Even without the orders that had been
lost to the Picker X-Ray Corporation, production on a grand scale at the Kelley-Koett Company required many workers. Complex X-ray apparatus there was always assembled by hand. In 1943 the army awarded the Covington company’s officials “E” awards for excellence. After World War II, the Kelley-Koett Company, through a UN relief agency, sold X-ray equipment for the medical treatment of civilian war casualties in the Soviet Union. In the late 1940s, Kelley-Koett still had its business arrangement with the Mayo Clinic and enjoyed good relations with many loyal customers. But the new managers liked to emphasize sales productivity, and many shortsighted marketing initiatives were tried. They included a cheaper X-ray line, consumer products such as electric blankets, and a cold war radiation-measuring device, manufactured at a company facility in Cincinnati for the Atomic Energy Commission’s civilian defense centers. Customers began to sense the company’s instability. Nevertheless, at the end, the company professionals in the old factory in Covington still produced a quality line of products, including a new, sleek, 1950s Fleetwood X-ray table. In 1951 Tracerlab of Boston, Mass., purchased the KelleyKoett Company. After Tracerlab, and then another owner, a French company purchased the business. In 1964 the Covington factory was demolished for urban renewal, but the Kelley-Koett Company’s trademark survived into the early 1970s. Several patents are still held by the KelleyKoett Company and the engineers who worked there. Boh, John. “An International Edge, the Kelley-Koett Company, 1903–1956.” NKH 3, no. 2 (Spring– Summer 1996): 39–51. “Covington Has Reason to Be Called ‘X-Ray City,’ ” KP, March 27, 1927, 10. “A Great Man Passes,” KP, April 25, 1931, 4. “New Company Incorporated,” KP, June 13, 1905, 2. Reis, Jim. “X-Ray Business Put Covington on Map,” KP, August 6, 1984, 10K.
KELLY, ADAM DAVID (b. July 19, 1860, Carthage, N.C.; d. February 26, 1934, Covington, Ky.). Physician Adam Kelly attended public schools in North Carolina and then entered Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., receiving his AB in 1892. He married Mary Wendell in Nashville, Tenn., and in 1896 graduated from Nashville’s Meharry Medical School. That same year, he moved to Covington, Ky., and established his practice of general medicine and surgery. Kelly became the second African American medical doctor in the city. He was well known throughout Kenton Co. In May 1912, Kelly was an organizer of the State Medical Society of Colored Physicians, Surgeons, Dentists, and Pharmacists, who had gathered in Covington. Kelly also presented a paper, “Progress of Medicine since the Civil War,” at that meeting. On July 23, 1919, tragedy struck Kelly and his family. An intruder shot Kelly and his son in their home at 514 Scott St. while they were sleeping. Kelly’s four-year-old son, Garland, died while on the operating table at St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St.
Elizabeth Medical Center). Dr. Kelly recovered from his wound and continued his medical practice. No one was ever charged with the shooting. Kelly was a trustee of the Ninth St. Methodist Church and an active member of the local Republican Party. He was also involved with various fraternal organizations: Freemasons, the Eastern Star, the Knights of Pythias, and Odd Fellows. He died at age 73 and was buried at Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington. “Colored Medical Men Meeting in Covington,” KP, May 10, 1912, 11. Dabney, W. P. Cincinnati’s Colored Citizens. Cincinnati: Dabney, 1926. “Death,” KTS, March 1, 1934, 2. “Investigation into Slaying of Physician’s Son,” KTS, July 24, 1919, 24. “Negro Doctor and Son Shot by Intruder,” KP, July 23, 1919, 1. “Physician and Son Were Shot as They Slept,” KTS, July 23, 1919, 18.
Theodore H. H. Harris
KELLY, MARY ANN (b. September 15, 1925, Los Angeles, Calif.; d. June 20, 2001, Edgewood, Ky.). Mary Ann Kelly, a television writer and advertiser and an author, was the daughter of John Joseph and Mary “Mayme” Farrell Kelly of Ludlow, Ky. She graduated from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati and did graduate work at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., and at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Kelly authored three books, traveled the world, and was already employed as a television program writer at WLW in Cincinnati when the television station went on the air in 1948. She wrote screenplays, conducted advertising campaigns for the Ralph H. Jones Company (Crosley Broadcasting’s advertising firm in Cincinnati), and never failed to have a perspective on an issue or an outrageous tale to contribute. Kelly’s books summarize her style; The Trouble Is Not in Your Set is almost an autobiography of her 40 years in journalism. While at WLW television, she worked with Rod Serling, later the writer of television’s The Twilight Zone, and with Earl Hamner, the creator of the television series The Waltons. Kelly was a pioneer woman in the written media, in advertising, and in the broadcast world in the region. In her spare time, Kelly wrote songs and was a professional toy creator (see Toys). She was a member of the Mother of God Catholic Church in Covington. Kelly never married. After her death from heart trouble in 2001 at St. Elizabeth Medical Center South, her body was donated for medical research. Billman, Rebecca. “Mary Ann Kelly,” CE, July 3, 2001, 4B. “Her Book Tunes in Early Days on Air of Cincinnati TV,” KP, December 15, 1990, 1K. Kelly, Mary Ann. My Old Kentucky Home, GoodNight. Long Island, N.Y.: Exposition Press, 1979. ———. “Rex” and the Single Girl. New York: Exposition Press, 1978. ———. The Trouble Is Not in Your Set. Cincinnati: C. J. Krehbiel, 1990.
502 KENNEDY, THOMAS “Mary Ann Kelly, Author and World Traveler,” KP, June 23, 2001, 13A. “Mary Ann Kelly Wrote Early Television Scripts— Book Looks at City’s Broadcasting,” KE, July 3, 2001, B4.
Michael R. Sweeney
KENNEDY, THOMAS (b. 1741, Chester Co., Pa.; d. August 1821, Covington, Ky.). Covington pioneer Thomas Kennedy was the immigrant son of Scots-Irish Presbyterians from Northern Ireland. In 1767 he married a widow from Philadelphia, Dinah Davis Piersel. In 1789 Francis Kennedy, Thomas Kennedy’s brother, arrived in Cincinnati and established a ferry across the river to presentday Covington. Thomas Kennedy followed his brother, and he either rented or made plans to purchase 200 acres at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers from James Welch; he eventually purchased the land in 1801. In the interim, Thomas Kennedy operated the Kentucky side of his brother’s ferry and in 1791 obtained a ferry license for himself from Woodford Co., Virginia; in the same year he began construction of a stone house that stood in the rear of what is today Covington’s George Rogers Clark Park. In 1814 Thomas Kennedy sold his property to investors in the Covington Company, a group that, in 1815, established the town of Covington. In 1816 the Kennedy family moved to their new home at the northwest corner of Sixth and Greenup Sts. at Covington’s southern edge. Both Thomas and Dinah died in 1821 and were buried in the city’s pioneer Craig St. burying grounds, located beyond the original town limits at present-day Sixth and Craig Sts.; the couple’s remains were later moved to Covington’s Linden Grove Cemetery. Considered by some the oldest house in Covington except for the Kennedys’ stone homestead, Thomas and Dinah’s last residence, at Sixth and Greenup Sts., was razed in 1904. Their stone house was razed in 1909. “Obituary of Thomas Kennedy,” Lexington Kentucky Register, August 20, 1821. Smith, Allen Webb. Beginning at “the Point,” a Documented History of Northern Kentucky and Environs, the Town of Covington in Particular, 1751– 1834. Park Hills, Ky.: Self-published, 1977. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890.” Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
came from Scotland to join them. William and James built a log cabin at Flagg Springs, which they used as a base of operations in surveying most of northern and eastern Campbell Co. At the time, land surveying was a very lucrative occupation, since surveyors typically received one-third of the land surveyed for their ser vices. The Kennedy family soon became one of the largest landowners in the county. William died at Mentor, and it is believed that he is buried nearby in a small family graveyard along Smith Rd.
summer residence. In 1852 William Kenner sold Somerset Hall to Thomas Kevan. In 1854 Kevan sold the house to balloonist Richard Clayton, who later sold it to the Jenkins family. The A. B. Closson family of Cincinnati were the next purchasers, residing there from 1875 until 1925. In 1926 the Unity Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons purchased Somerset Hall. The house became a private residence once again in 1997, when Stephen and Paula Chapman bought it and restored it to its original splendor.
Wessling, Jack. Early History of Campbell County Kentucky. Alexandria, Ky.: Privately published, 1997.
“How the City of Ludlow Just Missed Being Called Hygeia,” KP, September 6, 1925, 8. “Ludlow,” KP, February 22, 1995, 1KK–2KK. Marsh, Betsa. “A Legend in Ludlow.” Cincinnati Magazine, January 2003, 93–96. “Summer Home, Closson House, now Masonic Lodge,” Ludlow News Enterprise, January 25, 1973, 1.
KENNER FAMILY. William Kenner, the father of two prominent Northern Kentucky landowners, and his brother-in-law Philip Minor were the earliest known owners of the land in Louisiana that became the Kenner Plantation. The partners made their fortune in the mercantile business and by producing sugar cane. William and Mary Minor Kenner had four sons, Minor (1808–1862), William Butler (1810–1853), George R. (1812–1852), and Duncan F. (1813–1887). When William Kenner died in 1830, his share of the plantation went to his sons Duncan F. and George R. Kenner. In 1839 Duncan Kenner married Nanine Bringier, daughter of a prominent Creole family. As a wedding present to his wife, Kenner had a mansion built in Louisiana, which he named Ashland, after Henry Clay’s estate in Lexington, Ky. The brothers William Butler and George Kenner married sisters, Ruhamah and Charlotte Riske, of Cincinnati. In 1844 George Kenner (died 1852) bought 246 acres that included Elmwood Hall in Ludlow, Ky. He bought the property from his brother-in-law Israel Ludlow, to be used as a summer retreat from the Louisiana heat and diseases. The next year he sold nine acres of the land to his brother William, who probably built Somerset Hall nearby, also as a
KENNEDY, WILLIAM (b. 1728, Cummock, Ayershire, Scotland; d. May 16, 1799, Mentor, Ky.). William Kennedy was a Revolutionary War veteran and surveyor born at Cassiles, his family’s estate in Scotland, where he married his first wife. On May 31, 1760, his son James was born to that union. It is believed that his wife died about this time, because in 1765 William arrived in Colonial America alone. He settled in Virginia, where he served with the militia during the Revolutionary War. After the war, he became a surveyor. On September 8, 1778, he married his second wife, Mary C. Lindsey, and they had one child. Kennedy and his family came to Campbell Co., Kentucky, in 1789, and his son James
KENNETT TAVERN. The old Kennett Tavern is at the intersection of Shelby and Main Sts. in Falmouth, on the main east-west corridor linking the town with the old Buffalo Trace area to the north and with Williamstown to the west (see Buffalo Traces). This route was not only a source of stagecoach and wagon travel but also a connection with river commerce at the ports of Maysville in Mason Co. and Foster in Bracken Co. An early stagecoach stop, the Kennett Tavern also housed Union soldiers during the Civil War. After 1854 passenger ser vice on the Kentucky Central Railroad replaced stagecoach travel as the principal means of transportation in the region. People using the Falmouth Railway Depot, a few blocks away, could dine and stay overnight at the Kennett Tavern and later at the Phoenix Hotel and the 3L Building. The Kennett Tavern consists actually of two connected Greek Revival style buildings, built around 1811. The old brick masonry on the building was most likely quarried from nearby clay pits. The lots on which the tavern stands, numbers 34 and 35, are where the first meeting was held to conduct the
business of the newly founded Pendleton Co. in 1799. In 1814 Tyree Oldham willed this property to his daughter, who married William C. Kennett. Kennett established a tavern in the building. Both the downstairs (the tavern) and the upstairs (hotel rooms and apartments) continued in use into the 1880s. The tavern later gave way to a restaurant, an ice cream parlor, a barbershop, and various other retail businesses. Many of the windows and doorways fronting on Main St. were altered over the years but have been restored to their original configuration. Clark and Zelma Houchen, the last owners of the Kennett Tavern before it was sold to the city for restoration, purchased the building in the 1940s. It is one of 39 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places within the central Falmouth Historic District and is also the oldest commercial building within Falmouth. In 1995 Falmouth received a monetary grant to restore the old tavern. The city clerk now occupies the first floor of the building, while the upper floor remains under restoration. Falmouth Outlook, February 14, 1995, 6.
KENTON, SIMON (b. April 3, 1755, Fauquier Co., Va.; d. April 29, 1836, New Jerusalem, Ohio). Simon Kenton, the namesake of Kenton Co. and Simon Kenton High School in Independence, who first came to Northern Kentucky in 1772, is credited with exploring, scouting, and settling much of Ohio and Northern Kentucky, including the Ohio and Licking River valleys and presentday Maysville. He was the seventh of Mark and Mary Miller Kenton’s nine children. A contemporary and friend of Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark, Kenton fled Fauquier Co., Va., to the frontier in 1771, thinking that while in a jealous rage he had killed a teenage rival. Kenton used the assumed name Simon Butler until 1782, when he learned that the victim of his rage was alive and well. Kenton returned to Virginia and brought much of his family to Kenton Station in Mason Co. He personally welcomed thousands of pioneer families to the area. Kenton’s introduction to the frontier began at Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh, Pa.), where he first heard stories of the dense cane fields south of the Ohio River and where he first became acquainted with Simon Girty, a scout and translator known as “the white savage,” and with Clark. From Fort Pitt, Kenton and various companions drifted down the uncharted Ohio River more than 500 miles. For two years Kenton traveled up and down the river exploring streams and rivers, until he found the area he was seeking, near present-day Maysville. During these expeditions he became adept at finding and interpreting the signs indicating that American Indian hunting parties were in the area. He was eager to assist the trappers and traders who occasionally drifted by, and he earned a reputation as an outstanding wilderness scout. Kenton learned the land from often being on the run, beginning with an Indian attack in the winter of 1773 as he and two companions were drying their wet
clothes around a campfire. One man was killed, but Simon and the other man escaped. Nearly naked, Kenton wandered the Kentucky wilderness barefoot for a week before finding some lone hunters along the banks of the Ohio River. In 1774 the six-foot-one-inch Kenton served as a scout, along with Simon Girty, in Lord Dunmore’s War, an attempt by the governor of the royal Virginia colony to quell Indian threats on the frontier. Kenton crisscrossed the Ohio territory as a courier between Dunmore’s troops and backwoods volunteers. During these forays, Kenton continued to learn the land and developed a skill for which he became famous—shooting, reloading his flintlock, and shooting again with marked accuracy while running at full speed. This ability saved Daniel Boone’s life when Kenton shot a Shawnee warrior who was about to tomahawk Boone as the pair dashed toward the gate of the Boonesborough settlement in Central Kentucky, while the fort was under siege in April 1777. In 1778, during a raid on the Shawnee village near Chillicothe, Ohio, Kenton was captured. He was tied, hands bound, behind an unbroken colt that was then sent galloping through the woods and underbrush. Over the next several weeks, the celebrity scout, a prized captive, was paraded before the Shawnee nation—including the 10-yearold Indian boy Tecumseh—and forced to run the quarter-mile gauntlet five times. During Kenton’s last ordeal, his skull was fractured and he was unconscious for two days. The Shawnee called him “Cutta-ho-tha,” which he later learned meant “condemned man”; the tribe planned to burn him at the stake. As he poised to run his sixth gauntlet, Kenton leaped over his tormentors in one of his celebrated feats of strength, speed, and agility and ran into the nearby woods but was quickly recaptured. Hours before Kenton was to be killed, Girty, who was working for the British and their Shawnee allies, arrived with a returning war party. He recognized Kenton and made an argument to save his life. In Kenton, the Shawnees saw qualities they admired: skill, cunning, strength, and courage, and for three weeks, Kenton roamed free with Girty and memorized the lay of the land. This proved only to be a stay of execution; Kenton was again bound, tortured, and condemned to die. The execution was to take place at the British trading post at Upper Sandusky in the Ohio Territory. During the march to Sandusky, Kenton’s arm and collarbone were broken. British captain Peter Drouillard persuaded the Shawnees to surrender Kenton so that he could be taken to the British fort at Detroit, Mich., for interrogation. Kenton formulated an escape plan and stealthily amassed provisions for the long and hazardous journey back to Kentucky. Rather than flee directly south, as might be expected, he slipped west to the Wabash River in the Indiana Territory and blazed through 400 miles of untracked forest and prairie in 30 days. In 1779, months after his escape, the British and the Indians began an assault on the Kentucky settlements to squash the Revolutionary War and end the European invasion of the Indians’ hunting grounds. In response,
Clark assembled the Kentucky militia to rout the Indians at their towns along the Little Miami River in Ohio, as well as to harass British forts. With Kenton scouting, Clark led 172 volunteers from Fort Kaskaskia in the Illinois Territory 210 miles eastward in 17 days to capture Vincennes in the Indiana Territory. Kenton was “tall and well proportioned,” according to a 1782 description by Joel Collins, who saw him march through Lexington after the Battle of Blue Licks in Kentucky, August 19, 1782. At this time, Kenton had the rank of captain. Kenton married Martha Dowden in 1787; after she died, expecting the couple’s fift h child, in a house fire in 1796, he married Elizabeth Jarboe in 1797. In all, Kenton fathered nine children. From 1792 to 1794 Kenton fought along with “Mad” Anthony Wayne in Ohio in the Indian Wars. In April 1792, the middle-aged Kenton first fought Tecumseh, an up-and-coming Shawnee leader. When Tecumseh and 100 Shawnee warriors stole horses from the Kentucky settlements, Kenton and his smaller force tried but failed to stop them. A year later, Kenton led a retaliatory charge against a Shawnee hunting camp in Ohio but failed to catch Tecumseh off guard. While Kenton and his troops plundered the camp, Tecumseh and his warriors rounded up the settler’s horses, leaving the Kentuckians without transportation. By 1795, Wayne had soundly defeated a coalition of 1,500 Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. A new treaty was to be signed at Greenville, Ohio, and each of the affected tribes was to be represented by the principal chief, who had the authority to speak for his people. Kenton was at hand to witness the opening of negotiations, which essentially reaffirmed the area land boundaries established 10 years before. This time around, surveyors wasted no time plotting out new towns where the Indian villages had stood. In 1799 Kenton moved from Kentucky to Ohio, which was still a territory. In March 1806, while riding with a friend near Urbana, Ohio, he stumbled upon an Indian encampment where Tecumseh was holding a war council. Kenton sounded a general alarm among his neighbors and alerted Ohio governor Edward Tiffi n. When Tecumseh was confronted, first by Kenton and a delegation from Springfield, Ohio, then a few days later in a letter from Tiffi n, and once again at a banquet in the new state capital of Chillicothe, where the Shawnee chief was an honored guest, Tecumseh assured the Ohioans that his intentions were peaceful. However, Kenton’s instincts to the contrary were correct; Tecumseh was biding his time until his preparations were complete for executing his master war plan. He had been building a coalition of Indians from Ohio, as well as from Indiana and Illinois, and he began hostilities with random attacks in the spring of 1812, supported, in part, by the British. In June the U.S. Congress declared war on Great Britain (see War of 1812). A rumor that Kenton’s son Simon Kenton Jr., who was serving under Gen. William Henry Harrison, had been captured by Indians, led Kenton, then age 58, to join Gen. Isaac Shelby’s forces on
504 KENTON, WILLIAM G. their march from Kentucky to Canada. Their purpose was to engage the British general Henry Proctor and his Indian allies. Harrison cornered Proctor on the Thames River in southwestern Ontario, Canada, east of Detroit. The battle was over quickly and Tecumseh was killed while leading the charge. Tecumseh’s death, which collapsed the Indian resistance in Ohio, ended Kenton’s fighting days. Simon Kenton Jr. returned from the war unharmed. Unable to read or write, Kenton struggled to manage his finances and spent much of his later life in poverty. During an 1820 visit to Kentucky, he was imprisoned for more than a year for his debts. He died in 1836 at New Jerusalem, Ohio. In 1863 he was re-interred at the Urbana Cemetery in Urbana, Ohio. Clark, Thomas D. Simon Kenton: Kentucky Scout. Ashland, Ky.: Jesse Stuart Foundation, 1998. Crain, Ray. Simon Kenton: The Great Frontiersman. Urbana, Ohio: Main Graphics, 1992. Eckert, Allan W. The Frontiersmen: A Narrative. Boston: Little, Brown, 1967. Edmunds, R. David, “The Thin Red Line: Tecumseh, The Prophet and Shawnee Resistance.” Timeline Magazine 4, no. 6 (December 1987–January 1988): 2–19. Kenton, Edna. Simon Kenton: His Life and Period. Garden City, N.Y.: Country Life Press, 1930. Klink, Carl F. Tecumseh: Fact and Fiction in Early Records. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1961. Simmons, David A. “Simon Kenton.” Timeline Magazine 5, no. 2 (April–May 1988): 56– 61.
Stephen M. Vest
KENTON, WILLIAM G. (b. August 28, 1941, Maysville, Ky.; d. November 5, 1981, Lexington, Ky.). Legislator William Gordon Kenton was the son of William Gordon Kenton Sr. and Martha Roden Kenton. It was reported that he founded the Mason Co. chapter of the Kentucky Young Democrats at age 14. An early mentor of his was Albert B. “Happy” Chandler, whom he met when Chandler visited Maysville High School in 1955, during Kenton’s freshman year. After Chandler (1935–1939 and 1955–1959) was elected governor of Kentucky for his second term that same year, he invited Kenton to a ceremony in Frankfort. The school officials made it known that Kenton could attend but would be charged with an unexcused absence for the day, so Chandler moved the ceremony to Maysville. Kenton left his studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., to work in Chandler’s campaign for a third term as governor in 1963; Chandler lost, and Kenton earned his undergraduate degree that year at the University of Kentucky at Lexington (UK). He graduated from the UK Law School in 1966 and began to practice with a firm in downtown Lexington. As an attorney, he represented the cast of a production in Lexington of Oh! Calcutta, a Broadway musical with sexual themes. Kenton won acquittals for his clients, who had been charged with obscenity. He said at the time, “It’s not a question of whether it’s appealing. My responsibility is to represent clients and protect their rights.”
He was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives from the 53rd district in Fayette Co., serving 1970–1971, and from the 75th District in Fayette Co. for five consecutive terms (1972–1981), serving as House Speaker from 1976 until 1981. He was the youngest Speaker in the history of Kentucky and, at that time, the youngest in the nation. Kenton’s grandfather W. T. Kenton was also a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives and served for several terms, and his great-grandfather Eldrige Kenton served in both the Kentucky House of Representatives and the Kentucky Senate in the 1880s. As House Speaker, Kenton was the principal advocate of his era for greater legislative independence and legislative responsibility. His efforts led to the televising of legislative sessions statewide on Kentucky Educational Television. He believed this was the most important reform in the Kentucky House in his time. He helped to make meetings of legislative committees, where witnesses are heard and key decisions made, open to the press and the public. During his years as House Speaker, Kenton also championed meaningful legislative oversight of the executive branch, a departure from the custom and practice then prevailing. A series of revelations concerning no-bid personal-service contracts led to the formation of the Program Review and Investigation Committee of the House of Representatives, a committee that continues to operate. And Kenton initiated and led to enactment an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution to permit the legislature to override a governor’s veto. Even given his ambition for legislative independence, Kenton worked well as House Speaker with three different administrations to produce large increases in funding for education at every level. He also sponsored and led to passage the Homestead Exemption, a tax discount for older homeowners that remains law. Kenton campaigned for reelection on his support for the repeal of the sales tax on food, prescription medicine, and utility bills and for the passing of House Bill 44, which remains a significant restraint on increases in local property taxes. Kenton sponsored legislation to create the Kentucky Cancer Commission and was named its first chairman. He was the principal advocate for the establishment of the Kentucky Horse Park, the tourist attraction located on Ironworks Pk. in Fayette Co. After a brief tussle between Kenton and Governor John Y. Brown Jr. (1979–1983), which Kenton won, the Kentucky Horse Park board was made independent of the Kentucky Parks Department. Without apology, Kenton espoused state government as an agent for social, educational, and economic opportunity for everyday Kentuckians. He thought politics an eminently respectable profession. A master parliamentarian, he is said to have run a “tight ship” as House Speaker. He was a prominent representative of Kentucky in national and regional legislative associations. With his broad body, his resonant, deep bass voice, his ingratiating manner, and his pristine reputation, Kenton became the appealing public face of the state legislature and dominated the Kentucky
House of Representatives during three legislative sessions. He brought order to what had been an often-unruly legislative body. In so doing, he shattered several House Speaker’s gavels and met all jokes about it with good humor. He became known affectionately as “Boom-Boom.” From an early age Kenton had wanted to become governor someday, and he made no effort to hide this ambition. He had begun to appear on lists of potential candidates in an upcoming governor’s race when he was stricken in early November 1981 with a pulmonary embolism that quickly led to heart and kidney failure. He died at the University of Kentucky teaching hospital named for Chandler, his mentor. As he struggled for life and while details of his illness were front-page news for several days across Kentucky, he was reelected to the Kentucky House of Representatives by his constituents in Lexington’s 75th legislative district. Kenton was 40 years old when he died, leaving his wife and two small children; he was buried at Maysville Cemetery. His widow, Carolyn Kenton, was elected to succeed him as state representative in 1982. In a memorial service in the chamber of the Kentucky House of Representatives when the legislature reconvened in 1982, Governor Brown said, “No one person in our lifetime has had such an impact on this body.” A Kentucky Historical Highway Marker at Second and Limestone Sts. in Maysville, in front of the old Maysville High School, honors Kenton. “Assembly Pauses to Honor Kenton,” Lexington Herald, January 6, 1982, A5. “The Lost Leader,” Lexington Herald, November 6, 1981, A14.
KENTON BAPTIST CHURCH. The Kenton Baptist Church was organized on November 7, 1937, at a meeting of the founders and local Baptist ministers at Kenton Station in southern Kenton Co. The original membership consisted of people from the nearby churches of Calvary Baptist, Hickory Grove Baptist, Latonia Baptist, Oak Island Baptist, and Baptist churches in Elsmere, Independence, and Morning View, as well as three candidates for baptism. The first pastor, Harold Lee Davis Jr., was called to serve the following week. By September 1939, the church’s membership had grown to 57 and the congregation had applied for admittance to the North Bend Association of Baptists (now Northern Kentucky Baptist Association). Weekly ser vices, held in the Kenton Station Rd. church building, began in 1945 after eight years of biweekly worship. In 1952 the church purchased 1.8 acres on Ky. Rt. 177 (Decoursey Pk.) and broke ground for the current facility on April 11, 1965; only the basement was built at that time. On November 14, 1965, after the final Sunday School at the old building, the members marched up Decoursey Pk. to the new church for the first worship ser vice there. Construction on the sanctuary began in July 1970 and was completed in November of that year. Current ser vices continue to be held in this building. The church has from the earliest days been a supporter of missions and various community projects.
KENTON CO. “Kenton Baptist Church History,” 1987, Kenton Baptist Church, Kenton Station, Ky. Kenton Baptist Church Minutes, November 7, 1937, Kenton Baptist Church, Kenton Station Ky.
KENTON BASE BALL ASSOCIATION. The Kenton Base Ball Association was a professional baseball team organized in 1883 and based in Covington. The formation of this team, nicknamed the Kentons, signaled a return of professional baseball to Northern Kentucky after a six-year absence. Though unaffiliated with any league, the Kentons were members of the American Alliance, which was a loose collection of teams linked to the American Association, an early rival of the National League that included the Cincinnati Reds among its members. The American Alliance sought to protect owners and suppress player movement by prohibiting member teams from signing players who broke contracts with other Alliance clubs. The Kentons were owned by a group of Covington civic and business leaders, most notably hatter A. L. Brown, building contractor Charles McDonald, and real estate developer and long-time Covington city assessor John Whitney. The Kentons, sporting white uniforms with maroon caps and red stockings, played at the Kenton Park in Covington. Located at Washington and 17th Sts., near the Kentucky Central Railroad tracks, Kenton Park had a covered wooden grandstand with a seating capacity of approximately 3,500. Some adventurous fans avoided the 25-cent admission price by climbing atop freight cars to view the games. Compared to the Star Base Ball Club of Covington and the Ludlow Base Ball Club that had operated a decade earlier (see Baseball, Early Professional), the Kentons were probably a notch or two lower in the professional baseball pecking order. The Kentons, like the Stars and the Ludlows, played professional and amateur teams throughout the Midwest; however, the Kentons played far fewer games against major league teams. While the Stars and the Ludlows sometimes defeated their more established opponents, the Kentons lost all three games they played against major league teams— two of these contests were with the Cincinnati Reds, and one was with the National League Detroit Wolverines. The Kentons’ lineup featured several former and future major leaguers, including locals Ed Kennedy of Bellevue, Reddy Mack of Newport, and William “Mox” McQuery and John Shoupe from Covington (see Baseball). Moses Fleetwood Walker, a catcher for the Toledo Blue Stockings, was probably the most famous baseball player to play at Kenton Park. Walker is widely considered the last African American to play major league baseball before Jackie Robinson. The Covington Daily Commonwealth urged fans to attend the Kentons-Toledo game to see the “great colored catcher.” Changes to the Cincinnati baseball market since the mid-1870s made profitability elusive for the Kentons. Cincinnati had no professional baseball team when the two earlier teams, the Covington
Stars and the Ludlows, entered the professional baseball arena in 1875. The Kenton Base Ball Association, however, found itself competing with a thriving Cincinnati Reds club, the defending 1882 American Association champions. For about the same ticket price, the nearby Cincinnati Reds provided fans better-quality baseball entertainment than the Kentons could. Like most early professional baseball teams, the Kentons were underfinanced. Though successful on the field—the team won over 60 percent of its games—the Kentons sank into debt. Even the scheduling of several popu lar Sunday home games could not put the team in the black. Faced with liens against its assets, the Kentons baseball team folded during the 1884 season. “The City,” DC, March 27, 1883, 2; April 21, 1883, 2. “Covington,” Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, October 22, 1883, 7. Hopkins, G. M. City Atlas of Covington, Kentucky. Philadelphia: G. M. Hopkins, 1877. “Incorporation Notice, Kenton Base Ball Association, of Covington, Ky.,” DC, March 30, 1883, 3. “The Kenton Base Ball Club,” DC, January 22, 1883, 2. “Local News,” DC, April 10, 1884, 4.
KENTON CO. Situated along the Ohio River, Kenton Co. is bordered by Boone Co. on the west, Campbell Co. on the east, and Grant and Pendleton counties on the south. It encompasses 162 square miles. Bridges connect the county to Cincinnati across the Ohio River and to Newport and Campbell Co. across the Licking River. The Kentucky legislature created Kenton Co. in 1840 out of Campbell Co., with the Licking River, the Ohio River, and Dry Creek as the new county’s natural boundaries. The town of Independence, at Kenton Co.’s geographic center, was established as a rural county seat. In the 1850s a second courthouse was established in rapidly growing Covington, the site of most of the new county’s court proceedings. The population of Kenton Co. was 7,816 in 1840, 17,038 in 1850, more than 129,000 in 1970, 137,000 in 1980, and 142,000 in 1990. After the Civil War, African Americans moved from the South to the North in steady numbers. Before widespread integration began in the United States during the 1960s, many African Americans had settled north of the Ohio River. Nevertheless, Eastside Covington and Elsmere had and continue to have substantial black populations. Many notable people have been associated with Kenton Co. Thomas Sandford (1762–1808) represented Northern Kentucky in 1799 at the second Kentucky Constitutional Convention, in the Kentucky legislature, and in the U.S. Congress from 1803 to 1807. Born in New York City, Richard Southgate (1774–1857) was the patriarch of a prominent Northern Kentucky family; he was also a lawyer and a landholder in both Kenton and Campbell counties. Thomas D. Carneal (1786–1860), a cofounder of the city of Covington and a land developer in Kenton Co., acquired 968 acres and built
Elmwood Hall, still standing in present-day Ludlow. John W. Stevenson (1812–1886), a Virginia native and a Covington attorney, became a Kentucky governor (1867–1871) and a U.S. senator. John G. Carlisle (1835–1910), a Democrat who had displayed Southern sympathies, became the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, a U.S. Senator, and the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Covington attorney William Goebel (1856–1900) emerged during the late 1880s as the leader of the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party. After a contentious election for Kentucky governor, Goebel was declared elected in January 1900, was shot, was sworn into office, and died soon thereafter, the only sitting governor in the United States ever to be assassinated. Dr. Louise Southgate (1857–1941) was an early female physician and activist. Richard P. Ernst (1858–1934), from a banking family in Kenton Co., helped to finance the establishment of the YMCA in Covington and later, from 1921 to 1927, was a Republican U.S. senator. Kenton Co. resident Brent Spence (1874–1967), from pioneer family stock in Campbell Co., was an influential New Deal congressman from 1931 to 1963; it was Spence who secured for Covington its public housing, its floodwalls, and funding for urban renewal; he is also credited with having Covington chosen as the site of an Internal Revenue Ser vice Center. Historic landmarks abound in Kenton Co. One of the foremost is the Point, at the juncture of the Licking and Ohio rivers, a site visited in 1751 by one of Kentucky’s first explorers, Christopher Gist. Mary Ingles is also known to have passed by the Point during her legendary escape from Indians in 1756. On another occasion, in 1771, Simon Kenton (1755–1836) and two companions visited the Point. In 1779 the Kentucky militia departed from the Point to engage in war against the Indians living north of the Ohio River; and in 1780 some 1,000 men under George Rogers Clark gathered for another Indian campaign north of the Ohio River. A decade later, in 1793, Leonard Covington (1766–1813), for whom Kenton Co.’s largest city was named, drilled militia at the Point under U.S. general Mad Anthony Wayne; and later Kennedy’s Ferry, operating from the Point in Covington, served Fort Washington, across the river in Ohio, during the War of 1812. In 1832 Simon Kenton, then residing at Urbana, Ohio, because of illness, cut short his return trip to the Point for a promised reunion of veteran militia. Banklick Creek, which runs along the 3-L Highway (Ky. Rt. 17), was also an important landmark and one of the parts of Campbell Co. used to form Kenton Co. James Taylor (1769–1848), who helped found Newport during the 1790s, when Kenton Co. was still part of Campbell Co., acquired a farm and operated a mill on Banklick Creek. His contemporary, Revolutionary War veteran William DeCoursey (1756–1841), for whom Decoursey Pk. (Ky. Rt. 16) in Kenton Co. is named, later also settled at the Licking River near Banklick Creek, where he obtained authorization to operate a ferry. Of the roads in Kenton Co., a lane at the property of Robert Kyle, who lived near present-day
Pike St. and Madison Ave. in Covington, was earlier a buffalo trace. In 1793 the Kentucky legislature ordered the marking of a road from Frankfort to Cincinnati. Later, Campbell Co. justices of the peace ordered a road from DeCoursey’s Ferry to the Georgetown Rd. Abner Gaines established a stagecoach line between Covington and Georgetown and later built the Gaines Tavern (still standing) in present-day Walton. In 1839 the Kentucky legislature chartered the Banklick Turnpike Company in Kenton Co. to modernize and macadamize the surface, and then rechartered it in 1845, after a financial panic. From the mid-1820s, the Banklick Rd. was surpassed in local volume by a road to Lexington that led through eastern Boone Co. In 1834 the Kentucky legislature chartered the Covington and Lexington Turnpike Company (bypassing the Banklick Rd.), and the final macadamizing of this turnpike to Lexington in the early 1850s accelerated Covington’s development, as did the opening of the Covington and Lexington Railroad in 1854 and the John A. Roebling Bridge in 1867–1868. For many years, Northern Kentucky truck farmers favored sending their produce to Cincinnati markets. Similarly, in some years producers throughout Kentucky provided half the number of hogs slaughtered in Cincinnati. Businesses with ties to Cincinnati often located in Northern Kentucky as Covington grew and became a bedroom suburb of Cincinnati. Covington’s population was 743 in 1830, more than 2,000 in 1840, 9,000 in 1850, and greater than 16,000 in 1860. In 1862 Confederate soldiers advanced into Boone Co. toward the line of military fortifications constructed in Kenton Co. from Ludlow into Campbell Co. Besides discouraging the invaders, these forts and fortifications (see Civil War Fortifications) permanently marked the landscape in both counties as places in Civil War history. Union general U. S. Grant’s parents resided in Covington, and although consensus favored the Union, proSouthern sentiments in Covington and other parts of Northern Kentucky were also strong. Thereafter, Covington and most of Kenton Co. joined Kentucky in becoming bastions of strength for the Democratic Party, which had joined with emerging Progressive elements to dominate the county’s politics. However, in 2006, for the first time, the number of Republicans registered to vote in Kenton Co. exceeded the number of Democrats. Throughout the 19th century, Kenton Co. was a focal point for German and Irish settlement (see German Americans; Irish Americans). After the Civil War, the county African American population steadily grew, as freed black slaves left rural areas for cities such as Covington (see African Americans). The institutions that these ethnic groups established made the county a cosmopolitan center for its day. By 1850, ten years after its creation, Kenton Co. was the second-most-populous county in Kentucky, with 16,117 people, and Covington was the second-largest city in Kentucky, with a population of 9,408, trailing only Louisville. Kenton Co. was a major industrial center throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, known
for brewing (see Brewing Industry; Bavarian Brewing Company), brickyards, bronze and brass products (see Michaels Art Bronze Company), candy and ice cream manufacturing, dairies, distilling (see Distilleries; Walsh Distillery; New England Distillery), glassmaking (see Hemingray Glass Company), icehouses, iron and steel manufacturing (see Stewart Iron Works), locomotives (see Covington Locomotive and Manufacturing Works; Houston, Stanwood & Gamble Company), lumber, machine tools, meatpacking (see Goetta), packaging equipment (see R.A. Jones & Company Inc.), paper bags (see Duro Bag Manufacturing Company), safes and locks, textiles and cordage, tobacco products, toys, trucks, wine production (see Gibson Wine Company; Monte Casino), and X-ray equipment (see Kelley-Koett Company). In 1869 the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad (LC&L) reached Covington. In 1883 the Latonia Agricultural Association established the Latonia Racecourse adjacent to the LC&L, whose passenger trains conveyed patrons to the famous racetrack. Electric streetcar ser vice was extended to the racetrack in 1893. Racing top thoroughbreds and offering substantial purses, the Latonia Racecourse achieved a status similar to that of Keeneland Race Course in Lexington and Churchill Downs in Louisville. It closed in 1939. In 1877 passenger and freight ser vice began in Kenton Co. on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad’s new tracks out of Ludlow. Later, the railroad corporation leasing the tracks established express service between Richwood Station and Cincinnati. With offers of free or discounted commuter service, the railroad enticed homebuyers to populate new subdivision developments in Erlanger and Crescent Springs. West from Covington, along the Ohio River, the Dry Creek Turnpike connected to the Anderson Ferry in Boone Co. In 1912 Kentucky established a state highway commission. At that time, Kenton Co. purchased toll roads and eliminated tollbooths in the county. As a part of the new interstate Dixie Highway (U.S. 25), the Covington and Lexington Turnpike in Kenton Co. was widened to 18 feet and modernized to two lanes of concrete. In 1921 contractors completed paving from Covington into Florence. Thereafter gas stations, a gourmet strip of restaurants, and other businesses thrived along the new Dixie Highway. Today, traveling on the Dixie Highway south from Covington in Kenton Co., one passes through Park Hills, Fort Wright, Fort Mitchell, Lakeside Park, Crestview Hills, Edgewood, Erlanger, and Elsmere, before entering Boone Co. The old Dry Creek Baptist Church in Kenton Co. still stands as a residence at the juncture of Dixie Highway and Buttermilk Pk. in Fort Mitchell, and the old Five Mile House (see Barleycorn’s Five Mile House) opposite Turkeyfoot Rd. in Lakeside Park has become a permanent restaurant. I-75, which runs through Kenton Co., was opened in 1962–1963, and in the 1970s the entire I-275 Circle Freeway was completed through Kenton Co. These expressways led to a rapid suburbanization. Villa Hills, a postwar suburb incorpo-
rated in 1962, was typical of the population changes occurring in Kenton Co. as citizens fled Covington for the suburbs. Numbering a only few hundred residents when first incorporated, Villa Hills by 1990 had a population of 7,739. Likewise, Delta Air Lines, with its hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Boone Co., became a major employer drawing many new suburban residents when it built a $46 million terminal in 1987. In Kenton Co., as in all of the counties of Northern Kentucky historically, tobacco has been an important economic component. In 1845, 22 Covington tobacco businesses manufactured $300,000–$400,000 in products annually. And by 1880 Covington’s tobacco companies were producing 2.5 million pounds of plug and fi ne chewing tobacco. The development of white burley tobacco after 1860 led to an increase in the tobacco trade through Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky as more farmers in Northern Kentucky and the Central Bluegrass region of Kentucky began growing this variety. County extension services throughout Kentucky taught boys farming and related skills. Then in 1926, Marie Binder Rich, one of three graduates in 1916 of the Independence High School, helped start an educational extension ser vice for girls by funding home economics training at Kenton Co.’s Piner School. Truck farming has also been important in Kenton Co. Still operating south of Covington near Erlanger in Kenton Co. is the Tewes poultry farm, visible from I-75. The Kruempelmann truck farm on the Dixie Highway in Fort Mitchell operated from about 1865 until 1995. Besides delivering produce to the Pearl St. Produce Market in Cincinnati, Henry Kruempelmann, the farm’s owner, supplied the large Castellini produce operation in Cincinnati with fresh farm goods. In 1929 L. B. Wilson, who owned the Liberty Bank and several downtown theaters in Covington, started WCKY radio station, just as Covington’s population was peaking. But after World War II, Covington experienced a population decline. The town’s population was almost 30,000 in 1880, almost 43,000 in 1900, 65,000 in 1930, 60,000 in 1960, and 52,500 in 1970. At the time, a Northern Kentucky industrial park, drawing industry away from the cities to the suburbs, had opened in Boone Co. In 1976 the Florence Mall in Boone Co. opened with Sears and JCPenney as tenants, both stores having once been successful enterprises in downtown Covington (see Covington, Downtown). Locally owned Covington stores, including Eilerman & Sons, Men’s Clothiers and John R. Coppin, went out of business. The new Northern Kentucky Convention Center opened in downtown Covington in 1998, and a year later, a new federal courthouse opened nearby on W. Fifth St. The county, after opening a new high-rise building in Covington that houses its offices and the jail, in 1999 also opened its new courthouse in Covington on Madison Ave., near RiverCenter. Established in 1921 by the Benedictine Sisters of Covington, Villa Madonna College relocated to
508 KENTON CO. PUBLIC LIBRARY Crestview Hills in 1968, and in a dedication ceremony featuring a visit and speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963–1969) became Thomas More College. Covington is home to a number of cultural institutions, including the Baker-Hunt Foundation, the Behringer- Crawford Museum, and the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center. Of the several catastrophes that have occurred in Kenton Co., the Ohio River flood of 1937, which inflicted great damage on all the county’s river communities, remains the most memorable. Currently, major employers include Fidelity Investments (Covington), the Internal Revenue Ser vice Center (Covington), and the St. Elizabeth Medical Center (Edgewood and Covington). In 2002 shipments from Kenton Co.’s manufacturers totaled $1.2 billion, and the county’s wholesale trade was nearly $2 billion. In 2000 Kenton Co.’s population, at 151,464, was the third-highest among Kentucky counties. Crowley, Patrick. “Study: Airport Driving Growth,” KE, B1–B2. Gastright, Joseph F. Gentlemen Farmers to City Folks: A Study of Wallace Woods, Covington, Kentucky. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Historical Society, 1980. “Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railway Time Card,” DC, September 15, 1879, 3. Reis, Jim. “Down with the Toll Gates!” KP, July 13, 1998, 4K. ———. “Drought of ’53–54 Showed Need for New Lakes in Region,” KP, September 29, 1997, 4K. ———. “Independence’ Birth No Accident,” KP, February 24, 1992, 4K. ———. “Independence Firemen Note 50 years,” KP, September 14, 1987, 4K. ———. “Old Roads Still Major Thoroughfares,” KP, July 7, 1986, 4K. ———. “Paving Dixie Highway Quite a Feat Back in 1916,” KP, January 6, 1997, 4K. Schroeder, Cindy. “1998 Saw Boom in Construction for Independence,” KE, January 7, 1999, B3. Smith, Allen Webb. Beginning at “the Point,” a Documented History of Northern Kentucky and Environs, the Town of Covington in Particular, 1751–1834. Park Hills, Ky., Self-published, 1977. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
KENTON CO. PUBLIC LIBRARY. The Kenton Co. Public Library was created in 1967, when county voters signed petitions establishing the county library district, to be funded by a tax on property owners. The Covington Public Library, the ErlangerElsmere Library, and the Kenton Co. Bookmobile were merged to create the county library system. The Covington Public Library, opened in 1901, provided ser vices free to city residents, since the library was funded with city funds. Located in a Carnegie building at Robbins and Scott Sts. in Covington beginning in 1902, the library periodically made arrangements to provide ser vices to county residents outside the city, but the lack of funding for basic ser vices prevented establishing permanent arrangements for serving county residents.
The Erlanger-Elsmere Library, established by the Erlanger Woman’s Club in 1911, provided services for suburban residents. The members of the Erlanger Woman’s Club served as a volunteer staff, raised funds for expenses, and received materials for the collection. Limited funding was received from the cities of Erlanger and Elsmere. The library occupied several buildings in Erlanger and Elsmere until 1958, when a house was purchased on Bartlett Ave. in Erlanger. From 1928 until 1942, the ErlangerElsmere Library was operated by the Covington Public Library. Lack of funding from the cities of Erlanger and Elsmere resulted in a return of management to the Erlanger Woman’s Club until the county library system was established. In 1953 the Kenton Co. Fiscal Court obtained funding for a bookmobile to serve rural residents of the county. The bookmobile contained more than 3,000 books and made stops throughout the county at schools, firehouses, and other community locations. By 1964 more than 150,000 books had been circulated by the bookmobile. That same year, a small library was established in the Crescent Springs Presbyterian Church. For each of these libraries and the bookmobile, inadequate funding stood in the way of providing quality ser vices. Consultants reported that the Covington Public Library was operating far below the standards set by the American Library Association, while the Erlanger-Elsmere Library and the bookmobile had no professional staff and limited resources for the purchase of new materials. In April 1967, a committee of Kenton Co. residents began a campaign to form a countywide library district with sufficient reliable funding. A county system would be eligible for state and federal aid. Thousands of free books, records, and fi lms from the Kentucky Department of Libraries would be available to a county system. The new public library system would also allow for the construction of a new $1.1 million main library, expansion of the Erlanger-Elsmere Library, and the addition of another bookmobile. The library would be free to everyone in Kenton Co. Clyde Middleton and Laurence Grause were cochairmen of a committee that asked for 1,000 volunteers to obtain signatures from county residents for the petition drive, scheduled during the week of April 23–30, 1967. Businesses placed messages about the campaign on their outdoor signs, and volunteers went from door to door asking for signatures. The petition needed 14,865 signatures, or 51 percent of the number of voters casting ballots in the previous general election. The campaign was successful, obtaining more than 16,000 signatures, so the Kenton Co. Fiscal Court accepted the petition and issued an order that the library tax appear on the county’s October tax bills. By October 1967, Covington city commissioners had approved the agreement to transfer the Covington Library operation to the new Kenton Co. Library District. Kenton Co. judge James Dressman appointed a new library board, made up of Mrs. Harry Carl, Mrs. Ruth Eubank, Joseph Gausepohl, Laurence Grause, and George Weidner. By January 1968, Mary Ann Mongan had been ap-
pointed the head librarian and the Kenton Co. Public Library had assumed control of the Covington Public Library, the Erlanger-Elsmere Library, and the Kenton Co. Bookmobile. A new $21,000 bookmobile was also purchased and transferred to the country’s library system by the state. One of the first duties of the new board was to select a site for a new library to replace the outdated Carnegie library building in Covington. The City of Covington and the library board agreed on a site in town at the corner of Fift h and Scott Sts. The site was declared an urban renewal project and the city subsequently condemned the property to enable acquisition. Robert Ehmet Hayes was chosen as the architect for the new library building. In December 1971 the official groundbreaking ceremony took place, and construction of a new Kenton Co. library was under way. On Monday, January 21, 1974, at 502 Scott St., it opened its doors. The new $1.4 million library won the prestigious Honors Award of the Kentucky Society of Architects for its designer, Robert Ehmet Hayes and Associates. The library board now sought a site for a new Erlanger branch library to replace the two-story converted house on Bartlett Ave. In 1976 a site at the corner of Dixie Highway (U.S. 25) and Montgomery St. was chosen because it had the greatest volume of traffic and offered good visibility. The new Erlanger branch library, a $1 million, 15,800-squarefoot building at 3130 Dixie Highway, with five times the capacity of the former branch, was completed and opened to the public in September 1978. Joining the Kenton Co. Library staff in 1974 was Covington native Michael Averdick, who served on the library’s staff for the next 23 years. As associate director, he was responsible for beginning the local history and genealogy collection that preserved many Northern Kentucky records and was later acclaimed as the region’s most outstanding collection. With the expansion of the library system, operating moneys became an issue during the late 1970s and 1980s because library funding was limited by the Kentucky legislature and double-digit inflation presented additional challenges. Cutbacks in library ser vices were required: one bookmobile was eliminated, library hours were reduced, and spending for books and materials was decreased. Additional financial and material support was received, however, from the Friends of the Kenton Co. Public Library, an organization that was formed in 1979 under the leadership of Kathy Baker and Ruth Eubank, who had worked on the petition drive that created the library. The organization collected donated books and held book sales to support library programs. Circulation of materials by the library system increased substantially during the 1970s, going from 290,150 in 1969–1970 to 667,412 in 1979–1980. As the suburban population grew and the population in Covington decreased, usage shifted toward the Erlanger branch library. Also, as population in the county moved southward, the bookmobile schedule was adjusted to allow more stops in southern Kenton Co. In the mid-1980s,
KENTON CO. SCHOOL DISTRICT
the county library board asked library staff to complete a feasibility study for constructing a branch library in the southern half of the county. However, since funding was not available to construct a new library branch building at that time, the idea was put on hold. The library staff also focused on ser vices for persons who were unable to visit the library because of disabilities. Free delivery of library materials was provided for homebound individuals. In 1980 the Northern Kentucky branch of the Kentucky Talking Book Library was established at the main library in Covington to serve an eight-county Northern Kentucky region, offering books recorded on audiocassettes for visually impaired users and those who could not physically hold a book. Technology became a more important part of the county library’s ser vice during the late 1980s. By 1990 the library was ready for automation of all circulation and cataloging records. The library system was closed from August 6 through August 18, 1990, so that scannable barcodes could be added to library items. The process of circulating materials and checking the library’s catalog of materials was revolutionized. New formats of materials were also added to the library’s collections as technology advanced. Videos were first made part of the library’s collection in 1986. As compact discs and CD-ROMs became available, they were also offered to the public. Once automation of the library’s records was completed, attention focused on ser vices for the growing central and southern portions of Kenton Co. In November 1992, the board purchased property at 8477 Taylor Mill Rd. in Independence for a branch, and construction of this long-awaited facility began in 1994. With the opening of the branch library at Independence, the bookmobile, which had served so many rural residents, was discontinued. At the grand opening of the Independence branch of the Kenton Co. Library, on May 21, 1995, more than 600 residents came to celebrate the new facility. The state librarian of Kentucky, Jim Nelson, speaking at the opening ceremony, remarked that he had never seen such an outpouring of community support at a library opening. During the first full month of operation, the library’s branch in Independence checked out more than 18,000 items. In the mid-1990s, the library board of trustees instituted its first long-range planning process for the library. Directed by board vice-president Richard Gibeau, the process resulted in an ambitious program of improvements adopted by the board in 1997. The improvements focused on areas such as technology and the expansion of facilities, the establishment of a public-relations program, the addition of a human resources department, and the creation of a foundation to provide additional financial support. The plan ushered in a new wave of technology, which played a major role in the growth of library ser vices. Using a grant from the Gates Foundation, the library purchased dozens of computers, and Internet access was offered for the first time. Internet access brought many new users to the library, along with challenges in managing the new resource and providing the funding necessary for its maintenance.
As these improvements were under way, Mary Ann Mongan retired as director of the county library system in 1999, after 41 years of ser vice. In recognition of her devoted ser vice, the board of trustees named the main library in Covington in her honor. The library’s associate director, Wayne Onkst, was named her successor as library director. The building program initiated by the library board during the late 1990s proceeded with the renovation of the main library in Covington in 1998. Replacement of the now outdated Erlanger branch, which had become the busiest public library location in Kentucky, was completed in 2002, with the opening of the branch library building at 401 Kenton Lands Rd. in Erlanger. Construction of a new $8.9 million branch library in Independence, named in honor of William E. Durr, was begun in August 2006 and opened in January 2007. Plans to expand the Mary Ann Mongan Library in Covington are under way. “Durr Library ‘For the People’—New $8 Million Branch Opens,” KP, January 29, 2007, A1. “Goodby, Andrew Carnegie,” KP, August 5, 1969, 6K. “Here’s How New Kenton County Library Will Look,” KP, July 15, 1970, 13K. “Library’s Hawking Out Dixie Branch Site,” KP, July 10, 1975, 2K. Local history fi le on the Kenton Co. Public Library, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Kenton Co. Public Library, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky.
KENTON CO. SCHOOL DISTRICT. One year after its formation in 1840, Kenton Co. appointed its first common school commissioners, Robert M. Carlisle, John B. Casey, and Foster Fleming. The first public school outside of the city of Covington was likely at Sanfordtown; it was opened in 1843 with an enrollment of 37 students. In December of that year, the entire county outside of Covington was divided into 23 common school districts; by 1844 four schools enrolled 209 pupils. By 1875 the county had 54 school districts. Although many of the schools were one-room schools, others were graded schools. Most buildings were frame; only a few were brick. By 1889 the last log school was sold. School terms averaged only a few months. By act of the Kentucky General Assembly in 1884, the state provided for elected county superintendents of schools. In Kenton Co., H. P. Stephens was the first person elected to this post. His written assessment of the county schools in 1887 was honest but depressing, citing poor instructor salaries, ill-prepared teachers, rickety schools, and little parental support, especially among the upper class, who preferred to send their children to private academies. It took Kentucky’s “Education Legislature” of 1908 to enact reforms that helped to reverse the negative trends in public education. In that year, the General Assembly created county boards of education, giving them actual authority to operate schools. The legislature also demanded that each county establish a high school by the
year 1910. Soon after, the Kenton Co. Board of Education established four high schools: Crescent Springs High School, Independence High School, Piner High School, and Winston Hill High School (1916–1921). During the 1920s, the district pursued consolidation of many of its smaller schools. By 1934–1935, the county, with the assistance of the state department of education, undertook a study to improve the quantity and quality of the programs it offered. As a result, the last two remaining one-room schools were closed, and two new consolidated high schools were opened: Piner and Independence High Schools were replaced by the new Simon Kenton High School (1937), and Crescent Springs High School was replaced by the new Dixie Heights High School. Also in 1935, the county board set school terms for both elementary and high schools at nine months. This was the first major change in term length since the early 20th century, when the county had enacted seven months of instruction for elementary schools and nine months for high schools. After World War II, the dramatic rise in births that came to be known as the baby boom prompted the county board of education to undertake a study in 1945 to determine the system’s future needs. New schools were built, including Bromley Elementary (1950), Kenton Elementary in Independence (1951), and Taylor Mill Elementary (1954). By 1954 the county’s school enrollment had doubled in 10 years and led to the decision to build James A. Caywood Elementary (1956) in Edgewood and to construct additions to the two high schools. In fall 1988 the district reorganized its schools from the K–6, 7–8, 9–12 plan to an updated K–5, 6–8, 9–12 model. The 1960s witnessed the opening of additional schools to accommodate the baby boom: Ryland Elementary School (1960), Twenhofel Middle School (1961), Turkey Foot Middle School (1962), White’s Tower Elementary School (1964), and Beechgrove Elementary School (1968). In the 1970s through the 1990s, the following schools were opened: R. C. Hinsdale Elementary School (1972), Scott High School (1978), Visalia Elementary School (1982), Woodland Middle School (1988), Fort Wright Elementary School (1992, replacing Park Hills Elementary School, which had opened in 1929), River Ridge Elementary School (1992), and Summit View Elementary and Middle Schools (1998). Two new high-performance school buildings opened in 2005 and 2006, James A. Caywood Elementary and Twenhofel Middle School. A new Turkey Foot Middle School, also a high-performance school, is under construction and will open in the fall of 2010. Today, Kenton Co. Schools provide ser vices to more than 13,200 students in preschool through 12th grade. Students engage in learning activities that focus on high academic standards, connect to real-world experiences, and support the learning community within each school. One of the primary goals is that each graduate will demonstrate the skills and competencies needed to compete successfully in the global market. To that end, a Career Transitions program was implemented,
510 KENTON HILLS thereby providing a preschool-through-12th-grade initiative to promote discussion between schools and families about career pathways and the importance of thorough coursework for students. The high schools are organized into transitional freshman academies and smaller learning communities, with career-focused schools of study for the sophomore through senior years. Technology literacy is integrated into all aspects of curriculum in the Kenton Co. School District. Students use computers as tools for learning and communicating in all classrooms, the library, and computer labs; wireless laptops are available on a regular basis. A technology coordinator and technology resource teachers in each building provide daily assistance to teachers and staff in integrating technology literacy into instruction. In addition, a team of district technology specialists provide technical and instructional support to all schools. The district has won many awards, including prestigious recognition as a “What Parents Want” selection by SchoolMatch, an independent, nationwide ser vice that helps families find schools that match the needs of their children. This award ranks the system as one of the best school districts in the United States. In 2005 Kenton Co. also received District Accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. Caywood, J. A. “History and Development of Kenton County Schools,” 1958, Kenton Co. Board of Education, Fort Wright, Ky. The Kenton Co. School District. www.kenton .kyschools.us (accessed December 4, 2006).
KENTON HILLS. The Kenton Co. community of Kenton Hills, surrounded by the city of Covington and next to Devou Park, was incorporated as a sixth-class city in November 1962. The City of Covington had already in January 1958 begun a plan to absorb the community. After a long legal process, Kenton Hills finally was annexed in September 1965, adding 225 new residents and 71 acres of land to Covington. The action had been opposed by two groups, the Kenton Hills Civic Association, led by John Hunnicutt, president of the Stewart Iron Works, and homeowners, represented by wellknown Covington attorney Andrew W. Clark. Kenton Hills, perched high above I-75, with a commanding view to the north and east of the Ohio River Valley, is purely residential. Of the four original estates that made up Kenton Hills, one was owned by famed 19th-century actor Edwin Forrest. A legend connected with the area is that Kenton Co.’s namesake, Simon Kenton, in 1791 pursued the famous Indian chief Wapinotok, killed him, and buried him somewhere in modern-day Kenton Hills. Indian mounds, in fact, were found in the vicinity and excavated. The first homes in Kenton Hills were developed in the mid-1920s by J. J. Weaver; the area was promoted as a haven of clean-air living, located within easy walking distance of Devou Park, with access to all utilities
available and with fire protection and water supplied by the City of Covington. Building-lot prices were as low as $1,800, and a model home opened in September 1927. A second wave of construction took place in 1938 as the fears of the Great Depression waned. Although part of Covington today, Kenton Hills does not participate in the Covington Independent Schools; students from Kenton Hills attend the Kenton Co. Public Schools. Many of Northern Kentucky’s business and community leaders, such as longtime Kentucky Post editor Vance Trimble and local athlete and University of Cincinnati coach Bill Schwarberg, have had homes in Kenton Hills. A sign of the area’s continued appeal is that the Bluff Apartments complex, built in Kenton Hills during the late 1960s, is being renovated for conversion into condominiums. “ ‘Ideal Home’ in Kenton Hills,” KP, September 4, 1927, 9. “Indian Chief Killed by Simon Kenton,” KP, May 22, 1927, 6. Kenton Circuit Court Case No. 11537, November 7, 1962. “Kenton Hills Citizens Sue to Prevent Annexation,” KP, April 14, 1960, 1. “Kenton Hills Civic Group Has Election,” KP, January 29, 1941, 1.
KENTON HILLS PORCELAINS INC. Harold Bopp, who started this business, had previously been associated with the Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati for about 10 years. There he served as director of the color and chemistry departments and later as superintendent of all the company’s facilities. As a result of the 1929 stock market crash and the ensuing Great Depression, Rookwood Pottery’s sales declined so much that the business was no longer profitable. In early 1939 Bopp, discouraged, resigned his position with the Rookwood firm and endeavored to start his own pottery operation. He purchased a one-acre site at 212 Dixie Highway (U.S. 25) in Erlanger, Ky., where he set up his factory and showroom. The new company was named the Harold Bopp Manufacturing Company, and production officially began on January 22, 1940. Bopp soon realized that he needed management assistance, so he hired two other Rookwood employees, Arthur Conant and William E. Hentschel. From the very beginning, the new company was beset with perplexing problems. Bopp lacked the necessary funds to equip and operate the pottery properly, and bank loans were nearly impossible to obtain at the time. Hentschel, his assistant, suggested that Bopp hire David Seyler, whom they had known at Rookwood Pottery and the Cincinnati Art Academy. That proved to be a wise decision, since Seyler had superior business savvy and also had access to the needed capital, through his father, George Seyler. The father agreed to inject into the business an amount of cash equal to Bopp’s investment. Thus, on September 21, 1940, Harold Bopp, William Hentschel, David Seyler, George Seyler, and Chester Sterrett signed a partnership agreement that called for the formation of a corporation to be called Kenton Hills Porcelains Inc.
The corporation’s first official act was to purchase from a German firm a state-of-the-art gasfired kiln, which was far superior to the coal-fired one used by Rookwood Pottery. The partners hired a staff of the most talented designers and craftsmen available, capable of producing superior-quality pottery. With its blue-ribbon crew, Kenton Hills Porcelains Inc. soon began production of an impressive line of products. David Seyler traveled the country with samples of the company’s wares to establish sales outlets. He was able to sign up numerous high-profi le retailers, including NiemanMarcus in Dallas, Tex.; Marshall Field in Chicago; Gump in San Francisco; and Lord and Taylor and Tiffany in New York City. During the company’s first year of operation, it produced an array of beautiful, high-quality pottery, which sold exceptionally well. The future of Kenton Hills Porcelains Inc. appeared bright; however, World War II soon intervened, causing a significant decline in U.S. and European pottery sales. The company became unprofitable, so production was halted and the factory was leased to the government for storage of defense materials. Seyler had always intended to resume operations at the war’s end; however, it proved impossible to do so because the kiln was found to be contaminated and unfit for firing pottery. Therefore, the owners sold all the company assets, including the real estate, the inventory, the equipment, and the machinery. The partners moved on to other pursuits. Bopp and his second wife, Ann, moved to Corning, N.Y., where they took positions with the Corning Glass Company. In their new company, the husband-and-wife team designed the famous blue cornflower logo, which has become so familiar to owners of Corning Ware. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the war, David Seyler took a position as art director and sculptor at the Belvedere Pottery in Lake Geneva, Wis., but soon became disenchanted with that company and resigned. He worked for a short time as a commercial artist in Chicago and then joined the staff of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, as an instructor in ceramics, a position he held for the next 30 years. In 1961 he received the ultimate award, when he was named a fellow at the International Institute of Arts and Letters. Hentschel taught at the Cincinnati Art Academy until 1944, when he retired and began doing oil paintings in his home. His health gradually declined, and he died in 1962. For a short time, three very gifted artists and craftsmen operated their dream company in Kenton Co.; however, bad timing and world events beyond their control caused their dream to die prematurely. During roughly three years of operation, the corporation produced an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 ceramic works of art. Only about 500 have been identified positively, leaving probably thousands of others undetected in homes around the world. “Finest Porcelain Pottery in the World Is Aim of Northern Kentucky’s New Unique Industry,” KP, November 8, 1940, 1.
KENTUCKY CENTRAL RAILROAD Nicholson, Nick, and Marilyn Nicholson. Kenton Hills Porcelains, Inc. Loveland, Ohio: D. A. Nicholson, 1998.
KENTONTOWN. Originally chartered in 1795 as Newtown and laid out by John Kenton, brother of the legendary early Kentucky explorer Simon Kenton, this Robertson Co. crossroads hamlet at the intersection of modern U.S. 62 and Ky. Rt. 617 is six miles southwest of Mount Olivet. It was later renamed Kentontown in honor of Simon Kenton. A post office existed there as early as 1830; it closed in 1918. The town is one mile north of the Licking River, which at that point is the modern boundary between Robertson and Harrison counties. Kentontown was the home of Duncan Harding, the state representative from Harrison Co. who proposed the state legislation establishing Robertson Co. Kentontown, before the creation of Robertson Co. in 1867, was in Harrison Co., awkwardly set north of the Licking River. Harding, who essentially owned the town and the surrounding land, hoped to make Kentontown the seat of his new county, but that honor fell to the more centrally located Mount Olivet. Kentontown was the site of Harding’s general store and a Christian Church. The creation of the new county of Robertson made it much easier for Kentontown residents to be represented politically. They could also transact county business in the closer town of Mount Olivet, instead of traveling farther to Cynthiana in Harrison Co., assuming river conditions allowed them to cross the Licking. Today Kentontown remains much as it always has been, a small rural Kentucky hamlet. Gifford, Anjanette. “The Formation of Robertson County.” NKH 9, no. 1 (Spring–Summer 2001): 65–74. Reis, Jim. “A County of Rolling Hills, Winding Roads,” KP, November 17, 1986, 4K. Rennick, Robert M. Kentucky Place Names. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1984.
KENTON VALE. Kenton Vale is a small city located in north central Kenton Co., sandwiched between Covington and Fort Wright. The city was an unincorporated part of the county until 1949, when residents chose to incorporate to stop planned annexation by the city of Covington. Kenton Vale consists of a small business district on the western side of Madison Pk. and about 30 homes, most of which sit off Kuhrs Ln. The street is named for Ferdinand Kuhr, one of the early priests at Mother of God Catholic Church in Covington, who had a home there. Much of the village is nestled in a hillside overlooking the Mother of God Cemetery, which lies on the opposite side of Madison Pk. Certainly the most familiar landmark in the city is its oldest business, Jackson Florist, at 3124 Madison Pk. In the mid-1800s, there was a rock quarry located on Kuhrs Ln. Now a dead-end road, Kuhrs Ln. once continued to the top of the hill and connected with what is now Farrell Dr., near St. Charles Care Center. The city has tried twice in recent
years to merge with neighboring Fort Wright. In 1981 talks ceased after a conflict over the exact boundary lines of the tiny city. It seems that many residents who thought they lived in Covington actually lived in Kenton Vale. Once the boundary dispute was settled, the merger was placed on the ballot in both cities in 1983. Kenton Vale citizens passed the annexation plan by a vote of 48 to 10. In Fort Wright, however, voters turned down the merger 1,008 to 953. For now, at least, Kenton Vale remains one of the smallest incorporated cities in Kentucky. “Kenton Vale Dismisses Annex Offer,” KP, November 19, 1987, 9K. Reis, Jim. “Tiny Towns,” KP, November 4, 1986, 4K. Sesqui-centennial Souvenir Program: 150th Anniversary, 1815–1965, City of Covington, Kentucky. Covington, Ky.: T. and W., 1965. “Spurned Twice, Tiny City to Continue Merger Effort,” KE, September 3, 1982, C3.
Robert D. Webster
KENTUCKY CENTRAL RAILROAD. The term Kentucky Central, as used for the rail line between Covington and Lexington, was originally an advertising device to promote seamless travel between those two cities. The Kentucky Central consisted of two separate rail lines: the Covington and Lexington (C&L), which in 1854 reached Paris from Covington, and the Maysville and Lexington (M&L), which linked Paris with Lexington that same year. From the onset, the C&L and its successors were an important means of transporting thousands of cattle stock (mostly hogs) destined for Covington and Cincinnati meatpacking operations. Wheat was another profitable item to transport. About that time, the Lexington and Danville (L&D) began ser vice southward from Lexington to Nicholasville. Civil War–era documents refer to the entire Covington-toNicholasville route as the Central Kentucky Railroad. Promotional material projected Knoxville, Tenn., as its eventual southern terminus. In March 1856 the Kentucky General Assembly permitted the C&L and L&D railroads to use the name Kentucky Central Railroad. In 1858 Robert Bonner Bowler, a director of the Kentucky Central Rail-
road, persuaded the company to defer debt payment in order to make improvements on the line. A major creditor filed suit, and the railroad was sold at public auction, to Bowler. During the Civil War, the railroad suffered considerable damage from Confederate forays into Central Kentucky. In 1862, for example, Gen. Kirby Smith’s men destroyed most of the line during their reconnoiter from Lexington to the fortifications guarding Covington and Newport. In 1864 Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his raiders heavily plundered the line near Cynthiana. In 1865 the original stockholders fi led suit against the heirs of Bowler but lost. In the same year, the C&L and the M&L were sold at a foreclosure sale and bought by the Kentucky Central Association, a holding company, which continued to operate the C&L and the M&L as separate entities. In 1875 the C&L and the M&L were merged as the Kentucky Central Railroad (KC). The M&L at this time consisted of two separate railroads, the line from Lexington to Paris and the road from Paris to Maysville. In 1876 the KC purchased the Paris-to-Maysville road. In 1881 the KC was sold to Collis P. Huntington for use as the connection route for his Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (C&O) and his Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwestern Railroad (CO&SW). The C&O was building from Huntington, W.Va., to Cincinnati along the Ohio River, and the CO&SW ran from Louisville to Paducah. Connecting ser vice between the C&O and the CO&SW was via the KC and its track rights over the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) between Lexington and Louisville. In 1888 the C&O reached Covington from Ashland. It joined the KC in Covington at KC Junction (16th St. and Madison Ave.) and used the KC tracks northward into Covington for its starting point in building the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Bridge across the Ohio River into Cincinnati. Huntington’s empire, however, went into receivership, and as part of the reorga ni zation, the L&N in 1891 gained control of the KC. In 1951 the L&N abandoned the Lexington-to-Paris section of the KC. The Covington-to-Paris portion was being operated in 2007 by CSX as part of its Cincinnati-Corbin (C-C) division. The L&N sold the Paris-to-Maysville line to the short line Trans-
Kentucky Central Railroad Depot, Eighth and Washington Sts., Covington.
512 KENTUCKY CONSUMER ADVOCATE NETWORK Kentucky Transportation Railroad Inc. in 1979. Herr, Kincaid A. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2000. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989. Turner, Charles W. Chessie’s Road. Richmond, Va.: Garrett and Massie, 1956.
Charles H. Bogart
KENTUCKY CONSUMER ADVOCATE NETWORK. The Kentucky Consumer Advocate Network (KYCAN) is a nonprofit organization of mental health consumers that promotes the rights, concerns, and issues of persons with mental illness in Kentucky. It was founded in Nazareth, Ky., in 1988 by a small group of concerned mental health consumers, and the group’s main office is in Louisville. KYCAN, a statewide grassroots organization, promotes self-determination, self-advocacy, community integration without discrimination, and freedom of choice on behalf of mental health clients through public education. It exists to empower mental health consumers to have hope, to take personal responsibility, to advocate for needed changes, to educate about mental health issues, and to represent the consumer community before public and governmental bodies. Some of the services available to KYCAN’s clients are peer support, voting-rights training and voter registration, a newsletter, seclusion and restraint reduction training, application of the Olmstead Decision (a U.S. Supreme Court decision that requires states to place qualified individuals with mental disabilities in community settings, rather than in institutions, whenever possible), and advanced directives for mental health treatment. There is also a yearly conference with speakers and workshops for mental health consumers. KYCAN has more than 1,000 members. It has affi liate coordinators in more than 25 counties, including Boone, Campbell, Grant, and Kenton counties in the Northern Kentucky region. All KYCAN programs are free to consumers and their families, as is membership at this time. KYCAN’s efforts are supported financially by Kentucky’s office of Protection and Advocacy and by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Community Support Programs, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Ser vices Administration, and other donations. KYCAN. “Kentucky Consumer Advocate Network.” http://contac.org/kycan/ (accessed March 24, 2006).
Robin Rider Osborne
KENTUCKY CRICKET CLUB. The Kentucky Cricket Club of Newport was formed in 1845 and endured, at least in name, for more than 20 years, until baseball emerged as the region’s dominant bat-and-ball game following the Civil War. Cricket originated in England during the early 1700s. Allmale cricket clubs, complete with bylaws and elected officers, had existed in both England and North America before the Revolutionary War.
Cricket first appeared in the Ohio River Valley during the 1840s. The first cricket match played in Kentucky reportedly occurred in 1843 at Louisville. By late 1845, the Cincinnati area had three cricket teams: the Queen City Club, the Great Western Club, and the Kentucky Cricket Club of Newport. English immigrants established these clubs for camaraderie and exercise. One local enthusiast praised cricket as “more beneficial to health than all the drugs and quack medicines this side of the Allegheny Mountains.” Despite such purported virtues, cricket failed to win many adherents outside the English immigrant community. As late as 1860, English natives still made up all or nearly all of the Kentucky Cricket Club’s lineup, or “first eleven.” Like the German turnvereins and other immigrant institutions, the English cricket clubs demonstrate how European settlers preserved aspects of their culture and, in turn, shaped urban life in the Ohio River Valley. Although cricket is not widely played in Northern Kentucky today, the Kentucky Cricket Club nevertheless influenced the region’s recreation. The club’s matches were among the area’s earliest spectator events that featured team sports. For an 1860 match against the rival Union Cricket Club of Cincinnati, steamboats departed the Newport Barracks every half hour carry ing fans to the Kentucky Cricket Club’s grounds, located a mile up the Licking River. Moreover, the Ohio River Valley’s cricket clubs promoted the growth of other team sports by lending their organizational structures, playing fields, and members to the townball and baseball clubs that first appeared in the area during the late 1850s. “Cricket Match,” CDC, August 9, 1860, 2. Kirsch, George B. The Creation of American Team Sports: Baseball and Cricket, 1838–1872. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1989. “Sporting Epistle from Cincinnati.” Spirit of the Times 15, no. 27 (August 29, 1845): 314.
KENTUCKY ENQUIRER. The Kentucky Enquirer is the Northern Kentucky edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the daily newspaper with the largest paid circulation in Northern Kentucky. The Enquirer also operates a Web site for Northern Kentucky, NKY.com. In the spring of 2008, the Enquirer’s Kentucky circulation was approximately 40,000 daily and 52,000 on Sunday, making it the third-largest daily newspaper in the state of Kentucky. The Kentucky edition’s front page, local news section, and sports section are either substantially or completely different from the Cincinnati editions of the newspaper. The editorial and business pages also change on some days. The Cincinnati Enquirer issued its first paper on April 10, 1841, focusing that day on the death of the first U.S. president from Cincinnati, William Henry Harrison (1841). From its inception, the paper was a popu lar resource for news about the arts. Its first editor was John Brough; its circulation at the time was around 1,000. At first called Daily
Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper later changed its name to Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, then to Cincinnati Enquirer. Well-known area families have owned the paper during its long tenure: the McLean family for more than 50 years and then later one of Cincinnati’s most successful businessmen, Carl Linder. During the Civil War, the paper began publishing seven days each week, making it possible to follow the daily happenings of the war in the region. In 1866, when fire destroyed Cincinnati’s Pike Opera House, it took the Enquirer building next door with it. The publisher quickly recovered from this loss, and through 1991 the paper missed only nine publishing dates. The Enquirer’s largest and longest-continuing advertiser, the Kroger Company, placed its first ad on March 21, 1897. The Enquirer was purchased by the media giant Gannett Corporation in 1978 and became a sister publication of the Louisville CourierJournal. For many years, extending well into the 20th century, the news of Northern Kentucky, mainly Covington and Newport, was reported on the outof-town page of the Cincinnati Enquirer; the same practice was followed by most other Cincinnatibased newspapers. News items covered included building permits, new construction starts, and the deaths of important individuals, each normally given the space of a short paragraph. By 1894 the Enquirer had an office at 406 Scott St. in Covington, with John M. Vastine as a reporter; in 1900 S. T. Reilly held that job; by 1910 the Covington office had moved to 511 Madison and two reporters were on staff, Charles H. Mohr and Marcella Deutsch; in 1923 Ray A. Cochran gathered the news at 7 W. Sixth. St.; and in 1940 the Covington office was at 35 E. Seventh St. In 1956 the paper’s Newport location at 5 E. Sixth St. was consolidated into the Covington location. By 1960 the office had been given the name Kentucky Enquirer, with an address of 105 City Building, Covington; in 1970, when Jack Hicks was named Kentucky editor by head editor Brady Black, the operation was at 600 Greenup St.; in the 1980s and into the 1990s, the office was at 309 Garrard St.; it moved to 226 Grandview Ave. in Fort Mitchell in the late 1990s. By 2008 about 40 news and advertising people worked in the Fort Mitchell office while staff members for the 10 Community Recorder weekly newspapers worked a floor below. The Kentucky Enquirer always has been printed in Cincinnati, first at the plant along Vine St. and recently in Queensgate, and trucked into Northern Kentucky. The Enquirer also has two newspaper distribution centers in Northern Kentucky, in Erlanger and Cold Spring. Over the years, many Northern Kentuckians have worked for the Enquirer. Brady Black, Jack Hicks, Ollie James, Robert F. Schulkers, and Caroline Williams are a few who played major roles. Many of the Enquirer’s top present-day journalists live and work in Northern Kentucky, including political reporter Patrick Crowley, photographer Michael Keating, and sports columnist John Erardi. In 1974 Enquirer editor Bill Keating announced that coverage of Northern Kentucky
would expand because of the importance of four new interstate bridges, the growing airport, the industrial parks, and other areas of growth south of the river. It was then, on Sunday, August 18, 1974, that the Sunday Kentucky Enquirer masthead first appeared. The Kentucky Enquirer masthead for daily papers has been a fi xture since fall 1974. Other overtures of improved coverage and increased staffing to follow the Kentucky market were made later, such as in 1994. That year editor Lawrence Beaupre expanded Kentucky business and sports news. A significant expansion of news and sports coverage began in 2004 with the appointment of a full-time general manager for Kentucky and additional editorial staff. The Enquirer’s Kentucky circulation increased significantly in recent years and received an additional boost when the Kentucky Post ceased publication on December 31, 2007. The Enquirer also has moved aggressively into the digital world, starting with the launch of Cincinnati.com more than a decade ago. In November 2005 the companion Web site, NKY.com, was launched for the Northern Kentucky audience, combining content from the Enquirer, the Community Recorder weeklies, and other information sources. NKY.com was one of the first news Web sites to mesh journalist-produced content with reader-submitted news and photos and was named the best Web site in Kentucky in the Kentucky Press Association’s annual contest in both 2006 and 2007. It also offers video, extensive calendar listings, many opportunities for reader interaction, and individual “pages” for the communities of the region with highly localized news, photos, and information. The Enquirer has launched products with a Kentucky focus that are specifically designed for mobile phone users as well. Beaupre, Lawrence K. “Enquirer Expands Kentucky Coverage, Increases Business and Sports News,” KE, October 2, 1994, A1. DeCamp, Graydon. The Grand Old Lady of Vine Street. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Enquirer, 1991. “The Enquirer Names New Kentucky Editor,” CE, January 20, 1970, 6. Keating, William J. “To Our Northern Kentucky Friends,” CE, August 18, 1974, 1. “Kentucky Enquirer Grows to Match Expanding Area,” CE, July 21, 1974, 6A.
Dennis Hetzel and Michael R. Sweeney
KENTUCKY GATEWAY MUSEUM CENTER. James Wormald, a native of London, England, settled in Maysville with his family as a young man. He engaged in several occupations but eventually became a successful haberdasher and an agent for the Pomeroy Coal Company. In 1876 he donated $2,000 and a lot and house on Sutton St., worth $3,000, for the establishment and endowment of Maysville’s first public library and the Mason Co. Historical and Scientific Society (see Mason Co. Public Library). Wormald died in 1878, but his legacy has endured. The Commonwealth of Kentucky chartered the new Maysville and Mason Co. Library, Historical, and Scientific Association on March 1, 1878; it is said to be the oldest historical society in continuous existence within the
state. The trustees of the association built the current building on Sutton St. to serve as a library in 1881. The adjacent property was purchased early in the 20th century, and the two buildings that were erected served the public through the years. In 1971 the county began public support of the Maysville and Mason Co. Library, and the Historical and Scientific Association spent five years restoring and enlarging the original 1881 building, which opened in 1975 as the Mason Co. Museum with professionally designed exhibits that depict the history of the area. It also contained a genealogical and historical research library. Plans for an expansion in 2003 led to a change of name to Museum Center, to reflect service to a regional rather than a county area, and in 2006 the official name of the museum was changed again, from Museum Center to Kentucky Gateway Museum Center. The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center continues its mission to acquire, preserve, and display collections for research and educational purposes. The total collection numbers more than 31,000 artifacts, documents, photographs, and works of art. With more than 10,000 documents dating from 1773, the archives have become a nationally recognized repository for regional information. The collection includes letters, land grants, plats, maps, tax rolls, military orders, tavern bonds, and more. There are 18,800 postcards and photographs in a variety of formats, 4,000 research library books, and more than 1,800 artifacts in the collection. In 2003 Mrs. Louis N. Browning, a native of Maysville, offered her extensive collection of onetwelft h-scale miniatures and an endowment to the museum. This collection, called the Kathleen Savage Browning Miniatures Collection, is one of the three most comprehensive collections of its kind in the United States. The addition of this gift prompted construction to make room for the everexpanding collections, so the Board of Trustees began a campaign to raise $3.8 million for a new 33,000-square-foot expansion. The Hunt Building that adjoined the 1881 building was razed, and the new addition was completed in 2007. The new facility allows for state-of-the-art preservation of the collection and provides added classrooms, three new galleries, meeting rooms, and staff offices. Management of the facility is the responsibility of three full-time and seven part-time staff members and a corps of 60 volunteers. A board of 16 area leaders administers the annual budget. Support is provided by a $1.6 million endowment, public and private grants, and donations. Archives of the Museum Center, Maysville, Ky. “Death of James Wormald,” Maysville Bulletin, April 25, 1878, 3. “James Wormald: A Munificent Donation $5,000 for Establishing and Maintaining a Public Library and Historical Association,” Maysville Republican, June 3, 1876, 1. “Maysville Museum Completes Expansion,” KP, November 24, 2007, 3A.
KENTUCKY POST. For nearly 117 years, the Kentucky Post was a part of the fabric of the North-
ern Kentucky community, recording its everyday events, the milestones in the lives of ordinary citizens, the foibles of its leaders, and the achievements of its local heroes. During those years, editors at the Kentucky Post worked to eliminate tolls on the Ohio River and Licking River bridges, won citymanager governments for Covington and Newport, helped save southeastern Kentucky’s Cumberland Falls from destruction by a hydroelectric project, promoted efforts to make Boone Co. the site of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and campaigned to clean up gambling and X-rated entertainment in Northern Kentucky (see Gambling; Newport Second Cleanup). The Kentucky Post’s reporter Clay Wade Bailey was so well respected in Frankfort that in 1974, when Kentucky built a new Ohio River bridge linking Covington and Cincinnati, it was named in his honor. Reporters at the Kentucky Post wrote about the Ohio River floods of 1913 and 1937, tornadoes in 1915 and 1974, airline crashes and fires in 1967 and 1983 (see Aviation Accidents; Fires), and Northern Kentucky’s greatest disaster, the 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire. The Kentucky Post was so important to the community that during the 1937 flood, newspapers were declared emergency materials and were delivered like food, water, and clothing. It was because of tenacious crusading by one of the newspaper’s editors, Judy Clabes, that the Commonwealth of Kentucky began to wake up to its shameless neglect of public education and pushed through the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990, a package of reforms that became a national model. Throughout most of its life, the Kentucky Post was the dominant voice in Northern Kentucky, circulating in its peak years nearly 60,000 copies daily. Sometimes an observer, sometimes a common scold, sometimes a booster, the Kentucky Post first and foremost always relentlessly chronicled the news. Part of the newspaper’s long history of success in Northern Kentucky can be attributed to its accidental alignment with the ideals of the political party that dominated Northern Kentucky for most of the life of the newspaper, the Democratic Party. The Kentucky Post was grown by newspaper baron Edward W. Scripps, who saw an untapped emerging market in producing a newspaper for the masses. His first newspapers were priced at one penny, well within the budget of a workingman, and they were published in the afternoon, when shift workers were coming home and had time to read a newspaper. Although he prided himself on publishing politically “independent” papers, it was natural that his newspapers tended to be liberal and attuned to the populist interests of his working-class customers. The latter principle found fertile ground in Kentucky, where the Democratic Party had ruled the state since Reconstruction and where, until the decade of the 1990s, the electorate’s only real decisions were made in Democratic primaries. In 1881 Scripps bought the afternoon Cincinnati Penny Press from brothers Walter and Alfred
514 KENTUCKY POST Wellman and soon renamed it the Cincinnati Post. As the Cincinnati newspaper flourished, it looked for more readers and found them on the Kentucky shore of the Ohio River. On September 15, 1890, the first issue of the Kentucky edition of the Cincinnati Post appeared. Its four pages of news were aimed at the 92,000 residents of Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, and Ludlow. The new paper had editorial and business offices at 404 Scott St., Covington, and its own staff of 30, but it was printed along with the Cincinnati Post in Cincinnati, an arrangement that persisted through 2007. Telephone and telegraph connections were set up between the Covington and Cincinnati offices, and L. T. Atwood, editor of the Cincinnati Post, was placed in charge of the Kentucky newspaper in addition to his duties in Cincinnati. Scripps promised, “The Kentucky Post will tell the truth without fear or favor, irrespective of any political party under all circumstances.” On its first birthday in 1891, the paper in Covington moved to a three-story brick building at Fift h and Scott Sts. Its staff then numbered 40, and it boasted 9,970 paid subscribers. The paper also ceased being called the Kentucky edition of the Cincinnati Post. It was renamed the Kentucky Post and now had its own editor, William Purnell Campbell. Scripps also ordered that the Kentucky Post should be wrapped around the Cincinnati Post for circulation in Kentucky. This was a new newspaper concept, publishing two newspapers for the price of one, and still for a penny. This arrangement continued until 2006, when the Kentucky Post finally was untethered from its Cincinnati sister. By 2006 the Kentucky Post was far the larger of the two papers in circulation, and its price had risen to 50 cents daily and one dollar on Saturday. In the 1880s circulation continued to climb, and in October 1896 the Kentucky Post expanded into leased space in Covington at the southwest corner of Fift h St. and Madison Ave. It began printing eight-page papers daily. One of the new paper’s first big stories came with the January 30, 1900, sniper shooting of Covington resident William Goebel on the steps of the state capitol in Frankfort. Goebel, who died a few days later, had been declared the winner in a controversial and hotly contested election for Kentucky governor, the closest in Kentucky history. The Kentucky Post had covered the campaign closely, and the assassination dominated its pages for days. Circulation was now 12,488. In 1902 the Kentucky Post moved into what was its home for the next 100 years. Scripps had purchased a vacant lot in Covington in the middle of the 400 block of Madison Ave., between Fourth and Fifth Sts., and constructed a building on the site where a huge fire had destroyed much of the block. The 30-by-100-foot three-story building was dedicated at an open house on October 31, 1902, that attracted some 2,000 persons. By then every edition of the newspaper contained eight pages of Kentucky news. In 1904 Harry W. Brown became editor. Then in 1906 Milton J. Bonner took the helm for nine years. Starting in 1915 a series of editors came and went, beginning with Frank Crippen; in 1916 Charles W.
Larsh took over. He was followed in 1918 by Albert W. Burhrman, then Edward P. Mills, and in 1919 by Max B. Cook. In 1921 Bruce I. Susong arrived. He was a crusader, and it was during his 10-year tenure that the paper worked to reform government in Covington and Newport and saved the Cumberland Falls from being dammed for a power plant. By 1927 circulation had reached 27,454. On November 30, 1924, Susong started a Sunday edition, which lasted about eight years, until December 18, 1932. Donald E. Weaver was editor during the Great Depression years from 1931 to 1936. He ran regular exposés of gambling and uncovered loan sharks who were in league with corrupt justices of the peace. Carl A. Saunders arrived on May 28, 1936, and saw several of his ambitions come to reality, including construction of Greater Cincinnati’s main airport in Boone Co. He published an intensely local newspaper, and it was said upon his death in October 1962, “The name of every resident of the area probably appeared in the Kentucky Post during his 26 years.” Competition from television, changing lifestyles, and new reader habits were beginning to have an effect on afternoon newspapers as more and more of their customers began to prefer morning papers. The Taft family’s local afternoon paper, the Times-Star, fell victim to these trends and sold out to the E. W. Scripps Company. On Monday, July 21, 1958, the Kentucky Post became the Kentucky Post and Times-Star, and the reconstituted newspaper reached its peak of average daily circulation in Kentucky, around 60,000 copies. Eventually, the Times-Star name was dropped from the nameplate. On January 14, 1963, a new editor, Vance H. Trimble, arrived from the Scripps-Howard bureau in Washington, D.C., shortly after winning a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Trimble brought his aggressive and often irreverent style to the newspaper. A dogged promoter, he at one point ordered a huge reproduction of the Kentucky Post’s front page painted on the side of the newspaper’s three-story building in Covington, and it was for years a Madison Ave. landmark. Trimble also solidified the newspaper’s presence in a 12-county area comprising Bracken, Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Kenton, Mason, Owen, Pendleton, and Robertson counties, branding them “Kentucky Post Country.” The Kentucky Post’s now aging building on Madison Ave. had remained largely untouched until 1963, when a $250,000 remodeling created the familiar facade that housed the paper until the structure was sold in 2005 and the newspaper moved its office to RiverCenter II (see Covington, Downtown) on the Covington riverfront. The newspaper’s old building was extensively remodeled and became the law offices of Morgan, Hazen, Galbreath & Smith. At the time of its 75th-anniversary celebration in 1965, the Kentucky Post had an average daily circulation of about 50,000. Circulation increased and varied between 53,000 and 54,000 through the late 1960s and mid-1970s. Scripps’s 1958 purchase of the Times-Star only put off the inevitable as
profits of afternoon newspapers in metropolitan areas continued to soften. By the mid-1970s, the Post’s combined Kentucky and Ohio editions were losing millions of dollars a year, a substantial sum in those days, and in 1977 Scripps negotiated a 30year arrangement with its local arch rival, the morning Cincinnati Enquirer, to take over printing, circulation, and advertising for the Post’s Kentucky and Ohio editions, splitting the profits from the joint operation. Scripps continued to operate the newsroom but shed more than 500 employees who did other tasks, mostly in its Cincinnati operations. Once the Cincinnati Enquirer took over circulation, however, the Kentucky Post began a long, steady decline, dropping to a circulation of 46,000 through much of the 1980s and to 37,000 by 1995, before leveling off at just fewer than 28,000 by 2000. Trimble retired in 1979, and in December of that year, Paul H. Knue was named editor of the Kentucky Post. In August 1983 Knue became editor of the Cincinnati Post and was replaced by Judy Clabes, who quickly became noted for her deep commitment to the community. In 1996 Clabes was named president of the Scripps Howard Foundation, and in a return to the very earliest days of the Kentucky Post, Knue became editor of both of the Scripps Cincinnati and Kentucky newspapers. Both the Kentucky and Ohio editions of the Post continued to struggle with the growing customer preference for morning newspapers and with the disadvantage of having its marketing and circulation in the hands of its competitor. Although circulation of the Cincinnati Post plunged in Ohio, the Kentucky Post remained the dominant paper in Northern Kentucky, largely because of the community’s continued affection for the Kentucky Post’s commitment to the area. Knue retired in 2001, and longtime Post news executive Mike Philipps was named editor of the two newspapers; he immediately turned most of the Post’s remaining resources toward the booming Northern Kentucky market. In January 2004 the Cincinnati Enquirer announced that it would not continue beyond 2007 its 30-year contract to print and distribute the Post. With no incentive to support a possible long-term competitor, the Cincinnati Enquirer let the Kentucky Post’s circulation slide even further, now limiting deliveries to select areas in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. In July 2007 Scripps announced that the Cincinnati Post and the Kentucky Post would cease operation, with the last edition of both being December 31, 2007. The announcement left Northern Kentucky without a major daily newspaper that it could call its own for the first time in 117 years. On January 1, 2008, an online electronic version of the Kentucky Post began operations as kypost.com, a part of the Scripps media network. Baldasty, Gerald J. E. W. Scripps and the Business of Newspapers. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1999. Duke, Kerry. “The Post to Say Farewell Dec. 31,” KP, July 17, 2007, 1A. Stevens, George Edward. “A History of the Cincinnati Post.” A thesis submitted to the faculty of the graduate school of the Univ. of Minnesota, 1968.
KENTUCKY RIVER NAVIGATION Trimble, Vance H., ed. Scripps-Howard Handbook. Cincinnati: E. W. Scripps, 1981.
KENTUCKY RIVER. The Kentucky River forms the western boundary of the Northern Kentucky region. Its waters wash the shores of both Carroll and Owen counties. Before the development of modern modes of transportation, the river was the way people of the Northern Kentucky region met residents of the central and southeastern areas of the state. Carrollton was a destination city where rivermen exchanged goods for transshipment along both the Kentucky and the Ohio rivers. Regional cities such as Worthville, Gratz, and Monterey depended upon the Kentucky River for their economies and communications with the rest of the nation, because for many years overland roads to these places were poor. The Kentucky River has held much the same importance for the western reaches of the Northern Kentucky region as the Ohio River has held for the most northern counties of the region. The Kentucky River, nearly 255 miles in length, flows from the confluence of the North and South forks at Beattyville on a generally northwesterly course to the Ohio River at Carrollton. The headwaters of the Three Forks of the Kentucky River— the North, the Middle, and the South—rise in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky near Pine Mountain. The river drains an area of nearly 7,000 square miles and drops 226 feet as it flows from Beattyville to Carrollton. In the river basin, the Cincinnati Arch, which crests at Camp Nelson, caused the land to rise during the Pliocene and the Pleistocene epochs (see Geology). At one time the Kentucky flowed into the Ohio River far north of present-day Carrollton, but glaciation and constant weathering altered both rivers’ courses (see Glaciers). The Kentucky River was vital to both American Indians and European pioneers, and it then became a major transportation route early in state history. Flatboats built on its banks transported tobacco, whiskey, and other agricultural products. Steamboats made their appearance on the river beginning in 1816. Being a relatively narrow and meandering river, the Kentucky in its natural state was subject to periods of flood and low water. There were pools of deep water, impounded by sand and gravel bars or rocky shoals, every few miles throughout the length of the river. As flatboats, keelboats, and steamboats became increasingly important to the state’s economy, plans were made for a system of locks and dams to be constructed by the federal government (see Kentucky River Navigation). Because no federal funds were forthcoming, the state built five locks between 1836 and 1842, regularizing transportation for less than 100 miles of the river’s length. Well-known steamboats such as the Blue Wing, the Argo, and the Ocean used the Kentucky River before the Civil War. When Railroads pushed into the region, they superseded much of the river transportation of freight. In 1880 the federal government took over the old system of lock and dams, which were dilapidated and unusable, and began rebuilding num-
bers 1 through 5. By 1917, 14 locks and dams had been completed from a point four miles above Carrollton to just below Beattyville, creating a channel six feet deep. Already obsolete when completed in 1917, the locks were too narrow and short for the rapid lockages that might have been able to compete with railroads. At the beginning of the 20th century, such steamboats as the Falls City II, the Royal, and the Richard Roe were the last of their kind to navigate the Kentucky River. As late as the 1920s, gaspowered packet boats such as the Hanover, the White Dove, and the Revonah (Hanover spelled backward) worked the lower river. Showboats, such as the Princess, brought entertainment to communities during the summertime, until the Great Depression. Transportation on the Kentucky probably had little overall effect on the cost of internal transportation in the state except for a short while near the end of the 19th century. Nevertheless, for many places along the river from Carrollton to Frankfort, the river offered the most convenient contact with the outside world. Until the construction of highways in the 1930s, small towns such as Lockport, Gratz, and Monterey (see Monterey Baptist Church) prospered because of their river links. Commissions have studied the future of the Kentucky River for decades. The 1990 General Assembly passed a law creating the Kentucky River Authority (KRA), which is empowered to develop comprehensive long-range water-reservoir management and drought-response plans; to maintain locks and dams; to issue administrative regulations for clean water; to develop recreation areas; and to conceive methods of protecting groundwater within the river’s basin. In addition, such advocacy groups as Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper, and Kentucky Waterways Alliance participate in the task of monitoring, protecting, and improving the Kentucky River. One challenge they face is that sewage, salt water from oil and gas wells, runoff from coal mines, and other environmental problems strain the river’s ability to regenerate itself. The nonbiodegradable waste floating in the river during spring floods or left hanging in trees along the riverbank is a visible sign of the pollution of the Kentucky River. Sediment constricts the river in many places because of the runoff from mining and agricultural operations and housing developments. The future of the Kentucky River is uncertain. As the old locks and dams deteriorate, state government and the public at large must make important and costly decisions about replacements. Moreover, as the population of central and Northern Kentucky grows, increasing stress will be placed on the watershed. Clark, Thomas D. The Kentucky. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1942. Coleman, J. Winston. Steamboats on the Kentucky. Lexington, Ky.: Winburn, 1960. Ellis, William E. The Kentucky River. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2000.
William E. Ellis
KENTUCKY RIVER NAVIGATION. The Kentucky River, which flows into the Ohio River at Carrollton, is one of the major rivers of Northern Kentucky. The river is formed at the confluence of its North, Middle, and South Forks near Beattyville and flows in a northwesterly direction for 255 miles, reaching the Ohio River at Carrollton. In its course the river drops more than 220 feet in elevation. Because the river channel could be navigated only at high-water stages, and then at peril, boatmen, farmers, and merchants early became interested in improving the river for dependable navigation. When Kentucky became a state in 1792, the Commonwealth assumed jurisdiction over all the streams within its boundaries. At that time, commerce was moved by flatboats and keelboats. With the advent of the steamboat in 1811, support became strong for developing improved navigation conditions. Shortly after statehood was attained, the state legislature had begun considering improvements, and sections of the river were surveyed over the next several years. In 1828 the state requested a federal survey of the river to plan a project that could provide a more reliable transportation artery. U.S. Army engineers mapped the river from its mouth upstream to Boonesborough and recommended federal funding for construction of an experimental dam at Frankfort to determine the feasibility of additional improvements. However, no federal assistance was provided. From the 1820s through the early 1830s, the State Board of Internal Improvements approved expenditures allowing for removal of the most treacherous rock and snag obstructions in the channel. In 1835, based on previous surveys and studies, state engineer R. Philip Baker developed plans for a slack-water project to provide a six-foot navigable depth by construction of 17 locks and dams on the Kentucky River, from the mouth to the Three Forks at Beattyville. (Slack water refers to the easily navigable water between one dam and the next dam upstream.) With authorization from the Board of Internal Improvements, Sylvester Welch, the chief project engineer, directed construction of five locks and dams between 1835 and 1842. These structures established the six-foot depth up to Oregon in Woodford Co., about 95 miles above the mouth of the river. Construction of additional projects was suspended in 1842 because insufficient funds were provided from the state. The five completed projects consisted of rock-fi lled timber-crib dams and stone masonry locks. Each of the locks was 38 feet wide and 145 feet long, with an average lift of 14 feet. The steamboat New Argo was the first to pass through the locks, arriving in Frankfort in February 1840. The project cost just over $1 million. However, it was still 160 miles short of the goal of the Three Forks region and the wish to develop and market the abundant resources of the Eastern Kentucky mountains. During its early years of operation, the project enabled bustling steamboat commerce. But in the first 25 years of operation, the state collected less than $475,000 in tolls, while expending $315,000
516 KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY for upkeep and maintenance. The difference of $160,000 was entirely inadequate to extend the system into the mountain region. During the Civil War, care of the system was neglected, and several of the locks received battleinflicted damage. At the end of the war, the five locks were in bad condition, and the state lacked funds for repairs. Therefore, the state leased the project to the Kentucky River Navigation Company, which agreed to repair the structures and build additional locks and dams up to the mountains. However, that scheme collapsed owing to shortage of funds, and by the 1870s, the five structures had fallen into ruin, becoming more an obstruction to navigation than an aid. Still, there was the clamor by river men, businesses, and politicians to extend the system upriver to the Three Forks, but adequate funding for repairs and extension of the system was not provided by the state government. The state requested federal aid, and in the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1879, Congress appropriated $100,000 for a survey of the river, directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake the work and stating that the federal government would become the owner of the system. Col. William E. Merrill conducted the survey and study and recommended reconstruction of the five old projects and construction of additional locks and dams to reach the mountain region. Congress adopted this plan, and Kentucky ceded the projects to the United States in March 1880. The Corps began repairs immediately. Even though it was necessary to completely rebuild several of the old locks and dams, and although floods hampered the work, by 1886 all five of the old structures were reopened. River-borne commerce experienced a resurgence as the locks served steamboats, flatboats, and log raft s. Still the fervor for further expansion of the navigation system simmered. The plan approved by the 1879 act recommended construction of 12 locks and dams to provide navigation to Beattyville. Following failure of an experimental bear-trap dam near Beattyville, the Corps modified the plan to reduce costs by raising the average lift of the new dams from 15 to 18 feet and reducing the number of new projects to 9. Number 6 was completed in 1891, and in subsequent years, in spite of floods and sporadic funding by the Congress, the Corps built all 9 projects, completing number 14 in 1917. Numbers 9 through 14 were constructed of concrete, unlike the old timber-crib dams and quarriedstone locks. Throughout those years, the driving force was the pervading “boosterism” to complete the system to the mountains for the extraction of timber and coal. Waterborne commerce on the Kentucky River fluctuated greatly in the construction years and following completion of the system. The coming of adequate rail ser vice caused a dramatic decrease in traffic; the navigation system now had to compete with other transportation modes. From 1900 to 1930, commerce in various commodities, and the value thereof, declined precipitously. Movement of coal on the river ceased in the 1960s, and all commercial traffic ended in 2000.
The Kentucky River navigation system simply did not bring about a long-term economic stimulus. In 1986 the Corps of Engineers began leasing the 14 locks and dams to the Commonwealth’s Kentucky River Authority. Since then, the Corps has repaired several of the dams in order to maintain an adequate water supply for many Bluegrass communities. The Authority manages the watersupply function and operates the lower four locks specifically for recreational boating in the summer months. Thus, the history of navigation development on the Kentucky River has come full circle. The Commonwealth built the original projects in the early 1800s; the federal government took control in 1880; and since 1986 the Commonwealth has managed the entire system. Within the Northern Kentucky region, the navigation of the Kentucky River provided important links with the outside world for areas in Carroll and Owen counties. Supplies and goods were delivered to towns that were difficult to reach overland, like Gratz and Monterey in Owen Co. Residents of such areas also had access to entertainment from showboats. River commerce made Carrollton the important port that it once was, and it was on the waters of the Kentucky River where central and eastern Kentuckians met Northern Kentuckians, if ever so unintentionally and informally. Modern highways and new forms of communication have replaced, somewhat, the role of the Kentucky River for those parts of the region. Ellis, William E. The Kentucky River. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2000. Johnson, Leland R. The Falls City Engineers: A History of the Louisville District Corps of Engineers United States Army. Louisville, Ky.: Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1974, 1984. Johnson, Leland R., and Charles Parrish, Kentucky River Development: The Commonwealth’s Waterway. Louisville, Ky.: Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1999.
Charles E. Parrish
KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY. The nation’s newest major spectator sport, NASCAR, came to the Northern Kentucky region with the arrival in Gallatin Co. of Jerry Carroll’s Kentucky Speedway. Located along Ky. Rt. 35 just north of I-71 and easily reached from three major markets, Northern Kentucky–Greater Cincinnati, Louisville, and Lexington, this multimillion-dollar venture is changing the nature and the economics of Gallatin Co. The speedway was built on 1,000 acres at a privately funded cost of $152 million and opened in 2000; it seats more than 66,000 and provides parking for more than 30,000 cars and 2,000 recreational vehicles. Having attracted a single-day crowd of 72,312 at a race, the speedway already holds the attendance record for sporting events held in the region. Some 300,000 patrons attended the races in the track’s first season, and attendance has grown steadily ever since. The track is a 1.5-mile tri-oval with a state-of-the-art banking design. The racing surface is also one of the best in the nation, often
attracting some of NASCAR’s top drivers for practice runs. Three types of races are held there: the NASCAR Busch Series (stock cars); the Indy Racing League, using Indianapolis-type open-wheeled cars; and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (race trucks). Of all the major sports, NASCAR is clearly the most family-oriented, and it is marketed to families. Family involvement and family-friendly drivers are a big part of the circuit’s appeal. Spectator families love to camp there. Meanwhile, new roads, interstate exits, and sewers have been constructed in Gallatin Co. to accommodate the fans. Hotels, restaurants, and resorts are appearing nearby. Much-needed jobs are coming to both Gallatin and Carroll counties, and a general-aviation airport has been proposed to serve Gallatin, Carroll, and Owen counties. The Kentucky Speedway has begun to host other types of events when not conducting racing: concerts, driving schools, and corporate outings. In 2008, Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., purchased Kentucky Speedway, paying $78 million and also assuming $63.3 million in debts. Smith, whose company owns seven other auto racing tracks, stated that he plans to move a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to Kentucky Speedway and to boost seating capacity to 115,000. Previous CEO and owner Jerry Carroll has agreed to continue in an advisory capacity. Kentucky Speedway. “Sprint Cup Race Now Likely,” KE, May 23, 2008, A1. www.kentuckyspeedway.com.
KENTUCKY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (formerly the Northern Kentucky Symphony) is a professional orchestra with offices in Newport. Founded in 1992 by James Cassidy, its current music director, the orchestra played its first concerts in Highland Heights at the newly opened Greaves Concert Hall on the campus of Northern Kentucky University. Before 1992 a Northern Kentucky Symphony Orchestra existed from 1934 through 1955 as a volunteer community orchestra. This group rehearsed and performed at the Covington YMCA and at the Covington Public Library auditorium (now the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center). Its music director at that time was Fritz Bruch. In 1986 a group of local musicians formed the Music Society of Northern Kentucky, based at the Carnegie Center. The organization offered chamber music and ensembles, which were later augmented to form an orchestra, which was under the direction of Jack Kirstein. In 1990, after Kirstein retired, several conductors led the Music Society’s orchestra and ensembles, until the orchestra dissolved in 1991. James Cassidy, having just completed the orchestral conducting program of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, offered to start an orchestra whose mission would be to make symphonic music attractive, accessible, and affordable to the people of Northern Kentucky and the tri-state area. Central to the mission were innovative and thematic programs that would bring relevant and extramusical ideas to the marketing and
presentation of these concerts. The Music Society’s dormant corporation was revived, and the corporate name was changed to the Northern Kentucky Symphony Inc. (NKS). Having completed an audition of more than 80 musicians, Cassidy took the new Northern Kentucky Symphony to the Greaves Concert Hall stage on November 21, 1992, with an all-Russian program featuring Russian dancers, familiar show pieces, and a rising local talent, pianist Michael Chertock. The NKS played four programs or performances in its first season, with 14 paid-per-service core members leading each section. The orchestra’s 1992–1993 season included its first dinner-concert with a Viennese program at the Oldenberg Brewery and a salute to Richard Rodgers: the orchestra accompanied video clips from the 1960s television documentary Victory at Sea. By the orchestra’s fourth season, unique programming and collaborations had allowed the NKS to increase its budget tenfold and increase its number of performances and per-service musicians. In 1996 the American Symphony Orchestra League acknowledged that the Northern Kentucky Symphony was “the fastest growing orchestra in America.” By 2001 the NKS had collaborated on stage with many local arts groups, including the Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Playhouse in the Park, the Shakespeare Festival, the Ensemble Theatre, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Choral Society, the Cincinnati Observatory, ensembles from Northern Kentucky University and the College Conservatory of Music, and several Kentucky-based visual artists. Featured entities and groups like Hasbro (Trivial Pursuit), NBC’s Saturday Night Live (Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy), the alternative rock group Over the Rhine, the Kentucky National Guard, Blessed Union of Souls, and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre have also appeared in concert with the NKS. In late August 2001, at a concert in Devou Park that drew about 10,000 people from around the region, the NKS shed its local name for a larger regional identity and became the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KSO). Today, the KSO and its music director James Cassidy boast a professional orchestra with a core of 50 quality professionals together with a number of talented charter musicians who helped start the organization. The orchestra offers three series of concerts annually, the Subscription, Education, and Summer Park series. Several KSO subsidiary groups (the Newport Ragtime Band, the Flood Wall Jazz Quintet, the KSO Boogie Band, the KSO Chorale, and the SouthBank Theatre Orchestra) have been formed over the years to afford musicians and audiences alike the opportunity to authentically experience a range of music genres documenting America’s relatively young musical heritage. Throughout the course of a year, the KSO and its subsidiary groups perform about 40 concerts for an annual audience of roughly 40,000. The KSO’s innovative approach to programming, together with its commitment to fiscally responsible growth and management, has garnered support from individuals and companies throughout the region who see the KSO as a tangible in-
vestment in their community. From concert performances of operas (Tosca and Othello) and Broadway musicals (Jesus Christ Superstar and Sweeney Todd), to silent-fi lm accompaniments (Ben-Hur and Phantom of the Opera), to hightech theatrical presentations (Miraculous Mandarin) and nostalgic re-creations (Spike Jones, Frank Sinatra, and WLW Crosley Square tributes), the KSO offers its audiences the widest possible array of culture and entertainment. Through these performances and additional appearances at special events, grand openings, and civic celebrations, the orchestra continues to enhance the quality of life in Northern Kentucky. “Kentucky Symphony Orchestra,” CE, October 13, 2002, E8. “Making Fine Music South of the River,” CE, November 9, 1999, C7. “Northern Kentucky Symphony,” CE, January 14, 2000, 7. “Rehearsal Set for Symphony,” KTS, January 3, 1955, 2A.
James R. Cassidy
KENTUCKY TIMES-STAR. The Kentucky Times-Star was, in its day, one of the leading daily newspapers in Northern Kentucky. Like many Northern Kentucky business enterprises, it was a stepchild of a Cincinnati-based organization; and as is often the case with newspapers, it had a tumultuous life cycle. The Kentucky Times-Star began its existence on November 2, 1923, when the Cincinnati Times-Star launched a separately labeled edition to serve customers in Northern Kentucky. The seeds of the newspaper were planted more than a half century earlier, when the Cincinnati Times-Star itself was formed from the consolidation of three competing newspapers. One was the Cincinnati Times, founded in 1840 as the Spirit of the Times. The Spirit of the Times shut down on May 19, 1841, about a month after the launch of the Cincinnati Enquirer, but came back a year later as the Times, a one-cent afternoon daily. Its publisher was Calvin W. Starbuck, and its first editor was Edwin R. Campbell. Starbuck died a wealthy man in 1870; the value of his estate was estimated to be $750,000—a veritable fortune. The Times was appraised at $200,000 upon his death and was sold for two-thirds that amount in 1871 to the publishers of the Cincinnati Evening Chronicle, a competitor since 1868. The new owners, including Benjamin Eggleston, Alexander Sands, and Calvin W. Thomas, combined the two publications as the Times- Chronicle, but later the name was shortened to the Cincinnati Times. In 1879 Charles Phelps Taft, a lawyer educated at Yale University and a member of the famous Republican Taft family, joined with other investors, H. P. Royden and David Sinton, to buy a controlling interest in the Cincinnati Times. It was the beginning of what became a long and legendary association. Taft owned the newspaper until his death on December 31, 1929; control then passed to his nephew, Hulbert Taft, who became editor in chief and president. One of Charles P. Taft’s first acts at the Cincinnati Times was to purchase, in 1880, the compet-
ing Cincinnati Star, another evening paper, which had been in business since 1872. Its price was initially two cents but had jumped to three cents in 1879. The first issue of the new Cincinnati TimesStar appeared on June 27, 1880. The following year brought a development that eventually had a direct bearing on the Cincinnati Times-Star. A newspaper entrepreneur named James Scripps bought the Cincinnati Penny Press, which had been launched a short time before, from brothers Alfred (Frank) and Walter Wellman. It was a small newspaper, four pages a day, six columns to the page. James’s brother Edward Willis Scripps bought control of the paper in 1883 and made it into a feisty workingman’s paper that eventually won a toehold in the tough Cincinnati market of 12 newspapers. In 1890, anxious to capture part of the Northern Kentucky market, Scripps opened a bureau at 404 Scott St. in Covington and hired 30 people to put out a Kentucky edition of the Post. It made its first appearance on September 15, 1890. The Cincinnati Times-Star soon followed suit, setting up a Covington bureau a few doors down at 410 Scott St. It later moved to offices in the Moose Lodge at the southwest corner of Fift h St. and Madison Ave. in Covington and opened another Northern Kentucky bureau at 414 York St. in Newport. Joseph Hogan ran the Covington branch at the time, and Thomas Hogan directed the Newport one. That set the stage for what proved to be a lively rivalry between the Cincinnati Post and the Cincinnati Times-Star and, later, the Cincinnati Enquirer for domination of the Northern Kentucky market. One result was the launch of the Kentucky Times-Star as a full-fledged Northern Kentucky newspaper in 1923. Harry Meier was its managing editor, and the Kentucky Times-Star declared itself to be the “largest and best” newspaper in the entire state. It was also the only afternoon daily in the region to carry stories from the Associated Press. Published Monday through Saturday, the newspaper sold for two cents. The Kentucky TimesStar prospered, and when word came that the Moose Lodge building was about to be sold, the newspaper commissioned one of Cincinnati’s leading architectural firms, Samuel Hannaford and Sons, to design a proper home for the newspaper enterprise at 421 Scott St. in Covington. It featured hand-carved stone blocks facing the street, heavy bronze doors, and, on the inside, the latest craze in woodworking. “The Kentucky Times-Star” was chiseled into the stone front of the structure. The surest sign the Kentucky TimesStar had “arrived” was the fact that it had its own, exclusive telephone number, Covington 4320. “Throngs Visit New Home of Kentucky TimesStar,” announced a front-page headline the day the new building opened. The story itself noted, “Many flowers were sent to the offices by citizens who were loud in their praise of the new building, which was declared to be one of the handsomest structures in the city.” For the next 35 years, the Kentucky TimesStar fought for control of the Northern Kentucky
518 KERLEY, JOHN A. “JACK” market with the Kentucky Post and, to a lesser extent, the Cincinnati Enquirer. In the end it was a losing battle. Because it had long been owned by the Taft family (first Charles Phelps Taft and then his nephew Hubert Taft), the Ohio and Kentucky editions of the Times-Star were widely regarded as a conservative, business-oriented Republican voice. But the Kentucky edition of the newspaper was sold in a community that, at the time, was largely blue-collar and heavily Democratic. During the Great Depression, the Kentucky TimesStar, like the Cincinnati Enquirer, struggled to match the popularity in Northern Kentucky of the crusading, blue-collar, Democrat-oriented Post. In 1940, although the Times-Star outsold the Post in Cincinnati, the Post was the dominant paper in Northern Kentucky. By the end of World War II, the gap was widening further, and the Times-Star, on both sides of the Ohio River, experienced mounting financial pressure. Its executives eventually acknowledged that the Times-Star had begun losing money in 1952, with losses exceeding $1 million in the 1957–1958 fiscal year. Although its employees did not know it until after the fact, the Times-Star published its last edition on Saturday, July 19, 1958. Its 649 employees in both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky were notified by telegram and telephone calls that weekend that Scripps Howard, the owner of the Post, had purchased the Times-Star. Most were told to come to work the following Monday and clean out their desks. That day, July 21, 1958, Northern Kentucky residents were presented with a new evening daily newspaper, the Kentucky Post and Times-Star. A story announcing the merger noted that the Kentucky TimesStar’s combined circulation at the time had been 22,784, while the Kentucky Post’s stood at 42,855. The Northern Kentucky headquarters for the combined publication became the Kentucky Post building at 421 Madison Ave. in Covington. The Post picked up some Times-Star staff members, notably advertising manager George Brady and sports editor Tom Kramer. But most of the other employees of the Times-Star were out of work. The Post kept the Times-Star name for nearly a quarter century, phasing it out of the masthead on the front page and finally dropping it, without fanfare, from the editorial page masthead on May 1, 1982. “Centennial Edition, 1881–1981,” CP, October 27, 1981. Hooper, Osman Castle. History of Ohio Journalism, 1793–1922. Columbus, Ohio: Spahr and Glenn, 1933. Kenny, Herbert A. Newspaper Row, Journalism in the Pre-Television Era. Chester, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, 1987. “Post Buys Times-Star,” KP, July 21, 1958, 1. Reis, Jim. “Newspapers Emerged and Then Merged,” KP, January 23, 1989, 4K. “Throngs Visit New Home of Kentucky Times-Star,” KTS, June 1, 1927, 1. Trimble, Vance H. The Astonishing Mr. Scripps: The Turbulent Life of America’s Penny Press Lord. Ames: Iowa State Univ. Press, 1992. ———, ed. Scripps-Howard Handbook. 3rd rev. ed. Cincinnati: E. W. Scripps, 1981.
Towles, Donald B. The Press of Kentucky, 1787–1974. Frankfort: Kentucky Press Association, 1994.
KERLEY, JOHN A. “JACK” (b. December 6, 1951, Newport, Ky.). A former advertising copywriter who has become a suspense-thriller writer, Jack Kerley of Newport published his first novel, The Hundredth Man, in June 2004. It made quite a splash in the literary world. The audio and movie rights were sold for more than $1.5 million before the book was even on bookstore shelves. Kerley claims that his stories evolve as he walks along the Ohio River through Covington, Newport, and Bellevue. He carries a small tape recorder to capture ideas as they occur. Kerley is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. He and his wife Elaine have a daughter, Amanda, and a son, John. “ ‘The Hundredth Man’—Newport Retiree Pens Detective Novel,” KP, August 13, 2003, 5K. Kerley, Jack. Interview by Deborah Kohl Kremer, March 2004, Villa Hills, Ky. Wecker, David. “Ad Man Forsakes Slogans and Sells Detective Novels,” CP, July 17, 2004, C1.
Deborah Kohl Kremer
KEY, JOHN JAMES, MAJOR (b. 1817, Washington, Ky.; d. October 15, 1886, Washington, D.C.). John James Key, a judge and a Civil War major, was the oldest child of Marshall Key and Harriet Sellman Key. He worked in the Mason Co. clerk’s office with his father and during the 1840s served at least one term as Mason Co. clerk. On December 7, 1842, Key wed Mary S. Reed, and the couple had one child, Joseph R. Key. After Mary died, perhaps during childbirth, John married Hester Ann “Hetty” Rudd on April 18, 1849. Key and his second wife had at least three daughters. In June 1853, Key bought some Perry Co., Ind., real estate, including 102 acres owned by federal judge Elisha Mills Huntington, a brother-in-law of his wife Hetty. Key was elected as a Cannelton, Ind., town trustee and spearheaded a successful effort to make Cannelton the Perry Co. seat. Soon after being admitted to the Indiana bar, he was chosen prosecuting attorney but refused to qualify, to allow his brother-in-law Christopher Rudd Jr. to assume the post. When the Court of Common Pleas was established in 1860 for five Indiana counties, including Perry Co., Key was appointed the first district judge. In November 1861 he resigned to join the Union cause as a colonel in the 60th Indiana Regiment. Later he became a major in the U.S. Army as adjutant to Gen. Henry W. Halleck. John Key’s younger brother, Col. Thomas Marshall Key, was Gen. George B. McClellan’s aidede-camp. When a fellow officer asked John Key why General McClellan’s forces did not exercise their advantage at the battle of Antietam during September 1862, Key allegedly replied: “That is not in the game. The object is that neither army shall gain much advantage over the other; that both shall be kept in the field until they are exhausted, when we will make a compromise and save slavery.” Upon learning of Key’s statement, President Abraham
Lincoln (1861–1865) summoned him to the White House on September 27, 1862, to interrogate him. Though there was no evidence of disloyalty, Lincoln dismissed Key from the military. Lincoln made it clear that the discharge was an honorable one, but Key begged the president for reinstatement. Ensuing communications from the president to Key are cited by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History as among the most important 600 documents in U.S. history. Key’s setback was made more difficult when he learned that his only son was killed on the battlefield on October 8, 1862, at Perryville, Ky. In early 1863, Key relocated to Terre Haute, Ind., to practice law and sell insurance. For a while, he was a partner with attorney Daniel W. Voorhees, a Democratic congressman and a future U.S. senator from Indiana. In 1876 Key accepted an invitation from U.S. attorney general Alphonso Taft to negotiate cotton claims for the United States in England. In 1878 the family moved to the Georgetown section of the District of Columbia, where Key handled claims against foreign governments. He died in 1886 and was buried at the Holy Rood Cemetery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. McCormick, Mike. “Major Statement Got John James Key Booted from Military by Lincoln,” Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune-Star, June 16, 2002, D5. ———. Terre Haute: Queen City of the Wabash. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2005. ———. “Unlikely Key Conceives Lincoln’s Letter Historic Significance,” Terre Haute (Ind.) TribuneStar, June 23, 2002, D5.
KEY, MARSHALL “COLONEL” (b. September 8, 1788, Fauquier Co., Va.; d. November 16, 1860, Louisville, Ky.). Marshall Key, a county clerk and a friend of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was the youngest son of James and Judith Keith and the nephew of U.S. Supreme Court chief justice John Marshall. Key relocated to Washington in Mason Co. with his father before 1815 and in 1815 purchased a brick Georgian townhouse, with an elegant curved staircase, that had been erected by Francis Taylor in 1807. On April 18, 1816, Key married Harriet Sellman, daughter of Dr. John and Elizabeth Farrar Sellman of Cincinnati. The couple had six children before Harriet died on July 14, 1832. Key owned a tavern in Washington and was elected Mason Co. clerk. Among his employees were his oldest son, John James Key, and Edward Allen Hannegan of Hamilton Co., Ohio. Both men became lawyers. Marshall Key sponsored young Hannegan’s education at the law school at Transylvania University in Lexington and helped him establish a law practice in Indiana. Hannegan later became a U.S. congressman and a U.S. senator. After his wife’s death, Marshall Key sent his daughter Elizabeth to the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati founded by Catharine Beecher of Hartford, Conn. During the summer of 1833, Colonel Key, as he was called, invited two teachers from his daughter’s school, Mary Dutton and Harriet Beecher, to be house guests at the Key home in Washington for a few days. As entertainment, he escorted the
KINGSBURY, GILBERT W. “GIL”
young women to witness a slave auction at the Mason Co. Courthouse. According to tradition, it was this experience that inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write the controversial best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin nearly 20 years later. On June 29, 1857, Key married widow Helen Bullitt Martin and moved to Louisville. He died there in 1860 and was buried at the Bullitt Family Cemetery, near the Oxmoor section of Louisville. The Marshall Key home in Washington is now the Harriet Beecher Stowe Slavery to Freedom Museum. Bullitt Family Cemetery Records, Louisville, Ky. Calvert, Jean, and John Klee. Maysville, Kentucky: From Past to Present in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Mason Co. Museum, 1983. ———. The Towns of Mason County: Their Past in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Maysville and Mason Co. Library Historical and Scientific Association, ca. 1986.
KEY, THOMAS MARSHALL, COLONEL (b. August 8, 1819, Washington, Ky.; d. January 15, 1869, Lebanon, Ohio). Thomas Marshall Key, a judge and a Civil War colonel, was the second son of Marshall Key and Harriet Sellman Key. After attending Augusta College in Augusta, Ky., he enrolled at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and graduated in 1838, before his 19th birthday. While at Yale, he was a member of the exclusive secret society Skull and Bones. Key studied law in Cincinnati under Alphonso Taft, who later became U.S. attorney general under President Ulysses S. Grant (1869–1877); Taft was the father of President William Howard Taft (1909–1913). When the Commercial Court of Cincinnati was organized in 1848, Key was appointed the first judge and served for five years. In 1858 he wed Elizabeth Boylan and was elected to the Ohio Senate as a Democrat. Following the attack by the Confederates on Fort Sumter, S.C., in 1861, Key was instrumental in securing unanimous legislative support in Ohio for the Union cause, and in April 1861 he was Ohio governor William Dennison’s emissary to persuade Kentucky governor Beriah Magoffin (1859–1862) not to aid the Confederates. Named judge advocate and aide-de-camp on the staff of Union general George B. McClellan, Key was given the rank of colonel. While stationed in the nation’s capital, he drafted and promoted the passage of a bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. When President Abraham Lincoln (1861–1865) removed General McClellan from command on November 5, 1862, Key returned to Cincinnati, suffering from pulmonary disease believed to have been contracted during the Civil War Antietam campaign. He died of pneumonia in Lebanon, Ohio, in 1869 and was buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton, 1894. Calvert, Jean, and John Klee. Maysville, Kentucky: From Past to Present in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Mason Co. Museum, 1983. Spring Grove Cemetery Records, Cincinnati.
KIDWELL, ALVIN (b. November 27, 1893, Trimble Co., Ky.; d. April 12, 1974, Carrollton, Ky.). Trimble Co. native Alvin Kidwell, who became a Kentucky state senator, spent most of his life in Gallatin and Owen counties. He owned the Willadean Nursery in Sparta for more than 40 years, retiring in 1969, and was a leader in the Kentucky Nurserymen’s Association. An army veteran of World War I and an American Legion executive committee member, Kidwell often appeared around the region at veterans’ groups and Democratic political meetings. He served as a state senator for 26 years (1941–1967) and as president pro tem of the Kentucky Senate during the administrations of governors Lawrence Wetherby (1950–1955) and Earle Combs (1959–1963). His 26th Senate District included Boone, Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Oldham, Owen, and Trimble counties. He became the dean of the senate, a position that allowed him to vote on all commissions. Because of Kidwell’s tenure and seniority in the Senate, and given the rules regarding who is in charge when the governor and the lieutenant governor are not present within the state, Kidwell was the acting governor of Kentucky some 26 times. He died in 1974 at the Carroll Co. Hospital in Carrollton at age 80, survived by his wife Josephine Graham Kidwell. After a Methodist Church ceremony, he was buried in the Warsaw Cemetery. “Around the Towns,” KTS, March 1, 1957, 3A. “Former Senate Dean Dies,” KP, April 15, 1974, 8. “Former Senator Alvin Kidwell Dies at Age 80,” Gallatin County News, April 18, 1974, 1. Warsaw Cemetery Records. US GenWeb Project. www.rootsweb.com.
KINCAID LAKE STATE PARK. Located four miles northeast of Falmouth in Pendleton Co., along Ky. Rt. 159, the Kincaid Lake State Park was named for the creek that was dammed to create its initial 150-acre lake; the creek, in turn, derives its name from an early pioneer family who lived in the area. For many years, local attorney and prominent historian Edward E. Barton often said that the site would make a beautiful state park; he died in 1951, and the park was established in 1958. Kincaid Lake State Park is the result of a unified effort by Boone, Campbell, Kenton, and Pendleton counties. Planning began under Kentucky governor Lawrence A. Wetherby (1950–1955), but it was during the second term (1955–1959) of Kentucky governor A. B. “Happy” Chandler that noticeable progress was made. Within Pendleton Co., it is generally recognized that George W. Jacobs and Rev. Charles Lamont Conrad were the leaders who organized the Kincaid Park Development Association. By July 1958, having acquired some 800 acres of land, the association deeded the property to the state. In August of that year, a contract was awarded to clear trees and brush along Kincaid Creek, and work commenced on a $131,000 earthen dam, 500 feet long and 62 feet high. Built by the Redman Construction Company of Alexandria, the dam was ready within a year, and the state began filling the lake and stocking it with fish, but fishing was not permitted until New Year’s
Day 1963. Five miles of shoreline were created. Boating, swimming, picnicking, and camping facilities were also constructed. The administration of Kentucky governor Bert Combs (1959–1963) decided to open the park with the name Falmouth Lake State Park, assuming that the name would be identifiable to travelers; in 1970 the park’s name was changed to Kincaid Lake State Park. The dam survived the flood of March 1964 (see Flood of 1964), when the water level rose to within six inches of the top of the dam. In 1980 the height of the dam was increased and the spillway was widened, and the lake grew to 183 acres. Over the years, many amenities have been added: a nine-hole golf course, a swimming pool, a 300-seat amphitheater, and a multipurpose building (dedicated September 7, 1980). The park has also been expanded by additional acreage. By 1965 some 100,000 visitors had come to the park; today that number is close to 500,000 annually. The park has become home to the Kentucky Wool Festival and the Kincaid Regional Theater. There is a movement under way to build a lodge at the park, logically the next step. Kincaid Lake State Park has provided some much-needed economic development for Pendleton Co. while delivering more than 900 acres of recreational opportunities to Northern Kentucky. It is one of the four state parks within the region. A Brief History of the Kincaid Park Develop. Association (Incorporated) and the Final Report of the Trea surer on the Land Purchasing Fund. Falmouth, Ky.: Falmouth Outlook, 1964. Falmouth Outlook, July 27, 1987. Johnson, Omer. “Park Offers Variety of Pleasures,” CP, June 24, 1987, 2B. Kentucky State Parks. http://parks.ky.gov/. “Kincaid Dam Is Progressing,” KP, August 12, 1960, 1. Reis, Jim. “Kincaid Park Result of Unified Effort,” KP, July 27, 1987, 4K.
KINGSBURY, GILBERT W. “GIL” (b. April 27, 1909, Covington, Ky.; d. August 21, 1995, Lawrenceville, Ga.). Gilbert William Kingsbury’s long and varied career as a journalist and a legislator took him from his native Covington, where he herded cows up Main St. as a boy, to New York City and Washington, D.C., and then back to Northern Kentucky. He was the son of William P. and Ruth Naomi Runge Kingsbury. His father worked in the shoe industry, and the family lived at 943 Main St. in Covington. Gil graduated from Holmes High School in 1927 and from the University of Kentucky in Lexington in 1933. He began his journalism career in Covington at the Kentucky Post, where he worked as a reporter and editor before moving to a job with the nearby Cincinnati Post. He left newspaper work in 1939 to become an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati. Journalism still beckoned, and two years later Kingsbury joined the Crosley Broadcasting Company and moved to New York City to report for radio stations WLW in Cincinnati and WINS in New York City. In 1945 he became WLW’s news correspondent in Washington, D.C. Kingsbury continued to
520 KIRBY, DURWARD work for WLW while serving on the staffs of two U.S. senators from Kentucky, Garrett L. Withers and Earle Clements. Returning to Northern Kentucky in 1951 as the Crosley Broadcasting Company’s public relations director, Kingsbury bought a house on Edgewood Dr. in Fort Mitchell. A coworker at WLW said of Kingsbury’s work for the radio station, “He did a lot of lobbying work . . . was very articulate and very knowledgeable on all government and legislative matters.” Kingsbury served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1958 to 1960. He and his friends, dubbed “the young turks,” supported the successful candidacy of Democrat Bert Combs (1959–1963) for governor of Kentucky and criticized incumbent governor A. B. “Happy” Chandler (1935–1939, 1955–1959), who was also a Democrat. In 1962 Governor Combs appointed Kingsbury to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. Kingsbury once said his greatest civic accomplishment was working for the Kentucky Better Roads Council. There he helped establish a $100 million bond issue to pay for interstate highways and parks in 1960. Kingsbury died in 1995 at the home of his son in Georgia and was buried in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. “Combs Names Kingsbury as UK Trustee,” CE, June 24, 1962, 6A. “Gilbert W. Kingsbury, Journalist, Educator,” KP, August 23, 1995, 16A. “Gilbert W. Kingsbury Served at UK, Crosley,” CE, August 25, 1995, 4B. Hicks, Jack. “Double-Edged Career Gives Kingsbury Twin Perspective,” CE, August 12, 1981, 1A. “Kingsbury Appointed as Aid to Senator; Annual Pay $10, 300,” CE, February 3, 1949, 1. “Tate Residence Sold to Gilbert Kingsbury,” KP, June 14, 1951, 10.
KIRBY, DURWARD (b. August 24, 1911, Covington, Ky.; d. March 15, 2000, Fort Myers, Fla.). Durward Kirby was a famous television pioneer who played many roles in radio and television over the course of his career. The son of Homer Cleveland Kirby, a train dispatcher, and Alma K. Haglage Kirby, Durward was born at 1815 Greenup St. in Covington. He spent his childhood days there and attended St. Benedict School. During his adolescence, his family moved to nearby Fort Thomas, where he attended St. Thomas School and later Highlands High School. After his sophomore year, he moved with his family (because of his father’s railroad career promotion) to Indianapolis, and there he attended Arsenal Technical High School, graduating in 1930. Kirby started his career in radio while he was attending Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., as an engineering student. Later, he became a nationally known broadcaster at WLW radio in Cincinnati; there he gained recognition through his reporting about the flood of 1937. He also hosted big-band broadcasts for WLW from area nightclubs like the Lookout House. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) took notice of his floodnews reporting and made him an offer he could
not refuse, to broadcast for the national radio network from Chicago. During his work on Club Matinee radio broadcasts in Chicago, he was associated with Garry Moore for the first time. After serving in World War II, Kirby returned to radio in New York City. His first television broadcast was in 1948. He was best known as the sidekick to Garry Moore on the Garry Moore Show, televised in the 1950s and 1960s. Kirby also worked alongside Carol Burnett on the Garry Moore Show, the program that helped Burnett achieve stardom. Further, he was the announcer for notable pioneer broadcasts such as the 1953 Goodyear TV Playhouse’s production of Marty, featuring Rod Steiger. Kirby cohosted, under Allen Funt, the popu lar Candid Camera television show of the 1960s. Also remembered as a high-profi le national broadcast advertisement announcer, he performed in one of the earliest color national television commercials. Kirby continued to play a part in television advertising through the 1970s, earning a Procter and Gamble Award as Outstanding Spokesperson in 1982. He received several other awards for his many broadcast achievements, including induction into the Greater Cincinnati Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Kirby’s popularity was such that he was literally a human giveaway prize for a contest on the Garry Moore Show in the 1950s: he spent one weekend as a house guest in the home of a Cleveland, Ohio, winner. Kirby’s television fame was spoofed in the 1960s popular Rocky and Bullwinkle television cartoon series with a story about the search for the stolen “Kirward Derby,” a hat that would make its wearer the smartest man in the world. Kirby married Mary Paxton in her hometown of Indianapolis in 1941. He had two sons, Randall and Dennis. Durward Kirby authored an autobiography, My Life . . . Those Wonderful Years! and Bits and Pieces of This and That, as well as a children’s book entitled Dooley Wilson. Kirby died in 2000 at the Shell Point Village retirement community in Fort Myers, Fla., and was buried at Coburn Cemetery in Sherman, Conn. “Covington Native Kirby Was Famous TV Sidekick,” KP, March 17, 2000, 20A. “Deaths,” Ft. Myers (Fla.) News-Press, March 16, 2000, 8B. “Durward Kirby, 88, Sidekick to Television’s Garry Moore,” NYT, March 17, 2000, C19. Florida Death Certificate No. 35351, for the year 2000. Kirby, Durward. My Life . . . Those Wonderful Years! Charlotte Harbor, Fla.: Tabby House Books, 1992.
KIRK, ANDY (b. May 28, 1898, Newport, Ky.; d. December 11, 1992, New York City). Andrew Dewey Kirk was the last African American orchestra leader from the big band era who was born in Northern Kentucky. When he was a child, his family moved to Denver, where he studied music under Paul Whiteman’s father, Wilberforce. He was a contemporary of nationally known band leaders Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Jimmy Lunsford. Kirk’s
Clouds of Joy Orchestra became renowned throughout the nation when, in November 1929, they made their debut recording for the Brunswick label. During Kirk’s early years, he maintained his home base in Kansas City, Mo., while he traveled throughout the United States. His band developed a Southeast Jazz style similar to that of Count Basie, also based in Kansas City. After his Clouds of Joy Orchestra broke up in 1948, Kirk continued to tour. During the 1950s he made several stops in the Greater Cincinnati area. On one occasion he added some local talent from Covington to his tour. According to Nelson Burton, “Andy Kirk came to Covington and picked up an outstanding left handed drummer named Hoppie and another fellow named Al Sears who lived down in the bottom of Bush Street.” Al Sears later left Kirk and went to work with Duke Ellington. Kirk played occasionally as he began to take up hotel management. During the 1970s, he worked at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem, N.Y. He remained a figure in the New York musical scene through his membership in the city’s American Federation of Musicians until he developed Alzheimer’s disease. His only child, Andy Kirk Jr., died in 1967. Andy Kirk Sr. died on December 11, 1992, in New York City and was buried there; he had no direct survivors. Hitchcock, H. Wiley, and Stanley Sadie. The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. New York: Macmillan, 1986. Larkin, Colin. “Andy Kirk.” In Encyclopedia of Popular Music, vol. 4. 3rd ed. London: Muze, 1998. Ledin, Lisa, and Simon Anderson. Nelson Burton: My Life In Jazz. Cincinnati: Clifton Hills Press, 2000. Warous, Peter. “Andy Kirk, 94, Big-Band Leader Known for the Kansas City Sound,” NYT, December 15, 1992, sec. B, 15.
Theodore H. H. Harris
KIWANIS CLUBS. See Civic Associations. KLEIN, ROGER (b. December 8, 1911, Bellevue, Ky.; d. August 11, 2002, Alexandria, Ky.). Roger G. Klein, who coached high school and college tennis in Northern Kentucky for five decades, was the son of Albert F. and Edna Mueller Klein. A 1929 graduate of Bellevue High School (see Bellevue Public Schools), Klein went on to earn a BA from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1933; he was captain of the UK men’s tennis team. During the Great Depression, Klein strung tennis rackets at an athletic-goods store in Cincinnati and also gave private tennis lessons. In 1942 Klein returned to Bellevue High School as a teacher and tennis coach. At that time, tennis was not sanctioned as a competitive sport by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. It was Klein who helped keep the sport alive in Kentucky, orga nizing state tournaments at Bellevue High School from 1945 to 1951. Bellevue High School’s tennis teams compiled a 419-98 record during Klein’s 31 years as head coach. His players won 28 regional singles and doubles tennis championships. He retired from Bellevue High School in spring 1974. A few months later, he helped start both the male and female tennis programs at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). He had a 114-102 record as the men’s tennis coach and a 72-63 record as the women’s tennis coach. His men’s tennis team won the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) title in 1986, and that year Klein was named GLVC Coach of the Year. Klein retired from coaching tennis in 1987. He was inducted into the Northern Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 1984 and the NKU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. The tennis courts in Bellevue are named in honor of him. He died in 2002 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. Boehmker, Terry. “Klein Has Never-Ending Love Affair with Tennis,” KP, April 11, 1981, 8K. “Roger Klein, Longtime Tennis Coach at NKU, Bellevue High,” KP, August 13, 2002, 6K. “Roger Klein Was Called Mr. Tennis—Coach for Bellevue High,” KE, August 15, 2002, C6.
KLUEMPER, THEODORE (b. January 30, 1866, Covington, Ky.; d. July 18, 1946, Covington, Ky.). Early childhood responsibilities molded the character of Theodore Kluemper, who served the city of Covington in various ways. He was the son of J. Bernard and Maria Elisabeth Olges Kluemper, both immigrants from Hanover, Germany. In 1872 Bernard Kluemper died, leaving Elisabeth to raise Theodore and his four siblings. At the age of 13, Theodore ended his formal education and, along with his eldest brother, went to work as a cigar maker to support the family. He remained at the Ibold Cigar Company in Cincinnati, for more than 30 years, eventually becoming superintendent, until his political career began unfolding in Covington. Kluemper’s long political career, from 1908 to 1940, rode the tide of several changes as Covington
experimented with different forms of municipal government. Always a Democrat, he began this second career when he ran for city council, representing the fourth ward, in the election of 1908. He garnered the third-highest number of votes among the 12 elected council members. Reelected three more times, Kluemper served three of his four years on city council as its president, becoming the first in Covington’s history to hold this office for three consecutive years. During these four years, both Latonia and West Covington were annexed to the City of Covington. It was a time of great expansion for the city. In November 1912 the newly elected mayor, George “Pat” Philipps, named Kluemper as his chief of police, which at that time was an administrative appointment and did not require experience in law enforcement. Kluemper assumed these duties when chief Henry Schuler’s term expired in May 1913. The November election of 1913 saw a change in governance as the council’s “strong boss” mayor system was replaced by a charter system, which called for an elected mayor and four commissioners. Kluemper was elected the city’s first commissioner under the new system and served this term as commissioner of public works. He was reelected a commissioner in 1915 and again in 1917, serving those four years as commissioner of public safety. With this position came the responsibility of directing both the police and fire departments of the city. During Kluemper’s last term as safety commissioner, an incident occurred that turned out to be the highlight of his career. On March 5, 1918, Kluemper was about to enter a board of directors meeting of the Ninth Ward Building Association (see Savings and Loan Associations). The annual election of officers in Covington was just get-
ting under way at the association’s business office at 12th and Russell Sts., when three men, each aiming a pistol at Kluemper, barged in and demanded money. Kluemper, stalling for time in order to retrieve his firearm from his coat hanging nearby, quipped that the men were “kidding” and told them, “There is no money here.” Within seconds, the men re-aimed and fired into the adjoining room, mortally wounding board members John Rehm, 82, and Andrew Nordmeyer, 67. Kluemper, now armed, shot and killed bandit Zeke Moran. The other two fled. Kluemper’s ability to identify one of the intruders led to the capture and eventual sentencing and execution of Patrick Kearney and James Lawler. Two days after the shootings, in the midst of accolades, Kluemper returned to work humbly repeating that he “just did what he had to do.” The bandage on his cheek revealed his close brush with death as he was shot too; he carried a scar for the rest of his life. As a matter of protocol, a full investigation was held. Theodore Kluemper was not only fully exonerated of any mishandling but was credited with preventing more deaths by his quick thinking. While some witnesses thought Kluemper really believed the bandits were kidding, his statement afterward indicated that he did not: “I saw something in their eyes that wasn’t a joke. I knew it was the real thing.” In 1919 Kluemper lost his reelection bid. Using his vast city experience, he reentered the civilian workforce as head of the police department for the Kentucky Jockey Club. He was now in charge of security at various racetracks in Kentucky (including the local Latonia Racecourse) and in Illinois. Again on the ballot in 1923, he was elected city commissioner and served in that capacity until 1929. In November 1929 another change was made as Covington embraced the new city manager system, whose proponents carried the election that year. Kluemper was still popu lar, and in 1934 he was appointed city manager by Mayor Joseph Pieper and his four new commissioners. He held this appointment for six years, until Jack Maynard succeeded him in 1940. Thus, the “Old Gray Eagle,” as Kluemper had become known, retired at age 73 from Covington politics. Throughout his years as safety commissioner, Kluemper preached gun control, warned of potential bombings via mail, decried obscene movies, kept local gamblers and saloon keepers in check, and instructed the city to pay “loafers” three dollars a day to shovel snow from the railroad tracks. Although he held many important positions, no title was more respected than that of “Uncle Thee.” A lifelong bachelor, Theodore Kluemper accepted the responsibility of head of household and breadwinner for his sister Anna and the several of her nine children who were still at home—the youngest only two years old when Anna’s husband, Edward Bergman, died in 1916. Ten years later, Anna died, and Kluemper shouldered the responsibility of seeing the youngest of the children to adulthood. In his last years, Kluemper made his home with his niece Mary Bergman Eicholz, who honored him with an 80th birthday party. A few months later, on July 18, 1946, he died at St. Elizabeth Hospital
522 KNAPP, JOHN AUGUSTUS in Covington of a ruptured gall bladder. A personal friend, Brent Spence, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, sent condolences from Washington, D.C. Ser vices were held at Mother of God Church in Covington. Kluemper’s grave in Mother of God Cemetery in Covington is marked with a simple stone reading “Theodore.”
cover. J. A. Knapp died in California in 1938 and was cremated.
Elsener, Virginia Bergman. Interview by Carol Elsener Rekow, June 2006, Fort Wright, Ky. Family documents: death card, letter from Brent Spence, and handwritten dates in Catholic Gems or Trea sures of the Church. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 15858, for the year 1946. “Kluemper Elected—President of Council,” CE, November 27, 1909, 10. Willis, George Lee. History of Kentucky Democracy. Louisville, Ky.: Democratic Historical Society, 1935.
Carol Elsener Rekow
KNAPP, JOHN AUGUSTUS (b. December, 1852, Newport, Ky.; d. March 10, 1938, Los Angeles, Calif.). J. A. Knapp was the only son of John and Margaret Wente Knapp, who also had two daughters. The family resided in Newport. At age 21, after studying at Cincinnati’s McMicken School of Design, J. A. Knapp exhibited paintings at the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition (1874) and became a freelance artist. He designed commercial art for United States Printing, Strowbridge Lithography, and Standard Publishing. Knapp married Emily Spring, a Cincinnatian, and in 1880 they had a daughter, Ethel Camilla. The family soon settled in nearby Norwood, Ohio, for many years living on Oak St. there. Their neighbors included the Lloyd brothers, noted pharmacologists John Uri Lloyd and Curtis Gates Lloyd. A mutual friend was Dr. Jirah Dewey Buck (1838–1916). Buck was an “eclectic” physician (that is, an alternative healer), a Freemason, and a theosophist and later became the president of the Theosophical Society in America. The Knapps joined the society, and J. A. Knapp became a Freemason and studied its esoteric symbolism. When John Uri Lloyd drafted a science fiction novel, Etidorhpa, he commissioned Knapp to illustrate it. Knapp’s wife Emily died in 1910. About 12 years later, he married Laura Brickly, an eclectic doctor, and they moved to Culver City, Calif., where Knapp designed posters for Thomas H. Ince (1882–1924), a pioneer in fi lm production. The esoterist Manly P. Hall (1901–1990) sponsored a lecture by Dr. Laura Knapp, in which she spoke on human anatomy from an occult viewpoint. The occasion brought J. A. Knapp into contact with Hall, who was then researching mysticism and planning an encyclopedic survey. Already familiar with the curious graphics in Etidorhpa, Hall hired Knapp to illustrate the encyclopedia (now called The Secret Teachings of All Ages). Knapp was the illustrator of many of Hall’s subsequent publications, including an ambitious Tarot deck of cards (1929). Providing a compendium of doctrines from earlier Tarotists, the cards are eagerly sought by collectors. Knapp’s daughter Ethel Knapp Behrman became a poet and published a book of poems, Doorways, for which her father designed the
Decker, Ronald, and Michael Dummett. A History of the Occult Tarot, 1870–1970. London: Duckworth, 2002. “Rites for Father of Cincinnati Poet Held,” CTS, March 16, 1938, 2.
KNAUF, ROBERT (b. August 12, 1924, Covington, Ky.; d. January 15, 2006, Fort Thomas, Ky.). Robert Knauf, a music teacher and performer, was the son of William J. and Annabelle Kuhn Knauf. He grew up in Covington, where he graduated from Holmes High School. He earned his BA in music from the University of Cincinnati and his MFA from the University of Kentucky in Lexington and did postgraduate work at Boston University in Massachusetts. He and his wife Marguerite married in 1948, and the couple had three children. Robert taught music at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas for more than 25 years and then took a full-time position at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in Highland Heights, where he had been working as a part-time music instructor. He later became director of NKU’s Music Department. At the time of his retirement in 1990, he was serving as the school’s vice president for community relations. In 1990 NKU began awarding an annual Robert Knauf Scholarship, in his honor. Knauf was personable, quick-witted, and a master of repartee. Over the years, he attempted, briefly, to become a professional singer and standup comedian, sang in operettas at the University of Kentucky, and was choral director for the Cincinnati’s May Festival and for the city’s Choral and Orchestral Music Festival. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Thomas and also belonged to the Newport Elks Club and the Fort Thomas Lions Club. He was an avid sports fan, especially of baseball, golf, horseracing, horseshoes, and tennis. Knauf died at age 81 in the Highlands of Fort Thomas nursing home in Fort Thomas. Funeral ser vices were held at the Highland United Methodist Church, and he was cremated. His wife of 58 years, Marguerite, survived him. Knauf, Jim. Telephone interview by Jack Wessling, February 26, 2007. “Robert Knauf, Music Teacher, Performer,” KP, January 19, 2006, A8.
KNECHT, ROBERT F. (b. October 27, 1921, Fort Thomas, Ky.; d. February 7, 1944, Anzio Beach, Italy). Robert Knecht, who was killed during ser vice in World War II, was the son of Joseph and Lucy Dietrich Knecht. He graduated from Highlands High School in 1937 and enrolled at the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy. During college, he worked at Gottschall’s Hy-Pure Pharmacy in Newport. He graduated from the College of Pharmacy in 1941 and worked at Schulker’s Pharmacy in Fort Thomas until he was inducted into the U.S. Army in October 1942. Knecht was sent to North Africa, assigned to the 95th Evacuation Field Hospital as a
pharmacist. Gen. Mark Clark’s 5th Army landed at Anzio on January 22, 1944. The landings went well, but the anticipated breakthrough did not occur. The beach area was quickly jammed with frontline troops, supplies, and hospitals; there were no safe areas. Medical installations were bombed and shelled throughout the landing, and the hospital area came to be known to front-line troops as “Hell’s Half Acre.” On February 7, 1944, bombs from a German plane fell on the administration and operating tents; 28 hospital personnel and patients died and 64 were wounded. Among those killed was Robert Knecht. “Athlete Victim of German Bombing of Salerno Hospital,” CE, March 5, 1944, 18. “Corporal Robert F. Knecht.” Cincinnati Academy of Pharmacy News 14, no. 5 (1944): 9. “Nazi Raid on Hospital in Italy Kills Ft. Thomas Pharmacist,” CE, March 3, 1944, 13.
Dennis B. Worthen
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. The Knights of Columbus (K of C) remain an active Catholic organization throughout Northern Kentucky. The Knights began in New Haven, Conn., in 1881 when Rev. Michael J. McGivney called a group of his male parishioners to meet in St. Mary Church. They formed an organization to encourage Catholic men in the practice of their faith and foster fraternal ties among them. The new group was chartered by the State of Connecticut in 1882 and soon set up its own insurance company for members and their families. It quickly developed into a nationwide and eventually an international organization. Today, the Knights of Columbus is involved in many activities for the Catholic Church, including prolife work, vocations programs, student loans, and many other social endeavors. The Knights of Columbus developed a structure based on governing councils, with its Supreme Council and councils on the state and local levels. The Kentucky state council was established in Louisville in September 1903. The oldest local Knights of Columbus council in Kentucky is the Bishop Carrell Council 702 in Covington (named for George A. Carrell, the first bishop of the Diocese of Covington), founded in February 1902. The Bishop Carrell Council’s first location was on E. 11th St. near the site of the new St. Mary Cathedral that was being constructed within the same block. A later headquarters for the council was built on Madison Ave. in Covington in 1929. This building later became part of Villa Madonna College (see Thomas More College), after the Knights of Columbus sold it to the Diocese of Covington. Today, that building is part of Senior Ser vices of Northern Kentucky, located at 1028 Madison Ave. New councils of the Knights of Columbus sprouted up in Northern Kentucky over the next several decades: the Bishop William T. Mulloy Council in Newport (1908), the Maysville Council in Maysville (1909), the Fr. James Kehoe Council in Ludlow (1914), the Fr. Bealer Council in Erlanger (1954), the Augusta-Brooksville Council in Augusta (1960), the Fr. Louis DeJaco Council in Alex-
KNOW NOTHING PARTY AMERICAN PO LITI CAL PARTY
andria (1962), the Msgr. Ahmann Council in Covington (1962), the Bishop Ackerman Council in Hebron (1963), and the Msgr. Borgias Lehr Council in Southgate (1972). The Mulloy Council, which operated for 62 years out of the Southgate House along E. Second St. in Newport, in 1976 moved to a former fishing lake in Cold Spring at Ky. Rts. 8 and 1192, near Brent. The Mulloy group has since moved to Fort Thomas. Schrode, George E., ed. Knights of Columbus, Kentucky State Council. Paducah, Ky.: Turner, 1993.
Thomas S. Ward
KNOW-NOTHING PARTY (AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTY). The Know-Nothing Party, or American Political Party, was born out of the growing anti-immigration and anti-Catholic sentiment that developed in the United States during the 1840s and 1850s. Northern Kentucky, with its substantial immigrant population, experienced Know-Nothing activity in the mid-19th century. Although the Know-Nothing Party became a national political power, peaking in 1856, it was not successful in electing a president and did not last long in the national political arena. The KnowNothing Party, like the American Whig Party, foundered upon the growing sectionalism in U.S. politics over the question of states’ rights, in par ticu lar, how states’ rights related to national expansion and the future of slavery. The growth of local Know-Nothing Party chapters during the 1850s occurred primarily in cities with relatively large foreign-born populations and was based upon a secret organization called the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner, formed in New York City in 1849. Members of this order were told to reply that they knew nothing when asked about the organization. Kentucky began to see the emergence of nativism during the late 1840s, yet in Northern Kentucky only Kenton and Campbell counties had foreign-born populations amounting to more than 10 percent of total population, according to the 1850 census. By 1860 Mason Co. joined that list. Nativists organized secret fraternal lodges, or clubs, in most of Kentucky’s larger cities before 1854, and these proved useful for political organizing, just as the earlier Whig and Democratic political clubs had been. Antiforeign sentiment appeared in Kentucky politics as early as 1847, when Stephen F. J. Trabue unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Congress on a nativist platform in the eighth district, where Whig national leader Henry Clay held the seat. Nativist sentiment was also on display at Kentucky’s 1849 Constitutional Convention, where Garrett Davis gave two anti-Catholic speeches and a resolution was made by a “Bluegrass Whig” to limit the voting and office-holding rights of the foreign-born in the state. T. R. Whitney, president of the Know-Nothing Party, was quoted as saying: “Know-Nothingism emerged in Kentucky’s local elections of 1854 as an independent anti-party movement that denounced Whigs and Democrats alike.” The Know-Nothing Party’s first electoral successes came during the
summer of 1854, when its candidates were elected in Louisville and Lexington. In November Dr. R. G. Dobyns, the Know-Nothing candidate, became mayor of Maysville, and a clerk of court in Covington aligned with the party. Nativist sentiment and the growing popularity of the Know-Nothings led several formerly Whig newspapers to affi liate with the movement. Local newspapers in Kentucky gave voice to the new party and increased its standing in their communities and throughout the state. The Covington election of January 1855 illustrates the rapidity with which the Know-Nothings erupted onto the political scene. Because of a budgetary crisis, special city elections were held in Covington; all but two incumbents were returned to office. All of the returning incumbents were Know-Nothings. The election resulted in a complete sweep by the Know-Nothing ticket of 18 contested offices, with incumbent Burshrod W. Foley winning reelection as mayor, C. Butts as sheriff, and William Ernst as president of the council. The editor of the Covington Journal was pleased with the results, declaring, “if the mysterious order will make it a point in all elections to give us as good a set of officers as they did on Saturday last, there will be very little cause for complaint.” The Covington elections were soon followed, in early March, by Newport’s municipal elections. Here Democrats, or “Wild Cats” as they were known locally, managed to retain their majority on the council and won the mayor’s race by 34 votes. In May, however, Newport elected two Know-Nothing candidates to the office of justice of the peace. Successes in local elections in Covington emboldened the Know-Nothings to run candidates at the state level and provided the impetus for incumbents in Northern Kentucky from both the Whig and the Democrat parties to consider adopting the American Political Party’s label. Former Whig Samuel F. Swope, from Pendleton Co., became the Know-Nothing candidate for U.S. Congress. Former Whigs A. H. Johns and John W. Menzies ran as Know-Nothing candidates to represent Kenton Co. in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Thomas L. Jones, of Newport, became a Know-Nothing candidate and represented Campbell Co. in the Kentucky House, while Gen. William B. Crupper, a Bracken Co. Democrat, apparently flirted with the Know-Nothing movement but remained a Democrat. The Covington Journal reported that in Grant Co. the Know-Nothings had carried all districts except one in the county’s recent magisterial elections. The speed with which the popularity of the Know-Nothings grew was a surprise to Whig political leaders, from whose party the majority of the nativist adherents had come. Yet, it was only after the local elections of 1854 and 1855 that Whig Party leaders realized the extent to which their party was affected. Without strong local party organizations, many Whig leaders concluded that their party was no longer capable of winning statewide elections. Whig leaders began joining the Know-Nothings in 1855, quickly assuming state party leadership positions. The Know-Nothing ticket won an enormous political victory in the summer of 1855, with Charles
S. Morehead (1855–1859), a former Whig, taking the governorship of Kentucky. The Know-Nothing Party also carried both houses in the state legislature, winning 61 out of 100 seats in the House of Representatives and increasing its majority in the Senate from 10 to 14. The party also claimed victories in six of Kentucky’s 10 U.S. congressional seats. The Know-Nothing statewide and national successes rested upon the organizational capacity of its local branches and the growing support of the state’s formerly pro-Whig newspapers. In essence, after a short period of spontaneous, dynamic growth in conjunction with the founding of Know-Nothing chapters, particularly in Louisville, Lexington, Covington, and Maysville, the party apparatus, to a great extent, was soon captured by the political remnants of the Whig Party. While the influence of former Whigs helped propel the Know-Nothings to majorities in the two houses of the Kentucky legislature, it also lessened the strength of the anti-immigration and antiCatholic sentiment espoused by the more radical membership of the party. However, some elements of the Know-Nothing Party continued to engage in antiforeign diatribes, and several violent nativist– led episodes occurred. One such bloody action took place in Louisville in April 1855 and is cited as the most violent election-day riot in Kentucky’s history. Perhaps no Northern Kentuckian is more closely associated with the Know-Nothings than E. B. Bartlett of Covington. A Democrat and a slave owner, Bartlett was active in Covington society and helped to form a local militia unit for the Mexican War in 1846. He was elected circuit court clerk in Kenton Co. in 1851. Bartlett probably became associated with the Know-Nothings when the party’s national council met in Cincinnati in 1854. By June 1855, he had been elected national president of the Know-Nothings at the party’s convention in Philadelphia, Pa. In July 1855, Bartlett and George B. Hodge of Newport attended an American Political Party ratification meeting in Louisville, where a speech Bartlett delivered received high praise. The next month, Bartlett was also elected president of the Kentucky KnowNothings at a quarterly session of the party council in Louisville, while another Covingtonian, A. D. Madeira, was named recording and corresponding secretary. The Know-Nothings reached their zenith nationally in December 1855, seating 43 members in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1855 and again in 1856, Bartlett helped fashion the KnowNothings’ national platform, which prioritized the preservation of the Union; however, the party was unable to find a compromise on the issue of slavery that enabled its members to remain politically united. The 1856 presidential elections sounded the Know-Nothings’ death knell. The party’s presidential candidate, former Whig Millard Fillmore, received 21 percent of the vote and carried only Maryland, and the party’s congressional delegation dropped to 12 representatives. As successful as the party initially appeared to be in the state of Kentucky and on the national
524 KNOX, FERMON WENDELL stage, almost immediately Know-Nothings began to have internal disputes over the same question that had plagued the Whigs: the future of slavery. Following the failure Fillmore to be elected U.S. president, the national Know-Nothing Party fell apart. Some Know-Nothings, including Kentucky U.S. congressman Samuel Swope, left the party. Swope did not stand for reelection in 1856 but later sought national office as a Republican. Know-Nothing divisions in Kentucky were based upon whether one had faith in the ability of the national government successfully to solve the dilemma posed by the question of slavery. Increasingly, voters supported the Democrats as the party to preserve the Union. E. B. Bartlett oversaw the last national council meeting of the Know-Nothing Party in Louisville in June 1857. In the state elections that followed, Know-Nothing candidates won 21 out of 38 state Senate seats and 39 out of 97 House seats but still lost control of the Kentucky legislature. In 1858 Bartlett ran for clerk of the court of appeals in Covington. By 1860 he had left Covington and moved to Memphis, Tenn. Between 1856 and 1860, Democrats won every Kentucky statewide election; however, the remnants of the Know-Nothing Party held together and changed the party’s name to the Opposition. In 1859 the Opposition successfully ran a slate of candidates, winning all statewide offices with the exception of the governorship. The party won a majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives and the Senate and split the state’s 10-seat U.S. congressional delegation evenly with the Democrats. In 1860 the Opposition, remnants of the Whigs and the Know-Nothings, and former Democrats who hoped to save the Union, all joined together to form the Constitutional Union Party. The 1860 presidential election was the last hurrah of what had been known as the Know-Nothings and their spin-off the Constitutional Union Party. In a four-man race for president, U.S. senator John Bell of Tennessee, the Constitutional Union candidate, carried Kentucky but came in last nationally in the race. With the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln (a former Whig) as president (1861–1865) and the secession of several southern states, politics in Kentucky turned to the question of whether the state would remain in the Union. In early 1861, two new political parties were formed in Kentucky. One, the Union Democracy Party, wanted to remain in the Union; the other, the Southern Rights Party, looked to move the state closer to the South. The Kentucky legislature eventually chose to remain neutral. That summer, the Union Democracy Party overwhelmingly won the elections in Kentucky, and soon afterward Kentucky became closely associated with the Union’s cause. Billington, Ray Allen. The Protestant Crusade, 1800–1860: A Study of the Origins of American Nativism. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1964. Brown, Thomas. Politics and Statesmanship: Essays on the American Whig Party. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1985.
Holt, Michael F. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999. Kentucky Weekly News, January 15, 1858. LVR, June 13, 1846. Overdyke, W. Darrell. The Know-Nothing Party in the South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1950. Volz, Harry August, III. “Party, State, and Nation: Kentucky and the Coming of the American Civil War,” PhD diss., Univ. of Virginia, 1982.
J. T. Spence
KNOX, FERMON WENDELL (b. August 31, 1923, Dime Box, Tex.; d. October 23, 2001, Erlanger, Ky.). Civil rights leader Fermon Knox was the son of Albert and Carrie Lovings Knox. He was raised in Lee Co., Tex. While at Freeman High School there, he excelled in basketball and football. When he graduated, he received many athletic scholarships for college, but World War II began and he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served in the Philippines for four years and while there contracted malaria. Returning to the states, he was treated at a military hospital in Lexington. When Knox recovered, he was able to attend nearby Kentucky State College (University) in Frankfort on a football scholarship that had been offered to him earlier. Knox became more politically and socially conscious of the world around him during his college years. He, like many other African American soldiers returning from World War II, was no longer willing to accept second-class citizenship after fighting for his country. After college, he worked for the Monmouth Life Insurance Company, and in 1958 he was transferred to Cincinnati to manage the company’s Cincinnati–Northern Kentucky district. He lived in Covington. During the height of the civil rights movement, Knox served as the president of the Northern Kentucky Branch of the NAACP and later was the president of its regional division. As he helped to organize and participated in marches, protests, and freedom rides across the United States, he met and worked with such leaders as Rev. Anthony Deye, Medgar Evers, Lyman T. Johnson, Mae Street Kidd, Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, Roy Wilkins, and his college classmate and friend Whitney M. Young Jr. Knox was instrumental in lobbying both the Kentucky legislature and the U.S. Congress for passage of the housing desegregation laws and other civil rights laws. He helped to bring about the desegregation of the Covington Public Schools (see Covington Independent Schools). He planned the state march on Frankfort in 1965 and served as one of the speakers on that occasion; coordinated efforts in the hiring of African Americans in local businesses; became the first executive director of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission; and served as the executive director of the Louisville Community Action Commission. After 31 years in the executive management of nonprofit organizations, Knox retired in 1997 as the chief executive officer of the Emmanuel Community Center in Cincinnati.
Knox was a lifelong member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He served as the Kentucky A.M.E. Church Conference lay organization president and historiographer and was an active member of St. James A.M.E. Church in Covington for 43 years. He also served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations. Governor Louie B. Nunn (1967–1971) honored Knox as a Kentucky Colonel. Knox was also nominated to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2000 and 2001. He died of a stroke at his home in 2001 and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Erlanger. “Civil Rights Pioneer Dies,” KE, October 26, 2001, B1. Knox, Fermon, to Benny Butler, April 1999, Northern Kentucky African American Heritage Task Force Oral History, Archives, Northern Kentucky Univ., Highland Heights, Ky. KP, June 28, 2001, 4K. Seguin (Tex.) Gazette Enterprise, January 31, 2001. “Veteran Rights Crusader Dies,” KP, October 25, 2001, 1.
KNOXVILLE. Knoxville is a beautiful little village situated in the west end of Pendleton Co. along the DeMossville-Knoxville turnpike, Ky. Rt. 467, about five miles east of the Grant Co. town of Dry Ridge. In 1889 Knoxville was thriving. It had 30 residents, including Dr. J. T. Scott, a physician-surgeon, and Mrs. L. Stady, who ran the Knoxville House, a hotel and barroom. There were four general stores; a post office; a school; a cemetery; one drug store; Baptist, Christian, and Methodist Episcopal churches; an Odd Fellows Hall; a tobacco warehouse; a blacksmith; a steam grist and saw mill, operated by A. C. Morris; a shoe shop, operated by H. Dahlenburg; and a normal school for teacher training, run by Professor Brough of Williamstown. The town is home to two churches, the Knoxville Baptist Church and the Knoxville Christian Church. Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994].
KOREAN WAR (June 25, 1950—July 27, 1953). Like all parts of the nation, Northern Kentucky sent military personnel to fight in the Korean War. At the conclusion of World War II, the Korean Peninsula was divided in two. The North was occupied by the armed forces of the Soviet Union, while the South was occupied by the United States. Shortly after both sides withdrew their occupation forces, troop clashes began between the Communist North and the Democratic South. The North wanted to unify the peninsula under Communist rule and by June 1950 had built up its army enough to launch a full-scale invasion of the South on June 25, 1950, aided by the Soviet Union with equipment, pi lots, and military advisers. The North took control of much of the South before United Nations forces, primarily made up of U.S. troops, intervened. The first battle fought by American forces occurred on July 5, 1950. The first Northern Kentuckian killed in the war was Campbell Co.’s Pvt. George Schoulthies of the 24th Infantry Divi-
sion, who was killed after being taken prisoner on July 11, 1950. Between July and November 1950, heavy fighting took place. The North Koreans were beaten back across the 38th Parallel, and almost all of North Korea was occupied. Cpl. Wayne Morgan of Bracken Co. fought in the Defense of Taejon along with combat engineers and was awarded the Bronze Star for this action. In October 1950, China warned the Allies to stop their advance toward the Chinese border, and in November the Chinese invaded Korea, causing U.N. forces to retreat as far south as Pusan. One of the first major battles between U.S. and Chinese troops was at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Lt. Col. Donald C. Faith, an Indiana native who had attended high school in Fort Thomas, Ky., served at Chosin. He led several counterattacks against advancing Chinese forces in order to free his encircled men. During the action, he was wounded and later died. For his bravery at Chosin, Faith was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. On March 23, 1951, the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment made the last combat jump of the war at Munsan-Ni to cut off and destroy a large enemy force north of the 38th Parallel. Bracken Co.’s Pfc. Eugene Estep of the 187th was killed in action there on March 25. By July 1951, the battle lines had stabilized just north of the 38th Parallel. The final two years of the war were spent in a dugin tug-of-war for hills and valleys along the 38th Parallel as tense peace negotiations were held in Kaesong and Panmunjom. Because of disagreement over a U.N. command proposal for voluntary reparation of prisoners of war, which the Communists staunchly opposed, the war dragged on for almost another year and a half before a cease-fire agreement went into effect on July 27, 1953. The final Northern Kentucky combat casualty of the war was Kenton Co.’s Pfc. Louis W. Baldwin of the 1st Marine Division, who was killed on July 26, 1953. Following the end of hostilities, a demilitarized zone was set up in almost the exact same location as the original dividing line between the North and the South. The DMZ is still being manned by U.S. troops today. Northern Kentuckians served in every branch of the armed forces. Some volunteered, some were drafted, and some who had been in World War II were recalled to active duty. Of the 868 Kentuckians killed in action, 69 were from the 11 Northern Kentucky counties, as follows: Boone, 3; Bracken, 7; Campbell, 18; Carroll, 2; Gallatin, 1; Grant, 8; Kenton, 23; Mason, 2; Owen, 1; Pendleton, 3; and Robertson, 1. Of these, 1 was Air Force, 55 were Army, 12 were Marine Corps, and 1 was Navy. Although the Kentucky National Guard had units activated during the time of the war, no Northern Kentucky units saw action in Korea; however, some individual Northern Kentuckians serving as replacements in other units, both guard and reserve, saw ser vice in Korea. The highest-ranking officer to serve from Northern Kentucky was Jesse Auton, an Air Force brigadier general from Kenton Co., who served as director of fighter operations for the Strategic Air Command. As a colonel in 1950, Auton flew nine
combat missions, including one aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Northern Kentucky’s only Air Force casualty of the war was from Kenton Co., Airman 1st Class Thomas Junior Pettit, who was lost while serving as a gunner on a B-29 of the 28th Bomb Squadron—his aircraft was shot down during a mission on June 10, 1952. The highest-ranking Northern Kentucky soldier killed in action during the war was Grant Co.’s Sgt. 1st Class Thomas P. Pettit of the 25th Infantry Division, who was killed on June 6, 1951. Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. Korean War Project. www.koreanwar.org/index1 .html (accessed May 10, 2007). The National Archives. “U.S. Military Personnel Who Died from Hostile Action (Including Missing and Captured) in the Korean War, 1950–1957.” www .archives .gov/research/korean-war/casualty-lists/ ky-by-town.html (accessed April 10, 2007). Reis, Jim. “Memories of Korean War Still Linger,” KP, July 11, 1988, 4K. Snow, Robert. “A Veteran Remembered: The Jesse Auton Story.” Northern Kentucky Better Living Magazine, November 4, 2002, 6. Veteran-related documents by Caroline R. Miller, Bracken Co. Historical Society, Brooksville, Ky.
Robert B. Snow
KRAUS, BILL (b. June 26, 1947, Cincinnati, Ohio.; d. January 11, 1986, San Francisco, Calif.). William James “Bill” Kraus, a gay activist and politician (see Gays and Gay Rights), was the son of Michael S. and Mary E. Schwartz. For his first 14 years, he resided at 12 Idaho Ave. in what was then called S. Fort Mitchell (now Fort Mitchell). He attended Blessed Sacrament Parish Grade School through the seventh grade, before his family moved to Colerain Township in northern Cincinnati in 1960, where he completed eighth grade at St. Anne’s Parish School and attended St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, graduating with honors in 1965. While at St. Xavier High School, he was an avid participant in the St. Xavier Forensics Club. In 1965 he began college at Dartmouth College, Portsmouth, N.H., but after one year transferred to Ohio State University (OSU) at Columbus. He earned a BA in 1969 and later an MA in history at OSU. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, while at OSU, Kraus was an activist-organizer for anti-Vietnam War protests on campus. In 1972 he moved to San Francisco and began his career in gay political organization and local Democratic Party politics. He started with on-thestreet voter registration for the San Francisco Democratic Party. In 1977 Kraus became the coordinator for Get Out the Vote for Harvey Milk in gay candidate Harvey Milk’s third, and finally successful, attempt to win office as a San Francisco city supervisor. Milk, in turn, appointed Kraus as one of his aides on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and then in 1978 made him co–campaign manager of San Franciscans Against Proposition 6, a proposed anti-gay state initiative authored by state senator John Briggs, which would have banned gay teachers from obtaining California teacher’s
credentials. In the early weeks of the statewide campaign, the public support for this proposition was strong, but after a series of debates between San Francisco city supervisor Milk and state senator Briggs and a “no on 6” editorial opinion article by California ex-governor Ronald Reagan, public perception of Proposition 6 shifted dramatically, resulting in its defeat by a 2-to-1 margin. Because of Kraus’s success in managing the San Franciscans Against Proposition 6, he came to the attention of local Democratic Party leaders. After the assassination of Milk in late November 1978, Kraus became an aide to and campaign manager for Milk’s replacement, Harry Britt, in his successful first and second reelection bids following appointment as Milk’s replacement. In 1979 the San Francisco Gay Democratic Club was renamed the Harvey Milk Club in Milk’s honor, and Kraus became its president for the next two years. Kraus was also chosen by the California Democratic Party as a Ted Kennedy convention delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York City. As a Kennedy delegate in 1980, Kraus was selected as one of the 200 or so convention delegates that made up the Democratic Party Platform Committee. While a member of the Platform Committee, Kraus delivered a powerful gay-rights address before the committee that led to the strengthening of the gay-rights plank in the 1980 Democratic Party Platform. In 1982 Kraus became cochair of California congressman Phil Burton’s successful reelection campaign. Subsequently, Kraus was appointed to Congressman Burton’s office as an administrative assistant, where he was successful in organizing the first-ever congressional AIDS epidemic hearings on research funding in 1984 and 1985. Following Congressman Burton’s death in 1984, Kraus continued as a congressional aide to Sala Burton, who was appointed to complete her late husband’s elected term in the House of Representatives. Kraus continued with his project for AIDS research funding, and Congress approved its firstever appropriation for AIDS research. In the early 1980s, as the AIDS epidemic expanded, particularly in San Francisco, Kraus became a forceful and successful advocate for the closure of gay bathhouses, in an effort to stem the spread of the disease. In early October 1984, Kraus was himself diagnosed with AIDS. He followed in the steps of Rock Hudson to the Pasteur Clinic in Paris, France, where there was ongoing experimental treatment for AIDS, and resided there for several months as an outpatient. In fall 1985 he returned to his home in San Francisco, died of AIDS on January 11, 1986, and was cremated. After Kraus’s death, Randy Shilts, a close friend who was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, began a project to document the politics and unfolding of the AIDS epidemic. The result was Shilts’s bestselling book And the Band Played On, which prominently chronicled Kraus’s work to try to stem the epidemic in San Francisco and his advocacy for federal funding of AIDS research. The book was subsequently produced as the movie And the Band Played On, with Ian McKellan playing
526 KROGER, BERNARD H. “BARNEY” the role of Kraus. The Bill Kraus Meadow in Corona Heights Park in San Francisco, affording a spectacular view of the city, was named for him. “Fighter for Gay Rights Dies of AIDS at 38,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 13, 1986, 7. “Hero to Thousands, Unknown at Home: Ft. Mitchell Native Joined AIDS Fight Early,” KP, September 10, 1993, 1. Shilts, Randy. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987. ———. The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982.
KROGER, BERNARD H. “BARNEY” (b. January 24, 1860, Cincinnati, Ohio; d. July 21, 1938, Wianno, Cape Cod, Mass.). Barney Kroger, the grocer who began the Kroger grocery chain, was the fifth of 10 children of John Henry and Mary Gertrude Schlebbe Kroger. German immigrant John Kroger first lived in Covington before moving to Cincinnati, where he married Mary Schlebbe on October 31, 1850, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the city’s West End. John died when Barney was 13, while the family lived on Central Ave. in Cincinnati above the family’s dry-goods store. Barney quit school and worked in a drugstore, on a farm, and later as a door-to-door salesman for the Great Northern and Pacific Tea Company. In 1883, with a partner, he opened his first grocery in Cincinnati at 66 Pearl St. A year later, having survived a flood and a delivery-wagon accident, and following the departure of his partner, he opened a second store. While delivering groceries to customers, which was a common practice at the time, Kroger met the Jansen family of Newport. He married their daughter Mary Emily “Minnie” Jansen on April 28, 1886, at Newport’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The ceremony was performed by Father James M. McNerney. The couple had seven children. The family lived throughout most of the 1890s in Newport at 624 Monroe Street. On April 22, 1899, having undergone minor surgery at Cincinnati’s Jewish Hospital, Mary died from an overdose of an ether anesthetic. She was age 32 at the time. By 1902, when he incorporated his company as the Kroger Grocery and Baking Company, Kroger was operating some 40 stores, some of them in Northern Kentucky, with total annual revenues of $1.75 million. In the mid-1920s, the Kroger Company acquired, for roughly $800,000, the J. Peter Foltz Grocery and Baking Company, which was a grocery chain of more than 150 units. Covington’s Peter Foltz, who lived on Pike St., had stores in Louisville and in Hamilton, Ohio, so Kroger gained a quick entrée into the Louisville market as well as 15 additional stores in Northern Kentucky. In 1928 Barney Kroger sold his interest in the company and retired, having married a second wife, Alice Flynn Maher.
In 1929, after a dramatic growth period of acquiring small urban neighborhood grocery store chains, the Kroger Company reached its peak number of outlets, over 5,500. Within Covington alone, the company operated at least 42 stores between 1928 and 1931; Newport had 18, Bellevue, 6, and Dayton, Ky., 5. Northern Kentucky clearly played an important role in the early formation of the Kroger Company. In 1938 Barney, Alice, and Barney’s doctor took Kroger’s personal railroad car to the family’s summer home on Cape Cod. Barney, who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, had a heart attack there and died. His funeral was held at Slantacres, Kroger’s palatial home in Columbia Tusculum, on the east side of Cincinnati, and he was buried at the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. During his three-hour funeral ser vice on Monday, July 25, 1938, all the Kroger Stores, Albers Super Markets, Atlantic and Pacific Company Stores, and Burke Grocery Stores were ordered closed to show respect to him. The Kroger Company became a major player in U.S. food retailing. At one time, 10 cents of every U.S. dollar spent on food and groceries was tendered at a Kroger outlet. With the recent acquisition of the Fred Meyers grocery chain of Portland, Ore., the company has become the largest food retailer in the country, surpassing grocery companies such as Safeway and Albertsons. In 2004 Kroger was the second-largest retailer in the United States, with sales of $56.4 billion. “Body of Kroger Rests in Home; Rites Are Planned,” CTS, July 23, 1938, 1. Horstman, Barry M. “Barney Kroger: Hard Work, Marketing Savvy Won Shoppers,” CP, June 17, 1999, 1C. Laycock, George. “The Kroger Story.” NKH 8, no. 1 (Fall–Winter 2000): 47–57. ———. The Kroger Story: A Century of Innovation. Cincinnati: Kroger Company, 1983. Ohio History Central. “Kroger Company.” Ohio Historical Society. www.ohiohistorycentral.org. Spring Grove Cemetery Records, Cincinnati.
Michael R. Sweeney
KUHN, CHARLES H. (b. February 25, 1902, Anderson Twp., Hamilton Co., Ohio; d. August 1, 1989, Middletown, Ohio). City official Charles Henry Kuhn, the third child of Josiah N. and Clara Mudersbach Kuhn, was born on their family farm. At an early age, Charles began to work at planting, harvesting, and tending livestock. He also accompanied his family on peddler routes weekly through the East End of Cincinnati in a horse-drawn wagon. The local school he attended was a one-room brick structure where classes through the eighth grade were taught. After graduating in 1920 from Woodward High School, at 13th and Sycamore Sts. in Cincinnati, he went on to the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering. There he completed a fiveyear co-op program, earning a degree in civil engi-
neering in 1925. On August 19, 1925, Kuhn married Florence Mildred Johnson. The couple had two children. Kuhn began working in the Engineering Department of the City of Fort Thomas, Ky., on December 8, 1925, as an instrument man on a survey team for a salary of $135 a month. He continued working for the city until his retirement on August 1, 1967. Expecting to be employed for only three months in the planning of a sanitary sewer system, Kuhn was soon named assistant engineer for the city. Fort Thomas grew rapidly from a population of 5,000 in 1920 to 10,000 in 1930. New streets were developed and sewer lines added under Kuhn’s direction. In 1930 he became city engineer, the equivalent of today’s city manager, with increasing responsibilities as Fort Thomas continued to expand. In addition to his official position, he was influential in creating and serving on numerous boards and commissions from 1937 until 1967: the Playgrounds and Recreation Board, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Board of Adjustments (Zoning Appeals), the Civil Ser vice Commission, the Committee for Fort Thomas, and the Board of Housing Appeals. For most of these groups he served as secretary. His employment title was eventually changed to city manager-coordinator. During this time the Fort Thomas police force expanded from 4 to 21, the fire department personnel increased from 2 to 15, and the public works division grew from 5 to 29 employees. From 1929 to 1935 the Great Depression decreased tax revenues, causing the city of Fort Thomas to cut employee salaries by 10 percent. As both the federal and state governments made new rules, Kuhn’s job became more complex. For example, throughout these early depression years, relief laborers were provided at times through Kentucky Emergency Relief, CWA (Civil Works Administration), WPA (Works Progress Administration; later renamed Works Projects Administration), and PWA (Public Works Administration), and it became Kuhn’s added responsibility to supervise these programs and the workers provided. Several other major changes occurred in Fort Thomas while Kuhn was the city managercoordinator. While he was in charge, the city’s parks were expanded to include 210 acres in various locations throughout the city. A new school, the Ruth Moyer Elementary School, was built, and the three other schools in town were expanded. Kuhn worked closely with the elected mayor and six council members throughout these growth years. Kuhn died in 1989 and was buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery, Withamsville, Ohio, east of Cincinnati. “Charles Kuhn, 87, City Engineer Who Guided Ft. Thomas’ Growth,” KP, August 3, 1989, 10K.
Betty Maddox Daniels