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530 LAIDLEY HOUSE Covington, Ky.). Frederick Alexander Laidley was a prominent businessman in both river and rail transportation and a civic leader in the city of Cincinnati from 1886 until at least 1918. The son of James Madison Laidley, a prominent attorney, and Anna Maria Buhring, he was raised in Charleston, W.Va., and attended public schools there. He started a small store in Charleston and then from 1858 to 1864 manufactured salt in West Virginia on the Kanawha River. In connection with the salt business, he traveled often to Cincinnati. Laidley had become fascinated with steamboats as a boy, and in 1864 he began his career as a river man, getting a job as a clerk on the Ohio River steamer Annie Laurie. By 1866 he was captain of that boat. For most of his life, he was best known as a river man and was variously referred to as Captain Laidley or Commodore Laidley (these titles may have been informal, since official licensing of captains and chief mates did not begin until the U.S. Congress established it by legislation in 1871). Laidley moved to Cincinnati in 1867 as the agent for the Kanawha Salt Company and became a charter member of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. Even though his business was in Cincinnati, he lived in Covington and raised his family there. Laidley engaged in numerous business ventures and partnering associations over the next almost 50 years. From 1873 to 1896, he was in the pork-packing business (see Meatpacking); in 1886 he became a prime stockholder of the Louisville & Cincinnati Packet Company, and later (by 1891) served as its general manager and treasurer. With this company, he built and operated two of the finest and fastest boats on the Ohio River, the famed City of Louisville and the City of Cincinnati. These two steamboats and five others were called the White Collar Line (WCL) or White Packet Line. He was an original stockholder of the Common Carrier Company and president of the Louisville & Evansville Transportation Company. These companies were in the business of transporting freight or passengers, or both, up and down the Ohio River. He was president of the Licking Coal & Towboat Company, which supplied steamboats with coal and provided harbor-towing ser vices, and in 1881 he began shipping meat by rail with the Cincinnati Southern Railroad to southern cities such as Chattanooga, Tenn.; Atlanta and Macon, Ga.; Mobile and Montgomery, Ala.; and many others. In 1866 Laidley married Julia A. Rook from Malden, W.Va., and they had four children. The family lived in what is now known as the Laidley House, at 404 E. Second St. in Covington, surrounded by other magnificent homes of the pre– Civil War and post–Civil War periods. During the mid-1800s and into the early 1900s, the Laidley home was a center for hospitality known for its glowing lights, grand balls, and lovely parties. Laidley’s lifestyle and his role as a prominent businessman came to an abrupt end after the winter of 1917–1918. During that winter the Ohio and Licking rivers froze in many places, and in 1918 an ice gorge destroyed the City of Cincinnati, the

City of Louisville, and the Loucinda (also WCL). Much of Laidley’s great wealth was gone. He lived out the rest of his life in his Covington home on Second St. and died after a short illness at age 90 in December 1931. He was buried at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Bricking, Chuck. Covington’s Heritage: A Compilation of the City’s Historical Houses and a Short Biography of the Inhabitants. Covington, Ky.: Privately published, 1980. Goss, Charles Frederick, ed. Cincinnati: The Queen City, 1788–1912. 4 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1912. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 30006, for the year 1931. “Mourn Laidley—Veteran Riverman Passes in 90th Year,” KP, December 15, 1931, 1.

Fran Allen

LAIDLEY HOUSE. The Laidley House faces south at the corner of Second and Kennedy Sts. near the Licking and Ohio Rivers in the protected Licking-Riverside National Historic District of Covington. The house itself is a Kentucky landmark and is surrounded by historically significant homes. The Laidley House was built in 1865, at the end of the Civil War, in the Second Empire style. A visitor to the imposing and beautiful three-story mansion will first be impressed by its setting on the property and its lovely facade. The home is surrounded by a stone wall topped with an iron fence, and the property is entered through a decorative iron gate. The structure itself is orange red brick with a white Kentucky limestone foundation and massive front steps, and the entrance, corners, and windows are trimmed with limestone. Above the approach to the house is an octagonal cupola sitting on top of the colorful slate-faced mansard roof, like the decorative top of an elaborate wedding cake. After walking up the front steps, one comes to the glass-paneled front door inside an intricately carved, walnut-stained wooden entrance, with folding paneled doors and a black and white, checkerboard-patterned marble floor. Just inside the front door is a long rectangular entrance hall with an elaborate parquet floor and a winding staircase, which has unusual parquet stair treads. On the right is a poolroom, thought to have been a gentlemen’s smoking parlor; on the left is a large living area originally called “the ballroom.” The ballroom has a large bay window on the entrance side and wonderful white plaster decorations of morning glories and leaves all around the edges of the 14-foot ceiling. At the end of the entrance hall are two doors: one opens to the dining room, the other to an exterior L-shaped porch with heavy carved pillars and a balustrade, and a view of the Ohio River. Frederick Alexander Laidley and his family lived in the house from 1880 until 1972. Commodore Laidley, as he was called, owned the White Packet, or White Collar, line of riverboats on the Ohio River. He and his wife, the former Julia Rook, had four children: Frederick Rook, Mary, Marguerite, and Elsie Louise. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the house was a lively social gathering

place. However, the ice gorge of the winter of 1917–1918 crushed five of Commodore Laidley’s boats, changing the family’s economic status considerably, and social life at the home became a lower priority. The last Laidley occupant was Elsie Louise Laidley More, who died in 1972. Soon afterward, the house was sold at auction to an interim absentee owner who planned to convert it into small apartments. By that time, the house and grounds had been neglected for many years. In 1975 James and Frances Allen purchased the property and restored it to its former glory. They live there today. Bricking, Chuck. Covington’s Heritage: A Compilation of the City’s Historical Houses and a Biography of the Inhabitants. Covington, Ky.: Privately published, 1980. Stamm, Michelle. “Riverside Renaissance: Covington’s Historic Riverside District from the 18th Century to the Present.” NKH 1, no. 1 (Autumn–Winter 1993): 1–22.

Fran Allen

LAKESIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. This Christian church in Lakeside Park began because in the 1960s men of the Independent Christian Church–Church of Christ felt that a new church was needed in Northern Kentucky. A group of ministers and laymen met in October 1966 to discuss establishing the new church. The New Testament Church Evangelism Committee was formed and incorporated in March 1967, and the Lakeside Park– Crescent Springs area was selected for the church’s location. The committee chose Jerry Scarborough to be the minister-evangelist. On September 10, 1967, 73 worshippers attended the church’s first Sunday ser vices at the Crescent Springs Elementary School, on Buttermilk Pk. Seventeen adults agreed to form the nucleus of the new church, and at a meeting in December 1967 the name Lakeside Christian Church was chosen. By January 1968 the congregation had grown to 55 members; property was purchased and plans were drawn for the construction of a permanent church, for which ground was broken March 10, 1968. One year later the congregation occupied the new building, at 195 Buttermilk Pk., and on October 1, 1970, Bro. John Russell was chosen as minister-evangelist, since Scarborough had departed to start new churches elsewhere. As the congregation grew, new programs were added and staff members were hired to direct the areas of music, youth, adult involvement, education, and a comprehensive children’s program of participation and instruction. By 1979 continued growth made it necessary to schedule multiple worship ser vices on Sundays, so construction ensued to increase worship ser vice and educational space. The congregation also began to purchase adjacent land along Buttermilk Pk. In 1996 growth again required increasing the meeting space. The building campaign now included a new sanctuary seating about 1,400, as well as renovation of the existing facilities to include a family life–sports complex, meeting rooms for church and community use, and supplementary space for classes and activities.

Chapter L of the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky  

The Encylopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com. Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, The University Press of...

Chapter L of the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky  

The Encylopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com. Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, The University Press of...