The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy
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RABBIT HASH. On the southern bank of the Ohio River, at mile number 506.1 (from Pittsburgh, Pa.), is nestled an early-19th-century river hamlet...
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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
RABBIT HASH. On the southern bank of the Ohio River, at mile number 506.1 (from Pittsburgh, Pa.), is nestled an early-19th-century river hamlet, Rabbit Hash, in Boone Co. It remains much the same as in preceding generations. This area of Boone Co. can trace the settlement of its rural communities to around 1813, when the Boone Co. Court issued its first ferry covenant bond to Edward Meeks to establish a ferry boat ser vice in the vicinity of Rabbit Hash. Since Kentucky’s official boundary line was the low-water mark of the Ohio River on the opposite shore, all decisions, regulations, and permits concerning the river fell under Kentucky’s jurisdiction. Meeks’s Ferry was upstream from Rabbit Hash, near the mouth of Middle Creek. It was established to transport people, livestock, and farm products across the river to what became Rising Sun, Ind. The town of Rising Sun was established in 1814, before the Indiana territory became a state in 1816. At this time transportation on the Ohio River by steamboat was in its infancy. It became necessary to provide a mode of physical communication between the north and south shores of the river as the two settlements grew. The region’s economy began to rely more on river transportation, and transporting farm products to and from steamboats was the early business in Rabbit Hash. An expansive sandbar on the Kentucky shore prohibited steamboats from tying up
Rabbit Hash General Store.
or landing on the community’s shores. Instead, they put in at Rising Sun, where the channel was deeper and access was easier. These conditions made a ferry connecting the two cross-river communities an economic necessity. Goods for export were ferried across to the steamboats and imports were ferried back. As the population increased, and river commerce and transportation progressed, more goods and products made their way down to the ferry landing. Eventually, when the need arose for a place to store these items until the steamboats arrived, a group of local farmers built a storehouse on the Rabbit Hash bank. The storage facility was managed, and then eventually owned and operated, by a single proprietor, James A. Wilson, who was only 17 years old when it opened in 1831. That business, which has been in continuous operation ever since, with very little change, came to be known as the Rabbit Hash General Store. The general store soon became the heart and soul of the community. An early name of the community, derived from the name of its magisterial district, was Carlton. The magisterial district, encompassing much of western Boone Co., presumably was named for an early settler of the area, James Carlton. In winter 1847, the area where the general store is located began to be called Rabbit Hash. During a Christmastime freshet, a group of individuals were sitting outdoors, watching the water. One person remarked that he was going to have rabbit hash that evening, since the rising water was forcing the rabbits to leave their holes. This fellow quickly was given the nickname Rabbit Hash, and the town soon was being called Rabbit Hash as well. From 1825 to 1875, most mail traveled up and down the rivers by steamboat. Because more and
more mail intended for the Carlton district was mistakenly delivered to Carrollton, 39 miles downriver, the postal ser vice decided to build a new post office in the Carlton district and asked locals to choose a new name for it. Their choice was Rabbit Hash, already the informal name of the town. Accordingly, Rabbit Hash became the official name of both the town and its post office, as postmarks soon attested. Rabbit Hash has had to fight two natural enemies, floods and ice, in order to survive as a community. Half of the town of Rabbit Hash was severed from its Ohio River location by the flood of 1937. But the flood of 1937 was not Rabbit Hash’s first encounter with natural disaster. Significant Ohio River floods had also occurred in 1849, 1883, 1884, and 1913. The people of Rabbit Hash took note. The local blacksmith in the 1880s devised a solution for the ever-threatening problem. He designed and installed a series of threaded rods bolted on all four corners of the general store between its bottom sill and top plate logs. Beneath the store, these rods have a hook. Another rodand-hook system is anchored by concrete in the ground just below these rods. When floodwaters rise and begin to float the store, these hooks engage and secure the building in place until the water subsides. Mud from the 1937 flood can still be seen in the attic of the general store, proving the effectiveness of this protective system. The ice that formed on the river in 1918 did little significant damage to the town, but it was a rare spectacle. There is photographic evidence that cars and trucks drove across the Ohio River on the ice that year, not to mention the scores of pedestrians taking advantage of nature’s new bridge to Indiana. Rabbit Hash fared much better than Cincinnati and other river cities up and down the river that lost boats, landings, and warehouses to the destructive ice event. In 1945, however, ice crushed and buried the last ferryboat in Rabbit Hash, the Mildred. As time passed, communications between Rabbit Hash and Rising Sun ceased and the towns grew further apart. In earlier times, people from Rabbit Hash had frequented Rising Sun on a regular basis. They worked there, worshipped at the town’s churches, went to school in Rising Sun, shopped and doctored there, and were buried there. This close interaction and relationship ended when the river level was raised during the 1960s by the new Markland Dam. With the Ohio River’s new system of navigational locks and dams, Rising Sun is cut off from its former neighbor. From the 1960s to the late 1970s, Rabbit Hash’s economy declined. The convenience of automobile transportation and the establishment of trendy shopping complexes and malls were sounding the death knell for Rabbit Hash. The winter of 1978– 1979 was another time when stretches of the Ohio River froze over completely. Rabbit Hash suffered no losses or damage, but this was the ice event that totally obliterated Big Bone Island downstream. As before in 1918, people walked over the ice from Rabbit Hash to Rising Sun, mainly just to say they did it. This was also the winter when Lib and Cliff
RAGAN, GEORGE WARREN
Stephens decided they would no longer own the Rabbit Hash General Store. The town was dead and their business was as well. Louie Scott had just purchased the old Ryle Brothers Store in town from his uncle Clayton Ryle, when Cliff offered to sell the general store to Scott. Scott bought it and then purchased other properties in town until he finally owned them all. He believed the town needed saving, and thanks to his efforts, Rabbit Hash was rescued and given new life. On December 13, 2002, Louie Scott sold his holdings in Rabbit Hash to the Rabbit Hash Historical Society (RHHS) for a nominal price to ensure the community’s continued preservation. A very generous donation of $250,000 bequeathed to the RHHS in 2001 by Edna Flower, a local resident, made this transaction and a subsequent endowment fund possible. Locally, in Boone Co., Rabbit Hash is a landmark and has been granted the only Historic Overlay zoning in the county. The general store has been designated as a Kentucky Landmark since the late 1970s and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the early 1980s. In December 2003, the entire town and 33 acres of contiguous properties were designated by the National Park Ser vice and the Department of Interior as a National Register District; it was the second National Register District in Boone Co. In 2004 First Lady Laura Bush honored Rabbit Hash by recognizing it as a Preserve America Community. Preserve America is a White House initiative developed in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservations, the U.S. Department of Interior, and the U.S. Department of Commerce to highlight worthy efforts to preserve America’s national heritage. Over the past 25 years, there have been five different proprietors of the store, and each has added a distinctive color to Rabbit Hash’s history, keeping intact the store’s claim of continuous operation since 1831. Rabbit Hash hats, shirts, and other souvenirs have been bought and carried by the store’s customers to many parts of the world. Nelson, William H. The Buried Trea sure: A Rabbit Hash Mystery. Lawrenceburg, Ind.: Sam Chapman, ca. 1890. Reprint, Rabbit Hash, Ky.: Rabbit Hash Historical Society, 1997.
RADIO. Northern Kentucky was a center of early amateur radio and has been home to a number of important commercial radio stations. In 1923 J. G. Harbord, president of the Radio Corporation of America, delivered a speech before the Agricultural Society at Topeka, Kans. Harbord proclaimed the invention of radio to be a “miracle of the ages” and an invention that touched human interest and human welfare as closely as the wooden printing blocks invented by Gutenberg five centuries earlier. Wireless communication actually began much earlier than 1923. The idea was entertained in the early 1800s when scientists Joseph Henry and Michael Faraday theorized that that electrical currents traveling over one wire could produce current in another wire. Heinrich Hertz experimented
with the transmission of noise, but not until 1895 was a system produced, by Guglielmo Marconi, using Hertz’s ideas. In March 1899 the first wireless messages were transmitted across the English Channel, and in December 1901 the first transatlantic message was sent. In December 1900, Reginald Fessenden, an employee of the U.S. Weather Bureau, transmitted speech, using a high-frequency spark; this appears to have been the first audio radio transmission. Just over one year later, on January 1, 1902, Nathan B. Stubblefield demonstrated a radio transmitter-receiver in Murray, Ky., by transmitting his son’s voice about one mile to a receiver before an audience of about 1,000. Radio began much as the computer did, owned and operated by amateurs who dabbled in scientific apparatus and generally communicated only among themselves. The strange collection of batteries and wires and tuning devices that they used, hooked up to a brass key and headphones, could create sound that could travel to remote areas that were not connected by the telegraph. In Northern Kentucky, as well as the rest of the world, these amateurs became the businessmen who began to produce the simple sets that became popu lar in people’s homes. The United States did not start licensing radio stations until December 1912. The nation was divided up into districts, and Kentucky was a part of the ninth district. The licensing authority was the U.S. Commerce Department. When the first list of stations was published on July 1, 1913, none of the 22 stations in the ninth district were in Kentucky. On October 1, 1913, the first supplement to the list included three licenses in Kentucky, one at Frankfort and two in Newport. The licensees in Newport were Ervin B. Mattenheimer and John H. Flynn Jr. In 1914 two more licenses were added from Newport, so four of the first five stations licensed in the state were in Newport. In effect, Newport had become “the radio capitol” of Kentucky. Flynn was featured in a Kentucky Enquirer article in 1914, when he and a few other amateurs formed the Ohio Valley Radio Association for the purpose of relaying messages. Although the possibility of transmitting speech and music had been demonstrated, actual broadcasting to the public on a scheduled basis by designated stations did not begin before 1919. Station KDKA of Pittsburgh, Pa., claims to be the first station to hold a schedule of brief announcements and music; however, the Ohio River Valley had what has been also claimed as the first station, located at Peebles Corner in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati. Owned by the Precision Equipment Company, the station eventually known as 8XB held regular broadcasts of music in 1919. Former employee Lt. Harry Breckel claimed that Precision was selling wireless apparatuses in 1919. To stimulate sales, he and several other engineers built and operated a station playing music under the call letters PC in 1919. They received the call letters 8XB in 1920. The story was substantiated by one of the station’s engineers, Thomas New. With the advent of regular broadcasts, manufacturers quickly saw that there would be a market
for radio receiving sets among the public. John Flynn became one of the men from Northern Kentucky to take advantage of this new business opportunity, and by 1922 he had formed the United Radio Labs in Cincinnati and was making and selling radio apparatuses. Numerous men pursued the same path between 1921 and 1925. The first receiving sets were of the crystal type, soon followed by battery-powered sets employing tubes. By 1930, most sets being sold were powered by electricity on alternating current. Radio shops and repair facilities sprang up in nearly every city, along with additional broadcasting stations. By 1929 Kentucky had three commercial radio stations operating, WLAP, WHAS, and WFIW. A fourth station, WCKY, was constructed in Covington in 1929. To broaden his audience and revenues, that station’s owner, L. B. Wilson, later moved WCKY’s transmitter to Cincinnati but kept the station’s broadcasting license in Kentucky. By 1932 it was estimated that 20 million Americans owned radios, or 64 percent of the population. By 1950, when television began taking some of the attention away from radio, 40 million Americans owned a radio, about 94 percent of all households (see also WFBE; WFTM; WCVG; WNOP; WNKU; WZIP). Leming, John E., Jr. Personal collections of various papers and clippings on local area radio, Cold Spring, Ky. “Ready to Give Wireless Warnings,” KE, February 7, 1914, 1.
John E. Leming Jr.
RAGAN, GEORGE WARREN (b. April 19, 1865, near Independence, Ky.; d. September 27, 1937, Cold Spring, Ky.). George W. Ragan, a physician and a state senator, was the son of Eli and Sarah Carter Ragan. His grandfather was a true Kentucky pioneer, born in the state in 1797. George Ragan grew up on the family farm listening to the adventures of his mother’s father, Warren Carter, whom Daniel Carter Beard colorfully described in his book Hardly a Man Is Now Alive. Ragan began the study of medicine at the age of 18. Traveling to his employment by either steamboat or the Short Line (the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad), he worked in his spare time to support himself and pay for his schooling. In March 1891 he graduated from the University of Louisville Medical School, and that same year he married Effie Morrison Riggs, a schoolteacher, also from the Independence area. They had two sons, Dr. David Yandell Ragan, who also graduated from the University of Louisville Medical School, and Allen Edgar Ragan, an Ohio State University history professor who graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. George Ragan’s strong desire to serve where he was most needed sent him on horseback over the countryside in Kentucky, talking with residents; after much consideration, he decided to practice medicine in Campbell Co. He built the family home in Cold Spring, along U.S. 27, on a site that is today the offices of Griffin Industries. Ragan
744 RAGTIME became known as a friend to the common people. He served all the surrounding areas in the county where he practiced and also provided care to the children in the St. Joseph Orphanage (see Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home). A true country doctor, he regularly helped the sick where he found them, even though it meant traveling by horse and buggy over the back roads in all kinds of weather. As he aged and his practice grew, and as the county changed with the times, he opened an office at his residence. His 1925 journal listed more than 550 patients, some living south of Alexandria and others north of the Ohio River. Ragan was a member of the Cold Spring School Board for more than 27 years. This ser vice, along with his desire to reduce taxes for the farmers in the area and build better roads, led to his nomination for the office of state senator in 1931, at age 66. Defeating Republican senator Ellsworth Regenstein by a large majority, he was elected, and then he was reelected in 1935. While in office Ragan introduced a bill dealing with revenue and taxation in 1934 and was present when the Whiskey Bill passed in 1936. He was a close personal friend of Kentucky governor A. B. “Happy” Chandler (1935– 1939, 1955–1959), president of the Bank of Cold Spring, and a member of the Alexandria Lodge of Masons. Ragan practiced medicine as a country doctor for 47 years. He was 72 when he died of a heart attack at his home in Cold Spring in 1937. He was buried at the Independence Cemetery in Kenton Co., and his widow Effie was buried next to him in 1952. “Honor Ragan—Orphanage Pays Tribute to 40 Years Ser vice,” KP, November 30, 1931, 1. “Senator Ragan Dies of Heart Attack in Home,” KP, September 27, 1937, 1. Special Collections and Archives, Univ. of Louisville Medical School, Louisville, Ky.
Deborah R. Neace
RAGTIME. Ragtime, America’s first original music, flourished during the first two decades of the 20th century. Popu lar largely for its lively and syncopated style, it gained momentum in St. Louis and New York City, but Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky were also important ragtime hubs. The migration of African Americans from the southern states helped spread the ragtime style. Riverboats on the Ohio River, the Island Queen steamboat in par ticular, also served to expose audiences to the popu lar style of music. Ragtime should not be confused with an earlier related style known as the Cakewalk. Ragtime is a musical form written in 2/4 or 4/4 time that has a syncopated melody and “ragged” rhythmic accents on the weak beats. Although band performances of ragtime were not uncommon, ragtime was initially and more often played on the piano. The birth of ragtime is commonly credited to African American composer and pianist Scott Joplin in St. Louis, Mo., during the early 1890s. John Edward Hasse, a music historian from Cincinnati, has noted that there were four ragtime
styles: instrumental rags, ragtime songs, ragtime waltzes, and the earlier style that involved “ragging” existing music. During its peak period (1897– 1919), ragtime was credited with increasing the popularity of pianos and player pianos nationwide. Ragtime tunes were popu larized through sheet music, available at music retailers and five-anddime stores. In addition, solo piano performances at vaudev ille shows throughout the nation assisted in introducing the style to mainstream America. A notable ragtime artist was Artie “Mr. 814” Matthews, who founded the Cosmopolitan School of Music on W. Ninth St. in Cincinnati and operated it from the 1920s into the late 1950s. He trained countless artists and had many Northern Kentucky connections. Matthews was secretary-treasurer of the Cincinnati Musicians’ Local 814 African American union. He had arranged and composed many rag tunes earlier in St. Louis at the Stark Music Company; his most famous piece, however, is an early jazz classic entitled “Weary Blues.” Covington native Louis H. Mentel was a ragtime composer; he published “A Daisy Girl” in Covington in 1905. In 1910 Covington’s William M. Hickman wrote and published “Diplomat Rag,” also in Covington. The Gasdorf Music Publishing Company of Newport, one of several ragtime music houses in the region, represented a rare melding of African American and German culture. Music historian Hasse says that Alfred Gasdorf, who was born into a musical family in Newport about 1883, performed in orchestras on the Island Queen steamboat. Northern Kentucky composer Floyd H. Willis (born in Falmouth) published many rags in Covington, including “Kentucky Rag” in 1908. He was also a Cincinnati movie theater accompanist. Two other Northern Kentucky artists dabbled with ragtime during careers known for other forms of music. Covington-born Justin Huber, a regional bandleader, as a young man in 1911 published a “catchy” Indian ragtime piece called “Fire Water”; and Larry Vincent, locally remembered for his years of piano playing at the Beverly Hills Supper Club and at the Lookout House, had a previous career of vaudev ille, in which he was not above trying a rag or two. Ragtime was virtually displaced by the introduction of jazz in the early 1920s. It gained a renewed following upon the release of the Oscarwinning motion picture The Sting (1973), which won an Academy Award for Marvin Hamlish’s adaptation of Scott Joplin’s classic piano ragtime tunes featured in the fi lm. Hasse, John Edward. Cincinnati Ragtime: A List of Composers and Their Works. Cincinnati: John Edward Hasse, 1983. Jasen, David A., and Gene Jones. That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast. New York: Schirmer Books, 2000. Sadie, Stanley, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 5. New York: Grove, 2001. Steib, Murray, ed. Reader’s Guide to Music: History, Theory, Criticism. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999.
Kareem A. Simpson
RAILROAD DEPOTS. At the Northern Kentucky railroad depots, passenger tickets were sold or freight was deposited for shipment or after being shipped, or both functions were carried out. Not every train station had a depot. From the beginning of railroad ser vice until the 1950s, the railroad depot was the heart and soul of a town. Therefore, the stationmaster at the depot was a man of importance in the town, and his coming and goings were reported in the local newspaper. The railroad depot was the place to see who was arriving and who was departing, since it served as the portal through which most people arrived and left the community. Friends were welcomed and loved ones kissed goodbye. The depot was also a scene of bereavement, for the trains carried friends and relatives who had died while away from the community and were being returned home in their caskets for burial. Because the Western Union telegraph office was at the depot, it was also the place to hear the latest news. Announcements of sporting events were often passed over Western Union wires to be posted by the telegraph operator on the depot bulletin board. Before radio became common, major league ball games came to life in a community through those bulletin-board postings; the telegraph operator chalked up inning-by-inning scores and sometimes even descriptions of important plays. The depot was also the site where the U.S. Post Office Railway Express received outgoing mail and unloaded incoming mail. Most of the goods moving into and out of town came through the freight depot, loaded in a boxcar (lumber), on a flatcar (farm machinery), in a gondola car (pipes), or in a hopper car (coal); or they came via the Railway Express Agency (REA). The REA, which was the UPS and FedEx of its time, handled all less-than-carload shipments. If a town did not have a freight depot, it would have a railroad siding where cars to be loaded or unloaded could be staged. The shipper or receiver of the goods would back a wagon up to the rail car at the siding to load or unload merchandise. Because enough space had to be provided for a wagon with its team of horses to pull next to the rail car, these sidings were referred to as team sidings. The depot began to lose its place in the community in the 1920s; by the 1960s, depots had fallen into disuse. Freight moved by truck or was carried in containers on trains that stopped only at major terminals. Until the 1960s, many railroads ran frequent passenger ser vice over their lines, allowing a person to go to Cincinnati in the morning to shop or attend a Cincinnati Reds baseball game, and to return home that night. For a number of years at the start of the 20th century, the Southern Railway (SR) offered commuter ser vice between Cincinnati and Williamstown and stations in between. Passenger ser vice was dropped by most railroads in 1971. Today the only passenger train that travels through the Northern Kentucky region is Amtrak’s Cardinal, which stops in Maysville and in Cincinnati on its way from New York City to Chicago via Washington, D.C.
As the railroads abandoned their depots, they usually demolished the structures, since state and local governments carried them as real property on the tax rolls. It made no sense for a railroad to pay property tax on buildings no longer in use. Only four Northern Kentucky depots still survive: The Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) depot and the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) depot in Maysville are both owned by the City of Maysville, the C&O depot serving as a public transportation center and the L&N depot housing the police station. The SR depot at Erlanger is owned by the City of Erlanger and now is a museum. The Covington depot, formerly a C&O depot but also shared by the L&N, was sold to a private individual and turned into an office building. The Sparta depot (L&N) stood until 2003, when CSX tore it down after the City of Sparta failed to exercise its option to purchase the building. Railroad Depots in Northern Kentucky Boone Co. Devon (SR) Kensington (SR) Richwood (SR) Walton (L&N and SR) Bracken Co. Augusta (C&O) Brooksville (Brooksville and Ohio Railroad) Foster (C&O) Wellsburg (Brooksville Railroad and C&O) Campbell Co. Bellevue (C&O) Brent (C&O) California (C&O) Dayton (C&O) Mentor (C&O) Newport (near 11th and Saratoga) (C&O and L&N combined passenger station; C&O freight station) Newport (Jefferson [Sixth St.] and Saratoga Sts.) (L&N, originally Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad, passenger station until 1888; L&N freight station thereafter) New Richmond (C&O) Ross (C&O) Carroll Co. Carrollton (Carrollton Railroad) Eagle Station (L&N) Sanders (L&N) Worthville (Carrollton Railroad and L&N) Gallatin Co. Glenco (L&N) Sparta (L&N) Grant Co. Blanchett (SR) Corinth (SR)
Crittenden (SR) Dry Ridge (SR) Elliston (L&N) Mason (SR) Sherman (SR) Williamstown (SR) Zion (L&N) Kenton Co. Bank Lick (L&N) Bracht (SR) Buffi ngton (SR) Covington (C&O and L&N) Erlanger (SR) Highland (SR) Independence (L&N) Kenton (L&N) Latonia (L&N) Ludlow (SR) Morning View (L&N) Spring Lake (L&N) Visalia (L&N) Woodside (SR) Mason Co. Dover (C&O) Helena (L&N) Marshall (Lewisburg) (L&N) Maysville (C&O and L&N) Somo (L&N) South Ripley (C&O) Owen Co.: no rail ser vice Pendleton Co. Butler (L&N) Falmouth (L&N) Robertson Co.: no rail ser vice Charles H. Bogart
RAILROADS. The history of railroads in the Northern Kentucky region is intimately tied to railroad developments in Cincinnati. Railroads, when they came to the region in the 19th century, brought a new mode of transporting goods. Large, heavy loads could be moved at considerable speed overland in a more-or-less straight path. Railroads did not need to worry about the depth of the water in a river channel. Trains began serving Cincinnati in the mid-1840s, and by the 1850s they also served Northern Kentucky. In terms of the development of railroads, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky initially found themselves at a disadvantage because of their topography. To the east and the south, the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains formed a barrier that was expensive to penetrate and demanded new engineering techniques. To the north and the west, major cities had already carved out their own mar-
kets for goods, supplanting Cincinnati’s canals in those directions. The principal areas remaining for economic opportunities were those traditionally linked to the region—the east and the south—and it was in those directions that Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky concentrated their railroad building. Yet, railroads to the east and the south were not an end in themselves, because these same roads became mutually dependent upon rails reaching to the west and the north. During most of the 19th century, there was no agreement as to the gauge of railroad tracks. Rail gauge refers to the space between a track’s two iron rails. Most railroads in the United States today operate on standard gauge, which is 4 feet 8.5 inches—the same gauge as the wheels of a Roman chariot. Railroad tracks wider than this were referred to as “broad gauge,” and tracks narrower than this were called “narrow gauge.” Railroads of one gauge could not interchange their equipment with railroads of another gauge without special arrangements such as a third rail. Thus, at places where railroads of different gauges met (called a connection), goods had to be off-loaded tediously and expensively and reloaded onto other lines. Moreover, tracks within a central city did not always mesh with rail lines at the city’s outskirts. Further complicating matters, early railroads often had to stop at major geographic barriers such as the Ohio River. Locally, that problem was resolved with the opening in 1872 of the first railroad bridge across the river in Northern Kentucky, at Newport, called the L&N Bridge. Gauge mismatches were fi xed on May 30, 1886, when the Cincinnati Southern and Kentucky Central (KC) tracks were converted to standard. Thereafter, all major railroads serving Cincinnati were standard gauge, connecting with one another and having access into the Northern Kentucky region via bridges across the Ohio River by ownership, track rights, or interchange agreement. By 1890 Cincinnati was the third-busiest rail center in the United States. In the 19th century, at least 14 major railroads operated within the city of Cincinnati, and 4 of them served Northern Kentucky. But before the region had railroad connections to the north, the Covington and Lexington Railroad (C&L), the first to begin business within Northern Kentucky, was completed to Covington in December 1854; via Ohio River ferries, its cargoes supplied Cincinnati with hogs, grain, and other agricultural products. Its direct connection to Cincinnati, under the name of a successor, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N), was made possible by the opening of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Bridge in 1888. The second line to arrive in Northern Kentucky, and the first with tracks into Cincinnati, was the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington (LC&L), the “short line” between Newport and Louisville, which a few years later extended into Cincinnati via the L&N Bridge. The third railroad to enter the region was the Cincinnati Southern, with the opening of its bridge at Ludlow in 1877. The fourth railroad, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (C&O), arrived from
746 RAILWAY MUSEUM OF GREATER CINCINNATI the east and ran along the southern shore of the Ohio River from Maysville through Newport and Covington and across the C&O Bridge into Cincinnati. At the beginning of the 20th century, three class one railroads, as a result of mergers, operated within the Northern Kentucky region: the Southern Railway (SRR) as the leaseholder of the Cincinnati Southern, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Other railroads operated in Northern Kentucky but did not serve Cincinnati. These included the Maysville and Lexington (M&L), completed to Maysville from Paris in 1873; the Carrollton and Worthville Railroad, begun in 1906 and still serving as Carrollton’s link to the L&N’s short line at Worthville; and the Brooksville and Ohio Railroad, entirely within Bracken Co., built in 1906 to connect Brooksville to the C&O at Wellsburg and abandoned in 1931. Additional railroads were chartered for construction in the Northern Kentucky region, but for various reasons their promoters were not able to fund construction. The most successful of these proposals was the Covington, Flemingsburg, and Pound Gap Railroad (CF&PG). It progressed beyond the paper stage and did lay some track in 1876, first as narrow gauge. Although later converted to standard gauge, it became nothing more than a short line linking Flemingsburg to Flemingsburg Junction on the L&N (along the former M&L), which ceased operations in 1956. Neither Covington nor Pound Gap, Va., the endpoints of the railroad’s proposed route system, ever saw a CF&PG engine. Today conditions have changed. On the south bank of the Ohio River to the east is CSX, operating the old C&O track from Huntington, W.Va., via Maysville. This track served the Stevens’ Yard at Silver Grove (named for a former C&O president), but the Chessie System closed that yard in 1981 with the opening of its Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati. Amtrak uses this route to carry its passenger train, the Cardinal, between New York and Chicago. Today the former Stevens’ Yard is the location of the world’s largest drywall manufacturing plant, LaFarge. Crossing the Ohio River at Covington, over the C&O Bridge, and paralleling the Licking River south of the KC Junction (16th and Madison) is CSX’s line (formerly the L&N) to Winchester and Corbin, Ky. At one time this line had two rail yards, one in Covington, developed early by the C&L, and the DeCoursey Yard, south of Latonia, which opened in 1918 for the L&N. The latter was a hump yard, where by means of a manmade hill, or hump, train cars were sorted downhill by gravity to the proper outbound trains. The Stevens, DeCoursey, and Covington yards have been closed since the opening of the Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati in 1981. The Latonia Yard is now home to the Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati. Currently CSX also operates the L&N’s old “short line” to Louisville. Since the removal of its tracks northward along Saratoga St. in Newport and the conversion of the old L&N railroad bridge to pedestrian use only, this line begins and ends at 11th and Monmouth Sts., where the NX Cabin
once stood. The NX Cabin, now demolished (the Trauth Dairy occupies this site today), was the joint passenger station of the L&N and C&O railroads as well as a freight station of the C&O. Adjacent to the station was a diamond, a junction of two tracks at grade (street level), where the C&O and L&N lines crossed. Before CSX’s Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati was developed, C&O trains were broken down and made up into new trains at Stevens’ Yard in Silver Grove. L&N trains used the DeCoursey Yard for the same purpose. Both Stevens’ and DeCoursey were hump yards. Each railroad had a round house serving steam engines and, later, diesel engines. A vestige of one of these structures can be seen at the former C&O Yard in Covington, at W. 14th and Neave. It is now part of the Duro Paper Bag Manufacturing Company complex along Madison Ave. Northern Kentucky yards also ran interchange trains with other rail yards in the Cincinnati area, whereby they dropped off cars consigned to other railroads and returned with cars for their own system. Crossing the Ohio River at Ludlow is the Cincinnati Southern Railroad (CSRR), now operated by the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS). Its Ludlow and Erlanger Yards continue to have some activity by local switchers and helper engines. NS uses helper engines not only to push departures southbound up Erlanger Hill but also to provide dynamic braking for arrivals descending the long hill northbound. NS’s main train yard is across the bridge, the Gest Street Yard in Cincinnati, located near the Cincinnati Union Terminal. Southern Railway trains were made up and broken down at the Gest Street Yard. Seven railroad bridges across rivers were built within Northern Kentucky. The first, about 1854, was the original C&L Bridge, now CSX, across the Licking River at Falmouth. The next bridges were the LC&L bridges over the Kentucky River near Worthville, in Carroll Co., and over the Licking River between Latonia and Wilder, both now CSX and both built in 1869. These were followed by the L&N Bridge between Newport and Cincinnati, which was erected by the Little Miami Railroad to give access into Cincinnati for the LC&L; it is now abandoned except for use as a pedestrian bridge (the Purple People Bridge). The next bridge was the CSRR Bridge between Ludlow and Cincinnati (1877), now used by NS. The final bridges were the C&O Bridge across the Licking River between Newport and Covington (1888) and the C&O Bridge across the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati (1888), the latter built by the Covington and Cincinnati Elevated Rail & Transfer & Bridge Company. In 1929 this bridge was converted to a vehicular traffic bridge, and a new railroad bridge was built adjacent to it. Most of the other railroad bridges have been modified or rebuilt since their original construction. The original LC&L Bridge over the Licking River (Latonia to Wilder) is one that has not; it remains adjacent to its replacement, carry ing only water lines into Covington. The Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region remains a rail center. By 2004 roughly 100 trains
originated, terminated, or passed through Cincinnati daily. Many of these traverse the Northern Kentucky region via the two surviving railroad bridges, the Cincinnati Southern and the C&O. Condit, Carl W. The Railroad and the City. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1977. Federal Writers’ Project. They Built a City: 150 Years of Industrial Cincinnati. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Post, 1938. Tenkotte, Paul A. “The ‘Chronic Want’ of Cincinnati: A Southern Railroad,” NKH 6, no. 1 (Fall–Winter 1998): 24–33. ———. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989. White, John H. On the Right Track—Some Historic Cincinnati Railroads. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Railroad Club, 2003.
Charles H. Bogart
RAILWAY MUSEUM OF GREATER CINCINNATI. The Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati is an outdoor museum devoted to the collection, preservation, and display of historic railroad equipment that once served the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The museum’s collection of rolling stock helped create a great deal of romance on the rails before coming to park at the museum’s permanent home in the Latonia neighborhood of Covington. The museum was founded in 1975 by a group of six railroad buffs as a nonprofit educational organization under the name Railway Exposition Company. The organization’s first undertaking was to establish a tourist excursion ser vice on an abandoned line between Brookville, Ind., and Hooven, Ohio. The line operated for more than 10 years before the directors decided it was too similar to a tourist ser vice operated by the nearby White Water Railroad. Through donations and direct purchase, the group had gathered quite a collection of rail cars and needed a place to keep them. It sold the Indiana site to the Indiana and Ohio Railroad, a for-profit freight short line, and leased track areas in Riverside, then Storrs, Ohio. The organization then began offering its six Pullman cars for Rail Cruises, weekend excursions on a rail car hitched to the back of Amtrak trains. The most popu lar of these departed from Cincinnati on a Friday night and took customers to Washington D.C., where their Pullman parked on a private track and served as a hotel room during the weekend, returning to Cincinnati by midday the following Monday. This venture, lasting about four years, allowed the group to generate capital to invest in further acquisitions and repair of rail cars in the collection. The railway museum finally arrived at its permanent home in Latonia in 1988. The property at 315 W. Southern Ave. was a railroad site as early as 1869, when the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad built a rail line connecting Newport with Louisville. Back in the 1850s, the Covington and Lexington Railroad had built a line through Latonia to connect Covington with Central Kentucky. This railroad intersection figured prominently in the development of Latonia as
an independent town. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad system acquired both lines, and it eventually merged into the giant CSX Corporation, from which the Latonia site was acquired. The museum collection features 20th-century freight and passenger railroad equipment of seven major railroad systems that served the Greater Cincinnati region, set on 16 outdoor rail tracks to provide an authentic working rail yard environment. Notable pieces in the collection include two kitchen-equipped dining cars, a 1910 Post Office car, Pullman sleeper cars with private compartments, an authentic caboose with windowed cupola and crew living quarters, an army sleeper car used to transport troops across the country during World War II, and a 1906 plush and polished private car of a railroad vice president, which served as a traveling office and living quarters. Visitors are invited to climb aboard selected rail cars. Franzen, Gene. “Now and Then,” KE, October 15, 2000, B1–B2. Hyde, Tim, executive vice president for operations of the Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati. Interview by Rebecca Mitchell Turney, June 29, 2005, Latonia, Ky. The Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati. Brochure. Latonia, Ky.: Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati, 2004.
Rebecca Mitchell Turney
R.A. JONES & COMPANY INC. Lexington dentist and entrepreneur Dr. Ruel Anderson Jones founded this company in 1905. He was born around 1874 in the western part of the state at Columbia. The company’s first product was a novelty “advertising soap,” a bar of toilet soap with a pressed label encased in wax on one side, which would last as long as the soap. In 1910 Jones moved to Covington. Before 1912 each bar of soap that his company made had to be set by hand, but in that year Jones and his plant superintendent, Harry Struewing, fashioned the first automatic soap press, increasing productivity 10-fold. In 1913 Jones built a plant in Covington on E. 15th St. Realizing that the company’s future was not in soap but in the manufacturing process, Jones sold the soap business and in 1919 introduced the first of his many automatic cartoning machines. In 1921 the Procter & Gamble Company of Cincinnati, the world’s largest manufacturer of soap products, purchased the first Jones cartoner to package soap. By 1933 most of the world’s mass-produced consumer products (for example, razor blades, toothpaste, and soaps) were being packaged by Jones-made machines, equipment such as the Constant Motion Cartoner Machine, which packaged and sealed both solid and semisolid articles. In 1966 R.A. Jones & Company moved to a new 235,000-square-foot plant in Crescent Springs, Ky.; today it employs 500 workers. The company has become a world leader in the manufacturing of high-speed packaging machinery. Some of its equipment can package up to 2,500 items per minute. R.A. Jones & Company’s industrial machines are known for their simplicity, long life, speed, and efficiency. The Jones client list includes Anheiser
Busch, Kraft, Kellogg’s, and P&G. Until 1987 the company had had only two presidents, R. A. Jones himself and his son, Wickliffe. R. A. Jones, who lived at 422 Wallace Ave. in Covington, died October 20, 1941, at Holmes Hospital in Cincinnati; Wickliffe Jones, who held some 21 patents, died at his Indian Hill home on the east side of Cincinnati February 18, 1989. Both are buried in the family lot at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. In 1998 R.A. Jones & Company, a privately held venture, was sold to the British conglomerate BWI, which in turn has been sold to the German company IWKA. Marketing its goods and ser vices to the food, beverage, electronics, communications, and pharmaceutical industries, the company has annual sales of close to $50 million and sees its future growth coming from international markets. Only twice did the company fail to show a profit, in 1945 and in 1946. It is proud that there have been no layoffs of employees since 1953. Today, R.A. Jones & Company is one of the largest exporters of goods in the Northern Kentucky region. For almost 100 years, the company has been a successful and innovative firm employing many Northern Kentuckians. Today, it is part of OYSTAR Jones (formerly IWKA). “Dr. R.A. Jones Widely Known Inventor Dies,” CP, October 21, 1941, 2. Obituary, CP, February 20, 1989, 2C. OYSTAR Jones. “R.A. Jones & Company Inc.” www .rajones.com (accessed December 10, 2006). “R.A. Jones Deal Protects Employees,” KP, August 18, 1898, B18. “R.A. Jones Manufacturing,” NKH 13, no. 2 (Spring– Summer 2006): 2–12. Slade, Adele. “Intricate Machines Made in Covington Package Large Part of World’s Products,” KP, September 25, 1933, 1.
RAMAGE, JAMES A., CIVIL WAR MUSEUM. See James A. Ramage Civil War Museum.
RANDOLPH, JAMES E. (b. January 17, 1888, Hannibal, Mo.; d. May 23, 1981, Newport, Ky.). James E. Randolph was an African American medical doctor who practiced in Covington for 59 years. He was the first African American permitted to practice in any Northern Kentucky hospital. Randolph graduated from the Meharry Medical School in Nashville, Tenn., in 1917. The grandson of a slave, he worked his way through medical school as a railroad Pullman porter. Randolph began his practice at Shelbyville, Tenn. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Reserve Corps in World War I. In 1922 Randolph moved to Covington. He lived first at 1039 Greenup St. and later, in 1950, moved across the street to 1002 Greenup. Randolph was the staff physician at the LincolnGrant School in Covington for more than 40 years. In 1973, after the school’s name was changed to 12th District School, he began treating children from the school at his nearby office. A grove of trees on the campus of Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights memorializes Randolph’s achievements. In 1974 the City of Covington named an Eastside neighborhood
park in his honor. In 1976 he received from the parochial La Salette Academy in Covington a Gold Medal for ser vice to the community. He was an active member of the St. James A.M.E. Church in Covington. He died in 1981, at age 93, at the Baptist Convalescent Center in Newport, following cataract surgery, and was buried at the Mary E. Smith Cemetery in Elsmere. On May 9, 1997, Randolph was inducted into the region’s Leadership Hall of Fame during ceremonies held by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. He was acknowledged as the first African American physician on staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington and as the first African American member of the Campbell-Kenton Medical Society. A Kentucky Historical Society Highway Marker along Greenup St. was dedicated to Randolph on September 10, 2004. “Dr. Randolph Was ‘There to Help Us,’ ” KP, May 25, 1981, 1K. “He’s 85 . . . Still One of the Busiest Doctors,” KP, February 15, 1973, 11. “Leaders Who Made Mark Inducted in Hall of Fame,” KP, April 29, 1997, 3K. “N. Ky. Hall Adds Th ree,” KE, May 9, 1997, C1–C2. “Pioneering Covington Physician Recognized,” KP, September 11, 2004, B1. “Portrait of an Epic Journey,” KP, June 1, 1995, 1K. “Students’ Book Celebrates Covington’s Black History,” KP, February 26, 1997, 2K.
Theodore H. H. Harris
RATTERMAN, GEORGE (b. November 26, 1926, Cincinnati, Ohio; d. November 3, 2007, Centennial, Colo.). George William Ratterman, the son of Leander and Claribell Cahill Ratterman, made Northern Kentucky history in two areas: sports and politics. He grew up on Burch Ave. in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Cincinnati and graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1944. Ratterman attended the University of Notre Dame in the summer of 1944 in the V-12 naval officer college program. After two years there, he was accepted by the Notre Dame law school (standard practice for medical and law schools during the war). He took law classes at Notre Dame, the University of Michigan, and a few other law schools before eventually graduating from Salmon P. Chase Law School (see Chase College of Law). In 1947 quarterback Ratterman led the College Football All-Stars to victory over the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) in the annual College All-Star game in Chicago. He played 10 years of professional football: 3 with the Buffalo Bills of the old All-America Football Conference (1947–1949), 2 with the New York Yanks of the NFL (1950–1951), and 5 with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns (1952–1956). He also played one season (1951) with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. Injuries cut short his football career in 1956. After retirement, he worked for ABC (1960–1964) and NBC (1965–1973) as a television commentator on AFL and NFL game broadcasts. Ratterman worked as an investment adviser in Cincinnati while attending the Salmon P. Chase
748 REAMS, LEE ROY ren Bacall in Applause. His dancing partners have included Ann Miller, Juliet Prowse, Cyd Charisse, Mitzi Gaynor, Anne Bancroft, Jane Powell, Ethel Merman, Goldie Hahn, Chita Rivera, and Suzanne Farrell. He has performed before U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush, and also before first lady Lady Bird Johnson. He was a guest star with both the Cincinnati and New York Pops orchestras. He has also appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Palladium, Istanbul’s Hilton, Brazil’s Manaus Opera House, Cairo’s Opera House, the Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow and Stars, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. One of his most endearing attributes is that he never forgets his family and his roots. When his beloved sister-in-law Pat Reams died in 2004, he interrupted an appearance at the Kennedy Center to come home to Covington for her funeral. He owns property in New York City and in Connecticut.
The Glenn Hotel–Tropicana Club, 928 Monmouth St., Newport, where Ratterman was framed.
Holden, Stephen. “Singer-Dancer’s Imperative: He’s Gotta Get to Broadway,” NYT, December 21, 1998, E3. McElfresh, Tom. “For Covington’s Reams, ‘42nd Street’ Is Bittersweet,” CE, November 23, 1980, F7. Radcliffe, E. B. “Nothing but Applause for Lee Roy Reams,” CE, December 12, 1971, 18. Stein, Jerry. “Showboat Books Lee Roy Reams,” CP, May 25, 1982, 8A.
Alice Kennelly Roberts Law School at night, when that school was located in the Cincinnati YMCA; he graduated in 1956. In 1961 he became involved with the Committee of 500 in Campbell Co. (see Newport Reform Groups), a citizens’ group formed to rid the county of gambling and prostitution. He was a resident of Fort Thomas, not Newport, the city most needing to be cleaned up. In addition, he was a Roman Catholic who was chosen as a sheriff candidate by the Protestant ministers behind the Committee of 500 because they wanted to broaden the group’s base of support. In April of 1961 Ratterman agreed to run as a reform candidate for the office of Campbell Co. sheriff, and he soon became involved in a nationally publicized series of events that included an attempt by mob operative Tito Carinci to frame Ratterman and discredit him as a sheriff candidate. The ensuing courtroom trials were closely watched by Robert F. Kennedy, then U.S. attorney general, and Kentucky governor Bert T. Combs (1959–1963). The charges against Ratterman were dropped, and he went on to be elected county sheriff. Once Ratterman and his deputies began to enforce the laws against crime and vice, the operators of the casinos and nightclubs left town and law and order began to prevail. In 1965 Ratterman lost the election for Campbell Co. judge to A. J. Jolly Jr. In 1966 he lost to Gene Snyder in a bid for the area’s U.S. congressional seat. In 1967 Ratterman, his wife, and 8 of his children moved to the Denver, Colo., area, where he lived and worked until retirement. He died in 2007 and was cremated; his remains were placed at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Centennial, Colo. Davidson, Bill. “The Great Kentucky Scandal,” Look Magazine, October 24, 1961, 88–96.
Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. Latimer, Clay. “On Football and Strippers,” Rocky Mountain News, reprinted in KP, January 8, 2005, 1K. Ratterman, George. Confessions of a Gypsy Quarterback. New York: Cowan-McCann, 1962. Shearer, Jason G. “Urban Reform in Sin City: The George Ratterman Trial and the Election of 1961 in Northern Kentucky,” RKHS 98, no. 4 (Autumn 2000): 343– 65.
Michael R. Sweeney
REAMS, LEE ROY (b. August 23, 1942, Covington, Ky.). Lee Roy Reams, an internationally acclaimed Broadway star, has danced and sung his way from a humble beginning in Covington to the brightest footlights of the entertainment world. He is the youngest of seven children of Robert and Flora Moore Reams. Recognizing early his interest and talent in the arts, his mother made sure that there was always money for his dance and music lessons. He graduated from Holmes High School in 1960 and received a BA from the University of Cincinnati in 1964. During his student days, he appeared in productions on the Showboat Majestic, at the Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati, and at Memorial Hall in Dayton, Ohio. In 1982 he received an MA from the University of Cincinnati and was awarded an honorary doctorate in performing arts by his alma mater in 1998. He has toured the country coast to coast and appeared as an entertainer on numerous cruise ships around the world. His starring role for many years in Broadway’s 42nd Street won him Tony and Drama Desk nominations. He has appeared on Broadway with Carol Channing in Hello Dolly and with Lau-
REBEL LANDING. Rebel Landing, a distinctive home situated on the Ohio River two miles east of Carrollton in Carroll Co., has been featured in magazine and newspaper articles and is often cited for its connection to pioneer Benjamin Craig. Craig built one of the earliest brick homes on the Ohio River, known to river pilots as Halfway House, at the halfway point between Cincinnati and Louisville. Heirs of his daughter Sally Craig Price later owned this tract of land. Price’s granddaughter Nancy Price “Nannie” Shaffer married Louisville distillery owner Nicholas L. Fitschen, and in 1883 they purchased the Ogburn tract east of the Craig-Price tract, building upon it a home dubbed Rebel Landing by later owners. Nancy Price Peak, Mrs. Fitschen’s aunt, lived nearby on the old Craig tract. Craig’s desolated home was torn down and its brick used to build a small guesthouse behind the Fitschen’s new home, possibly as quarters for the elderly Mrs. Peak. Within a few years, the Fitschens returned to Louisville, where Mrs. Peak died in 1888, and the Fitschens sold the home in 1893. After her husband’s death, Nannie Fitschen returned to Carroll Co. and lived in a cottage at the site of Craig’s original house, cared for by her widowed daughterin-law, Nell Wade Fitschen. Nell Wade Fitschen inherited the property and built a motel nearby. Her murder in the hotel office in 1969 was the most shocking local crime of its generation, unsolved until one of the men involved confessed, 25 years later. The Fitschen cottage was razed, and the site of Benjamin Craig’s original house is now graced by the new home of a descendant, businessman Clar-
REED, STANLEY FORMAN
ence “Duper” Craig. A Kentucky Historical Marker for Benjamin Craig’s grave is nearby. Following the death of Mary Bruce Grobmyer, the longtime owner of the home called Rebel Landing, civic leader Nancy Jo Grobmyer, the current owner, restored the home.
Stephenson, Margaret. Interview by Stephen M. Vest, June 29, 2005, Florence, Ky. Thomas, Wayne. Boone County 175th Anniversary Book: 1798–1973. Burlington Ky.: Boone Co. 175th Anniversary Committee.
Gentry, Mary Ann. A History of Carroll County. Madison, Ind.: Coleman, 1984. Masterson, Mary. Historic Carroll County. Carrollton, Ky.: Carroll Co. Chamber of Commerce, n.d. [ca. 1970s].
RECOVERY NETWORK. This nonprofit, inde-
RECORDER NEWSPAPERS. Nine awardwinning weekly newspapers serving various communities in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties and the specific cities of Erlanger, Florence, and Fort Thomas are currently owned by the Virginia-based Gannett Company, which operates more than 100 daily newspapers nationwide, including the Cincinnati Enquirer. The nine local newspapers trace their roots to the Boone County Recorder, founded in September 1875 and edited by Bob Berkshire. From 1935 to 1979, the newspaper was owned by Pete and Margaret Stephens and based in Burlington. In 1979 Margaret Stephens, who owned and operated the newspaper in the years following the death of her husband, sold the 4,500-circulation newspaper to Gloria Bushelman of Florence, Ky. Bushelman also merged the Scripps-Howard-owned Florence Leader with the independent Walton Advertiser (founded in 1914) to create the Kenton County Recorder. And it was under Bushelman’s leadership that the small chain bought the Scripps-Howardowned Campbell County Recorder. In 1986 Bushelman sold the three newspapers to the Gleaner-Journal Publishing Company of Henderson, which in turn sold them in 1991 to a group of businessmen led by Gene Clabes of Fort Mitchell, editor of the Ludlow News Enterprise and the husband of then Kentucky Post editor Judy Clabes. Gene Clabes developed the content and sold the papers to Community Newspapers in Cincinnati. He stayed on as editorial director and developed the three county newspapers, known as Recorder Newspapers of Northern Kentucky, with a circulation of 9,000, into nine community newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 50,000. The Gannett Company purchased Community Newspapers’ 26 suburban weekly newspapers in 2004. At the time of the sale, the roster of Northern Kentucky newspapers included the Boone County Community Recorder, the Boone County Recorder, the Campbell Community Recorder, the Campbell County Recorder, the Community Recorder of Northern Kentucky, the Erlanger Recorder, the Florence Recorder, the Fort Thomas Recorder, and the Kenton County Community Recorder. In 2005 Gene Clabes was named to the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. Bushleman, Gloria. Interview by Stephen M. Vest, June 29, 2005, Florence, Ky.
Stephen M. Vest
pendently operated consumer resource center at 605 Madison Ave. in Covington functions in collaboration with Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky. It is a consumer-run agency that provides ser vices to persons living with mental illnesses and the homeless; its activities are planned, directed, and staffed by persons with mental illness. The services offered include assistance with preparation of résumés, computer technology, typing, operating systems, Microsoft Office Suite desktop publishing, and Microsoft Certification Training. General Education Diploma (GED) classes, practice software, and computer literacy training are also available. In addition the Recovery Network offers employment services and training in job-interviewing techniques, including computer-simulated interviews. The network also provides basic needs for the homeless, and support groups. Recovery Network of Northern Kentucky. www.rnnk .org (accessed March 24, 2006).
Robin Rider Osborne
REDWOOD REHABILITATION CENTER. The Redwood Rehabilitation Center in Fort Mitchell serves persons with physical or mental disabilities by providing programs that include occupational, physical, and speech therapy; specialized computer training; life skills training; vocational training; employment ser vices; and the After Work/ After Care Program. The center’s program began in 1951; its first client was Bill and Sue Reder’s son Ron, who was developmentally delayed. In that post–World War II period, there was no such service in Northern Kentucky for children with disabilities of this type. Parents had to travel to Louisville for help. The Reders, along with Al and Dorothy Wood, the parents of a little girl with cerebral palsy, created United Cerebral Palsy of Northern Kentucky in May 1953. After receiving a $400 allotment from a 1954 national telethon, they began a journey that took them to a basement room at Covington’s St. Augustine Catholic Church, then to larger quarters at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Latonia, and subsequently, in 1957, to a building in Latonia that they purchased with the help of the Community Chest, a local Women’s Guild, and many volunteers. This new facility, named after the Reders and the Woods, was called Redwood. The center opened in 1958, with Dorothy Wood as its first full-time executive director and inspiration. Redwood’s goal from the beginning was to provide comprehensive ser vices for all people with disabilities, regardless of age. Over the years, there were many challenges, particularly financial, but under Dorothy Wood’s dedicated leadership, a building fund campaign was successful. A new fa-
cility opened in 1967, along Orphanage Rd. in Fort Mitchell, on land leased from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington for one dollar per year. The new facility allowed Redwood to serve a wider range of developmental disabilities. By 1974 Redwood had once again outgrown its building, and Dorothy Wood began to raise funds for an expansion. In that same year, the Cincinnati Enquirer honored her as one of Greater Cincinnati’s Outstanding Women. Into the 1980s, Redwood was identified with many exciting and significant projects and an expansion of programs. For example, the center’s Cotton Ball was for nearly 40 years considered by many a prime social event of Northern Kentucky. Under Barbara Howard’s direction, the 1980s saw dramatic growth of Redwood’s adult ser vices with the addition of the adult activities, training in business computer skills, employment ser vices, and technological ser vices programs. In 1991 Howard became Redwood’s executive director. This was the same year as the advent of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), which required a full integration of Redwood’s school children into the public schools. Thus Redwood began to focus on a new range of community needs. Redwood pioneered a therapeutic child care center, a before- and after-school program, and outreach ser vices. These were followed by the establishment of adult day health care, an after-work program, an assistive technology resource center, and a partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to bring physical and occupation therapy ser vices to Northern Kentucky through a satellite program at Redwood. The organization’s leaders coined a new term, “Redwoodability,” for the long-standing determination to do things with “vision, commitment, compassion and hope.” With the new century approaching, the Redwood building reached its capacity and it was time to launch another expansion campaign. In November 2005, a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed a June 2004 groundbreaking to celebrate a 41,000-square-foot building addition. On the heels of the successful Promise & Potential expansion project, the Cincinnati Enquirer once again named a Redwood executive director one of Greater Cincinnati’s Outstanding Women of the year—this time Barbara Howard. Howard, Barbara. “The History of Redwood,” 2005, Redwood, Fort Mitchell, Ky. ———, comp. “March of Presidents: Perspectives on Being President of Redwood’s Board,” 2005, Redwood, Fort Mitchell, Ky. “Redwood.” www.redwoodrehab.org/ (accessed May 27, 2008).
Raymond G. Hebert
REED, STANLEY FORMAN (b. December 31, 1884, Minerva, Mason Co., Ky.; d. April 2, 1980, Huntington, Long Island, N.Y.). Supreme Court justice Stanley Reed was the son of John Anderson Reed and the former Frances Forman. Stanley earned a BA from Kentucky Wesleyan University at Winchester in 1902 and a second undergraduate degree from Yale University, in New Haven, Conn.,
750 REEVES’ CAMPGROUND in 1906. He studied law at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and later at Columbia University in New York City. On May 11, 1908, Reed married Winifred Elgin, who was from his hometown of Maysville, and they had two children, John A. and Stanley Jr. He studied law under Judge John Newell and was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1910. That same year, he traveled to Paris, France, to study at the Sorbonne. He was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1912 and reelected in 1914. During World War I, Reed served as a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In 1920 he was a central figure in the restoration of the Burley Grower’s Co-operative and served as its lawyer. During the administration of President Herbert Hoover (1929–1933), Stanley was appointed counsel for the Federal Farm Board in 1929, serving until 1932, when he accepted a similar position with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which he held until March 1935. Reed was appointed solicitor general of the United States in March 1935, and although a Republican, he was appointed an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–1945), a Democrat. In 1957 Justice Reed retired and returned to Maysville. A day-long celebration was held in his honor, which included the placing of a bronze plaque on the courthouse and naming a street for him. Reed died in 1980 and was buried at the Maysville Cemetery. Kleber, John, ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia, Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. O’Brien, F. William. Justice Reed and the First Amendment. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown Univ. Press, 1958. Tapp, Hambleton, ed. Kentucky Lives. Hopkinsville, Ky.: Historical Record Association, 1966.
REEVES’ CAMPGROUND. Reeves’ Campground was an early-19th-century Campbell Co. religious campground named for the owner of the land. Stacey Reeves, who was from Mason Co., married Sarah Lawrence, the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Lawrence, on February 4, 1802. The couple moved to Cold Spring and were instrumental in the formation of the Asbury Methodist Church (see Asbury United Methodist Church). Reeves owned land along Three Mile Rd., not far from the Licking River and six miles south of Newport. The campground named for Reeves opened in May 1818. It is believed to have been the site of the first camp meeting held in Northern Kentucky. Religious meetinghouses (churches) had not become common yet, and the church buildings that existed would not accommodate large groups. Camp meetings typically occurred in the summer months. A large outside area was selected near a productive spring, where there was shade, and a wooden stand with a crude pulpit was constructed and placed in front of a defined semicircular area in which worshippers could sit. Men sat on one side, women on the other. At night, fires were built around the perimeter. As many as 2,000 people in family groups might attend, and they remained for up to five days of religious preaching and healing. Generally, these meetings were interdenominational.
It is not known how long the summer camp meetings at the Reeves’ Campground continued. Stacey Reeves resided in the county until 1838 and then moved to Putnam Co., Ind. While living in Campbell Co., he served as a judge for elections and as the justice of the peace, and he was the sheriff in 1834–1835. Reeves also sold approximately 50 acres of land for use as Campbell Co.’s first poorhouse, along the west side of present-day U.S. 27, opposite Enzweiler Rd. in Alexandria. Papers of Margaret Strebel Hartman, Campbell Co. Historical and Genealogical Society, Alexandria, Ky.
REGENSTEIN, ELLSWORTH (b. ca. 1875, Mason Co., Ky.; d. March 23, 1957, Louisville, Ky.). Ellsworth Regenstein, a lawyer, a politician, and a school administrator, attended local schools and in 1893 earned his BA from the University of Kentucky at Lexington. At age 18 he became a schoolteacher in Maysville. After several promotions, he was named superintendent of Maysville Schools. In 1904 he married Marian Newman Wormald, and they moved to Newport, where Ellsworth once again taught. Within two years, he was promoted to high school principal, and later he became superintendent of Newport schools. During that time, he earned his law degree from the Cincinnati YMCA Law School, a night program that has evolved into today’s Chase College of Law in Highland Heights. In late 1907 he was named director of the State Board of Examiners under the Kentucky superintendent of public instruction J. B. Crabbe. When Crabbe resigned in 1910, Regenstein was named as his successor. After completing his term, Regenstein opened a law office in Newport. In 1929 he was elected a Kentucky state senator representing Campbell Co. While holding that office, he passionately fought alongside Charles B. Truesdell for the preservation of Cumberland Falls, in Whitley Co., and for the creation of a state park there. During the summer of 1931, he took an active part in the Beech Grove Reunion (see Beech Grove Academy), near Flagg Springs, which was attended by 2,000 people. In that same year, he was named a director of the InterSouthern Insurance Company. Regenstein moved to Louisville in 1932, where he helped to organize the Kentucky Home Life Insurance Company and was made its president. He became a leading promoter of the Louisville Zoo, and the zoo honored him and his family by naming its gorilla exhibit after them. During the 1950s Regenstein developed a serious illness, from which he died at age 82 in 1957. He was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. “Former Newport School Head Dies at Louisville,” KP, March 25, 1957, 1. Reis, Jim. “Beech Grove Reunion Dates to 1870,” KP, June 16, 2003, 4K. ———. “He Fought to Preserve the Falls,” KP, June 16, 2003, 4K.
REIS, JIM (b. September 10, 1951, Covington, Ky.). James “Jim” W. Reis, who reported for the Kentucky Post in Northern Kentucky for 36 years,
is the son of Gilbert and Ruth Schalk Reis of Fort Thomas. He attended St. Thomas Elementary School and St. Thomas High School, graduating in 1969, and was hired that year at the Kentucky Post as a copy boy. By 1973 he was a writer-reporter covering county government in 12 counties across Northern Kentucky. It was during this time that he began writing a column on people and events. In 1974, Reis completed a BA in English at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills. That same year, he married Janet Rose, a high school classmate; the couple had two sons. In the early 1980s, Reis was assigned the local Newport City Council beat. He often said that these meetings were the best show in town. Subsequent assignments included suburban government in Campbell Co., Covington government and higher education, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, and suburban government in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties. One of the most important days at the Kentucky Post for Reis was in 1982, when his editor asked him what kind of column he would like to write. Reis suggested a local-history column. The new feature column, titled Pieces of the Past, began May 30, 1982, with a story about the Ludlow Lagoon (see Lagoon Amusement Park). The column ran continuously until August 2005, and Reis chose the Ludlow Lagoon to be the topic of his last column as well. He celebrated a milestone of 1,000 columns on Dec. 31, 2001, and reached a total of 1,100 by 2005. Reis decided, along the way, that he wanted his history column to be based on firsthand research. He spent so many hours in research at the Kenton Co. Public Library in Covington that someone there took any mail that arrived marked “Occupant” and saved it for him. Reis was especially pleased when he could show how national events played out locally. After years of dedication to “getting the facts right,” as he put it, he developed a reputation of respect throughout the region and has often been quoted during discussions about the events he explored in columns. He is also often quoted as a primary source in all kinds of local histories. Among the significant events Reis covered in his years at the Kentucky Post were the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire (he was the temporary morgue reporter at the armory in Fort Thomas), the Air Canada airline fire at Northern Kentucky’s CVG Airport, the mergers of cities in the area, and countless elections. His favorite Pieces of the Past columns were the ones about Ludlow Lagoon, Pearl Bryan’s murder, the construction of I-75, the Civil War, steamboats, and the Newport gambling era. The Kentucky Post had Reis put together four local history books based on his columns. Three of them were separate volumes titled Pieces of the Past and the fourth was a collaboration with Robert Flischel on a Scripps-Howard book titled Then and Now. The four books combined eventually sold more than 15,000 copies and were featured at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort four times. Since 1979, because of his vast knowledge of local history, Reis has been called upon to deliver
more than 150 talks. He was a member of the board of Covington’s Behringer-Crawford Museum and a founding member of the Campbell Co. Historical Society (see Historical Societies). He was one of the organizers of the first Northern Kentucky Local History Day, held at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, and of the Northern Kentucky African-American Heritage Task Force committee. Reis served on the Campbell Co. and the Newport Bicentennial Committees. He has contributed to the Kentucky Encyclopedia, to Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994, and to The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky. Reis has been a longtime member of the Kentucky Historical Society and the historical societies of Boone, Campbell, Grant, and Kenton counties. “Country Loving City Girl Named Our KPC Regional News Editor,” KP, November 26, 1975, 6. “It’s Time to Meet Jim Reis,” KP, May 4, 1973, 4K. Reis, Jim. Pieces of the Past. 3 vols. Covington, Ky.: Kentucky Post, 1988, 1991, 1994. Reis, Jim, with Robert A. Flischel. Then and Now: Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. New York: Scripps Howard, 1995. “Staff Volunteers for Variety of Community Endeavors,” KP, March 10, 1987, 4K. “State Book Fair Draws 136 Authors,” KP, November 15, 1995, 1KK.
Kenneth A. Reis
RELIGION. See names of specific denominations and churches.
REMKE MARKETS. In 1897 William Remke opened a meat market at the corner of 13th and Holman Sts. in Covington. Home delivery, by a huckster wagon, amounted to 75 percent of the meat market’s sales. In 1922 the store moved to 19th and Holman Sts. in Covington. The store was passed on to William’s three sons, Robert, William, and Lewis, who in 1935 opened one of the region’s first self-serve grocery stores in Fort Mitchell. At the time, one could by a pound of fresh ground beef or a pound of coffee for 29 cents. After two of the Remke brothers died, Robert’s son Bill Remke took over store operations during the early 1970s. During his ownership, Remke Markets has expanded to additional locations in the region: Crescent Springs, Deer Park, Florence, Fort Mitchell, Hebron, Independence, Newport, and Taylor Mill; the company also has a warehouse in Erlanger and made a brief foray into the market at Amelia, Ohio. In 1980 the Fort Mitchell store was remodeled to include one of the Remke chain’s fi rst in-store banks. In 1991 the Covington store closed after 94 years of ser vice. In 1996, in a significant move, Bill Remke, remaining as CEO, transferred the majority of stock ownership in the company to its employees. Beginning in 2002, Remke’s Drugstores, full-service pharmacies, opened in two of the stores, and pharmacies were later added to three additional stores. “Food Fight Heats Up: Wal-Mart Puts Area into a Market War,” CE, April 16, 2005, J1–J2.
“Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky 100— Region’s Largest Private Companies,” CE, November 14, 2004, E4–E5. Reis, Jim. “An Intersection’s Storied Past—Ft. Mitchell Corner Vibrant,” KP, July 22, 1996, 4K. ——— . “Remke Evolved from Butcher to Grocer,” KP, July 22, 1996, 4K. Remke Markets. “The Remke History.” www.remkes .com (accessed March 23, 2006). “Remke Prospers, Expands Untroubled by Big Chains,” KP, May 27, 1997, 7D.
Nancy J. Tretter
RENTZ, WILLIAM E., BRIGADIER GENERAL (b. November 10, 1905, Newport, Ky.; d. February 22, 1985, Boca Raton, Fla.). Air Force officer William Edward Rentz was the son of William and Eva Mehan Rentz and grew up at 518 E. Sixth St. in Newport. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1923 and the University of Kentucky at Lexington in 1928. At the university he participated in the Reserve Officers Training Corps and was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army upon graduation. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the early 1930s before going on active military duty. With the creation of the U.S. Air Force during the late 1940s, he became an Air Force officer and spent much of his career working at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Rentz served as a deputy to Gen. Curtis LeMay, the former Air Force chief of staff. He was a military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek in China, to a commanding general in Wiesbaden, Germany, and to the commanding officer of the Air Force training school at Biloxi, Miss. He oversaw the construction of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and air force bases in the southern United States. Rentz retired to Boca Raton, Fla., where he died in 1985; he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Florida Death Certificate No. 20276, for the year 1985. “3 in Graduating Class,” KP, June 16, 1928, 2. “William E. Rentz, Retired General,” CE, February 23, 1985, C2.
Michael R. Sweeney
REPUBLICAN PARTY. For most of the late 19th century and nearly all of the 20th, Northern Kentucky was a bastion of the Democratic Party; in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Boone and Campbell counties became strongholds of the Republican Party. The 1850s represented a dynamic time in U.S. politics as the Whig and Democratic parties began to fragment along sectional lines over the issues of slavery, nativism, temperance, and states’ rights. These issues were highly charged and helped to create a political environment ripe for the development of new political parties, organized primarily at the expense of the Whigs. By 1854 the American Whig Party existed in name only and had been largely replaced on the national stage by the nativist Know-Nothings, irrevocably breaking the two-party system of Whigs versus Democrats.
In the North, the growing abolitionist movement gave impetus to disaffected Democrats, FreeSoilers, and many northern Whigs to join the newly formed Republican Party. In 1856 former Whig Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky, joined the Republican Party, supporting John C. Fremont as the party’s first candidate for the presidency. Democrat James Buchanan won the election and Kentucky’s electoral votes, but the Republicans won majorities in 11 of the 16 free states. With this electoral strength, and the eventual dissolution of the Know-Nothings along sectional lines over the slavery question, the Republicans established themselves as the more viable successor to the Whigs. Four political parties vied for the presidency in 1860, three of which represented sectional divisions of the Democratic Party. Lincoln, representing abolitionist sentiment, received less than 1 percent of the state’s vote, while John Bell of Tennessee, the Constitution Union candidate whose party sought to preserve the Union, received 45 percent and won the state. Favorite son John C. Breckinridge captured 36 percent of the vote for the Southern Democrat party, which favored states’ rights, and a second Democrat, U.S. senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, representing a segment of the Democrat Party that tried to appeal both to Northern and Southern voters, garnered only 18 percent. Campbell (314 votes for Lincoln, or 11.9%) and Kenton (267 votes for Lincoln, or 7.5%) were the only two counties in Kentucky where Lincoln received more than 200 votes. In the presidential election of 1864, Lincoln carried Kenton Co. (1,716 votes, or 55.5%), and Campbell Co. (1,504 votes, or 53.9%). Before the Civil War, there were few Republicans in Kentucky; however, Northern Kentuckians William S. Bailey and James R. Whittemore of Newport represented the state at the Republican national convention in 1856. Charles Hendly, also of Newport, and Abner Williams and Hamilton Cummings of Covington joined Whittemore at the party’s 1860 nominating convention. The first major politician to join the Republican Party from Northern Kentucky was Samuel Swope of Pendleton Co., who had served in the Kentucky legislature as a Whig yet became affi liated with the Republican Party in 1856. During the Civil War, politics in Kentucky could be described as a shifting montage of party affi liations. Although the Democratic Party controlled state politics, Democrats were not all of one mind; they were divided over the issues of slavery and unionism. The Peace Democrats did not want the state to take action against secession, while the Union Democratic Party supported ending the secessionist movement but was opposed to what it considered to be the unconstitutional efforts of the Republicans to end slavery. Yet, even this group had dissident elements who believed that the institution of slavery should be sacrificed for the good of the Union. These Democrats, the “Unconditional Unionists,” supported preserving the Union and the Republican administration of Lincoln at all costs. In Northern Kentucky, “unconditionalists actually controlled the Democratic Party’s Sixth
752 REPUBLICAN PARTY District Convention,” which was charged with nominating a candidate for the U.S. Congress for the 1863 election. Green Clay Smith was selected over the incumbent Constitutional Union congressman, John W. Menzies. Smith was chosen primarily because he was the preferred candidate of Mortimer Benton, the leader of the Democratic Party in Northern Kentucky, former mayor of Covington, and president of the Kentucky Central Railroad. Although Smith had lived in Covington only since 1858, he was a nephew of Cassius Marcellus Clay (Kentucky’s great abolitionist leader), had won election to the state legislature in 1860, had served in the Union Army, and had been made a brigadier general in 1863, commanding forces in the state. Smith won the 1863 U.S. congressional election, with almost half of his votes coming from Kenton and Campbell counties. One explanation is that many voters in Northern Kentucky were relatively new to the United States and politics and were not enamored with either slavery or the agricultural lifestyle. Since the 1840s, Covington and Newport in par ticu lar had experienced a large influx of immigrants and a growing industrial and commercial economy. These new voters saw the benefits of preserving Kentucky’s ties to the Union. In 1864 the Peace Democrats joined forces with the Union Democrats in opposition to Lincoln’s reelection bid. Smith and two other Unionist congressmen did not join this new coalition, known as the Conservative Democrats. Working for Lincoln’s reelection, they earned the spite of the Louisville Daily Democrat, which stated, “There is a Republican Party in Kentucky and they have representatives in Congress; and it is not to be disguised that they represent a considerable party at home.” The state and congressional elections that followed on the heels of Lincoln’s death and the ending of the war were defined by the issue of support for the proposed 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ending slavery. In February 1865, the Kentucky legislature had rejected the amendment, but Smith had supported the amendment in Washington. Despite his break with the party leadership, the Conservative Democratic sweep of the state legislature, and the party’s winning five of the state’s seven congressional seats, Smith won his district nomination by acclamation and was returned to the U.S. Congress, winning in a tight election over a Conservative opponent. Smith’s victory was made possible by the strong support he had in the more industrialized northern counties of Campbell and Kenton. Although a growing number of Kentuckians were willing to vote Republican, thanks to the efforts of the Unconditional Union Democrats, the state remained firmly in the grasp of the Conservative Democratic Party following the Civil War. With the slavery issue resolved, the Democratic Party began to unite behind the banner of states’ rights, bolstered by returning Confederate veterans who were renewing their political associations and by the effects of Reconstruction and the perceived abuses of the Republican Congress in Wash-
ington. In most of Kentucky, being a Republican became a political liability. The Republican Party of Kentucky continued to be a minority within the state throughout the Reconstruction period, offering opportunities for aspiring politicians but holding little threat to the majority Democrats who controlled the state legislature and governorship for the next 30 years. One such prominent Northern Kentuckian, who benefited from the existence of a Democratic alternative, was William Henry Wadsworth of Maysville, who had previously served in the Kentucky Senate (1853– 1856) and was elected to the U.S. Congress representing the Constitutional Union Party for two terms (1861–1865). In 1885 Wadsworth returned to the U.S. Congress as a Republican for a single term before retiring. Although Republicans were able to challenge for individual offices, the party’s eventual ability to compete for state political supremacy was primarily due to the splintering of the Democratic Party. In 1895 the cause of “Populism” provided issues that led to another Democratic fragmentation and the first Republican statewide victories in Kentucky. The fragmentation of the Kentucky Democratic Party occurred as a result of several events, among them the movement for municipal reform in Louisville, where the Democratic-controlled city government was seen as corrupt; the rise of Populist-leaning leaders in the party, such as William Goebel in Covington; and the resistance of the Democratic Party leadership, known as “Gold Democrats,” to the idea of adopting a platform, including support for “free silver,” which might induce state Populists to join the party. Republican organizational developments enabled the Republican Party to make significant political gains at the county level. In the 1894 Kenton Co. elections, for example, Hayden Polk Stephens won the race for county judge, John O’Donnell was elected sheriff, and John McKnight became county jailer. Under the leadership of Richard P. Ernst of Covington, the Kenton Co. Republican Party was formally organized in 1895. Stephens served as Kenton Co. judge from 1894 through 1897 and then again from 1902 until 1910, and Ernst ran for the U.S. Congress unsuccessfully in 1897 but was later elected to the U.S. Senate. A relative Republican stronghold since Reconstruction, Campbell Co. sent to Frankfort several legislative delegations containing a Republican between 1900 and 1930. Among Campbell Co.’s most successful Republican representatives early in the century was William A. Burkamp, who served in the state House of Representatives during the sessions of 1900 and 1902 and then returned in 1928 for a term as Kentucky senator. In 1908, 1920, 1922, and 1928, Campbell Co.’s entire delegation was Republican. Harry E. Weitkamp represented Campbell Co. in the state House of Representatives in 1906 and returned in 1908 to serve alongside the county’s other Kentucky House member, Oliver P. Applegate, and Kentucky senator George Wilhelmi. In 1916 Jacob Metzger was Campbell Co.’s only Republican in the state House of Representatives, but he was elected Kentucky senator in 1920
and, with Charles B. Truesdell and Charles M. Ciarlo, composed an entirely Republican delegation. In 1922 Republican Herman Q. Thompson replaced Ciarlo, while in 1924 Truesdale took Metzger’s state seat, serving until 1928. Truesdale served another term in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1930. Also in 1930, Republican Ellsworth Regenstein, of Newport, who had earlier been the superintendent of public schools in Kentucky (1911–1912), took Burkamp’s seat in the Kentucky Senate to complete his term. During the first 30 years of the 20th century, Mason Co. also raised a crop of Republican representatives, including state senator William H. Cox, who served two terms from 1900 to 1908; he was elected lieutenant governor in 1907, serving until 1912. In the Kentucky Senate, Bert C. Grigsby, who also served until 1912, replaced him. In 1916 Kentucky senator Lewis N. Rayburn was elected to represent the county, and in 1918 he was joined by Republican Kentucky House member Addison L. Baldwin, who served one term before being replaced by William S. Yazell, part of the Republican House majority during the 1920 session. Pendleton Co. sent Republican state House member John L. Bradford to Frankfort in 1918 and, during the 1926 legislative session, was represented, along with Bracken Co., by Republican state House member Charles N. McCarty. Despite its leading role in the early formation of the state Republican Party, Kenton Co. sent relatively few Republicans to Frankfort in the first half of the 1900s. Republican Edward J. Hickey was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1901, and Robert H. Fleming was elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1903. Another Republican, H. D. Gregory, who also served one term, replaced Hickey in 1904. In 1908 Kenton Co.’s state senator Edward E. Walker and House member Charles C. Chase added muscle to the Republican cause, and in the 1920 legislative session, Rodney G. Bryson added to the Republican majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives. In 1925 Kenton Co. Republican Ray R. Rogers was elected to the state House of Representatives. Although it was not until 1964 that Kenton Co. sent another delegate to the state legislature, the county did have its share of deeply committed Republicans. Maurice L. Galvin of Covington, beginning in 1912, was a delegate to seven straight Republican national conventions and managed the successful 1919 Republican gubernatorial campaign of Edward Morrow. In that election, Covington’s Republican mayor, John Craig, was elected state auditor. Soon after, in 1920, Richard P. Ernst, a member of the Covington city council from 1888 to 1892, was elected to the U.S. Senate. The county also contributed Republican Judson Lincoln Newhall, who was director of music in Covington public schools from 1913 to 1929 except for a short stint during World War I, to the U.S. House of Representatives for the 1929–1930 legislative session. Newhall served one term, was defeated for reelection in 1930, and again ran unsuccessfully in 1934. Statewide, 27 governors were elected in Kentucky between 1900 and 2003, and only six of them
were Republican. And in only two presidential elections in the first half of the 20th century was Republican voting strength sufficient to throw Kentucky’s electoral votes to Republican candidates, helping to elect Calvin Coolidge (1923– 1929) in 1922 and Herbert Hoover (1929–1933) in 1928. The decades of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were not bountiful years for the Northern Kentucky Republican Party. Stanley C. Moebus was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives from Campbell Co. in 1938 and again in 1940. Four years later, Campbell Co. sent Republican J. Garvey Davis to the Kentucky Senate and George T. Smith to the state House of Representatives. Davis and Smith each served one term. In 1948 Charles W. Wirsch won the first of six elections to the Kentucky House of Representatives, serving until 1960. Wirsch was the only elected Republican from the region in either the state House of Representatives or the state Senate from the time of his election until 1964. Despite limited state political victories, Republican political strength continued to develop. Since the middle of the 20th century, Kentucky voters have given the state’s electoral votes to Republicans in the presidential elections of 1952, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2004. This trend exhibited a growing willingness on the part of voters to support national Republicans. Although the Republican candidate for president lost the 1964 election in a landslide, the year marked the beginning of a comeback for Northern Kentucky’s Republicans. Elected to the Kentucky Senate that year from Campbell Co. was Donald L. Johnson, and to the state House of Representatives Carl A. Bamberger and Arthur L. “Art” Schmidt. From Kenton Co., Kenneth F. “Ken” Harper was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives. This represented the largest number of Republicans elected to the legislature from Northern Kentucky since 1920 and signaled the beginning of an almost meteoric rise in Republican Party membership at the county level and in the number of state representatives from the region. In national politics, the Northern Kentucky region began increasingly to vote Republican, and by the 1990s Republicans dominated regional politics. Ken Harper was elected three times to the state House of Representatives, serving from 1964 to 1968, when he resigned and was appointed by the governor as assistant commissioner of child welfare. In 1970 he was named the state’s public information commissioner, and in 1971 he fi lled the remaining term of the Kentucky secretary of state. In 1986 Harper returned to political office, serving another five terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives and being named House minority chairman for the 1988 and 1990 legislative sessions. Campbell Co.’s Donald Johnson remained in the Kentucky Senate for four terms, serving from 1964 to 1980, while Art Schmidt was elected to the state House of Representative in 1963 and in 1970 became the first Northern Kentucky Republican House member to be named to a leadership post, serving as minority caucus chairman during
the 1970 session and as minority whip during the 1972, 1974, 1978, and 1980 sessions. In 1982 Schmidt was named minority floor leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives. In 1984 he was elected to the Kentucky Senate and reelected in 1988 and 1992, serving as minority caucus chair in the state Senate during the 1992 session. Another Republican from Kenton Co., Clyde W. Middleton, joined Harper in Frankfort in 1968, when he was elected to the Kentucky Senate. Middleton served five terms there, being named minority whip in 1978, 1980, and 1982 and minority caucus chairman in 1984 and 1986. Middleton was defeated for reelection in 1986 but returned to Kenton Co. and was elected judge-executive. He resigned from office in 1998, the same year that Republicans won the judge-executive offices in Northern Kentucky in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, as Northern Kentucky’s population grew, and as residential construction shifted farther from the urban core, political boundaries, which had often matched county lines in the past, began to experience rapid change and become more complicated. Through a series of legislative redistricting, representatives who had had their political districts centered in one county in one election found themselves running from a dramatically changed district in the next. Some representatives had districts that stretched across three or more counties, and it became more difficult to associate an elected official with one county. For example, while a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1974, Schmidt, of Campbell Co., found himself representing portions of Pendleton Co. as well. In 1984 Jon David Reinhardt began a tenure of more than 22 years in the state House of Representatives, representing, at various times, portions of Boone, Campbell, Kenton, and Pendleton counties. As a state senator, from 1984 through 1994, Schmidt represented portions of Bracken, Boone, Campbell, Kenton, and Pendleton counties. While redistricting was able to create a bastion of Democratic Party strength in the urban core of Northern Kentucky, the shifting boundaries often meant Republicans were representing areas of the region’s rural counties, which had historically been strongly Democratic. The increasing Republican Party strength could also be seen in light of the growing shift in the region away from an industrial economy to one that emphasized ser vices and the quickening pace of suburbanization, which often created dramatic swings in party alignment on the metropolitan fringe. Beginning in the early 1980s, Northern Kentucky’s suburbs had a sizable Republican voting majority. Although it proved to be an anomaly in 1968 when Republican Leo Lawson was elected to represent Boone and Gallatin counties in Kentucky’s 60th House District for one term, less than 20 years later Boone Co. was hailed as a core area for Republican votes in Northern Kentucky, and in 1992 the county’s entire state delegation was Republican. The Kenton Co. Republican Party ran three county commission candidates (Ralph Drees, Ron
Turner, and Gordon Wade) in the 1981 elections. Although Democrats won all three seats, the Republican Party’s strong showing further emboldened the local party to compete more vigorously, with Republican commissioner candidate Dick Combs winning election in 1984. Turner was later named mayor of Covington (1987) to fill an unexpired term, while a Republican governor appointed Drees Kenton Co. judge-executive in 2004. The growing tide of Republicanism in Northern Kentucky in the years since 1990 contributed to the naming of more Northern Kentuckians to party leadership positions in Frankfort. Joining Harper, Middleton, and Schmidt in leadership positions was Charlie Borders, state senator from Bracken and Mason counties, who was named minority whip in 1994 and majority caucus chairman in 2000, when, for the first time, Republicans won the majority in the Kentucky Senate. Dick Roeding, from Kenton Co., was named senate minority whip in 1996, senate minority caucus chairman in 1998, and president pro tem of the state Senate in 2000. Other Northern Kentucky Republicans named to leadership positions in the state legislature included Charlie Walton from Boone and Kenton counties, named House minority whip in 1996, and Katie Kratz Stine, representing Campbell and Pendleton counties, who was named president pro tem of the state Senate in 2005. Indicative of the growing impact of the Northern Kentucky wing of the Republican Party upon state politics was the election of Trey Grayson, originally from Kenton Co., as Kentucky secretary of state in 2003. Of national import was the election of Jim Bunning, former Fort Thomas city councilman (1977–1979), Kentucky senator (1979– 1983), and five-time U.S. congressman (1987–1999) to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and again in 2004. Bunning successfully managed to ride the growing tide of Republican Party strength in Northern Kentucky to become only the second Republican U.S. senator from the region. Currently, the relative political advantage of being a Republican in Northern Kentucky is significant and can be seen not only in the substantial increase in party voting strength and party leadership positions held by Northern Kentuckians but also by the number of elected officials who have switched party allegiances in order to take advantage of the party’s new dominant political position. Two of the more high-profi le examples were state representative Thomas Kerr’s switch in 2003 after serving for 18 years as a Democrat in the state House from Kenton Co., and Kenton Co. and attorney Garry Edmondson’s switch in 2001 to run against another former Democrat, Eric Deters, in the Republican primary election. Republicans in Northern Kentucky have played a leading role in the development of Kentucky’s Republican Party. Crowley, Patrick. “State Rep. Kerr Switches to GOP,” KE, October 11, 2003, B1. Holt, Gina. “GOP Primary Pits Two Ex-Democrats,” KE, May 21, 2002, B1. Hood, James Larry. “For the Union: Kentucky’s Unconditional Unionist Congressmen and the
754 REVOLUTIONARY WAR Development of the Republican Party in Kentucky, 1863–1865,” RKHS 76 (July 1978): 197–215. Jonas, E. A. A History of the Republican Party in Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: J. P. Morton, 1929. Terwort, William H. “History of the Kenton County Republican Party,” paper presented to the Kenton Co. Republican Party Executive Committee, August 28, 2006.
J. T. Spence
REVOLUTIONARY WAR (1775–1783). The Revolutionary War (also called the American Revolution) in Kentucky—part of what was then considered the West—is understood most clearly in connection with its antecedents. The Treaty of Paris of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War (also called the Seven Years’ War), gave the British all of the territory of North America east of the Mississippi River, including Canada and Florida, but not New Orleans. Concerned about the ability to defend this expanse, Britain issued the Proclamation of 1763, forbidding settlement west of the crest of the Appalachian Mountains until a western policy for the region was adopted. Explorers and settlers disregarded the proclamation. In 1774 Harrodsburg, the first permanent white settlement in Kentucky, was created. Upset by incursions into their land, American Indians responded. In 1774 Lord Dunmore’s War (named after the Virginia governor) resulted in the Treaty of Camp Charlotte, whereby the Shawnee Indians agreed to stay north of the Ohio River and the white settlers south of it. By the time the Revolutionary War began in 1775, Kentucky was part of Fincastle Co., Va. Shortly thereafter, with the encouragement of George Rogers Clark (1752– 1818) as a delegate from pioneer Kentucky, the Virginia legislature created the new county of Kentucky, effective December 31, 1776. Hence, the Commonwealth of Virginia was responsible for the security of frontier Kentucky during the course of the Revolutionary War. Although sparsely settled, Kentucky was an important battleground between the Colonies, on the one hand, and the British and their American Indian allies on the other. In Kentucky, the war proceeded as a series of offensive and counteroffensive actions, largely between George Rogers Clark and British lieutenant governor Henry Hamilton of Detroit. Appointed a lieutenant colonel by Virginia governor Patrick Henry, Clark led a 1778– 1779 offensive against Henry Hamilton north of the Ohio River, capturing the settlements of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes. In October 1779 the “Great Renegade” turncoat, Simon Girty, with British and American Indian forces, surprised Capt. David Rogers and about 65 colonial American soldiers above the mouth of the Licking River, at a sandbar near present Dayton, Ky. The battle was a massacre for the Americans (see Rogers’ Defeat). In spring 1780 the British launched a counteroffensive against Clark. British captain Henry Bird (Byrd) led an army of nearly 1,000 British and American Indian soldiers south from Detroit to raid Kentucky settlements. Crossing the Point at the mouth of the Licking River, they pro-
ceeded to attack settlements in the interior of Kentucky on Bird’s War Road (also called Clark’s War Road). Clark, in turn, mounted a counteroffensive, assembling a 1,000-man army at the mouth of the Licking River (the Point) in July 1780. On August 1, Clark and his men moved against the Shawnee Indians at Chillicothe and Piqua. In autumn 1780 Gen. George Washington gave Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson permission for Clark to borrow military supplies from Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) for a planned attack against Detroit. Jefferson made Clark a brigadier general in the Virginia army, but Virginia’s decision to give up its claims to most of the lands north of the Ohio River reduced enthusiasm for undertaking the expenses of the campaign. Clark left Fort Pitt with 400 men, hoping to raise more troops in Kentucky. He was followed by a group of Pennsylvania soldiers led by Col. Archibald Lochry. In August 1781 the Indian allies of the British ambushed Lochry’s men near the mouth of the Great Miami River opposite present Boone Co., Ky., and 107 colonials died or were captured. As the Revolutionary War approached its end, Clark’s proposed attack against Detroit never transpired. In October 1781, British general Charles Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Va. However, the British continued to occupy forts in the West and to encourage the Indians to raid settlements. As a result, the battle raged on in Kentucky, and 1782 earned the title of the Year of Blood. By July 1782, to deter Indian attacks, Clark built a 73-foot-long boat, manned by 100 men and armed with cannons, and placed it in operation near the mouth of the Licking River. Nevertheless, in August 1782, Simon Girty and more than 300 white and Indian troops met and defeated the Kentuckians at the Battle of Blue Licks in current Robertson Co., which some claim was the last major battle of the Revolutionary War but others maintain was part of the Indian Wars following (see Blue Licks, Battle of; Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort; Blue Licks). As a counteroffensive, Clark assembled another 1,000-man army at the mouth of the Licking River in November 1782 and led an expedition against the Indians. Officially, the Treaty of Paris of 1783 brought an end to the Revolutionary War. By the treaty’s terms, the United States gained all of the territory east of the Mississippi River except British Canada, Spanish Florida, Spanish West Florida, and Spanish New Orleans. Hammon, Neal O., and Richard Taylor. Virginia’s Western War, 1775–1786. Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2002. Harrison, Lowell H. George Rogers Clark and the War in the West. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1976. Harrison, Lowell H., and James C. Klotter. A New History of Kentucky. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1997.
Paul A. Tenkotte
REYNOLDS, MATTIE BRUCE (b. 1854, Covington, Ky.; d. September 24, 1916, White Sulfur Springs, W.Va.). One of the best-known women in
Northern Kentucky, Mattie Bruce Reynolds had a keen interest in charities and civic affairs, especially women’s suff rage. She was the daughter of Eli Metcalf Bruce, a cotton merchant and a member of the Confederate Congress from Kentucky, and Elizabeth Sallie Withers, the daughter of Maj. Charles A. Withers (see Withers Family), for whom Withers Park (modern Park Pl.) in Covington was named. Mattie Bruce married noted physician Dudley Sharpe Reynolds in 1881. The wedding, at Trinity Episcopal Church, was called “the most brilliant society event that has probably ever taken place in Covington.” Mattie Reynolds was active in the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Covington Art Club. She campaigned for the establishment of a shelter house in Covington’s Devou Park. Women’s suff rage was the area of Mattie’s greatest activity. She hosted national suff ragist organizers in her home, at 502 Greenup St. in Covington, and in 1913 marched with four other Kenton Co. women in a suffragist parade in Washington, D.C. Mattie Reynolds died in 1916, from injuries received in a runaway buggy accident at White Sulfur Springs, W.Va. After her death, a Kenton Co. Equal Franchise Association resolution proclaimed that she was one of the most prominent and valued members of the organization, having been an active worker and officeholder and having served that body in the state conventions. Reynolds was buried at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Ky. “Graves Will Be Decorated,” KTS, June 2, 1914, 2. “Memory of Arts Club Leader Is Honored,” KTS, April 9, 1917, 10. “Ser vices Held Wednesday for Mrs. Reynolds,” KP, September 27, 1916, 1. “They Fought to Secure Equal Rights for Women,” KP, August 4, 2004, 4K.
RHINOCK, JOSEPH L. (b. January 4, 1863, Owenton, Ky.; d. September 20, 1926, New Rochelle, N.Y.). Politician and businessman Joseph Lafayette Rhinock, the son of Joseph and Eliza Short Rhinock, moved from Owenton to Covington with his family at age seven. He attended public school in Covington but left after a few years, saying that he had all the education he needed. His first job locally was at the Diamond Tobacco Factory. At age 14 he went to work for Covington’s Hemingray Glass Company. He left that job to become a messenger in Cincinnati. His next employment was with the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, where he remained for 11 years; his duties were to check the accuracy of business scales and gauges. Rhinock married Emma McKain in 1883, and they had two sons and two daughters. In his mid-20s, he entered politics and was elected a Covington city councilman. In 1893, at age 30, he became the youngest mayor in Covington’s history. He ran for the Kentucky Senate in 1901 but lost to Robert H. Flemming, the mayor of Ludlow. Rhinock served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1905 until 1911. After leaving office,
RICHARDSON, DARRELL C.
Rhinock moved to New York City, where, for the next 20 years, he was involved in theatrical enterprises. During that period he served as vice president and treasurer for the Shubert Theater chain. He also developed an interest in horse racing and made newspaper headlines several times for winning large sums of money at the races. Rhinock died at age 63 at his home called Bonnie Crest in New Rochelle, N.Y. He was buried in a mausoleum at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Rhinock, Joseph Lafayette.” http://bioguide .congress.gov (accessed November 22, 2005). “Biography of New Mayor,” KP, December 19, 1893, 1. “Brief Biography—Joseph L. Rhinock,” KP, October 18, 1893, 1. Claypool, James C. The Tradition Continues: The Story of Old Latonia, Latonia, and Turfway Racecourses. Fort Mitchell, Ky.: T. I. Hayes, 1997.
RHYTHM AND BLUES. See Blues; Jazz. RICE, HOMER (b. February 20, 1927, Bellevue, Ky.). Homer Cranston Rice, a football coach and athletic director, is the son of Samuel C. and Grace Wilson Rice. He grew up in Fort Thomas and graduated in 1945 from Highlands High School, where he was an all-state quarterback, an allconference basketball guard, and a track champion. He graduated in 1950 from Centre College in Danville, Ky., earning Little All-American honors as a quarterback there. He later earned an MS at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, an MED from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and a PhD from Columbia Pacific University, a proprietary institution at Novata, Calif. A versatile athlete, Rice also played professional baseball in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ organization. He coached high school football in Tennessee before returning to lead the football team at Highlands High School. His teams at Highlands won 50 consecutive regular season games and Class AA state football championships in 1960 and 1961. He finished his high school coaching career with a win-loss record of 102-9-7. Rice, who is credited with the development of the triple-option offense at Highlands, wrote a book about his innovative offense while coaching there. The book featured photographs of many of his Highlands players. The triple-option offense became a mainstay in college football during the 1960s and 1970s. Rice continued his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky and the University Oklahoma at Norman, and he served as head coach at the University of Cincinnati and at Rice University in Houston, Tex. He later became head coach of the professional football Cincinnati Bengals for a season. Rice has served as an athletic director at three major universities: North Carolina in Chapel Hill (1969–1975), Rice University (1976– 1977), and Georgia Tech in Atlanta (1980–1997). The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics established the Homer Rice Award to honor the athletic director or conference commissioner who most contributes to exemplary service to college athletics. It is the highest national
honor bestowed by the organization. Rice has served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, chairman of the NCAA Football Rules Committee, chairman of the NCAA Television Committee, and chairman of the Atlantic Coast Conference Rules Committee. Rice has written numerous books on motivation and leadership skills, and his “Total Person Concept” for student-athletes has served as the model for more than 170 colleges around the country. His books include The Explosive Short T; Homer Rice on Triple Option Football; Winning Football with the Air Option Passing Game; Leadership Fitness: Developing and Reinforcing Successful, Positive Leaders; Lessons for Leaders: Building a Winning Team from the Ground Up; and Leadership for Leaders: The Attitude Technique Philosophy, a Total Person–Total Success Concept. Today, Homer Rice and his wife, Phyllis, reside in Atlanta, Ga. Boemker, Terry. “Rice Molded Highland Winning Tradition,” KP, August 19, 1999, 9K. Moore, Terrence. “Rice’s First Goal Will Be Reducing Bengal Miscues,” CE, October 3, 1978, C1.
RICHARD P. ERNST HOME. The Richard P. Ernst Home, located at 405 Garrard St. within the Licking-Riverside and Ohio Riverside National Historic Districts in Covington, was built about 1890 for tobacco industry gentleman John S. Matson. The Queen Anne style house was designed by Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford (see Samuel Hannaford and Sons), who also designed the Cincinnati Music Hall and many other structures in the region. The Ernst Home has 26 rooms, including five fireplaces, and 12-foot ceilings. In 1908 this mansion became the home for Richard P. Ernst, his wife, Sarah B. Ernst, and their two children, Sarah and William. Richard Ernst served as a U.S. senator from Kentucky from 1921 to 1927. The Ernst family lived in the mansion until Susan Brent Ernst’s death in June 1935. Richard had died on April 13, 1934. In 1937 the property was sold to Bracken Co. native Patrick Michael Flannery, an attorney, who converted it into the Flannery Hotel. It was used for that purpose until roughly 1975. University of Kentucky fraternity brothers Jerry Bressler, Dan Wolff, and Rob Martin, who owned Phoenix Properties, purchased the building from Patrick Maurice Flannery, the son of the hotel’s founder, and restored it for office use in 1982. In the restoration of the elegant structure, the ornate woodwork and the grand open wooden staircase were maintained. The Miami Purchase Association recognized the Ernst Home as a historic preservation property in 1982. In April 2005 a Kentucky State Highway Marker was placed in front of the structure to recognize its historical significance. “Covington Board OKs Rehab Project,” KP, March 10, 1983, 6K.
RICHARDSON, DARRELL C. (b. May 17, 1918, Baxter Springs, Kans.; d. September 19, 2006, Memphis, Tenn.). A clergyman and an author, Darrell Coleman Richardson was the son of Coleman D. and Edna Ellen Nipper Richardson. Darrell grew up in Missouri, where he received his early education. He entered Furman University at Greenville, S.C., in 1938 on an athletic scholarship and earned varsity letters in basketball, football, tennis, track, and swimming. Described as a very muscular individual, Richardson was six feet four inches tall and weighed about 250 pounds. He graduated in 1942 and soon after married Sarah Louise Sanders, a student at Furman. The couple had two children, Darrell Jr., born in 1945, and Donald, born in 1949. Richardson undertook postgraduate studies at Columbia University, in New York City; Yale University, in New Haven, Conn.; Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green; the University of Cincinnati; and the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. He eventually earned a doctorate and five master’s degrees. He was also a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Institute in Louisville. While attending college and seminary, he worked during the summers as director of Camp Ridgecrest, a home for boys in Ridgecrest, N.C. During that time he also served as scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop that had a larger membership than any other in the United States. In 1943 and 1944, he served as pastor at Ormsby Village, a home for delinquent and dependent children in Anchorage, Ky., and at the same time coached the school’s football and basketball teams. In 1945 he was interim pastor of the Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville. Richardson came to Northern Kentucky in March 1947 to accept a position as pastor of the Fort Mitchell Baptist Church. He proved to be a very popu lar and charismatic leader, and the church membership doubled during his tenure. His sermons were described as outstanding and were often interlaced with stories of his life experiences, only slightly embellished. While in Northern Kentucky, he held many influential positions in church and civic organizations. He was a director of the Booth Memorial Hospital and of the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also served as president of the Kenton Co. Ministerial Association and the Northern Kentucky Pastor’s Conference. During the 1950s he was one of the leaders of the crusade against gambling and crime syndicates operating in the area. He also served as the publicity director for the Billy Graham Crusade held in Cincinnati. In January 1954, longing for a new challenge, he resigned as pastor of the Fort Mitchell Baptist Church and volunteered to become a U.S. Army chaplain. He was trained at the army’s chaplain school in Fort Slocum, N.Y., and assigned to the 3rd Armored Division, located in Germany. Elvis Presley was also a member of that unit, and they met and became friends. While serving in the army, Richardson wrote numerous articles for military publications. After leaving active duty in the 1960s, he moved to Memphis, Tenn., to accept a position as editor for the Brotherhood
756 RICHARDSON, MARY CABELL Commission of the Southern Baptists. In that post he wrote and edited much of the literature distributed by the Southern Baptist Convention. He was known to visit with Presley at Graceland Mansion in Memphis. Throughout his life, Richardson retained his boyhood fascination with larger-than-life individuals, both real and fictional, including Billy Graham, Elvis Presley, and comic strip heroes like Tarzan. Richardson often told people that one of his lifelong role models was Tarzan. He eventually became a friend of Johnny Weissmueller, the first actor to play Tarzan in the movies. Richardson’s novels have been described as bold, brilliant, and bursting with adventure. A friend called him an extremely fascinating and charismatic individual who worked tirelessly at his crafts. He has also been described as a mentally and physically active individual with multiple talents and the zealous desire to use all of them. He authored 44 books and about 100 newspaper and magazine articles, many dealing with science fiction and often written under pseudonyms. Three of his most important books were Max Brand: The Man and His Work, Counseling in Times of Crisis, and A Christian Facing a World of Change. Richardson lived a life delightfully similar to those depicted in many of his novels. He traveled to more than 40 countries on archaeological digs and spent considerable time in the Middle East, where he visited the biblical sites he had often read about in his Bible. While living in Memphis, Richardson founded the Memphis Science Fiction Association and was its first president. The organization now bestows an annual Darrell Award for the best science fiction, fantasy, or horror story submitted. During his long and distinguished career, Richardson won a number of awards, including the Phoenix Award, the E. E. Evans Big Heart Award, the Lamont Pulp Fiction Award, and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Good Shepherd Award. Richardson died in Memphis, at age 88. His wife, Sarah, preceded him in death. His sons were his only close surviving relatives. Dowd, James. “Dr. Richardson ‘Bigger Than Life,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, September 21, 2006, www.freepagesmiscrootsweb.com (accessed December 30, 2006). ERBzine. “Darrell C. Richardson.” www.erbzine.com (accessed December 30, 2006). Richardson, Darrell C. “Elvis Wanted to Be Just One of the GI’s,” January 14, 2005, www.elvis.com (accessed January 3, 2006). Tapp, Hambleton. Kentucky Lives: The Blue Grass State Who’s Who. Hopkinsville, Ky.: Historical Record Association, 1966.
RICHARDSON, MARY CABELL (b. ca. 1864, Covington, Ky.; d. April 10, 1925, Covington, Ky.). Although she made a point of not mentioning her age, Mary C. Richardson, a newspaper reporter and a poet, was apparently born around 1864 to Robert Carter and Marie Louise Harris Richardson. She spent her entire life in Covington. Her fa-
ther was a Mexican War veteran, a Covington attorney, a state representative, and a remote cousin of President William Henry Harrison (1889–1893); her mother’s father was Col. Henry C. Harris, a Kentucky state representative and senator. Lineage was very important to Richardson. In 1899 she first applied for the job of Covington librarian but then went to work in the clerk’s office of the U.S. Circuit Court and District Court in Covington. Although she had been writing news for the local press for some time, in 1903 she formally became a reporter for the Cincinnati Commercial Times, covering the Northern Kentucky social scene. Her writing was often described as “breezy.” She was also a poet and wrote a book of poems, one of which, “Be British,” became a war slogan in England during World War I. She was active in Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington and was a founding member of an organization that collected scrap metal to be sold for war relief. She was heavily involved in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames. Richardson resided on Garrard St. in Covington; she died in 1925, at approximately age 61, at the William Booth Memorial Hospital from an acute intestinal obstruction. She was buried at the family lot in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 9887, for the year 1925. “Writer Is Dead,” KP, April 11, 1925, 1.
RICHARDSON, ROBERT, COLONEL (b. May 18, 1826, Louisville, Ky.; d. June 28, 1896, Covington, Ky.). Robert Carter Richardson, a military officer, a lawyer, and an author, was a son of Samuel Q. and Mary Harrison Richardson. Although Robert’s parents died while he was quite young, he obtained an education with the help of family friends. After attending local schools, he entered Transylvania University in Lexington, where he earned a BA in 1846 and a JD in 1848. During the Mexican War, he served for one year in a company commanded by Cassius M. Clay. Afterward Richardson set up a law office in Lexington. He moved to Covington in 1850, where he became a distinguished lawyer and an author of some renown. He contributed to Appleton’s Encyclopedia and wrote educational treatises and numerous other literary works. In Northern Kentucky he became active in Democratic politics; he was elected a state representative in 1855 and held that office until 1859. He served as a colonel during the Civil War, commanding two Union Home Guard companies. In 1859 he married Mariah Louise Harris of Prestonburg, a daughter of Col. Henry Harris, who served in both the House of Representatives and Senate in Kentucky. The couple had eight children. From 1859 to 1863, he served as the superintendent of public instruction for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He died at age 70 at his home at 21 E. 12th St. in Covington and was buried at Linden Grove Cemetery in that city. He had been an attorney for 46 years. Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Chicago: John M. Gresham, 1896.
Levin, H., ed. The Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky. Chicago: Lewis, 1897. Perrin, William Henry, J. H. Battle, and G. C. Kniffi n. Kentucky: A History of the State. Louisville, Ky.: F.A. Battey, 1888. Reis, Jim. “They Served as Legislators When War Clouds Billowed,” KP, January 27, 2003, 4K.
RICH LADDER COMPANY. Founded in Carrollton as the Adkinson Brothers Lumber Mill in 1893, this business was purchased in 1945 by Howard B. Rich Sr. and Louis Bunning. Rich and Bunning expanded the mill’s products to include wooden ladders that were shipped to distribution points in the eastern United States. In 1966 the Huenefeld Company acquired the business and built a new mill in 1972 that covered more than an acre at Seventh and Polk Sts. in Carrollton, near the railroad. The new owner renamed the business the Kentucky Ladder Company. In 1978 it had more than 150 employees working three shifts. In addition to ladders, the company produced wood crates that were shipped to all parts of the United States. In the late 1980s, the Werner Company of Chicago, a longtime leader in aluminum and fiberglass ladders, scaffolds, and climbing equipment, expanded by acquiring three wooden ladder companies in the South, among them the Kentucky Ladder Company. In 1990 Werner built a modern wood factory and consolidated all of its wood products at Carrollton. At that time Werner was the largest producer of climbing products in the world. Gentry, Mary Ann. A History of Carroll County. Madison, Ind.: Coleman, 1984. Landoll. “Material Handling Success Stories—Boost Productivity with Bendi.” www.landoll.com (accessed May 5, 2006). Werner. “Werner Ladder—History.” www .wernerladder.com (accessed May 5, 2006).
Diane Perrine Coon
RICHWOOD. The unincorporated community of Richwood in southeastern Boone Co. dates back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was originally called Richwood Station and denoted a fortified structure for residents seeking safety in the event of an Indian attack. When hostilities ceased, the community’s name was shortened to Richwood. American Indians inhabited the Richwood area before the pioneers arrived; an archaeological survey by the University of Kentucky at Lexington has confirmed the location of a Fort Ancient Indian village there. Today, the town of Richwood is at the intersection of the former Covington and Lexington Turnpike, built in 1830 (U.S. 25), and Richwood Rd. (Ky. Rt. 338). The rolling farmland of Richwood, drained by the Mud Lick Creek, contains the most fertile soil in eastern Boone Co. This fertility, along with the area’s good transportation system, made a flourishing agriculture possible. The early cash crop was hogs, produced for the Cincinnati pork-packing industry (see Meatpacking). Tobacco later became the main crop, until hay for horses and cows took its place, as this industry gained prominence in Boone Co.
RICHWOOD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
During the late 1700s large land grants were given to Revolutionary War soldiers by the federal government as payment for their military service. The tracts in the Richwood area were divided, sold, and then settled by some very prosperous men in the early 1800s. The Bedingers, the Clarksons, the Gaineses, the Hudsons, the Hugheses, the Menzieses, and the Southgates who settled Richwood were well-educated professional men— attorneys and physicians. In the 1850 Boone Co. census, the two wealthiest men in the county, Benjamin Franklin Bedinger, MD, and James Gaines, owned farms in Richwood. Beautiful brick houses were built in the area, two of which, the Hughes and Hudson residences, still stand and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. John P. Gaines bought 221 acres near Richwood in 1827, built a house, and raised his family on his Maplewood farm. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, a major in the Mexican War, a representative in the Kentucky legislature, a U.S. congressman, and governor of the Territory of Oregon. Archibald Kinkead Gaines, John’s younger brother, bought Maplewood from his brother when John moved to Oregon in 1849. Margaret Garner was a slave owned by the Gaines family at Maplewood when in January 1856 she made a dramatic attempt to escape slavery. During the Civil War there was a Union Army encampment along Richwood Rd. Rev. Everett Bedinger, minister of Richwood Presbyterian Church, after publishing his views on states’ rights, fled to Canada to avoid arrest as a Confederate sympathizer. One of the only two Civil War military engagements in Boone Co. occurred at Snow’s Pond along the Covington and Lexington Turnpike, near Richwood. During the late 1870s, the railroad that became the Cincinnati Southern Railroad was constructed parallel to the Dry Ridge Trace, with a station at Richwood. A depot and a section house for the railroad construction workers were also built. Passengers and shipments of goods were unloaded at the Richwood depot and then transported by wagon to nearby farms. A small town grew up around the railroad station, with a general store, mail ser vice, a livery station, a barn for livestock, and a stock scale. A bank was founded in the Richwood community in 1909 but closed several years later. The brick bank building became a grocery store that later also operated a gas pump and an auto repair garage. A tavern was located across Richwood Rd. from the grocery store’s properties in later years. The center of community life in Richwood was the Richwood Presbyterian Church, the oldest Presbyterian church in Boone Co., which was founded in May 1834 by Rev. Joseph Cabell Harrison. The church leaders were also community leaders with progressive social views on issues like slavery, states’ rights, and public education. In the 1920s, sections of the Covington and Lexington Turnpike became part of the Dixie Highway (U.S. 25), a road that began in Covington and ended in Florida. The Dixie Highway came through Richwood on the way to Walton, bypassing the section of the turnpike that curved through Kensing-
ton. Traffic through Richwood increased as the community became a flag stop for Greyhound buses. In the 1960s, I-71-75 was constructed parallel to the Dixie Highway through Richwood, with an exit onto Richwood Rd. The eastern part of Old Richwood Rd., from the Dixie Highway, now ends at the interstate, and a new section was built under the interstate to connect with the Dixie Highway. Once again, traffic increased and Richwood became a major travel center for trucks and cars. As a transportation center, Richwood attracted industrial development during the late 20th century. This growth accelerated in the 1990s as the industrial corridor extended from Florence south through Richwood and on to Walton. Richwood is rapidly changing as a result of housing developments that have replaced farms and brought urban sprawl in recent years. An Atlas of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1883. Tenkotte, Paul A. “The ‘Chronic’ Want of Cincinnati—a Southern Railroad,” NKH 6, no. 1 (Fall– Winter 1998): 24–33. Warminski, Margo. Historic Structures of Boone County. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Historic Preservation Board, 2002.
Ruth Wade Cox Brunings
RICHWOOD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Richwood Presbyterian Church, the first Presbyterian church established in Boone Co., is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Northern Kentucky. It was founded in 1834 by Rev. Joseph Cabell Harrison and has maintained continuous worship ser vices since that time. Harrison (1793–1860) had many influential connections in the region. He was a first cousin of President William Henry Harrison (1841); he and his cousin John Breckinridge established the first religious newspaper published in Kentucky, the Western Luminary, in 1824 in Lexington; and Harrison’s wife was Sophia Rice, the granddaughter of Rev. David Rice, the founder of Presbyterianism in Kentucky. The Richwood congregation met in a brick schoolhouse and in homes in the early years. On October 4, 1842, the trustees of the church purchased for five dollars from William Mosley a onehalf-acre lot on the Mud Lick branch of Big Bone Creek, where the Burlington and Big Bone roads intersected. In 1844 a church was built there. After that structure was struck by lightning and burned in 1869, the congregation built a new church building, completed by September 1870. The small white frame country church, situated in a beautiful rural setting—surrounded by a stone wall and maple trees opposite a creek—has been a subject for artists, including Caroline Williams, and photographers for many years. As a small church, Richwood Church was not always able to support a full-time minister. Some early ministers were employed on a part-time basis and served other churches in the area as well. Some had other sources of income, such as farming, or other employment, such as teaching. Rev. Samuel Lynn had a school and boarded students during the
week. Rev. William White also had a private school, White Haven, on U.S. 42, down the road from the current public school, New Haven. There were periods when the pulpit was filled with “stated supply” from the Presbytery, seminary students (licentiates), guest ministers, or elders of the church. The culture of the 1850s and 1860s was reflected in records that were kept in the Session Books. For example, the elders took stern disciplinary action when members failed to obey the Ten Commandments or to fulfi ll their obligations as members. Documented transgressions included absence from worship, intemperate drinking, frequenting places of public resort, adultery, insubordinate conduct as a servant, the use of profane language, and leading dissolute and worldly lives. Offenders were suspended from church membership until they repented. The names and sins of those suspended were announced from the pulpit. Richwood Presbyterian Church had an early commitment to foreign missions, formed missionary societies, and sponsored missionaries, including Rev. Charles Foreman. Two of the early ministers of Richwood Church, Rev. William White and Rev. Everett Wade Bedinger, had children who became foreign missionaries. Bedinger, the longestserving minister in the history of the church, had not only children but also sons-in law, a grandson, and a niece who were missionaries. At the onset of the Civil War, Bedinger published a “Plea for Peace” in the Covington Journal in defense of states’ rights. Even though he was against slavery, the Union Army sent soldiers to arrest him as a Southern sympathizer. He escaped to Canada, returned through enemy lines to Kentucky, and took his family on a dangerous journey to Virginia, where he ministered to soldiers on both sides of the conflict. He returned to the Richwood Church after the war. Revivals, called protracted meetings, produced new converts who were subsequently brought into church membership. Among the converts were slaves in the Richwood community. The first slave to join Richwood Presbyterian Church was Moses Carter on January 5, 1843; he was followed by Rachel, Drusylla, Plato, Hannah Patterson, Hannah Hughes, and Margaret Garner. In 1855 there were 26 white members and 7 slave members of the church. Plato was hired as the church sexton in 1844, on completion of the church building, and continued in this employment until December 1856, when he moved to Covington with his owner, William Menzies. Margaret Garner fled slavery with her family in January 1856, less than a year after she joined the church. Surrounded by a posse in Cincinnati, Garner killed her daughter rather than see her return to slavery. The impact of this event on the Richwood Church and community was profound. Everett Wade Bedinger, who was an elder, the clerk of Session, and an opponent of slavery, recorded in the church’s Session Book II on June 1, 1856, that the Session had met and ordered a day of fasting. Members were instructed to “repair to the house of God for solemn worship, confession of sin and deep humiliation before God on account of our sins and departures from Him as a
758 RICKETT, FRANCES congregation and as individual members” and for the return of God’s spirit to enable the conversions of others. The congregation built a community house, with a kitchen, in the in the 1940s. Church activities such as wedding receptions, youth group meetings, and potluck dinners took place in this building as well as Thanksgiving dinners for the neighborhood. In 1946 the current stone manse was built by Stanley Ranson with help from other men of the church. The Sunday School Annex was built onto the back of the church in 1960. A fellowship hall with offices and additional classrooms was added onto the church to replace the community house and dedicated in 1991. Major celebrations with dinners and festivities occurred every 50 years as Richwood Church had its 50th, 100th and 150th anniversaries. On January 17, 1971, a historical marker, awarded to Richwood Presbyterian Church by the Kentucky Historical Society, was dedicated during a ceremony that included speeches, music, and a reception. In 1935 Richwood Presbyterian Church was transferred from Ebenezer Presbytery (which originally included all of Kentucky) to the Presbytery of Louisville of the Presbyterian Church of the United States. In 1985 it was transferred again to the Presbytery of Cincinnati of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In 1967 the Board of Deacons was disbanded, their duties assumed by the elders; the board was reinstated in 2000. The first woman minister was Rev. Jean Hyde Frable, 1998–2007. From the beginning, Richwood Church had a church cemetery for members and their relatives. The first burial was George Michael Bedinger Jr., who died of cholera at Big Bone in 1833. In 1880 the cemetery acquired an additional acre and was extended to the east by a section now designated Division C. In 1930 Richwood Cemetery separated from the church and became a community cemetery. The first burial of an African American, Mary Sleet Sechrest, was in Division C in 1933. Ferguson, Calvin Gordon. “History of Richwood Presbyterian Church, May 1834 to May 1984,” Richwood Presbyterian Church, Richwood, Ky. Richwood Church Session Books, Richwood Presbyterian Church, Richwood, Ky.
Ruth Wade Cox Brunings
RICKETT, FRANCES (b. February 16, 1921, Covington, Ky.). Author Merle Frances Rickett is the daughter of Merle Lowe and Mary Kerrigan Rickett. Her father was a salesman and her mother was a news journalist and politician. The family lived at 13 E. 31st St. in Latonia. Frances graduated from high school in Crawfordsville, Ind., and her undergraduate degree (1943) is from DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind. She has an MFA degree (1947) from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She began writing at age six and, except for occasional moments when she thought about being an actress, always wanted to be an author. During World War II, Rickett was a civilian cryptanalyst for the U.S. Army Signal Corps at Arlington, Va. She went on to work as a staff writer for
RCA, NBC, and Woman’s Day in New York City. In 1957 she began devoting herself to freelance writing. Her first novel was The Prowler, published in 1963. It was followed by Tread Softly (1964), her most popu lar work, and then A Certain Slant of Light (1968), An Affair of Doctors (1975), Totaled (in collaboration with Steven McGraw; 1981), and Stalked (1983). Under the pseudonym Martha Winslow, she wrote The Abortionist (1970), and she produced two novelizations of soap operas under the pseudonym Kate Lowe Kerrigan: Another World I and Another World II (both in 1978). She has written extensively for both television and radio. She often recounts the difficulty she had finding a publisher for her first novel, The Prowler. Rickett readily admits that writing cata log copy for merchandisers like the JCPenney Company prompted her to write concisely and thus helped her to become published. Today, Rickett lives in New York City. Contemporary Authors. Vol. 107. Detroit: Gale Research, 1983. Rickett, Francis, to Michael R. Sweeney, November 2004.
RIDDELL, FOUNTAIN (b. January 9, 1833, Boone Co., Ky.; d. May 30, 1903, Burlington, Ky.). A lawyer and a politician, Fountain Riddell was the son of John and Florenda McKay Riddell. His father was a farmer of Scottish descent. Fountain was educated at the Morgan Academy in Burlington and after graduation taught there for one year. He then entered Indiana Asbury University (later named DePauw University) at Greencastle, Ind., where he studied law. After returning to Burlington, he apprenticed under lawyer James W. Calvert. In 1858 Riddell began his own law practice in Burlington. He entered politics in 1859 and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives, where he served for two years. Riddell married Louisa Hawes in March 1870, and they had four children, two of whom lived to adulthood. In October 1870 Fountain Riddell purchased the Boone House, on Jefferson St. in Burlington, behind the courthouse; the Boone House was formerly a tavern/inn. He renovated the building to serve as his residence and law offices. Riddell was named president of the Boone Co. Deposit Bank in 1885 and served until 1903. He died in 1903 at age 70 and was buried in the Burlington Cemetery. After his death, the Boone House passed to his wife, and at her death in 1922, to their daughter Henrietta, who was married to Alvin Boyers Renaker. It then became known as the Renaker House. Boone Co. purchased the building in 1967 and had it remodeled into office space for the Human Ser vices Department. Boone County Recorder, historical edition, September 4, 1930. Reis, Jim. “Historic Renaker House Began as Tavern in 1830,” KP, April 14, 1997, 4K.
RIDDELL, NATHANIEL E. (b. July 17, 1872, Burlington, Ky.; d. September 1, 1942, Burlington, Ky.). Lawyer, judge, and banker Nathaniel Edson
Riddell was the son of Fountain Riddell and Louisa Hawes Riddell. Nathaniel grew up in Burlington, where his early education was at the Morgan Academy. He then attended the Cincinnati Law School and graduated in 1895. After leaving school, he entered into a legal partnership with Boone Co. judge John M. Lassing. On June 6, 1900, he married Katie L. Huey; the couple had no children. In 1903, when his father, Fountain Riddell, died, Nathaniel replaced him as president of the Boone Co. Deposit Bank. He served in that position until 1930, when the bank was merged with the Peoples Deposit Bank of Burlington. In 1906 Riddell was elected Boone Co. attorney, and he held that office until 1920. He resigned when he was appointed Boone Co. judge by Kentucky governor Augustus O. Stanley (1915–1919). Riddell served in that position for the remainder of his life. He was also one of the organizers and president of the Consolidated Telephone Company in Boone Co. He bought and operated, for several years, the Boone County Recorder newspaper, which his uncle W. L. Riddell had started in 1875. For many years, Nathaniel Riddell was an active member of the Burlington Masonic Lodge and also the Knights of Pythias. In 1942 he died in his Burlington home at the age 70. Funeral ser vices were held in the Renaker House, then owned by his sister, Henrietta Riddell Renaker. Riddell was buried in the Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Boone County Recorder, historical edition, September 4, 1930. Reis, Jim. “Big Man in Boone County,” KP, December 12, 2002, 4K. ———. “Historic Renaker House Began as Tavern in 1830,” KP, April 14, 1997, 4K. ———. “Riddell Served 6 Terms as Judge,” KP, April 14, 1997, 4K. Warner, Jennifer S. Boone County: From Mastodons to the Millennium. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Bicentennial Book Committee, 1998.
RIDGEVIEW HEIGHTS. Ridgeview Heights was a sixth-class city located in central Kenton Co. across from the Kenton Co. Golf Course, near the intersection of Richardson Rd. (Ky. Rt. 1829) and Turkeyfoot Rd. (Ky. Rt. 1303). The subdividing of the 100-acre Perry farm during the late 1940s led to the founding of the town. Attracted by the lure of “country living,” throngs of Northern Kentucky urbanites flocked to the new development and others like it during the 1950s. The neighborhood incorporated as a city in 1962 to finance road improvements. The name Ridgeview Heights reflected the area’s topography. For several years, the city’s residents enjoyed some of the county’s lowest tax rates. By the late 1970s, however, operating this small residential community had become expensive. Increased road maintenance and federally mandated sewer construction placed an enormous tax burden on Ridgeview Heights residents. Hemmed in by Erlanger and Independence, Ridgeview Heights could not raise additional tax revenue through annexation. When key leaders died or moved away, the city’s fiscal problems were compounded. Left with few options, the Ridgeview
RINGO, DAVID L.
Heights city council sought budget relief by exploring a merger with one of the neighboring cities. The merger talks led to the annexation of Ridgeview Heights by the City of Independence on January 1, 1984. The Ridgeview Heights population at the time was approximately 760.
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “George Rieveschl.” www.gccc.com (accessed April 17, 2006). Horstman, Barry M. “George Rieveschl: Sneezers Can Thank Him for Relief,” CP, November 1, 1999, 1B. O’Farrell, Peggy. “Thank Him for Benadryl,” CE, May 17, 2006, C1. “Salute,” KP, June 29, 1988, 1KK–2KK.
“Death of a City—Lack of Interest Was Main Factor in Ridgeview Heights’ Demise,” KP, January 2, 1984, 9K. Ridgeview Heights vertical fi le, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. “Who Runs Ridgeview Heights?” KE, May 28, 1979, A2.
Dennis B. Worthen
RINGO, DAVID L. (b. January 5, 1912, Hamil-
RIEVESCHL, GEORGE, JR. (b. January 9, 1916, Cincinnati, Ohio; d. September 27, 2007, Cincinnati, Ohio). Scientist and philanthropist George Rieveschl Jr. was the only son of George and Alma Hofling Rieveschl. He grew up along Arlington Ave. in the Arlington Heights section of Cincinnati; his father worked in a paper mill. A gifted student, Rieveschl graduated from the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati with a commercial art major and an interest in chemistry. His educational path turned to chemistry when he enrolled at the University of Cincinnati (UC), where he earned a BA in 1937, an MS in 1939, and a PhD in 1940. After graduation he accepted a position at UC teaching chemical engineering. His PhD research on local anesthetics and antispasmodics led to the discovery of a novel antihistamine that became Benadryl. In 1943 Rieveschl joined the research department at Parke, Davis & Company in Detroit, Mich. The company began marketing Benadryl, the first commercially available antihistamine, in 1946. After 23 years, during which he held management positions ranging from scientific assistant to vice president of commercial development, Rieveschl left Parke, Davis & Company and spent four years as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. In 1970 he returned to UC as the acting vice president of research for university president Walter Langsam. Rieveschl was involved in a number of innovative programs within the university system, including the partnership arrangement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the first campus computer initiative. His skills became especially evident, however, when Warren Bennis, then the president of the university, appointed Rieveschl as the first president of the UC Foundation in 1972. It was under his leadership that the Charles McMicken Society was formed to solicit support of alumni and other friends of the university for the mission of the growing university. In 1973 Rieveschl established the annual Dr. George Rieveschl Award to recognize significant scholarly or creative achievements of full-time faculty, with an emphasis on work carried out at UC. He retired from the university in 1982, and in 1987 UC named the main science building, containing the chemistry department and laboratories, after him. Rieveschl won his fi rst award, the Hochstetler Prize, for excellence as a teaching assistant at the
George Rieveschl Jr. in his lab, 1947.
University of Cincinnati in 1937. His subsequent awards from the university included the William Howard Taft Medal and the Award for Excellence. Rieveschl was also an active leader in the community. He served on the boards of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Lloyd Library and Museum in Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. His greatest affection, however, was for art; he served in a number of leadership and fundraising roles for the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Art Museum. For a number of years he served on the board of the Contemporary Arts Center. He also served the Cincinnati Art Museum in various roles, including chair of the board of trustees, founder of its Founder’s Society, and chair of the Trea sures for the Queen: A Millennium Gift to Cincinnati. In 1999 the Cincinnati Art Museum established the George Rieveschl Medal for distinguished leadership and philanthropic ser vice. Rieveschl received many honors for his work in the Greater Cincinnati area. In 1989 the Juvenile Diabetes Association named him Cincinnatian of the year, and in 1990 the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce added the title of a Great Living Cincinnatian. In 1995 he was inducted into the International Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. Rieveschl, who resided in Covington for a number of years, was also very active in supporting arts and education initiatives in Northern Kentucky, such as the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center. In December 2002 Northern Kentucky University awarded him an honorary doctorate (DSc). In 2003 Rieveschl gave $1 million toward the new science building at Northern Kentucky University. Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington has a gallery named for him, and his foundation funded many other philanthropic activities in the region.
ton, Ohio). David Leer Ringo was both a pioneering and a nationally recognized transit industry executive. In the summer after David had completed the sixth grade, his father, a pharmacist, accepted a position with a store in Covington. Thereafter, David was educated in the Covington Public Schools (see Covington Independent Schools). He attended John W. Hall Junior High School and then graduated with honors from Holmes High School in February 1930 (as a member of the class of 1929). Needing funds to enter the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ringo accepted a job in March 1930 as a track laborer for the Cincinnati, Newport, and Covington Railway (CN&C) (the Green Line Company). He attended the University of Kentucky for two years, again working in summer 1931 for the CN&C. The financial pressures of the Great Depression prompted Ringo to begin fulltime work for the Green Line the next year. He was hired as an assistant to the chief traffic engineer. By the time of the flood of 1937, he had become a traffic engineer. He worked up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for the next few months to help supervise the restoration of transit ser vice to the flood-ravaged cities of Bellevue, Covington, Dayton, Ludlow, and Newport. In early 1939 Ringo was named assistant superintendent of transportation by the Green Line management. On July 8, 1939, he married Ruth Jean McDonell; the couple had three sons. Ringo is credited with settling the December 1940–January 1941 strike of the Green Line Company by Local No. 628 of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees. He made use of some innovative ideas centering on future job protection. By this time, Ringo was a member of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers and had become the first registered transportation engineer in the state. In 1945 the new owners of the Green Line, Allen and Company, appointed him as assistant general manager of both the Green Line and its suburban transit subsidiary, the Dixie Traction Company. Ringo and his boss, Philip G. Vondersmith, helped their company reach an agreement with the Kenton Co. Airport board to provide exclusive bus ser vice from downtown Cincinnati to the soon-to-be-opened Greater Cincinnati Airport (later the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport) in Boone Co. and to be the sole provider of outbound taxi ser vice at the airport. Both ser vices were profitable enterprises for the Green Line over the next 25 years. In April 1947 Ringo was named general manager of both the CN&C and the Dixie Traction
760 RIPPLETON, WASHINGTON Company and assumed day-to-day operational control. On May 18, 1950, he was named president of both companies, becoming the youngest chief executive of a major transit system in the nation. Over the next eight years, the Green Line remained the most profitable of the many transit properties owned by Allen and Company. From 1947 to 1957, the Green Line won about a dozen first-place awards for ser vice, safety, and maintenance (in the 300-to-1,000-employee category) from the American Transit Association. During the early 1950s, Allen and Company, the owners of the Green Line, purchased 16 additional transit companies and formed a new conglomerate, American Transportation Enterprises (ATE). The Green Line was the senior member of the group, and under Ringo’s direction it remained ATE’s most profitable company. In 1957 the Allen family selected Ringo to run the entire operation. As executive vice president, he was responsible for the management of the 16 component companies, which owned more than 1,600 buses and employed more than 5,000 people. By 1963, however, it had become clear that privately owned transit companies had no future. Although perceived as public utilities by the average citizen, they had no governmental standby guarantees if revenues failed to match expenses. Although the federal and state mania for building new expressways encouraged many Americans to forsake public transportation, many people, for various reasons, still needed public transit to go places. In 1963 members of the American Transit Association, led by ATE chief executive Ringo, met with representatives of city governments, labor, and other interested parties to form the Urban Passenger Transportation Association, which lobbied for federal transit aid. Their efforts brought almost immediate results. As part of his Great Society program, President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963–1969) signed the Urban Mass Transportation Act into law on July 9, 1964, providing a firm base for the future granting of transit subsidies. The Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) took control of all federal transit programs on July 1, 1968. Thereafter, federal funds became available through UMTA to assist communities in the purchase and operation of privately held transit companies. UMTA required the formation of a public transit authority and local public financial participation before any federal subsidies could be provided for a takeover of a private system. In June 1971, by the action of the fiscal courts in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties, the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) was created. Ringo realized early that transit companies would be publicly owned in the future. As a result, he and his associates formed a new company to manage the new public transit agencies. On January 1, 1970, ATE Management and Ser vice Company Inc. (ATEMS), based in Cincinnati, was opened for business. Ironically, it started with a five-year contract to manage all of ATE’s remaining transit companies. By 1980 Ringo’s group had contracts with about 50 public transit agencies in
the United States, including the Green Line Transit successor, TANK. David’s son Philip J. Ringo succeeded him as ATEMS president, serving from 1981 until 1999. In 1986 ATEMS was sold to Ryder Systems Inc. of Miami, Fla. At that time, ATEMS was involved with managing some 52 transit properties. In July 1999 First Group, a British company, purchased Ryder’s transit management business. David Ringo was elected to the American Transit Association’s Hall of Fame in 1984; he was further honored during the 1999 convention of the American Public Transit Association in Orlando, Fla., by First Transit senior vice president Rich Clair, who spoke of Ringo’s “vision and outstanding leadership of ATE.” In 1970 the University of Kentucky named Ringo to its Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Ringo’s wife of 60 years, Ruth, died in October 1999, and today Ringo lives in Florida. Lehmann, Terry W., and Earl W. Clark, The Green Line. Chicago: Central Electric Railfans’ Association, 2000.
Terry W. Lehmann
RIPPLETON, WASHINGTON (b. April 16, 1842, Danville, Ky.; d. May 12, 1911, Newport, Ky.). Although born in Danville, Washington Rippleton spent most of his life in Newport, and for more than 50 years he was one of Newport’s leading African American figures. Rippleton married a local woman named Lucy, and they resided in Newport on Rickey St., raising four children. From 1867 through 1876, Rippleton’s occupation was listed in the local city directory as either a hostler or a coachman. He was involved in other aspects of the community as well. In 1866 Washington Rippleton, Beverly Lumpkin, and others formed a board of trustees for the newly established African American school, which opened under the direction of the Missionary Aid Association and the Freedmen’s Bureau. In April 1870 Rippleton led a delegation of Newport’s residents during a parade celebrating the passage of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That parade wound from Newport to Covington. In November 1872 Rippleton helped to orga nize the Corinthian Baptist Church on Roberts St. in Newport. In February 1873, continuing his activities with social and educational issues, Rippleton, Rev. Dennis Lightfoot, Robert Littleton, and a delegation from Newport attended the Colored Education Convention in Louisville. The convention informed the attendees of the proposed new state law that would allow for public schools for African American children. In August, when the Southgate St. School was authorized, Rippleton was active in the planning that took place for it. In February 1883 the African-American Literary Circle was organized in Newport, with Washington Rippleton as president. He remained involved in Campbell Co. Republican politics throughout the 1890s, as did his close friend Robert Littleton. In July 1891 the Campbell Co. Republican executive committee named Rippleton a
delegate to their county convention. In August, Rippleton, Littleton, and other African American Republicans formed the first Republican League Club. Rippleton was one of five men to serve on the executive committee. In March 1892 the league elected Rippleton as president for the ensuing year. At the July meeting, held at the African Methodist Episcopal Church on Southgate St. in Newport, the club announced that the membership was 80 strong and increasing daily. In May 1894, the African-American Republican League Club was renamed the Crispus Attucks Club; Rippleton remained as president. From 1878 through 1892, Rippleton worked at the Newport Barracks and lived nearby at 249 Liberty St. Throughout the 1890s, he served as a storekeeper in government ser vice under a Republican administration. Afterward, Rippleton operated a shoeshine parlor at 405 York St. in Newport until his death in 1911. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. Annual Report of Board of Education of Newport, Kentucky. Newport, Ky.: Newport Printing, 1873. “A Card to the Colored Citizens,” KJ, May 13, 1892, 4. CDG, April 15, 1870; November 29, 1872; February 11, 1873. “The City,” KSJ, February 10, 1883, 1. “Colored Club,” KJ, May 25, 1894, 6. “The Colored League,” KJ, March 4, 1892, 4. “Colored Schools,” CDE, August 1, 1866, 2. Covington Ticket, August 14, 1875. “Deaths in Newport,” KP, May 13, 1911, 5. “Delegates Selected,” KJ, July 7, 1891, 3. “First in the State,” KJ, August 13, 1891, 5. “The Outs Knock Out the Bloody In,” KJ, March 8, 1892, 4.
Theodore H. H. Harris
RISEN, ARNIE DENNY “STILTS” (b. October 9, 1924, Lexington, Ky.). Basketball player Arnold “Arnie” Risen is the son of John Denny and Elvira Scroggins Risen. He grew up in Grant Co. and graduated from Williamstown High School (see Williamstown Independent Schools) in 1942. After attending Eastern Kentucky University for one year on a basketball scholarship, this sixfoot-nine center transferred to Ohio State University, where he was an All Big 10 Conference player in 1943 and 1944 and a Converse All-American in 1945. He led the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament in 1944 and 1945. After college Risen played with the Indianapolis Kautskys of the old National Basketball League before joining the Rochester (N.Y.) Royals of the National Basketball Association (NBA), with whom he played from 1948 until 1955. He finished his career with the Boston Celtics in 1958. He completed 13 professional seasons, and although not large or burly (he weighed only 200 pounds), he was known as a reliable scorer, a rugged rebounder, and a strong competitor. He was a member of Rochester’s 1951 NBA championship team. In 1998 Risen became the second person from the Northern Kentucky region, after Dave Cowens, to enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Risen has retired and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area.
RIVER TRADE Basketball Hall of Fame. “Hall of Famers: Arnold D. ‘Arnie’ Risen.” www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/ bhof-arnie-risen.html (accessed May 24, 2007). “Risen,” Grant County News, January 27, 1983, 12.
Michael R. Sweeney
RITCHIE FAMILY. The Ritchie family moved to Ludlow from Cincinnati in 1860. In that year, Casper Ritchie Jr. (1827–1890) built a large, twostory brick house at the northwest corner of Elm and Locust Sts., for the then huge sum of $20,000. Casper and his brother Jacques had begun to prosper from the dry goods wholesale store that they had started in Cincinnati in May 1851. In 1853 the two brothers married sisters from the wealthy Moore family of Mount Adams, the hill just east of downtown Cincinnati, and according to family lore, Moore family money helped pay for the Ludlow home. Casper Ritchie Sr. (1800–1873) had immigrated from Switzerland in 1834, settling in Cincinnati the next year. Because he was unable to find work during the bank crises and economic hardship of the early 1840s, he returned with his family to Switzerland in 1842. On their return to Cincinnati in 1847, the Ritchie family identified with the Germans of Cincinnati and grew alarmed at the growth of the anti-immigrant Order of the StarSpangled Banner, or Know-Nothings. After the Know-Nothing riots of 1855, Casper Ritchie Jr., a son of Casper Ritchie Sr., resolved to leave Cincinnati. He already owned property in Ludlow, which he considered a place of “Arcadian simplicity,” and began building a home there in 1858. During the Civil War, Ritchie Jr. served in a Home Guard unit to protect the area from Confederate attack and prevent the sale of contraband. Casper Ritchie Jr. was one of a number of prosperous businessmen who lived in the suburban quiet of Northern Kentucky and commuted by ferry into the noisy, crowded industrial city across the river. His Ludlow home had a slate roof and a widow’s walk. A two-story porch at the rear, from which friends and family observed the fireworks on the Fourth of July, caught the breezes of the Ohio River and provided a view of Cincinnati. In 1864 Ritchie added a one-story library, fitted out in solid black walnut, and in 1865 he built an extensive glass green house, where he grew exotic species. In addition to two maids and a hired hand who lived at the Ludlow estate, Ritchie employed a gardener for many years. The bucolic setting of the Ritchie home declined after the opening of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad Bridge (1877), which turned Ludlow into a rail center and introduced the very same industrial conditions Ritchie had sought to escape—noise, smoke, and vandalism that destroyed the green house. Ritchie’s Cincinnati business declined as well, until it became, in the words of his son Walter, “a junk shop.” Still, the home continued to be enjoyed by four generations of the family. The Ritchie property was sold in 1958, the house was demolished, and a Kroger grocery store was constructed on the site. Casper Jacques Ritchie (1862–1902), another son of Casper Ritchie Sr., married Glenna Jolly
(1866–1937), whose father, Oscar B. Jolly, pi loted the ironclad Union gunboat USS Cairo in preparation for the siege of Vicksburg. The son of Glenna and Casper Jacques, Edgar Barrick Ritchie (1892– 1918), a 1st lieutenant in the 355th U.S. Army Infantry, was the first Ludlow native to die in World War I. The American Legion Post of Ludlow, established in August 1919 and dissolved in 1967, was named for Edgar Ritchie. Highland Cemetery Records, Fort Mitchell, Ky. National Park Ser vice. “Vicksburg National Military Park.” www.nps.gov/vick (accessed September 20, 2006). Ritchie Family Papers, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
Daniel Edgar Ritchie
RIVERSIDE–GOOD COUNSEL SCHOOL. As late as the early 1950s, the schools in Northern Kentucky had no special education classes. In 1952 a group of parents concerned about the need for teaching and training children with mental disabilities founded the Riverside School in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church on W. Fourth St. in Covington. The school moved to 430 Garrard St. in Covington the next year. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington initiated similar programs at two locations in 1955: Benedictine Sister Wendeline Burkhard gathered 10 “special needs” children in a classroom at the St. Aloysius School in Covington; and a Sister of Divine Providence, Sister Isabella, did the same at Corpus Christi School in Newport. Admission to these schools was not restricted to Catholics, nor to children whose families could pay full tuition. Eventually, the region’s Catholic schools joined together to form the Good Counsel School, which operated out of the Mother of God School building along W. Sixth St. in Covington. At the same school, Sister Mary Leopolda, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth, held classes for the visually handicapped. In the late 1960s, the Good Counsel School merged with the Riverside School, to create the Riverside–Good Counsel School. In 1972 the new school occupied a new school building in Fort Wright, where instruction was provided from kindergarten through high school. With mainstreaming of special needs students into the public schools, Riverside-Good Counsel School redirected its efforts. The organization changed its name to New Perceptions Inc. in 1985 to reflect the broader array of ser vices offered. New Perceptions Inc. moved to Sperti Dr. in Edgewood in 1990 and brought all of its components together in one location. In 2002 the organization celebrated its 50th year of helping persons with “special needs.” “Good Counsel, Riverside Merge,” Messenger, March 5, 1967, 14A. “Kenton Board Votes to Buy Riverside,” KP, December 17, 1981, 19K. Main, Anita. “New Perceptions Offers Aid to Disabled,” Messenger, December 22, 1985, 22. “New Perceptions,” KP, January 2, 1985, 8K.
“New Perceptions, Inc.” www.newperceptions.org (accessed May 2, 2007). Tenkotte, Paul A., David E. Schroeder, and Thomas S. Ward. To Be Catholic and American in Northern, Central, and Appalachian Kentucky: The Diocese of Covington, 1853–2003. Forthcoming.
RIVER TRADE. For Northern Kentucky the importance of river trade has ebbed and flowed in different periods of the region’s history, but such trade has always been significant. At the end of the 18th century, shipment of goods by river offered lowercost and faster travel than the transportation of goods over the Appalachian Mountains by wagon or pack horse. The average distance goods could be moved per day using horsepower was 12 miles, and for each 100 miles the goods were moved, the cost doubled. Thus, the cost of transportation could far exceed the value of the goods. Transportation by river did require following the course of the river, which often meant that a greater distance was covered, but the cost was much lower, even so. Goods could be shipped by river 1,000 miles or more and still cost less than moving them 100 miles overland. During the 1790s, river shipment quickly developed along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Finished goods would be transported by horsepower west across the mountains to Pittsburgh, Pa., or Wheeling, W.Va., and then would be loaded onto rafts or keelboats and floated down the Ohio River. Human labor, using push poles, was needed, however, to move such craft upstream against the current. The average keelboat could carry up to 10 tons of goods as quickly as six miles an hour downstream and up to one mile per hour upstream. Although the river transportation was cheap, it did have negative features. The river could be used only during part of the year. The Ohio and Kentucky rivers during the 18th and 19th centuries fluctuated from having very little water to raging floods. Generally, the river was not usable from January through March owing to ice, and from July through September owing to low water. Thus, there were two shipping seasons, April through June and October through December. The length of the seasons varied depending on when the spring and fall rains occurred and how much water they brought. Too much rain meant a swift-running river, unsafe to navigate. If shipping was not possible in one of the seasons, goods had to be warehoused until they could be shipped; merchants were required to stock shelves with two to three months’ worth of supplies or face depleted inventories. Another impediment to river travel was the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. This stretch of rapids during low water often prevented boats from proceeding past the falls. Goods in this instance had to be off-loaded and transported by wagon to another boat above or below the falls. In 1811 the steamboat New Orleans was built at Pittsburgh, ushering in the era of mechanically powered boats on the western rivers. Steamboats were not yet viable on the rivers, however. The first steamboats had ship hulls, and their machinery was below the waterline; they could operate only
762 RIVERVIEW during high water. It was not until the 1840s that the shallow-draft packet boat, with its machinery above the waterline and a paddle wheel for propulsion, became the mover of goods. These boats could move as much as 500 tons of goods up to 10 miles an hour. Steamboats were soon being built in the Northern Kentucky region. In 1816 the Calhoun was built on the Kentucky River. In 1819 the Henry Clay was built on the Licking River, and the General Robinson and the Missouri were launched at Newport. Between 1817 and 1880, 1,374 vessels were built in the Cincinnati area. Northern Kentucky owed much of its prosperity to its ability to receive raw material, convert it into finished products, and ship the products away by river. With the development of the western river steamboat, interest arose within the business community to canalize the Ohio, Licking, and Kentucky rivers. In 1836 the Commonwealth of Kentucky began building locks and dams on the Kentucky River. Lock No. 1 was constructed at Carrollton; the last Kentucky River lock was built in 1917. These locks were closed to commercial traffic in the year 2000. The canalization of the Ohio River started in 1830 with the opening of the Portland Canal at Louisville, which circumvented the Falls of the Ohio, and was completed in 1929. The canalization provided a year-round navigational channel of nine feet with its 51 locks and dams between Pittsburgh, Pa., and Cairo, Ill. In Northern Kentucky, the Ohio River locks and dams were No. 33 in Mason Co., No. 34 in Bracken Co., Nos. 35 and 36 in Campbell Co., Nos. 37 and 38 in Boone Co., and No. 39 in Gallatin Co. In the last half of the 20th century, 17 new dams with larger locks replaced the older locks and dams. Two of the new dams are located within Northern Kentucky region, the Markland Dam in Gallatin Co. and the Captain Anthony Meldahl Dam in Bracken Co. Although locks were proposed for the Licking River, and construction was even started, no locks were ever completed. During the 19th century, a packet-boat trade based in Cincinnati developed on the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Louisville, serving all landings in between as well. Because of competition from the railroads, however, packet ser vice on the Ohio River and its tributaries slowly diminished. It ended on the Kentucky River in the 1930s and on the Ohio in the 1940s. Northern Kentucky was able to maintain its transportation edge as packet-boat ser vice ended by developing railroad, highway, airline, and towboat ser vices. The towboat industry moved barges on the rivers. The barges were originally towed alongside or behind packet boats, but soon they were being pushed up and down the river by towboats. During the 1930s these towboats began to use diesel power; they had screw propellers for propulsion. Before long, steam and paddle wheels became historical curiosities. Whereas a packet could carry 500 tons of goods, a modern tow pushing 12 barges can move 12,000 tons of goods, including grain, coal, petroleum products, chemicals, scrap metal, and
finished metal. Barge companies generally own their towboats. In 2002 Cincinnati–Northern Kentucky, served by 32 barge companies, was the fourth- or fift h-largest port in the United States. In that same year, the port generated or received 13 million tons of goods, and an additional 52 million tons passed through it. Ambler, Charles H. A History of Transportation in the Ohio Valley. Glendale, Calif.: Arthur Clark, 1932. Hunter, Louis C. Steamboats on the Western Rivers: An Economic and Technological History. Reprint, New York: Dover, 1993. Kane, Adam I. The Western River Steamboat. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2004. Klein, Benjamin F. The Ohio River Handbook. Cincinnati: Young and Klein, 1958.
Charles H. Bogart
RIVERVIEW. This two-story brick house sits on a knoll overlooking the Ohio River between Ghent and Carrollton in Carroll Co. Built by Benjamin Craig Jr. in 1809, it remained his home until New Year’s Day 1847, when Craig and five others perished after high winds toppled their skiff into the icy Ohio River. Family legend says a servant found two doves on Craig’s bed that day and that his wife Elizabeth Morris Craig, a niece of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, thereafter marked the anniversary of her husband’s death secluded in her bedroom. In 1886 the home was owned by Confederate military veteran Thomas M. Barrett and was the site of a notable tragedy. Barrett’s erratic young relative William Fuqua Whitehead shot and killed Barrett’s governess, Laura Harwood, before killing himself. A diagram of the upstairs bedroom where the bodies were found appeared in the local paper. There was considerable melodramatic speculation about “the Carrollton Tragedy.” The current owner believes the house to be haunted. In 1914 Perry J. Gaines, who had grown up at nearby Scott’s Landing, purchased the home and remodeled it extensively into a showpiece for his Riverview Farms. Gaines was prominent in state and national agricultural and cattle organizations and served in the Kentucky state senate. After Gaines’s death in 1947, his son Logan Gaines built and operated the Riverview Drive-In Theater east of the house. The Dow Corning Corporation bought the properties and in 1966 opened a chemical plant on the theater site, later selling the house to Owen Harris, son of Kentucky’s agricultural commissioner, Thomas Oscar Harris. First Lady Rosalyn Carter attended a political rally there during her husband’s 1976 presidential campaign. Owen Harris died in 2005 while still residing at Riverview, and his wife Linda Harris survives him there. Further development of the surrounding Dow Corning property could render the home uninhabitable. Crawford, Byron. “Haunted Feeling Comes with House for Carroll Couple,” LCJ, October 31, 2003, B1.
ROANOKE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. The first place of worship in the Roanoke community in Pendleton Co. was the schoolhouse, which was located in the cemetery. The structure also served as a place of worship for the Gum Lick Baptist Church until 1882. In 1881 the Roanoke Christian Church was built on land across the road from the cemetery, donated by George W. Shipp Sr. A member of the community built the pews. Among regular attenders, women sat on one side of the church and men on the other; visitors sat in the middle. During this period, many people walked, came in horse-driven buggies, arrived on horseback, or drove wagons to church. Marriages performed in the church were a rarity; home weddings were more common. In 1929 the second church was built, and while it was under construction, ser vices were again held in the Roanoke schoolhouse. The seating custom soon changed so that families sat together in the ser vices. In 1973 Roanoke built its third church, where it currently holds ser vices. “New Roanoke Christian Church,” Cooperative News, January 1974, 5. Available in the vertical files, Pendleton Co. Public Library, Falmouth, Ky. “Roanoke Christian Church History 100 Years Old August 2, 1981,” Falmouth Outlook, July 10, 1981, 5.
Melissa J. Wickelhaus
ROBERT CHAMBERS HOUSE. The Robert Chambers House on East Bend Rd. just south of Burlington is one of the most spectacular Greek Revival residences in Boone Co. The house was built for Robert Chambers between 1832 and 1836 by mason Jessie Kelly and master woodworker Thomas Zane Roberts Sr. Although seldom used, the elaborate north doorway represents one of the most academically correct uses of the relatively sophisticated Greek Doric order in the county. It contains engaged columns and original leaded stained-glass sidelights. The doorway columns and those flanking the mantels in the main parlors are fluted, and a spiral staircase is set against a curving wall. The rear ell contains a recessed porch with square columns. The property was in the Caldwell family, and maintained by them, from 1944 to 2005. Boone Co. Historic Preservation Review Board. Historic Structures of Boone County, Kentucky. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Historic Preservation Review Board, 2002. Kentucky Heritage Commission. Survey of Historic Sites in Boone County. Frankfort: Kentucky Heritage Commission, 1979.
ROBERTS, ALICE KENNELLY (b. April 27, 1920, Covington, Ky.). Author, newspaper columnist, and educator Alice Roberts is the daughter of Bruce and Elizabeth B. Payne Kennelly. She completed high school in the Covington Public Schools (see Covington Independent Schools) and has a BS from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond and an MA from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.; she has completed additional graduate studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Cincinnati, the University of
Kentucky in Lexington, and Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. She spent a half century in teaching and educational administrative positions, first at Holmes High School in Covington and later at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati. In 1954 she married her high school sweetheart, Edward Roberts, and they shared a happy married life, including travels to all parts of the world, until his death in 1990. The couple had no children. Alice Roberts has been active in many local civic and social organizations and has published three books of poetry and one of prose. Her poetry books include Bluegrass (1949), Bluegrass Junior (1952), and Bluegrass Seasons (1959); her prose work, the story of her Irish ancestors, is titled Shamrocks and Bluegrass (1998). Both she and her husband were elected to key offices in the local Christopher Gist Historical Society, an organization in which Alice remains “the driving force.” Roberts’s annual Christmas cards, which feature original verse, have become treasured and valuable collectors’ items. A features columnist for many years, variously with the Kentucky Times-Star, the Kentucky Enquirer, and the Kentucky Post, she still writes a weekly column for the Cincinnati Post. She has often incorporated into her columns verses she deft ly composed in just a few minutes. A long-time resident of Covington, Roberts now lives in a Covington retirement community. Minutes and Proceedings of the Christopher Gist Historical Society, Archives, Northern Kentucky Univ., Highland Heights, Ky. Roberts, Alice Kennelly. Shamrocks and Bluegrass. Covington, Ky.: Padgett Press, 1998.
James C. Claypool
ROBERTS, ELIZABETH MADOX (b. October 30, 1881, Perryville, Ky.; d. March 13, 1941, Orlando, Fla.). A novelist and a poet, Elizabeth Madox Roberts was the daughter of Simpson and Mary Elizabeth Brent Roberts. As a child she moved to Springfield, Ky., which she thereafter considered her home. Illness, including tuberculosis and other respiratory ailments, plagued her throughout her life. Elizabeth’s parents decided to send their talented daughter to finish high school in a facility that offered more than the high school in Springfield, so she attended high school in Covington. Some relatives of her mother’s family, the Brents, had moved to Covington during the late 1800s and operated a boardinghouse. Like many others from rural areas, Roberts must have gained an urban—if not a cosmopolitan—sense from living in Northern Kentucky. She began in 1897 and completed her high school education in May 1899. Covington is the archetype for the fantastic city Mome in the prologue to Roberts’s novel My Heart and My Flesh. At age 36 Roberts enrolled at the University of Chicago. Chicago was one of the most exciting literary places in the United States at the time, and Roberts became part of a literary group that included Yvor Winters and Glenway Westcott. Roberts was elected president of the University of Chicago’s Poetry Club and won the McLaughlin Prize
for Essay Writing and the Fiske Prize for Poetry. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 1921, with a degree in English. Roberts’s literary career began with the publication of In the Great Steep’s Garden (1915), a collection of poems written to accompany Kenneth Hartley’s photographs of mountain flowers. Shortly after her graduation, she published her second work, Under the Tree (1922). Having begun as a poet, Roberts found her voice and highest acclaim as a fiction writer. Her most significant and well-received books were novels: The Time of Man (1926), My Heart and My Flesh (1927), Jingling in the Wind (1928), The Great Meadow (1930), A Buried Trea sure (1931), The Haunted Mirror (1932), He Sent Forth a Raven (1935), and Black Is My True Love’s Hair (1938). Her short stories are collected in The Haunted Mirror (1932) and Not by Strange Gods (1941), and her poetry books are Under the Tree (1922) and Song in the Meadow (1940). Perhaps her best-known work is The Great Meadow, which tells the story of Kentucky’s settlement and early days. She had a great love for her state, its history, and its significance in her life. During this prolific time as a writer, Roberts continued to be ill. She was suffering from tuberculosis and died in 1941 at the Orange Hospital in Orlando, Fla., of Hodgkin’s disease. She was buried on Cemetery Hill in the Springfield City Cemetery, Springfield, Ky. Roberts is often considered a lesser southern regionalist and is not often read today, although scholars sometimes mention The Time of Man and The Great Meadow. She is regarded by many as a forerunner of William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Penn Warren, and others of the Southern Renascence. Campbell, Harry Modean. Elizabeth Madox Roberts: American Novelist. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1956. Ward, William S. A Literary History of Kentucky. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1988.
ROBERTS, THOMAS ZANE (b. October 4, 1851, Boone Co., Ky.; d. January 15, 1925, Boone Co., Ky.). Described as a “rural genius,” Thomas Zane Roberts was a teacher, a farmer, an astronomer, a carpenter, and an inventor. He is best known for building the monumental celestial Clock of Middle Creek in Boone Co. Roberts was the son of Thomas and Roxanne Odell Roberts, who in the 1830s came from New Jersey to Boone Co., via Cincinnati, where they spent a couple of years. The Robertses acquired a 257-acre “steam mill” tract on Middle Creek in 1846. T. Z., as Roberts was known, spent most of his life on the farm, where his father taught him farming, carpentry, and milling grain. He attended common school at Locust Grove and Willoughby in Boone Co. and enrolled at the Morgan Academy in Burlington in 1873. By 1875 Roberts had graduated from school and had been elected president of the local Farmers’ Grange, where his skill as an orator was well received. For a time, he submitted poems and short
narratives to the new Boone County Recorder, using the pen name of Zane. After his father’s death in 1876, T. Z. Roberts returned to farming and milling, although he still set aside time for academic and spiritual pursuits. He obtained a teaching certificate from Boone Co. in 1878 and taught frequently in local schools and churches until 1902. Roberts then became more involved in the pursuits that led him to design the monumental clock that is his legacy. While continuing to farm and run the mill, he worked as a carpenter and took up astronomy. He also built his magnificent home on Middle Creek, which incorporated household inventions ranging from a hand-cast fireplace blower and a swinging bed to foldaway walls and suspended ceilings. In 1909 Roberts discontinued most of his other pursuits to devote himself to the Clock of Middle Creek. Local folklore holds that he built an observatory, studied the planets for a year, and secretly built the clock so that he would never again miss Sunday ser vices. In fact, he had begun working with clocks in 1882; the only time he ever forgot about Sunday church was in 1883. Roberts had made a smaller calendar clock in the 1880s and probably built the celestial clock as an improvement on that one. The Clock of Middle Creek, seven feet high, includes a standard clock dial, a calendar, a moon-phase disc, and a planetarium. The planetarium is a miniature solar system comprising the Sun, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter. The orbit of each planet is precisely geared: while Venus gains one degree of arc in 1,656 days, Jupiter loses one degree of arc over 250 years. The clock has never been opened, so the true nature of Roberts’s invention remains somewhat of a mystery. Roberts died on the family farm in 1925, at age 73, and was buried in the Burlington IOOF Cemetery. Today, his clock is located at Burlington in the lobby of the Heritage Bank on Burlington Pk. It is still running and keeping time. Becher, Matthew E., Michael A. Rouse, Robert Schrage, and Laurie Wilcox. Images of America: Burlington. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2004. Frohlich, Anthony W. “Thomas Zane Roberts and the Clock of Middle Creek,” Boone County Recorder, April 20, 27; May 4, 1977. ———. Timekeeper: Thomas Zane Roberts, A Kentucky Renaissance Man. Union, Ky.: Enchanted Valley, 2008. Theoret, Nancy. “Timepiece Burlington Man’s ‘Claim to Fame,’ ” Dixie News, April 4, 1991, 13.
Matthew E. Becher and Anthony W. Frohlich
ROBERTSON, GEORGE (b. November 18, 1790, Mercer Co., Ky.; d. May 16, 1874, Lexington, Ky.). Judge and legislator George Robertson was the son of Alexander and Margaret Robinson Robertson, who moved from Virginia to Kentucky in 1779 and settled in modern-day Mercer Co. near Fort Harrod. Robertson attended some of the finer private schools in Central Kentucky. He read law under the tutelage of his brother-in-law Samuel McKee, a U.S. congressman, and became licensed to practice law at age 19.
At age 26 he was elected to the U.S. Congress and served two terms before resigning in 1821 to attend to family obligations at home. Back in the commonwealth of Kentucky, Robertson moved his family to Lexington and turned his professional attention to state government. He was a member of the Kentucky legislature from 1822 to 1827 and served briefly as the Kentucky secretary of state in 1828. Robertson’s distinguished judicial career began in 1828, when he was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state at the time. He served on that court until he resigned in 1843, and he was chief justice for most of those years. After his resignation from the bench, he practiced law in Lexington and won election to the Kentucky legislature two more times in 1848 and 1851. Robertson enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Transylvania University in Lexington, a school he attended briefly before leaving to read law. He was a professor of law at Transylvania University from 1834 to 1857 and wrote in his autobiography that he had “helped to make more than 1200 lawyers.” In 1847 Robertson met future president Abraham Lincoln (1861–1865), who was visiting his wife’s family, the Todds, in Lexington. From then on, Robertson and Lincoln enjoyed a cordial friendship, corresponding occasionally about issues of the day. Robertson represented Lincoln, along with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and other Todd heirs, in a lawsuit brought in Fayette Circuit Court in 1855. During the Civil War, Robertson strongly supported the Union cause. Despite his pro-Union stance, however, he remained a slave owner until the conflict’s bitter end. He successfully sued a Union Army colonel in federal court for refusing to surrender a Robertson family slave. The slave had sought refuge in one of the Union troop encampments located near Lexington during the war. Robertson was ultimately compensated $900 for the loss of this runaway, money that had to be appropriated by a special act of the U.S. Congress in 1873. In 1864 Kentucky voters returned Robertson to a seat on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. His second period of judicial ser vice produced some controversial criminal law holdings. For instance, an 1870 opinion authored by Robertson held that shooting someone in the back constituted selfdefense. An earlier opinion rendered by Roberston, one that contravened all existing law of the period, recognized drunkenness as a legitimate defense against murder charges. Despite such legal aberrations, Robertson remained popu lar with most Kentuckians. During the 1867 Kentucky legislative session, the legislature moved to name a county “in honor of the distinguished son, statesman, and jurist of Kentucky, George Robertson.” On August 1, 1867, the boundaries of Bracken, Harrison, Mason, and Nicholas counties were officially redrawn, and Robertson Co. became the 111th Kentucky county. Toward the end of his life, Robertson, who had grown large not only in reputation but also in physical stature, acquired the nickname “Old Buster.” In 1871 he suffered a debilitating stroke and a few months later resigned from the Kentucky
Robertson Co. Courthouse, Mt. Olivet.
Court of Appeals when his condition failed to improve. He died in 1874 and was buried in the Lexington Cemetery after a large public funeral procession. His home, Rokeby Hall, still stands in Lexington, where it is part of the city’s South Hill Historic District. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1985. Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky. Cincinnati: J. M. Armstrong, 1878. Coleman, J. Winston, Jr. “Lincoln and ‘Old Buster,’ ” Lincoln Herald 46, no. 1 (February 1944). Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992.
Deborah Diersen Crocker
ROBERTSON CO. On August 1, 1867, Robertson Co. became the 111th county to be created within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It was named for Judge George Robertson and was formed by carving out portions of Bracken, Harrison, Mason, and Nicholas counties. Mount Olivet is the county seat. Robertson is the county that contains the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park and the Johnson Creek Covered Bridge. In 1880 the county had a population of 5,800; today, with roughly 2,100 residents, it is the least-populated county in the state. At approximately 100 square miles, Robertson Co. ranks as the second-smallest county in land area within Kentucky. Robertson Co. is located in the northeastern region of Kentucky known as the Outer Bluegrass. The terrain is hilly, the roads are winding, and hardwood forests cover 25 percent of the county. Its northern boundary mainly consists of the North Fork of the Licking River; to the south, its boundary with Harrison and Nicholas counties is
the main fork of the Licking. Robertson Co. is drained by those rivers and several major creeks, including Cedar, Clay’s, Drift Run, Fire Lick, Helm, Johnson’s, Painter, Shannon, and West creeks. The elevation of the county varies between 550 and 1,000 feet above sea level. The enabling legislation to form the county was proposed by Harrison Co. state representative Duncan Harding of Kentontown. At that time, Kentontown was part of Harrison Co., as well as Harding’s home, and he owned most of the town. Harding therefore had the most to gain if this hamlet became the county seat. He won legislative approval for his new county, but not for the name he proposed, Cass Co. (after Lewis Cass, the War of 1812 hero and 1848 Democratic presidential candidate who had just died). Moreover, Harding was not able to convince his colleagues that Kentontown should be the county seat; instead, the more centrally located Mount Olivet became the county’s seat. Mount Olivet formerly had been within Nicholas Co., the southeastern adjacent county and the one that had surrendered the most land area for the new county. The portion of land that had been surrendered was the Nicholas Co. land north of the Licking River, which was often difficult to cross. The major industry in Robertson Co. is farming, in par ticu lar tobacco. The county has continued to lose population since its formation. More than half of the people employed work outside the county, and those people tend to give up their long commutes eventually and move closer to their jobs. High school graduates who do not take up farming or tobacco have very few career options near home. Robertson Co. has no hospital, no airport and no major shopping area. Railroads pass through adjacent counties, but not through Robertson. In
766 ROBERTSON CO. PUBLIC LIBRARY 1898 subscriptions were being sold for a railroad, to be built by the Dover, Kentucky, and South Atlantic Railway Company, the successor to the Ohio River, Frankfort, and Western Railway Company. The new railroad was proposed to run from Dover in Bracken Co. along the Ohio River, connecting with the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio) there, then pass through Germantown, Mount Olivet, and Kentontown on the way to Cynthiana in Harrison Co. The railroad was never built. The completion of the AA Highway in the past 20 years, which does not enter the county, has made it easier for travelers to go elsewhere, much to the chagrin of local providers of goods and ser vices. In recent years, a new nursing home, the Robertson Co. Health Care Facility, was built in Mount Olivet for the long-term care of the county’s elderly population. The need for such care may be even greater in Robertson Co. than in most areas, because longevity (length of life) is much greater in Robertson Co. than in most places in the world. The average age at death in the county is 84, versus a worldwide average of 77. There are only four places in the world with such high longevity, and for reasons that demographers have yet to discover, Robertson Co. is one. For several years, planners have proposed a highway linking Lexington, Ky., and Columbus, Ohio. If built through Robertson Co., this roadway would help reduce the county’s relative isolation. Also, if the on-again, off-again talks of building a flood-control dam on the Licking River just south of Falmouth in Pendleton Co. ever come to fruition, Robertson Co., which includes many Licking River tributaries, could quickly become a fishing and recreation mecca. In recent years the State of Kentucky has funded the continued development of the Blue Licks Battlefield State Park. Some new jobs for area residents have been created thereby, and a small lodge with outlying cabins is a new addition to the park. Gifford, Anjanette. “The Formation of Robertson County,” NKH 9, no. 1 (Spring–Summer 2001): 65–74. Moore, T. Ross, ed. Echoes from the Century, 1867– 1967. Mount Olivet, Ky.: Robertson Co. Historical Society, 2000.
ROBERTSON CO. PUBLIC LIBRARY. The Robertson Co. Public Library was founded in 1952 in the basement of the Robertson Co. Extension Office on Court St. in Mount Olivet. Because the state library wanted to have a public library available for each county, the state provided funding and books for demonstration libraries throughout the state. The first Robertson Co. public librarian was Donnie Lane Morford King, who served as director of the library from 1952 to 1957. The county purchased a Dewey decimal classification manual and provided homemade furniture for the oneroom library. The county judge executive appointed the first library board members, who were Etta Buckner, Guy Craig, Earl Mac Linville, and Mary Allen Wilson. A few years later, the library moved to a larger facility along N. Main St., the former Mount Olivet
Natural Gas Office building. Counties that had these demonstration libraries were encouraged to form their own tax districts to support their public libraries. After Robertson Co. failed in a second attempt to pass a tax levy, representatives of the state came and collected the books that had been provided, and the library was closed. Concerned citizens of the community banded together in 1979 to form a new library board of trustees. On November 6, 1979, Robertson Co. finally passed a library tax levy. In 1979–1980 this board received two state grants to establish the new library. In 1981 paperwork was signed between the Robertson Co. Fiscal Court, the City of Mount Olivet, and the Library Board to lease a 1,220-square-foot, one-story city-county building at 407 E. Walnut St. to house the new library. The library rapidly grew and needed to expand. City and county officials therefore agreed to deed the leased building over to the Robertson Co. Library Board of Trustees. This deed allowed the board to apply for a 1990 State Construction Grant, which was received and provided funds to purchase the 900-square-foot fire station next door to the library. The fire hall was renovated to accommodate a new children’s area and a community meeting room. In 1999 the library was outgrowing its quarters. In 2001 Kentucky state senator Charlie Borders and Kentucky state representative Tom McKee presented to the library a $175,000 “seed money” grant from Kentucky legislative funds for a new library facility. In 2002 the library received a construction grant of $635,000 from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. On March 10, 2003, a new 5,053-square-foot library opened its doors at 148 N. Main St. The library has 22 computers with high-speed Internet access, book and media collections, and numerous programs for children and adults. In August 2003 the library facility at 407 E. Walnut St. was renamed the Robertson Co. Public Library Annex. This facility serves as a branch library that currently houses the county’s adult education program, the 21st Century Community Learning Center, and the City Hall. “Library Wants to Lower Tax,” KP, November 7, 1983, 2K. “Mt. Olivet Opens Library Project,” KP, April 12, 1979, 5K. “Robertson, Mt. Olivet Seek New Library,” KP, July 15, 1977, 15K.
ROBERTSON CO. PUBLIC SCHOOLS. In 1867, when Robertson Co. was created, there were 26 one- or two-room elementary schools within the county: 24 were for white students and two were for African Americans. With the dramatic decrease in the county’s total population, from 5,800 in 1880 to approximately 2,200 in 2000, the student-aged population has dwindled proportionally. For this reason and because of the general consolidation of small schools, which has taken place statewide, only two schools remain in the county. Both of these are centrally located, in
Mount Olivet, at the site of the Deming High School on N. Main St: Deming School, an elementary school and a combined junior-senior high school. Before the 1890s, no secondary education was available to children in Robertson Co. Students desiring instruction at the high school level had to go elsewhere. The first attempts to provide secondary education in Robertson Co. were private in nature and began in the 1890s: the Mount Olivet Male and Female Academy and Colyer’s Special School. Not until 1910 did a tuition-free high school begin; that school was first known as the Robertson Co. High School. Kate Zoller was instrumental in establishing it. The county was mostly agricultural at that time, so farming responsibilities prevented many students from attending classes. Students would walk to the closest school “for their learning,” when time permitted. George Washington “Wash” Bratton, one of the founders of Bratton’s Mill (Pinhook) in the northern part of the county, recognized the need to train teachers. During the 1860s, he attempted to operate a normal school for that purpose in a threestory building at Pinhook. Although he had great hopes that his school would one day become a great instructional academy, the venture did not last long; he could not find people to train as teachers. Today, Robertson Co. students are transported to the Deming School for all their education, both elementary and secondary. Moore, T. Ross, ed. Echoes from the Century, 1867– 1967. Mount Olivet, Ky.: Robertson Co. Historical Society, 2000.
ROBSION, JOHN MARSHALL (b. January 2, 1873, Bracken Co., Ky.; d. February 17, 1948, Barbourville, Ky.). Lawyer, educator, and politician John Marshall Robsion was the son of John A. and Mary Hyland Robsion. Both of John’s parents died while he was a young boy. He put himself through school, attending National Northern University in Ada, Ohio; Holbrook College in Knoxville, Tenn.; and National Normal University in Lebanon, Ohio. He graduated from the latter institution and then entered law school at Centre College, Danville, Ky., where he received his degree in 1900. Robsion married Lida Stansbury on January 25, 1902, and they had three children. He taught in the Barbourville public schools and at Union College in the same city. In 1911 he became president of the First National Bank of Barbourville. Robsion entered politics in 1919 as a Republican and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until 1930. In that year Kentucky governor Flem Sampson (1927–1931) appointed Robsion to the U.S. Senate to fi ll the unexpired term of Frederick M. Sackett. At the end of this term, Robsion lost his bid for election to M. M. Logan. Robsion was again elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1934, where he served from 1935 until his death on February 17, 1948. He was buried in the Barbourville Cemetery. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1985.
ROEBLING, JOHN AUGUSTUS AND WASHINGTON AUGUSTUS Kleber, John, ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. Southward, Mary Young. Who’s Who in Kentucky. Louisville: Standard, 1936.
ROCKDALE. Rockdale is a community in southern Owen Co. near the Scott Co. border. It is within the Caney Precinct. The 1883 Lake atlas suggests that at that time there were a post office and a store at Rockdale. Houchens, Mariam Sidebottom. History of Owen County: “Sweet Owen.” Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1976. Rennick, Robert M. Kentucky Place Names. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1984.
RODGERS, HOWARD S. (b. 1867, Covington, Ky.; d. June 14, 1936, Franconia, N.H.). Howard S. Rodgers, born at 412 E. Second St. in Covington, was the son of Charles and Harriet Fallis Rodgers. He attended local schools and then became one of the first persons in the country to earn an electrical engineering degree. However, he never worked in the electrical field, preferring rather to engage in the brokerage business. He later became a vice president of Merchants National Bank, the forerunner of the First National Bank of Cincinnati. Rodgers was an avid boatman. Some have claimed that Rodgers invented the hand grenade; however, it is more likely that he only developed the modern version of the weapon. The hand grenade is believed to have originated in the ancient Middle East; its name was derived from the Latin word for pomegranate. Rodgers married Henrietta Orr, and the couple was childless. He died at age 68, at his summer home in Franconia, N.H. His body was returned to Covington for burial in the Highland Cemetery, Fort Mitchell.
Unger taught mathematics, surveying, and the sciences, while encouraging his students to think clearly, analytically, and logically. After graduation, Roebling was able to enroll at a prestigious engineering school, Berlin’s Royal Polytechnic Institute, where he studied engineering, architecture, foundation construction, and bridge building. One of his instructors was the world-famous philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. During his senior year, Roebling visited a suspension bridge under construction at Bamberg, Bavaria, an experience that helped to crystallize his desire to become a bridge builder. In 1826 he received a civil engineering degree from the Royal Polytechnic Institute, graduating with honors. Roebling worked for the Prussian government as an assistant engineer, building roads and small bridges, but because he felt restricted by the governmental bureaucracy, which seemed to stifle his creativity, Roebling decided to immigrate to the United States. The move was against his parents’ wishes. On May 11, 1831, John boarded the steamship August Eduard, on his way to America. His mother was so grieved at seeing him depart that she suffered a heart attack as the ship left the dock. She lived for several more weeks, until receiving word that her son had arrived safely in Philadelphia. Roebling moved from Philadelphia to a farm that he purchased at Saxonburg, about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. In 1836 he married Johanna Herting, and they had nine children. In 1837, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. For the next few years, he farmed and attempted to improve a steam engine for the operation of farm equipment. Discontented with farming, he returned to engineering and took a job with the State
“Heavy Assessments of the Rodgers,” KTS, September 29, 1902, 3. Highland Cemetery Records, Fort Mitchell, Ky. “Rites for Inventor of Grenade Today,” KP, June 17, 1936, 1.
ROEBLING, JOHN AUGUSTUS AND WASHINGTON AUGUSTUS (John: b. June 12, 1806, Mühlhausen, Prussia; d. July 22, 1869, Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.; Washington: b. May 26, 1837, Saxonburg, Pa.; d. July 21, 1926, Trenton, N.J.). These two, father and son, were world-renowned engineers and bridge builders (see John A. Roebling Bridge). John Roebling was the youngest son of Christoph Polycarpus and Christine Frederike Dorothea Mueller Roebling. John’s father operated a tobacco store in their Prussian home. His mother was very ambitious, instilling in each of her five children the value of education and of the rewards of hard work. She was frugal and saved for John’s future education. His early training was in the local public school, and then he entered the city’s Gymnasium (comparable to high school). He excelled in mathematics, science, and drawing but was not so successful in Latin and religion. Therefore he transferred to a school more suited to his talents, the private school of the famous teacher Dr. Ephraim Solomon Unger, at Erfurt.
John A. Roebling.
of Pennsylvania, surveying and building canals and railroads. His next venture was to establish a factory at Saxonburg for the manufacture of iron wire rope. In 1844 Roebling was awarded a contract to build a wooden aqueduct, suspended by cables, along the Pennsylvania Canal. He also built a suspension bridge across the Monongahela River at Pittsburgh. In 1848 he undertook construction of a series of four suspension aqueducts in Pennsylvania and New York, completing them in two years. He started his next project in 1851, building a double-deck suspension bridge across the Niagara River, just downstream from the falls, connecting the New York Central Railroad with Canada’s Great Western Railway. Four years later, the first train crossed that new span. In fall 1856 Roebling laid the foundations for the towers of the Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge (later renamed the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge) across the Ohio River, but the project was delayed because of a national economic panic, the subsequent lack of funding, and the start of the Civil War. During the delay he began work on a new suspension bridge over the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh, which was completed in 1861. In 1863 he resumed work on the bridge at Covington, finishing it in 1867. Later that year, he began drawing plans for the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River, connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan; however, in July 1869 he was injured while surveying for the location of one of the bridge towers. Several days later, a surgeon amputated the toes of his injured foot, infection set in, and Roebling died of lockjaw. He was buried in Riverview Cemetery in Trenton, N.J. After John Roebling’s death, his son Washington A. Roebling took over management of the project. Washington Roebling earned an engineering degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N.Y., and had assisted his father in building the Pittsburgh and Covington bridges. He had also been trained in Europe in the use of caissons for the construction of deepwater piers. Essentially a huge diving bell, a caisson contained compressed air, making underwater construction possible. Unfortunately, little was understood at the time about the condition known as caisson disease or the bends, caused by nitrogen bubbles forming in the blood, a consequence of decompression during a rapid return to the surface. As the work on the Brooklyn Bridge progressed, many workers fell ill from it, including Washington Roebling. In summer 1872 he was carried from the caisson nearly unconscious and was confined to bed. At age 35 he was partially paralyzed, his vocal cords severely damaged, and his hearing and sight almost gone. For the remainder of the construction, he supervised the project from his bed, as his wife carried instructions back and forth. The Brooklyn Bridge was formally opened on May 24, 1883, and Washington Roebling viewed the ceremonies through binoculars from his apartment window. In 1888 he assumed management of the Roebling Steel plant at Trenton, N.J., but he lived in constant pain for the remainder of his life. In 1926 he died at his home in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., at the age of 89.
768 ROEBLING BRIDGE He was buried at the Cold Spring Cemetery in Cold Spring, N.Y. Schuyler, Hamilton. The Roeblings: A Century of Engineers, Bridge-Builders, and Industrialists. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1931. Stevens, Harry R. The Ohio Bridge. Cincinnati: Ruter Press, 1939. Tolzmann, Don Heinrich. The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge on the Ohio River. Max Kade Occasional Papers in German-American Studies, no. 1. Cincinnati: Max Kade German Center, Dept. of Germanic Languages and Literature, Univ. of Cincinnati: 1998.
ROEBLING BRIDGE. See John A. Roebling Bridge.
ROEBLING MURALS. The Roebling Murals are located along the Covington riverfront on the floodwall at the foot of the John A. Roebling Bridge. The largest display of public art in the area, the murals span the riverfront from Greenup St. to Madison Ave., creating a memorable landmark and an attractive entryway for Northern Kentucky. The series consists of a title panel and 17 mural scenes, each of which is 25 feet tall by either 20 or 40 feet wide. Each panel depicts a significant occurrence in Northern Kentucky’s history, with a special emphasis on the importance of the suspension bridge and its creator, John A. Roebling. Subjects of the various murals include Covington’s 1914 centennial celebration; Daniel Carter Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts of America; the Ohio River flood of 1937; Jacob Price, an African American community leader; local artists Henry Farny and Frank Duveneck; religious centers of Covington; the Latonia Racecourse; the Covington Blue Sox and the old Covington Ball Park; Kennedy’s Ferry; Union troops crossing the pontoon bridge; John A. Roebling and Amos Shinkle with the construction of the Roebling Bridge; the flight of the Garner family (see Margaret Garner); The Great Buffalo Rd. (see Buffalo Traces); the meeting of George Rogers Clark, Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone, and Benjamin Logan; the Tall Stacks Festival; Devou Park; and German heritage. Robert Dafford, from Lafayette, La., was commissioned exclusively to complete the project. Dafford is known as the nation’s foremost experienced floodwall muralist, having completed more than 350 large-scale public works in the United States, Canada, Belgium, England, and France. Sites of other Dafford projects in the United States include Maysville, Catlettsburg, and Paducah, Ky., as well as Portsmouth, Ohio; Camden, N.J.; and Vicksburg, Miss. While designing the images, he received direction from a local historical committee and advisory board. Dafford worked with a crew of five other artists to complete the project, which was commissioned in 2002 and completed in 2008. Owing to inclement weather conditions, painting was done only during the summer months. The Roebling Murals project was initiated by Legacy, a young professional group in Northern
Kentucky that is committed to fostering leadership skills and personal relationships through training, direct community involvement, and public initiatives. Legacy was given project approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and exclusive rights by the City of Covington for the floodwall murals and the surrounding area. The monies raised by Legacy were the only funds that were used for the Roebling Murals project. In 2005 Legacy was recognized for the Roebling Mural project by receiving the Editor’s Award at the Post Corbett Awards Ceremony.
Walnut Hills. She was widely read and appreciated for her knowledge and intellectual pursuits. Roff, who never married, lived the last year of her life in Mayslick. She died of an apparent heart attack at the home of her brother, Maysville banker Sandford M. Roff, and was cremated at the Cincinnati Crematory.
“End Is Unexpected for Miss Ida Roff at Brother’s Home,” article dated April 23, 1939, from a Maysville, Ky., newspaper (no name indicated), Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville, Ky. “Equal Right Association,” KJ, September 28, 1892, 8. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 11006, for the year 1939. “Local News,” DC, November 28, 1884, 4.
ROEBUCK, MARY WILTON “MINNIE” (b.
ROGERS’ DEFEAT. In August 1779, Capt. Da-
“Murals along the Ohio,” KP, October 24, 2003, 1C, 7C.
1863, Canada; d. June 16, 1931, Brooklyn, N.Y.). Singer Minnie Roebuck, the daughter of John S. and Emily Bowles Roebuck, moved to Newport with her family when she was two years old. Her father was a farmer and superintendent of the Cincinnati Gymnasium, and her mother taught piano and organ at the family’s residence, 178 Columbia St. Later the family lived in Cold Spring, along Licking Pk., four miles south of Newport. Minnie’s brother John became a well-known Newport attorney and bicycle and hydroplane racer; her sister Katherine, a graduate of Cincinnati’s Laura Medical College, was one of Newport’s first female physicians and a suff ragist. Mary studied voice at the Cincinnati College of Music, the National Academy of Music in New York City, and the Royal Academy in London, England. While in England in 1892, she appeared in at least two productions: Il Trovatore and The Flying Dutchman. Sometime before 1909, she married physician Dr. O. L. Mulot, moved with him to Brooklyn, N.Y., and gave up her singing career. Minnie died in 1931 at her home in Brooklyn and was buried in Brooklyn. Advertisement for Mrs. J. S. Roebuck, Newport Local, October 20, 1877, 2. “Hear of Death,” KP, June 17, 1931, 1. “Newport’s Wealth,” KJ, April 16, 1892, 4. “Sketch,” KP, October 15, 1898, 1.
Michael R. Sweeney
ROFF, IDA MITCHELL (b. June 24, 1859, Mason Co., Ky.; d. April 23, 1939, Mayslick, Ky.). Women’s suff rage activist Ida Mitchell Roff, the daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Mitchell Roff, grew up in the Mason Co. community of Mayslick. In the 1880s she taught elocution at 11th and Scott Sts. in Covington, and in the 1890s she and Jennie Rugg, a fellow suff ragist, organized and arranged meetings for the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (see Women’s Suff rage). Later in life, Ida lived in Cincinnati and wrote articles on astronomy and other subjects for the Cincinnati Enquirer. She resided in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, along Melrose Ave., and in Clifton along Senator Pl., where she rented rooms. She became a staunch Christian Scientist and for many years was in charge of the reading room at the First Church of Christ Scientist on Park Ave. in
vid Rogers (a cousin of Gen. George Rogers Clark) and a contingent of colonial American soldiers were sent from Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania to New Orleans to purchase gunpowder and other military supplies from the Spanish. On their return, they stopped at Louisville, where they met another group of soldiers, commanded by Col. John Campbell (namesake of Campbell Co.), who were also headed to Fort Pitt. The latter group had delivered a message to Gen. George Rogers Clark at Fort Kaskaskia, along the Mississippi River in the Illinois Territory. The combined group of about 65 men in five keelboats decided to return together. By October 4, 1779, they had reached the sandbar at what later became Dayton, Ky., where they decided to stop and prepare breakfast. Shortly after arriving, they noticed several Indians, who had come out of the Little Miami River, approaching. Captain Rogers ordered his men to surround the Indians when they landed. Without warning, 200 Indians and British soldiers, led by the white renegade Simon Girty, sprang from the willow trees that covered the sandbar and overwhelmed the colonials. Only a few of the soldiers were able to avoid death or capture. Five men who had been guarding the keelboats managed to escape downriver in one of the boats and returned to Louisville. The next morning Capt. Robert Benham crawled out from underneath a tree, where he had remained undetected. He met another soldier, John Watson, who had also managed to hide during the massacre. Both men were wounded, but at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers, some six weeks later, they were able to hail a boat that was traveling downriver, and the two soldiers were safely returned to Louisville. Both men fully recovered and subsequently were able to rejoin their military units. Robert Benham later owned property in Newport. Benham St. in Dayton, Ky., is named for this fortunate soldier. Capt. David Rogers was killed in the battle at Dayton, and Col. John Campbell was captured. Campbell was held prisoner until November 1782, when a large cash ransom was paid for his release. Collins, Richard H. History of Kentucky. Vol. 2. Covington, Ky.: Collins, 1882. Cooley, Elizabeth M. “The Benham Brothers—Robert, Peter, and Richard,” BCHS 10, no. 1 (January 1952): 69–78.
ROOT, IRA Greve, Charles Theodore. Centennial History of Cincinnati and Representative Citizens. Vol. 1. Chicago: Biographical Publishing, 1904. Wessling, Jack. Early History of Campbell County, Kentucky. Alexandria, Ky.: Privately published, 1997.
ROMAN CATHOLICS. The eastern portion of Kentucky was part of the Diocese of Louisville in the middle of the 19th century. For a brief time, an area of Northern Kentucky extending three miles south of the Ohio River was placed under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Disputes between the bishops of the two dioceses resulted in a petition to the Vatican in Rome asking for the formation of a new diocese in Kentucky. As a result, on July 29, 1853, Pope Pius IX issued a papal bull creating the Diocese of Covington. George A. Carrell, S.J., was named the first bishop of the new diocese. Carrell began his tenure in the new diocese with little money, six parishes with numerous attendant missions, and only six priests for an area that extended to the Tennessee border and included the Appalachian area of Eastern Kentucky. Many new churches and schools were soon established. According to the custom during much of the 19th century, many of the parishes in Northern Kentucky were created for either German or Irish congregations. St. Mary Catholic Church, the diocese’s first cathedral, was built on Eighth St. in Covington in 1854 (see Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption). Several religious orders of women came to teach in the schools. They joined the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who were already present and who started La Salette Academy in Covington in 1856. The Sisters of St. Benedict came in 1859 and made Covington a foundation of their order. They started St. Walburg Academy in 1863. St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center) began in Covington in 1861, staffed by the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis. Augustus Toebbe became the second bishop of Covington in 1870, two years after Carrell’s death. He brought the Sisters of Notre Dame to the diocese in 1874. They taught in many parish schools and opened the Notre Dame Academy in 1875. Toebbe established two diocesan orphanages, St. John for girls and St. Joseph for boys (see Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home). During Toebbe’s tenure, the diocese faced a major financial crisis: three parishes went bankrupt after their business ventures failed. The bishop helped solve the problem and made new rules for parish operations. The third bishop, Camillus P. Maes, who began in 1885, remained in office for 30 years. He was responsible for the construction of the current Gothic-style cathedral at the corner of Madison Ave. and 12th St., which opened in 1901. Maes also welcomed the Sisters of Divine Providence to the diocese in 1889. They started the Our Lady of Providence Academy in Newport in 1903. Maes oversaw the creation of many new churches and schools, including some in the mountain region of the diocese.
Ferdinand Brossart, a priest of the Diocese of Covington, became its fourth bishop in 1916. The German-born bishop had to deal with antiGerman prejudice during World War I. He established regular geographical parish boundaries in 1920 so that parishes would not be based on nationality. Brossart retired for health reasons in 1923. His successor, Francis W. Howard, made education his specialty. Arriving in 1923, he established the Covington Latin School that year (the present building next to the cathedral opened in 1949), the Lexington Latin School in 1924, and Covington Catholic High School in 1925. In 1928 he made Villa Madonna College in Covington a diocesan institution. It moved to Crestview Hills and became Thomas More College in 1968. During the Great Depression, the diocese founded Catholic Social Ser vices (see Catholic Charities) to help people through the financial crisis. Covington’s sixth bishop, William T. Mulloy, came to the diocese in 1945. He expanded the number of parishes and schools, especially in the growing suburbs of Northern Kentucky. He also started many rural-life programs. Mulloy was responsible for purchasing the Marydale property in Erlanger in 1946, on which he found a summer camp (closed in 1988) and a retreat house. On the same property, in 1955, he started a diocesan seminary, St. Pius X, which closed in 1987. Richard H. Ackerman was made the seventh bishop in 1960 and led the diocese through the challenging period following the Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s. Catholics had to adapt to many changes, including having the Mass said in English. The diocese had to adjust to the loss of priests and teaching sisters who left their ministries. Ackerman’s tenure also saw a decline in the number of inner-city Catholics, and as a result, several urban parishes and schools were closed. The St. Elizabeth Medical Center South was built in 1973. Ackerman retired in 1978. In 1979 William A. Hughes was installed as the eighth bishop of Covington. He greatly increased the number of diocesan offices, to fi ll many new functions of ser vice to the people of the diocese, and opened more ministries to the laity. A major change occurred in 1988 when the Vatican created the new Diocese of Lexington, reducing the 57-county Diocese of Covington to the 14 northernmost counties. Hughes continued the process of closing or merging parishes and schools that could no longer function as they were and moved the diocesan offices to the Catholic Center, the former seminary building in Erlanger. He also initiated the Diocesan Annual Appeal in 1983 to raise money for the needs of the diocese. Hughes retired in 1995. Bishop Robert W. Muench, installed in the diocese in 1996, sold a large part of the Marydale property, which was cut off from the rest by the new Houston Rd. extension, and started a large capital campaign to fund an extensive renovation of the cathedral that was completed in 2001. The following year, Muench was transferred to the Diocese of Baton Rouge, La.
The current bishop, Roger J. Foys, came in 2002. He had to respond to the clergy sexual-abuse crisis and the large class-action lawsuit that resulted from it. Foys met personally with many persons who had been abused. As a result of the settlement, most of the rest of the Marydale property was sold. He decided to move the diocesan offices from the Catholic Center to the third floor of St. Elizabeth Hospital North in Covington. To meet the needs of the growing Latino population (see Latinos) in Northern Kentucky, Foys in 2003 created the Cristo Rey Parish, and it utilized part of the former Catholic Center. In 2007 the 14-county Diocese of Covington was home to 92,250 Roman Catholics with 47 parishes and 6 missions. Ryan, Paul E. History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. Covington, Ky.: Diocese of Covington, 1954. Tenkotte, Paul A., David E. Schroeder, and Thomas S. Ward. To Be Catholic and American in Northern, Central, and Appalachian Kentucky: The Diocese of Covington, 1853–2003. Forthcoming. Ward, Thomas. “The Bishops of Covington—Meeting the Challenges of Their Time,” Messenger, July 19, 2002, 33A.
Thomas S. Ward
ROOT, IRA (b. May 4, 1806, Piermont, Grafton Co., N.H.; d. February 12, 1868, Newport, Ky.). Ira Root, one of seven children of Ephraim and Vashti Birge Root, was one of Campbell Co.’s most influential citizens. He was a lawyer, a state representative, a delegate to the 1849 Kentucky Constitutional Convention, an antislavery advocate, an educator, an orator, and a veteran of the Newport Home Guard at the first battle of Cynthiana. Root attended Miami University of Ohio and studied law in Newport. After being admitted to the Kentucky bar, he practiced law until his death. He married Sarah Ann Perry in Newport on December 25, 1834. They had four children who survived childhood, and their three sons (Oliver W., Albert, and James) all became distinguished attorneys. At the 1849 Kentucky Constitutional Convention, Ira Root was one of the main advocates for making a state school system part of the new constitution. He was not successful in his attempt to insert an antislavery clause into the same proposed constitution. He remained an antislavery advocate for the rest of his life. Root served under Capt. John Arthur in the pro-Union Home Guard at the battle of Cynthiana, and his son Oliver W. Root was in that same Civil War unit. Ira Root, a much-soughtafter orator, spoke at a meeting of the Friends of Emancipation at the Newport Courthouse on February 18, 1864. Four years later he died. He was a member of the fift h generation of the Root family in America. Ira Root’s wife, Sarah, died on January 12, 1909, in Newport. At the time of Sarah’s death, she was reported to be the oldest native-born resident of Newport. The Root family members are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. “Death Notice,” CE, February 13, 1868, 3. Evergreen Cemetery Records, Southgate, Ky. “Obituary,” CTS, January 12, 1909, 7.
770 ROOT, OLIVER WYATT Reis, Jim. “The Root Family of Campbell County Earned a Reputation for a Very Independent Spirit,” KP, March 8, 1993, 4K. Root, James Pierce. The Root Family. New York: R. C. Anthony, 1870. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
Paul John Schewene
ROOT, OLIVER WYATT (b. October 23, 1835, Newport, Ky.; d. August 3, 1904, Newport, Ky.). Oliver Root, a lawyer and a Civil War soldier, was the son of Ira Root and Sarah Perry Root. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1858 and then taught literature in the Newport public schools and at Brook’s Academy and the Chickering Institute in Cincinnati before beginning the practice of law. He served in the Campbell Co. Home Guard during the Civil War, in the same unit as his father. They were at the fi rst battle of Cynthiana, under Capt. John S. Arthur, where the entire outfit was captured and paroled by John Hunt Morgan’s men. On January 15, 1861, the Southern-leaning postmaster of Newport tried to disrupt the attempt of the Washington Artillery, a Kentucky state guard unit, to raise the U.S. flag. In response, Root, George Webster, and George Fearon arrested the postmaster. The postmaster was later acquitted of the charge of inciting a breach of the peace, because of the Southern allegiance of many Newport residents. Root was elected several times as city and county attorney, and he was a great campaigner for the Republican Party. He attended several national conventions as a delegate or presidential elector. In 1868 he seconded the nomination of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant for the presidency. He was praised for his eloquent speech by none other than Roscoe Conkling, one of the founders of the Republican Party. Root was widely known for his lectures on Shakespeare. Oliver Root never married. He and his brother, Albert Tell Root, took over the legal practice of their father upon their father’s death. Oliver ran for U.S. Congress twice, losing both times; one of those times he lost to John G. Carlisle. He died in 1904, and his funeral ser vice was conducted by the pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Newport. His will distributed money to various churches and orphanages and to Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He directed in his will that a stained-glass window be placed in memory of his mother at St. Paul’s Church. Another stainedglass window was placed in his memory at Grace Methodist Church in Newport. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Southgate, in the Root family plot. “Death,” CTS, August 4, 1904, 1. Evergreen Cemetery Records, Southgate, Ky. “Home Guard,” CDC, July 14, 1862, 3; July 17, 1862, 3; July 24, 1862, 1. “Last Will of Oliver Root,” Will Book No. 7, 132–34, Campbell Co., Ky. Purvis, Thomas L., ed. Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, Ky.: Otto Zimmerman, 1996.
Reis, Jim. “The Root Family of Campbell County Earned a Reputation for a Very Independent Spirit,” KP, March 8, 1993, 4K.
Paul John Schewene
ROPEWALKS. The words cordage and ropewalk, which mean very little to people today, played an important role in the lives of many Northern Kentuckians in the 19th century. A ropewalk was a long, narrow building in which rope or cordage was manufactured. Some ropewalks were more than 1,000 feet long, because industry standards required that the rope be 120 fathoms, or 720 feet, in length. In the early and mid 1800s, hemp, more commonly known today as marijuana, was grown extensively in Northern Kentucky, especially on the hills above Dayton. During the 1800s hemp was freely grown and used to make many useful products, including rope, twine, cable, and string. In the 19th century, hemp was one of Kentucky’s leading cash crops. At the pinnacle of their success, ropewalk manufacturers employed hundreds of Northern Kentuckians. Early manufacture of rope was done by hand, but in later years the operation was carried out mostly by machinery. In the manual process, workers broke the stalks into fibers, which were combed and carried around a worker’s waist while he spun the hemp into yarn. It was next twisted into strands, and other strands were added, to make rope of various diameters. All this occurred while the worker walked backward the length of the building. Workers in ropewalks often developed lung problems after prolonged breathing of the hemp fiber’s fine particles. The malady, which doctors called hemp pneumonia, frequently proved fatal. Another safety problem was that the dry hemp fiber was extremely flammable; it was involved in numerous fires that were difficult to extinguish. Slaves or prisoners were occasionally used in the industry, especially for the more dangerous jobs. The primary customers for the manufactured rope were the owners of riverboats and ocean vessels. Some of the largest local customers were the boatyards at Fulton, Ohio, across the Ohio River from Dayton. In addition to the Dayton residents employed in the manufacture of rope, many others worked in the construction and maintenance of boats at Fulton. For the convenience of workers, a ferry was operated from Dayton to the shipyards. In 1840 there were 111 ropewalks operating in Kentucky, 11 of them in Dayton, which was locally known as the “king of cordage.” The Dayton firms manufactured rope, cable, twine, string, and thread. The local ropewalks produced hundreds of tons of rope and bagging each year. The largest of the firms was the Victoria Cordage Company, located at Fourth and Clay Sts., which had several hundred employees. The impact of the industry on the local economy was immense, because of the buying power of its workers. In 1832 the Newport Manufacturing Company began processing hemp into cloth for making work clothes, called Kentucky Jeans. The ropewalk industry gradually faded from
importance, owing to decreased activity at the boatyards, increased competition, and the use of new technology. The Victoria Cordage Company sold its complex in 1893 to National Cordage of New Jersey, which continued to operate under the Victoria name until 1899. At that time the plant was closed. Some of the buildings were sold to the Harvard Piano Company and others to the Wadsworth Watchcase Company. Centennial Program of Dayton, Kentucky, 1849– 1949. Newport, Ky.: Michaels, 1949. Hopkins, James F. A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1951. Reis, Jim. “Dayton: King of Cordage—Riverboats Built City’s Key Industry,” KP, April 7, 2003, 4K. Souvenir Dayton, Kentucky G.A.R. Encampment. Dayton, Ky., 1898.
ROSEMARY CLOONEY HOUSE. The Rosemary Clooney House, located along the scenic southern bank of the Ohio River, at 106 E. Riverside Dr., Augusta, in Bracken Co., opened on June 1, 2005. It is a project of a nonprofit remodeling and preservation foundation set up by former Kentucky lieutenant governor Steve Henry (1995–2003) and his wife, Heather French Henry, who was Miss America 2000. The museum’s dedication on October 1, 2005, was attended by a crowd that included family and friends of Rosemary Clooney (1928– 2002) from both Kentucky and Hollywood. The foundation’s purpose is to preserve Clooney’s house (built in 1835) and to house the memorabilia of one of Northern Kentucky’s most famous Hollywood personae. Maysville-born Clooney used the home for the last 20 years of her life as a retreat from Hollywood. Her brass bed, the costumes she wore in the 1954 classic hit movie White Christmas, rare photographs of the actress, and clothing that belonged to her and to actors such as Jack Benny, Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Vivien Leigh, and Barbara Stanwyck are among the many items displayed at the museum. It was 1951 when Clooney sang her hit song “Come-on-a My House,” but visitors today can “Come-on-a Rosie’s House” to see where Kentucky’s favorite “Girl Singer” lived. “Henrys Restore Clooney House,” KE, April 20, 2005, C1. Kiesewetter, John. “Bless This House: Rosemary Clooney Fans Feel the Love in Museum,” KE, October 2, 2005, A1. The Rosemary Clooney House, Augusta, Ky. www .rosemaryclooney.com/house (accessed October 27, 2006).
ROSE V. COUNCIL FOR BETTER EDUCATION. Rose v. Council for Better Education is the Kentucky Supreme Court Case that resulted in the 1990 Kentucky legislature’s enactment of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), which produced a historic reorganization of the financing and governance of the state’s public schools. Plaintiffs in the case included the Independent Board of Education of Dayton, Ky., along with 66 other school districts, and the Council for Better Education (headed by Jack Moreland, superinten-
dent at the time of the Dayton Public Schools), as well as parents of students from various school districts throughout Kentucky, including the Dayton Independent Schools. The case originally fi led in the Franklin Co. Circuit Court found Kentucky’s common school finance system to be unconstitutional and discriminatory and held that the legislature had not provided the state with an efficient system of common (public) schools. This was a state action, since there are no provisions under the U.S. Constitution concerning education. Moreover, most public schools receive more than 50 percent of their funding from the state and less than 5 percent from federal sources, with the balance of funding coming from the local communities. The Kentucky court also ruled that under Section 183 of the constitution of Kentucky, public education is a fundamental right of all Kentuckians. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the Kentucky legislature had “failed in its responsibility to establish an efficient system of common schools throughout the Commonwealth.” The court ordered the legislature to provide adequate funding and look at improving the “whole gamut of the common school system in Kentucky.” In June 1990, the Kentucky legislature passed the most sweeping educational reform act in the history of the United States, KERA. Responding to the state Supreme Court’s ruling that the schools were inequitable and inefficient, the legislature totally revamped Kentucky’s public education system in the areas of finance, governance, and curriculum in an attempt to provide equal educational opportunities for all Kentucky children regardless of the property wealth of the district in which they live. Legislative leaders from Northern Kentucky who supported KERA legislation included Senator Joseph Meyer from Kenton Co. and Representative Jim Callihan from Campbell Co. A number of legislators from Northern Kentucky, however, did not vote in favor of this legislation. KERA was unique. Unlike the reforms in many other states, it was not limited to setting higher educational standards and creating new organizational structures, although it introduced a new statewide assessment accompanied by rewards and sanctions. One of the assessments, called CATS, (Commonwealth Accountability Testing System) was considered innovative in that it included openended essay questions that stimulated thoughtful analysis. In addition, KERA created additional support systems for teachers, families, and students in the form of increased funding for staff development to help teachers learn to implement the new mandates, a preschool program for economically at-risk four-year-olds and children with disabilities, an extended school ser vices program for students who need more time to learn before or after school or in the summer, and family resource youth ser vice centers to put students and their families in touch with needed health and social ser vices. In response to the state Supreme Court’s mandate for financial equity, the legislature authorized an extra $1 billion for education to be appropriated
over a two-year period, in addition to changing the state funding formula. This appropriation constituted a 35 percent increase in funding between 1990 and 1992, increasing per-pupil spending by nearly $1,000 to $4,600. The legislature did not stop there. In addition to this huge increase to correct inequities, the school reform act also called for sweeping changes in the way the state operated its educational system. These reforms eventually included the establishment of cash awards for teachers whose schools show improvement over a two-year period; these awards were abandoned because of budget cuts in 2004. There was also the assembly of a statewide technology network designed to put a computerready telephone line in every classroom, providing linkups with libraries, research databases, governmental agencies, and even other schools and classrooms. By 2004 most classrooms in Kentucky had a ratio of one computer for every five students, and there was a telephone in more than 95 percent of the classrooms in the state. New institutions were created, such as the Education Professional Standards Board, to set and enforce teaching standards. In 1991 an appointed education commissioner, who was given a mandate to reorganize the Department of Education, replaced the elected superintendent of public instruction as the head of the state school system. With the enactment of KERA, the members of the State Board of Education were replaced by 11 new members appointed by the governor. KERA aided school districts such as Covington, Dayton, and Newport; school districts such as Beechwood, Boone Co., and Fort Thomas were not scheduled to receive significant increases under the new formula. As a result, they were covered by the “hold harmless” provision, which provided that they would not receive any less support from the state. Because of the increased costs of mandates from the federal No Child Left Behind Act and the decrease in the percentage of the state budget devoted to primary and secondary education during the first decade of the 21st century, there is discussion among many school districts in Northern Kentucky, as well as within the Council for Better Education, of reopening the case of Rose v. Council for Better Education in order to revisit how the Commonwealth of Kentucky funds its public schools. Kentucky Department of Education. www.kde.state .ky.us/KDE/ (accessed April 10, 2008). Rose v. Council for Better Education, 790 S.W. 2d 186 (1989).
Paul L. Whalen
ROSS. Ross, formerly known as Indian Springs, is an unincorporated area in southeastern Campbell Co. along the Ohio River, the CSX Railroad, and the Mary Ingles Highway (Ky. Rt. 8) east of Melbourne. The name was changed to Ross before the coming of the railroad in 1888, so the railroad station there was called Ross. With the construction of the Mary Ingles Highway in the 1920s and
1930s, the hope for Ross was that it would become a resort area. A hotel was built there, and the Boyer family of Alexandria developed Campbell Co.’s first airport at Martz’s Grove (Martz’s Playground, Ross Resort). Martz’s Grove was the brainchild of contactor Jacob Martz, a longtime Campbell Co. commissioner. Martz’s Grove eventually had a two-story wooden grandstand, swimming pools fed by artesian wells, a concessions area, baseball fields, horseshoe and tennis courts, and, near the entrance along the railroad tracks, summer cottages. Beauty pageants were often staged there. On April 30, 1946, a U.S. Army Air Force bomber en route from Memphis, Tenn., to Cleveland, Ohio, made a successful emergency landing at the Ross airfield. In the 1960s, several former Cincinnati Redleg baseball players (pitcher Jim O’Toole in par ticu lar) played at Ross in a semipro baseball beer league on Sunday afternoons. The railroad crossing into the resort was always somewhat dangerous; several automobile-train collisions occurred at that crossing. Ross also had two popu lar road houses, Huck’s Tavern and Coy’s Riverdale Restaurant, which were well known for their good food, particularly for fried chicken and fish. Situated in the flood plain of the Ohio River, the area has survived several floods. In recent years, the opening of the AA Highway has lessened traffic along Ky. Rt. 8 through Ross, but the development push into southeastern Campbell Co. has resulted in the addition of new homes, and thus more population, to the Ross community. “Oneonta,” KSJ, January 24, 1889, 7. “Park Drew Crowds,” KP, December 12, 1999, B1.
ROTARY CLUBS. The first Rotary clubs in Northern Kentucky were chartered in Newport and Covington on November 1 and December 1, 1920, respectively. The Rotary Club of Cincinnati sponsored both clubs, and it was said that the “daddy” of these two clubs was Robert Chapman, president of the Rotary Club of Cincinnati. The Covington Rotary Club began a major effort on behalf of crippled children in 1923, and the first summer camp in Kentucky for crippled children was sponsored in 1928; in 1930 the club, with help from the Newport Rotary Club, was instrumental in forming the Kenton-Boone Chapter of Crippled Children. With their support, an orthopedic unit was formed in 1944 at Covington’s St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center). In 1950 a crippled children’s opportunity school was completed and put into operation as a result of a collaborative effort by Rotary, the local chapter of Crippled Children, and the Covington Independent Schools. It was the first one in Kentucky. The Northern Kentucky Crippled Children Treatment Center was opened in 1957 and expanded in 1974. Another special project of the Covington Rotary Club was the establishment of the Rotary Grove in Covington’s Devou Park. These are examples from a long list of projects sponsored by two of the most active Rotary Clubs in Northern Kentucky. Each of the clubs in the region is involved in ser vice projects. Most of the
772 ROTH, GEORGE F., JR. Northern Kentucky Rotary clubs are part of Rotary International’s District 6740, which includes 43 clubs with about 2,000 members throughout Northern and Eastern Kentucky, including Lexington. The organization known today as Rotary International was initiated by Paul Harris, an attorney, who met with three friends, Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer; Silvester Schiele, a coal dealer; and Hiram Shorey, a merchant tailor, on the evening of February 23, 1905, in Chicago. As this group continued to meet weekly for fellowship and to enlarge their circle of business acquaintances and activities, their membership grew and meetings rotated among members’ offices. Soon they adopted the name Rotary for their group. Other groups, called clubs, were started, and the organization became international in 1910 when the first club outside the United States was formed. A few years later the motto “Ser vice Above Self” was adopted to signify Rotary International’s identity as the world’s first ser vice organization. The organization’s 4-Way Test, adopted in 1943, asks “Of the things we think, say or do: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? and 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” Primarily designed to bring together business leaders committed to these principles and to their communities, the Rotary Club concept grew rapidly. By the beginning of the 21st century, there were well over 1 million members in 650–700 clubs worldwide. Rotary Clubs in Northern Kentucky Newport, November 1, 1920; changed to Rotary Club of Fort Thomas–Southgate in 1989; changed back to Newport in 1991; became Rotary Club of Campbell Co. in 2003 Covington, December 1, 1920 Maysville, November 6, 1923 Falmouth, November 20, 1924 Owenton, 1925 Carrollton, June 1, 1926 Augusta, 1920s Erlanger, January 6, 1938; became Rotary Club of Erlanger–Fort Mitchell, 1993; now Rotary Club of Kenton Co. Ludlow, March 28, 1938; changed to Rotary Club of Fort Mitchell in 1984 and expanded territory; canceled its charter and joined Rotary Club of Erlanger–Fort Mitchell, 1993 Bellevue, 1938–1991; merged with Newport club, 1991 Florence, November 3, 1944 Walton, 1945 (the club lasted only a short time) Boone Co., 1976–mid-1980s “Club Charters to Be Received by Kentucky Rotarians in Newport and Covington,” KP, December 16, 1920, 1. “Crippled Kiddies Entertained by Rotary Club,” KP, December 24, 1927, 1. “Falmouth Rotary Club Leads District in Attendance,” KP, October 31, 1929, 7. “Quota Raised by Rotary Club: $5000 Added to State Fund for Crippled Children,” KP, November 8, 1928, 1.
“Rotary Club Told of Camp,” KP, August 19, 1931, 2. “Rotary Grove Dedicated in Devou Park,” KP, June 8, 1932, 1. Rotary International: The Rotary Foundation. www .rotary.org (accessed December 20, 2006).
Raymond G. Hebert
ROTH, GEORGE F., JR. (b. January 18, 1905, Covington, Ky.; d. October 22, 1989, Covington, Ky.). Noted architect, author, and historian George Frederick Roth Jr. was born and grew up in Covington. He earned a degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati in 1927 and an MA degree there in 1929. He then became a partner in the architectural firm of Potter, Tyler, Martin, and Roth, later known as Roth Partnerships. Roth designed many of the hospitals (and hospital additions) in the Greater Cincinnati area, including St. Luke in Fort Thomas; St. Elizabeth in Covington; and Bethesda Hospital, University Hospital, Jewish Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and the Shriners Burns Institute in Cincinnati. He also designed hospitals in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, and Jamaica. He was the architect of several churches, including Grace Episcopal in Florence, Ky. Roth taught architecture for more than 37 years at the University of Cincinnati. He was a president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), from which he won several awards for professional excellence; he was named an AIA Fellow in 1983. Roth served for 11 years on the Cincinnati Board of Education and 27 years on the board of the Baker-Hunt Foundation. He was also a historian; he helped preserve Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, an act that earned him the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Award. Roth was a member of the Cincinnati Historical Society and the Filson Club in Louisville. Later in life, he wrote a book about the history of his church, Trinity Episcopal Church, in Covington. Roth died of cancer at age 84, in Covington’s St. Elizabeth Hospital. Funeral ser vices were held at Trinity Episcopal Church and he was buried at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. His wife of 52 years, Ruth Marley Roth, and a son, George Frederick Roth III, survived him. “George Frederick Roth, Jr.” KP, October 24, 1989, 4A. “George Frederick Roth Jr., 84,” CE, October 25, 1989, 5E. “George Roth Left His Mark as Architect,” KP, October 23, 1989, 1K–2K. Roth, George F., Jr. The Story of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington. Covington, Ky.: Trinity Episcopal Church, 1991. Tenkotte, Paul A. A Heritage of Art and Faith: Downtown Covington Churches. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 1986.
ROUSE, ARTHUR B. (b. June 20, 1874, Burlington, Ky.; d. January 25, 1956, Lexington, Ky.). Arthur Blythe Rouse, a lawyer, a legislator, and a businessman, was the son of Dudley and Elizabeth Blythe Rouse; Dudley was president of the Boone County Deposit Bank. He was born in Burlington, but at an early age he moved with his family to a house on Commonwealth Ave. in Erlanger. Rouse’s
early education was in Erlanger Public Schools (see Erlanger-Elsmere Schools), and he attended Hanover College in Madison, Ind., where he graduated in 1896. He continued his education at the Louisville Law School, receiving his JD degree in 1900. He set up a legal practice in Burlington. Rouse entered Democratic politics by serving as a congressional secretary to Daniel Lynn Gooch and later to Joseph L. Rhinock. In 1910 Rouse became the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, running against Bellevue’s mayor, Charles W. Nage. Rouse won the race easily and held the seat for the next 16 years. He married Minnie Elizabeth Kelly on December 14, 1910, and they had two sons, Arthur Jr. and Robert. Rouse retired in 1926, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family, and Orie S. Ware succeeded him in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rouse returned to Northern Kentucky and resumed his legal practice. In 1927 he was made a vice president of the Liberty National Bank. He also joined a group of builders who began constructing homes near Kyles Ln., in Fort Wright. Rouse and his cousin F. Walton Dempsey entered the public transportation business and started five bus companies. One was the Dixie Traction Company, which later became part of the Green Line Company; another was the Blue Line Transit, which was incorporated into the Greyhound Bus System. Kentucky governor Ruby Laffoon (1931–1935) appointed Rouse State Revenue Commissioner in 1931, a position he held for the next eight years. In 1953 Rouse was appointed Federal Court Clerk for the Eastern Kentucky District, with offices in Lexington. Rouse moved his family there but retained his Northern Kentucky business connections. He died in his Lexington home at age 81 in 1956 and was buried in the Lexington Cemetery. “A. B. Rouse Sr. Dies at Age of 81,” KP, January 26, 1956, 1K. “A Man of Achievements,” KP, January 27, 1956, 2. Boone County Recorder, Historical ed., September 4, 1930. The Political Graveyard. “Rouse, Arthur Blythe (1874– 1956).” www.politicalgraveyard.com (accessed December 31, 2005). Reis, Jim. “Arthur B. Rouse Was Influential in Congress,” KP, April 19, 1993, 4K.
ROUSE, SHELLEY D. (b. February 19, 1867, Crittenden, Ky.; d. March 2, 1944, Covington, Ky.). The well-known Covington attorney Shelley D. Rouse was the son of a Grant Co. farmer, Thomas Rouse, and his wife, the former Nancy Henderson. Shelley’s early education was in public schools in Grant Co. He earned his BA degree from Centre College, Danville, Ky., and acquired his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. On November 20, 1895, he married Alice Read of Covington, and they became the parents of one daughter. Rouse was a brother-in-law of John Uri Lloyd, a renowned scientist and author of several books, including Stringtown on the Pike. Rouse’s first job was as an associate with the law firm of O’Hara and Bryan in Covington. After James W. Bryan re-
tired, Shelley entered into a partnership with Judge James O’Hara, which continued until O’Hara’s death in 1900. Later in life, Shelley was a partner in the Covington law firm of Rouse, Price, and Adams. He served one term as president of the Kentucky State Bar Association and several terms as president of the Kenton Co. Bar Association. He was also a member of the Kenton Co. Board of Education. Rouse belonged to the Filson Club in Louisville, the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, and the University and Literary clubs in Cincinnati. He died of a heart attack on March 2, 1944, at age 77. Funeral ser vices were held in the family home at 427 Wallace Ave. in Covington, and the body was cremated. “Noted Attorney Succumbs at His Home in Covington,” KE, March 3, 1944, 1. Reis, Jim. “Call Up the Infantry,” KP, August 31, 1998, 4K. “Rouse and Hemingray,” KP, August 31, 1905, 2. “Shelley D. Rouse Dies,” KP, March 2, 1944, 1. Southard, Mary Young, and Ernest C. Miller, eds. Who’s Who in Kentucky: A Biographical Assembly of Notable Kentuckians. Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1936.
RUGG, JENNIE (b. June 13, 1836, Newport, Ky.; d. March 27, 1923, Ashland, Ky.). Women’s suffrage activist Virginia Adeline Rugg, known as Jennie Rugg, was the daughter of Samuel A. and Emeline (Amelia) Beaumont Rugg. She grew up amid relative wealth and privilege. By the 1880s she had become one of Northern Kentucky’s leading suffragists, pleading the cause of the franchise for women—a radical political thought in those days. In 1884, along with two other women’s suffrage activists from Newport, Mrs. John A. Williamson and Mrs. Thomas Laurens Jones, Rugg served as a delegate to the Kentucky Equal Rights Association convention in Lexington. At that meeting she delivered an address entitled “Mrs. Americana Samantiawa Gloriana Smith, on Women’s Suffrage.” In 1909 she distributed a petition throughout Campbell Co., with the goal of persuading the U.S. Congress to grant women the right to vote. This petition was part of an effort to secure a million signatures nationwide. Rugg, who never married, spent her entire life in Newport, with the exception of the last few months. For many years her address was 523 York St. Failing health forced her to give up her political activism around 1915. Finally she moved to Ashland, Ky., and lived with the family of her former minister at Newport’s Grace United Methodist Church, Rev. E. R Overby. In 1923, at age 87, Jennie Rugg died at the King’s Daughter Hospital in Ashland, knowing that her efforts of 40 years had helped to enact the 1920 constitutional amendment enfranchising women. Many contemporary suff ragists did not live to see that day. Rugg was cremated in a ceremony officiated by Rev. Overby in Cincinnati at the Cincinnati Crematory, and her ashes were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. “Equal Rights Association,” KSJ, September 28, 1894, 8. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 6773, for the year 1923.
“Miss Rugg Is Dead,” KP, March 28, 1923, 6. “Personals,” KSJ, October 19, 1894, 8. “Suff ragettes Will Petition Congress,” KP, March 20, 1909, 9.
RUSSELL THEATER. Col. (Kentucky Colonel) James Barbour “J. B.” Russell, who planned and built the Russell Theater, was born at Maysville in 1866. He was one of the three sons of Milton C. and Elexene Porter Russell and was educated in the local public school system. Russell worked in the family wholesale grocery business until his father’s death in 1902. He then purchased his mother’s interest in the business and became the sole owner. He also succeeded his father as president of the Mason Co. Building and Loan Association. James’s brother Thomas owned the Washington Opera House, and as a result James also became interested in theaters. James Russell sold most of his investments in the stock market shortly before the 1929 market crash. With the money received from those sales, he decided to build a marvelous new Spanish Colonial Revival style movie theater at 9 E. Third St. He commissioned the Lexington architectural firm of Frankel and Curtis to design the building. The theater cost $125,000 to build (a staggering sum at the time) and opened for business in 1930. The exterior of the building had two Moorish columns and a tile roof; the sculptured faces of Comedy and Tragedy and two lion heads were mounted on the front wall. The ticket window was completely tiled, and the tiles were said to be Rookwood Pottery. Inside the theater, there was a replica of a Mediterranean garden, complete with Lombardy trees and ivy-covered colonnades. There were also busts of literary figures in niches along the walls. The ceiling featured twinkling stars, billowing clouds, a moving moon, and a large rainbow that appeared above the stage at the end of each show. The theater seated 700 on the main floor and two balconies, one of which was reserved for African Americans and could be entered only from outside the building. The theater’s grand opening occurred on December 4, 1930, with the showing of the movie Whoopee, starring Eddie Cantor. Numerous plays and vaudev illian acts were later performed on the theater’s curved, foot-lighted stage, which had a lowered orchestra pit in front. As a child, singer and movie star Rosemary Clooney appeared on the Russell stage. Colonel Russell operated the theater until 1935, when he leased it to the Shine Group. Russell suffered a stroke on October 12, 1937, and was confined to his home, where he died on April 10, 1939. After his death, the Russell Theater passed through a succession of owners. In 1953 Rosemary Clooney held the world premiere of her first movie, The Stars Are Singing, at the Russell Theater. The theater ceased operations in 1983 and was later used as a restaurant, a furniture store, and a storeroom for a local newspaper. The Russell Theater suffered a final devastating blow when a storm tore off part of the roof. The building was not repaired and over the next several years sustained severe damage to the interior. In 1996 a Maysville businesswoman, Sandra A. Marshall,
formed a nonprofit organization called Rescue the Russell, which purchased the theater with the hope of restoring it. Experts called in to assess the damage concluded that restoration would cost between 2.5 and 3.5 million dollars. The Clooney family, including Rosemary, began holding annual fundraisers to obtain the money needed for restoration. With the funds collected so far, the front facade has been restored and the damaged roof replaced. More money is needed to complete the project, but it is hoped that someday the Russell Theater can be brought back to its former splendor. Cinema Treasures. “Russell Theater, Maysville, Kentucky.” www.cinematreasures.org (accessed January 21, 2006). The Rosemary Clooney Palladium. “Russell Theater.” www.rosemaryclooney.com (accessed January 21, 2006). Russell, Marion, Mary R. Anderson, and Donald Buckley. “The Russell Family Legacy in Maysville, Kentucky,” NKH 7, no. 2 (Spring–Summer 2000): 9–19.
RUTER, MARTIN (b. April 3, 1785, Charlton, Mass.; d. May 6, 1838, Washington-on-the-Brazos, Tex.). Martin Ruter, Methodist minister and educator, was the son of Job Ruter. Self-educated in the classics, Martin became a Methodist in 1801 and then a minister. He helped to found three Methodist colleges: New Market Academy in New Market, N.H.; Augusta College in Augusta, Ky.; and Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. He was the first president of Augusta College and helped to attract the dynamic faculty who served the college during its few years of existence. In 1822 Transylvania College in Lexington awarded Ruter a DD degree. In 1837 he resigned the presidency of Allegheny College to volunteer for Methodist missionary service in the new Republic of Texas. His intention was to establish a college there, but that was not accomplished until after Ruter’s death. He died of pneumonia in 1838. His vision to found a Methodist college in the Texas territory was realized in 1840 with the formation of his namesake Rutersville College, today’s Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas. The Handbook of Texas Online. www.tsha.utexas .edu (accessed April 5, 2007).
RYAN, TOMMY (b. Thomas J. Lidington, November 16, 1913, Newport, Ky.; d. April 15, 1989, Jackson Heights, N.Y.). Singer Thomas J. Lidington was the son of Thomas B. and Lydia Schorry Lidington. The family lived at 420 Lindsey St. in Newport’s West End. His father worked for more than 50 years at the nearby Andrews Steel Mill, where Tommy also began his work career. During the 1930s Lidington became nationally known as a singer and dance bandleader. He changed his name to Tommy Ryan and sang with the Sammy Kaye Orchestra. Ryan was participating in the broadcast of Sammy Kaye’s Sunday Serenade on NBC’s Red Radio Network on December 7, 1941, when it was interrupted to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II Ryan managed the
774 RYLAND HEIGHTS Blue Barron Orchestra while the orchestra’s leader went off to war. Afterward, Ryan had his own band, which played in prominent clubs along the East Coast. Songs that he recorded include “My Buddy” (1937), “Rosalie” (1937), “Love Walks In” (1938), “I Understand” (1941), “This Is No Laughing Matter” (1941), “Mexicali Rose,” “Until Tomorrow,’’ ”When You Wish upon a Star,” and “You Stepped out of a Dream.” He retired from the entertainment world before 1950, and he died in 1989. “T.B. Lidington Dies Suddenly of Heart Attack,” KP, April 18, 1952, 1.
Michael R. Sweeney
RYLAND HEIGHTS. The small Kenton Co. community of Ryland Heights is located along Decoursey Pk. (Ky. Rt. 177), just south of Fairview. Ryland Heights grew up around a Kentucky Central Railroad Depot (predecessor of the Louisville and Nashville), which was built in the mid1850s. The city’s name is taken from a prosperous farmer and early settler of the area, James W. Ryland. The surrounding countryside is quite scenic, with a panoramic view of both the Licking River and several nearby beautiful lakes. Ryland Heights was granted a post office in 1873, but it was closed six years later. A group of businessmen from Cincinnati and from Northern Kentucky opened the Crystal Lake Country Club nearby in 1892. The club’s name was changed to the Kentucky Fishing and Shooting Club in 1904 and to the Ryland Country Club in 1918. Ryland Heights was incorporated as a sixthclass city in 1972, primarily to make it more difficult for neighboring communities, such as Covington, to annex the area. The Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission has designated Ry-
land Heights as an agricultural and rural residential area, a classification that requires largerthan-average home building lots. Residents hope that such restrictions will discourage rapid development, especially the construction of large subdivisions, and help preserve their quiet way of life. Since originally founded, the city itself has made several annexations and now contains an area of about five square miles. The 2000 U.S. Census listed Ryland Heights as having a population of 799 people. A publicly elected mayor and city council govern the city. Ryland Heights has a volunteer fire department and an ambulance ser vice, but its police protection is provided by the Kenton Co. Police Department. Reis, Jim. “Tiny Towns,” KP, June 30, 1986. 4K. “Ryland Heights: A Rural Community and Residents Like It That Way,” KP, March 28, 1991, 4K. U.S. Census Bureau. “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed January 21, 2006). Voorhees, Elaine G. Ryland: The First 100 Years. Cincinnati: Graphic Information Systems, ca. 1992.
RYLAND LAKES COUNTRY CLUB. The residential country club Ryland Lakes was established along the Licking River in a scenic valley served by the Kentucky Central Railroad. The club’s history goes back to 1892, when 18 businessmen leased 55 acres of land from a Kenton Co. farmer, John Mendenhall, to establish the Crystal Lake Fishing Club. In 1904 that club reorganized as the Kentucky Fishing and Shooting Club, incorporated, expanded its membership, and purchased a total of 163 acres (including its originally leased 55 acres). Some of the land was divided into sites for the building of
member cottages; 38 cottages had been built by 1907. While some residents lived there year-round, many made it a summer home. Because the club was conveniently located along the railroad, businessmen could commute daily to and from their jobs in Covington or Cincinnati and spend the evenings with their families in this “summer resort.” In 1905 a large clubhouse was constructed, and a chef was hired shortly thereafter. Swimming, fishing, canoeing, and shooting were activities available to members in the early years. In 1919 the Kentucky Fishing and Shooting Club changed its name to Ryland Lakes Country Club. Ryland was the name of the railroad station serving the area, as well as of a local family who had intermarried with the Mendenhalls and had built, in 1872, a large hilltop home (still standing) that overlooks the club. By the 1920s, a nine-hole golf course and two clay tennis courts were built; a saddle club and a baseball field followed by the 1940s. Over the years the club purchased additional acreage. In April 1979 the clubhouse was destroyed by fire and a new one was subsequently built. The club acquired the nickname of Little Switzerland, given to it by well-known member and artist Frank Duveneck. Other prominent members included Clement Barnhorn, Richard Pretlow Ernst, Maurice L. Galvin, and the Jergens, Herschede, and Whiting families of Cincinnati. McLean, M. H. Little Switzerland. Covington, Ky.: Wolff ’s Standard, 1943. Paeth, Greg. “Life Is Ever So Easy at Ryland Lakes,” KP, July 9, 1983, 1K. Voorhees, Elaine, and Steven Schwierjohann. Ryland: The First 100 Years. Cincinnati: Graphic Information Systems, 1992.
Paul A. Tenkotte
The Encylopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com. Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, The University Press of...