The Enquirer/Craig Ruttle
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UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, MASON CO. Sympathetic citizens north and south of the Ohio River who treasured the ideals of a free society began to organize a movement that become known as the Underground Railroad... (contâ€™d on pg. 904)
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
Major Fugitive Crossing Points
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, BOONE, CARROLL, AND GALLATIN COUNTIES. What is known about slave escapes and Underground Railroad (UGRR) operations between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Madison, Ind., or, conversely, in Boone, Carroll, and Gallatin counties in Kentucky, comes chief ly from rec ords in Indiana and Ohio, from anecdotes preserved, and from testimonies given by slave witnesses. The oral traditions concerning the activities of the UGRR that are so prevalent in parts of southern Indiana and Ohio are extremely rare in Kentucky. Successive generations of Confederate descendants have weaved a myth that often emphasizes how kind their slaveholding ancestors were and how happy the slaves were to work for the family. In these Kentucky counties, criminal records from the pre–Civil War era that might be of use in researching UGRR activities are spotty at best. Also, antebellum Kentucky newspaper accounts frequently referred to UGRR activists as northern agitators, rather than as Kentuckians. For decades, Kentucky historians searched for white Kentuckians who might have led UGRR operations and found only a few, causing some writers to conclude that no sizable organized UGRR activities took place in Kentucky. The truth is that most of Kentucky’s UGRR was managed by small cells of free people of color and by individual slaves living on plantations. Kentucky’s African American history and heritage was suppressed or ignored by most public and private histories until the latter 20th century. Only in fragments of oral tradition (often maintained within church histories), or in arrest and trial records, do hints of the aid given to fugitive slaves in Kentucky appear. During the past 20 years, historians have begun to build the public records beneath these oral stories. The people, both black and white, involved in the UGRR in Boone, Carroll, and Gallatin counties frequently moved north or west after the Civil War or just became silent as Confederate veterans took over political power in these counties. The UGRR annals retained from Indiana clearly specify crossing points along the Ohio River where hundreds of fugitive slaves gained freedom. But they describe an Ohio River quite foreign to modern eyes: it lacked today’s series of large dams and canals, it was up to 15 feet shallower, it had a considerably narrower channel, and it was subject to icing over in winter months and drying up during the summer. This riverfront of the past, in spite of patrollers, moreover, proved to be very porous.
Carroll Co. —1838–1861, Hunter’s Bottom, Ky., to Eagle Hollow, Ind.; key persons: John Carr, Adam Crosswhite, Richard Daly, Chapman Harris, Ike Johnson. —1850s, Prestonville, Ky., to Brooksburg, Ind.; key person: unnamed fisherman at Prestonville. —1840–1861, Carrollton, Ky., and Kentucky River to Lamb, Ind.; key persons: Elijah Anderson, William Anderson, Chapman Harris. —1840–1861, Ghent, Ky., to Vevay, Ind., and to Craig Township in Switzerland Co., Ind.; key persons: George Ash, Stephen R. Gerard, William Lamb, Moses McKay, John Pavy, Samuel H. Pavy, Rev. Alexander Sebastian, Wright or Hildreth, John Shaw. Gallatin Co. —1840–1861, Warsaw, Ky., and Sugar Creek to Markland and Florence, Ky., and Patriot, Ind.; key persons: John Brookings, Alexander and Duncan Fuller (see Fuller Brothers), Lewis Hamilton, Daniel and Jonathan Howe. Boone Co. —1845–1861, Rabbit Hash, Ky., to Rising Sun, Ind.; key persons: Samuel Barkshire, Laura Haviland, Benoi Dixon, Joseph Edington, Col. A. C. Pepper, Orthaniel H. Reed, Nathan R. Steadman, William Thompson, Edmund Toliver, John White. —1845–1861, Burlington, Ky., to Aurora, Ind., and the Manchester Landing; key persons: Elijah Anderson, Daniel Bartholomew, Rev. John Clark, Ralph Collier, Martin C. Eubank, John Fairfield, Joseph Hall, Thomas and John Hansell, John Hope, Seth Platt, William Wyman. —1845–1861, Taylorsport, Ky., to Lawrenceburg, Ind., and Ohio River shore and Great Miami River; key persons: Elijah Anderson, Rev. John Clark, Martin C. Eubank, John Fairfield. Carroll Co. There is little evidence that any form of organized assistance to runaway slaves was available in Carroll Co. before 1835. After 1838, when Elijah Anderson and George De Baptiste, free blacks from Virginia, arrived at Madison, Ind., the town of Carrollton in Carroll Co. became the locus of an important junction for the UGRR routes that followed the Kentucky River north to the Ohio River from the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Before both men were driven out of Madison, Ind., in the race riot of 1845–1846, the two traveled into Trimble and Carroll counties in Kentucky, and as far south as Frankfort, Ky., to establish UGRR links with free people of color and plantation slaves as well. —In August and September 1820, Samuel Todd announced a $400 reward for the recapture of Patrick and a woman with a wound on her head, and Will French offered $100 for the return of Spencer; China, age 15; and Bob, age 50; the trio escaped from Kentucky near the Gallatin Steam Mill.
—In August 1843, Adam Crosswhite and his wife and children escaped from Francis Giltner in Hunter’s Bottom, Ky., and made their way through the Madison, Ind., UGRR to Marshall, Mich. —About 1845, 17 enslaved men and women, valued at more than $20,000, contracted with a poor white man with a skiff, making their own way through the wilderness to the Hicklin Settlement in Jennings Co., Ind. —Slaves escaped via Prestonville, Ky., to the Brooksburg, Bee Camp, and Indian-Kentuck Creek area of Indiana. One group of young men, more than a dozen, was ferried across the Ohio River by a fisherman at Prestonville when they offered him money. James Stewart, a member of the Rykers Ridge abolitionists, aided these youngsters. —Escaping slaves came down the hills above Canip Creek, where Peter Scott, the only free black head of a family at Milton, Ky., who headed the UGRR operations on the Kentucky side during the late 1840s and early 1850s, helped them escape. Family history claims that Christopher Pecar’s (Pecard’s) house near the river in Milton also was used to hide runaway slaves. —Runaway slaves crossed over the Ohio River at Hunter’s Bottom to the Eagle Creek area east of Madison, Ind. Richard Daly, a slave owned by Samuel Fearn Sr., took 30 fugitive slaves across the Ohio River before taking his own family of five to Canada in 1856. —Slaves were aided at Lamb, Ind., directly across the Ohio River from Carrollton. Both the McClain and the Ash homes were said to have harbored fugitive slaves on occasion. Members of the Brushy Fork Baptist Church and the Caledonia Presbyterian Church, inland from Lamb, aided runaways as well. —Near Vevay, Ind., Rev. John Pavy and his sons ran an active UGRR operation from Ghent to Carrollton, Ky., during the 1840s and 1850s. —Rev. Alexander Sebastian and members of the Freewill Baptist congregation at Bryant Creek, near Florence, Ind., aided runaways in Kentucky chiefly from Ghent and the Warsaw area. —During the 1850s, Rev. Chapman Harris, his wife Patsy, who was a former slave in Shelby Co., Ky., and their teenage sons ran the Eagle Hollow UGRR operation that was linked to 20 Kentucky slaves on plantations in Carroll and Trimble counties as well as free people of color in Madison, Ind. Harris lived up Eagle Creek about a half mile from the Ohio River. He was surrounded by white abolitionists Charlie Lutz, John Taylor, and William Woolen, a free black named Ike Johnson, and, at the top of the ridge, Charles Almond, the first of the several Rykers Ridge abolitionists. When slave owners from Kentucky tried to place a spy named Caleb McQuithy in Eagle Hollow, Henry, the oldest Harris boy, gave the man such a beating that he disappeared from the scene. —Sandy Dean, a former slave emancipated by Gen. William O. Butler, lived in the Georgetown section of Madison, Ind., a gathering point for leaders of the UGRR during the 1840s and 1850s, and likely formed a liaison to free blacks and plantation slaves in Carroll Co., Ky.
900 UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, BOONE, CARROLL, AND GALLATIN COUNTIES —Some evidence suggests that Elijah Anderson, a strong leader within the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) church, and De Baptiste, an equally strong leader of the Black Baptist denomination, used the emerging slave churches in Carroll, Henry, and Shelby counties, Ky., and the separate African American churches at Frankfort, Ky., as major communications conduits in establishing UGRR links. De Baptiste, in par ticu lar, was known to favor the use of Prince Hall Masonic lodges as sites to establish trustworthy UGRR cells. During the 1840s the American Anti-Slavery Society placed two white abolitionists, William Phelps and George Whitfield from Wheeling, Va. (today W.Va.), in Madison, Ind., to develop organized assistance and to encourage escaping slaves. They reportedly spent most of their time organizing UGRR cells south of the Ohio River. The effects of such organization showed up in the increased traffic of runaway slaves passing through the Madison UGRR during the 1850s. The abolitionist leadership at Carrollton in Carroll Co., Ky., was apparently so feeble that after 1846, when Elijah Anderson moved his base of operations from Madison to Lawrenceburg, Ind., Alex Fuller was moved to Carrollton from Warsaw, Ky., where he had apparently been active in the UGRR operations. Fuller is a shadowy figure, likely one of the 100 field agents placed along the Ohio River by the American Anti-Slavery Society. Many of these agents were disguised as peddlers, fishermen, ferrymen, and boatmen, both black and white. Gallatin Co. What is known about aid to fugitive slaves in Gallatin Co. comes mainly from records of UGRR activities in Indiana or from family histories there. The public records in Gallatin Co. include one grand jury indictment in 1838 against Lewis Hamilton, a free black living near Sparta, Ky.; other criminal records or accusations have been either destroyed or quashed. Many of the Union sympathizers in Gallatin Co., who may have been involved with helping fugitive slaves, moved to Missouri, Kansas, and other western states after the Civil War, therefore causing the record of any such aid to be lost. Warsaw in Gallatin Co. developed as a small Ohio River port in spite of large sandbars impeding all but the keelboat and packet steamboat traffic. Across the river, the hamlets of Florence, Lamb, Markland, Patriot, and Vevay, Ind., hosted a number of antislavery activists. By 1850 Switzerland Co. on the Indiana side and Warsaw on the Kentucky side had a substantial number of settlers— chiefly merchants, manufacturers, and craftsmen— who came from New York, New England, and Pennsylvania; these families tended to be proUnion, and some of them were quite actively opposed to slavery. Pockets of settlers from New England and New York began giving aid to runaway slaves on an ad hoc basis. But there were also transplanted Kentuckians living in Indiana who favored slavery and had relatives in both Gallatin and Carroll counties.
In 1821 the first newspaper notice of a runaway slave from Gallatin Co. appeared in the Lawrenceburg, Ind., Oracle. Benjamin Waller offered a $200 reward for the recovery of Peter Shelley, a 44-yearold slave, who escaped by using a pass that was 10 years out of date. The earliest recorded antislavery activist in Gallatin Co. was Rev. John Pavy, a Regular Baptist minister, who was chased out of Fredericksburg (Warsaw) in 1823 for preaching against slavery. Pavy moved across the Ohio River and established a farm on the Mount Sterling Rd. above Vevay, Ind. The move was timely, since in 1824 Vevay hosted visits from both Judge Stephen C. Stevens, a Presbyterian and a radical abolitionist at Vevay and Madison, Ind., and also Rev. James Duncan, a Presbyterian minister who authored A Treatise on Slavery: In Which Is Shewn Forth the Evil of Slave Holding both from the Light of Nature and Divine Revelation. In 1840 Stevens and Duncan were associated with the formation of the antislavery Liberty Party in Indiana. Stevens, in 1848, was a convener of the Free Soil antislavery party in Buffalo, N.Y. For more than 20 years, John Pavy, his seven sons, and his son-in-law Stephen R. Gerard ran a major route of the UGRR at Vevay and later in Craig Township, Switzerland Co., Ind. At first such aid to runaway slaves was sporadic. During the late 1840s and early 1850s, a more organized approach to helping fugitive slaves developed, including signaling systems to reach activists in Ripley and Decatur counties farther north in Indiana. The Pavy family history claims that four sons became Baptist ministers and that one of them, Absalom, went west to serve as a missionary to American Indians. After Samuel H. Pavy established his farm in Craig Township, slaves were said to swim across the Ohio River there and hide in Pavy’s barn, later being transported away in Gerard’s flax wagon. The Gerards, the Lambs, and the Pavys had intermarried, reinforcing the oral tradition that George Ash, the ferryman from Carrollton, Ky., to Lamb, Ind., aided runaway slaves. In March 1838 David Lilliard brought charges in the Gallatin Circuit Court against Lewis Hamilton, a free person of color, for enticing Lilliard’s slave Billy to escape to Ohio. Because of the interstate aspects, the Kentucky commonwealth attorney brought the case to the March court term of 1838. The charges apparently were not sustained, because Lewis Hamilton was later listed in the Gallatin Co. 1850 census as a free black, a blacksmith, living near Sparta, Ky., with $400 property and a family of seven. In October 1841 Rev. Alexander Sebastian, a Separate Baptist minister, was chased from Warsaw for his radical preaching against slavery and apparently for preaching against the Regular Baptists’ dogma. He had been called to an antislavery Free Will Baptist congregation at Bryant Creek near Florence, Ind., and purchased a farm northwest of Patriot, Ind. Kentuckians were said to have crossed the Ohio River in order to heckle his preaching. For a short time, Sebastian was ordained in the Free Will Baptist denomination, but
his teachings were too radical, and he was soon denounced at the Free Will Baptist Quarterly Meeting. He then went to an area near East Enterprise and Quercus Grove in Indiana to found Separate Baptist churches there and at Cross Plains, Ind., both of which had members active in the UGRR of Indiana’s Switzerland and Ripley counties. The Sebastian congregation merged with the Liberty Free Will Baptist congregation, forming the New Liberty congregation, which continues today and prides itself on its abolitionist roots. In 1847 a debate was held in Warsaw between Rev. J. L. Waller of the Baptist Church and Rev. E. M. Pingree of the Universalist Church. The Universalist Church, founded in the Boston, Mass., and the Concord, N.H., area, had developed a strong antislavery plank, and many of the nation’s leading antislavery activists were members. Two of the most active Universalist congregations were at Patriot (1840) and Vevay (1852), Ind. The Silas and Jonathan Howe families, very strong Unionists, lived on both sides of the Ohio River, at Patriot and in the Sugar Creek area near Warsaw, Ky. Silas Howe became a captain in the 18th Kentucky Infantry and later a major in the 55th Kentucky Infantry, and his father, Jonathan Howe, was a captain in the Gallatin Co. Home Guards, a group of about 20 Union supporters. Before the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, nearly all Universalist preachers and lay leaders supported the abolition of institutional slavery by any means. Afterward, a few Universalist preachers claimed that the law of the land superseded acts that would entice slaves to run away or prevent authorities from reclaiming fugitive slaves. By 1840 Alexander and Duncan Fuller were living in Warsaw. Sarah Fuller, a daughter of Alexander, writing shortly after the Civil War, claimed that Alexander was active in the UGGR and had moved from Warsaw to Carrollton, Ky., before 1860. There were several Fullers active in the UGRR in southeastern Indiana and southern Ohio. Boone Co. With 40 miles of shoreline, myriad creeks and forests, and several large plantations dotting the Ohio River, Boone Co. proved nearly impossible to patrol against runaway slaves. In Indiana, across from Boone Co., there were no free black agricultural communities and no sizable “Yankee” settlements close to the Ohio River. The UGRR operations in nearby Dearborn Co., Ind., came about almost entirely through organization of antislavery societies and through efforts of antislavery congregations among the Free Will Baptists, the Methodist Protestants (MPs), and the Universalists. The most celebrated runaway slave from Boone Co. was Margaret Garner. Yet her tragic slaveescape story is not a story of the UGRR. Garner and her family escaped independently from Richwood, Ky., and took refuge with family members at Cincinnati. Apparently the escaping Garners attempted to reach activists in the local UGRR only after a posse from Kentucky had found them, and by then it was far too late for rescue.
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, BOONE, CARROLL, AND GALLATIN COUNTIES
Written histories of Boone Co. contain little evidence of an active UGRR. Records from Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, however, reveal a substantial amount of UGRR activity in Boone Co. from 1838 to 1861. In fact, so many runaway slaves were handled in and through Boone Co. that agents of the American Anti-Slavery League were placed as ferrymen, fishermen, peddlers, and couriers. Two of the most famous conductors of the UGRR, Elijah Anderson and John Fairfield, completed major exploits while aiding escaping slaves in Boone Co. Many of the slave escapes were local to Boone Co., and the names of Boone Co. slave owners and slaves have been recorded in court proceedings in Indiana and Michigan. At one point in the early 1850s, when Elijah Anderson was operating out of Lawrenceburg, Ind., 40 slaves were lost in one month, and the newspapers speculated that monetary losses to slave owners in Boone and Kenton counties in Kentucky were reaching $50,000 per month. William Wyman, the station master of the UGRR at Aurora, Ind., operated three main routes northward from the Manchester Landing crossing just east of Aurora’s Public Landing. Wyman, although living on a farm just outside of Aurora, was a member of the Universalist Church at Manchester, Ind., and also a charter member of the East Fork Chapel of the Tanner’s Creek MP Church. The Manchester Landing site probably was linked to American Anti-Slavery Society (or League) operatives working as ferrymen, since this crossing was used extensively for many years. Wyman’s first route was the Yorkshire route, which went north in Indiana to Collier Ridge Rd., then to Guilford, up to Harrison, and to the Quaker outpost in southern Franklin Co., Ind. This route was manned by recent immigrants from York Co., England, who spoke a dialect and were associated chiefly with the MP congregations of the Tanners Creek, Ind., Circuit (the West Bank Chapel of Tanners Creek, the East Bank Chapel of Tanners Creek, the Mount Pleasant Methodist Class, and the Bonnell MP Class) founded by Rev. John Clarke, cofounder and first corresponding secretary of the Indiana Anti-Slavery Society. The radical antislavery activists in the Guilford area in Indiana date back to before 1834, when a split in the East Bank Chapel Methodists caused a number of families to withdraw to Joseph Hall’s barn and become the West Bank Chapel MP Church. Years of cordial relationships and shared pastors between the two organizations using Union Church developed, so that the first formal meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society was called at the East Bank Chapel, which was hosting the association meeting of the Tanners Creek Circuit of the MP Church just outside Guilford in July 1838. Initially harassed by Kentucky and Lawrenceburg, Ind., proslavery elements, the abolitionists persevered. They elected Benjamin Metcalf president and John Hansell secretary. They also passed two major resolutions, to publicize the evils of slavery and to aid slaves attempting to escape bondage. Leaders of this Yorkshire route identified in the Siebert Family Papers included Ralph Collier, John Hall, John
Hansell, and Thomas Hansell, the station manager. A strong link existed between William Wyman and Rev. John Clarke, both of whom served as directors and officers of the Indiana Anti-Slavery Society representing Decatur Co. William Wyman was a member of the West Bank of Tanners Creek MP Church and also a member of the Manchester Universalist Church. Thomas Hansell was one of the 50 abolitionist families from Dearborn, Ripley, and Jennings counties in Indiana who moved with the Hicklin brothers of Jennings Co. in Indiana to Oregon in 1850. The Yorkshire route was then managed by Ralph Collier, whose homestead remains on Collier Ridge Rd. The second route was called the Universalist route. It led north from Aurora, Ind., to Manchester, to the James Angevin safe house at Yorkville, and to Cedar Grove and Brookville in Franklin Co., Ind. The leaders of this route included William Wyman of Aurora and Seth Platt of Manchester, identified by Siebert and James Angevin, of Yorkville, in the Siebert Family Papers. If there was an active group in Kentucky aiding the Indiana UGRR, it probably was associated with the Universalist Church at Burlington, Boone Co. This congregation was linked to members of the Aurora and Manchester Universalist churches through a series of association meetings continuing into the 1890s. Although the Kentucky congregation was not constituted formally until 1878, its charter members were all residents of Burlington before 1860, and none were slaveholders. The description of this central UGRR route as Universalist came from the James Angevin family history. This source also verified that there was a Universalist congregation at Wilmington, Ind. For some time an isolated UGRR conductor named Orthaniel H. Reed at Wilmington had planning meetings with the Donnells, the Hamiltons, and the McCoys, Presbyterians who managed the Kingston route of Decatur Co.’s UGRR. Reed brought fugitive slaves to Decatur Co. from Rising Sun, Ind. William Thompson, one of the free blacks at the Clarksburg “Little Africa” settlement in Decatur Co., Ind., was known to have come down to Rising Sun to pick up runaway slaves as well. Sabra Matthews, who apparently served as spiritual leader of the “Little Africa” settlement, formed an A.M.E. church east of Clarksburg, Ind., on the DecaturFranklin county line. The third route that William Wyman operated was called the North Polar Star route; it led from Aurora, Ind., through Manchester to Moores Hill and Old Milan, where Stephen S. Harding’s homestead was the number 7 station on that route. From Old Milan the North Polar Star route continued to Napoleon, Ind., through the Yankee Settlement of eastern Ripley Co. (Pierceville and Prattsburg and the Mud Pike Rd.). This route was operated chiefly by Freewill Baptists living east of Napoleon. It has been determined that there were UGRR activists in the Freewill Baptist Churches at Delaware (now Lookout), Franklin (now Old Pilgrim), Milan, Pierceville, and Prattsburg. It is believed that there were members of the Freewill Baptist Church at Aurora or Wrights Corner, Ind., who were also in-
volved. The Shattucks, the Shockleys, and Dr. Myron Harding, who were active in the UGRR, were likely Freewill Baptists rather than Universalists. William Wyman and the Aurora crossing linked together the three denominations most prominent in the antislavery and UGRR activities in southeastern Indiana. When Elijah Anderson moved his UGRR operations from Madison to Lawrenceburg, Ind., in 1846, it took only a few weeks for Boone Co. slave owners to feel the impact. This very experienced conductor was skilled in establishing safe routes and in selecting trustworthy slaves in place on plantations and free people of color on the Kentucky side of the river. His experiences at Madison convinced him that taking runaway slaves across one and two at a time was bound to run afoul of the patrollers. He determined to collect larger groups of slaves in Kentucky and, using experienced conductors, to take the groups all the way to Sandusky or Cleveland, Ohio. The likelihood was better by far that an entire group of 10, 12, or even (at one time) 50 runaways would get through without recapture. Anderson claimed to have brought out more than 800 runaway slaves, following passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. In addition to cordial relations with William Wyman at Aurora, Anderson also had excellent working ties to Cincinnati’s free black population and to the white leadership of the Ohio UGRR. He had established a cadre of free blacks at Lawrenceburg and Brookville, Ind., who were associated chiefly with the A.M.E. denomination. One declared member of this group was Gabriel Smith, an elderly free black from Brookville, who claimed to have helped conduct 50 slaves from Boone Co. up to Sandusky, Ohio, on Lake Erie. Elijah Anderson was captured in Kentucky in 1856 and sent to the Kentucky State Penitentiary. The UGRR continued to operate in the Aurora and east-of-Lawrenceburg area, and it is likely that both white and black conductors continued the task that had placed Anderson in prison. Annotated Plat C, 1848–1850, Madison, Ind. Bordewich, Fergus M. Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America. New York: Amistad, 2005. Coffi n, Levi. Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, The Reputed President of the Underground Railroad. Cincinnati: The Robert Clarke Company, 1898. Commonwealth of Kentucky vs. Elijah Anderson, Trimble Co. Circuit Court, Governors Papers, Kentucky Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Ky. Coon, Diane Perrine. “Southeastern Indiana’s Underground Railroad Routes and Operations,” 1999, U.S. Park Ser vice and Indiana DNR, unpublished technical report available at Indiana Department of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indianapolis, Ind. Deed Book 6: 320, Jefferson Co., Madison, Ind. Documenting the American South. “Life and Narrative of William J. Anderson,” UNC Univ. Library. http://docsouth.unc.edu (accessed April 6, 2007). Griffler, Keith P. Front Line of Freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2004.
902 UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, BRACKEN CO. Haviland, Laura S. A Woman’s Life-Work: Labors and Experiences of Laura S. Haviland. Cincinnati: Walden and Stowe, 1881. Hudson, J. Blaine. Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002. Lawrenceburg Register, May 11, 1848; November 17, 1852; November 14, 1853. Rogers, N. T. “Decatur County’s Role in the Historic Underground Railroad of Slavery Days,” and “Orthaniel Reed to Editor McClasky,” Greensburg (Ind.) Daily News, February 3–17, 1914. Siebert, Wilbur H. The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom. New York: Macmillan, 1898. Smith, George Henry. ”Reminiscences of Tanner’s Creek,” 1898, and “Reminiscences of John Clark.” In History of East Fork Stone Chapel. Guilford, Ind., 1921. Tax Assessment Book 2, 1838–1847, Madison, Ind. Thompson, Orville. “Fugit Township Pioneers,” Greensburg (Ind.) Daily News, August 30, 1906.
Diane Perrine Coon
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, BRACKEN CO. Antislavery feelings, including the colonization movement, were quite evident in Bracken Co. during the 19th century. Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad conductors helping slaves gain freedom in this Ohio River borderland often led perilous lives—risking injury, imprisonment, and occasionally death. Their names and the names of slaves living near the Ohio River (for the enslaved “the River Jordan”) emerge from accounts of their activities. The term Underground Railroad refers to the network of people who helped fugitive slaves from south of the Ohio River reach freedom in the North. Abolitionists quietly organized this system of stations and conductors to move freedom-seekers along the route, while other sympathizers sought less dangerous methods of opposing slavery. A young and impressionable visitor to his uncle’s home in Augusta in Bracken Co. was Stephen Collins Foster, who during the 1840s and 1850s composed songs about life in the South. According to local historical accounts, Foster was often found sitting below the “Negro Church on the Hill,” listening to the voices float soft ly down. Foster objected to the blackface performance style sometimes used by performers singing his songs. He instructed white performers not to mock slaves but instead to get their audiences to feel compassion for them. Also living in the county during this time was John G. Fee, a leading abolitionist. Fee founded the Free Church and School on Hillsdale Rd. in Bracken Co. near Germantown. However, in 1850 Fee was described by the local Circuit Court as an intruder into this quiet community and ordered to leave the county. Many enraged citizens helped to enforce the circuit court’s declaration. Again in 1860 the Bracken Co. Circuit Court demanded that Fee and his associates, who had already been driven from Berea College (“the Berean exiles”), depart the county immediately. They moved to Ohio. Fee’s wife, Matilda, and his mother-in-law, Betsy Hamilton, of Fegan Ridge, Ky., were also
vocal and dynamic abolitionists. Matilda traveled with her husband and supported the schools and churches he founded by teaching the younger students, white or black. The Fees lost one of their own children to an illness that resulted from their constant travels. Adding to their mental anguish was the loss of Fee’s nanny, Juliet Miles. Miles had attempted to return from Ohio and lead her enslaved family to freedom, only to be captured and sentenced to the state penitentiary in Kentucky, where she soon died. Betsy Hamilton placed herself in danger when she concealed a fugitive slave, Ed Mofford, from the local sheriff. Mofford was to be sold at a courthouse auction, but he was able to break loose and run five miles to the Hamilton home. Working with a young colporteur, William Lincoln, Matilda successfully concealed Mofford until his escape to Canada was arranged. One of the leading abolitionists in Ohio was Bracken Co. native James Armstrong Thome (1813–1873). Thome was born in Augusta, graduated from local Augusta College, and was a participant in the famed Lane Seminary Debates held on slavery in Cincinnati in 1834. He later graduated from Oberlin School of Theology in Ohio. Thome was the son of a prominent citizen of Augusta, Arthur Thome, who emancipated his 15 slaves between 1832 and 1836. James Thome became vice president of the American Anti-Slavery Society and, as such, frequently spoke out with fervor against slavery in the United States. While living in Augusta in 1837 and writing his book Emancipation in the West Indies, James Thome was beseeched to help a fugitive slave woman cross the Ohio River to reach freedom in Ripley, Ohio. After completing this exploit, Thome realized that he was no longer safe in either Kentucky or Ohio. He immediately left his teaching position at Oberlin College in Ohio and went to the East, remaining there for a year to avoid arrest and extradition. Arthur Thome, according to a slave narrative published in the Colored American, was reported to be the leading conductor for the Underground Railroad in Augusta. He supposedly supplied freedom-seekers with the necessary food and clothing and conducted them to Ripley, Ohio. As threats to him and his family increased, they moved to Athens, Mo.; there he built a new home, which became a station on the Missouri Underground Railroad. Both Arthur Thome and Fee had close connections with Augusta College (founded December 7, 1822), the first Methodist college in Kentucky and only the third in the world. Several of the professors were abolitionists, and they allowed debates on the topic of slavery in Kentucky as early as 1826. An early president of the college, Rev. Martin Ruter of Ohio, was one of the founders of the Kentucky Colonization Society and an outspoken opponent of slavery. Because of the antislavery sentiments of the faculty and the lack of fi nancial sponsorship of the supporting Methodist conferences, the Commonwealth of Kentucky finally revoked the college’s charter in 1849. Underground Railroad operative E. Patrick Doyle was considered the most courageous con-
ductor in Kentucky. The largest slave uprising in Kentucky was masterminded by Doyle, who was at the time a student at Centre College in Danville, Ky. An estimated 40–75 slaves, assisted by Doyle, fled in the summer of 1848 from Central Kentucky into the hemp fields near Milford in southern Bracken Co. With 100 local men in pursuit, Doyle and his party were captured and jailed. Seven of the slaves Doyle was trying to rescue stood trial in Bracken Co., and three were convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Doyle was found guilty in an emotion-charged trial held in Lexington and sentenced to the state penitentiary, where he died of typhoid in 1863. In addition to Doyle, Juliet Miles, and the seven runaway slaves who were tried as a part of the 1848 slave mutiny, there were eight men from Bracken Co. who were charged during the period leading up to the Civil War with enticing slaves to escape. Most were free persons of color, like David Alexander, who was arrested in 1853. Alexander allegedly assisted Alfred, a slave of John Fee Jr., in getting to the Ohio River shore, where both men were captured. Fortunately for Alexander, his case was fi led away for the Bracken Co. Circuit Court’s May term of 1855. One of the most appalling cases in the county was that of Dr. Perkins, another free person of color, who was accused of trying to aid in the escape of Sanford, a slave who belonged to Blackstone Rankins of Augusta. The 70-year-old Perkins was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to the state penitentiary for three years. Even though a petition had been initiated among Augusta citizens to free Perkins, he died in the prison two years later. Another conductor who operated in Bracken Co., but avoided the penitentiary, was John Fairfield. Considered an extremist by many, especially by noted Quaker and Cincinnati abolitionist Levi Coffi n, he was able to arrange strikes into Kentucky to rescue slaves. However, Fairfield was betrayed while in Bracken Co. and jailed in the stone prison at Brooksville, where he became quite ill. After a winter of incarceration, local citizens were able to secure Fairfield’s escape, and he fled to Ripley and to safety with Rev. John Rankin. Fairfield used many aliases. The only named person jailed at that time for enticing slaves to escape was James Cooper, a laborer; this perhaps was an alias Fairfield used. The man known as James Cooper spent the winter of 1853–1854 in the jail, which is the time most researchers believe that Fairfield was imprisoned. Just before the Civil War ended, James Medley was ordered to appear in Bracken Co. Circuit Court to answer charges of enticing a slave named Henry away from B. C. Clayton. Medley stood trial in Bracken Co. in February 1865 and was found innocent. Also arrested at this time was J. P. McClanahan, who was charged with attempting to entice away slaves, in par ticu lar Bob, belonging to Henry Anderson. He was ordered to appear at the county’s February 1865 circuit court hearing, but records do not reveal the result of this action. One accused conductor, Robert Mains, arrested in 1864
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, CAMPBELL AND KENTON COUNTIES
for ferrying unidentified slaves across the Ohio River, was released on bail; he failed to report to the February 1865 circuit court in Bracken Co. and forfeited his bail. Although not arrested for enticing slaves to escape servitude, J. M. Mallett, a local colporteur, received a punishment almost as intolerable as imprisonment. Mallet, a teacher at the Free Church on Hillsdale Rd., was mobbed at Germantown in Bracken Co. by men attempting to “tar and feather” him for his abolitionist teachings. Dr. Joshua T. Bradford of Augusta led the mob, but their plan was thwarted when a Dr. Keith intervened in Mallet’s behalf in the midst of the beating. Abolitionism also took other forms in Bracken Co., as seen in records kept by locals Rev. James Savage and Thurston Thomas. According to Savage’s Memorandum Book, dated 1827, he planned to emancipate his Negro slaves upon his death; their emancipations were to occur in various years, as stipulated in the book. Savage provided in his will for the local free people of color to have a place of worship, as long as they did not erect a place of sepulture. He also supplied money to be sent in support of the Kentucky Colonization Society and gave his emancipated slaves the option of going to live in the newly created nation of Liberia in Africa. Thurston Thomas also took an unusual stance against slavery from 1831 to 1855; he made provisions in his will to emancipate his slaves during those years. Thomas also kept a family Bible, which gave a detailed accounting of births, marriages, and deaths of his enslaved Africans. Today that Bible is held at the National Underground Railroad Museum in Maysville. The work of creating an antislavery atmosphere throughout Northern Kentucky was a tiresome yet worthy endeavor. With the active abolitionists and conductors spreading the word and leading freedom-seekers to a life of opportunity, generations of enslaved Africans could hope for a better life. The ministers and colporteurs created antislavery congregations and delivered a message to their Northern abolitionist partners that there were persons of like mind in Northern Kentucky. The threats of violence and related consequences were constantly on the minds of men and women like Dr. Perkins and Juliet Miles, but that did not keep them from trying to free themselves. The Thomes, Fees, and Doyles also suffered great retribution for their acts of conscience, but they led others to rethink their attitudes concerning supporting that “peculiar institution”—slavery—south of the Ohio River. Algier, Keith. Antebellum Kentucky. Maysville, Ky.: Standard Quick Print, 2002. Bracken Co. Circuit Court Archives, Brooksville, Ky. Sears, Richard D. The Day of Small Things. Lanham, Md.: Univ. Press of America, 1986.
Caroline R. Miller
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, CAMPBELL AND KENTON COUNTIES. Underground Railroad stations were located throughout Campbell and Kenton counties, which are two of
the three northernmost counties in Kentucky. These counties also have two of the state’s largest cities, Newport and Covington, but the African American population in both counties was small. The total Campbell Co. African American population in 1860 was 204 (88 free, 116 enslaved); 95 of these (56 free, 39 enslaved) were Newport residents. Kenton Co., had 652 blacks (85 free, 567 enslaved; 273 of them (76 free, and 197 enslaved) lived in Covington. African Americans from throughout the region visited Covington and Newport while on business, thus establishing contacts with residents. It is a common belief that, perhaps because of this possibility, only the most trusted enslaved blacks were allowed to travel to the area from surrounding counties. However, escaping slaves sometimes purposely avoided large population centers. Numerous houses along both the Licking and Ohio rivers had tunnels, which had been dug to supply the dwellings with coal and other products from riverboats. In Covington, one of the supposed stations along the Underground Railroad was the Gano-Southgate House, which had such a tunnel. In 1967 a photograph booklet on the city of Covington, published by the Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company, included a picture of Mrs. Annie Hargraves and her daughter Betty Ann Jones, both African Americans, and Covington mayor Claude Hensley, taken at the exit from the house’s tunnel on the western shore of the Licking River. Hargraves is shown holding the book Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, which contains “The Story of Jane,” about Hargraves’s grandmother’s escape from slavery. Some viewers of the photo see in it an implied relationship between the GanoSouthgate House and the successful escape, although this is questionable since the history of this mansion has been misrepresented over the years. Abolitionist Henry Hathaway Jr. used his Hathaway Hall residence as a station. It was located on Highway Ave. in West Covington, overlooking the Ohio River. Of Hathaway it was said, “He had the express purpose of helping fleeing slaves on their road to freedom.” Bushrod W. Foley, mayor of Covington during this period, lost his slaves in an escape to Canada. In 1850 Foley had three slaves and lived on the southeast corner of Russell and Front Sts., less than 200 yards from the river. In 1853 he had five slaves. According to the Covington Journal, “On Sunday night last five slaves belonging to B. Foley, Esq., made their escape from this city, and are now probably in Canada. If they fare as well there as they did in Covington they will be truly fortunate.” Perhaps Mayor Foley’s home had a supply tunnel leading to the Ohio River. John W. Stevenson, future governor and U.S. senator from Kentucky, who resided at 320 Garrard St., had a tunnel leading to the Licking River. He was also a slave owner whose slave escaped to Ohio with Margaret Garner in 1856. In 1954 the former Stevenson residence on Garrard St. became state property when Kentucky decided to construct a state office building there. Awaiting or assisting the escapees in Cincinnati were people like William Fuller, who housed
runaways. There were also unscrupulous individuals such as Robert Russel, who played both sides, first helping the runaways and then turning them in to the slave catchers. After reaching Cincinnati, one important stop for escaping slaves was the city’s Zion Baptist Church. This African American church was located in the area called the black bottom near the Mill Creek. Besides houses with tunnels leading out to the banks of the Ohio River, there were several other documented Underground Railroad locations in Kenton Co. One was Elmwood Hall in Ludlow, at the corner of Forrest Ave. and Closson Ct. Away from the river’s shoreline in Covington, there were the Weisnal House on Highland Ave., a house on the corner of 18th St. and Maryland Ave., a house at 310 Garrard St., and Homesdale, located at the site of Holmes High School. In Fort Wright, there was a station in the home at the corner of Kyles Ln. and Dixie Highway. Other Underground Railroad stations were located in Independence, Key West, Morning View, and Sanfordtown. In Campbell Co. one of the Underground Railroad stations was the York St. Congregational Church. In the basement of the church’s parsonage were accommodations for living, and it was reported that church members who were involved as conductors used honey carts with false bottoms to hide runaways. The James Taylor Mansion in Newport was another possible location. Stations were located in Alexandria, Bellevue, Cold Spring, and Grants Lick as well. Whether assisted or not, the escaping slaves required food, water, and places to hide. The topography of Campbell and Kenton counties supplied the numerous creeks, streams, and rivers leading to the Ohio River that aided those escaping bondage. Once the slaves reached Ohio, fugitive slave laws made it necessary for them either to meld into a local African American setting or continue on to Canada. Coffi n, Levi. Reminiscences. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1968. “Covington’s Sesquicentennial Year,” KP, August 21, 1965, 29K. “The Era of the Golden Shovel: Covington, Kentucky,” Cincinnati Telephone Bulletin 59, no. 10 (November 1968). “Escape of Slaves,” CJ, December 10, 1853, 2. “Escape of Slaves—Arrest of Part of Them: Murder of a Slave Child by Its Mother,” CJ, February 27, 1856, 2. Gollar, C. Walker. “Possible Underground Railroad Stations and Conductors in Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky,” January 28, 1998. Unpublished paper, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Harris, Theodore H. H. “The Carneal House and the Underground Railroad,” NKH 6, no. 2 (Spring– Summer 1999): 35–38. Haviland, Laura S. A Woman’s Life-Work: Labors and Experiences. Reprint, Salem, N.H.: Ayer, 1984. “N. Ky. Facing Role in Underground Railroad: Stopovers on Freedom Path Documented,” CE, May 25, 1997, B8. Reis, Jim. “A Fiery-Spirited Governor from Covington,” KP, July 11, 1983, 4K.
904 UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, MASON CO. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989. “The Underground Railroad and the Man Who Made It Obsolete,” Papers of Kenton County Historical Society 3 (1990): 70.
Theodore H. H. Harris
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, MASON CO. Sympathetic citizens north and south of the Ohio River who treasured the ideals of a free society began to organize a movement that became known as the Underground Railroad. Mason Co. was one of the earlier supporters of public antislavery societies and the Underground Railroad. As early as July 1818, the Maysville Eagle advertised a meeting of the supporters of the Maysville Abolition Society in Mason Co. Church congregations in Mason Co. also assisted fugitive slaves with either food or clothing. The congregation of the Minerva Baptist Church, built by Lewis Craig in 1793, was one of these. The Minerva Baptists split over the slavery issue in the early 1800s, because some members supported the gradual emancipation of slaves, while others, as abolitionists, called for the immediate end to slavery. Many church associations in the area approved of the African Colonization movement founded in 1816 in Washington, D.C. Residents Rev. John T. Edgar, Adam Beatty, James Morris, and other well-educated men were early members of the movement in Maysville. Although the original African Colonization Society founded in Maysville did not survive very long, there was later a resurgence of colonization activities, as indicated in the Western Colonizationist on May 27, 1839. Th is advertisement called for a colonization meeting to be held on that date in Maysville at the Methodist Church. According to Mason Co. oral tradition, there were abolitionists and conductors whose records cannot be found among the archives at the Maysville court house. The earliest conductors mentioned in the writings of Levi Coffi n of Cincinnati were members of the Lightfoot family and an unnamed barber living in Maysville. In nearby Washington, the Paxton Inn was often reported to have been a temporary refuge for freedom-seekers. In downtown Maysville, the Phillip’s Folly mansion on Sutton St. also contains concealed areas in which slaves might have been secreted. The mansion had several owners before 1865, and oral tradition suggests that an owner of this house was providing a safe area. On Fourth St., near an area where free persons of color lived, is the Bierbower house, which was owned by carriage-makers Frederick and Jonathan Bierbower. Compelling accounts from Bierbower family members and from former resident Chris Maher suggest that slaves were secreted in the lower level of the house. Abolitionists sometimes perpetuated their beliefs even after death, as seen in the 150 or so emancipation records found in the Mason Co. will books. In most accounts, money and livestock were the assets granted, and at times the wills stipulated that
the slaves were to receive their freedom in later years, particularly on the date December 25. Neighboring Ohio was home to a number of conductors on the Underground Railroad. John B. Mahan, a tavern owner from Sardinia, Ohio, in Brown Co., was accused at his trial on November 13, 1838, of enticing slaves from Mason Co. who were owned by William Greathouse. While awaiting trial, Mahan had to spend several months in the deplorable Maysville jail and over time became weak in body and mind. Fearing his death, Judge Walter Reid finally held his trial, announcing a lengthy verdict of guilty. Mahan was fined nearly $2,000, which he borrowed from William Dunlap of Ripley in order to pay the fine. With his health in dire condition and his spirit broken, the freed Mahan returned to Ohio, where he soon died. John P. Parker, a freed slave living in Ripley, Ohio, was perhaps the most active conductor of enslaved Africans in Mason Co. from the decade of the 1850s through the Civil War. According to his interview with newspaperman Frank Gregg, Parker’s working area was “a strip of land along the southern boundary of the free states, which prior to the Civil War could be truthfully called the borderland. . . . It broadened out to a breadth of fift y miles or more. . . . Every night of the year saw fugitives singly or in groups, making their way to the northern country.” During Parker’s daring forays, he was supplied with information from his “Grapevine Dispatch” network of allies regarding a large party of runaway slaves from Central Kentucky who were lost and without a guide. By word of mouth, Parker relayed the circumstances of the party to an unidentified white man in Kentucky who agreed to row Parker across the Ohio River and take him to another conductor. When the white man reached a predetermined location, Parker was startled at the hooting of owls, which he came to find out was another unnamed conductor hiding in an old cabin about eight miles south of the river. Parker described this man as an “Indian” in the woods, “Indian-like” in his manner in traversing the land quickly and silently. According to Gregg’s transcript, the last encounter that Parker had with slave owners was his rescue of a young couple and their infant child from the house of James Shroufe (a worker at his foundry) at South Ripley, Ky., across from Parker’s Ohio home on Ripley’s riverbank. Again, Parker was successful in bringing the family out of slavery, even though the pursuing owner shot at him. Working with Rev. John Rankin of Ripley, and perhaps with John Parker, was a young slave conductor from western Mason Co. Arnold Gragston (1840–1938) was owned by John “Jack” Tabb, whose farm was in Mason Co. on Walton Pk. An account by Gragston provides a strong image of the dangers he faced: “I don’t know how I ever rowed the boat across that river. The current was so strong, and I was trembling. I couldn’t see a thing in the dark, but Ripley, Ohio, always meant freedom for slaves, if I could get to that light.” Gragston stated that after his escape he resided in Ohio and would often hide freedom-seekers in barns before crossing the fields east of Dover, Ohio, to a skiff hidden
at the Ohio River’s edge. He estimated that he might have rescued as many as 300 slaves in a period of four years. The October 6, 1938, Bracken Chronicle in Ky. commemorated Gragston’s contribution to his fellow man with these words: “Conscious of the oppression of his people and shackled down with the fetters of slavery, Mr. Gragston . . . became a vital cog in that renowned means of flight from the lash of the slave owners’ whips—the Underground Railroad.” Sometimes information about the early conductors was mentioned only in a single court entry, and their stories were not published in national abolitionist journals. One such case occurred in 1834 when Benjamin Gooch (or Googe) was brought before the Mason Co. Court and charged with enticing a female slave, Susan, the property of Mary Morrison. He was indicted for aiding slave Mary in her escape from her owner and spiriting her into Ohio. In 1849 James Blackburn, a free man of color living in Mason Co., enticed a girl slave, Frances, the property of William Bradford, to leave for Ohio. Blackburn was found guilty in a trial in August 1850, and the jury recommended that he be confined in the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort for a term of nine years. The court set aside his sentence. However, this new verdict was overruled, the prisoner was again judged guilty, and he was remanded to serve nine years in the penitentiary. Shortly after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was enacted, John Davis, a free man of color who was living in Maysville, persuaded a slave woman, Tabby, to leave her lawful owner, John Gabby. In 1853 Charles, a free Negro, was indicted on a charge of enticing slaves away from their owner. The case was continued to the April court term of 1856, and bond was supplied for Charles by Thomas C. Newcomb. In the April 1856 trial, Charles did not appear and forfeited the bond paid by Newcomb. Another case in 1856 involved George Williams, a free man of color, who was charged in Mason Co. with enticing slaves to escape and assisting them in their escape. These slaves were the property of Dr. James E. McDowell. Williams was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in the Kentucky State Penitentiary. A new trial was granted, but the record of its outcome is not available. The next year, in 1857, Charles, a free Negro, was charged with feloniously attempting to persuade and entice a Negro woman slave named Cordelia, the property of James Patton. Again, records do not reveal the outcome of the case. Benjamin Stokes, a free man of color, was prosecuted in 1858 for enticing the slaves of J. B. Pepper to leave his property. Two Negro boys escaped from Pepper on October 10, 1858, and John Sutherland witnessed the scene. Stokes was spotted in a skiff on the Ohio River near Beasley’s eddy with two or three other Negro men, matching the descriptions of Pepper’s fugitive slaves. Their skiff was found pulled up on Ripley’s bank with footprints leading north. Stokes was brought to trial with the evidence overwhelmingly pointing to a guilty verdict, but information about the final outcome or sentence has not come to light.
One of the most unusual enticing trials in Mason Co. involved John G. Fee’s colporteur, William Haines, who was sponsored by the American Missionary Association. Officially, Haines was accused of enticing a slave woman, Hannah, and her children, belonging to Hezekiah Jenkins. Haines admitted under oath that he had encountered and spoken with a black man and asked the man questions as to how a person could obtain a skiff and where to obtain a likely route across the river. While awaiting trial, Haines succumbed to a serious case of diarrhea and was under great mental and physical stress. When Fee visited Haines, Fee was attacked by one of his neighbors with a club so brutally that one of the blows to Fee’s head broke the club. Fee was temporarily almost blinded and enveloped with blood, and shortly afterward his home was burned. The jury voted in Haines’s favor and found him not guilty. Abolitionist Rev. Elisha Green of Maysville was a minister to the enslaved and free people of color in north central Kentucky and had established Baptist churches in several towns, including Maysville and Paris, Ky. He was able to travel to his congregations because his owner had issued him a “pass” allowing him to travel on the train. The Dobyns and Warder families in Mason Co. owned Green, but when he was enslaved as a child in Paris, he had witnessed slave coffles walking to the infamous auction sales in Lexington. Green’s only son was kidnapped into a coffle at Blue Lick Springs in Kentucky at age nine. Although Green quickly arranged in Maysville to secure the money necessary to meet the slave trader’s demands, the coffle had moved on before Green could return, and Green never saw his son again. Several months after the Civil War ended in 1865, Green was indicted in Mason Co. Circuit Court for “harboring a fugitive.” In fact, the fugitive he was hiding was his daughter, who was in danger of being sold. Since the war’s ending did not prohibit the sale of slaves in Kentucky, the owner was within his legal rights. Green was found not guilty, however, and was able to secure a home for his third daughter. He had previously purchased his two other daughters and his wife and had provided the bond to emancipate them. Strict slave laws, enforced by inhumane slavecatchers and bounty hunters, once made it necessary for persons seeking freedom to avoid arrest by temporarily fleeing to Ohio and Canada. For instance, several freed females in Mason Co. were kidnapped and placed on the slave market in nearby Lexington. James McMillen was the slave agent in Mason Co. for Louis Robard and was suspected of these outrageous deeds. In the August 30, 1851, edition of the Maysville Eagle, an article described the kidnapping of Negroes from Aberdeen, Ohio, and their transportation across the Ohio River to the Maysville jail. Although Aberdeen citizens tried to intervene, the individuals kidnapped were quickly sent to Lexington and the slave market. Thousands of enslaved Africans in Mason Co. and the surrounding Kentucky counties were not able to escape to freedom and were thereby sen-
tenced to a life of bare subsistence or constant threats that they would be sold “down South.” Nevertheless, men and women of strong courage continued to press toward the North, and some of them eventually found liberty. Green, Elisha. Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green. 1888. http://docsouth .unc .edu/ neh/greenew/greenew .html (accessed April 2, 2006). Part of the Documenting the American South series. Hagedorn, Ann. Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002. Mason Co. Circuit Court Judgments and Order Books, Maysville, Ky. Mason Co. Clerk Will Book, Maysville, Ky. Sprague, Stuart Seely, ed. His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad. New York: W. W. Norton, 1996.
Caroline R. Miller
UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS. Sightings in Northern Kentucky of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) have been reported over the years and continue in the present. A UFO, according to U.S. Air Force Regulation 80-17, is “any aerial phenomenon or object which is unknown or appears to be out of the ordinary to the observer.” Though a manual at the U.S. Air Force Academy several decades ago stated that reports concerning UFOs may extend back 47,000 years, giving credence to the topic, the subject exploded publicly after two events. Kenneth Arnold saw nine “flying saucers” while pi loting a small plane near Mount Rainer, Wash., on June 24, 1947. And on July 8, 1947, Lt. Walter Haut stated in a press release that the 509th Bomb Group at the Roswell Army Air Base in New Mexico had recovered a crashed “flying disc.” The press release was initially rescinded by an official announcement that the “disc” was actually a weather balloon, but years later, many former military personnel at Roswell protested that an alien-piloted UFO had in fact crashed. Since then, tens of thousands of sightings have been reported annually all over the world. Many Northern Kentuckians have been especially interested in UFOs because they live only about 50 miles from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio, where the debris of the alleged Roswell UFO was purportedly sent. Moreover, Kentucky Air National Guard captain Thomas Mantell died on January 7, 1948, when his P-51 Mustang crashed near Franklin after he reported closing in on a “metallic object” of “tremendous size” traveling at approximately 180 miles per hour. The UFOs reported in Northern Kentucky range from a cylindrical craft with light formations on its sides, observed in Owenton on November 16, 1999; to a formation of diamond-shaped craft witnessed in Alexandria on December 11, 2000; to a more detailed description in another incident. A man stated that on August 29, 2004, he and his girlfriend were driving near Corinth when they saw a bright light traverse the horizon in about 10 seconds. The object stopped, mysteriously dropped a “dark bundle,” and moved quickly toward them.
Suddenly, the lighted object appeared in front of their car. They drove forward, and as it hovered over them they noticed that it had a triangular shape with lights on the corners. Looking through the sunroof of their vehicle, the couple saw the lights change into different patterns of red, blue, and yellow. They drove on and lost sight of it. Although these reports are often ridiculed, Stanford University physicist Peter Sturrock notes that scientists who investigate UFOs invariably become more interested, a fact suggesting that UFOs merit serious study. Indeed, although UFOs may be anomalous phenomena from Earth, the philosophy of science indicates that science cannot exclude visits of alien-piloted UFOs. Since the history of science reveals that scientific theories change over time, the current theories discounting travel through many light years of space-time may well be superseded by future theories that are more friendly to the possibility. National UFO Reporting Center: State Report Index for KY. www.nuforc.org/webreports/ndxlKY.html (accessed November 23, 2005). Sturrock, Peter. The UFO Enigma: A New Review of the Physical Evidence. New York: Aspect, 2000. Trundle, Robert. Is ET Here? No Politically but Yes Scientifically and Theologically. Victoria, B.C., Canada: EcceNova Editions, 2005. Wickramasinghe, Chandra, and Fred Hoyle, “The Unity of Cosmic Life and the Inevitability of Evolved Life Forms.” In The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the Optical Spectrum III, SPIE Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Optical SETI, Vol. 4273-01, 2001.
UNION. Located near the geographic center of Boone Co., along U.S. 42, the city of Union is 3 miles from the Florence Mall, 18 miles from Cincinnati, and 10 miles from the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport. It is a predominantly residential community of single-family homes and small agricultural estates today. In 1969 the area of the city was one square mile, and it has grown to approximately three square miles. One of the earliest settlements in the county, Union may have existed as early as the late 1700s. Early settlers moved up from the Ohio River, or came via the Cumberland Gap from Culpepper Co., Va. They traveled the old buffalo trace that went from Northern Kentucky, through Union, into Central Kentucky. This was the first road that brought people to Union. Those coming from Virginia were predominantly of German descent. Many of these settlers acquired their land either from a land speculator named Humphrey Marshall or as a result of Revolutionary War grants. Building materials for the early homes were stone, logs, or home-fired brick. The first recorded landowners were Jacob Fowler and a Revolutionary War soldier named Hugh Steers. Steers was an Irish immigrant who used Revolutionary War money to buy his land from Fowler, then later married Fowler’s daughter. Steers and his wife were buried at what is today the
906 UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 18th green of the Lassing Pointe Golf Course. He donated land for the Bethel Baptist Church on Frogtown Rd. By the early 1800s, much of the land that now lies in Union was owned by the Fowler family. Fowler’s son was Benjamin Piatt Fowler, who built a Federal style stone house on his land around 1817. The Fowler house, in later years sometimes called the Smith house, has walls that are 22 inches or more thick. It was built of limestone quarried from a nearby creek. In 1863 Gen. John Hunt Morgan spent some time at the Fowler home, after escaping from the penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio, with the assistance of W. P. Corbin. Morgan spent the night at Corbin’s home, accompanied by Capt. Thomas H. Hines, during his escape through Big Bone Lick back to Confederate forces in Tennessee. It has been recorded that Union was established as early as 1833, but existing documentation shows that Union was officially incorporated as a city in 1838. One source claims that Union was incorporated in 1871 but that the charter lapsed and was reactivated around 1976. The Kentucky secretary of state has 1854 as the date of incorporation. The community may have been named Union because it was a connection point between the city of Florence and Big Bone Lick. Or perhaps the name Union was chosen because of the junction of Old Louisville Rd. with Visalia–Big Bone Rd. Various sources disagree on the origin of the name. Salt was manufactured at Big Bone Lick during the early 1800s and brought to Union for distribution to other area settlements. Union was designated as a U.S. post office in 1830, and as early as 1850, Union had one store, two churches, a doctor, and a population of 50. The local Lake atlas of 1883, which was published from actual surveys under the direction of B. N. Griffi ng, lists these business references: one attorney, a blacksmith, a magistrate, three school teachers, one painter, one dealer in general merchandise, one dealer in dry goods, groceries, and a livestock dealer. A bank was built at Union in 1905, and a large, two-story general store was located on the corner of Mount Zion Rd. and what later became U.S. 42. Across the street from the general store was a drugstore; the village blacksmith was around the corner from the bank, and nearby was a flourishing creamery. One of the oldest organizations in Union is Boone Union Lodge No. 304, which was organized on September 1, 1854. According to the lodge’s charter, the first master was W. H. Riley. However, according to the records of the lodge, William Wilkie was its first master. It is believed that Riley helped organize the lodge and served as master for a time, and Wilkie fi nished out the year. V. Dickerson was the first senior warden, while A. Stansifer served as junior warden that first year. The lodge suffered much from the effects of the Civil War, since at the time it was still trying to become established. There were three years during the war when no report was listed with the Grand Lodge and no master was elected in 1861, 1862, or 1864. In the late 1930s, the Boone Lodge consolidated with the Hamilton Lodge No. 354. The Hamilton Lodge
was struggling to survive, and its only chance was the consolidation. Active today, the Boone Lodge has a membership of around 170. One of the few arboretums in the commonwealth of Kentucky is located at Central Park in Union. The Boone Co. Arboretum has the distinction of being the nation’s first arboretum within an active recreational park setting. It is open daily from dawn to dusk year round and contains more than 2,700 trees and shrubs. One can see specialized arrangements of plant families and observe selections rarely seen by the public. To ensure that the plants thrive in even the worst of droughts, there is a 41,000-linear-foot computerized irrigation system. The arboretum encompasses 121 acres and has more than two miles of paved walking trails, winding through the various plant collections, woodland settings, and athletic fields. Three informational kiosks containing horticultural information are located at the main trail entrances. Special attractions at the arboretum include the children’s garden, a wildlife viewing area in the Native Kentucky Prairie, and a woodland walking trail. Throughout the year, various classes and programs are offered for all age groups, and many of the county extension horticulture classes are taught at the arboretum. Union is also home to Big Bone Lick State Park, a 547-acre park. During the early 1900s, Union was unable to field a slate of officers to serve as a legislative body, and the official corporation lapsed. In 1969 a group of citizens felt that the time was right to reincorporate, and the modern City of Union was born. In 2005 Union moved up from a fift h- to a fourthclass city. In 1970 the official population figure for the city was 233; a 1990 census showed a population of 1,001; and by 2000 it had increased to 2,893, making Union the second-largest incorporated city in Boone Co. The current population is predominantly between the ages of 18 and 64 and almost equally divided between male and female. An Atlas of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1883. U.S. Census Bureau. “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed July 28, 2006). Warner, Jennifer S. Boone County: From Mastodons to the Millennium. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Bicentennial Book Committee, 1998.
German Protestant immigrants to Northern Kentucky were typically Lutherans or Reformed. Th is was a consequence of some important historical events in what is present-day Germany. In 1648 the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years War, recognized three religious groups: Roman Catholics, Lutherans (Evangelical), and Reformed (Calvinists). In 1817 the northern German kingdom of Prussia, home to many German Protestants, forced the union of the Lutheran and Reformed churches. German Protestant immigrants to Northern Kentucky were therefore accustomed to a mixture of Evangelical and Reformed traditions and often formed congregations together. This is evidenced by the history of a number of German immigrant congregations in Northern Kentucky that eventually aligned themselves with the United Church of Christ: St. John United Church of Christ in Newport, founded in 1847 as the First German Protestant Evangelical Church; St. Paul Christian Church, Fort Wright (withdrew from the UCC in 1998; now Disciples of Christ), organized in 1847 as St. Paul German Evangelical Church; St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Alexandria, opened in 1850 as an evangelical congregation; Grace United Church of Christ, Covington, established in 1862 as the Evangelical Reformed Church of Covington, Kentucky; St. Paul United Church of Christ, Dayton, conceived in 1863 as an evangelical congregation; St. John’s Community Church, Wilder, begun in 1876 as St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church (withdrew from the UCC in May 1975); St. John United Church of Christ, Bellevue, founded in 1887 as the St. John Evangelical Protestant Church of Bellevue; and Immanuel United Church of Christ, Bromley, established in 1894 as the German Reformed Church of Bromley, Ky. Many of these churches are still operating, as well as other United Church of Christ congregations such as St. Mark in the Latonia neighborhood of Covington, Christ Church in Fort Thomas, and St. Paul in Fort Thomas. Gunnemann, Louis H. The Shaping of the United Church of Christ: An Essay in the History of American Christianity. New York: United Church Press, 1977. United Church of Christ. www.ucc.org (accessed June 3, 2007).
Paul A. Tenkotte
Bruce Ferguson and Gail Chastang
UNITED MINISTRIES OF NORTHERN KENTUCKY. The United Ministries of Northern
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST. The United Church of Christ is a popular Christian denomination in the urban areas of Covington and Newport, primarily owing to the large number of German immigrants who settled there. Nationwide, the United Church of Christ resulted from the 1957 merger of two denominations, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church. The Evangelical and Reformed Church, which was well represented in Northern Kentucky before 1957, was itself the outcome of a 1934 merger of the Reformed Church in the United States and the Evangelical Synod of North America.
Kentucky, formerly Erlanger-Elsmere United Ministries, is a nonprofit social ser vice agency staffed by nearly 70 volunteers that provides emergency aid to local residents in need. The agency currently serves up to 300 families each month. A local ministerial association opened the agency in 1983 as a food pantry, and its ser vices have expanded over time to include help with rent and utilities. During the holidays, many families count on United Ministries for Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas dinners, and Christmas gifts for children. On-site literacy and family support programs, along with GED classes and budgeting/mortgage workshops,
URBAN LEARNING CENTER
encourage clients to develop their independence. Originally operating exclusively in the ErlangerElsmere area, the agency has expanded its operations and now serves all of southern Kenton and Boone counties. In 1996, after years of borrowing and renting space from local churches, United Ministries built a new facility at 525 Graves Ave. in Erlanger. A rift between the founding volunteers and the board of directors prompted the board to close the doors of the agency in December 1998. It reopened in April 1999, minus the founding volunteers, who formed a separate local group, the United Christian Volunteers. Grants, donations, and fundraisers help to keep the United Ministries of Northern Kentucky going. A thrift shop operates out of the basement of the agency’s building three mornings per week. Selling donated items at reasonable prices, the thrift shop serves a dual purpose: it is the agency’s biggest fundraiser, and it provides an affordable place for low-income families to shop. Croyle, William. “Help to Needy Expands with Thrift Shop Shopping with Dignity—and More Often,” KE, May 12, 2004, C2. Kreimer, Peggy. “Split Agencies Share Mission: The Poor,” KP, July 17, 1999, 1K.
UNITED STATES. The steamboat United States, owned by the U.S. Mail Line, was built in 1865 by Johnson, Morton & Company, Cincinnati. It was 294 feet long and had a 40-foot beam and a 6.5-foot-deep hold; it operated on the Ohio River between Louisville and Cincinnati, along with its sister boat the America, with which the United States collided on December 4, 1868, in one of the most fiery steamboat disasters on record. Capt. David Whitten, original master of the United States, had left the boat and was replaced by veteran captain Richard M. Wade on September 17, 1868, less than three months before the accident. Owen Co., Ky., native author Alfred Cobb was on board the United States that fateful night; he survived and wrote about it in his 1890 work Liff y Leman or Thirty Years in the Wilderness. Certificate of Enrollment, Str. United States, April 10, 1868, Life on the Ohio River History Museum, Vevay, Ind. Change of Master certificate, Port of Cincinnati, District of Mississippi, George W. Neff, Surveyor of Customs, September 17, 1868, Life on the Ohio River History Museum, Vevay, Ind.
Barbara Huff man
UNITED STATES PLAYING CARD COMPANY. The world largest manufacturer of playing cards and supplier to casinos worldwide, the United States Playing Card Company began in Cincinnati in 1867 as Russell, Morgan & Company, primarily a printer of circus and theatrical posters. In 1881 the company began to manufacture playing cards; in 1891 it was renamed the United States Printing Company; in 1894 the playing-card division became the United States Playing Card Company (USPC). USPC subse-
quently acquired other card firms, including New York Consolidated Cards, makers of Bee Playing Cards, which are still manufactured by USPC. USPC has been making its famous Bicycle playing cards since 1885. It also produces Aviator and Hoyle playing cards. In 1900 USPC moved to a new facility on 30 acres of land in Norwood, Ohio, a plant that eventually comprised more than 600,000 square feet. The Norwood headquarters also housed radio station WSAI. Owned by USPC from 1922 until 1930, WSAI with its strong signal broadcast bridge lessons nationwide. During World War II, the company made parachutes for bombs, as well as playing-card decks that were sent to Americans in German prisoner-of-war camps; the prisoners could moisten and peel apart the cards to find maps of escape routes. From the 1960s until the 1980s, USPC was itself acquired by other owners. In 1994 USPC managers and local investors purchased the firm. In July 2008 USPC announced that it was moving its headquarters and 500 jobs to a 570,000-square-foot facility, formerly occupied by the Gap Inc., in the Mineola Industrial Park in Boone Co. The United States Playing Card Company. “United States Playing Card Company History.” www.us playingcard.com/history.html (accessed August 10, 2008). Van Benschoten, Amanda. “U.S. Playing Card Moving to N.Ky,” KE, July 9, 2008, A1.
Paul A. Tenkotte
UNITY BAPTIST CHURCH. The Unity Baptist Church in Pendleton Co. was organized in spring 1817 by Rev. Christian Tomlin, who was also a physician. It was located on Haw Lick Branch, a tributary of the Middle Fork of Grassy Creek. The first building was a hewed-log structure. In 1844 that building was disassembled and moved about 300 or 400 yards from its first location. The second church building was next to the Unity graveyard on the main Middle Fork of Grassy Creek. In August 1860, when the Crittenden Baptist Association was organized, it was reported that the Unity Baptist Church had 33 members and that the church was represented in the association by J. Tomlin, W. Tomlin, and T. Morris. Asa Tomlin was one of the church’s earlier preachers. The church was moved again about 1888. The original logs were used to construct the church’s third building on land donated by Mary Agnes Detmus, widow of William McMillian. The site was on the ridge of Jagg Rd., later called Unity. In 1914 the log church was demolished and the present frame church building was built. In 1975 this church closed. It reopened on October 18, 1981, when a contingent of 77 worshipers from the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church met there in search of a new church home. There were 121 interested persons gathered for the first Sunday ser vice, with 4 former members present. At the April 1984 business meeting, the church voted to erect a new building next to the old church. It was dedicated on August 10, 1986. Today the old building is used for Sunday school and meetings.
Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994].
URBAN LEARNING CENTER. Northern Kentucky’s Urban Learning Center (ULC) is a unique program developed to bring the campuses of the three local postsecondary educational institutions into the urban core. In the mid-1990s, through the Forward Quest visioning process, a group of civic leaders studied Northern Kentucky’s urban communities and found that although a more educated population was going to be needed in modern times, none of the postsecondary institutions offered classes that urban residents could easily attend. Thus, the ULC was established to make postsecondary education accessible for this underserved population in Northern Kentucky. The ULC is an educational partnership among Forward Quest, the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, Gateway Community and Technical College, Covington Independent Schools, Newport and Dayton Independent Public Schools, and the Scripps Howard Foundation. Through the cooperation of these partners, the program has overcome traditional bureaucratic barriers to deliver flexible, responsive educational programming for the “hard-to-serve” and “high risk” urban population. The partners are committed to using their resources in whatever ways necessary to meet student needs. The ULC’s innovative program eliminates the four most significant barriers that adult students experience in pursuing postsecondary education: lacks in the areas of finances, child care, transportation, and self-confidence. To overcome the financial barrier, the most common one, courses are offered at the low cost of $10 each. Furthermore, in some cases students may borrow textbooks for their courses at no charge through the Kenton Co. Public Library. Because many students have young children and do not have access to consistent child care that they can afford, the ULC provides on-site child care at no cost, utilizing the ser vices and expertise of the Chapman Child Development Center. The care is both nurturing and developmental, thus extending the impact of the program beyond the parents. The ULC classes are offered in locations that have good access to public transportation: the familiar settings of public schools and the newly opened Urban Learning Center buildings, owned by the Covington Independent Schools and adjacent to Holmes High School. To bolster ULC students’ self-confidence, the instructors and staff endeavor to make every student successful, offering support, encouragement, advice, and knowledge in every encounter with students. ULC students regularly make the transition to the campuses of the center’s partner institutions, earning degrees or certificates. Some have earned certificates at ULC urban locations and have obtained training that has helped them secure better jobs, thus providing Northern Kentucky with a more educated and skilled workforce.
908 URBAN PLANNING “Adults Find New Option for College,” KE, May 1, 2001, B1. “Learning Center Celebrating Successes,” KP, May 6, 2002, 1K. “Quest Plan Puts College within Reach,” KP, December 26, 1997, 1K. Samples, Karen. “Older College Students Learn from Instructors,” KE, December 10, 1998, B1.
URBAN PLANNING. The science of city planning dates back to the Progressive era of U.S. history. Northern Kentucky has played an important role in urban planning, particularly in Ladislas Segoe’s 1932 city plan for Covington, long considered a national model. While planning has occurred in various forms for as long as cities have existed, modern, comprehensive urban planning was the brainchild of reform-minded citizens in the early 20th century. Early pioneers in this field included Frederick Law Olmsted, planner of New York City’s Central Park and the famous “White City” of the 1893 World Fair in Chicago. Olmsted’s view was of a neat and orderly city, full of green space and classical architecture. Until the 1920s, city planning was left to elected officials. As the “Gilded Age” of political corruption led to grassroots reform movements during the Progressive era, the notion of professional urban planners became reality. Before these professionals arrived, some very interesting possibilities were discussed. The years 1872 and 1873 saw the debate over a proposal to merge Kenton and Campbell counties and merge all of the cities in these counties into one large government. One reason cited for the proposal’s failure was that it would cause individual local politicians to lose their influence. Locally, two types of organizations were at the forefront of urban planning. Temporary groups were often set up in the cities in Northern Kentucky to face a specific problem or need. In 1922, fed up with the ever-increasing number of billboards, the citizens of Campbell Co. formed the County Planning Association and were lauded for their achievements by 1923. However, the group did not stay together, and by 1931 there was a clamor for a zoning board in the county. Decisions were often made either by elected officials or by local real estate associations who could persuade their members to adhere to decisions made. The other type of organization was a permanent group, made up of professionals with expertise in fields related to city expansion, who made recommendations to elected officials. The best example of this type was the Covington Planning and Zoning Commission, a citizens’ group born out of the Covington Betterment League. Formed in 1924, the commission was charged with making recommendations on the merits and pitfalls of proposed developments in Covington as well as initiating proposals for large-scale development in the city. Harvey Myers Jr., president of the Northern Kentucky Good Roads Association, was chosen to head the commission. The member with the most lasting impact on Covington’s Planning and Zoning Commission was Ladislas Segoe, an engineer and plan-
ner from Cincinnati. Segoe had worked on the 1925 Comprehensive Plan for Cincinnati, the first such plan for a major city in the United States. Duly impressed, Covington’s city leaders hired Segoe in 1929 to coordinate zoning and later gave him the title of city planner. The City of Covington commissioned Segoe to create a master plan for the city, which he completed by 1932 and which has been a model for planning in middle-sized cities throughout Kenton Co. He and his Cincinnati firm were subsequently hired by dozens of Kenton Co. cities and towns to create similar plans. Segoe planned an integrated city, one in which transportation worked in concert with business, recreation, and educational opportunities. Comprehensive urban planning took a backseat to the Great Depression and World War II during most of the 1930s and 1940s. Partly because so much destruction had been wrought on European cities and partly because the Progressive era’s steam was running out for city planning, new ideas sprang up in urban planning. On one end of the spectrum was Mary Emery, who built her own dream village just north of the Lunken Municipal Airport, east of Cincinnati, and named it Mariemont. Convinced that urban planners had led the citizenry down the wrong path by trying to save the inner cities, Emery built her town based on a small New England community, complete with a town crier. The village was incorporated in 1941. On the other end was Franklin Roosevelt’s concept of Greenbelt Communities, which called for creating a village that would be completely surrounded by parks and other green spaces. Only three Greenbelt Communities were built, including Greenhills, just north of Cincinnati. Although this type of planning was not evident in Northern Kentucky, its remnants were felt when planning resumed in Northern Kentucky. Comprehensive urban planning in Northern Kentucky started again in full force in the 1960s, with government mandates replacing citizen initiatives. The Commonwealth of Kentucky authorized the creation of the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission (NKAPC) in 1961, “to prepare and assist in the implementation of a comprehensive plan for all incorporated and unincorporated areas.” The NKAPC and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, which focused on economic development, were the two state agencies in the Northern Kentucky region. The passage of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1962 required any metropolitan area of more than 50,000 people to have a coordinated, comprehensive planning organization that would serve the entire region. Out of that act came OKI, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. OKI’s mandate was to “conduct a continuing, comprehensive and coordinated process for the development of transportation improvement projects.” The first attempt at planning in this new environment came in 1967 with the publication of the NKAPC’s Comprehensive Plan for the City of Covington. The plan was a fi ne example of mid20th-century “anti-urban” planning. During the late 1960s and 1970s, there was a profound belief
that there was something inherently wrong with cities. High crime, race riots, dilapidated buildings, and out-of-control abuse of drugs were too much for even the most optimistic urban booster. The best way to save cities, it was believed by urban planners, was to make them more automobilefriendly by adding parking and streets. The NKAPC plan suggested clearing out dozens of city blocks in the Central Business District of Covington, from Western Ave. to Greenup St. and south to Eighth St. NKAPC cited the success of the Internal Revenue Ser vice building in Covington as a means of saving the city. Other areas were to be cleared as well, including a large section of the city’s Eastside neighborhood. A similar plan came out in 1971, with the publication of the OKI Regional Transportation and Development Plan. The 1971 plan called for a rapid expansion of the region’s highway system, including an outer loop through central Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties and a freeway along the Covington and Newport riverfronts. Mass-transit options were barely discussed in the report except for increasing some bus routes, and there was no provision for rail-based commuting. Both NKAPC and OKI learned many lessons from their initial foray into urban planning. In its 1981 plan, Transportation 2000, OKI goes so far as to say that its initial approach was wrong: “Developed in an era of major highway construction and declining mass transit usage, the plan was based on the assumption that automobiles would continue to be the predominant form of travel and that gasoline would be inexpensive and plentiful.” Both organizations have labored in recent years to find more options for mass transit, pedestrians, bicycles, and mixed-use development. Light-rail and passenger-rail systems became the darlings of both organizations for some time. By 1993, with new federal regulations in place, OKI and the NKAPC were forced to incorporate alternative transportation methods even more than before. In the OKI publication Managing Mobility: Year 2010 Regional Transportation Plan, the organization recommends not only improving highways but also “improving bus ser vice and developing rail transit.” The NKAPC, under state mandate to issue a comprehensive plan every five years, expanded its focus in its 2006 plan. Among the categories for which major goals have been set are, along with traditional planning categories such as transportation, housing, utilities, and public space, more recent concerns like public health and safety, cultural opportunities, education, and the environment. Other similar planning organizations in Ohio have been instrumental in developing long-range plans that affect Northern Kentucky. The Port Authority of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Center Development Corporation, and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. have kept Northern Kentucky in mind when developing large-scale projects like the redevelopment of Fountain Square, the Banks project, and so forth. Recently the trend in cutting-edge urban planning has reverted to citizen-based organizations.
In Northern Kentucky, Forward Quest, founded in 1996 (see Forward Quest Inc./Vision 2015), published a 44-point strategy to strengthen the area by solidifying the urban core. Of the 44 proposals, the most interesting and controversial was the SkyLoop, a public rapid-transit system that was rejected by OKI in 2001. In 2005 Forward Quest updated its initial strategy to reflect some of its successes and overestimations. Called Vision 2015, the initiative seeks to reinvent the nature and economy of Northern Kentucky. Covington Planning and Zoning Commission. Comprehensive Plan for the City of Covington and Environs. Cincinnati: L. Segoe, 1932. Edelman, David J., and David J. Allor. “Ladislas Segoe and the Emergence of the Professional Planning Consultant,” Journal of Planning History 2, no. 1 (2003): 47–78. Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission. Comprehensive Plan, City of Covington, Commonwealth of Kentucky. Newport, Ky.: Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, 1967. Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. Managing Mobility: Year 2010 Regional Transportation Plan. Cincinnati: OKI, 1993. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Adaptation to the Automobile and Imitation of the Suburb: Covington, Kentucky’s 1932 Plan as a Test Case of City Planning,” Journal of Kentucky Studies 1 (July 1984): 155–70.
US BANK. The U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis, Minn., is the sixth-largest commercial bank holding company in the nation today. It operates about 2,500 banking offices and has approximately 5,000 ATMs in 35 states and Canada. In Northern Kentucky, the company has 25 banking offices, from Maysville on the east to Carrollton on the west. The bank began in 1853 as the Farmers and Millers Bank of Milwaukee, Wis. It later took the name of First National Bank of Milwaukee. In 1919 the bank merged with the Wisconsin National Bank and changed its name to the First Wisconsin National Bank, which at the time was the largest bank in Wisconsin. The bank became Firstar in 1988, as it began expanding into other states. In 2000 Firstar merged with the US Bank in Minneapolis and assumed the name US Bank. Corporate offices were moved from Milwaukee to Minneapolis. In 1987 the First National Bank of Cincinnati changed its name to Star Bank and began expanding into Northern Kentucky. The president of First National at the time was Oliver W. Waddell, who had grown up in Falmouth, where his family had
owned the Falmouth Deposit Bank. In 1999 Star Bank changed its name to Firstar. In the 1990s the US Bank, after acquiring a number of banks in several states during the 1990s, purchased Firstar Bank in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in 2000. One of the Firstar branches acquired was the old Peoples Liberty Bank and Trust of Covington, at the corner of Sixth St. and Madison Ave. Ralph Haile had served as president of that bank for 19 years. Haile lived on the East Side of Cincinnati but had always been concerned about the health and growth of Northern Kentucky. He was deeply involved in many local projects, including urban renewal, the Covington Business Council, the Old Town Plaza, the Riverside Condominiums, and the Behringer- Crawford Museum. Haile also donated $2 million toward construction of a hospice addition to the St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood, Ky. AllExperts. “U.S. Bank Center.” http://en.allexperts .com (accessed April 11, 2007). FindArticles. “New Bank Reviving First Wisconsin Name.” www.fi ndarticles.com (accessed April 11, 2007).
U.S. 25/42. See Dixie Highway. U.S. 27. U.S. 27 (Alexandria Pk.) was chartered in 1818 as the Newport and Cynthiana Turnpike, a toll road designed, built, and owned by Gen. James Taylor Jr. The oldest turnpike in Northern Kentucky, it quickly became the transportation spine of both Campbell and Pendleton counties. Over the years, many different toll companies were formed to improve the highway. It ceased being a toll road in 1922, when Brent Spence, with the support of local automobile clubs and the Newport Chamber of Commerce, found state money ($90,000) with which Campbell Co. was able to purchase the turnpike. By 1928 the Alexandria Pk. had become U.S. 27, a designated federal highway eventually stretching from St. Ignace, Mich., to Miami, Fla. The road was built in sections; for example, the first leg in Campbell Co. was the 11.7mile stretch between Youtsey’s Hill near Alexandria and the Pendleton Co. boundary line. That work began in May 1946. Unfortunately for some towns, such as Alexandria in Campbell Co. and Butler in Pendleton Co., the road bypassed their central business districts. Out-of-state license plates became commonplace. Today U.S. 27’s northern terminus is Fort Wayne, Ind.
For Northern Kentuckians, this was the road that took them to college at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and to fried chicken meals in Cynthiana. For central Kentuckians, this was the artery that led them to the nightlife of Newport and the commerce of Cincinnati. The highway has been graded, widened, straightened, and resurfaced. Cities sprang up along its path, and commuting time has been shortened. Monmouth St., the Newport Shopping Center, the Evergreen Cemetery, the Beverly Hills Supper Club, the Highland Country Club, Northern Kentucky University, Guys ’n Dolls Nite Club, the Pike 27 Auto Theater, the Spare Time Grill, A. J. Jolly Park, and the city of Falmouth all are or were located along its corridor. Less important today with the arrival of the interstates (I-75 and particularly I-471), U.S. 27 continues to handle increasing amounts of local traffic along certain segments. “Breaking Ground for New Road,” KP, May 25, 1946, 2. “Transfer Pikes,” KP, July 22, 1922, 1.
U.S. 127. Today, U.S. 127 extends through four states (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee), running from Grayling, Mich., to Chattanooga, Tenn. In years past, this federally designated route was somewhat longer. Generally speaking (except where it coincides with U.S. 27 inside the city of Cincinnati), it runs west of the much longer U.S. 27. It crosses the Ohio River into Covington via the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. In the Northern Kentucky region, U.S. 127 runs through Kenton, Boone, Gallatin, and Owen counties. South of the Ohio River, it follows the Dixie Highway to Florence and Union and on to Warsaw and Owenton, before leaving Owen Co. for Frankfort, remaining west of U.S. 27. The highway has been improved (straightened and widened) in recent years between Owenton and Frankfort. Its importance has not diminished in the interstate era, in that it lies between I-75 and I-65. U.S. 127 is best known for its annual 450-mile yard sale, which lasts 10 days each summer; people even come from foreign countries to attend. There have been 18 of the yard sales thus far, and the sale is being extended beyond U.S. 127 into Alabama. The sale is billed as the world’s largest outdoor sale, and its promoters say it proves that back roads have something to offer. 127 Corridor. “World’s Longest Yard Sale.” www .127sale.com (accessed June 20, 2007).