Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | Index
The Enquirer/Brandi Stafford
WADSWORTH WATCH CASE COMPANY. In fall 1889 Harry A. Wadsworth, along with two partners, J. H. Stegeman and H. Remke, built the first Wadsworth Watch Case Company factory... (contâ€™d on pg. 922)
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
WADSWORTH, JOSEPH HENRY (b. June 18,
WADE, RICHARD M. (b. May 11, 1816, Campbell Co., Va.; d. February 19, 1878, Covington, Ky.). Richard Marshall Wade, a steamboat captain in the commercial trade between Cincinnati and New Orleans, was the son of Edmund and Mildred Marshall Wade and a great-grandson of U.S. Supreme Court chief justice John Marshall of Virginia. Richard Wade’s mother died when he was 5 years old. His father lost his fortune when Richard was 16 and moved his family to Kanawha, Va. (modern W.Va.). Richard then went to work to help support his family. He commanded a fleet of salt boats on the Kanawha River at age 17. In 1839 he married Sara Jane Reno, daughter of Lewis Reno, a prominent Cincinnati citizen. They moved to Pike St. in Covington in 1842. Wade was the pilot of the sternwheeler New Orleans from 1834 until 1844. Between 1844 and 1861, he served sequentially as captain and master of the Duchess, the Europa, the Swallow (lost in a collision), the Cincinnatus, the Queen of the West, and the Judge Torrence. He was part owner of the Queen of the West, which became a ram boat during the Civil War, and the Judge Torrence. In 1862 Captain Wade joined the Union Army as a volunteer and served as executive officer on the gunboat Carondelet. He took part in the military campaigns at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in Tennessee. His health declined while serving on the Carondelet and he was discharged in April 1862; he never returned to good health. From 1867 to 1870, he was captain of the General Lytle, the U.S. Mail Line (Cincinnati Mail Line) Cincinnatito-Louisville ser vice, and temporary captain or master of the United States in 1868. Wade’s and another river pilot’s confusion in signals on a foggy night resulted in the collision of the United States and the America on December 4, 1868, at Warsaw, causing the loss of 74 lives. As a result, both pilots had their licenses revoked. Wade’s career continued as captain (but not as pilot) of the Robert Mitchell, the St. James, and the Bostona. He was made superintendent of the U.S. Mail Line in 1874, a position he held until his death from consumption in 1878 at age 62. He was buried at Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington. His wife, Sarah Jane, was a founder of the First Presbyterian Church in Covington. They had 12 children. “Account of the Collision of the America and the United States,” S and D Reflector 5, no. 4 (December 1968): 18–22. “Death Notice,” CDE, February 20, 1878, 5. “Death Notice,” CE, February 20, 1878, 5. Linden Grove Cemetery Records, Covington, Ky. “Pioneer Dying,” KP, June 24, 1905, 2.
1903, Maysville, Ky.; d. December 5, 1974, New York City). Actor Joseph Henry Wadsworth was the son of John Gray and Ida Power Wadsworth. He grew up in the family’s large ancestral home, Buffalo Trace, built by his grandfather, Adna Wadsworth. After graduating from Maysville High School in 1921, Joseph attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He studied acting at the Carnegie Institute of Technology’s drama school in Pittsburgh, Pa. Using the stage name Henry Wadsworth, he appeared on the Broadway stage, in movies in Hollywood, and on television. He played several juvenile roles in films in the early 1930s, becoming known as “the perpetual juvenile.” Wadsworth first appeared on Broadway in 1927 in the title role of Howard Lindsay’s Tommy. Two years later, he made his movie debut in Applause as a sailor on leave in New York City. The two bestknown films in which he appeared were The Thin Man and the Oscar-winning It Happened One Night, both released in 1934. His last film appearance was in the 1943 production of Silver Skates, and his last Broadway appearance was in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1950 musical The Happy Time. After World War II, Wadsworth traveled to Japan to entertain American troops stationed there. During his acting career he also served as administrator of the Motion Picture Health and Welfare Plan and as president of the American Federation of Labor Film Council. Late in life, he turned to designing theater costumes while living in New York City. During summers he returned to his childhood home, Buffalo Trace. Wadsworth died in New York City in 1974 and was buried in the Maysville Cemetery in Maysville, Ky.
1860. During the campaign, Wadsworth worked vigorously and helped stir up Union sentiment in the state so that Kentucky’s electoral votes went to Bell rather than to native-born John C. Breckinridge, standard-bearer of the Southern Democrats. With the Civil War approaching, supporters of the Union nominated Wadsworth to run for the 37th Congress in 1861 from the Maysville District, and he won handily. In Washington, D.C., he was a conservative Union man who supported the compromise proposals of fellow Kentuckian John J. Crittenden and opposed what he considered the coercive policies of Abraham Lincoln’s administration and Congress toward the South. Yet he accepted the war, while wanting to ameliorate its destructiveness, and even served for a time in the Union Army. Bearing the rank of colonel, he was an aide to fellow Maysvillian Gen. William “Bull” Nelson at the Battle of Ivy Mountain and also served under generals Green Clay Smith and Lew Wallace. Wadsworth was reelected to the 38th Congress in 1863. After the war, he returned to the practice of law, though now supporting the Republican Party. In the presidential election of 1868, he campaigned for Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who had been his schoolmate at the Maysville Seminary. As president, Grant appointed Wadsworth to an important commission that adjudicated millions of dollars worth of claims between the United States and Mexico. Wadsworth returned to politics when he was elected to the 49th Congress in 1884 but did not run again in 1886. He was serving as general attorney for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company in Kentucky upon his death in 1893. He was buried in the Maysville Cemetery.
Calvert, Jean, and John Klee. Maysville, Kentucky: From Past to Present in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Mason Co. Museum, 1983. ———. The Towns of Mason County: Their Past in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Maysville and Mason Co. Library Historical and Scientific Association, 1986. “Henry Wadsworth, Stage, Film Actor,” NYT, December 7, 1974, 32. Maysville Public Ledger, December 6, 1974, 1.
Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Chicago: John M. Gresham, 1896. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–2005. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2005. Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky. Cincinnati: J. M. Armstrong, 1878.
Thomas S. Ward
In fall 1889 Harry A. Wadsworth, along with two partners, J. H. Stegeman and H. Remke, built the first Wadsworth Watch Case Company factory, a two-story structure at the southeast corner of Jefferson (modern Sixth St.) and Overton Sts. in Newport. In January 1892 the company incorporated, dissolving its former partnership structure. Within a few years it earned a national reputation for its gold-filled watch cases. During the 1890s the watchcase manufacturing operation moved to a nearby building, formerly the home of the Dueber Watch Case Company, Newport’s first nationally recognized watch case company, at Fift h St. and Washington Ave. After it had operated in Newport for about a decade, rumors began to circulate that the company would be moving out of state; but instead, in November 1899, it moved to Dayton, Ky., and made watch cases in part of the former Victoria Cordage Company complex, a ropewalk business, at Fift h and Clay Sts. At first the Wadsworth
WADSWORTH, WILLIAM HENRY (b. July 4, 1821, Maysville, Ky.; d. April 2, 1893, Maysville, Ky.). Lawyer and legislator William Henry Wadsworth was the son of Adna A. and Mary Williams Ramsdell Wadsworth. He began his schooling at Tuckahoe Ridge in Virginia, then continued at the Maysville Seminary (Maysville Academy), and finally graduated with honors in 1842 from Augusta College in Augusta. He was admitted to the bar in 1844 after studying law in the office of Thomas Y. Payne and Henry Waller. He married Martha Morehead Wood. In 1853 Wadsworth was elected to the state Senate as a Whig. He lost his bid for reelection in 1856 to a candidate of the American Party who had the support of many Democrats. He ran as an elector for the Constitutional Union Party’s candidates, John Bell and Edward Everett, in the momentous presidential election of
Thomas S. Ward
WADSWORTH WATCH CASE COMPANY.
WALCOTT COVERED BRIDGE
firm shared space with the Harvard Piano Company. The building the companies shared was a block away from the new Speers Memorial Hospital. At the time, Dayton was a growing Northern Kentucky city. Wadsworth employed 261 workers in 1900 and had an immediate impact on Dayton’s economy and quality of life. The large steam engines originally installed by the rope-manufacturing plant produced more power than was needed to make watch cases, so the excess power was used to provide the city with electric lights for several years. Things did not always run completely smooth at the company; in 1913, for instance, the watch-polishers union called for a strike. Nevertheless, Wadsworth’s plant size and number of employees both increased over time, and 600 people were employed by 1920. The flood of 1937 did some damage to the plant, but soon the machines were again humming as the factory turned out quality watch cases and ladies’ compacts. World War II brought changes: the firm answered the nation’s call to duty by converting most of its facilities to the production of war materials, such as shell casings, machine guns, and radio parts. It was a time of high security, and early in the war Wadsworth erected a high fence on the property. Police were alerted to check on cars doubleparked around the plant, out of concern that they could be used as bombs. A fire at the company in November 1943 initially raised some concerns, but it was found that instead of sabotage, it was a simple case of rubbish being ignited by a furnace. The fire created much smoke, and one employee was trapped in a basement room; he was eventually rescued by firefighters. The Wadsworth Watch Case Company proudly produced more than 100 million precision parts during the war and earned five separate “E” awards, which were given for excellence of effort in military production. Employment at the factory peaked at 1,350 workers in 1943. The firm dedicated a plaque at its plant on January 6, 1947, to honor its 246 men and women who had served in World War II. At the end of the war, the company added 30,000 square feet of space and planned for its return to the production of watch cases and jewelry items. The postwar years included a 1947 strike for higher pay, but Wadsworth continued to operate until it was reported in the mid-1950s that the Wadsworth Watch Case Company was to be purchased by a competitor, the Elgin National Watch Case Company of Elgin, Ill., for $2.7 million. The Illinois watch case firm said that the plant would continue to function as the Wadsworth Watch Case Company under the direction of Arthur W. Wadsworth, the son of a cofounder. However, changes implemented after the sale did not work out well, and company officials announced on September 21, 1957, that the plant in Dayton would close on January 1, 1958. At the time, the Wadsworth Watch Case Company had some 200 employees and was Dayton’s largest employer. It was often said around Dayton that almost everyone in town had worked at some time or another at “Waddy’s.”
“Articles of Incorporation,” KSJ, January 7, 1892, 5. Dayton Centennial Committee. Centennial, Dayton, Kentucky, 1849–1949. Dayton, Ky.: Dayton Centennial Committee, 1949. “Dayton, KY., Boom,” KP, November 23, 1899, 1. “New Company to Open in City,” KP, October 8, 1889, 2. Reis, Jim. “Dayton: King of Cordage,” KP, April 7, 4K. ———. “Smokestacks Once a Familiar Sight,” KP, July 14, 1986, 4K. “Strikers Form Union in Watch Factory Strike,” KP, January 16, 1913, 5. “To Move—Wadsworth Company to Locate Elsewhere,” KP, August 4, 1899, 5. “The Work Was Hard . . . the Friendship Sure,” KP, September 21, 1990, 1K.
WAINSCOTT, GEORGE LEE (b. May 6, 1867, Owen Co., Ky.; d. May 15, 1944, Cincinnati, Ohio). George L. Wainscott, the creator of the Ale-8-One soft drink, was the son of G. W. and Elizabeth Hancock Wainscott. The first name Wainscott’s parents gave him was Lee, but he added “George” because he wanted to be referred to as G. L. Wainscott. However, close friends, family, and associates still called him Lee. In 1896 he moved to Winchester in Clark Co. to operate the Rees House, a hotel. In 1902 he opened his first bottling plant, Wainscott Bottling Works, on Main St. in Winchester. He marketed various fruit-flavored drinks and soda water. In 1906 he began to sell Roxa-Kola, a drink named after his first wife, Roxanne. Roxa-Kola was a popular rival of the cola drinks, but it never became as successful as Coke, so it was discontinued about 25 years after Wainscott’s death. In 1926 Wainscott was inspired to create the Ale-8-One soft drink after acquiring several gingerblended recipes during a visit to northern Europe. He created a unique and difficult-to-describe flavor in Ale-8-One. Some described it as a ginger and citrus flavor; others said it was like ginger ale with a hint of fruit. The beverage was named by a local girl in a naming contest that Wainscott held. Her explanation for the name Ale-8-One was that it meant “A Late One,” the latest craze in soft drinks. Wainscott was also involved in various other business endeavors. He was engaged in the coal and lumber business with his cousin Judge Joe Lindsay. For many years, he served as director and treasurer of the Clark Co. Health and Welfare League. He also operated a large farm near Becknerville and owned several buildings in Winchester. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the First Baptist Church and served as director of the Kentucky Baptist Children’s home at Glendale (near Louisville). He was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Chicago in 1936. Wainscott was a president of the board of directors of the Clark Co. Hospital and one of the hospital’s founders. Wainscott Hall, a nursing-home section of the hospital, was established with funds contributed by Wainscott. It was dedicated in 1933. After a long illness, Wainscott died at a Cincinnati hospital in 1944 at age 77, leaving behind a wife and no children. His funeral was held at the Scobee Funeral Home in Winchester, and he was
buried at the Lexington Cemetery in Lexington. He left half of his company to his wife, Jane Rogers Wainscott, and the remainder to company employees. A decade later, Jane died, and her brother, Frank A. Rogers, inherited her half of the company. In 1962 Rogers bought out his partners and incorporated into the firm now known as the Ale-8-One Bottling Company. Roger’s son, Frank A. Rogers Jr., then became the manager and was later named president, and the company began to grow phenomenally. In 1974 the company ceased to produce the other Wainscott drinks, concentrating on Ale8-One, and Frank A. Rogers III, Wainscott’s grandnephew, joined the company’s management. In Winchester, Ale-8-One is as well known as the cola giants Pepsi and Coca Cola. Some simply call it “Ale-8.” Today, Frank Rogers III and his three children own the company. Wainscott’s family has maintained his secret formula and the unique bottle and logo. The availability of Ale-8-One has expanded outside of the Winchester-Lexington area, and it is now available in Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville, and throughout much of Kentucky. Ale-8-One: Company History. Ale-8-One Bottling Company Inc. www.ale8one.com/companyhistory .html. “Death Takes G.L. Wainscott,” Lexington Leader, May 15, 1944, 1. Elmore, Deanna, public relations administrator for Ale-8-One Bottling Company. Telephone interview by Sharon McGee, August 11, 2004, Winchester, Ky. “Funeral Rites for G. Lee Wainscott Planned Wednesday,” Winchester Sun, May 15, 1944. Lomax, Rebecca. “The Latest Thing: Popu lar Soft Drink Is Now Available in Cincinnati,” City Beat 8, no. 36, July 18–24, 2002, available at www .citybeat.com/2002-07-18/diner.shtml. “Long Illness Proves Fatal to G. L. Wainscott: City Soft Drink Manufacturer Dies at Cincinnati,” Winchester Sun, May 15, 1944.
WALCOTT COVERED BRIDGE. The extant Walcott Covered Bridge across Locust Creek in Bracken Co. is located adjacent to Ky. Rt. 1159, about four miles north of Brookville. That location has had one bridge or another since 1824. The Walcott Covered Bridge is a 74-foot-long truss bridge made of sawed timbers. It was built in about 1880, using a combination of king and queen posts. The bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was closed to automobile traffic in 1954 and was repaired in 1984. The Bracken Co. Historical Society oversees its preservation. Covered bridges were built to prolong the useful life of the wooden floors and the trusses of bridges. The sloped roof of the covered bridge protected the deck and main trusses of the bridge from rain and snow and the heat of the sun. Covered bridges once numbered in the hundreds within Kentucky, but many of them have been destroyed by bridgeburning during the Civil War, heavy vehicles, floods, storms, neglect, and arson. Brandenburg, Phyllis, and David Brandenburg. Kentucky’s Covered Bridges. Cincinnati: Kentucky’s Writer Guild, 1968.
924 WALKER, LYMAN R. Powell, Robert A. Kentucky’s Covered Wooden Bridges. Lexington: Kentucky Images, 1984. White, Vernon. Covered Bridges. Berea: Kentucky Imprints, 1985.
Charles H. Bogart
WALKER, LYMAN R. (b. April, 22, 1880, Zanesville, Ohio; d. Feb. 23, 1933, Cleveland, Ohio). Architect Lyman Walker was the son of Richard B. and Lucretia Morgan Walker. When Lyman was 10 years old, his family moved to Covington, and his father, Richard Walker, became one of the city’s prominent businessmen; he was in the real estate and brokerage businesses. Lyman received his early education in Zanesville Public Schools and later attended Covington Common Schools. In 1894, at age 14, he left school to work in an architect’s office. He learned the profession quickly and was soon hired by Samuel Hannaford and Sons, in Cincinnati. He remained with that firm for three years. In 1900 he took a position with the U.S. Army Signal Corps as an assistant supervising architect in Cuba, where he remained until the military occupation ended in 1902. For the next two years, he did architectural work in Omaha, Neb. Walker was married twice, first to Helen Bondeson and later to Gayle Towson. He returned to Covington in 1904 and continued to work as an architect. Walker designed the Villa Madonna Academy in Villa Hills (1907); St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Latonia; the Dan Cohen Building (see Cohen Shoe Stores) on Pike St. in Covington; Covington’s Seventh District School, 21st and Center Sts.; and, in conjunction with architects Harry Hake and George W. Schofield, the old Farmers’ and Traders’ Bank (later, First National Bank), on the northwest corner of Sixth and Madison in Covington. In conjunction with George W. Schofield, Walker designed the YMCA building in Covington at Madison Ave and Pike St. in 1913. During World War I, Walker served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps; he once captured 78 German soldiers by himself. After the war he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he specialized in the design of apartment buildings. He died at age 52 of nephritis at the Huron Road Hospital near Cleveland in 1933 and was buried at Highland Park Cemetery in Cleveland. Highland Park Cemetery Records, Cleveland, Ohio. “How One American Soldier Captured Seventy-eight German Troops,” KTS, August 7, 1918, 2. “Looters Caught at Work at Walker Fire,” KP, June 5, 1913, 3. Rootsweb. “Lyman Walker.” www.rootsweb.com.
WALKER, MELVIN WADDELL, MAJOR (b. April 13, 1909, Covington, Ky.; d. January 19, 1995, Cleveland, Ohio). War hero and educator Melvin W. Walker was the only child of John and Helen Walker. He was a graduate of William Grant High School (1929) and the classmate of Covington attorney John W. Delaney Jr. Walker graduated from Wilberforce College in Ohio with a BA in 1933. While at Wilberforce, he took ROTC training. He later received a BS and an MA from the Ohio State University in Columbus. Walker entered the U.S. Army as a
lieutenant in March 1941, trained at Camp Benning, Ga., and arrived in Italy as a member of the 366th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division, in July 1944. In January 1945 Maj. Gen. Edward M. Almond, commanding officer of the 92nd Infantry Division, presented to Walker the Silver Star for meritorious ser vice. The award reads, “Lieutenant Walker took a raiding party across a canal, penetrating enemy lines, smashing installations, returning with German prisoners.” Walker was wounded in action in Italy and received numerous other medals, including the Purple Heart. After World War II, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked for the U.S. Veterans Administration and later taught in the Cleveland Public School System. His teaching career as a mathematics teacher spanned 43 years, and he also did postgraduate work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Remaining in the Army Reserve, he obtained the rank of major. He often returned to Covington to visit his mother at the family residence on W. 15th St. At the age of 86 Walker died in 1995 in Cleveland and was buried there.
designed portable stages and sets for small productions that could be transported easily and set up quickly in small venues. His portmanteau productions were mainly a series of short one-act plays, vignettes. During the 1920s Walker sponsored high school dramatic competitions among the high schools of Northern Kentucky, and the prize was one of his portable sets. In 1930 his career changed as he went to Hollywood, Calif., where he wrote, produced, or directed several classic movies: Tonight Is Ours, Great Expectations, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and The Werewolf of London. But his stellar Hollywood career was cut short at age 60 when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was buried in Cincinnati at Spring Grove Cemetery in his family’s lot.
“Citations, Awards for Ser vicemen,” KTS, January 19, 1945, 2. Cohen, Haskell. “Decorate 17 in 92nd Division,” Pittsburgh Courier, January 13, 1945, 5. Harris, Ted. “Stories of African-Americans in WWII Went Untold,” KP, February 28, 2002, 4K. “Military Notes, Maj. Melvin W. Walker,” KTS, July 23, 1956, 4A. Perkins, Olivera. “Melvin Walker, Cleveland Teacher,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 29, 1995, 6.
19, 1869, Covington, Ky.; d. December 25, 1918, Chicago, Ill.). William E. Walker, a Chicago architect, was born and raised in Covington, where he attended both public and private schools. He entered Yale University at New Haven, Conn., and received a BA in architecture in 1891. His first job was as a draft sman with the Henry Ives Cobb architectural firm in Chicago. He was employed there until 1897, when he took a position as supervisor of construction for the Chicago Board of Education. In 1902 Walker left that job and opened his own architectural firm. Most of his work was in the design and planning of large commercial buildings and fireproof apartment houses. One of those was a nine-story apartment building at 136 Lake Shore Dr., believed to be the first in Chicago featuring a pent house. He died of a heart attack in his home at 67 E. Division St. in Chicago, on Christmas Day 1918. Funeral ser vices were held at St. Chrysostom Catholic Church, and burial was in Graceland Cemetery. Walker was survived by his wife, Mildred Rogers Walker, and their 12-yearold daughter, Edith.
Theodore H. H. Harris
WALKER, STUART H. (b. March 4, 1880, Augusta, Ky.; d. March 13, 1941, Beverly Hills, Calif.). Stuart Walker, an actor and movie producer, was the son of Clifford S. and Matilda Taliaferro Armstrong Walker. By 1900 his family had moved to 63 Front St. in Covington, the town that claimed him. Walker’s mechanical inclination foreshadowed his future early in his youth. He would build small theater sets and put on plays for his family. They begged him to produce new plays, so at age 12 he began to write his own stage productions. He studied engineering, graduating from the University of Cincinnati, and he also studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. By 1912 he was in charge of two New York City theaters owned by the famed director David Belasco. Belasco was also the mentor of Covington actress Dorothy Abbott. Walker worked his way up from stage manager, playing minor parts, and was beginning to show great ability as an actor. He began performing in touring road shows. In the 1920s he returned to the Cincinnati–Northern Kentucky region and formed the Cincinnati Stuart Walker Company to promote, direct, and produce theatrical entertainment. He managed repertory seasons in Cincinnati; Indianapolis, Ind.; New York City; Dayton, Ohio; Chicago; Louisville; and Baltimore. He was the first producer to bring Booth Tarkington’s Seventeen to the stage. Walker is also credited with founding the portmanteau theater movement, also called the little theater movement. He
“Death Takes Stuart Walker, Veteran Theatrical Producer,” CE, March 14, 1941, 1. Spring Grove Cemetery Records, Cincinnati. Ward, William S. A Literary History of Kentucky, Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1988.
WALKER, WILLIAM ERNEST (b. November
Grossman, James R., Ann Durkin Keating, and Janice L. Reiff, eds. The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2004. “William Ernest Walker Dies of Heart Ailment,” Chicago Daily Tribune, December 27, 1918, 10. Withey, Henry F., and Elsie Rathburn Withey. Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased). Los Angeles: Hennessey and Ingalls, 1970.
WALLACE WOODS. Wallace Woods is a neighborhood in Covington, named for the farm of Robert Wallace Jr. (1789–1863), who purchased these lands from Oneras Powell in 1828. The 80 or so acres were bounded on the east by the Licking River and on the west by the old Banklick road to Lexington. On the south side of the farm, several owners held the land later acquired by Eugene Levassor and Daniel Holmes. The farm’s northern boundary became the southern city limit of Covington in
WALLING, ALONZO, AND SCOTT JACKSON
1850. The old road to Lexington was part of the ancient Great Buffalo Path, which crossed the Ohio River at the mouth of the Licking River. This pathway continued south to the Dry Ridge Trace at Walton, which connected Lexington and Big Bone Lick in Boone Co. In 1819, twice-daily stage runs carried the mail and passengers from Lexington to Covington. The Wallace family, who were from Delaware, began their trip to Cincinnati in 1801, when Robert Wallace Sr., an artillery officer who had served under Gen. George Washington, moved west to Marietta, Ohio. In 1809 the Wallaces settled in Cincinnati, where they were counted among the city’s pioneers in 1840. Robert Wallace Jr. became an aide de camp to Gen. William Hull as he marched in the War of 1812 to capture Detroit, Mich., from the British. Wallace was captured with the rest of the garrison when Hull surrendered in August 1812. After he was paroled, Wallace returned to Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1816, where he married Jane Eliza Sterrett and became a partner in the Miami Exporting Company with his brother-in-law Jacob Baum. Wallace built a steamboat, the Hercules, which he pi loted from Louisville to New Orleans for the company. While in Louisville, Wallace acquired a family of slaves and from then on was a slaveholding Southern sympathizer. When he returned to the Cincinnati area in 1826, he moved from Cincinnati to Longwood, Ky., so that he could keep his slaves. He first built a log cabin in his woods along the Banklick Turnpike, in which he held a financial and an administrative interest. The new Latonia Springs outside Covington and three miles farther out the turnpike were drawing visitors from Cincinnati and from the South. About 1840 Robert Wallace built a large house with a portico on the ridge overlooking the turnpike. He furnished it with fancy rugs and furniture purchased at his son-in-law’s business, the John Shillito department store in Cincinnati. Wallace borrowed $12,000, using his estate, which was called Longwood, as collateral. In 1841 he found himself bankrupted by the financial crash that had occurred, but his brothers and his son-in-law were able to buy the Wallace farm and the Longwood mansion, and disaster was averted. In 1850 the City of Covington annexed all of the land up to the Wallace farm, which became the southern city limit. Wallace laid out a subdivision on the new Wallace Ave., which ran east of Greenup St. Only a few lots were sold before the Civil War, and the subdivision was closed. The large beech grove from Greenup St. east on Wallace Ave. became a community picnic ground, which by 1880 was known as Wallace Woods. From 1851 to 1854 the Covington and Lexington Railroad was completed west of the turnpike, and Covington began slowly to fill in the undeveloped land north of the farm. With the rumblings of war in 1861, Union artillery batteries were developed on the hills south of Covington and Newport, the cannons targeting the roads to the South. In August 1862, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expanded the batteries
into a defensive line that stretched along the Ohio River from Fort Thomas to above Ludlow. A wagon road, covered by rifle pits, connected periodic batteries. A pontoon bridge crossed the Licking River about where 26th St. in Covington now runs up to the Larz Anderson Battery on tunnel hill. Union general Lew Wallace’s headquarters were located in the Thompson house in the winery that looked out over the Banklick Creek valley toward the Latonia Springs. Martial law was declared in the Wallace Woods area and southward and farms in the area were ordered vacated. A young soldier from Illinois described sleeping in a vineyard with hundreds of other Union troops behind vacated mansions. By mid-October it became obvious that Confederate general Henry Heth was not going to attack Covington or Newport, and within weeks the Union trenches were empty. Col. Robert Wallace died of dysentery in August 1863, and his obituary recounted his military adventures in the War of 1812. It also listed his activities as a leader of the Democratic Party and as the head of grand juries in Covington dealing with slavery issues. After Jane Sterrett Wallace died in 1883, the Longwood mansion and grounds rested in the hands of C. G. Wallace, her younger son, and her orphaned granddaughter Jennie. The land north and west of the Longwood estate was incorporated as Central Covington in 1880. About 10 years later, the residents of the Wallace, Holmes, and Levassor farms petitioned Central Covington to annex them so that the residents could avoid the higher taxes in Covington, which was known to be interested in annexing these farms. C. G. Wallace died in 1893, and Jennie Holmes sued his heirs living in Ohio to force a subdivision of the Wallace farm, permitting settlement of Robert Wallace’s estate. The first lots in the new subdivision were sold in 1894, but construction was slow because of the poor economy. More than half of the lots were built on by 1910 and the remainder were built on by 1920. When Central Covington was annexed by Covington in 1906, the Wallace farms became a neighborhood within Covington. “Covington’s First Suburb—Turning 100,” KE, May 7, 1995, B3. Gastright, Joseph F. Gentlemen Farmers to City Folks: A Study of Wallace Woods, Covington, Kentucky. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Historical Society, 1980. “A Place for Pride to Endure; Wallace Woods Lives as Symbol of City’s Spirit,” KP, November 2, 1995, 1K.
Joseph F. Gastright
WALLER, JOHN, CAPTAIN (b. 1758, Stafford Co.,Virginia; d. February 1823, Bunker Hill, Pendleton Co., Ky.). John Waller, a Revolutionary War veteran and an early settler, who named the town of Falmouth, was one of the eight children of John and Mary Mathews Waller. He enlisted in the American Army on January 7, 1777, and was sworn in by Capt. John Mountjoy. After serving for three years in the 10th Regiment, he was honorably discharged in January 1780 at Philadelphia, having attained the rank of captain. He received a Land
Office Military Warrant (no. 1567) for 2,300 acres in Kentucky. An 800-acre portion was located in Mason Co. and the remaining 1,500 acres in modern-day Falmouth. John Waller and his brother Edward came west to Kentucky in spring 1784 and helped Simon Kenton establish Kenton Station. The Waller brothers then left the Maysville area and traveled to Blue Licks in modern Robertson Co. There they parted company: Edward went south to the Paris, Ky., area and John moved west down the Licking River to the territory that became Falmouth. John married Garner Routt, the daughter of William Routt of later Bourbon Co., on August 16, 1784, and they had 10 children; the records do not reveal why she left him, taking all their children with her to Western Kentucky, and never returned. Much of Waller’s land was sold and resold several times to settle title disputes. Attempts to resolve the matters in Waller’s favor through the Kentucky state legislature and the U.S. Supreme Court failed. Many of the Waller family’s records that might have shed light on Falmouth’s early history have been lost. A fire destroyed the original Waller cabin near Falmouth during the late 1800s, leaving many questions unanswered. Waller was elected in 1791 as a representative to the general assembly of Virginia. On December 7, 1791, he received a certificate for being a Past Master in the Masonic Lodge. When the trustees of Falmouth held their first meeting in 1794, Waller was appointed clerk pro tem. The selling of lots in the town of Falmouth began on Monday, July 22, 1794, on order of the trustees, and Waller, as clerk, was instructed to advertise the sale. Waller died in 1823 in the two-story log house that he erected on Bunker Hill in Pendleton Co. He was buried, as was the custom at the time, in the garden graveyard on that property. Hartman, Margaret Strebel. Life History of Captain John Waller, 1758–1823. Falmouth, Ky.: Warren J. Shonert, 1985. Kleber, John E. ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992.
WALLING, ALONZO, AND SCOTT JACKSON (Walling: b. October 20, 1876, Mount Carmel, Ind.; d. March 20, 1897, Newport, Ky.; Jackson: b. March 1, 1869, Wiscasset, Maine; d. March 20, 1897, Newport, Ky.). Walling and Jackson gained notoriety through their convictions as murderers. Early on the morning of February 1, 1896, young Jack Hewling trudged along an abandoned lane paralleling the Alexandria Pike (U.S. 27) in Northern Kentucky, south of Newport. In the dim light, seeing a bundle of dark clothing lying between two bushes, he stopped to investigate and then retched in horror as he recognized a woman’s body lacking a head. Lurid details of this sensational case appeared in the press nationwide for the next 13 months. Authorities discovered that the victim was four or five months pregnant and that she was wearing tiny, size 3B, shoes from a store in Greencastle, Ind. Ultimately, police found that she was Pearl Bryan,
926 WALNUT HILLS ACADEMY the 23-year-old daughter of a wealthy Greencastle farmer. Bryan’s family thought she was visiting a friend in Indianapolis, Ind. Her parents had no knowledge of the pregnancy and were devastated when they were able to identify her clothing. After a week of investigation, Scott Jackson, a 26-yearold resident of Greencastle, and 21-year-old Alonzo Walling, of Mount Carmel, Ind. ( just east of Brookville in the southeastern part of the state), were arrested and charged with Bryan’s murder. Jackson and Walling were roommates and students at the Ohio Dental College in Cincinnati. Alonzo Walling was born in Indiana, the son of Samuel A. Walling, who died when Alonzo was three years old. The family moved to Hamilton, Ohio, and in subsequent years lived in College Corners, Woodsdale, and Ripley, Ohio, and finally Greencastle, Ind. Scott Jackson was born in New England, the son of Ebenezer Jackson, a well-known naval commodore. Scott’s mother, Sarah, was a leading literary and social figure in their coastal Maine community of Wiscasset, north of Portland. During his turbulent youthful years, Scott was largely left to his own devices and had numerous close friends with poor reputations. He developed a taste for alcohol, fast living, horse racing, and women. Later, in New Jersey, Scott was charged with embezzling money from customers of the Pennsylvania Railroad and was granted immunity from prosecution by testifying against his codefendant, who subsequently went to prison. Humiliated, Sarah and Scott moved to Greencastle, Ind., to join his stepsister who lived there with her husband, a noted scholar at local DePauw University. Scott’s shameful secret was safe there. In fall 1894 Jackson enrolled at the Indiana Dental College in Indianapolis, but on New Year’s Eve he was arrested for “consorting with a woman of illrepute.” He was expelled from school, his mother paid his fine, and they returned to Greencastle, where these demeaning events remained secret. In spring 1895 Scott promised his mother that he would reform and become the kind of son to make her proud. He entered the Ohio Dental College at Cincinnati that fall. Scott’s best friend in Greencastle was Will Wood, son of a prominent local clergyman. Wood had introduced Jackson to Miss Pearl Bryan, the youngest daughter of Alex and Jane Bryan and a second cousin of Wood. Soon the naive Bryan became infatuated with the smooth-talking Jackson, and during the latter part of that summer, their relationship became a physical one. In November Bryan was stunned to discover that she was pregnant, and she notified Jackson by mail of her condition. She hoped that he would agree to marry her. His response was not encouraging. In her anguish, she turned to Will Wood, imploring him to help convince Jackson that they should get married. Jackson informed Wood that he had no intention of marrying Bryan and that some way must be found to abort the baby. By midJanuary, Bryan was four months pregnant and desperate. Jackson persuaded her to meet him in Cincinnati, where they could discuss their options. She departed by rail on Tuesday, January 28, 1896.
During the month of February, investigators pieced together the following likely sequence of events. Upon Bryan’s arrival in Cincinnati, Jackson tried to convince her that there would be no wedding and that an abortion was the only escape from their dilemma. Jackson had previously asked Walling to help him in performing the abortion; they arrogantly assumed that their knowledge from anatomy and surgery courses would be sufficient to successfully carry it out. Bryan strongly resisted the plan, but Jackson administered cocaine to her, suggesting that the drug could induce an abortion. When it failed to do so, late on the night of January 31, 1896, Jackson and Walling rented a buggy, crossed the Ohio River with the drugged and dazed Bryan, and drove to a secluded spot near the Fort Thomas Military Reservation in the Highlands. On a nearby hillside, it is likely that Jackson used surgical instruments to remove Bryan’s head. Assuming that the body could never be identified without a head, they transported the head in Bryan’s valise from the murder site back to Cincinnati, where they probably disposed of it in the dental school’s furnace. When arrested, Jackson and Walling blamed each other for the murder, perhaps thinking that a jury could not convict them without a confession. Feelings ran so high against the two that threats of public lynching were ever present in Newport. Jackson’s trial began April 21, 1896, before Judge Charles Helm in Campbell Co.’s Newport courthouse. On May 14, after less than two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty. Walling’s trial ran between June 2 and June 18, with the same outcome. Both men were sentenced to death. Kentucky governor W. O. Bradley (1895–1899) refused to commute the sentences to life imprisonment. At 11:40 a.m., on March 20, 1897, in the jail yard in Newport, the two men were hanged. It was a beautiful spring morning, and until the last moment, Walling held out hope that Jackson would exonerate him in the actual killing, but Jackson did not. Walling’s last words were “You are taking the life of an innocent man and I will call upon God to witness the truth of what I say.” Pearl Bryan’s body was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle on March 27, 1896, without its head. H. A. Gobin, president of DePauw University, officiated at the ceremonies. Over the years, souvenir hunters have chipped away at the headstone until only the base remains to mark the grave. One can still find Lincoln-head pennies glued to the base by well-wishers who did not want Bryan to face Resurrection Day without a head. Alonzo Walling was buried in a private cemetery in Mount Carmel, Ind., next to his father; Scott Jackson was cremated. “Alonzo Walling and Scott Jackson Were Hanged for the Murder of Pearl Bryan,” Kentucky Explorer, June 1996, 14–17. “Convincing Evidence That Pearl Bryan of This City Was the Ft. Thomas Victim,” Greencastle Banner Times, February 6, 1896, 2. “It’s Out! Scott Jackson Accused of Murdering Pearl Bryan,” Indianapolis Sun, February 6, 1896, 1.
“Jackson and Walling Die,” NYT, March 21, 1897, 1. “Stern and Quick to Speak Were the Jurors in the Jackson Case,” CE, May 15, 1896, 8.
James L. McDonald and Arden G. Christen
WALNUT HILLS ACADEMY. In 1857 Rev. Nicholas C. Pettit, at age 30, founded the Cold Spring Academy, later named the Walnut Hills Academy. Several of the early settlers in the Cold Spring area, among them Robert Dodsworth, John Youtsey, Joseph Horner, Charles Horner, William Winters, and George Winters, donated money to finance the project. A well-known local Baptist preacher and bricklayer, Rev. James Monroe Jolly, constructed the building. It had four classrooms and an auditorium on the first floor and an apartment for the principal on the second. This was, at the time, one of the few all-brick school houses in the state. Pettit served as the first principal, and three instructors were hired to teach mathematics, music, and English. The teachers boarded with a family named North, who lived next door. The school developed an excellent reputation and was recognized as one of the best in Campbell Co. Many famous men, including presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and William Howard Taft, are said to have made speeches from a large second-floor porch at the school. It was just before the Civil War that the name of the school was changed to the Walnut Hills Academy, for two large walnut trees that stood in front of the building. During the Civil War, the building was used as a Union Army provost headquarters, and Union Homeguard Troops camped on the grounds. The Walnut Hills Academy was sold in 1875 to the Cold Spring School District for use as a public school. It became both a grade and high school. When the original building was destroyed by fire on December 6, 1921, construction on a new school building began at once. During construction, classes were held at the Licking Pike Baptist Church. Several other modern buildings have been added on the site of the original Walnut Hills Academy. Turner, Gary R. “N.K.U. Oral History Interview of a Jolly Descendant, 1996,” Archives, Northern Kentucky Univ., Highland Heights, Ky.
WALSH, KATHY (b. April 11, 1947, Covington, Ky.; d. October 8, 1970, London, England). Actress Katherine Victoria Walsh was the oldest of five children born to Thomas A. and Martha “Marty” Weiss Walsh. She grew up at 55 Paul Hesser Dr. in Lakeside Place, Ky., and attended Villa Madonna Academy. At age 17 she was discovered by a talent scout and, a year later, signed a seven-year contract with Columbia Pictures. While she was attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, her insurance-executive father was killed when American Airlines Flight 727 crashed on November 8, 1965, on its fi nal approach to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (see also Aviation Accidents). In July 1969 in London, Kathy Walsh wedded an English
baron, Piers Patrick Francis von Westenholz, who was a young horseman and a member of the city’s trendy café society set. The marriage was soon annulled. Walsh starred in the movies The Chase (1967) with Marlin Brando, where she gave a memorable per formance as a wild and sexy teenager, and The Trip (1967) with Peter Fonda. She appeared on U.S. television in The Virginian, in Daniel Boone, and with The Monkees. She also acted on the London stage and spent some time studying acting at the University of London. In 1970 Walsh’s brief but ascending acting career was cut tragically short. During a party at her London apartment, she choked amid mysterious circumstances and quickly suffocated. Her body was returned to Mount Werner, Colo., home of her widowed mother, for burial. Later, it was reported that she was murdered. Ancestry Library Edition. “Kentucky Birth Index.” http://search.ancestrylibrary.com (accessed October 18, 2005). “Bluegrass Starlets and Their Tragedies,” KP, October 9, 1970, 1. “Kathy Walsh Dead, Her Family Is Told,” CE, October 9, 1970, 13. “Kathy Walsh Dies in London,” KP, October 8, 1970, 1. “Wedding to Baron Happy Ending for ActressStarlet,” KP, July 10, 1969, 23K.
WALSH DISTILLERY. The Walsh Distillery, located along the south side of Front St. in Covington, between Scott St. and the John A. Roebling Bridge, was established during the early 1870s by liquor merchant James N. Walsh, an Irish immigrant. Early partners of Walsh were Charles Henry Kellogg and Peter O’Shaughnessy; Walsh’s sons Nicholas and Dennis also joined him in the business. When James Walsh constructed the building, he promised the city that there would be no hog pens at his distillery. It was common to keep hogs near distilleries at the time; the hogs were fattened with the leftover mash, a by-product of distillation. Nearby was the Hemingray Glass Company, makers of many types of glassware including liquor bottles, but it is unknown whether its bottles were supplied to the Walsh Distillery. In 1873 there were five distilleries in Covington; by 1913, 15 distillers, including the New England Distillery, and 14 liquor wholesalers operated in the city. Walsh’s physical plant was state-of-the-art. In 1877 he connected the telephones at his distillery in Covington to those at his son Nicholas’s distillery in Cincinnati, with a five-mile long telephone line. At the time when a half-million-dollar fire occurred in the building in 1893, Walsh’s Covington facility was regarded as the largest of its kind in the world. It was quickly rebuilt. The Walsh building was well known for the several fires it endured during its years in the city. The company was both a distiller and a redistiller (rectifier), meaning that the firm bought strong distilled products from other distillers and redistilled them into weaker blends. Walsh also served as a wholesale liquor distributor. The company enjoyed vertical integration; that is, it controlled the means to distribute its own products; it
James Walsh of Walsh Distillery.
bought other distillers’ products and labels. Before 1905 Walsh also owned the Rossville Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Between 1905 and 1911, operations were shifted to Lawrenceburg, which came to be known as “the distillery city.” In 1907 the James Walsh Distillery bought the “Old Hickory” brand and label from a distillery in Louisville. By 1911, after being rebuilt several times following fires, the Covington distillery was no longer in use. “Another Fire: As Disastrous as the First,” KP, March 20, 1893, 4. Covington City Directories, 1870–1920. “Dennis Walsh Died while Coughing,” KP, June 14, 1905, 2. Geaslen, Chester. “There Ran a Distillery or Two in Covington,” KE, December 15, 1966, 2. Goss, Charles Frederick, ed. Cincinnati: The Queen City, 1788–1912. 4 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1912. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 300, for the year 1890. LaBree, Ben, ed. Notable Men of Cincinnati at the Beginning of the 20th Century. Louisville, Ky.: George G. Fetter, 1903. “Local Matter,” DC, November 12, 1877, 1. “Sudden Summons,” CE, June 2, 1915, 8.
Michael R. Sweeney
WALTER AND STEWART. The distinguished architectural firm of Walter and Stewart was one of the finest and most prolific in Greater Cincinnati during the 10 years before 1872. William Walter was born in Hammond, Pa., in 1815, the son of Henry Walter. Although little is known about the early life of either the father or the son, it is known that the family moved from York, Pa., to Cincinnati when William was a young man. Henry Walter lived in Cincinnati for the rest of his life and became the city’s most significant Greek Revival architect, playing an important role in the design of the Ohio State capitol in Columbus. His finest work was possibly the design of the St. Peter in Chains Catholic Cathedral, on Plum St. between Seventh and Eighth Sts. in Cincinnati.
William Walter was educated in local schools and trained in his father’s firm to be an architect. Whether these Walters were related to Thomas Ustick Walter, who designed the U.S. Capitol, is not known. After his father’s death in 1851, William Walter entered into a partnership with James Keyes Wilson, a prominent Cincinnati architect. Wilson also was involved in the training of such notable local architects as Samuel Hannaford, James K. McLaughlin, and Charles Crapsey. While associated with Wilson, William Walter designed several churches and commercial buildings in Cincinnati. William Stewart, the son of a builder and cabinetmaker, was born in 1832 and raised in Canada. His father apprenticed him to a local architect. After Stewart immigrated to the United States in 1857, he worked in Chicago and in St. Paul, Minn., for a short time and then moved to Covington. He and William Walter soon formed an architectural partnership called Walter and Stewart. Between 1857 and the time Stewart returned to Canada in 1872, the partners designed a number of Northern Kentucky churches. Among them were the Mother of God Catholic Church, the First Baptist Church, the First Methodist Church (see First United Methodist Church), the old First Presbyterian Church (see Community of Faith Presbyterian Church), and the Madison Ave. Baptist Church (built 1869; demolished ca. 1912), all in Covington. Few architectural firms designed so many high-quality church buildings for so many different religious denominations as did Walter and Stewart. They also designed the old Covington High School at 12th and Russell Sts., the Holly City Waterworks at the foot of Madison Ave. in Covington, and the palatial home of Amos Shinkle on East Second St. in Covington (demolished for the construction of Booth Memorial Hospital). Walter and Stewart made significant contributions to building designs on both sides of the Ohio River. After Stewart left the firm, he lived in Toronto and later in Hamilton, Ontario, where he practiced with his son Walter Stewart. William Walter formed a new partnership with George Humphries of Ludlow, and their company, known as Walter and Humphries, lasted for about three years. Walter then worked as a solo architect, but none of his later work has been positively identified. William Walter died September 29, 1886, in Cincinnati and was buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in that city; William Stewart died in Canada in 1907. Schottelkotte, Al. “Talk of the Town,” CE, September 10, 1959, 5A. Tenkotte, Paul A. A Heritage of Art and Faith: Downtown Covington Churches. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 1986. Withey, Henry F., and Elsie Withey. Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased). Los Angeles: New Age, 1956.
WALTON. Running along a ridge in southern Boone Co., Walton is a community that was settled, developed, and continues to grow because of its location at a crossroads. On early-19th-century maps of Kentucky (such as H. S. Tanner’s 1839 A
928 WALTON New Map of Kentucky), it is referred to as Gaines Crossing, where the road from Covington divided into a route to Lexington (see Covington and Lexington Turnpike) and a road to Warsaw. There, Archibald Reid, a distiller and a major landowner, opened the first tavern in Boone Co. in about 1795–1803. In 1808 Abner Gaines, a prominent local citizen who later served as a Boone Co. justice of the peace and sheriff, became operator of the tavern (see Gaines Tavern). The community that grew up around the tavern and inn was called Gaines Fork Roads, then Gaines Crossroads. A post office, run by Gaines’s son James, was established there in 1815. The Kentucky legislature renamed the community Walton in 1840. Walton lies atop a topographical feature called the Dry Ridge Trace, a north-south spur of the Great Cumberland Mountains, which marks the dividing point for Northern Kentucky streams. The ridge road has been an important transportation route since ancient times, and Walton became an entrepot for various modes of land transportation. During the early 19th century, the ridge road became part of the Covington and Lexington Turnpike, a major toll road connecting Cincinnati with the central Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Beginning in the second decade of the 1800s, a web of stagecoach lines connected Walton with towns and cities of Northern and Central Kentucky. The turnpike was improved and macadamized in the 1840s, easing travel between distant towns. These early transportation improvements set the stage for the town of Walton’s later growth. In the mid-19th century, the small but lively community of Walton had 50 residents, as well as tobacco factories, livery stables, and carriage manufacturers. In the years following the Civil War, the town became the railroad center of the county and began to grow rapidly. During the late 1860s, the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad, the Short Line later acquired by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, laid tracks through Walton and adjoining Verona. In the mid-1870s, the Cincinnati Southern Railroad was built through Richwood and Walton. Although Walton was not the only railroad town in Boone Co., it was the only community that prospered because of its rail facilities. It became the most important shipping point in the county for farm produce, as well as a local drop-off point for mail-order items. Soon passenger ser vice was introduced, and daily commuter trains linked Walton with Cincinnati, Covington, and Ludlow. Traveling by train to shop in Covington and Cincinnati became popular in Walton during the late 19th century; additional runs were made on Saturdays to accommodate the standing-room-only crowds. As late as the 1920s, Walton residents commuted to work or school by train. In the years after the Civil War, a small African American community formed in northern Walton. Several generations of the Steele and Ingram families, descendants of freed slaves, made their homes in the modest hall-parlor and saddlebag dwellings along Church St. The center of this community was the Zion Baptist Church, founded in 1872.
Walton was incorporated in 1870. It developed as a classic linear railroad town, bounded by the ridge and the rail lines. A business district flourished along Main St., with residential neighborhoods to the north and south. A small industrial and warehouse district grew up beside the Cincinnati Southern Railroad’s tracks. By 1876, eight years after construction of its first rail line, Walton had a population of 300, along with a hotel, two general stores, a blacksmith shop, a boot and shoe store, a millinery shop, and a saloon. The local 1883 Lake atlas shows residential, commercial, and industrial buildings densely clustered along the turnpike, between Church and Depot Sts., and along High St. to the east. To the north and the south was open land, with scattered houses on large parcels of land. Beginning in the 1880s, the town expanded south along the turnpike to the vicinity of the present-day Mary Grubbs Highway. New brickand-frame residences of a variety of fashionable types and styles were built on large lots for business owners and professionals. S. Main St. residents of the late 1800s and early 1900s included mill owner A. Mott Rouse, banker David B. Wallace, clothing store owner Walsh Ridenour, and druggist Robert W. Jones. One of Boone Co.’s master builders, George Nicholson, the son of Dr. Henry Clay Nicholson, constructed many of Walton’s new buildings. A resident of S. Main St., George Nicholson built schools, churches, bridges, residences, and commercial buildings in Boone and Kenton counties during the first half of the 20th century. An 1889 account depicts Walton as a prosperous and progressive community with a hopeful future, because of its two rail lines and its location in a rich agricultural district. It had three tobacco warehouses with a capacity of more than 4 million pounds, a “large flouring mill,” and three stores “doing a business from $30,000 to $90,000 annually.” In 1879 the Walton Deposit Bank opened its doors; it was the only banking house on the turnpike between Covington and Williamstown. Walton had Boone Co.’s first fire department bucket brigade (1880) and its first streetlights (1890s). By 1900 Walton was the largest city in Boone Co., with a population of 583. In 1900 the local school district, seeking a higher quality of education for its students, merged with the Verona schools, forming one of the county’s first consolidated districts. The county’s first high school opened at Walton in 1901. The building remains today on N. Main St., now used as apartments. Students from outlying areas boarded with town families during the week, returning home by train on weekends. For the first half of the 20th century, Walton, with its business district and diverse manufacturing enterprises, remained the largest town in Boone Co. In 1914 the Walton Advertiser boasted: “Walton . . . is a ‘regular’ town, with a miniature Broadway, electric lights . . . a beautiful pike . . . two railroads. . . . [T]he metropolis of Boone County, [it] bids fair to become a great city, on account of the transportation facilities which it possesses.” Dur-
ing the 1920s, the turnpike was rebuilt as the Dixie Highway (U.S. 25), the first highway in Kentucky to link the rural South of the United States with the urban North. The eastern division of the road was built through Boone Co., passing through Florence, Devon, Richwood, and Walton. The alignment was chosen by 1913, raising the value of undeveloped land along its future route. The new road, the widespread availability of automobiles, and the removal of tolls also helped to transform the lives of middleclass Boone Co. families. It opened up new mobility choices and employment opportunities but also initiated suburban sprawl. Like many other cities along the Dixie Highway’s path, Walton expanded and prospered, with new neighborhoods platted to the north and the south. By 1927 there were 50 buildings along S. Main St., between Depot St. and Richland Ct. The county’s most ambitious residential development was the Alta Vista Subdivision, just north of the railroad junction. Platted in 1929, it featured a boulevard lined with a double row of trees. Due to the disruptions of the Great Depression and World War II, however, only one house, the Edward Blau residence, was built until the mid-1940s. During the depression, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was established in northern Walton, near today’s Alta Vista Dr. The camp, in operation from 1935 to 1942, housed hundreds of youths employed in conservation and reclamation projects across Kentucky. In 1950 Walton had a population of 750. Longtime residents recall mid-20th-century Walton as a “comfortable, self-sustaining community of just a few hundred people,” with a hardware store and a half dozen groceries. Walton lost its preeminent position in the 1950s suburban boom. The town’s local businesses began to decline as people drove to regional shopping centers with chain stores and large merchandise inventories. A tornado swept through Walton in 1956. Although property damage was estimated at $500,000, not a single life was lost. Fire devastated the business district in 1971. The town also suffered a disappointment when plans to build a theme park (Fess Parker’s Frontier World) north of town were scrapped. Walton met these challenges by joining the Kentucky Main Street program, which has brought new life to the town along with a deeper recognition of its distinctive heritage. In 2006 the town’s S. Main St. Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places, becoming the county’s third National Register historic district. In 2006 the city of Walton’s successes were honored with a Preservation Award from the Boone Co. Historic Preservation Review Board. Walton entered its third century as a prosperous community, with new residential, commercial, and industrial development steadily building its population and tax base. An Atlas of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1883. Boone Co. Historic Preservation Review Board. Historic Structures of Boone County, Kentucky. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Historic Preservation Review Board, 2002.
WAMPUM Boone County Recorder, November 20, 1889; April 10, 1907, 6. Flynn, Terry. “City Working to Keep Connected to Its Past,” KE, September 2, 1996, B1. Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory. Detroit: R. L. Polk, 1876. 150th Anniversary, City of Walton, 1840–1990. Walton, Ky.: City of Walton, 1990. Reis, Jim. “200 and Holding: Walton Was Once the Heart of Boone County,” KP, November 19, 1984, 10K. Sanborn Map Company. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Walton, Kentucky. New York: Sanborn Map, 1921, 1927. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989. “Walton, Boone County,” CJ, April 23, 1870, 3. Warner, Jennifer S. Boone County: From Mastodons to the Millennium. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Bicentennial Book Committee, 1998. “Your Town: Walton, Ky.—Just Plain American,” CTS, April 25, 1956, 9.
WALTON CHRISTIAN CHURCH. The Christian Church of Walton in Boone Co. was founded in 1876, and the first pastor was Rev. J. W. Beasley. The church is affi liated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a Protestant denomination with members mostly in the United States and Canada. The Walton Christian Church’s history can be traced back to 1873, when Beasley conducted a revival meeting in Walton in the local Baptist Church. He had been called to conduct this revival by a group of Walton citizens. Three years later, and seventy-two years after Barton W. Stone, minister at Cane Ridge, first publicly set forth the principles that led to the birth of the Christian Church movement, a revival at Walton in 1876 led to the founding of the local church. During the first few years, other revivals were held; and the Walton Christian Church met in several locations, including the Masonic Hall (see Masons) and the local school. Money was raised, land purchased, and the first church structure was built in 1879. In 1905 the Walton Christian Church expanded to two ser vices a month, and by 1911 individual communion ser vice was started. In 1916 Rev. E. C. Lacy became the Walton Christian Church’s first fulltime pastor. A new church building was constructed and dedicated on May 5, 1918. It was built in town along Main St. and cost approximately $20,000. Over the next 20 years membership and attendance at the church doubled, and the building was expanded in 1937. Ten years later, tragedy struck. On November 27, 1947, Thanksgiving Day, the building was destroyed by fire. Lost in the fire were the church’s records, irreplaceable books, and a newly purchased organ. A new church structure, built on the foundation of the previous building, was dedicated on August 14, 1949, and it remains today. The new building’s cost was approximately $75,000. In the early 1950s, the church sponsored a large tent revival on the Walton school grounds for all denominations, reminiscent of the revival ser vices
held in the past. It included singing and preaching by a variety of local and national religious speakers. The Walton Christian Church remains an important part of the community. Ervin, J. M. Walton Christian Church. Walton, Ky.: Walton Christian Church, 1938. Rouse, Jack. Walton Christian Church: A History. Walton, Ky.: Walton Christian Church, 1973.
WALTON-VERONA INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS. The Walton-Verona Independent School District lies in the extreme southern part of Boone Co. The largest independent school district in the commonwealth, it includes the city of Walton, the community of Verona, and the surrounding area of approximately 26 square miles. As of October 2006, the district had 1,269 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade. The first public grade school in Walton was established in 1839 at the forks of Old Stephenson Mill Rd. and Old Beaver Lick Rd. It was operated by the county and at first had a three-month term; in 1869 the school term was expanded to five months. The first school in Walton to offer high school education was a private school started by Mrs. Cara Myers, who came to Kentucky from Vermont and had attended Georgetown College at Georgetown, Ky. A teacher at the school, Henry Newton, was recognized in a local atlas published in 1883 as a “teacher of the select school offering all branches of mathematics and a regular course of thorough instruction.” This school operated until 1902, when it became a part of the new public school. It was located two doors north of the Christian Church in town, a site now covered by the church’s parking lot. William Ransler seems to have helped start the Walton Public School, the first public high school in the county, which included grades 1 through 12. It met in a new brick building built in 1900 on N. Main St. The building remains today and is used for apartments. Some of the subjects taught in the high school were four years of English, four years of Latin, German, geometry, trigonometry, ancient history, astronomy, botany, composition, and penmanship. A Mr. Hickey was the first principalsuperintendent, but he remained at Walton only three years before moving on to teach at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Hickey set a standard by which many capable successors over the years have been judged. The high school became widely known, and people moved into the district from other areas so that their children could attend; other families boarded their children with friends or relatives within the district for the same reason. As early as 1880, there were two schools in Verona: one was the public grade school operated by the county, and the other was a private grade and high school known as the League Institute, which was begun by Miss Nannie Hamilton. More is known of the League Institute than of the public school in Verona. Tuition at the institute was $50 per year. A boarding house and cottages were main-
tained for the many boarding boys and girls. Two courses of study were offered: a scientific course, which included algebra, the physical sciences, history, English, and so forth, and a classical course, which stressed foreign languages (Latin and German), music, art, and public speaking. The private school continued until around 1910, when it consolidated with the public school. In 1914 a brick building was erected for grades 1 through 12, which remains standing today. In fall 1935 the Walton and Verona schools were consolidated into one school district, with a grade school maintained at Verona and a grade and high school at Walton. Thus the district became known as the Walton-Verona School District. For several years, only students in grades 9–12 were transported from Verona to Walton. Later, students in grades 7 and 8 were also sent to Walton. The Walton-Verona Schools have never been a part of the county system, nor do the communities of Walton and Verona desire them to be. In 1955 the present high school building was opened in Walton at the end of Alta-Vista Dr.; as the student body grew, additions to the building were made in 1962, 1973, 1989, and 1993. Currently, the WaltonVerona Board of Education is building a new high school wing that will accommodate further population growth of the community. In 1955 the first three grades in the entire district attended classes in the new building and only grades four through six attended classes in Verona. This arrangement continued until the present elementary school for grades kindergarten through sixth was constructed along Porter Rd. in Verona in 1971. This building has had several additions to accommodate the growth as well. The hallmarks of the Walton-Verona schools have always been a very high scholastic standard, achieving recognition athletically, and producing well-rounded, productive citizens who excel in varied fields of endeavor. The district is unique in the willingness of parents and citizens to take an active part in maintaining an independent school district by paying higher taxes, volunteering to help with school programs, and having a direct voice in educating the children of the community. On December 15, 2007, the new Walton-Verona High School was dedicated. Built at a cost of $14 million and designed by architects Robert Ehmet Hayes and Associates, Fort Mitchell, it accommodates 700 students. According to Boone Co. planning officials, this new facility should adequately ser vice growth for 10 years. A half-million-dollar renovation of the middle school was completed in 2008. “Plan New Elementary School for Walton,” KP, May 14, 1967, 2K. “Walton Buying 117 Acres for 2 New Schools,” KP, June 22, 2001, 2K. “What Is Walton-Verona’s Future?” KP, November 2, 1968, 2K.
WAMPUM. Wampum was a town located along the Falmouth and Lenoxburg Rds., about seven miles southeast of Falmouth in Pendleton Co.
930 WARD, ANNA BELL Wampum was situated on Kincaid Creek, and much of it today is part of the Kincaid Lake State Park. Among the businesses once operating in Wampum were a sawmill, a gristmill, a blacksmith shop, and a flourmill; a gentleman named Kennedy operated the last blacksmith shop. Later, C. L. Myers opened a flourmill, but he eventually moved eastward to Caddo, located on Ky. Rt. 10. Myers’s mill was powered by a 60-foot-long steam boiler that had once been used on a ferry that crossed the Ohio River while the John A. Roebling Bridge was under construction during the 1850s and 1860s. The boiler was transported to Falmouth via the railroad. From there, a former slave, Kirk Hitch, used a team of eight yoked oxen to bring it overland so it could be installed for use at the Myers’s mill in Wampum. Three men, B. B. Thornberry, John Smith, and Grant Wills, operated the Wampum post office at various times. Today no businesses remain open at Wampum, and 15 feet of water cover the site of the old mill. The salt well that once served the people of the town has also long since been fi lled. Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994].
WARD, ANNA BELL (b. December 28, 1897, Covington, Ky.; d. May 18, 1986, Lexington, Ky.). Theater manager Anna Bell Ward Olson was the daughter of Edward and Annetta Ferguson Ward. She was educated in the public schools of Chicago and Covington and at age 14 won a scholarship to the College of Music in Cincinnati, where she graduated. She was a child vocal soloist at Christ Cathedral (Cincinnati), the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens, and the Lyric Theater, and with John Philip Sousa’s Band and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She performed in various local theatrical productions around Covington. At the age of 17, Ward began her business career as the owner-manager of the Pastime Theatre in Maysville. Her family eventually owned a chain of 35 theaters called Phoenix Amusements. She became an early expert in motion picture theater management and was recognized nationally for her ability to publicize movies. Ward produced a few westerns and starred in several as a young adult. She was also an author of short stories, including “Night Winds,” “Big Business Girl,” and “Uncle Andy’s Secret.” She helped to orga nize the Kentucky Colonels in the 1930s and, as the organi zation’s fi rst secretary, was the keeper of its seal. In her youth she held several long-distance swimming records. Politically she was an independent; religiously, she was a Methodist. For many years, Lexington was Ward’s home; her office was in the Strand Theatre Building on Main St. In retirement, she lived in Somerset for many years before returning to Lexington for her last years. She died at Country Place in Lexington at age 90. She was buried at the Lexington Cemetery next to her husband, David A. Adolphus Olson of Somerset, who died in 1964.
“Kentucky Colonels Promoter Dies at 90,” Lexington Herald-Leader, May 20, 1986, B-8. “Show Worlds a Showing Bill at Colonial,” KP, May 5, 1913, 5. Southard, Mary Young. Who’s Who in Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1936.
Michael R. Sweeney
WARE, JAMES C. (b. February 3, 1913, Covington, Ky.; d. November 6, 1991, Edgewood, Ky.). Banker, lawyer, and politician James C. Ware was born and raised in Covington. He attended Kenton Co. Public Schools (see Kenton Co. School District) and later graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. After leaving school, he returned to Covington and for the next eight years worked for the Central Trust Banking Company in Cincinnati. He attended Cincinnati’s Chase College of Law for two years while he worked for the bank, and after passing a law examination in 1940, he was admitted to the Kentucky bar. During World War II, Ware attempted to join the U.S. Army as an officer but was instead made a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He left that position in 1946 and returned to Covington, where he joined his brother William O. Ware at the law firm of his father, Orie S. Ware. James Ware married Polly Dawson, and the couple had two children, James C. Ware Jr. and Mary Ware. The family lived at 83 Greenbrier Rd. in South Fort Mitchell (now Fort Mitchell). James Ware Sr. entered politics in 1957 and was elected to the Kentucky Senate, where he served for eight years. He held the office of Senate leader pro tem in 1964–1965. While in that position, he served as acting governor nine times, on occasions when both the governor and the lieutenant governor were out of state. As acting governor, he made about 50 people Kentucky Colonels. During a long and colorful career, Ware served as a vice president of the First National Bank of Covington (see First National Bank and Trust Company of Covington), as chairman of the board of the Baptist Convalescent Center, as trustee of the Covington Children’s Home (see Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky), and as a member of the advisory council of Booth Memorial Hospital. He was an active member of the Fort Mitchell Baptist Church for more than 40 years, where he served as deacon, trustee, and Sunday school teacher. He was also a member of the Optimist Club and a president of the Kentucky Historical Society. His wife Polly Dawson Ware died in 1990, and in October of the following year, he married Jo Kummer, the mother of John Kummer, an associate in his law firm. After being married for less than one month, Ware died of an apparent heart attack, while a patient at the St. Elizabeth Medical Center, South, in Edgewood. Funeral ser vices were held at the Fort Mitchell Baptist Church, and he was buried in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. “Ex-Senator Ware, Acted as Governor,” KP, November 8, 1991, 1. Reis, Jim. “He Was Governor for Nine Days,” KP, May 22, 1989, 4K.
“Ware Elected,” KTS, May 29, 1958, 1A. “Ware to Leave FBI Post,” KP, January 2, 1946, 1.
WARE, ORIE S. (b. May 11, 1882, Peach Grove, Pendleton Co., Ky.; d. December 16, 1974, Fort Mitchell, Ky.). Attorney and congressman Orie Solomon Ware was the son of Solomon Grizzel and Ida Petty Ware. He received his education in the elementary schools of Covington and attended the academy of Professor George W. Dunlap at Independence. In September 1900, Ware entered the University of Cincinnati College of Law, graduating in 1903 with an LLB. He was admitted to the Kentucky and Ohio bars that year. Ware was a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and the American Bar Association and was a former president of the Kenton Co. Bar. At the time of his death, Ware was the longest-practicing attorney in Covington, having practiced law there a total 71 years. Ware was active in politics. He was appointed postmaster of Covington by President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921) and served from 1914 to 1921, when he resigned to become a candidate for the position of Kenton Co. commonwealth attorney; he was elected for a six-year term in November 1921 and served from 1922 to 1927. While in that position, Ware forbade dog racing in Kenton Co. and successfully argued the appeal of his decision against dog racing before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1926 Ware became a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 1926 Democratic primary, he defeated Brent Spence; in the general election that year, he defeated Republican Emmett Daugherty. In 1927 Ware took his seat in the 70th Congress. Later he served as a U.S. federal magistrate from 1942 to 1947 and as a Kenton Co. circuit judge in 1957 and 1958. Ware was involved in countless civic activities, including building campaigns of St. Elizabeth Hospital in 1915 (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center), the YMCA in 1916, the Booth Memorial Hospital in 1923, and the Covington Protestant Children’s Home (see Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky) in 1925. During World War I, he was executive secretary of the Kenton Council of Defense and was the general chairman of the War Savings Stamp Drive. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce (see Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce) for more than 50 years. In 1968 he was the first recipient of the Chamber of Commerce’s Frontiersman Award. He was a director of the First National Bank of Covington (see First National Bank and Trust Company of Covington) from 1933 to 1970. Ware belonged to the First Baptist Church of Covington, where he served on the board of deacons for 52 years and as a church trustee for more than 30 years. He was an active member of the Masonic Order for 71 years and was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in 1913; for more than 45 years he was a member of the jurisprudence committee of the Grand Lodge. Ware was a vice president of the local Christopher Gist Historical Society. He married Louise Culbertson on September 19, 1906. Ware died in Fort Mitchell in 1974 and was buried at Highland Cemetery there.
WARREN, FRED, SR., MAJOR GENERAL Bodley, Temple. History of Kentucky: The Blue Grass State. Vol. 4. Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1928. Murphy, John. “89 Years of Good Old Days,” KP, June 28, 1971, 1K–2K. Pashchke, Margaret. “ ‘Give and Take’ Wares Mark 65th Wedding Anniversary,” KP, September 18, 1971, 1K–2K. Reis, Jim. “A New Home for Orphans,” KP, July 28, 1903, 4K. ———. “1925 Caravan Pitches Covington as ‘Big City’ to the Region,” KP, March 25, 1996, 4K. Southard, Mary Young, and Ernest C. Miller, eds. Who’s Who in Kentucky: A Biographical Assembly of Notable Kentuckians. Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1936. Ware, Orie S., and Alpheus E. Orton. Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Free and Accepted Masons. Masonic Home, Ky.: Press of Masonic Home Journal, 1940.
WAR OF 1812. When the United States declared war on Great Britain in June 1812, the military installation at Newport, Ky., became a focal point for the war effort in the American West. Newport Barracks, located at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers, acted as a supply depot and training center. Several militia and regular army units formed in Kentucky were bivouacked at “the Point,” just across the Licking River on the current site of Covington, where they gathered, organized, and equipped themselves for campaigns throughout the Northwest Territory and later at New Orleans. The Newport Barracks also served as a way station for captured British officers who were being taken to the state penitentiary in Frankfort and as a longer-term prison for 439 captured British privates and noncommissioned officers. That number of prisoners nearly doubled Newport’s population in November 1813. The men were held in confinement until July 1814, when they were moved to Canada. Tradition has it that these prisoners of war assisted in the construction of numerous buildings in Newport, including the Richard Southgate house. Large numbers of Northern Kentuckians turned out to fight the British and the American Indians on the frontier, primarily in an effort to conquer Canada and wrest it from the British Crown. Kentuckians could be found on nearly all the battlefields of both the Northwest and the Southwest campaigns, serving in both state militia units and in regular U.S. Army regiments. Many of these men were prominent individuals, and some became prominent through their military ser vice. One of the earliest to tender his ser vices to the cause was Newport’s James Taylor Jr., who received an appointment as military agent and district paymaster of the army, with the nominal rank of major. He gathered supplies and organized transportation for them and then joined Gen. William Hull’s army at Detroit, Mich., whereupon Hull appointed Taylor his quartermaster general. Taylor was taken prisoner when Hull surrendered his entire force to the British on August 16, 1812. Paroled by the British, Taylor returned to Newport to find that his position had been supplanted by the
federal government’s creation of the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Department. William Orlando Butler of Carroll Co. joined the army at the outbreak of war. Serving with Brig. Gen. James Winchester, Butler escaped the massacre in Michigan at the River Raisin in January 1813 because he was wounded and captured earlier at the Battle of Frenchtown. After his exchange, Butler returned to Kentucky and raised a company of volunteers to serve with Andrew Jackson in the New Orleans campaign, where Butler earned General Jackson’s praise. Another significant ser vice performed by Northern Kentuckians occurred in August 1813. To combat the British on Lake Erie, Com. Oliver Hazard Perry hurriedly constructed a fleet of small warships. When he was unable to obtain a sufficient crew for the vessels, Perry appealed to Gen. William Henry Harrison for men. Harrison in turn requested volunteers from his army. More than 100 of the 120 men who responded were from Kentucky, and a significant number of them were from Northern Kentucky. Pvt. John Norris, of Petersburg in Boone Co., played a decisive role in Commodore Perry’s crushing victory over a British fleet on Lake Erie. Norris was among the Kentucky militiamen who had also volunteered to fi ll out Perry’s crew and was generally credited with firing the last shot of the battle and capturing the British vessel HMS Hunter, for which he received $300 in prize money. Each of the Kentuckians present received $214 in prize money, and many later received commemorative gold medals from the grateful Kentucky legislature. Also in August 1813, Newport was the site of a rendezvous of 3,500 volunteers and militiamen answering the call of Kentucky governor Isaac Shelby (1792–1796, 1812–1816) for men. They were organized in Newport and dispatched to General Harrison’s army in the Northwest. Among the regiments thus organized was Col. Richard M. Johnson’s regiment of mounted riflemen, which included large numbers of Northern Kentuckians. Their participation proved decisive at the Battle of Thames in Upper Canada on October 5, 1813. The mounted riflemen were credited with breaking the British lines and with the death of noted Indian leader Tecumseh. This battle proved to be the final major battle in the Northwestern Theater. Maj. Richard Montgomery Gano was second-incommand of a regiment of Kentucky Volunteers at the Battle of the Thames. Gano served with distinction and later became one of the founders of Covington. (Covington was named for Brig. Gen. Leonard W. Covington, who was killed in the War of 1812 at the battle of Chrysler’s Farm [Ontario, Canada] in 1813 while leading his men in an attack on British positions.) Northern Kentuckians were also present for the final battle of the war at New Orleans, lending their ser vices to Gen. Andrew Jackson’s efforts to defend the city from British assault. More than 2,700 Kentuckians stood with Jackson at New Orleans, and more than two-thirds of that number stood in the lines of battle. The remaining men from Kentucky, who had not been furnished with
arms by their state, performed other ser vices to help repel the British assault and keep that valuable city out of British hands. While it is impossible to say with certainty how many Northern Kentuckians served in the War of 1812, since military rosters did not list the places of origin for companies and regiments, it is certain that at least hundreds, if not more, of local men became involved in this conflict. Northern Kentuckians were present for the campaigns in Ohio, Michigan, Upper Canada, and Louisiana. They fought at the Raisin River, at the Thames, at Lake Erie, and at New Orleans. It is known that 4.6 percent of the troops who fought for the United States were from Kentucky and that 64 percent of the men who were killed in action were Kentuckians. Donnelly, Joseph. Newport Barracks—Kentucky’s Forgotten Military Installation. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 1999. Hammack, James Wallace, Jr. Kentucky and the Second American Revolution: The War of 1812. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1976. Heidler, David S., and Jeanne T. Heidler, eds. Encyclopedia of the War of 1812. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, 1997.
WARREN, FRED, SR., MAJOR GENERAL (b. August 23, 1903, Newport, Ky.; d. December 16, 1986, Fort Thomas, Ky.). Frederick M. Warren Sr., a distinguished Campbell Co. judge and a World War II veteran, was born and raised in Newport. He was educated in public schools, graduating from Newport High School, and received both his bachelor’s degree and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Shortly after leaving school, he served as police judge and city solicitor for the City of Southgate. Warren married Peggy Beaton, and they had one son, Frederick Warren Jr. In 1924 Judge Warren enlisted in the Ohio National Guard, where he served for five years and was discharged as a 2nd lieutenant. After he was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1935, he set up his law practice in Newport. In the 1930s he took part in many of the organizational meetings for construction of the Mary Ingles Highway. At the beginning of World War II, Warren was inducted into the U.S. Army, with the rank of major. He participated in many battles throughout Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge, and served for a short time under Gen. George S. Patton Jr. During his army ser vice, he was awarded the Distinguished Ser vice Medal, the Silver Star, and four Bronze Stars. He was released from active duty in 1946 but continued to work with reserve and guard units. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1949 and to major general in 1954. Warren was recalled to active duty in 1959 and made commander of the U.S. Army Reserves and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He retired from the Army in August 1963. Warren was elected a Campbell Co. circuit court judge in 1964 and held that position for ten years. He retired as a fulltime judge in 1974 but continued to work as a substitute. Warren died at St. Luke Hospital at age 83.
932 WARRIOR TRAIL ALANANT O WAMIOWEE Funeral ser vices were held at St. Thomas Church, and he was buried in a mausoleum at St. Stephen Cemetery, Fort Thomas. “Fred Warren, Campbell Judge,” KP, December 17, 1986, 2K. “Fred Warren Advances to Major General Post,” KTS, February 14, 1955, 1A. “Jurist, Army General Frederick Warren Dies,” KP, December 17, 1986, 1K.
WARRIOR TRAIL (ALANANT-OWAMIOWEE). Many parts of the eastern United States have trails known as the “Warrior Trail.” These trails, based on game trails or manmade paths, were used by the American Indians as trade routes, access to hunting grounds, and warpaths to attack neighboring tribes. Alanant-O-Wamiowee (Path of the Armed Ones) was the principal warrior trail through Kentucky. It is generally agreed that the trail ran from the Shawnee villages around Sandusky, Ohio, to the Cherokee settlements in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Many consider the Alanant-O-Wamiowee Trail to be part of a system that extended from Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., to Charleston, S.C. Since it was used solely for foot traffic, the trail was only two to three feet wide. Its path was marked by blazes cut into trees, stone markers, carvings in rocks, and trees purposely deformed to serve as directional arrows. The Alanant-O-Wamiowee Trail, with numerous branches, crossed the Ohio River several times between the Scioto and the Miami rivers. In other places, the Scioto, Miami, and Licking rivers served as waterway branches of the trail. The trail’s main crossing of the Ohio River is thought to have been at Maysville. From Maysville the trail ran southward to Eskippakithiki (the last Shawnee town in Kentucky), in Clark Co., and on to Flat Lick in Knox Co. At Flat Lick the trail turned southeast toward the Cumberland Gap and the Smoky Mountains. From 1780 to 1820, the Alanant-O-Wamiowee Trail was used as the right-of-way for the portion of the Wilderness Road that ran from the Cumberland Gap to Flat Lick. The Battle of Blue Licks, fought on August 19, 1782, on the banks of the North Fork of the Licking River in modern Robertson Co., took place along this trail. Charles H. Bogart
WARSAW. Warsaw is the county seat and major city of Gallatin Co. Located along the southern bank of the Ohio River between Covington and Louisville, for many years it was an important stop and refueling place for the steamboat trade. It was first settled in the beginning years of the 19th century, and first called Great Landing. Early on there was a dockyard there, and the first boat was built in 1809. On December 7, 1831, the town was incorporated as Fredericksburg, but because there was already a town of that name in Washington Co., the name was changed to Warsaw. After the Short Line Railroad (the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad) was completed through the inland part of the county (Sparta and Glencoe) in
1869, Warsaw’s importance as a center of river commerce began to decline. The town has a significant surviving historic district of some 60 Greek Revival structures, including that of Lucy Dupuy Montz, Kentucky’s first woman dentist (see Warsaw Historic Homes). U.S. 42 was completed through town in the 1930s, connecting Cleveland, Ohio, via Cincinnati with Louisville. That road was largely bypassed in the late 1960s by I-71, a route that, like the railroad, ran through a more inland part of the county than Warsaw. A major fire did heavy damage to the Warsaw business district in 1932; in the early 1960s, the Markland Dam was completed on the river near Warsaw; in the late 1970s a bridge to Indiana was constructed across the top of that dam; and in 1987 the Sugar Creek firm, a maker of precast concrete products, was established. Warsaw became home to the late riverboat personalities Captain John and Clare Beatty, and the early-20thcentury Cincinnati boxer Tony LaRosa, father of Cincinnati pizza king Buddy LaRosa, lived his final days in Warsaw. Dr. Carl R. Bogardus practiced medicine in Warsaw for many years, while becoming one of the Ohio River Valley’s leading riverboat historians. Much of his collection was given to the archives at Northern Kentucky University. In recent years, Warsaw has been blessed with the newly constructed Gallatin Co. Free Public Library, where other Bogardus materials reside in the library’s Kentucky Room. In 2000 the fift h-class city of Warsaw had a population of 1,811, up from 1,202 in 1990. Its future is highlighted by the appearance of casino gambling across the Ohio River in Indiana at the Belterra Resort, the impact of the Kentucky Speedway nearby at Sparta, and new industry that has found a home in Warsaw, such as Warsaw Steel. Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003. Gray, Gypsy M. History of Gallatin County, Kentucky. Covington, Ky.: Self-published, 1968. Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. U.S. Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed September 18, 2007).
WARSAW BAPTIST CHURCH. On July 29, 1843, Baptists living in Warsaw assembled at the Gallatin Co. Courthouse to form a new Baptist church. At this session the members, consisting of 12 whites and 8 African Americans, voted unanimously to adopt the articles of faith and the church covenant. Elder John Scott was called as the first pastor of the new Warsaw Baptist Church. Each member was charged 50 cents a month to meet expenses. In 1844 the church was received into the Concord Baptist Association. In July 1845, the present corner lot at 106 W. High St. was purchased for $100, and a brick building was constructed at a cost of $800. The building was completed in 1846. The Methodists rented the meetinghouse in 1857
for $1.00 a month for quarter-time ser vices. The church apparently was inactive between 1862 and 1867. However, a reorganization took place in 1867. In May 1882 the old church was torn down, and a new one was built and dedicated the same year. In October 1900, the church was one of 13 that withdrew from the Concord Baptist Association to form the White’s Run Baptist Association. In 1945 the Warsaw Baptist Church withdrew from the White’s Run Association to join the Ten Mile Association. A building-remodeling program was started in late 1948. The dedication was not held, however, until April 1950. An educational building was added in 1957 at a cost of $12,000. This building was severely damaged and the sanctuary completely destroyed by fire on November 20, 1973. The construction of the present auditorium and the repair of the educational building began a year later and were completed in time for evening ser vices on January 18, 1976. During the interim period of planning and building, November 1973 through January 1976, the Warsaw Baptist Church held regular ser vices in the Gallatin Co. Courthouse. Ghent Baptist Church Minutes, Ghent Baptist Church, Ghent, Ky. Warsaw Baptist Church History, Warsaw Baptist Church, Warsaw, Ky.
WARSAW CHRISTIAN CHURCH. The Warsaw Christian Church in Gallatin Co. was organized on the first Sunday in April 1836, as the Congregation of Jesus Christ at Warsaw. Lyman Craig and 14 other citizens asked traveling evangelists David S. Burnett and John T. Johnson to come to Warsaw and preach. They did so, and before the end of the month, 114 members joined the new church. Johnson was the son of Col. Robert Johnson, founder of the city of Warsaw. The church’s first location was a small brick building at the corner of Main and First Sts. in Warsaw. The church purchased this building lot on December 28, 1843, for $60. Rev. Benjamin Tiller, the church’s first pastor, served as elder, pastor, and business manager off and on for 42 years. He was unpaid for the first 20 years of his ser vice. Early baptisms were done in the Ohio River. The church became inactive for a time during the Civil War. Tiller fled to Indiana for his safety, and the 20th Ohio Cavalry used the church as its headquarters. But on February 22, 1866, members met at the Warsaw Baptist Church to reorganize the church. All previous members were invited to return, and shortly thereafter the church increased its membership and constructed a new and larger building. The current church building on High St. was built in 1868 by Aaron M. Winters. A taller steeple was blown off during the 1930s. The house next to the church on the east corner of High and Fourth Sts. was built in the 1860s and has served as the church parsonage since April 21, 1959. An earlier parsonage (1905–1932) was at 204 Main St. Rev. T. Herbert Tinsley served Warsaw Christian Church for 31 years (December 1, 1935–June 8,
WARSAW HISTORIC HOMES
1966) and was also a six-term member of the Kentucky legislature. When the Ohio River flood of 1937 washed away most of the riverfront housing, Tinsley was a driving force in the establishment of Warsaw’s Red Cross Ave. On September 19, 2004, the church celebrated the modernization of its historic building. Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003. Spencer, Mrs. Earl, and Mrs. E. C. Threlkeld. Manuscripts and notes from original church records, Warsaw Christian Church, Warsaw, Ky.
WARSAW FURNITURE FACTORY. The Warsaw Furniture Factory was the pride of Warsaw, employing almost 200 persons at its peak of production. Trained craftsmen manufactured its handsome furniture in a collection of styles out of beautiful, highly polished woods. These pieces were sought after not only throughout the South, but also at furniture markets in Chicago, Grand Rapids, and New York City. The factory was established by Owen Arthur Bogardus Sr., who arrived in Warsaw with his wife Nancy Ballard Bogardus on a riverboat from Cincinnati in 1902. Under his guidance the company became one of the leaders in the manufacture of fine furniture, and Warsaw became known as a furniture center. At the beginning, designs were purchased. To these were added Bogardus’s own designs and those of his eldest son, Claude Bogardus. Other sons, O. A. Jr., Carl, and Jim, all took their turns working on the factory floor, although as adults they moved on to other professions. The making of complete dining suites was divided between two factories. One plant made buffets, china closets, and serving tables; the other made dining tables and chairs. The most frequently used woods were butternut and mahogany. Cata logs compiled in the 1930s show the furniture to be of high quality and sophisticated design. The factory’s noon whistle was the signal marker of the day in Warsaw. At the time of his death in 1947, the factory’s founder had become a man of means, and the name of Bogardus continues to be revered in Gallatin Co. In 1969 the factory was sold to Barry Brown, who became its manager. He later sold the factory and its grounds, and a BP gasoline station was built there. The factory was torn down in March 1995.
Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003.
WARSAW HISTORIC HOMES. When the town of Warsaw was nominated as a National Register Historic District in 1982, it was described as one of the best-preserved 19th-century Ohio River towns in Kentucky. It was compared to Petersburg and Augusta, river towns bypassed by newer modes of transportation that have, as a result, retained a small-town charm that resides to a great extent in original historic buildings. The first settlement in the Warsaw area, called Great Landing, consisted of log buildings situated near the river. The one that remains, the Yates House, constructed in 1809, was the home of one of the men who subdivided and platted the streets of the community by then named Fredericksburg. The structure stands at the axis of the historic district, covered in wood siding, its interior walls revealing the original logs. The town was laid out on a grid plan, and the first street built up from the fall line of the valley was High St., where 16 of the 60 historic buildings remain. Standing as sentinels on either end of the street are the John Payne House, an 1822 Virginia Tidewater with a Greek Revival portico, and the Captain William Payne House, known as Seven Pines, built in 1840 with an added Victorian veranda; both are sited to face the river. The Lucy Dupuy Montz House, home of Kentucky’s first woman dentist, is an example of a Greek Revival I-house. Several painted-brick Federal houses still stand on High St. and one block south on Main. These houses, built in the 1830s, were the homes of the first residents who prospered as the town grew up from the busy river highway. Many of them were built by Willis Peak, whose name is retained in the names of several old homes in Warsaw. The second, and most often used, part of the houses’ names refers to either the original or the longest-
Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. “Family Memoir,” Gallatin Co. Free Public Library, Warsaw, Ky. ———. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003.
WARSAW HIGH SCHOOL. Warsaw High School was established in 1913, under the tutelage of Professor C. S. Joseph. The curriculum included four years of mathematics and Latin and two years of German. Warsaw High School was consolidated into Gallatin Co. High School for the beginning of the 1935–1936 school year.
Hawkins Kirby House.
term owner. One of these Peak-built homes is the Peak Corkran House, mentioned below. In 1831 Fredericksburg became Warsaw; in 1838 Warsaw was named county seat of Gallatin Co., and a courthouse was built on the public square at the junction of High and Main Cross. One of the oldest in continuous use in the state, the Greek Revival courthouse first faced the river but was remodeled in 1933 with a portico opening onto Main St. when Main St. was rebuilt as U.S. 42. With its painted white brick and two-story square columns, the courthouse is the county’s landmark building. Another Greek Revival building, outside the district but a landmark to those entering the town from the east, is Heritage Hall, a private home built in 1869 on the river side of the road, part of the Hill’s Nursery property (see Gallatin Co. Plant Nurseries). Warsaw was built largely between 1840 and 1900. The earliest commercial buildings still standing, a post office and a grocery, now jointly house Maines Hardware, which retains the look of an old-time store. These buildings east of the courthouse and those south of it have ironwork facades and decorative tie rods and are built flush with the street. The south buildings were the first on Main Cross as it was built up, turning into the Sparta Turnpike. The only other original government building stands at the curve in the Sparta Turnpike. It is the county jail, built in 1880 and is, like most other county buildings in the district, a two-story brick painted white. The Yager Gutting House, next to Maines Hardware, had its second story removed by a former owner and now houses two county offices. The five churches in the district span this time period, from the 1851 Presbyterian Church, which is now the Second Consolidated Baptist and once housed a private school on its second floor, to the Warsaw Methodist, built in 1901, with its Gothic Revival accents. Included are the Italianate Christian Church and the St. Joseph Church, both built in 1868–1869 and with historically sensitive recent additions. The Sunday school building is all that
934 WARSAW METHODIST CHURCH remains of the earlier Warsaw Baptist Church after it burned, but a modern facade attractively juts out onto its grounds on High St. On the same block are the Clark Warnick House, its rear addition home of the Gallatin Co. News, and One West High, which was built as the Warsaw Deposit Bank. The defi ning architecture of this era is Gothic Revival. The Hawkins Kirby House, built in 1843 and termed “a little jewel of a house” when it was restored by the Gallatin Co. Historical Society, is now the depository of much of the town’s history. The former detached kitchen and dog trot, which have been enclosed as a single apartment along the side-facing porch, and the cabin of Miss Charity Keene, who served the Kirby family for many years, share the grounds of the house on the corner of Second and Market St. Back on High St. are Carpenter Gothic homes, the Bradley House, built for the daughter of Captain Kirby, and the Dailey House, which serves as the parsonage of the Christian Church. The only other house besides the Montz House that has a separate listing on the National Register is the Peak Corkran House on Main Cross, built in 1869 with the steep gables and decorative pointed arches that defi ne this style (see Warsaw Woman’s Club). Several homes were built in the later Gothic Revival, such as the Queen Anne–style Allen House on Main St.; most of them are located out the Sparta Turnpike on larger lots, for example, the beautifully landscaped Mountjoy House and the two Payne Houses, one with its intact carriage house and the larger one at the city limits. All of these homes retain at least a few of their original outbuildings. Most of the architectural styles seen in Warsaw are represented on this road, including Federal, Tudor, four-square, and midcentury ranch. Other singular styles are interspersed throughout the district, including the Colonial Revival Blackmore House built on one-half of a city block, one duplex, a mansard-roofed former funeral home, several antebellum frame cottages, and former school buildings. Warsaw contains buildings of every style and period from 1820 to 1930, with good examples of every major 19thcentury style that contribute to the historic district. Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003. Historic Walking Tour of Warsaw. Brochure available at Warsaw City Hall and the Gallatin Co. judge-executive’s office, Warsaw, Ky. National Register of Historic Places Inventory— Nomination Form, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Ser vice, 1982, prepared from site survey by Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort, Ky.
Jacquelene P. Mylor
WARSAW METHODIST CHURCH. Methodism first came to Gallatin Co. in the form of a circuit-riding minister named Josiah Whitaker around 1824. Meetings were held in various homes during the winter months, and camp meetings
were held in the spring. The Warsaw Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in 1844 and one year later became the Warsaw Methodist Episcopal Church South (proslavery). The founding members were Enoch Kirby and his wife Delilah, Capt. James McDannell and his wife Arena, Dr. John T. Robinson and his wife Eliza, and Dr. Robinson’s mother, Mrs. Lydia Craig. The first minister was Larkin F. Price. The church held meetings in the homes of its members for several years. It was permitted to meet in the Warsaw Baptist Church during the 1850s. In 1867 the Methodist congregation in Warsaw rented the Missionary Baptist Church for one Sunday a month. Th is church building was the former Presbyterian Church, the first church building built in Warsaw. It stands across the street from the present Warsaw Methodist Church and now serves as the Second Consolidated Baptist Church. While the Methodists were holding meetings in the Missionary Baptist Church, a great revival took place, and ser vices led by Rev. T. B. Cook continued the entire winter. Rev. S. X. Hall and Rev. B. F. Bristow assisted Cook. The congregation grew to more than 200 members during the 1860s. In the 1870s, the congregation purchased from the City of Warsaw the church building that had been the first Warsaw Christian Church and was later used as a school. Remodeled and dedicated as the Warsaw Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1878, it was used until 1901, when it was razed so that a new structure could be built. The 1901 building committee consisted of S. P. Griffi n, J. H. McDannell, Hugh Montgomery, Rod Perry, and Dr. S. B. Robinson, and the pastor was Willard G. Cram. The building contract was awarded to two local brothers, Joseph and William Wilson. The new church was furnished with beautiful stained-glass windows and finished with oak walls and arched ceilings. The beautiful altar was crafted by Carl Hensen. The building, which cost around $7,000, was completely paid for by the time of its dedication on April 20, 1902. During World War I, the church continued to prosper even though many of its members left to participate in the war. In the late 1920s, the church saw strong growth; it had a large men’s Sunday school class and a Women’s Missionary Society. During the late 1940s, when a modern parsonage was needed, the land next to the church was purchased for that purpose. The 50th anniversary of the new church building was held on July 15, 1951, and the parsonage was dedicated. In the 1950s, during the construction of the Markland Dam, the church grew again. Seven new Sunday school rooms were added at this time. However, during the construction the south wall of the church collapsed, causing $10,000 in damage. A large stainedglass window was lost, and the piano suffered damage. While the church was being repaired, services were held in the courthouse and the school gymnasium. Today, this congregation remains in Warsaw at the corner of First and Main Sts., where it has been since 1878, in the present building, in use since 1901.
Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003.
WARSAW NEWSPAPERS. The first newspaper known to be published in Gallatin Co. was the Warsaw Patriot, printed by George Child and Asaph Kent. The first issue appeared on May 26, 1837. Exactly how long this paper was in print is unknown; however, there is mention of it in the minutes of the Warsaw town trustees in 1839. The Patriot was followed by the Warsaw Herald, which first appeared in October 1844. John Field was listed as proprietor and R. S. Yerkes as editor. The Mexican War (1847– 1848) was the news of note at that time. Joseph B. Ricker published the first issue of his Warsaw Weekly News on December 7, 1869; it lasted only three years. The Warsaw Record, with James M. Vanice as editor and publisher, followed in 1872. The second and third pages were printed using preset metal sheets of type, known as “boiler plate.” This is the first time the boiler-plate printing technique is known to have been used in Warsaw newspapers. During the later part of the 19th century, other newspapers were printed briefly in Gallatin Co.: the Sign of the Times, the Gallatin Times, and the Gallatin County Democrat. The Warsaw Independent began publishing in May 1880, with David B. Wallace as editor, and it became a county institution; Wallace remained at the helm for 27 years. For the three years ending in 1912, the Warsaw Leader, put out by brothers Samuel and Roy Clore, was a competitor of the Warsaw Independent. William Downtain, who was from West Virginia, and later Will S. Griffin became owner-editors of the Warsaw Independent in turn. After the death of Griffin, the newspaper was purchased by J. Barker Holcomb, a Warsaw native. It was published by the Pendery Brothers of Vevay, Ind., but they soon discontinued publication. Soon afterward, a new owner named Berkshire, of Burlington, began publication of the newspaper. E. M. Mansfield, the editor of the Carrollton Democrat, followed him as publisher. The date of the last issue of the Warsaw Independent is not known; the Gallatin Co. News, established in 1926, edited in Warsaw and still in operation, superseded it. Bickers, Russell. Interview by Denny Kelley-Warnick, March 17, 2006, Warsaw, Ky. Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003. Gray, Gypsy M. History of Gallatin County, Kentucky. Covington, Ky.: Self-published, 1968.
WARSAW WOMAN’S CLUB. The initial meeting of Warsaw’s Literary Society was held on Friday evening, October 27, 1899, at the residence of R. B. Brown and his wife Beall Summons Brown. There were 18 ladies and 4 men in attendance. The officers they elected were Miss Ona Brock, president; Mrs. H. T. Chambers, vice president; Dr. Lucy Montz,
treasurer; Mrs. R. B. Brown, secretary; and Miss Temple North, librarian. The group was later renamed the Warsaw Classical Club. They met in members’ homes as a study club on Monday evenings, “striving toward instruction as well as amusement.” A constitution was adopted, along with the motto “More Light.” As the club evolved into the Warsaw Woman’s Club, the programs expanded from literature to include gardening, parliamentary law, and history. The women sponsored luncheons, teas, dinners, flower shows, and art exhibits. From the start, there was a great sense of civic duty, as members paid for school lunches for needy children, purchased a piano for the school, paid for a sidewalk built there, and conducted a book drive for the school library. The club also donated to the Kentucky Children’s Home and to state and veterans’ hospitals, aided homeless women, and fought for the preservation of Cumberland Falls. The Warsaw Woman’s Club affiliated for several years with the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs but has been an independent club during most of its history. In 1961 Louise Chambers Corkran deeded to the trustees of the Woman’s Club her childhood home in Warsaw at 502 Sparta Pk. (now Main Cross) and its surrounding acre of land. The members deliberated accepting the gift, but a spirited appeal by trustee Sallie M. Brown persuaded the ladies to take over the house and to embark on the club’s first renovation project, restoring the house as its meeting place. To help raise funds for their many projects, club members operated a thrift store downtown. They also continued their civic involvement by leading the effort to have Warsaw designated a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and by spearheading the “Trees for Warsaw” initiative; they had previously beautified the U.S. 42 right-of-way and supplied public trash containers for the city. The club’s longest-continuing project has been the four-year college scholarship presented to a local high school graduate. In 1997 the club’s members formed the WWC Peak Corkran House Inc., a nonprofit corporation to ensure that the clubhouse could continue to be used for community purposes. And after generous contributions from families of past and current members provided matching funds for a restoration grant from the Kentucky Heritage Council, the house went through a second renovation and was prepared to serve as the site of the club’s centennial celebration on June 13, 1999. In 2005 the City of Warsaw leased the house to be used as a meeting place and a visitor’s center. The City plans to upgrade the house further, making it accessible to all of the community; the Woman’s Club continues to meet there. The Warsaw Woman’s Club is the second-longest-continuing organization in Warsaw, after the Masons.
WASHINGTON. Washington, a prominent town in frontier Kentucky, was the county seat of Mason Co. from 1788 until 1847. It was established on the buffalo trace near Lawrence Creek that came to be called the Maysville and Lexington Turnpike. The town was chartered by the Virginia legislature in 1786 and laid out by Arthur Fox Sr. and the Baptist minister William Wood, on part of 1,000 acres purchased from Simon Kenton. It is the first town west of the Appalachian Mountains named for George Washington. The original trustees were Daniel Boone, Edmund Byne, Miles Withers Conway, Arthur Fox, John Gutridge, William Lamb, Henry Lee, Robert Rankin, and Edward Waller. Three miles south of Limestone Landing on the Ohio River, Washington grew quickly on the cane lands that Kenton had found so desirable. The cane, often more than 10 feet tall, was easily cleared for farming and housing. Based on the first U.S. census, only Lexington was a larger city when Kentucky became a state. In 1790 Washington’s 462 residents, including only 21 slaves, lived in 119 houses. Most of the houses were made of large logs, and some of them still remain. A handful of the dwellings were built of brick and stone. In the last decade of the 18th and the first decades of the 19th century, Washington was the center of trade, education, and government for a large region. In 1797 there were 17 stores in town. Schools were started and attracted students and professors. Mann Butler, who later wrote a well-known history of Kentucky, was a teacher in Washington. From 1807 to 1812, the school started by Louisa Keats, the Ladies Domestic Academy, was the most respected in the area. Newspaper testimonials attracted students. The daughters of leading families attended the academy and became the wives of prominent men such as U.S. senator John J. Crittenden, secretary of state Peter Porter, and Ohio governor Duncan
Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003. Bogardus, Sue M. “History of the Warsaw Woman’s Club,” 1999, Gallatin Co. Free Public Library, Warsaw, Ky. Warsaw Independent, November 4, 1899.
Jacquelene P. Mylor
Mason Co. Courthouse, Washington, Ky.
McArthur. A later school, the Pillsbury School for Boys, closed when the headmaster, Josiah Pillsbury, joined the Confederacy. Washington was the hub of the mail distribution system for the Northwest Territory. Lewis Craig, the Baptist preacher and architect of Traveling Church fame, who led his Baptist congregation to Kentucky to escape religious persecution, was the builder of a grand two-story courthouse with a 25-foot tower. That building was destroyed by fire, but the keystone is preserved with the initials “L.C.” and the date, 1794. Row houses, the oldest standing in the county, were constructed in 1795. In 1798 a $1,000 lottery raised the funds to build a system of wells, the first public waterworks system in the West. In 1788 Dr. William Goforth established a medical practice at Washington that lasted for a decade. Goforth mentored Dr. Daniel Drake, who wrote a book on pioneer life and became a leading citizen of Cincinnati. In 1809 future president Zachary Taylor (1849–1850) was stationed in the town as a military recruiter. Capt. Thomas Marshall, brother of John Marshall, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was an Indian fighter and the first clerk of the Mason Co. Court. In the late 1700s, he built a large home named Federal Hill within sight of the courthouse on a hill near Washington. His famous brother was a visitor, and their parents lived in the house for the last years of their lives and were buried in a family plot near the home. Washington’s population grew to more than 800 by 1810. The first part of the 19th century was the high point for the town’s political and social prominence in the county. Limestone, by that time called Maysville, was increasingly the center of the area’s development. The importance of the Ohio River and the end of the Indian threat brought about Maysville’s growth in influence, population, and commercial importance. The Kentucky legislature debated for days in January 1847 whether Maysville should be named the county seat. Two votes had been held in the county, with slim majorities favoring such a move. The legislature actually voted against the move, but after Mason Co. representative Henry Waller worked to get another vote, the resolution making Maysville the county seat passed and was made official the next year by the legislature. However, Washington retained both local and national prominence after losing the county seat. In November 1830 the first macadamized, or paved, road in Kentucky and west of the Alleghenies was completed between Maysville and Washington. That same year President Andrew Jackson (1829–1837) vetoed the Maysville Road Bill, which would have provided federal support for completing the highway between Washington and Lexington. This legislation was embroiled in the national debate between the philosophy of Henry Clay’s American System and Jackson’s philosophy of limited federal government in favor of states’ rights. The veto stymied the growth of the region. Another national event connected to Washington that occurred in 1833 did not manifest itself until the 1850s. That year, Harriet Beecher visited her student Elizabeth Marshall Key at the Marshall
936 WASHINGTON, GEORGE, JR. Key home in Washington. The home was just a few doors away from the courthouse lawn, where slave auctions were held. Tradition holds that the sights Beecher witnessed on this visit, perhaps along with others, inspired some of the characters and scenes in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). The slave auction portrayed in Beecher’s chapter “Select Incident of Lawful Trade” mentions Washington and a slave auction before the “Court-house door.” On the local level, many fine homes were erected and large farms became prosperous in the community and its environs in the early 19th century. Along with the hundreds of log houses, such as that of founder Arthur Fox, which were the norm during the settlement period, brick and stone structures were built. In town they included the Marshall and the Marshall Key houses; the stone house of Dr. William Goforth; a brick building that housed one of the first banks in the state; the Taylor Brothers general merchandise store; the attorney James Paxton’s house; the Pillsbury and McMurdy schools; a hotel called Washington Hall, built to try to keep the county seat; a proslavery Methodist church built in 1848; and many others. Near town were the George Wood house, whose entire upper floor was an open area for entertaining; the home of the Revolutionary War general Henry Lee, called Clover Hill, which was built of oak with ash floors and cherry woodwork; and the Richard Durrett house, which was used as a location for the 1986 PBS (Public Broadcasting Ser vice) movie Huckleberry Finn. John Chambers, who became the territorial governor of Iowa in 1841, entertained future presidents William Henry Harrison (1841) and Ulysses S. Grant (1869–1877) and other dignitaries at his home called Cedar Hill, built in 1807. Woodburn, another stately home, completed in 1860, was one of the last built by slave labor in the county. These and many more fine old buildings are extant, but many other fine homes and buildings in Washington have been destroyed. Another Washington connection to the nation’s history was centered on a more modest clapboard house, the birthplace of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston. A West Point graduate, secretary of war in the Republic of Texas, and a shining star in the Confederate army, he was killed early in the Civil War at Shiloh. Gen. William “Bull” Nelson used the same clapboard house during the Civil War. Camp Nelson, just south of Lexington, a war time refuge for African Americans, is named for Nelson and is the site of a national cemetery. Mary Ward Holton, born in 1887 at Washington, became the most noteworthy press agent for the Broadway stage, representing such performers as Lynn Fontaine, Julie Harris, Leslie Howard, and Alfred Lunt between the 1930s and 1970. After the county seat moved, Washington remained an incorporated city until 1990, when it was annexed by its old rival Maysville. At the time of annexation, the fifth-class city of Washington had a population of 795, about the same as in 1810. The community built a substantial school in 1916 that was destroyed by fire in 1974. Over the years, Washington has been the site of a number of active churches, a post office, and businesses. A sewing
factory and the Maysville Community and Technical College, which opened in the late 1960s, were both large employers before the annexation. It was in the 1950s that historic preservation efforts at Washington began, when the county government made arrangements to take possession of the Johnston house. Several nonprofit organizations followed, and today the community has a number of buildings open to the public, including an original log cabin that serves as the visitor’s center, a museum dedicated to Simon Kenton, a church museum, the Johnston house, a log cabin that belonged to early settler George Mefford, and the Paxton House. There are numerous shops as well, and special festivals are held throughout the year, such as Frontier Christmas, one of the oldest and premier festivals in the state. Calvert, Jean, and John Klee. The Towns of Mason County: Their Past in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Maysville and Mason Co. Library Historical and Scientific Association, 1986. Clift, G. Glenn. History of Maysville and Mason County. Lexington, Ky.: Transylvania, 1936. “Historical Past—Present Still,” KP, January 1, 1973, 4K. Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992.
WASHINGTON, GEORGE, JR. (b. December 25, 1844, Newport, Ky.; d. August 23, 1905, Newport, Ky.). George Washington Jr., a lawyer and a politician, was the son of George and Martha Doxon Washington. His father was a native of Jefferson Co., Va., and a steamboat captain whose base of operation was Newport, Ky. George Washington Jr.’s great-great-grandfather was Samuel Washington, brother of President George Washington (1789–1797). George Jr. received his early education in Newport and Cincinnati. His father died when he was 12 years old, and at age 16 George Jr. joined the Confederate Army. He served for one year, before receiving a medical discharge for battle wounds. When he returned to Newport, he was not well received because of his Confederate affi liation. Discouraged, he moved to Memphis, Tenn., where he roomed with Thomas Hines, another former Confederate soldier. Hines later became a Kentucky Supreme Court justice. Washington studied law under Gen. Albert Pike and was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1866. He moved to Knoxville, Tenn., to begin a law practice and served as city attorney. In 1867 he married Jennie Ramsey, and they had seven children. Their daughter Bettie married John B. Taylor, son of James Taylor III and grandson of Gen. James Taylor Jr., founder of Newport. In 1881 Washington returned to Newport, where he entered into a law partnership with Robert W. Nelson. Washington was an excellent orator and was active in Democratic politics. In his only run for office, he narrowly lost the race for appellate court judge in 1894. Kentucky governor William O. Bradley (1895–1899) honored Washington by naming him a Kentucky Colonel in 1898. George Washington Jr. died in 1905 at age 60. His funeral ser vice was held at the Grace Meth-
odist Episcopal Church in Newport and was attended by hundreds. He was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. Perrin, W. H. Biographical Sketches from Kentucky Genealogy and Biography. Vol. 7. 1887. Reprint, Indianapolis: Researchers, 1993. Perrin, W. H., J. H. Battle, and G. C. Kniffi n. Kentucky: A History of the State. 7th ed. Louisville, Ky.: F. A. Battery, 1888. Purvis, Thomas L., ed. Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, Ky.: Otto Zimmerman, 1996.
WASHINGTON ARCHAEOLOGY. In 2005– 2006, an interdisciplinary archaeological investigation accompanied the City of Maysville’s use of a backhoe to lay PVC pipe in trenches that connected more than 70 properties currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The excavations were carried out to bury public utilities for the historic district of old Washington in Mason Co. Archaeologists monitored these machine excavations on behalf of the city, while studying the archival, architectural, and archaeological evidence for several generations of this important 18th–19thcentury town. From each of the 70-some properties investigated, the project recovered soil formation data, artifacts, and in many cases intact built features such as relict buildings, backfilled shafts, and buried pavements. Previous archaeological investigations at Washington include the Stallings & Ross-Stallings excavations in the backyard of the Albert Sidney Johnston House and preliminary survey excavations at 15 properties, conducted by Nancy O’Malley. Both previous investigations established that the soils of Washington retain evidence of buried architectural ruins and the midden (trash) deposits of early settlers and latter-day occupants, a conclusion confirmed by the 2005–2006 excavations. As expected, recovered artifacts include a huge sample of 18th- and 19th-century ceramics, glass, and iron; the ceramics and glass indicate that the frontier generation of settlers had fewer possessions than modern people and that most of their possessions were handmade. In contrast, the sheer volume of materials owned increases with industrialization and market access in the early 19th century. The surprise came in the high quality of the 18th-century “frontier” ceramics: creamware, tin-glazed earthenware, and Chinese export porcelain found next to long-stemmed clay tobacco pipe fragments. What made the investigations unique was the rare opportunity to examine both the private properties and the public infrastructure of an entire town. Washington retains deeply buried, wellcrafted urban public landscapes that are remarkable in their extent. Most of the town was built in what we would now call a wetland (the settlers called it a pasture). Already in the 1790s, the town required its citizens to assist in building flagstone sidewalks above the quagmire. The town today still has flagstone sidewalks, but the originals survive under the current surface, on the same align-
WASHINGTON OPERA HOUSE
ments. When Washington was at the height of its power in the first quarter of the 19th century, every street intersection was graced with pedestrian crosswalks composed of end-laid limestone, set across the slope, in a technique stonemasons call “surface drains.” The entire town was once laced with dry-laid stone drainage culverts, built in several styles, including box drains with huge limestone flags as lids, big enough for an excavator to crawl through. Taken together with the dry-laid stone fences typical of the Bluegrass, these fi ndings indicate that Washington at its height must have presented a manicured air of prosperity and civil order. But all those civic improvements were buried and forgotten, leaving only the buildings to tell the story. Washington has been subject to repeated Historic American Buildings Survey documentation ever since the 1930s and includes more than 90 properties recorded in the Kentucky Heritage Council’s historic resource inventory. Washington is one of the only towns left in trans-Appalachian America where the architecture of the frontier survives side-by-side with high-style textbook urban townhouse architecture of the Federal period. The cabins themselves are steeple-notched or halfdovetailed, often with a Tidewater chimney and solid-panel shutters, built on stone footers rising out of the wetland muck. For the Federal period, there are fanlights, Flemish bond brick masonry with corbelled cornices, multipane windows, and basement windows with wooden pegs instead of glass. Paneled rooms with clever cupboards and elaborate fireplaces also are intact. Conventional wisdom evokes an American frontier in which poor people wrested private property from the remote wilderness by the sweat of their brows. What the archival investigators found defies that conventional story of the frontier, while confirming the settlement models proposed by Richard C. Wade in his The Urban Frontier, as well as the burgeoning aristocracy on Kentucky’s frontier, as suggested by Craig T. Friend in Along the Maysville Road. In 1959 Wade suggested that the trans-Appalachian frontier was populated from new urban cores growing out into pacified hinterlands, reversing the mythic order of isolated homesteads growing into cities. Washington was built as such an urban core and could proudly claim that it was never subject to American Indian attack. Frontier settlers foolish or desperate enough to settle on land removed from Washington often fell victim to the attacks that feature so heavily in the Draper Manuscripts and other frontier accounts. In 2005 Friend proposed that yeomen were socially eclipsed by an aristocracy early in Mason Co.’s history. Most of the first settlers were either young male entrepreneurs with capital to invest or indigent families with nothing to lose. Already by 1779, improvement claims, then called “preemptions,” were illegal. Most of the pioneers on this frontier were tenants. By 1796, Washington had passed suff rage ordinances making the ownership of land prerequisite to voting privileges, at a time when most town residents were renters.
Eyewitness Harry Toulmin noted that in Mason Co. in 1793, the value of an estate of 100 acres could be doubled with one year’s labor in improvements. A tenant farmer in a single year could double the value of his landlord’s investment; hence, most tenants chose to continue moving West rather than settle here permanently. If their arrival and departure from the county fell in the interval between censuses, we will never know their names. However, we now have ample evidence for their landlord’s refined porcelain and a remarkable urban infrastructure supporting refined early Federal surroundings. Friend, Craig Thompson. Along the Maysville Road: The Early American Republic in the Trans-Appalachian West. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2005. Miller, Orloff. “Archaeological Investigations at Washington, for the City of Maysville’s Utility Burial Project, Mason County, Kentucky,” Orloff Miller Consulting, forthcoming. ———. “Archaeology of Washington, Mason County, Kentucky,” a lecture presented to the Central Ohio Valley Archaeological Society, April 19, 2007. O’Malley, Nancy. A New Village Called Washington. Maysville, Ky.: Old Washington Inc./McClanahan, 1987. Toulmin, Harry. The Western Country in 1793: Reports on Kentucky and Virginia. Ed. Marion Tinling and Godfrey Davies. Reprint, San Marino, Calif.: Henry E. Huntington Library, 1948. Wade, Richard C. The Urban Frontier: Pioneer Life in Early Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville, and St. Louis. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1959.
Orloff G. Miller
WASHINGTON BAPTIST CHURCH. This Washington, Ky., church, founded by Rev. William Wood, dates to 1785 and was one of the first churches in Northern Kentucky. Wood was a founder of Washington in addition to serving as the first preacher for the church; he also donated the land for the church building and the graveyard, which is still in use. In the cemetery are buried some of the pioneers of the area: family members of Albert Sidney Johnston, including his mother, Abigail; the early Presbyterian ministers Robert Wilson and Paradise Lost McAboy; and Arthur Fox Sr., the other primary founder of Washington. Also buried there are American Indians including a chief and his wives. Part of the graveyard was set aside for “strangers.” The Washington Baptist Church, which began as the Limestone Baptist Church, met in Limestone in 1785. Near there in 1788 Wood conducted some of the fi rst baptisms in this part of the state. Baptized in the Ohio River at this time were Mary Rose, Ann Turner, Elizabeth Washburne, John Wilcox, and Elizabeth Wood. It was reported that Indians watched from the north side of the river, along with a large crowd from Limestone. A log structure was built in Washington in 1788 on the grounds donated by Wood, and the name of the church was changed to Washington Baptist Church in 1792. Wood continued as pastor until 1798, when his land purchases caused confl ict with some members. It was in this
fi rst church and on its grounds that a series of debates was held in October 1823 between Alexander Campbell, representing the Baptists, and Rev. William McCalla, representing the Presbyterians. Thousands attended and both sides claimed to have won the debates. The Baptists hailed Campbell’s per for mance, but in 1830 he led a split of the Baptists by launching his Disciples of Christ movement. Rev. Gilbert Mason was the pastor at the Washington Baptist Church from the 1840s until 1856 and was at the center of a controversy that briefly separated the Washington Baptist Church from the Bracken Baptist Association, a group that the Washington church had been affi liated with since 1799. Although the fi rst church building was a sound structure, it was torn down in early 1871. The replacement church was destroyed by fi re in 1889 and was not rebuilt; the Washington Baptist Church ceased to exist. In 1980 an effort led by Rev. Ken Forman and the Bracken Association of Baptists resulted in rebuilding the church of logs, which stands today on the original site. It serves the community on special occasions. Collins, Richard H. History of Kentucky. Vol. 1. Covington, Ky.: Collins, 1882. Masters, Frank M. A History of Baptists in Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: Kentucky Baptist Historical Society, 1953. Reis, Jim. “Cemeteries,” KP, April 21, 1986, 4K.
WASHINGTON OPERA HOUSE. This elegant theater at 116 W. Second St. in Maysville was constructed in 1851, on the site of the former Old Blue Church (Presbyterian). It is the fift h-oldest theater of this sort in the United States. In 1898 the Opera House was gutted by fire, and the local Washington Fire Company rebuilt it, at a cost of $24,000. It was renamed the Washington Opera House in honor of the fire company. Over the years, many of the nation’s great performers graced the opera house’s stage: Tom Mix, John Phillips Sousa and his band, and John L. Sullivan. With convenient steamboat and, later, railroad connections, the Washington Opera House was an easy one-night-stand for acts traveling to and from Cincinnati. The building later became a movie house, owned by Falmouth mayor Max Goldberg. By the mid-1950s, the legend was well established that the house was haunted by a young girl named Mary, who supposedly had fallen through a trapdoor while performing in the building, broken her neck, and died. In 1962 the theater became home to the newly formed Maysville Players, a local theatrical group that opened its first season with the Thornton Wilder classic Our Town. Eventually, the Players acquired ownership of the building, and hundreds of plays have been staged there since. Today, the Maysville Players is the oldest group of its kind in the state. The Maysville Players raised $2.9 million for restoration of the theater, which included new heating and air-conditioning, restrooms, an elevator, new seats, floors, and sundry other improvements. The
938 WASHINGTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH restored theater reopened with a black-tie gala celebration on November 25, 2006. The Historic Washington Opera House. “Washington Opera House History.” www.maysvilleplayers.com (accessed August 18, 2007).
WASHINGTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. This church’s congregation held its first meeting in the home of Isaiah Keith on April 24, 1792, in Washington in Mason Co. Its first officers were Isaac Cannon, Edward Harris, Andrew Henderson, Isaiah Keith, and Dr. John P. Campbell, who as one of the eight early Presbyterian missionaries to the area helped organized the church. In 1790 Washington was the second-largest city in Kentucky (which was not a state until 1792). The minutes of Kentucky’s Transylvania Presbytery first mention the Presbyterian church at Washington in 1793. The church’s first regular pastor was another of the early missionaries, Rev. Robert Wilson, who was installed in 1799; he also helped establish churches in Augusta and Maysville. Also in 1799 the church was transferred to the Washington Presbytery. The Washington Presbyterian Church’s first building was built in 1806 of brick and had a high ceiling; it was furnished with high-backed pews. A cemetery near the church was later destroyed by road construction. In 1815 the church was transferred to the West Lexington Presbytery. The 1806 building was torn down in 1844, and a second building was erected at a cost of $2,500 that same year on the site just opposite the present Washington Presbyterian Church. It was of similar construction but had a gallery for black servants. After this structure was deemed unsafe and torn down in 1868, the third (present) building, a framed one-room building, was built in 1870–1871 for $4,000. In 1936 the Washington Presbyterian Church celebrated its 144th anniversary. Rev. William S. Smythe was its pastor, and the elders were David Rannells, who had conducted a classical school in the city for approximately 40 years, William Richey, and Isaiah Thompson. The church has a vibrant history of missionary work. Mary Wilson (daughter of Robert Wilson) married Rev. Lorin Andrews, and the couple served as missionaries in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in late 1827. The church also had several sewing societies and ladies aid societies. The Ladies Missionary Society was organized as early as 1886. The First Mission Study Class distributed pigs to collect money for the Leper Fund and also sent boxes of bedclothes and clothing to mountain schools. Allen, James S., and Ruth R. “The Church with Its Cherished Memories since 1792 Organized in 1796,” 1972, Washington Presbyterian Church, Washington, Ky. Green, Thomas M. ed., Weekly Maysville Eagle, December 27, 1871.
WASHINGTON TRACE RD. A trace is a path or trail, usually of trampled vegetation, inadver-
tently left by animals or human beings as they travel from one place to another. In early historic times, numerous traces were made by animals such as bears or migrating bison (see Buffalo Traces). Many of our modern highways follow early bison traces. There were also trails or traces left intentionally by pioneers and explorers such as Daniel Boone, who marked his Wilderness Road by notching trees along the way. Washington Trace in Campbell, Bracken, and Mason counties is a road that roughly follows a trail left by early settlers traveling from Northern Kentucky toward the town of Washington in Mason Co., just outside Maysville. In the early days, the trace evidently began where today’s Four Mile Rd. and Fender Rd. intersect in Campbell Co. From there it went out Fender Rd. to Four and Twelve Mile Rd., then to Twelve Mile Rd., and then to today’s Washington Trace. The trace then meandered southeast through the towns of Carthage and Flagg Springs, where it began to follow present-day Ky. Rt. 10. It went through the towns of Peach Grove, Brooksville, Powersville, and Germantown, and when it neared Maysville, it followed for several miles present-day U.S. 68, going toward Blue Licks. The trace ended at Simon Kenton’s block house in Washington. Many noted Northern Kentucky people lived along the trace. William Kennedy and his son James built a log cabin at Flagg Springs in 1789, from which they surveyed much of northern and eastern Campbell Co. They were also buried near the trace. Elijah Herndon built a home for his family there in 1818, and the structure still stands today. His daughter Demarius Herndon White and her husband, Joseph Jasper White, raised their family at Carthage, on the trace. Demarius wrote an interesting diary from 1879 to 1883 about her everyday life there. Early preacher and builder James Monroe Jolly built at least two churches along the trace and was the pastor of the one at Flagg Springs. Absolom Columbus Dicken lived most of his life near the trace and referred to it in his Civil War diary. The executed Confederate Civil War veteran William Francis Corbin lived along the trace and was buried on his farm beside this historic road. The land along Washington Trace today remains relatively undeveloped. Wessling, Jack. Early History of Campbell County, Kentucky. Alexandria, Ky.: Privately published, 1997.
WASHINGTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. The church currently known as the Washington United Methodist Church was the second Methodist church established in Kentucky and has been a constant religious presence in Mason Co. since its organization in 1786. Thomas and Sarah Stevenson, settlers from Maryland, sponsored the Methodist church at Washington. Lewis Collin’s History of Kentucky notes that the Stevensons were on the second flatboat down the Ohio River, landing at Limestone Landing in present-day Mason Co.; the earlier settlers of the
area had come by canoe. While living at nearby Kenton’s Station in 1786, the Stevensons entertained Rev. Benjamin Ogden, a Methodist preacher. In that same year they built a cabin near Washington, Ky.; Ogden returned with his church elder, James Haw, and the church now named the Washington United Methodist Church was established. From this beginning until 1818, circuitriding preachers ministered to local Methodists in the courthouse, in homes, and even in the local jail. The first log church, built in 1818, was replaced in 1826 by a stone church located in town on the corner of Main and York Sts. The Methodist Episcopal Church, as this church was known at the time, prospered until the issue of slavery split the Methodists nationally in 1845. The Washington Church reorganized as the Washington Methodist Episcopal Church South, and a new church building was built in 1848. That building served the congregation for more than a century. It was sold in 1969 and now houses an interdenominational church museum that is open to the public. By 1939 the local church had shortened its name to the Washington Methodist Church. Several pastors of note served the church around the turn of the century. Rev. Urban Valentine William Darlington served from 1896 to 1900 and later became bishop of the Kentucky Methodist Conference. Rev. J. J. Dickey was pastor at the Washington Methodist Church in 1902, 20 years after he had gone to Jackson, Ky., while a Presbyterian and organized Jackson Academy (later Lees College, and now part of the Hazard Community and Technical College) there. In 1899 a parsonage was purchased in Washington on Main St., but a new parsonage was built behind the church in 1955. During the pastorate of R. C. Mynear, in 1966, a decision was made to build a new church building. Land was purchased from an estate known as Cedar Hill, and the new church was dedicated on October 19, 1969, with Bishop Roy Short and the church’s new pastor, Jackson Brewer, on hand. The year before, several groups had united nationally to form the United Methodist Church, so the church in Washington became the Washington United Methodist Church. The church building sustained heavy damage in January 1975 as a result of arson, but the damage was repaired and the church reopened that August. “Arson Destroys Church,” KP, January 22, 1975, 1K. Collection of the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville, Ky. Collins, Richard H. History of Kentucky. Vol. 1. Covington, Ky.: Collins, 1882. “To Rebuild Gutted Church,” KP, January 24, 1975, 4K.
WASTE DISPOSAL. Northern Kentucky was no more advanced in its early methods of waste disposal than the rest of the nation. Depending upon where people lived in Northern Kentucky, their trash was dumped in privies or local sinkholes, thrown in nearby rivers and streams, burned, or put in open dumps. Many in rural areas relied on the barrel and the match or disposed of trash on
WATERS, ROBERT L., JR., “BOB”
their own farm, while most city residents had someone dump it for them. In some cases, waste was thrown to hogs for forage. Some dumps burned the trash in favorable winds to minimize litter, odor, and vermin. For many years, each Northern Kentucky city had its own landfi ll, within its boundaries. Taylor’s Bottoms, along each side of Taylor’s Creek between Bellevue and Newport, served that purpose for those two cities; in Covington there were dumps along Crescent Ave. at Second St., farther south where present-day Meinken Field is, and along Banklick Creek (see Banklick Creek and Watershed). Fort Thomas had a similar facility along River Rd. behind the Fort Thomas Military Reservation. At many of these sites, large incinerators with tall smokestacks eventually were built. Such locations were eyesores for neighbors and smelled bad; today many of them are beneath public athletic fields. The centralization of the waste industry began when people started relying on haulers to collect their waste and dump it at an open dump. Although the smaller dumps went unrecorded, the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet documented the larger dumps during the promulgation of Kentucky House Bill 174 and inventoried the unpermitted, inactive, and uncapped landfills throughout the state. According to the list, Northern Kentucky has 36 uncapped, inactive landfills: 2 are in Boone Co., 10 in Campbell, 1 in Gallatin, 7 in Grant, and 16 in Kenton. Nearly all solid wastes in Northern Kentucky are collected and taken to one of these four landfi ll facilities: a landfi ll run by Bavarian Trucking Company Inc., in Boone Co.; CSI (owned by Republic Ser vices Inc.), in Grant Co.; or one of the landfi lls owned by Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc. in Colerain Township, Ohio, and Pendleton Co., Ky. The Bavarian Trucking Company Inc. began operating its landfi ll west of Walton in Boone Co. in 1974. In 1995 Bavarian became the third wastedisposal firm in Kentucky to meet the new composite liner design standards, and in 2003 its landfi ll was the first in the state that used landfi ll gas to generate electricity. Bavarian now operates or controls approximately 600 acres at this site and employs approximately 100 people in Northern Kentucky. Contiguous with the Bavarian Trucking Company Inc. landfill is a closed site that was originally operated by K&O Sanitation and later purchased by Northern Kentucky Sanitation. In 1967 access to the facility was cut off by the construction of I-71 through Stephenson Mill Rd., and the facility was closed. Northern Kentucky Sanitation later reopened the landfill at the end of McCoy Fork Rd., directly across I-71. In 1973 Browning Ferris Industries (BFI) bought Northern Kentucky Sanitation’s landfill and operated the facility. From 1974 to approximately 1980, Bavarian and BFI operated the two landfills adjacent to each other. In a rare occurrence in the annals of the waste industry, Bavarian purchased BFI’s property when it ceased all operations at the site. BFI’s landfill was sold to Vienna Woods Inc., which capped and closed the facility.
The Epperson Landfi ll, owned by Republic Services Inc., is located off Cynthiana St., just outside the city limits of Williamstown in Grant Co. The landfi ll was started in 1968 by Hade Epperson, a Grant Co. resident who had been collecting garbage in the county since the 1950s. When he died in 1978, his son Freddie, then age 36, took over the operation. In 1991 Kentucky adopted stringent environmental regulations, dramatically increasing the cost of landfi ll operation. That year, Freddie Epperson sold the landfi ll to Addington Environmental, based in Lexington. The following year, the Epperson Landfi ll became the first facility in Kentucky to be permitted under the state’s new composite liner design standards. In 1996 Addington was merged into Republic Ser vices Inc., the third-largest waste company in the nation. Republic continued to operate the landfi ll, which accepts waste from Northern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio. Rumpke’s Pendleton Co. Landfi ll, six miles north of Falmouth, began operations in 1972. Rumpke purchased the site in 1980. The facility consists of approximately 650 acres, and all of the area except for the 148 permitted acres serves as buffer. Todd Rumpke, regional vice president, manages the facility, which has approximately 120 employees. The landfi ll is permitted to receive municipal solid waste and construction demolition debris. The Pendleton Co. Landfi ll is part of Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc., which is headquartered in Colerain Township, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati. Rumpke’s operation was founded in 1932 by brothers William F. Rumpke and Bernard Rumpke. Their sons, cousins William J. Rumpke Sr. and Thomas B. Rumpke, expanded the business and extended Rumpke’s ser vice area into Northern Kentucky. Currently, Rumpke employs 2,300 people throughout Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Bavarian Waste Ser vice. www.bavarianwaste.com (accessed December 20, 2006). Rumpke. www.rumpke.com (accessed December 20, 2006).
WATERS, ROBERT L., JR., “BOB” (b. November 9, 1922, Covington, Ky.; d. January 6, 2006, Independence, Ky.). Guitarist Bob Waters and the Paradise Islanders hosted the renowned Hawaiian Luau and dinner show at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel at the Sharonville, Ohio, exit off I-75 every Saturday night for more than 20 years during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, performing two shows each night. Robert L. Waters Jr. was the son of a Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad engineer, Robert L. Waters Sr., who in turn, was the son of a steamboat pi lot. Robert Jr.’s mother was Jessie C. Duval. Young Robert relinquished the family transportation career tradition in favor of his first love, music, Hawaiian music in par ticu lar. Growing up along Scott St. in Covington, he, like so many other Covington boys, became heavily involved with Daniel Beard’s Sons of Daniel Boone, better known as the Boy Scouts of America, and achieved the rank
of Life Scout. Bob began playing the guitar as a young teen, being mostly self-taught. The Troop 17 Hot Shots was the name of his Boy Scout band. He graduated from Holmes High School in Covington in 1942 and studied voice for a time. His instructors encouraged him to pursue an opera career, but after weighing the time and effort required to be a successful opera singer, he opted to dedicate all that energy to what he truly loved, playing guitar in a band. Waters had a keen interest in Hawaiian music early on, in his preteen years. While on a visit to Los Angeles in 1941, he met Mamo Clark, the Hawaiianborn actress who graduated from the University of Southern California and starred opposite Clark Gable in Mutiny on the Bounty. That experience only sharpened his interest in Hawaiian culture and music. Then, while serving in the U.S. Marines during World War II, Bob was stationed in Samoa in the South Pacific during 1942–1943. The Samoans and the Hawaiians, who share common ancestors, have similar dialects and musical traditions. It was there that he put together a band with some locals and entertained the Marines on the base. Through his music he developed friendships with members of a native Samoan tribe, studied their customs and language, and perfected his music. The tribe’s chief became very fond of Waters. He adopted him as a son and gave him the name Pulevai, which Waters carried and used for the rest of his life. Pule meant “great speaker or talker” and vai, Samoan for “water,” was Waters’s Samoan surname. He eventually learned to speak the Samoan language fluently, along with several other South Pacific dialects. Bob “Pulevai” Waters had his own Hawaiian band from that time forth. He played with and studied under many of the Hawaiian music greats after the war, both in the Islands and stateside. He was well known and respected in Hawaiian music circles and became a very close friend of Jerry Byrd of Lima, Ohio, said to be the most recognized Hawaiian steel guitar player of all times. Byrd played country steel guitar and was featured on Cincinnati television station WLW’s Midwestern Hayride for many years. Waters accompanied Byrd to the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association (HGSA) conventions in Joliet, Ill., every October, to play backup for Byrd’s clinics, demonstrations, and competition. Each May they traveled to Hawaii to play with the best bands performing there, and each July they attended the week-long Aloha International meetings in Winchester, Ind. Together, they amassed an impressive collection of HSGA awards to augment their professional reputations. Julia K. Puou Waters, Bob’s wife of 45 years, played the ukulele and performed as a dancer and singer in the Paradise Islanders alongside him for their entire careers. A native of the Big Island of Hawaii, Julia had served as a lady U.S. Marine from 1954 to 1957. When she was discharged, she came to Cincinnati with a Marine girlfriend for a visit. There, at a local Hawaiian Club get-together, she met Waters. She sat in with the Hawaiian music band that night, eventually replaced one of the two
940 WATKINS, SIMON J. female dancers in the group, played the ukulele, and later married Waters. Bob and Julia Waters both retired from the Paradise Islanders in 1986. Bob died in early 2006 at St. Elizabeth Medical Center South and was buried at Floral Hills Cemetery in Taylor Mill. Julia continues to live in their home in Independence. The musical legacy Bob Waters left was unique. He established, nurtured, and propagated the Hawaiian entertainment tradition and venue in the Greater Cincinnati area. Even after he retired, his band continued to perform, helping to seal his musical legacy. Hicks, Jack. “He Brought Hawaiian Music Home,” KP, July 15, 1994, 1K. “Robert L. Waters,” KP, January 9, 2006, A8.
WATKINS, SIMON J. (b. February 1868, Courtland, Ala.; d. November 6, 1948, Covington, Ky.). Simon J. Watkins, the son of Anderson and Mary Watkins, was the first African American physician in Covington. He was a physician, a surgeon, and a dentist. Watkins attended Tennessee A&I State College and the Meharry Medical School, both in Nashville, Tenn., receiving his degree in dentistry in 1888 and a degree in medicine in 1889. He served on the Meharry Medical School faculty until 1891. Later that year, he moved to Covington to begin his medical practice. He married a woman from Covington, Rosa A. Moore, on January 12, 1893. In 1894 Watkins’s office was located at 429 Scott St. in Covington. Four years later he moved his office to 113 E. Ninth St. in Covington, where he maintained his practice until retiring in 1946. Watkins was appointed to the state Interracial Committee and was named a sanitary officer in Covington by the state Medical Board. In May 1912 he organized the state Medical Society of Colored Physicians, Surgeons, Dentists, and Pharmacists at a meeting in Covington. Watkins was a member of Lane Chapel C.M.E. Church. In March 1895, he gave the welcome talk to the Mount Sterling District Conference of Colored Methodists meeting in Covington. He also served as a delegate to the Christian (Colored) Methodist Episcopal conference for three consecutive years. He was actively involved in the local Republican Party. Watkins died at his home in 1948 and was buried at Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington. His daughter Anna Mae Jones operated the C. E. Jones funeral home after the death of her husband, Charles E. Jones. “Colored Conference,” KP, March 4, 1895, 5. “Colored Medical Men Meeting in Covington,” KP, May 10, 1912, 11. Dabney, W. P. Cincinnati’s Colored Citizens. Cincinnati: Dabney, 1926. Reis, Jim. “Historic Lane Chapel,” KP, March 4, 1996, 4K.
Theodore H. H. Harris
WCKY. As radio became increasingly popu lar during the late 1920s, Kentucky had only three radio stations, WHAS and WLAP at Louisville and
WFIW at Hopkinsville. Two businessmen in Covington, Maurice L. Galvin and L. B. Wilson, realized that a local station would be a valuable asset not only for entertainment but also, and more importantly, to promote the business and growth of the city. In 1929 the Federal Radio Commission made an allotment for two additional stations in Kentucky, the first a 1,000-watt transmitter that would be shared with other stations, and the second a 5,000-watt transmitter located at 1480 KHz. U.S. senator Frederic Sackett was contacted, and he immediately went to work to investigate whether a station could be added in Northern Kentucky. After preliminary negotiations between the Federal Radio Commission and Senator Sackett, L. B. Wilson completed and filed an application on February 5. The application required that some preliminary plans for the station be made; one item was the location of the transmitting plant. At the time, because Cincinnati radio station WLW had built a new transmitter at Mason, Ohio, its old broadcasting plant at Harrison, Ohio, was available for purchase. So the original application included the plan to purchase the plant at Harrison. On February 6 the Federal Radio Commission granted the permit for the station. The permit was later amended to place construction of the transmitter in Kentucky, specifying that totally new equipment would be used. In April 1929 the new corporation purchased RCA Victor equipment that duplicated the latest used by station WHAS in Louisville. Radio station engineers were asked to begin locating a site for the transmitter, and later in the year, a farm belonging to the Walton family, in Villa Hills, overlooking the Ohio Valley, was chosen. Engineers began testing and found that a very strong signal could be transmitted as far away as Louisville. The new station’s offices and studio were located in the Peoples Bank (now US Bank) building at Sixth St. and Madison Ave. in Covington. By September the dream to begin broadcasting had been realized and ground testing began. On September 16, 1929, at 7:45 p.m., the station opened with a 15-minute dedication ceremony from the Crystal Room at the Music Hall in Cincinnati, coordinated with the fift h annual radio dealers’ show also being held there. The National Broadcasting Company, the Kentucky Post, and the Cincinnati Post presented several programs that day, which were followed by an announcement by Kentucky governor Flem D. Sampson (1927–1931). In 1937 WCKY increased its power to 10,000 watts; in August 1939 the station switched its affi liation from the National Broadcasting System to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and at the same time increased transmitting power to 50,000 watts. At the same time, L. B. Wilson moved the studios from Covington to the Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati. The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement Treaty of 1941 caused considerable shuffling of stations and expanded the AM dial to 1600 KHz. WCKY was subsequently moved up the dial to 1530 KHz. In 1945 the station dropped its CBS affi liation to become independent. Between 1946 and 1964, WCKY featured an
all-night country music disk-jockey program that had a nationwide following. L. B. Wilson died in 1954, but WCKY continued as an L. B. Wilson station for another 15 years. In 1961 the station adopted the Mutual Broadcasting System network, and in 1963 the station’s affi liation was changed to the American Broadcasting Company. The station thus is the only one in the region that has been affi liated with all four major radio networks. In 1969 the estate of L. B. Wilson sold WCKY to Post Newsweek Broadcasting, and a country music format was retained for several years before changing to a news/talk format, competing with stations WKRC and WLW locally. WCKY was later sold to Jacor Communications; changing its call letters, it became WSAI “Real Oldies” at AM 1530 and featured the top 40 hits of the 1950s and 1960s. Although that programming was very popu lar, the owners switched back to a talk format and resumed using call sign WCKY in 2005. On July 7, 2006, WCKY again modified programming, now to a sports talk format, and became “WCKY 1530 Homer the Sports Animal.” The studios are now located, along with other Clear Channel stations, in the Towers of Kenwood building in Sycamore Township in Ohio. At night the station can normally be heard as far away as Chicago, Miami, Detroit, and Wichita. The call letters WCKY signify, by the W, a radio station east of the Mississippi River; CKY stands for Covington, Ky. Brinkmoeller, Tom. “WCKY Radio Breezes Past HalfCentury Mark,” CE, October 21, 1979, F6. Hannaford, R. Clarke. “Merchandising Important Factor in Radio,” Broadcasting Magazine, August 15, 1933, 21. “Inaugural Edition Radio Broadcasting Station WCKY,” KP, September 15, 1929, special sec., 1–15. “One Station Is Due Kentucky,” KP, February 6, 1929, 1.
John E. Leming Jr.
WCVG. Covington-based AM radio station WCVG dates to 1965, when Irving Swartz, manager and president of the Kenton Broadcasters (WCLU Broadcasting), served as the new station’s general manager. The station went on the air under the call name of WCLU, with a daytime power of 500 watts; it was located at 1320 kHz on the broadcast band. WCLU began as a country music provider, featuring “Modern Country” music. The station soon moved its broadcasting studio to Milford, Ohio, but the transmitter remained behind the Latonia Plaza Shopping Center in Covington. In 1981 WCLU changed to a rock-and-roll music format and then in the mid-1980s to a contemporaryhit-music style. Swartz was one of the first to utilize a computerized method of selecting songs for airplay. In 1987 Swartz sold the station to Richard Plessinger, and the call letters changed to WCVG. In 1987 WCVG switched to a contemporary country format, which did not last long; the station became the nation’s first “All Elvis” station late in that same year. In 1988 it became an affi liate of the Business Radio Network, going to 24 hours of business news and talk. In 1992 the station moved its broadcast studio back to its transmitter site in Latonia and returned to country
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
music and sports talk as a format. WCVG served the Northern Kentucky sports community with heavy coverage of high school sports and also aired Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More College sports. Former Mr. Kentucky Basketball (1978), Holmes High School standout Doug Schloemer, has served as a sports announcer for the station. On July 16, 2006, WCVG was purchased for $1.9 million by the Davidson Media Group and became a Spanish-language station. Over the years, the station has struggled to find its market niche, as reflected by its many formatting changes. Nash, Francis M. Towers over Kentucky: A History of Radio and TV in the Bluegrass State. Lexington, Ky.: Host Communications, 1995. Wikipedia. “WCVG.” www.wikipedia.org (accessed February 14, 2007). Williams, Tom. “Radio Station Alters Format again as Country Music Replaces Business News,” KP, January 23, 1992, 12A.
WCVN/KET. WCVN television, Channel 54 on the UHF band, is Northern Kentucky’s link to the statewide KET (Kentucky Educational Television). WCVN began broadcasting from its 300-foot tower in Taylor Mill on September 17, 1969, after several months of delays. This local outlet for public television, PBS (Public Broadcasting Ser vice), brings to Northern Kentucky programs from the PBS national network and local programming from KET production facilities in Lexington and Louisville. During the early part of the academic day, instruction in various subjects is supplied to classrooms in schools across the state; in the evening, national broadcasts are sent over the airwaves. This programming would not be available if not for the existence of sponsor-free, public educational television. Locally, WCVN has one of about 15 transmitters in the KET network, spread across the state and fed by a microwave system that emanates from the KET headquarters on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. There is no studio for local production of broadcasts at the tower site. During spring 2007, KET aired its own production of Where the River Bends, narrated by Nick Clooney. An almost three-hour-long presentation on the history of the Northern Kentucky region, it was well-received and resulted in KET’s most successful one-night fundraising effort in the network’s history. “Blame Bad Weather for ETV Station Delays,” KP, May 12, 1969, 6K. “Covington’s ETV Is Near Start,” KP, March 4, 1969, 6K. “Getting Ready for ‘Higher Education,’ ” KP, May 12, 1969, 1K. “Our Educational TV Is On—‘People Know We’re Here?’ ” KP, September 17, 1969, 1K. Reis, Jim. “Northern Kentucky’s Quest for TV,” KP, May 8, 1989, 4K.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE. Northern Kentucky is centrally located within the Ohio River Valley, at an elevation range of 425 to 1,000 feet above sea level. Geographically, this region is re-
ferred to as the Outer Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. Northern Kentucky experiences a vast array of weather conditions over the course of a year. Globally, nationally, and regionally, its location within the midlatitudes of the United States plays an integral part in the various storm tracks that move in and out on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. Northern Kentucky is located in a transition zone between two climates, Humid Continental to its north and Humid Subtropical to its south. Climatologically, Northern Kentucky is on the southern rim of a continental polar air mass (colder, drier, and more stable air) while hugging the northern fringe of a maritime tropical air mass (warm, moist, and more unstable air). This air-mass battleground can create some wicked weather extremes: large snowfall totals locally or very little snow in the winter months, flooding rains or widespread droughts, large heat spells or vast cold spells. The area can also receive decaying tropical storms in late autumn. It is where these extreme weather events collide and shift seasonally or annually, defining an eventual long-term climate for this territory. Northern Kentucky’s position within the midlatitudes, its distance from major bodies of water (the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Great Lakes), and its topography have created a certain annual “climate control” specified for this region. The “climate control” has helped to shape the “averages” or “normals,” values that are used daily by local forecasters, farmers, and the general public as a guide to what the weather should be, dependent upon the time of the year or for a certain growing season. The numerical averages of precipitation and temperatures are the largest factors observed and have been roughly recorded for close to two centuries, beginning in the 1830s. These daily logbooks have helped to establish a better understanding of the region’s weather annually. Evolutionary factors such as urban sprawl, decreasing farmland, natural growth, manmade products, and congestion all have had some direct impact on today’s climate status. However, average temperatures and precipitation referred to now are based only on the most recent span of 30 years. The frame of reference is the environment that sur-
rounds Northern Kentucky currently, rather than the setting of the region 180 years ago. The following is a sampling of the most current 30-year averages, documented from one data-point setting in Boone Co. (the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, 1971–2000): Annual average precipitation: 42.60 inches Annual average snowfall: 23.7 inches Annual average high temperature: 64.0 degrees Annual average low temperature: 44.3 degrees Annual average mean temperature: 54.2 degrees This kind of data is a yearly representation for the entire Northern Kentucky region and is used as the basis for all counties within the Northern Kentucky region. The 30-year averages would likely vary from county to county due to their proximity and topography, but the averages listed serve as the standard for all counties within this localized area. Spring: Meteorological Season March 1 to May 31 Spring begins the growing season for most local farmers, but this season is also known for its severe thunderstorms and massive floods. The transitional period from early March to late May can be a volatile one locally, with huge temperature swings from clashing and retreating air masses. The slow creep from winters’s past can still unleash lateseason snows and early spring tornadoes. Of all seasonal variations, spring in Northern Kentucky appears to be the most violent historically. Some of the greatest documented tornadoes in the region have occurred within this three-month time frame. Late-season snows, copious rains, and massive snowmelt rank March through May high for significant flooding along the Ohio River and its tributaries (see Flood of 1884; Flood of 1907; Floods of 1913; Flood of 1937; Flood of 1964, Licking River; Flood of 1997, Licking River). Historical data shows that 6 of the 10 greatest floods for this area occurred in the early spring months of March and April. As the days get longer with increased sunlight and milder with higher temperatures, spring flooding becomes less likely
SPRING METEOROLOGICAL SEASON
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13.0 inches 9.80 inches
942 WEATHER AND CLIMATE along the Ohio River. It is around this time of the year that the melted snows have finally pushed downstream and that the average last spring freeze occurs (on April 21), a true sign that the growing season has begun.
SUMMER METEOROLOGICAL SEASON
Summer: Meteorological Season June 1 to August 31 Typically, the progression from spring into summer is a gradual one in this region. The month of June averages a robust rainfall total at 4.42 inches, placing it second only to May for annual precipitation totals, while the average daily high temperatures rise by 14 degrees from May 1 to June 30. Eventually, the summer’s heat is felt by the last week of June and continues through late August. As the prevailing summertime winds turn southwesterly, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico becomes more prevalent. This regime of air not only makes for hotter days but also more humid ones. Daily storms become less common during this period as cooler air retreats north and upper-level winds relax, keeping most frontal boundaries with more organized thunderstorms concentrated across the Great Lakes region. The typical storm activity during this sixto-eight-week period is more limited and localized, but collectively July and August deliver an average rainfall total of 7.54 inches. Excessively hot periods are documented for this region, especially in July. Most recent is the record heat occurring in 1988, which set eight new record high temperatures during the weeks of late June through August. Locally and nationally, the summer of 1988 was devastating in relation to heat and drought. Some 7,500 heat-related deaths occurred, mainly across the eastern United States, along with an estimated $61.6 billion in drought damage and aid. In 1944 an additional eight days of record heat were observed locally from late June through August. In the intensely hot summer of 1953, 51 days of 90-degree temperatures or greater were experienced, the most in more than 60 years; on average, Northern Kentucky’s summer months produce only 18 90-degree days. Historically, the years 1934 and 1936 stand out in terms of record heat and drought. The all-time record high temperature fell in the year of 1934, with a blistering 109 degrees on July 21. Seven record highs were recorded in 1934, five of them at or exceeding 100 degrees. The summer of 1934 may have held the hottest day in historical data, but 1936 was also extremely harsh. Eleven new record highs were set in the summer of 1936, all exceeding 100 degrees. Within the week of July 10, six days topped 100 degrees, and all were set as new records, which remain today. These two years represent extreme heat locally and drought conditions that also affected the “breadbasket” of the nation to the west. The Dust Bowl Years, which included 1934 and 1936, lasted for close to a decade in some parts of the country. Autumn: Meteorological Season September 1 to November 30 Autumn in the Ohio River Valley is a rather tranquil season. Dry, warm days followed by clear, cool nights are the common theme from late September
Warmest monthly temperature
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through early November. Although cold winter air begins building in southern Canada around this time, it is usually trapped across the northern United States and pushed east by the polar jet stream. Also in the autumn, tropical air begins to retreat slowly to the Gulf of Mexico. This places Northern Kentucky between two very active storm tracks, the polar jet stream and the subtropical jet stream. Meteorologically, it is termed a split-flow, and it keeps the weather somewhat quiet in this region for a span of about six weeks. With the exception of a dying tropical system that may be pulled north, rainfall is quite limited, making these three months the driest of the year. It is also around this time that autumn foliage brings a brilliant spread of colors, with peak colors arriving by mid-to-late October. This timing coincides properly with the average first frost of the season, expected around October 13. A second severe-weather season is possible during the late autumn. Although storms are not as frequent as in the spring months, isolated severe outbreaks are somewhat common. Periodically, colder blocks of air will begin their surge southward and create some rough and dangerous weather conditions locally. Large temperature swings and contrasts during this transitional period should be noted. Many local forecasters have not overlooked the tornado potential during this time of the year. Although less common in autumn, tornadoes have spawned in this region just before the first snows of the winter hit the ground.
November brings with it the first true signs of winter and its snow potential. Average first trace of snowfall: November 7 Average first .10 inch of snowfall: November 21 Average first 1 inch of snowfall: November 28 Winter: Meteorological Season December 1 to February 28 When compared nationally, the winter months in Northern Kentucky are considered mild. Historically, there have been some exceptions, but big snowy periods and extreme cold spells are truly rare during these months and usually last only for a week to 10 days. For the most part, the winter season is the cloudiest of the year, and frequent passing snow showers or wintry mixes of rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain eventually mount to an average snow total of 23.7 inches. January is the snowiest month on average at 7.9 inches. Prevailing winds during this period are from the northwest, with cold-spell intervals followed by brief periods of sunny and milder days. Data indicates record high temperatures for these months ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. This illustrates just how mild winters can be locally. Ironically, the month of January, which may be considered the “dead of winter,” posted one of the warmest temperatures of the season in 1950: 74 degrees on January 25. However, the month of January also posted the coldest temperature of all time: −25
FALL METEOROLOGICAL SEASON
Warmest monthly temperature
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Average mean temperature
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Heaviest monthly snowfall Heaviest one-day snow total
0.00 inches 0.00 inches
6.20 inches 5.90 inches
12.10 inches 8.70 inches
WEATHERBY, DENNIS W.
degrees on January 18, 1977 (see Blizzards and Severe Winter Weather). Storm tracks are critical to how much snow falls during an event within this area. Clippers screaming out of southern Canada can provide brief but intense snows ranging from 2 to 4 inches followed by breezy, colder days as winds rush in from a northwesterly direction. Bigger snows actually come from the southwest, predominantly spawned in the state of Texas. Deep low-pressure systems dig south out of the Rocky Mountains, then eject northeasterly. Gulf of Mexico moisture surging out ahead of the approaching storms creates a great setup for larger snowfall totals. Lake Michigan and Lake Erie provide enhanced lake-effect snows in northern parts of Indiana and Ohio, but in most cases that moisture is limited and those winds are not strong enough to push heavy totals as far south as Northern Kentucky. Some of the most memorable severe-weather events for an entire year have occurred during this three-month cycle. Two that stand out the most are the blizzard of 1978 and the flood of 1937. The blizzard of 1978, which occurred during January, is a memorable one for most people. Its impact was felt not only locally but regionally, affecting several states during a two-day span and beyond. An estimated 7 inches of snow was recorded in Northern Kentucky within a 48-hour period, but this total did not come near to the heaviest snowfalls for the area during a 24-hour period: 12.8 inches January 6–7, 1996; 12.6 inches February 4–5, 1998; 11.0 inches December 8, 1917;10.0 inches December 22, 1883; and 9.8 inches March 22, 1968. The difficulties that occurred with the monumental 1978 storm and the days that followed were twofold. The early days of 1978 had already been a very cold and snowy period. Snow depths were at around 14 inches by January 21, just four days before the official blizzard arrived. Area roads were still recuperating from what had been a tough few weeks. The blizzard brought the cities of the region to a dangerous standstill. The two key elements that combined to make this storm so historic were heavy pockets of snow and incredible winds. Other names used for this blizzard were “Storm of the Century,” “White Hurricane,” and the like. Although Northern Kentucky did not experience the full wrath of
wind and heavy snows, the brutal cold air that followed and the large snowdrifts caused several weeks of delays for incoming store supplies and required school closures. The Ohio River iced up in many locations locally, thereby delaying shipments by water until the cold air receded. Another memorable weather phenomenon occurred in the late winter months of 1937. It had little to do with snow and much more to do with incredible rains in quick succession. The setup of a nearly stationary front, several storm systems, and heavy training (rain movement west to east) inundated the Northern Kentucky region. Although flooding is a common occurrence in and around river cities during the late winter season, to this day nothing rivals the Ohio River flood of 1937. It remains the largest mass of water to gather along the banks of the Ohio River; water levels crested from 20 to 28 feet above flood stage, beating the previous flood record set in February 1884 by nearly nine feet. From January 13 through 25, 1937, rain poured across the region, with some 6 to 12 inches recorded. The semifirm to frozen wintertime ground facilitated extensive fast-moving runoff, which inevitably pushed down to the rivers. Excessive rainfall totals were unheard of for this time of the year, and January 1937 remains as the wettest month ever recorded for the Northern Kentucky– Cincinnati area, with 13.68 inches. The end result was dramatic, as thousands were left homeless locally. Ahrens, C. Donald. Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere. St. Paul, Minn.: West, 1993. Bonnifield, Paul. The Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt, and Depression. Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1979. Clark’s Kentucky Almanac and Book of Facts. Lexington, Ky.: Clark Group, 2006. D’Aleo, Joe. “25th Anniversary of the 1978 Blizzards,” Intellicast, February 3, 2003. www.intellicast.com (accessed August 18, 2006). Dorman, Karla J. “No Ordinary Blizzard,” StormSpinner, December 11, 2002. www.authorsden .com (accessed August 18, 2006). Gibian, Jay. “Blizzard of ’78, What Happened in Ohio: A Meteorologist Review,” UPI Broadcast Special, February 17, 1978. www.bceo.org (accessed August 18, 2006).
WINTER METEOROLOGICAL SEASON
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Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer. www.uky.edu/ KentuckyAtlas (accessed August 16, 2006). NASA. “NASA Explains ‘Dust Bowl’ Drought,” NASA, March 18, 2004. www.nasa.gov (accessed August 18, 2006). National Weather Ser vice. www.nws.noaa.gov (accessed August 18, 2006). National Weather Ser vice Historical Records, 1971– 2000, National Weather Ser vice, Wilmington, Ohio. Ritter, Michael E. The Physical Environment: An Introduction to Physical Geography. 2006. http: www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ritter (accessed August 18, 2006). The Weather Channel. “Normal Peak Times for Fall Color.” www.weather.com (accessed on August 16, 2006).
WEATHERBY, DENNIS W. (b. December 4, 1959, Brighton, Ala.; d. September 15, 2007, Fort Thomas, Ky.). Dennis Weatherby, an inventor, scientist, and educator, developed a stain-resistant lemon-scented composition used in Cascade liquid detergent while employed as an engineer at Procter and Gamble (P&G) in Cincinnati. His invention was granted a patent in 1987 and is used in most commercial lemon-scented cleaning products that contain bleach. Weatherby is the son of Willie James Weatherby Sr. and Flossie Mary Dickinson Weatherby. His interest in consumer products goes back to his childhood curiosity over the identically shaped Pringles potato crisps stacked in canister packages. Part of a household of nine older siblings, he was encouraged to pursue his dreams, one of which was to become a professional football player. He was awarded a football scholarship to Central State University, a historically black institution, in Wilberforce, Ohio. Three chemistry department faculty members mentored and inspired him, and he graduated from Central State University with a BS in chemistry in 1982. He completed an MS in chemical engineering from the University of Dayton in 1984 and then joined the P&G engineering team. In 1989 Weatherby returned to Central State University to teach, advise, and recruit students in its new International Center for Water Resources Management. His efforts contributed to the water program’s 400 percent increase in student enrollment and its more than 80 percent rate of retention. He became an assistant professor of water quality at Central State University in 1994. Weatherby completed his PhD in educational psychology at Auburn University in Alabama, focusing on student retention. He continued his success with retention and recruitment for minority engineering students as the school’s first director of the minority engineering program, where he was appointed assistant dean for minority affairs at Auburn University in 1996. Subsequently, he headed retention and recruitment initiatives for PhD students as associate dean of the graduate school at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., during 2004 and 2005. In autumn 2005, Dennis Weatherby and his family moved to Northern Kentucky, where he became the associate provost for
944 WEBB, GARY S. student success at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights. He died on September 15, 2007, and was buried in Alexandria Cemetery. “Dennis Weatherby, Associate Provost at NKU,” KP, September 19, 2007, 6A. Institute of Black Invention and Technology. “Dennis Weatherby: Cascade Lemon Formula Liquid Dishwashing Detergent.” www.tibit.biz/inventor-2006 -2.htm (accessed December 25, 2006). Lemelson-MIT Program. “Inventor of the Week.” http:// mit.edu/invent/iow/weatherby.html (accessed December 22, 2006). Nesbitt, Karen. “AU Engineering Minority Program Focuses on Communications Skills.” Auburn Univ.News. www.ocm.auburn.edu/news _releases/ communications.html (accessed December 25, 2006). “Northern Kentucky University: Dr. Dennis Weatherby Is Appointed,” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, June 1, 2006, 90. Univ. of Notre Dame. “Corporate Win Opens Door to Life in Higher Education,” ND Works, October 11, 2004, 4.
WEBB, GARY S. (b. August 31, 1955, Corona, Calif.; d. December 10, 2004, Sacramento, Calif.). Gary Webb, the son of a military family, dropped out of journalism school in order to become an investigative reporter with the Kentucky Post during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Among his top stories was a series he did on crime in the coal industry in Kentucky, which involved a murder along Monmouth St. in Newport. Webb always sought out the roots of corruption and was known in the trade as a street reporter. He lived along W. 11th St. in Covington, where in 1983 he shot a person in the leg who was breaking into his car to steal a tape player. He later worked for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, before moving west to the San Jose Mercury News. In 1990 Webb was part of a reporting team that shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake in California. In 1996 in the Mercury News, he alleged that drug traffickers in the 1980s had sold tons of crack cocaine in Los Angeles while funneling millions of dollars in profit to the CIA-supported Nicaraguan Contras. Later, much of what he reported was discredited. In December 1997 he quit his job as a reporter and began to write the book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion (1999). He also went to work in California in state government in the late 1990s and was a member of an audit committee investigating former California governor Gray Davis’s award of a $95 million no-bid contract to the Oracle Corporation. In 2004 he was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in his Sacramento home. His death was ruled an apparent suicide. “Gary Webb, 49, Former Reporter for Post,” KP, December 13, 2004, A10. Straub, Bill. “Wounded Suspect Convicted of Theft,” KP, July 21, 1983, 9K.
WEBER BROTHERS ARCHITECTS. Edward Addison (1876–1929) and Christian Clay (1879–1954) were the sons of Christian and Eliza-
beth Meyers Weber. In the 1870s the family moved to Newport, where they operated a family grocery store at Fift h and Isabella Sts. Edward, Christian, and their younger brother, Morrison, attended public schools, graduating from Newport High School. It is believed that none of the three attended college. Though Edward and Christian Weber had no formal architectural training, they started a company called E.A. & C.C. Weber, Architects. Their brother, Morrison, was not a partner but worked for the company in some capacity. Edward and Christian served more as administrators than designers in their firm. They offered a wide range of ser vices, including real estate acquisition, site development, architectural design, and construction. At the height of its success, the Weber brothers’ company employed a large staff of architects, designers, draftsmen, and builders and also subcontracted some of their work to outside specialists. Their company drew the plans for numerous buildings in Kentucky, including the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort, the State National Bank in Frankfort, the Lafayette Hotel in Lexington, Eastern State College in Richmond, the Covington Trust Bank at Sixth St. and Madison Ave. in Covington (see Huntington Bank), the residence of Kentucky governor Ruby Laffoon (1931– 1935), the Briarcliff Subdivision in Fort Thomas, the Fourth District School in Newport, and three local high schools: Highlands High School, Holmes High School, and Newport High School. The firm also designed several churches in Kentucky, including the First Baptist Church, Fort Thomas. In Maysville, they were the architects of many of the city’s school buildings, as well as the Montgomery Ward store (see Department Stores), the Bank of Maysville, the Security Bank, the Kirk Apartment Building, the O’Keefe Building, and the Odd Fellows Temple Building. The firm’s most notable project was the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort, which was actually designed by one of the Webers’ associates, John Scudder Adkins. Edward Weber had a long and successful career as a politician. He served as chairman of the Campbell Co. Republican Party, successfully directing the Northern Kentucky campaigns of Senator Frederick A. Sackett and Kentucky governor Flem D. Sampson (1927– 1931). Edward Weber also served in the Kentucky legislature, from 1908 to 1910. Some believe that his political connections may have played a part in his firm’s being chosen to design the Governor’s Mansion. Edward Weber was a longtime member of the Newport Elks Club and was a Past Master of the Masonic Order. He died on November 16, 1929, at age 54, in his home at 21 Carolina Ave. in Fort Thomas. After Edward’s death, Christian’s son Stuart K. Weber was brought into the firm, and the company name was changed to C.C. and S.K. Weber, Architects. Christian Weber retired from the firm in 1950; ownership of it then passed from the Weber family. Christian died on February 2, 1954, at age 75, in his home at 40 Chalfonte Pl. in Fort Thomas. Both Edward and Christian Weber were interred in Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate.
“C. C. Weber, Architect Dies at Age 75,” KP, February 2, 1954, 1K. “E. A. Weber, Architect, Dies,” KP, November 16, 1929, 1K. “E. A. Weber, Architect and GOP Leader Dies at Ft. Thomas,” KTS, November 16, 1929, 1. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 3147, for the year 1954. “Prominent Architect’s Rites Set for Thursday,” KTS, February 3, 1954, 2. Seale, William. The Kentucky Governor’s Mansion: A Restoration. Louisville, Ky.: Harmony House, 1984. The Spirit of a Greater Maysville and Mason County. Maysville, Ky.: Daily Independent, 1930.
WEEK DAY SCHOOL OF RELIGION. The Week Day School of Religion is a released-time religious education program offered to elementary school children in Covington and Ludlow. The curriculum includes nondenominational moral instruction based on Judeo-Christian principles. William Wert, a Gary, Ind., school superintendent, started the movement in 1914. He believed in educating the whole child and was convinced that the public schools were not giving enough moral and religious training, so he invited local ministers to teach courses for those students who desired to be “released,” for one hour each week. Today, about 250,000 students across the United States are leaving their school buildings each week to attend released-time Bible courses. More than 1,000 of these courses are in operation in 32 states. It is believed that the school in Northern Kentucky is one of the oldest. In March 1922, with the support of H. S. Cox, superintendent of Covington Public Schools (see Covington Independent Schools), ministers and laymen from 20 churches met to discuss the formation of the Community Council of Religious Education. During a meeting at the Madison Ave. Presbyterian Church on June 6, 1922, the council was organized; the articles of incorporation were signed on June 19. On June 29 the council met and appointed a committee to work with the Covington Board of Education to formulate plans to release children for attendance at the Week Day School of Religion. The first classes met on February 23, 1923, with 250 students enrolled. Through the years, students in the Kentucky cities of Bromley, Covington, Crescent Springs, Erlanger, Fort Mitchell, and Ludlow have attended the school. During the 2005–2006 school year, courses were held only in Covington and Ludlow. Willard L. Wade, who was an executive of the Covington YMCA and active in that organization for more than 40 years, was also involved with the Week Day School for a long time. Principals have included Lila Pearl Attig, Debby Audry, Bernice Bowen, Helen Budd, Violet Detwiler, Catherine Lantz, Lula Jane Lee, Esther Lomb, Genevieve Morgan, Rita New, Martha Reed, Wrenda Taylor, and Gloria Wedding. The school is supported entirely by donations from local churches and individuals. New, Rita. Interview by Sandy Banta, July 6, 2005, Covington, Ky. “Willard Wade, Kentucky Y Leader for over 40 Years,” KE, October 18, 1883, C2.
WELCOME HOUSE OF NORTHERN KENTUCKY
WEHRMAN, WILLIAM E., SR. (b. July 12, 1904, Ludlow, Ky.; d. February 5, 1997, Fort Mitchell, Ky.). Judge William E. Wehrman Sr. was born and raised in Ludlow. He studied law and was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1931. He married Genevieve Reynolds in October 1932, and they had six children, Barry, Gregory, Mark, Mary Agnes, Paul, and William E. Jr. William Wehrman Sr. served as Kenton Co. attorney from 1938 to 1945 and as Kenton Co. judge (now judge-executive) from 1946 to 1962. Along with his sons Barry, Gregory, and William Jr., he operated a law firm called Wehrman and Wehrman. Judge Wehrman was a practicing lawyer in Northern Kentucky for more than 66 years. He also served on the board of directors of the Kentucky Federal Savings and Loan Company. Judge Wehrman became a close friend of U.S. Senator Alben W. Barkley, a Kentuckian, and that friendship led to the acquisition of federal funding for construction of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. After a long illness, William Wehrman Sr. died in his Fort Mitchell home at age 92. Funeral ser vices were held at the Blessed Sacrament Church, and burial was in St. Mary Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. “Editor’s Corner,” Ludlow News Enterprise, November 6, 1958, 2. “Former Judge Helped Land Airport for N. Kentucky,” KE, February 8, 1997, 1C. “Judge William Wehrman, Helped Create Airport,” KP, February 6, 1997, 14A. “Silver Anniversary,” KTS, October 21, 1957, 3A.
WEINTRAUB, MORRIS (b. May 14, 1909, Newport, Ky.; d. January 19, 1996, Cincinnati, Ohio). Morris Weintraub, a prominent lawyer and a Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, was one of the six children born to Hyman and Mollie Dolnickoff Weintraub. The Weintraubs were part of a massive migration of eastern European Jews to the United States around 1900. Hyman Weintraub lived for several years in New York City and then moved to Newport in 1906. He entered Campbell Co. politics and served both as a constable and as a jury commissioner. Morris Weintraub was educated in local schools and then became an attorney in Newport. He represented a wide variety of clients, including community leaders and gambling figures. Like his father before him, Morris Weintraub was involved in Democratic politics; he served in the Kentucky Senate from 1940 to 1942 and in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1946 to 1960, leading that body as Speaker of the House from 1958 until 1960. He married Justine Anness in 1945, and they had two children. Weintraub and his wife owned property in Newport and his law office was there, but some of his critics claimed that he actually lived in Cincinnati, making him ineligible to hold political office in Kentucky. However, his residency was never challenged in court and he continued to serve. Weintraub was the last president of the United Hebrew Congregation of Newport and also the founder of the Yavneh Day School in Cincinnati.
After his wife died in 1994, Weintraub lived in Florida for a while but later returned to Cincinnati, where he died at age 86 in 1996. He was buried in the Menorah Cemetery, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Hicks, Jack. “Secrets Died along with Colorful Lawyer,” KP, January 24, 1996, 1–2K. Legislative Research Commission. Kentucky General Assembly Membership, 1900–2005. Vol. 2. Frankfort, Ky.: Legislative Research Commission, 2005. “Morris Weintraub,” KP, January 23, 1996, 8A. Reis, Jim. “Synagogue Once Stood on 5th Street in Newport,” KP, December 10, 2001, 4K.
WELCOME HOUSE OF NORTHERN KENTUCKY. Founded in 1982 by a coalition of churches and Rev. William Mertes, Welcome House Inc. of Northern Kentucky is a Covingtonbased ser vice organization that works together with the community to provide ser vices to individuals and families who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless (see Homelessness and Homeless Shelters). In the early 1980s, there was a growing need in Northern Kentucky to provide assistance to the economical ly disadvantaged. In 1980 Mertes, then director of Catholic Social Ser vices (see Catholic Charities), and others began to develop a comprehensive plan for churches in the area to manage the constantly increasing needs for food, clothing, and shelter. Welcome House was the result. The first two programs developed by Welcome House were Emergency Assistance, designed to take care of food, rent, utilities, medical needs, clothing, and personal hygiene, and the Emergency Shelter. Michelle Budzek and Sister Mary Beth Schwing (now Mary Beth Gregg) were codirectors overseeing the operations of the organization. Welcome House hopes to eradicate homelessness by serving both those without homes and those who lack the means to obtain food and basic necessities. In 1982 the Emergency Assistance Center opened. It provides meals, cleaning and household supplies, and personal care items to individuals and families with low, limited, or fi xed incomes who often do not have the funds to pay rent each month. These clients could be referred to as the “working poor.” If potential clients appear to need further assessment, they are interviewed by an intake counselor to determine the need for assistance and plan for a solution. The intake counselors receive an average of 15 calls and 2 or 3 walk-ins per day. The Welcome House [Emergency] Shelter opened in 1983 at 141 Pike St. in Covington in response to the increasing numbers of homeless women and children. The clients’ average stay at the shelter is four weeks. While at the shelter, families are provided with other ser vices to help foster their independence, such as transportation, necessary medications, mental health assistance, and referrals to other resources. Welcome House remains the only shelter exclusively for women and children in the region. Previously, the Benedictine Sisters housed homeless women at 519 Russell St., Covington, and Welcome House worked in cooperation
with that group. In 1988 an additional building at 205 Pike St. was renovated to provide more space for the shelter at Welcome House. Since 1983 Welcome House has continued evolving to meet its goal of eradicating homelessness and breaking the cycle of poverty. In 1986 the Protective Payee Program, led by Sister Cathy Bauer, was implemented to address the problems of persons with chronic mental illness or physical disability. This program is a comprehensive system of financial and budgetary case management ser vices for these individuals. The ser vice helps individuals to manage their own resources better and to live independently, thus eliminating the need for emergency assistance and emergency shelter. In 1991 the Stabilization Program began, and its name was changed to Family Case Management in 1995. Welcome House recognized that providing clients with economic support was not always adequate. Without emotional support, many individuals would be unable to become self-sufficient. Family Case Management provides individual counseling, mentoring, and support, with a goal of leading families toward independence. Often, the case manager advises about housing options and assists in the application process or may suggest alternative housing or referral to other agencies. Welcome House began employment ser vices in 1997 with a pilot employment program for Social Security recipients. In 1998 the program expanded to include former welfare recipients. Today it serves 300 people each year. Clients often have minimal or inconsistent work histories due to physical and mental disabilities, inexperience, or lack of transportation. This program seeks to break down barriers to employment by providing individualized assessment and coaching, as well as outreach to employers for placement and retention. Linda Young came to Welcome House as a program coordinator in 1988 and became executive director in 1995. In 1996, in partnership with HUD and the Kentucky Housing Corporation, Welcome House renovated two abandoned apartment buildings at 1116 Greenup St. in Covington; the Gardens at Greenup provides affordable housing and on-site support ser vices for families to assist them with their goal of self-sufficiency. It includes a 20-unit apartment complex in which families may stay for up to six years while progressing toward the goal of financial independence. Eligible clients are families who commit to regular meetings with their case manager, career planning, and a specific plan for self-sufficiency. In 2000 Gardens Center was opened. Located directly across the street from the apartments, it features a licensed day care center, a community meeting room, and a computer lab. The Homeless Ser vices Project, begun in 2000, serves the needs of homeless men in the Northern Kentucky community by helping clients secure mental health treatment, substance abuse recovery, other benefits such as Social Security, and employment assistance. Welcome House has grown enormously in the number and quality of ser vices it offers. It now receives United Way funding and government grants,
946 WELDON, NETTIE and it stages many fundraising events sponsored by Welcome House volunteers and community friends. Its goal continues to be moving those at risk from a “crisis” lifestyle to stability and, ultimately, economic empowerment. Welcome House retains its connections to its founding churches. Welcome House of Northern Kentucky. www .welcomehouseky.org (accessed June 1, 2005).
Laughlin, Walter. “Northern Kentucky Had Covered Bridges, Too!” NKH 2, no. 1 (Fall–Winter 1994): 1–18. Wilson, James Grant, and John Fiske. Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography. Vol. 6. New York: D. Appleton, 1889. Who Was Who in America Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis, 1963.
Thomas S. Ward
Sarah A. Barlage
WELDON, NETTIE (b. March 3, 1881, Warsaw, Ky.; d. January 18, 1958, Warsaw, Ky.). Nettie Weldon was a practicing registered pharmacist in Warsaw for 26 years during the time when pharmacy was a profession dominated by men. She was the daughter of Richard and Margaret Turpin Weldon and a lifelong resident of Warsaw. In 1928 Benjamin Kirby Bailey employed her in his business, the B. K. Bailey Drug Store. She obtained her pharmaceutical education from Bailey under the “apprentice system” then in place in rural Kentucky. In the minutes of the January 21, 1932, meeting of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, it was reported that there were 11 applicants for the licensure exam. Nine of them passed, including Nettie Weldon. At that time Nettie was age 26. Never married, she worked for Bailey as his relief pharmacist until her death in 1958. Warsaw Independent Newspaper, January 23, 1958, 1.
Judith Butler Jones
WERNWAG, LEWIS (b. December 4, 1769, Alteburg, Württemberg, Germany; d. August 12, 1843, Harper’s Ferry, Va. [now W.Va.]). Lewis Wernwag arrived in Philadelphia from his native Germany in 1786. Once in the United States, he turned his talents to building machines and designing bridges. Early in his career, he invented a machine to make whetstones, and in 1809 he laid the keel for the first frigate constructed at the Philadelphia Navy yard. After building two lesser bridges, Wernwag created his masterpiece across the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia in 1812. This wooden structure was a single arch with a span of 340 feet, thought to be at the time the longest in the world. The behemoth became known as the Colossus of Fairmount and made Wernwag famous. He went on to build 29 other bridges; two attributed to him were built in Mason Co., Ky., while he resided briefly in Mayslick. Both of these bridges—one over Lee’s Creek and one over the Licking River—were destroyed during the Civil War. In about 1826 Wernwag moved to Harper’s Ferry, Va., where in 1833 he built his last bridge, a span over the Potomac River for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1835, while living in Maysville in a home that he had built, he began construction on the Mayslick Christian Church. During that project, he moved to Mayslick again, next door to the church, and today that home is known as the Wernwag House. Wernwag died in 1843 in Harper’s Ferry, Va. Benson, John Lossing. Harper’s Encyclopedia of United States History from 458 a.d. to 1912. Vol. 10. New York: Harper, 1912.
WESLEY CHAPEL METHODIST CHURCH. Wesley Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church is located in southern Campbell Co. along Ky. Rt. 10, a few feet from the Pendleton Co. border. Three roads intersect here, Shaw-Goetz Rd., Wesley Chapel Rd., and the Flagg Springs Turnpike (Ky. Rt. 10). The first church building was a log cabin, built in about 1830, when the congregation was first organized. This log building was covered with clapboards and sat near today’s brick church building. The brick church standing today was built in 1856. Its dimensions are 30 by 40 feet, and there are four approximately nine-foot-high windows on each of the long walls, allowing for maximum sunlight inside. The two doors at the front of the church were used, one by men and one by women, according to the custom when the church was new. The inside ceiling is 14 feet high and is covered with pressed tin. The “theater type” wooden seats probably were added after 1900. The exterior walls, 18 inches thick, were built of bricks handmade and fired on-site. Rev. James M. Jolly, a Baptist minister and a brick mason, oversaw the construction of the building. The bricks were not fired as hard as today’s bricks, a fact that led to a major structural failure many years later. The outside roof is steeply pitched and covered with tin. At the front is a small bell tower, which was originally open to the weather except for its small roof. The bell was installed around 1892. By 1880, there were 198 church members, and Sunday school was conducted regularly. There is a cemetery on three sides of the church that appears to be as old as the building. Electricity was added sometime in the 1920s or 1930s. During a funeral in the 1950s, the wood floor collapsed under the weight of the casket, and the floor was then replaced with concrete. At the same time, a metal fence and a metal arch in front of the building were added. In this period, there were also many large locust trees growing in front of the building, where picnics were occasionally held. The congregation declined in number, but the building continued in ser vice until November 1993, when it was damaged by a heavy rain. The rain soaked the soft bricks at the rear of the church (a place where the stucco had broken and partially fallen off ) and caused two-thirds of the structure’s wall to collapse. This event occurred shortly after church ser vices had ended one day. Because the wall was not a load-bearing wall, the building did not totally collapse. Cora Sabie, a member of the church, asked the Campbell Co. Historical Society for help. A subsequent examination of the damage revealed that the wall could be repaired but that the repairs would be costly and time-consuming. By
that time, the United Methodist Church headquarters had already closed the building and wanted it demolished. A group of former church members and the historical society launched a campaign to save it and initiated discussions with leaders of the Methodist Church, who eventually agreed to sell the damaged building for one dollar to the independent board that oversaw the cemetery. Through newspaper appeals, money was raised, and a local brick mason, Ray Seiter, agreed to fi x the damaged church wall. In spring 1994, the repair work on the building was begun. Volunteers did much of the work. A roofer was hired to fi x the roof and to build weatherproofing louvers for the bell tower. Donated paint was used to finish the paint job on the outside of the building. The inside was still in disrepair, but the building had been saved. From 1994 until 2003, the building remained in this condition. In 2004 a local couple planned to marry. The bride had attended Wesley Chapel Methodist Church and wanted to be married in the church building. Permission was granted for the couple to use the church for their wedding ceremony, if money could be raised and the inside of the building restored. Another appeal to the public for monetary donations went out, this time to finish the work left undone in 1994. Money did come in, and work to refurbish the interior of the church was begun. Then it was learned that the bell tower was in such bad shape that the bell had collapsed onto the ceiling beneath the tower. A roofer again was hired to rebuild the bell tower, through the efforts of Marvin Record and Ken Barbian. Two months of volunteer work followed that brought the old church into a new chapter of its existence. Cleaning, painting, and repairs renovated the interior. The couple was married in the newly remodeled church on July 31, 2004, before a capacity crowd. Wesley Chapel now quietly awaits its next ser vice. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: The Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994.
Kenneth A. Reis
WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. In preparation for starting a Methodist church in Ludlow, a group of 7 concerned citizens began holding weekly prayer meetings in private homes in September 1853. One month later, Sunday night ser vices were added, and the number of worshippers increased to 12. In his will, Israel Ludlow, the city’s founder and namesake, bequeathed lots on which to build both a Methodist and a Christian Church. In 1857 the small Methodist group began construction of a church on their lot, which was on the north side of Oak St. However, work was soon halted owing to lack of funds and fear of the looming Civil War. Several years later, the Ludlow Odd Fellows Club completed the building. Exactly how they acquired the title is unclear. However, the club permitted both the Methodist and the First Presbyterian churches to hold ser vices there. The City of Ludlow also used the building as a city hall.
WEST END NEWPORT
In 1889, after worshipping for 36 years without a church building, the congregation purchased a lot at 319 Oak St., across from the Odd Fellows Hall. There they built the present-day Gothic Revival church. By the mid-1920s, church and Sunday school attendance had increased enough that additional space was needed. In 1927 a two-story addition was constructed to the rear of the church, where two classrooms, a kitchen, an office, and a pastor’s study were located. A street-level addition was made to the church in 1952, which contained several Sunday school classrooms, a nursery, and a fellowship hall. Wesley United Methodist Church’s centennial celebration was held in the new addition the following year. Members refurbished the sanctuary in early 1979, in preparation for a homecoming celebration held on August 12 of that year. Since the founding of the Ludlow Wesley United Methodist Church, more than 50 pastors have served the congregation. Several of the recent ones have been women. “Wesley Church Celebrates since 1853,” News Enterprise, May 31, 1989, 3. “Wesley United Methodist Church.” www.wesleyumc .info (accessed December 14, 2006). Wesley United Methodist Church Celebrating 150 Years, 1853–2003. Ludlow, Ky.: Wesley United Methodist Church, 2003.
WEST, CARL (b. January 14, 1942, Cincinnati, Ohio). Carleton Lewis West, an accomplished journalist, is the son of John Albert and Dorothy Lewis West. While a student at Campbell Co. High School, Carl West was the school’s outstanding football player in 1960. As a college student, he had varied short-term work experiences. One of them was working on his family’s 300-acre farm in rural Campbell Co., near Grants Lick along the Licking River; he also participated in management of the farm. He earned a BA in journalism from the University of Kentucky in Lexington in 1966. West became an award-winning journalist in Covington with the Kentucky Post under demanding editor Vance Trimble, but he is probably best known as the founder of the popular Kentucky Book Fair. Held in Frankfort each fall, the fair draws writers and book enthusiasts from far and wide and raises money for libraries in Kentucky. Football and farm work cemented the trait of tenacity in West. He was a persistent reporter, unearthing information on pollution in the Licking River and corruption in a federal housing agency and extracting truth from elected officials. During summer 1966 West became a general-assignment reporter for the Kentucky Post. He covered Boone Co. politics in 1967 and Newport’s changing era in 1968 and became the paper’s Frankfort bureau chief in 1969. Moving up again, West became an investigative reporter for the Scripps-Howard News Ser vice, the owner of his newspaper, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for stories on MedicaidMedicare Fraud; he was nominated a second time for a series on congressional travel abuses. In 1979 he became editor of the State Journal in Frankfort. His news-writing peers elected him to the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in April 2003.
“Carl West’s FHA Expose: Nominated for Pulitzer Prize,” KP, January 30, 1969, 1K. “Honor Reporter and School Man,” KP, March 4, 1970, 1K. “Journalism Honor,” KP, March 5, 2003, A8.
Roger Auge II
WEST, JUDY M. (b. June 9, 1941, Madison Co., Ky.; d. February 19, 1991, Chicago, Ill.) The distinguished Kenton Co. judge Judith Moberly West was one of four children born to Harold and Joyce Clouse Moberly. She was educated in local schools and graduated from Madison Co. High School in Richmond. She then attended the University of Kentucky at Lexington, where she earned her BA in 1962. Later that year, she married attorney Larry C. West, who became a partner in the Kenton Co. law firm of Ware, Bryson, West, and Kummer. The couple had three children. In 1977 Judy received her JD from the Chase College of Law, at Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, graduating in the top 10 percent of her class. In 1980 Kentucky governor John Y. Brown Jr. (1979– 1983) appointed Judy West a Kenton Co. district court judge; she was the first woman in Kentucky to hold a district court post, and she was reelected to that position three times. In February 1987, Kentucky governor Martha Layne Collins (1983–1987) appointed West to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, where she became the highest-ranking woman judge in Kentucky history at the time. During her tenure as a judge, she was also a very caring mother and became a child advocate. She helped organize the Hope Cottage Guild and served as its first president. That group was responsible for the establishment of a permanent shelter for abused, neglected, and dependent children. During Judge West’s many years of public service, she was an active member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence in Kentucky and the Kentucky Tomorrow Commission. In 1987 West was named one of Northern Kentucky’s Most Outstanding Women. She also won the Prichard Committee award for Academic Excellence and in 1989 was named the Outstanding Alumnus of Northern Kentucky University. In 2002 the Kentucky Women Remembered organization honored West with a watercolor exhibit, which was placed on permanent display in the state capital building at Frankfort. West died of breast cancer at age 49, in the Bernard Mitchell Hospital at the University of Chicago. A memorial ser vice was held at the Fort Mitchell Baptist Church, Fort Mitchell, and burial was in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Erlanger. “Judge Named NKU Outstanding Alumnus,” KP, January 27, 1989, 3K. “Judge West Loses Cancer Fight,” KP, February 20, 1991, 1K. “Mourners Laud Warmth, Courage of Judge West,” KP, February 23, 1991, 13K.
WEST COVINGTON (Economy, Ky.). This West Covington neighborhood has been a part of the
City of Covington since 1916. Before that time, West Covington was an independent city. The neighborhood lies along the Ohio River and is bordered by Ludlow to the west, Ridge St. to the east, and Devou Park to the south. In the 1840s the land that is now West Covington was owned by Israel Ludlow, who decided to commission a plat for a small village on the property in 1846. The little community soon came to be known as Economy because of the frugality and industriousness of its residents. In 1858 the commonwealth of Kentucky incorporated the little town under the name West Covington. That same year, the first public school in the area was established (after West Covington was annexed to Covington, this school became known as Eleventh District School). By 1875 the population of West Covington had surpassed 1,000. The community was diverse, having among its residents immigrants from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, and Italy. This growth of the town resulted in an attempt by Covington to annex it, but the residents of West Covington resisted the efforts of their larger urban neighbor. Churches played an important role in the lives of the West Covington people. The first congregation organized in the community was St. Ann Catholic Church, which completed a church building on Main St. (now Parkway Ave.) in 1864 and later replaced it by a Gothic Revival structure, dedicated in 1932. For many years the parish sponsored a parochial school, where initially students were taught by the Sisters of St. Francis; the Sisters of Divine Providence replaced them in 1891. The St. Ann School closed in 1981. Protestant residents of the community established two congregations. Epworth Methodist, organized in 1877, has a church building on Highway Ave. that was completed in 1953. In 1892 the German Protestants of the town established St. John German Evangelical Protestant Church (later St. John Congregational Church) and in the same year built a frame church in the Gothic style on Highway Ave. The issue of annexation to Covington became serious in 1916. Many prominent West Covington residents supported the measure, seeing that there were many advantages of annexation: professional fire protection, access to the excellent Covington Public Schools (see Covington Independent Schools), lower taxes, and increased property values. In November 1916, West Covington residents voted in favor of annexation, and West Covington ceased to exist as an independent city. Kenton Co. Public Library. “West Covington.” www .kenton.lib.ky.us/genealogy.html. West Covington Local History File, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky.
David E. Schroeder
WEST END (NEWPORT). The West End of Newport, a collection of urban neighborhoods, is bounded by Monmouth St. on the east, the Licking River on the west, the Ohio River on the north, and the CSX railroad tracks on the south. Located there were the two major institutions that first defined
948 WESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE AND SEMINARY SQUARE NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT Newport: at the confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers, the Newport Barracks, and farther south along the eastern bank of the Licking, the rolling mill owned by several steel companies in succession. Beginning in the early 19th century, the presence of the military post made Newport’s image, like it or not, that of an army town. The U.S. Army’s early expansion into the American West of that day (Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri) was provisioned out of the stores of the barracks. The army relied on river transportation to move troops, equipment, and supplies. Later, with the arrival of the steel industry to the West End during the mid-19th century, streets lined with the small homes of steelworkers appeared. The steel industry depended upon the railroad as well as the rivers to move raw materials and coal to the mill and to deliver its finished product. The West Side Hotel (the modern-day West Side Café) at 11th and Brighton Sts. was built to accommodate the transient housing needs of those associated with the steel business. The 1930s-era songwriter and bandleader Tommy Ryan once labored beside the mill’s hot furnaces, as did his father, who put in a 50-year stint at the plant. The West End was the home of Andrews Field (Wiedemann Park), where the Wiedemann Brewing Company baseball team played, where the first night high school football games in Northern Kentucky were staged, and where circus trains unloaded tents and red-nosed clowns for their short stays in town. These special trains borrowed the Louisville and Nashville Railroad siding that had been built in the middle of Lowell St. to serve the rolling mill. In Rough Riders Park, at W. Fift h St. and the Licking River, long before any floodwall got in its way, baseball greats Cy Young and Satchel Page reportedly played in exhibition games. The West End is where the Green Line built a car barn for its fleet of streetcars, at 11th and Brighton Sts. across from the West Side Hotel. From there it was just a short hop across the adjacent Shortway Bridge to Covington. The two rivers were not always kind to the West End. The floods of 1884, 1913, and 1937 covered the area and motivated the suburbanization that eventually occurred. The floodwalls along the Licking and Ohio rivers are products of the early 1950s, too late to prevent the flight of residents. Simultaneously, Appalachians settling in Northern Kentucky found jobs at the mills and inexpensive housing in the West End, adding another brushstroke to the image of its landscape. Some rowdy bars and saloons developed: the Bridge Café, Corky’s, Mabel and Q’s, and the TC Café. Where the barracks once stood, a federal subsidized housing project, Peter G. Noll Homes, was built and remained for almost 53 years; it was razed in 2006 to be replaced by riverview high-rise condominiums. Father south, entire city blocks have been leveled for industrial uses. It was often said that blight had become common in the West End. Until the 1980s, the Newport High School was located at Eighth and Columbia Sts. Newport
Central Catholic High School opened at Fift h and Columbia Sts. and later moved to Ninth and Isabella Sts., operating there until the mid-1950s. All these streets lay within Newport’s West End. The Corpus Christi Catholic Church served the area until roughly 2000, and the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church had closed earlier (1969). Several Protestant churches existed in the West End: the Ninth St. Methodist Episcopal Church, the Ninth St. United Methodist Church, the Salem United Methodist Church, the St. Paul United Church of Christ, and the York St. Congregational Church; and some are there today: the Church of the Nazarene, the First Baptist Church, and the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The Campbell Co. Courthouse has been at Fourth and York Sts. in Newport’s West End since the 1880s. The Wiedemann Brewery, Newport’s largest employer for a long time, was at Sixth and Columbia Sts. until it closed in 1983. The Trauth Dairy survives and prospers at 11th and Monmouth Sts. Today, the neighborhood association that represents the southern part of the West End as part of the Newport Citizens Advisory Council derives its name, Buena Vista, from Gen. James Taylor Jr.’s early surveys and subdivision names in this part of Newport. The Buena Vista Neighbor Association district is bounded by Monmouth St. on the east, the Licking River on the west, 12th St. on the south, and Ninth St. on the north. This association, like most of the nine similar neighborhood groups in Newport today, is slowly trying to restore its part of town to its former glory. Neff, Judy L, and Peggy Wiedemann Harris. Newport. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2004. “Newport West End May See Growth,” KE, February 15, 2000, B1. Purvis, Thomas L., ed. Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, Ky.: Otto Zimmerman, 1996.
WESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE AND SEMINARY SQUARE NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT. The officials and others associated with the Western Baptist Theological Institute played a major role in the early history of Kenton Co. and in the development of the city of Covington. Organizers of this, the “first Baptist seminary west of the Alleghenies,” purchased around 350 acres south of the original town of Covington. Afterward, they subdivided and sold lots. Sales of most of the acreage funded development and construction of a special 12-acre seminary campus in Covington, at the highest elevation between Madison Ave. and Russell St. and Robbins and 11th Sts. The campus was elegantly landscaped as a public gathering place and thus helped to encourage surrounding new home construction. However, the seminary held sessions only from 1845 to 1853. Meanwhile, in 1841 Covington annexed into the city all the seminary’s properties to 12th St. and, later, the remainder of the theological institute’s three subdivisions. The origins of the Western Baptist Theological Institute in Covington were linked to a meeting of
Baptists in Cincinnati in November 1833. There, they formed the Western Baptist Educational Society, which chose a site for a new Baptist seminary “immediately back of the city of Covington.” In 1835 this society purchased more than 28 acres from Alfred Sandford, 193 acres that were known as the Fowler farm, and 120 acres of the adjacent Kyle farm. The acreage purchased started at the Licking River and Saratoga St. south of Eighth St., ran west to Banklick St., south to 11th St., west to present-day Holman Ave., south with Holman Ave. to around 15th St., then to approximately 16th St. and Madison Ave., north to Madison Ave., east to Byrd and Garrard Sts., north with Garrard St. to 11th St., and then east to and north along the Licking River. The seminary project from its inception was subject to an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion. Orga nizing trustees from the Western Baptist Educational Society included 74 Baptists from Ohio, 18 from Kentucky, 8 from Indiana, 1 from Illinois, and 7 from “the east.” The new seminary was founded to serve the needs of students from all the trans-Appalachian states in what was considered the nation’s West; the majority of the organizers, moreover, were unfriendly to slavery. So to mitigate and blunt criticism concerning their stance on slavery, the Northerners who were founders had agreed to locate the seminary “on southern soil” in Kentucky. In 1840 the Kentucky legislature “by special act” incorporated the Western Baptist Theological Institute “exactly one week” after creating a new county, named Kenton, west of the Licking River. The seven trustees appointed at the new seminary were Thatcher Lewis, Samuel W. Lynd, Ephraim Robins, and John Stevens from Ohio; J. L. Holman from Indiana; and Cave Johnson and Henry Wingate from Kentucky. After renting some of the seminary’s lands to farmers, the trustees, under the leadership of Ephraim Robins (1784–1845), decided to sell off excess property. Between 1839 and 1841, they raised $29,000 from these sales, retaining 198 acres plus the 12 acres for the seminary campus. Eventually, the seminary’s original property encompassed more than 1,100 lots. The seminary’s lots extended on both sides of the old Banklick Rd., leading into a narrow block at 15th St., and were centered at 10th and 11th Sts. from a line west of the Licking River to a line just short of Willow Run Creek. The 1851 city map of Covington shows subdivisions located on land sold off by the seminary filling out virtually all the space north of 14th St. as well as the space north of 15th St., except for a large block on the southeast corner belonging to O. R. Powell and a southwest corner marked “Cemetery,” where Linden Grove Cemetery had been dedicated and opened in 1843. At the Licking River this map shows the Milward and Oldershaw Slaughter House between Robbins and 11th Sts., the Licking Rolling Mill between 11th and 12th Sts., and a sawmill and another slaughterhouse south of 12th St. Philip S. Bush (ca. 1795–1871), a speculator in commercial and residential lots, and his partner, Humphrey Watkins, had sold the land used for the
WEST SIDE COVINGTON
Milward and Oldershaw Slaughter House and with his son John S. Bush had helped finance the Licking Rolling Mill. Bush St., named for the Bush family, was dedicated through the middle of seminary subdivision lands, running from the Licking Rolling Mill almost to Willow Run Creek. Bush’s brotherin-law Cave Johnson was a seminary trustee. Subdivisions from the Licking River to Willow Run Creek bearing the name of Humphrey C. Watkins (1797–1849) appear on maps. A Virginia native, Watkins moved from Cincinnati to Covington in 1839 to help with the seminary projects. A brick maker and supplier, he became an agent for the new Linden Grove Cemetery; Watkins St. was dedicated nearby. Both Watkins and Philip S. Bush were prominent members of Baptist churches in Covington. Other seminary officials for whom Covington streets were named include J. L. Holman (Holman St.), Samuel W. Lynd (Lynn St.), and Robins (Robbins St.). Robins, an insurance company agent from Suffield, Conn., had proposed the fundraising strategy to finance the seminary. Superintendent Robins oversaw development of the Linden Grove Cemetery and the 12-acre landscaped square on which the seminary complex was built. By 1843 about 150 other buildings already stood near the seminary’s new campus. Alfred Sandford, son of an early Kentucky congressman, earlier had built the Sandford House on the campus grounds. Sitting back prominently from the east-side curb of Russell St., it was the palatial mansion that became the seminary president’s house. That structure and the “Professor’s” house, on the southwest side of the campus along 11th St., are still standing. The Western Baptist Theological Institute constructed a large main building at east 11th St. and Madison Ave. that had classrooms on the first floor and dormitories above. Seeking to create both a department of theology and a good classical school, the seminary in 1844 chose three highly qualified men for its beginning faculty: Rev. R. E. Pattison, DD, from Massachusetts, as president and professor of Christian theology; Rev. Asa Drury as professor of Greek; and Ebenezer Dodge as professor of Hebrew and of ecclesiastical history. Soon, however, resentment to Pattison festered, because he was friendly to abolitionism, as were the majority of the institution’s trustees. This group represented the views of many of the Northerners who had primarily organized and funded the seminary project. In 1844, at a state convention of Baptists in Alabama, delegates passed resolutions stating that Baptist slaveholders should have equal privileges with other Baptists. In response, the Baptist Foreign Mission Society, of which Pattison was a member, considered a resolution to ban unreformed slaveholders from missionary work. Pattison was also suspected of authoring articles for the Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society arguing that church officials should not tolerate slavery. In 1845 proslavery Baptist delegates from Southern states rallied at Augusta, Ga., where they split from Baptists in Northern states to form the
Southern Baptist Convention. When the general (Northern) Baptist board met in Providence, R.I., they also recommended separate Northern and Southern associations. Soon thereafter, at a meeting in Georgetown, Ky., an association of Kentucky Baptists passed a resolution recommending against further support of the seminary in Covington, given the current conditions there. In response, Dr. Pattison was discharged and replaced by Dr. Samuel W. Lynd. Some of their concerns, at least for the moment, satisfied by Pattison’s dismissal, the Association of Kentucky Baptists in 1848 voted approval of Lynd, who took office January 1, 1849. Ultimately, what determined the seminary’s fate was a resolution introduced more than a year earlier by a seminary trustee, proclaiming that slavery was “divinely instituted.” The resolution received only four votes from the board, whose members now numbered at least 14. Apparently without the knowledge of the antislavery Northerners, advocates who supported slavery then persuaded the Kentucky legislature again to expand the seminary’s board of trustees effective January 28, 1848, and to name the 16 new members. All of the new appointees had to be Kentucky citizens. In March, however, the old board of trustees refused to recognize the new one and refused to turn over the seminary’s record books. A Kentucky lower-court judgment favored the newly appointed trustees. In 1854 the Kentucky Circuit Court reversed this ruling in favor of the old board. As this bickering continued, financial support for the seminary decreased. In 1855 the decision was made to divide and dispose of the Western Baptist Theological Institute’s assets. In 1853 the 12-acre campus was already changing dramatically as the Covington and Lexington Railroad laid tracks through its middle. In 1868 the Diocese of Covington (see Roman Catholics), which had purchased the old classroomdormitory building, remodeled the building and dedicated it for use by the St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center). The hospital moved in 1914, and the old classroom-dormitory building on the seminary’s campus was torn down in 1916. Lynd, after serving at the seminary in Covington, joined the Baptists in Georgetown, Ky. The seminary divided and then sold its remaining assets to the Baptist Educational Society at Georgetown, Ky., and to Northern Baptists at the Fairmont Theological Seminary of Ohio. By 1856 Rev. Asa M. Drury was serving as president of the board of examiners and superintendent of schools in Covington (Covington Independent Schools). By 1860 he had become principal of the Covington High School. The moral issue of slavery at the Western Baptist Theological Institute tolerated no compromise. It previewed Kentucky’s divided status in the Civil War as a border state. Kentucky supported the Union, but afterward some of its most influential citizens and leaders aligned themselves with the South. In 1980 part of the area once owned by the Western Baptist Theological Institute was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the
Seminary Square Historic District. The district covers about 18 acres and is bounded on the north by Ninth St., on the south by 12th St., on the west by the rear property lines along Banklick St., and on the east by railroad tracks. Map of the City of Covington. Covington, Ky.: Rickey, Kennedy, and Clark, 1851. From actual survey, ca. 1842. Ware, Orie S. “The Western Baptist Theological Institute.” Papers of the Christopher Gist Historical Society, vol. 1, presented November 22, 1949. Weldon, Alexandra. “Historical Connections and Ideological Divisions,” Bulletin, Kenton County Historical Society, October 2001.
WEST SIDE (COVINGTON). An estate owned by James Riddle in 1810 first defined the boundaries of the West Side of Covington. His property extended from Craig St. to Willow Run Creek and from the Ohio River beyond Riddle St. (now Ninth St.) to the Covington and Lexington Turnpike (now Pike St.). Riddle also operated a licensed ferry (see Ferries) on the Ohio River at the foot of Ferry St. (now Main St.) that competed with the older ferry in Covington in the business of transporting hogs and other farm products to Cincinnati markets. By 1827, however, the Bank of the United States had foreclosed on a mortgage it held on Riddle’s 580 acres in Covington. The bank subdivided the lands and began naming streets in Covington; it called one Philadelphia St., after the location of the bank’s headquarters. Cincinnati civil engineer A. W. Gilbert recalled that in about 1830 his father had rented 25 acres and Riddle’s mansion on the West Side of Covington, possibly the antebellum residence still standing on Emma St. Thomas W. Bakewell (see Bakewell Family) and William S. Johnston acquired riverfront lots and the ferry’s license from the Bank of the United States. Bakewell, a brother-in-law of famed naturalist John J. Audubon and an inventor of industrial equipment, during the 1830s built a mechanized hemp bagging factory that made wrappings for shipping cotton bales. After the national depression of 1837, Bakewell had to sell or assign his ownership in his property on Covington’s West Side and in the bagging factory. In the early 1840s, James G. Arnold, a wealthy businessman, owned a mansion at the western end of Seventh St. (demolished in the 1970s). An early schoolteacher and county and city official, Arnold built the Park Hotel at Sixth and Philadelphia Sts. in West Side Covington (now restored as a law firm’s offices). After his death, his homestead was subdivided into what became Dalton St. The Englishman William Bullock, owner of Elmwood Hall in Ludlow, held acreage in the West Side extending across Willow Run Creek. At the time, many gentlemen of means liked to retreat to residences in Kentucky to escape what was termed “the grime of Cincinnati.” They could also invest in their own pristine West Side projects. The wave of German and Irish immigrants that settled in Covington’s West Side during the 1840s also helped stimulate growth.
950 WFBE AM In 1849 Covington industrialist Alexander L. Greer recorded a plat that marked new lots in the West Side along Willard, Main, Eighth, and Seventh Sts. Greer, who was a central figure with the Covington and Lexington Railroad, and his partners also built the Covington Locomotive and Manufacturing Works, a huge complex at Third and Philadelphia Sts. After Greer’s death, his homestead addition was subdivided in 1888 into lots on Greer, Craig, Willard, Eighth, Pike, and W. Ninth Sts. In 1873 John Mitchell, James Tranter, and associates purchased the old bagging-mill property near the mouth of Willow Run Creek and transformed it into the Mitchell and Tranter Rolling Mill. Around 1900, Republic Iron and Steel, a national trust, acquired the mill. Complaining of inadequate facilities, in 1907 the trust sold the property, ending production in what had come to be known as the mill neighborhood. In 1914 the Houston, Stanwood & Gamble Company purchased property at the Mitchell and Tranter Rolling Mill site, where they manufactured steam engines and boilers for heating buildings and commercial laundries and for powering southern and Caribbean mills. In 1876 a sawmill at Second and Main Sts. in Covington’s West Side sold lumber, “farm and well” pumps, and tubing regionally. In the same year Creen, Culbertson, and Company, a sawmill located in the West Side at the foot of Main St., sold dressed lumber, flooring, laths, and shingles. It ceased operations by 1910, but the newer Vogg Planing Mill nearby was in business until about 1920. Throughout the 1800s, supply and repair services for steamboats and other needs in the river trade provided business opportunities and jobs for the residents of the West Side. Some of the businesses that prospered during the steamboat era were machine shops, foundries, and several other small specialty shops catering to the needs of the steamboat business. By the 1870s, an old burial ground at Craig and Sixth Sts. in Covington’s West Side memorializing the city’s pioneer days was overrun and obsolete. Covington decided that removing the remains would allow space for a new railroad right-of-way to Cincinnati and enable Sixth St. to be made into a through street. The railroad track was routed diagonally across Johnston, Sixth, Bakewell, and Main Sts., at street level, so that crowded trains would not impede street and sidewalk traffic. Also, some of the local mills in town sought to add spurs and railroad switches for direct access to rail ser vices. In 1888 the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and its associates committed to constructing a railroad toll bridge that, for a nominal fee, would be open to pedestrian use. Longtime complaints about the monopolistic toll rates on the John A. Roebling Bridge had resulted in lobbying for a “free bridge.” The railroad bridge, which because of its nominal toll was virtually a free bridge, later also provided commuters from Covington’s West Side with a direct route to their jobs in Cincinnati. The bridge, and the elevated approaches leading to it, further separated the West Side from Coving-
ton’s main commercial district, fortifying the identity of the West Side. In 1892 Willow Run Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River, flowed through a western valley of the neighborhood. Until the completion of flood control projects following the flood of 1937, the creek valley was subject to backwaters during flooding. It was therefore not suited for housing and instead was utilized for ballparks and as a junkyard. The construction of I-75 (see Expressways) replaced the Willow Run, leaving only a small section as a ballpark. Second only to Madison Ave. in commerce, Main St. in Covington’s West Side has always seen intense business activity. Immigration during the 19th century fi lled up the city’s West Side, bringing European architecture, shops, and crafts. Houses sat on narrow lots, and high population density made walking a convenience. The neighborhood was also served by inexpensive streetcar ser vice. Workers on the West Side commuted to manufacturing jobs in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Children walked to school, returned home for lunch, then walked back to school. Housewives walked to butcher shops and bakeries around the corner. Iceboxes provided limited shelf life, but the ice wagon came daily to fi ll orders specified on a card placed in a window. Conveniences included chilled milk and the morning newspaper at the doorstep before dawn; meat wagons; men on routes to sharpen knives and scissors; and a junkman to take away old rags and other discarded items. There was a market house located on Sixth St. in the West Side until its property was converted into a city park after 1907. Local vendors, on what remained of Sixth St., continued thereafter to host weekly sales of seasonal fruits and vegetables, which women from the neighborhood bought in large quantities to can. Since the late 1950s, the John R. Green Company has sold school supplies in its mammoth headquarters on W. Sixth St., opposite the park. The German and Irish immigrants of the West Side supported a host of saloons, stores, and institutions. In 1876 the Covington City Directory listed some 120 saloons in the area. Until Prohibition, they were popular hangouts for men, with entrances for women located at the rear of the buildings. As an enticement to customers, local saloons frequently offered free food along with purchases of beer. Citizens also gathered in the saloons to play cards and to place illegal bets on horse races. At Prohibition, some of the saloons shifted to become soda fountain operations selling soft drinks and candy. Seven confectionaries operated on Main St. in 1920–1921, extending from the 200 to the 800 block. After Prohibition, the saloons that reopened were referred to as bars, restaurants, or cafés. Eleven restaurants, lunchrooms, and cafés operated in 1956 in the 100 through the 900 blocks of Main St. Saloons, and later cafés in the area, hosted informal social clubs where members could gather to pass the time. Trade unions and insurance and building and loan associations (see Savings and Loan Associations) met on the second floors of commercial buildings. The West End Odd Fellows Hall (see Independent
Order of Odd Fellows) still stands at 731 Main St. Two other prominent social organizations, the West End Mutual Aid and the West End Welfare Association, occupied buildings in the West Side in 1923. West Side German culture became a victim of the anti-German hysteria of World War I. For instance, Bremen St. in the West Side, a quaint narrow street with buildings crowding the sidewalks, was renamed Pershing St. The Turners Club, which before World War I had the German name Turnverein, on Pike St. in the West Side remains open as an athletic and social facility, a product of the German culture’s emphasis on intellectual and physical health. The West Side of Covington was substantially Catholic and once included the German St. Aloysius Catholic Church, which burned in 1985, and the Irish St. Patrick Catholic Church, which was demolished for urban renewal. The German Reformed Church, changed to “Grace” in 1918 (see Grace United Church of Christ), was a major Protestant congregation. The Main St. Methodist Church, almost equal in architectural scale to the Catholic churches in Covington’s West Side, is also closed. In the 1960s, urban renewal took its toll on the West Side. Motels, gasoline stations, and other similar commercial ventures replaced residences and the former Heidelberg Brewery plant at Fourth and Philadelphia Sts. North of Sixth St. everything became commercial. In the 1970s, Main Strasse was created to revitalize the historical West Side. Goebel Park’s Carroll Chimes Tower in Main Strasse is now a Covington West Side landmark. Boh, John H., and Howard W. Boehmker. Westside Covington. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Historical Society, 1980. Geaslen, Chester F. Strolling along Memory Lane. Newport, Ky.: Otto, 1971–1974. Reis, Jim. “Tracing the Roots of Willow Run,” KP, March 11, 1991, 4K. Smith, Allen Webb. Beginning at “the Point”: A Documented History of Northern Kentucky and Environs, the Town of Covington in Par ticular, 1751–1834. Park Hills, Ky.: Self-published, 1977. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
WFBE-AM. Radio station WFBE began operations at Seymour, Ind., but in October 1926 was sold and a radio broadcasting license was issued to the Park View Hotel in Cincinnati. Although located in Cincinnati, the station was important to Northern Kentuckians because of the remote broadcasting conducted from Covington in 1928. Northern Kentucky was without a radio station at this time; in 1928 there were only three radio stations in Kentucky, WHAS and WLAP at Louisville and WFIW at Hopkinsville. Radio was becoming extremely popu lar and had been proven to encourage growth and revenue in areas supported by a station. It was also well known that local stations promoted sales of radio apparatuses. Through the efforts of the owners of the Edward P.
WHALLEN, JOHN H.
Cooper radio and electric shop in Covington and the management of station WFBE, the first remote-control radio studio in Northern Kentucky was designed and constructed with the latest equipment. The fi rst broadcast was scheduled for Thursday, March 29, 1928, at 8:30 p.m. The mayor of Covington, Thomas F. Donnelly, delivered the opening address, announcing that “Covington should be proud of the fact that it has its own radio station and that all events of interest in the city and Northern Kentucky would be broadcast.” Edward Cooper announced the upcoming schedule for the station, and then the station presented musical selections by a local band, the Latonia Night Hawks, and an hour of popu lar dance music by the Earl Fuller orchestra of New York. In the months that followed, many entertainers visiting the nightspots of Northern Kentucky were heard during daytime and evening broadcasts over the station. Cooper later reported that he had received hundreds of letters from the entire Northern Kentucky area in support of the station and its broadcasts. WFBE’s remote broadcasts were heard for well over a year, until Covington finally became the hometown of a new radio station, L. B. Wilson’s WCKY, in September 1929. During the 1930s WFBE was sold to Scripps Howard, and it became station WCPO. “Mayor Heard over Mike at New Studio,” KTS, March 30, 1928, 2. Nash, Francis M. Towers over Kentucky. Lexington, Ky.: Host Communications, 1995. “Radio Studio to Be Opened in Covington,” KTS, March 28, 1928, 2.
John E. Leming Jr.
WFTM. Shortly before World War II, two enterprising tobacco warehousemen, Charles P. Clarke and James M. Finch, began building a radio station at Maysville. Before the station could be completed, the war broke out, and construction was put on hold. After the war, Clarke and Finch applied for a broadcasting license; with help from friends in Washington, D.C., a license was granted on September 10, 1947. The original call letters assigned to the radio station were WKYO, and it operated at 1240 on the AM radio dial. The broadcasting studios were planned for construction in front of the Standard Tobacco Warehouse in Maysville, and the equipment and towers were purchased. The first station manager, William Betts, who had been selected during the war years, brought several years of personal broadcasting experience to the station. The station was to be placed on the air at 12:01 a.m., January 1, 1948. Shortly before the station’s debut, Finch discovered that a broadcasting license had been granted to a police station at Buffalo, N.Y., using the call letters WFTM. He thought those call letters would best fit his and Clarke’s station because they would stand for “Worlds Finest Tobacco Market,” so he struck a deal with the station owner in New York for a switch of call letters, which was approved by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), and the new station in Maysville officially became WFTM.
At 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 1948, WFTM came on the air. One of the first musical selections played was “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette,” written by Kentuckian Merle Travis. Program director Gene Waters, formerly of radio station WSAU in Bloomington, Ind., and chief announcer Hal Sargraves, formerly from station WPAY in Portsmouth, Ohio, kicked off programming, staying on the air for the first 24 hours. WFTM was an immediate hit with local and more distant listeners, and its first successful program, True to the Farm, dedicated information and agricultural reports to a heavily populated farming community. Col. J. Scott True, who created the program, received national recognition for it. After his death, the show was taken over by Bill Stewart; Stewart won the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s award of top broadcaster in 1977. Broadcast regularly from its inception, True to the Farm was aired for the 10,000th time in 1980. Over the years, many well-known local broadcasters have been heard over the airwaves of WFTM, including Bud Boyd, Nick Clooney, and Walt Maher. In 1965 WFTM added WFTM-FM, located at 95.9 on the radio dial. Today, WFTM-AM and WFTM-FM broadcast to more than 369,000 homes in the Ohio River Valley, with north-south coverage ranging from Hillsboro, Ohio, to Morehead, Ky., and east-west coverage from Williamstown, Ky., to Portsmouth, Ohio. “To Have Broadcasting Station Here,” Maysville (Ky.) Public Ledger, September 10, 1947, 1. “WFTM Will Go on Air Officially at 12:01 AM.,” Maysville (Ky.) Public Ledger, December 31, 1947, 1.
John E. Leming Jr.
WHALLEN, JOHN H. (b. May 1850, New Orleans, La.; d. December 3, 1913, Louisville, Ky.). John Henry Whallen, an Irish Catholic entrepreneur and a Democratic Party boss, was the son of immigrants Patrick and Bridget Burke Whallen. When John was a young boy, the family moved from New Orleans to Maysville, Ky., and later to Newport. By the time Whallen was 11 years old, the family was living at Grants Lick, where he came into contact with some Confederate Army recruiters. He persuaded the recruiters to allow him to enlist even though he was so young, and he thus became one of the youngest soldiers ever to serve in the Confederate Army. He was assigned to the Kentucky 4th Cavalry, the same unit in which Absolom Columbus Dicken, William Francis Corbin, and Squire Grant (see Grant Family), also from southern Campbell Co., served. Whallen was a gunpowder carrier and later a courier for Gen. John Hunt Morgan. Gen. Basil Duke and Capt. Bart Jenkins described Whallen as one of their best soldiers. Whallen served for about three years, mostly in Virginia. For his military ser vice, the Daughters of the Confederacy presented him with their highest award, the Cross of Honor. State officials in Kentucky also honored him by making him a Kentucky Colonel, and thereafter he was affectionately known as Colonel Johnny. At the end of the Civil War,
Whallen moved to Saratoga and Williamson (now 11th) Sts. in Newport, where he worked as a horsecar driver and as a lieutenant with the Newport Police Department. He also began operating a bar on what later became Liberty St. In 1880 John Whallen and his younger brother James opened a vaudev ille showplace, the Buckingham Theater, in Louisville. The brothers soon learned that family-type businesses did not return sufficient profit, so they switched to the bigger and bawdier type of burlesque shows. As their business grew, they expanded their holdings by purchasing the Empire and Casino Theaters in Brooklyn, N.Y., and began operating a chain of burlesque theaters. To protect his somewhat unsavory businesses, Whallen resorted to boss rule. He contributed to the emerging labor unions, paid off key officials, gave police free admission to his clubs, and set up assistance programs to help needy families. Many accused him of subverting the election process by paying people to vote and engaging in other ballotbox irregularities. In addition, he is said to have handpicked most of the Democratic candidates running for public office in Louisville. He also controlled the awarding of more than 1,200 city patronage jobs. Whallen felt that these moves would help protect his businesses from governmental controls and periodic protests by citizens groups. Although never elected to public office, Whallen virtually ran the City of Louisville from his Green Room at the Buckingham Theater. He became immensely popular, especially among Irish and German Catholics, blue-collar workers, and immigrants. In 1905, confronted with considerable evidence of wrongdoing, the Kentucky Court of Appeals removed from office all recently elected officials and appointed newspaper publisher Robert Bingham the temporary mayor. Thus ended more than 30 years of Whallen’s boss rule, and Louisville politics eventually returned to some semblance of normalcy. Whallen was married three times. His first wife was Marian Hickey, by whom he had three children, Ella, Nora, and Orrie. His second wife, Sarah Jane Whallen, was childless. His third wife, Grace Edwards Goodrich, had a daughter, Grace, whom Whallen adopted. Whallen died at age 63 in his Spring Bank Park home in Louisville. His funeral ser vice was attended by numerous friends and politicians, including Kentucky governor James B. McCreary (1875–1879, 1911–1915). Whallen was buried in a mausoleum at the St. Louis Catholic Cemetery in Louisville. After John Whallen’s death, his brother James attempted to continue running their empire but lacked his brother’s charisma and political acumen. The land on which John Whallen’s home and estate were located later became the site of Chickasaw Park. EarthSciences.com. “Colonel Johnny, the Duke of Buckingham.” www.earthsciences.com (accessed March 3, 2007). Gray, Karen R., and Sarah R. Yates. “Boss John Whallen: The Early Louisville Years (1876–1883),” JKS 1 (July 1984): 171–86. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 6570 (James P. Whallen), for the year 1930.
952 WHEATLEY DALLASBURG Kentucky Death Certificate No. 32298 (John H. Whallen), for the year 1913. Military Shoulder Patches of the U.S. “John H. Whallen.” http://ranger95.com (accessed March 3, 2007).
WHEATLEY (DALLASBURG). This Owen Co. hamlet along Ky. Rt. 227, 8.5 miles north of Owenton, is located within what is known as the Dallasburg Precinct. Dallasburg (the town’s name at first) emerged in 1825, shortly after the county was formed. The church there, the Dallasburg Baptist Church, derived its name from the town’s original name, not the reverse as has long been thought. The town was incorporated in 1850–1851. The name of the town’s post office was Dallasburg from 1850 to 1863; then in 1886 the post office was reestablished as Wheatley, honoring Rev. Wesley Wheatley, the postmaster and a highly respected citizen of the community. The center of community life is the Dallasburg Baptist Church, which has long supported Baptist missionary work both in the state and abroad. Since its establishment in 1851, this church has been home to several multiday series of revival meetings. The village has had several grocery stores over the years, along with a bank, formed in 1899. From 1912 to 1951, it had a high school. Perhaps the most famous person who came from Wheatley was Rev. W. B. Riley, later of Minneapolis, Minn., a Baptist minister who was nationally known during the first third of the 20th century. Wheatley has often been called the garden spot of the county. Houchens, Miriam Sidebottom. History of Owen County, Kentucky: “Sweet Owen.” Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1976. “Kentucky-Owenton,” CE, March 22, 1899, 8. Rennick, Robert M. Kentucky Place Names. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1984.
WHIG PARTY. The Whig Party had considerable support in Northern Kentucky since Henry Clay, its principal leader, was a Kentuckian. The 1824 presidential election and the agenda of John Quincy Adams (1825–1829), the new president, created new lines of demarcation in American politics. The Whig Party that Adams headed had grown out of a factious conflict between “radical,” or “Old,” Republicans and the party’s “Madisonian nationalists,” represented by politicians such as Henry Clay and President Adams. The former group held disdain for the aggressive economic programs sponsored by the latter. The tariffs implemented by the nationalists to protect American industrial development hurt many southern states’ economies; internal investments contributed to the expansion of the federal government, to the dismay of state’s-rights advocates. Many southerners also saw the Adams administration as antislavery. Adams and Clay, joined by former Federalist Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, represented the National Republican opposition party to the victorious Jackson Democrats after 1828. Henry Clay, titular head of the National Republican Party, developed the American System platform, high-
lighted by federally sponsored economic development programs, as a response to Jackson and the Democrats’ laissez-faire economic approach. These ideas later became the philosophical basis for the Whigs. Clay ran against Jackson for president in 1832 but did poorly in slave states, receiving only 37 percent of the national popu lar vote. The National Republicans disbanded as Clay and other antiJacksonians formed the new Whig Party in 1833. The formation of the Whig Party signaled the arrival of the second American party system: the Whigs and the Democrats. Henry Clay was the Whigs’ most powerful leader. Known as a great orator, Clay was also labeled “The Great Compromiser.” The Whigs’ two main southern strongholds were Kentucky and North Carolina. Because of the impact of Clay’s leadership, the Kentucky branch of the party enjoyed par ticu lar success, causing the state to be termed the “Cradle of Whiggery.” By the late 1830s, Kentucky Whigs controlled their state’s legislature and governorship. Part of this party strength had been built upon victories beginning in 1832 when James T. Morehead (1797– 1854) was elected lieutenant governor and Lewis Sanders (1781–1861) was elected secretary of state. Morehead, who later practiced law in Covington, had a distinguished political career, becoming Kentucky’s governor in 1834 and representing the state in the U.S. Senate as a Whig from 1841 to 1847. Sanders, of Carroll Co., served as U.S. district attorney from 1834 to 1838, following his term as secretary of state. The Whig legislative agenda included organizing the Bank of Kentucky and the Northern Bank of Kentucky to stimulate economic development, investing in turnpikes and navigation projects on the state’s rivers to improve transportation and communication, and increasing taxes to fund these projects. These efforts were appreciated so much by Kentucky voters that Whigs received a greater legislative majority in 1840 than in 1837. The Whig Party had a mass appeal in Kentucky that was stoked by many of the state’s newspapers. Local voices such as Covington’s Licking Valley Register, the Covington Journal, and the Maysville Eagle informed the public of every minutia of party life. Thomas B. Stevenson, a Northern Kentucky native, edited the primary Whig organ in Cincinnati. These papers were an important aspect of politics for both Whigs and Democrats. Although the Whig Party was known nationally as the party of the elite, in Kentucky it found its strength among wealthy slaveholders in the Bluegrass region, in cities such as Louisville and Covington, and among nonslaveholders in the “poor farming communities along the Ohio River.” This alliance was held together by Whigs’ successes in delivering their platform of internal improvements in the state, by the stature of several Whig leaders such as Clay and Stevenson, and by the perception of many people that the Whig Party was the party of opportunity. Whigs supported an active, interventionist approach, especially toward economic development. As long as these differences were
highlighted, the Whigs did well, winning state elections from the mid-1830s into the late 1840s. Beginning in the mid-1840s, however, Whig electoral victories became more challenging; and the party found itself facing more internal divisions and being outflanked by the Democrats and political splinter groups with more extreme views. Whig problems in Kentucky became evident in the state’s 1849 party and constitutional conventions. The failure of the Whigs to take a firm position on the issue of slavery, instead calling for “popular sovereignty,” motivated many emancipationists to leave the party. As the slavery issue grew more intense, more Kentucky Whigs began to leave the party, many joining the Democrats, who were seen not only as being more supportive of southern issues, but also more likely to find compromise on the national level and preserve the Union. Nevertheless, Whigs in Northern Kentucky still did well at the polls. In 1849 Whig state senator J. Russell Hawkins represented the 25th District (Boone, Carroll, and Gallatin counties), William K. Wall the 29th District (Bracken Co.), and John F. McMillan the 36th (Mason Co.). In the House, however, Northern Kentucky representation was split. The counties of Boone and Bracken were represented by Whigs Gabriel J. Gaines and Joseph Doniphan, but Mason Co. was split, with one representative being Whig J. McCarthey. Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, and Pendleton counties each had one Democratic representative. Whigs were forewarned regarding their popularity in the state in 1850 when the new constitution was placed before voters and was approved overwhelmingly. The new constitution called for almost all of the state’s elected offices to be on the ballot in the election of 1851: the governor and the cabinet, all seats in the House and the Senate, one U.S. Senate seat, and the entire congressional delegation (10 in all). The turnout in the 1851 election (71%) was lower than that of 1848 (87%), owing both to the new constitution’s reduction in the number of days to vote (from three to one) and to a residency requirement. In addition, with the constitution adopted, little difference appeared to remain between Democrats and Whigs. Although nativist sentiment had begun to be felt in Kentucky, Whigs at first distanced themselves from this element of the electorate. Democrats won the governorship by less than 1,000 votes, while Whigs won all other statewide offices, kept majorities in the State House and the Senate, and gained half of the congressional delegation. With the inability of the Whigs to elect Gen. Winfield Scott to the presidency in 1852, and the deaths of both Clay and Webster, the party’s national standing ended. Although Whig candidates continued to be elected to the U.S. Congress until 1856, Kentucky was one of the few states where Whigs remained a viable political force. In the 1853 election, Kentucky Whigs retained a majority in the state legislature and again split the congressional delegation. Kentucky Whigs and Democrats remained at a virtual political stalemate, but events were soon to overcome both. On the horizon was a growing nativist movement, and
WHITE’S RUN BAPTIST CHURCH
underlying all other political issues was the question of slavery. Antiforeign sentiment had been seen in Kentucky politics as early as 1847. By summer 1854, however, secret fraternal lodges associated with the growing nativist movement in America were forming in the state’s larger cities. To the political confusion were added temperance supporters, who were speaking of running a candidate for governor (among those mentioned was Norvin Green of Carrollton). Defectors from their parties to the temperance ranks hurt both Democrats and Whigs, but in particular Whigs seemed to provide the majority memberships of both the nativists and the temperance movement. After the local election successes of the nativist Know-Nothing movement nationally and throughout Kentucky in late 1854 and early 1855, Whig leaders reluctantly acknowledged the death of the Whig Party and attempted to maintain a political presence by taking over the Know-Nothing Party machinery. Some benefit was gained by this strategy, as 26 former Whigs were elected in slave states to the national legislature in 1855. Switching party allegiance to survive politically was common in the 1850s. John W. Menzies’s political history illustrates the phenomenon. Named as clerk to the Council in Covington in 1848, Menzies was a Whig; however, by 1855 he had become a member of the Know-Nothings and was elected that year to the Kentucky legislature representing Kenton Co. Cole, Arthur Charles. The Whig Party in the South. Reprint. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1962. “Complete List of Senators,” CJ, September 29, 1849, 1. Holt, Michael F. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999. Howe, Daniel Walker, ed. The American Whigs: An Anthology. New York: John Wiley, 1973. Poage, George Rawlings. Henry Clay and the Whig Party. Reprint. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1965. “The Popu lar Vote,” CJ, August 11, 1855, 2. “Representatives Elected,” CJ, September 28, 1849, 1. Volz, Harry August. “Party, State, and Nation: Kentucky and the Coming of the American Civil War,” PhD diss., Univ. of Virginia, 1982.
J. T. Spence
WHITE, CLARENCE CAMERON (b. August 10, 1880, Clarksville, Tenn.; d. June 30, 1960, New York City). Clarence White, the son of James W. and Jennie Scott White, was a world-renowned African American opera composer and director. White studied at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Oberlin, Ohio) and later spent the years 1908–1911 in London, England, with the black British composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. White also traveled to Paris, France. He began his teaching career in the public schools of Washington, D.C., and then served as director of music at West Virginia State College at Institute, W.Va. In 1937 he was named a music specialist for the National Recre-
ation Association, established by President Franklin Roosevelt (1933–1945) under the Works Progress Administration. The association offered aid in organizing community arts programs. In November 1938 White visited Covington to head a music institute for African Americans in Northern Kentucky. During the mornings, he conducted several institutes on music at Covington’s Lincoln-Grant School. The purpose of the institute was to advance the musical interests of the community and to develop choral and instrumental group participation. Mrs. Sadye L. Dunham, director of the Negro Youth Recreation Association of Northern Kentucky, was instrumental in bringing White to the community. To keep the community involved, training sessions were held nightly at the First Baptist Church and the Ninth St. Baptist Church. The training period resulted in a public concert in which African American spirituals were featured. In 1960, after a long and successful career in the opera composition, White died at the Sydenham Hospital in New York City. His most acclaimed composition was his 1932 opera Ouanga, which was first performed that year by the American Opera Society of Chicago. “Clarence White, Composer, Was 79,” NYT, July 2, 1960, 17. “Famed Negro Composer Heads Music Institute,” KP, November 30, 1938, 2. Notable Black American Men. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Research, 1999.
Theodore H. H. Harris
WHITE BURLEY TOBACCO. The first boatloads of Kentucky tobacco went to New Orleans in the 1780s. By 1839 Kentucky ranked second only to Virginia in the quantities of locally stemmed and packed tobacco shipped to England. Sometime during 1858–1859, Bracken Co. grower Laban J. Bradford found a mutated plant that appeared much lighter in color and texture than the original dark leathery leaf known as red burley. He saved the seeds and the following year sowed them in a separate patch. Over the next four years, Bradford selected only the sturdiest plants in that patch for new seeds. He called the distinct variety white burley and gave some of the seeds to a neighbor, George W. Barkley. While Bradford was serving as president of the Kentucky State Agricultural Society from 1862 until 1863, he noted that Kentucky had become the largest tobacco-producing state in the nation. In spring 1864, Joseph Fore and George Webb came across the Ohio river from Brown Co., Ohio, to Augusta, Ky., to obtain tobacco seeds. Barkley gave the men some white burley seeds, which they planted on land rented from Capt. Fred Kautz. Months later, Fore and Webb noticed that their new tobacco plants had a dirty yellow hue and light texture. This normally was a sign that plants were diseased, and so they burned that crop. The next year, however, when Webb saw the tobacco growing from the Kentucky white burley seeds he had brought back from Kentucky, he recognized that instead of being caused by a disease, the color and texture represented a definite new variety of tobacco. Webb
also found that the new crop developed neither mold nor rot as red burley tobacco plants did. Better yet, he could cut down the entire plant, rather than picking each leaf as it ripened. Webb produced a crop of 20,000 pounds that commanded top dollar at the Cincinnati tobacco market in 1866. The following year, he went to the St. Louis Fair and won a first prize and a second prize in tobacco-crop competitions. When Webb tried to patent what he believed was a new tobacco strain, he failed because Bracken Co. White burley had already become common in the Ohio and Kentucky region. This adaptable tobacco leaf revolutionized the industry, and for a brief time, Augusta became a clearing port for Central Kentucky’s production of white burley tobacco and the biggest market in the district. Steamboats lined the levee at Augusta for a mile and a half, and Cincinnati soon replaced Louisville as the region’s foremost distributor for Central Kentucky’s tobacco crops. “Bracken County Cradle of the White Burley,” Bracken County Chronicle, October 23, 1930. Clowes, Jack. “ ‘My Lady Nicotine’ Becomes Cash Crop with Aid of Frankfort’s Founder,” Lexington Herald-Leader, August 10, 1969. An article based on an 1873 article in the Frankfort Commonwealth in which Bradford described his role. Collins, Lewis, and Richard Collins. History of Kentucky. 2 vols. Reprint, Berea: Kentucky Imprints, 1976. Heimann, Robert K. Tobacco and Americans. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960. Van Willigen, John, and Susan C. Eastwood. Tobacco Culture: Farming Kentucky’s Burley Belt. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1998.
Donald A. Clark
WHITE’S RUN BAPTIST CHURCH. In March and April 1810, the Ghent Baptist Church sent John M. Price and Mordicah Jackson as helpers to constitute a new church at White’s Run, along Ky. Rt. 36 in Carroll Co. At least six of the new church’s charter members came from the church at Ghent. The White’s Run Baptist Church held its first worship ser vice on April 12, 1810. Meetings for worship and church business were held in the homes of members at first. A log structure was then built on an acre of land donated by the Easterday family out of the Whitehead land grant, in the community now known as Easterday. Members brought their slaves to church, and the first baptism of a slave, named Nicy, was in July 1812. Baptisms in the early years were conducted either in the Ohio River or in White’s Run Creek. It appears that during this period the church obtained money to pay expenses not through the practice of tithing but by levying a tax on members; male members usually paid a higher rate than females did. The early church believed in disciplining any member whose behavior was considered to be contrary to Christian beliefs. One of the early controversies occurred at the end of 1822, when charges were brought against two men for joining a Masonic Lodge. The church declared that the teachings of Jesus Christ were not compatible with the teachings of the Masons.
954 WHITE’S TOWER At first, the Baptist Church of Jesus Christ at White’s Run was a member of the Long Run Association. It later joined the Franklin Association, and in 1818 it met with other churches to form the Concord Association. On May 28, 1842, the congregation moved into a brick building that had been constructed alongside the old log house at Easterday. In 1900 the White’s Run Baptist Church and other churches withdrew from the Concord Association to form the White’s Run Baptist Association. In March 1941 electric lights were installed in the church building, long before many homes in the area had them. Other improvements include a new Sunday school annex, added in June 1954; stained-glass windows, installed in July 1959; a parsonage, built in 1969; an education-fellowship building, completed and dedicated in 1984; and a new lighted sign, erected on the church grounds in 1995. White’s Run Baptist Church Minutes, White’s Run Baptist Church, White’s Run, Ky.
WHITE’S TOWER. White’s Tower is located at the intersection of Taylor Mill Rd. (Ky. Rt. 16), Marshall Rd. (formerly Old Decoursey Rd.), and Ky. Rt. 536 (the Visalia-Staffordsburg Rd.). White’s Tower is an unincorporated area named for a white wooden tower built on what is today the McClure property, just opposite the intersection of Maverick Rd. and the Visalia-Staffordsburg Rd. The tower was built during the mid-1800s to observe and record topographic features of Kenton Co. at the location that was considered to be the highest point in the county. At that time, there were no airplanes to aid in the development of maps. The foundation for the tower still exists, and persons living in the area today who were born before the end of World War I remember seeing the tower. It was torn down during the mid1920s, when airplanes became routinely used in cartography and as the tower became a liability. Locals referred to the white tower for a directional landmark, and the name mutated to “White’s Tower” after its demise. A grocery, a garage, two saloons, and a restaurant were located at White’s Tower until the early 1950s. There was also oneroom school until the consolidation of Kenton Co. schools in 1929 closed the school and transferred students to the Independence School, four miles to the west. The current White’s Tower Elementary School was built in 1965 at the intersection of Taylor Mill Rd. and Harris Rd. (Ky. Rt. 536). Also located at White’s Tower are the Durr Extension Office and the YMCA swimming pool and soccer fields, all at the intersection of Marshall and Taylor Mill Rds. “Kenton Co.—Voting Place and Officer,” KP, November 1, 1929, 2. Reis, Jim. “White Tower Inn Destroyed by Fire,” KP, March 10, 2003, 4K. Rennick, Robert M. Kentucky Place Names. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1984.
WHITE VILLA. White Villa, an unincorporated community located in rural southeastern Kenton Co. along Decoursey Pk. (Ky. Rt. 177), takes its name from the White Villa Country Club. Developed in 1905 from the former Metz farm, the White Villa Country Club comprises about 150 acres wedged between the Louisville and Nashville Railroad tracks and the Licking River, with a one-mile-long frontage along the river. The club saw itself as a Catholic counterpart to the largely Protestant Ryland Lakes Country Club located nearby. Several prominent Northern Kentucky business leaders founded the White Villa Country Club, including department store proprietors John R. Coppin, Joseph Luhn, and John A. Stevie. Stevie served as the club’s president for several years until his death in 1930. Initially, the club’s grounds featured a clubhouse, an icehouse, and a spacious barn. Affiliated families built summer cottages on the grounds and fished in its lakes. To serve the spiritual needs of the club’s summer dwellers, the Diocese of Covington established the St. Matthew Parish at White Villa in 1909. For several years, the church held Mass only during the summer months. Since its inception, the White Villa Country Club has hosted several gatherings including political rallies and Fourth of July celebrations. “Another New Fishing Club,” KP, January 24, 1905, 1. “John A. Stevie Is Called by Death,” KP, June 13, 1930, 1. “To Dedicate a New Church at White Villa,” KP, May 27, 1909, 2. “White Villa Club Is a Reality,” KP, May 3, 1905, 2.
WHITTLESEY, CHARLES W., COLONEL (b. October 4, 1808, Southington, Conn.; d. October 17, 1886, Cleveland, Ohio). Charles W. Whittlesey, the son of Asaph and Vesta Hart Whittlesey, designed the defenses of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky during the Civil War. His family moved to Tallmadge, Ohio, in 1813, where he attended school while living on a farm. Whittlesey graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Pont, N.Y., in 1831. During his life in northeastern Ohio, he was a geologist, an archaeologist, a newspaperman, a lawyer, a soldier, an author, and a historian. His experience with geology certainly proved helpful in the role he played in the Northern Kentucky region. That is, during the Civil War, as a colonel in the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he designed and built in Northern Kentucky a line of fortifications extending from Ludlow on the west to the District of the Highlands (today Fort Thomas) on the east. The fortifications served as the successful line of defense for the city of Cincinnati. In September 1862, it was to Whittlesey that the Union Army looked when it came time to dig in against the Confederate troops commanded by Gen. Henry Heth that were threatening the Greater Cincinnati region. One of the defensive embankments erected in Kentucky was named for him: Fort Whittlesey (see Civil War Fortifications), located between the present-day Covington Reservoir and S. Fort Thomas Ave. in Fort Thomas. Anyone familiar with the path of the fortification line can recognize
Whittlesey’s knowledge of earth science at work. After the war, he returned to Cleveland and continued writing. He composed some 200 articles, tracts, essays, and reports in many fields, and several of his writings continue to be of value. Whittlesey was buried at Lake View Cemetery on the east side of Cleveland. Burial Record from the Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. Charles Whittlesey Papers, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio. Van Tassel, David D., ed. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1987.
WIDRIG FAMILY. Louis C. Widrig (1869–1932) was one of eight children of Thomas A. “Tobias” and Margaret Feth Widrig. Born in Newport, he completed his early education in that city and graduated in 1889 from the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy. He was licensed as a pharmacist in Ohio but returned to Kentucky to open his own pharmacy at Fifth and Columbia Sts. in Newport. He later had a number of other business interests. In 1909 he led a group that purchased the Altamont Hotel and the Shelley Arms in Fort Thomas. The Altamont was once a resort known for its mineral water, and both properties were acquired as part of bankruptcy proceedings. The plan was to operate them as a summer resort. Widrig was also a principal stockholder in the Alexandria Turnpike (see Turnpikes, Campbell Co.), which connected Newport and Alexandria, he became a part owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, and in 1918 he was elected treasurer of the Cincinnati Exhibition Company. In spite of leadership changes, he maintained his share in the company and served as treasurer until his death. Widrig was a charter member of the Newport Elks Lodge. When Widrig was in New York City for a meeting of major league baseball executives, he was severely burned during a fire in his suite at the Commodore Hotel on January 31, 1932. He died on March 29, 1932, as a consequence of the burns and was buried at St. Stephen Cemetery in Fort Thomas. At the time of his death, his shares in the Cincinnati Reds were appraised at $13,000. He never married. Two of Louis Widrig’s brothers were also Newport pharmacists. Tobias J. “Tobe” Widrig (1865– 1922) owned a drug store at Sixth and Washington Sts. in Newport. He was active in pharmacy and medical associations and served as a director of the Newport Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He died after a long illness and was also buried in St. Stephen Cemetery; he and his wife had no children. Edwin (also known as Edward) C. Widrig (1877–1941) graduated from the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy in 1898. He owned a store at Third and Saratoga Sts. in Newport for many years. His daughter married John T. Rawlings, Newport city manager during the Ohio River flood of 1937. “Louis C. Widrig Dead,” O.V.D.A. Review, April 1932, 2. “Lou Widrig Dies after Long Fight,” KP, March 29, 1932, 1.
WIEDEMANN, CHARLES “Shelly Arms Bought in by Louis Widrig,” KP, March 30, 1909, 5.
Dennis B. Worthen
WIEDEMANN, CARL F. (b. May 18, 1892, Newport, Ky.; d. February 9, 1961, Cincinnati, Ohio). Carl Wiedemann, the son of Charles F. and Elizabeth Wagner Wiedemann and a grandson of the founder of the Wiedemann Brewing Company, assisted in the management of the firm. The brewery for many years was the largest employer in Newport. In 1890 George Wiedemann Sr. died, leaving control of the brewing empire to Carl’s father, Charles. In 1895 a 17-room three-story chateau, designed by Samuel Hannaford and Sons for Carl Wiedemann’s grandmother Alice, widow of George Wiedemann Sr., was completed. It was located at the top of Park Ave. (house no. 1102) in Cote Brilliante, an up-and-coming city south of and not yet annexed by Newport. Later, Charles Wiedemann and his family moved into this home, which sat on an eight-acre estate. Carl’s mother died when he was six, and his father remarried in 1908. In accordance with the Wiedemann family’s manner of living, Austrian craftsmen were brought to Newport to install and carve the mansion’s interior woodwork. Carl became accustomed to the finer things in life, such as his family’s having Northern Kentucky’s first private in-ground concrete swimming pool in the backyard and employing servants of Chinese origin. Gatsbyesque parties were common at the mansion, as the upper levels of society from Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati hobnobbed amid the lush, manicured grounds, nibbling on specially prepared foods, sipping champagne and other party beverages, or perhaps playing shuffleboard. Carl also had an excellent education; he attended Yale University, where, from 1914 to 1916, he played left tackle and lettered in football. Somewhat older than most of the other students, Carl was often seen on dates with a gorgeous Broadway actress at his side. His every movement seemed to be tracked by local newspaper society columnists. He could not even change trains in Washington, D.C., en route to college, without newspapers back in Northern Kentucky reporting it. Carl loved racehorses and racing and owned a small stable of thoroughbreds. He housed them at his horse farm in Lexington and soon became a regular figure on the Kentucky racing circuit. During a trip he made to Keeneland Racecourse in fall 1921, accompanied by the lovely Dorothy M. Rainey, daughter of one of Newport’s first female medical doctors, Dr. Louise G. Rainey, a tragic incident took place. Shortly before midnight on October 25, while in Lexington, Dorothy Rainey, clothed only in a negligee, somehow tumbled from a window of the Lafayette Hotel to the sidewalk below. The next day, local authorities ruled it a suicide and released the body for transfer back to Newport, so as to not inconvenience the Wiedemann family; there was no mention or apparent concern for the interests of the Rainey family. Moreover, Rainey’s fall instantly elevated her status from girlfriend to
fiancée of Carl. His story concerning what happened was lame, but his family’s influential Lexington-area relatives intervened on his behalf. Meanwhile, Dorothy Rainey, who had once held the title of “The Prettiest Girl in Newport,” was sent back home and buried. Carl Wiedemann’s racing stable consistently competed in the best races on the prestigious Kentucky race circuit. In 1922, for example, he had horses that were nominated to run in both the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville and the Latonia Derby at Latonia Racecourse in Covington. In 1923, in the Fall Championship at the Latonia Racecourse, Carl’s horse In Memorium upset Kentucky Derby winner Zev, only to lose to Zev a few weeks later in a match race at Churchill Downs that was so close that its controversial result was long disputed. Both races had been followed by race fans with much anticipation, causing Carl Wiedemann’s name to be catapulted into national prominence by the dramatic races taking place in Kentucky. Also in 1923, with some help from the New York Times, Carl formally broke up with another girlfriend. During his days at Yale, he had met Allyn King, a Broadway comedy star and a member of the noted Ziegfeld Follies. When the relationship was over, Carl was quoted in the New York paper as saying that he and King were not engaged and that he “was still a member of the bachelors’ club.” Strangely, in March 1930 King fell to her death from a fift h-floor window at her New York City apartment. Carl was nowhere in the vicinity, but the Rainey incident was mentioned in the news media’s coverage of King’s death. On October 25, 1925, Carl Wiedemann married Celia Dooin. By spring 1930 their strained marital relationship was being detailed by newspapers in Northern Kentucky. However, there is no record that a divorce took place. Th irty years later, Carl’s obituary listed Celia as his surviving wife. In 1928 the Wiedemann Brewery was prosecuted by the federal government for making alcoholic products stronger than the law allowed. The officers of the corporation were summoned to appear before the Federal Court in Covington just as Charles Wiedemann’s health was deteriorating. Carl did perhaps the noblest thing of his life—he “took the rap” for his father and the others, paying a $10,000 fine and completing eight months of a two-year sentence in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Ga., before returning home for Thanksgiving that year, in what may be one of the first “shock probation” cases on record. Unfortunately, Carl did not make it home before his father died of cirrhosis of the liver on November 3, 1928. Carl’s annual trips to the Kentucky Derby in Louisville were legendary. In the 1920s, during Derby week, Carl seemed always to be trying to restore the social good times that had taken place before Prohibition. Louisville’s society blue-bloods and the ladies of the evening were enthralled as Carl arrived in Louisville with a cold, fully loaded beer truck, whose contents they consumed before Carl left town.
While Carl was helping to manage the Wiedemann Brewing Company, there were many lawsuits. In 1927, for example, just as the federal government was about to charge him and the corporation, Carl was sued by the Frank Herschede Company of Cincinnati ( jewelers) for the recovery of $996 due for merchandise. In November of that year, even though Carl was no longer racing any of his horses, the Early-Daniel Company of Cincinnati sued him for $165 for unpaid horse feed bills. By 1940 Carl was gone from the brewing company’s management team. He spent his time in various drinking establishments in and around Newport. Yet he retained his all- important ownership position at the brewery. The company kept him satisfied by sending him cash when needed, and when the bar tab became large, it was not uncommon to see a Wiedemann beer truck making a special delivery to settle Carl’s bill. In 1951 Carl’s boyhood home on Park Ave. was sold to the Diocese of Covington for use as the residence of its bishop. Locally owned beer companies were rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and the Wiedemann Brewing Company was no exception. In 1967 the company was sold to the G. Heileman Brewery of La Crosse, Wis. Carl Wiedemann, the last of the family’s owners, collapsed in February 1961 while living in Cincinnati and died later the same day at Cincinnati’s General Hospital. He was 68 years old. After a sedate funeral ser vice at the home of his sister Irma (Mrs. Charles T. Wagner), in Cincinnati’s fashionable Hyde Park neighborhood, he was buried in the family plot at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. “Brewery Head, Wiedemann, Is Dead,” KP, November 4, 1928, 1. “Carl Wiedemann Not to Wed,” NYT, December 27, 1923, 13. “Carl Wiedemann of Newport Nominated First Two Horses for Kentucky and Latonia Derbies,” KTS, February 10, 1922, 27. “C.F. Wiedemann Succumbs at 68,” KP, February 10, 1961, 1. “Kentucky Beauty Dies in 5-Story Fall,” NYT, October 26, 1921, 12. “Newport Man Who Met with Injury That Will Keep Him out of the Yale Line-up Saturday,” KTS, October 24, 1914, 12. “Personals,” KJ, May 19, 1892, 8. “Wiedemann Heir Seeks Divorce from Mate,” KP, March 27, 1930, 1.
Michael R. Sweeney
WIEDEMANN, CHARLES (b. June 16, 1858, Cincinnati, Ohio; d. November 3, 1928, Cincinnati, Ohio). Charles Frank Wiedemann served as president of the George Wiedemann Brewing Company of Newport from 1890 to 1928. Son of the company’s founder, George Wiedemann, Charles was an effective businessman trained specifically for this post in the family-controlled firm. He was educated in Cincinnati and received his early training in his father’s brewery. From 1876 to 1877 he studied the technical and scientific aspects of brewing in Munich, Germany. On his return to the United States, he spent a year in Milwaukee before rejoining his father in Newport. Charles served as
956 WIEDEMANN BREWING COMPANY superintendent of the firm, then vice president, and finally president after the death of his father. Under Charles’s leadership, the brewery continued to expand and to adopt the latest technological, distributive, and commercial advances. According to an 1894 source, “The high standing of the company in the financial world is due in the main to the business capacity of Charles Wiedemann.” In 1884 Charles married Elizabeth Wagner of Newport. A daughter, Lena, was born to the couple in 1888, and a son, Carl, in 1892. Elizabeth died in 1896. In 1908 Charles married Alice Mellinger of Covington. During the 1880s Wiedemann resided in Newport on Jefferson St. (now W. Sixth St.), next to the brewery. By the 1890s he had relocated to a Second Empire–style brick house at 709 Overton St. in East Newport. Before June 1900 he had moved into a stately suburban residence commissioned by his widowed mother, Agnes Rohmanns Wiedemann, who had died in January 1899. He lived there, at 1102 Park Ave. in the Cote Brilliante section of Newport, until his death. He was a good neighbor; in 1912, when the Roman Catholic church of St. Francis de Sales was built at Chesapeake and Grand Aves. in Cote Brilliante, down the hill from his home, Wiedemann donated to the parish a Verdin Company–made bell, which hung in the church belfry until recent times. In 1908 Wiedemann built a baseball park in Newport’s West End, home to a professional ball team called the Brewers. The following year he was elected president of the Kentucky Brewers Association and also became a director of the Kentucky Manufacturers Association. He was a director of the First National Bank of Newport and of the Evergreen Cemetery Association. He was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newport. Wiedemann was no stranger to controversy. In 1908 he threatened to call in a $3,000 debt owed to the brewery by St. Mark Lutheran Church in East Newport, despite claims that that the payment would bankrupt the congregation. In 1910 a Mrs. Murphy fell to her death in an elevator shaft in the Altamont Springs Hotel in Fort Thomas, of which he was a co-owner. Her death resulted in a $31,000 lawsuit. Wiedemann sold his interest in the hotel to his partner in 1916. In 1928 the federal government prosecuted the Wiedemann Brewery for making illegal alcohol. Charles, confi ned to his home by a two-year illness, never appeared in court. His son, Carl Wiedemann, took the blame for the crimes of his father and others. In 1928 Charles Wiedemann died of cirrhosis of the liver at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, just as his trial was about to start. His widow, Alice, was his sole beneficiary, inheriting the Cote Brilliant mansion and $250,000. Charles Wiedemann was buried in the family plot in Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Cincinnati: S. B. Nelson, 1894. Holian, Timothy. Over the Barrel: The Brewing and Beer Culture of Cincinnati. Vol. 1, 1800– Prohibition. St. Joseph, Mo.: Sudhaus Press, 2000.
Langsam, Walter E. “Charles Wiedemann House,” National Register of Historic Places Nomination, 1984, Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort, Ky. “Newport, Kentucky Brewers Meet,” CE, November 10, 1909, 11. Ohio Death Certificate No. 66931, for the year 1928. Purvis, Thomas L., ed. Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, Ky.: Otto Zimmerman, 1996. Reis, Jim. “The Beer Baron: Local Man Founded Wiedemann Brewery,” KP, October 20, 2003, 5K.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the George Wiedemann Brewing Company of Newport became one of the nation’s largest and most progressive breweries. Its history and that of the chief officers of the firm—nearly all members of or related by marriage to the Wiedemann family— provides a microcosm of more than a century of the beer industry in the United States, particularly in the Midwest. The company was founded by George Wiedemann Sr. (ca. 1834–1890), whose sons Charles Frank (1857–1928) and George Jr. (1866–1901) carried on the business after their father’s death. George Wiedemann Sr. was born and educated in Saxony, Germany, and trained in the brewing business there. After immigrating to the United States in 1853, he spent a few years in New York State and in Louisville before moving to Cincinnati. There, he entered the business with George Frank Eichenlaub in Walnut Hills, a Cincinnati suburb. In 1860 Wiedemann began work as the foreman of Cincinnati’s Kauff man Brewery. In 1870 he became a partner of John Butcher, proprietor of the small Jefferson Street Brewery in Newport. Wiedemann’s lager attracted many customers, who appreciated his use of the finest ingredients and the traditional German preparation of
Wiedemann Brewing Company.
the brew. By the late 1870s, the brewery was the largest in Northern Kentucky. In 1878 Wiedemann acquired the entire firm, which continued to expand under his leadership. The firm marketed its products under the name of Butcher and Wiedemann. In 1882 he added the former Constans Brewery at Monmouth and Liberty Sts. in Newport, near where the CSX Railroad crosses over U.S. 27 today. Ironically, the Constans operation had been purchased by Wiedemann’s former partner Butcher in 1878 but went bankrupt two years later. The scale of the Wiedemann Brewery’s future growth is suggested by Wiedemann’s improvements at the Constans site: he built a large malt house with a capacity of 200,000 bushels and a grain elevator that stored 160,000 bushels. The malt house survived a near-catastrophic fire in 1890 and remained until it was torn down in the early 1980s. In the late 1880s, Wiedemann began a major expansion and modernization of the brewery facilities, which came to occupy five acres in Newport at Sixth and Columbia Sts. Capitalizing on his quarter century of experience, he built one of the world’s largest and most efficient breweries, designed by Newport architect Charles Vogel. The brew-house was five stories tall, and the stable housed up to 150 horses. In 1893 master architects Samuel Hannaford and Sons of Cincinnati, who also designed George Wiedemann’s widow’s residence at 1102 Park Ave. in Newport’s Cote Brilliante district, designed the company’s ornate offices. The new plant brewed controversy, however, when it resulted in the displacement of the Corinthian Baptist Church, an African American congregation. Temperance and prohibition advocates denounced the move as an assault on religion in Newport. By 1889 three of Wiedemann’s brands— Standard Lager, Extra Pale Lager, and Muenchener— were sold widely in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
WILEMAN, ABRAM G., MAJOR
In 1890, after the death of George Sr., his two sons, Charles and George Jr., took over operations of the brewery, incorporating it as the George Wiedemann Brewing Company. By the 1900s the brewery was the largest south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River. During Prohibition, Newport became a center for bootlegging, and the smell of mash hung heavily over the city’s West End. Like Cincinnati breweries, Wiedemann’s tried to survive the dry years by producing nonalcoholic brews. Throughout the 1920s, they also distilled millions of gallons of alcohol for “industrial purposes.” At least half was the specially denatured variety used by the area’s bootlegging kingpin George Remus. Wiedemann’s became one of Remus’s biggest suppliers but was able to evade close scrutiny because of Remus’s political connections with prominent Republicans. In 1927 the company was charged by the federal government with producing more than 1.5 million gallons of illegal brew in violation of the Volstead Act, and the brewery was padlocked and closed. Carl Wiedemann, the grandson of George Sr. and the son of Charles Wiedemann, took the blame and served eight months of a twoyear sentence in a federal penitentiary. The Wiedemann Brewery reopened in 1933, following the repeal of Prohibition. It was reorganized in 1937 under the leadership of H. Tracy Balcom Jr., a grandson of the founder. Members of the family, who owned all the stock, continued to serve as its chief officers and spent a million dollars modernizing the plant. In the postwar era, Wiedemann’s remained one of the most viable Cincinnati-area independent beer producers. Production grew from 150,000 barrels in 1938 to 850,000 barrels by 1955. New programs, such as year-round newspaper advertising, and new brands, such as the premium Royal Amber, contributed to its success. Beginning in the 1950s, massive consolidation transformed the brewing industry. Heavily advertised national brands took over local breweries that had allowed their production facilities to become outdated. Wiedemann’s kept itself competitive by investing in new technology, but it faced an uncertain future because national producers could afford to undersell its price and weaken customer loyalty. In 1967 the Wiedemann Brewery was absorbed as an independent division by the Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wis. The Wiedemann brand proved profitable, but its production facilities were no longer cost-effective. In 1983 Heileman closed the Newport plant and shuttered the buildings. Because the Wiedemann Brewing Company had been the largest employer in Newport, the closure cost 400 regular jobs, reduced municipal payroll taxes by one-eighth, and slashed the Newport water department’s annual revenues. During the 1980s a commercial developer, National Redevelopment Inc., proposed reusing the Wiedemann Brewery buildings as an office and retail center called Wiedemann Square. The project won a federal Urban Development Action Grant but was never built. By the 1990s the entire brewery complex had been demolished. Part of the land was
later redeveloped as the Campbell Co. Justice Center. A Thrift way supermarket, built on part of the acreage, closed in 2004. Giglierano, Geoff rey J., and Deborah A. Overmyer. The Bicentennial Guide to Greater Cincinnati: A Portrait of Two Hundred Years. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Historical Society, 1988. Holian, Timothy. Over the Barrel: The Brewing and Beer Culture of Cincinnati. Vol. 1, 1800– Prohibition. St. Joseph, Mo.: Sudhaus Press, 2000. Langsam, Walter E. “Charles Wiedemann House,” National Register of Historic Places Nomination, 1984, Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort, Ky. Purvis, Thomas L., ed. Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, Ky.: Otto Zimmerman, 1996. “Wiedemann Plant Delivers First Beer since Prohibition,” KP, December 15, 1933, 1.
WILDER. Wilder, situated along the Licking River and the AA Highway (Ky. Rt. 9 or Licking Pk.) in northwestern Campbell Co., was incorporated in 1935. Settlement in the area dates back to 1789, when Maj. David Leitch founded Leitch’s Station nearby. The city and its environs have long had an industrial focus. The local 1883 Lake atlas describes the area as including Wilders Station, Finchtown, and Summerhill. The atlas shows a distillery, an icehouse, railroad yards, and the Licking Turnpike (a toll road). The Licking Turnpike (now Licking Pk.) was originally built by the Trapp Family and later sold to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The name Wilder comes from Wilder Station, a railroad depot that operated during the early days of the city. Either named for a Covington eye doctor or a member of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) Board of Directors, Wilder has always had an association with the Licking River and the railroad. On the hills of Wilder during the Civil War, fortifications were built in 1862 to fend off a Confederate invasion of the region. Remnants of Wilder’s Battery Holt remain on the tall hill overlooking the Licking River valley just above and behind today’s United Dairy Farmers Store at Licking Pk. and Moock Rd (see Civil War Fortifications). A racetrack named the Queen City Track operated from the 1890s until 1905 in the river valley area where Newport Steel is located. A street at the site of the defunct racetrack is named Queen City Ave. Wilder’s riverfront and hills today are occupied by Newport Steel, the Frederick’s Landing recreation area, and Bobby Mackey’s Music World (formerly the Latin Quarter). Carlisle Construction (now Maxim), the Castellini Produce Warehouse, Queen City Ice, and Sun Rock Farm are other businesses in the area. Wilder built a new city building in 2000. The reconstructed Ky. Rt. 9, or AA Highway, and I-275 provide easy access to the city, where many new homes, condominiums, and apartments have been built. A movie theater, a sports complex, restaurants, and other businesses are located at the intersection of I-275 and the AA Highway. In 2000 Wilder had a population of 2,624.
An Atlas of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1883. Campbell Co. Historical Society. Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794–1994. Alexandria, Ky.: The Campbell Co. Historical Society, 1994. U.S. Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov. (accessed June 4, 2008).
Kenneth A. Reis
WILDLIFE AREAS IN OWEN CO. In Owen Co., two wildlife management refuges help to maintain the natural habitat for this part of the Northern Kentucky region, while providing noncommercial recreational opportunities to those who visit. In the northwestern area of the county, just north of Moxley, along Ky. Rt. 355 and the Kentucky River, is the Twin Eagle Wildlife Area. Established in 1962, this 166-acre tract is owned and managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. It runs along the steep Kentucky River terrace, consisting of woods, croplands, grasslands, and sloughs. Doves, rabbits, quail, deer, turkeys, and sometimes ducks can be seen there. Hiking, climbing, and fishing are permitted, but no camping. Included within its boundaries are 70 acres of river-bottom cropland. The second wildlife refuge in Owen Co., also owned and managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, is the Kleber Wildlife Area. It is in the southern part of the county, west of Harmony, along Ky. Rt. 368 (Cedar Rd.), near the Franklin Co. line. It lies between U.S. 127 and Ky. Rt. 227. In April 1953 the State of Kentucky purchased 750 acres of land to establish this wildlife refuge. Approximately 75 percent of the initial cost was funded by the will of John A. Kleber, a longtime Frankfort businessman. Today, the refuge has expanded to 2,556 acres and extends into Franklin Co. Hiking is available over terrains of steep hillsides, narrow ridges, and floodplains full of woods, brush, grasslands, and wildlife food plots. Quail, deer, squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, groundhogs, and raccoons can be observed. Bluegill fishing is permitted at the refuge’s small pond and in Cedar Creek. Hiking and primitive camping are also allowed. This is the site of the annual Christmas Bird Count conducted by the Frankfort Bird Club and the Frankfort Audubon Society. Houchens, Mariam Sidebottom. History of Owen County: “Sweet Owen.” Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1976.
WILEMAN, ABRAM G., MAJOR (b. 1821, Stark Co., Ohio; d. October 5, 1863, Knoxville, Pendleton Co., Ky.). Abram Wileman, a physician and a Civil War major, was the son of Mahlon and Elizabeth Logue Wileman, Quakers who moved to Stark Co., Ohio, from Columbiana Co., Ohio. In 1858, after having lived in Pendleton Co. for three years, Abram Wileman divorced his wife Elizabeth and married Parthenia A. Race of Pendleton Co. They resided along the Falmouth-Knoxville Rd. (Ky. Rt. 467). During the Civil War, Abram enlisted in 1861 on the Union side and was commissioned a
958 WILLIAM H. HARSHA BRIDGE captain in the 18th Kentucky Infantry. He saw action in several battles as an infantryman and was promoted to major. During the battle of Chickamauga, Tenn., in September 1863, Wileman suffered a gunshot wound in his left forearm and returned home to recuperate. On the evening of October 5, 1863, while he sat in his parlor with his wife and some neighbors, Confederate guerrillas burst in, reportedly under Gen. John C. Breckenridge’s command. They took $200 from Wileman’s neighbors but got nothing from the doctor. The invaders took Wileman a mile and a half down the road and murdered him with a shot through the head. Wileman’s murder emphasizes how divided Pendleton Co. was by the Civil War. Generally speaking, the northern part of the county was proUnion, and the southern area, around Morgan and McKinneysburg, favored the Confederacy. Although the incident was investigated by the Union deputy provost marshal of Pendleton Co., no legal action ensued. Dr. Wileman’s widow and three children moved to Stark Co., Ohio, and Wileman was buried at the Marlboro Cemetery, near Marlboro, Ohio. Belew, Mildred Boden. The First 200 Years of Pendleton County. Falmouth, Ky.: M. B. Belew, n.d. [ca. 1994]. Warner, W. A. Paris (Ky.) Western Citizen, October 23, 1863. Wileman, A. G., Military Payroll and Ser vice Records, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
WILLIAM H. HARSHA BRIDGE. The William H. Harsha Bridge across the Ohio River, located 2.8 miles downstream from the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge at Maysville, was dedicated on October 9, 2000, and was opened to traffic in January 2001. It was named for William H. Harsha, the longtime southern Ohio U.S. congressman from Portsmouth, Ohio, who served what was then the Sixth District of Ohio for 20 years (1961–1981). Construction began in April 1997. It is Kentucky’s first cable-stayed suspension bridge; located at Charleston Bottoms, the bridge has two 12-foot auto lanes and two 12-foot shoulders. The bridge’s five spans total a length of 2,100 feet, and for much of that distance the bridge hangs from two 343foot-tall dominating H-shaped towers. Simply put, the bridge’s design allows for movement to take place without any noticeable effect on the structure itself. Built at a cost of $37 million, the bridge does not replace the nearby Simon Kenton Bridge but complements it by diverting the heavy transient truck traffic from downtown Maysville, while encouraging the overall economic development of the area. The William H. Harsha Bridge provides an easy link between the AA Highway in Kentucky and U.S. 52 in Ohio. Sometime in the future, the William H. Harsha Bridge may become part of the proposed highway between Lexington, Ky. and Columbus, Ohio. A similar type of bridge was constructed along the Ohio River upstream from Maysville at Ports-
mouth, Ohio, leading into Lewis Co., Ky. Known as the U.S. Grant Bridge, it opened for moving traffic on October 16, 2006.
ily. In 1994 their son Ken Jr. died from head injuries suffered in a fall outside Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.
“$3m Bridge Opens,” CP, January 13, 2001, 7A.
Ancestry.com. Kentucky Birth Index. www.ancestry .com (accessed March 27, 2006). Boehmker, Terry. “CovCath Grad Worked on 104th Floor Office,” KP, September 12, 2001, 1K. Williams, Ken, father of Brian. Telephone interview by Jack Wessling, March 23, 2006.
WILLIAMS, BRIAN P. (b. May 8, 1972, Covington, Ky.; d. September 11, 2001, New York City). Brian Patrick Williams, a victim of 9/11, was the third of four children born to Kenneth E. and Kathleen G. Burke Williams. The other children were Ken Jr., Andy, and Tara. Brian attended St. Pius X Grade School in Edgewood and Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills. He was an excellent student and also earned varsity letters in basketball, football, and track in high school. He then attended Columbia University in New York City, majoring in economics, and after graduation began working as an agency salesman for CantorFitzgerald, investment bankers in New York City. His office was located on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, when the two hijacked airliners crashed into the Twin Towers, Brian’s family feared the worst but prayed for the best. They watched the television news and anxiously sat by their telephone, hoping to hear from Brian, but the call never came. The family was able to make contact with Brian’s girlfriend, Lisa Kraus, in New York City, but she indicated that she had also been trying in vain to reach him. Some of Brian’s New York City friends made the rounds of area hospitals, but those trips yielded no information about him. The FBI hotline that was set up to provide the names of survivors, those injured, and the known dead also gave no clue to Brian’s whereabouts. After days of searching, Brian was still listed as missing. Some of his remains later were recovered, however, and returned to his grieving family. Prayer ser vices were held at Covington Catholic High School, and a memorial Mass was held in his honor. His remains were buried in the Mother of God Cemetery in Covington. This tragedy was the second endured by the Williams fam-
Brian Patrick Williams, June 2001.
WILLIAMS, CAROLINE “LINE” (b. November 10, 1908, Covington, Ky.; d. March 9, 1988, Burlington, Ky.). Caroline Williams, the daughter of nationally recognized Cincinnati Enquirer artist Carll B. Williams and Mary Teal Williams, was an artist, a historian, a printer, and a writer. She was best known for her pen and ink drawings but also known for the masterful etchings she used on her own press and for her charm, warmth, sense of humor, and rugged individualism. Caroline spent her first five years in Kentucky. The family lived at various residences in Northern Kentucky until 1913, when they bought a home in Cincinnati. At age five Caroline picked up a pen and found her calling in art. She received her education at Cincinnati’s Hughes High School, the University of Cincinnati (attending for one year), the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and the Art Students League in New York City. Early in her career, Williams was keenly interested in portraiture; however, during the Great Depression it was difficult to make a living as a freelance artist. Four years after her father’s death in 1928, the blue-eyed, slender Williams followed in her father’s footsteps and began working for the Cincinnati Enquirer, where he had been artistic director, in March 1932. She did miscellaneous tasks, including some illustrating, and ran errands. Cincinnati artist E. T. Hurley, a friend to both Caroline and her father, had a strong influence on her. After seven months with the Enquirer, she showed a few incidental sketches of city scenes to a managing editor, and the idea of a regular weekly feature entitled A Spot in Cincinnati was born. Her first sketch for this column was a skyline view from Liberty Hill, in the Mount Auburn section of Cincinnati, which appeared in the Enquirer in November 1932. Her sketches were in charcoal, ink, or pen. Occasionally, she would photograph a scene and then complete the sketch at home. She spent long hours at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Co. and at the Cincinnati Historical Society, researching old buildings and sites. Her drawings of spots around Cincinnati appeared in the Enquirer’s Sunday editorial pages for 47 years. At first, staff writers were assigned to write captions for Williams’s sketches, but when the caption was missing one week, she took on the task herself. Soon readers began to look forward to her personal comments about each scene. Later some of her sketches featured sites in Northern Kentucky and Indiana. Williams remained at the Enquirer until 1945, when she began a freelance career; however, she continued her A Spot in Cincinnati for the newspaper.
WILLIAMS, ELLISON E.
In the late 1930s, when Williams became concerned about the rise of Nazi aggression, she joined the Committee to Defend America, where she met its secretary, Dorothy Caldwell. They became fast and lifelong friends. During World War II, both women volunteered for the American Red Cross Motor Corps, transporting blood donors at a time when gasoline was rationed. They also drove busloads of soldiers from their base at Cincinnati’s Lunken Airport to the city. In 1941 Williams designed a stylized map of Cincinnati, which was sold during the Christmas season at Closson’s, downtown Cincinnati’s famous art gallery and furniture store. Between 1943 and 1945, she also sold real estate for the Morton Bruce Company. At the same time, her sketches were in great demand at galleries across the city. In March 1942 Closson’s Gallery exhibited her drawings and etchings of towns in Quebec, Canada, made during a tour there with her friend Dorothy Caldwell. Near the end of World War II, Williams purchased 52 acres in Burlington, which included two log cabins that she converted into a single twostory log cabin home, doing much of the carpentry herself. Her mother resided with her. Williams set up her presses (she eventually had four) in a corncrib and a smokehouse on the property. One of her favorite pastimes was fishing in her pond. The mix of past and present was an ever-present theme of Williams’s work well into the 1960s. She expressed frustration over some people’s urge to tear down mellow old buildings. She became, for many Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents, the artist of the region’s immediate past. Kentucky author Jesse Stuart wrote, “Artist Caroline Williams has a passion for old architecture. She weeps when a building goes.” Williams made original drawings for many corporations, including Christmas cards for the Fift h Third Bank of Cincinnati. Her snow scenes, including Methodist Church of Florence (March 12, 1950); The Residence of Dr. George C. Kolb (on Belmont Ave. in Cincinnati) (February 26, 1939); and Pershing Avenue, off Main Street in Covington (December 23, 1956), were especially well received. In 1962 Williams received the Cincinnati Institute of Fine Arts award. She was the first woman to receive the Rosa F. and Samuel B. Sachs Prize,
awarded for her book Cincinnati—Steeples, Streets, and Steps, which included 96 of her sketches. Williams carried out every aspect of her sketches, from the drawing, to the handset type, to the printing. She also received a citation by the Ohioana Literary Association for distinguished ser vice to Ohio in the cause of the arts. It was said that she had done more to publicize Greater Cincinnati’s and Northern Kentucky’s beauty than any other person. Until she received the Sachs prize, Williams had refused Enquirer readers a visit to her home. After that, however, she permitted publication of a pictorial tribute, a photograph of her seated in her home. Williams published five books, The City on Seven Hills (1938), Mirrored Landmarks of Cincinnati (1939), As Always— Cincinnati (1951); Cincinnati Scenes: Steeples, Streets, and Steps (1962), and Louisville Scenes (1971). The Enquirer produced the first of her books, and some of the later works were published in her Penandhoe Print Shop. She also produced illustrations for the literary magazine Talaria between 1936 and 1953, including the Talaria book Garland for a City (1946). Williams’s sketches showed up on napkins, checks, and plastic placemats. In 1973 Cincinnati’s Newstedt, Loring, Andrews Jewelers sent her to Europe to develop a series of her sketches of scenes for English Wedgewood collector plates. At the time of her death, the 1988 commemorative Caroline Williams plates of Winton Place Railroad Station awaited shipment from England. Her last two sketches, Cincinnati’s Plum Street Temple and St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, appeared in 1979, when Williams was 71 years old. She stopped making sketches for the newspaper in early December 1980 and spent her final years creating watercolors in the style she had studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. One of her last watercolors was Mother of God Church, Covington, Ky., painted at the request of Gerald Bogenschutz, a United Parcel Ser vice driver who delivered supplies to Williams for nearly 20 years. He was a member of Mother of God Catholic Church, and in late summer 1987, he asked her to donate a painting to an auction for the benefit of the church’s restoration, following a $1.5 million fire. She responded generously with this watercolor painting. Williams died in her sleep at her log cabin in 1988 and was buried with her family at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville, Ind. Shortly after her death, the Chidlaw Gallery at the Art Academy of Cincinnati presented an exhibition in honor of the City of Cincinnati’s Bicentennial that included her treasured drawings, etchings, and watercolors as well as illustrations and cartoons by her father, Carll Williams; there were 60 works in all. She had kept the originals of most of her weekly entries in the Enquirer. The funds derived from the exhibition were used for the Caroline Williams Scholarship Fund at the academy. The original drawings for the Enquirer series became the property of the Cincinnati Historical Society, and more than 1,200 of them were offered for sale in February 1994.
Much of old Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky would have been forgotten without the sketches and paintings of Caroline Williams, who preserved the images of the past during a time of destructive urban renewal. Canfield, Victor, cochair of restoration, Mother of God Catholic Church. Interview by Rick Sacksteder, December 11, 2006, Covington, Ky. “Caroline Williams, Artist: Works Appeared on Enquirer Editorial Page,” CE, March 10, 1998, D2. Conrad, Mary T. “Remembering Caroline,” QCH 48, no. 3 (Fall 1990): 17–21. Cox, Mary. “As Always . . . Caroline,” Art Academy News, May–June 1988, 11. Findsen, Owen. “An Artist’s View of the City,” CE, August 5, 1988, B1. ———. “Log Home Perfect for Artist’s Press,” CE, November 28, 1999, F4. Green, Joe. “Have You Met? Caroline Knits No More!” CE, July 22, 1961, 11. Kain, Allan. “Caroline Williams,” CE, May 26, 1963, supplement, 20–21. Redman-Rengstorf, Susan. “The Queen City through the Eyes of Caroline Williams,” QCH 48, no. 3 (Fall 1990): 3–16. Stein, Jerry. “Capturing City Spirit in Pen, Ink,” CP, August 5, 1988, B7. Williams, B. Y., and Annette Patton Cornell, poems; Caroline Williams, drawings. Garland for a City. Cincinnati: Talaria, 1946. Williams, Caroline. “Pershing Avenue, off Main Street in Covington,” CE, December 23, 1956, sec. 3, p. 2.
Richard M. Sacksteder
WILLIAMS, ELLISON E. (b. April 19, 1766, North Carolina; d. August 11, 1850, Kenton Co., Ky.) Ellison Williams, a Northern Kentucky pioneer and road-builder, arrived in Kentucky with his family in 1775. He was present at Bryants Station in August 1782 when it was attacked by Simon Girty and his band of pro-British Indians. Williams became a friend and favorite hunting companion of Daniel Boone. After Williams came to Kenton Co. in 1785, he and his brother built the first house in Covington, near the mouth of the Licking River. Ellison Williams settled on a farm along what became the Banklick Turnpike, eight miles south of Covington, and lived there for some 65 years. He built many roads in Northern Kentucky, as the early Campbell Co. court order books attest, and was often a guide and escort for travelers between Northern Kentucky and Lexington. During Mad Anthony Wayne’s campaign against the Indians in northern Ohio (1793– 1794), Williams had the contract to supply Wayne’s army with venison and wild game, which, according to records, he did quite satisfactorily. When Daniel Boone’s remains were re-interred in Kentucky at the Frankfort Cemetery in 1845, Williams was a pall bearer, and at that time he requested that his own remains eventually be placed near Boone’s grave. Williams died at his farm in 1850. In May 1860, in response to an 1860 order of the Kentucky legislature, his remains were moved to Frankfort for reburial near Boone’s. Williams was known as a good woodsman, a fearless man, and a true friend. “Ellison Williams,” CJ, May 26, 1860, 2.
960 WILLIAMS, GLENROSE WILLIAMS, GLENROSE (b. January 4, 1921, Bullittsville, Boone Co., Ky.; d. April 26, 2008, Burlington, Ky.). Edith Glenrose Williams, who was a Boone Co. sheriff, was the daughter of J. T. “Jake” and Edith Carpenter Williams. In 1944, while serving as sheriff of Boone Co., her father died suddenly, and Glenrose Williams was appointed the first female sheriff in Boone Co. Williams had served as a deputy sheriff for her father, doing bookkeeping work. After his death, many people felt a woman could not carry out the job of sheriff. However, Boone Co. judge Carroll Cropper disagreed and recommended her appointment, which was approved by Kentucky governor Simeon S. Willis (1943–1947). The news of Williams’s appointment to the sheriff position was published in newspapers as far away as Hawaii. During Williams’s tenure, the gambling interests prevalent in Campbell and Kenton counties wanted to expand into Boone Co., setting up a confrontation between the female sheriff and a representative of the Chicago mob. The big test came when the mob brought gambling just over the Boone Co. border to a location along the Dixie Highway (U.S. 25). Accompanied by her deputy, Williams entered the building, and a member of the mob approached her, smiling. In plain sight, in the front room of the building, was a bank of slot machines, and in the back other forms of gambling were occurring. Sheriff Williams arrested the mobster for gambling with the slot machines and ordered him to appear in court in the morning. He was never seen in Boone Co. again, and gambling did not spread to Boone Co. The confiscated slot machines were smashed with a sledge hammer, which Williams wielded for the first blow. The all-iron machines were destroyed on the sidewalk in front of the old courthouse, in public, as demanded by state law. Williams did not seek another term because she did not expect to win. Her term as sheriff ran from 1944 to 1946, filling out her father’s elected term. In later years, one time when Williams was leaving Flick’s Grocery in Burlington, a young woman asked if she could help the elderly Williams with her bags. The young woman was a Boone Co. deputy sheriff, and when Williams told her that she had once been sheriff, the deputy was not able to believe her. Williams’s husband, Byron Kinman, was the first police chief of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and at one time also served as the sheriff of Boone Co. He died in 2006. Glenrose Williams died in 2008 and was buried in Florence Cemetery. Ancestry.com. “Kentucky Birth Index, 1911–1999.” www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8788 (accessed December 4, 2006). Warner, Jennifer S. Boone County: From Mastodons to the Millennium. Burlington, Ky.: Boone Co. Bicentennial Book Committee, 1998.
WILLIAMS, SHEILA (b. December 13, 1954, Columbus, Ohio). Novelist Sheila Williams is the daughter of James W. Williams Jr. and Myrtle Jones Humphrey. Born and reared in Columbus,
Ohio, she was educated in the Columbus public schools, attended Ohio Wesleyan College, and graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in political science. She was employed in the corporate business world as a legal secretary, a para legal, and a mutual fund product manager; she worked for law firms, two banks (including Cincinnati’s Fift h Third), and a Fortune 500 corporation. She gave up her career in the corporate world to pursue her passion for writing and published her first book at age 48. She is currently the author of four novels: Dancing on the Edge of the Roof (2002), The Shade of My Own Tree (2003), On the Right Side of a Dream (2005) (a Kentucky Educational Television Book Club discussion selection), and Girls Most Likely (2006). Her novels often deal with women “finding themselves” by overcoming issues such as domestic violence and pursuing their personal dreams in the popu lar romance genre. Her novel Dancing on the Edge of the Roof was nominated for the Kentucky Literary Award in 2005. Sheila and her husband moved to Cincinnati in 1999 and three years later moved to Newport, where they currently reside. Sheila Williams. www.sheilajwilliams.com/ (accessed June 2007). Wecker, David. “Former Exec Finds Niche as Author.” www.cincypost.com/2003/11/20/wecker112003 .html (accessed June 2007).
WILLIAMSON, JOHN A. (b. July 9, 1826, Portsmouth, Ohio; d. July 7, 1898, Newport, Ky.). Riverboat captain and bridge-builder John Allen Williamson was the son of Samuel and Mary Slack Williamson. The family arrived in Newport in 1833, and Samuel died of cholera soon afterward. Son John became a steamboat pi lot by age 18 and soon owned part of a line of boats operating on the lower Ohio River. Williamson was a successful steamboat captain for many years. In 1866 he leased the Newport and Cincinnati Ferry. In 1867 he was president of the Newport City Council. In 1884 he began to formulate plans for a bridge across the Ohio at Newport. He organized the companies to build it, incorporating them as the Central Railway and Bridge Company in Kentucky and the Central Bridge Company in Ohio; he was the president of both companies. His bridge, known as the Central Bridge, opened on August 29, 1891. It was at the time the second-longest bridge in the United States. In addition, Williamson was a bank president, was involved with the water company, served as president of the Newport Light Company, and consolidated the horse streetcar lines in Northern Kentucky. He died in Newport in 1898 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. His wife, Elizabeth Kirby Williamson, whom he had married in 1848, and a son, Lawrence, survived him. His estate was valued at one-half million dollars. Williamson was also the uncle of well-known Newport-born suff ragette Josephine Williamson Henry. Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Chicago: John M. Gresham, 1896.
“Passed Away,” KP, July 8, 1898, 3. Reis, Jim. “Central Bridge a Symbol of Pride,” KP, January 9, 1995, 4K. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
WILLIAMSTOWN. This city, which is the seat of Grant Co., is located at the junction of U.S. 25, Ky. Rt. 22, and Ky. Rt. 467, east of I-75. The city is near the site of Littell’s Station, which was established above the North Branch of Fork Lick by James Littell (1754–1833) and his wife, Michah Standiford, in about 1792. Their son William Littell (1789–1823) was instrumental in the creation of Grant Co. in 1820. Williamstown was laid out on land owned by Capt. William Arnold, who served in the Virginia line in the Revolutionary War, moved to Kentucky in the 1780s, and also fought in the Indian Wars, including Harmar’s 1790 campaign, during which he was wounded. By July 1809, the area had a post office called Arnold’s. In 1820 Captain Arnold donated land on which to build public buildings for the newly established county of Grant. The county court met in June 1820 at the new town of “Philladelphia [sic].” However, the state soon informed the county leaders that there was already a city in Kentucky by that name and that they would have to choose another. The name was changed to William’s Town, in honor of William Arnold and also, presumably, William Littell, the surveyor of the county court. In the early 1820s, a jail and a courthouse were completed and the Grant Seminary opened. By 1822 a post office was established with the name of Williamstown Court House. An official plat of the city showed 99 one-fourth-acre lots on a 25-acre site. The first church located at Williamstown was the Mount Nebo Church of Christ, organized in 1822 and closed by 1824. Other denominations followed: the Williamstown Par ticu lar Baptist Church in 1826, the Williamstown Christian Church in about 1827, the Williamstown Methodist Church (see Williamstown United Methodist Church) in 1847, the Williamstown Baptist Church in 1878, and the St. William Catholic Church in 1893. In the early nineteenth century, Abner Gaines (see Gaines Tavern) began operating a stagecoach line through the county. By the mid-1830s Robert Coleman had opened a blacksmith shop on the corner of Main and Mill Sts. From the 1820s through the 1840s, many taverns or inns were opened in Williamstown, to serve the growing needs of stagecoach travelers along the Covington and Lexington Turnpike. Diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever often struck the city, killing many citizens. Fires were also a constant threat, and at least three times fire destroyed most of the frame buildings in town. In 1859 a group of Williamstown businessmen purchased six acres of land on which to establish the Williamstown Municipal Cemetery. In the early years, the town grew slowly; by 1870 it had only 281 residents. The city’s first news-
WILLIAMSTOWN BAPTIST CHURCH
Grant Co. courthouse, Williamstown, ca. 1908.
paper, the Williamstown News, began publishing on October 10, 1872, but ceased operations after about six months. In 1874 another newspaper, the Williamstown Sentinel, was begun. In 1879 the Williamstown Courier was established, and it merged in 1909 with the Grant Co. News, which since that time has been the only newspaper serving the city. The first medical doctors to live and practice in Williamstown were Dr. Wesley Tully and Dr. Samuel Tungate. In addition to being a physician, Dr. Tully owned a general store on Main St., was a trustee of the city and of the Seminary school, and also served as deputy sheriff. The town’s namesake, William Arnold, died in 1836, and his wife died several years later. A two-story log house once owned by the Arnold family has been restored and recently relocated (see Arnold, William, and the Arnold Log House). During the Civil War, although Kentucky attempted to remain neutral, several skirmishes occurred in and around Williamstown. Some of the citizens fought for the Union, while others fought for the Confederacy, and many prominent citizens were arrested and jailed for their allegiances. On November 1, 1864, 32 Confederate soldiers raided the town, attempting to find a large cache of government money that they believed was held in a vault at Tunis Hardware, but none was found. After the fruitless search, the soldiers plundered the store (see Williamstown Raid). After the end of hostilities, the conflict gradually faded from memory and life returned to normal. Better access to the town was gained in 1877, when the Cincinnati–New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railroad (see Southern Railway) laid tracks through the town and built a depot there. The train provided residents with access to employment and markets in Cincinnati and in the GeorgetownLexington area in Kentucky. The city built a lake and a water tower in 1929, to provide a safe water supply for its residents. Williamstown became quite
self-sufficient when in the 1970s it also built a modern sewage-treatment plant. By the mid-1950s, the city had outgrown the existing lake, so a new, larger one was built. Lake Williamstown, completed in May 1957, not only provided additional water for city growth but also offered recreational opportunities. In recent years there have been plans to enlarge the lake and try to make it into a state park. The greatest change in transportation to Williamstown came in the 1960s, when I-75 was built just west of the city. The expressway provided easy access to most major cities in Northern and Central Kentucky. The 2003 completion of the Barnes Rd. intersection off I-75 has further improved the city’s accessibility and has also provided an area for new commercial development outside of the older part of town. Williamstown is a fift h-class city governed by a mayor and a six-member city council. The 2000 census indicated that the city had a population of 3,227. Chandler, Virgil, Sr. “William Arnold, First Sheriff of Grant County and Founder of Williamstown, Grant County, Kentucky,” Grant County Historical Society Newsletter, no. 59 (June–July 1998): 365–70. City of Williamstown. www.wtownky.org (accessed September 25, 2006). Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992. Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. U.S. Census Bureau. “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed October 3, 2006).
WILLIAMSTOWN BAPTIST CHURCH. On June 1, 1878, eight charter members in Williamstown organized the Williamstown Baptist Church, which was sponsored by the Elkhorn Baptist Association. The church was the fifth Baptist church in Grant Co. Initially it met in the courthouse under
the leadership of its first pastor, Rev. C. H. McDowell, who resigned three months later. S. H. Burgess (1878–1886) replaced him as the church’s minister. Church ser vices continued to be held in the courthouse until the church’s first building, located on the east side of Mill St. in Williamstown, was completed at a cost of $3,000 and dedicated in July 1883. In August 1889, to provide increased opportunities for fellowship with neighboring churches, the church requested dismissal from the Elkhorn Baptist Association and accepted membership in the Crittenden Baptist Association in June 1890. Between 1902 and 1910, the Williamstown Baptist Church suffered a series of problems, and as a result, its membership declined from 200 to 114. Finally, the church began to grow in ser vice, strength, and vision as membership returned to 200 by 1918. During the pastorate of John S. Ransdell (1918–1922), the church made an important decision, to move its 41-year-old church building from Mill St. to a more visible location in town along Main St., at a cost of $8,000. The first ser vice at the new site was conducted on October 4, 1919, and church ser vices were begun there on a full-time basis in 1920. A later remodeling and expansion project, costing $20,000, was finished in time for a dedication ser vice on October 2, 1938. A day-long ser vice was held celebrating the church’s first 60 years. By that time, church membership had grown to 363. The first parsonage, a five-room brick house adjacent to the church, was built in 1949 for a cost of $12,569. In October 1955, the church called R. T. Daugherty as pastor. Under his leadership, a new building program began in January 1959, with the purchase of 7.5 acres adjoining the church. The first worship ser vice in the new sanctuary was held on January 24, 1971. The total cost of the building and furnishings was $375,000. Parkview Manor, a 34-unit complex for the elderly, was built in 1980 under the sponsorship of the Williamstown Baptist Church. The new complex was part of the vision of Rev. Daugherty. He was named pastor emeritus upon his retirement after 24 years of ser vice, 1955–1979, the longest pastorate in the church’s history. Rev. James P. Craigmyle, a missionary, was the next pastor (1990–1999); he served the second-longest term of the church’s 38 pastors. Between 1898 and 1994, the church licensed five ministers to preach and four were ordained to the ministry. Through the years, the Williamstown Baptist Church has been renowned for its emphasis on music. Its music ministry legacy began in 1905, with F. M. Clinkscales and his wife, Ann Blanchett Clinkscales. Members of this family remain active in the music ministry of the church. In fall 2005 the Williamstown Baptist Church began a campaign called “Challenge to Build.” Its purpose is to assist in building a $3 million expansion that will double the church facility’s educational space and provide a new multipurpose wing. Church membership has expanded to 740. Church Records, Williamstown Baptist Church, Williamstown, Ky.
962 WILLIAMSTOWN IN DE PEN DENT SCHOOLS WILLIAMSTOWN INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS. There are two school districts within Grant Co., the Grant Co. School District, and the Williamstown Independent Schools, a district that consists of two schools. In 1884, Grant Co. legislator Judge C. C. Cram guided through the General Assembly an act creating a graded free school in Williamstown; in 1887, residents approved a tax for the school. The Williamstown Graded Free School opened its doors in 1891 in a red brick structure along Main St., containing four classrooms, a principal’s office, and an impressive 400-seat chapel–lecture room. By 1892 the school had an enrollment of 256. The following year, the institution graduated its first high school class. By 1920 a boosters club and a PTA were in operation, and in that year the girls’ basketball team won the championship in Northern Kentucky, despite having to practice outdoors. In March 1923, the old school building affectionately known as “the castle” burned, and classes were held in various locations throughout Williamstown until a new three-story brick school building opened in 1924, which was used as a high school until 1968. A school band was first organized in 1938 and has flourished ever since. In 1956 the school system was racially integrated. Shortly thereafter, a new building to house kindergarten through the fourth grade was added to the Main St. campus; in 1968 the last class graduated from the Main St. School; a new one-story school building at 300 Helton St., still in use, opened that September. An elementary school addition was completed in the 1990s. The most famous graduate of the Williamstown Independent Schools is Arnie Risen, of the high school class of 1942, who played in the National Basketball League and became the second person from Northern Kentucky to be inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame. The City of Williamstown recently renamed Helton St., where the schools are located, Arnie Risen Blvd. In 2006 the total enrollment of the Williamstown Independent Schools was 877, including 432 high school students. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992.
WILLIAMSTOWN MUNICIPAL CEMETERY. Located just east of downtown Williamstown on the north side of Ky. Rt. 22, Williamstown Municipal Cemetery traces its beginnings to 1859, when a group of town leaders purchased from Alfred Kendall six acres adjacent to the existing cemetery of the Williamstown Par ticu lar Baptist Church. The Williamstown Cemetery Company owned and administered the grounds until it encountered financial problems during the Great Depression. In the mid-1940s a new state law was passed, which allowed the cemetery to be owned and operated by the City of Williamstown; at that time the cemetery was named the Williamstown Municipal Cemetery. Several additions to the property have been made over the years. In 1947, for example, the cemetery took control of the old
burial grounds of the Williamstown Par ticu lar Baptist Church. It is not known who was the first person buried in the cemetery, nor does it appear that the grounds contain any Revolutionary War veterans’ graves. There is at least one War of 1812 veteran buried in the cemetery. Famous people interred there include Ziegfeld Follies girl Bertha Opp, Caroline J. Marie Dupuy Blanchet (the first woman to climb Mount Blanc), and Doris V. Clark. In the early 1960s, the Odor family constructed a mausoleum on the grounds for its family members. Burials continue today at the cemetery at the rate of 50 per year. Chandler, Virgil, Sr. The Williamstown Cemetery. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1987. Reis, Jim. “Cemeteries,” KP, April 21, 1986, 4K.
WILLIAMSTOWN RAID. At 3:30 a.m., November 1, 1864, a Confederate Cavalry force of 32 men commanded by Col. Robert J. Breckinridge and Maj. Theophilus Steele (the son and son-in-law of Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge of Fayette Co.) conducted a raid on Williamstown, Ky. The raiders expected to capture a large sum of U.S. Government money that they had been informed was in the safe in N. C. Tunis’s store in Williamstown. The money had been removed already, but the raiders found 30 U.S. muskets that they confiscated. The raid was made without incident, and there was no reprisal by the U.S. forces that were occupying the area. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992.
John B. Conrad
WILLIAMSTOWN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. Little is known of the early history of the Methodist Church in Grant Co. Francis Asbury, Peter Cartwrite, William McKendree, and Barnabas McHenry are early preachers who traveled over large circuits, establishing churches throughout the Kentucky Methodist District. More than 100 years ago, Cartwrite visited the southeastern section of Grant Co., preached, and spent the night at the old Ackman homestead, where L. A. Ackman lived near Layton’s chapel. In 1847, William Tucker and his wife Elizabeth deeded a plot of land in Williamstown to trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. This is the present site of the Williamstown United Methodist Church. In the late 1840s, Joseph Rand, a resident of Lexington, was pastor of the Crittenden Methodist Preaching Circuit, which included all of Grant Co. and part of Boone and Pendleton counties. It was a three-week circuit and preaching was largely in private homes. The Williamstown Methodist Church was one of the two churches in the circuit. Its old frame church building was destroyed by fire in 1885, and for three years, the church held services in the courthouse. Under the leadership of Dr. S. W. Spear, a brick church building was built in 1888 and dedicated in 1891. It was part of the Williamstown Methodist Preaching Circuit, sharing time with the Dry Ridge and Salem churches.
In 1892 the Williamstown Methodist Preaching Circuit also included Bethel Grove. In 1915 the Williamstown Methodist Church became a station church, with Rev. J. W. Carter as pastor. During the pastorate of K. O. Potts (1937–1941), a kitchen and classrooms were added, and there was a ser vice of dedication in 1941. Methodist Bishop Darlington delivered the dedicatory address. At this time the church had two missionary societies, the Women’s Society of Christian Service, of which Mrs. L. M. Ackman was the first president, and the Wesleyan Ser vice Guild, whose first president was Mrs. H. T. Matthews. During the pastorate of Rev. C. B. Hogg (1961–1964), an educational building was added to the church. The dedication of a new church building by Rev. Charles Perry, district superintendent of the Covington Methodist District, took place on August 23, 1970. In May 1971, a large portion of the church’s indebtedness was paid off through a substantial gift from the estate of Rev. George Ammerman and his wife, Nellie. In 1939, after consolidation of the Methodist Episcopal Church; the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and the Methodist Protestant Church, the Williamstown church dropped the word South from its name. In 1968, when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged, the name was changed once again. The church is now officially known as the Williamstown United Methodist Church. In January 2004, under the leadership and pastorate of Christopher Morgan, the Williamstown United Methodist Church purchased the building and parking area on the west side of the church property in order to meet the immediate and longterm space needs of the church. Members and friends now have access to ample parking near the church. This space will be available for future classroom and activity uses as the church continues to grow. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County, Kentucky. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1993. “Footsteps of the Past,” Grant County News, historical supplement, February 3, 1994, 2–5. Williamstown United Methodist Church. www .williamstownumc.com/History.aspx.
WILLIAMSTOWN WOMEN’S CLUB. The Williamstown Women’s Club began during the early 1920s when a group of women organized the Welfare Club in Grant Co. The ladies met monthly at the county courthouse and paid club dues of 10 cents per month. They visited the sick, donated food for Christmas baskets, and brought fabrics to their meetings to make clothing for the poor. In 1924 the Welfare Club was reorganized as the Williamstown Women’s Club, with Mrs. Thomas W. Clark as its first president. In 1926, when the club affi liated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, it became a part of one of the world’s largest and oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational women’s volunteer
ser vice organizations. The club now gained an expanded role in the community, with an emphasis on civic and self improvement. In the early years the women’s club began a beautification project that has resulted in the placement of many trees, shrubs, and flowers throughout Grant Co. In 1939 the members established a book club that later became the Grant Co. Public Library. During World War II, the members sold Defense Bonds and Stamps, worked with the American Red Cross, and served on several home front committees. They collected scrap, worked with the Ration Board, donated blood, took fi rst aid courses, made kit bags for the armed forces, and baked cookies for the soldiers of Company C, at Fort Thomas. When the Grant Co. Hospital opened in the early 1960s, the club gave the $1,500 that it had been saving for a clubhouse, to help furnish a room at the newly built hospital. Each year the club awards scholarships to two local high school seniors. In recent years the Williamstown Women’s Club has sponsored the establishment of the Arts Federation, has been instrumental in bringing Hospice Care and the Northern Kentucky University branch into the county, and has supported the creation of a children’s garden at the new Grant Co. Public Library. Currently, with a membership of approximately 50 women, the club continues its commitment to community improvement by encouraging its members to develop personal and leadership skills and to participate in constructive public ser vice. Barnes, Betty M. “Williamstown Women’s Club History, 1921–1983,” vertical fi le, Grant Co. Public Library, Williamstown, Ky. Clarke, Mrs. Thomas W. “History of Williamstown’s Women’s Club, 1921–1942,” vertical fi le, Grant Co. Public Library, Williamstown, Ky.
Barbara Loomis Brown
WILLIS, CHARLES H. (b. November 3, 1859, Cincinnati, Ohio; d. January 27, 1951, Cincinnati, Ohio). Charles Willis, the owner of a music store, was the son of Harry and Caroline Willis, who were born in England. He married Emma L. Wendt on May 1, 1879, at Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in Cincinnati; two of the family’s children lived to adulthood. Charles Willis entered the sheet music business in 1873. In 1899 he and his son William began publishing materials specifically designed for music teachers: teaching methods, collections, and special sheet music. The Willis Music Company’s first store, at 41 E. Fourth St. in downtown Cincinnati, was one of a cluster of music-related businesses along Fourth St. between Walnut and Elm Sts., including sheet music and instrument dealers. During the 1880s, the Willis family resided at 715 Monmouth St. in downtown Newport. From the mid-1890s through at least the mid-1910s, they lived in one of the most elegant residences in Newport: a turreted Queen Anne house at 525 E. Fourth St., in the Mansion Hill district. The house was built around 1894 of hard-fired brick with a porch
of smooth-dressed sandstone. Stained-glass windows (later removed) illuminated the front parlor and the stair landing. The Willis Music Company grew steadily by absorbing established local music businesses, including the John Church Music Company and the George B. Jennings Company. In 1901 the Willis music store relocated to larger quarters in the William Hooper Building at Fourth and Elm Sts. in Cincinnati. In 1910 the firm was renamed for William Willis, becoming W. H. Willis & Company. Shortly afterward, however, William died, leaving his father as sole proprietor of the growing enterprise. In 1919 Charles Willis sold his business to Gustave Schirmer of Boston, Mass. Willis maintained a financial interest in the business after the sale and kept a desk at the Fourth St. store. In addition to his business interests, Willis was an avid tennis player and a member of the prestigious Cincinnati Club and the United Commercial Travelers. In the 1920s, the Willis family sold their Newport house and moved to 3421 Middleton Ave. in a part of Cincinnati known as Clifton. Charles died at age 91 at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati in 1951 and was buried with his family at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. During the 1950s, the Willis House in Newport’s Mansion Hill district was owned and occupied by Chef John Boyar and his wife, Margaret. Like many big old houses in Newport’s East Row Historic District, it was later divided into low-rent apartments. As maintenance was deferred, the historic Willis mansion gradually deteriorated. In 1985 the house was sold to preservation-minded new owners who renovated it and reversed many of the unsympathetic alterations made by previous owners. It was restored as a single-family residence in 2006. Eckberg, John. “Willis Music Celebrates 100 Years of Ser vice,” CE, May 2, 1999, 6G. Evergreen Cemetery Records, Southgate, Ky. Garretson, Joseph. “In the Pink at 88 Years of Age,” CE, May 4, 1947, 30. “Music Company Founder Dies at 91—Charles H. Willis,” CP, January 29, 1951, 20.
WILLOW (CREEK) BAPTIST CHURCH. The Willow Creek Baptist Church in Bracken Co. was established in 1818 under the auspices of the Union Association of General Baptists, which in 1813 had started a church at North Fork in Bracken Co. At the height of the Willow Baptist Church’s membership in 1871, the congregation totaled nearly 300 and was considered the “mother church” to the Baptist churches that followed throughout the county. Willow Baptist Church built a new meetinghouse in about 1853 at the forks of Bullskin Rd. and Ky. Rt. 22 in Bracken Co.; it lasted more than a century, until the modern brick facility in the village of Willow was dedicated in 1967. That church building remains in ser vice today. Bracken Co. Extension Homemakers. History of Bracken County. Bicentennial ed. Brooksville, Ky.: Bracken Co. Extension Homemakers, 2002.
Lathrop, J. M. An Atlas of Bracken and Pendleton Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1884.
Caroline R. Miller
WILLOW RUN. An 1830 map shows Willow Run Creek flowing northward along the western edge of Covington and emptying into the Ohio River. The creek was an important source of water for the early settlers and for the abundant wildlife drawn to it. The land area that came to be known as Willow Run derives its name from the Willow Run Creek. One of the first owners of Willow Run was Jacob Fowler, who later assigned the land to the Bank of the U.S., in Philadelphia, in lieu of a mortgage. Thomas D. Carneal purchased the land from the bank. In 1827 William Bullock purchased Elmwood Hall and 710 acres (including Willow Run Creek) from Carneal. Bullock hoped to build a dream city called Hygeia around Elmwood Hall. He attempted to obtain financing for the project from investors in London, England, but was not successful. He then reluctantly sold the land to Israel Ludlow, who later started the city of Ludlow. The new owner had Willow Run laid out into lots, to form a development he named the Ludlow Subdivision. Numerous houses were soon built along the creek, including many near presentday Crescent Ave. in Covington. Father James W. Smith organized the St. Patrick Catholic Church in 1872, for Englishspeaking residents living near Willow Run. He had the church building designed by architect Louis Piket and built by John G. Martin, at Fourth and Philadelphia Sts. in Covington. St. Patrick Church served the congregation well, for a century, before closing when the land was sold for commercial use. The St. Patrick’s congregation was then integrated into the St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Covington. During the 1880s, commercial development occurred along Willow Run, including construction of the Bavarian Brewery. Over the years, two viaducts were built across the creek, one at Third St. and the other at 12th St,, which provided better access to downtown Covington. For many years, parts of the creek were used as a garbage dump, and some areas became partially filled. In 1914, after a long legal battle, the City of Covington acquired rights to build a major sewer line through the valley. An attempt was made in 1917 to develop a business district at Willow Run, but the move was not successful. Several ballparks were then built on the landfills, including the Goebel Park at Sixth and Philadelphia Sts. and the Covington Ballpark at Ninth and Philadelphia Sts. Over the years, the parks were used for picnics, baseball and football games, and also performances by circuses. The history of Willow Run somewhat parallels what happened along the Sixth St. Fill (see Taylor’s Bottoms) in Newport. That area in Newport was also once used as a landfi ll, later for ball fields, and still later for commercial development and an interstate highway. In 1957 the federal government purchased the land along Willow Run for construction of I-75 (see Expressways). With the new highway came numerous commercial and industrial
964 WILLSON, AUGUSTUS E. businesses to the area. However, the once beautiful Willow Run valley soon disappeared from view, and the creek began flowing through huge underground pipes. All that is now visible is an eightlane expressway. “The City—Willow Run,” DC, February 18, 1880, 1. “Cover for Dump; Blackburn to Give Relief to Citizens,” KP, September 17, 1927, 1. Reis, Jim. “Tracing the Roots of Willow Run,” KP, March 11, 1991, 4K. “Renaissance of Ruin,” KP, August 24, 1994, 1K–2K.
WILLSON, AUGUSTUS E. (b. October 13, 1846, Maysville, Ky.; d. August 24, 1931, Louisville, Ky.). Augustus Everett Willson, who later became governor of Kentucky, was born in Maysville, the son of Hiram and Ann Colvin Ennis Willson. He was the younger brother of the poet Forceythe Willson. Augustus was orphaned at the age of 12 and lived for several years with relatives in New York and Massachusetts. He attended Harvard University at Cambridge, Mass., graduating with the class of 1869. He moved to Louisville in 1870 and studied law under John Marshall Harlan, who later became an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. After his apprenticeship, Willson was made a partner in Harlan’s law firm. In 1875 Willson was appointed chief clerk of the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., a position he held for just one year. He married Mary Elizabeth Ekins in 1877, and they had only one child, who died as an infant. In a predominately Democratic state, Willson ran as the Republican candidate for the Kentucky Senate in 1879 and was defeated. He then ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1884, 1886, 1888, and 1892 and lost each time. In 1907 he entered the gubernatorial race against Democratic candidate Samuel Wilber Hager and was elected Kentucky’s 36th governor; he served until 1911. As governor, Willson declared martial law during the Black Patch War (see Tobacco). His administration bogged down over fights concerning the temperance issue and tax reform. At the end of his four-year term, Willson returned to his large and lucrative legal practice in Louisville. He entered politics again in 1914 and was defeated by the Democratic former Kentucky governor John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham (1900–1907) in his race for the U.S. Senate. Willson died at age 84 and was buried in the Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville. Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. The Political Graveyard. “Willson, August Everett.” http://politicalgraveyard.com (accessed April 9, 2006). Rootsweb. “Augustus E. Willson.” www.rootsweb.com (accessed April 9, 2006).
WILLSON, FORCEYTHE (b. April 10, 1837, Little Genesee, N.Y.; d. February 2, 1867, Alfred, N.Y.). Poet Byron Forceythe Willson was born in a one-room log cabin, the eldest child of Hiram and Ann Colvin Ennis Willson. In 1846 Hiram Willson loaded his family and their possessions onto a raft and descended the Allegheny River and then the Ohio River, landing several days later at
Maysville, Ky. The family lived there for about a year, and then moved downriver to Covington. In his new city, Hiram, who had been superintendent of the common schools of Allegheny Co., N.Y., was instrumental in establishing the common school system, and Forceythe’s early education was in the Maysville and Covington common schools. In 1853 Hiram relocated his family to New Albany, Ind. Ann Willson died there in 1856 and Hiram died three years later. The parents left a sizable fortune to their children, making it possible for them to receive a good education. Forceythe attended Antioch College at Yellow Springs, Ohio, for one year and later Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. He contracted tuberculosis and had to leave Harvard before graduating. In 1858 he became involved in spiritualism and claimed to have become clairvoyant; he said he could read the contents of sealed mail and even communicate with the dead. He took a job as an editorial writer with the Louisville Journal, where, as the conflict between North and South escalated, he wrote numerous articles in support of preserving the Union. Forceythe Willson married Elizabeth Conwell Smith of New Albany, Ind., in 1863. They moved to Cambridge, Mass., in early 1864, so he could supervise the education of his younger brother Augustus E. Willson, a future Kentucky governor (1907–1911). Elizabeth Willson died there in fall 1864, at age 22. Forceythe did not grieve his wife’s death, claiming that he continued to be in regular contact with her. While in Cambridge, Willson spent much of his time writing poetry. His most famous poem, titled “The Old Sergeant,” was first printed on the front page of the Louisville Journal, anonymously. A collection of his poetry was published in Boston in 1866. Most of his poems had war time themes and did not become well known—exceptions were “The Old Sergeant” and “The Enemy”—though some were published in the Atlantic Monthly. Although his poetry was not a commercial success, it was his lifelong, consuming passion. His wife had also been a poet, and Willson privately published her work in 1865. Many of his later poems made references to his deceased wife. Willson’s tuberculosis became progressively worse, and he suffered a severe hemorrhage of his lungs in fall 1866. He died several months later at the age of 29; both husband and wife were buried in a small, illkept graveyard in the Whitewater Valley, at Laurel, Ind. Piatt, John James. “Forceythe Willson,” Atlantic Monthly 35, no. 209 (March 1879): 332–44. Townsend, John Wilson. Kentucky in American Letters, 1784–1912. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Torch Press, 1913. Virtualology. “Willson, Forceythe.” www.famousamer icans.net (accessed May 2, 2006). Willson, Forceythe. The Old Sergeant, and Other Poems. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.
WILMINGTON. The little town of Wilmington, situated on the land of John Grant (see Grant Family), was established by the Kentucky General Assembly on December 7, 1793. Located on the
west side of the Licking River, opposite modern Grant’s Lick in modern Kenton Co., the town was laid out in 100 lots. Purchasers had to agree to build, within four years, a house measuring at least 18 by 20 feet with a brick or stone chimney. The first trustees chosen for the town were Matthias Corwine, Joseph Floyd, Squire Grant, John Hay, William Henry, John Sanders, and John Thrasher. When Campbell Co. was created in 1795, Wilmington was chosen as the county seat of Campbell Co., owing to its central location. Because no public buildings had been constructed yet, the first quarter session of the court was held at the home of John Grant, for whom Grant’s Lick is named. At that meeting Capt. Nathan Kelly was chosen to be the first sheriff and James Taylor Jr. was chosen as the clerk of courts. The justices selected for the first quarter sessions of the court were Washington Berry, John Craig, Charles Daniel Sr., John Grant, and John’s brother Squire Grant. Permits were issued to John Grant to build a sawmill on the Licking River and to operate a ferry at Wilmington. James Taylor Jr., one of the wealthiest men in Kentucky, had numerous friends in the military and in the federal government, including his cousins Zachary Taylor and James Madison. Since Taylor lived in Newport, he used his influence to move the county seat there in 1796. When Kenton Co. was fashioned from land west of the Licking in 1840, the court decided to locate the county seat near the geographic center of what remained of Campbell Co. It was decided that Alexandria best met that criterion. However, it soon became apparent that since most of the county’s population lived near Newport, it would be more convenient to handle much of the court business there. So, in effect, Campbell Co. had two county seats, with Alexandria handling the rural business and Newport the urban. Tiny Wilmington was soon abandoned, and with the help of Licking River floods, it ceased to exist. Collins, Richard H. History of Kentucky. Vol. 1. Covington, Ky.: Collins, 1882. Hartman, Margaret Strebel, and W. Rus Stevens. Campbell County Kentucky History and Genealogy. Campbell Co., Ky.: W. R. Stevens, 1984. Reis, Jim. “Doorway to Kentucky Licking River Gave Rise to Settlement,” KP, June 17, 1996, 4K. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
WILMINGTON BAPTIST CHURCH. The Wilmington Baptist Church, located at 11111 Madison Pk. in Fiskburg in southern Kenton Co., was orga nized on June 2, 1804, with six members. The congregation met at fi rst in a log structure in the Wilmington Bottoms at the confluence of Cruises Creek and the Licking River near Bryant’s Ford. The building also served as a school, a post office, and the court house (of Campbell Co. at that time). In 1842 members of the church sold the land by the Licking River and bought property in Fiskburg, where the church, which kept the name Wilmington Baptist Church, is presently located. The present brick structure is the third one on the Fiskburg site. The fi rst was a log
WINTERSHEIMER, DONALD C.
building 30 by 60 feet, and the second was a oneroom white frame meeting house that was completed in 1875. The second building was dismantled in 1952 to make way for the current brick structure, which was dedicated on August 30, 1953. Later, a two-story education wing was added to the building and a brick parsonage was built across from the church. The extensive Wilmington Baptist cemetery contains graves from the early 1840s through the present. Many graves date from the winter of 1917– 1918, when influenza struck the community. The proximity of the cemetery to the church has helped to keep it well maintained and protected from vandals. The Wilmington Baptist Church congregation has started several other churches in the area. In 1850, 20 members left to form the Crittenden Baptist Church. In 1858 the Oak Island Baptist Church was constituted by members who had attended at Wilmington. Two more spin-off churches followed: the Gardnersville Baptist Church (1891) and the DeMossville Baptist Church (1915). The most recent church begun by Wilmington members was the Piner Baptist Church (1952). The Wilmington Baptist Church is part of the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association, which is affi liated with the Southern Baptist denomination. The current pastor is Bill Scott, who began serving the church in June 2003. Over the years, the church has been the site of several series of special meetings; at one of those, in 1996, the popu lar Ball Family Singers held their homecoming. “Fiskburg Revival,” KP, March 24, 1996, 12K. “Gospel Music to Fill the Air at Ball Family Homecoming,” KP, August 31, 1996, 6K. “Historic Cemetery to Be Beautified,” Falmouth Outlook, October 17, 1924, 4.
WILSON, EARL D. (b. October 16, 1887, Independence, Ky.; d. April 16, 1910, Annapolis, Md.). Football player Earl Wilson was the son of Wesley Berry and Lydia Beall Miles Wilson. His mother died in 1891, shortly after giving birth to his brother L. B. Wilson. Earl was educated locally in Covington schools, graduating from the old Covington High School. In 1906 he entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., where he became a leader in athletic programs: he played third base for Navy’s baseball team and quarterback on the Midshipmen football squad. On his 22nd birthday, October 16, 1909, tragedy struck Wilson. During a football game in Philadelphia, Pa., against Villanova University, while attempting a flying tackle, he broke his neck and sustained severe spinal cord damage. In those days, players saw action on both sides (offense and defense) of the football game. For six months, Wilson lingered in the Annapolis Naval Hospital, alternately improving and declining, until his death in April 1910. Despite the navy’s desire to bury their football hero at Annapolis, his body was returned to Covington for a funeral at the home of his brother-inlaw Maurice L. Galvin, at 422 Garrard St. Wilson
was buried next to his mother in the Independence Cemetery in Independence. Massive funeral ceremonies were held at both Annapolis and Covington. His death, along with a few others in college football action at about the same time, led the football rules committee to make changes in what was permissible in games played on the gridiron. Other Northern Kentuckians, such as Latonia’s Ron Beagle, Newport’s Alex “Zeke” Zechella, and Bellevue’s Pat Uebel, followed Wilson to Annapolis to play football for Navy’s Midshipmen. “A Clipping,” KP, January 18, 1910, 2. “Death Ends Long Fight of ‘Middie,’ ” CTS, April 16, 1910, 2. “Earl Wilson Is Buried,” NYT, April 19, 1910, 6. “Earl Wilson May Recover,” NYT, November 19, 1909, 9. “ ‘Soccer’ Football May Be New Game,” NYT, November 2, 1909, 10.
WILSON, L. B. (b. May 20, 1891, Covington, Ky.; d. October 28, 1954, Cincinnati, Ohio). Lyda Beall Wilson, a banker, theater owner, and radio station operator, was the son of Wesley Berry and Lyda Beall Miles Wilson. His mother died 11 days after giving birth to him, so he was named Lyda Beall Wilson. He grew up in Covington, where his father was once the Kenton Co. clerk, and graduated from the Covington High School in 1910. After leaving school, he and his brother Hansford toured Eu rope with a theatrical group. He returned in 1912 and was hired as manager of the Colonial Theater in Covington. About a year later, he opened a tobacco store at Sixth St. and Madison Ave., in Covington and operated it for several years. The smoke shop featured a Richard P. Ernst cigar. In 1915 he was named secretary of the Covington Industrial Club, the forerunner of the Covington Chamber of Commerce (see Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce). He became president of the club in 1929. Wilson joined with Senator Richard Pretlow Ernst, George Hill, and Polk Laffoon Jr. in an investment group, which purchased a chain of local movie theaters, including the Hippodrome, the Liberty, the Lyric, the Rialto, and the Strand. In 1926 Wilson and Ernst bought the controlling interest in the People’s Savings Bank and Trust Company. Two years later, the bank merged with Liberty National Bank to form the People’s-Liberty Bank and Trust Company. In the new bank, Ernst served as president and Wilson as executive vice president. At that time, the bank was the second-largest in Kentucky. In September 1929 Wilson started radio station WCKY in Covington. The station initially operated at just 5,000 watts, but the power was later increased to 50,000 watts. In 1939 WCKY moved its headquarters to the Hotel Gibson in Cincinnati. Wilson married movie star Jean Oliver on October 7, 1929, and they moved into a home on Summit Ln., in Fort Mitchell. No children were born to the couple. They separated on June 28, 1948, but never divorced. Some of the organizations Wilson was affi liated with during his colorful career were Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, the
Cincinnati and Covington Bridge Company, the Doerman-Roher Company in Cincinnati, LincolnFields Racetrack in Illinois, and the Houston, Stanwood & Gamble Company in Covington. He was also a longtime member of the Elks Club (see Civic Associations) and the Masonic Lodge (see Masons). In 1954 Wilson died at age 63 in Cincinnati and was buried in Miami, Fla. “About This Guy,” KP, March 9, 1929, 1. “Banker Marries Actress,” KP, October 8, 1920, 1. Kenton Co. Public Library. “Covington Biographies: L. B. Wilson.” www.kenton.lib.ky.us (accessed April 25, 2006). Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992.
WINGATE, CYRUS (b. ca. 1790, place of birth unknown; d. after 1840, Owen Co.) Cyrus Wingate was the first sheriff of Owen Co. The earliest record of him is his marriage to Emily Milly Spicer in May 1808 in Franklin Co. Wingate was present when Owen Co. was established in 1819 and was part of the committee that built the first jail and court house. He held several governmental positions over the years: sheriff from 1819 to 1821; county tax commissioner in 1820; state representative 1824 to 1827; and state senator from 1828 to 1841. He and his wife Emily (perhaps his second wife) had 14 children, one of whom was Penelope Wingate Sullivan. Penelope Sullivan is the person from whom the village of Ep in Owen Co. derives its name: local children called her “Aunt Ep” because they had difficulty pronouncing “Penelope”; and since “Aunt Ep” lived there, the area became known as Ep. Houchens, Mariam Sidebottom. History of Owen County: “Sweet Owen.” Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1976.
WINTERSHEIMER, DONALD C. (b. April 21, 1931, Covington, Ky.). Former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Donald C. Wintersheimer is the son of Carl E. and Marie Kohl Wintersheimer. He graduated from Newport Catholic High School in Newport in 1949 and received his BA from Villa Madonna College (now Thomas More College) in Covington, his MA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, and his JD from the University of Cincinnati Law School. He was in private practice and served for 14 years as city solicitor for the City of Covington. In 1976 he was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and in 1982 to the Kentucky Supreme Court (formerly called the Kentucky Court of Appeals); he was reelected in 1990 and in 1998. He is known as the most prolific writer on the court, averaging more than 40 written opinions a year. A member of the adjunct faculty of Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), Wintersheimer teaches a seminar course in state constitutional law. His writings have appeared in the NKU Chase Law School’s Law Review and in numerous other law journals. Wintersheimer has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus of
966 WIREMAN, WALLY the College of Law of the University of Cincinnati. He is a former president of the Kentucky Municipal Attorney’s Association and a founding member of the Chase American Inn of Court. He has received numerous awards from Thomas More College and is a former president of its Alumni Association. He and his wife, Alice, reside in Covington and are the parents of five children, three of whom are lawyers. “Covington Native Is Senior Ky. Supreme Court Justice,” Challenger, July 18, 2004, 5A. Kentucky Court of Justice. www.kycourts.net. Wintersheimer, Donald. Interview by Donna M. Bloemer, December 9, 2004, Frankfort, Ky.
Donna M. Bloemer
WIREMAN, WALLY (b. June 19, 1919, Beaver Lick, Boone Co., Ky.). Wallace H. Wireman, an inventor, an engineer, an author, and a businessman, was born to John and Augusta Wireman. He earned a BA in engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an MA in business administration from Wittenberg University in Ohio. Since 1952 he has resided in Walton, where he quietly plies his problem-solving and engineering talents at his companies, WIRED Inc. and AQW Inc. The possessor of 14 patents and two registered U.S. trademarks, he designs and manufactures many replacement parts for the U.S. military and for industry. His creative genius has played a role in the development of hundreds of modern products, such as the electronic supermarket checkout scanner, the vacuum tubes at bank teller drive-through windows, the wheeled golf club caddy, the hand-operated roller for reading credit cards, and drinking faucet filters. He owns the Walton-based AQW (Always Quality Work) Inc. and serves as engineering consultant for the firm, which he founded in the 1970s with his wife, Frances Flynn Wireman. The company has approximately 15 employees and is a government defense contractor and supplier of military parts for use in submarines, tanks, and aircraft. Its customer base includes NATO-member foreign governments and the United Nations as well as the U.S. government. Twice the federal government has honored Wireman. He received the Department of Defense Value Engineering award for development of superior cost-effective and efficient products, and he was given a Certificate of Appreciation from the Department of Defense for his contributions to the success of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, attaining the rank of master sergeant. Wireman probably is best known for his invention and design of desiccants, or dehydrators, which eliminate moisture from missiles, fighter planes, and military equipment. In 1972 he invented a molecular adsorber, which, operating on similar principles, removes moisture from molecules and also eliminates odors. AQW Inc. has made hundreds of thousands of these products and supplied them to the U.S. military, saving the government significant amounts of money. The
molecular adsorber is made available commercially through Wireman’s other company, WIRED (Wireman Industrial Research Engineering and Development) Inc. and is sold under the names Adzorbit and Adsorb Star. These products, which first entered the market in 1988, remove odors and gases; they can even remove cigarette smoke odors from large spaces. Using small pellets of sodium aluminosilicate, the products draw moisture and odor molecules into themselves, thereby eliminating odor from the environment rather than hiding it. Wireman holds trademarks for Adsorb Star as well as for a product called Toxic Out, which works similarly to remove toxic fumes and gases from the air. Toxic Out is currently used in the printing industry as well as in the X-ray, radiology, and pathology departments of health care facilities. Wireman has been a consumer safety advocate for most of his adult life, testifying regarding electrical safety as an expert witness at trials and before U.S. congressional hearings and committees. In 2003 he published The Call to Solve: What Every Fireman Should Know, which details his thoughts on electrical safety. Wireman showed a natural genius for engineering, electronics, and creativity, even as a child. One of his first inventions was a basic intercom system that allowed his mother to summon him by “buzzing” his attic bedroom with the touch of a button. During the days before indoor plumbing, he also laid electrical wiring to illuminate the family outhouse. He was an industrious youth, either figuring things out on his own or learning from library books about electronics and engineering. He created his own toys from unwanted parts found in junkyards, built a bicycle tire out of a broken piece of garden hose, and rebuilt a Ford Model T automobile with a friend. During his teens, he worked as a golf caddy, and this work inspired him to develop the first pull cart for golf clubs. During his youth, Wireman’s family moved from Kentucky to Cincinnati, so that his father could take a job as a laborer with the Frank Taylor Company. The move allowed Wireman to attend and graduate from Withrow High School in that city. Afterward, the young Wireman also began work as a laborer at the Frank Taylor Company and was quickly promoted to maintenance electrician, supervisor, and then chief industrial engineer. He is a self-proclaimed problem-solver, who enjoys inventing solutions and then seeking out the next challenge. The now 87-year-old inventor maintains a daily presence at AQW Inc. and often answers the phone there. Fulmer, Kelly F., executive vice president and chief operations officer, AQW Inc. Interview by Sarah A. Barlage, February 12, 2006, Walton, Ky. “Saving Money for Uncle Sam,” KP, February 6, 1990, 1K–2K. Toxic Out: Molecular Adzorber. www.adzorbit.com (accessed July 2, 2006). Wireman, Wally, president of AQW Inc. and WIRED Inc. Interview by Sarah A. Barlage, June 28, 2006, Union, Ky.
Sarah A. Barlage
WISENALL, BERNARD T. (b. September 4, 1869, Maysville, Ky.; d. July 16, 1942, Covington, Ky.). Bernard T. Wisenall was the son of John Bernard and Jane Eckmann Campbell Wisenall. In April 1893 he formed a partnership with Louis E. Dittoe, to create the architectural firm of Dittoe and Wisenall. The firm’s architects designed a number of buildings in Northern Kentucky, including the Covington City Hall (on E. Third St. between Court and Greenup Sts., demolished), the Kentucky Post Building, the First Christian Church, Covington, and an addition to the Citizens National Bank Building. They also designed the Pugh Building (later called the Polk Building) in Cincinnati. In 1900 Wisenall married Emma Rambo of Newport. The partnership of Dittoe and Wisenall was dissolved in 1910, when Dittoe took a teaching position at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati. Wisenall continued to design buildings in Covington on his own, including an addition to the Kelley-Koett Company’s building. With architect Chester Disque, he drew the plans for the John G. Carlisle Junior High School and the Third District School and was the project architect for the 1917 Dixie Highway Beautification Project. In 1924 he designed the Ben Adams Insurance Building on the northwest corner of Fift h St. and Madison Ave. Three years later, he drew plans for the Girls Friendly Building at the Trinity Episcopal Church. He was a staunch supporter of the Covington YMCA. Wisenall died at age 72 at his home, Hathaway Hall, at 1210 Highway Ave. in Covington. Funeral ser vices were held at the Trinity Episcopal Church, and he was buried at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. “Covington Architect,” KP, January 2, 1917, 1. Kenton Co. Public Library. “Covington Biographies: Bernard T. Wisenall.” www.kenton.lib.ky.us (accessed September 24, 2007). “New Building on Way,” KP, May 15, 1924, 1. Tenkotte, Paul A. A Heritage of Art and Faith: Downtown Covington Churches. Covington, Ky.: Kenton Co. Historical Society, 1986.
WITHERS FAMILY. The Withers family, merchants residing in Covington in 1861, found themselves “caught in the middle” when hostilities broke out in the Civil War. Descended from a longestablished line of colonial Virginians, the proSouth Withers family were tobacco merchants. Their company’s suppliers certainly had Southern sympathies, and to a lesser extent the same was true of customers in the markets they served; but the Withers family operated their tobacco business in a region that was predominantly pro-Union. The patriarch of the family was Charles A. Withers, who was born in Stafford Co., Va., on June 10, 1800. His wife, Matilda Lynch, was born in Lynchburg, Va., on September 6, 1811. They arrived in Northern Kentucky about 1836, and Charles became a partner in the Withers & Carpenter Company, tobacco manufacturers. The business was located in Cincinnati, but the family lived in Covington at Greenup and Market Sts. (Park Pl.). Charles A. Withers was a founder of Trinity Episcopal Church, a member of the
Covington City Council during the 1840s, the first superintendent of the Kentucky Central Railroad, and president of the local branch of Frankfort’s Farmers Bank. As superintendent of the railroad, he built the first 18 miles of track south of Covington with his own money. His daughter Elizabeth Sally Withers married Eli Metcalf Bruce, who shared the Withers family’s Southern sympathies and who was involved in helping to finance the Confederate Army. It was said that the Witherses’ home might as well have been a hospital, because the family often took in people in need. Charles Withers died while visiting relatives in Waynesville, Ohio, on Saturday, August 10, 1863, at the height of the war, and was buried at Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington. Charles and Matilda had several children, the most celebrated being their son Charles A. Withers, who preferred to be known as C. A. Withers. Born in 1843 at Covington, he joined the Southern cause during the Civil War and rode with the famed Southern Cavalry raider, Gen. John Hunt Morgan. Withers rose to the rank of major and was Morgan’s adjutant. After Morgan’s death, a wake was held for him at the Witherses’ home in the 600 block of Sanford St. in Covington. C. A. Withers moved to Augusta, Ga., after the war. He married the wellconnected Clara De Antignac, a French Huguenot belle, and soon became one of the largest cotton brokers in the South. Later, he returned to Northern Kentucky and became the associate editor and drama critic for the Cincinnati Commercial newspaper. After his wife Clara died in 1913, Withers resided either at the Kentucky Confederate Home at Pewee Valley outside of Louisville or at the Hotel Emery in Cincinnati. He died from Bright’s disease at age 82 on March 23, 1923, at the Booth Hospital and was buried in the family plot at Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington. In 1915 the City of Covington named a park for the elder Withers in recognition of his ser vices on the city’s park board. Today, this park, located between Greenup and Scott Sts., is covered with pavement and called Park Pl. “Death of an Old Citizen,” CDE, August 11, 1863, 3. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 8547, for the year 1923. “Major C. A. Withers Dies,” KE, March 24, 1923, 3. Reis, Jim. “Covington Park Bloomed Briefly, Then Disappeared under Concrete,” KP, August 26, 1991, 4K. “Remains of Gen. Morgan,” CJ, April 18, 1868, 3.
WITHROW, ETTA M. SMITH (b. March 4, 1937, Owen Co., Ky.; d. June 14, 2000, Lexington, Ky.). Etta Maude Smith Withrow, a chief warrant officer, was the daughter of Lt. Col. Albert Clarence and Mary Etta Power Smith. Although Withrow traveled the world as the child of a military father and the wife of a naval officer, she considered Owen Co. her home and returned to live there with her mother in the family home on Cedar Creek for several years. Withrow had one child, John Clarence Withrow. Gen. Billy Wellman, the state adjutant general, appointed Etta Withrow as the first female warrant
officer of the Kentucky National Guard in 1974. She retired in 1990 as chief warrant officer. Withrow was also the first woman in Kentucky to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Affairs. She researched and prepared the adjutant general’s report to the Kentucky legislature on the Vietnam Veterans bonus program. She served as a volunteer Veterans Administration ser vice officer for veterans in Anderson Co. and as field representative for the Women’s Military Memorial Foundation. Withrow’s military awards included the Meritorious Ser vice Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Ser vice Award, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Kentucky Distinguished Ser vice Medal, the Kentucky Commendation Medal, the Kentucky Merit Medal, and the Kentucky State Active Duty Medal. Withrow was regent and treasurer for the Susannah Hart Shelby Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; vice president of the River Raisin Chapter of the United Daughters of the War of 1812; president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter 7; a member of the National Guard Association of the United States and Kentucky, American Legion Post 7; and vice president of the Bluegrass Chapter of the Retired Officers Association. After a long illness, she died at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington in 2000 and was buried at the Monterey Cemetery in Monterey. “Etta Maude Smith Withrow, 63,” Owenton (Ky.) News-Herald, June 21, 2000, 6. “Etta Withrow,” State Journal, June 15, 2000, 2. “Etta Withrow Dies: Was Chief Warrant Officer,” Lexington Herald-Leader, June 15, 2000, B2. Murphy, Margaret Alice Karsner. The Power Line and Connections: Nine Generations in America. Frankfort, Ky.: Lynn, 2000. State Journal, May 16–22, 1994.
Margaret A. Murphy
WNKU. At 5:30 a.m. on April 29, 1985, WNKU, the fledgling public radio station of Northern Kentucky University (NKU), aired its initial broadcast on the local FM band. News director Maryanne Zeleznik, who had been hired just two weeks before, was the first live voice broadcast on the 89.7 MHz frequency. NKU could at last leave behind its unwanted distinction as the only state-supported university in Kentucky without a radio station. That first broadcast was the culmination of a seven-year struggle advanced by Dr. N. Edd Miller, chair of the school’s Communications Department. Miller and members of his staff were joined by various university administrators, officials, and personnel in their endeavor to secure a spot on the local radio dial for WNKU-FM. Their exhaustive efforts had garnered the support of university president Dr. Leon Boothe as well as the long-awaited approval of the Federal Communications Commission. General manager Rick Pender painstakingly laid the groundwork for WNKU’s early success by guiding the
station through the complicated certification and programming-approval process necessary to secure public radio status. A location near the student dormitories was selected for the tower and the 12,000-watt transmitter. Construction and installation of both components—completed between January and April of 1985—provided the station with a broadcast range that reached audiences within a 30-mile radius of the school’s Highland Heights campus. Several classrooms on the third floor of the Landrum Academic Center were converted into the station’s offices and studio, which consisted of 1,800 square feet. The start-up costs, which totaled approximately $300,000, were raised by the university through donations from various foundations, corporations, and private donors. WNKU, the third National Public Radio (NPR) station serving the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area, honored its local roots with its folk music programming and south-of-the-river news reporting. Another reason behind WNKU’s focus on Northern Kentucky was its directional broadcast signal, which afforded stronger reception to the south than to the north. Although the station’s news and public affairs coverage did not extend beyond the borders of its home base during WNKU’s early years, nationally syndicated features such as NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition served to widen its programming scope and broaden its audience appeal. The station’s music programming was a bold departure from that of other public and commercial radio station formats up and down the crowded dial. Touting itself as “Kentucky Folk Radio,” WNKU embodied its slogan within its expansive and eclectic mix of rustic Kentucky bluegrass, Appalachian music, and international folk-based selections as well as similar offerings from various regions across America. The station’s first fund drive in June 1985 raised $3,000. Within six months of its first broadcast, the station’s second public appeal, a four-day fundraising and subscription-membership drive, easily met its $10,000 goal. In a tremendous show of local support, 250 of the station’s 453 members signed up during the drive. In July 1985 the Corporation for Public Broadcasting approved WNKU for funding, thus qualifying the station to receive a $16,000 base grant along with the promise of future incentive grants. NKU holds the station’s license and supplies a percentage of its operating funds, but supplemental contributions from membership drives and support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting make WNKU editorially independent of the university while also supporting its positive community presence and outreach goals. Additionally, the noncommercial programming offered on WNKU prohibits the airing of revenue-generating commercials, although businesses, corporations, or other organizations may underwrite programming costs with grants, for which they receive on-air acknowledgment. Currently, 60 percent of the station’s funding is generated by membership and underwriting, 30 percent is supplied by NKU, and 10 percent is received from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
968 WNOP Decreasing the station’s dependency on university funding was one of the two goals general manager David Arnold was presented with when he was hired in 1991; the second was attracting more listeners. When focus group studies identified that a large proportion of WNKU’s audience lived in Ohio and Indiana, the station’s news coverage was broadened to include areas within the I-275 loop (see Expressways). That same year, music director Dan Reed modified WNKU’s former all-folk programming by adopting a more progressive “Triple A” format—musical selections with an adult, album, and alternative focus. In keeping with the station’s new direction, WNKU touted itself as “The Natural Alternative” and as “A New Direction in Acoustic Music.” As it made these changes, WNKU carefully preserved its tremendously popu lar niche programs, such as Katie Laur’s bluegrass show Music from the Hills of Home, Kathy Costello’s A Celtic Afternoon, and Bob Beemon’s Mr. Rhythm Man. In 1995 WNKU’s 10-year anniversary celebration was buoyed by listeners’ positive responses to the station’s expanded news and music programming. The popu lar public radio station boasted a weekly audience of 25,000 to 30,000 listeners, a significant increase from its 1991 totals, which averaged between 15,000 and 20,000. General manager Ben Singleton, hired in 2003, cited an even more impressive figure: 38,200 listeners per week were tuning in to 89.7 FM. Singleton also noted that the percentage of Ohio listeners—over the years averaging 80 percent, to Kentucky’s 20 percent—had evolved in recent years along with population shifts; Kentucky listeners accounted for approximately 40 percent of the station’s audience. The station has also taken advantage of developing technology to expand its broadcasting schedule and enhance audience accessibility. In January 2003, after purchasing a digital audio delivery system, WNKU began 24-hour broadcasting; in February 2006 the station began offering on-demand features and podcasts via its Web site. Local publications have also affirmed the station’s tremendous public appeal; Cincinnati CityBeat, Cincinnati Magazine, and Everybody’s News have recognized WNKU as the “Best Station in Cincinnati.” Under the longtime leadership of news director Maryanne Zeleznik—who, just before her August 2005 departure, was the only original WNKU employee—the station’s news department won numerous national, regional, and local awards and honors. The Public Radio News Directors Inc., Ohio’s Society of Professional Journalists, and the Kentucky Associated Press and Radio-Television News Directors Association are among the prestigious organizations that have repeatedly honored the WNKU News Department in many areas, including broadcast and feature writing, newscasting, and investigative reporting. When WGUC-FM purchased public radio station WVXU-FM, WNKU lost Zeleznik and fellow news veteran Jay Hanselman to WGUC. General manager Singleton seized the opportunity to make programming and personnel changes that enable
WNKU to maintain its long-standing commitment to Northern Kentucky news and public affairs coverage while also reshuffling and reshaping its winning mix of music and nationally syndicated program offerings. In December 2007 Chuck Miller became station manager. WNKU’s current slogan “NPR and great music!” clearly identifies the programming pillars upon which the station’s award-winning reputation has been built. The station has been under the banner of NKU’s University Advancement Division since 1999. In addition to WNKU, the division includes the Office of University Development, the Office of Marketing and Communications, the Office of Alumni Programs, the Office of Special Events, and the NKU Foundation. These dynamic offices work collaboratively to advance NKU’s mission of “becoming a preeminent learner-centered, metropolitan university recognized for its contributions to the intellectual, social, economic, cultural and civic vitality of its region and of the Commonwealth.” “FM Radio Station Approved for Northern,” KP, January 24, 1983, 10K. Hall, Gregory A. “Fine-Tuning Sound of Public Radio—WNKU General Manager Hopes to Find Format, News Focus in Station’s Roots,” KP, June 25, 1991, 10K. Kiesewetter, John. “WNKU Celebrates a 20-Year Musical Mix,” KE, April 28, 2005, E1. Kreimer, Peggy. “WNKU’s Pender Leaving Station,” KP, August 8, 1985, 9K. Miller, N. Edd. Letter to members regarding WNKU’s one-year anniversary, Kentucky Folk Radio (WNKU newsletter/pamphlet), April 1986. Pender, Rick. “All Grown Up: Over 20 Years, Bouncing Baby WNKU Matures into Popu lar Radio Station,” Cincinnati CityBeat, 2005, www.best-of -cincinnati.com/ (accessed August 3, 2006). University Advancement. “Welcome to University Advancement.” Northern Kentucky Univ. http:// advancement.nku.edu/page.asp?p=0110000 (accessed August 3, 2006). “WNKU-FM: On the Air for 10 Years,” KP, April 24, 1995, 1K. Zeleznik, Maryanne. Telephone interview by Jan Mueller, February 22, 2005.
WNOP. Radio station WNOP-AM originated in 1946 in the minds of a handful of businessmen of the Tri-City Broadcasting Company of Newport. The group, headed by James Lang, former sheriff of Campbell Co., sought a radio station operating at 1110 kilocycles with one kilowatt of power for the daytime only, a so-called sunrise station. At the time of their application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), another station was being proposed at Dayton, Ohio, using the same frequency. In early November 1946, hearings were held in Washington, D.C., and on May 29, 1947, the FCC granted a license to Tri-City Broadcasting and denied the application for the Ohio station. The call letters for the new radio station in Newport were to be WWNL. It appeared that Tri-City Broadcasting would be able to proceed with plans, but they had to be put on hold
when the Dayton, Ohio, group appealed the FCC decision. In the meantime, Tri-City’s newly purchased transmitting equipment was destroyed in a warehouse fire in Fort Thomas. Finally, after months of renegotiating and reengineering, TriCity Broadcasting applied for construction of a station operating on 740 kilocycles, which was approved May 14, 1948. The transmitter was constructed in a field at Cold Spring, off Johns Hill Rd., and the studio was located on the second floor of the building at 606 Monmouth St. in Newport, above the old Mustang Bar. At 12:10 p.m., August 21, 1948, WNOP signed on the air for the fi rst time. The fi rst announcer introduced A. B. “Happy” Chandler (Kentucky governor 1935–1939 and 1955–1959), who was on hand for the occasion. WNOP was not affi liated with a radio network; the original format was a combination of radio shows and country music programming. In 1956 Ray Scott, who later became one of the top 25 country disc jockeys in the nation, joined the team at WNOP. In 1962, amid pressure to compete and gain a more stable and loyal audience, the station changed its the format to all jazz. Oscar Treadwell was one of the station’s well-known jazz personalities. In 1972 the original owners sold the station to Cincinnatian Al Vontz, owner of a beer distributorship in Ohio. Immediately, the rent charged the studio in Newport was raised, and Vontz made a major change in the station. He teamed with designer David Ziegler and arranged to have a new studio built. The Jazz Ark, the new studio’s nickname, was constructed out of three oil tanks welded together, each 12 feet in diameter and 20 feet long. Together they held five rooms on two floors with interconnecting doors and stairs. The ark was built at Tucker Marine. Each tank was equipped with 20,000 pounds of ballast, and the facility was placed in the Ohio River to become a floating studio. It was anchored at the Stadium Marina, just east of the mouth of the Licking River. Windows made to look like large portholes gave the studio a bird’s-eye view of the Cincinnati skyline. Above the studio were the large red neon letters WNOP; they produced an amazing sight at night, glimmering on the river. From there, Carolyn Rose, wife of Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose, broadcast her show on WNOP. The Jazz Ark, also known as “Radio Free Newport,” continued until 1989, when the station decided to move from its tiny offices to a larger space in Cincinnati. The ark was donated to the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Then in 1992, to accommodate the growing interest in national news, the station dropped its jazz format and adopted Ted Turner’s CNN Headline News format from 6:00 a.m. to dusk daily. In 1994 the jazz format returned, and it continued until Sacred Heart Radio purchased the station at the end of 2000. On January 1, 2001, the WNOP format became religious programming. In January 2006 the new station, with the same WNOP call letters, celebrated five years of success; its studio is at the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, Ohio.
WOLFF, RUTH Federal Communications Commission Reports. Vols. 12, 13, pp. 998–1001, 1276–88. Washington, D.C.: Federal Communications Commission, 1946–1948. Johnson, David. “Loyal Listeners Keep Jazz Ark Afloat,” Campbell County Recorder, June 5, 1986, 5.
John E. Leming Jr.
WOLF, JOANNES “BROTHER COSMAS” (b. January 6, 1822, Grosskissendorf, Swabia; d. April 7, 1894, Latrobe, Pa.). The church artist Joannes Wolf came to America as a young man in 1852 to join the Benedictine monastic community of St. Vincent at Latrobe, Pa., as a lay brother. Lay brothers take the final monastic vows but are not ordained for priestly duties. As a rule, lay brothers do tasks that require some manual skill. Wolf received the religious name of Brother Cosmas. Boniface Wimmer, the abbot of St. Vincent, soon discovered Brother Cosmas’s artistic talents and sent him in 1857 to the Munich Royal Academy of Art, where he studied for five years with the wellknown German sculptor Johann Petz. Shortly after his return to the St. Vincent Monastery, Brother Cosmas took on an important assignment at Covington, Ky., where Wimmer had founded the Covington Altar Stock Building Company. Brother Cosmas assumed the job of business manager and chief designer of the company. He took Brother Claude Hauesler from the St. Vincent Monastery with him as a laborer. The Covington Altar Stock Building Company designed and built altars, pulpits, confessionals, and baptismal fonts. Brother Cosmas created preliminary drawings of these structures with pen, ink, and a delicate wash. Fortunately, 52 of his exquisite drawings survive at the St. Vincent Monastery. Besides altars and other interior church decorations, they include designs for buildings such as rectories and schools and demonstrate the great talent of this German-born Benedictine artist. Brother Cosmas’s most successful creations were wooden altars, which he modeled after German Gothic prototypes. They had pointed arches with delicate carvings and were fitted with altar paintings that depicted biblical scenes from the Old and New Testaments, images of saints, and devotional renditions of the Madonna and the Christ Child. Most of the altars were tripartite, with a large central panel and two narrow side panels. The altars were painted white, and the altar paintings in most cases were placed on a gold-leaf background. Judging from the drawings by Brother Cosmas, he designed each altar with the appropriate paintings, to be executed by the artists who worked for him at the Covington Altar Stock Building Company. Because of the large number of altar structures the company produced, skilled workers were hired to do the carpentry and assemblage of the altars. Brother Cosmas worked on most of the altars himself, from the Covington studio except when he needed to travel to Baltimore; Chicago; Cincinnati; Erie, Pa.; Pittsburgh; or Newark, N.J., to install new altars. The name of Brother Cosmas is not
often mentioned in church chronicles. His talent and accomplishments seem to have gone unnoticed for the most part by writers of religious histories in North America. There are exceptions, however. The 1863 altar at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Newark, designed and built at the Covington Altar Stock Building Company, is described in great detail in the cathedral’s commemorative booklet. The altars that Brother Cosmas built for several Northern Kentucky churches are of special interest to admirers of the talents of the Benedictines. The altars at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Covington were among the most impressive of Brother Cosmas’s structures; the main altar rose to a height of 40 feet. Unfortunately, when St. Joseph Church was razed in 1970, these altars were lost. After 10 years in Covington, Brother Cosmas moved the Altar Stock Building Company to St. Vincent in Latrobe, Pa., where he remained active in designing and building decorative structures for new mission churches until his death in 1894. He was buried in Latrobe, Pa. Cochran, Nathan M., O.S.B. Ora et Labora: The Saint Vincent Lay Brothers, 1846–1946. Latrobe, Pa.: St. Vincent Abbey Press, 1988. Pohlkamp, Diomede, O.F.M. “A Franciscan Artist of Kentucky, Johann Schmitt, 1825–1898,” Franciscan Studies 7 (June 1947): 148–49. Springer, Annemarie. Nineteenth Century GermanAmerican Church Artists. Bloomington, Ind.: Annemarie Springer, 2001, www.ulib.iupui.edu/ kade/springer/index.html (accessed November 23, 2005).
WOLFF, OTTO DANIEL, JR. (b. May 16, 1911, Newport, Ky.; d. February 28, 1955, Fort Mitchell, Ky.). The prominent Northern Kentucky architect Otto Daniel Wolff Jr. was the son of Otto Daniel Wolff Sr., a well-known Campbell Co. Circuit Court judge, and the former Christine Roth. Otto Jr. was raised in Newport, where he graduated from Newport High School. He earned his BA degree from Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, Ga., and his architectural degree from the University of Cincinnati. He married Mary Cobb, and they had two children, Otto Daniel III and Cynthia. For several years Otto Wolff Jr. worked for the Federal Housing Administration in Louisville. He returned to Northern Kentucky, where he designed numerous residential and commercial buildings. Some of those were the Summit Hills Golf and Country Club, the Fort Mitchell branch of the First National Bank of Covington (see First National Bank and Trust Company of Covington), and the Kentucky state office building at Fourth and Garrard Sts. in Covington. He was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church, where he served as a vestryman. In February 1955 he underwent an operation that revealed that he had pancreatic cancer. He died three weeks later at his home in Fort Mitchell. Funeral ser vices were held at the Trinity Episcopal Church, and burial was in the Highland Cemetery, Fort Mitchell. His son Otto Daniel Wolff III became a well-known Covington attorney.
“Otto D. Wolff, Editorial on Death,” KTS, March 1, 1955, 4A. “Otto Wolff, Architect Dead, Rites Wednesday,” KTS, February, 28, 1955, 1A. “Otto Wolff Dies: Noted Architect,” KP, February 28, 1955, 1. “Plan Resolution on Wolff Death,” KTS, March 1, 1955, 2A. “Wolff Estate Goes to Widow,” KTS, March 8, 1955, 2A.
WOLFF, OTTO DANIEL, SR. (b. May 4, 1868, Newport, Ky.; d. August 21, 1937, Newport, Ky.). Otto D. Wolff Sr., a lawyer, a judge, and a banker, was the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Limberg Wolff. Born and raised in Newport, he attended primary school there and graduated from Newport High School. He earned a law degree from the Cincinnati Law College (now the University of Cincinnati) and was admitted to the Kentucky bar. Wolff married Christine Roth and they had two children, architect Otto Daniel Wolff Jr. and novelist Ruth Wolff. Otto Wolff Sr. was an associate of Judge Edward J. Boltz, and they maintained offices on the sixth floor of the Finance Building, at Fourth and York Sts. in Newport. Wolff was appointed master commissioner of the Campbell Co. Circuit Court in 1898 and served in that post for six years. At various times, he also held the positions of Newport city solicitor and city councilman. In 1910 he and Phillip Veitz started the Citizens Bank and Trust Company in Newport. Wolff served as president of the bank until it was merged with the Central Savings Bank and Trust Co. In the new consolidated bank, he was made a vice president. In 1915 he was elected Campbell Co. Circuit Court judge, a position he held until 1921. Wolff was a civic-minded person, deeply concerned about the problems of the less fortunate. He served as secretary of the Campbell Co. Protestant Orphans Home and was instrumental in starting the penny-a-meal program, to help feed people who were poor and unemployed. In 1921 Wolff took a bold first step for women’s rights by permitting women to serve on juries. For many years he was a member of the St. John’s Evangelical Church (now St. John’s United Church of Christ), where he taught classes in religion and held various leadership positions. He remained active in business and charitable work until he succumbed to a heart attack at age 69 in 1937. His body was laid out in the family home at 624 E. Third St. and was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. “Bar Pays Tribute to Judge Wolff,” KP, August 23, 1937, 1. “Heart Attack Ends Life of Former Judge,” KP, August 21, 1937, 1. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 20338, for the year 1937. Reis, Jim. “Otto Wolff Blazed Trail for Women,” KP, June 24, 1996, 4K.
WOLFF, RUTH (b. March 31, 1909, Newport, Ky.; d. June 13, 1972, Fort Thomas, Ky.). Novelist Ruth Wolff was one of two children born to Circuit Court judge Otto Daniel Wolff Sr. and his wife
970 WOMEN Christine Roth Wolff. Ruth’s brother, Otto Daniel Wolff Jr., became a prominent Northern Kentucky architect. During her formative years, Ruth and her family lived at 624 E. Third St. in Newport; later they moved to 105 Carolina Ave. in Fort Thomas. Ruth graduated from Newport High School in 1927 and attended Sullins College, in Bristol, Tenn. She graduated from Western College for Women (now part of Miami University), at Oxford, Ohio. Ruth did postgraduate work at the University of Cincinnati. Her first job was as a public school teacher for the Tennessee Valley Authority. She later worked for Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company and United Cork Company of Covington and was a church secretary for Rev. Harold Barkau at St. John United Church of Christ in Newport. In addition she did volunteer work for Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. In the early 1960s, she gave up outside employment to concentrate on her writing career. Wolff wrote four books, I, Keturah (1963), A Crack in the Sidewalk (1965), A Trace of Footprints (1968), and A Space Between (1970). She said that she was intrigued by the name Keturah, which she had seen on a gravestone in a local cemetery. That marker could have been for Keturah Moss Leitch Taylor (the wife of David Leitch and later of James Taylor Jr.), who was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate. Ruth’s father, Otto Daniel Wolff Sr., was also interred there. The setting for Wolff ’s second book, A Crack in the Sidewalk, was her hometown of Newport, although in the novel she called the city Brockton. She indicated that the unusual title came from the fact that almost everything around her seemed to be covered with concrete, so that the only place where plants grew was in the cracks of the sidewalk. Ruth’s books deal with the experiences of Appalachians in their attempt to adapt to the urban lifestyle; Newport was a frequent destination for Appalachians. In addition to her four books, Ruth wrote articles for Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, and other similar publications. In later life, she married J. Robert Wiseman, and the couple lived in Batavia, Ohio. Ruth Wolff Wiseman died of cancer at age 63, at St. Luke Hospital in Fort Thomas. She was buried in the Batavia Cemetery in Batavia, Ohio. “Deaths, Mrs. Ruth Wolff Wiseman,” KP, June 15, 1972, 4. “Mrs. Ruth Wolff Wiseman,” KE, June 15, 1972, 24. “Parted Sidewalk, Site for City Flower Border,” KP, December 8, 1965, 18K. Wolff, Otto Dan, Jr. Telephone interview by Jack Wessling. October 2005.
WOMEN. Women of Northern Kentucky have made significant and varied contributions to all aspects of the region’s development. Most notably, many were activists, community leaders, and women’s rights champions. Anna Shaler Berry became a dedicated women’s rights activist and a close friend of Mary Barlow Trimble and Susan B. Anthony. The three women campaigned tirelessly for the legal rights of women, especially the right to vote in the 40 years before the 19th Amendment was passed.
Trimble was an ardent supporter of women’s suffrage during the last 20 years of the 19th century. She was involved in numerous social issues, including women’s property rights and the right to vote, and was one of the founders of the Covington Equal Rights Club. Her daughter was the internationally known suffragist author Kate Woolsey, who wrote Republics versus Women (1903). Josephine W. Henry was a writer, teacher, and women’s rights activist. She joined the Kentucky Equal Rights Association but was expelled from the organization owing to her extreme views regarding religion and marriage. Subsequently, the National American Woman Suff rage Association gave her its Pioneer Distinguished Ser vice award in 1920. She died in 1928. In 1923 Jesse Firth was the first woman to run for public office in Kenton Co. A leader in the women’s suff rage and temperance movements, she also served as an officer of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association and later with the League of Women Voters. Alice Lloyd, a teacher most of her life, was also a member of the Women’s Temperance Union and the Kentucky Equal Rights Association. Lloyd died in 1951. She is not to be confused with the Alice Lloyd who founded an Eastern Kentucky College. Mattie Bruce Reynolds had a keen interest in charities and social affairs, but her strongest affiliation was with women’s suff rage. She hosted national suff ragist organizers at her home in Covington and marched with four other Kenton Co. women in a suff ragist parade in Washington, D.C., in 1913. Ida Mitchell Roff taught elocution in Covington in the 1880s and later wrote articles on astronomy and other subjects for the Cincinnati Enquirer. She also organized and arranged meetings for the Kentucky Equal Rights Association. She died in 1939 in Mason Co., having spent all but the last two years of her life in the Cincinnati area. Virginia Adeline “Jennie” Rugg was one of Northern Kentucky’s leading suff ragettes, pleading the case of the franchise for women. She lived in Newport most of her life and died in 1923 at Ashland. In the area of social work, Henrietta Esther Scott Cleveland moved to Covington and became involved in a ladies’ society that dedicated itself to works of charity among the poor. In 1861 she was a founder of the St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center). Cleveland died in 1907. Kate E. Perry Mosher was a Southern sympathizer during the Civil War. After the war, she assisted the homeless victims of war in Northern Kentucky. She was also a clubwoman and an artist. Mary Moser became one of the founders of the Catholic Social Ser vices in Northern Kentucky and arranged for more than 300 children to be placed in adoptive homes during her long career as one of the region’s first social workers. Moser died in 1987. Helen McNeeve Theissen, who was active in Catholic charitable causes for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, brought Mother Teresa to Covington. Theissen died in 2005. In the area of civil rights, Alice Thornton Shimfessel served as president of the community center that became known as the L. B. Fouse Civic
League. Many civil rights activities were launched out of the L. B. Fouse Civic League, including Congress of Racial Equality freedom riders and NAACP meetings. Amo Lucille Powell Peters organized local marches and peaceful demonstrations to end segregation and unfair conditions for African Americans. She became chairperson of the Maysville–Mason Co. Human Rights Commission and helped plan the 1964 march on Frankfort in support of the upcoming Public Accommodations Act. Her personal visits with the owners of local businesses and civic leaders led many to support her efforts to hasten integration. Pamela E. Mullins organized a student demonstration at Covington’s Holmes High School to protest the school’s inability to hire an adequate number of African American teachers and a history curriculum that disregarded the experience of black Americans. In 1988 she became the first African American woman elected to the Covington Board of Education. She lives in Covington today. In politics, Rebekah Hechinger Hord became the first woman to serve on the Maysville city commission and, after her election as Maysville mayor in 1951, was the first woman ever to hold the position of mayor of a city in Kentucky. She participated in many civic and professional organizations. Her daughter Harriett Cartmell also became Maysville’s mayor, in 1986. Dixie Lee, in 1966, was the first woman in Kentucky to run for Congress in the Democratic primary. She also ran for the U.S. Senate and made her final bid for office in a run for the Kentucky Senate in 1969. Lee continued her interest in politics by working for the Democratic Party for many years. She died in 2001. Hanna Baird, who moved to Florence, Ky., in 1964 with her family, became involved in Democratic politics and in women’s and children’s issues. She also served as a board member for the American Red Cross, the Community Chest, Northern Kentucky University, and several other institutions. Nancy Diuguid of Carroll Co. broke new ground with gay and feminist themes in her theater productions on the London (England) stage in the 1980s and 1990s. She also launched arts projects, working with prisoners, traumatized children, and victims of illness, rape, and abuse. Many Northern Kentucky women made their impact in the entertainment and acting arenas, including Dorothy Abbott, Betty Clooney, Rosemary Clooney, Blanche Coldiron, Frances Denny Drake (see Mrs. Drake), Lyda Florence Lewis, Una Merkel, Erica Newman, Mary Wilton “Minnie” Roebuck, and Patricia A. “Pat” Scott. Notable Northern Kentucky women in business and the professions include Vera Angel; Clare Elsie Beatty; Virginia Bennett; Betty Blake; Dr. Tracey Butler Ross; Judy Clabes; Martha Purdon Comer; Elizabeth B. Delaney; Cora Dow, owner of Dow Drugs; Mary B. Greene; Dr. Lucy Ann Dupuy Montz; Roxanne Qualls; Mary Cabell Richardson; Dr. Sarah M. Siewers; Dr. Louise Southgate; Patricia M. Summe; Jane Summers; and Mary Wood. Northern Kentucky has produced numerous outstanding educators, among them Elizabeth B.
Cook Fouse, Ninona Miller, Rosella French Porterfield, Jessie O. Yancey, and Kate Zoller. Women talented in the fields of literature and art have also had Northern Kentucky connections: Harriette Simpson Arnow, Mary Wilson Betts, Mary L. Mitchell Cady, Elizabeth Pickett Chevalier, Annette Cornell, Julia Stockton Dinsmore, George Elliston, Berniece Hiser, Sue Hamilton Jewell, Dorothy Ladd, Mary C. McNamara, Anna Virginia Parker, Barbara Paul, Frances Rickett, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Dixie Selden, Mary Bruce Sharon, Helen Truesdell, Caroline Williams, Ruth Wolff, Eleanor Duncan Wood, and Rena Lusby Yancey. Lina and Adelia Beard in the early 1880s founded the nation’s first girl scouting group, which came to be known as the Camp Fire Girls. Lina and Adelia wrote several books, the most famous being The American Girls Handbook. Daniel Carter Beard was their brother, and artist James Beard was their father. Women have been a part of the history of Northern Kentucky, though neglected for the most part in the historical record, since the days of Mary Ingles’s escape from Indian captivity at Big Bone Lick in the mid-1750s. Irvin, Helen Deiss. Women in Kentucky. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1979. Potter, Eugenia K., ed. Kentucky Women: Two Centuries of Indomitable Spirit and Vision. Louisville, Ky.: Four Colour Imports, 1997.
WOMEN POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS. The first policewoman in Northern Kentucky began to serve in the early 20th century. In 1914 Mrs. Murray Hubbard urged the Covington Women’s Civic Commission to investigate the hiring of a woman police officer, stating that larger cities had done so with success. In March 1915 Alice Voorhees was given police authority under the Covington Department of Public Safety as a humane matron and worked with women and juveniles. Two years later, when a new mayor took office, she lost her job. Voorhees returned to public ser vice from 1937 to 1940 as assistant police matron. Joan Penick made headlines in 1970, when the Covington Police Department appointed her a police officer in the juvenile division. She rose to the rank of captain before her retirement in 1996. Also during that time, Janet Radenheimer was hired; she retired as a police sergeant. In 1975 Micki White was the first woman to serve on the Florence Police Department. Later she had police duties in Fort Wright and after that was a patrolwoman for the Kenton Co. police. When she began in Florence in 1975, she was not allowed to ride in a patrol car with a married officer. In 1978, Sandy Tretter Schonecker, of Covington, was hired as the first woman Kentucky state trooper (KSP). In 1980 she joined special investigations as a state police detective; in that role she was an undercover officer investigating the bombings of coal tipples in Harlan Co. Posing as the niece of a mafia kingpin, she bought dynamite and witnessed
bombings. The information she turned up from an informant led police to the persons responsible for bombing a Harlan Co. detective’s home. For that work she was given the KSP medal for meritorious ser vice. In 1987 Schonecker returned to Dry Ridge as a detective, working auto theft and child abuse cases. She retired on November 30, 1993. Although there can be no doubt that over the years women took up positions on bucket brigades and participated in fire watches and firefighting when a fire occurred in their community, they were not recognized as firefighters until much more recently. In the 1970s, Michele Westermeyer began by serving two years as a volunteer firefighter with the Erlanger Fire Department and then joined the Covington Fire Department (CFD) on June 18, 1979. She was Covington’s first woman firefighter, the first woman to drive the fire engine, the first woman lieutenant, the first woman captain, and the first woman to run a firehouse (Hands Pk.). She retired as captain after 26 years of ser vice. Soon afterward, the CFD hired Betty Schwartz, who retired after 20 years as an emergency medical technician (EMT) driver. Tara Lytle, Covington’s third woman firefighter, was hired in 2000. Newport had a woman fi refighter during the 1970s; Tammy Webster joined the fi re department in Fort Thomas in 1999; captains Joy McVey and Jill James both served with the Florence Fire Department. Other Northern Kentucky departments with women fi refighters include the Central Campbell Co. Fire Department and the departments of Dayton, Hebron, Independence, and Wilder. In 2005 Kentucky had 30 women serving with 14 fi re departments. “Micki N. White,” CE, June 7, 2002, 4B. “Sandy Schonecker,” KP, December 27, 1978, 1K.
Nancy J. Tretter
WOMEN’S CRISIS CENTER. The Northern Kentucky Rape Crisis Center was started with 20 volunteers in 1975. In March 1979 its name changed to the Women’s Crisis Center because the organization was extending its ser vices to battered women. Some people then, and even today, do not know what constitutes a “battered woman”; this is true especially when the victims are young mothers or sexually abused women, or both. Often the victims do not know it is a crime to verbally, emotionally, or physically mistreat a person. Three individuals who were influential in the development and funding of women’s crisis centers statewide and locally were former Kentucky governor Martha Layne Collins (1983–1987), local attorney Suzanne Cassidy, and well-known local businesswoman Marge Schott. The mission of the Women’s Crisis Center is to speak for and empower adults and children who have survived domestic violence, sexual abuse, or rape. Besides serving as an advocate for victims, the Women’s Crisis Center provides crisis intervention, counseling, education, referrals to other kinds of social ser vices agencies, and shelter for abuse survivors. There are two 24-hour crisis lines in operation within Northern Kentucky. The cen-
ter’s administrative office is at 835 Madison Ave., Covington, and other offices are located in Florence, Maysville, Williamstown, and Carrollton. In 2008 ground was broken for a new Regional Services Center in Hebron. Currently, the Women’s Crisis Center is the only shelter for battered women and their children in the eight-county Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD). The agency works closely with NKADD to ensure that community ser vices for its clients are coordinated with the efforts of other local social ser vice agencies. The center maintains an updated resource manual so that it can mesh with other community ser vices. When clients enter the shelter, they receive help in finding effective ways to facilitate the intervention, evaluation, and delivery of ser vices; the purpose is to achieve an immediate resolution to the crisis at hand. First, the victim’s most urgent needs are assessed. Then the delivery of needed items or services to alleviate the person’s most pressing concerns follows. For children, there are ser vices offered that protect them from abuse and court-appointed legal advocates who try to help children to recognize that abuse is not their fault and is not an acceptable norm. Also, the center offers an array of nonresidential ser vices that allow abused children to heal. Children learn that they have the right to say no, to get away from being abused, and to tell an adult what has happened when abuse has occurred. The center has found that the need for intervention through prevention and education is acute. Its team education program in the elementary schools works with an average of 500 disclosures of abuse of children annually. A court advocate is available for the victim at any time in the process of fi ling for an emergency protection order, and this advocate also accompanies victims to court hearings. Court advocates explain to victims the nature and implications of legal procedures and facilitate child care and transportation ser vices during court attendance while providing advocacy and emotional support. Hospital advocacy is also available from volunteers who offer rape crisis counseling in cases of domestic violence. Victims are made aware of resources and information during emergency room visits. Kentucky Women’s Crisis Center. http://mivictims. org/kentucky/mission.html (accessed June 7, 2006). “Rape Crisis Center Gets Name Change,” Colonel Covington’s Chronicle, March 1979, 9.
Robin Rider Osborne
WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE. In Northern Kentucky as in the nation, the social activists dubbed “suffragettes” were women who generally came from families with at least some means. Most were educated, having attended schools other women could not afford; in addition, these woman had the leisure time to become involved in reform works. For the most part, they seem to have been mainline Protestants—Episcopalians, Methodists, and Presbyterians. Once slavery was abolished in 1863 with
972 WOOD, ELEANOR DUNCAN the Emancipation Proclamation, many of America’s female social reformers turned their attention to the cause of women’s voting rights. “Equal rights for men and women” was the clarion call of what soon came to be known as the women’s suff rage movement. Nationally, the best-known suff ragette was Massachusetts-born Susan B. Anthony (1820– 1906), the daughter of a Quaker abolitionist. She did not live to see the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allowed women to vote in the national elections of 1920. Anthony began her reform work in the temperance movement, then moved on to antislavery, before joining the battle for women’s voting rights. She visited Northern Kentucky at least twice: in October 1879, she spoke at the Odd Fellows Hall in Newport and stayed at the home of Anna Shaler Berry, wife of Albert Seaton Berry; and in 1894 Anthony was a guest in the home of Mary Barlow Trimble of Covington. In parts of Kentucky, some women (the few unmarried ones who owned taxable property) were permitted to vote in school-related elections as a result of a law passed in 1838, the first such schoolsuff rage bill in the nation. Their vote was restricted to school bonds and school trustee selection. In 1894 school suff rage was extended only to all women of second-class Kentucky cities—Lexington, Covington, and Newport—because the state legislature reasoned that only women from those areas had petitioned for the right. By 1902 even that limited privilege was reversed for racist reasons; it was feared that black women in Lexington might gain control of the city’s school system. Thus, it could be argued that this short-lived taste of suff rage helped to propel the movement both statewide and in the nation. Within Kentucky, the most famous suff ragist was Laura Clay, daughter of abolitionist Cassius B. Clay. Within Northern Kentucky, there were several women, many of them friends of Laura Clay, who pushed, and pushed hard, for the right of women to vote. Perhaps the most famous Northern Kentucky women’s rights activist was Kate Trimble Woolsey. She was the daughter of Mary Barlow Trimble, also a women’s rights activist, and Judge William Trimble. Both Kate and her mother had the family wealth, time, and status to promote their cause. Kate Woolsey took her arguments to the streets of New York City and London, England, as well as those of her native Covington, where she lived in the Trimble mansion at the southeast corner of Robbins St. and Madison Ave., now the site of a Walgreen Drug Store. In 1903, while living in London, Woolsey published a book entitled Republics versus Woman, criticizing the inequities of modern democracies. In it she pleaded for passage of legislation on behalf of women’s rights, which she claimed were being held back by slowmoving governments. Kate’s mother, Mary Trimble, was a prominent figure in national suff ragette circles. A friend of Anthony, Trimble often was disparaged by Covington society for spending far too much time on her causes and neglecting her family. Trimble’s rebuttal
was that the hired help was able to care for her family. Other daughters involved in the movement included Grace “Fanny” Trimble Facklers, an international socialite who split her time between London and New York City, and Helen Trimble Highton, a delegate to the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (KERA) meeting in 1913, held in Louisville. Newport-born Josephine W. Henry, the niece of John A. Williamson, was part of the wealthy Williamson family. In 1888 she was lobbying for women’s voting rights in Frankfort before the legislature, and later she lobbied for women’s property rights. She was an active member of KERA and a strong supporter of Laura Clay. At meetings she often spoke just before Clay on the program. In 1920 Henry was given a national award as “a pioneer of the women’s rights movement.” In 1890 she became the first woman to run for a state office in Kentucky, although at the time her fellow suff ragettes could not cast their votes for her. Another contemporary women’s rights activist, Jennie Rugg, who came from a wealthy family, was also from Newport. In the early 1880s she demanded the franchise for women. She was a delegate to the 1884 KERA Convention along with fellow Newport residents Mrs. John A. Williamson and Mrs. Thomas Laurens Jones (Mary Keturah Taylor), a granddaughter of Gen. James Taylor. A medical doctor who was part of this movement was Dr. Louise Southgate. Scion of the famous Southgate family, Southgate practiced in Covington and was on the staff of that city’s Booth Memorial Hospital. She helped many young Covington ladies with issues of women’s health and was a speaker at the KERA meeting held in Covington in 1909. Two other Covington suff ragists were Mattie Reynolds, who hosted national suff ragist organizers at her home at 502 Greenup St. and in 1913 marched with four other Kenton Co. women in a suff ragist parade in Washington, D.C.; and Mrs. Eugenia B. Farmer, a Covington school board member. From Germantown came Alice Lloyd, who became Mason Co.’s foremost women’s rights leader. Another of Laura Clay’s close friends, Lloyd did not support the proposed U.S. constitutional amendment as a solution to women’s suff rage. Instead, she believed that each state individually should offer the vote to women—that it was not a federal issue. KERA remained active from 1881 to 1920. Similar organizations in other states evolved into what became the League of Women Voters after the passage of the 19th Amendment. Since Covington and Newport provided many of KERA’s initial members, several of the organization’s annual meetings were held in Northern Kentucky, including those of 1897, 1901, and 1905. There was a Susan B. Anthony Club in Cincinnati, and many Northern Kentucky women were members, including the club’s president in 1906, medical doctor Sarah Siewers. This club’s legacy lives on through a Susan B. Anthony Day Dinner held annually in Cincinnati.
“Four Women Are Delegates,” KTS, November 19, 1913, 14. Fuller, Paul E. Laura Clay and the Women’s Rights Movement. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1975. Reis, Jim. “Winning the Right to Vote,” KP, November 8, 2004, 4K. Woolsey, Kate Trimble. Republics versus Woman. London: Gay and Bird, 1903.
WOOD, ELEANOR DUNCAN (b. January 10, 1869, Philadelphia, Pa.; d. June 13, 1936, Maysville, Ky.). Eleanor Wood’s parents were Dr. Arthur F. Wood and Eleanor Duncan. Eleanor married Clarence L. Wood. A poet, she was one of 60 contestants who submitted poems in 1922 for the Memorial Building to honor those who died in World War I, which was being erected on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. Wood’s poem, “In Memoriam,” was chosen to adorn the side of the Memorial Building. Wood published a collection of her poetry titled Largesse. Some of her poems appeared in magazines; for example, “The Conqueror” was published in Lippincott’s Magazine in 1913. Other poems of hers were “The Failure” and “In Nazareth.” Eleanor Wood died of heart failure in 1936 at age 67 and was buried in Washington, Ky. Calvert, Jean, and John Klee. Maysville, Kentucky: From Past to Present in Pictures. Maysville, Ky.: Mason Co. Museum, 1983. Kentucky Death Certificate No. 17253, for the year 1936. Noe, J. T. C. A Brief Anthology of Kentucky Poetry. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Extension Ser vice, 1936. Poets’ Corner. www.theotherpages.org/poems. “Prize Poem to Be Engraved on Memorial Building to Kentucky’s World War Dead,” KTS, April 18, 1922, 27. “Prize-Winning Memorial Poem in Kentucky,” KTS, October 2, 1922, 16.
Thomas S. Ward
WOOD, MARY (b. January 19, 1914, New Orleans, La.; d. May 6, 2002, Fort Wright, Ky.). Witty television and radio critic Mary Thompson Hawes Wood, a descendant of Confederate general James Morrison Hawes, was probably best known as a commentator and a humorist. She was the daughter of Lee and Ida May Thompson Hawes. In the 1930s her father was the business editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Mary attended Holmes High School and graduated from the Millersburg (Ky.) Female Institute. She later attended college both in Missouri and at Morehead State College in Kentucky. She married Charles P. “Chip” Wood in Newport on January 29, 1934. Mary Wood wrote soap operas for WLW radio, then worked for the Cincinnati Post for 36 years and enjoyed a loyal following as she covered the careers of Bob Braun, Nick Clooney, Rosemary Clooney, Paul Dixon, and Ruth Lyons. She became a good friend of the family of Larry Hagman, star of the successful television series Dallas. Her most popu lar columns probably were her animal stories, starring her beloved collie, Buster.
She lived in Covington and “led the effort to preserve Riverside Dr., fighting efforts to tear down these old homes and put up a highrise,” according to Pat Flannery, an attorney friend and neighbor. In the announcement of her retirement, the Post said: “Every newspaper office needs a Mary, and few get them. Like the title of her first book, Just Lucky I Guess, we here at the Post most certainly have been.” Mary Wood died in 2002, in a nursing home, and was buried at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Billman, Rebecca. “Witty and Fearless, She Was a Local Icon,” CE, May 9, 2002, B9. Bird, Rick. “She Covered Broadcasting with Style and Wit,” KP, May 8, 2003, 2K. Cornell, Si. “Mary Wood to Retire,” CP, December 9, 1978, 2. Wood, Mary. In One Ear and Gone Tomorrow. Cincinnati: Southgate Press, 1978. ———. Just Lucky I Guess. New York: Doubleday, 1967.
WOODEN, JOHN ROBERT (b. October 14, 1910, Centerton, Ind.). John R. Wooden is one of the premier collegiate basketball coaches of all time, the one whose teams have won the most NCAA championships (10). He was a three-time All-American guard at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and the college basketball player of the year for 1932. Wooden’s first teaching-coaching job was at Dayton High School, Dayton, Ky. (see Dayton Public Schools). There he taught English and coached basketball for two seasons, 1932–1934, and his team’s losing basketball record that first season was the only one Coach Wooden ever had. He was also the high school’s football coach in 1932. From Dayton High School, he went to a coaching position in basketball at Central High School in South Bend, Ind. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he coached basketball at Indiana State University at Terre Haute. In 1948 he left to become head basketball coach at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he became the legendary “Wizard of Westwood.” He retired from coaching after the end of the 1974–1975 basketball season and today lives in Encino, Calif., not far from the UCLA campus. Chapin, Dwight, and Jeff Prugh. The Wizard of Westwood: Coach John Wooden and His UCLA Bruins. Boston: Houghton Miffl in, 1973. Wooden, John R., with Steve Jamison. Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court. Lincolnwood, Ill.: Contemporary Books, 1997.
Michael R. Sweeney
WOODFILL, SAMUEL, MAJOR (b. January 6, 1883, Jefferson Co., Ind.; d. August 13, 1951, near Vevay, Ind.). Samuel Woodfill, a distinguished World War I veteran and Medal of Honor recipient , was the son of Mexican War and Civil War veteran John H. Woodfill. By age 10, after being taught by his father and gaining practice by hunting wild turkeys, the youth had become an expert rifleman. In March 1901 he entered the U.S. Army at
Bryantsburg, Ind. His military career eventually led him from Louisville, Ky., to the Philippines and from a posting in Alaska to one in Kentucky at the Fort Thomas Military Reservation. Woodfi ll received a Medal of Honor for his actions at Cunel, France, on October 12, 1918; a 1st lieutenant, he was serving there with the 60th Infantry, 5th Division. His citation relates how he led his company in battle when they were under German machine-gun fire. Through his skill and bravery, he overcame at least a dozen Germans armed with machine guns and inspired his men to successfully carry out their objective. Woodfill married Lorena Blossom Wiltshire, a native of Covington, on December 26, 1917, in Fort Thomas. They lived in a home on the military post until he retired on December 23, 1923, after 22 years of active military ser vice. Their next home was at the corner of Alexandria Pk. and Hawthorne Ave., in the southern part of the city of Fort Thomas. The couple had no children. The Samuel Woodfill Elementary School, named in Woodfill’s honor, is now located within two blocks of their former home. Woodfill, a tall, quiet, retiring man, was recognized as a military hero throughout the community, but he never made a show of his accomplishments. When he was asked to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress, he declined. While the ceremony of the burial of the nation’s Unknown Soldier was being planned in 1921, some 3,000 names of outstanding soldiers of the Army Expeditionary Force (AEF) of World War I were reviewed. One hundred of these names were presented to Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing; he was to select three of them to be among the U.S. Army’s honor guard for the event. Upon seeing Woodfi ll’s name, the general proclaimed, “I’ve already selected that man as the outstanding soldier of the A.E.F.” The other two were the army’s legendary Sgt. Alvin C. York and Col. Charles White Whittlesey, the war time commander of the famed Lost Battalion. A whirlwind of activities preceded and followed the ceremony. Joined by his wife, Woodfi ll went to Washington, D.C., where Kentucky senator Richard P. Ernst of Covington took him to the White House to meet President Warren G. Harding (1921–1923). The U.S. Congress adjourned after recognizing Woodfi ll and held a banquet in his honor. Later in New York City, Woodfi ll was received and heralded by members of the New York Stock Exchange, which suspended business for three hours. Woodfi ll also met with Marshall Foch of France, was honored at a reception in the Hippodrome, and was given a banquet by the army’s 5th Division. After his retirement from the military, Woodfi ll attempted to operate an apple and peach farm between Silver Grove and Flagg Springs in Campbell Co., but the endeavor was not successful. He then worked as a watchman at the Andrews Steel Mill in Newport until World War II began. The famous radio commentator Lowell Thomas wrote a biography of him, Woodfill of the Regulars. During World War II, Woodfi ll was recalled to ser vice and promoted to the rank of major; his du-
ties during this period had to do with recruitment and with promotion of the sale of war bonds. Afterward, he moved back to a farm near Vevay, Ind., where he was found dead at age 68 on August 13, 1951. The date of his death was estimated to be August 10. He was buried first at the Jefferson Co. Cemetery near Madison, Ind., and later, on October 17, 1951, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., near the tomb of General Pershing. A marker was placed in the yard of the Jefferson Co., Ind., courthouse in memory of Woodfi ll. In Northern Kentucky a large bronze Kentucky State highway marker recounting Woodfi ll’s exploits stands in front of the Samuel Woodfi ll School, and both the school and the Military Museum at the Fort Thomas Community Center have portraits of Woodfi ll. Arlington National Cemetery Website. www .arlingtoncemetery.net/woodfi l.htm (accessed May 14, 2008). Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Committees Print 15, Ninety-third Congress, First Session. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973. Medal of Honor Recipients 1865–1973. Daniels, Betty Maddox. “Fort Thomas Military Reservation Description and History,” NKH 6, no. 2 (Spring–Summer 1999): 6–9. Thomas, Lowell. Woodfill of the Regulars. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1929. “Woodfi ll Body to Be Taken to Arlington,” KP, August 15, 1955, 1.
Betty Maddox Daniels
WOODLAWN. This sixth-class Campbell Co. city, incorporated on October 17, 1922, is located on a hill southeast of Newport. It is surrounded by the cities of Bellevue, Fort Thomas, and Newport. Earlier, the area was known as the Old Odd Fellows Grove. Around 1905, James E. McCracken and attorney Howard Benton subdivided the grove and formed the Woodlawn Home Company. The engineering firm of Glazier and Morlidge surveyed and laid out the initial five streets; the sewers and paving of roads came later. Newport’s main water line underneath Waterworks Rd., Woodlawn’s northern boundary, was tapped to supply the city with water. In 1912 the city was being considered as the home of a proposed Roman Catholic parish, which eventually became St. Francis de Sales in adjacent Cote Brilliante. In 1915 the Newport Women’s Club opened its East End Park adjacent to Woodlawn along Waterworks Rd., next to the old Delicious Dairy. Although the park was not in Woodlawn, it quickly became the playground for Woodlawn children. For many years, the park was known as Maple Grove and was owned by Ed Bartlett, who operated a saloon at the site after Prohibition. Two sons of Bartlett were Thomas “Red” Bartlett, longtime Campbell Co. Boys Club and recreation director; and Lou Bartlett, the former Woodlawn fire chief. Maple Grove had tennis and horseshoe courts; a baseball field, which was home to the Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Department’s summer baseball league; and, in the woods behind center field, a cave where local children played. In about
974 WOODS, GRANVILLE T. 1917 the men of Woodlawn formed the Woodlawn Welfare Association for the purpose of roadbuilding and other community improvements. Charles Pirman was its first president. During the 1920s, both Newport and Bellevue rejected Woodlawn’s requests to be annexed. Wilson Rd. was constructed in 1926–1927, making access to Bellevue and the Fort Thomas streetcar line (see Streetcars) easier. The center of the community since about 1950 has been the Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Department firehouse. Other centers of community life included the gasoline station at the northwest corner of Waterworks and Wilson Rds., which for many years was Bernie Brinkman’s Texaco Station, and the Woodlawn Inn at Waterworks and East Crescent, operated in the early 1960s by former Cincinnati Royals basketball coach Tom Marshall. There is no school in Woodlawn; public education is supplied by the Campbell Co. Public Schools. Woodlawn’s predominantly Catholic population sends students to St. Francis de Sales in Cote Brilliante and to Newport Central Catholic High School. In the early 1960s, Carl Huber built the Woodlawn Terrace subdivision, adding 21 new homes to the city. In the early 1980s, the construction of I-471 (see Expressways) took many homes on the city’s west side. The interstate also isolated Woodlawn from the east side of Newport and severed most of its previous connections with the Cote Brilliante neighborhood. Over the years there have been a few businesses in Woodlawn: Mary Wallace’s fruitcake and candy company; Bartlett’s Auto Body; and a number of builders, including Joe Becker, Barney Fehler, Adam Feinauer, Greg Ferring, and Carl Huber. Today the fire department continues, but the gas station and the Woodlawn Inn are gone. Newport provides police ser vice. In 2000 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Woodlawn had a population of 268. Kentucky Land Office. “Kentucky Cities Database.” http://apps.sos.ky.gov/land/cities/ (accessed March 29, 2005). U.S. Census Bureau. “American Fact Finder. Data Set. Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF1) 100-Percent Data. Custom Table.” www.census.gov (accessed March 29, 2005).
Jerome L. Kendall
WOODS, GRANVILLE T. (b. April 23, 1846, Columbus, Ohio; d. January 30, 1910, New York City). Granville Woods, known as “the black Thomas Edison,” was a pioneer African American inventor and businessman. After mastering the trades of a machinist and a blacksmith, and after working as a railroad fireman and engineer, Woods completed a series of college courses in electrical and mechanical engineering between 1876 and 1878. In 1880 he came to Cincinnati and founded the Woods Electric Company. In 1888 he moved to Covington and resided on Lynn St. In late 1888, while operating the Woods Electric Company in Cincinnati, he started a similar enterprise in Newport. He incorporated his manufacturing enterprise on January 21, 1889, as the G. T. Woods Manufacturing Company. The company manufactured
electrical and mechanical devices such as switches, telegraph systems, and appliances. A short time later, Woods moved to New York City, where he sold a number of his patents to Thomas A. Edison and his General Electric Company, the American Bell Telephone Company, and the Westinghouse Air Brake Company. Woods obtained some 60 patents during his life. He never married. Woods died in 1910 at Harlem Hospital after suffering a stroke and was buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Astoria, in Queens Co., N.Y. KSJ, January 3, 1889, 4. Low, W. Augustus, ed. Encyclopedia of Black America. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981.
Theodore H. H. Harris
WOODYARD, WILLIAM (b. 1774, Virginia; d. 1858, Williamstown, Ky.). William Woodyard, an educated early settler of Grant. Co., arrived in 1808 and became a prosperous landowner. In 1820, with the formation of Grant Co. and its courts, he was appointed one of the first justices. Woodyard participated in granting tavern licenses, setting boundaries for precincts, and naming constables. In 1826 he became county sheriff and also served as tax collector, election judge, estate appraiser, and administrator. He and his wife Rebecca, a relative of Henry Clay, raised 10 children on a farm one mile north of the courthouse in Williamstown, on the west side of the Dry Ridge Trace (U.S. 25, Dixie Highway). Woodyard was buried near the Williamstown Particular Baptist Church. Barnes, Betty M. “Woodyard Family,” Footsteps of the Past, December 25, 1997, 19. Conrad, John B., ed. History of Grant County, Kentucky. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1992. Pease, Janet K., comp. Kentucky County Court Records, Grant, Harrison, Pendleton. Williamstown, Ky.: Grant Co. Historical Society, 1985.
WOOLEN MILLS. The woolen industry was an important business in Northern Kentucky during the 19th century. By the beginning of the 20th century it was nearly gone, however, and today it has disappeared. Woolen mills were complex factories equipped with extensive equipment for processing raw wool into finished products. A glimpse of a woolen mill in Northern Kentucky appeared in an article in the June 29, 1867, Maysville Republican, describing how the Murphysville Manufacturing Company in Mason Co. operated. The article explained that after the wool was received at the factory, it was sorted into different grades on the basis of color and quality and then cleaned by machinery in a scouring room, dyed, rinsed, and dried. The wool still needed further cleaning at this stage, to remove dust, dirt, and other substances. In subsequent steps, it was oiled, weighed, and wound into rope, which was at first coarse and became smaller and stronger as processing continued. A machine called a condenser converted the rope into yarn, which could then be woven into cloth. After the cloth underwent several additional procedures, among them shrinking, having its nap
raised and sheared, stretching, and pressing, it was ready for sale. Little information is available concerning the woolen mills of Boone and Bracken counties. In his History of Kentucky, Richard Collins reported one wool factory at Burlington in Boone Co. and one wool-carding factory in Bracken Co. Will E. Walker was listed as a wool carder in the 1850 census for Bracken Co., but it is not known whether Walker was an employee of a factory or self employed. J. A. Lee ran a woolen mill or carding mill at Brooksville during 1876–1877. The woolen industry was more established at Newport in Campbell Co., where Benjamin Clifford Jr., Darius B. Holbrook, S. R. M. Holbrook, William M. Walker, James Taylor Jr., James Taylor Sr., Isaiah Thomas, John W. Tibbatts, and William M. Walker incorporated the Newport Manufacturing Company on November 26, 1831. By 1836 this company’s extensive operations included a cotton factory, a woolen factory, a hemp mill, and other endeavors that employed 329 individuals. A story in the January 9, 1836, local Daily Evening Post reported that the company had “fi ft y power looms for the manufacture of Kentucky jeans, linseys, and cotton plains . . . and the necessary auxiliary machinery for the manufacture of cotton bagging, by steam power.” Between 1892 and 1908, two other woolen mills were mentioned in Newport. The June 10, 1892, Kentucky Post indicated that the Forinshell Woolen Mills of Detroit, Mich., would consider a move to Newport if the city offered some inducements. The Ohio Valley Woolen Mills Company was located at the southwest corner of First St. and Park Ave. in Newport. Historian Collins reported one wool-carding factory in Carroll Co. Three woolen mills in Carrollton were John Howe & Sons (1876–1880), John & W. F. Howe & Company (1881–1884), and Carrollton Woolen Mills (1887–1896). Grant Co. had woolen mill operators in the community of New Eagle Mills, including G. W. Saylers (1876–1882), John A. Collins (1883–1884), and James F. Saylers (1883–1884). Two other woolen mills were in Williamstown: D. Cunningham & Company (1865–1866) and Daniel L. Cunningham (1883–1884). In Kenton Co., four minor woolen mills operated in Covington: Glaser & Brother at the southeast corner of Scott and Front Sts. (1866), the Kentucky Woolen Mills at 738–740 Madison Ave. (1868), F. Gray on the northeast corner of Eighth St. and Madison Ave. (1869), and A & G. H. Montgomery at 258 Pike St. (1895). The Covington Woolen Mills (1876–1895), at 254 Pike St. during 1897–1902, appears to have been the primary woolen mill in Covington. It was owned by John Herold and his brother. The August 27, 1892, Kentucky Post indicated that Herold’s Covington Woolen Mills had failed. However, subsequent city directories suggest that the mill continued until 1902. The varying company name and address were listed as J. & G. Herold, on the north side of Lexington Pk. between Main and Riddle Sts. (1861–1866); on the north side of Pike St, opposite
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Kip St. (1866); at 252 Pike St. (1868); at 256–258 Pike St. (1869–1871, 1878); at 256 Pike St. (1872– 1888); and John Herold & Sons at 256 Pike St. (1890 and 1896). John Herold was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1819 and migrated to the United States in 1838. Initially, he worked five or six years in a woolen mill owned by a man named Geizendurf and subsequently began his own business. In Mason Co., O. Hanna & Company operated a woolen mill in the community of Dover during 1883–1884. The Maysville Woolen Manufacturing Company was incorporated on January 16, 1866, by William W. Baldwin, David Clark, Robert A. Cochran, George L. Forman, Peter Lashbrooke, Elijah Loyd, Henry Smoot, and William E. Smoot. Murphysville, a small Mason Co. community about nine miles south of Maysville on the North Fork of the Licking River, had the Murphysville Manufacturing Company, which was incorporated on March 2, 1867. The dye house at the mill was under the supervision of Timothy D. Lutcliffe of Roxburg, Mass., who had previously worked at the Bay State mills and carpet factory in that state. The superintendent of the practical department was working under George S. Baker, formerly with Tilton and Baker, a cloth and woolengoods manufacturer of Sanborndon Bridge, N.H. With equipment brought in from Massachusetts and Connecticut and experienced men with backgrounds in the woolen industry, the Murphysville Manufacturing Company was an impressive operation. It appears that successors to the Murphysville Manufacturing Company were Evans & Wright in 1876–1977 and Wright & Wood, who were listed in editions of the Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory between 1879 and 1888. The community of Washington in Mason Co. had an early wool factory owned by Enos Woodward. The December 19, 1827, Maysville Eagle carried an ad placed by Woodward seeking one or two weavers as employees for this factory. The following month, on January 23, 1828, the newspaper carried a long ad in which Woodward informed the public that he had purchased the wool factory formerly occupied by William Richey in Washington. Woolen mills also operated in Owen and Pendleton counties. Miner & Parker ran a woolen mill at New Liberty in Owen Co. during 1865–1866. Collins reported in his history one wool factory in Pendleton Co. Later, two woolen mills existed in Falmouth: Joshua Woodhead’s woolen mill near Zoder (1874–1884) and the Falmouth Woolen Mills (1887–1906). According to the local Lake atlas for Bracken and Pendleton counties, Woodhead was a woolen manufacturer from England who settled in Pendleton Co. in 1866. Two wool carders listed in the Pendleton census for 1850 included James P. Hopper and William J. Wheeler. To this day, the wool industry in Falmouth is celebrated with an annual wool festival. Acts of Kentucky. Frankfort, Ky., 1832, 1866, 1867. An Atlas of Bracken and Pendleton Counties, Kentucky. Philadelphia: D. J. Lake, 1884.
Clift, G. Glenn. History of Maysville and Mason County. Lexington, Ky.: Transylvania, 1936. Collins, Richard H. History of Kentucky. Covington, Ky.: Collins, 1882. Hodgman, George H. Hodgman and Co.’s Kentucky State Gazetteer, Shippers’ Guide, and Business Directory, for 1865 and 1866. Louisville, Ky.: Hodgman, 1865. Maysville Eagle, December 19, 1827; June 23, 1828. Perrin, William Henry, J. H. Battle, and G. C. Kniffi n. Kentucky: A History of the State. Louisville, Ky.: F. A. Battey, 1888. R. L. Polk Company. Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory. Detroit: R. L. Polk, 1876– 1895. R. L. Polk Company and A. C. Danser. Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory, for 1876–1877. Detroit: R. L. Polk, 1876. Tenkotte, Paul A. “Rival Cities to Suburbs: Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 1790–1890,” PhD diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1989.
Charles D. Hockensmith
ington at a convention of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association in Louisville. In 1915 the Kentucky Post reported that Kate Trimble Woolsey, “one of the leading writers in the suff rage cause” (see Women’s Suff rage), was spending most of her time in New York City, Europe, and Covington, Ky. The story of Kate Woolsey’s last years and death has yet to be uncovered. Bronner, Milton. “Kentuckians Who Have Made Good in New York— Commonwealth Well Represented,” KP, February 3, 1915, 1. “Colonial Daughters Hold a Meeting,” KP, December 2, 1907, 3. “Four Women Are Delegates,” KTS, November 11, 1913, 14. “Ida S. Blick Letter,” KP, October 16, 1905, 4. “Judge Wm. W. Trimble Died,” KSJ, September 2, 1886, 4. “A Sharp Protest,” Lexington Leader, April 12, 1903, 7.
WORLD WAR I. Before the United States enWOOLSEY, KATE TRIMBLE (b. ca. 1858, Cynthiana, Ky.; date and place of death unknown). Kate Trimble, an author and a suffragette, was the daughter of Judge William W. Trimble and Mary Barlow Trimble. Kate was exposed to some women’s-rights influences from her birth family: In 1874, her father purchased a mansion at the southeast corner of Madison Ave. and Robbins St. in Covington, in the name of his wife. In 1894, when the Equal Rights Society of Covington attended the Ohio Woman State Suffrage Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kate’s mother entertained as her houseguests famous suffragettes Helen Taylor Upton and Susan B. Anthony. In 1881 Kate Trimble married Eugene de Roode of Lexington. She subsequently spent four years as a widow in London, England. In 1893 she married Edward J. Woolsey of New York City, who was newly divorced and quite wealthy. For the couple’s wedding, Kate’s widowed mother invited many dignitaries to Covington, including the U.S. secretary of the treasury, John G. Carlisle, and foreign guests such as the king of Bulgaria, Princess Maria De Bourbon from the Bourbon royal family, and the English dowager duchess of Wellington. Kate Woolsey’s book, a short volume entitled Republics versus Woman, was published in 1903. There she argued that the American republic was more oppressive for disenfranchised women than were the monarchies of Europe. She also claimed in her book that her great-aunt had urged her great-uncle Robert Trimble to draft a bill in support of married women’s property rights and their guardianship rights. Also in 1903 Woolsey became a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Then in 1907, the newly organized Society of Colonial Daughters engaged her as a guest speaker. In her speech, “Women of the Colonial Period,” she denounced the plight of females working in the southern textile factories. Women’s status had fallen below that of male immigrants, ex-slaves, and the lower classes, she asserted. In November 1913, four prominent local suff ragettes, including Woolsey’s sister, Helen Highton, represented Cov-
tered the war, a rally of Covington and Kenton Co. citizens was held at the Covington Public Library auditorium on May 1, 1916, to encourage political officials to stay out of the war in Europe. Many of the people in attendance were of German birth or ancestry. Their pleas were ultimately unsuccessful, and by April 1917, the United States was at war with the Central Powers. Northern Kentuckians with German heritage soon found themselves in a precarious position. The overwhelming majority of them were loyal Americans, and many of the families had lived in the United States for generations. Some of their non-German fellow citizens, however, viewed them with distrust. This distrust was fueled by the creation of the Citizens Patriotic League in 1917 to rid the region of any pro-German activity (see Anti- German Hysteria). The league eventually claimed to have more than 1,000 members. The Citizens Patriotic League was successful in eliminating many aspects of German culture and language in the region. In summer 1917, the Dayton Public Schools in Dayton, Ky., stopped offering courses in the German language. During the next year, most other Northern Kentucky public school systems did the same. The Covington Public Library removed its sizable German-language collection, and the circulation of German-language newspapers was all but eliminated in Northern Kentucky. Many area businesses changed their names to remove any reference to Germany. The German National Bank in Covington was renamed Liberty National Bank, while the Newport German Bank became the American National Bank. Covington’s Western German Savings Bank was renamed the Security Savings Bank. A number of streets were also renamed to get rid of any association with Germany. In Covington, Bremen St. became Pershing Ave., and in Newport, German St. became Liberty St. The Citizens Patriotic League did not always use peaceful means to achieve its goals. On June 5, 1918, members of the league confronted Rev. Anton Goebel, pastor of St. John Catholic Church
976 WORLD WAR II on Pike St. in Covington, on the porch of the parish rectory. Goebel was a German native who had come to the United States in 1890. The mob physically intimidated Goebel and several mob members struck him. Goebel was accused of refusing to allow the American flag to be brought into his church for a funeral. On June 24, 1918, a large group of league members confronted a farmer in rural Kenton Co. and accused him of supporting the German war aims. The man was tied to a tree and whipped. The Citizens Patriotic League was also involved in one of the region’s highest-profi le court cases. In 1918 a private detective agency was hired by the league to place an electronic listening device in the shoe shop of Charles Schoberg in the Latonia neighborhood of Covington. League members had been informed that a group of men were gathering in the shop to discuss the war in terms that were sympathetic to the Germans. From the evidence collected, seven men were eventually charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. The case focused on three men, Henry Feltman, J. Henry Kruse, and Charles Schoberg. All three were upstanding citizens who were active in the community. Feltman and Schoberg each had held public offices, and Feltman was a successful tobacco merchant. All three, however, were found guilty. Schoberg was given a sentence of 10 years, while Kruse received a 5-year term. Feltman was sentenced to a 7-year prison term and fined $40,000. On December 10, 1920, the three men were transported to Moundsville Penitentiary in West Virginia. A successful petition drive by their friends eventually led to their release in June 1921, when President Warren G. Harding (1921–1923) commuted their sentences. Religious congregations with traditional German ties also distanced themselves from the German language and culture. Many German Evangelical Reformed congregations eliminated the use of the German language at all ser vices and changed their names to reflect a more American perspective. The German Evangelical Reformed Church of Covington changed its name to Grace Reformed Church (see Grace United Church of Christ), and the Immanuel German Reformed Church in Bromley was rechristened Immanuel Reformed Church (see Immanuel United Church of Christ). For several generations, many Catholic parish schools had used the German language in instruction. In par ticu lar, the catechism was often learned in German. This practice came to an end during the war years in almost all the region’s Catholic schools. The center of war activities in Northern Kentucky was Fort Thomas Military Reservation in Campbell Co., which became a major induction center for the region. Local residents supported the soldiers at the fort with periodic entertainments. The YMCA provided religious ser vices for the Protestants at the fort, and the Knights of Columbus did the same for Catholics in uniform. Northern Kentuckians who remained on the home front supported the war through various activities. Liberty bonds sold very well in the region.
Area churches opened their doors for American Red Cross activities, and many congregations purchased Liberty Bonds. Many congregations posted the names of their members who were in the ser vice in prominent locations. As the war drew to an end, area leaders began focusing their attention on the creation of suitable memorials. Bishop Ferdinand Brossart of the Diocese of Covington proposed a regional effort that would endow special wards at St. Elizabeth Hospital (see St. Elizabeth Medical Center) and Booth Memorial Hospital in Covington as a suitable memorial to those who lost their lives in ser vice to their country. This regional approach did not prove popu lar. Instead, dozens of memorials were erected throughout Northern Kentucky. In the more rural areas, World War I veteran memorials can be found in many courthouse squares (see Veterans’ Memorials and Monuments). In the more urban Campbell and Kenton counties, memorials were constructed in many of the cities. Merriman, Scott A. “An Intensive School of Disloyalty: The C. B. Schoberg Case under the Espionage and Sedition Acts in Kentucky during World War I.” RKHS 98, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 179–204. ———. “Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times? Defendants, Attorneys, and the Federal Government’s Policy under the Espionage Acts during World War I in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals District,” PhD diss., Univ. of Kentucky, 2003. Reis, Jim. “Group Hoped to Keep America out of World War I,” KP, February 14, 1983, 4. Schmitz, Frederick W. An Open Reply to John Richmond, President Blakely Club, Covington, Kentucky concerning Patriotic Activities. Pamphlet published in Covington, Ky. July 14, 1921, available at Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky.
David E. Schroeder
WORLD WAR II (December 7, 1941–September 2, 1945). Northern Kentucky played a prominent role during World War II, especially in war production and military personnel (see also African Americans in World War II). Throughout the late 1930s, tensions had grown between the United States and Japan over Japan’s war in China and apparent intentions to expand Japanese territories in the Pacific. At the same time, Adolph Hitler was rebuilding Germany and strengthening its armed forces. On September 1, 1939, World War II in Europe began: the German invasion of Poland started a conflict that by 1941 had engulfed Europe and North Africa in a bloody conflict. During this period the United States had remained neutral but had aided England, and eventually Russia, with war matériel through the Lend-Lease program. Most Americans wanted the United States to stay out of the war. Nevertheless, because of a recognized need to build up America’s armed forces, a draft was instituted in 1940; and in early 1941, all National Guard units were federalized for possible war service. The War in the Pacific Theater For the United States, World War II began on Sunday, December 7, 1941, when aircraft from Japa-
nese aircraft carriers attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in an attempt to cripple the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Although the main target of the attack was to be American aircraft carriers, none were in port, and the main damage was done to the battleship fleet moored along Ford Island. U.S. Navy Coxswain Warren Richardson, of Kenton Co., was aboard the battleship USS Arizona when it was hit by a bomb that detonated its powder magazine and sank it. Richardson was among the 1,177 men killed when the ship sank. Carroll Co.’s Pfc. Ellis O’Neal, of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), was also among the Northern Kentuckians present during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He survived the strafing and bombing attack at Ewa Marine Air Station near Pearl Harbor. The United States had become suspicious of Japanese intensions before the attack on Pearl Harbor but had concluded that the Japanese would first strike U.S. military forces in the Philippine Islands. Based on this supposition, units including Covington’s Company D of the 38th Tank Company, which became part of the 192nd Tank Battalion, were sent overseas to build up America’s defenses in the Philippines. The Japanese attacked the Philippines on December 8, 1942, but it took nearly six months of fighting before they gained complete control of the islands. Capt. Alvin C. Poweleit, of Campbell Co., was in charge of the 192nd Tank Battalion’s medical detachment during the defense of the islands, and Kenton Co.’s Rev. Henry Stober, a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, served as an army chaplain with the 12th Engineer Company. Both men survived the Bataan Death March, but only Poweleit returned home. Stober died while a prisoner of war in 1944. In early 1942, it was decided that it was necessary to attack Japan in some way, both to show the Japanese they could be struck militarily and to bolster U.S. moral. Bracken Co.’s Capt. Thomas Cline was chosen by the Army Air Corps to test the idea of launching land-based bombers from an aircraft carrier. His efforts, as well as those of many others, were behind the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Following the American naval victory at the Battle of Midway, the United States began a long series of island-hopping campaigns to cut Japanese supply lines and drive the Japanese back toward their mainland, a task that took until 1945. The Americans started their drive with an attack on the island of Guadalcanal. Campbell Co.’s Pfc. Edward H. Ahrens was among the marines that went ashore to capture the island. While fighting with the 1st Raider Battalion, he was killed in action, earning a Navy Cross for heroism. At sea, Owen Co.’s Rear Admiral Willis Augustus Lee Jr. commanded the battleship division that engaged and beat the Japanese navy force sent to help capture the island on November 14–15, 1942. As the United States captured Japanese-held islands, U.S. forces built airfields, naval facilities, and supply depots to help carry on the fight. On New Caledonia in 1943, Kenton Co.’s John Herndon, an African American, served with the Navy Seabees and helped build the island into a large air and supply
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base. Campbell Co.’s Charlie Tharp also served with the Seabees in the Marshall Islands during 1944. As the island-hopping campaign came closer to Japan, the Japanese became more desperate, and fighting intensified. Bracken Co.’s Cpl. John Capito, USMC, earned a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for heroism during the capture of New Britain Island in January 1944, when he drove a bulldozer under fire across a creek bed to clear a path for advancing U.S. tanks and infantry. By late 1944, U.S. forces had begun operations to recapture the Philippines. Among the units taking part in the Philippine operation was the 38th Infantry Division, which included men of the 149th Infantry Regiment, Kentucky National Guard. Also among the invasion force was the 138th Field Artillery regiment of the Kentucky Guard, which provided artillery support for the 38th Division. As the island-hopping campaign progressed, Northern Kentuckians served elsewhere in the Pacific, including Alaska and the China-Burma-India area. Kenton Co.’s Sgt. Lawrence Keller served in the CBI (China-Burma-India Theater) as a cryptologist decoding Japanese messages for the 10th Air Force. Also from Kenton Co. was Leroy Waller, an African American serving with the engineers in the CBI to help build the Burma Rd. Japanese commanders ordered their forces to fight to the death when they perceived that American forces were approaching Japan. In February 1945, Kenton Co. navy corpsman Noah Switzer landed on the island of Iwo Jima with the 28th Marines. He witnessed the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi and served in combat for 37 days. Starting in March 1945, the final campaign of the war began as the largest amphibious invasion of the Pacific war was launched against the island of Okinawa. Among the ships of the invasion fleet was the USS Kenton APA-122 (named for Kenton Co., Ky.). In April 1945 the Kenton reached Okinawa and unloaded troops and supplies. On April 6, 1945, during a Kamikaze attack, the Kenton shot down two Japanese aircraft. After two atomic bombs were dropped on Japanese cities in early August 1945, the emperor of Japan announced the surrender of Japan on August 15. The formal surrender was signed on September 2, 1945. The War in the European Theater On December 11, 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, plunging the United States completely into the war. President Franklin Roosevelt (1933–1945) and many of his aides saw Germany as a greater and more immediate threat than Japan, and troops and equipment were sent to Europe first. In January 1942 the first American troops arrived in England. Among them was Col. Jesse Auton, from Kenton Co., who was sent by the Army Air Corps to evaluate sites for potential air bases for the newly formed 8th Air Force, which was to destroy German industry and military targets as well as the German air force. Auton returned to England in early 1943 as commander of the 65th Fighter Wing, the first operational American fighter wing in Europe. The job of
the fighter wing was to defend bomber formations and to destroy the German air force in the air and on the ground. Owen Co.’s Maj. Gerald Johnson of the 56th Fighter Group flew under Auton’s wing and is credited with being the second American fighter ace in the European Theater, chalking up 18 aerial victories by the war’s end. As the first Americans landed in England, war came to the shore of the United States in the form of German submarines. They preyed on merchant ships right off the U.S. East Coast throughout 1942 and early 1943 and also planted antiship mines. During the antisubmarine campaign, Owen Co.’s Capt. Evan Yancey (later an admiral) commanded the destroyer USS Clemson and modified its equipment to gauge better the depth of enemy subs, an improvement that enhanced the success of antisub operations. The first major action Americans were involved with in Europe was the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. Covington’s 106th Coastal Artillery battalion (AA) landed on November 8 and fought in the battle of Kasserine Pass. The unit also participated in the invasion of Sicily in 1943, as did the 103rd Automatic Weapons Battalion, formally the 123rd Cavalry, Kentucky National Guard, from Covington. Sicily was used as a jumping-off point for the invasion of southern Italy. Although most of southern Italy was occupied by late 1943, the fight for Italy was fought through April 1945. Kenton Co.’s Lt. Melvin Walker was an African American officer in the all-black 92nd Infantry Division. He was awarded the Silver Star for heroism in January 1945. On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the invasion of France at Normandy, and Northern Kentuckians fought on land, at sea, and in the skies there. Boone Co.’s Sgt Robert L. Williams served with the 506th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division as part of the airborne force that dropped behind enemy lines before the invasion; Kenton Co.’s Sgt. Cassius Mullins jumped into Normandy with the 508th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Mullins was later wounded during the invasion of Holland in September 1944. Kenton Co.’s naval Petty Officer 3rd Class Jack Story served aboard the USS Corry, a destroyer that was supporting the landings when it struck a mine. On June 8, 1944, the SS Charles Morgan was unloading troops and supplies off Utah Beach when a German plane dropped a bomb into its cargo hold. Kenton Co.’s Edward Brogan survived the attack and reached shore. On shore the hedgerow country slowed the Allied advance, and Gen. George S. Patton’s 3rd Army made a break out and drove across France. Campbell Co.’s army Pvt. Henry Lowe served in support of Patton with the 657th Ordnance Company, supplying ammunition for the advancing army. By late 1944, U.S. forces had engaged the German army in the Huertgen Forest in a costly winter battle fought along the border of Germany and Belgium. On December 9, 1944, Campbell Co.’s army SSgt. Vernon Napier of the 709th Tank Battalion was killed in action. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Ser vice Cross
for heroism. On December 16, 1944, the Germans launched their last major offensive of the war in the Ardennes Forest. In poor weather conditions that grounded most Allied aircraft, they attacked on an 80-mile front with complete surprise. Kenton Co.’s Maj. John Hoefker flew photo recon missions over the Ardennes and was twice shot down, but he was able to provide valuable information on the advancing Germans. As the Allies advanced into Germany, Owen Co.’s army Sgt. James Washington served with the African American 3760th Quartermaster Trucking Company. By April 1945, the Allies were closing in on the last remnants of the German Army. On April 24, 1945, less than a week before the end of hostilities, Kenton Co.’s army Pvt. Paul Horstman was killed in action while fighting as part of the 9th Army. On May 8, 1945, the war in Europe ended with Germany’s surrender. Following the surrender, many American soldiers and airman were liberated from German prison camps; among them were Campbell Co.’s Pfc. Clifford Marz of the army engineers, who had been held at Stalag 4B, and Campbell Co.’s Air Corps SSgt. Lafon Wesley, who was shot down while serving as a gunner on B-17s in August 1944. By the war’s end, 589 Northern Kentucky soldiers, sailors, and marines were listed as either killed or missing. The two counties with the highest causalities were Kenton (284) and Campbell (211). On the home front, Northern Kentuckians experienced the rationing of such materials as gasoline, rubber, sugar, and meat. As both men and women went off to war and industries geared up for war production, many women left the home to work in war plants. Companies involved in war production in the region included Newport Steel and the Wadsworth Watchcase Company of Dayton,
Alma Wolfzorn Ciafardini working on war production at Wadsworth in Dayton, Ky., during World War II.
978 WORTHVILLE Ky., both of which began making shell casings and machine guns, and the Kentucky Shell plant that was located in Wilder. Northern Kentuckians also went across the Ohio River to work at the Curtis Wright aircraft plant, the Crosley Corporation, and other firms. Like the rest of the nation, Northern Kentucky held bond drives and collected scrap metal and grease for the war effort. Civil Defense workers held blackout and air-raid drills, and each community had a designated air-raid warden. As men enlisted or were drafted into the military, new military camps and bases were built or converted to particular special military needs across the nation. In Northern Kentucky, the Fort Thomas Military Reservation served as an induction center to process soldiers as they joined. Both men and women from the region served in all branches of the armed forces. The women were nurses, clerks, pilots, and carried out many other support roles. Grant Co.’s Capt. Doris Clark commanded the 151st Women’s Army Corps Company stateside. Northern Kentuckians served in every theater of operations during the war, and many gave their lives. Kleber, John E., ed. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992. KTS, May 9, 1945, 1. “Liberated, War Contracts at Shell Plant Cancelled,” KTS, May 8, 1945, 1. The National Archives. “World War II Causalities.” www.archives.gov/research/arc/ww2/ (accessed May 20, 2007). Pranger, Arthur B. Traveling through W.W.II: 2 Years, 2 Months, 29 Days. Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, 2007. Smith, Hope. “3 Former Sailors Relive Sinking of US Ship,” CE, June 1, 1994, 1. Snow, Robert. “Military Memories, Ph1 Noah Switzer,” Military Historian, April 1995. Williams, Robert L. Return to Normandy. Cincinnati: Sky Spec, 1997.
Robert B. Snow
WORTHVILLE. Worthville, located where Eagle Creek empties into the Kentucky River, was originally a tiny hamlet hugging the banks of these two waterways in Carroll Co. It was known in the town’s early history as Coonskin, because the traders and merchants there bartered goods and services for skins. It was not until 1869, when the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington Railroad was completed through town, that its name was changed to Worthville, in honor of Gen. William Jenkins Worth of Mexican War fame. In 1802 an official governmental inspection station was in operation at the mouth of Eagle Creek, checking tobacco, hemp, flour, and goods shipped by flatboat from the interior Bluegrass region and the upper reaches of Kentucky. By 1820 seven steamboats made regular passage to Frankfort, Ky., and by 1836 coal barges were arriving at the Worthville area from Eastern Kentucky. During the 1850s Worthville witnessed a major growth spurt. Construction of the railroad brought many new people to town. In addition to sidings and loading docks, a popu lar “watering hole,” Mac’s Saloon, was a favorite among the construction crews.
Wild hogs are said to have impeded work laying the track. In April 1878 a Mrs. Sheehan began a private school about one mile above Worthville, and Miss Georgia Aiken taught nearby at Green Hill. In June of that year, the first common school trustees were elected, Asbury Ames, Jasper Lewis, and George Scott. The first public school for District 32 was completed at Worthville in time for the 1878 fall semester. The earliest church building at Worthville was Dean’s Chapel, a Methodist affi liate, constructed on 1.5 acres along the Kentucky River on land donated by Samuel and Mary Goodwin to W. T. Dean, W. B. Winslow, and James McDaniel, trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church– South. Later that building was removed and the Dean’s Memorial Methodist Church was built on the land and dedicated in 1910. The Worthville Baptist Church was built as a log structure in 1880, but the facility was soon outgrown, and the congregation built another building just five years later. The old log church building was used afterward as Worthville’s public schoolhouse. The community’s second school was a two-story frame structure, and in 1912 a large brick school was constructed to house both the grade school and the high school. The Worthville High School, a four-year school, operated until 1939. The Worthville Consolidated School was one of the last of the county schools in Kentucky to close, serving the area until 1963. In 1890 the Old Mill Creek Christian Church was hauled from East Mill Creek to Worthville and set upon new foundations. The old church dated back to 1856, and its homemade benches also came to Worthville. The church was lost in a 1941 fire, and a new Christian Church building was constructed under the leadership of Pastor W. C. McCullum, one year later. Two early African American churches, one Methodist and the other Baptist, and a school for African American students were up on the hill at Worthville. Miss Mary Henderson taught at that school, and her sister, Nannie Henderson, taught at a rural African American school in Owen Co., Ky. After the Carrollton and Worthville Railroad (C&W) was completed in 1905, the Worthville-area African American students were sent to Dunbar School in Carrollton, and later to the nearby Ghent Elementary School, the consolidated school for colored children in Carroll Co. Two residents of Worthville, Bessie Whitaker and her husband, Dudley Whitaker, taught at Dunbar and at the Ghent Colored School for many years during the 1920–1940 period. Area African American children of high school age were sent to boarding school at Lincoln Institute in Shelby Co., Ky. By 1900 bridges had been built over Eagle Creek at Sanders, Eagle Station, and Worthville. All three of these were covered bridges, but in recent years they were replaced by concrete spans. Completion of the C&W Railroad in 1905 provided another major business for Worthville. Coal was shipped down the Kentucky River from coal mines in Kentucky and off-loaded at Worthville, then sent by the C&W to Carrollton and Ghent as fuel for the houses and businesses along the line. In
its heyday, Worthville was a bustling railroad town centered on its rail depot. Passenger and freight ser vice was handled every day. It is said that during the 1920s and 1930s, people would come to Worthville just to see the trains. The railroad water towers provided water to area farmers during the drought of 1929. Worthville boasted a literary society, plays, operettas, a local band, tent meetings, and every summer a showboat on the Kentucky River. For several years, a band of Gypsies with colorful horse-drawn wagons would come through town telling fortunes, selling handmade goods, and providing music and dancing. During the Ohio River flood of 1937, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad positioned a train at Worthville for people stranded by the high waters. Among the businesses at Worthville were Pollard’s Confectionery, Schenck Bros. Hardware and Grocery, Gardner’s Stockyard and Produce House, Worsham’s Western Union, Bauer’s Grocery, Goodwin’s Hotel, Gentry’s Grocery, Kemper’s Restaurant and Boarding house, a telephone exchange, bakers, two barbershops, a tomato factory, a lumberyard, a shoe factory, two garages, a bank, and three doctors’ offices. Shock and dismay permeated Worthville on January 13, 1938, when J. P. Schenck, president of the Worthville Deposit Bank, announced that the bank was closed and the affairs turned over to the State Banking and Securities Administration. Originally founded in 1898, the Worthville Bank was capitalized at $15,000 with nearly $100,000 in deposits. Schenck stated that depositors were protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $5,000 per account. Frozen loans and low earnings from effects of the Great Depression forced the closure. A. B. Suter was the cashier. The Ghent Bank in Carroll Co. had already gone into receivership at the time of the Worthville Bank collapse. By the end of the year, the depositors received 25 percent of their deposit value as an initial payment from the bank’s assets. In 1941 a major fire destroyed an entire block of businesses, the Christian Church, and two water towers. After World War II, the local railroad business declined gradually. Modern Worthville is but a shadow of its former commercial prowess. The long-haul trucks on I-71 (see Expressways) bypass Worthville; commercial traffic on the Kentucky River has been gone for more than 50 years; and even the once powerful L&N, now the CSX, carries freight right past the town. Coal goes by way of Ohio River barges direct to customer landings. The railroad connection of the old C&W, now also part of CSX, ser vices some of the steel and chemical plants between Carrollton and Ghent. Bogardus, Carl R., Sr. The Story of Gallatin County. Ed. James C. Claypool. Cincinnati: John S. Swift, 2003. Carroll Co. Deed Book 10, p. 585, Carrollton, Ky. Carrollton News-Democrat, July 1878; January 13, 1938. Gentry, Mary Ann. A History of Carroll County. Madison, Ind.: Coleman, 1984. Parker, Anna V. “A Short History of Carroll County,” 1958, Carroll Co. Public Library, Carrollton, Ky.
WRIGHT, HORATIO G., MAJOR GENERAL U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Navigation Charts, Kentucky River, Louisville District. Louisville, Ky.: Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, Louisville District, 1993.
Diane Perrine Coon
WORTHVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH. In summer 1882 the Concord Association sent its missionary preacher, Thomas A. Spicer, to Worthville in Carroll Co. to conduct a revival, which resulted in conversions and transference of church membership by letter of 35 to 40 members. Spicer organized a Sunday School and came each month to preach at ser vices held in the Worthville Schoolhouse. In July 31, 1883, when the Baptist membership in Worthville and the vicinity called for delegates, ministers, and laymen from nine adjacent churches to assist in organizing the Worthville Baptist Church. On this occasion, with eight ministers and an audience of 600 people present, the Worthville church members elected Spicer as their pastor. Land for a church building in Worthville was donated by Samuel Malin, and work on the building began in 1884. The completed church was dedicated in June 1889. In 1900 the Worthville Baptist Church and seven other churches withdrew from the Concord Association to form the White’s Run Baptist Association. These eight churches were joined by three churches from the Sulphur Fork Association at an organizational meeting at the Carrollton Baptist Church. The Worthville church parsonage was built in 1927 at the cost of $800. In 1930 the church had 228 members. The Worthville church held part-time ser vices until 1943, when, under the ministry of W. G. Webster, a full-time schedule of ser vices was begun. Over the years, improvements to the 1889 church building have included a basement dug in the 1940s to make two Sunday School rooms; more new Sunday School rooms in the back of the sanctuary, built in the 1950s; new rooms and a kitchen built in 1969; a baptistery installed in 1973; a handicap ramp built at the front entrance of the church in 1982; a new educational annex; and a new vestibule, added to the front of the church in 1999. Recently a Hispanic ministry has been started by the church to serve the needs of the increasing Hispanic population in Owen Co. (see Latinos). Mefford, Phyllis. “Centennial History of the Worthville Baptist Church,” 1983, Worthville Baptist Church, Worthville, Ky. Worthville Baptist Church Minutes, Worthville Baptist Church, Worthville, Ky.
WORTHVILLE HIGH SCHOOL. There were subscription schools at Worthville in Carroll Co. in 1906 and 1907, conducted by Professor Secretts in the upstairs of a residence that during the 1930s was owned by John Brock. In 1908 R. S. Tucker also taught by subscription in that same building. The Worthville community passed a bond issue and opened the town’s first independent public high school in 1911, apparently on grounds shared with the subscription school. A new common grade school opened in 1912 on property pur-
chased from J. R. Stout. Mr. Tucker, one of the new common school’s first teachers, was musically inclined and started a tradition of presenting plays, entertainments, and musical recitals at the new school; he continued teaching there until 1916. That year, Worthville High School graduated its first student, Euclid Davis, and the trustees hired John Hunt Jackson, a distinguished expert in classical literature. Hunt had a large library that later was stolen while in storage in the high school’s bell tower. A photograph from 1917 shows the Worthville High School being housed with the grade school in a substantial two-story brick building, with a full basement and front entrance portico. Under the leadership of Professor Franks, domestic science and manual training were added to the curriculum in 1917. A succession of one-year postings of school principals followed until Frank Hood, with a BA degree from Kentucky State University, was hired. His assistant was Ruth Bet Coghill, who had a BA from Oxford College at Oxford, Ga., and Worthville High School became accredited as a Class B school. At the time, the Worthville High School PTA was very active, purchasing 12 books for the library, donating a drinking fountain, and providing an acetylene light system for the entire school. When the gym was added in 1924, only three feet of space was left for spectators around the rim of the floor, and each season the men and boys of the community had to erect a stage that took up one-third of the total gym floor for any public school performances. In 1923 Worthville High School, with 32 students, was second-largest in the county, but by 1929 the school had grown only to 37 students. Professor Curtis E. Shirley, who later became Carroll Co. superintendent of schools, had graduated from Transylvania University at Lexington; he was principal of the Worthville grade school and the high school from 1925 to 1930, when he was replaced by A. B. Clayton. The per capita cost to educate students was $80 a year in 1925. By 1929 the laboratory and machinery equipment was valued at $200, and $15 was spent that year on maps, globes, and charts. Even though so few students attended the high school, its Worthville Pirates basketball team, on November 17, 1938, under the direction of principal and coach Walter E. Cundiff, prevailed over the Bulldogs from Bethany High School, a larger school, by a score of 46 to 29. Worthville High School’s students came from the south-central portion of Carroll Co. The county ultimately built four-year high schools at Worthville, at Ghent, and at Sanders. Carrollton city schools also operated a four-year high school. There were two-year high schools in the county at English and Locust. During the 1930s, as the Great Depression impacted the available tax base, the county high schools began consolidating. Worthville was one of the last to retain its local high school, but in 1939 the school finally closed. The students went either to Carrollton High School or to Sanders High School. Bevarly, R. W. “History of Education in Carroll County,” master’s thesis, Univ. of Kentucky, 1936.
Campbell, Justine Tandy. “History of the Carroll County Schools,” 1976, Carroll Co. Public Library, Carrollton, Ky. Carrollton News Democrat, July 1878. Gentry, Mary Ann. A History of Carroll County. Madison, Ind.: Coleman, 1984. Parker, Anna V. “A Short History of Carroll County,” 1958, Carroll Co. Public Library, Carrollton, Ky.
Diane Perrine Coon
WRIGHT, HORATIO G., MAJOR GENERAL (b. March 6, 1820, Clinton, Conn.; d. July 2, 1899, Washington, D.C.). Engineer-soldier Horatio Gouverneur Wright is the namesake of both Fort Wright, the fort built in September 1862 to block a Confederate advance on Cincinnati, and the city of Fort Wright, which stands over that site. In 1841 Wright graduated second in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. From 1846 to 1856, he supervised engineering and building projects across Florida, including the construction of Fort Jefferson. He served as assistant to the chief engineer of the U.S. Army from 1856 until the start of the Civil War. During the war, he auspiciously led combat troops, starting as chief engineer of a division at the first Battle of Bull Run (1861). He progressed through numerous commands, including the Army of Ohio and the 1st Division of the 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Wright played a pivotal role in repulsing Confederate general Braxton Bragg’s 1862 invasion of Kentucky while Wright was in command of the Army of Ohio. General Wright was captured once and wounded twice. He attained the rank of major general of volunteers and advanced to command the famous 6th Army Corps, saving Washington, D.C., from capture in 1864 and subsequently spearheading the final assault on Petersburg, Va., and the pursuit of Gen. Robert E. Lee to Appomattox, Va., in 1865. After his valiant ser vice in the war, Wright held several commands and participated in many
980 WXIX significant engineering projects across the nation. He was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army and appointed chief of engineers in 1879. Wright retired in 1884 and was involved in many prominent engineering projects, including New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge. He also served as chief engineer for the completion of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Wright died in 1899, survived by his wife, Louisa, and two daughters. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia under an obelisk erected by veterans of the 6th Corps. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Brigadier General Horatio Gouverneur Wright.” www.hq.usace.army .mil/history/coe2.htm (accessed July 9, 2006). Wikipedia. “Horatio Wright.” www.wikipedia.com (accessed July 9, 2006).
WXIX. WXIX-TV, also identified as FOX19, is the FOX television network affi liate serving the Cincinnati–Northern Kentucky region. This UHF television station is licensed to the city of Newport, but its broadcast facility is in Cincinnati. WXIX was Cincinnati’s first independent commercial TV station; it offered syndicated programs, classic movies, and children’s shows long before the days of cable television superstations. James Lang, owner of Newport’s WNOP radio station, obtained the construction permit to build WXIX in 1955. The site originally planned for the station’s studio and tower was cleared and graded in September 1954, on top of the hill where the residential development known as Wiedemann Hill is today, in the Cote Brilliante area of Newport. That facility was never built. The station ownership transferred twice before the station actually went on the air in 1968 as WSCO, channel 19. Metromedia purchased the station in 1972 and changed the call letters to WXIX, for the Roman numerals for 19 (XIX). Malrite Communications purchased WXIX in 1983. The station joined the new FOX commercial network, as a charter affi liate, in the late 1980s. Channel 19 launched Cincinnati’s first local 10:00 p.m. evening news in 1993 and the area’s first all-local morning newscasts in 1997. During its first decade on the air, WXIX featured locally produced television shows, including the weekday children’s favorite Larry Smith’s Puppets and the weekend late-night science fiction movie program Scream-In, which featured host Dick Von Hoene as the campy “Cool Ghoul.” WXIX is currently owned by Raycom Media. Nash, Francis M. Towers over Kentucky: A History of Radio and Television in the Bluegrass State. Lexington, Ky.: Host Communications, 1995. Raycom Media. “WXIX–Cincinnati, Ohio.” www .raycommedia.com/stations/wxix.htm (accessed May 28, 2007). Reis, Jim. “The TV Era Ushered in by Advertising,” KP, June 21, 1993, 4K.
Wood, Mary. “Commercially Independent Ch. 19 Celebrates 10th,” CP, August 16, 1978, 33.
WYK (WICK), WALTER F. (b. December 4, 1889, Buffalo, N.Y.; d. February 28, 1969, Fort Thomas, Ky.). Walter Wyk learned to box at an early age and became a top performer in the boxing ring around Buffalo, N.Y., and in Northern Kentucky, where he was known as the “Covington Caveman.” He is considered one of the greatest pugilists ever to box in the region. Boxing as a lightweight, Walter Wyk reached the pinnacle of his career just before World War I. Of his 182 bouts, he won 98 by knockouts. He defeated many opponents who later went on to become world champions. His record indicates that he fought at the International Athletic Club in Buffalo at least five times in 1911 and that as late as 1922 he fought in Indianapolis, Ind., and Covington, Ky. He knocked out Perry Nelson on July 26, 1922, in Covington at the former Riverside Park (the old Federal League Baseball Park) at Second and Scott Sts. Wyk lived at various locations in Covington: in a room on Court St., at 814 Scott St., and for many years at the YMCA. After his boxing career ended, he worked as a brakeman for the Pennsylvania Railroad, holding that job until he retired. For many years he continued to train boxers at a gymnasium in Morrow, Ohio. After a long illness, Wyk died at St. Luke Hospital in Fort Thomas, survived by his wife, the former Mary Niedzielski, and four children. He was buried at Mother of God Cemetery in Latonia. BoxRec. www.boxrec.com (accessed June 25, 2007). “Brakeman Hurt,” KP, September 13, 1927, 1. “Death Notice,” KE, March 2, 1969, 17E. “Ohio River Is Richer by One $1200 Diamond,” KP, July 16, 1927, 1. Raver, Howard. “Walter K. Wyk, Former Boxer,” KP, March 1, 1969, 3. “Walter F. Wyk, 80, Railroader, Boxer,” KE, March 2, 1969, 5D.
WZIP. WZIP, the “Voice of Northern Kentucky,” went on the air October 5, 1947. This was the first Northern Kentucky broadcast station after WCKY moved to Cincinnati in 1939. ZIP, as it was called, had its offices and studios atop the building at the southwest corner of 6th and Madison in Covington. Its tower still stands along I-75, near Goebel Park. The station began as a result of a year-long competition between two local groups to obtain a license that the Federal Communication Commission had made available in 1946. The winning group, Northern Kentucky Airwaves, was made up of Arthur Eilerman, Gregory Hughes, and Charles Topmiller. The station’s frequency was set at 1050 kilocycles. It was a daytime station, with a 250-watt power base.
Arthur and Carmen Eilerman in WZIP studio.
WZIP supported the local community through innovative programming, including frequent interviews with community newsmakers, public officials, educators, business leaders, and religious figures. It featured local entertainers, sports teams, farm news, civic groups and events, and man-on-the-street interviews. Among its on-air personalities was Ernie Waites, Greater Cincinnati’s first black disc jockey. Its local religious programming included a Saturday morning show with a rabbi from the Temple of Israel (see Synagogues) on Scott St. in Covington. Station president Eilerman was elected president of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association in 1957; he was the only Northern Kentuckian ever to hold the post. His wife, Carmen, was a well-known personality who served as announcer, interviewer, and program director. Among her own shows, produced with studio audiences, were Carmen’s Corner, Bulletin Board, and Down Memory Lane. The station was sold in 1957 to Leonard Goorian and Alfred Kratz of Cincinnati. They sold it in 1959 to a group headed by Edward Skotch, who moved the offices to the Vernon Manor Hotel in Cincinnati. Skotch’s group sold the station in 1960 to Carl, Robert, and Richard Lindner. After subsequent ownership changes, it operates today as WTSJ, a talk and Christian music station. Files of documents, letters, and photographs relating to WZIP radio station, Covington, Ky., 1947– 1956, Kenton Co. Public Library, Covington, Ky. Microfi lm. Nash, Francis M. Towers over Kentucky: A History of Radio and TV in the Bluegrass State. Lexington: Host Communications, 1995. Reis, Jim. “The Voice of Northern Kentucky: WZIP Served Six- County Area,” KP, October 21, 1996, 4K.
The Encylopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com. Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, The University Press of...