View us online by tuning into @KentonLibrary on Periscope (available on your smartphone or tablet), or at periscope.tv/kentonlibrary January TIL: About Genealogy New! Monthly live-streaming genealogy program! "TIL" stands for "today I learned." January's theme is Research Preparation! Join us each month to learn something new to help you find your ancestors. 3G2: Glitter, Glue and Genealogy, Too! The holidays are over, and your phone is jammed full of digital memories. See a few ways to creatively preserve and share them on our live stream on Periscope! Bygone Buildings Tour Join us live-streaming tour of Covington's changing cityscape. Periscope: ELI5: Family History New! Monthly live-streaming genealogy program! "ELI5" stands for "explain it like I'm five!" Watch live as we answer befuddling questions about doing family history research. February March April May June July August September October November December
What could be better than a pumpkin spice or chai latte every day before Halloween? Thirty-one days of programs during Family History Month brought to you by your local history and genealogy library friends, of course! Starting October 1 we kick off 31 days of programming. That’s right; we are doing at least one program per day ALL MONTH LONG. Grab your rain coat and walking shoes because we couldn’t contain all of the fun to inside the library! We have a host of events that might look familiar, but we’re also hosting events on a whole bunch of fresh, new-to-us topics. We’ll be heading out into our beautiful city to explore and teach you about the iconography of headstones in Historic Linden Grove Cemetery & Arboretum, and have a picnic amongst the cemetery’s residents. If you are sad to see the weekly walking tours of historic Pike Street come to an end, have no fear! We know you like storytelling as much as we do, so we put together a brand new tour filled with spooky, grim, or otherwise unusual stories from the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood. Join us on Mondays, October 9 & 30 at 6:00 pm, and Wednesdays, October 4 & 25 at 10:00 am for an hour-long jaunt through the neighborhood with a side of storytelling. As a super special bonus, we’ll be doing another installment of the tour on Saturday, October 21 at 3:30 pm before our annual Evening with the Ancestors event. We’ll also be giving family-friendly tours of Historic Linden Grove Cemetery & Arboretum on Friday, October 13, in case you wanted a little entertainment while waiting for Cinema in the Cemetery to start (presented in partnership with [...]
The seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Covington. Richard H. Ackerman was born on August 30, 1903 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The future bishop graduated from Duquesne University High School in 1920 and in that same year, entered the Duquesne University School of Drama. Feeling a call to the religious life, Ackerman entered the Congregation of the Holy Ghost in 1921 and made his religious profession at Ridgefield, Connecticut on August 15, 1922. He was ordained to the priesthood on August 28, 1926 at St. Mary Seminary, Norwalk, Connecticut by the Most Rev. Maurice F. McAuliffe, Auxiliary Bishop of Hartford. From 1926 to 1940, Ackerman served in the following positions: Master of novices of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, assistant pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Pittsburgh, assistant to the national director of the Pontifical Association of the Holy Childhood, assistant professor of Philosophy at St. Mary Seminary in Norwalk, and assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish in Detroit, Michigan. In 1941, he was named director of the Holy Childhood Association, and in 1947 was named the vice president of the association’s superior council. At the time of his silver jubilee of ordination in 1951, Ackerman was presented with the Grand Cross “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice,” by Pope Pius XII. In 1956, Father Ackerman was appointed the first Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego, California and Titular Bishop of Lares. He was consecrated on May 22, 1956, by Bishop John F. Deardon of Pittsburgh at St. Paul Cathedral. Bishop Ackerman was installed at San Diego on May 23, 1956. He was appointed seventh Bishop of Covington on April 6, 1960 and was installed at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington on May [...]
A pioneer resident and office holder in Covington. James G. Arnold was born on January 10, 1792 near Paris, Kentucky. His father was Elisha Arnold. As a child, the family moved to North Bend in Boone County and later to Washington in Mason County, Kentucky. While in Washington, he and his brother established the Washington Male Academy. He also married his wife in Mason County, Margaret Dalton Strain. In 1818, James G. Arnold and his wife moved to Covington. For a number of years, he operated a hotel in the city. Arnold also became involved in the tobacco industry, in which he was very successful. Arnold acquired a considerable fortune, which he invested in Covington real estate. James G. Arnold held a number of political positions in Covington. He was the postmaster, town clerk, justice of the peace, mayor and president of the town council. Arnold was also an active member of the Christian Church and Masons. James G. Arnold Died on November 16, 1876 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Joseph B. Boyd (southeast corner of 6th and Philadelphia Streets). He was survived by his widow and four children: Rev. Thomas N. Arnold, Mrs. Joseph B. Boyd, Mrs. C.D. Foote and Mrs. James Willis. At the time of his death, Arnold’s estate was conservatively valued at $400,000. Ticket, November 17, 1876, p. 3; The Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky (Cincinnati: J.M. Armstrong & Company) 1878, p. 422.
William E. Ashbrook was born on October 13, 1820 in Clark County, Kentucky. His parents were Levi and Mary Dooley Ashbrook. In 1853, William E. Ashbrook relocated to New Orleans where he worked as a stockbroker, however, he did not remain in the Crescent city for long. By 1858, Ashbrook was a resident of Kenton County and a candidate for sheriff. Ashbrook served as Sheriff of Kenton County for two terms. He then relocated to New Orleans until the outbreak of the Civil War when he returned to Covington. Ashbrook also served for a decade on the town council and was Covington Waterworks Commissioner for four years. During the Civil War, Ashbrook was placed in charge of the Covington stockyards. He was very successful at this last position and was eventually a co-owner of the yards located on Russell between 15th and 16th Streets. He was a member of the Baptist Church and as a director of the City National Bank. In the late 1860s, Ashbrook built the Denison Hotel at the corner of Banklick and 15th Street. In November 1870, the building caught fire was severely damaged. A number of guests were forced to jump from windows to escape the blaze, and two were severely burned. The building and its contents were insured for $4,800. William E. Ashbrook married Mary Gage Owen on November 20, 1860. The couple had five children (two sons and three daughters). The family home, built in c. 1860, was located at 1010 Russell Street. The home was three-stories tall and built in the Italianate Style. Russell Street at this time was a newly developed residential district for the well-to-do residents of Covington. William E. Ashbrook died on June 10, [...]
A Covington physician, school board member and Kentucky Legislator. James A. Averdick was born on December 25, 1852 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He parents were Dr. H.G. Averdick, an immigrant from Hanover and Joanna Eagan Averdick a native of Ireland. Two years after James’ birth, the family moved to Oldenburg, Indiana. James A. Averdick was educated at St. Mary’s Institute in Dayton, Ohio in 1872 (later renamed the University of Dayton). He was also a graduate of the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati. In 1873, Averdick began practicing medicine in Covington. In 1874, he married Clara Ertel at St. Mary’s Church in Oldenburg, Indiana. The couple had no children. They resided at the northeast corner of 8th and Bakewell Streets in Covington. James Averdick served in the Kentucky Legislature for two terms and was the Kenton County Coroner for one term. He was also a member of the Covington Board of Health. His greatest contribution to Covington, however, was his service as a member of the Board of Education for over four decades. Averdick began serving on the board in January 1886 and remained a member until his death in 1931. He is the longest serving member of the board in Covington Public School history. During these years of service, the Covington Public Schools expanded in scope and professionalism. Averdick took great interest in the construction of new public school buildings. His attention to detail and good business sense allowed the district to build numerous structures that were both modern and affordable. James A. Averdick was a member of St. Aloysius Church. He was also an active member of the Catholic Knights of America, the Knights of Columbus and the St. Aloysius Benevolent Society of Covington. [...]
Covington resident and founder of the Boy Scouts of America. Daniel Carter Beard was born on June 21, 1850 at 17 W. 9th Street in Cincinnati. His father, James Henry Beard, was a celebrated portrait artist and a member of the National Academy of Design. In his youth, the family moved to Covington (322 E. 3rd Street). Beard loved exploring the banks of the nearby Ohio River and the Banklick Creek region south of Covington. It was during these explorations, that Beard developed his great love for nature and outdoors living. Beard studied civil engineering in Worrall’s Academy in Covington. He graduated in 1869 and began working at the office of the city engineer in Cincinnati. In 1874, he found work with the Sanborn Map and Publishing Company. In 1878, the Beard family relocated to New York City. While in New York, Beard studied art at the Art Student’s League. Beard became a noted illustrator and author. He sold one of his first works in 1882 to a periodical called St. Nicholas. The article was titled, How to Camp Without a Tent. In 1882, he wrote and illustrated What to Do and How to Do it: The American Boy’s Handy Book. This work became a classic among generations of young boys. Beard’s illustrations drew notice from several prominent authors. In 1889, he did the illustration work on Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. This work, and subsequent work for Twain, earned Beard a substantial reputation in the illustration profession. In 1905, Beard took over the editorship of the wildlife periodical Recreation. During his editorship, Recreation became an advocate for wildlife conservation. At about this time, Beard established the Sons of Daniel Boone [...]
Covington native, brick manufacturer and bank president. Frank Broering was born on October 8, 1865 on the Madison Pike (opposite the present day Holmes High School). His parents were Dominicus Broering (1831-1867) and Elizabeth Trenkamp Broering (1835-1921), both immigrants from Oldenburg. He was baptized at St. Joseph Church in Covington on October 9, 1865. Broering’s father died in 1867. Frank Broering attended St. Augustine School in Central Covington until the age of ten, when he began working at Schwertman’s Brickyard in Covington. At the age of 15 he found employment at the Hall Safe Company. In 1884, he began working at the Meier & Broering Brickyard at Burnett and Garrard Streets in Covington. This brick company was owned by his mother and brother-in-law (August Meier). By 1892, Frank Broering was made a partner in the brickyard business. The brickyard changed locations several times in its history. By 1892, it was located at the foot of Wallace Avenue at the Licking River. In 1914, the brickyard had moved to the foot of Delmar Place at the Licking River. Meier & Broering Brickyard closed entirely in 1929. Broering was also active in the banking industry. He served as a director of the Union Perpetual Building and Loan. He was also one of the founding directors of the Central Savings Bank and Trust Company in Covington. In 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, he was elected by the stockholders as president of the institution. Frank Broering married Rose Meibers on June 22, 1892 at St. Augustine Church. Rose’s Father, Barney Meibers operated a hall and saloon at the corner of Madison and 19th Streets. Frank and Rose Broering and their family lived in Central Covington (later [...]
The fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Covington. Ferdinand Brossart was born on October 19, 1849 in Buchelberg, Bavaria. The Brossart family immigrated to the United States in 1851. They settled in Cincinnati and became members of St. Michael Parish. In 1861, the Brossart family relocated to Gubser’s Mill in rural Campbell County, Kentucky. Ferdinand studied for the Diocese of Covington at St. Mary Seminary in Cincinnati and at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. Bishop Augustus Maria Toebbe ordained Father Brossart on September 1, 1872 at Old St. Mary Cathedral in Covington. Father Brossarts’s early assignments in the diocese included appointments as assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Newport, pastor of St. Edward Parish in Cynthiana and pastor of St. Paul Parish in Lexington. Father Brossart gained a high reputation during a cholera epidemic in Millersburg, Kentucky and a smallpox epidemic in Lexington, by sacrificing his own health to minister to the sick and dying. In 1888, Father Brossart was appointed the rector of the Cathedral Parish in Covington and Vicar General of the diocese. During this period, Father Brossart edited the diocesan newspaper under the title of the New Cathedral Chimes. Brossart also was one of the original members of the Covington Park Board. In November 1915, Father Brossart was appointed the fourth Bishop of Covington. He was consecrated on January 25, 1916 by Archbishop Henry Moeller of Cincinnati. During his administration, Bishop Brossart worked diligently to bring the ornamentation of the Cathedral to completion. He oversaw the installation of many of the stained glass windows and the beautiful mosaic Stations of the Cross. Bishop Brossart resigned due to poor health in March 1923. He resided at St. Anne Convent in Melbourne, [...]
A Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, the Kentucky Senate, the United States House of Representatives, Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and United States Secretary of the Treasury. John G. Carlisle was born in a log cabin on September 5, 1835. The location of the family farm was approximately 15 miles south of Covington. He was educated in the public schools of the county. At the age of 16, Carlisle began teaching in the Covington Public School system. In 1857, Carlisle began studying law under the tutelage of John W. Stevenson and W.B. Kinkead. He was admitted to the bar in March 1857. In 1859, Carlisle won a bid for a seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He was 24 years old at the time. Carlisle consistently voted to keep Kentucky in the union, although, he remained personally neutral. This neutrality damaged his popularity in the Northern Kentucky region. In 1866, Carlisle was appointed to a seat in the Kentucky Senate. He was re-elected in 1869. Carlisle resigned from the Senate in 1871 to run for the post of Kentucky Lieutenant Governor. He won, and held that position until 1875. Carlisle served In the United States House of Representatives from 1877 to 1890. He was the Speaker of the House from 1883 to 1889. In 1890, Carlisle was elected to the United States Senate. He resigned this post on February 21, 1893 to assume the position of Secretary of the Treasury in the second Grover Cleveland administration (1893-1897). As Secretary of the Treasury, Carlisle was forced to deal with the financial depression of the early 1890s. This was also the era when Williams Jennings Bryan [...]
The first Bishop of the Diocese of Covington. George A. Carrell was born on June 13, 1803 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, a native of Ireland, came to this country before the Revolutionary War. After attending the seminary at St. Mary College in Emmitsburg, Maryland and Georgetown College in Washington D.C., he was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1827 at St. Augustine Church, Philadelphia. In 1835, Carrell became a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He was appointed president of the Jesuit run St. Louis University in 1843. In 1847, he was transferred to Cincinnati and assigned to St. Xavier Preparatory School. Two years later, he was appointed president of the same institution. Father Carrell’s last appointment in Cincinnati was that of rector of St. Xavier College, a position he held from 1851 until his appointment as Bishop of Covington on July 29, 1853. Bishop Carrell was consecrated on November 1, 1853 by Archbishop John Purcell of Cincinnati. Carrell oversaw the organization of the diocese, the expansion of parishes and schools, the founding of St. Elizabeth Hospital and the construction of the first cathedral. Carrell was also responsible for the establishment of the Benedictine Sisters in the Diocese. Bishop George Aloysius Carrell died on September 25, 1868 in Covington. Initially, he was laid to rest in a vault at the old St. Mary Cathedral on 8th Street. When this building was demolished, his remains were removed to St. Mary Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. Archives of the Diocese of Covington.
African American Methodist bishop and resident of Covington. Matthew Wesley Clair was born on October 21, 1865 in Union, West Virginia to Anthony and Ollie Green Clair. Matthew Wesley Clair earned numerous degrees, including: Classics and Theology, Morgan College, Baltimore, Maryland 1889; PhB, Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina 1897, PhD, Bennett 1901; DD, Howard 1911; LLD, Morgan College 1918 and an LLD Wilberforce University in Ohio (1928). Clair was ordained a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1889. His early assignments included pastorates at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia 1889-1893; Stuanton, Virginia 1893-1896; Ebenezer Church in Washington D.C. 1896-1897; Presiding Elder of the Washington D.C. District 1897-1902; Asbury Church in Washington D.C. 1902-1919. While at Asbury Church, Clair oversaw the construction of a new $80,000 church. In 1920, Matthew Wesley Clair was appointed a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was assigned to Monrovia, Liberia in Africa. Clair remained in Liberia until 1924, when he was transferred to Covington, Kentucky. Clair’s territory included all of Kentucky and Tennessee. His residence in Covington was located at 1040 Russell Street. He retired in 1936 at the age of 70. Matthew Wesley Clair married Eva Florence Wilson on 2, 1926. The couple had three sons: Rev. Matthew Clair Jr., John Clair and Graton Clair. In June 1943, Clair traveled to Washington D.C. to preside over the funeral services of his brother. While in Washington D.C. Clair died on June 28, 1943 at the age of 82. Kentucky Post, January 16, 1995, p. 4k; W. Augustus Low, ed., Encyclopedia of Black America (New York) p. 272; Who was Who in America (Chicago: Marquis Publishing) 1950, Vol. 2, p. 115.
A Baptist minister and founder of the Garden of Hope in Covington. Coers was born in c. 1909 in Shelbyville, Indiana. He was educated as a Baptist minister at Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Following ordination, he was the pastor of Baptists churches in Shelbyville, Indiana; Bluffton, Indiana and Jackson, Michigan. While in Indiana, Coers officiated at the funeral of famed gangster John Dillinger in the City of Maywood. Dillinger was killed by an FBI agent on July 22, 1934. Also while in Indiana, Coers served in the state legislature for the 1931 and 1933 sessions. In 1945, Coers was appointed pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Covington. In the mid 1950s he began a project to construct a replica of the tomb of Jesus in Covington. He purchased a site in Covington’s west end on Edgecliff Road and began building. In time, his Garden of Hope contained the tomb, a carpenter’s shop, a chapel, and a large garden featuring plants from the Holy Land. The Garden of Hope was open to the public on Palm Sunday 1958. Coers raised over $100,000 to finance the construction of the complex. Reverend Coers did not live to see any further development of the Garden of Hope. He died in his home (2223 Eastern Avenue) on February 24, 1960 of a heart attack. He was 51 years old. Coers was survived by his wife, Vernice and a son, Michael. Reverend Coers was laid to rest at the Garden of Hope following a funeral service at Immanuel Baptist Church. The Garden of Hope suffered due to Coer’s death. Without a guiding source, the garden was underutilized and succumbed to vandalism. Coer’s widow, Vernice eventually moved the Reverend’s tomb from [...]
From the City Atlas of Covington, Kentucky 1877 on page 22. Atlas is available in the Local History and Genealogy Department. “The cemetery is a memorial and a record. It is not a mere field in which the dead are stowed away unknown; it is a touching and beautiful history, written in family burial photos, in mounded graves, in sculptured and inscribed monuments. It tells the story of the past- not of its institutions, or its wars, or its ideas, but of its individual lives, of its men and women and children, and of its household. It is silent, but eloquent; it is common, but it is unique. We find no such history elsewhere; there are no records in all the wide world in which we can discover so much that is suggestive, so much that is pathetic and impressive.” –Joseph Anderson Autumn is here, and while we listen close for the things that go bump in the night, there is no better way to spend the bright hours of a crisp fall day than a stroll through a cemetery in the fresh October air. If you missed our Linden Grove Cemetery Tour in September, the cemetery is always open until five for a self-guided experience. While it holds great historical significance, Linden Grove is not the oldest cemetery in Covington. Few remember the town’s first graveyard: The Craig Street Burying Ground. Now an unassuming plot of land, anchored into the background by the 6th Street underpass and zipped shut by the old C&O Railroad Bridge approach, it was once the final resting place of those first to call Covington home. Let us then relate these distant memories, lest we forget something so [...]
Mayor of Covington and Republican Party Chairman. John J. Craig was born on November 14, 1873 in Covington, Kentucky. His parents were A. John Craig, an Irish immigrant, and Anna June Davis Craig. John J. Craig attended the Covington Public Schools and graduated from Covington High School. Following graduation, Craig began working in his father’s contracting and building company. Craig married Ella M. Griffith. The couple had three children. Craig was a staunch Republican who held several political officers. For four years he served as Covington City Clerk. In 1907, He successfully ran for the office of Mayor of Covington. He held that post from 1908-1911. One of Craig’s main campaign issues was gambling. After he was elected, he was consistently criticized for not doing enough to close gambling establishments. In 1911, he unsuccessfully ran for the post of Kentucky Railroad Commissioner. In 1912, Craig’s daughter, Mary Jane, died of diphtheria. His wife, Ella M. Griffith Craig died on November 26, 1915. John J. Craig married Mattie Laws of Walton, Kentucky in 1918. By this time, Craig was living in a home at 2128 Oakland Avenue in Covington. John J. Craig again ran for the office of Covington Mayor in 1907. Craig served this second term as mayor from 1916 to 1920. Craig was appointed Kentucky State Auditor by Governor Edwin P. Morrow in 1919. He held this office until 1923. Craig ran for a third time for the post of Covington Mayor in 1923. This time, he was defeated. The last position held by Craig was Master Commissioner of Kenton County (1927-1930). Craig was also very active in the banking industry. He was on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of [...]
A Long-time pastor of St. Ann Church. Joseph Deimling was born on September 11, 1895 in Newport, Kentucky. He studied at St. Xavier College and at St. Mary Seminary, both in Cincinnati. He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati on May 21, 1921. His first Mass was celebrated at St. Stephen Church in Newport on May 22, 1921. Father Joseph Deimling was assistant pastor at the following parishes: Holy Cross in Covington, St. Augustine in Covington, and St. Stephen in Newport. He held the pastorate at St. Peter Claver in Lexington and St. Cecilia in Independence (1932-1940). From 1929 to 1932, Father Deimling was headmaster of the Lexington Latin School. On November 25, 1940, Father Deimling was appointed pastor of St. Ann Parish in West Covington. He was elevated to the rank of monsignor in 1949. Monsignor oversaw the construction of the new school building at St. Ann in 1957. Monsignor Deimling retired as pastor of St. Ann in 1977. He had spent 37 years of his priestly career ministering to the people of West Covington. Joseph Deimling died on January 4, 1983 at Carmel Manor Nursing Home in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He was 87 years old. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Ann Church with burial at St. Stephen Cemetery in Fort Thomas. He was survived by nieces and nephews. Ryan, Paul, History of the Diocese of Covington, 1954, p. 805; News Enterprise, June 2, 1977, p. 1 and January 12, 1983, p. 6; Kentucky Post, January 5, 1983, p. 13A.
Charles P. Devou was the Son of William P. Devou Sr. (1826-1897) and Sarah Ogden Devou (1828-1909). He was born in Cincinnati on August 25, 1858. He had two siblings: James Ogden Devou (1852-1865) and William P. Devou Jr. (1855-1937). Charles family moved to Northern Kentucky in the 1860s (present day Devou Park). It was in this home that Charles was raised. Eventually, Charles married Helen Mondary. The couple had one child, William P. Devou. Charles Mother, Sarah Ogden Devou died in 1909. At this time, Charles and Helen Devou moved into the Devou Family home. Charles and William P. Devou Jr. donated the 500-acre family estate to the City of Covington for park purposes in 1910. Charles and Helen kept the right to live in the Devou home until their death. In addition, the couple owned a home at 1255 Michigan Avenue in Cincinnati. From 1911 until shortly before his death in 1922, Charles P. Devou held the position of Devou Park Superintendent. Charles P. Devou died on August 21, 1922 in Cincinnati. Kentucky Post, August 21, 1922, p. 1; Friends of Devou Newsletters: Historical Articles written by Larry Duba (Local History Files, Kenton County Public Library).
Chester Disque was a well-known architect and resident of West Covington. Disque was born on July 18, 1893. Among Disque's Northern Kentucky designs include: Walton Methodist Church (1930), Lincoln-Grant Public School in Covington (1931), an addition to the Eleventh District School in West Covington (1931). The firm of Wisenall and Disque designed two homes on Emerson Road in Park Hills (1926). Disque died on April 26, 1971 at Booth Memorial Hospital in Covington, he was 77 years of age. At the time of his death he lived at 1212 Highway Avenue in West Covington. Survivors included his wife Mae Parker Disque, a son Chester A. Disque, two stepsons Scott Matthews and William Schuhart, and a stepdaughter Helen Watt. Services were held at Ronald B. Jones Funeral Home in Ludlow with burial at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Kentucky Times Star, April 27, 1971, p. 8k; News Enterprise, May 6, 1971, p. 1; Social Security Death Index; Kentucky Post, February 16, 1931, p. 4, May 22, 1931, p. 1.
A former mayor and city commission in the City of Covington. Thomas F. Donnelly was born in Covington on October 27, 1870. His parents were Lawrence Donnelly and Mary Tierney Colleron Donnelly, both immigrants from County Cavan, Ireland. Young Thomas F. Donnelly attended the public and parochial schools of Covington. His father died when he was only six years old. As a child, he worked in a tobacco warehouse and a glass factory. At the age of fourteen, he began an apprenticeship at the W.B. Carpenter & Company bookbinders of Cincinnati. In 1902, Donnelly became a car conductor with the Pullman Company. In 1915, Thomas F. Donnelly began a career in politics. That year, he won a seat on the Covington City Commission. He was re-elected to that position in 1917. During the November 1919 election, Donnelly successfully ran for the position of Covington Mayor. Donnelly was a strong advocate of the city manager form of government and he worked diligently to promote this change. Donnelly also oversaw the construction of a new railroad depot on the city’s west end. Thomas F. Donnelly served as Mayor of Covington from 1920 to 1924. He was then elected to another term on the City Commission by a wide margin of votes. In 1927, Donnelly again ran for the position of Covington Mayor. He won the election and served a term lasting from 1928 to 1932. Following his second term as mayor, Donnelly began working as a ticket taker on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Bridge. Donnelly was a member of the Cathedral Parish in Covington, the Holy Name Society, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus with the Bishop Carrell Council, a member of the Covington Aerie Fraternal [...]
Asa Drury was born on July 26, 1802 at Athol, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University in 1829 and taught at the same institution from 1829 till 1831. At that time, Drury decided to study for the ministry. He was ordained by the Baptist Church in 1832. Following ordination, Drury moved to Ohio and began teaching Greek and Latin at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. In 1835, he made another move – this time to Cincinnati, where he taught at Cincinnati College. In 1845, Drury was among the first faculty members at the Western Baptist Theological Institute in Covington. Drury taught Theology at the institute. He was also responsible for the classical school attached to the seminary. Drury left the Western Baptist Theological Institute in 1853 to teach in the Covington Public High School. On January 8, 1853, Covington High School opened its doors for the first time in the district elementary school building at 11th and Scott Streets. Drury was the first principal. Drury’s work was much appreciated by the members of the board. On January 26, 1856, he was named the first Superintendent of the Covington Public School System. Drury’s work as superintendent was exemplary. He was given several raises by the board. These raises, however, violated the charter of the school system (his salary had increased beyond the legal limit imposed by the school charter). In 1859, the members of the board reduced his salary so it would be in compliance with the charter. Drury resigned on the spot. In 1859, Drury opened the Judsonia Female Seminary in the old Baptist Theological Institute building (the institute had closed several years earlier). In about 1865, Drury moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he died [...]
A life-long resident of Covington and former United States Senator. Richard Pretlow Ernst was born on February 28, 1858 in Covington. His parents were William Ernst and Sarah Butler Ernst. William Ernst was a past president of the Northern Bank of Kentucky and president of the Kentucky Central Railroad. Richard Pretlow Ernst was educated in the public schools of Covington and at the Chickering Academy in Cincinnati (graduated in 1874). Ernst earned a bachelors degree from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 1878. He received a law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1880. That same year, he began practicing law in Covington and Cincinnati. He was a member of the Firm of Ernst, Cassatt & Cottle. Ernst married Susan Bent in 1886. The couple had two children: William Ernst and Sarah Ernst Darnell. Richard P. Ernst’s first venture into politics occurred in 1888, when he was elected to the Covington City Commission. He served in this position until 1892. In 1896, Ernst ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the United States Senate on the Republican ticket. Ernst successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1920. He served in that position from March 4, 1921 to March 3, 1927. His bid for re-election in 1926 failed. Ernst returned to Covington in 1927 and resumed his law practice. He was active in many fraternal and professional groups in the Greater Cincinnati area. Ernst was chairman of the board of directors of Liberty National Bank in Covington; a member of the Hamilton County and Cincinnati Bar Associations; and a member of the Queen City Club of Cincinnati, the Covington Industrial Club and a 32nd degree mason. Ernst also served on the boards of Centre College, Danville; [...]
A noted illustrator and painter of the American west and long-time resident of Covington. Henry Farny was born on July 15, 1847 in Ribeauville, Alsace, France to Charles and Jeanette Farny. The family immigrated to the United States in 1853 as a result of political strife in France. From 1852-1859, the Farny family resided in Warren, Pennsylvania. While in Pennsylvania, a young Henry came into contact with the Seneca Indian Tribe. Farny’s fascination with these Native Americans would become a life-long obsession. In 1859, the Farny's moved to Cincinnati. Henry attended Woodward High School until the death of his father in 1861. Henry Farny held several early jobs. At the age of 18 he began producing illustrations of the City of Cincinnati for Harper’s Weekly. Farny also had worked as an apprentice in a lithographic shop in Cincinnati. In 1866, Farny decided to fully pursue a career in art. In that year, he traveled to Europe, visiting Rome, Dusseldorf, Vienna and Munich. He remained on the continent for more than three years, viewing and studying some of the greatest artworks ever produced. Farny resumed his illustrating career upon his return to Cincinnati. He produced works for many of the popular periodicals of the day. In 1879 he was chosen the chief illustrator of the McGuffey Reader Series. Of the 300 illustrations produced, 76 were original works of Farny. During the 1880s, Henry Farny began a painting career that would last for more than three decades. Native American culture and history were gaining popularity in the early 1880s. Much of this can be attributed to the surrender of Sitting Bull to the United States Government in 1881. The news articles concerning Sitting Bull brought back many [...]
Charles H. Fisk was born on August 31, 1843 at Fiskburg, Kenton County. He attended Miami University and graduated valedictorian of his class. During the Civil War, Fisk gathered a volunteer company called the squirrel hunters. Fisk acted as captain of this company. Fisk became a member of the Kentucky bar in 1865 and practiced law in the City of Lexington for one year. He then moved to Covington. In Covington, Fisk practiced law with his father, John F. Fisk. Charles H. Fisk was active in many organizations. He was secretary of the Covington and Cincinnati Bridge Company, a 33rd Degree Mason, President of the Kenton County Bar Association and Superintendent of the Sunday School at First Christian Church in Covington. Fisk died in October 1930. He was survived by his widow, Margaret, and two children. Funeral services were conducted at the First Christian Church of Covington with burial at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. Kentucky Post, October 20, 1930, p. 1.
When looking back on our favorite family memories and holidays, food is often a highlight. Nothing can be quite so nostalgic as Grandma’s cookies or Mom’s best soup. Here at the library, cookbooks are among our most circulated items. For those of you learning to cook or wanting to add some local flair to your home cooked meal, the Local History & Genealogy department has four shelves of cookbooks that you can check out, bring home, and test out. These range from local restaurants’ favorite recipes, to chefs who focus on modern Kentucky cuisine, to historic cookbooks written as early as the 1800s. In an effort to get to know this section of our collection better, I tried out three recipes from two different books and documented my progress. I decided to focus on dishes with earlier origins. With some of the recipes, or receipts as Lettice Bryan of The Kentucky Housewife (1839) calls them, it took a little creative reimagining in order to modernize the measurements and equipment to something I have in my kitchen. In other words, I opted to bake in a modern oven with set temperatures. I’m also a vegetarian – so, sorry to all you Squirrel Soup lovers, I stuck to finding something I could enjoy! Let’s get started: Baked Potatoes, from The Kentucky Housewife (1839) by Lettice Bryan This recipe is from one of our earliest cookbooks by the thorough Lettice Bryan. The collection contains thousands of recipes along with suggestions of accompanying dishes, for which meal a recipe works best, and other tidbits which give a wonderful glimpse of the time period. I chose this recipe because it is simple, contains few ingredients, but also takes a familiar [...]
William Fromandi was born on December 11, 1841 in Germany. He is best known in the Northern Kentucky area for operating a saloon in Lewisburg at the turn of the Twentieth Century. The saloon was located at the corner of Lewis and Worth Streets. Fromandi not only sold beer and liquor, but also served food. At this time, Lewisburg contained a number of breweries and slaughterhouses. Fromandi’s establishment served lunch to many of the workers in these establishments. Behind a tall wooden fence at the rear of the saloon building was located Fromandi’s zoo. In this enclosure, William Fromandi housed a number of animals, including: A bear, wolf, fox, four-foot alligator, weasel, snakes, raccoon, wildcat and a monkey. The zoo was a favorite place for the young people of Covington to visit. Residents of the neighborhood simply referred to Fromandi’s business as the “monkey house.” William Fromandi was married to Theresa Stauble Fromandi. The couple had one son, Theodor Fromandi. The family resided at 925 Worth Street. William Fromandi died on May 18, 1925 at the age of 84. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. John Church in Lewisburg with burial at St. John Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Fromandi’s saloon business was continued by John Zembrodt, his grandson. Zembrodt operated the Hillside café during the 1950s. Kentucky Death Certificate: William Fromandi 1925; Kentucky Times-Star, July 24, 1902, p. 3 and February 10, 1915, p. 14; Kentucky Post, May 18, 1925, p. 2; Geaslen, Chester, Strolling Along Memory Lane.