Community History – Annexation to Covington

Community History - Covington - Annexation to Covington

The annexation of West Covington by Covington had been discussed on several occasions. The two neighboring cities were linked by roads and a streetcar line. In addition, many West Covington residents worked and shopped in Covington. Annexation had been discussed on several occasions in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Annexation did occur in 1916. In May of that year, a pro-annexation petition signed by 140 West Covington residents was delivered to Covington City Commission. Covington’s commissioners immediately agreed to place the issue on the November ballot. State law required that 25% of West Covington residents vote in favor of annexation for the measure to pass. Many prominent West Covingtonians favored annexation. Among these were Bernard T. Wisenall, Judge John J. Brown, Andrew Tritsch and Lee Tucker. Pro-annexation forces argued that Covington taxes would be less, that West Covington children would have full access to Covington’s excellent public schools and professional fire department and that property values would increase. Anti-annexation forces, however were also active. Those opposed to annexation argued that the other cities that had been annexed by Covington had received few benefits. These individuals argued that West Covington residents would lose control over their neighborhood if the annexation was successful.

The official vote on annexation occurred in West Covington in November 1916. The Kentucky Post reported that 130 voted in favor of annexation and 304 voted against (22 votes more than needed by the pro-annexation forces).

The final city officials to serve West Covington were: Joseph Moser, mayor; Harry Frymuth, president of the city council; James Gormley, city treasurer; H. Barkhau, city assessor; Ed Kennedy, police judge; and Sam Adams, city attorney. The last city council included the following: Harry Frymuth, Ed Schultz, George Moser, Henry Schatten, John Kerns, and Fred Hischomitter.

Kentucky Post, May 20, 1916, p. 1, October 18, 1916, p. 1, October 21, 1916, p. 1, October 30, 1916, p. 1, November 11, 1916, p. 1 and April 2, 1917, p. 1.

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