Francis M. Tracy

Covington lawyer, Kenton County Attorney and Circuit Court Judge. Francis M. Tracy was born on May 5, 1872 in Covington. His Irish immigrant parents were Patrick Tracy and Julia Aylward Tracy. Patrick Tracy earned his living as a grocer. Francis M. Tracy was educated in the parochial schools of Covington. He then attended St. Xavier College (now University) in Cincinnati where he graduated in 1892. He attended both Georgetown College in Washington D.C. and the Cincinnati Law School. He earned a bachelors degree in Law in 1894 and began practicing in Covington.

Francis Tracy successfully campaigned for the office of Kenton County Attorney in 1901 as a Democrat and was re-elected in 1905. In 1909, he ran against Republican incumbent Judge W. McShaw for the office of Circuit Court Judge. The outcome of the race was one of the closest in Kenton County history. The final count recorded 7160 votes for Tracy and 7159 votes for McShaw. As a Circuit Court Jude, Tracy fought to close the various gambling parlors and poolrooms in Kenton County. He was also responsible for implementing election reform in his jurisdiction. Tracy was re-elected to the bench in 1915 and 1921. Tracy resigned as Circuit Court Judge in 1924 to begin a law practice with attorney Maurice Galvin. The firm of Galvin and Tracy was located in the First National Bank building in Cincinnati. Francis M. Tracy was active in many charitable and benevolent societies. He was the chairman of a major fundraising drive for St. Elizabeth Hospital and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Elks, the St. Xavier Alumni Association and the Holy Name Society of the Covington Cathedral.

Tracy was also one of the first members of the Fort Mitchell Country Club. Francis M. Tracy died on March 6, 1947 at his home in the Arthur Apartments on Greenup Street in Covington. His wife, Margaret Brown, died in 1942. He was survived by his only child, Miss Cambron Tracy and several brothers and sisters: Edward J. Tracy, Joseph P. Tracy, James W. Tracy and Sister Mary Tracy (a Sister of the Sacred Heart of Clayton, Missouri). Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Covington with burial at St. Mary Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.


Kentucky Post, March 6, 1947, p. 1; Commonwealth of Kentucky Death Certificate, 1947.

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