Joseph Moser

Long time mayor of West Covington and proponent of the city’s annexation to Covington. Joseph J. Moser was born on March 17, 1861 in Pennsylvania. His parents were Gottlieb Moser and Marie Schwartz Moser. Joseph J. Moser was a strong advocate for the annexation of West Covington by Covington. In 1908 he called for all the cities of Kenton County to be annexed by Covington. He argued that all the citizens would be better served in they lived in one city. The issue of gambling caused considerable political problems for Mayor Moser. In 1906, Covington city officials began a crackdown on poolrooms and other gambling establishments. A few of these individuals left Covington and set up shop in Romanowitz Hall in West Covington. The Reverend John Bentz of the Crescent Avenue Methodist Mission requested that the mayor take immediate action to stop the gambling activities. Mayor Moser refused to take action. The Reverend Betz filed charges against the mayor for failure to do his duty. A warrant for Moser’s arrest was issued. When Mayor Moser appeared before the courts, Reverend Betz voiced his concerns, “I know that Mr. Moser could be bought, and that he had been bought by the parties operating the poolroom in West Covington.” Mayor Moser responded by filing a suit against the minister for damaging his reputation in the community. Gambling continued to be a problem for Moser in 1907. The Kentucky Post ran a story calling West Covington the “Monte Carlo” of Kentucky. Poker, betting and roulette were commonplace. The establishments included Romanowitz Hall and the Respess-Kirby Poolroom. The story also claimed that another group was building a new building in the town that would be used for gambling purposes. Moser was again elected mayor of West Covington in 1913. He defeated Charles Miller (203-165). Moser was also active in the banking industry. In 1906 he was appointed the first president of the Merchants National bank of Covington. Many well-known Covington businessmen were also named officers of this new venture. Joseph J. Moser died on February 12, 1919 at his home, 70 Highway Avenue, Covington. Services were held in the family home with burial at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. Moser was survived by his wife, Lillie May Craner Moser. He was the father of four children: John G. Moser of Louisville, Clarence C. Moser of Covington, Eliza Moser Kautter of Covington and Mrs. Harry Sillman of Covington.


Kentucky Post, November 26, 1906, p. 2, November 27, 1906, p. 2, November 28, 1906, p. 7, December 12, 1906, p. 2, February 8, 1907, p. 1, July 19, 1907, p. 2, July 20, 1908, p. 2, November 5, 1913, p. 9, December 12, 1919, p. 1 and December 13, 1919, p. 2; Commonwealth of Kentucky Death Certificate 1919.

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