The Bishop Carrell Council Knights of Columbus was established in Covington on February 15, 1903. It was the first Knights of Columbus Council established in the Diocese of Covington. The council was named after Bishop George A. Carrell, first Bishop of the diocese.
The council acquired the old Methodist Church on E. 11th Street near Madison Avenue and remodeled the building to serve as a hall and meeting rooms. During the late 1920s, the Carrell Council moved to temporary quarters in the Covington Odd Fellows Hall. At time, their previous hall on 11th Street became the home of Covington Latin School.
A new council hall was erected in 1929-1930 at 1032 Madison Avenue. The cornerstone of the structure was set into place by Father Ignatius Ahman, Pastor of St. Aloysius Church, on March 7, 1930. Judge Frank M. Tracy was the principal speaker on the occasion. Bishop Francis W. Howard officiated at the dedication of the building on October 12, 1930. Then new quarters were designed by architect Thomas J. Collopy in a style reminiscent of an Italian castle. The first floor of the building contained: Offices for the secretary and building manager; lounges for men, women and children; a library; kitchen and council room. The second floor housed a large ballroom, two lounge rooms and two meeting rooms. The basement level contained six bowling lanes, a billiards room and a shower facility.
Membership in the council remained stable until the 1950s. Many former members had moved to the suburbs. In 1961 the council’s hall on Madison Avenue was acquired by Villa Madonna College. The college named the structure Columbus Hall in honor of the knights. Columbus Hall housed the college library (in the former ballroom), cafeteria and student union. In 1967, the lower level of the building was remodeled to serve and physics laboratories and offices. In 1972, the college sold Columbus Hall.
The sale of the 1930 building left Bishop Carrell Council without meeting and social facilities. Initially, meetings were held at St. John School in Covington. The council then moved to rented quarters in Latonia. In the late 1960s, the council purchased the former Shady Shores Fishing Lake. The property included 162 acres of land and a two-story building. In 1973, a large hall was built as an addition to the original building. Bishop Richard Ackerman dedicated the new facility on March 17, 1974. The Shady Shores property is now home to the Covington Fraternal Order of Police.
Charter Members – Bishop Carrell Council 702
M.B.Cannon, M.J. Costigan, John Dillon Jr., W.J. Dineen, D.E. Driscoll, John Fischer, Louis Gehring, Thomas W. Gleason, H.W. Haglage, Harry Healy, Thomas Healy, Matthew Herold, Dr. M. Higgins, Frank Johnson, John D. Kearney, George W. Keefer, William H. Newell, John O’Day, James B. Pye, John B. Read, J.G. Reagan, Edward F. Redmond, George A. Reed, Dr. W. Richmond, Edward Robinson, Maurice J. Sexton and Frank M. Tracy (first Grand Knight).
Knights of Columbus – Kentucky State Council (Paducah: Turner Publishing) 1993, p. 34; Kentucky Post, January 25, 1930, p. 4, January 31, 1930, p. 2, February 6, 1930, February 7, 1930, p. 1 and October 12, 1930, p. 14