A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: The story behind Big Bone Lick’s ‘Big Bone Heist’ by con artist Thomas Ashe

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Have you ever met a person who seemed sophisticated, erudite, and trustworthy? Then, much to your chagrin — and perhaps to your heart and to your pocketbook too — you discovered that they were a fraud? Thomas Ashe was such a man. Reputedly born in 1770 in Glasnevin, County Dublin, Ireland, Thomas Ashe died in 1835. In-between those two years, however,...

Our Rich History: Betty Clooney, ‘the best of us,’ and part of ‘devoted’ and famous sister singing act

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Sibling singing acts have been around since families sang together for after-dinner amusement before the days of plentiful prime-time broadcast entertainment. As mass media entertaining developed with radio and records, highly talented acts catapulted beyond their local churches, schools, and community events. Our region’s memorable sibling acts include: 98...

Our Rich History: Early Kentucky patents and inventors; search free at NKU’s Steely Library

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Northern Kentucky has a rich history of inventors and patents, even as early as the antebellum period. The US Constitution encouraged national innovation by establishing that “Congress shall have Power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings...

Our Rich History: Covington Latin School’s first home was a Methodist Church, demolished in 1940

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune Covington Latin School was established in September 1923 by Bishop Francis Howard. When Bishop Howard arrived in Covington, he discovered the need to establish high schools for boys. The only high school program for young men was a two-year commercial course called St. Joseph, operated by the Brothers of Mary on 12th street in Covington (this school transitioned...

Our Rich History: World War I heats up for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, with hopes for a quick end

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune On October 21, 1917, World War I heated up for the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). On that day, the First Division of the AEF fired the first American shell at the war front in Europe. Meanwhile, one week prior — on October 15th — the 42nd AEF, dubbed the “Rainbow Division” because it was composed of National Guard units from every state, steamed...

Our Rich History: Here are some simple archivist techniques to preserve family documents, photos

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune The history of Northern Kentucky is a rich one. Its highly textured mosaic of people, places and events spans centuries and has contributed to the development and growth of a region and a nation. Much of this history is to be found in area museums, archives and libraries. But it can also to be found as loose material in dusty attics, in the forgotten bottoms...

Our Rich History: Lloyd Brothers were pharmacists, authors, and nature and baseball enthusiasts

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune What do pharmaceuticals, novels, a love of nature, and a passion for baseball have in common? Answer: The Lloyd Brothers of Boone County, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. John Uri (1849-1936), Nelson A. (Ashley) (1851-1925), and Curtis Gates (1859-1926) Lloyd were the three sons of schoolteachers Nelson Marvin and Sophia Webster Lloyd. Nelson and Sophia Lloyd...

Our Rich History: A personal history of the Ritchie family of Ludlow and Cincinnati

By Pat Stavovy and Thomas Hern Special to NKyTribune Casper Ritchie, Jr. built a large home in Ludlow at the corner of Elm and Locust Streets and moved there in 1860. The family called it the big house. Our grandmother Elizabeth was born there, as well as her brother Walter S. and sister Louise. The Ritchie family members continued to live there, and it was replaced by a supermarket in 1958. Casper...

Our Rich History: Roebling Suspension Bridge Exhibit celebrates 150 year history at Cinci library

By James Mainger Special to NKyTribune A new exhibit at the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County’s Main Library, “A Dream Come True, a Song Well Sung: the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge at 150” casts its gaze on the story behind one of our region’s most iconic and unique structures on the sesquecentennial year of its opening. Built while Civil War battles raged, the bridge...

Our Rich History: Monte Cassino Chapel has storied legacy in Benedictine monks, wine-making

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune On Turkeyfoot Road in Crestview Hills, there is a structure that seems out of place. It is made of dressed fieldstone with an interior that measures just eight feet high and four feet wide. It stands alone in an open field like a sentinel, oddly beautiful in its solitude, a survivor of another time and place, a relic of our Northern Kentucky past. It is unique,...

Our Rich History: Augusta College’s Echo Hall dormitory gets new life; want to be part of saving it?

By Carol L. Williams Special to NKyTribune During its General Conference in 1820, the Methodist Episcopal Church called for establishment of educational institutions throughout America, particularly frontier areas. The Kentucky and Ohio Conferences answered the call by pooling their resources and co-sponsoring the establishment of an institution in Augusta. On 7 December 1822, Augusta College received...

Our Rich History: WW I, six months after declaration of war, anti-German hysteria rears its ugly head

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune It was October 1917, six months after the United States declared war on Germany on April 6th. Already, the Cincinnati area was heavily invested in the war effort. Over 12,000 men from Hamilton County, Ohio — and some from beyond who came here to recruiting stations — had entered the ranks of the U.S. army, navy, or marines by October. Nationally, the...

Our Rich History: Duveneck pupil Aileen McCarthy’s grave gets headstone thanks to local artists

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune When Cincinnati artist Marlene Steele pulled into Fort Mitchell’s Highland Cemetery on Memorial Day 2011 to attend a veterans’ commemoration service, she hoped to take time afterward to visit the grave of her childhood art teacher, Aileen F. McCarthy. Steele, today one of the Cincinnati area’s most prominent artists and painters, credits McCarthy with...

Our Rich History: As World War I is declared, first local man is selected for the army

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune The Cincinnati Post of Wednesday, August 1, 1917 was crystal clear that Cincinnati history had just been made by Asa Williams, of 755 State Avenue. Williams, a welder at the Globe-Wernicke Co. in Norwood, Ohio, became — as the Post noted in all-capital letters—the “VERY FIRST CINCINNATI MAN SELECTED FOR THE ARMY.” It was the Great War — World War...

Our Rich History: Discovery of WWI letters reveal unknown story of two Covington brothers

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune Historian David McCullough once commented to an interviewer that history is not only about the big events that happen; it is also about the ordinary people who lived the big events. In interviews, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author frequently makes reference to the value of letters from which his many books are written. It was primarily through letters that...