A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: Henry Boyd, once a slave, became a prominent African-American furniture maker

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune Henry Boyd was born on a Kentucky plantation as a slave in 1802. For the first 18 years of his life, he would remain a slave. Boyd was apprenticed out to a cabinet maker. He had a tremendous talent for carpentry. His woodworking skills and his strong work ethic combined to provide a path out of slavery and poverty. Boyd was permitted to accept additional work...

Our Rich History: Living along the Buffalo Highways; where would Dixie Highways be without them?

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune If you were to take a moment and think, who would you say originally built the Northern Kentucky stretch of the Dixie Highway and Ohio’s SR133 in Clermont County? I’ll give you a hint, it was the same group. If you guessed Native Americans or the pioneers, you’d be wrong. The correct answer would be. . .buffalo. Like so many roads in Northern Kentucky and...

Our Rich History: Casualties of Siege of Cincinnati, 1862; celebrations as Confederates withdrew

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune In September 1862, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith sent General Henry Heth with an advance force of over 6,000 to probe the defenses protecting Covington and Cincinnati. He was unprepared for the size and scope of what awaited them. Cincinnati managed to mobilize a force around 85,000 strong to man the gun emplacements and rifle pits that were dug on...

Our Rich History: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and our region; a remarkable legacy, visionary leader

This column originally appeared on April 3, 2018. It is reprinted here to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune In 1968, I was only eight years old. Yet my parents, my teachers, my uncle, and newspaper and television journalists made me acutely aware that I was living through one of the most momentous eras in US history. Four years before, when I was just...

Our Rich History: 19th Century death — photography, mementos, black crepe, professional mourners. . .

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune While loss of a loved one is always a tragic event, grieving survivors seemed to take things to the extreme throughout the course of the nineteenth century. The 1800s were a time of great technological advances, yet still filled with mystery and superstition in regard to death. Middendorf Brothers and Co. Undertakers, Pike Street, Covington, Kentucky, 1880s....

Our Rich History: One of the early Chinese families in the CIncinnati region was the Wong family

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Note: This article follows Chinese style, where the family name is given first (Wong) and the personal name second. Chinese immigrants to the United States have helped to forge the American landscape, from playing a major role in the settlement of the state of California to building the nation’s first transcontinental railroad to excelling in the arts and...

Our Rich History: The Toledo War — Ohio versus Michigan; it was nearly bloodless

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune You may think this is a story about the football rivalry between the Ohio State University and the University of Michigan — it is not. Long before that famous rivalry was born, Ohioans and Michiganders had another reason to battle, Ohio’s border with Michigan, including Toledo and the surrounding lands. This border dispute caused armies of militiamen from...

Our Rich History: Christmas 1918 — Nenette and Rintintin became an American sensation

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Church bells rang joyously on Christmas Day in 1918 in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Peace reigned supreme. The Great War, later called World War I, had concluded the prior month. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, Germany signed an armistice with the Allies. Final peace arrangements would await negotiations at Versailles Palace...

Our Rich History: Covington’s Isabella H. Shepard was an early supporter of women’s suffrage

By Gregory J. Middleton Special to NKyTribune The women’s suffrage movement required many supporters and a lot of effort to keep moving in the right direction. While some suffragettes, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, were names that have found their place in history, many have faded into obscurity. Isabella H. Shepard was a suffragette forgotten by history. She was born in Kentucky...

Our Rich History: Several presidents have visited Kentucky, and a new book tells that story

By Wayne Onkst Special to NKyTribune When President Trump visited Kentucky this fall, he was adding to the long history of presidential visits to the Commonwealth. For 200 years, presidents have traveled to Kentucky for public business, using the state’s centrally located rivers, railroads and airports. Kentucky has also played an important role in national politics at various times during U.S....

Our Rich History: Early Cincinnati cuisine — cooking over a hearth, game, plentiful corn, healthy fruit

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune The harvest time for gardeners and farmers alike has passed, and we’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving feasts. What did the first settlers of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky typically eat? The harvest was a time of great importance and great celebration out here on the frontier. It could also be a time of great trepidation as there were dangers associated with ensuring...

Our Rich History: Duveneck legacy thrives in California; and it’s more than famous art works

By James Ott Special to NKyTribune A varied cache of art treasures adorned the Monterey home of the late Hope Duveneck Williams, the last living grandchild of renowned artists Frank and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck. Hope lived on a hilltop in view of California 1 and Monterey Bay, famous for its deep underwater canyon teeming with varied marine life. I visited her in June 2014, in her residence in the...

Our Rich History: ‘Lost Northern Kentucky,’ a new book by Robert Schrage and David Schroeder

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Have you ever found yourself lost? Lost has many different connotations, often very positive. For example, you can be lost in a good book. Or you can lose yourself in a pleasant memory. Being lost, in fact, can sometimes be quite rewarding. Some of your favorite vacations may have occurred when you “got off the beaten path,” and allowed yourself to get...

Our Rich History: Veterans Day and the American Legion; honoring men and women who served

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Allies and the Germans signed an armistice at Compiegne, France bringing about the cessation of hostilities of the First World War on the Western Front. Beginning in 1919, Armistice Day began being celebrated in the United States on this date. The day was set aside to memorialize the 116,708...

Our Rich History: Treaty of Fort Finney, Ohio, 1786; though Ohio Valley sees all-out war until 1794

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune In the spring of 1786, Major Benjamin Stites of Redstone, Old Fort, Pennsylvania was on a trading trip down the Ohio River with a flatboat full of flour, whiskey, and other popular goods for Limestone (Maysville), Kentucky. He found trading competitive in the river town, as many traders stopped there. He decided to go further inland to Washington, Kentucky....