A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: David Leitch and Leitch’s Station; today, it’s Wilder, earliest settlement in Campbell Co.

by Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune The earliest settlement in Northern Kentucky’s Campbell County was Leitch’s Station, circa 1789-91. Founded by Revolutionary War veteran, Major David Leitch, it was located six miles up from the mouth of the Licking River in present-day Wilder, Kentucky. By late September 1789, the settlement of what would soon become Cincinnati was underway. Fort Washington...

Our Rich History: Mary Means meets Maiden Foot, a Native American, and kindnesses are exchanged

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune Mary Means was an eleven-year-old girl in 1763. Her parents were settlers on land about a mile south of Fort Ligonier in southwestern Pennsylvania. She and her parents often visited the fort for supplies and news of relations between settlers and Native Americans, who were plentiful in that region. In times of peace, such as when this story is placed, the gates...

Our Rich History: Griffin Yeatman’s Square and Compass Tavern, the heart of early Cincinnati

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune Griffin Yeatman arrived in Cincinnati on June 20, 1793. He was born on March 8, 1770, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. From this genteel area of the Northern Neck of Virginia, birthplace of George Washington, came 23-year-old Yeatman to the fledgling frontier town of Cincinnati. When he arrived, he found eight dirt streets lined with 20-30 log cabins, 30 stores,...

Our Rich History: New book, PBS documentary shine national attention on John A. Roebling Bridge

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune The John A. Roebling Bridge, connecting Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky, has always been the lesser-known sibling to its bigger and better-known sister, the Brooklyn Bridge. Both were designed by the famous Roebling family. Beyond that, the sibling competition is fierce. The Cincinnati bridge has graceful rounded Roman arches, the Brooklyn Bridge soaring...

Our Rich History: James Wilkinson, Kentucky politician, American general — and Spanish spy

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune  “In all our history, there is no more despicable character.” Theodore Roosevelt While the formative years of the Ohio Valley and Northern Kentucky were often filled with a rogue’s gallery of characters such as Lewis Wetzel, Simon Girty, and Aaron Burr, one character stands out from all the rest, James Wilkinson. A somewhat competent officer of...

Our Rich History: The Deweys and the development of Palm Beach County, Florida

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Part 1 of a continuing series on Kentuckians and Ohioans in the development of Florida. It’s summer vacation time for Cincinnatians and Northern Kentuckians. Many will be headed to enjoy the fun and sun of Florida. The annual pilgrimage south occurs several times per year. In the winter, “snowbirds” and retirees migrate to Florida, followed by university...

Our Rich History: World War I — a confusing array of ethnic tensions as citizens are harassed, terrorized

Part 9 of a continuing series on World War I By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune On May 20, 1918, Kelley-Koett Manufacturing Company of Covington sponsored a large advertisement in The Kentucky Post promoting the American Red Cross’s second national war fund drive. The campaign’s mission was to procure funds to feed the “starving women and children in the ruined districts of France and...

Our Rich History: Vic Canfield and others preserving Covington, helping the past come alive today

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune This is first in a series on the preservation and revitalization of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. If you’re interested in having your restoration or building project included in this series, please contact the Our Rich History editor, Dr. Paul Tenkotte, at tenkottep@nku.edu Canfield If you’ve visited Covington, Kentucky recently, you probably noticed...

Our Rich History; John Filson; first Kentucky historian, forgotten Cincinnati founder

By Steve Preston Special to the NKyTribune In his book Daniel Boone, John Mack Faragher describes John Filson as the living embodiment of Ichabod Crane.  With the image of a skinny, clumsy, colonial nerd in your mind, it might be hard to believe the accomplishments achieved by him in the rugged and dangerous landscape of pre-statehood Kentucky and frontier Ohio. John Filson John Filson helped bring...

Our Rich History: Poverty, homelessness, a challenge throughout our region’s history that persists today

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune A portion of this column originally appeared in Our Rich History on December 21, 2015. It has been reprinted here to promote the Northern Kentucky Forum’s “Poverty in Our Region: What Does History Tell Us?” on Tuesday evening, June 12, 2018, at 7 pm at Lincoln-Grant Scholar House, 824 Greenup St. in Covington, Kentucky. The Kenton County Infirmary (Rosedale...

Our Rich History: Ohio Valley land in demand; four flags flew over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

By Steve Preston Special to the NKyTribune Did you know that Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have been considered French, British, Québécois, and United States territory?  Throughout American history, the Ohio Valley was a much-desired area of land. René-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687). Source: Wikimedia Commons. If the Ohio Valley was the heart of the Midwest, then the river systems...

Our Rich History: The Cincinnati German origins of Memorial Day — here’s the connection

By Don Heinrich Tolzmann Special to NKyTribune While doing research for The Cincinnati Germans in the Civil War by Gustav Tafel, which I translated from German and edited for publication in 2011, I came across an interesting reference to Memorial Day. It indicates that its origins may go back to a suggestion made by a Cincinnati German veteran of the Union Army. Lt. Col. Robert B. Beath reported...

Our Rich History: How World War I affected our region in May 1918 — citizenship, service, grand jury

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune World War I was one of history’s most unfortunate and confusing conflicts. Europe’s major powers literally bungled into it. At first, the United States attempted to remain neutral. In fact, Wilson’s campaign slogan in the presidential election of 1916 was, “He Kept Us Out of War.” However, the Zimmermann Telegram and increasing hostilities against...

Our Rich History: Remember April 23, 1968, when a destructive tornado stuck Falmouth?

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to the NKyTribune I vividly remember Tuesday, April 23, 1968. It was nine days after Easter. The skies were ominously still. Then, the clouds rolled in, and the day turned stormy and foreboding. At 1:40 pm, a tornado slammed into the small town of Falmouth, in Northern Kentucky’s rural Pendleton County. We listened to news updates on the radio, as my mother led us in prayer...

Our Rich History: Third District School is now an office building, Fifth Street Center in Covington

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune Travelers taking the Fifth Street Interstate-75 exit into Covington see this building often, but many have no idea it was once a thriving school serving Covington’s Westside neighborhood. The building is now called the Fifth Street Center and is home to many businesses. The origins of Third District School can be found in the pre-Civil War era. On April...