Quaint, Old-time Town


At Petersburg, Ky., There Still Stands the Fort,
With its subterranean Passage of Retreat,
Built by the First White Settler


Many Prominent Men Claim the Ancient Village
as Their Home - Best Steamboat Landing
 Between Cairo and Pittsburg


Petersburg, Ky., is a beautiful little city of 700 inhabitants, situated on the Ohio River 24 miles below Cincinnati, midway between Lawrenceburg and Aurora, Ind. It is the most northern point in Kentucky and is located on a high plateau, 30 feet above the high-water mark of 1884. During that terrible flood it was the refuge of hundreds of persons from neighboring cities in Indiana and Ohio. The first white inhabitants of Petersburg were Wm. Tanner and family, who emigrated from Virginia in 1785 and erected a fort, or blockhouse, which is still standing. It is now occupied by M.L. Gordon as a residence. Under the blockhouse is a cellar 70 by 40 feet, in which Tanner and his family used to take refuge when attacked by Indians. Under this cellar is still another subterranean passage, entrance to which was gained by removing a large stone. This passage led to an opening on the river bank, and is still in evidence. When Tanner and his family, which consisted of a wife and three children, left Virginia they had with them a boy named Allen Morgan, aged 7 years. On their way down the Ohio River the party stopped for the night at what is now Maysville, Ky. During the night they were attacked by the Indians and young Morgan was taken into captivity. Ten years later a band of Indians passed through here and young Morgan was in command of the tribe.  While grazing their ponies and taking a rest, Morgan learned of Tanner’s identity. He deserted the tribe and returned to Tanner and his family. Later Morgan acquired valuable property. He died in 1831, leaving no heirs, and his property reverted to Boone County, and the funds were used to build the college at Burlington, known as Morgan Academy. Samuel Foster, father of Seth C. Foster, the wealthy manufacturer of Cincinnati, was a pioneer resident of this place, and young Seth was born near here. He went to Cincinnati in the ‘40s, penniless; John D. Norris, another early settler of this place, was born in 1781, and accumulated valuable property. He was with Commodore Perry aboard the frigate Lawrence during his campaign on Lake Erie. He died in 1866. Richard Parker, father of Capt. James D. Parker, the wealthy capitalist, of Cincinnati, was a pioneer resident of this place, and young James was born here, and grew to manhood here. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd, parents of John Uri Lloyd, the novelist, resided here in early days, and taught school here. Thomas Campbell, father of Alexander Campbell, founder of the Christian Church, resided here for a short while, and taught in the public schools. Don Piatt, the writer, and well known in Cincinnati, was born here. David Abbott Piatt, the author of several good stories, is now a resident of this place. These were the early settlers of Tanner’s Station, now the thriving town of Petersburg. The present town of Petersburg was laid off by John J. Flournoy, in 1819. Mr. Flournoy held a grant for several thousand acres of land in this immediate vicinity.  Some time during the ‘30s William Snyder came here from Virginia and erected the Boone County Distillery; at that time and for a number of years whisky and flour were both made in the same building. The property has changed hands several times since Mr. Snyder’s death, and the present mammoth plant is now owned by Freiberg & Workum, of Cincinnati. It is one of the largest in the State. The stone building occupied by John Snelling as a residence was erected by Omer Porter Tousey as a tannery in early days. Mr. Tousey was grandfather of the late Governor Porter of Indiana. Petersburg has a Mayor, Town Council and City Marshall; is the home of several retired rivermen and merchants. Among the enterprising citizens are Capt. Elihu Alden, owner of the steamer Pauline; Col. T.B. Mathews, Superintendent of the Boone County Distilling Company, and Past Grand Chancellor K. of P. of Kentucky and Supreme Representative of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of K. of P. of the World. J. Frank Grant, a wealthy banker, now a resident of Baltimore, and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of I.O.O.F., claims this as his legal residence. Petersburg has the best steamboat landing on the Ohio River between Pittsburg and Cairo, and is surrounded by 10,000 acres of rich bottom land, with good schools and churches. The first compressed yeast ever made in the United States was manufactured here by Louis Tausky, of Cincinnati. Wealthy capitalists have signified their intention of locating a marine way here.


From a newspaper clipping found in the Lloyd Library in Cincinnati.  It's dated August 13, 1903, but there's no other source information available.