Campbell County was the 19th county formed in Kentucky. The law enacting Campbell County was passed on December 17, 1794. The county was formed on May 10, 1795 from parts of Harrison, Scott and Mason Counties. Its boundaries are unchanged since April 30, 1840. It has an area of 151.5 square miles, making it the 116th largest of Kentucky's 120 counties.
Discover the highest point in the county.
Chicago's Newberry Library has posted online a complete set of maps of American counties formations. They start with the date of county formation, and trace every little change to the boundaries after that. Campbell County has had 4 such changes, and you can see Campbell maps here (pdf). To see the counties from which the county was formed, you'll have to download the entire Kentucky state pdf. There's also a feature that you can use to import all this data into Google maps. Good stuff!
|Greetings From Newport, c. 1910||1932 Aerial View of Northern Campbell|
“The town of Cincinnati has 300 families; it grew rapidly due to its army post, but as its location offers no advantage for commerce, very likely when the army has abandoned this place, all business now conducted there will move on over to New-port which, on account of the Licking river facilities, offers all kinds of commercial opportunities.” from Collot's Down the Ohio River, in 1796.
Campbell County sites placed on the National Places of Historical Places are named at this site.
|In 1876, the R. L. Polk Company published The Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory, which listed information about virtually every town in Kentucky. The listings from Campbell County are these:|
|Alexandria||Ten Mile||Pond Creek||Dale||Dayton|
|Flagg Spring||Newport (pdf)|
From George W. Hawes’ Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory, for 1859 and 1860, (all pdf's)
An 1861 Gazetteer describes Newport, here.
|A later Hawes Directory, from 1883-84, listed these Campbell County communities:|
|Kane||Mentor||Newport (pdf)||Ten Mile|
Who's who in Campbell County, 1840.
Shaffer's 1839-1840 Campbell County Directory (pdf)
The 1878 Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky had these entries for folks with a Campbell County connection (all are pdf's)
|Albert S. Berry||Ira Root||O. W. Root||Col. Jas. Taylor||G. B. Hodge|
|G. W. Thornton||R. T. Baker||N. B. Stephens||Gen. Jas. Taylor||H. D. Helm|
|Rev. E. N. Dicken||Edward Reiley||Thomas S. Noble||J. S. Ducker||John Nelson|
|In 1890 there were five Masonic Lodges in Campbell County. Membership rosters here:|
|Persimmon Grove||California||Dayton||Newport 163||Newport 358|
Membership lists from the Masonic Lodges in Campbell County in 1911 are here (pdf's):
|Alexandria||Newport #163||California||Newport #358||Fort Thomas||Dayton|
For membership rolls of ALL Masonic Lodges in ALL cities in Kentucky,
from 1878 thru 1922, they're at the Hathi Trust Digital Library, by individual year.
Membership list of the Newport Knights Templar from 1910 is here.
We'd argue that before TV and radio, Newport residents were more likely to be more well read than we are today, more social than we are today, drunker than we are today, and more likely to attend church than we are today. We'd also argue they were smarter.
Speaking of more social, the WPA compiled a list in 1942 of social organizations in Campbell County. Their Guide to Civilian Organizations lists groups, and officers, but not members. It's 100 pages long, and the whole thing is online at UK.
|Ten Newport slaves escape in 1853, here. (pdf)||“Mrs. General Taylor loses three slaves to the underground railroad, here. Gen. Taylor loses at least one, here.|
|The Boone County Library has a web site detailing known slave escapes from Northern Kentucky. The Campbell only list is here.|
|Campbell County citizen offers $50 for the reward of his runaway slave, here.||Yet more Newport slaves escape, here.|
|The sad story of Polly West, here.||Ten slaves make it to Canada.|
|Twelve escaped, enslaved, Campbell Countians captured in Huron County in 1843.|
|Chancellor Livingston learns that Newport is not exactly where a free man wants to be: story here.||Rybon Mayo may or may not have been a slave escaped from Campbell County. More here.|
|Slavery in 1835 Newport, here.||Slavery, in 1841 Newport, here.|
|Kentucky and Ohio Governor's differ and how to treat an escaped Newport slave, here.|
|When the Cincinnati judge rules you a free Negro, you get taken to a Newport judge. Story here.||Newport makes strong attempt to rid the city of free Negroes, here.|
“On Tuesday morning, Dec. 28th, a runaway negro, the property of Mr. Stark, of Campbell county, Kentucky, was captured in attempting to cross the Ohio, below Ludlow.” Sacramento Daily Union, January 26, 1859
|An ugly slavery scene from Newport, in 1851, is here.||
Slave kidnappers in Campbell County, here.
In 1853, a free born Black woman, Henrietta Wood, is lured into Kentucky and made a slave by the Sheriff, who sells her, literally, down the river. In 1878 she returns. And sues. And wins. Read it here.
The Fort Thomas-Alexandria Omnibus
Ice was a huge problem for rivermen before the current set of Ohio River Locks and Dam raised the pool level.
This is a Paul Briol photo, c. 1940, from a Facebook post by Barbara Blum
|Dr. Paul Tenkotte, Steve Preston, and others have written “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020,” appearing on-line in the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Good stuff. We've linked them in here:|
|1: Introduction||2: Early Ohio Valley||3: The Taylors||4: Jas Taylor & First Public School|
|5: Newport Barracks||6: The Taylor Mansion: Bell Vue||7: Covington-Newport Bridge||8: The Lumpkins|
|9: Lietch's Station||10: Gen. Sydney Sherman||11: Jacob Fowler||12: John Thompson|
|13: Newport Barracks||14: The Shaler Family||15: Abolitionism||16: Wm. Bailey, part 1|
|17: Wm. Bailey, part 2||18: Civil War Loyalties||19: Wiedemann||20: Pandemics|
|21: Cote Brilliante||22: Buena Vista||23: Southgate Street School||24: The Floods of 1883 and 1884|
|25: 1907 Flood||26: VE-Day, May 8, 1945||27: Newport’s Turnverein||28: The 1937 Flood|
|29: Newport Inventors||30: Womens' Suffrage, #1||31: Womens' Suffrage, #2||32: Clifton|
|33: Uncle Vincent||34: Newport High||35: Glaciers||36: Flora & Fauna|
|37: Schools||38: Mansion Hill||39: Short Way Bridge||40: Pearl Bryan|
|41: Germans in Newport||42: Dr. Alvin Poweleit||43: Steel Strike||44: Prostitution, Progressivism and Prohibition|
|45: Thomas P. Anshutz||46: Cosmopolitan Newport||47. Judaism in Newport||48. Protestants in Newport|
|49. Catholicism in Newport||50: Catholic Secondary Schools||51: Local Indian Tribes||52: Southgate House|
|53: Architectural Treasures||54: Sin City||55: George Ratterman|
|“John Grant was the 1st white man who settled in the territory we now know as Kenton County. His settlement was made on Licking River some 13 miles from its mouth. The place was afterwards dignified with the name of Wilmington, and there the 1st court for Campbell County, then including all this region, was held.” the Paris, Ky. Western Citizen, March 21, 1851, in the Draper Papers, 11CC48, before Kenton was split off from Campbell.|
|Wilmington established in 1793. In what is now Kenton County.||A discussion of what variety of strawberries grow best in Campbell County, from 1855.|
|You can find out more about Newport history, by visiting the East Row Historic District's site, here.||A History of the Alexandria Pike, from 1934, is here. (pdf)||A status report from the Superintendent of Schools in Campbell County from 1900 is here. The 1907 report is here.||John Woods visits Newport and Campbell County in 1820. His comments are here.|
|Temple Perrin moves his farm from Campbell to Grant County.||Mrs. William Knable's Stone Houses in Campbell County is here. (pdf)||A list of the first automobiles registered for Campbell County is here.||Leola Heilman writes a few words on the Early Schools of Campbell County, here. (pdf)|
|The story of Campbell County's four (4) county seats is here.||Thomas P. Crothers brief Campbell County history from 1917 is here. (pdf)||Story of the 1883 Flood in Newport, Bellevue, and Dayton is here.|
|A love triangle, violence, and an evaluation of women, from 1857, here.||1861 law covered which birds you can and can not kill in Campbell County.||Eloping couple barely make it, here.||A census of Campbell Baptist Churches from 1937 is here.|
|In 1906, the Courier-Journal published a list of out-of-state residents who would come home to Campbell County.||A history of the Campbell Association of Baptist Churches is here.|
|Henry Lindsey's 1953 Early History of Newport and Campbell County is here. (pdf)||Helen Bradley Lindsey's Early Days in Campbell County, Kentucky, 1790-1850, is here. (pdf)||A little information on how the mails moved, in 1832, in southern Campbell, here.||The 1939 Campbell County Baptist Association published a list of it's member churches, with membership and pastors, here.|
|A summary of all the crime in Newport, 1912, here.||The extent of Glaciers in Campbell County is explained here.||
In 1937 UK released surveys of known archaeological sites by county. Campbell County’s is here. (pdf)
|Northern Kentucky Bridges, by Margaret Strebel Hartman, is here. (pdf)||Cincinnatians come to Newport to fight their duel, here.||Some Campbell Co Cemetery records are at this site, and at this site.||Horace Lurton, Supreme Court Justice, was born in Newport. There's a biography at this site.|
|Jim Randall's Historical Sketches of Southern Campbell County is here. (pdf)||The Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, on their 25th anniversary, published their history, and a membership list, both here. (pdf)||In 1861, the New York Times had a war correspondent in Newport. One of his reports is here. (pdf)||In 1969, Edna Talbott Whitley compiled a list of Cabinetmakers in Kentucky. The Campbell County portion of that list is here.|
|The Interstate Commerce Commission has issued reports twice on Campbell County train wrecks, both on the C&O. One on an incident in Dayton, in September of 1924 is here; and one on a wreck at Silver Grove on June 8, 1912, is here.||In 1876, every county in America was supposed to write its history as a part of America's Centennial Celebration. Some counties did, some didn't. Campbell County did. It was written by Mary Keturah Jones, and it's here. (pdf)|
|The first child in Campbell, here.||Population of the 39 towns of Campbell Co, circa 1930, here.||Lots of good Campbell County information at their RootsWeb site, here.||Campbell County Officials, in 1847, here.|
|The Newport sports arena, a story a few months before the Great Depression.||Donald Grosenbach's Campbell County Place Names is here. (pdf)
An older, more detailed, uncredited account of Campbell County town names is here. (pdf)
|Margaret Strebel Hartman's Campbell County Kentucky: History and Genealogy is here (pdf).||Campbell County voting precincts altered. In 1796.|
|Newport's Alamazoo Jennings made it to Major League Baseball for one game. Three at bats, no hits, one walk, but four errors. Oops.||You can find lots of additional Newport and Campbell County images at the Cincinnati Public Library's site. Try here.|
|The City of Newport's site is here.||Lawyers of Campbell County, 1872, here.||Campbell County's Official Site is here.|
|In 1930, Kentucky Progress Magazine ran a feature letting each of Kentucky's counties list their accomplishments for 1929. What Campbell County came up with is here. (pdf)||“General Phil Sheridan passed us yesterday while he was in procession and never tipped his hat. Probably he didn't know us, as we got a new hat since we played together in old man Handwerker's Band in Somerset, Ohio” - George Dittoe, editor, Newport Local, Sept. 11, 1879.|
|James Taylor's party attacked in the wilderness, in 1784, here.||Seduction and Marriage in 1857 Newport, here.||Campbell County lists its achievements for 1929, here.||Civil War prisoners from Campbell County, here.|
|A list of the thirteen locally owned Savings and Loan institutions that have been in Campbell County, here.||Campbell County's Historical Markers are listed at this site.||A Mt. Olivet man advocates a trolley line which would take this route thru Campbell County.||A site dedicated to the bridges of Campbell County is at this site.|
|If you go to Google Books and search for “Kentucky Public Documents Decoursey” (no quotes), you can find a government report with exhaustively detailed depositions given in regard to election fraud in Campbell and Pendleton Counties in 1865. It's good, detailed stuff, especially for the time period. On the other hand, if you download the pdf - and you can, free - note that it's 781 pages long.|
|“September 14, 1865. In Campbell co., the board of contested elections decided that on August 7 ”there was such an interference at the various voting places, by armed soldiers, who so governed and controlled the election as to render it invalid, null and void;“ they adjudged Thos. Jones, the incumbent, not lawfully elected clerk of circuit clerk, and declared the office vacant.” - from Collins' History of Kentucky|
|“Covington, Ky., Oct. 26, - At a late hour Sunday night a forest fire, covering an are of a square mile, was raging the Kentucky hills, near Bellevue. At 11:30 the fire was confined to the Goodrich and Kruchosser farms, but was spreading rapidly. All the farmers of the neighborhood were at work checking the progress of the fire to prevent it from reaching the farm buildings.” from the Breathitt County News, October 30, 1903|
|Margaret Strebel Hartman wrote an analysis of Tradesmen in Newport, 1839-1840. We've broken it into two parts, the actual list of the tradesmen, which is here, and her commentary on the list here. (Both pdf's)||“While down in Campbell County last week, we were in the neighborhood where the convicts are working on the Maysville and Big Sandy Railroad. There are about 80 of these unfortunate beings at work down there in California.” from Maysville's Daily Evening Bulletin, August 13, 1886|
|“Fifteen men started the twenty-five mile road race from Newport to Alexandria, Ky, and return on October 15 . A large crowd witnessed the finish. The result 1. A. Donaldson; 2. Chas. Longley; 3. E. Willis; 4. L. Rambo. The race was for a medal to be contested three times before becoming the property of the winner.” from The Wheel, October 28,1892||“Eighty-four licensed coffee-houses and taverns have been reported to the clerk of Campbell county.” from the Courier-Journal, January 28,1870|
|If you lost a horse in Campbell County in 1806, evidently the Indians found it for you. Details here.|
|C. 1928, the Kentucky Opportunities Department published a fact sheet about Campbell County for potential businesses that might be interested. You can read it here. (pdf)||“Newport, Ky., Aug. 17- At a meeting of the Campbell County Druggists' association here it was decided, it was said, in view of the cut rate war that is now going on between the druggists of Bellevue and Dayton, Ky., to rule these two cities out of the local association.” from Richmond, Kentucky's The Climax, August 24, 1904|
|In 1956, a Newport representative to the Kentucky legislature, Morris Weintraub, introduced a bill to merge the cities of Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, Fort Thomas, Southgate, Wilder and Woodlawn.||“The editor of the Newport (Ky.) Daily News boasts that he is now in the seventh year of his editorial life, publishing the only daily Anti-Slavery paper in the Unites States, and the only weekly Anti-Slavery paper in a slave holding State.” NY Times, April 29, 1856|
|Who went to the penitentiary from Campbell County from 1808 to 1830, and why? There's a list, here.||A listing all the schools, now and then, of Campbell County. Here.||The Thompson submachine gun was created by Newport's own John Taliaferro Thompson. There's a biography of him at Wikipedia, and a page on the Tommy Gun he created is also at Wikipedia.||Detailed Presidential voting statistics from Campbell County are here.|
|We recommend the map of all the old Northern Kentucky Trolley lines at this site.||Summary of the 1937 flood at various Campbell locations, here. Also, here's (pdf) an excerpt from a 1938 UK thesis on the 1937 flood in Campbell County.|
|The Sociology Department at UK did a study in 1931 and found 111,452 radio's in 610,288 households in Kentucky. Campbell County had the highest ratio of any county in the state at 51% (Kenton was second at 48%, while Jefferson had 34%.) Fort Thomas led all cities with 73% of households having radios. Covington had 46% while Newport had 45%. - Louisville Courier Journal, 12-27-1931.|
|Final piece of I-471 opens. Story here.||The Banks of Campbell County, c. 1910, here.||Starting in 1876, you can no longer let your livestock roam freely in Campbell County. Details.|
|Mary Lee Caldwell's History of Education of Campbell County contained a list of the 18 Catholic Schools of Campbell County. Her history of those schools is in a pdf, here.||Miss Caldwell also bothered to look up the deeds and locations of Campbell County one-room schools.|
|“A negro eloped with and married a white girl in Campbell county, Ky., and officers were sent to arrest him. The negro shot two of his pursuers, and tried to shoot his wife's father and brother. That night he was found dead with six bullet wounds in his body.” Daily Alta California, January 6, 1877||“September 28, 1866. An immense crowd, estimated at over 10,000 people, were present at the hanging, at Newport, Campbell Co., of Allen P. Eggleston, alias Walter P. Watson, for the murder of Captain Salmon P. Mentor, leader of the celebrated “Mentor's Band” of musicians.” - from Collins' History of Kentucky|
|Patrick Burns hung, c. 1838.||Earthquake, 1931.||Newport man rows a boat to Pittsburgh.||Cake Eaters.|
|“The Sheriff of Campbell County, Ky., lately borrowed of the Sheriff of Cincinnati a gallows.” Spirit of the Times, August 4, 1838||Results of the election to merge Newport with Bellevue, Dayton, and the Highlands.|
|A collection of photos from the Cincinnati, Newport& Covington Railway (trolley cars) is at this site.||In 1867, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, a forerunner to the Reds, played the Holts of Newport three times. On May 30, Newport lost 82 to 33, on June 22, Newport lost 93 to 22, and on September 2, the Holts lost 109 to 15.||Ever hear about Peter Kline being taken from a Newport jail on March 17, 1879 and lynched in Fort Thomas? Read the Enquirer's version here, and the follow-up here. Where did he hang? Here.||There's a brief text of the History of Fort Thomas at the city's site.|
|The Campbell County Historical & Genealogical Society' site is here.||Grand jury looks into Campbell County Ku Klux Klan, 1918.||The 1866 hanging of Albert Eggleston.||A look back at the Eggleston hanging and others in 1895.|
Jacob Schuenth is also threatened.
Background on the Night Riders and the Tobacco Wars of 1908 is here.
|from the [Inland] Waterways Journal, October 17, 1896, and October 29, 1892|
|River boats could cope with water more shallow that one would guess, but even they had their limits|
|This list of Campbell County deaths from WWII is from the National Archives. There's a key
to what the various abbreviations mean here. The list:
|Ader through Jackson||Johnston through Smith||Stahl through Zint||The World War I list is here.|
|Report on Campbell County Kentucky from The Handbook of Kentucky from the Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture, 1908 is here.|
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's assessment of agriculture in Campbell County, in 1898-1899 can be found here. (pdf)
|In 1919, there was a farm census, counting livestock, crops and farms. Campbell County's is here.|
On August 4, 1852, the Cincinnati Daily Gazette published the State of Kentucky’s Hog Assessment – the number of hogs over 6 months old per county. The number in Campbell County was 1,068.
|“The 1860 federal census indicated that Kentucky had become the third largest grape producing state in the nation, with 170,948 gallons. Northern Kentucky counties combined produced more than two-thirds of the state output: Campbell County leading the state with 74,520 gallons”Andrea Dee, writing in Northern Kentucky Heritage, Spring-Summer 2012.|
John Stevens was born in near Alexandria in 1796. He wrote a series of letters to the Newport Local in 1879 recounting the events of his early life, and life in early Campbell County. Follow the links below for the various letters.
|November 7, 1878
||November 14, 1878
||November 28, 1878
|December 5, 1878
||December 12, 1878
||December 19, 1878
|December 26, 1878||January 2, 1879||January 9, 1879|
|January 16, 1879||January 23, 1879||January 30, 1879|
|February 6, 1879||February 13, 1879|
There are also Campbell Counties in these states:
|Little Bear, 10 years later||The Cree, at the Cincinnati Zoo|
Was the Cincinnati Zoo saved from financial ruin, in 1895, by Cree Indians, from Canada, who found
themselves abandoned by a wild west show in Bellevue and Fort Thomas? Yup.
We can't make up stuff this good. Read all about it here.
|“A LARGE ELM TREE which began to show symptoms of decay, was chopped down recently on the farm of Mr. Cozzens, in the southern part of Campbell county, Ky., when the skeleton of a woman, with a little dried, shriveled flesh adhering to the bones, was found in a cleft of the tree about 20 feet from the ground.” Sacramento Daily Union, August 3, 1855|
Campbell County Horses lost and found
from the Kentucky Gazette, 1795. Keep in mind Campbell was a lot bigger then . . .
There have been over 45 differently named post offices in Campbell County. The full list is here.
Robert Rennick wrote this essay (pdf) on the histories of Campbell County towns, with an emphasis on the post offices. Good stuff.
|Here's a curious collection of documents from the 1860-1940's, from the post office, with town names, maps, and name changes. You really should start here, and they might make more sense to you. All are pdf's.|
|Cold Spring||Dale||Dayton||Flagg Spring||Fort Thomas|
|Grants Lick||Gubsers Mill||Hawthorne||Johns Hill||Kane|
|Newport||Oneata||Pond Creek||Pooles Creek||Ross|
|Rouse||Schoolfield||Silver Grove||Southgate||Ten Mile|
|Tibbats Cross Roads||Trace|
Additional Links that apply to all of Northern Kentucky Views, and may or may not
be related to Campbell County, are on the main Links & Miscellany page, here.