Richard Pretlow Ernst

Richard Pretlow Ernst, a member of the Cincinnati bar and the Kentucky Bar, was born in Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky, February 28, 1858, and was one of a family of nine children born to William and Sarah A. (Butler) Ernst.

 Mr. Ernst was educated until 1869 in the private schools conducted in Covington by Mrs. Caddie Madeira and Sackett Meade, well remembered in that city, and then he became a student at Chickering's Academy, Cincinnati, being graduated there in the class of 1874.  He then entered Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, from which institution he graduated as valedictorian of his class, in June, 1878.  In the succeeding October, Mr. Ernst entered the Cincinnati Law School, where was graduated in the class of 1880.  Prior to this, in October, 1879, he entered the law offices of King, Thompson & Maxwell, and upon graduating began to practice, still remaining with this firm.  Later when Mr. Maxwell withdrew from the firm and a new partnership was formed, Mr. Ernst became a member of this firm, with Rufus King, Samuel J. Thompson, Channing Richards and George K. Thompson.  Although this partnership was dissolved in February 1889, Mr. Ernst continued his association with the members of this firm, occupying the same offices and acting as counsel with this firm in many cases.  Mr. Ernst is now a partner in the law firm of Ernst, Cassatt & McDougall, of Cincinnati, which firm has a large law practice both in Cincinnati and in Covington, Kentucky, where Mr. Ernst resides.

 On September 28, 1886, Mr. Ernst was married to Susan Brent, who was born in Covington, Kentucky, and is the daughter of Hugh T. and Carrie (Russell) Brent.  Two children have been born to them: Sarah Anna and William, Jr.  Since July, 1891, Mr. Ernst has been a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Covington.  He is president of the Young Men's Christian Association, which he assisted to organize in Covington, and is deeply interested in and an active supporter of the different benevolent and charitable institutions of the city. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Western College for Women at Oxford, Ohio.

 Politically he has been a life-long Republican and has been very active in local politics.  From 1885 to 1893 he was a member of the city council and was the first president of that body, of his political faith, elected since the Civil War, serving as such three years.  For years he has been chairman of the Kenton County Republican Executive Committee, and a member of the State Central Republican Committee of Kentucky.

 Until his marriage, Mr. Ernst resided in the old Northern Bank Building, where he was born, and which had been the home of his father for 39 years. 


From Greve's 1904 Centennial History of Cincinnati.