Following its founding in 1788, expansive development characterized the first forty years of Cincinnati's history. Citizens, aware of their city's growing prosperity, began to refer to Cincinnati as the Athens of the West and as the Queen of the West or simply the Queen City. In 1819, commenting on this rapid expansion, an article in the Inquisitor and Cincinnati Advertiser stated, "The City is, indeed, justly styled the fair Queen of the West: distinquished [sic] for order, enterprise, public spirit, and liberality, she stands the wonder of an admiring world" (Cincinnati Museum). In much the same spirit, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem entitled "Catawba Wine" (1854) that honored the city's beautiful vineyards:
And this Song of the Vine,
This greeting of mine,
The winds and the birds shall deliver,
To the Queen of the West,
In her garlands dressed,
On the banks of the Beautiful River.
A CHARGED ARENA
Because of its importance as a river town and to the Underground Railroad movement, Cincinnati was seen as an economically and culturally diverse city. Just across the river from the slave state Kentucky, Cincinnati had such a large black community that a runaway slave could blend in without being noticed. White abolitionists, freed blacks, and others associated with the Underground Railroad could then provide them with food, shelter, and safety. Cincinnati's location also encouraged trade, increase in population, and real estate development. This increase in population was a result of the influx of immigrants into the city. In 1850 nearly half, or 51,171 out of the 115,438 Cincinnati residents, were foreigners (Hastings, p. 455). Plentiful work attracted many different ethnic and racial immigrants, the largest being Germans and freed African Americans.
The publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1851–1852 and passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 contributed to the domestically and internationally racially charged arena in which Cincinnati existed. According to James Walvin,
The Fugitive Slave Law stated that any federal marshal who did not arrest an alleged runaway slave could be fined $1,000. People suspected of being a runaway slave could be arrested without warrant and turned over to a claimant on nothing more than his sworn testimony of ownership. A suspected black slave could not ask for a jury trial nor testify on his or her behalf. Any person aiding a runaway slave by providing shelter, food, or any other form of assistance was liable to six months' imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. (P. 29)
This law especially affected Cincinnati due to the influx of runaway slaves to the city. As David F. Ericson has observed, dynamic political, social, and cultural transformations brought on by the impending sectional division of the Civil War—with Cincinnati very divided on slavery issues—prompted racial as well as moral issues (pp. 121–123).
LITERARY INTEREST AND ATTENTION
The appeal of Cincinnati often drew writers and orators. The attraction of authors to the area resulted in public lectures, some of which addressed the fiery issue of slavery from opposite sides of the question, with each side finding a receptive audience in Cincinnati. The proslavery apologist Alexander Kinmont (1799–1838) lectured in Cincinnati from 1837 to 1838; his ideology included what was called "romantic racialism," a patriarchal/familial model that sought to justify slavery as a benevolent institution for "civilizing" slaves (Hedrick, p. 9). Another established essayist and lecturer was Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), whose visits in 1850 are recorded in the archives of the Literary Club of Cincinnati. Emerson's lectures were praised for his "high idealism and his fearless independence of thought" (Hastings, p. 445). By 1857 he had procured a place in Cincinnati cultural life and had become a strong intellectual force in the community. Emerson's last trip to Cincinnati was in 1867.
Moving to Cincinnati with her family in 1832 when her father became head of the Presbyterian Lane Theological Seminary (founded in 1830), Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) became a literary force in the Queen City. In 1836 she married Calvin Stowe, a professor in her father's seminary. The seminary became known for a fierce disagreement between its board of directors and the student/faculty body when the university wanted to endorse abolition but the board of directors disagreed. The subsequent decline in enrollment caused severe financial hardship on the Beecher/Stowe family, and finances served as an additional impetus for the prodigious literary output of Stowe's author wife.
As Joan Hedrick notes, Stowe "used the written word as a vehicle for religious, social, and political purposes" (p. 1). Her topics ranged from domestic culture and politics to male debauchery and incest, resting finally on the issue of racism. Stowe's first stories were written for a group of Cincinnati's notable citizens called the Semi-Colon Club. Stowe transgressed the boundary between public and private spheres for women with the advent of "parlor writing," which when published reached a wide public and in turn promoted social change.
What promoted the most change and resulted in one of the most influential pieces of literature in American history was Uncle Tom's Cabin, a domestic fiction depicting the evil of slavery upon the moral conscience of the proslavery South, which Stowe wrote soon after she moved to Maine from Cincinnati in 1850. This book was published serially in the National Era for nearly a year, from 5 June 1851 to 1 April 1852. The impact of the book on the nation's conscience was astounding. When Stowe visited the White House in 1862, Abraham Lincoln is said to have greeted her by saying, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war" (Hedrick, pp. 7–8). Uncle Tom's Cabin affected not only American audiences but foreign observers as well. Even after Emancipation, Stowe's characterizations of black people continued to be an issue. Her "shrewd sketches of regional types" exposed existing stereotypes of African Americans, including generalizations describing their "childlike dependence" (Hedrick, p. 9).
Even though Uncle Tom's Cabin was not published until 1851, abolitionist writing was not new to the Cincinnati scene. In 1836 the office that housed the abolitionist paper The Philanthropist was broken into and vandalized. Stowe's brother, the Presbyterian minister Henry Ward Beecher, was acting as editor of the paper while James G. Birney was away. When Birney refused to cease publication, some of the most prominent residents of Cincinnati threatened to form a mob (Hedrick, p. 5). According to Peter H. Clark the abolitionist and lecturer Wendell Phillips was likewise threatened by a mob. These racist acts prompted Stowe to write some of her first public remarks regarding slavery in 1836 in a letter she wrote to the editor of the Cincinnati Journal and Western Luminary (Hedrick, p. 5).
Other literature, both pro- and antislavery, was catalyzed by the internationally riveting case of Margaret Garner, a fugitive slave, who with her husband Robert and their children fled from Maplewood Farm and its adjacent plantation in Richwood, Kentucky, across the icy Ohio River into Ohio on 28 January 1856. Surrounded by a U.S. marshal's party, Margaret killed her daughter to keep her from slavery. She was put on trial in Cincinnati, not, ironically, for killing her child but for theft of her child—"property" under the terms of the Fugitive Slave Law. After a month-long trial filled with contentious border politics involving governors of both Ohio and Kentucky, the Garners were remanded to their slaveholders and then sold to Mississippi. Margaret died of typhus in 1856. Her story was widely debated in proand antislavery journalism. The proslavery novel Abolitionism Unveiled; or, Its Origin, Progress, and Pernicious Tendency Fully Developed (1856) by the Kentuckian Henry Field James contained a version of Garner's murder (Weisenburger, p. 264), but the story soon disappeared from Southern consciousness. It became a legend in the North, spawning poems in The Liberator and including two ghost story versions (e.g., Chattanooga  by John Jolliffe; Weisenburger, p. 272). More recently there has been a resurgence in southern consciousness—and controversy—about the story. The Nobel Prize–winner Toni Morrison based Beloved (1998) on the tale of Margaret Garner. The opera houses in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati commissioned the opera Margaret Garner, with Morrison as librettist and the grammy award–winning composer Richard Danielpour as composer. In 2005 it debuted in Cincinnati to full houses and battling editorials about the Margaret Garner story.
The citizens of Cincinnati also expressed their interest in art and music. The prodigality and regional qualities of Cincinnati's culture largely came from its accessible location on the Ohio River. With Ohio on one side and Kentucky on the other, Cincinnati conjoined the colloquial style of the frontier West with the aristocratic and proslavery attitudes of the South to produce a curious blend. In 1851, when a National Portrait Gallery was established, it contained "a collection of notable portraits of distinguished early Americans" (Hastings, pp. 451–452).With the true panache of the city, these portraits—including Beethoven, Schubert, and Mozart—hung in the beer gardens across the canal.
To say that journalism during the antebellum years was a synonym for Cincinnati itself would not be to exaggerate. In 1834 the American Quarterly Review of Andover, Massachusetts, wrote: "Cincinnati now commands in a considerable measure the literary resources of the western valley. . . New York is too deeply imbued with the commercial spirit ever to become the literary center of the country . . . Boston is too far from the southern, western, and even central portions of the country" (Mott 1:386).
From 1820 to 1870 journalism established itself on the forefront of Cincinnati's literary scene. The increase of population and location of the city partially caused this rapid growth of journalism, but what predominantly spurred this emergence was the tumultuous nature of pre–Civil War Cincinnati. Home to both abolitionists and proslavery advocates, Cincinnati seeped with controversy. Given the religious, racial, and political tensions prevalent here, journalists and writers alike rose to the occasion.
Journalism gave Cincinnati, the Athens of the West, a voice to give back to the East. Local humor and regional color were displayed through journalistic endeavors. Numerous literary publications representing the regional character of Cincinnati appeared in the first third of the century. In early 1821 a semimonthly, the Olio, was founded. This newspaper contained "contributions of such industrious collectors of local history as Robert T. Lytle, Dennis McHenry, John H. James, Lewis Noble, and a number of other well-known writers of that time" (Nelson and Runk, p. 257). A year later the actor Sol Smith (1801–1869) established the Independent Press; the popularity of this newspaper can be attributed to its satirical drawings and humorous remarks. That same year John P. Foote (1783–1865) introduced the Cincinnati Literary Gazette. It also gained widespread attention as a result of its notable literature. As with the Olio, much of its information is related to local history, and historians to this day reference it. It also contains some of the first articles written by Benjanim Drake (1794–1841), "who proved himself one of the most industrious local writers of the time" (Nelson and Runk, p. 258).
Writers and journalists continued to undertake measures to demonstrate the flavor of Cincinnati through literature and journalism. In July 1827 the Western Monthly Review appeared with Reverend Timothy Flint (1780–1840) as editor. According to Frank Luther Mott, Flint wrote most of the magazine himself and was "a good interpreter of the West and gave it some literary and critical quality" (p. 387). Its success was short-lived, and it was eventually united with the Cincinnati Mirror, which was edited by a renowned writer of his time, W. D. Gallagher (1808–1894). Gallagher's nature poetry was collected in three volumes entitled Erato (1835–1837), and in 1841 he edited Selections from Poetical Literature of the West, a regional anthology. Gallagher also edited the Western Literary Journal and Monthly Review. According to S. B. Nelson and J. M. Runk, "It was a magazine of considerable pretension and real excellence—the largest, until then, established in the West" (p. 262). Almost a decade later, the Evening Post, a daily noted for its reviews of art, surfaced. Also advocating Cincinnati as the Athens of the West was a journal called the Great West. "The title was as captivating as it was suggestive of a wide field. . . . a strong corps of Cincinnati editors, and all prominent writers throughout the Mississippi Valley, were engaged as paid contributors" (Nelson and Runk, p. 264). The Genius of the West and the Gem, both edited by Howard Dunham and founded in the 1850s, focused on the music and literature of the time. Among those who contributed were the popular New England poet Alice Cary and Gallagher. All of these publications sought to establish Cincinnati as a cultural and political center of the West.
Cincinnati was a hotbed of politics and controversy in this period, so many of its publications were charged with political sentiment. In 1828 Truth's Advocate, a monthly, was published in the political interest of the Kentucky orator and statesman Henry Clay (1777–1852), whose compromise stances on slavery did much to shape pre–Civil War policy. The Democratic Intelligencer, which supported John McLean for president, was founded in 1834. The Chronicle was established in 1830 as "an anti-slavery Whig organ, but stopping short of abolitionism" (Nelson and Runk, p. 262). This newspaper published Harriet Beecher Stowe's first story in 1835. A few years later a Whig paper, the Republikaner, surfaced and became "for ten years the principal appendage of this party in the western States" (Nelson and Runk, p. 261). Its editor, Emil Klauprecht (1815–1896), also wrote several novels as well as a historical work on Ohio.
Because of the large influx of German immigrants to Cincinnati, German newspapers were prominent. The publishers, editors, and subscription lists consisted mostly of foreigners, but the turmoil of the time often directed their efforts toward politics. The Weltbürger, which appeared in 1834, was originally anti-Democratic, but it was eventually renamed Der Deutsche Franklin and encouraged what would turn out to be the successful presidential campaign of the Dutch descendant and Democrat Martin Van Buren. (Van Buren, who had been Andrew Jackson's vice president, would eventually leave the Democratic Party because of his antislavery sentiments.) Perhaps a better-written Democrat paper was the Volksblatt (1836–1840), which Nelson and Runk believe served as a basis for future high standards in Cincinnati journalism. In 1837 the views of the opposing Whig Party surfaced in Westlicher Merkur.
Religious publications were another important part of Cincinnati journalism. Because of Cincinnati's location and variance of opinions, many religious publications at that time capitalized on the political as well as religious tensions prevalent among its citizens. The Cincinnati Journal, an anti-Catholic and antislavery newspaper, was published in 1830. A year later the Baptist Weekly Journal of the Mississippi Valley was founded. It still exists today as the Journal and Messenger and is one of the six oldest remaining Baptist publications. The Book Concern, a publishing company associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, founded the Western Christian Advocate in 1834. In 1841 the Ladies Repository was founded by the Book Concern. According to Mott, "Its material was highly moralized, and was written largely by ministers; the verse was furnished by the Cary sisters, the ubiquitous Mrs. Sigourney . . . with several ballads contributed by . . . Martin F. Tupper, S.C.L., F.R.S." (1:388). The Unitarians founded the Western Messenger in 1835 "under the patronage of the Unitarians of the West" (Nelson and Runk, p. 262). This paper printed contributions from the New England transcendentalists Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Jones Very, and other eastern authors, with a liberal inclusion of British writing (Mott 1:387–388). The first Catholic newspaper, the Wahrheits Freund, made its debut in 1837, and another German-language periodical, Der Protestant, was established shortly thereafter. The Methodist paper Der Christliche Apologete followed in 1838. Its editor, Wilhelm Nast, also founded the SonntagSchule Glocke, a juvenile paper.
Whether locally, politically, or religiously affiliated, the majority of Cincinnati's nineteenth-century newspapers ceased to exist or lost their individuality by being merged with other publications. Nonetheless the history of journalism in Cincinnati is important to its culture and helps to define a distinctive city and its people. As Mott explains:
Cincinnati's ambitious publication efforts grew not so much out of the difficulty of getting eastern periodicals, or the desire (so prominent in the South) to be independent of New York and Boston, as out of the aspiration to create, immediately and impressively, a full-blown civilization, with all its appurtenances and cultivation and refinement. Cincinnati, with its educational institutions, printing presses, churches, and libraries—Cincinnati, the Athens of the West—would lead the way to culture. (1:386)
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. The Oxford Harriet Beecher Stowe Reader. Edited by Joan D. Hedrick. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Cincinnati Historical Society Library. http://www.cincymuseum.org/cmc/collection/.
Clark, Peter H. The Black Brigade of Cincinnati. 1864. New York: Arno Press, 1969.
Ericson, David F. The Debate over Slavery: Antislavery and Proslavery Liberalism in Antebellum America. New York: New York University Press, 2000.
Hastings, Louise. "Emerson in Cincinnati." New England Quarterly 11 (1938): 443–469.
Hedrick, Joan D., ed. The Oxford Harriet Beecher Stowe Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Johnston, John. "Ohio Was Free, Not Safe." (Cincinnati) Enquirer, 1 August 2004. Available at http://www.cincinnati.con/freetime/nurfc/slavery_urailroad.html.
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines. Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1939.
Nelson, S. B., and J. M. Runk. The History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio. Cincinnati: S. B. Nelson, 1894. Available at www.heritagepursuit.com/Hamilton/HamiltonIndex.htm.
Walvin, James. The Slave Trade. New York: Sutton, 1999.
Weisenburger, Steven. Modern Media. New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.
CINCINNATI , S.W. Ohio metropolis. Cincinnati shelters the oldest American Jewish community west of the Alleghenies. It was mid-19th century America's third largest Jewish community.
The first Jew to settle in Cincinnati was Joseph Jonas, who arrived from Plymouth, England, in 1817. Additional Jews from England joined him in ensuing years, and in 1824, the small community met at the home of Morris Moses, and drafted a constitution for the first congregation west of the Alleghenies, K.K. Bene Israel (Rockdale Temple). Toward the end of the 1830s, Jews from Holland, Alsace, and Germany arrived, and in 1840 organized K.K. Bene Yeshurun (Isaac M. Wise Temple) Subsequently, numerous other congregations were founded – especially with the arrival of immigrants from Eastern Europe after 1880. Some 21 synagogues have left a significant history in the city, including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Humanist, and Chabad.
In 1854, Isaac Mayer *Wise was invited to serve as rabbi of Bene Yeshurun. An advocate of "bold plans and grand schemes," he proceeded to establish a series of institutions that became the basis of American Reform Judaism: The Israelite (a weekly newspaper, now The*American Israelite) in 1854; the *Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now Union for Reform Judaism) in 1873, the *Hebrew Union College in 1875 (of which an earlier prototype, Zion College, opened and closed in 1855). The alumni of the latter institution became the *Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1889.
Wise and his friend and colleague Max *Lilienthal, who came to K.K. Bene Israel in 1855 greatly advanced the cause of American Reform. The dominance of the Reform influence in Cincinnati was tempered by the influx of East European immigrants. Shachne *Isaacs arrived from Lithuania as early as 1856, and founded Bet Tefillah, a synagogue thereafter known a Shachne's Shul, and exercising a critical posture toward Reform. Louis *Feinberg who occupied the pulpit of Adath Israel from 1918 to 1949 greatly advanced Conservative Judaism in the city, being the first graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary to hold that position. Strict East European Orthodoxy found a powerful advocate in Eliezer *Silver, head of *Agudat Israel (the *Union of Orthodox Rabbis), who was brought to Keneseth Israel in 1931. Silver greatly strengthened the institutional structures of Orthodoxy. He also helped to organize the Va'ad ha-Haẓẓalah, the worldwide rescue effort coordinated by Orthodox Jewry during the Holocaust.
Cincinnati has offered an active and variegated educational and cultural scene. In the 1840s, Bene Israel established the first religious school, and in 1848 Bene Yeshurun opened an all-day school, supplemented by a bequest from Judah Touro, which enabled it to survive as an independent organization, the Talmud Yelodim Institute, until 1868. It then became a Sabbath and finally a Sunday school. In 1914, it became a supplementary school of the congregation. Bene Israel's Noyoth, founded in 1855, merged with it briefly in the 1860s.
In later years, all the major synagogues maintained religious schools. With increasing East European immigration in the 1880s, Moses Isaacs and Dov Behr Manischewitz established a Talmud Torah, which expanded by the early 1900s until 600 pupils sought to attend the school, when only 300 could be accommodated. In 1914, Manischewitz died, and left a bequest of $3,000, which provided the incentive the community needed. $15,000 was raised in just three weeks, and a new and modern building was erected which served the community until 1927. At that time, changed conditions called for the creation of a whole new structure, and a Bureau of Jewish Education was created which coordinated a variety of educational efforts until 1990.
The day school movement did not resume until 1947, when the Orthodox Chofetz Chaim (now Cincinnati Hebrew Day School) was created. In 1952, a non-Orthodox day school, Yavneh, was founded, and in 1988, a Hebrew high school for girls (ritss: the Regional Institute for Torah and Secular Studies.)
In 1972, a Judaic Studies program was launched at the University of Cincinnati. An active Hillel organized in 1948 was greatly expanded in the 1970s by Rabbi Abie Ingber, who brought the student association into the larger community through innovative programming. The Cincinnati Kollel was inaugurated in 1995 and, in 1991, a branch of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, which, in its 10 years of existence, offered more than 1,000 adults a significant experience of Jewish literacy. Similar ventures followed and during the 1990s and early 2000s, most congregations offered programs for adult learners, from the Orthodox Neshama to the Reform Eitz Chaim, and the Institute for Interfaith Studies offered by huc-jir.
The Hebrew Union College continues to be an important centerpiece for the city's Jewish community. In 1948, a merger with Stephen S. Wise's Jewish Institute of Religion created a New York presence for the combined institution, and the dedication of campuses in Los Angeles and Jerusalem elevated the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to international stature. In 1948, Professor of History Jacob Rader Marcus proposed the establishment of the American Jewish Archives on the Cincinnati campus. At his death in 1998, Marcus left a legacy of $4 million to the institution, which allowed for the renovation and expansion of the institution, completed in 2005 under the direction of Rabbi Gary P. Zola In addition to the Rabbinical School, the Archives, the Graduate School, and the Academy for Adult Interfaith Study, the Cincinnati campus includes an Archaeology Center; a Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems, a Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, the Skirball Museum Cincinnati, the Klau Library, containing one of the world's largest collections of printed Judaica, and the Dalsheimer Rare Book Room, which exhibits treasured illuminated manuscripts, communal records, and biblical codices. In 2005, grants from the Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation and the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati inaugurated an expansion and renovation program for the Cincinnati campus.
Philanthropy was for many years the hallmark of Cincinnati Jewish life. A benevolent society was founded in 1838, followed by the multiplication of charitable and social service organizations. By the middle 1890s, with the rise of new organizations necessitated by the influx of East European immigrants, a score of organizations, a United Jewish Charities was created under the leadership of Max *Senior and Bernhard Bettman. In 1910, over $117,000 was raised, the highest per capita contribution of any Jewish community in the U.S.
In 1904, Moscow-born Boris *Bogen came to Cincinnati to serve as its director of the United Jewish Charities. Described by Max Senior as "the greatest social agency find that had ever been made in America," Bogen was responsible for the professionalization of social work, not only in Cincinnati but throughout the United States.
In 1924, the organization's name was changed to the United Jewish Social Agencies, its board having decided that the term "charities" did not convey the preventive and rehabilitative nature of its work.
Over the years, the fundraising and social service functions diverged but, in 1967, the Jewish Welfare Fund and the Associated Jewish Agencies merged again to form the inclusive Jewish Federation. In 2004, this agency raised and allocated $6 million for education, elderly services, family and children, and national and overseas needs, including Israel.
Cincinnati Jews have also been deeply involved in non-Jewish charities, and private philanthropy has also played an important role. The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation established in 1986 has made significant contributions to the city in the areas of the arts, education, children's services, inclusion of the disabled, medicine, and the vibrancy and continuity of Jewish culture. Other important contributors to the city's institutions include Samuel and Rachel Boymel, the Paul Heiman Family, and Claire and Charles Philips.
Cincinnati holds the distinction of establishing in 1850 the first Jewish hospital in the United States. In 1996, the institution merged with the Greater Cincinnati Health Alliance, but unlike its counterpart in other cities, has kept its original name and its association with the Jewish community. In the course of this merger, the reserves of the hospital, largely accumulated during the previous two decades under President Warren Falberg, became the basis of a new agency, the Jewish Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, with a board of trustees which deliberates over the capital proposals presented to it by community institutions.
In the 1880s, a Jewish Home for the Aged and Infirm (later Glen Manor) was created on the grounds of the Jewish hospital. In 1914, an Orthodox Jewish Home for the Aged was established, but despite numerous proposals to unite the two, they remained separate for 80 years. In the 1990s, the migration of the Jewish community to the northern suburbs necessitated the removal of both homes to a new location, and the merger was finally accomplished with the creation of Cedar Village, in which Reform and Orthodox senior citizens live together more or less amicably. The institution is staffed by both an Orthodox and a Reform rabbi, and an Orthodox synagogue and a Reform temple offer worship services side by side.
Cincinnati Jewish newspapers have included the weekly English-language Israelite (now the American Israelite) founded 1854, the German-language *Die Deborah (1885–1900), both founded by I.M. Wise; The Sabbath Visitor (1874–93); and the weekly Every Friday (1927–65), also in English, and founded by Samuel Schmidt. A glossy bi-monthly magazine, Jewish Living, edited by Karen Chriqui, was launched in 2004, and has sought, like the Every Friday, to mirror the range of Jewish life in the city. A Jewish Community Center was founded in 1932 as a product of many mergers and reorganizations dating back to the establishment of the ymha in the 1860s, and incorporating the functions of the Jewish Settlement (1896) and the Jewish Community House. In 1935, the "Center" opened its own doors, then followed the migration of the community northward, occupying a single postwar location for almost 40 years. Other active community agencies include a chapter of the American Jewish Committee, chapters of Hadassah, Women's American Ort, and Na'amat (Pioneer Women). Chapters of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Brandeis University National Women's Committee were forced to close in the 1990s due to a lack of volunteer resources in a situation of increasing female employment. The Poale Zion chapter and its successor, the Labor Zionists of Cincinnati, enjoyed a 52-year life before concluding activities in 1980. Chapters of Young Judea and Habonim have also closed, partly through the decline of the parent organizations.
As in other communities, Jews have become active in support of local, non-Jewish institutions of culture. Several such institutions, such as Pike's Opera House, Fleischmann Gardens, the Krohn Conservatory, the Robert Marx Playhouse in the Park, the Seasongood Pavilion, and the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Contemporary Art Center, display the Jewish commitment to local culture in their very names. Others reflect the leadership of Jews in various aspects of public life, such as the Aronoff Center for the Arts, and the Aronoff Center for Design, Art and Architecture at the University of Cincinnati, named for Stanley Aronoff, a president of the Ohio Senate where he served as legislator for 36 years, or the Albert Sabin Convention Center, named for the physician who developed the oral polio vaccine. Beyond this, the Art Museum, the Symphony Orchestra, the Opera, the Ballet, the Public Library, the May Festival, and numerous other cultural programs and institutions have for years depended heavily on Jews for much of their support and patronage. The names of Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan and of Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson are associated with cultural institutions across the board. There have been two Jewish presidents of the University of Cincinnati, Warren Bennis and Henry Winkler, and attorney Stanley Chesley serves as chairman of its Board. An Institute for Learning in Retirement founded the 1980s by Aaron Levine, a former executive of Federated Department Stores, and coordinated by the University, offers dozens of courses conducted by lay facilitators to hundreds of Cincinnatians every year.
Two Jewish country clubs, Losantiville and Crest Hills, which succeeded the downtown social clubs of an earlier era (the Harmonie, the Phoenix, the Allemania) merged in 2004 to form the Ridge Club. The Phoenix, which was founded in 1856 as "a German organization of Jewish men," erected a three-story building in downtown Cincinnati in 1895, which was restored and reopened 100 years later as a restaurant and catering establishment.
Jews have been represented in nearly every sector of the Cincinnati economy. The peddlers of the early years gave way to dry goods merchants who became the founders of the city's major department stores: Rollman's, the Paris, Giddings, and Jenny's, which merged to become Gidding-Jenny's, the city's high-fashion women's store. The progress from peddler to country merchant to wholesaler or manufacturer especially characterized the careers of those who came in the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s. Those who came in the 1850s and 1860s followed a somewhat different pattern, sometimes expanding one or another aspect of the local business, or opening branch operations in areas nearby.
In 1928, the Lazarus family of Columbus, Ohio, bought into the retail business of John Shillito, a department store established in the 1830s, and made it one of the leading stores of the area. A year later, Fred Lazarus Jr. became a prime mover in the formation of Federated Department Stores, one of American's leading mercantile empires. Fechheimer Uniform was for many years a leading manufacturer of specialized clothing. Standard Textile, a business established by the Heiman family coming out of Hitler's Germany, was in 2004 one of the largest privately owned corporations in the city.
By the 1930s, while the clothing trade still employed a large number of Jews, many were entering the white collar occupations and professions. Jews were well represented in the medical and legal communities. Dr. Maurice Levine entered the department of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati Medical School, and through his teaching and authorship of more than 20 books, helped to integrate the profession of psychiatry into mainstream medicine in America. In the 1970s, attorney Stanley Chesley pursued a class action lawsuit on behalf of victims of a devastating fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club, and went on to defend victims of the tobacco industry and of silicone breast implants, becoming one of the best known class action lawyers in the United States. Others entered the real estate business, and in 2004, a number of areas of the city (Mt. Adams, Kenwood, and the University area) were developed or rehabilitated by Jews. The firm of Heidelbach and Seasongood (later Seasongood and Mayer) were the first investment bankers in the city. In 1895, Maurice Freiberg served as president of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. In 2001, Michael Fisher became director of the same organization, helping to improve and promote the business environment of his city of residence.
In addition to their achievements in the economic realm, Cincinnati's Jews have long aspired to civic leadership. A 1904 account lists 50 different Cincinnati Jews who held public office prior to that time. Gilbert Bettman (1881–1942) served two terms as Ohio attorney general, then was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. His son, Gilbert Bettman, Jr. was elected Municipal Court judge, then became presiding judge, and was elected to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Other Jewish judges include Robert Kraft of the Court of Common Pleas, Burton Perlman, chief bankruptcy judge of the Southern District of Ohio, Marianna Brown Bettman of the First Appellate District of Ohio, and Susan Dlott of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, the latter occupying the Federal judicial seat vacated by S. Arthur Spiegel, also a Cincinnatian. Stanley Aronoff served as state senator for 36 years, becoming president of the Ohio Senate in 1987. There have been six Jewish mayors of Cincinnati. In 1900, two Jews actually ran against each other for this office, Julius Fleischmann, who won, and Alfred M. Cohen, who later served as international president of B'nai B'rith. Perhaps the most important Jewish contribution to civic betterment was the Good Government Movement of the 1920s, which culminated in the passage of a new city charter in 1924, and the adoption of a city manager form of government. Murray Seasongood, the Jewish lawyer who spearheaded the anti-corruption campaign against Boss Cox had a vision of how local government could work better and more efficiently.
Members of the Cincinnati Jewish community have become increasingly prominent on the national scene. Attorney Stanley Chesley serves on the board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, and in 1992 became national vice chairman of the United Jewish Communities. Since 1998, he has served as pro bono counsel for the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and associated institutions. He has been president of the Jewish Federation, and Chairman of the Board of the University of Cincinnati, 1988 to 1992. His wife is U.S. district judge Susan Dlott. Jerome Teller, also an attorney and past president of the Jewish Federation, serves on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and is national chairperson of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
Jewish Residential Movement
Jewish residential movement reflects Cincinnati's metropolitan growth. The 19th century Downtown and West End centers shifted in the early 1900s to the "hilltop suburbs" of Walnut Hills and Avondale; then, beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, to outlying suburbs, with movement continuing into the 2000s. This suburbanization is reflected in the movement of synagogues and other communal institutions, but the community faces a problem of increasing dispersion, as well as a decline from its earlier population "highs" of 20–25,000 to the 2005 estimate of 17,500.
B. Bogen, Born A Jew (1930); B. Brickner, "Jewish Community of Cincinnati 1817–1933" (Ph. D. diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1933); J.G. Heller, As Yesterday When it is Past (1942); P. Laffoon IV, "Cincinnati's Jewish Community," in: Cincinnati Magazine, 10 (April 1977); D. Philipson, My Life as an American Jew (1941); J. Sarna and N. Klein, The Jews of Cincinnati (1989); I.M. Wise, Reminiscences (1901).
[Nancy Klein (2nd ed.)]
A tour of Cincinnati can begin downtown at Fountain Square, the site of the Tyler Davidson Fountain, one of the city's most revered landmarks, which was made in Munich, Germany, and erected in 1871. Several historic monuments, including statues in honor of three United States presidents—James A. Garfield, William Henry Harrison, and Abraham Lincoln—are also located in the downtown area.
Eden Park in Mt. Adams, one of Cincinnati's oldest hillside neighborhoods and named after President John Quincy Adams, provides a panoramic view of the city and of northern Kentucky across the Ohio River. In Eden Park the Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory maintains several large public greenhouses showcasing more than 3,500 plant species: the Palm House features palm, rubber, and banana trees in a rainforest setting with a 20-foot waterfall; the Tropical House has ferns, bromeliads, begonias, chocolate and papaya trees, and vanilla vine; the Floral House has seasonal floral displays among its permanent collection of orange, kumquat, lemon, and grapefruit trees; the Desert Garden is home to yuccas, agaves, cacti, and aloes; and the Orchid House displays 17 genera of orchids.
The Cincinnati Zoo, opened in 1872, is the second oldest zoo in the United States. Set on 75 acres, the zoo is home to 510 animal species as well as 3,000 plant varieties. The zoo is recognized worldwide for the breeding of animals in captivity; the zoo park introduced the nation's first insect world exhibit. The zoo features such rare animals as the white Bengal tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, and lowland gorilla, as well as manatees, alligators and crocodiles, orangutans, elephants, giraffes, and polar bears. The zoo's newest permanent exhibit, Wolf Woods, opened in May 2005. Here, visitors can view the rare Mexican gray wolf and other North American animals, including river otters, gray fox, wild turkey, striped skunk, and thickbilled parrots.
Historic houses open for public viewing include the former homes of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin; and William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States. The Harriet Beecher Stowe House displays artifacts of African American history, featuring documents from the Beecher family. The William Howard Taft National Historic Site was Taft's birthplace and boyhood home; several rooms have been restored to reflect Taft's family life. Dayton Street on Cincinnati's West End features restored nineteenth-century architecture. The Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, a national historic landmark, contains 1,000 labeled trees on 733 landscaped acres lined with statuary and sculpture.
Paramount's Kings Island Theme Park, 20 minutes north of Cincinnati, features more than 80 amusement attractions and is known nationally for its daring rollercoasters and water rides, among them The Beast, the world's longest wooden rollercoaster. The nearby Beach Waterpark has nearly 50 waterslides and rides. Sharon Woods Village, in nearby Sharonville, is an outdoor museum of restored nineteenth-century southwestern Ohio buildings. Meier's Wine Cellar, Ohio's oldest and largest winery, offers tours.
Arts and Culture
Many of Cincinnati's cultural institutions date from the mid-nineteenth century, and the city takes particular pride in their longevity and quality. The primary venues for the performing arts are Music Hall which, built in 1878, retains its nineteenth-century elegance and is affectionately known as the city's Grand Dame; and the Aronoff Center for the Arts, opened in 1995, which features three performance spaces as well as the Weston Art Gallery, and presents thousands of exhibits and performances each year. Cincinnati is home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet, and Cincinnati Opera. The symphony, established in 1895, performs classical and pops concert series. The ballet company, based at the Aronoff Center, offers more than 30 performances annually, presenting both classical and contemporary dance. The opera company, the second oldest in the United States, presents four productions during a summer season. Based at Music Hall, a new four-story opera headquarters is being built in the hall's underutilized north wing, scheduled for completion in October 2005.
Riverbend Music Center, an open-air amphitheater designed by noted architect Michael Graves, is the summer performance quarters for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra, as well as the site for concerts by visiting artists. Popular music traditions in Cincinnati include the Matinee Musicale, founded in 1911, the Cincinnati Chamber Music Series, and the Taft Chamber Concerts.
Music in Cincinnati is not limited to the classical tradition. Cincinnati and nearby Covington, Kentucky, support an active jazz club scene. The Blue Wisp Jazz Club features local and national talent.
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, a professional regional theater, is housed in a modern facility in Eden Park. Recipient of the 2004 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Playhouse presents a September-June season of comedies, dramas, classics, and musicals on a main stage and in a smaller theater. The University of Cincinnati's College—Conservatory of Music presents nearly 1,000 events per year and is most noted for its philharmonic orchestra concerts, operas, and musical theater productions; many performances are free. The Showboat Majestic, a restored nineteenth-century showboat on the Ohio River Public Landing, is one of the last original floating theaters still in operation. Performances on the showboat include dramas, comedies, old-fashioned melodramas, and musicals. The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati presents regional, world, and off-Broadway premiere productions at its theater downtown.
In addition to music and performing arts, the visual arts are an integral part of the city's cultural heritage. The Woman's Art Museum Association was responsible for the construction of the Cincinnati Art Museum in 1871; the museum, which has undergone an extensive renovation, houses nearly 100 galleries. Its permanent collection features an outstanding collection of Asian art and musical instruments, and a Cincinnati Wing with local artworks dating from 1788 through the present. Downtown's Taft Museum, housed in an 1820 mansion and formerly the home of art patrons Charles and Anna Taft, was presented as a gift to the city in 1932. The museum holds paintings, decorative arts, sculpture, furniture, and more. The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, also located downtown, opened in 2003 and presents changing exhibitions of modernist art in a variety of forms; its "UnMuseum" is designed for children. A number of art galleries occupy converted warehouses near the shopping district.
Union Terminal, a former train station declared a masterpiece of Art Deco construction when it opened in 1933, has been restored and is home to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. The center includes the Cincinnati History Museum, featuring recreations of historical settings showcasing the city's past; the Museum of Natural History and Science, where visitors can walk through glaciers, explore caves, and learn about the human body; the Cinergy Children's Museum, where kids can climb, crawl, explore, and learn about the world in educational exhibits; and an Omnimax theater. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, opened in 2004, is a 158,000 square-foot facility tracing the 300-year history of slavery in America and highlighting the role of the Underground Railroad. The Cincinnati Fire Museum, located in a 1907 firehouse, exhibits the history of fire fighting in Cincinnati.
Festivals and Holidays
Each year Cincinnati presents a number of festivals that celebrate the city's heritage and institutions. The Celtic Lands Culture Fest in March includes storytelling, dancing, food, music and crafts. The nation's professional baseball season opens in April with the Cincinnati Reds game at Riverfront Stadium. Preceding the game is an Opening Day Parade originating at historic Findlay Market. The Appalachian Festival, held in May, has mountain crafts, live music, dancing, and storytellers; it is said to be the largest craft show in the country. May Festival, a tradition begun in 1873, is the oldest continuing festival of choral and orchestral music in the country. The Taste of Cincinnati celebration held over Memorial Day weekend downtown affords the city's best restaurants an opportunity to feature some of their favorite menu items. Summerfair brings an arts and crafts show to the city's riverfront the second weekend in June. Juneteenth Festival is a celebration of African-American freedom, featuring diverse music and food. The day-long Riverfest celebration on Labor Day honors the area's river heritage and is the city's largest celebration. The festival features water skiing, sky diving and air shows, and riverboat cruises, and is capped by a spectacular fireworks display. The Harvest Home Fair, held the following weekend in nearby Cheviot, features horse, art, and flower shows, a parade, 4-H auction, petting zoo, and more. The Valley Vineyards Wine Festival, also in September, features wine, tours, food, music, camping, arts, crafts and activities. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati features German food, customs, dancing, and beer; downtown streets are blocked off for the festivities. Early December brings Balluminaria at Eden Park, where hot air balloons are lit up at dusk near Mirror Lake.
Popular Christmas-holiday events in Cincinnati include the annual tree-lighting on Fountain Square, the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo, and the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival at Christ Church Cathedral downtown, a Cincinnati tradition since 1940.
Events are held throughout the year in nearby Sharon Woods Village and in the MainStrasse Village in Covington, Kentucky, across the Ohio River.
Sports for the Spectator
The Cincinnati Reds, World Series winners in 1975, 1976, and 1990, is America's oldest professional baseball team; they play their home games at the new Great American Ball Park. Opened in 2003, the park has a seating capacity of 42,059 and is praised for its innovative features, breathtaking views, and tributes to the Reds' rich history. The Cincinnati Bengals, who captured the American Football Championship in 1981 and 1988, play home games at Paul Brown Stadium, opened in 2000. The stadium has a seating capacity of 65,535, on three levels; its open-ended design allows for stunning views of the downtown skyline and the riverfront.
The Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League play at the Cincinnati Gardens. The Cincinnati Cyclones are in the International Hockey League and play at the Crown. The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University provide a schedule of college sports teams and cross-town rivalry in basketball, in which both schools enjoy strong traditions and some national prominence.
Thoroughbred racing takes place at River Downs Racetrack in late April through Labor Day, and at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky, from September through mid-October, and Thanksgiving through mid-April. The Association of Tennis Professionals compete in tournament play each August in nearby Mason.
Sports for the Participant
Cincinnati maintains more than 5,000 acres of park land in attractive urban settings. Alms Park and Eden Park offer dramatic views of the Ohio River and northern Kentucky, and these parks, as well as others, attract joggers because of their natural beauty and challenge for runners. The Cincinnati Nature Center—Rowe Woods is comprised of 1,025 acres with nature trails covering more than 17 miles, and a nature center featuring a bird-viewing area, library, and displays. The 1,466 acres of Mount Airy Forest feature hiking and picnic areas. The city's recreation department sponsors an array of sports from softball to soccer for all age groups and manages neighborhood swimming pools and tennis courts throughout the summer. Sawyer Point on the Ohio River provides facilities for pier fishing, rowboating, skating, tennis, and volleyball.
Shopping and Dining
Cincinnati consists of distinct neighborhoods where shopping districts provide an atmosphere not found in many cities today. The city's revitalization is most evident downtown in the area known as Over-the-Rhine, the old German neighborhood around Vine and Main Streets. There, art galleries, restaurants, and breweries flourish in restored nineteenth-century buildings. Cincinnati's skywalk system connects downtown stores, hotels, and restaurants, allowing visitors to explore the shopping district free of traffic and weather concerns. The downtown Tower Place mixes local and nationally known stores with specialty shops in a compact area. Other downtown Cincinnati shopping highlights include a Lazarus-Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. Neighborhood and suburban shopping districts and malls abound on both sides of the river, and the region offers endless antique shops, boutiques, arts and crafts shops, and ethnic and fashion collections. Other shopping opportunities include large regional malls, factory outlets, discount houses, and museum stores. The Findlay Market, an open-air marketplace that has been in operation since 1852, offers ethnic foods in an old-world atmosphere.
Cincinnati restaurants have been rated highly by critics and travel guides. The city is home to several restaurants that have received critical acclaim nationally, including Maisonette, a French restaurant that has received Five Stars from Mobil for 40 consecutive years. Both the number and variety of first-rate restaurants are impressive. One of Cincinnati's specialties is moderately priced German cuisine. Cincinnati restaurateurs have been successful in opening establishments in architecturally interesting buildings, such as firehouses, police precincts, or riverboat paddle-wheelers. A locally made ice cream, Graeter's, is widely popular, as is a downtown New York-style deli, Izzy's, known for its corned beef. The city's oldest tavern, opened in 1861, is still in business as a bar and grill. Cincinnati chili, Greek in origin, is flavored with cinnamon and chocolate as the "secret" ingredients and served over spaghetti; 3-way, 4-way, or 5-way chili choices consist of various combinations of grated cheese, onions, beans, and oyster crackers.
Visitor Information: Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, 300 West Sixth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202; telephone (513)621-2142
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Cincinnati's diversified economic base includes manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, insurance and finance, education and health services, government, and transportation. Known worldwide for Procter & Gamble soap products and U.S. Playing Cards, the city ranks high nationally in the value of manufacturing shipments. Ten Fortune 500 companies have established headquarters in Cincinnati: AK Steel (steel manufacturer), American Financial (financial services), Ashland Inc. (chemicals), Cinergy Corp. (public utilities), Federated Department Stores (retail stores), Fifth Third Bancorp (financial services), The Kroger Co. (grocery stores), Omnicare (pharmacy services), Procter & Gamble Co. (consumer goods), and Western & Southern Financial (financial services). More than 360 other Fortune 500 companies maintain operations in Cincinnati. Retail sales in the metropolitan Cincinnati area average $2.8 billion annually.
More than one thousand area firms have contributed to Cincinnati's position as an international trade center, generating approximately $6.7 billion in sales to markets outside the United States each year. Foreign investment in the local economy is substantial; more than 300 Cincinnati-area firms are presently owned by companies in Asia (especially Japan), Europe (especially France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), Canada, South America, and Africa. Among these companies are: AEG, Bayer, Faurecia, Krupp-Hoesch, Mitsubishi Electric, Siemens, Snecma, Sumitomo Electric, Toyota Motor Mfg.-North American Headquarters, and Valeo. Toyota, one of Cincinnati's largest employers, chose the greater Cincinnati area for its North American manufacturing plant because, in the words of its Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Dennis C. Cuneo, "The area has an excellent transportation system, a world-class airport, an excellent quality of life and a positive business climate." In 2003, Expansion Management magazine ranked Cincinnati 11th for European investment.
Federal agencies with regional centers located in the city are the United States Postal Service, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The University of Cincinnati, the city's largest employer, has an economic impact of more than $3 billion.
Items and goods produced: aircraft engines, auto parts, motor vehicles, chemicals, valves, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, food and kindred products, playing cards, drugs, cosmetics, toiletries, detergents, building materials, cans, metalworking and general industrial machinery, toys, apparel, mattresses, electric motors, robotics, electronic equipment, housewares, shoes, printing and publishing
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Greater Cincinnati offers a wide range of economic development assistance programs to businesses planning to expand or locate new operations within the 13-county region.
Local organizations offer assistance for small businesses, women, and minority business owners. One such organization, the Cincinnati Business Incubator (CBI), specializes in assisting woman- and minority-owned small businesses operating—or seeking to start a business—in designated Empowerment Zones. CBI offers training and workshops that focus on business skills and profit building.
In Ohio, incentive programs are administered by the Ohio Department of Development, which operates a system of regional development offices. Incentive programs in Ohio include enterprise zones, Community Reinvestment Areas, job creation and training tax credit programs, and a variety of loan programs, as well as machinery and equipment tax credits; research and development, warehouse, and manufacturing equipment sales tax exemption; storage-only warehouse property tax exemption; and tax increment financing.
Job training programs
The City of Cincinnati Employment and Training Division oversees vocational, life, and pre-employment skills training and job placement employment initiatives. Cincinnati Works focuses on four service areas: job readiness, job search, retention, and advancement. Great Oaks Center for Employment Resources offers customized training and services to meet the needs of companies. Services and programs include: Comprehensive vocational assessment, employee assessment, employment services, professional development, job profiling, return to work services, workplace programs, and customized training. TechSolve, a non-profit organization for manufacturers, offers help with change in manufacturing operations; its training programs aim to maintain a high performance workforce.
The Dr. Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center expansion, scheduled for completion in 2006, is projected to have an economic impact of $417 million. The expanded 750,000 square foot center will feature nearly 200,000 square feet of exhibition space. Major developments completed in Cincinnati in recent years include the new home of the Bengals, state-of-the-art Paul Brown Stadium, opened in 2000; and the new home of the Reds, the Great American Ball Park, opened in 2003. Hallmarks of a rebirth of the city's riverfront, the Stadium forms the western anchor of this revitalized area, while the Ball Park forms the eastern anchor. Development of The Banks, a 15-acre, 24-hour urban neighborhood of restaurants, clubs, offices, apartments and homes with sweeping skyline views, has begun to unfold near the Stadium. The Banks is projected to have an economic impact of $1.9 billion. Other developments include the opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in 2004. This new museum offers lessons on the struggle for freedom, and celebrates Cincinnati's role as a transit point for runaway slaves in the mid-1800s. Another museum, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, opened in 2003.
Economic Development Information: Ohio Department of Development, PO Box 1001, Columbus, OH 43216; telephone (800)848-1300
The Greater Cincinnati Airport pumps approximately $4 billion into the local economy; contributing significantly to the region's transportation system, it is considered a major inducement in attracting new industry. The airport is the primary U.S. hub for DHL Worldwide Express, which ships one million pounds of cargo from the airport daily. The area has two foreign trade zones, one in Hamilton County and the other in Boone County, Kentucky near the international airport. Greater Cincinnati has the fifth largest inland U.S. port for domestic loads, with approximately 52.3 million tons of cargo transported annually through Cincinnati on the Ohio River system.
All major markets are easily reached from Greater Cincinnati via interstate. Three interstates (I-71, I-74 and I-75) link Cincinnati with the nation, while I-70, 55 miles to the north, links the east and west coasts. Twenty major metropolitan areas are served by one day's trucking service and another 30 metropolitan areas are within two days. Three major railroad systems—CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Corp., and Conrail—serve the region.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
More than 1.56 million workers live within 50 miles of downtown Cincinnati. Graduates from the colleges and universities within a 200-mile radius add more than 100,000 young professionals to the workforce each year. The region is noted for its strong work ethic, which translates into a workforce that is productive, responsible, and dedicated. The city has been successful in attracting new business including company headquarters in recent years, and considers itself well positioned for further economic growth, citing its outstanding airport service, high worker productivity, and quality of life among other positive factors. Among the rapidly growing sectors of the area's economy are high-tech manufacturing, aerospace (in 2003, the Cincinnati-Dayton corridor was awarded $2.5 billion in defense spending and $1.4 billion in U.S. defense projects), automotive manufacturing, and life sciences. Long-term labor market projections are available at the Chamber's web site for industry employment, occupational employment, and labor force size. Projected annual job openings by occupation, reflecting employment growth, and replacement needs are included.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Cincinnati-Middletown metropolitan area labor force (2004 annual averages):
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 1,021,800
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 52,700
trade, transportation and utilities: 208,100
financial activities: 65,000
professional and business services: 144,700
educational and health services: 130,300
leisure and hospitality: 102,700
other services: 42,500
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.94
Unemployment rate: 6.2% (February 2005)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|University of Cincinnati||15,400|
|The Procter & Gamble Company||13,000|
|Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc.||8,360|
|Fifth Third Bank||7,800|
|Cincinnati Public Schools||7,335|
|City of Cincinnati||7,223|
|Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center||7,029|
|Mercy Health Partners||6,785|
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Cincinnati area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $210,949
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 93.8 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 0.742% to 7.5%
State sales tax rate: 5.0%
Local income tax rate: 2.1%
Local sales tax rate: 1.0%
Property tax rate: ranges from $61.66 to $133.45 per $1,000 of assessed valuation; assessed at 35% of market value (Hamilton County)
Economic Information: Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 441 Vine Street, Suite 300, Cincinnati, OH 45202; telephone (513)579-3100; fax (513)579-3101
Ohio River Crossing Part of Northwest Territory
The Ohio River basin first served as a crossing point for Native Americans traveling south. It is believed that Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, was the first explorer to reach this spot on the Ohio River as early as 1669. Part of the Northwest Territory that the newly formed United States government received from England at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, Cincinnati became a strategic debarkation point for settlers forging a new life in the wilderness. Congressman John Cleves Symmes of New Jersey purchased from the Continental Congress one million acres of land between the two Miami rivers, and three settlements were platted. In February 1789, John Filson named one of the settlements Losantiville, meaning "the place opposite the Licking [River]." The next year, General Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, renamed the village Cincinnati in honor of the Roman citizen-soldier Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and after the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of American Revolutionary army officers. He made Cincinnati the seat of Hamilton County, which he named after Alexander Hamilton, then president general of the Society of Cincinnati.
River Traffic Swells City's Population
Fort Washington was built in the area in 1789 as a fortification from which action was mounted against warriors of the Ohio tribe, but the military efforts proved unsuccessful until General Anthony Wayne trained an army that defeated the Ohio at Fallen Timbers in 1794, securing the area for settlement. Cincinnati was chartered as a town in 1802 and as a city in 1819. The introduction of the river paddle-wheeler on the Ohio River after the War of 1812 turned Cincinnati into a center of river commerce and trade. The opening of the Miami Canal in 1827 added to the town's economic growth. William Holmes McGuffey published his Eclectic Readers in Cincinnati in 1836, and eventually 122 million copies were sold. The first mass migration of Germans in 1830 and Irish a decade later swelled Cincinnati's population to 46,338 people.
The economy continued to boom as the South paid cash for foodstuffs produced in the city, and by 1850 Cincinnati was the pork-packing capital of the world. More than 8,000 steamboats docked at Cincinnati in 1852. Cincinnati merchants protested the cutoff of Southern trade at the outbreak of the Civil War, but federal government contracts and the city's role as a recruiting and outfitting center for Union soldiers righted the economy. Cincinnati was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, a secret network of cooperation aiding fugitive slaves in reaching sanctuary in the free states or Canada prior to 1861. Cincinnati also served as a center of Copperhead political activity during the Civil War; Copperheads were Northerners sympathetic to the Southern cause. The city's proximity to the South spread fear of invasion by the Confederate Army, and martial law was decreed in 1862 when raiders led by Edmund Kirby-Smith, a Confederate commander, threatened invasion.
Cincinnati residents played an important role in the Abolitionist cause. James G. Birney, who published the abolitionist newspaper The Philanthropist, and Dr. Lyman Beecher of the Lane Theological Seminary were leading Northern antislavery activists. Dr. Beecher's daughter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, lived in Cincinnati from 1832 to 1850 and wrote much of her best seller, Uncle Tom's Cabin, there. African Americans have in fact been prominent in Cincinnati's history since its founding. The city's first African American church was built in 1809 and the first school in 1825. African Americans voted locally in 1852, 18 years before the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. The first African American to serve on city council was elected in 1931, and two African Americans have served as mayor.
Prosperity Follows End of Civil War
A suspension bridge designed by John R. Roebling connected Ohio and Kentucky upon its completion in 1867. Cincinnati prospered after the Civil War, and, with a population that grew to 200,000 people became the country's largest city before annexing land to develop communities outside the basin. Cincinnati's most revered public monument, the Tyler Davidson Fountain, was unveiled in 1871 in the heart of downtown. During this period Cincinnati's major cultural institutions were founded, including the art museum and art academy, the conservatory of music, the public library, the zoo, and Music Hall. Two of the city's most cherished traditions also date from this time: the May Festival of choral music at Music Hall and the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
In reaction to the decline of riverboat trade in the 1870s, the city of Cincinnati built its own southern rail line—it was the first and only city to do so—at a cost of $20 million, rushing to complete the project in 1880. The era of boss-rule in the municipal government was introduced in 1884 when newly elected Governor Joseph B. Foraker appointed George Barnsdale Cox, a tavern keeper, to head the Board of Public Affairs. With control of more than 2,000 jobs, Cox and his machine ruled Cincinnati through a bleak period of graft and corruption, which finally came to an end with a nonpartisan reform movement that won election in 1924. The city's new charter corrected the abuses of the Cox regime.
On the national scene, a political dynasty was established when Cincinnatian William Howard Taft was elected President and then became the only President to be appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Taft's son, Robert A. Taft, was elected to three Senate terms; and his grandson, Robert Taft, Jr., was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
City Retains Vitality in Twentieth Century
Cincinnati weathered the Great Depression better than most American cities of its size, largely because of a resurgence of inexpensive river trade. The rejuvenation of downtown began in the 1920s and continued into the next decade with the construction of Union Terminal, the post office, and a large Bell Telephone building. The flood of 1937 was one of the worst in the nation's history, resulting in the building of protective flood walls. After World War II, Cincinnati unveiled a master plan for urban renewal that resulted in modernization of the inner city. Riverfront Stadium and the Coliseum were completed in the 1970s, as the Cincinnati Reds baseball team emerged as one of the dominant teams of the decade. Tragedy struck the Coliseum in December 1981 when eleven people were killed in a mass panic prior to The Who rock and roll concert. In 1989, the two-hundredth anniversary of the city's founding, much attention was focused on the city's Year 2000 plan, which involved further revitalization.
The completion of several major new development projects enhance the city as it enters the early years of the new millennium. Cincinnati's beloved Bengals and Reds teams both have new, state-of-the-art homes: Paul Brown Stadium, opened in 2000, and the Great American Ball Park, opened in 2003, respectively. Two new museums have opened: the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in 2003, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in 2004. The Banks is a new, developing 24-hour urban neighborhood of restaurants, clubs, offices, and homes with sweeping skyline views, along the city's riverfront. Cincinnati has received such accolades as "Most Liveable City," Partners for Livable Communities, April 2004; number five U.S. arts destination, American Style Magazine, Summer 2004; and inclusion in the top 10 "Cities that Rock," Esquire Magazine, April 2004.
Historical Information: Cincinnati Historical Society, Museum Center, Cincinnati Union Terminal, 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45203; telephone (513)287-7030
Cincinnati's beginnings can be traced to 1788, when a New Jersey judge and speculator, John Cleves Symmes, purchased one million acres of land north of the Ohio River, between the Great and Little Miami Rivers. Losantiville, one of the three settlements planted on Symmes's purchase, derived its name from Greek, Latin, and French words meaning "village opposite the mouth" in reference to its location on the northern bank of the Ohio River, opposite the mouth of Kentucky's Licking River. Losantiville's strategic location offered great commercial promise, and it eventually became the most significant of the three settlements. But before that promise could be realized, Losantiville settlers would have to contend with the Ohio Indians for rights to the land.
In the dawn of its days, Losantiville had an uncertain existence. Residents lived under the constant threat of attacks by Native Americans. Not even Fort Washington, built by the U.S. government around the village in 1789, could protect or stabilize the community. It was only after General Anthony Wayne defeated the Native American confederation at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 that the walls of Fort Washington came down, signaling the end of all significant challenges to white settlement on the land. The name of the village was promptly changed to Cincinnati—a name borrowed from the Society of the Cincinnati, a renowned Revolutionary War veterans group. With the new name came a new destiny. What had begun as a humble garrison settlement became a symbol of western, if not American, aspirations by the 1820s.
Cincinnati is slightly older than the state of Ohio, which was admitted to the Union in 1803. In 1790 the governor of the Northwest Territory, General Arthur St. Clair, made Cincinnati the seat of Hamilton County, organized its civil and criminal courts, and appointed judges. The first courthouse, church, and school all opened at around the same time. A newspaper appeared before 1800, and by 1807 the city had its first bank. Cincinnati was recognized as a township by the territorial legislature in 1802 and incorporated as a city in 1819. Residents received municipal services, including water, city lights, and fire and police departments in the 1810s.
Early Cincinnati was a city of many faces. It was a northern city in its geography, a southern one in its culture, and a western city by its economic aspirations. It was the southernmost northern city, the northernmost southern city—all while being, as it was known, the Gateway to the West. These simultaneous, multiple identities created a distinct character and tone and also defined the destiny of the young city.
Cincinnati's early history and development cannot be divorced from its relationship to the Ohio River. The young city's extraordinary economic growth in its first fifty years can be attributed to its strategic location along this critical waterway. As the primary access route to the West in early America, the Ohio River linked the city to principal markets east and west. Because the river also fed into the Mississippi, Cincinnati additionally had access to southern markets and eventually became a major provider of goods to southern slave owners. Furthermore, the construction of the Miami and Erie Canal (1825–1845) created a faster way to convey goods between Cincinnati and other Ohio cities. The intersection of all these commercial highways near Cincinnati facilitated extraordinary economic growth. Although the port city had benefited from a relatively robust commercial economy since the days of its pioneers, the steamboat revolution in the 1820s ushered in an era of unparalleled prosperity in commerce and manufacturing. The advent of faster, more efficient transportation dramatically increased the volume of goods moving to, from, and through Cincinnati. The city emerged from the decade as the national leader in steamboat production and pork packing. In fact, the pork-packing capital was given the nickname Porkopolis—a name that could also refer to the great numbers of pigs that freely roamed the streets of Cincinnati. Reflecting its position as the leading manufacturing and commercial power in the West, Cincinnati was also known as the Queen City of the West by 1830.
The Queen City's economy offered unbounded opportunities, drawing thousands of migrants each year. The city had about 500 residents in 1795; by 1810 its population had multiplied five times to over 2,500. Ten years later, 9,841 persons were living in Cincinnati. By 1830, after just four decades of existence, Cincinnati's population had ballooned to 24,831, eclipsing that of every other major western city. In 1840 its population of 46,339 was more than twice that of Pittsburgh and almost three times the population of St. Louis. In fact, by then Cincinnati was also the sixth-largest city in the nation.
Cincinnati politics were driven by economics for decades. City leaders, careful to maintain delicate trading relations with southern states, sometimes made decisions that were decidedly proslavery. Until the antebellum era, slaveholders had free rein to bring slaves with them as they did business in Cincinnati. The culture in Cincinnati not only tolerated slavery, but often tried to repress activity that might jeopardize relations with the South, including abolitionism and the Underground Railroad. Cincinnati had one of the strongest anti-abolitionist communities in the country, and for years city officials ignored their activities.
Much of the city's business and leadership class was affiliated with the National Republican and, later, the Whig Party. The National Republican Party hoped to use national institutions like the national bank to encourage the acquisition of private capital. The party attracted merchants, bankers, large retailers, and others who favored a robust market economy. The Tafts, Beechers, and Longworths were leading Republican families in the city.
As demographics changed in Cincinnati, so too did its political bent. The influx of Irish immigrants in the 1840s broadened the Democratic foothold, and the subsequent rise of the Democratic journal the Cincinnati Enquirer signaled an end to Whig dominance in city politics.
the people of cincinnati
Most striking about the population demographics of early Cincinnati is its relatively high number of northeastern- and foreign-born residents. Germans were the largest immigrant group in Cincinnati between 1830 and 1870 and also comprised a significant portion of the city's total population. For example, in 1840, 28 percent of the population was German. As the German population increased, so did its influence on the political and social culture of the city. As a testament to that influence, the German language was spoken and taught in many of Cincinnati's schools throughout much of the nineteenth century.
Another group, significant in spirit if not numbers, was Cincinnati's African American population. In a state that prohibited slavery, the Queen City offered many incentives for African Americans to settle there, not the least of which was jobs. The black population hovered between 3 and 4 percent until 1829, when it spiked to over 9 percent. Despite the implicit promise of freedom from slavery and racism, a riotous, anti-black, anti-abolitionist spirit gripped the city, many of whose white residents after 1829 tormented African Americans and, at times, their allies. For example, in the summer of 1829 the threat of an impending riot directed against the black community precipitated a mass exodus of over one thousand African Americans. In 1836 anti-abolitionist rioters destroyed the press of an abolitionist weekly, The Philanthropist. Despite such a climate, after 1836 Cincinnati was home to one of the most effective branches of the Underground Railroad and hailed as one of the nation's strongest abolitionist communities.
Because so much of the city's economy was invested in its waterways, it was natural and inevitable that the bright star of Cincinnati dimmed once railroads and national roads replaced steamboats as the principal conveyers of goods through the West in the 1850s. Shortly thereafter, the Queen City of the West was forced to relinquish the crown—although not the name—to other western cities like Chicago and St. Louis.
See alsoAfrican Americans: Free Blacks in the North; American Indians: Old Northwest; Antislavery; Fallen Timbers, Battle of; Immigration and Immigrants: Germans; Northwest and Southwest Ordinances; Ohio; Steamboat .
Aaron, Daniel. Cincinnati: Queen City of the West, 1819–1838. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1992.
Drake, Daniel. "Memoir of the Miami Country, 1779–1794." Quarterly Publication of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio 18, nos. 2 and 3 (1923): 39–117.
Federal Writers' Project. Cincinnati: Highlights of a Long Life. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Office of the Works Progress Administration, 1938.
Ford, Henry A., and Kate B. Ford. History of Cincinnati, Ohio with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches. Cincinnati, Ohio: L. A. Williams, 1881.
King, Rufus. "When, and by Whom Was Cincinnati Founded?" Address presented to the Pioneer Association of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 7 April 1882.
Taylor, Nikki. Frontiers of Freedom: Cincinnati's Black Community, 1802–68. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005.
Trotter, Joe William. River Jordan: African American Life in the Ohio Valley. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998.
Wade, Richard C. The Urban Frontier: The Rise of Western Cities, 1790–1830. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959.
Cincinnati: Education and Research
Cincinnati: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Cincinnati Public School (CPS) district is spread across the city plus Amberley Village, Cheviot, Golf Manor, most of the city of Silverton, parts of Fairfax and Wyoming, and parts of Anderson, Columbia, Delhi, Green, and Springfield townships, with a total area of about 90 square miles. It is the third-largest public school district in the state. CPS opened the first public Montessori elementary school in the country in 1975. The district now offers 21 high schools with specific focuses, and 22 elementary magnet schools offering nine programs such as the arts, foreign language, and Montessori and Paideia teaching styles. The district's $985 million Facilities Master Plan, launched in 2002, is financing the building or renovation of more than a dozen schools; the first new school resulting from this plan—Rockdale Academy—was completed in January 2005.
The following is a summary of data regarding the CPS district as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 38,779
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 58 (consisting of both K-6 and K-8 schools)
high schools: 21
Student/teacher ratio: 13.2:1
Funding per pupil: $9,749 (2001-2002)
A parochial school system operated by the Catholic Diocese as well as a variety of private schools throughout the area provide instruction from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Cincinnati is home to more than 130 private schools. Its Catholic school system is the ninth largest in the nation.
Public Schools Information: Cincinnati Public Schools, PO Box 5381, Cincinnati, OH 45201; telephone (513)363-0000
Colleges and Universities
The University of Cincinnati (UC), part of Ohio's state higher education system, was founded in 1819. The university has an enrollment of more than 34,000 students and grants degrees at all levels, from associate through doctorate, in a complete range of fields. The university includes a main academic campus, a medical campus, a branch campus in suburban Blue Ash, and a rural branch campus in Clermont County, east of Cincinnati. The university is a nationally recognized research institution known for its professional schools, notably the colleges of medicine, engineering, law, business, applied science, and design, architecture, art, and planning. Cooperative education originated at the University of Cincinnati, in 1906; other UC firsts include the development of the oral polio vaccine and the first antihistamine.
Cincinnati is also home to Xavier University, a Jesuit institution founded in 1831, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs in such areas as theology, criminal justice, psychology, business, education, English, health services administration, nursing, and occupational therapy.
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, a graduate rabbinical seminary, was founded in 1875 and is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education. In addition to its Rabbinical School, the College-Institute includes Schools of Graduate Studies, Education, Jewish Communal Service, Sacred Music, and Biblical Archaeology. Branch campuses are located in Los Angeles, New York, and Jerusalem.
The Athenaeum of Ohio is an accredited center of ministry education and formation within the Roman Catholic tradition. Other colleges in Cincinnati are the Art Academy of Cincinnati, a small independent college of art and design; The Union Institute, designed for adults who have the desire to assume a significant measure of personal responsibility for planning and executing their degree programs; and Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary.
Colleges and universities in the metropolitan area include Miami University in Oxford, offering specialized studies in more than 100 academic majors and pre-professional programs, and particularly known for its business school; Northern Kentucky University; Thomas More College; St. Thomas Institute; and College of Mount St. Joseph.
Vocational and technical education is available at a variety of institutions such as Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and Gateway Community and Technical College.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is the third-oldest library in the nation, with holdings totaling 9.6 million items. The library system is comprised of a downtown facility and 57 branches. The 542,527 square-foot main library has 15 departments, among them a library for the blind. Special collections cover a range of topics, among them inland rivers, sacred music, patents from 1790 to the present, nineteenth and twentieth century illustrators, and Bibles and English language dictionaries; the library is also a depository for federal documents.
Cincinnati-area colleges and universities also maintain campus libraries. The largest is the University of Cincinnati Libraries, which include a central facility with more than 2.1 million volumes and nearly 20,000 periodical subscriptions; the law school and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center operate separate library systems. The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Klau Library, with holdings of 425,000 volumes and 2,340 periodical subscriptions, is an important center for such subject interests as Hebraica, Judaica, ancient and near-Eastern studies, and rabbinical studies. Several cultural and scientific organizations operate libraries, including the Art Museum, the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Taft Museum, and the Zoological Society. The Cincinnati Historical Society Library holds 90,000 books relating to the history of the United States, Ohio, and the Old Northwest Territory, especially metropolitan Cincinnati.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a library in Cincinnati that is open to the public. Collections of approximately 200,000 volumes are maintained by the Cincinnati Law Library Association and the Young Men's Mercantile Library Association. Among corporations housing libraries for their own personnel and researchers are General Electric and the Andrew Jergens Co. Other specialized libraries are affiliated with hospitals, churches, and synagogues.
The University of Cincinnati (UC) is a major research center, and its research funding continues to increase steadily. In 2003, UC earned more than $300 million in research grants and contracts, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. In addition to the funding increase, the university's Intellectual Property Office reported 86 invention disclosures, 25 U.S. patents filed, and 9 U.S. patents issued during fiscal year 2003. Research is conducted in a wide variety of fields, including sociology, biology, aeronautics, health, psychology, and archaeology. The university's Medical Center campus features such research facilities as the Genome Research Institute, and is home to BIO/START, a biomedical business incubator.
Public Library Information: Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 800 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202-2009; telephone (513)369-6900
Newspapers and Magazines
Cincinnati's major daily newspapers are The Cincinnati Enquirer, circulated every morning, and the evening The Cincinnati Post. The Cincinnati Herald, an African American oriented newspaper, appears weekly. Both the Associated Press and United Press International maintain offices in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Magazine is a monthly publication focusing on topics of community interest.
A number of nationally circulated magazines are published in Cincinnati; among them are Writer's Digest, a professional magazine for writers; Dramatics Magazine, for students interested in theatre as a career; and St. Anthony Messenger, a family-oriented Catholic magazine. Cincinnati-based Standard Publishing Company produces religious magazines like Weekly Bible Reader, for children, and Seek, for young adults and adults. Specialized publications originating in the city are directed toward readers with interests in business, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, the arts, crafts, and other fields.
Television and Radio
Cincinnati is the broadcast media center for southwestern Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeastern Indiana. Eight commercial, public, and independent television stations are received in the city; cable service is available. Thirty-five AM and FM radio stations broadcast educational, cultural, and religious programming as well as rock and roll, contemporary, classical, gospel, blues, jazz, and country music.
Media Information: The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gannet Co., 312 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH; telephone (513)721-2700; and, The Cincinnati Post, E.W. Scripps Co., 125 E. Court, Cincinnati, OH 45202; telephone (513)352-2000
The Cincinnati Enquirer. Available enquirer.com/today
Cincinnati Museum Center. Available www.cincymuseum.org
Cincinnati Public Schools. Available www.cpsboe.k12.oh.us
Cincinnati Regional Links. Available www.rcc.org/reglinks.html
Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. Available www.cincinnatichamber.com/home.htm
Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.cincyusa.com
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Available www.cincinnatilibrary.org
University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Available medcenter.uc.edu
Chambrun, Clara Longworth, Comtesse de, Cincinnati: Story of the Queen City (New York, London: Scribner, 1939)
Fuller, John Grant, Are the Kids All Right?: The Rock Generation and Its Hidden Death Wish (New York: Times Books, 1981)
Howells, William Dean, A Boy's Town: Described for "Harper's Young People" (New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1890)
Howells, William Dean, My Year in a Log Cabin (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893)
Lewis, Sinclair, Babbitt (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1922)
Miller, Zane L., and Bruce Tucker, Changing Plans for America's Inner Cities: Cincinnati's Over-The-Rhine and Twentieth-Century Urbanism (Urban Life and Urban Landscape Series) (Ohio State University Press, 1998)
Walker, Robert Harris, Cincinnati and the Big Red Machine (Indiana University Press, 1988)
CINCINNATI was founded in 1788 and named for the Society of Cincinnati, an organization of revolutionary war officers. When incorporated in 1802, it had only about 750 residents. However, the town went on to become the largest city in Ohio throughout most of the nineteenth century and the largest city in the Midwest before the Civil War. In 1850, Cincinnati boasted 115,436 inhabitants. As the chief port on the Ohio River, it could claim the title of Queen City of the West. Although it produced a wide range of manufactures for the western market, Cincinnati became famous as a meatpacking center, winning the nickname Porkopolis. The city's prosperity attracted thousands of European immigrants, especially Germans, whose breweries, singing societies, and beer gardens became features of Cincinnati life.
With the advent of the railroad age, Cincinnati's location on the Ohio River no longer ensured its preeminence as a commercial center, and other midwestern cities surged ahead of it. Between 1890 and 1900, Cincinnati fell to second rank among Ohio cities as Cleveland surpassed it in population. In 1869, however, Cincinnati won distinction by fielding the nation's first all-professional baseball team. Moreover, through their biennial music festival, Cincinnatians attempted to establish their city as the cultural capital of the Midwest.
During the first half of the twentieth century, Cincinnati continued to grow moderately, consolidating its reputation as a city of stability rather than dynamic change. In the 1920s, good-government reformers secured adoption of a city manager charter, and in succeeding decades Cincinnati won a name for having honest, efficient government. Yet, unable to annex additional territory following World War II, the city's population gradually declined from a high of 503,998 in 1950 to 331,285 in 2000. During the 1940s and 1950s, southern blacks and whites migrated to the city, transforming the once-Germanic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood into a "hillbilly ghetto" and boosting the African American share of the city's population from 12.2 percent in 1940 to 33.8 percent in 1980. Although not a model of dynamism, Cincinnati could boast of a diversified economy that made it relatively recession proof compared with other midwestern cities dependent on motor vehicle and heavy machinery manufacturing. The city prospered as the headquarters
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of Procter and Gamble, and also was headquarters of the Kroger supermarket chain, Federated Department Stores, and banana giant Chiquita Brands.
Giglierano, Geoffrey J., and Deborah A. Overmyer. The Bicentennial Guide to Greater Cincinnati: A Portrait of Two Hundred Years. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Historical Society, 1988.
Silberstein, Iola. Cincinnati Then and Now. Cincinnati: Voters Service Educational Fund of the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area, 1982.
Cincinnati (sĬnsənăt´ē, –năt´ə), city (1990 pop. 364,040), seat of Hamilton co., extreme SW Ohio, on the Ohio River opposite Newport and Covington, Ky.; inc. as a city 1819. The third largest city in the state, Cincinnati is the industrial, commercial, and cultural center for an extensive area including numerous suburbs in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. It is also a port with a large riverfront and good transportation facilities. Machinery; consumer goods; transportation, electric, and electronic equipment; musical instruments; metal goods; and packaged meats are among its manufactures; banking and finance also are important.
Cincinnati was founded in 1788 as Losantiville; in 1790 Arthur St. Clair, the first governor of the Northwest Territory, renamed it for the Society of Cincinnati, a group of Revolutionary War officers. It was the first seat of the legislature of the Northwest Territory. After the opening of the Ohio and Erie Canal (c.1832), the city developed as a shipper of farm products and meat. Built on and below "seven hills," it became known for its German-influenced cultural life. Corruption, crime, and unrest plagued late-19th-century Cincinnati; a reform movement culminated in the establishment (1924) of the city-manager type of government (notable managers were Clarence A. Dykstra and Clarence O. Sherrill). Disastrous flooding struck the city in 1884 and again in 1937, after which major flood-control projects were undertaken. In the 21st cent. the city's downtown and riverfront has undergone a revitalization, with the construction of new business and residential buildings and park facilities.
William Howard Taft and his son Robert A. Taft were born here. Cincinnati's landmarks include the Taft Museum; Eden Park, with the Cincinnati Art Museum; the Cincinnati Museum Center in the former Union Terminal; and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art. The Univ. of Cincinnati, Edgecliff College, Xavier Univ., and several other educational institutions are in Cincinnati. The city is home to the Cincinnati Reds, the nation's oldest professional baseball team, and the Bengals football team.