Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Cincinnati

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1542062Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition — CincinnatiEaton Sylvester Drone

CINCINNATI, an important city of the United States, situated in the S.W. part of Ohio, on the N. bank of the Ohio River, in 39° 6′ N. lat. and 84° 26′ W. long. It is the capital of Hamilton county, and in size is the first city in the State, while, according to the Federal census of 1870, it is the eighth in the United States. It was first settled in 1788 by persons from New Jersey, and is said to have been named in honour of the Cincinnati Society of officers of the Revolutionary war. It was incorporated as a city in 1814, and soon acquired a commercial importance which has steadily increased. In 1800 Cincinnati contained but 750 inhabitants. The population amounted to 9602 in 1820, 46,338 in 1840, 115,436 in 1850, 161,044 in 1860, and 216,239 in 1870. Of the total population in 1870, 79,612 were foreigners, including 49,448 born in Germany, 18,624 in Ireland, 3526 in England, and 2093 in France. The city is chiefly built upon two terraces or plateaus, the first 60 and the second 112 feet above the river. Beyond these rises an amphitheatre of hills from 400 to 450 feet high, from which may be obtained a magnificent view of the valley of the Ohio and the surrounding country. On the opposite bank of the river, in the State of Kentucky, are Covington, which had 24,505 inhabitants in 1870, and Newport, which had 15,087. Communication between these cities and Cincinnati is afforded by two bridges and three steam ferries. The wire suspension bridge, which is 1057 feet long between the towers (or, including the approaches, 2252 feet), with a height of 100 feet above low water, was completed in 1867 at a cost of nearly $2,000,000. It has a double waggon road, and two ways for pedestrians. Further up the river is a wrought iron railroad bridge built upon piers; besides a railway track, it has waggon and foot ways. Cincinnati covers an area of 24 square miles, extending along the river about 10 miles, with an average width of 3 miles. The most important part of the city, however, is comprised within a distance of 2 miles along the river. The corporate limits have been much extended in recent years by the annexation of numerous villages, the most important being Columbia, Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, and Cumminsville. In these, which still retain their former names, are seen the most costly residences and villas, with ornamental grounds embracing from 5 to 80 acres each. The city is also noted for the beauty of its suburbs and its surrounding scenery. The streets, which generally cross one another at right angles, are usually from 1 to 2 miles long, and from 50 to 100 feet wide. Many of them are lined with trees. Brick is chiefly used for buildings, with a greyish buff freestone for fronts. Business buildings are usually five and often six stories high. Cincinnati is well supplied with public parks, the largest of which, Eden, is situated on a hill in the eastern part of the city, and contains 216 acres. In Burnet Woods, recently purchased, there are 170 acres, mostly forest, on the hill north of the city. Centrally situated in the city are Washington, Lincoln, Hopkins, and the City parks, which together contain about 25 acres. One of the most attractive objects in the city is the Tyler Davidson bronze fountain which was unveiled in 1871. It was presented to the city by Mr Henry Probasco, a wealthy citizen, who named it after the late Mr Tyler Davidson, the originator of the proposal. Its cost was nearly $200,000. The design embraces fifteen bronze figures, all cast at Munich, the chief one representing a female with outstretched arms, from whose fingers the water falls in fine spray. This is the surmounting figure, and reaches a height of 45 feet above the ground. Among the most notable buildings is that of the Federal Government, built of sawed freestone in the Roman Corinthian style, with a porch of six columns; it is three stories high, with a length of 150 feet and a width of 80 feet. The county court-house, in the same style of architecture, is 175 feet square and three stories high, and has a porch with six Corinthian stone columns. The brick buildings for the city offices are 205 feet long and 52 feet wide. The city workhouse, 3 miles from the heart of the city, is a brick structure, 515 feet long and 55 feet wide, erected at a cost, including 26 acres of land, of $650,000. It has room for 700 prisoners. The Cincinnati hospital, comprising eight buildings arranged around a central court and connected by corridors, occupies a square of 4 acres. It cost more than $1,000,000, and will accommodate 700 patients. The Masonic Temple, built in the Byzantine style, 195 feet long and 100 feet wide, is four stories high, and has two towers 140 feet, and a spire 180 feet high. Other noticeable structures are Pike's Opera House, 170 by 134 feet, and five stories high, the Public Library, St Xavier's College, the Wesleyan Female College, and the Hughes High School. The most imposing church edifices are St Peter's Roman Catholic Cathedral, built in pure Grecian style, 200 by 80 feet, with a stone spire rising to a height of 224 feet; St Paul's Church (Methodist), with a spire 200 feet high; the First Presbyterian Church, with an immense tower surmounted by a spire 270 feet high; St John's Episcopal Church; and two large and attractive Hebrew temples.


Plan of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is one of the most important commercial and manufacturing centres of the West. The six railroads entering the city are used by twelve companies, and besides these two lines terminate at Covington on the opposite side of the river. About 300 passenger and freight trains arrive and leave daily on these roads. For their use are four depôts near the river in different parts of the city. Communication with different parts of the city and with the suburbs is afforded by fourteen lines of street railroad, with about 50 miles of track, and by numerous lines of omnibuses and stages. The top of the adjacent hills is reached by an inclined steam passenger-railway. The position of the city on the Ohio River gives it water communication with the extensive river system of the Mississippi valley; while it is connected with Lake Erie by the Miami Canal, whose northern terminus is at Toledo, Ohio. The Miami is connected by a branch with the Wabash and Erie Canal, the largest in the United States (467 miles), which extends from Toledo to Evansville, Indiana, on the Ohio river. The average yearly number of steamers and barges running between Cincinnati and other ports during the ten years ending with August 1875 was 338; the yearly number of arrivals of steamers during this period was 2713, and of departures 2680. The large steamers of the Mississippi river are enabled to reach Cincinnati by means of the canal around the falls of the Ohio at Louisville, Kentucky, which was opened in 1872. About three-fourths of the commerce of the city is by railroad and canal, and the remainder by river transportation. The extent of the entire commerce is indicated by the value of imports, which during the ten years ending in 1875 averaged $314,528,009 a year, and of exports, which averaged $201,236,066.

Cincinnati is one of those interior ports to which, under the Act of Congress passed in 1870, foreign merchandize may be transported without appraisement and payment of duties at the port of first arrival. The value of such imports to this city during the year ending June 30, 1875, was $566,989. The total value of the products of manufacturing industry has increased from $46,995,062 in 1860 to $127,459,021 in 1870 and $144,207,371 in 1874. The details for the last-mentioned years are as follows:—

Industries. 1870. 1874.

Value of
Value of

 Iron........................................ 10,723   $20,804,263   8,713   $17,129,224  
 Other metals.......................... 1,809  3,873,356   2,147  4,871,362  
 Wood..................................... 7,597  12,699,165   7,977  13,776,066  
 Leather.................................. 4,647  7,227,324   4,929  7,651,113  
 Food...................................... 2,334  17,945,651   4,957  24,071,077  
 Soap, candles, and oils........ 1,122  7,455,561   1,043  9,527,343  
 Clothing................................. 12,363  12,626,682   15,198  13,329,914  
 Beer and whisky.................... 2,301  16,361,006   1,835  24,231,273  
 Cotton, wool, hemp, &c......... 1,035  1,854,774   832  1,562,166  
 Drugs, chemicals, &c............. 735  3,544,195   560  3,937,593  
 Stone and earth..................... 2,209  2,980,102   2,199  3,916,401  
 Carriages, cars, &c................ 1,175  1,794,413   1,335  1,941,396  
 Paper, &c.............................. 452  880,516   662  1,687,290  
 Bookbinding and blank books 424  626,870   635  838,800  
 Printing and publishing.......... 2,588  4,699,280   2,334  5,930,304  
 Tobacco................................ 3,886  5,837,690   3,260  4,745,688  
 Fine arts................................ 250  540,746   363  694,114  
 Miscellaneous....................... 4,177  5,697,427   1,990  4,363,253  

 Total....................... 59,327   127,459,021   60,999   144,207,371  

Boat building was formerly a prominent industry, but it has recently declined. Prior to 1863 Cincinnati was the chief centre in the United States for the slaughtering of swine and the packing of pork. Since that year this supremacy has been held by Chicago, Cincinnati taking the second rank. There are more than seventy establishments in the latter city employed in this industry. The United Railroads Stock-yards for the reception of live pigs occupy about 60 acres. During the winter season of 1874–75 there were slaughtered 560,164 hogs, weighing in the aggregate 155,864,126 , and valued at $10,897,584. The production included 44,232 barrels of pork, and 23,400,157  of lard. During the year ending August 31, 1875, pork and bacon valued at $12,645,538 were exported from the city; the imports amounted to $2,580,493. The excess of exports of lard over imports was $2,781,091. After this important industry the brewing of lager beer ranks next, the brewers here turning out about 15,000,000 gallons annually. Distillation is also carried on to a very considerable extent. The city contains five national banks with a capital of $4,000,000, and seventeen private banks with a capital of $2,740,000. The leading commercial organization is the Chamber of Commerce and Merchants' Exchange, which has about 1200 members and holds daily sessions. The Board of Trade has about 900 members, chiefly manufacturers. There are also a mechanics' institute, cotton exchange, and pork packers' association. An industrial exhibition has been held in the autumn of each year since 1871, and has attracted large numbers of visitors to the city. The buildings are centrally situated, and occupy 3 acres of ground.

The city is divided into 25 wards, and is governed by a mayor, who is elected by the people for two years, and receives an annual salary of $4000, a board of 25 aldermen, and a board of 50 councilmen, who are also elected by the people. It has a paid fire department under the control of five commissioners appointed by the mayor, and a police force under the control of the mayor and four commissioners. The efficiency of these departments is promoted by extensive fire-alarm and police telegraphic lines. The city is supplied with water obtained by pumping from the Ohio river by means of three immense reservoirs, two of which, with a capacity of 100,000,000 gallons each, are in Eden Park. Beside the usual municipal and county courts, the United States circuit and district courts for the southern district of Ohio are held in the city.

Cincinnati has a large number and variety of well-organized charitable institutions. The Cincinnati hospital is supported by taxation, and affords free treatment to all unable to pay for it; the city infirmary, besides supporting pauper inmates, affords relief to outdoor poor; the Good Samaritan and St Mary's hospitals are private institutions, under the supervision of Roman Catholic sisters; the Jewish hospital is maintained by persons of that faith. The Longview asylum for the insane, built at Carthage, 10 miles from the city, at a cost, including 110 acres of land, of $1,000,000, ranks among the first institutions of the kind in the United States. It belongs to Hamilton county, whose population consists chiefly of the inhabitants of Cincinnati; patients are, however, sent here by the State, which contributes to its support. The average daily number of inmates in 1874 was 582, nearly all of whom were maintained free of charge. Besides the city orphan asylum, which has accommodation for 300 children, and is supported by private charity, and the German Protestant asylum, with a capacity for about 100, two large asylums are maintained by the Roman Catholics and by the coloured people. There are also several institutions for indigent and friendless women. The house of refuge and the city workhouse are maintained by the city for the confinement of persons convicted of minor offences; children are sent to the former, and adults to the latter.

The public schools are under the control of a superintendent and a board of 50 elected members, and comprise 3 high, 5 intermediate, and 30 district schools, including those for coloured pupils. There are also a normal school for females and evening schools. In 1874 there were 529 teachers and 28,949 pupils enrolled, with an average daily attendance of 21,486. German is a prominent study in the public schools, and music and drawing are taught. The Woodword and the Hughes high schools have long been known for their excellence. Besides the above, there are a large number of Roman Catholic parochial schools. The university of Cincinnati, recently founded by means of a bequest made by Charles M‘Micken, is designed to afford advanced and technical instruction free of charge. A school of design has been in operation since 1869. Besides the Cincinnati Wesleyan College for females (Methodist-Episcopal), St Xavier College (Roman Catholic), and Mount St Mary's of the West, the city has 1 law, 6 medical, and 2 theological schools, 4 commercial colleges, and 2 schools of music. One of the theological schools is connected with Mount St Mary's of the West, the other is the widely-known Lane Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), founded in 1829. It occupies a site of 7 acres on Walnut Hills, and has 5 professors and a library of 12,000 volumes. Three of the medical schools are classified as regular, one as pharmaceutic, one as homœopathic, and one as dental. The oldest is the medical college of Ohio, which was opened in 1819, and now has 10 instructors; the Cincinnati college of medicine and surgery was opened in 1821, and has 14 instructors; the Miami medical college, opened in 1852, has 12 instructors; and the Pulte medical college, opened in 1872, has 14. There are 11 public libraries in the city, the largest being the free public library, which has 81,000 bound volumes and 5500 pamphlets, and the young men's mercantile with nearly 40,000 volumes. The public library occupies one of the best library buildings in the country. The most important literary associations are the natural history and the historical and philosophical societies. There are published in the city 70 newspapers and periodicals, 9 appearing daily, 1 twice a-week, 33 weekly, 3 fortnightly, 21 monthly, and 3 quarterly. Of these 3 daily, 9 weekly, 1 fortnightly, and 2 monthly are published in German. The city contains 160 churches, the largest denominations being the Roman Catholic, which has 32 churches and 12 chapels, the Methodist with 26 churches, the Presbyterian with 22, the Baptist with 14, and the Protestant Episcopal with 11.