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Ludlow City

Ludlow City Hall is located at 51 Elm Street, Ludlow, KY 41016; phone: 859-491-1233.

Beginnings [1]

The land presently occupied by the city of Ludlow was uninhabited before 1790. Cincinnati, across the Ohio River, had been established two years earlier. Three men—Beal, Mayo, and Oldham—staked land claims in the vicinity of Ludlow about 1790. The remaining land, about 1,200 acres, was given as a government grant to General Thomas Sandford as a reward for military service. Sandford, preferring a wilderness setting, apparently moved from Cincinnati and settled on his newly-granted Kentucky tract.

Ludlow, in 1864, was a community of unpaved streets, small houses and stores, and a working class population. With the city charter, a number of civic improvements were made. The first city council was convened in 1864, with A. B. Latta as president. A post office was established and the first public school was opened. The city was surveyed and the streets were marked in 1866.

There were four churches at that time Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, and Christian—all of which met in private homes or shared-function buildings. In terms of local industry, there were two lumber yards, a sawmill, and a broom factory.

Perhaps the greatest influence on Ludlow's development was the coming of the railroad. In 1873, the Southern Railroad located in Ludlow, erecting a bridge to connect Ludlow with Cincinnati, across the river. The railroad meant employment, and so attracted a great many new residents. In addition, the new accessibility provided by the railroad encouraged other industry to locate in Ludlow. By 1875, Ludlow's population nearly doubled to about 1,500 citizens.

  1. Lori A. Feldman, Architectural Historian, Northern Kentucky Area Development District, Ludlow Multiple Resource Area, Kenton County, KY, nomination document, 1984, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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