Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Movin' on Out to the East Side

Typical of the times, when Alexander and Elizabeth first settled in Cincinnati, they lived in the "basin" area.  It's easy to track their moves by using City Directories.  The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has an online virtual library where you can search 115 years worth of City Directories that have been digitized and are online.  They date all the way back to 1819.

Current Day Race Street between 14th and 15th
As mentioned in the previous post, Alexander first appeared in the 1843 City Directory.  He was listed as a carpenter living on Race Street between 14th and 15th.  This is about one block north of where Music Hall is located.  You have to be careful when making assumptions that the address listed in the City Directory corresponds to the address for an area today.  When our Joneses lived in the basin area, "house numbers" did not yet exist.  In 1897, the streets of Cincinnati were renumbered.  Streets changed names.  Just think about Front Street, later named Eastern Avenue, and now called Riverside Drive.  I was surprised to find out that in the 1848 Daguerreotype picture of Cincinnati, the experts have not been able to identify any building pictured then that still exists now.  I am sure the buildings shown above did not exist in 1843.

By 1860, the family seems to be living in the "East End."  After Alexander died in 1862, his widow, Elizabeth, does not appear in the City Directories again until 1870.  Here is a copy of the listing.
1870 Cincinnati City Directory
I'd love to know how she supported herself during that time.  Her eldest son, William, was also listed in the City Directory.  He was 18 years old in 1870 and probably assisted in the support of the family.  He is listed as working at the Mowry Car and Wheel Works.

According to Kenny's Illustrated Cincinnati, the Mowry Car and Wheel "Works are the most extensive manufacturers of Car Wheels in Cincinnati or the West. They are situated on the bank of the Ohio, about one mile above the Little Miami Railroad Depot. The different buildings consist of foundry, forge, finishing, pattern, and other shops, besides large yards for coal, iron, etc., covering altogether about five acres of ground. They manufacture all descriptions of Railroad and Street Car Wheels, and build all kin*}* or Railroad Freight Cars, and have, during the past twenty-five years, supplied most of the leading roads in the United States.  N.G. Green is the general superintendent.  (p. 289)

Mowry Car Wheel Works (located in area of current-day LeBlond Park on the riverfront).
Source:  1891 Cincinnati Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

View of the Ohio River from LeBlond Park (former location of Mowry Car Wheel Works)
As mentioned earlier, I have not been able to find where the family lived after Alexander's death.   It's not until 1870 that the family appears to have some type of stability in living arrangement.  Of course, in the next post we'll be heading to the river bank, right on the shores of the Ohio River.


  1. jeanne Scardina VeenemanNovember 23, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    As always, I love reading these post! Great job, Kath.Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. Love that you used the fire map, such a wonderful resource.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  3. Carol,
    I realized I forgot to credit that in the post and had to go back and edit the post. If you have any Ohio ancestors, email me and I'll show you how to access them online. Happpy Thanksgiving to you -- and thanks for being such a faithful follower.

  4. Great use of maps and local history to take us into the moment!