“So who’s in the book?” you might ask. Thanks for asking!
Well, here, let me quote myself: “When I considered whom to include in this book, two things became evident: Cincinnatians don’t stay in neat little categories such as business, fine arts, healthcare, education, or politics. The founding families might have made their mark in one area—soap, for example—but they also contributed to the welfare of their fellow Cincinnatians in other arenas (sometimes literally). And Cincinnati’s future foundational families are continuing the tradition.
So how did I choose which families to include in this book? After much mulling, I came up with a set of criteria. The founding families in this book did some combination of the following:
- They played an important role in moving Cincinnati forward….
- They had several members and/or generations who contributed to Cincinnati’s or Cincinnatians’ existence….
- They had a name that modern Cincinnatians would recognize in some way, as in Nippert Stadium, Longworth Hall, or Symmes Township.
- They were or are of national importance. William Howard Taft is perhaps the most famous Taft of his era, having served as both president and chief justice of the United States, but he was just one of many very active Tafts.
I ignored the differences between those people who were born in Cincinnati and those who immigrated here. John Cleves Symmes was born in New York, but he would later get a charter to come here, to what was at that time the last bastion of civilization before the ‘wild’ western frontier. And that’s where our story begins.”
Did you know that the first African American to win an individual Olympic gold medal was not Jesse Owens? That honor belongs to a Cincinnatian who beat Owens’ achievement by 12 years.
Did you know that the seed for Big Brothers/Big Sisters was planted here in Cincinnati? And that family is still watching out for children generations later.
Save the date for the book launch, to be held Wednesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. at the Cincinnati Museum Center as part of their Insights Lecture Series. I’ll talk, read from the book, hold a Q&A session, and then we’ll have a book signing afterward. I am donating five percent of my profits from this book to the Museum Center, so each book you buy benefits this great Cincinnati institution.
Founders and Famous Families of Cincinnati is available for pre-order from Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, and elsewhere. If you cannot make the book launch on May 28, keep your eyes peeled for my signing at Jo-Beth in June.