At the request of my client, Andrew Howe of Cranewoods Development LLC
, I researched the history of 424 Liberty Hill. What seemed to be a typical tenement building turned out to have an interesting history.
|Google Streetview; July 2014|
This building sits at the corner of Liberty Hill (formerly Liberty Street before it was extended to Reading Road) and Cumber Street. It is just east of the former First District School
. Until the mid 1840s, Liberty Street was known as Northern Row, since it was at the edge of the town and section line of the city. North of this line was considered the "Northern Liberties" and outside the jurisdiction of the city laws.
|1838, City of Cincinnati From Actual Survey by Joseph Gest Map - Source|
Searching the city directories, I found the earliest address for George Hartburn, who was a carpenter, living on Northern Row between Spring and Pendleton in 1843. William T. Hartburn (possibly George's son) uses the same address starting in 1846 and in 1853, he lists his address as 96 Liberty Street, the address of this property prior to 1896.
Insurance Map - Source |
It is hard to determine whether this is the actual structure that William Hartburn lived in from the 1840s until his death in 1859. However, his wife Ann continued to live in the home until 1866. Ownership, as determined by the deed records, shows that William and Ann created a trust in 1851 to protect their real estate investments. The property transferred through the trust until her death in 1896 and then was given to her grandson, William Keever, her only living descendant, since Ann, who remarried at the age of 69 to Henry Daganar, outlived all her children. The Hartburn and Keever families are buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.
|1860 United States Census|
Ann Hartburn is listed as a gentlewoman with a real estate value of $50,000. She is living with five of her children.
Beginning in 1867, the building became a rental property benefiting Ann. Until the mid 1870s, J. Greiss and J. Stoehr, who were business partners in the wine trade, lived here with their families.
|1870 United States Census|
Other tenants from the 1800s include Albert Fischer, proprietor of the Star Preserve Works, packers of canned meats, fruits and vegetables; Maria Wooley, a teacher; and Jacob Haeussler, who was given a five year lease beginning in 1887. After William Keever's death in 1899, the property transferred out the of Hartman family and began a series of 19 owners until the present.
Here is a listing of tenants every 10 years, from 1900 until 1940, from the city directories
Gorsuch Louisa, wid. Lowrey, h. 424 E. Liberty
Long Mary, laundress, h. 424 E. Liberty
Parker Chas. E. ink grinder, h. 424 E. Liberty
Taylor Wm. shoemkr. h. 424 E. Liberty
" Wm. F. motorman, h. 424 E. Liberty
Wiegand Laura, saleslady, h. 424 E. Liberty
“Louis, driver, h. 424 E. Liberty
“R. F. lab. h. 424 E. Liberty
Kummer Theo umbrella repairer h 424 E Liberty
Meister Caroline F dressmkr h 424 E Liberty
—Marianna wid Matthew h 424 E Liberty
Schwienher Addie with The Alms & Doepke Co h 424 E Liberty
—Catherine wid Henry h 424 E Liberty
—Emma seamstress h 424 E Liberty
—Ida forelady W M Norton's 612 Main h 424 E Liberty
—Louis H clk 1218 Broadway h 424 E Liberty
Coffey Wm with The John Shilitto Co h 424 E Liberty
Glassmeyer Herbert J pressfeeder h 424 E Libertv
—John B cutter h 424 E Liberty
James Luzerne clk Union Central Life Ins Co h 424 E Liberty
—Mabel L h 424 E Liberty
Jeffery Jennie timekpr h 424 E Liberty
Sweeney Scott Clarence elect'n h 424 E Liberty
Walke Paul trunkctr h 424 E Liberty
Young Etta saleslady h 424 E Liberty
Buell Roy E ins agt 2d fl 108 W 6th h 424 E Liberty
Doyle Sebastian (Mabel) mach h 424 E Liberty
Gore Dana C (wid Wm) maid h 424 E Liberty
" Duncan wrapper Taystee Bread Co r 424 E Liberty
" Helen slswn Woolworth's r 424 E Liberty
Grover John F (Lucille) mech h 424 E Liberty
Haley Carolyn waiter Mrs Helen Frey r 424 E Liberty
“John J (Louise) lab h 424 E Liberty
Syron Wm H (Vernon) h 424 E Liberty
Insurance Map - Source
Insurance Map - Source
Andrew Howe, after his purchase of the building in January of 2015, updated the apartments and has had no problem renting them in this desired area of Prospect Hill. He recently added an addition to the chimney, the bust of a women he has named Venus. He intends to name the building Casa de Milo. I'm sure Venus has an amazing view of the city from her perch on this historic building.
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