The Botany Hills neighborhood is located along the Ohio River in the hills west of downtown Covington. It has been a part of the city of Covington since 1916. Prior to this time, it was an independent city. The land was once owned by Israel Ludlow. In 1846, the Ludlow family descendants decided to commission a plat for a small village on the property. This small area of residences and businesses became known as Economy. Overtime, the area became attractive to newcomers because of its location on the hill away from the industry and noise of nearby Covington. In addition, the area was linked to Cincinnati by the 5th Street Ferry.
In 1858, the Commonwealth of Kentucky incorporated the little town under the name West Covington. The town boasted a town hall, a school, and a library. In 1862, St. Ann’s Parish was established in the area to serve this primarily German-Catholic community.
Located on hilly terrain, in its early development was slow for the community, in part, due to its inaccessibility. West Covington was physically separated from Covington proper by a valley and Willow Run Creek (now the site of I-75). The primary route from Covington through West Covington had been the River Road, located along the riverbank which was subject to slippage and flooding.
In 1892, that all changed with the construction of Highway Avenue, completed in 1894. This resulted in the first attempt by Covington to annex the town. Long time mayor of West Covington and supporter of the city’s annexation, Joseph J. Moser(1861-1919) called for the community to be annexed by the city of Covington, arguing its citizens would be better served if they lived within its city limits.
During the decade of 1900-1910, the City of Covington had already annexed two other independent municipalities; Latonia and Central Covington. In part, as a result of these annexations, Covington’s population grew, the electric street car lines had been extended, and most of the city’s streets were paved with brick and sidewalks throughout the city. Access to the city of Covington’s public utilities, schools, and lower taxes led many in the West Covington community to support the idea of annexation.
In November 1916, West Covington residents went to the polls to vote on annexation. The measure passed, and the City of West Covington ceased to exist. Today this area is now known as Botany Hills.
Botany Hills has many long-time residents who find the hillside community a convenient and affordable location to live. Its spectacular view of the Cincinnati skyline, and close proximity to Devou Park make it attractive for young professionals seeking a new home.
As upscale residences are being built along the river and hillside, historic preservation efforts led by local residents keeps the community from forgetting its past.
This page is dedicated to Ronnin J. Einhaus Sr., longtime resident of the Botany Hills Neighborhood, whose hard work had kept Covington history alive. Rest In Peace.