Saturday, January 3, 2009

The rise of the first Nicholas Longworth, and Louise Harrison Snodgrass, composer

These two articles include some interesting Cincinnati History. The first is about the second land owner of the house on Pike Street, where the Taft Museum resides. The first owner was Martin Baum. The second owner was Nicholas Longworth who bought the house in 1830. He is the grandfather of Nicholas Longworth the congressional member from Cincinnati, who served from 1903 to 1913 and married Alice Lee Roosevelt (the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt) on February 17, 1906 at the White House.

Margaret describes his grandfather as a wit with a vivid personality. He was a lawyer who received a large parcel of land from one of his clients. The client, Joel Williams a tavern owner, was accused of stealing sheep. Mr. Longworth successfully defended him against this charge. Mr. Williams promised to pay him two copper stills for his services. However, after Mr. Williams won the case, he decided to keep the stills for his new distillery. He offered Mr. Longworth the 33 acres around Western Row in exchange. Mr. Longworth retired after 25 years of law practice. In his retirement, he successfully cultivated Caltawba and Isabella vines.

She recounts a funny story about Longworth. Once a man came asking for a donation to help a poor widow with a large number of children. Mr. Longworth said, "I shan't give a cent. Such persons always find plenty to relieve them. I shall assist none but the idle, drunken vagabonds that nobody else will help. If you meet with any such cases, call upon me."

The second article on this page is about Louise Harrison Snodgrass. She was a famous Cincinnati composer who wrote the song "London girl". This song was apparently sung over 100 times by the great Lawrence Tibbett. She was in Chicago for the Penwoman's Congress. Her daugher, Anne English was also in town. Anne was back in Cincinnati from New York after performing with the Provincetown Players in the Village.


  1. what's your connection to Louise Harrison Snodgrass? I'm doing some family history research and came across your page. She'd be a distant relative of mine.

  2. Sorry for the delayed response! My grandmother was a writer for the Cincinnati post and we scanned her tearsheets and posted them online. She just happened to write about Louise Harrison Snodgrass back in the 30's. I don't know much more about her other than this article. Here is a link to it.
    Hope this helps with your research. She sounds like she was a fascinating woman, and if I find out anything else about her, I will pass it along. Best, Casey Weaver