Sunday, August 26, 2001

Park named after former governor




By Gene Franzen
Enquirer Contributor

        COVINGTON — Bordered by Interstate 75 on the west and Covington's MainStrasse on the east, Goebel Park is a peaceful oasis void of the mayhem and controversy associated with the park's namesake.

        William Goebel grew up in Covington and graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1877. He partnered with several law firms in Covington and was elected to the Kentucky state Senate in 1887.

[photo] The Carroll Chimes bell tower occupies a spot in Covington's Goebel Park.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        While his friends referred to him as a “dedicated reformer,” his adversaries called him a “ruthless, heartless demagogue.”

        Either way, he took his politics seriously. In 1895 he was acquitted in the shooting death of a political opponent, John Sandford, in Covington.

        In 1899 Goebel won the Democratic nomination for governor, splitting the party in the process. He then lost the election to Republican William Taylor by 2,383 votes.

        Democrats protested, and after many of the votes were declared fraudulent, Goebel was declared the winner. The Republicans refused to accept the decision and Kentucky had two governors.

        An assassin tried to settle the dispute, shooting Goebel to death near the Capitol building. The courts eventually decided in favor of the Democrats and Goebel became the only Northern Kentuckian ever elected governor posthumously.

        Sixteen people were indicted in the assassination; five went to trial and three were found guilty. Those three were later pardoned.

        Goebel is the only U.S. governor to die from wounds from an assassin while in office.

        James C. Klotter wrote in his biography of Goebel, “Who killed William Goebel? We do not know, nor may we ever.”
       Now and Then, a look at historic places in Northern Kentucky, appears Sundays in The Kentucky Enquirer. To suggest a feature, call 578-5555.
       

       



Breaking down schools to build them up
Smaller schools showing successes around the country
Questions linger over Fernald
Carrie's mom hurt, but not silent
Festival a sign of OTR recovery
Fire sends 17 families scrambling for safety
All-day football a treat for fans
Arresting man servin' soda
Fairfield teacher praised, honored
Families enjoy pleasures of small towns at festival
The judge vs. the archdiocese
Trip was journey to understanding
Tristate A.M. Report
CROWLEY: Fab fiestas
PULFER: Dayton Dragons
BRONSON: 'N-word' protest
Historic site still in need
Accused cop killer arrested hours earlier
Missing girl's case still active
Search for bodies turns up nothing
Trial to begin in businessman's death
Democrats chew politics at Ky. picnic
Friends dance to help pay Ky. man's medical expenses
Man gets help from near, far
- Park named after former governor
Small Ky. city has big heart