The Marauding Marquess of Waterford

Henry de La Poer Beresford as painted by Robert Thorburn in 1840

Henry de La Poer Beresford was never supposed to be the 3rd Marquess of Waterford. Born in 1811, he was the 2nd son of the 2nd Marquess. As he got older, he should have slowly moved further down the family pecking order as his older brother, George, married and had heirs of his own. That changed in 1824. George, the Earl of Tyrone, came down with an inflammation of the bowels and died only two days later at the age of 14. Henry, only 13, took on his title. Two years after that, at the death of his father and at the age of 15, he inherited the title Marquess of Waterford.

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The Ashland Horror

The Initial Report

On Friday December 23, 1881, Mrs. Gibbons and her youngest child went on a trip to Ironton to stay with her daughter and son in law. Mr. John Gibbons had moved out of the house five weeks earlier. Teenagers Robbie (17) and Fanny (14) stayed in the family’s one and half story house along with another 14 year old girl who lived nearby, Emma Thomas. Emma arrived at the Gibson house at 6 pm. Fanny was already there and Robbie got home between 9 and 10 pm. None of the three were seen alive again. It was also noted that Robbie only had one foot, having lost the other seven years earlier.

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Lost But Not Forgotten

This week it was reported by Cincinnati news outlets that the body of William Brandenburg, who was killed in action during WW2, was coming home an improbable 70+ years later. I am a firm believer in the idea that, despite it’s impossibility, everyone deserves to be remembered. It sounds like William was. His family submitted DNA samples in hopes of assisting in identifying his remains. The effort was successful, but not until after everyone that knew William had passed away.

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Crushed Under Stone

The Explosion

On October 4, 1905, an explosion shook the Hamilton County Courthouse. For years, county workers had complained about the smell of gas in the building and had been trying to find the source of the leak. They went so far as to tear up the floors and the walls where the smell was the strongest. At about 3 o’clock, on the afternoon in question, the County Clerk called for the Superintendent of Buildings and asked that he try to solve the problem before the weather got too cold. The Clerk was concerned that if they had to close the windows the smell would be so strong they wouldn’t be able to work in the room.

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Murdered By A Maniac

The Dastardly Crime

The Hartnett family lived at number 25 Walker street, near where sycamore street wound up to Mount Auburn. Patrick Hartnett (38) and his wife Mary (34) shared five children and Mary was expecting their 6th. Patrick, a laborer and alcoholic. Being more alcoholic than laborer, he decided that he didn’t want to work in the winter. He’d worked in the summer and it was somebody else’s turn. To try to close the gap, Mary took in laundry and the couple’s oldest son, John (14), got a job.

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Raised in the House of Refuge

The Request*

My maternal grandpa was Thomas Cliff born in 1891 in Kentucky and died in 1959 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His mother was Minnie Coop born in 1874 Allen, Kentucky and died in 1924 in Cincinnati. I found a newspaper article that said Thomas lived at an orphanage called the Cincinnati House of Refuge because his parents divorced. Minnie remarried to a man named Joseph Bech.

Thomas was 35 years older than his wife, my grandma Betty. I know Thomas was a bootlegger, what I can’t figure out is his father. A marriage certificate lists his dad as William Cliff but I don’t know which William Cliff. I’d like information on him.

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