Kentucky's Nineteenth

Historical Marker #889, located on the courthouse lawn in Alexandria, commemorates the creation of Campbell County as the nineteenth county in the state. It was named in honor of Colonel John Campbell, a Revolutionary War officer.

Campbell County is bordered by the Ohio River to the north and east with the Licking River separating Kenton County from Campbell County to the west. Pendleton County borders to the south. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Ohio and Licking Rivers were important to Campbell County, because they served as a mode of transportation for both people and products.

One of the first settlements in the county—Leitch's Station—was created in 1789 by Major David Leitch. He died in 1794, leaving his wife, Keturah Moss, widowed at the young age of twenty-one. Moss later married General James Taylor, founder of the city of Newport. Taylor convinced his cousin, future president James Madison, to authorize the creation of the Newport Barracks in 1803. Taylor donated the land on which the post was founded and personally oversaw its construction. The facility held supplies and troops during the War of 1812. Due to severe flooding in 1884, the site was relocated to higher ground in Fort Thomas.

During the twentieth century, Newport was an important river city with steel and meat packing industries that provided residents with employment. In the latter half of the century, Northern Kentucky University was established in Highland Heights. This institution of higher learning draws students from across the state. Campbell County continues to be an important and thriving entertainment, residential, and educational part of northern Kentucky.