Merging all of Hamilton County with Cincinanti
Even before Norwood incorporated as a village, Cincinnati was attempting to "annex" the rest of Hamilton County, including Norwood. Many people in the county outside of Cincinnati appeared to be against this action, as described in an article in the February 3, 1888, Cincinnati Enquirer (article at right):
By a vote of 496 to 441, the citizens of Norwood rejected the first of several annexation attempts by Cincinnati.
- 1910, October
According to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Saturday, October 15, 1910:
Petition & Pamphlet
(Some of the points for annexation are listed on the right.)
The City of Norwood contested a petition to place a proposition on the ballot concerning an annexation to Cincinnati. Norwood argued that the number of signatures on the petition was insufficient after a number of withdrawals. Common Pleas Judge James B. Swing decided that not enough withdrawals had been made before the petitions were delivered to the Annexation Committee. Norwood City Solicitor H. E. Engelhardt planned to appeal the case to the Circuit Court.
A pamphlet containing a comprehensive review of the benefits of annexation was to be at the home of every voter by noon on Saturday, October 15. The Norwood Annexation Committee had placed 3,000 of the pamphlets in the mail the previous night. Many were also sent to citizens of other villages who would vote on the same question the next month, so it appears that the pamphlet was created by a group that was supportive of many annexations to Cincinnati, not just Norwood's.
The members of the Norwood Annexation Committee were: Glen Brown, Chairman; Philip Moessinger (Norwood Councilman in 1889), David Davis (Norwood Mayor in 1895), E. H. Hargrave, Charles Minten, H. E. Hall, William M. Hugle, Joseph Kirkup, A. E. Aston, E. W. Kemper, A. H. Waggoner, John Schulte, Hector J. Holmes and Clarence H. Sheen.
- 1916, December
Coal Shortage & Electric Lights
Annexation supporters were given another reason when Norwood almost ran out of coal early in the winter of 1916. The coal was used to supply the city's electric light plant. Because of the shortage, street lamps had been shut off at 1 a.m. the previous week. Fortunately, on Monday, December 4, a shipment of coal was delivered to the siding at the waterworks and electric light plant at Harris Avenue and Pine Street.
- 1918, February
Norwood received the potential threat of annexation when Henry Guentert of Burwood Avenue had the Norwood Service Department's books examined by independent accountants. He apparently was trying to show that Norwood's water and light rates were no lower than Cincinnati's, thereby discounting two main reasons against annexation.
- 1929, April
The Ohio state legislature refused to bring an annexation bill to vote. Governor Cooper displayed his support against the bill by saying that he was "for Norwood, separate and inviolable." The effort for home rule by Norwood Mayor Harry Baker, Dale Wolf (newspaper publisher) and Carl R. Wenzel (special representative of the Ohio Home Rule League) paid off. The bill, if passed, would have allowed larger cities, such as Cincinnati, to annex smaller municipalities, like Norwood, against their will.
Cleveland politicians were attempting a constitutional change allowing for a city-county merger in Cuyahoga County. Since they needed the votes of the Hamilton County legislators, they offered deals — amend the "boro" bill so that it would only apply to those counties with a million people and offer to swap votes to allow more judges to the Hamilton County Pleas Court. The local leaders opposed both suggestions, saying that Hamilton County may have one million citizens in the future and would bluff the threat of no votes for additional judges. They said that if Cleveland wanted to annex its suburbs it should use existing laws and not resort to subterfuge like the proposed boro plan.
(Part of an article has been copied in the right-hand column.)
Feb. 3, 1888
PETITIONS OF REMONSTRATE
The Country People Object in Becoming
Petitions of remonstration against the passage of the law by which Cincinnati and Hamilton County will be incorporated under one municipality have been issued by a committee of representative farmers, and are being distributed in each Post-Office and numerous business houses throughout the county in order to obtain signatures. The general distribution of the petitions made in order that the farmers and representatives of villages throughout the entire county may have an opportunity to express themselves relative to the proposed law. The chief objection made by the county people is that judging by the way some parts of Cincinnati are overlooked in necessary improvements, they would be in nowise improved or benefited by being taken into the Cincinnati corporation.
Oct. 15, 1910
Points for Annexation of
Norwood by Cincinnati
The natural growth of cities (such as Cincinnati) to provide municipal convenience
The prestige, improvements and institutions provided by one municipal government
The cost to Norwood of providing a sewer system for itself and 12 other villages
The park, boulevard and playground system of Cincinnati
Free school books for students from kindergarten through high school
Manual training in high school
Free tuition at the University of Cincinnati compared to the $75 annual tuition fee
Cincinnati's Waterworks versus Norwood's hard water system
Cincinnati's tax rate of 3.80 mills versus Norwood's 6.88
Numerous institutional benefits including hospital, infirmary, university, observatory, humane society, city workhouse, street car inspections, smoke inspection, public baths, parks and playgrounds, etc. ... for a total of $1,024,680. Without these benefits, Cincinnati's tax rate would be 4.25 mills less–2.50 mills less than Norwood's rate.
The suburbs (neighborhoods) within Cincinnati limits receive more than their share of taxes, since half of the taxes are collected south of Twelfth Street to the river, while only 10 per cent of the collections are spent there.
April 11, 1929
NORWOOD WON'T HAVE TO WORRY
OVER ANNEXATION FOR AT
LEAST TWO MORE YEARS
Norwood citizens will not have to worry about being annexed by Cincinnati by a city-county government for at least another two years. with the ending of the State Legislative sessions last week, during which the Cleveland legislators made desperate attempts to pass their own city-county merger scheme of operations here, passed away.
The Cleveland legislators even publicly admitted that in their desperation to vote out the county merger bill, they had offered to swap their votes with the Hamilton county legislators, and approve a plan to add more judges to the Common Pleas Bench here.
But the Hamilton County group was contending for a principle and refused to swap votes with the Cuyahoga County gang. Such new fan-dangled forms of government were not to be approved by the legislators from here.