On Wednesday, May 9, 1888, Norwood was incorporated as a village with the approval of a citizens' petition by the Hamilton County Commissioners. According to state law, the election of village officials had to wait two months. Almost three months later, on Monday, August 6, 1888, the voters of Section 34, Columbia Township (the area of the new village), elected their new leaders. There had been previous elections in the Norwood precinct before, but this was the first local vote since the village was incorporated. The officials supervising the polls were V. C. Tidball, H. H. Brader and Wm. Weghorst as Judges, and Will. Card and Mr. Watson (possibly Charles A. Watson) as clerks.
A SEARCH COMMITTEE IS FORMED
By June, a committee had been formed to consider candidates. The members of the committee were drawn from the three areas of the incorporated area:
THREE TICKETS ARE OFFERED
By election time, there were three slates of names offered: the "Regulars," the "Citizens" and the "People's Ticket." Obviously these "political parties" were created for this election only, since there were Democrats and Republicans in the new village.
The first Norwood election did not go off without controversy.
The Citizens group declared that the Regulars was created by a select few with no record of persons voting, and even made accusations that non-residents from Ivanhoe, West Norwood, etc., (these subdivisions were annexed later) and minors were allowed to vote at their primary meeting. Some people were said to brag about voting more than once at that meeting.
There was a rumor that the People's Ticket was just an attempt to weaken the East Norwood supporters of John Weyer. Whoever created the People's slate must not have got the agreement of the candidates—three, V. C. Tidball, A. R. Kruse and Dr. W. H. Hopkins, posted a notice that they were not candidates and declined the nomination (marked with * in the following table), and six of the People's Ticket were candidates under the banner of one or more of the other tickets. So it appears that the ticket was just a ruse of some sort.
THE VOTE IS CAST
The following was the vote. There were 199 votes cast. It appears that all of the council candidates were technically "AT-LARGE" with no wards and no candidates running against another individual. Winners are in bold type. Except for the Treasurer, all the offices were won by "Regular" candidates. Three of those running were so popular that they were on both the Regulars and Citizens Tickets. They were J. P. Zimmerman, Sr., Fred H. Mehmert and Gerald Kehoe. These three men were also the top vote-getters of the election.
The only race where everyone cast a vote appears to have been the Treasurer's position—199 votes. The votes for the council seats indicate that the voters were allowed to select only two members—total of 1138 votes cast, for an average of 94.8 votes per candidate; 2 times that is almost 190 votes, close to the total of 199 voters. It seems as though some voters were selective in whether or not they voted for some offices!
Click here for newspaper clippings of the election.