Covington, a city and one of the seats of justice of Kenton co., Kentucky, situated on the Ohio river, opposite Cincinnati, and immediately below the mouth of the Licking, which separates it from Newport. Its growth since 1830, when it contained 715 inhabitants, has been rapid. In 1840 the population was 2,026; in 1850, 9,408; 1860,16,471; 1870, 24,505, of whom 1,104 were colored, and 7,052 foreign. The wire suspension bridge over the Ohio to Cincinnati, completed in 1867 at a cost of nearly $2,000,000, is supported by two towers, each 200 ft. high, between which the span measures 1,057 ft.; the entire length of the bridge is 2,252 ft., and its height above low water 100 ft. There is also a wire suspension bridge over the Licking to Newport, built in 1854. The Kentucky Central railroad, 112 m. long, to Lexington and Nicholasville, is the only one now entering the city. The Louisville short-line railroad, of which Covington was formerly the terminus, passes in the rear of the city over the Licking to Newport, and thence across the railroad bridge to Cincinnati. The citizens have recently voted $500,000 toward erecting a railroad bridge to the latter city, over which the projected Cincinnati Southern railroad (350 m. long, to Chattanooga, Tenn.) is to cross the Ohio. Horse cars also run to Cincinnati. The city is built upon a beautiful plain several miles in extent, and includes within its corporate limits over 1,350 acres.
The principal streets running from the river appear as a continuation of those of Cincinnati, which Covington greatly resembles in its general plan, and of which it may be regarded as a suburb. The combined court house and city hall is a large and handsome edifice. There are four public school buildings, a high school building in course of erection, and an odd fellows1 hall. In February, 1873, congress appropriated $130,-000 for a post office and United States court building, which will be speedily constructed. There are 560 stores and shops, 8 large tobacco factories, 21 cigar factories, 2 rolling mills producing sheet, bar, and railroad iron, and a third in course of construction, 4 distilleries, 5 breweries, glass works, manufactories of hemp and silk, and several beef- and pork-packing establishments. Many of the inhabitants do business in Cincinnati, 12,000 persons passing over the bridge daily. There are four banks, with an aggregate capital, of $1,750,000. The city is divided into nine wards, and is governed by a mayor and a common council of two members from each ward.
It is supplied with water by works on the Holly system, erected in 1871 at a cost of $430,-000. The taxable property in 1845 amounted to $1,065,245, in 1860 to $6,843,287, and in 1872 to $11,467,325. The public schools consist of 1 high school, 12 grammar and 31 primary schools, which in 1871 had 4 male and 43 female teachers, and an average attendance of 2,054. The city levies a tax of 2 1/2 mills on the dollar, in addition to the state tax of 2 mills, for school purposes. There are also 10 Roman Catholic schools and academies. The public library contains about 5,000 volumes. A weekly newspaper and a monthly periodical are published. The hospital of St. Elizabeth occupies a commodious building, with ample grounds adorned with shrubbery, in the centre of the city, and has a foundling asylum connected with it. The German orphan asylum is about 4 m. from Covington. These institutions are under the charge of the Catholic church. St. Joseph's priory of the Benedictine order is in Bush street, and St. Walburga's convent of Benedictine nuns in Twelfth street.
The churches, 25 in number, are as follows: 3 Baptist, 1 Disciples', 1 Episcopal, 2 Evangelical Reformed, 1 Lutheran, 6 Methodist, 2 Presbyterian, 8 Roman Catholic, and 1 Welsh. The Evangelical, the Lutheran, one of the Methodist, and four of the Catholic churches are German. Two churches, a Baptist and a Methodist, are for colored people. Covington was laid out under an act of February, 1815, and was incorporated as a city in 1834.