Cities of
Pendleton County


DeMossville is surrounded by hills, the Licking River, and Grassy Creek. The L&N Railroad runs between the town and the river. 1

In July of 1876, "A Disastrous fire at Demossville last night totally destroyed the dwelling, store-house and tobacco warehouse of Mr. J. M. Stephens, and also the residence of Dr. McGill. The buildings were of frame and the warehouse contained a quantity of tobacco. The loss can not fall short of about $10,000 or $15,000 for Stephens, $700 of which is covered by insurance in the Aetna. Dr. McGill's residence was uninsured. The fire was evidently the work of an incendiary, as a lot of cotton saturated with turpentine was discovered piled against the warehouse where the flames first broke out." 2

"… Our census will show about one hundred and fifty inhabitants; one blacksmith shop, two stores, one tailor shop, one laboratory, two livery stables, one cooper shop and other industries which usually go to make up a first-class country town. Our people are just at this time reaping an immense harvest in the way of cheap goods at our two stores, one kept by J. G. Daugherty, and the other by the old tried and true Uncle Aaron Threasher, who has added to his stock of goods a full line of ready-made clothing. Both say they will not be under sold by anyone.” 3

“I shall begin with a brief description of our town: Demossville has 10 inhabitants. It is situated on the K.C.R.R. 2 miles south of Covington [?]. It is bounded on the north by Grassy Creek, on the east by the Licking River, on the south by a hill, and west by a mud puddle. The principal products of our town are school marms and magic balm. Our new merchant, Mr. Gaines Daugherty, who traded his farm for Mr. Dick Anderson’s store, is doing a thriving business. Our town can boast of Grangers, Good Templars and Masons, and under their influence, by the help of the good citizens in general, the town is so changed from what it was a few years ago, that it is the last place on the railroad line at which the conductors would put off their passengers who want to go to the devil." 4

Formerly called 'Hell's Half Acre' 5 , DeMossville was settled in 1852 and was named for the DeMoss family 6 one "of which Peter DeMoss, a French immigrant and veteran of the Revolutionary War, may have come to America with Lafayette." 7

“A murder took place June 11 [1859] near Demossville, Pendleton County, Ky. It appears that two brothers, by the name of RYAN, got into a quarrel over their whiskey, when TIM (one of the them) took down his gun and attempted to shoot the other, but fortunately the gun was prematurely discharged, the load passing through the roof of the house instead of taking effect as was intended. A scuffle then ensued, when the gun was broken in two at the breach, Tim, holding the barrel in his hand, with which he struck his brother in the head two or three times, fracturing his skull and resulting in his death. Tim was subsequently arrested, and taken to Falmouth and lodged in jail. He confessed to the deed, and said it should have been done a long time ago.” 8

During the US Civil War, "Lieutenant Rickertson, of the Eighteenth Ohio regiment, stationed at Demossville, Ky., having received information that a band of rebels were in the habit of holding meetings at Morris's Mills, in Campbell County, left his camp on the day before yesterday for the purpose of capturing them. He did not find them at Morris's Mills, but two miles further on, near Roushe's house, he captured two men belonging to the guerilla band under "Jim Caldwell." Continuing the pursuit yesterday, Lieutenant Rickertson encamped within "thirty yards of the rebels without either party having a knowledge of it, and this morning Caldwell's party got the start. Lieutenant Rickertson, upon hearing their movement, following in pursuit." The rebels were not overtaken until they reached the vicinity of Germantown, in Mason County, where they were surprised and completely routed. Lieutenant Daniels of the rebel party was killed in the fight that took place. and three others were wounded. Caldwell escaped on a very fleet horse, while his men, except three who were captured, fled to the woods, leaving their horses in the hands of the Nationals." 9

May, 1870, "There was a large temperance meeting at the three Forks of Grassy Creek, on yesterday, at which speeches were made by J. C. Taylor and S. T. Wall, of Covington, Rev. Orson Long, and several others. The good things of life were plentiful and freely distributed, and some thirty odd were added to the Demossville Reform Club. My informant declares it to have been the most spirited movement which he has witnessed for a great many years in temperance affairs” 10

Just after the turn of the 20th century, in 1904, " there were 28 families living in DeMossville and two tobacco warehouses. There was a blacksmith shop owned by Jim Welsher, a millinery, a one-room school, where all children in elementary and high school were taught. Two of its first teachers were John Gosney and a Mr. Pfanstiel; a single telephone line, which ran from DeMossville to Williamstown but only a few homes and store owners had telephones.; animals and livestock, including hogs, sheep, cattle and horses were shipped on trains from the stockyards near the depot; W.S. Clark owned the railroad depot, which also contained a post office, telegraph office, and general store; a Masonic lodge, built by a Mr. Golden, stood near the railroad depot; a second lodge was built in 1913 by Tom McMillian. " 11

DeMossville gets a brief entry in Wikipedia, "DeMossville (or De Mossville) is an unincorporated community in Pendleton County, Kentucky, United States. It is situated along the Licking River, approximately thirty-five miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. Although it is unincorporated, DeMossville has a post office, with a ZIP code of 41033. " 12 (The distance, DeMossville to Cincinnati varies, depending on who's doing the measuring. In the 1800s, it was as close as twenty miles but the nearer and nearer it gets to present-day, the further and further it becomes.)

The first church in DeMossville was the Baptist church, which was lost to a fire and rebuilt in 1935. 13 The Carter's Chapel United Methodist Church is on Carter's Chapel Road. " On the 18th of October in 1861 Three trustees George Spegal, Richard Simpson & George Rouse were deeded land for a Methodist Church. The property came from Sarah Elizabeth & Lilburn Crail. It was George Spegal & Jeff Oliver who built the original structure from logs… in 1901 Arthur Yelton & Doc Golden began building the present sanctuary. Syrilda Spegal, wife of one of the former church builders, died that December. Since the current project was unfinished, logs & stools were carried in for funeral seating. During construction a wind storm twisted rafters & those had to be reinforced. So, it was not until the summer of 1902 that the church--named after the first pastor, Rev. Carter--was officially dedicated. In the early years since the present sanctuary's completion, Mr. Wm. 'Billy' Spegal became Sunday School Superintendent (a position he would hold for forty-seven years). The first bride to be married in the new building was Mrs. Lydia Doud.
Bordered on three sides by a cemetery, legible dates on stones date back to 1854. Many graves date back to the cholera epidemics of the early 1900's. Some tombstones can no longer be read. " 14

The 'iron bridge', at the entrance to DeMossville, built in the early 1900s, is still standing and in use today.

1 ] Kentucky Explorer 'The History of DeMossville, Pendleton County, KY'

2 ] The Ticket July 18, 1876

3 ] Covington’s Daily Commonwealth, April 23, 1879

4 ] Covington’s Daily Commonwealth, May 5, 1879

5 ]The Histories of Several Communities in Pendleton Co.
"The First 200 Years of Pendleton County" by Mildred Bowen Belew

6 ] DeMossville, KY

7 ]Wikipedia-'DeMossville'

8 ] New York Times of June 21, 1859

9 ] Civil War Skirmish Comes to Demossville

10 ] Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, May 17, 1870

11 ] Kentucky Explorer 'The History of DeMossville, Pendleton County, KY'

12 ] Wikipedia

13 ] Kentucky Explorer 'The History of DeMossville, Pendleton County, KY'

14 ] Carter's Chapel United Methodist Church

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