Hamilton Co.

1884 Cincinnati Riot

"The riot left 45 citizens dead, 125 wounded or injured and the courthouse and its invaluable records in ashes"
A History of The Cincinnati Enquirer The Grand Old Lady of Vine Street
pages 62-63 "Headlines Drive Calamitous Riot of 1884"
"On March 9, in the wake of a fresh spate of homicides, the paper (The Enquirer) published a massive expose, calling the city streets a "College of Murder." ........

Two weeks after the "College of Murder" expose, a trial began at the Courthouse of a man named William Berner. He was charged with murder, accused of killing his employer, William Kirk, and robbing him of $285.00. Largely because The Enquirer had fanned the fires of public concern, interest in the trial ran high, and the Courthouse was crowded to capacity.......

When the jury returned a verdict of mere manslaughter, a fresh cry went up. The paper called it an "outrageous assault upon society" and railed at defense lawyers' tactics of seeking acquittal "against all principle of law of justice.".....






Newspaper Articles concerning the 1884 Cincinnati Riot  (pdf file)
The newspaper articles are transcribed from actual newspapers as the event was unfolding.
Some also contain the names of many of the killed and injured.
contributed by Joan Asche from her former website
Thirty Five Years Later: Behind the Guardsman's Rifle The Cincinnati Riot of 1884  By John A. Johnson
Pdf version
contributed by Joan Asche from her former website
Ancestry of William Berner (pdf file)
One of two men convicted in the murder of William Kirk whose verdict spawned the 1884 riot.

Berner Paroled Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette June 6, 1895
Submitted by Peg O'Hagan
A Riotious History ~ offsite link City Beat Aug 2001
Riot of 1884 among the bloodiest in history ~ offsite link Cincinnati Enquirer 3/27/03



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