1717- The first two waves of Irish immigrants (200,000) travel to the United States. Some come to escape the crop and linen industry failures while other try to escape the religious conflict between England and Ireland in their own country.
1787– Irish surveyor John Dunlap is hired by the Miami Company (organized by Judge John Cleves Symmes) to lead families in colonizing the Northwest Territory, which included what would become the state of Ohio.
1788 – Francis Kennedy becomes the first Irishman to arrive in the Cincinnati settlement and begins the first ferry service from the Ohio side of the river to the Licking River on the Kentucky side.
1791- Irishman Joseph Lloyd becomes the first schoolteacher in Cincinnati when he establishes a log cabin school near Sycamore Street.
1791– Dunlap’s Station (the location John Dunlap established) is laid siege to by the Western Confederacy of American Indians. Military protection comes from Fort Washington, which site is now part of downtown Cincinnati.
1803 – The Cincinnati Police Department is created. It requires men over 21 years old to register as a rotating group of night watchmen. However, by 1840 the Irish were conspicuously absent from the police force. By the 1870s, as more Irish become elected judges and commissioners in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, more of their brethren are welcomed into the police department.
1819– Alexander Norris and his family emigrate from Ireland to Cincinnati. His daughters, Elizabeth and Olivia, marry James Gamble and William Procter.
1819– Father Edward Fenwick forms the first Catholic congregation in Cincinnati at Christ Church. The cemetery surrounding the church beccomes the resting place for early Irish congregants.
1825– Construction begins on the Miami and Erie Canal, employing many Irish immigrants as laborers.
1828 – Enniskillen native James Gamble opens a soap factory on Walnut Street.
1829– Race riots, largely between Irish immigrants and free African-Americans, occur. The Irish, already treated as second-class, fear competition for jobs and housing.
1829– St. Francis Xavier Seminary and the Athenaeum College are established by Bishop Edward D. Fenwick, the first bishop of Cincinnati. In 1851, it is renamed Mount St. Mary’s of the West to avoid confusion with the growing school which will eventually become Xavier University.
1831 – James Beatty arrives in Ireland at age 17 from County Tyrone, Ireland. He makes his fortune in banking and livestock, and early on in his career he constructs the Lebanon Canal and turnpikes.
1831– The Catholic Telegraph is founded by Bishop Fenwick. It is used to communicate to his congregation within the diocese (which then stretched from Kentucky to northern Michigan), and later to connect Irish Catholics within the diocese to news from home.
1833– Bishop John Baptist Purcell, born at Mallow, County Cork, is appointed Bishop of Cincinnati and during his tenure oversees a tremendous increase in the number of Catholic citizens within the diocese despite the rise of anti-Catholic sentiment. He is appointed archbishop in 1850.
1836– Mitchell & Rammelsberg’s, a furniture manufacturing plant, is created. Robert Mitchell, one of the founding partners, was born in Ireland in 1811. The firm is a premier manufacturer and purportedly the largest of its time.
1837– Two Irish ministers, one Catholic (Archbishop John Baptist Purcell) and one Protestant (Baptist Reverend Alexander Campbell), hold a week-long debate to address religious intolerance.
1837– William Procter (English) and James Gamble (Irish), brothers-in-law who marry the Norris sisters, formally found Procter & Gamble. P&G begins its early years as a manufacturer of soap and candles.
1837– Sister Anthony O’Connell emigrates from Ireland to the United States to work at St. Peter’s Orphanage. She later works at Camp Dennison during the beginning of the Civil War. Sr. Anthony eventually becomes known as the “Angel of the battlefield” for her work treating soldiers on the battlefields and hospital ships in Tennessee and Virginia.
1841– Following a severe drought that left many without work, a group of Irishmen fight with a group of African Americans, igniting yet another period of race riots in the city.
1842 – English novelist Charles Dickens visits Cincinnati and remarks on a local temperance parade, “I was particularly pleased to see the Irishmen, who formed a distinct society among themselves, and mustered very strong with their green scarfs carrying their national harp…”
1845-1851 – The potato famine kills Ireland’s staple food crop and as a result millions of people die from starvation and fever or emigrate from their homeland.
1846 – Murder most foul occurs at the People’s Theater one night when an Irish comedian named John Reeve who had “taken up” with Mrs. Cook, the wife of the theater’s treasurer. Mr. Cook kills Reeve by stabbing him in the heart before fleeing town.
1847 – William Halpin arrives in Cincinnati. Deeply committed to winning freedom for his native Ireland, he is a member of the local Robert Emmett Irish Immigrant Aid Society and the Exiled Sons of Ireland, both organizations working to oust England.
1850 – St. Patrick’s Church on Third and Mill Streets is dedicated, staffed by Irish priests to serve the growing Irish population in Cincinnati.
1850– By this time the Irish make up 43 percent of the foreign-born population in the United States.
1851– Bishop John Baptist Purcell opens Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, which is built by John and James Slevin. Five acres of land on Price’s Hill is donated by Patrick Considine.
1853– The first fully professional fire department is established in Cincinnati, equipped with a steam fire engine. As the Irish population grows within the city, they increasingly fill positions as firefighters.
1855 – On September 24th of 1855, Dionysus Lardner Boucicault, an Irish playwright and actor touring America from 1854-1860, debuts Grimaldi: Or, Scenes in the Life of an Actress at the National Theater.
1856 – Members of the Robert Emmet Emigrant Aid Society, an Irish-American group that hoped to keep people who left Ireland for America involved in the struggle against England, are called into the District Court to be questioned on allegations that they intend to support a rebellion against England.
1857– Sarah Worthington King Peter is sent to Ireland by Archbishop John Baptist Purcell to petition the Sisters of Mercy to relocate to Cincinnati. Those sisters who do relocate first establish their convent in Sarah Peter’s home, then move to Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine.
1858 – Mother Mary Terese Maher of Kinsale, Ireland leads a group of ten Sisters of Mercy to Cincinnati. They establish a convent on Sycamore Street, purchase a German orphanage, and open St. Patrick’s School on Third and Mill Streets as their first school.
1861– The 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment is mustered into service for the Civil War. The backbone of this regiment is the Irish population of Cincinnati.
1863 – Joseph B. Carbery and Charles E. Callahan establish the Irish Building and Loan Company in order to provide loans for businesses and homes to Irish who were turned away by other banks.
1864– Thomas Lowry Young, born in County Down, Ireland, is discharged from the 118th Ohio Infantry due to illness. After his discharge, Young attends the Cincinnati Law School and serves as Lieutenant Governor under Rutherford B. Hayes.
1865– The Fenian Brotherhood, part of the Fenian Movement to fight for Irish independence, holds their Second National Congress in Cincinnati’s Metropolitan Hall.
1865 – Two brothers from County Cravan, Henry and Samuel Pogue, establish their own dry goods store in Cincinnati, the H. & S. Pogue Company.
1866 – Cincinnatian George Sweeney, an Irish immigrant and a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War, is also a prominent figure in the Fenian movement in America and takes part in the Fenians’ ill-fated invasion of Canada. The Fenian forces, including many Cincinnatians, gather near Buffalo, New York at the beginning of June to launch their raid into Canada.
1867 – Ohio River bargeman Mike MCoole fights Aaron Jones in Cincinnati’s first championship boxing match, escaping possible prosecution in Hamilton County by meeting in Butler County. More than 3000 people witnessed 34 rounds as McCoole is declared the heavyweight champion.
1868– Neil MacNeale, a manufacturer who came to Cincinnati in 1849, helps found the Board of Trade in Cincinnati.
1868– The United States’ third chapter of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick is founded in Cincinnati.
1869 – The first banquet of the Cincinnati chapter of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick is held at the St. Nicholas Hotel, with opening remarks from its first president, Dr. George A. Doherty.
1869– Andrew Jackson Leonard signs with the Cincinnati Red Stockings to play left field, and becomes the first professional Irish baseball player.
1869– Now an Archbishop, Purcell blesses the banners of the Cincinnati Hibernians, a branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
1870 – The Irish constitute 21 percent of Cincinnati’s population and become more involved with supporting their parochial schools and parish communities.
1870 – As the captain of the Eighth Ward in Cincinnati, Mike Mullen controls dozens of patronage jobs. He is beloved in the Irish American community and helps his constituents through bad times as well as holding massive “Irish Day” picnics every year.
1876– Purcell celebrates his Golden Jubilee as an ordained bishop in Cincinnati. Purcell uses the Catholic Telegraph to reach out to 150,000 congregants in the archdiocese.
1877– The Gilligan Funeral Home is formed by Patrick Gilligan. The funeral home is still in operation and is under the direction of Harry J. Gilligan III and Peter J. Gilligan.
1877– Robert M. Moore, born in Cookstown, Ireland, and a veteran of the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War, is electeds as mayor of Cincinnati.
1878– Irish American baseball player Mike “King” Kelly, makes his debut with the Cincinnati Reds. He is the inspiration for the Tin Pan Alley song, “Slide, Kelly, Slide.”
1879– James Norris Gamble of Procter & Gamble and a trained chemist, develops an inexpensive white soap equal in quality to expensive imported brands. Harvey Procter comes up with the name: Ivory.
1900– David Sinton, born in County Armagh, dies and leaves $20,000,000 (2017 equivalent of about $500,000,000) to his daughter. He is the richest man in Ohio at the time of his death, having earned much of his wealth by stockpiling pig iron and selling it at inflated prices during the American Civil War. His daughter marries Charles Phelps Taft, brother of William Howard Taft, and Sinton money is believed to have financed Taft’s presidential bid in 1908. His home is currently the Taft Museum of Art.
1910 – Irish American Cincinnatians John and James McNamara are radical laborers in the International Workers of the World (IWW, or “Wobblies”). The brothers dynamite the Los Angeles Times Building.
1915 – The Sisters of Mercy found Mother of Mercy Villa as a secondary school for girls. This particular order of nuns was founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1831.
1925– Archbishop John T. McNicholas, born in Kiltimagh, County Mayo, becomes the second Dominican priest to lead the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He previously served as assistant to the master general of the Dominicans in Rome and as the bishop of Duluth.
1928– Archbishop McNicholas incorporates The Athenaeum of Ohio in an effort to develop a unified agency to coordinate all educational work in the Cincinnati diocese.
1931 – Dublin’s famed Abbey Theatre sends actors under the direction of playwright Lennox Robinson to perform at the Taft Theater. Their performances are part of a cultural outreach by the Irish Free State government.
1958 – The Sisters of Mercy found McAuley High School on a donated piece of land in College Hill. It is named after Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy.
1960 – St. Patrick’s Division One of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is chartered on October 28th, 1960. John McSorley, the president of the organization, presides at the first meeting, held downtown at St. Francis Xavier Church on Sycamore Street.
1967 – The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held as members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians hold a religious procession through downtown thanks to “Big” Jim Murphy, who secures the permit.
1969 – Mercy Montessori is founded by Sr. Mary Jacinta Shay, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, as an independent, Montessori school supported by the Sisters of Mercy.
1977 – Mary McGing founds McGing Irish Dancers, a dance studio that teaches Irish dance to young and old, Irish and non-Irish. It is the largest Irish dance school in Cincinnati.
1984 – St. Patrick’s Division One of the Ancient Order of Hibernians finally procures its own building at 3926 River Road in Lower Price Hill/Riverside.
1996 – An historical marker is placed at Sawyer Point along the Ohio river to commemorate the contribution of the Irish to the city. Sixteen local Irish cultural institutions coordinated the funding and local support.
1998 – Allison Erickson founds Erickson Academy of Irish Dance, the second largest Irish dance studio in Cincinnati.
2003 – Erickson Academy hosts the first annual Queen City Feis, an Irish dance competition that is now held downtown at the Duke Energy Convention Center.
2009– The Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati is founded.
2010 – St. Patrick’s Division One of the Ancient Order of Hibernians co-hosts the 2010 Ancient Order of Hibernians National Convention in July, and then its own 50th Anniversary in October.