Cincinnati, OH

This great picture found by Brittany Luna shows Cincinnati's fountain in 1915 in all its glory. Cincinnati had received a National Humane Alliance Fountain after Lewis Seaver visited the city. He met with officials of the Hamilton County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and they selected the site for the fountain to be placed at Pearl and Sycamore streets. Among those in attendance was Miss Louise F. Drude who had first suggested that the S.P.C.A. acquire a fountain from the Alliance. However, a letter in the newspaper in 1917 from S.P.C.A. president E. P. Bradstreet said that the fountain was erected at the corner of Broadway and Second Street in 1910.

In comments the night of his visit, Seaver noted that the Alliance was founded by Hermon Lee Ensign and that upon his death he left his property to the Alliance. Seaver was named as one of the executors of the estate. He noted that they had given cash donations to some small, struggling humane societies and also started donating fountains to a number of cities including six in New York and one at Mexico City. They had then decided to place at least one in every state in the Union. At the time, they were only missing two states - West Virginia and Idaho.

The fountain in Cincinnati had a mixed history. The letter writer mentioned above said that it was an immediate success with 500 teams of horses using it daily. However, in 1914, a Glanders scare caused health officials to ban the use of any public drinking fountains as a safety measure against the disease. Though it was thought to be a short term measure, the ban was not lifted when things improved. And then on June 24, 1916, "...a blundering or stupid driver drove into the Ensign fountain and smashed it down." The parts were still there and the City Council collected damages from the driver, but did not restore it! It supposedly was put in storage some place - and as far as we can tell, never heard from again - though we do have a reference to it possibly have been turned into a planter!

For more on the National Humane Alliance Fountains click here.

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