MS-5

INTRODUCTION:

Size: 20.43 linear feet, including 7 boxes of oversize scrapbooks

Span Dates: 1909-1982          Bulk Dates: 1958-1970

Accession number: M2000-0401

Donor(s): H. Lew Wallace, Hank Messick, Nancy Hay, Henry Hosea

Custodial History: In 1979 H. Lew Wallace, History Professor, received a grant from the Kentucky Oral History Commission to interview individuals involved in the social, political, and economic changes in Newport and Campbell County, Kentucky during the late 1950s –mid 1970s. During the course of the oral history project, Wallace gathered and received material through at least three means. First, he received original material donated to NKU’s History Department. Second, he received informal donations from individuals such as journalist and author Hank Messick for the History Department and Wallace’s research project. Last, Wallace gathered his own materials for the project. The materials were originally housed in the History Department. They were transferred to Special Collections and Archives, Steely Library sometime after Wallace’s death in 1996.

Summary: Collection contains organizational and personal records, such as correspondence, project files, research subject files, oral history interviews, news clippings, and photographs collected during the grant-funded project The Attack on Organized Crime in Northern Kentucky in the 1950s and 1960s directed by Wallace and members of the NKU History Department. These materials were gathered from individuals and organizations associated with reform efforts and local government in Newport and Campbell County during the 1950s-1970s.

ACCESS AND USE:

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research access with the exception of one folder due to FERPA restrictions.

Some audiotapes may require duplication and migration prior to patron access.

Pages of one scrapbook were heavily damaged and beyond physical recovery. Contents consisted solely of news clippings. Pages were photographed and are available electronically; consult Special Collections employees for access.

Use Restrictions: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, US Code) governs the reproduction of copyrighted material. The User assumes full responsibility and any attendant liability for the fair use of materials requested in total compliance with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) that may arise through the use of any requested materials.

The Eva G. Farris Special Collections is interested in hearing from any copyright holders who are not properly identified so that appropriate information may be provided in the future. Please contact Lois Hamill, University Archivist, at hamilll1@nku.edu or (859) 572-5863.

Preferred Citation: [Box #, Folder #], MS-5 H. Lew Wallace Newport History Collection, Eva G. Farris Special Collections, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University.

Related Materials:

MS-3, Claude W. Johnson, Jr. Committee of 500 Records, Eva G. Farris Special Collections, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University.

MS-4, Social Action Committee of the Newport Ministerial Association Records, Eva G. Farris Special Collections, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University.

Processing Information: Reprocessed by Anne Ryckbost, 2012. Processed by archives staff in 2006.

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ACCESS POINTS

Subject(s):
Alcohol--Law and legislation--Kentucky.
Gambling and crime--Kentucky.
Gambling--Law and legislation--Kentucky.
Gambling--Economic aspects--United States.
Kentucky. Governor (1959-1963: Combs).
Kentucky--History.
Newport (Ky.)--History--20th century.
Political campaigns--1960-1970.
Prostitution--Kentucky--1950s-1970s.
Sheriffs--Kentucky--Campbell County.
Trials--Kentucky.

Person(s):
Benton, Frank Jr.
Breckinridge, John B. (John Bayne), 1913-1979.
Buccieri, Edward Anthony.
Ciafardini. Patrick, ?-2005.
Carinci, Tito, 1928-2006.
Cook, Henry.
Cook, Jack.
Combs, Bert T., 1911-1991.
Frederick, Leroy.
Hay, Nancy.
Hengelbrok, Ed Jr.
Herzog, Francis.
Hosea, Henry J., Jr.,?-1988
Jackson, Hattie.
Johnson, Claude W., Jr. “Bud”,?-1998.
Lester, Charles E.
Messick, Hank, 1922-1999.
Mussman, Ralph G., 1919-1987.
Ratterman, George, 1926-2007.
Seifried, Christian, 1913- 2003.
Staab, Frank.
Wadsworth, Jack.
Wallace, H. Lew.,?-1996.
Warren, Fred, 1903-1986.
Wise, William J.

Organization(s)/Corporate Body(ies):
Committee of 500.
Louisville Courier-Journal.
Social Action Committee of the Newport Ministerial Association.
Tropicana Club.

Geographic Location(s):
Kentucky--Campbell County.
Kentucky--Campbell County--Fort Thomas.
Kentucky--Campbell County--Newport.
Phenix City (Ala.)

SCOPE AND CONTENT:

This collection is arranged into five series based on origin of donation. Series I, Committee of 500 Records (1961-1975, undated), contains committee membership applications, forms, and lists; meeting agendas and minutes; correspondence; and member bulletins. Correspondence chiefly discusses committee meetings, campaigns (political and reform), and finances. The series also contains project files that document the work of the committee. These include materials such as press announcements and advertising and candidate information for various campaigns supported by the Committee of 500. Some of the most notable are the George Ratterman for Campbell County Sheriff campaign (1961), the Fred Warren campaign for Campbell County Circuit Court judge (1963), and the John B. Breckinridge campaign for Lieutenant Governor (1963).

Series II, Henry Hosea Materials (1961-1975, undated), contains personal and professional records that document Hosea’s involvement in the civic and economic landscapes of Campbell County and northern Kentucky and relate to his leadership in the Committee of 500. These materials include Committee of 500 member lists, statements of the duties of committee members, the committee’s purpose, and correspondence. A small amount of subpoenas and an affidavit relate to Hosea’s role in legal proceedings as a witness. There are also materials from two other civic groups with which Hosea served: Campbell County Chamber of Commerce and the Campbell County Jury Commission. A small amount of business records from his company, H.J. Hosea and Sons Co., includes a company brochure and correspondence about exporting gambling machines. Loose newspaper clippings relate to the Committee of 500 and H.J. Hosea and Sons Co.

Series III, Hank Messick Materials (1943-1981, undated), has a large amount of material created and gathered by Messick during his investigations on crime and corruption in Newport. It is divided into three subseries. Subseries 1, Personal, contains biographical information about Messick; correspondence written and received by Messick relating to crime, politics, and reform in Newport; and subpoenas and summons from various legal proceedings that called Messick as a witness. Subseries II, Interview transcripts, has transcripts for interviews Messick conducted with six individuals involved in reform efforts. Messick used much of this material in his articles in Louisville’s Courier Journal. Transcripts are arranged alphabetically by interviewee last name. Subseries III, Research files, contains Messick’s research files for his reporting and possibly his books Syndicate Wife and Razzle Dazzle. These files are grouped by general topic and arranged chronologically. Materials in these files include correspondence, reports, affidavits, petitions, grand jury charges, police reports, news clippings on several Campbell County court cases against elected officials and those involved in illegal gambling and criminal behavior. Researchers may be particularly interested in correspondence written to and from George Ratterman as well as some written to and from William Watson, the Kentucky Assistant Attorney General in 1961. Also of note are materials on the George Ratterman trial (1961) and the trial of Tito Carinci, Charles E. Lester, and Anthony Edward Buccieri et al. There are court records from the 1961-1962 State of Kentucky proceedings against Newport officials Leroy Frederick and Harry Stuart. This series also includes a small amount of correspondence (1944-1945) from a Kentucky State Reformatory inmate named David Whitfield. The relationship between this material and the other Messick research materials is unclear. A partial inventory list of Messick’s materials is included in this series.

Series IV, Dr. H. Lew Wallace Materials (1970s-1981), contains material chiefly related to the 1979-1981 oral history project Attack on Organized Crime in Northern Kentucky in the 1950s and 1960s directed by Wallace. Materials include a small amount of correspondence with Hank Messick, index cards with names and brief identifications, a published article about the project, and several photographs of Wallace[?] visiting Newport sites known for their past connection to the town’s gambling and corruption. This series includes edited transcripts from oral history interviews conducted for the project. The collection inventory lists those interviews which are open for research.

Series V, Materials Related to the Newport Clean-up Project (1909-1982, undated, bulk 1961-1967), contains loose materials that could not be definitively associated with a particular donor series but clearly relate to the documentation of crime and corruption in Newport, the Committee of 500, the Social Action Committee, and local political figures. The series is divided into five subseries. Subseries 1, George Ratterman case materials relates to George Ratterman’s 1961 campaign for Campbell County Sheriff, his arrest for soliciting prostitution, and the subsequent trial of Tito Carinci and others for conspiracy. There are public relations statements, interviews given by Ratterman to the F.B.I., grand jury charge counts, a petition for appeal by Lester and Buccieri, and a speech written by Tito Carinci when he ran for Newport mayor in 1963. There are also ten photographs of court room scenes and Newport. Subseries 2, Miscellaneous legal and economic materials on Newport, includes legal and economic materials on Newport. Subseries 3, Unpublished and published material, contains materials such as newsletters, magazine reports, and government documents. Subseries 4, News clippings and newspapers, has a large amount of news clippings, newspapers, and scrapbooks of clippings from the 1950s-1970s documenting topics such as local political campaigns, figures, and elections; illegal activity and criminal behavior; reform group efforts by the Committee of 500 and the Social Action Committee; and legal proceeding and trials. The clippings and newspapers were chiefly published by Cincinnati Times-Star, Cincinnati Enquirer, Kentucky Post, Kentucky Times-Star, and the Courier-Journal. Subseries 5, memorabilia, contains a Newport Rotary Club paperweight. Its significance is unclear.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH/HISTORICAL NOTE:

The first influential organized reform effort in Newport and Campbell County was set up by the Newport Ministerial Association in 1957 and called the Social Action Committee. Led by chairman Christian Seifried, its membership included area protestant ministers and interested lay people. This group tended to espouse a religious perspective and acted to reform the moral atmosphere and behavior of the city, which they believed was corrupted by gambling, prostitution, and illegal alcohol sales. Their primary means of doing so was gathering information about the situation and using the intelligence to write letters to various elected officials and law enforcement calling for action. They also filed complaints with the Campbell County Grand Jury against elected officials that they believed were corrupt and requested that a handful of Newport officials be removed from office. By the early 1960s, the Social Action Committee’s efforts were overshadowed by the emergence of another reform organization. It dissolved in 1966.

The other major reform group of the period, formed in 1961 by local Campbell County businessmen and citizens, was the Committee of 500. This group fought to transform the local economy from illegal activity such as gambling, prostitution, and organized crime, to a legal, industry-based economy. It lacked a religious affiliation and crossed political party boundaries. The committee developed a large membership base; garnered the support of local news outlets; and campaigned for new officials, who shared their reform objectives for key local government offices. Notable candidates supported by the committee include George Ratterman, Fred Warren, Frank Benton, and John Breckinridge. The committee is often credited with bringing an end to corruption and organized crime in Campbell County.

One of the most well-known of the committee’s efforts was their backing of George Ratterman for Campbell County sheriff in 1961. Ratterman, a former pro football player and tax lawyer, ran a campaign with a reform-minded platform. He ran under the “Switch to Honesty” party; a party developed by the Committee of 500 to support their endorsed candidates. On May 9, 1961 Ratterman was arrested for soliciting prostitution and other charges. He was eventually cleared of these charges. Subsequent police investigation and court trials determined that Ratterman had been drugged and set-up. Tito Carinci, a known organized crime member, and several others, including Charles Lester, Patrick Ciafardini, and Edward Anthony Buccieri were tried and convicted of federal conspiracy and other charges. Ratterman won the 1961 election and served as sheriff until 1965. In 1967 he moved to Denver, Colorado and remained there until his death in 2007.

Claude W. Johnson, Jr., owner of Johnson Electric Supply Company and a Campbell County resident, served as a vice-president and Director of the Committee of 500 throughout the 1960s. Johnson was also the committee’s Bulletin Editor. Henry Hosea, owner of H. J. Hosea and Sons Co., an export and shipping company, served as president (also referred to as chairman) of the Committee of 500. He served on the Campbell County Jury Commission. As a Chamber of Commerce member, Hosea worked to secure construction of a new IRS processing facility in Campbell County. The facility was eventually awarded to Kenton County and located in Covington.

Hank Messick (1922-1999), a Louisville Courier-Journal writer/journalist during the 1950s-1960s, was considered an expert on organized crime operations. Partly inspired by Robert F. Kennedy’s “war on organized crime,” he collaborated with local Newport leaders to report on the state of the city and to encourage its reform. He served as an (expert) witness in several court cases against those accused of corruption in Newport. Messick wrote Syndicate Wife (1968) and Razzle Dazzle (1995) on crime in Newport using research he collected from interviews, printed materials, and reform groups in Newport including the Committee of 500 and the Social Action Committee. Messick later moved to Florida and worked at the Miami Herald continuing his investigative journalism on organized crime. He died November 6, 1999.

Dr. H Lew Wallace was a history professor at Northern Kentucky University from 1971 until his death in 1996. In 1979, he received a grant for an oral history project titled The Attack on Organized Crime in Northern Kentucky in the 1950s and 1960s. During the course of this project, Wallace interacted with key civic leaders, community members, and organizations that pushed for social, economic, and political reform in Newport in the 1950s to early 1970s. He also met with individuals accused of participating in the aforementioned illegal activities. The outcome of this project was a collection of oral history interviews, transcripts, news clippings, and an article published in NKU’s spring 1981 in NKU’s alumni magazine Communiqué. The project and NKU’s interest in preserving local history drew the donation of other records and papers.

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CONTAINER LISTING:

Description

Date

Box

Folder

Series I: Committee of 500 Records

 

 

 

Organizational charts and membership lists

1961-1965, 1960s

1

1

Committee duties and background information

1960s

1

2

Membership applications and renewal forms

1960s

1

3

Meeting agendas

1961-1967

1

4

Meeting minutes and attendance lists

1961-1965, 1960s

1

5

Correspondence

1961-1972, undated

1

6-13

Active member bulletins

1961-1973, undated

1

14

Project file: campaign directions; election surveys  
 and results; canvassing duties

1961-1963, undated

1

15

Project file:George Ratterman campaign for
  Campbell County Sheriff public relations and
  expenses

1961

1

16

Project file: Fred Warren campaign for judge,  
  Campbell County Circuit Court, Division 1 results,
  public relations

1963

1

17

Project file: John B. Breckinridge campaign For Lt.
  Gov. correspondence, events, flyers

1963

1

18

Project file: Ralph Stevens campaign for  Campbell
  County Sheriff public relations and flyers

1965

1

19

Project file: campaign against Andrew [A.J.] Jolly

1960s

1

20

Project file: R.E. Allen campaign for Mayor of
  Newport [speech?] draft

undated

1

21

Project file: political advertisements and printed
  material

1961-1975

1; see also O/S Box 21, Folder 1

22

Project file: Henry J. Cook memorial fund

1967-1969

1

23

 

 

 

 

Series II: Henry Hosea Materials

 

 

 

Correspondence

1961-1973, undated

1

24-26

Committee of 500 purpose, members, and duties

circa1960-1961

1

27

Certificate for the Switch to Honesty party

November 1, 1961

1

28

Subpoenas and affidavit

1961-1963, undated

1

29

Civic engagement materials: Campbell County
  Chamber of Commerce and Jury Commission

1962, 1960s

1

30

Personal notes

undated

1

31

Business records of the H. J. Hosea and Sons Co.

1975, undated

2

1-2

News clippings

1961

2

3

 

 

 

 

Series III: Hank Messick Materials

 

 

 

Subseries 1:Personal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information about Hank Messick

1981, undated

2

4

Correspondence

1958, 1960-1961, 1960s

2

5

Subpoenas and summons

1960, 1961, 1963

2

6

 

 

 

 

Subseries 2: Interview transcripts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview transcripts between Messick and:

 

 

 

          John B. Breckinridge

circa 1963

2

7

          Bert Combs

1963?

2

8

          Stanley Moebus

September 25, 1963

2

9

          Malcolm Rhoads

1963?

2

10

          Frank Staab

November 11, 1963

2

11

          Fred Warren

November 8, 1963

2

12

Newspaper articles written by Hank Messick

1959- 1960s

2

13-17

 

 

 

 

Subseries 3: Research files

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

correspondence         

1961-1962

2

18

Petition for temporary and
  permanent writ of prohibition, Kentucky versus
  Ray L. Murphy

1943

2

19

Reports and affidavits, Kentucky versus Leo
  Broering, et al.

1943, 1945     

2

20

David Whitfield correspondence

1944-1945

2

21

Grand juries for 1947, list of jurors

1947

2

22

Gambling stamp holder lists and club owner [?] lists

1950s-1960s

2

23

Police reports and records

1951-1955, 1961

2

24

Reports of Grand juries on conditions in Campbell
  County, Kentucky

1953, 1961

2

25

Prostitution in Newport, Kentucky

1959, 1963

2

26

Press releases about Henry Cook;
  Ratterman campaign and arrest

circa 1960, 1961           

2

27

Grand Jury charges, United States versus Lester,
  Buccieri, Carinci et al. and statement from Juanita
  Hodges

1961

2

28

Charges against Leroy Frederick,
  Executive Order 61-815) and Harry Stuart,
  Executive Order 62-35

1961-1962

2

29

Reports, orders and affidavits, case
  against William J. Wise

1961

2

30

List of indictments and indictment forms

1950s-1960s

2

31

Print materials on the conditions in
  Newport, Ky.

1961, 1950s-1960s

2

32

News clippings           

1952-1962, undated

2

33

Inventory list of collection materials [Messick?]

undated

2

34

 

 

 

 

Series IV: Dr. H. Lew Wallace Material

 

 

 

Correspondence about/with Hank Messick

1981

2

35

Oral history interview transcripts

1979-1981

3, 4

 

          Governor Bert Combs by H. Lew Wallace

undated

see also AV233

 

          Jack and Edie Cook by David Payne

February 8, 1980

see also AV232

 

          Henry Hosea, Jr. by H. Lew Wallace

undated

see also AV234

 

          Claude W. Johnson, Jr. by David Payne

undated

see also AV237

 

          Judge A. J. Jolly, Jr. by David Payne

undated

see also AV240

 

          Hank Messick by W. Frank Steely and
          H. Lew Wallace
          Listen to Audio

July 14, 1979

see also AV246.A.1, 246.B

 

          George Ratterman by David Payne and
          H. Lew Wallace

undated

see also AV241

 

          Christian Seifried by H. Lew Wallace

undated

see also AV238

 

          A. Vinton Stegeman, Jr. by H. Lew Wallace

January 9, 1981

see also AV239

 

Research index cards

circa 1970s-1980s

4

3-5

Published article, “The “Attack on Organized
  Crime” or “Where are you April Flowers now that
  we need you?”

1981

4

6

Photographs of H. Lew Wallace? at Newport sites

circa 1970s-1980s?

4

7

 

 

 

 

Series V: Materials Related to the Newport Clean-up Project

 

 

 

Subseries 1: George Ratterman case materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Election expenses, accounts, and sheriff work

1961, 1963

5

1

Public relations statement by Ratterman

May 9, 1961

5

2

Interviews and statements given by Ratterman
  F.B.I. file no. LS44-382

1961

5

3

Grand Jury charge counts, case no.11832
  Kentucky versus Paisley and Carinci

June 19, 1961

5

4

Grand Jury charge counts, orders and minutes
  case no. 10286 United States versus Lester,
  Buccieri, Carinci et al.

October 10, 1961
August 1963

5

5

Petition to the US Court of Appeals, 6th circuit
  Lester and Buccieri versus United States

October 1966

5

6

Campaign speech, Tito Carinci for Newport mayor

August 16, 1963

5

7

WKRC radio editorial transcripts

1963-1964

5

8

10 photographs of court trials and Newport

circa 1961

5

9-17

 

 

 

 

Subseries 2: Miscellaneous legal and economic
  materials on Newport

1909-1963, undated

5

18-24

 

 

 

 

Subseries 3: Unpublished and published materials
  (newsletters, cartoon, government documents and
  reports, and magazine reports)

1950-1982, undated           

5
6
see also O/S Box 21, Folder 2

25-36;
1

 

 

 

 

Subseries 4: News clippings and newspapers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indexes to news clipping titles

undated

6

2-4

News clippings

1957-1982, undated

6-9

 

Cincinnati Post and Times Star

April 1961- October 1962

O/S Box 10

 

Cincinnati Enquirer, Ky. edition

March 1961- December 1972

O/S Box 10

 

Cincinnati Enquirer

March 1961- September 1968

O/S Box 10

 

Kentucky Post and Times Star

March 1961- January 1967, undated

O/S Box 11-12

 

The Cleveland Press 

May 9, 1961

O/S Box 13

 

The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)

March 1961-May 1963

O/S Box 13

 

The Daily Herald-Telephone   (Bloomington, In.)

December 12, 1967

O/S Box 13

 

The Harlan Daily Enterprise (Harlan, Ky.)

January 1975

O/S Box 13

 

Indianapolis Star

April 1961

O/S Box 13

 

The People (London, England)

May 7, 1961

O/S Box 13

 

Photographs of destroyed scrapbook (pages 69-
  100, unnumbered)

1940-1952, 1960-1961

See staff

 

Scrapbooks of news clippings

1942-1961

O/S Box 14

 

Scrapbooks of news clippings

March-May 1961

O/S Box 15

 

Scrapbooks of news clippings

June-July 1961

O/S Box 16

 

Scrapbooks of news clippings

August-September 1961

O/S Box 17

 

Scrapbooks of news clippings

October-November 1961

O/S Box 18

 

Scrapbooks of news clippings

June 1966- November 1961

O/S Box 19

 

Scrapbooks of news clippings

November 1971- December 1973

O/S Box 20; see also O/S Box 21, Folder 3

 

 

 

 

 

Subseries 5: Memorabilia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newport Rotary Club paperweight

undated

SC Memorabilia Box 1