Sunday, July 15, 2001

Wilder's name apt description

By Gene Franzen
Enquirer Contributor

        WILDER — Different folks have different versions of how this small town acquired its name, but all will agree on one thing: Wilder was definitely wilder in the 1940s and early '50s.

[photo] With a new city building, Wilder has come a long way since its wilder days.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        The Latin Quarter, now Bobby Mackey's Music World, was spotlighted along with Newport's Flamingo Club, the Yorkshire and the Glen Rendezvous as Northern Kentucky's largest, illegal gambling casinos while the notorious Hi Dee Ho Club, owned and operated by Wilder's town marshal, Jim Harris, enjoyed a spotlight of a different color (think red). During World War II, the city was off-limits for soldiers stationed at the Fort Thomas Army Post.

        It has been recorded that the town's name came from William Hamlin Wilder, a Northern Kentucky native who became internationally famous as an eye surgeon and wrote many books on eye surgery. But in 1881, the name Wilders Station appeared on published Louisville & Nashville Railroad train schedules, a time when Mr. Wilder was still a med student and years before he became famous. Also, there was a James Wilder serving on the L&N Railroad's board of directors.

        Moock Road, Wilder's well-traveled connector road between U.S. 27 and Licking Pike, takes its name from the Moock family that operated a dairy and hog farm at that site.

        Now and Then, a look at historic places in Northern Kentucky, appears Sundays.

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