The Mill Creek Valley community of Carthage is located approximately seven miles north of downtown Cincinnati in an area enclosed by the Mill Creek and Interstate 75. Vine St. runs through the heart of the neighborhood giving it an east and west dimension. Settlement in Carthage is traced to Jacob White’s Station, a blockhouse built at the Third Mill Creek Crossing, circa 1790.
Carthage maintained an essentially rural aspect throughout most of the 19th century. Horse racing, particularly harness racing, became a popular local pastime and drew visitors to the area. By mid-century, racing meets became featured events at the Carthage Fair Grounds, a tradition which continued until the late 1960′s.
In 1861, Carthage incorporated and Jonathan Bonnell became the first mayor. By century’s end, Carthage had a settled air, reflected in gas lights, graded roads and a trolley system which tied the community to Cincinnati proper. In 1911, Carthage was formally annexed to the city of Cincinnati.
In 1937 a deaf couple were killed while crossing the street at Seymour and Fairpark by a speeding auto. Father John Harbrecht, the pastor of St. Charles Church, called a meeting of the town to discuss ways of procuring a traffic light here. Of this meeting the civic league was formed with Robert Barnhorn the first president. It has met ever since then.