THE PEOPLE

Then

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The 1930 Census (above) provides a first look at the handful of families who then called Bella Vista Avenue home. At the time this was a street populated predominantly by middle class second generation European immigrants. With the notable exception of John A. Herschede, who hailed from the Herschede jewelry family, the male heads of household were generally middle rank managers or  entrepreneurs. Prior to the Second World War, the women remained at home to raise children and tended house. Their families were from Germany, Ireland, and Poland. They were Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. Most were decidedly middle class but there was at least one live-on-premise servant.

Over the intervening decades, Bella Vista would be home to doctors, dentists, lawyers, nurses, nuns, ministers, an architect, and an engineer. As was typical of Bond Hill generally, the first African American homeowners moved onto the street in the 1960’s, integrating the Bella Vista in its fourth decade.

Notable past residents include:

  • Ohio State University Professor Ralph B. Alspaugh and his wife Lilyan Mae Haas Alspaugh, author and frequent lecturer
  • Louis B. Sawyer, Esq.,noted criminal defense attorney
  • Abraham Bruson, proprietor of the Bruson Motor Car Company on Gilbert Avenue Residents of 1726 Bond Hill Bella Vista
  • Arthur R. Green, developer of 14 lots on Bond Hill Bella Vista and homes throughout Cincinnati
  • Robert Green, noted pioneering heart surgeon
  • Herbert Tiemeyer, trumpeter for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for over 40 years. He gave lessons out of his Bella Vista home. (H/T to Andy Glas for this information; thank you!)
  • John E. Lietemeyer, the junior owner of the eponymous of the John E. Lietemeyer & Son Funeral Home Company
  • Gustave M. Goldsmith, Sr. the owner-builder-architect of 1734 Bella Vista and President of the Goldsmith Metal Lath Company
  • Gustave M. Goldsmith, Jr., structural engineer
  • Dr. Arthur R. Theobald, Director of the Avondale Animal Hospital and a Bond Hill commercial landlord
  • Dr. William David Smith, a professor of psychology and the very first director of the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati Owner of 1740 Bella Vista
  • Joseph C. Sagmeister, Esq., attorney

Now

A trip down Bella Vista Street reveals a street somewhat unusual in Cincinnati for its demographic diversity. Neighbors are black, white, Asian, and mixed race. They range from infants to nonagenarians. The majority of homeowners are retirees. Those still in the workforce are generally middle-rank managers, as was true in years past. The most recent arrivals have moved in within the past year; the longest tenured neighbor has lived here since the 1930’s. The vast majority are longtime homeowners; a few rent. Some are Democrats; others are Republicans.  Most support historic designation; some ardently oppose it. Lawns are generally kept neat and homes are well tended. The feeling on the street is placid and neighborly.