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William Wright Southgate

Information comes from the family files at the Campbell County Historical Society


William Wright Southgate was born November 27, 1800 in Newport the son of Richard Southgate and Ann Winston Hinde.  His father was the builder of the Southgate House which still stands on Third Street in Newport across from the Newport Aquarium.

William got his name in part from his grandfather, Wright Southgate who had come to America from England about 1745.  William graduated from Transylvania College in Lexington, then settled in Covington to practice law.  He eventually became a law partner of Moritmor Benton, Covington's first mayor.  William married Adaliza Keene on November 7, 1823 and had 13 children.

Children of William Wright Southgate and Adaliza Keene

1. Laura born 1824 in Covington m-William L Grant in 1845
2. Son born 1826 in Covington
3. Richard born 1829 Covington
4. Wright born 1833 Covington d-1871
5. Henry born 1836 Covington
6. Adeliza born 1837 Covington m-William Evans Arthur in 1855 d-1858
7. William born 1841 Covington
8. Ethel Linda born 1846 Covington m-William Evans Arthur in Dec 1860
9. Nancy born 1845 Covington

William became active in the Whig Party and a supporter of Kentucky's most famous early statesman, Henry Clay.  In the early 18002, the Whigs and the Democratic Republicans were the country's two major political powers.  William Southgate ran and was elected as a Whig to the U. S. House of Representatives in November 1836 and served in Congress from 1837-39.  At the time he lived in Covington along the Licking River.

Bu 1842 he had become a law partner of J W Culvert of Burlington.  That same year on September 29, he was part of a Kentucky delegation which, along with their Ohio counterparts, hosted a great barbecue by Whig leaders in Dayton, Ohio.  An estimated 100,000 people attended the massive banquet.

See also William Wright Southgate's Congressional Record

William was only about 45 years old when he became ill and died at his Covington home on December 26, 1849.  An account two days later in the Licking Valley Register said Southgate's unexpected death had "cast a gloom over the city such as we have never before witnessed."

Services were held at the Masonic Hall in Covington and burial was in the Southgate vault in Linden Grove Cemetery.  William and Adalezia's oldest daughter Laura married William L Grant in 1845.  Grant, a one time Covington city clerk and councilman, would become a state legislator and help to obtain public funding for a school for African Americans in Covington.  The school would later be named William Grant in his honor.

One of Southgate's sons, Wright left for the California gold rush in 1852, but returned to Covington and like his father died young at 38.

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