In the early part of 1811 an unsuccessful attempt was made by the pioneer Catholics of the wilderness which then constituted Cincinnati to establish a congregation.
This project received further impetus in 1814 when Bishop Flaget celebrating the first Mass in Cincinnati in the house of Michael Scott exhorted the congregation to erect a church.
Owing to the intense anti-Catholic sentiments prevalent and a city ordinance prohibiting the erection of a Catholic church within the corporate limits, the first church, a plain barn-like edifice, was erected, 1822, on the northwest corner of Vine and Liberty Streets then outside the specified restrictions.
This log structure served as the cathedral of Bishop Fenwick, first bishop of the newly created diocese of Cincinnati, but following the removal of the prohibitive ordinance the church was moved to the site later occupied by the College of Saint Francis Xavier.
Bishop Fenwick by a personal visit to Europe secured the aid of the nobility of France and of the pope for the erection of a cathedral, and 17 December 1826, Saint Peter's Cathedral was completed.
From a printing press which Bishop Fenwick received while in France was issued, in 1831, the first edition of the "Catholic Telegraph."
A school was opened in conjunction with the cathedral and was placed in charge of the Sisters of Charity who arrived in the city 27 October 1829, and who also had an orphan asylum under their supervision.
Bishop Fenwick also established the first Dominican convent in the United States, the Priory of Saint Rose.
Reverend John Baptist Purcell, second Bishop of Cincinnati, founded the famous Mount Saint Mary's of the West, and gained renown by his able refutation in open debate of the charges made by Reverend Alexander Campbell that the Catholic Church was an enemy to enlightenment.
It was he also who dissuaded a mob incited by the Knownothing party from burning the cathedral and killing the Apostolic Visitor, Archbishop Bedini.
The large number of German Catholic immigrants resulted in the erection of Holy Trinity church, the first German parish church.
In 1841 the cornerstone of the presept cathedral was laid, and in 1850 the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was created.
The city (1929) had 66 churches and 62 parochial schools, in addition to academic institutions, including Mount Saint Mary's of the West (Norwood), Teachers' College of the Athenreum of Ohio, Saint Xavier College, and the College of the Sacred Heart; orphan asylums; hospitals.
Cincinnati's renowned College of Musicians was founded, 1878, through the instrumentality of a Catholic, Reuben R. Springer, who conceived the idea and endowed it generously.
Another Catholic who contributed appreciably to the cultural life of the city was Mrs Sarah Peter, a convert, who did valuable service in selecting works for the Cincinnati Art Museum.
She also brought over several religious communities to aid in the charitable and educational work of Cincinnati, among them the Franciscans, Sisters of Mercy, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
New Catholic Dictionary