Lytle: War and Remembrance

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The Lytle men went off to war; back home, they left us with a pretty, quiet urban oasis that’s been a battleground, too. William Lytle, who fought in the War of 1812, was an early settler who, in 1806, bought land in the area that is now East Fourth Street. His grandson was Brigadier General William Haines Lytle, a gallant Civil War legend whose death at the Battle of Chickamauga sent Cincinnati into deep mourning. The city bought the family homestead for a park in 1905. There followed a fight over demolishing the Lytle mansion (Mary Emery tried to save it); kvetching about the park’s now-iconic Lincoln statue (Robert Todd Lincoln called it “grotesque”); a monumental mid-century campaign to spare the site when I-71 was built; and the very recent fisticuffs over the relocation of the Anna Louise Inn (see: “Barrett”). What would the Lytles have made of these skirmishes? No telling. But they sure knew a great piece of property when they saw one.

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