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The St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove Historical Society is a 503(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of St. Bernard, Ohio, and is administered by volunteer staff and board members.

The purpose of the Society is to collect, preserve and render available historical materials and to disseminate educational information pertaining to St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove, Ohio and the regions surrounding and affecting them. Furthermore, the Society will initiate and encourage historical inquiry into these areas and serve as a depository for safekeeping and display of community and regional artifacts and gifts of commemorative designation.


Kay Heller Phillips


A former St. Bernard resident, my interest in genealogy started about 40 years ago when I interviewed my great aunt, Marie Scherpenberg, of 14 E. Ross Avenue.  While I dabbled in genealogy every so often, I didn’t get seriously involved until the late 1990’s. Since then, the non-stop research has taken me to libraries, historical societies, court houses, clerk offices, cemeteries, LDS family centers, and funeral homes throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland, and Germany.  The journey was extremely long, sometimes frustrating, but never boring, as there were many surprises along the way.  The St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove Society is no exception.  The office is full of surprises.

Jim Hinnenkamp

Vice President

Five generations of my family have lived in St. Bernard, and I lived there most of my life before settling in Northern Kentucky. I was a research chemist for over 35 years in the chemical industry, and my research of family genealogy has expanded to exploring the history of St. Bernard.

Jenni Whittle


The daughter of member, Grace Rolf Creager, and Alvin Whittle, who both grew up here, Jenni lived in St. Bernard for a brief time before moving to Clermont County, Ohio.  In addition to being an administrative secretary for the Clermont County auditor for ten years, Jenni was an executive staff assistant for the University of Cincinnati for 15 years in several positions.


Since her retirement, Jenni has returned to St. Bernard.  She will be lending her organizational skills to the historical society and will be assisting Jan Boylan in the office.  In addition, she has agreed to take over the position of secretary.  We welcome her to the team!

Larry Phillips


Originally from North Carolina, my family settled on Church Street in 1950, where neighbors included Pulskamps, Polumbos and Johnsons.  During my high school days at St. Bernard, Mr. Ralph Nieman transferred his love of history, especially Civil War, to me.  Years later I got involved in family and baseball genealogy.  A former Redstockings Vintage Baseball player, I have contributed research for a number of books and magazines relating to the development of baseball.

Marjorie Niesen

Historian Emeritus

A native New York transplant, Marge has been a resident of St. Bernard since 1961.  She is a founder of this society, volunteer historian, compiler and researcher for St. Bernard (since 1975), and docent for Cincinnati Museum Center Heritage Programs (since 2000). In addition, she co-published a family 700+ page genealogy for the Hallock Family Association of New York, and authored the 2011 Arcadia book, Images of St. Bernard. Teamwork with officers, staff and guest speakers to promote love of local history through preservation, publications, programs and events is our mission.

Ray Eckes


Before their final move to St. Bernard, my ancestors first settled in Elmwood Place during the late 1800's, followed by a move to Bond Hill. My six siblings and I grew up in St. Bernard, where I attended St. Clement School and Roger Bacon High School.  Following graduation, I studied Marketing at the University of Cincinnati (UC). Active in multiple Historical & Cemetery Associations, my interests include genealogy and cemetery research.. A good day is finding and sharing some long forgotten tidbit from the past.

Barb Jennings


Born and raised in the Western Hills area of Cincinnati.


A retired Clinical Microbiologist, having worked 35 years in several positions at various hospital labs in Greater Cincinnati. 

After retiring in 2005, became a docent with Cincinnati Heritage Programs at Cincinnati Museum Center.

I have been providing lectures, and bus and walking tours in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Through the Museum Center helped lead 2 bus tours of St. Bernard.

Recently helped prepare and lead two different St. Bernard Sears Home walking tours.

Helped to prepare several PowerPoint presentations for various guest speakers for the St. Bernard and Ludlow Grove Historical Society monthly meetings.

And I love to do research!

Ruth Draginoff Higgins


As the youngest of 5 children from St. Bernard, I attended St Clement School and Our Lady of Angels High School. St Bernard was the home of my family since the late 1930's, and mine for the first 23 years of my life. My interest in genealogy started as a teen with long talks with my only living grandparent, my paternal grandmother, and my mother, about their families which I never got to know. My interest in St Bernard history was also piqued when I was told that our home on McClellend was part of the Kemper estate. Lots of hours have been spent at libraries, cemeteries and anyplace I might find information. I volunteer for Find A Grave, taking photos at local cemeteries and creating memorials for those buried there. I also belong to a group that finds old photos to try to reunite them with a family member. Through my research I have created many trees on Ancestry, which has resulted in reuniting several adoptees with their birth families. I love to research, gathering all the pieces of the puzzle and putting it all together for the bigger picture.

Jan Boylan


Born in Erie PA but raised in Andover OH, I came to Cincy in 1965 to attend the College of Mount St. Joseph.  Except for a 3 year stint when I lived in DC and London, I have been in Cincy ever since.  My move to St. Bernard occurred in 2003 when I retired.  I bought a wonderful old house that was in the Juengling family for almost 100 years.  In a quest for pictures of the house in order to make over the front porch, I came upon Marge Niesen and the St. Bernard Historical Society.  Now I spend my time trying to organize the many pictures, papers, and artifacts which the Society owns.  I can't help what I am doing; my mother's mantra is still clear to me.  "There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place".  Need I say that she was German?!

Joel Corneli


Born in Santa Monica, CA; veteran with USAF as English language instructor for Vietnamese Air Force (1969-70); NCO in charge of training records at Beale AFB, CA 456th ABMMS (1970-72); MLS from USC; retired after 39+ years working for the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County; tutors adults from other countries affiliated with Warren County Adult New Readers program (4+ years); volunteers with St. Bernard Ludlow Grove Historical Society (5 years).

Jim Heller

Website Administrator

Born in 1964, I am the oldest and only male of Jim and Phyllis Heller’s family of six children.  After living on Church Street, Ludlow Avenue and Washington Avenue, we finally settled into a home on Vine Street, near Roger Bacon High School, from which I graduated, in 1983.  Prior to high school, I attended St. Bernard Elementary before entering 3rd grade at St. Clement School.


With a passion for photography and love of travel, I enjoy genealogy and learning about my family history.  It must run in the family, as Kay Heller Phillips is my aunt.

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