By Ralph and James Boggs (1953)
On the first Monday in April 1835 the first election was held in Covington which resulted in the election of Gilbert D. Adams, Mayor, William Robinson, recorder, and Charles Orwan, Joshua Orr and Thomas McKinzie, trustees (later called councilmen).
On July 11, 1835 a constitution was adopted and Covington started on its career as a full fledged municipal corporation of the great commonwealth of Ohio. The officers provided for in the construction were as follows; mayor, recorder, trustees three, marshall, supervisor and collector, last three being appointed by the council. On July 30, 1835 seven ordinances were passed providing in many ways for the welfare of the community. The salaries of the council were fixed at twenty five cents for each day and twelve and one half cents for each night served in that capacity.
Things ran very smoothly until May 3, 1839 when the council imposed the first tax which was twelve and one half cents per head on swine, over three months old, that were allowed to run at large throughout the town. This tax created a great howl among the people but the tax remained.
A re-organization of the corporation was made in 1850 and on March 22 of that year an act was passed by State Legislature amending the charter of the village which fixed the corporation in the 1837 election, the mayor and recorder refused to serve limits and were fined two dollars each and the council appointed two men to fill their places. On May 17, 1841 the first ordinance pertaining to side walks in the village was passed. In 1842 the first hooks and ladders were purchased for a fire department and the first city fire examiners were appointed. The office of tax collector was established this same year with Henry Carmichael being appointed the first tax collector. In 1945 the council approved the erection of a bridge at the foot of Pearl Street on Piqua Turnpike.
The mayors of this period were: Gilbert D. Adams 1835, 1836, and 1837; Samuel Patterson elected in 1837 and refused to serve; Jeremiah Shade 1838; Noah Dewey 1839; Joseph Leonard 1840; George Deprees 1841; Andrew Diltz 1842, 1843, 1844, 1845; William Ross 1846; Andrew Diltz 1847; Joseph Leonard 1848; C. W. Carlton 1849 and James Purdy 1850 but replaced by B. Neff (1850) when the corporation was reorganized. The councilmen of this day were many but a few held the office for a number of years; Dr. R.N. Cox six years.; John Patterson six years; John Sowers six years; William McDowell five years and Hamilton Bartmess four years. The office of Treasurer was held held by only six men in this period with Samuel Ullery holding the office five times and Dr. Cox and Andrew Diltz each three years. The Marshalls were many and only one man held the position for any length of time, that being Joseph Marlin who was marshall three years. The office of Recorder also changed hands many times and here, too, only one man held the office longer than one year, he being James Purdy who served for four year.
In 1830 the Troy-Greenville Road was, commenced which was to pass through Covington. This road was mud all the way and after a short time a few Trojans decided to build a better one. They constructed a plank road but the plank soon rotted in the swampy ground and forced the trial of gravel which proved to be a success. This road was finally completed in 1845 being the first gravel road in the county. It entered Covington on the east and continued down Wright Street and crossed the river just north of the present water works building and continued on west to Greenville. The first road built in Newberry Township was in 1816 but passed through Clayton to the north, having been the Piqua-Greenville Road. The Troy-Greenville Road was the first commenced in Covington but not the first completed.
In 1838 the businessmen of Dayton, seeing the importance of the increasing trade of the Stillwater Valley and foreseeing the danger of its being diverted to the just completed Miami Canal, organized the Dayton and Covington Turnpike Co., secured stock and began construction in 1839. When the success of this venture was secure and well under way Piqua moved to connect themselves with the Dayton-Covington Turnpike in order to secure the rich farm products from the Stillwater Valley and Darke County. They formed a company and bridged the six miles of black swamp between the Miami and Stillwater Rivers with the Old Covington Pike. The Dayton and Covington Pike was completed in 1841 and the the Piqua-Covington Pike joined it in 1843. This made Newberry Township the first in the county with three turnpikes and gave Covington a daily mail and stage route.