The origins of East Walnut Hills’ development are found in a small, German Catholic community and the adjoining rural estates of a number of Cincinnati businessmen, which coexisted in the area beginning in the mid-19th century.
The little settlement of Germans was clustered around St. Francis de Sales Church, founded in 1849 by Henry Westjohn, Francis Fortman and Joseph Kleine, all of whom owned large amounts of property in the area. In 1866 the settlement was incorporated as the Village of Woodburn, and in 1873 was annexed into the City of Cincinnati.
The area continued to grow and develop, with single-family and some multi-family dwellings erected along the older streets in the early 20th century. Some new small lanes were carved out of larger estates on the eastern side of the community. East Walnut Hills as a whole retains to a remarkable extent its early 20th century flavor.
If you want to read a more in-depth account of the early days of East Walnut Hills, check out this one-page PDF, The History of East Walnut Hills.