Hearne was born on August 7, 1829, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and settled in the Covington area around 1861. Hearne’s career paralleled many of the other wealthy businessmen in Covington during this period. He was a member of the Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Company and helped execute the construction of John A. Roebling’s suspension bridge across the Ohio in 1866. In that same year, Hearne, Amos Shinkle, and others purchased the H.J. Groesbeck property in Covington for a land development called Park Place. Hearne purchased a portion of this land to build this stately mansion.
The Hearne House is located on a rather narrow strip of land between Garrard Street and the extremely steep bank of the Licking River. The two-and-one-half story, red-brick home constructed in 1874 evokes a Georgian model. The front is treated as a mere facade: the sides are very plain compared to the ornamented overhanging eaves by the attic windows. The exterior, relatively untouched since its construction, represents a combination of architectural styles. Mid-Victorian, Italianate, and Romanesque styles are all represented. In the 1950’s, the house interior was extensively altered when the house was converted into apartments. Joinery, typical of the mid-Victorian period, and hardwoods used for the flooring are still visible. Today, the house serves as condominiums, beautifully restored. Its location near the Licking River is emphasized dramatically by a gazebo and carriage house, which is now a private residence.