Cleveland History Self Study: A 5 Week Syllabus of Recommended Essays

Cleveland Stories: An Informal Look at the City’s Past

A 5 Week essay-based syllabus suggested by Dr. Marian Morton, professor emerita at John Carroll University with expertise in Cleveland area history.

Overview: A discussion of some of Cleveland’s most interesting and important people, places, and events
Objective: To link the city’s past with its present policies, politics, and practices

Week 1. Introduction. Read Teaching Cleveland Stories (TCS)John J. Grabowski, “Cleveland: Economics, Images, and Expectations”

Week 2. TCS: Mike Roberts and Margaret Gulley, “The Man Who Saved Cleveland.” Elizabeth Sullivan, “Immigration”  John Vacha, “The Heart of Amasa Stone”; Joe Frolik, “Mark Hanna: The Clevelander Who Made a President”

Supplemental: Timeline of Cleveland/NE Ohio; The Western Reserve, 1796-1820, and Pre-Industrial (Erie and Ohio Canals), 1820-1865 and The Industrial Revolution/ John D. Rockefeller/ Mark Hanna, 1865-1900

Week 3. TCS: John J. Grabowski, “Cleveland 1912 – Civitas Triumphant”; Joe Frolik, “Regional Government versus Home Rule”  John Vacha, “When Cleveland Saw Red”  Margaret Bernstein, ‘’Inventor Garrett Morgan, Cleveland’s Fierce Bootstrapper”  Marian Morton, “How Cleveland Women Got the Vote and What They Did With It”

Supplemental: Progressive Era/Tom L. Johnson/ Newton D. Baker, 1900-1915 and Fred Kohler/City Managers/Political Bosses, 1920s and The Van Sweringens/ Depression … 1930s

Week 4. TCS: Thomas Suddes, “The Adult Education Tradition in Greater Cleveland”  Bill Lubinger, “Bill Veeck: The Man Who Conquered Cleveland and Changed Baseball Forever”  Jay Miller, “Cyrus Eaton: Khruschev’s Favorite Capitalist” Roldo Bartimole, “One Man Can Make a Difference”  Mike Roberts, “Cleveland in the 1960s” and “Cleveland in the 1970s”

Supplemental: World War 2- Post War, 1940s; Carl Stokes- Civil Rights, 1960s and Ralph Perk-Dennis Kucinich, 1970s

Week 5TCS: Mike Roberts, “Cleveland in the 1980s” and “Cleveland in the 1990s” Supplemental: “10 Greatest Clevelanders”; “12 Most Significant Events”; Cleveland Politician Interview Series (George Forbes, Jim Rokakis, Louis Stokes, George Voinovich, Michael R. White); Mike Roberts, “Cleveland in the 2000s

General questions: what is the main point of each article? Did you agree or disagree? What did you find most interesting? What would you add? Or subtract? 


Teaching Cleveland Stories

Cleveland 1912: Civitas Triumphant By Dr. John Grabowski

Mark Hanna: The Clevelander Who Made a President By Joe Frolik

Rockefeller’s Right-Hand Man: Henry Flagler By Michael D. Roberts

Cleveland’s Original Black Leader: John O. Holly By Mansfield Frazier

The Heart of Amasa Stone By John Vacha

Frederic C. Howe:  Making Cleveland the City Beautiful (Or At Least Trying) by Marian Morton

Bill Veeck: The Man Who Conquered Cleveland and Changed Baseball Forever By Bill Lubinger

When Cleveland Saw Red By John Vacha

Maurice Maschke: The Gentleman Boss of Cleveland by Brent Larkin

Inventor Garrett Morgan, Cleveland’s Fierce Bootstrapper  by Margaret Bernstein

How Cleveland Women Got the Vote and What They Did With It  by Marian Morton

One Man Can Make a Difference by Roldo Bartimole

The Election That Changed Cleveland Forever by Michael D Roberts

Deferring Dreams: Racial and Religious Covenants in Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, 1925 to 1970 By Marian Morton

Cyrus Eaton: Khruschev’s Favorite Capitalist By Jay Miller

Ray Shepardson: The Man Who Relit Playhouse Square By John Vacha

Bertha Josephine Blue By Debbi Snook

The Scourge of Corrupt and Inefficient Politician: The Citizens League of Greater Cleveland By Marian Morton

The Man Who Saved Cleveland By Michael Roberts and Margaret Gulley

The Best of Teaching Cleveland

Teaching Cleveland Stories

Tom L. Johnson, America’s Best Mayor video

“Cleveland: The City on the Hill 1901-1909” by Hoyt Landon Warner*****

Cleveland in the 1960s by Mike Roberts

Rockefeller in Cleveland by George Condon*

Confession of a Reformer by Frederick Howe (Tom Johnson chapter)**

Regional Government vs Home Rule by Joe Frolik

Cleveland: Economics, Images and Expectations by Dr. John J. Grabowski

Survival – Man and Boy. A story about Lorrenzo Carter from “The Cuyahoga” by William Donohue Ellis*

Making of a Mayor – The Election of Carl Stokes***

Mark Hanna Vs. Tom Johnson by George Condon*

Water by Brent Larkin

Success By Design: The Schreckengost Legacy (video)

Biography of Newton D. Baker by Prof. C. H. Cramer****

African-American Heritage Trail in Cleveland***

Cleveland’s Johnson: The Cabinet by Eugene C. Murdock*****

The Ohio Canal Movement by Harry N. Scheiber*****

The Power Brokers – Glory Days of the Political Bosses by Brent Larkin***

*from Cleveland Memory/CSU Special Collections

**from Kent State Press

***from the Plain Dealer


*****from the Ohio Historical Society

*****Ohio State University Press

Teaching Cleveland Welcome Page

Teaching Cleveland Welcome Page

Welcome to Teaching Cleveland Digital phase 2
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12 Most Significant Events in Cleveland History

12 Most Significant Events in
Cleveland History

by Joe Frolik

Any list of the 12 top events in Cleveland history is obviously a series of judgments calls that probably reveals more about the person doing the compiling than it does the city. Certainly as I ran down some of the milestones I was considering, my wife’s reaction was immediate and, as usual, probably correct: “Money and politics, money and politics. Is that all you think about?”

I don’t think so, but then again as an editorial writer for Ohio’s largest newspaper, I do spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how Greater Cleveland became the place – politically, economically and socially – that it is today. And much of that evolution involves the interplay of powerful economic, demographic and political forces. Sowith that caveat about the blinders I bring to the task at hand, here is one person’s list of the events that did the most to shape Cleveland’s history, for good and ill.

— Joe Frolik

1) The last Ice Age ends roughly 10,000 years ago, and the retreating Laurentide glacial sheet leaves behind massive basins and plenty of meltwater to fill them: Today we call this gift of nature the Great Lakes. The world’s largest concentration of freshwater made possible both Cleveland’s settlement (Moses Cleaveland) and his party from Connecticut Land Co. sailed east from Buffalo and the mouth of the Cuyahoga River) and its economic boom (without easy access to iron ore from the far end of Lake Superior and waterways to ship out the finished product cheaply, there’s no steel business here). Perhaps the greatest guarantor for Greater Cleveland’s future remains this incredible and increasingly valuable liquid asset.

2) In 1850, Henry Chisholm, a 28-year-old immigrant carpenter and contractor from Scotland arrives in Cleveland to help build a breakwall on the lakefront. Seven years and several major construction projects later, he enters Cleveland’s fledgling iron and steel business by becoming a partner in a plant that re-rolls worn out iron rails. In 1859, Chisholm builds the first blast furnace in Northeast Ohio and in 1868, the first Bessemer converters west of the Alleghenies. His Cleveland Rolling Mill Co. becomes a major integrated producer of iron and steel products and by the 1890s has more than 8,000 employees. Cleveland by then is a major center for making steel and the finished products that use it. It is a transportation center for the ships and railroads that bring in raw materials and take out finished goods. All that also makes it a magnet for tens of thousands of immigrants like Chisholm eager to make their fortune in the New World.

3) Charles Brush is barely 30 years old on April 29, 1879, when he quite literally lights up the town (sorry, LeBron): At 7:55 p.m., Public Square is illuminated by a dozen of the Euclid native’s newly refined arc lights, all mounted on poles significantly higher than traditional gas street lamps and powered by a Brush-patented generator in a building just off the square. Brush’s latest invention proves a sensation: within two years, Brush street lights are in use from Boston to San Francisco. In 1891, his Brush Electric Co. becomes a building block of the new General Electric Co. Brush is not alone in his ability to turn good ideas into useful products. A 1900 Census report ranks Cleveland fifth among U.S. cities in “important patents’’ awarded between 1870 and 1890. This fuels a highly innovative, entrepreneurial – and fast-growing— industrial economy.

4) On April 1, 1901, Cleveland voters elect a new mayor: Tom L. Johnson, the “Great American Paradox,’’ as the New York Times called him, a wealthy businessman who talks like a labor agitator. Over the next eight years, Johnson makes Cleveland a laboratory for Progressive Era civic invention and arguably the best-run city in America. He builds playgrounds, parks and grand public buildings, makes public health the city’s business and holds public meetings in huge circus tents so average citizens can observe and join the deliberations of government. But Johnson’s successes – and those of Newton D. Baker, his like-minded and exceptionally talented protégé who served as mayor from 1911 to 1916 – have one downside: They inspire many communities surrounding Cleveland to embrace the “home rule’’ he and Baker advocate, eventually limiting the city’s potential growth and leading to generations of political Balkanization in Cuyahoga County.

5) In 1917 and 1918, amid the carnage of World War I France field hospitals, four accomplished doctors from Cleveland – Frank E. Bunts, George W. Crile, William E. Lower and John Phillips – begin making plans for a new hospital they will start when they got home, one based on the cooperation across specialty lines that seems to work well in the military. In 1921, they dedicate the first Cleveland Clinic building on Euclid Avenue and East 93rd Street. From the beginning, they set aside part of their revenues and raise additional funds solely for medical research. The result, nine decades later, is not only one of the most highly regarded research hospitals in the world, but the contemporary city’s most important economic engine. With some 40,000 people on its $2 billion annual payroll, the Clinic is far and away Cleveland’s largest employer.

6) On Dec. 11, 1918, the Cleveland Orchestra, under the direction of Russian-born, Yale-educated Nikolai Sokoloff, plays its first concert at Grays Armory on Bolivar Avenue downtown. The 50-plus member ensemble is the brainchild of local impresario Adella Prentiss Hughes, who in 1915 organized the Musical Arts Association and began exhorting the city’s wealthy elites to create a world-class orchestra as a symbol of Cleveland’s rising status. By 1922, Sokoloff and the orchestra are playing Carnegie Hall and establishing a global reputation for themselves and the city they represent. Thanks to a generous gift from industrialist John L. Severance — a memorial to late wife Elizabeth – the orchestra in 1931 gains a permanent and spectacular home in University Circle, an anchor for one of the nation’s premier cultural districts.

7) Cleveland voters go to the polls in a special referendum on Jan. 9, 1919, and agree to a major modification of Daniel Burnham’s Group Plan for downtown. The referendum is orchestrated by the reclusive Van Sweringen brothers, real estate developers Oris and Mantis, who want to include a new central railroad station as part of a massive office complex (Terminal Tower) that they hope to build off Public Square. Burnham’s plan put the depot on the lakefront just below City Hall and Mall C – and voters had ratified it just three years earlier. But the Vans – who want the terminal also to serve as the end point of their Shaker Rapid — mount a massive, modern campaign with heavy use of advertising and carry the day. Terminal Tower becomes a Cleveland icon, but moving the station also turns the city’s back on the lakefront. It will be decades before Cleveland begins to rethink its decision to squander an asset other cities regard as priceless.

8) African Americans, just a generation removed from slavery, begin to move north around 1910, following word that industrial jobs are available. This first Great Migration accelerates when World War I creates a labor shortage and continues until the Depression. Cleveland’s black population, estimated by the Census Bureau at 4,010 in 1900 grows to 70,755 by 1930 with more than half of them arriving during the Roaring ‘20s. Among that decades’ newcomers are Georgians Charles Stokes and Louise Stone. They marry here and by the time Charles, a laundry worker, dies in 1928 have two young sons: Louis and Carl. The Stokes brothers grow up in public housing, go on to law school and as blacks continue to pour into the city – the second wave of the Great Migration includes rabble-rousing Marine veteran from Memphis named George L. Forbes –build a political organization that challenges both white business establishment and the Democratic Party. In 1967, Carl becomes the first black mayor of a major northern city. A year later, Louis becomes Ohio’s black member of Congress.

9) On November 1, 1952, chemicals and other debris floating on Cuyahoga River catch fire and do roughly $1.5 million worth of damage. But the event draws little attention – let alone outrage. There’d been occasional fires on the river since 1868 and as far back as 1881, Mayor Rensselaer R. Herrick had called the Cuyahoga a “sewer that runs through the heart of the city.’’ But in those days, pollution was seen as little more than an unfortunate byproduct of industrial prowess. A very different story unfolds on June 22, 1969, when the Cuyahoga again blazes. Although damage this time is barely $85,000, an angry Mayor Carl Stokes leads a delegation of reporters to the banks of the Cuyahoga the following day and demands help from Washington to clean up the mess. His timing was perfect. With a Time magazine team already in town working on a cover story about pollution’s toll on Lake Erie, this fire becomes a rallying point the nascent environmental movement and leads to passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

10) After 140 years of uninterrupted growth, Cleveland’s white population begins to decline in the 1940s, in part because white GI’s can get low-cost federal home loans to move to the suburbs, while black veterans cannot. “White flight’’ continues into the 1960s, accelerating after two major riots –Hough in 1966 and Glenville in 1969. But the last straw for many whites comes on Aug. 31, 1976, when U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti signs a 203-page decision that, among other remedies, orders cross-town busing to end racial segregation. However well-meaning Battititi’s decision may have been – other northern districts had been hit with busing orders before Cleveland – the impact here is devastating.. White flight morphs into middle-class flight. In the 1970s, Cleveland’s black population falls, too, with an exodus of 30,000 people, many to suburbs perceived to have better schools. Battisti’s order remains in effect until the 1990s, when the city’s second black mayor, Michael R. White, leads the charge to end it.

11) On Dec. 15, 1978, a year-long battle between Cleveland’s populist “boy mayor,’’ Dennis Kucinich, and a combative business community, led in this case by Cleveland Trust CEO Brock Weir, comes to a head. A consortium of six local banks calls in $14 million in loans, knowing Kucinich cannot come up with the cash because he refuses to sell Cleveland Public Power as they recommend. Cleveland, its finances held together for nearly a decade by chewing gum, baling wire and accounting tricks, becomes the first U.S. city since the Depression to default. The debacle leads to Kucinich’s defeat in 1979 and effectively ices his political ambitions for another 15 years. But default also forces the business community to rethink its relationship with the city. Under Kucinich’s successor, George V. Voinovich, City Hall and the newly engaged corporate sector form a celebrated public-private partnership that produces several major downtown projects and helps burnish Cleveland’s national image as a “comeback city.’’

12) For decades, good-government groups warned that Cuyahoga County government was a relic of agrarian times with power so diffuse that no one could be held accountable for anything. Not even a poorly supervised investment fiasco in 1994 could prompt more than a study of government reform – that was shelved as soon as public angry subsided. All that changes on July 28, 2008, when nearly 200 federal agents descend on the County Administration Building, the homes of the county’s two most powerful Democratic politicians and the offices of numerous county contractors. They fill U-Haul trucks with documents and computers. After a year of stony silence from federal prosecutors, the indictments begin to flow. On Nov. 2, 2009, appalled voters overwhelming fire the entire county government and concentrate responsibility in a powerful new county executive.

The 10 Greatest Clevelanders Since 1796

This article ran in the Plain Dealer during the Cleveland Bicentennial Year celebration. If you disagree with elements of the list or wish to offer additions, please email us at and we can start the discussion.

Courtesy of The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH) – Sunday, July 21, 1996

To borrow from Shakespeare, some are born with greatness. Others achieve it. Some have it thrust upon them.
Greatness is highly subjective. It’s elusive to define and difficult to measure.

And it also can go unnoticed. Imagine how many tens of thousands who have been a part of this area’s rich past, the deeds of their ordinary lives combining to build a great city. They and their memories are as much a part of this Cleveland’s bicentennial celebration as are the leaders who occupy our history books.

But today, on the eve of the city’s 200th birthday, I have set about the difficult task of attempting to determine and rank the 10 greatest Clevelanders – those whose deeds have had the greatest impact on this city and, in some cases, the nation.

The list that appears below is mine alone. But it was compiled after consultations with some of the foremost experts on Cleveland history: John J. Grabowski, director of planning and research at the Western Reserve Historical Society; David D. Van Tassel, professor of history at Case Western Reserve University; Thomas F. Campbell, history professor at Cleveland State University; and George Condon, retired Plain Dealer columnist and the author of several books on Cleveland’s history.

Singling out only 10 Clevelanders (actually, three of the top 10 include, for reasons that will be obvious, two names) for greatness guarantees that many historic figures be excluded, which is a major reason why the list is followed by an honorable-mention section. Ranking them in order is an invitation to second-guessing.

Nevertheless, what follows is one person’s listing of the 10 greatest Clevelanders.

1. Tom L. Johnson (1854-1911): The mayor against whom all others are measured. Elected in 1901, Johnson left a legacy that includes the mall plan, cheap trolley fares, low taxes and, probably above all, the municipal electric system. Johnson was the central figure in planning the city’s development as an industrial power. A successful businessman, he used town hall forums to bring immigrant masses into the political mainstream by instilling in them hope and inspiration. Upon his death, 200,000 people lined Euclid Ave. for the funeral procession.

2. John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937): His family moved from a farm in upstate New York to Strongsville when he was a teenager. After high school, he took a job as an assistant bookkeeper. At 24, he decided to enter the oil business.

So was born the Standard Oil Co., which made Rockefeller one of the world’s richest and most powerful men. This industrialist and philanthropist gave away millions. He built buildings and bought parks here. Criticized by some for moving to New York City in the 1880s, Rockefeller continued to spend summers at his Forest Hills Park estate.

3. Alfred Kelley (1789-1859): Not nearly as well-known as some of the more legendary Clevelanders, in 1915, Kelley became the first president of the village of Cleveland. Back then, Cleveland wasn’t much bigger than any of the other surrounding lakefront cities, like Lorain, Vermilion, Painesville, and others. But Kelley was a man with a dream – a canal that would link Cleveland with the Ohio River and make his city a major industrial port. As a member of the legislature in the 1820s, Kelley dedicated his life to making the Ohio & Erie Canal a reality. When the canal opened in 1827, it secured Cleveland’s place as Ohio’s dominant lakefront city.

4. O.P (1879-1936) and M.J (1881-1935) Van Sweringen: They developed Shaker Heights and Shaker Square, and when they envisioned a rapid-transit system linking the suburb to downtown, a railroad line stood in their way. So, the brothers bought the Nickel Plate Railroad and eventually accumulated a railroad empire consisting of 30,000 miles of tracks valued at $3 billion. Their monument to Cleveland remains today as the city’s most symbolic building – the Terminal Tower. The 1929 stock market crash almost bankrupted them and they died several years later.

5. Marcus Hanna (1837-1904): He was the nation’s first political boss, a cunning and brilliant political strategist universally credited with engineering the election of William McKinley as president in 1896. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1898, Hanna became a major advocate of an idea many scoffed at – building a canal across Panama. In Cleveland, Hanna was both a wildly successful businessman and the town’s most dominant political figure. His biggest setback in politics was the election as mayor of his longtime enemy, Tom L. Johnson.

6. Newton D. Baker (1871-1937): A protege of Tom L. Johnson, Baker made his mark as mayor of Cleveland from 1912 to 1916. He was responsible for enactment of the City Charter and for promoting passage of the Home Rule amendment to the Ohio Constitution. He made his mark upon the world a few years later. With the nation’s future threatened from abroad, President Woodrow Wilson needed someone to build and train a force of 2 million men to fight the first world war. The choice of Baker as Secretary of War proved outstanding, as Baker was widely credited with succeeding in the most difficult of tasks. Shortly after the war, Baker returned to the Cleveland law firm that still bears his name.

7. Flora Stone Mather (1852-1909) and Samuel Mather (1851-1931): The Mathers were both born into wealth, and through the formation of the iron-ore company Pikands, Mather & Co., saw their separately inherited fortunes grow to the point where they became Ohio’s richest couple. What set them apart from so many other affluent husband-and-wife teams was the vast sums they donated to worthy charities. Major beneficiaries of the Mather fortune were Old Stone Church, Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, John Carroll University and the Community Chest.

8. George Crile (1864-1943): In 1906, while practicing at St. Alexis Hospital, this surgeon and medical researcher performed the world’s first successful blood transfusion. In the Spanish-American War and World War I, he was a highly decorated war surgeon. But Crile’s major contribution to Cleveland came in 1921 when he joined with three others to form the Cleveland Clinic, which, along with the other first-rate hospitals that already existed, cemented Cleveland’s place as a world-class medical center.

9. Adella Prentiss Hughes (1869-1950): Music was her life and through her efforts she put the music made in Cleveland on the map. A philanthropist and the promotor of scores of musical presentations, Hughes formed the Musical Arts Association in 1915 to fund and promote her projects. Three years later, she was the instrumental figure in the creation of the Cleveland Orchestra.

10. Edward Morley (1838-1923) and Albert Michelson (1852-1931): Morley was a scientist at Western Reserve University, Michelson a physicist at the Case School of Applied Science. Their research on the speed of light, known as the Michelson-Morley experiment (1887), laid the foundation for Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Michelson became the first American to win a Nobel Prize in science. He finished second in the Nobel Prize balloting for chemistry.

Honorable mentions (alphabetically):

Paul Brown (1909-1991): A football genius and innovator who built one of the greatest franchises in the history of professional sports. So deep runs the loyalty Clevelanders have for the Browns that not even Art Modell could dry up this reservoir of affection.

Charles F. Brush (1849-1929): Developer of the arc light, the forerunner of Thomas Edison’s inventions.

Lorenzo Carter (1767-1814): Cleveland’s first permanent settler and easily its most prominent early citizen.

James A. Garfield (1831-1881): Because he lived in and spent so much time in Mentor, not all historians consider him a Clevelander, which explains why he was not placed in the top 10. Nevertheless, the 20th president of the United States did have some Cleveland connections.

Jane Edna Hunter (1882-1971): Daughter of a sharecropper, Hunter was a nationally known social worker and founder of the Phillis Wheatley Association.

Levi Johnson (1785-1871): A major figure in the growth of Cleveland as a large port, Johnson was a shipbuilder and real estate developer.

Garrett A. Morgan (1877-1963): Credited as the inventor of the gas mask and the traffic light, Morgan was a successful businessman and an early leader in the city’s black community.

Carl B. Stokes (1927-1996): The first black elected mayor of a major American city.

More Great Clevelanders
Florence Allen (1884-1966): Prominent suffragette; first female Chief Judge of a federal court.

Ernest Bohn (1901-1975): The father of U.S. public housing.

Linda Eastman (1867-1963): The first female head of a major library system (1918). She helped make the Cleveland Public Library into one of the nation’s best.

George Forbes (1931- ): One of the most powerful politicians in Cleveland history; as council president, he dominated government under three mayors.

Dorothy Fuldheim (1893-1989): The first female news anchorperson in the United States at WEWS.

Frederick H. Goff (1858-1923): Helped to establish the Cleveland Foundation, the oldest and one of the largest community foundations in America

Max Hayes (1866-1945): Union printer; launched the Cleveland Citizen newspaper in 1891; became a national voice of labor and socialist movements.

Martin A. Marks (1853-1916): Businessman; Developed models for philanthropic fund raising and management that ultimately became the United Way of Cleveland

Bishop Louis Amadeus Rappe (1801-1877): Cleveland’s first Catholic bishop; recruited priests and nuns from Europe and built churches, schools, orphanages and hospitals.

Bishop Joseph Schrembs (1866-1945): Cleveland’s fifth Catholic bishop; expanded charity work; used radio to evangelize.

Amasa Stone (1818-1883): Contentious man who built the first major railroad between Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. He was ruined when a bridge that he built collapsed in Ashtabula. His money helped to move Western Reserve College to University Circle from Hudson. His daughters (particularly Flora) and sons in laws, (John Hay and Samuel Mather) all had highly successful careers.

George Szell (1897-1970): In 34 years as musical director, this stern taskmaster from Vienna cemented the Cleveland Orchestra’s international reputation.

George V. Voinovich (1936- ): Mayor after 1978 default; improved city’s fiscal footing, Went on to become Governor of Ohio and US Senator. A power locally and nationally for over 30 years.

William O. Walker (1986-1981): Editor and publisher of the Call and Post; central figure in the rise of black political power here.

Cyrus Eaton (1883-1979): Highly controversial capitalist who mentored with John D. Rockefeller in Cleveland and then made his mark in the utility and steel industries. He lost it all during the depression, made it back post-depression and then worked on detente with the Soviet Union during the cold war.

William Stinchcomb (1878-1959): Father of the Cleveland Metroparks, today’s Emerald Necklace and one of the nations best free public park systems in a metropolitan area.

Abba Hillel Silver (1893-1963): Influential Jewish and civic leader in Northeast Ohio for nearly 50 years. Worldwide leader in the 1940s in the effort to create the State of Israel

What’s New on Teaching Cleveland Digital

Frank C. Cain, Cleveland Heights, and the Suburban Vision by Marian J. Morton

“Is Northeast Ohio a Sanctuary Region?” a forum on Jan 17, 2018 (Video)

“A look at the political crystal ball for 2018” forum on Thurs Nov 16, 2017 (Video)

“The Nuts and Bolts of Ohio Campaign Finance” Thursday October 26, 2017 (Video)

“Home Rule for NE Ohio Communities. Should it be stronger or weaker?” October 17, 2017 @ Lakewood Main Library

The Election for Mayor: A discussion about the future of Cleveland, a forum moderated by Leila Atassi, Plain Dealer Aug 29, 2017 (Video)

“Shaker Square: Its past, present and future” forum moderated by Steven Litt, Plain Dealer July 25, 2017 (Video)

Cleveland Day (July 22)

Jean Murrell Capers (1913-2017)

Local Public Policy Issue Forums 2015-2017 (Video)

A brief history of the Ohio income tax by Michael F. Curtin 2/15/2017

“Wildlife in Northeast Ohio: why can’t we all just get along?” forum moderated by Jim McCarty, Plain Dealer July 17, 2017 (Video)

The Best of 2016

“Voter Registration in Ohio” by Michael Curtin

“Fracking and the Impact of the Utica Shale on Ohio” a forum on May 16, 2017

Two “Northeast Ohio Regionalism” Forums:
Regionalism on the Westside 11.15.16 (video)

Regionalism on the Eastside 8.18.2016 (video)

“Water Quality of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River” a panel moderated by Jim McCarty 9.15.16 (video)

“Redistricting and Voting Rights in Ohio” a panel moderated by Thomas Suddes 8.25.2016 (video)

Her Father’s Daughter: Flora Stone Mather and Her Gifts to Cleveland by Dr. Marian Morton

“The Paradox of Progress in Tremont, Ohio” by Dawn Ellis

“The Western Reserve’s Self-Made President” by Grant Segall

Video From the Regionalism Forum with County Executive Armond Budish, Regional Coordinator Eddy Kraus and Moderator Tom Beres (6.17.15)

“The President From Canton” by Grant Segall

“Gerrymandering. The Art of Fixing Elections” by Michael F. Curtin

Video From The Newton D. Baker Symposium (April 19, 2015)

Remarks By Thomas F. Campbell @ Newton D. Baker’s Induction Into The City Club’s Hall of Fame (5.18.87)

A Rebel With A Cause: Norm Krumholz and “Equity Planning” in Cleveland by Robert Brown

“Drawing the Line on Politics” – Political Cartoons in Cleveland History” written by John Vacha; web design by Alan Luntz

Residual Neighbors: Jewish-African American Interactions in Cleveland From 1900-1970 by John Baden
Part 1: “Getting By Together 1900-1938”

Part 2: “Neighbors Then Strangers Postwar-1970”

“Why Political Debates Matter” by Michael F. Curtain

“The Scourge of Corrupt and Inefficient Politicians: The Citizens League of Great Cleveland” by Marian Morton

Interview With Louis Stokes, Former U.S. Congressman 1969-1999 (Video)

“How Reform is Changing Healthcare in Northeast Ohio: a Panel Discussion” (Video)

“The Civic Awakening of Beachwood” by Mark Naymik

Interview With Senator George Voinovich, Cleveland Mayor From 1980 – 1989 (Video)

“A Time of Transition and Challenge: The Gilded Age in Cleveland” by Dr. John J. Grabowski

Interview With George L. Forbes, Cleveland City Council President From 1973 – 1989 (Video)

Newton D. Baker: Cleveland’s Greatest Mayor by Thomas Suddes

They Also Ran: The Women Who Would Be Mayor, 1961 to 1997″ By Dr. Marian Morton

“The Election That Changed Cleveland Forever” by Michael D. Roberts

Mayor Michael R. White Interview – Cleveland Mayor From 1990 – 2002 (video)

“The Best Barber in America” by John Vacha

“Cleveland: City on a Schedule” Remarkable Documentary Made in 1957 and Hosted at Cleveland Memory (video)

“Annexation and Mayor Sensenbrenner: How Columbus Grew to be the Largest City in Ohio” by Alexander Tebben

“The History of Term Limits in Ohio” By Michael F. Curtin

Cleveland Business Hall of Fame -Inside Business (good list!)

Inside Business Cleveland Business Hall of Fame Issue: October 2006 Issue

Posthumous Inductees to Inside Business Cleveland Business Hall of Fame

Samuel Andrews arrived in Cleveland in 1857 and helped oil supplier Charles Dean’s company become the first to refine kerosene from petroleum. In 1863, he co-founded Andrews, Clark & Co., which became Standard Oil Co. Andrews went on to fund local education institutions, such as Brooks Military School.

Samuel Austin built The Austin Co. into one of the largest construction firms in the United States. In 1911, Austin constructed a research facility in East Cleveland — the core of today’s Nela Park. With help from the Ford Motor Co., Austin designed and built a $60 million, 600-acre factory in the Soviet Union.

Newton D. Baker came to Cleveland in 1899 and was eventually elected mayor in 1911, a title he held for two terms. Baker was also a confidant of President Woodrow Wilson and secretary of the war in 1916. Baker returned to Cleveland and founded the law firm known today as Baker & Hostetler LLP.

In 13 years as managing partner at Ernst & Ernst (now Ernst & Young), Richard T. Baker pushed the firm to achieve a national presence with 135 offices. He also served on the boards of directors for companies such as Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., General Electric Co., and the National Broadcasting Co.

Louis D. Beaumont and his brother-in-law, Col. David May, bought Cleveland’s E.R. Hull & Dutton Co. in 1899. Beaumont transformed the store into the May Co. and it went on to become the nation’s largest retail department-store chain.

From 1959, Jess Bell led his father Jesse G. Bell’s company, Bonne Bell Inc., to become one of the country’s top cosmetics manufacturers. Jess Bell is also known for his healthy lifestyle, a value reflected in his company, which offers in-house fitness centers and incentives to employees who exercise regularly, lose weight or quit smoking.

In 1912, Leon A. Beeghly formed the New York-based Buffalo Slag Co. whose blast-furnace slag was widely used in highway construction. Two years later, he opened Standard Slag Co. in Youngstown, which grew rapidly and expanded to 25 plants. Despite the Depression, Standard Slag grew, acquiring sand plants and limestone quarries.

In 1928, Italian-born Hector Boiardi sold packaged takeout dinners from his restaurant, Giardino d’Italia, near East Ninth Street. Despite the Depression, Boiardi’s operation outgrew three processing plants. As a marketing strategy, he spelled his name phonetically, making Chef Boy-ar-dee a household name.

Alva “Ted” Bonda returned from the U.S. Army in the mid-1940s and accepted a request that he manage an Avis Rent-a-Car franchise. Bonda became national chairman of the rental-car giant in 1968. He left to run the Airport Parking Co. of America (APCOA). By the time APCOA was sold in the late 1980s, it was the largest such company in the world.

In 1853, Alva Bradley and Ahira Cobb founded the shipyards of Bradley & Cobb on the Vermillion River. Bradley moved to Cleveland in 1859 and bought out Cobb. The business, later known as Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co., amassed a fleet that captured much of the early iron-ore shipping on the Great Lakes.

Joseph M. Bruening’s company, Bearings Inc., distributed antifriction bearings and power-transmission components and built its success on commitment to service. By 1977, the company’s annual sales reached $200 million and eventually went on to become the largest bearings distributor in the world.

In 1879, Charles F. Brush improved electric arc lights with his patented open-coil dynamo (a precursor to the modern generator), making Cleveland the first city in the world to illuminate its streets extensively with electric lights.

H. Peter Burg began his career at FirstEnergy Corp. (then Ohio Edison) as a financial analyst trainee in 1968 and quickly moved up the ranks, serving as treasurer, vice president, senior vice president, and president and COO in 1996. He was named president and chairman in 1999.

As Cleveland’s first permanent pioneer, Lorenzo Carter settled near the riverbank in 1797 and became the city’s first leader, innkeeper, shipbuilder and policeman. Carter bought lots from the Connecticut Land Co. and by 1802, he owned much of what is now the East Bank of the Flats.

Part banker, part real estate mogul, in the  mid-1800s, Leonard Case Sr. led efforts to move a medical college from Willoughby to Cleveland and helped launch Cleveland University. After Case’s death, his son, Leonard Jr., donated $1 million to found the Case School of Applied Science, now part of Case Western Reserve University.

Henry Chisholm helped establish Cleveland’s reputation as a steel leader. After working for the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad in the 1850s, he joined Jones & Co., which rolled iron rails. He served as an investor and later as manager and president. The firm, renamed Cleveland Rolling Mill, introduced the Bessemer furnace.

Moses Cleaveland ventured to the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on July 22, 1796. As director of the Connecticut Land Co., Cleaveland led the first surveying expedition of the company’s newly acquired property. A lawyer by trade, Cleaveland served in the Connecticut legislature and was also a general in the Connecticut militia.

After working for the Cleveland Iron Co., Jacob D. Cox Sr. entered a partnership with C.C. Newton in 1876 and began manufacturing the twist drill in Dunkirk, N.Y. He moved the company to Cleveland where it become a major part of the city’s industrial economy.

Frederick C. Crawford began working at Steel Products Co. sorting scrap for only 35 cents an hour. By 1933, he was president of the company, renamed Thompson Products Inc. (now TRW Corp.). Under Crawford, Thompson expanded its aircraft-parts manufacturing and helped launch the Cleveland National Air Races.

After testing tree-care concepts in a cemetery, tree preservationist John Davey published “The Tree Doctor in 1903,” detailing a municipality’s neglect of its trees and plant life. The Davey Institute of Tree Surgery (now the Davey Institute, which is part of Davey Tree Expert Co.) was created in 1909 to provide educational resources for its employees.

James C. Davis joined Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in 1946 and initiated the firm’s national growth by opening offices in Washington, D.C., and maneuvering the merger with McAfee. Davis was active in Cleveland’s civic affairs, supporting a visit by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and speaking against racism to the Cleveland Bar Association.

A leader in the modern mall movement, Edward J. DeBartolo established DeBartolo Realty, creating shopping centers such as Boardman Plaza, Southern Park Mall and Randall Park Mall, and developments such as a Seven-Up bottling plant and residential homes for veterans in the 1940s and ‘50s

As Cleveland’s first industrialist Nathaniel Doan was elected one of three highway supervisors during the township’s first elections. He laid out the course of what became Detroit Avenue. He also managed a tavern and operated a baking-soda plant.

In 1900, Cyrus S. Eaton was given a job acquiring electric power franchises. He went on to finance and lead businesses including Republic Steel Co., The Sherwin-Williams Co. and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. In 1960, Eaton was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize for promoting understanding between the capitalist West and the communist East.

In 1952, Henry F. Eaton and graphic designer John Dix left Industrial Publishing to form Dix & Eaton. Their advertising agency metamorphosed into a public relations firm in the 1970s, gaining a reputation for serving public companies.

In 1911, Joseph O. Eaton Jr. created Torbensen Gear & Axle Co. with Viggo Torbensen in Bloomfield, N.J. In 1915, Eaton moved Torbensen Gear to Cleveland, where it became Eaton Corp., one of the world’s most important automotive parts-makers.

In 1902, Alwin C. Ernst and his brother, Theodore, opened the accounting firm Ernst & Ernst where Alwin revolutionized accounting by packaging data into reports and analyses, providing business managers with information on marketing and business efficiency.

Thomas L. Fawick built a touring sedan, believed to be the first American-made four-door automobile and in 1936, organized Fawick Clutch Co. Fawick clutches were used by major automakers and in the landing gear of naval craft during World War II.

When Harvey Firestone glued rubber to the wheels of carriages from the Columbus Buggy Co., he knew that he had something. Firestone incorporated the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. in 1900 and partnered with Henry Ford soon after, making tires for his $500 automobile.

John D. Rockefeller’s enthusiasm for the oil business infected Henry M. Flagler, who became a partner in the Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler oil company. Recognizing its potential as a winter vacation spot, Flagler built the 642-mile Florida East Coast Railroad to connect his string of hotels.

Claud H. Foster created the Gabriel Co. in 1904 to manufacture the Gabriel Horn, a car horn he’d invented that was powered by exhaust gases. Foster then created the “Snubber” shock absorber and became well known for his expertise on how cars handled road shock.

In 1929, Tom M. Girdler helped create Republic Steel Corp. and became its first president and board chairman. Under his leadership, the company became a major producer of light alloy steel.

As president of Cleveland Trust from 1908 to 1923, Frederick H. Goff instituted policies and procedures that enhanced the bank’s reputation and financial status. He developed the concepts of the living trust and the community trust and established The Cleveland Foundation in 1914.

In 1882, Caesar A. Grasselli took over his father’s sulfuric acid plant, which moved to Cleveland to be closer to the oil-refining businesses that bought its products. The company built new plants, bought competitors and expanded into other chemicals to become the country’s second-largest producer of zinc.

After living in poverty in Austria-Hungary, Anton Grdina came to Cleveland and opened Grdina & Co., a hardware store in 1904. He helped organize the Slovenian Building and Loan Association and established the North American Building & Savings Co.

George Gund II took over his father’s business in 1916, the Gund Brewing Co. During the Depression, he strengthened his wealth by purchasing high-quality stocks at bargain prices. Gund became director of Cleveland Trust Bank in 1937, its president in 1941 and served as chairman of the board from 1962 to 1966.

In 1891, brothers Salmon P. and Samuel H. Halle purchased a hat and fur business, which they named Halle Bros. By the end of 1910, sales reached $1 million and the store became known for their benevolent and generous attitude toward employees.

In 1832, Truman P. Handy came to Cleveland to oversee the revival of the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie. Handy helped put the bank into receivership during the Panic of 1837. He was also an investor for several rail lines, helped reorganize Western Reserve College and incorporate the Case School of Applied Science.

After managing Theodore Roosevelt’s and William McKinley’s presidential campaignsMarcus A. Hanna took over his father-in-law’s coal business. The renamed M.A. Hanna Co. became a mining and shipping empire. Hanna was also appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1897, 1898 and 1904.

Under the leadership of H. Stuart Harrison, Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. increased its ore production fivefold and its earnings per share eightfold, expanded into foreign mining and became the first company to lessen the impact of inflation by tying iron-ore royalties to a price index.

In 1892, Willliam A. Harshaw formed the Cleveland Commercial Co. By 1900, he acquired partners and united his enterprises under the name Harshaw, Fuller & Goodwin Co. During Harshaw’s tenure, the company offered catalysts, ceramics, synthetic crystals and metallic soaps, and was the principal source of refined manganese ore during World War I.

For 40 years, former LTC Corp. chairman and CEO David H. Hoag was influential in the company’s growth and success, and his sales and marketing skills helped save the company from bankruptcy.

Liberty E. Holden bought The Plain Dealer in 1885. Holden’s family owned the paper until 1967, when his heirs sold it to the Newhouse family of New York. Today, it is Cleveland’s only daily newspaper and Ohio’s largest.

Allen C. Holmes is credited with major advancements in corporate law. A national expert in antitrust law, Holmes began his practice in 1944 at what is now Jones Day where he was named managing partner in 1975.

The W.H. Hoover Co. had specialized in leather horse collars until William Henry Hoover developed his vacuum cleaner in response to a friend’s asthma condition. In 1908 Hoover incorporated his Electric Suction Sweeper Co. and by 1919, the vacuum business was flourishing.

George M. Humphrey gave up his $300,000 salary as chairman of Cleveland’s M.A. Hanna Co. for the job of secretary of the Department of the Treasury for $22,500 in 1953. Humphrey also pushed for the creation of National Steel Corp., which grew into the country’s sixth-largest steelmaker.

After selling Pump Engineering Service Corp., William S. Jack and Ralph M. Heintz wooed 25 Cleveland machinists to California to start a company that made airplane starters. Jack & Heintz Inc. moved back to Cleveland and sales leapt to $120 million by 1943.

Influenced by Henry George’s “Social Problems,” former businessman Tom L. Johnson ran for public office in 1885 and was elected to the U.S. Congress twice in the 1890s. He was elected mayor four times before his death in 1911.

In 1819, Alfred Kelley was a state representative and chief proponent of a canal linking Lake Erie with the Ohio River. Kelley was instrumental in reviving Cleveland’s banking business and bringing railroads to the area.

In the 1940s, billionaire Fred Lennon met Cullen Crawford, an engineer who developed a pipe fitting dubbed the Swagelock. With a $500 loan, the two founded The Crawford Fitting Co. in 1947. The company, now called Swagelok, has about 3,000 employees and more than 25 facilities on three continents.

Alfred Lerner took over Equitable Bancorp. in 1981, which was acquired by Maryland National Bank. Under Lerner, the bank’s credit card division became MBNA and, in 1991, he took Maryland National Bank public. He and Carmen Policy also brought the beloved Browns back to Cleveland in 1999.

With money he earned building an electric motor for Herbert Henry Dow’s cement mill, John Lincoln started Elliott-Lincoln Electric Co. In 1907, James Lincoln joined his brother as a salesman for the renamed Lincoln Electric. John was also instrumental in establishing Reliance Electric Co.

Under Elmer Lindseth’s 22-year presidency beginning in 1945, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. grew from serving 357,000 customers to 620,000, and from generating 4.25 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to 12.3 billion. The company accomplished this growth through an aggressive marketing campaign, including a slogan that promoted Cleveland as “The Best Location in the Nation.”

Samuel Mather began his career as an apprentice in his father’s mining firm, the Cleveland Iron Co., which became part of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. Mather pioneered the concept of steel-industry integration and bought into steel companies and shipping fleets. When he died in 1931, he was the richest man in Ohio.

Under William G. Mather’s leadership, Cleveland-Cliffs diversified into iron ore-related industries, building charcoal blast furnaces and providing electricity to mining operations. Mather made his greatest contribution to Cleveland’s metal industries in 1930 when he and Cyrus Eaton formed Republic Steel Corp. by combining several steel companies in Youngstown.

Mark H. McCormack, founder, chairman and CEO of Cleveland-based International Management Group, transformed an entire industry and created modern professional sports management in 1960. Today, with 70 offices in 30 countries, IMG is the world’s largest athletic representation firm.

As a Navy officer during World War I, C. Bert McDonald was assigned to Cleveland and fell in love with the city, where he helped build McDonald & Company Investments in 1949. Today, the company still operates under its former chairman’s high ideals: extraordinary responsiveness, reliability and superior customer service.

Ruth Ratner Miller was the first female community-development director of Cleveland’s Department of Health in 1996. She was a civic leader, community advocate and heir to Forest City Enterprises. When Forest City purchased Terminal Tower, she headed the renovation into The Avenue at Tower City.

In 1913, Garrett Morgan organized the G.A. Morgan Hair Redefining Co. to market his hair-straightening compound, which he stumbled upon while mixing a solution to better lubricate sewing-machine needles at his sewing-machine shop. He also patented products such as the gas mask and the three-color traffic light.

In 1888, Liberty Holden loaned George Myers $2,000 to open a barbershop in the Hollenden House Hotel, a hub for the rich and powerful. Myers was a well-known political player. When Marcus Hanna needed votes for a Senate seat, Myers bribed Cleveland legislator William A. Clifford and procured an illegal victory for Hanna.

Charles A. Otis Jr. was known as “Mr. Cleveland” for contributing to the city’s growth in the first half of the 20th century. A steel salesman, Otis joined Addison Hough in 1895, then created the Otis & Hough partnership, an independent sales representative for large steel companies.

After one bankruptcy, Arthur L. Parker built Parker Appliance Co. into the world’s largest manufacturer of airplane parts. Parker died in 1945 and his widow, Helen, recruited S. Blackwell Taylor and Robert W. Cornell to help rebuild the company. In 1957, Parker Appliance acquired Hannifin Manufacturing Co. and Parker Hannifin Corp. was born.

Pat Parker’s insatiable curiosity led him to innovations, ideas and opportunities that allowed him to build Parker Hannifin Corp. from a $197 million mid-level manufacturer to a $2.5 billion global industrial maker of motion and control technologies by the time he retired in 1994.

Lionel A. Pile emigrated from Barbados to the United States in 1900. When Pile’s brother-in-law, O.H. Lewis, became ill, Pile took over his bakery, Hough Bakery. By 1927, he began adding one store each year for the next 20 years.

Leonard Ratner and his brothers Charles, Harry and Max bought a lumberyard called Buckeye Lumber in the 1920s. Renamed Forest City Materials Co., the company turned the lumberyard into home-improvement stores. Max and Leonard moved into the development business on their own before turning Forest City Enterprises over to their children in the 1970s.

During John W. “Jack” Reavis’ tenure at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, the firm grew from 50 to 173 lawyers, and established its national reputation and scope in the 1960s. Reavis founded the Interracial Business Men’s Committee to defuse violence and racial tension and earned the Cleveland Medal for Public Service and the NAACP’s Human Rights Award.

After the three Richman brothers took over their father’s factory at East 55th Street in 1893, Richman Bros. became the first garment maker to sell “direct from the factory.” Their first retail store opened in 1903 and in 1907, the brothers opened additional retail outlets selling factory-produced men’s clothing directly to the customer.

J. French Robinson headed East Ohio Gas Co. when, in 1944, an explosion caused by ruptured liquefied-gas tanks killed 131 people. Robinson and his company earned the community’s respect for their willingness to fairly settle the claims arising from the disaster. During World War II, Robinson oversaw the allocation of natural gas for the Petroleum Industry War Council.

Larry Robinson took over his father’s business, J.B. Robinson Jewelers, when he died in the late 1950s. At its height, the chain included almost 100 stores in 12 states.

John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co. was the most powerful business organization in the country in the 1890s. He also made a lasting impact on Cleveland. The Rockefeller building was the city’s first skyscraper. The Rockefeller family made numerous gifts of money and land to Greater Cleveland, including Rockefeller Park and Forest Hill Park.

Maurice Saltzman, president of Bobbie Brooks Inc., founded Ritmore Sportswear Inc. in 1939. Bobbie Brooks grew to become one of the country’s largest clothing makers in the 1950s and ’60s. Its 120-person sales force went directly to 6,000 small-town shops and sold the company’s clothing line.

Jacob Sapirstein founded the Sapirstein Greeting Card Co., in 1932. In 1952, Sapirstein took the company public as American Greetings Corp. Today, American Greetings is the largest publicly held manufacturer of greeting cards and related gift items in the world.

In 1870, Henry A. Sherwin, Alanson T. Osborn and Edward Williams opened Sherwin-Williams & Co.’s first headquarters at 126 Superior St. They developed the world’s first reliable ready-mixed paint. By 1890, the company had enjoyed its first million-dollar sales year.

Bernie Shulman bought the 41-store Standard Drug chain in Cleveland for $2 million in 1962 and converted it to a self-serve, discount concept he developed with several partners, later known as Revco drug stores. In 1975, he opened Bernie Shulman’s, possibly the nation’s first “deep-discount” drug store.

Harry C. Smith helped found The Cleveland Gazzette in 1883 before serving three terms as a state representative and becoming the first black candidate for Ohio governor in 1926. As a legislator, Smith successfully sponsored The Ohio Civil Rights Act of 1894 and the Mob Violence Act of 1896.

The Smith brothers were the children of Dr. Albert W. Smith, who helped found the Dow Chemical Corp. Kelvin, the youngest, and Francis Nason developed the first compressed-air applicator in 1928. Older brothers Kent and Vincent brought their chemical-engineering and law degrees to the ventures. The result: Graphite Oil Products, later renamed The Lubrizol Corp.

Andrew Squire formed the world-class law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in 1890. Squire incorporated Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and what would become Union Carbide Corp., among other concerns.

In 1850, state Rep. Alfred E. Kelley asked Amasa Stone to build the Cleveland-to-Columbus link of the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad. Stone did the building and became president of the line. He subsequently built and headed the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula and the Chicago & Milwaukee lines.

Though his father, Jacob Sapirstein, started American Greetings Corp., it was Irving I. Stone who suggested the company could accrue more profit by printing and distributing its own line of cards. Stone helped expand the fledgling enterprise’s sales efforts and helped his family grow the company into the international greeting-card giant that by 1940 recorded sales of $1 million.

“It means a lot when a downtown is alive,” said Herbert Strawbridge, former CEO of the Higbee Co. This philosophy inspired Strawbridge’s Cleveland business ventures, including the success of Higbee’s, and what became the modern-day Flats in the 1970s.

Vernon B. Stouffer opened the first of a chain of restaurants called Stouffer’s Lunch with his father. Joined by his brother Gordon in 1925, Stouffer elevated the family lunch-counter trade into a national chain of restaurants, motor inns and food-service operations. In 1954, Stouffer’s opened a production plant in Solon.

Machinists Ambrose Swasey and Worcester R. Warner shared a fascination for telescopes and optical equipment and set up their own machine-tool business in Chicago in 1880. They came to Cleveland in 1881 and in the next 100 years, their company, Warner & Swasey Co., became known worldwide for its turret lathes and telescopes.

George Jackson “Jack” Tankersley served as chairman of East Ohio Gas Co. in 1973 and chairman of Consolidated Natural Gas, East Ohio’s parent company. Tankersley increased the company’s gas production, automated services and stepped up gas and oil exploration at CNG. During the energy crisis of the mid-1970s, he spoke out on the need for price deregulation and energy conservation.

Frank E. Taplin founded Cleveland and Western Coal Co. (later renamed North American Coal Corp.) with his brother, Charles, in 1912. As his company acquired mines, Taplin began using railroads to ship his raw materials. He purchased the Pittsburgh & West Virginia line in 1923.

In the late 1800s, Sophie Strong Taylor, widow to John Livingstone Taylor, ran the William Taylor & Son Co. Her religious convictions guided her management for 44 years. She insisted the store be closed on Sundays and carry Bibles in every language that was spoken in Cleveland’s melting pot.

The Taylor Chair Co., founded by William O. Taylor, dates back to Bedford Township chair-maker Benjamin Fitch. In 1816, Fitch started making a “splint-bottom chair.” Taylor started working with Fitch and in 1844 began the W.O. Taylor Chair Factory.

In 1905, Charles E. Thompson bought controlling interest in the company that would later be known as TRW Inc. At the time, what was then Cleveland Cap Screw Co. was a modest operation specializing in welding automobile chassis and bicycle parts. Thompson infused the company with his technological vision, making TRW a world leader in precision-engineered automotive and aerospace components.

After he entered the Ohio Bar in 1827, David Tod’s first major business investment was to build a canal connecting the Ohio and Erie Canal with the Ohio River, breathing life into Mahoning Valley. Tod was elected president of the Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad, became postmaster of Warren and was elected to the Ohio Senate and appointed minister to Brazil by President Polk.

Richard Tullis moved to Cleveland in 1956 to become vice president of Harris Intertype Corp. (now Harris Corp.). During his tenure as chairman, president and CEO, the company grew from $41 million to $2 billion in sales.

Creators of Shaker Heights and the Terminal Tower, brothers Oris P. and Mantis J. Van Sweringen reshaped Cleveland and started the march to the suburbs in the late 1800s. They bought lots in the Shaker area and built their own streetcar line into the new community.

In 1854, Jeptha Wade negotiated a merger that consolidated telegraph routes covering the five states north of the Ohio River into the Speed & Wade Telegraph Lines. The company became the Western Union Telegraph Co., providing the first consistent long-distance communication. Wade moved to Cleveland in 1856 to serve as the system’s general agent.

Raymond John Wean created the Wean Engineering Co. in 1929, and became an influential powerhouse in the production of steel. The mill equipment Wean Engineering developed and manufactured helped revolutionize steel production in America. His name appears on more than 25 patents, and his machines helped combine and improve mill processes.

A giant among the city’s technological wizards, Samuel T. Wellman patented his open-hearth, iron-melting furnace charging machine and launched a new era in steel making. In 1896, Wellman, along with his brother Charles and John W. Seaver, formed the Wellman-Seaver Engineering Co., later the Wellman-Seaver-Morgan Co.

In 1935, the Westropp sisters were the co-founders of what was to become the Women’s Federal Savings Bank, the first savings and loan association in the world to be created, managed and staffed almost entirely by women.

In 1900, Rollin White’s company, the White Motor Co., produced its first car — the White Steamer — and first truck. After his father died in 1914, White left the company. Two years later he organized Cleveland Tractor Co., designing many tractors himself, while running the company.

Thomas H. White invented a hand-operated, single-thread sewing machine and, in 1866, brought his White Manufacturing Co. to Cleveland for better access to materials and machining skills. Within 10 years, the company became known as White Sewing Machine Co. and Cleveland had become the world center of the sewing-machine industry.

Alexander Winton made Cleveland the center of the American automobile-manufacturing industry. By 1898, the Winton Motor Carriage Co. was cranking out the first standard-production cars made in America. To assuage public doubt about his vehicle’s safety and reliability, Winton drove from Cleveland to New York in 1899 and made the first coast-to-coast automobile trip.

Bart Wolstein’s imprint is all over Northeast Ohio. Through his real estate development companies, Wolstein not only built more than 100 shopping centers nationwide, but is responsible for the Renaissance office building in Cleveland, Barrington Golf Club in Aurora, Glenmoor Country Club near Canton and the Bertram Inn & Conference Center in Aurora.

In 1834, George Worthington came to Cleveland from Utica, N.Y., planning to tap the new market for hardware that Ohio Canal construction was creating. Worthington quickly became a millionaire supplying the construction workers’ needs. The company’s growth was entirely internally generated: Worthington didn’t believe in mergers.

The third African-American to receive a degree from Antioch College, J. Walter Wills Sr. became a partner in the Gee & Wills Funeral Co. in 1904. When the partnership dissolved, he opened J.W. Wills & Sons and moved to East 55th Street, calling it the House of Wills. Wills also helped organize the Cleveland Board of Trade, the city’s first organization of African-American businesses.

Cleveland settler Lorenzo Carter just one of stories included in Cleveland Heights history class Plain Dealer

By Mike Kezdi, special to Sun News 
on September 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM
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Tom L. Johnson was mayor of Cleveland from 1901-1909. He is one of many people discussed in “Cleveland Stories: An Informal Look at Cleveland’s Past” taught by Cleveland Heights resident Marian Morton using materials provided by 

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – Moses Cleaveland is credited with founding Cleveland in 1796, but he never actually settled here.

It was Lorenzo Carter, who arrived in 1797 almost a year after Cleaveland and built a log cabin on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River.

He is also credited with owning acres of land on both the east and west sides of the river, he built the first log warehouse, his family owned the first frame house in Cleveland, and he served as a major in the Ohio Militia.

Carter’s story marks the beginning of Cleveland history, in a Case Western Reserve University adult education class taught by Marian Morton, which starts Thursday, Sept. 26, in Cleveland Heights.

“I think you should know something about the place that you live,” said Morton, a Cleveland Heights resident.

One of the biggest proponents of adult education in Cleveland was the city’s 37thmayor and former U.S. Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker. After returning to Cleveland from his service to the nation, Baker took up the mantle for advancing adult education.

Mike Baron, of Beachwood, a co-founder of, says that Baker’s work in adult education is an appropriate segue into why Case Western is offering “Cleveland Stories: An Informal Look at Cleveland’s Past.”

Baker was the father of adult education in Northeast Ohio,” Baron said.

According to the article, “Newton D. Baker and the Adult Education Movement” by Rae Wahl Rohfeld from the Ohio Historical Journal, available at and also found on, Baker helped create the Cleveland College an affiliation of Western Reserve University, the YMCA and the Case Institute of Technology.

Baron says based on that alone, it’s fitting that this course is offered as an Off-Campus Studies course in The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program.

The program, taught by Morton, starts at 7 p.m. and continues Thursdays through Nov. 14 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. Cleveland Heights.

“The history of Cleveland is seldom taught in colleges and universities,” said Morton, professor emeritus of history at John Carroll University. “It’s never taught in an adult education class.”

She spent almost 40 years teaching at John Carroll. Among those courses was one about Cleveland history. This is the first time she is teaching a Cleveland history class for adults.

The class, she says will be mostly discussion, like a book club, based on a series of essays compiled by Baron from the website. A book of the compiled essays is available at the class and is included in the $75 registration fee.

“We (Teaching Cleveland) would like to see a little bit of scholarship about Cleveland,” Baron said.

He went on to say that the now three-year-old website has numbers to prove that people are interested in history of the region. The site gets an estimated 40,000 page reads a month.

Baron approached Morton about teaching the program and she is looking forward to class.

“It’s fun to have a classroom full of grown-ups. People who were born before Bill Clinton was president,” Morton said.

The bulk of the course is about important people in Cleveland history from Carter, to at least the 1980s, Baron says.

“Everyone will find what they are looking for,” he said.

When pressed, to select his favorite time period in Cleveland history, Baron pointed to the period from 1870 to the Depression. Baron referred to the Cleveland in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era as “mind blowing.”

“Cleveland was an amazing dynamic,” he said. “The talent that was in Northeast Ohio was just terrific.”

That included the likes of Mark Hanna, John D. Rockefeller, Amasa Stone and Baker.

Also included in the course are essays about several civic issues in Cleveland history including, “How Cleveland Women Got the Vote – and What They Did with It” about women’s suffrage, which is written by Morton.

A good sample of what the class will cover can be found under the Cleveland Stories tab at Registration is still open and can be made by visiting and clicking on the Off Campus Studies link or by calling 216-216-368-5145.

As for Carter, it’s worth noting, his other accomplishments include building a 30-ton schooner named Zephyr, which helped expand regular trade to the east and he is credited with opening the first tavern in the city.

Teaching Cleveland Quote of the Week

Teaching Cleveland Quote of the Week:

(week of 3/29/15)

In 1918, Francis Payne Bolton had used her personal friendship with Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, to arrange an urgent wartime interview. Bolton (along with Annie Goodrich, chief inspecting nurse of the U.S. Army Hospitals, and Florence Brewster of Cleveland) convinced Baker that wounded soldiers deserved to be cared for by trained nurses, not volunteers. These three women won his support for the creation of an Army School of Nursing, despite the refusal of the Army Chiefs of Staff to even consider it. 

From the 75th anniversary history of the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Mrs. Bolton is the “Teaching Cleveland Birthday of the Week”

Previous Weeks

(week of 3/22/15)

Frank A. Scott, Chairman of the War Industries Board comes close to being a perfect expression of that intangible yet very real thing that we call “the genius of a free people”. A poor boy robbed of a chance for schooling by bitter necessities and facing life without aid of friends or influence, he rose to wealth and position.

Frank Scott started as a newsboy in the streets of Cleveland. His father died when the son was ten, and in order to aid a mother left penniless, the youngster got as job delivering papers. Getting up long before daylight, he trudged over his route and after a day in school he sold papers on the streets until his tired little legs carried him home to his dinner. Read more about Frank A. Scott this week’s “Birthday of the Week” in this article from “Everybody’s Magazine” 1918

(week of 3/15/15)

The ten years of Sherwin’s presidency established the character of the League of Women Voters as a nonpartisan, goal-oriented organization, politically accountable for its policies, and respected for the accuracy and objectivity of the educational materials prepared by its research staff. The institutional structure, educational techniques, and administrative procedures established during this period were largely attributable to her leadership. 

Under Sherwin, “study before action” became the operative principle of the League. The research and discussion which preceded the formulation of legislative goals and political action to achieve those goals became the means of the members’ political education. 

The decision making process characterized the League’s work long after her departure and has largely accounted for its legislative achievements. Sherwin likened the League to “a university without walls. . .whose members enter to learn and remain to shape the curriculum”

Sherwin’s greatest gift as an organizer and administrator was the ability to detect and develop talent. Those who worked most closely with her admired her as a great teacher whose intellectual credentials were evidenced in all of her work. She was a skillful politician, holding together disparate elements in the organization by a mixture of conciliation and persuasion.

Belle Sherwin is the “Teaching Cleveland Birthday of the Week”

Passage from Notable American Women: The Modern Period : a Biographical Dictionary

edited by Barbara Sicherman, Carol Hurd Green

Belle Sherwin Biography written by Louise M. Young

The link is here

The pdf is here

(week of 3/8/15)

“Upon his death in 1933, Balto was stuffed so that his body might remain on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Where children of all ages could be told the heroic tale of the sled dogs who risked their lives so that Alaskan children would not lose their’s.”

The story of Balto, this week’s “Birthday of the Week”. From Travel Channel video located here

(week of 3/1/15)

“If a man puts something to block your way, the first time you go around it, the second time you go over it, and the third time you go through it.”

A quote from Garrett Morgan, the week’s “Birthday of the Week”, describing his approach to adversity


(week of 2/22/15)

“I am going to be brutally frank with you—and brutally frank with Seth Taft, Stokes said. “….Seth Taft may win the November 7th election for only one reason.  That reason is that his skin happens to be white.”

            The remark had the effect of a bomb. The auditorium reverberated with noise and anger as the crowd hollered in protest. Taft sat dumbfounded, stunned that his opponent would open up himself to the race issue in such a blatant manner.

            And then, in what would be the best moment of his campaign, Taft rose and said: “It seems that the race issue is with us.  If I say something on the subject it is racism. If Carl Stokes says something it is fair play.”

            With that, Taft held up a full page newspaper ad for Carl Stokes. In huge type was the crying pronouncement:

 DON’T VOTE FOR A NEGRO, vote for a man. Let’s do Cleveland Proud! What has Cleveland done that makes us so proud? Nominated a Negro for mayor!  Do yourself proud by electing one.

            The reaction to the introduction of the race issue was so vehement that Stokes’ campaign manager, Dr. Kenneth Clement, was quoted as saying that he wished there was a third candidate that he could vote for. He predicted that if his candidate continued to dedicate his campaign to race he would lose.

Passage from “The Election That Changed Cleveland Forever”: by Michael Roberts about the 1967 Cleveland Mayoral Election



(week of 2/15/15)


In 1925, this week’s “Birthday of the Week” educator, attorney and actress Hazel Mountain Walker had the honor of naming the theater company founded by Russell and Rowena Woodham Jellliffe, “Karamu” a Kiswahili term for “place of joyful gathering.”



(week of 2/8/15)


from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History comes an “event of the week” that occured this week in 1928:


The BRICKNER-DARROW DEBATE, between attorney Clarence Darrow and Rabbi BARNETT R. BRICKNER†, took place on Thursday evening, 9 Feb. 1928, before a standing-room-only crowd at Cleveland’s Masonic Auditorium. An estimated audience of 500,000 Greater Clevelanders listened to the 2-hour debate over radio station WHK. The CLEVELAND ADVERTISING CLUB, under the direction of president Wilbur Hyde, sponsored the debate on the subject “Is Man a Machine?” Darrow, the most famous criminal lawyer in America and a celebrated agnostic, argued the affirmative. Rabbi Brickner, the spiritual leader of Cleveland’s ANSHE CHESED congregation, argued the negative. Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Carrington T. Marshall moderated.

Each participant spoke 3 times. Darrow, who opened the debate, held that man’s physiological composition and functions were exactly like those of a machine and that other animal forms as well as plant life are machines, positing that animals are also capable of thought and reason. Brickner countered that it is the capability of thought and reason that differentiates man from machine and also noted that a machine does not have a soul, a point Darrow challenged, suggesting that no one knows whether animals have souls.

The Plain Dealer, which reported the debate, chose 4 unofficial judges to select a winner. They included Maurice Bernon, former common pleas judge; Dr. William Reed Veazey, professor of chemistry at Case School of Applied Science; Charles W. Mears, advertising counselor; and John J. Sullivan, appellate judge. All four thought Brickner presented the stronger argument. Mayor JOHN D. MARSHALL† called it a draw. Plain Dealer surveys of the audience both before and after the debate indicated a 4:1 ratio favoring Brickner.


(week of 2/1/15)

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

“Dreams,” from the anthology Golden Slippers: An Anthology of Negro Poetry for Young Readers, ed. Arna Bontemps (1941).

I swear to the Lord

I still can’t see

Why Democracy means

Everybody but me.

“The Black Man Speaks,” from Jim Crow’s Last Stand (1943).

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?



Poetry and quotes written by Langston Hughes (from Wikiquotes) this week’s “Birthday of the Week“.


(week of 1/25/15)


Cleaveland arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga on 22 July 1796, and believing that the location, where river, lake, low banks, dense forests, and high bluffs provided both protection and shipping access, was the ideal location for the “capital city” of the Connecticut WESTERN RESERVE, paced out a 10-acre New England-like Public Square. His surveyors plotted a town, naming it Cleaveland.


Passage about Moses Cleaveland from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland history. Cleaveland is this week’s “Birthday of the Week“.


(week of 1/18/15)

William Sommer deserves special recognition as one of the finest American watercolorist of the twentieth century.  Born in Detroit, Sommer came to Cleveland in 1907 to work for the Otis Lithograph Company, where he developed a close relationship with William Zorach (1887-1966). Together, they became leaders in the regional avant-garde movement.  In 1911, Sommer helped establish two organizations dedicated to advancing modernist art in Cleveland: the Secessionists and the Kokoon Klub.  In 1914, he converted an abandoned school house in the Brandywine Valley, about 20 miles south of Cleveland, into a home and studio that attracted visits from progressive poets and painters, including Hart Crane and Charles Burchfield.  Sommer continued painting in a modernist style during the 1920s and 1930s, a period when many artists abandoned abstraction for American scene realism.  Sommer’s large watercolor U.S. Mail interprets rural Ohio through the modernist lens of flattened and compressed space, powerfully reductive forms, and inventive color.


Passage about William Sommer, this week’s “Birthday of the Week“. This is from William Robinson’s essay on the “Cleveland School” located here


(week of 1/11/15)

“Nobody ever remembers anything about me except one thing,” Mays later wrote. “That a pitch I threw caused a man to die.”


Quote from Carl Mays who threw the pitch that killed Cleveland Indian Ray Chapman, this week’s “Birthday of the Week“.


(week of 1/4/15)

When the Depression began to tilt the balance of power to the Democrats, Ray T. Miller was ready. He had studied Maschke’s machine politics. He understood the importance of the black vote, of forging coalitions among ethnic voters. He was ahead of his time in courting the women’s vote.


“Women’s involvement was the most important thing that ever happened to American politics,” Miller once said. “Women formed the greatest part of the workmanship where it counted, in the wards.”


Passage about Ray Miller, this week’s “Birthday of the Week“. From “Power Brokers-Glory Days of the Political Bosses” by Brent Larkin, Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, May 1991

(week of 12/28/14)

When John D. Rockefeller was asked if the Standard oil company was the result of his thinking, he answered, “No sir. I wish I had the brains to think of it. It was Henry M. Flagler”

John D. Rockefeller quote abourt Henry M. Flager, the week’s “Birthday of the Week

(week of 12/21/14)

“You speak of trading with the Soviets and people say, ‘You’re strengthening them against us!’” he told an interviewer in 1963 when he was 80 years old. “I feel that most people are less likely to engage in fighting if they have the comforts and the needs they wish. I’m not worried to see the 700 million people of China prosper.


“The sooner we get to trading with them, the Soviets and the Chinese, the better.”

Cyrus Eaton quote from “Cyrus Eaton: Khrushchev’s Favorite Capitalist” by Jay Miller. Cyrus Eaton is this week’s “Birthday of the Week”

(week of 12/14/14)

“I hope the time will come when the law will recognize that property belongs to the living and not the dead”

In 1914, Frederick Goff created the Cleveland Foundation and in so doing established the concept of the community trust. The impetus for this new grantmaking institution rested on his desire to free bequests from what Sir Arthur Hobhouse had characterized as the “dead hand” of the past, and to establish a permanent source of funding for programs and projects that would benefit his adopted city, Cleveland, Ohio. (taken from this essay on Frederick Goff written by John Grabowski)

(week of 12/7/14)

The Phillis Wheatley Association met with opposition from one segment of the black community, and the ensuing dispute was one of the chief examples of ideological conflict between the old and new elite. Harry C. Smith was a vociferous opponent of the PWA (he once labeled it a “jim-crow hotel” for black girls) and continued to denounce it for years as the first step down the road to institutional segregation. The main opposition, however, came from a small group of club women who, blessed with prosperity, had risen from the servant class and now regarded themselves as the arbiters and guardians of colored society. The aloofness of these members of the old upper class from the city’s black masses and their unawareness of the increasing discrimination which the average Negro faced was evidenced by the naive criticism of one of the “club women”…”we will not permit you, a Southerner,” she said to Jane Hunter, “to start segregation in this city”. Another elite black woman remarked in a similar patronizing vein: “We call on the white people, and the white people call on us. Now that the more intelligent of us have broken down the barriers between the races, you are trying to build them up again with your absurd Southern ideas for working girls.

The founders of Phillis Wheatley gradually overcame these critics, converted most of the Negro ministers of the city to their side, and launched their enterprise.

from “A Ghetto Takes Shape: Black Cleveland, 1870-1930” by Kenneth L. Kusmer. The Phillis Wheatley was founded by Jane Edna Hunter, the week’s“Birthday of the Week”.

(week of 11/30/14)

Mr. Baker . . . was really head of the cabinet and principal adviser to

us all . . . . No other city solicitor has ever had the same number of cases

crowded into his office in the same length of time, nor so large a crop

of injunctions to respond to, and in my judgment there isn’t another man

in the state who could have done the work so well. He ranks with the

best, highest paid corporation lawyers in ability and has held his public office

at a constant personal sacrifice. This low-paid official has seen every day

in the court room, lawyers getting often five times the fee for bringing a

suit that he got for defending it. He did for the people for love what

other lawyers did for corporations for money.


Tom L Johnson on Newton D. Baker (this week’s “Birthday of the Week”) from “My Story”


(week of 11/23/14)

This week’s quote of the week is an essay written about Charles “Billy” Stage, a Cleveland lawyer, part of the Tom L. Johnson team during the early 20th century and the “world’s fastest man” during the late 19th century. Yes, you read that right. This essay written by Peter Morris tells the remarkable story of a man who is largely forgotten today, but is a must read for fans of Cleveland history.

The link is here


(week of 11/16/14)

On one occasion there was an important public hearing being held in thCity Hall. The room was crowded with lawyers anreal-estate men. The doorkeeper came in and whispered to the mayor that there was a woman outside who waraising a row. She said she intended to speak on the public square, but would probably be put ijail for her opinions. Mr. Johnson stopped the proceedings and had her admitted. She was belligerentShe launched at once into an attack on the police and on organized society generally. The mayor stopped her.

“What iyour name?” he asked. 

“I am Emma Goldman,” she replied. ” I intend to speak on thpublic square tonight and camhere tget a permit. I presume shall be stopped or put in jail.” 

“No, Miss Goldman,” the mayor replied, “you won’t be stopped anyou won’t be put in jailYou do not need a permit to speak. The public square does not belong to me. It belongs to the people of Cleveland. would nostop you if had thpower tdo so, and nobody else has any such power. You have just as much right tyour opinions as have and just as mucright to convert other people to them.” 

from “Confessions of a Reformer” by Frederic C. Howe (this week’s birthday honoree) This passage is about Cleveland Mayor Tom L. Johnson and his creation of a “free speech zone” in Cleveland’s Public Square…even for anarchists such as Emma Goldman


(week of 11/9/14)

Party bosses hated him. Some politician loathed his very presence. Big business, especially the oil business thought him a threat to profit margins. Sometimes it seemed like nobody liked Frank J. Lausche.


No one, that is, except the people.


Former Mayor Ralph J. Perk said simply “Frank Lausche was the George Washington of the nationalities movement.”


from “Frank Lausche, a Legend in Ohio Politics” written by Brent Larkin in the Plain Dealer Magazine on 11/10/85. This week is the anniversary of Lausche’s birth.


(week of 11/2/14)

The canal was the economic engine that prepared the city for the industrial boom created by the Civil War and spurred Cleveland’s ascendency as a manufacturing center. This in turn poised business and entrepreneurial efforts for the golden age of industrialization that would create the wealth that would make Cleveland a center of commerce and culture. …one can pause and reflect that had it not been for the foresight and vigorous dedication of Alfred Kelly, Cleveland would have remained a sleepy township on the banks of Lake Erie instead of the mighty industrial center it became.


from “Waterway to Growth” written by Michael Roberts about Alfred Kelley and the building of the Ohio and Erie Canal which quite literally put Cleveland on the map in the 1820-1850 period


(week of 10/26/14)


I hail and harbor and hear men of every belief and party; for within my portals prejudice grows less and bias dwindles.

I have a forum-as wholly uncensored as it is rigidly impartial. “Freedom of Speech” is graven above

my rostrum; and beside it, “Fairness of Speech.”

I am the product of the people, a cross section of their community-weak as they are weak, and strong in

their strength; believing that knowledge of our failings and our powers begets a greater strength. I have a house of fellowship; under my roof informality reigns and strangers need no introduction.

I welcome to my platform the discussion of any theory or dogma of reform; but I bind my household to

the espousal of none of them, for I cherish the freedom of every man’s conviction and each of my kin retains his own responsibility.

I have no axe to grind, no logs to roll. My abode shall be the rendezvous of strong-but open-minded men and my watchword shall be “information,”not “reformation.”

I am accessible to men of all sides-literally and figuratively-for I am located in the heart of a city- spiritually and geographically. I am the city’s club- the City Club.


The City Club’s Creed was written during the first year’s of the City Club which celebrates it’s birthday this week. It was written by Ralph Hayes who went on to become head of the New York Community Trust.

(week of 10/19/14)

“Lonnie Burten Jr. showed me what it means to be a public servant”

A quote on the birthday anniversary of Lonnie Burten Jr. from Frank Jackson, Mayor of the City of Cleveland. Read more about Lonnie Burten Jr. here


(week of 10/12/14)

Maurice Maschke was a kindly man who prospered in politics because he made friends, because he remembered his friends, because he kept his word, because he was a keen judge of human nature, because he knew when to compromise and when to fight and because he kept his head regardless of whether he was being showered with praise or denounced with bitter and frequently unfair criticism.

First part of Cleveland political boss Maurice Mascke’s obituary written by Plain Dealer’s Ralph J. Donaldson November 20, 1936. The PD coverage of Maschke ran to nearly 6 pages which was extraordinary

(week of 10/5/14)

“It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune that loves the brave. It is now to be concluded, I hope, with that fine good nature, which is, after all, the distinguishing trait of the American character.”


Famous quote about the Spanish-American War from John Hay, this week’s Teaching Cleveland Birthday of the Week

(week of 9/28/14)

However, quite unlike Hiram House, Goodrich House became known as a public forum for the discussion of social reform issues; records indicate, for example, that a young socialist club met at the facilities. Some of the meetings held at Goodrich House led to the creation of such reform-oriented groups as the Consumers’ League of Ohio, and the Legal Aid Society, as well as the creation of a separate, rural boys’ farm for housing juvenile offenders. Among the settlement residents who took part in such discussions were Frederick C. Howe and Newton D. Baker, both of whom left the settlement for positions in Tom L. Johnson’s mayoral administration.

Goodrich had a board of directors as soon as it had a building. Composed largely of people affiliated with the First Presbyterian Church and their friends, this body did little, if anything, to challenge the somewhat radical events at the settlement. Dr. Haydn presided over the first board, which included Flora and Samuel Mather, Elizabeth and Edward Haines, Professor Bourne, and Lucy Buell. By 1905 Cadwallader, Howe, and Baker, all of whom had left the employ of the settlement, had joined the board. James R. Garfield, son of President Garfield and law partner of Howe, also served on the board during the early years of the settlement.

The tightly knit nature of this board and its ties to the church rather than to business, were probably two factors which allowed Goodrich to pursue a more radical course than Hiram House. That the settlement existed because of Flora Mather’s largess is, however, a more important factor. Whereas Bellamy had a number of donors to please, Cadwallader had only Mrs. Mather and his rather small board to consider when directing the settlement. Then, too, Hiram House was Bellamy’s creation ; its failure would be his failure. Cadwallader could, and did, walk away from Goodrich whenever he pleased. In his case, the social goals he wished to achieve took precedence over loyalty to any particular institution.

this passage from:

“Social Reform and Philanthropic Order in Cleveland 1896-1920”

Superb article written by Dr. John Grabowski for Ohio’s Western Reserve: a regional reader By Harry Forrest Lupold

Terrific comparison of Hiram House, Goodrich Settlement and Alta House Settlements.


(week of 9/21/14)

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, Hanna “advertised McKinley as if he were a patent medicine.”


Hanna was responsible for mailing about three hundred million pieces of William McKinley literature to the people of the nation; about thirty million a week, including millions printed in a dozen different languages. He had McKinley’s face on drinking mugs, walking sticks, sterling silver spoons, lapel buttons, posters and badges. He coined the phrase “The Full Dinner Pail” and came up with one of the best gimmicks in the history of national politics — the “Front Porch” campaign. The porch of McKinley’s house in Canton was the homely stage on which he made about twenty appearances a day, each time to a different crowd numbering in the thousands. Railroad cooperated in running low-fare excursions to Canton; fares so low, it was said that it was cheaper for a voter to go to Canton than it was for him to stay home.


from “Cleveland: The Best Kept Secret” by George Condon pg. 156


(week of 9/14/14)


From John Vacha’s “Hard Copy in Cleveland”, this excerpt about Louis B. Sertzer whose birthday we celebrate this week:

Prematurely bald and only a few inches above five feet in height, Louis B. Seltzer was raised in Cleveland’s Archwood-Denison neighborhood. He dropped out of school in seventh grade to go to work, beginning as an office boy for the Leader before moving over to the Press. Just 31 when he assumed the editorship, “Louie” earned the affection of his staff as both instigator and butt of schoolboy office pranks. He never forgot–nor let others forget– his self-made beginnings.


“My heart has always gone out to the children of the rich,” he once wrote. “I feel for them.” 


(week of 9/7/14)


On the anniversary of the birth of Cleveland Browns incredibly succesful coach Paul Brown, it should be remembered that Brown was the first pro football coach to play African-American players, in 1946, even before Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. He was known to treat all his players the same, black or white. This from the New York Times 9/25/97:


Bobby Mitchell, the Washington Redskins’ assistant general manager who played for Brown in the 1960’s, recalled an incident in Miami when the manager of a hotel informed Brown that the hotel would not accommodate Cleveland’s black players.


”Paul Brown looked him right in the eye and said, ‘No, our team stays together,’ ” Mitchell recalled. ”They had words, and finally Paul told them: ‘I’ll tell you what then. We’ll just get back on the plane and go back home.’ The manager said, ‘You can’t do that.’ Brown said: ‘Is that so? Our players stay together.’ So they relented.”


(week of 8/31/14)


There’s an old saying I can’t track down even with Google.

It’s about journalists.

It goes something like, “When the battle is over they come down and shoot the wounded.” Not quite right.

I knew only one person who might know the direct quote – Terry Sheridan. And he did with all the attribution: Newspaperman Clive Barnes (1927-2008), NYTimes dance and theater critic: “A critic is someone who rides in after the battle and shoots the wounded.” That’s the apt description I was seeking.

It’s the feeling I get when I read the Plain Dealer articles now about County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

–quote from essay written by Roldo Bartimole, Cleveland Leader, August 2014. The link is here


(week of 8/24/14)

Good or Bad

Right or Wrong

I Alone Have Been Your Mayor


–Billboard put up by Fred Kohler in 1923, Mayor former police chief of Cleveland. Read more about Kohler 

Also read the Philip Porter piece on him


(week of 8/17/14)

The city lost something in the latter ‘twenties. There was a moment when she might have emerged in true greatness, a crossroads of

Mid-America, but the shining moment slipped away. The Cleveland mixture lacked some essential ingredient; like a mud pie in the sun, it cracked in a hundred pieces

–Walter Abbott, “Cleveland: A City Collapses,” The Forum, Vol. C, No.3  (September, 1938), p. 100


(week of 8/10/14)

We were in a motorcade coming down East 55th Street, and my wife Shirley and I are sitting on the back seat of the convertible. And a little black kid that was maybe eight years old, probably, came up to us as we were stopped at a traffic signal and he said, “Are you Carl Stokes?” And I said, “Yes.” And he just gave a little leap in the air and ran down the street clapping his hands saying, “He’s colored, he’s colored, he’s colored, he’s colored.” I thought that sort of caught a sense of pride that I felt as I went through the black areas of the city of Cleveland.

-Carl Stokes talking about his 1967 campaign for Mayor of Cleveland as quoted in “Eyes on the Prize” PBS

(week of 8/3/14)

 “The greatness of a city does not consist in its buildings either public or private, nor in its institutions and benevolences, but rather in the intensity and intelligence with which its citizens love the city as their home. Such a “civitism” expresses what I mean for the city as patriotism expresses it for the country, will produce as its fruits, more beautiful parks, cleaner streets, upright government and widespread adherence to justice as the ideal of social and economic relations.” 

-Newton D. Baker October 6, 1907 talking about Cleveland and coining the word “Civitism”


(week of 7/27/14)

“At last (Mark) Hanna, losing all self-control, blurted it out: “Don’t any of you realize that there’s only one life between this madman and the Presidency?”

Clevelander Mark Hanna in June 1900, political leader of the national Republican Party, pleading with the party not to nominate Teddy Roosevelt for the Vice Presidency. The party went ahead and made Roosevelt the nominee and sure enough Roosevelt became President in September, 1901, after the assasination of William McKinley. The quote was taken from “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” wirtten by Edmund Morris, pg. 724.

(week of 7/20/14)

(Maurice) Maschke retorted that (William) Hopkins was a liar and an ingrate, “false, mendacious, spurious, a phrase-maker with an inherant capacity of deception,” and I put him back on the sidewalk where (Burr W.) Gongwer and I picked him up in 1923.”

From Philip W. Porter “Cleveland: Confused City on a Seesaw” 1976

The quote refers to William Hopkins, Cleveland’s first City Manager and what Republican boss Maurice Maschke thought of him by 1931. Hopkins birthday is this week

(week of 7/13/14)

I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

LeBron James, Sport Illustrated, July, 2014

(week of 7/6/14)

(answering a question about Metropolitan Government): “What I find interesting about it from a political observation is that the suburban communities don’t want to be dealng with the poor and the undercurrent of racial issues. And the blacks in the City of Cleveland feel that they are giving up power to the the county. You have these two views that are somewhat destructive because they are self-defeating. You need to have a tax base and middle and upper income people to support the kind of programs that are desperately needed” 

Tim Hagan, Cuyahoga County Commissioner, 1984 City Club


(week of 6/29/14)

Clearly, there is something about a big wide space like Public Square that is tempting to politicians. History is studded with stories proving that politicians, like nature, abhor a vacuum. Show them an empty space, like a park or a public square, and they rush to fill it

“Cleveland: The Best Kept Secret”, George E. Condon, pg 87

(week of 6/22/14)

I think there is only one thing in the world I can’t understand and that is Ohio politics.

Theodore Roosevelt as quoted in “Harding” The World’s Work, September, 1920, pg 446

(week of 6/15/14)

The last time around for a metropolitan form of government (in Cuyahoga County) I was strongly against it because as constituted, I just saw it as more layers of expense and on a general basis that bigness is not necessarily good. I also thought that whoever was county executive would immediately start running for governor.

Robert Hughes, Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman 1980s and 1990s. This quote was taken from a City Club panel in 1986


(week of 6/8/14)

I shall be disappointed in the people of our suburbs if, when they see what is involved for the city of Cleveland in such projects as waterworks, highways and transportation which primarily are for the benefit of the suburbs, they aren’t willing to get away from the provincial and local notions and become ashamed to stay out of a metropolitan government. We must get the big metropolitan point of view…

Cleveland City Manager William R. Hopkins in 1924, from America’s Soapbox by Mark Gottlieb and Diana Tittle


(week of 6/1/14)

Ohio is still as typically American as any state in the Union; it is neither North nor South, neither East nor West; it lies where they all meet and has characteristics and habits of all of them.

–Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration, The Ohio Guide (New York: Oxford University Press, 1940), p. 16.

(week of 5/25/14)

Columbus’ secret to sustained growth, I’m told, was annexation. Back in the 1970s when fiight to the suburbs began, the city took in everything for some 20 miles in every direction. Try as you may to leave Columbus, you’re still there. 

—Joe Hurray, “Texan finds the heart of it all pumping in Ohio,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 8, 1993, p. 5-B.

For more on Columbus historical annexation policy, go here