The video is here:
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 AT 7 PM EST
Charles Waddell Chesnutt: The Civic Life of a Cleveland Creative
A talk by Regennia N. Williams, PhD
Zoom RSVP here:
In the life and work of Charles Waddell Chesnutt (June 20, 1858 – November 15, 1932), we find the threads that weave together much of the story of early twentieth-century African American leadership in Cleveland and many of the challenges associated with living life along the ever-present color line. A celebrated writer and successful business owner, Chesnutt was also known for his activism and reform efforts. This presentation will consider both his literary life and his work in civic affairs, from the turn of the century through the “New Negro Movement” of the 1920s.
Regennia N. Williams, PhD Distinguished Scholar of African American History and Culture, Cleveland History Center
Cosponsored by Cleveland History Center, League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland and CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning
CLEVELAND’S ENDEARING SYMBOL: 52 STORIES OF THE TERMINAL TOWER
The link to the book is here
Curated and designed by Bill Barrow and Donna Stewart, originators of the Cleveland Memory Project at Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library, the exhibit drew on that library’s Special Collections, but it also featured newly created artworks and video, and material from a remarkable array of community partners, including
- the Cleveland Museum of Art
- the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
- the Cleveland International Film Festival
- the Rock Hall
- the Tower City archives, and even
- the late lamented Cleveland Pickle Company.
No dry, dusty museum piece, the exhibition was an affectionate and informative look at the role of the tower in the life of the city.
Police Roundup of Chinese in Cleveland in 1925: A Case Study of a Racist Measure and the Chinese Response
Ohio Historical Journal -2000
by Shirley Sui Ling Tam
The link is here
Jane Edna Hunter and Black Institution Building in Ohio by Virginia R. Boynton
Google book link here
From: Builders of Ohio: A Biographical History
edited by Warren R. Van Tine, Michael Dale Pierce, Michael Cain Pierce
Meet William Stinchcomb, visionary behind creating the Cleveland Metroparks, video from Cleveland.com 7.20.2017
The Cleveland Metroparks will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary this weekend, so we thought it appropriate to share the history of one of the parks driving forces — William Stinchcomb.
Miriam Kerruish (Stage) biography The National cyclopædia of American biography 1931
Here is more on Dr. Kerruish, from this article about her husband, Charles “Billy” Stage:
…This new direction may also have been the result of a change in his personal life that occurred when Stage married Miriam Kerruish on August 27, 1903. His new bride came from a background just as extraordinary as his own. Her father, William Kerruish, was the son of emigrants from the Isle of Man and proved such an excellent student that he was admitted to the sophomore class of Western Reserve College. As would be the case for his future son-in-law, money was tight so he worked his way through school “by making beds, sawing wood and doing anything else that he could find to do.”
Kerruish brought an infectious spirit and a strong social conscience to the campus. Although American-born, he took great pride in his heritage and taught his language teachers how to speak Gaelic. He also became deeply involved in the abolitionist movement and convinced his fellow students to invite Frederick Douglass to deliver a commencement address in 1854, a choice that stirred up considerable controversy. Kerruish then finished up his education at Yale — once again teaching the Gaelic language to his instructors — and returned to Cleveland to practice law. He became the head of one of the city’s best law firms and continued to practice law until his death at age ninety-six. He also found time to marry Margaret Quayle, an emigrant from the Isle of Man, and raise a large family.
Their daughter Miriam was born in Cleveland on November 7, 1870, and shared her father’s probing intellect and social conscience. After receiving a bachelor’s of arts degree from Smith College in 1892, Miriam enrolled at Wooster Medical College and graduated in 1895. She became the first female doctor ever to practice at Cleveland City Hospital, where she specialized in obstetrics and pediatrics.
Dr. Kerruish soon became convinced that poverty was responsible for the illnesses of many of the children she was treating. She emerged as a champion of child welfare, organizing the Women’s Protective Association of Cleveland and serving on the board of trustees of the Woman’s Hospital, the Maternity Hospital Council and many other noble causes. She also became active in the woman’s suffrage movement, starting the Cuyahoga County Woman’s Suffrage Party and spearheading its activities. In the midst of all these endeavors, she also found time to give birth to and raise four children — three boys and a girl.
Once her children were old enough, Miriam Stage returned to practicing medicine. She joined the staff of the Cleveland Clinic, a medical center formed upon novel principles. It was founded by Drs. George W. Crile, Frank E. Bunts, William E. Lower, and John Phillips, three of whom had served overseas during the First World War and been impressed by the benefits of having medical specialists from a variety of disciplines working together. While serving in France, Crile marveled in his journal: “What a remarkable record Bunts, Crile and Lower have had all these years. We have been rivals in everything, yet through all the vicissitudes of personal, financial and professional relations we have been able to think and act as a unit.” (Clough, 19)
Upon returning to Cleveland they decided to open a clinic based upon a similar cross-disciplinary, cooperative approach to medicine. Central to their mission was an emphasis on research and education, as the founders believed that patient care and teaching went hand in hand. As Crile’s son later described it, the clinic was based upon a shared ideal of “an institution in which medicine and surgery could be practiced, studied and taught by a group of associated specialists. To create it, the four founders began to plan an institution that would be greater than the sum of its parts.” (Clough, 32)
Their clinic at Euclid Avenue and East 93rd Street opened its doors in 1921 and three years later a 184-bed hospital began to admit patients. At the 1921 opening, Crile articulated the vision of the founders. One of the pinnacles was ongoing education that was not departmentalized as in a university but in which doctors communicated new findings tow one another through a schedule of daily conferences and lectures. This dialogue, Crile explained, was “not only our duty to the patient of today, but no less out duty to the patient of tomorrow.” Just as important was the commitment to ensuring that, “the patient with no means and the patient with moderate means may have at a cost he can afford as complete an investigation as the patient with ample means.” (Clough, 39-41) It is easy to see why the setting was a perfect fit for Miriam Stage and she became one of the leaders of the Clinic’s Women’s Hospital.
In 1929, tragedy struck the Cleveland Clinic. On May 15, nitrocellulose x-ray films overheated, causing at least two explosions and sending lethal fumes through the building. One hundred and twenty-three people lost their lives, including Dr. Miriam Stage.
Billy Stage never remarried. While he was still in mourning, the stock market crash brought an end to the Van Sweringens’ empire. He retired in 1939 and passed away on May 17, 1946, at the Cleveland Clinic where his wife had practiced and met her untimely death. His death occurred on the seventeenth anniversary of his wife’s funeral.
Cleveland Clinic co-founder George Crile helped meet medical challenge of World War I
Plain Dealer 4/4/2017
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on April 04, 2017 at 6:51 AM, updated April 04, 2017 at 7:04 AM
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Poison gas, machine guns, flame-throwers and rapid-firing artillery were among the new battlefield horrors of World War I, capable of killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of soldiers in a single battle.
Transporting and treating the flood of survivors from this carnage was a nightmare for medical personnel, most of whom who had never handled the type or number of these wounds before.
Crile, who would later co-found the Cleveland Clinic, was a surgeon at Lakeside Hospital (now University Hospitals) with a keen sense of scientific curiosity and the ability to tackle medical mysteries.
The Lakeside Unit was formed when Myron Herrick, a Clevelander and ambassador to France when World War I broke out, asked Crile to organize a surgical team to come to France to study medical conditions. A team of volunteer surgeons and nurses was recruited from Lakeside Hospital and spent three months in Paris in 1915, treating more than 1,200 war-wounded patients.
Crile, who served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Spanish-American War, anticipated that America might be drawn into World War I, and devised a plan for mobilization of civilian hospitals for overseas military service.
“His theory was that a unit of medical men should be a group that has worked with each other in the civilian world so that they are a package, a unit that can be picked up in the U.S. and moved overseas . . . hit the ground running and not have any training to worry about once they get there,” said Jennifer Nieves, registrar/archivist at the Dittrick Medical History Center at Case Western Reserve University.
More World War I coverage:
- 100 years ago, U.S. entry into bloody war changed everything
- Thousands of Ohio soldiers fought and died ‘over there’
- World War I in a 90-second video
- Wednesday: Ohio State keeps grand World War I memorial in storage; other tributes remain
Crile worked with American Red Cross officials on a plan creating 25 units at hospitals across the country that would be able to respond and serve overseas under Army supervision if the U.S. went to war.
Nieves, a contributor to the new book “Glimpsing Modernity — Military Medicine in World War I,” said Crile also prompted a review and upgrade of U.S. Army medical equipment.
“They found out that it was so outdated that some of the things were wrapped in newspaper from the Spanish-American War,” she said. “They were still using things as far back as the Civil War.”
Less than a month after America declared war on Germany in April of 2017, the Lakeside Unit — including 27 medical officers, 64 nurses, and 155 enlisted men — was headed back to France. The unit was designated as Base Hospital No. 4 and took over a former British military hospital (No. 9) in Rouen.
The unit would stay nearly two years, its ranks swelling to 42 physicians, 124 nurses and 356 Army enlisted men, treating more than 83,000 patients from both sides of the war in two hospitals.
Crile finds ‘living lab’ overseas
Nieves, curator of a Dittrick exhibit (running May through September) about the 1917 experience of the Lakeside Unit, said Crile was “the perfect person to go over there” with the Lakeside Unit.
“He saw it as a living lab,” and an opportunity to further his research in how shock and traumatic injury affects the entire body, she added.
Crile also brought along a few innovations that he helped develop.
He was among the first to use blood transfusions on patients, and taught the French how to use nitrous oxide as an anesthetic that did not leave patients violently ill (like chloroform and ether) when they regained consciousness after surgery.
Crile designed some of his own surgical clamps and forceps, and while overseas discovered that sea water could be used when saline was in short supply to stabilize patients.
His surgical techniques . . . become critical in treating massive numbers of wounded.
Even before the war, “what makes him so fascinating is because he is unconsciously anticipating a modern application of all his surgical techniques that will become critical in treating massive numbers of wounded, particularly wounds coming out of World War I that had never been seen before,” said James Banks, director of the Crile Archive Center for History Education.
The center is a repository of materials about the famous Cleveland surgeon and World War I, located on the west campus of Cuyahoga Community College in Parma (formerly the site of an Army hospital named for Crile during World War II).
Banks said that in touring battlefront aid stations during the war, he was amazed at the number of soldiers who had died without a mark on them. Suspecting that the blast of exploding artillery shells might have been involved, Crile conducted experiments using stray animals.
Part of Dr. George Crile’s work during World War I involved studying the concussive effect of artillery. (AP photo)”Sure enough, if they were in the direct line of a concussive blast, they were killed,” Banks said.
Crile wrote that the “concussive effect of exploding shells . . . shocks the ear, shakes the body and often produces a molecular change in nervous tissue . . . rupturing blood vessels in the central nervous system causing sudden death.”
“The essence of George Crile was his insatiable curiosity,” Banks said. Because of it, “he was able to do a number of remarkable things.”
Banks believes that Crile was in his natural element during the war. “It’s the excitement, it’s the fact that this is a whole laboratory of testing the human spirit, its physiological capabilities,” he said.
In Crile’s study of how shock resulting from traumatic injury could cause death, he developed a rubber suit fitted to patients that could be constricted with a bicycle pump to prevent loss of blood pressure, according to Banks.
“He was the first one to recognize the correlation between shock and the lowering of blood pressure,” Banks said.
Crile recognized the importance of transporting wounded soldiers as quickly as possible to medical treatment to gain the upper hand against infection, a scourge of the front. “What he’s really talking about is the ‘golden hour’ (for treatment) now known in emergency medicine,” Banks said.
When a solider got hit, “he’s lying in filth, perhaps for six or seven hours, in the vermin-infested, bacterial-laden soil of a trench or No Man’s Land, so he’s being jostled every time he’s moved, and who knows what’s happening inside his body?” Banks said.Combat stress affected everyone
Crile also studied the effects of stress on the body, resulting from prolonged exposure to combat. The surgeon once wrote: “I have observed soldiers in the trenches show unusual lines of strain upon their faces, giving them the appearance of being from five to ten years older than their actual ages.”
“Crile saw that in any kind of sustained warfare, the body is put through a tremendous amount of physical stress. Which he believed was linked to neurological stress,” Banks said. “What Crile is really, in a sense, stumbling on is the precursor to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).”
But Crile and members of the Lakeside Unit weren’t immune to the psychological impact of war.
One unit member, Sgt. Robert Shrimplin, of Cleveland, wrote home: “It surely is pathetic to see these fellows when they come in, covered with mud and blood, and yet with few whimpers or apparent pain.”
Nieves noted that among the unit personnel, “sometimes they found it very difficult because, of course, they saw a lot of young men being severely injured, and there were injuries we had never seen before.”
Nurses were advised “not to become too attached to some of these young men because chances are they’re not going to survive,” Nieves said.
Even Crile “did get emotional when he came back to Cleveland in 1915,” she added. “He did comment in his diary pretty much what you hear soldiers say today – You’re coming back to something to something that’s now foreign to you because you are not ducking and worrying about the next bomb exploding over your head.
“He definitely did feel there was a huge difference between what he had experience and what he was coming home to,” she said.
But, “I think he felt it was sort-of his duty,” she added. For Crile and the Lakeside Unit, “it was a huge patriotic endeavor.”
Elegant Cleveland: Society magazines offer a look back at the well-to-do in the Roaring ’20s
ELEGANT CLEVELAND / A look back at the finest elements of Cleveland’s stylish history, as shown by its people, architecture, fashion and other cultural touchstones. Go to tinyurl.com /elegantcleve to read other entries.
In the early 20th century, magazines showed Americans who they were. Not just in words, but through new technology that allowed photographs to be crisply reproduced, far more so than newspaper printing allowed.
Time magazine — which was headquartered and published in Cleveland from 1925 to 1927 — was one such periodical, and during that period acquired its iconic red border.
Although Time’s stay in Cleveland was relatively short, the city had been a longtime center for printing, publishing and lithography. And while a number of national magazines were thriving in the 1920s, including such titles as Vanity Fair and Vogue, many Clevelanders could avail themselves of a close-up of this city’s own cafe society.
Of the 80 Northeast Ohio publications in print in the first third of the 20th century, several were devoted purely to Cleveland’s bluebloods, their homes and travels, with photo features of them playing golf or polo at local country clubs or posing in an engagement or bridal portrait.
Among the most successful of such magazines was Cleveland Town Topics, which had gotten its start in 1887 — the same decade in which Cleveland’s social register, the Blue Book, began to be published. Another was the Bystander, which had been named Town and Country Club News in a previous iteration.
Eventually, the Blue Book’s publisher and arbiter of admission, Helen DeKay Townsend, became the society columnist for Town Topics.
Cleveland Town Topics billed itself as “A Weekly Review of Society, Art, and Literature.” At its start, it was edited by a Vienna-born fellow named Felix Rosenberg, who once served in the Confederate army but eventually made his way north to Cleveland.
The publication was first housed in The Arcade but moved later, as many other publications did, to the Caxton Building. The Caxton had specially built floors that were able to support the weight of printing presses.
Charles S. Britton became its longest publisher — for 25 years — until it folded.
The Bystander began as the Town and Country Club News in January 1921. At first, as you might expect, it was very social in its themes and was run largely by a group of female volunteers, among them the eventual historian and author Grace Goulder-Izant. Many of these women were college-educated, often at one of the Seven Sisters colleges, and they undoubtedly welcomed the chance to use their intelligence in a magazine endeavor.
By the late 1920s, though, the publication was nearly as thorough in its variety of coverage as Town Topics. In 1928, the magazine was now officially called the Bystander, and it reinvented itself as “Cleveland’s Pictorial Magazine.”
No one is sure what happened to either Town Topics’ or the Bystander’s business records or subscription lists. You could subscribe to the Bystander for about $3.50 a year or buy a copy at “better newsstands” or at the city’s “finer hotels,” according to information on its masthead — and it was even available at some hotels in New York that Clevelanders favored.
“Hand in hand, these publications speak to the arrival of an upper class in Cleveland,” says historian John Grabowski, who is senior vice president for research and publications at the Western Reserve Historical Society. “And it happened just as photo sepia turned into rotogravure, so suddenly, people are getting images.”
In the city’s newspapers, too, drawings and sketches were giving way to photos, but it was on the coated semigloss paper of the magazines that photographs really popped.
It all added up to popularity among those in the “right circles,” but no doubt also for those who aspired to such circles.
After all, the 1920s were about nothing so much as reinvention.
As Grabowski says, Town Topics and the Bystander may have been a version of People magazine for the Jazz Age. After all, if housewives in Iowa could read Lucius Beebe’s syndicated column out of New York about the doings at the Stork Club, why wouldn’t Cleveland housewives want to know about the doings at Shaker Heights’ country clubs?
Today, those magazines — which at their peak were said to have had a combined subscription of 10,000 or so — offer a rich vein for historians. The Western Reserve Historical Society has a nearly complete collection of the periodicals, from the 1880s to the early 1930s, and they are relied on by people doing research on family members, interior design or fashions of the time.
“These publications are such a great chronicle of the way that we lived,” says Ann Sindelar, research historian for the historical society’s library. “They offer the type of material you wouldn’t necessarily get from the daily newspapers.”
The dailies, for example, wouldn’t have had the space to report the minutiae of country club golf and tennis matches, played by men and women on separate occasions, or horseback riding, the hunts or yacht club races.
Nor would they have reported in as great a detail on who was departing on the ocean liner Ile de France on her way to Algiers, or that “Mrs. Charles Reed was entertaining her current events club at a luncheon at her home in Clifton Park.”
“These stories tell who you were visiting, who you were entertaining,” says Sindelar. “It’s kind of gossipy and interesting on one level, and almost intrusive on another.”
Yet details like these enrich our knowledge of an era in a way that likely will never be replicated.
The lives of elegant Clevelanders
Browsing through Town Topics and Bystander issues from the 1920s and early ’30s offers some snapshots — gleaned from stories, columns and advertisements — of life in a once-elegant Cleveland.
We can see that some things are not as new as we think they are — getting a colonic is something the occasional Town Topics classified urged — though some options sound a little dangerous.
To wit, the “electric bath” offered at the Hotel Allerton Health Club. (The Allerton still stands, now an apartment building, at East 13th Street and Chester Avenue.) Other services offered there included a “salt glow and sunlight rays” and a “long body massage.”
For a time, the Allerton was trying to draw bachelor businessmen as long-term residents. An illustration of two men in bathrobes, standing in front of a bathroom sink, has one telling the other how a friend brags of living near “everything.” “He must live at The Allerton,” one of the men remarks.
Losing weight, it turns out, was an issue even eight decades ago. An ad for Basy Bread, sold at the Chandler & Rudd Co., states, “Three slices of Basy Bread a day helps reduce your weight nature’s way.”
(Dr. Atkins would have disapproved.)
A circa-1928 ad for the Ohio Bell Telephone Co. features a sketch of a little girl holding a toy, to pitch the idea of placing several phone outlets throughout the house. “When minutes are precious, would you enjoy the convenience of having the telephone brought to you quickly?”
Some of the ads show the dark side of a “glamorous” era. The Neal Institute, at East 82nd Street and Euclid Avenue, was “devoted exclusively to the treatment of alcoholism” but promised “all the refinements of a first class club” and “meals served in rooms on individual trays.”
The Gardner Sanitarium — a photo shows a Victorian house, complete with turret — offered help for “invalids, mild mental, nervous and alcoholic patients” in private, homelike surroundings.
And a company called Corozone, housed in the Hanna Building, was pitching a mechanical method of “revitalizing dead air,” though the ad was hazy on how it created “a most delightful, odorless indoor air.”
Documents of history
When what we now know as the Depression got under way, Town Topics took the position in December 1929 that there was no reason to panic. The magazine’s editors decried those business leaders who, it said, “were losing their heads over . . . imaginary terrible conditions that don’t yet exist.”
The periodical continued its focus on a world where all was well, as may have been the case for many of its readers — for a while.
Women got plenty of ink, whether for their social and sporting activities or professional work. Town Topics had stories and photos of female judges, such as Lillian Westropp and Mary Grossman, and of Linda Eastman, the nationally acclaimed director of the Cleveland Public Library.
But far more space was devoted to social doings, with a paragraph noting, for example, that “Miss Martha Stecker left Thursday night for the East. She will attend the Yale-Princeton game today in New Haven.” Or an aside that “Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Osborne have closed their home in Chardon and are at 3222 East 140th Street for the winter.” Or again, a mention that a tea was held at the Hunt Club in honor of Miss Jean McMillan’s debut.
Stories of society weddings, though, were an occasion for high specificity of detail.
The wedding of Miss Elizabeth Chisholm to John Rust Chandler listed every type of floral arrangement and fabric featured, from the bride’s white satin gown to the blue hyacinth chiffon worn by the bride’s 14 attendants at the ceremony at Trinity Cathedral. Walter Halle, of department-store fame, was the groom’s best friend and best man.
But amid the stories of parties and teas were sadder tales, many conveyed in obituaries or memorial notices.
A memorial service was held for Myron T. Herrick, the U.S. ambassador to France, also at Trinity Cathedral, at which former Pennsylvania Sen. George Wharton Pepper spoke of Herrick’s valor in the days leading up to the Great War, in 1914 in Paris. Pepper also spoke of Herrick’s charitable work with French soldiers blinded in the war.
Obituaries featured the far less prominent, too, and some are especially heart-rending. One is that of William Fullerton, 20, of Cleveland, who was an honor student at Dartmouth College. He died one February night along with eight Theta Chi fraternity brothers as they slept, “from poisonous fumes from a faulty furnace.”
A reflection of the times
Sadness seemed to pervade the pages as the 1930s wore on. Town Topics had combined with the Bystander in 1930 in a last-ditch effort to save itself and had begun using that name.
By 1933, as the Depression worsened, its page count grew paltry. The single-copy price dropped from 15 cents to 10 cents, and it became a monthly instead of biweekly. Art Deco-style covers in vivid greens or fuchsias turned black-and-white.
Covers began to feature unglamorous daily life — one cover photo was of a steel blast furnace; another was a grim black-and-white shot of pigeons and sparrows scratching for food on a snow-covered Public Square.
Even the stories inside had changed. Now, there was a full-length feature on how the employment provided through the New Deal’s Civil Works Administration fed some 40,000 people in Cuyahoga County. An inside photo showed CWA workers clearing Doan Brook.
Magazines that were 52 pages trickled down to 36. By April 1934, the Bystander printed what was to be its last issue.
There were still dashes of style — an interior design feature showed the sleek Moderne aesthetic of the Pumphrey family’s apartment at Moreland Courts.
But the cover of that issue gives it away, featuring a drawing by Salvatore Liscari that the magazine called “La Nymphia.” It’s a sketch of a sad little girl, looking down at the ground.
It may not have been intentional, but the image conveyed a future with little hope for gladness.
The slice of the world depicted with such joie de vivre in Town Topics and the Bystander for decades was gone, never to return to Cleveland in quite the same way again. Turning back through their pages, however, the ’20s continue to roar.
News researcher Jo Ellen Corrigan contributed to this story.