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? 


About Us

Welcome to the Teaching Cleveland Digital Library, an open source, totally free searchable knowledge base of Cleveland/Northeast Ohio history and public policy for teachers, students. . .anybody. It consists of material from journalists, academics, historians, students and others.

Links can change, so please let us know if a link, file or page fails to open. Thanks.
Article about and Teaching Cleveland history

Also thanks to our partners in this effort:
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland Jewish News
Cleveland State University
John Carroll University
Maltz Museum
Ohio Historical Society
Western Reserve Historical Society
And our writers:
Margaret Bernstein
Roldo Bartimole
Michael Curtin
Mansfield Frazier
Joe Frolik
Dr. John J. Grabowski
Brent Larkin
Steven Litt
Bill Lubinger
Randell McShepard
Jay Miller
Dr. Marian Morton
Michael Roberts
Chris Seper
Debbi Snook
Diane Solov
Tom Suddes
Elizabeth Sullivan
Alexander Tebbens
James Toman
John Vacha

Teaching Cleveland Digital is dedicated to Newton D. Baker and his concept of Civitism:
In his four-year tenure from 1912 to 1916 Newton D. Baker fostered Tom L. Johnson’s ideal of a Utopia of Civic Righteousness. He coined a new word to designate his policy; it was “civitism,” once described as a combination of “Home Rule and the Golden Rule for Cleveland.”

Baker believed that the greatness of a city did not depend on its buildings, either public or private, but rather on the intensity with which its citizens loved the city as their home. Such a pervasive feeling would inevitably produce beautiful parks,cleaner streets, honest government, and widespread adherence to justice as the ideal of its social and economic life.

It was his firm intention to make “civitism” mean the same thing for the city that patriotism signified for the nation.
(From CH Cramer’s Biography of Newton D. Baker)


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Teaching Cleveland Stories 2015 and Cleveland History and Economics 2010 Full Books

Teaching Cleveland Stories 2015 and Cleveland History and Economics 2010 Full Books

Teaching Cleveland Stories Full book 2015
The link is here

Cleveland History and Economics Full book 2010
The link is here

2015 State of Jewish Cleveland Steve Hoffman and Dan Moulthrop 1.1.15

2015 State of Jewish Cleveland Steve Hoffman and Dan Moulthrop 1.1.15

Envisioning the Future of Jewish Cleveland:
an Interview with Stephen Hoffman
Interview by Dan Moulthrop, CEO Cleveland City Club
January 14, 2015
Sponsored by Siegal Lifelong Learning, the CWRU Jewish Alumni, the Cleveland Jewish News Foundation, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, and Teaching Cleveland Digital

State of Jewish Cleveland 2014: Interview with Steven Hoffman, President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

State of Jewish Cleveland 2014: Interview with Steven Hoffman, President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

Interviewed by Bob Jacob, Managing Editor of the Cleveland Jewish News
January 22, 2014
Presented by: Cleveland Jewish News Foundation, Teaching Cleveland Digital, and Siegal Lifelong Learning

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
View full size
The link is here
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

Teaching Cleveland Birthday of the Week

Francis Payne Bolton

week of March 29

Francis Payne Bolton (29 March, 1885 – 9 March 1977)

Francis Payne Bolton had a long career as a U.S. congresswoman. But she is probably best known for her advocacy for nursing and nursing education. She helped to found a separate nursing college at Western Reserve in 1923.

Here is a web site created by WNET/PBS that tells the story of the life of Francis Payne Bolton

Frank A. Scott

week of March 23

Frank A. Scott (22 March, 1873 – 15 April 1949)

Frank Scott was a self made man rising to become President of Warner & Swasey Company. He was brought to Washington D.C. during World War 1 by Secrertary of War Newton D. Baker to become Chairman of the War Industries Board, an organization that attempted to bring together and organize industrial production for the war effort. It was an incredibly difficult job as each arm of the miitary tried to keep control over their own supplies which led to inefficiency. Mt. Scott finally collapsed physically and had to resign. He went on to become a highly respected business and civic leader in Cleveland.

Here is an article about Frank A. Scott published during WW1

Belle Sherwin 1914 (Cleve Foundation)

week of March 16

Belle Sherwin (20 March, 1868 – 9 July 1955)

Belle Sherwin was a noted feminist, social service and civic leader. A daughter of Sherwin Williams founder, Henry Sherwin, Ms. Sherwin was the first President of the Consumers League of Ohio in 1900. She was a Director with the Cleveland Welfare Federation (today’s United Way) between 1900 – 1914 and then she went to become national President of the League of Women Voters between 1924-1934.

Here is more on Belle Sherwin

Balto with Gunnar Kaasen (Wikipedia)

week of March 8

Balto (???? – 14 March, 1933)

Lead sled dog and part of a team of dogs who “struggled against high winds and brutally cold temperatures” to get diptheria serum to isolated Nome Alaska in 1925. Balto and his team briefly became national heroes and then were sold to owners who made them perform at a “dime museum.” The citizens of Cleveland came to their rescue by raising money to bring them to Cleveland and allow them to live out their lives with dignity and respect. Their memory is honored to this day.

Balto also has a staue in New York’s Central Park that has this inscription:

Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the Winter of 1925.

Endurance · Fidelity · Intelligence

OH Historical Society

w/o March 1

Garrett A. Morgan (4 March, 1877 – 27 July, 1963)

African American entrepreneur who invented first versions of the gas mask and traffic signal. He continued to invent new products all his life. Mr. Morgan founded the Cleveland Call weekly newspaper which later became the Cleveland Call and Post. Read more about Garrett Morgan in this essay written by Margaret Bernstein.


Dr. Kenneth W. Clement (CSU)

w/o February 22

Kenneth W. Clement (24 February, 1920 – 29 Nov, 1974)

African American physician and civic leader during the tumultuous 1950s, 1060s and early 1970s. Dr. Clement was a key advisor to Carl Stokes during his run for mayor in 1967 and then he famously broke with Stokes and the two became rivals. Clement graduated from Oberlin College in 1942 and Howard Medical School in 1945. He was a national director of the NAACP and Urban League. To read about Carl Stokes’ election in 1967 click here.

Hazel Mountain Walker (CSU)

w/o February 15

Hazel Mountain Walker (16 February, 1889 – 16 May, 1980)

Hazel Mountai Walker was the first African American Cleveland school principal and had an impact on thousands of Cleveland school children. For 27 years between 1909-1936 she taught at Mayflower Elementary School, known for teaching students whose families did not read or speak english. Walker was an actress, involved in politics and a non practicing attorney. Here is a short video about Ms. Walker.

“Andrew’s Folly”

w/o February 8

Albert Samuel Andrews (10 February, 1836 – 15 April, 1904)

The man who created the process for turning crude oil into kerosene. His partnership with John D. Rockefeller helped to create the oil industry. Andrews and Rockefeller had a famous falling out with Andrews leaving Standard Oil in 1874. He sold his Standard Oil stock for $1 Million which was a very big mistake, as the same stock would have been worth hundreds of millions if he had held on. Andrews built a giant house on Euclid Avenue which was called “Andrew’s Folly” by Clevelanders because it was so impractical to live in. Here is Samuel Andrew’s biography in the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

 Langston Hughes (

w/o February 1

Langston Hughes (1 February 1, 1902 – 22 May, 1967)

Cleveland Central High student who did some of his best work at Karamu Theater, Langston Hughes was a poet, writer of fiction, humor, education, plays, history and more. Hughes is best known as a leader of the “Harlem Renaissance”

Google did a fabulous aggregation of content about Langston Hughes here

Moses Cleaveland – Oh Historical Society

w/o January 25

Moses Cleaveland (29 January, 1754 – 16 Nov, 1806)

Moses Cleveland, the man, who modern day Cleveland was named after, was born this week in 1754. Cleveland was a land investor and thought 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”

He was wrong. He lost money on his investment and went back to Connecticut. Its a good story, but I tend to prefer the story of Lorenzo Carter, the man who came and stayed. Mr. Cleaveland has a statue on Cleveland’s Public Square. Mr. Carter was buried in Erie Cemetary on East 9th street across from Progressive Field.

William Sommer Art Exhibit Poster

w/o January 18

William Sommer (18 January, 1867 – 20 June, 1949)

William Sommer was an artist and an acknowledged leader of the “Cleveland School”, a group of Cleveland-based artists that were strongest between 1910s – 1940s. This talented group included Viktor SchreckengostLeza and William McVeyHenry KellerEdris (Edith Aline) EckhardtR. Guy CowanCharles E. Burchfield and others. Read more about the “Cleveland School” in this essay written by William Robinson from the Cleveland Museum of Art


 Ray Chapman

w/o January 11

Raymond “Ray” Johnson Chapman (15 January, 1891 – 17 August, 1920)

The last baseball player to be killed playing the game. Ray Chapman was a Cleveland Indian between 1912 and his death in 1920. He was hit in the head by a pitched baseball by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. After Mr. Chapman’s death, the Cleveland Indians went on to win the 1920 World Series. Read this story by Bill Livingston of the Plain Dealer to learn more. Also read this.


Ray Miller, Cleveland Mayor 1932

w/o January 4 

Raymond Thomas Miller (10 January, 1893 – 13 July, 1966)

Ray Miller was Mayor of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor and Cuyahoga County Democratic boss for more than 20 years. He was a leader in making the Democratic Party the dominant political force in Northeast Ohio after many years of Republican rule. Miller helped to defeat Cleveland’s City Manager government of the 1920s arguing for a return to elected mayors.

w/o December 28

Henry M. Flagler (2 January, 1830 – 20 May, 1913)

Credited by John D. Rockefeller as being his most important colleague during the creation of Standard Oil, Henry Flagler was a great salesman, willing to take great risks and somewhat of a rogue in business. After making millions at Standard Oil, Flagler moved to Florida where he helped to build the great North-South railroad that made Florida development possible. Read more about Henry Flagler here

 Cyrus Stephen Eaton

w/o December 21

Cyrus Stephen Eaton (27 December, 1883 – 9 May, 1979)

Cleveland industrialist who made and lost a fortune and then made another. He then capped his career as an advocate for detente with the Sovet Union. He was famously known as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s favorite capitalist. Read more about Cyrus Eaton here

w/o December 14
Frederick H. Goff
 (15 December, 1858 – 14 March, 1923)

Frederick Goff helped to establish the Cleveland Foundation, the first community foundation in the country in 1914 and a model for the entire country. He was president of Cleveland Trust and helped to make it the largest bank in Cleveland during his tenure from 1908 thru his death in 1923. Read more about the Goff and the Cleveland Foundation here.


 Jane Edna Hunter

w/o December 7
Jane Edna Hunter
 (13 December, 1882 – 17 January, 1971)

Founder of the Phyllis Wheatley Association and prominent African-American social worker, Jane Edna Hunter fought racism through providing help with employment, housing and equal access to education. For more information, click here

Newton D. Baker 1911

w/o November 30

Newton D. Baker (3 December, 1871 – 25 December, 1937)

Perhaps the best Mayor that Cleveland has ever had, Newton D. Baker served as the legal center of Tom L. Johnson’s administration (1901-1909) before being elected Mayor for two terms between 1912-1915. He was then appointed Secretary of War by President Woodrow Wilson. Baker founded what became one of the naton’s largest law firms, today’s Baker Hostetler and was considered by many to be one of the best legal minds of his generation. He coined the term “Civitism” which asked Clevelanders to love their city as much like they loved their country. Teaching Cleveland Digital is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Baker. Read more here


Adella Prentiss Hughes

w/o November 23

Adella Prentiss Hughes (29 November, 1867 – 3 August, 1940)

No less than the founder of the Cleveland Orchestra, read about Adella Prentiss Hughes here

Then read this essay on the founding of the Cleveland Orchestra written by Bob Rich


Frederic C. Howe

 w/o November 16

Frederic C. Howe (21 November, 1867 – 3 August, 1940)

A close political ally of Tom L. Johnson and Newton D. Baker, Fred Howe was a writer, politician, lawyer, social reformer and advocate for urban areas. He is best known for his autobiography, “Confessions of a Reformer”. Read one chapter here. Also read Marian Morton’s essay about Frederick Howe and his advocacy for the “City Beautiful” movement.

w/o November 9

Frank J. Lausche (14 November, 1895 – 21 April, 1990)

One of the most successful politicians in Ohio history, Frank Lausche was elected Mayor of Cleveland (in 1941), Governor of Ohio (in 1945) and Senator from Ohio (in 1956) and he was the first of several Cleveland mayors who were of Eastern European descent. Lausche was a Democrat, but was famously known for his independence and he often took positions that were opposed by other Democrats. Here is a wonderful essay on Lausche written by Brent Larkin for the Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine on November 10, 1985.

Alfred Kelley, Ohio Historical Society

w/o November 2

Alfred Kelley (7 November, 1789 – 2 December, 1859)

Father of the Ohio-Erie Canal and later on a strong advocate of railroad development, Alfred Kelly probably more than any other person put Cleveland on the map during the pre Civil War era. One of the first advocates of public-private economic partnerships which made it economically possible for the Canals to be built. Read Mike Robert’s essay on the building of the canals in Ohio.


w/o October 26

City Club of Cleveland (30 October, 1914 –             )

The Cleveland City Club, Cleveland’s “Citadel of Free Speech”, held its first meeting on October 30, 1912. To read more about the founding of the City Club, read this short book written by Dr. Thomas Campbell, “Freedom’s Forum” and a must-read for any serious student of Cleveland history


Lonnie Burten Jr.

w/o October 19

Lonnie Burten Jr. (20 October, 1944 – 29 November 1984)

Activist and Cleveland Councilman who tragically died at a young age, Burten’s life was an inspiration for many including current Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Read about Burten here



Maurice Masche (PD)

w/o October 12

Maurice Maschke (16 October, 1868 – 19 November 1936)

The Republican Boss of Cleveland for over 20 years during the 1910s, 20s and early 30s. When Cleveland Republicans were in the majority. Maschke was Harvard educated, a world-class bridge player who helped to defeat Tom L. Johnson in 1909 and elect William Howard Taft in 1912. Read more about Maschke here


 John Hay

w/o October 5

John Milton Hay (8 October, 1838 – 1 July 1905)

John Hay had a long career in the public eye starting as a young man as Abraham Lincoln’s person secretary in the 1860s. Hay wrote the first biography of Lincoln along with Lincoln’s co-secretary John Nicolay. John Hay married Clara Stone the daughter of Amasa Stone and sister of Flora Stone Mather. Hay lived in Cleveland between 1875 and 1886 before moving to Washngton D.C. where he became Secretary of State during the William McKinley administration. Read more about John Hay


George Bellamy (Hiram House)

w/o September 28

George Albert Bellamy (29 September, 1872 – 8 July 1960)

Founder of Hiram House, the first and most prominent of Cleveland’s Social Settlements in the late 19th century. Read more about Cleveland’s creative and dynamic settlement movement here

Marcus Hanna (Ohio Historical Society)

w/o September 21

Marcus Alonzo Hanna (24 September, 1837 – 15 February 1904)

Businessman, Republican political leader and one of the creators of modern political campaigns.

Mark Hanna is one of the giants of NE Ohio history. Read about him here. Read more about him here


Louis B. Seltzer, Editor Cleveland Press

w/o September 14

Louis B. Selzer (19 September, 1897 – 2 April 1980)

Editor of the Cleveland Press (Cleveland’s largest circulation newspaper) for 38 years from 1928 thru 1966, Selzer was a Cleveland power broker who helped to make political careers as result of his support. Read Paul Porter on Louis B. Selzer here starting on page 200-216.



paul brown with otto graham 1952.jpgPaul Brown with Quarterback Otto Graham 1952

w/o September 7

Paul E. Brown (7 September, 1908 – 5 August 1991)

Paul Brown developed the techniques that revolutionized pro football during the 1940s and 1950s. The results? Paul Brown’s Cleveland Browns had the best record in the entire league during the 1950s and won 3 championships.


anthony j. celebrezze.jpg

w/o August 31

Anthony J. Celebrezze (4 September, 1910 – 29 October 1998)

Anthony J. Celebrezze served the public for 45 years as Ohio state senator, mayor of Cleveland, Cabinet member in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and federal judge. He really had a remarkable life…Italian immigrant, one of 13 children, educated at Central High in Cleveland. Celebreeze has a Federal building named after him on East 9th Street. More on him


w/o August 24

Cleveland Grays (formed 28 August, 1837)

The Grays were Cleveland’s first militia, an independant volunteer company originally formed to protect Cleveland in case of an invasion from Canada. Today the organization honors the military heritage of NE Ohio and is headquartered at Gray’s Armory.


spirit of 76.jpg

w/o August 17

Archibald MacNeal Willard (22 August 1836 – 11 Oct 1918)

Cleveland artist best known for the “Spirit of 76”


white celebrates gateway.jpg

w/o August 10

Michael R White (13 August 1851 –         )

4-Term Cleveland Mayor (1990-2002) during one of the most turbulent periods in Cleveland’s history, some of it due to Mayor White’s policies and personel decisions. But Mayor White also led the effort to keep the Browns and Indians in Cleveland, obtain Cleveland mayoral control over Cleveland’s schools and efforts to improve the economy of the city. His election in 1989 against George Forbes in the General Election and others in the Primary was perhaps the most interesting election since Carl Stokes was elected in 1967. White was also the first African American President of the Undergraduate Student Government at The Ohio State University in 1972-3

Watch his interview here and read more about him here


w/o August 3

Daniel Edgar Morgan (7 August 1877 – 1 May 1949)

One of the authors of the 1913 Cleveland Charter, Mr. Morgan was a progressive Republican who joined ranks with Newton D. Baker and others to help create the political framework for 20th century Cleveland. Mr. Morgan also became Cleveland City Manager in 1930, replacing William Hopkins and was a judge for many years. Read Daniel Morgan’s biography, written by Dr. Thomas Campbell


cleveland forest city.jpg Anderson Design Group

w/o July 27

Leonard Case, Sr. (29 July 1786 – 7 December 1864)

Businessman and philanthropist, from 1821-1825, as president of Cleveland village council, he was responsible for planting shade trees along streets earning Cleveland the name “Forest City”. His sons helped to create Case Institute of Technology which is today’s Case Western Reserve University.



w/o July 20

William Rowland Hopkins (26 July 1869 – 9 February 9 1961)

William Hopkins is best known for having Cleveland Hopkins Airport named after him. He was appointed Cleveland’s first City Manager in 1924, a non partisan position that replaced the Mayoral form of government in Cleveland from 1924 – 1932. He was an extremely active City Manager and under his administration which ran from 1924-1929, he developed parks, improved welfare instititutions, laid the groundwork for the building of Public Hall and actively pushed the idea of a municipal airport at a time when air travel was very limited. He made an enemy of Republican boss Maurice Maschke in the late 1920s who managed to have Hopkins removed as City Manager.



johnson smashing sign pd 7191912.jpg

w/o July 13

Tom L. Johnson (18 July 1854 – 10 April 1911)

Four-term Mayor of Cleveland (1901-1909), millionaire, monopolist, populist and follower of Henry George. Tom L Johnson has two statues in Cleveland with the most prominent on Public Square. There are been much written about Johnson and to read more we suggest that you start here



rockefeller oh hist society.jpg

w/o July 6

John D. Rockefeller (8 July 1839 – 23 May 1937)

Probably Cleveland’s most famous citizen and the creator of the modern oil industry. Through Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Corporation, enormous wealth was created in Cleveland. For more on John D. Rockefeller, go here



william howard brett.jpg

w/o June 29

William Howard Brett (1 July 1846 – 24 August 1918)

Head librarian of the Cleveland Public Libray from 1884-1918, William Howard Brett was a big believer in open stack libraries and adult education. Read about Mr. Brett in the C. H. Cramer history of the Cleveland Public Liibrary located here


p-fuldheim dorothy 01 cpl.jpg

w/o June 22

Dorothy Fuldheim (26 June 1893 – 3 November 1989)

The first woman in the United States with her own news program, Dorothy Fuldheim was a pioneer in television news and entertainment. For more, visit our section on Ms. Fuldheim, here

carlstokesclevelandmayor 1.jpg

w/o June 15

Carl Stokes (21 June 1927 – 3 April 1996)

The first black mayor of a major American city, he later became a news anchorman in New York, judge and United States Ambassador. For more, visit our section on Mr. Stokes, starting here

w/o June 8

Margaret Bourke-White (14 June 1904 – 27 August 1971)

Photojournalist who made Cleveland home for a brief two years between 1927-1929, but who’s photos of the Terminal Tower and the Otis Steel Mill during that period are studied and admired to this day. The photo above on a Superior Avenue rooftop is typical of her willingness to do virtually anything to get the desired image. For more on Ms. Bourke-White, read this Mike Roberts essay that ran in Cleveland Magazine.

w/o June 1

George Szell (7 June 1897 – 30 July 1897)

Internationally renowned conductor and music director of the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA from 1946 through his death in 1970.

Watch this short video of Mr. Szell rehersing with the Cleveland Orchestra.

To read more about the Cleveland Orchestra, go here

w/o May 25

Morris Alfred Black (31 May 1868 – 23 April 1938)

Businessman, philanthropist and civic leader, Morris Black made his money in Cleveland’s Garment Industry with the “Wooltex” brand of woman’s coats at H Black Co. He was a founder of the Cleveland Civic League which was a predecessor of the Citizen’s League. For more on the Civic League and the Citizen’s League, read this

Thomas Girdler, 1942 (CSU)

w/o May 18

Tom Mercer Girdler (19 May 1877 – 4 Feb. 1965)

Infamous hard-as-nails President of Republic Steel Corporation during the 1930s, one of the largest employers in Cleveland, with 9,000 workers. If you want his side of the story, read “Boot Straps” his 1943 autobiography.

For a less flattering story, watch:

“Little Steel Wars: The Union Strikes Back (Video)” by Gus Hatch, Vincent Prochoroff and George Schmidt, Winner of the “2014 Teaching Cleveland Documentary Award”

w/o May 11

Thomas W. Fleming (13 May 1874 – 18 Jan 1948)

Cleveland’s first black councilman, a shrewd ward politician, Mr. Fleming was part of the Republican “Maschke machine” during the 1910s and 1920s, a time when the majority of blacks voted Republican. Mr. Fleming was convicted of taking a bribe that many thought was a “frame-up” which ended his political career in 1929.

For more on Thomas W. Fleming, read this Cleveland Magazine article written by Eric Trickey.

CSU Special Collections

w/o May 4

John Long Severance (8 May 1863 – 16 Jan 1936)

Cleveland industrialist and the man who gave the majority of the funds needed to build Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra

w/o April 27

Amasa Stone (27 April 1818 – 11 May 1883)

The father of Cleveland’s railroads. Also the father of Flora (Mather), Clara (Hay) and Adelbert. Mr. Stone had a big life, with a lot of ups and downs. During his 65 years, he saw Cleveland develop from a small town into a real city and he was in the middle of a lot of it.

Read more here

w/o April 20

Henry Chisholm (22 April 1822 – 9 May 1881)

The father of Cleveland’s steel industry. Mr. Chisholm was “beloved” by his workers at a time when this was not always so. When he died, thousands of workers and management alike walked to his burial site at Lake View Cemetary to pay their respects. That relationship was to change after Henry Chisholm’s death when his son William ran the company.




Cleveland Trust Board Chairman George Gund (left), with Shaker Heights Mayor Paul Jones, 1964 (CSU Special Collections)

w/o April 13

George Gund (13 April 1888-15 Nov. 1966)

The man who helped to create the market for decaffeinated coffee in the United States in the 1920s, he also ran Cleveland Trust Bank for over 20 years. His wealth (nearly $600 million) was instrumental in creating the Gund Foundation.



Flora Stone Mather CWRU

w/o April 6
Flora Stone Mather (6 Apr. 1852-19 Jan. 1909)

One of our favorites, the daughter of Amasa Stone, the founder of Western Reserve College For Women and a major player in the Settlement movement at Goodrich House. Wife of Samuel Mather and mother of 4.

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