In a previous chapter, the passage of the banking law of 1845 has been noted in full, with the promise that further information as to the banks of Cleveland formed thereunder would be given at the proper chronological point. Now that this general narration has been carried to the half-century mark, it seems proper to speak more fully of the beginnings of the great financial centers of Cleveland.

The City Bank of Cleveland had its origin in an organization called the Fireman’s Insurance Company, to which had been given the power to do a general banking business, but not to issue notes. The City Bank was incorporated May 17th, 1845, with a charter to run twenty years. Reuben Sheldon was elected president, and T. C. Severance, cashier. On the 12th of February, 1865, it closed its business, and opened on the day following as the National City Bank of Cleveland. On January 20th, 1885, it charter was renewed for twenty years.

The Merchants’ Branch Bank of the State Bank of Ohio was organized June 25th, 1845, also with a twenty years’ charter. P. M. Weddell was chosen president, and Prentis Dow, cashier. Its successor was the Merchants’ National Bank, which was formed on December 27th, 1864, but did not commence business until February 7th, 1865, when the original bank ceased operations. T. P. Handy and W. L. Cutter were re-elected to the respective positions of president and cashier. In that year the bank was made the United States depository for the receipt of public money. The charter of the Merchants’ National Bank expired on December 27th, 1884. Its successor, the Mercantile National Bank, was organized December 10th,


1884, and commenced business on the 20th of the same month. This bank soon completed and occupied an elegant new building on "the old corner," where Mr. Handy and the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie joined fortunes in 1832; the old building, which was torn down to give place to the new, having been erected in 1851.

The Commercial Branch of the State Bank of Ohio was organized in September, 1845, with the usual twenty years’ charter. William A. Otis was made president, and T. P. Handy, cashier. It opened its doors for business on November 25th, of the same year, in a block on Superior street, near Water street. The Commercial Branch Bank was wound up March 1st, 1865, on the expiration of its charter, and the Commercial National Bank, which had been organized December 1st, 1864, in preparation for this event, assumed the business on the same day. It charter was renewed in 1884, and the bank was continued with no change of management or of stockholders. In 1869, the Commercial National Bank moved into its own quarters in the National Bank building, which had been jointly erected by it and the Second National Bank, on the corner of Superior and Water streets.

The charter of the Cleveland Society for Savings was issued on April 4th, 1849, and on August 2nd of the same year the new institution was opened for business. John W. Allen was chosen president, S. H. Mather, secretary, and J. F. Taintor, treasurer. In a short time, Mr. Taintor withdrew, and the two offices were combined in Mr. Mather, who spent the remainder of his life in devoted attention to the interest of the society, being its president at the time of his death. While there is much that might be said in high praise of all the banking institutions now under consideration, and while the majority of Cleveland banks have been managed with fidelity, honesty and satisfactory results to their stockholders, it is permissible to make special reference to this one, which has made a remarkable record—especially as it was founded on what was, in those days, an experiment in western finance. The


Society for Savings differs from most banks and savings and loan associations, in that it has no capital, and that the profits go to the depositors.

photograph of Society for Savings Building

Society for Savings Building

It origin is a matter of more than passing interest. Early in 1849, Charles J. Woolson, the father of Miss Woolson, who has won such deserved fame in literature, was talking with S. H. Mather, then a member of the Cleveland bar, and in the course of the conversation, Mr. Woolson suggested to Mr. Mather that an institution modeled after some then in existence in the East, would be a benefit to Cleveland, and especially to its poor. The idea abided with Mr. Mather, and after he had given it proper consideration, he consulted with other gentlemen, and the result was, that a charter was procured and the


bank opened for business. Its beginning was humble. Part of a room, but twenty feet square, in the rear of the Merchants’ Bank, was secured, the rest of it being used as desk room by others. The first deposit was made by Mr. D. E. Bond in the sum of ten dollars. The business gradually increased, and after the objection the public holds to all experiments, had worn off, the success of the Society was a settled fact. In the fall of 1857, it became necessary to remove to a more commodious building, and that afterwards occupied by Everett, Weddell & Co., on the corner of Bank and Frankfort streets, was secured. In 1867, their first block on the Public Square, which the Society had built, as completed and moved into, and at a later date the magnificent new building projected by the Society on the Public Square, at its junction with Ontario street, was completed and occupied. In a financial sense, the Society was long since counted one of the strongest and most successful of the banking institutions of the West.

The charter of the Bank of Commerce was issued in 1844 or 1845, but no bank was then established. In 1853, it was purchased by H. B. Hurlbut, and the bank set in motion. Parker Handy was chosen president, and Mr. Hurlbut, cashier. In a short time, Mr. Handy resigned, and Joseph Perkins was elected in his place. In May, 1863, it was changed to a national bank, and took the title of the Second National Bank, the law then requiring the use of numerals instead of names. Mr. Perkins and Mr. Hurlbut continued in their respective offices of president and cashier. On the renewal of its charter in 1882, the old name was re-adopted, and it was thenceforth known as the National Bank of Commerce.

In 1851, was formed the private banking house of Wick, Otis & Brownell. The partners were H. B. and H. Wick, W. A. and W. F. Otis, and A. C. Brownell. In 1854, the Wicks purchased the interests of their partners and the name of the house was changed to H. B. & H. Wick. In 1857, Henry Wick bought out his brother, and having


Taken his son into partnership, the bank became known and Henry Wick & Co. E. B. Hale opened a private bank in 1852; in 1866, he formed a partnership by the admission of W. H. Barris to the firm, and the name was changed to E. B. Hale & Co. The private banking house of Brockway, Wason, Everett & Co., commenced business in March, 1854. The partners were A. W. Brockway, Charles Wason and Dr. A. Everett. It soon changed to Wason, Everett & Co., on the retirement of the senior partner; and when Charles Wason disposed of his interest and H. P. .Weddell was admitted, the firm name became Everrett, Weddell & Co. Through financial reverses, it closed up business in July, 1884.

The First National Bank was organized May 23rd, 1863, being one of the first half-dozen that came into life under the national bank law. The new concern was not altogether without a foundation of business in the start, as that of the private banking house of S. W. Chittenden & Co., was transferred to it. George Worthington was the first president, and S. W. Chittenden, cashier. The charter expired in June, 1882, and the bank continued under a reorganization which had occurred on May 13th, 1882.

The Citizens’ Savings & Loan Association was opened for business August 1st, 1868, with J. H. Wade as president, and C. W. Lepper, treasurer. It was incorporated on the 16th of May of the same year, under an act of the Legislature "to enable associations of persons to raise funds to be used among their members for building homesteads, and for other purposes, to become a body corporate." The Ohio National Bank was organized January 1, 1876, Robert Hanna was the first president. The Peoples’ Savings & Loan Association, a West Side institution, was organized on March 2, 1869. Daniel P. Rhodes was made president, and A. L. Withington, secretary and treasurer. The South Cleveland Banking Company was organized in June, 1879; the Savings & Trust Company, May 8, 1883; the Cleveland National Bank, May 21, 1883; the Union National Bank, June 7, 1884.


With the Greater Cleveland of this century-ending decade, has come an increased demand for larger and more extended banking facilities. Capital, and faith in the city’s future, have made generous and ample answer. An enumeration of the banking institutions in existence, at the close of 1895, may be made as follows: Broadway Savings & Loan Company, Brooklyn Savings & Loan Association, Central National Bank, Citizens’ Savings & Loan Association, Cleveland National Bank, Cleveland Trust Company, Columbia Savings & Loan Company, Commercial National Bank, Cuyahoga Savings & Banking Company, Detroit Street Savings & Loan Company, Dietz, Denison & Prior, Dime Savings & Banking Company, East End Savings Bank Company, Euclid Avenue National Bank, Euclid Avenue Savings and Banking Company, First National Bank Forest City Savings Bank Company, Garfield Savings Bank Company, German American Savings Bank Company,, Guardian Trust Company, W. J. Hayes & Sons, Indemnity Building & Loan Company, Lake Shore Banking & Savings Company, Lorain Street Savings Bank Company, Marine Bank Company, Mercantile National Bank, Merchants’ Banking & Storage Company, National Bank of Commerce, National City Bank, Ohio National Building & Loan Company, Park National Bank, Pearl Street Savings & Loan Company, People’s Savings & Loan Association, Permanent Savings & Loan Company, C. H. Potter & Company, Produce Exchange Banking Company, Savings, Building & Loan Company, Savings & Trust Company, Society for Savings, South Cleveland Banking Company, State National Bank,. Union Building & Loan Company, Union National Bank, United Banking & Savings Company, Wade Part Banking Company, West Cleveland Banking Company, Western Reserve National Bank, Wick, Banking & Trust Company, Woodland Avenue Savings & Loan Company.195


drawing of The Flats in 1857

"The Flats" in 1857

It took Cleveland a long time to work up from its first bank to a Clearing House Association. The latter was formed on the 28th of December, 1858, its purpose being "to effect at one place, and in the most economical and safe manner, the daily exchange between the several associated banks and bankers; the maintenance of uniform rates for Eastern exchange, and the regulation of what descriptions of funds shall be paid and received in the settlement of business." The following banks and bankers subscribed to the articles of association: Commercial Branch Bank, Merchants’ Branch Bank, Bank of Commerce, City Bank, Forest City Bank, Wason, Everett & Co.,, H. B. & H. Wick & Co., Whitman, Standart & Co., and Fayette Brown. T. P. Haney was elected president.


and W. L. Cutter, secretary. T. P. Handy, Lemuel Wick and Fayette Brown constituted the executive committee.

The banks of Cleveland have had rather less than their share of failures, burglaries and defalcations, although a few relics of that character have been discovered, in this search into the records of the past. The first discovery partakes more of the character of the legendary than of the hard solidity of historic fact. It pictures the senior Leonard Case, in the days when the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie was housed in a portion of his dwelling, sitting on his hearthstone, with a hatchet, ready to brain an industrious burglar who was working his way in with a spade; but, as no use was made of the hatchet, it is to be supposed that this primitive burglar was warned away, or found the task greater than the possible stake. Or, perhaps, the bank broke up before he completed the tunnel, and he desisted, lest possession of the bank would make him responsible for its liabilities.

Of a more definite character is the attack made by determined men on the old Canal Bank, which exploded into thin air, in the early part of November, 1854. Those were exciting times to men who held the paper money then afloat, and who made haste to get rid of it, in feat that it might turn to worthless paper in their hands. So common was the explosion of weak concerns that the "Plain Dealer," in those days of Gray, dug from its cellar a relic of the "Hard Cider Campaign," a cut of a log-cabin being blown up, and published it from day to day over the announcement of each crash. The evaporation of the Canal Bank was not unexpected, and we read in the "Herald" of November 9, 1854, the calm announcement that "the failure of this bank excited no surprise in this city." "During the day, "adds this unmoved chronicler, "a crowd was about the door, where a force of police were stationed to prevent any disturbance." The "Plain Dealer" of the same date seems to have found some indorsement of its financial doctrines, in this and like, failures, as it treats the Canal wreck in a cheerful strain. It says: "About


The Canal Bank, yesterday, there was not only a large, but a greatly interested crowd. The bill-holders, who got the gold for their notes, were arrayed in smiles, and contrasted, most ludicrously, with the grim-visaged depositors, who got nothing."

Isaac L. Hewitt, H. W. Huntington, and W. J. Gordon were appointed assignees, but objection being raised to Mr. Huntington, he gave place to the late E. F. Gaylord. There seems to have been no headlong rush for the position of assignee, as it was offered in succession to Franklin T. Backus, Philo Chamberlain, H. N. Gates, and George Mygatt, and as often declined. There was great excitement for few days, and the old men of Cleveland tell the tale in a Homeric strain, wherein lies an intimation that, though these modern days have their share of stirring events, they are not such as saw the fall of Troy, or Dr. Ackley’s raid on the outer and inner wall of the Canal Bank vault. But even Dr. Ackley had his predecessor. On the day preceding the failure, a fresh-water captain named Gummage had deposited one thousand dollars, the result of the season’s labor and danger on the great lakes. When told that his cash was swallowed up, he became desperate, and proceeded to a desperate remedy. Arming himself, he entered the bank and demanded his money. When it was refused, he said: "It is all the money I own in the world, and I will have it or I will kill you!" He meant what he said and looked his meaning, and his cash was handed over with out parley. No one ever proceeded against him, in law or otherwise.

Dr. H. C. Ackley, who was as determined as he was eccentric, had a personal deposit in the Canal Bank, but laid no claim to it in preference over the other victims. He was, however, one of the trustees of the State Insane Asylum at Newburg, and had placed in the bank nine thousand dollars of the public funds. On the announcement of the suspension, he demanded this sum, which he did not get. He hurried to the sheriff’s office and swore out a writ of attachment. Sheriff M. M. Spangler pro-


ceeded to the bank, which was located on Superior street, near the American House, in the building now occupied by the "Leader," and took possession. "The keys of the vault being refused him," says the "Herald," "he proceeded to break open the vault. The excitement, both inside and outside the bank, was intense while the work proceeded; but, to the credit of our citizens, no signs of riot were displayed. Dr. Ackley has a heavy deposit of his own, but has procured an attachment only on behalf of the State, claiming that unless its money is procured, the asylum at Newburg can not be opened for more than a year, and that during that time one hundred insane patients will be deprived of treatment."

drawing of Mayor H. M. Chapin

Mayor H. M. Chapin

Sheriff Spangler construed his duty to be the getting of the money, and when he found that brick walls and iron doors opposed the entrance of the law, he summoned several stalwart deputies, and, under the guardianship of Dr. Ackley, who is said by ancient rumor to have threatened to shoot the first man who interfered, laid down such lusty blows as had not been heard since Richard of the Lion Heart drove his battle-axe against the castle gates of Front-de-Boeuf. Sledge-hammers swung in the air, and came down on the brickwork with a crash; clouds of lime and mortar filled the room. The population of Cleveland could almost have been enumerated from those who crowded on the scene. The officers and clerks of the bank looked on, helpless to prevent, and in no position to aid. F. T. Backus, a part owner of the building, and the attorney of the bank, rushed in and ordered a halt, on the grounds of trespass. The sheriff replied that he had come for the money, and that it was a part of his offi-


cial oath to get it. The blows still fell, and at one o’clock the outer wall of the vault was broken, and measures set on foot to break into the burglar-proof safe. Truces were held, from time to time, lawyers rushed here and there, with messages, advice, and papers; but the sheriff knew no law but that of his writ, and had but one purpose, which was to get at the cash. Finally, late at night, to save the safe from damage, the assignees gave up the keys, and the hard-earned money was carried away by the sheriff. There were $400 in gold and $1,460 in bills. The one hundred insane of Northern Ohio had their shelter for the year, and, if the stories of the day were well founded, the depositors were not the worse off for it, as very small returns were forthcoming, in settlement of their claims.

Sheriff Spangler, in a personal interview, some years ago, informed me that the excitement was intense, and the affair talked about for weeks afterward. He said that while he was hammering away, he was threatened with prosecution for damages by Mr. Backus, the attorney for the bank, and by its cashier and assignees; but the more they talked, the more determined was he to gain his point.

While Cleveland has been quite successful in the majority of her banking ventures, she cannot be said to have been equally so in connection with the insurance companies, which her citizens have established, from time to time. The main cause for their disappearance may be found in the great Chicago fire of 1871, that bankrupted a number and caused the winding up of others.

As early as 1830, the Cleveland Insurance Company was chartered, with power to do both an insurance and a banking business. Edmund Clark was made president, and S. W. Chittenden, secretary. It was conducted for years exclusively as a banking concern, but reorganized as an insurance company in 1861. It went by the board through the great fire above referred to. The Cleveland Mutual Fire Insurance Company was incorporated in March, 1849, was never very successful, and eventually wound up. In 1851, the Commercial Mutual Insurance Company was


organized, was caught in the Chicago Fire, reorganized as the Mercantile Insurance Company, and continued until 1890, when it reinsured in an Eastern concern, and went out of business. The Washington Insurance Company was chartered in 1851, failed, and wound up its career with a number of vexatious lawsuits. The City Insurance Company of Cleveland came into existence in 1854, but had a brief and by no means profitable existence. The German Fire Insurance Company was organized in 1859, and sent suddenly out of existence, because of heavy risks in Chicago. The Buckeye Insurance Company came in 1863, an was wound up in 1870. The State Fire & Marine Insurance Company was organized in 1864, reorganized as the State Fire Insurance Company, and afterwards reinsured its risks and went out of business. The Sun Fire Insurance Company opened operations in or near 1865, made an excellent record, and wound up its affairs in good order. Other companies of a later date were as follows: The Teutonia Fire Insurance Company, organized in 1866, wound up after the Chicago disaster; the Midas Insurance Company, organized in 1866, reorganized as the Forest City Insurance Company, and wound up in 1871; The Allamannia Fire Insurance Company, organized in 1869, made an assignment and went out of existence in 1874; the Hibernia Fire Insurance Company incorporated in 1869, and wound up in 1878; the Residence Fire Insurance Company chartered in 1874, and wound up in 1877. The board of Fire Underwriters of Cleveland was organized in June, 1846, with the following officers: J. L. Weatherly, president; C. C. Carleton, vice-president; H. F. Brayton, treasurer; George May, secretary. It continued in active existence until 1863, or 1864, when its functions ceased temporarily, or until 1866, when it was reorganized, and has since been in active operation.196


The census enumeration of 1850 is a fair point at which to commence the general story of Cleveland for these later years, as it showed the presence of a population of 17,034. This indicated a steady and healthful growth for the ten preceding years. It was a period of present prosperity, and of promise for the future. The lake fleet was at its summit of popularity, and of service as a means of passage, as the railroads had not yet begun to make the destructive inroads of a later day. The stage coaches were kept busy, carrying loads of travelers to and from Cleveland, manufacturers were reaching out and extending, the municipality was in a progressive mood, and Cleveland had earned the right to be called a city in fact, as in name. Some additions, in a material and moral way, that were made during several succeeding years, may be briefly mentioned. The Lake Shore Foundry was established by Mr. Seizer, in 1850, and continued under his management until 1866. The manufacture of organs was commenced by Child & Bishop in 1852, and the concern became eventually known as the Jewett & Goodman Organ Company. The Third Presbyterian Church was organized, with thirty members, on March 25, 1850, and two years later changed its policy to the Congregational, and its name, to the "Plymouth Church of Cleveland."

drawing of Y.M.C.A. Building, 1875

Y.M.C.A. Building, 1875

It was also in, or near, 1850 that a Young Men’s Christian Association was organized in this city, and a work commenced that has been productive of increasing good, through all the years that have since passed. Reading rooms were opened on Superior street, and the Association flourished until the breaking out of the Civil War, when a majority


of the members answered the call of their country, and the Association passed into suspension, for lack of support. In 1866, the present Association was organized. In 1872, it opened rooms on the north side of the Public Square, and later moved to more commodious quarters on Euclid avenue, near Sheriff street. Still later, it erected and occupied a handsome and commodious building on the corner of Prospect and Erie streets. It has done great good in various ways, not the least of which has been the work among the railway men, and the opening and maintenance of a branch at the Union Passenger Depot.

In accordance with the provisions of the new State constitution, adopted in 1851, the General Assembly passed a law for the organization and government of municipalities within the State, repealing all the charters then in force. The chief change in the local government was the abolishment of the Board of Aldermen, an increase in the number of elected officials, and the establishment of a police court, the duties of which had been previously performed by the mayor.

William Case was elected mayor in 1850, and again in 1851, and Abner C. Brownell in 1852, the last chosen under the old charter. The city election of 1853 was one of unusual importance, as a number of new officials were added to the list of those chosen by the people. A special vote also was taken, to determine whether or not the city should expend four hundred thousand dollars for the erection of water works. Abner C. Brownell became his own successor and the other officers first chosen under the new charter were as follows: Police Judge, John Barr; Clerk of Police Court, Orlando J. Hodge; Prosecuting Attorney, Bushnell White; Commissioners of Water Works, H. B. Payne, B. L. Spangler, Richard Hilliard; Directors of Infirmary, Orson Spencer, James Barnett, Alex. W. Walter; Commissioners of Streets, A. McIntosh, J. M. Hughes, J. B. Wheeler; Marshal, Michael Gallagher; Auditor, J. B. Bartlett; Treasurer, William Hart; Solicitor, James Fitch; Fire Engineer, William Cowan; Harbor Master, C.


Stillman; Sexton, James A. Craw; Superintendent of Markets, W. A. Morton; Scaler of Weights and Measures, David Shut; Weigher, A. Wheeler; Civil Engineer, J. W. Pillsbury; Constables, W. R. Simmons, John Odell, Barney Mooney, James Hill; Trustees, George F. Marshall, James B. Wigham, W. H. Sholl, James Gardner, Robert Reilley, W. J. Gordon, Henry Everett, Richard C. Parsons; Assessors, James Whitaker, William Redhead, David Schub, James Proudfoot. On the question of issuing water works bonds, the vote stood as follows:

    For Against
  First Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 365 55
  Second Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 215
  Third Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423 61
  Fourth Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 265
    ____ ____
    1,230 599

The City Council was busy, for some months, in passing ordinances defining the duties of the new officers, and especially those of the newly-created municipal boards. The four hundred thousand dollars of bonds were delivered to the water works trustees, who were directed d to go ahead and erect the works as soon as possible.

The first session of Cleveland’s Police Court was held on April 17, 1853, in a small back room in the Gaylord Block, on Superior street, between Seneca street and the Public Square. Judge Barr did not occupy the bench, as none had been provided, but took his seat behind a low desk, while Mr. Hodge, the clerk, occupied a similar desk at his right. The first entry upon the record book is as follows: "The State of Ohio, City of Cleveland, S. A.; the Police Court of the City of Cleveland commenced and held in said, city, on the 17th day of April, Anno Domini 1853, agreeable to the laws of the State of Ohio. Present his honor, John Barr, judge of the Police Court, C..C.; B. White, Esq., prosecuting attorney of said city; M. Gallagher, marshal of said city. Attest, O. J. Hodge, clerk Police Court C. C." The first case upon the docket was for "getting up a false alarm of fire,": while some of the


earlier charges were "immoderate driving in the street," "selling unwholesome meat," "forestalling market," "soliciting guests drunk" and a "breach of the peace by disturbing a ball at Kelley’s hall." A new police station house was erected within a reasonably short time, on Johnson street, near Water street, and the Police Court occupied its second story.

drawing of Mayor Stephen Buhrer

Mayor Stephen Buhrer

The Probate Court of Cuyahoga County came, also, into existence under the new judicial system created by the new State constitution. Previous to that time, the probate of wills and settlement of estates had been in the hands of the Common Please Court. A remarkable fact may be noted in connection with the office of probate judge—that, in all the years since the organization of this court, it has had but three incumbents. Flavel W. Bingham was elected in 1852, Daniel R. Tilden197 in 1855, and Henry C. White, the present able incumbent, in 1887.

The reference made heretofore to Dr. H. A. Ackley’s determined and unselfish efforts to secure from the broken Canal Bank the money belonging to the insane of the State, suggests the existence of an institution which in


those days was in its infancy. On the 30th of April, 1852, the State Legislature passed a law providing for the erection of two additional asylums for the insane, the State then possessing but one, which was at Columbus. An appropriation was made for that purpose, and Prof. H. A. Ackley, E. B. Fee, Daniel B. Woods, Charles Cist, and Edwin Smith were appointed a board of trustees. At a meeting on July 9, 1852, it was decided that one of these institutions should be located in Newburg. An adequate building was erected, and opened for the reception of patients on March 5, 1855. Additions were made in 1860, and again in 1870. By a fire which occurred on September 25, 1872, the greater part of this structure was destroyed, with the records and statistics, and some loss of life. The asylum was rebuilt, as soon as possible, a much finer and larger structure taking the place of the old one. The institution has borne several names, the changes being as follows: Northern Ohio Lunatic Asylum, Northern Ohio Hospital for the Insane,

Cleveland Hospital for the Insane, and Cleveland Asylum for the Insane. Charity Hospital also saw its beginning in 1852, under the direction of Bishop Rappe, its building on Perry street being begun in 1863. St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum also was projected in 1852, by Bishop Rappe, and it was in this same year of benevolent work that the foundations of the Cleveland Protestant Orphan Asylum were laid. It was organized on January 22nd, at a meeting held for that purpose in the Stone Church. In April of the same year, the institution was opened in a leased house, on the corner of Erie and Ohio streets. In 1855, the asylum was moved to its newly-erected building on Willson and Woodland avenues, where it remained for over twenty years, and then took possession of its present large and adequate structure on St. Clair street. The measure of its good wok can only be found in an enumeration of the thousands of homeless little ones which it has gathered into its protecting fold. Another of Cleveland’s active benevolent institutions also


found its origin in 1853, when the Rev. D. Prosser, and others of a like missionary spirit, opened the so-called Ragged School, out of which, in after years, grew the Industrial School and Children’s Aid Society and Home.

In 1853, the vessel building interests of Cleveland took a new start, and made a rapid progress. By 1856, a total of thirty-seven new craft was reported, having a tonnage of nearly sixteen thousand. The industry has not only held its own from that day to this, but has grown into a prominent place in the commercial development of the city. Between 1849 and 1869, nearly five hundred vessels of all kinds for lake navigation were built in the district of Cuyahoga, nearly all of which were the production of Cleveland’s yards. The Rapid growth of the lake business of Cleveland is shown by the records of the Board of Trade, which as early as 1884 gave a total tonnage register of 84,295.

The Western Reserve has been often described as a section of New England set down in Ohio. The ties that bound these western colonies to the parent State in the east were always strong, and even closer ones were woven near the middle of the century, by an increased immigration to Cleveland, from the New England States. It was decided, about this time, to form a permanent association among the New Englanders of the city. Steps toward carrying the idea into effect were taken on December 22, 1853. A meeting was held in the Second Presbyterian Church, where an eloquent address was delivered by Hon. Erastus Hopkins, of Massachusetts. The main portion of the audience then adjourned to the Weddell House, where a banquet was served, after which speeches were made by Mayor Brownell, R. P. Spalding, Hiram Griswold, John A. Foot, Gen. John Crowell, Richard C. Parsons, Rev. F. T. Brown and others.

Immediate action was not taken, but early in December, 1855, the New England Society of Cleveland was organized, with the following officers: President, Benjamin Rouse; Vice-Presidents, George Mygatt and Orlando Cut-

Facing Page

Cleveland Under the Hill, 1854

"Cleveland Under the Hill," 1854


ter; Managers, Peter Thatcher, Joseph Perkins, Selah Chamberlain, Joseph Masury and John C. Proctor. A constitution was adopted, in which it was declared that the membership should consist only of natives of New England States, or the sons of such natives. Dinners were given from time to time, the last one being at the Angier House, in 1859. The subsequent history of the Society is thus related by its last treasurer, William Perry Fogg:198 "Thirty years have passed, and the New England Society still remains but a memory of the generation that is now rapidly passing away. In 1859, the writer, as treasurer of the society, had a balance in his hands of $111.50. It was deposited by him in the Society for Savings, and on September 18, 1895, he was informed that the amount standing to the credit of the New England Society was $290.30."

The "memory" to which Mr. Fogg refers became once more an actuality, amid the reviving influences of Cleveland’s Centennial year. On December 21, 1895, there was a meeting of those of New England birth, at Plymouth Congregational Church. Speeches were made by Charles F. Thwing, H. Q. Sargent, N. B. Sherwin, M. M. Hobart, F. J. Dickman and R. C. Parsons, and interesting reminiscences were related by L. F. Mellen, Mrs. E. M. Avery, Mrs. B. F. Taylor, Mrs. W. A. Ingham, W. P. Horton and L. E. Holden. Old-time songs were sung by "Grandfather" Snow and "Grandma" Hawley. This meeting was so inspiring that it was decided to revive the old New England Society, and so, on January 1, 1896, it was reorganized, with the following officers: President, N. B. Sherwin; Vice-Presidents, L. E. Holden, E. R. Perkins, F. C. Keith, M. M. Hobart, F. J. Dickman, William Bingham; Secretary, L. F. Mellen; Treasurer, S. C. Smith; Chaplain, Rev. Livingston L. Taylor; Trustees, L. E. Holden, A. G. Colwell, R. C. Parsons, William Edwards, L. F. Mellen, S. C. Smith, M. M. Hobart W.


P. Horton, H. R. Hatch, James Barnett, F. A. Kendall, N. B. Sherwin, I. P. Lamson, H. Q. Sargent, Thos. H. White, J. H. Breck, Mrs. W. A. Ingham, Mrs. C. F. Olney, Mrs. P. H. Babcock, Mrs. Elroy M. Avery, Mrs. E. D. Burton.

By the middle of the century, the city found that it had need of additional burial grounds. Steps were taken to supply that need, and Woodland Cemetery came into existence. Other burial places had already been added, from time to time. Thus the Brooklyn Cemetery Association had been incorporated in May, 1849, and the North Brooklyn Cemetery was opened, on Scranton avenue, between Wade and Seymour avenues. St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, on Woodland avenue, opposite Woodland Cemetery, was set aside for burial purposes, by Bishop Rappe, in 1849. A plot of ground to be used as a Jewish cemetery was laid out in 1849, on Willett street, by the Israelitish Church Congregation, and when this society was merged into the Anshe Chesed congregation, this place of burial passed the control of the latter.

Woodland Cemetery is the largest and most important of any with which the municipality is officially connected. It had been debated, for some time, whether the city should or should not purchase a plot adequate in size to the growing needs of the public, and at a point sufficiently remote from the business and residence sections. This talk began to crystalize into action in 1851, and a definite point was reached on August 19th, when a resolution for the purchase of land was adopted by the City Council. It was introduced by Stoughton Bliss, and directed the mayor, in behalf of the city, to purchase from Benjamin F. Butler "sixty and sixty-two hundredths acres of land, being a part of the Bomford tract, so-called, in the City of Cleveland, . . . . on the terms proposed by him, for a public burial ground, or cemetery, of said city." The amount to be paid was $13,639.50. The resolution was unanimously adopted. On May 18, 1853, George F. Marshall offered a resolution to the effect that


the new grounds should be known as "Woodland Cemetery," which was unanimously adopted, and on June 14th appropriate dedicatory services were conducted.

The later additions to the cemeteries of Cleveland comprise St. Mary’s, Lake View, and Riverside. Monroe Street Cemetery became a part of Cleveland on the annexation of Ohio City. St. Mary’s, on Clark avenue and Burton street, was purchased by Bishop Rappe and St. Mary’s congregation, in 1861, and is used by the German and Bohemian Catholics of the West Side.

Lake View Cemetery, on Euclid avenue, in the extreme eastern limits of the city, belongs to a private corporation, known as the Lake View Cemetery Association. It was laid out in 1869, and covers an area of about three hundred acres. Lying upon a series of high knolls overlooking Lake Erie, with intervening valleys and natural water courses, it has been adorned by the hand of man, so that it stands to-day as one of the most beautiful and picturesque spots in America. Scores of magnificent monuments mark the resting place of Cleveland’s dead, while above them the shaft, erected by a grateful and loving people, shows where the martyred Garfield lies in eternal sleep, in the heart of that beloved portion of Ohio where he was born, and in which his early days were passed.

Riverside Cemetery, which overlooks the Cuyahoga River from the South Side, was laid out in 1876, by a company of its lot owners, incorporated under the name of the Riverside Cemetery Association. One hundred and more acres of land were purchased and beautified, and, like Lake View, it has become one of the most beautiful places of burial to be found anywhere in the West.

There have been many happy municipal marriages, but few have been so advantageous to both contracting parties, and followed by such fruitful results, as that concerning which I now speak. Manifest destiny made the Cuyahoga Valley a bond of union, rather than a line of division, between Cleveland, and the City of Ohio. That these two civic corporations should become one, was ordained


from the beginning, and it seems incredible, from this later point of view, that there should ever have been opposition to the union from any intelligent source; yet such opposition there was, upon both sides of the river.

A formal protest came from Cleveland in 1850, when A. McIntosh offered a resolution in the City Council, declaring that as "an effort is being made by several individuals to obtain from the Legislature a law annexing Ohio City to the City of Cleveland," the City Council declares that such action "at this time is not desirable, and is not believed to meet the views of our citizens, at so short notice." Five votes were cast in favor of this resolution, and three against it.

The real official commencement of the annexation agitation was in the Cleveland City Council, on August 19, 1851, when Buckley Stedman introduced an ordinance providing for the submission of the question of annexation between Cleveland and Ohio City, to the qualified voters of Cleveland. The measure passed by a unanimous vote. At a meeting held on October 15th, the votes cast at a special election on October 14th were announced s follows:

    For Union For Union
    "Yes." "No."
  First Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266 277
  Second Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 337
  Third Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 184
  Fourth Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 300
    ____ ____
  Total 850 1,098

The question was, therefore, pretty well settled in the negative, so far as that vote went. In November, 1853, the question again loomed up, when Robert Reilley offered a resolution in the City Council, directing that a committee of three be appointed by the president "to consult with the members of the Ohio City Council, relative to taking intitiatory steps towards annexing said city to the City of Cleveland, and report at the next meeting." This was adopted, and Robert Reilley, James B. Wigham and James Gardner were appointed said committee.

Facing Page

Plan of the City of Cleveland; about 1853


It took the committee some time to conclude their negotiations, as their report was not forthcoming until February 1, 1854, when the following was presented: "That said committee had a consultation with the Ohio City committee, and that said committees together had adopted the following resolution, to wit: Resolved, That we recommend to the councils of the two cities which we respectively represent, to pass an ordinance submitting to the voters thereof the question of annexing their municipal corporations."

On February 2nd, Richard C. Parsons presented an ordinance to provide for a second submission to the qualified voters of the City of Cleveland of the question of annexation. He moved that the rules requiring ordinances of a general and permanent nature to be read on three different days be suspended. This was agreed to, unanimously.

The election occurred on April 3, (1854), the day of the regular city elections, and the result showed that there had been a great change of public opinion since the proposition came up before and was defeated. It was carried, with 1,892 votes for, to only 400 against. Ohio City voted on the same day, with the following result: For annexation, 18; against, 258.

The next forward step by municipal Cleveland, for the union with her neighbor across the river, was taken on June 5th of the same year, when a special meeting was held to consider the report of the commissioners appointed to meet those of Ohio City. Those gentlemen informed the Council that they had "concluded an arrangement with said commissioners for the City of Ohio, providing the terms and conditions on which such annexation shall, if approved by the respective city councils, take place." The agreement they submitted covered a number of points, some of which were as follows:

"That the territory now constituted the City of Ohio shall be annexed to, and constitute a part of the City of Cleveland, and the First, Second, Third and Fourth wards of the former city, as now constituted, shall consti-


utute the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh wards, respectively, of the last-named city; and the present trustees of said wards . . . shall hold their offices . . for the terms for which they have been severally elected." It was further agreed that the wards should be so arranged that the people on the west side of the river should have as large a proportion of the number thereof as it had of population, and that the property of each city should belong to the joint corporation, which should be responsible for the debts of both. Ohio City’s liability for bonds issued to pay its subscription to the Junction Railroad Company’s stock, which were afterwards paid by the sale of the stock, was not included, however; while another exception gave to the original City of Cleveland any surplus it might realize from its subscriptions to several railroads, which surplus was to be expended, under the direction of the trustees representing that district in the new corporation, for park of other public purposes.199 The commissioners on the part of Cleveland were W. A. Otis, H. V. Willson and F. T. Backus; while those representing Ohio City were W. B. Castle, N. M. Standart and C. S. Rhodes. An ordinance was passed on the same day, carrying the agreement into effect, and with the passage of a similar measure across the river, the union of the


cities became complete,--that which nature, the needs of commerce, and the development of both, had joined together, no man could thereafter put asunder.201

The first regular meeting of the joint City Council, was held on Monday, June 1j0, 1854. Richard C. Parsons was selected president by a unanimous vote, while J. B. Bartlett was made city clerk. During several succeeding sessions, a large amount of routine business was disposed of, in getting the affairs of the enlarged corporation adjusted, and in disposing of the remnants of business left by Ohio City. Among these, were the excavation and opening of the ship canal, and the improvement of the old river bed. One of the questions soon disposed of was that of securing for the city an abundant and permanent supply of pure fresh water.

We have already seen how a water company was created by legislation, in 1833, with an enlargement of powers in 1850, and, also, how nothing came of the measure. One of the first steps taken in the direction of municipal ownership and control was in 1850, when George A. Benedict, and others, presented a petition to the City Council, urging the propriety of taking immediate steps for the "supplying of the city with wholesome water," and asking that a competent hydraulic engineer be engaged to explore, survey, and estimate the expense of a supply from the Shaker Mill, Tinker’s Creek, and Lake Erie, and also "the amount of water to be relied upon from each of these sources." In January, 1851, William Bingham offered a resolution appointing the mayor (William Case) and any three citizens he might choose, a committee to report to the Council at as early a day as possible, a plan for supplying the city with water, and authorizing them to employ competent engineers to assist them in their duties.


With that rare judgment and patriotic energy that characterized all his public labors, Mayor Case202 gave himself to this labor, with a wisdom and a foresight that have been well justified by results. Progress was made quite slowly, however, as October 29, 1852, arrived before a plan was submitted. On that date, Mayor Brownell announced to the City Council that "some two years ago a committee was appointed to examine the subject of supplying the city with pure water; that in the discharge of their duties they had collected many valuable statistics, and were now present with their report."

This was read by Mr. Case, was accepted, and referred to the special committee, with instruction to procure the services of a competent hydraulic engineer to "examine the report, make the necessary survey, and draw plans of the work, to be submitted to the Council at an early day." T. R. Scowden was engaged to perform the designated task. The plans and specifications were finally submitted on March 22, 1853, were adopted, and the committee discharged.

The first board of Water Works Commissioners consisted of H. B. Payne, B. L. Spangler and Richard Hilliard, who were elected under the new laws, at the general election of 1853. We have seen how bonds to the amount of two hundred thousand dollars were voted them, and


how they were instructed to go ahead with the works. On October 12th, a resolution was passed by the Council, approving the suggestion of the commissioners that the works should be located on the west side of the river, and steps were taken for the appropriation of the needed land. The reservoir on Kentucky street, and the tall tower and pumping house on the lake front, soon stood in evidence as to how well the instructions had been carried out. Cleveland was secure in a water supply, and the day of the cistern and town pump had gone by forever.

photograph of The City Hall

The City Hall

Among the leading events of a general nature set down to the credit of 1855, was the lease of a portion of the new Jones building, on the southwest corner of the Public Square, for a Council Hall, and for other municipal pur-


poses. Possession was taken in November, and there the municipal headquarters remained, until the lease of the new Case Block, now occupied. In the same year, Cleveland became possessor of its first United States District Court, with Hiram V. Willson as judge; Daniel O. Morton, district attorney; Jabez W. Fitch, marshal; and Frederick W. Green, clerk. Lewis Dibble became chief bailiff, and Henry H. Dodge and Bushnell White, the first United States Commissioners. The opening of this court was the occasion of one of the most notable of the social gathering of the Cleveland Bar, and has been described203 as follows: "The first of the series of legal and judicial festivities, within the memory or knowledge of the writer, was a banquet at the Angier House (now Kennard House), in 1855, given by the members of the Cleveland Bar to the gentlemen of the bar of the northern district of Ohio, then in attendance on the United States District Court, soon after the accession of Judge Willson, the first judge of that court. It was a memorable occasion. The appointments of the great dining hall, and the luxuries of the table, were in keeping with the admirable taste of the proprietor, and the fame of the house. The occasion was honored by the presence of Judge Willson, and a very large number of the most prominent lawyers of the several counties comprising the United Stated judicial district."

In 1856, steps were taken toward enclosing the Public Square, and a committee of the City Council appointed to investigate the legality of such action. They reported favorably, but no action was taken until March, 1857, when fences were erected; and it took legal action and a decision of the court, in 1867, to remove the obstructions, and to establish the legal fact that the highways of Su-


perior and Ontario streets must be left forever unbarred to travel, and the use of vehicles and pedestrians. There was great excitement upon both occasions, many opposing the fence in the one instance, and many other its removal in the other.

Steps were taken, in 1856, towards the erection of an adequate market house, and a committee which had been previously appointed reported to the City Council, in December, in favor of the present Central Market grounds, on Ontario and Bolivar streets. The land was purchased and cleared, and the erection and opening of the building soon followed.

drawing of Mayor F. W. Felton

Mayor F. W. Felton

The year 1857 was one of importance in this respect, that it saw the practical opening of the iron business, to which Cleveland owes so much, and which has done so much to make this a great manufacturing center. Of the beginnings in this line, Charles A. Otis,204 a prominent iron manufacturer, has said: "The first rolling mill at Cleveland was a plate mill, worked on a direct ore process, which was a failure. It went into operation in 1854 or 1855. The mill is now (1884) owned by the Britton Iron & Steel Company. The next mill was built in 1856, by A. J. Smith and others, to re-roll rails. It was called the Railroad Rolling Mill, and is now owned by the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company. At the same time, a man named Jones, with several associates, built a mill at Newburg, six miles from Cleveland, also to re-roll rails. It was afterwards operated by Stone, Chisholm & Jones, and is now owned by the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company. In 1852, I erected s steam forge


to make wrought iron forgings, and in 1859, I added to it a rolling mill, to manufacture merchant bar, etc. The Union Rolling Mills were built in 1861 and 1862, to roll merchant bar iron"

The Service rendered by Henry Chisholm to the iron interests of Cleveland cannot be overestimated. By universal consent, he stands at the head of the city’s benefactors in this direction. He was born in Scotland, in 1822, and came to America when twenty years of age. He was a carpenter, and followed that trade in Montreal, and in 1850 was engaged in the construction of railroad breakwaters in Cleveland, and soon after settled permanently in this city. In 1857, as above stated, he became a manufacturer of iron in Newburg, building a small mill for the manufacture of bar and railroad iron. In this was found the beginning of the great Cleveland Rolling Mill Company, which only a few years ago was described as employing five thousand hands, consuming annually four hundred thousand tons of coke and coal, and turning out one hundred and fifty thousand tons of finished product, annually. To Mr. Chisholm, more than to any other one man, was due the magnificent success of this great enterprise, and its direct beneficial effect upon the growth and prosperity of Cleveland. "He was among the early ones," says one appreciative student205 of his career, "to see that steel rails would entirely take the place of iron, and one of the first to make a commercial success of the Bessemer process in this country. But where his signal ability most completely displayed itself was in recognizing the fact that, for the highest prosperity, a steel mill should have more than ‘one string to its bow,’ and that to run in all times, and under all circumstances, Bessemer steel must be adapted to other uses than the making rails. Holding tenaciously to this idea, he was the first to branch out into the manufacture of wire, screws, agricultural and merchant shapes, from steel. To the prog-


ress in this direction must be imputed a large share of the success of his company, and it further entitles Mr. Chisholm to be regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest man, who has been engaged in the Bessemer steel manufacture in this country. It is rare, indeed, that mechanical skill and business ability are united in one and the same individual, and it was to this exceptional combination of talents that Mr. Chisholm owed his more than splendid success. A Scotchman by birth and nature, and loving the poems of his nation’s bard with an ardor that only a Scot can feel, he became as thorough an American citizen as if he had drawn his inspiration from Plymouth Rock, and he performed his civic duties with an ever serene confidence in the merit of our institutions."

While the manufacture of iron in Cleveland could have been carried on to a limited extent, through use of the ores near at home, it was the opening of the Lake Superior iron regions that made the magnificent results of today a possibility. There are some, perhaps, who do not realize how Cleveland capital and Cleveland brains assisted in the development of that region, and, therefore, a presentation of the facts that follow seems a mater of necessity.

It was in 1846 that Cleveland parties appeared on the scene and opened the way for the immense business that has grown up between that region and this city. Dr. J. Lang Cassels, of Cleveland, visited Lake Superior in 1846, and took "squatter’s possession," in the name of the Dead River Silver & Copper Mining Company of Cleveland—an enterprise in which were many of the men afterwards found in the Cleveland Iron Company. He was guided to the desired location by an Indian, and made the journey thereto and return, from the nearest settled point, in a birch bark canoe. In the following year, he left that country and returned to Cleveland, where he made a mild prophecy as to the mineral wealth of the Superior region, which was received with general incredulity.

The Cleveland Iron Company was formed in 1849, but


did little business in the Superior country until 1853. Its first organization was under a special Michigan charter, but on March 29, 1853, it filed articles of association, under the name of the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, with a capital stock of five hundred thousand dollars. The incorporators were John Outhwaite, Morgan L. Hewitt, Selah Chamberlain, Samuel L. Mather, Isaac L. Hewitt, Henry F. Brayton and E. M. Clark. The office was located at Cleveland, and some of the lands of which it became possessed now comprise the principal part of the City of Marquette. In 1854, the Cleveland Company mined four thousand tons of ore, which was made into blooms at different forges in the vicinity, and sent to the lower lake points, some of it coming to this city.

drawing of New England Hotel, 1854

New England Hotel, 1854

This company, from the day of its origin, was looked upon as one of the most solid and important of the commercial concerns of Cleveland. It had much to do with creating and fostering the iron interests of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Its first cargo or ore to this point was brought in 1856, and sold in small lots to such parties as were willing to give it an experimental trial.

It should also be said, in this connection, that the first ore from that section was shipped to Cleveland, in 1852,


by the Marquette Iron Company, in a half-dozen barrels, aboard the ship "Baltimore." The low estimation in which this ore was held by this business community during the experimental stages is illustrated by the following incident, related by George H. Ely. He was living in Rochester, New York, where he held the position of president of the Lake Superior Iron Company. A small cargo or ore had been shipped to a Cleveland party, who was unable to pay the freight, and so little commercial value was attached to the iron that the whole cargo was not considered sufficient security for the freight charges, and Mr. Ely was drawn on before they could be paid.

It is almost impossible to touch upon the iron industry of Cleveland without referring, also, to those great resources in the way of cheap fuel, that have made the economical manufacture of iron at this point a possibility. It has been already noted how the first load of coal was hauled about the streets of Cleveland, with no buyers. Little progress in its introduction as a popular fuel, for either house or factory, was made for several years succeeding that early attempt. In 1845, the Brierhill mine was opened, near Youngstown, Ohio, by David Tod, Daniel P. Rhodes, of Cleveland, and a Mr. Ford. In the beginning, they had an output of some fifty tons peer week, and the main market was found among the steamers then doing a large passenger and freight business upon Lake Erie. The coal was brought to Cleveland by canal until 1856, when the completion of the Cleveland & Mahoning Railroad expedited its transportation, and gave the trade a great impetus. The completion of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad opened the coal fields of Columbiana County to a market, while the products of the great Massillon mines became available in 1860. The rapid increase of the business may be judged from the following figures: In 1865, Cleveland’s receipts of coal were 465,550 tons; in 1884, 1,831,112 tons.