1880—A WONDERFUL DECADE—1890.
In a record of this character—a history of the creation and growth of a great city,--the individual of necessity disappears as the many appear, and incidents of a personal nature give place to events of sufficient importance to be of interest to all. Generalization, therefore, replaces specifications. Lorenzo Carter, in the Cleveland of 1800, was larger, relatively, than any one man could be in Cleveland today. James Kingsbury, sitting with gun in hand, on a log in the snowy silence of the Conneaut woods, waiting for some stray bird or beast, whose flesh could save the life of his wife, was a picturesque figure, because he was a solitary speck upon a bleak and inhospitable pioneer landscape;--the picture, in all these cases, is striking, because of its setting, and also because of the time that has passed, and the things that have been done, since it was drawn.
The life of a pioneer village is told in these incidents; that of a great city by its achievements, and the impress it has made upon the civilization of which it is a part. A bird’s–eye view should, therefore, be taken from time to time, that advances may be noted, and a full understanding had, of the uses made of the natural and artificial opportunities at hand.
The early days of that decade running from 1880 to 1890, seem a fitting point for a brief retrospect of this character. It was the duty of the writer to prepare a somewhat extended paper upon Cleveland at that period.241
In which these words were used: "The history of Cleveland has been that of all great cities. There have been
many times, when her growth was so slow, and uncertain, that she gave promise of no great development, but some unexpected season of general prosperity would arise, some new avenue of business would open, or some new railroad come in to add to the territory open to her enterprise. The last stage of doubting was passed, years ago and now it seems impossible for anything to arise that can stand as a bar to her progress. Her population is so great [police census enumeration for 1883 gave 194,684], her invested capital so immense, her footing so firmly established, in the line of manufacturing, and her lines of communication with producing and purchasing centers so well developed and maintained, that it would be difficult for any disaster to crush her, or any rivalry to break her hold. In short, the visitor who looks about the place says to himself: ‘The signs indicate a transition state from the higher degrees of villagehood, and a passage to the glory an vigor of cityhood.’ The fact is, that a new spirit of enterprise, of improvement, and of push, has been breathed into the business men and the men of money, and the last suggestions of old-fogyism are being blown to the winds." Let Greater Cleveland witness whether there was a touch of prophecy in that statement of thirteen years ago.
Suppose that visitor of 1883 had come into the city from the old "Pilgrim’s Rest," up by Tinker’s Creek, and followed the wandering Cuyahoga River in its course, what would he have seen?
In that sometimes murky and clouded valley of the river, he would have found the industrial heart, and a great portion of the manufacturing strength of Cleve-
land. Hundreds of acres, stretching from the lake front to the outer city limits, would have been seen covered with shipyards, lumber-yards, planing-mills, freight-depots, roundhouses, iron-mills, furnaces, oil-works, factories, in which were made almost all the things possible in wood or iron, or a combination of the two; chemical-works, foundries, fertilizing-works, brick-yards, and a thousand and one small concerns, that worked into commercial value the refuse from the larger neighbors about them. This valley, better known as "The Flats," would have been seen moving day and night,--as it still moves,--with the motion of ten thousand machines. All the railroads dipped into it, carrying millions of loads of material in the year, and taking forth uncounted loads of goods ready for the market. Rail and water communication were both at hand, and side-tracks interlaced almost every acre of its territory.
Moving to the left, the visitor would have found, branching to the west from the valley, and followed by the track over which the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railroad, and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad’s western division ran, a small and sluggish stream—Walworth Run—marking the dividing line between the West Side and the elevated plateau locally described as the South Side. That run would have been found crowded, for a mile and a half, with pork and beef slaughter-houses, woolen-factories, ice-houses, and various concerns of a similar character. Still further up the Cuyahoga Valley would have been found another artery, by which a stream of business of diverse kinds worked its way into the central heart. At the junction of Kingsbury Run with the Cuyahoga River were seen the works of the Standard Oil Company, covering many acres, and pouring a wave of smoke into the sky. Further up the run, were a dozen refineries and works, taking the refuse of the crude oil, after the burning fluid had been extracted, and putting it upon the market, in such forms as paraffine, naphtha, gasoline, etc. Still further
up, were other refineries, and where the run crossed the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad tracks, could be found a wilderness of tanks, and stills, and oil-houses, showing where a host of smaller refineries had made a stand against the Standard—some of them afterwards to succumb and sell out, some to stand idle, and others to keep up the struggle.
The annexation of East Cleveland and Newburg, brought into the city limits many farm lots, which, added to the acres and acres held vacant right in the best part of the city, by the Payne and Case estates, gave to Cleveland, even of 1876 or later, the appearance of a series of detached villages, where much growth would be necessary before it could justify its widely-extended boundary lines.
Much of this has been changed, in the half-dozen years preceding the date at which our visitor is supposed to have taken his bird’s eye view (1883). Hundreds of residences, and scores of business blocks, and factories, had crowded in upon the vacant spaces. The death of Leonard Case had thrown the immense Case commons into the market. The large Water Cure tract had been allotted and sold; the wide vacant spaces along the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad tracks, from Case avenue to Newburg, had been covered with factories and oil works; many great business blocks had given the older part of the city a metropolitan appearance.
This brief review can be completed, by quoting a summary of the business of Cleveland, at this date, from the article to which reference was made a few pages before: "An early start had something to do with Cleveland’s growth, but location has a great deal more. The city is the nearest and most convenient point where the iron ores from Lake Superior can be met by the limestone, coke and coal needed to the making of commercial iron. The fleet of vessels that are engaged in the carrying of this ore to Cleveland harbor demonstrates this fact, as nothing else could. The furnaces, rolling-mills, steel-mills, and scores of factories, for special iron goods, that
Can be seen in all parts of the city, prove that fact to a certainty. The ore is met here by the coal from the Mahoning, Massillon, Tuscarawas and Pennsylvania districts, and the limestone from the Lake Erie islands, and the south Lake Erie shores. No better distributing point could be discovered; land is comparatively cheap, and taxes comparatively low. All these things have united to develop enterprise here at home, and invite it from abroad." A Few condensed figures from Cleveland’s commercial record of 1882 will show the truth of the above:
These figures cover, of course, only the leading industries, as there was an endless variety of small occupations, of which no census could be taken. Over 1,000,000 tons of coal were handled, in 1882; over 7,000,000 barrels of crude oil refined into various products; 4,500,000 barrels made; over 600 tons of fresh fish handled; 200,000,000 feet of lumber handled; nearly 2, 000,000 pounds of tobacco manufactured; 300,000 barrels of flour made. The report of the Cleveland Custom House, for 1882, gave the following totals of the business done through the harbors of Cleveland, Lorain, Conneaut, and Ashtabula—the three
last named being in this district, and furnishing a comparatively small portion of the total. Receipts, coastwise, $54,480,006; shipments, coastwise, $36,449,853; foreign entered, $586,207; foreign cleared, $440,354; coastwise vessels entering during the year, 4,374, of a tonnage of 1, 927,863; cleared coastwise, 3,938, of a tonnage of 1,825,218.
Passing from this summary, once more, to the detailed record, we find one main point of interest connected with an important change of management of the public schools. We have seen the superintendency of Andrew Freese, followed by those of L. M. Oviatt, of Anson Smyth, and of Andrew J. Rickoff, whose term of superintendent extended from 1867 to 1882. Mr. Rickoff’s services to our public school system can hardly be overestimated. Spurred on by his energy, a large number of excellent school buildings were erected, several of them after plans of his own. The course of study was systemised and improved; the classification of pupils was revised, twelve grades being placed together in three main groups—Primary, Grammar, and High School grades; separate schools for the sexes were abolished; women principals were employed; the city was divided into districts, each being under the direct care of a supervising principal; German was introduced into the course of study; and more direct attention paid to music and drawing.242 The Normal (now Training) School was established, for the purpose of furnishing the schools with well-trained and thoroughly-equipped teachers.243 During Mr. Rickoff’s
Administration, the number of teachers in the schools increased from 123 to 473; and the pupils from 9,643 to 26,990. It was generally admitted that the schools of the city had reached a high grade of efficiency.
the world. The work of the Cleveland schools stood in the first rank, in the educational exhibits of the Centennial Exposition of 1876.
On the retirement of Mr. Rickoff, he was succeeded by B. A. Hinsdale, whose administration extended from 1882 to 1886. The new incumbent was widely known, as president of Hiram College, and as a writer upon educational and historical subjects. He attempted no marked changes of management, following the general lines laid down by his predecessor; but endeavored to keep clear of routine methods of thought and instruction—giving the pupils not only good teaching, but leading them to think and reason upon their own responsibility; make the system more elastic, and freer from set rules of instruction. The main features of his administration can be learned from the following figures: The increase in the number of pupils, from 1882 to 1886, was from 26,990 to 32,814; fourteen fine school buildings were erected; the night schools increased from one to nine; and the average attendance, in all of the schools, was materially increased.
Superintendent Hinsdale was succeeded, in 1886, by L. W. Day, who had been for years an efficient supervisor of instruction. The later superintendents have been as follows: Andrew S. Draper, 1892 to 1894; L. H. Jones, 1894 to date. The changes, in time past, in the management of the schools have been noted already, and yet another was made on March 8, 1892, when the Ohio Legislature passed an act, providing for the reorganization of the Cleveland Board of Education. It was decreed that all legislative authority should be vested in a school council of seven members, elected at large, and all executive authority in a school director, who also should be elected by popular vote. All subordinates were to be appointed by the director, with the exception of the teachers, who were to be selected by the superintendent of instruction, who, in turn, was to be chosen by the school director. The city auditor, city treasurer, and corporation counsel, were to occupy the same respective re-
lations to the school department. On March 17, 1893, the Legislature passed an act establishing a sinking fund, to provide for the then outstanding bonded indebtedness of the school department. The following gentlemen were appointed members of the board of commissioners having that fund in charge: S. W. Sessions, Myron T. Herrick, Albert L. Withington, William F. Carr, and William J. Morgan.244
A leading event of 1883 was the campaign so vigorously carried on, with Cleveland as headquarters, for the passage of an amendment to the Constitution of Ohio forbidding the liquor business. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of Ohio had urged the matter with such vigor that the Legislature submitted to the people two amendments to the Constitution, one removing from that document the declaration that there should be no liquor licenses granted in the State, and placing the whole matter in the hands of the Legislature, and the other totally forbidding the making or selling of intoxicating liquor to be used as a beverage.245
The temperance women of Ohio went to work to persuade the voters to support this Second Amendment. The State headquarters of the union were in Cleveland, with Mary A. Woodbridge in charge. The local union worked with earnestness in assistance, under the guiding spirit of F. Jennie Duty, one of the early "crusaders," and a foremost spirit in the founding and management of the Friendly Inns.
The campaign was conducted with the earnestness and
effective vigor that was an object lesson to politicians of the other sex and of more extended political experience. Mass meetings were held in the Tabernacle every Sabbath evening. Services were held in the churches on Sabbath mornings and week-day evenings, at which the Second Amendment was reached about the prayed over. Out-door meeting were held again and again. "Second Amendment" wagons were sent about the streets to attract attention to these gatherings; the "Second Amendment Herald" was founded, and its circulation reached many thousands. Active organizations were formed in every ward, women were pledged to work all day at the polls; pamphlets, circulars, and tracts were prepared and sent out, by hundreds of thousands.246 The services of a great many men in sympathy with the movement were enlisted, and an advisory committee was formed, consisting of the following well-known gentlemen: Joseph Perkins, J. D. Rockefeller, E. C. Pope, W. H. Doan, J. B. Meriam, Edward S. Meyer and Alva Bradley. Mr. Perkins and Mr. Rockefeller gave not only of their time and advice, but also quite largely of their money, to aid a cause in which both took such personal interest.
Election day arrived, and the great question was put to the decisive test of the ballot box. The excitement and labor in Cleveland were duplicated in all parts of the State. "In thirteen wards in this city," writes Miss
Duty, in the account heretofore referred to, "the women were at the polls on election day. They had rented stores, or obtained rooms in houses opposite or very near the polling places, and fitted them up for W.C.T.U. headquarters. These were decorated , in a womanly fashion, with banners, mottoes, flags and flowers. This was accomplished the day before election, and at six o’clock the next morning the women were at the polling places. In a few wards they did not go out upon the sidewalk, but remained within their headquarters, served lunches to the workers, and talked with those who came to them."
So far as practical results were concerned, this earliest labor went for naught. Both amendments were lost, the vote in the State standing as follows: Whole number of votes cast in the State, 721,310; for the First Amendment, 99,849; for the Second, 323,189. The whole number of votes cast in Cuyahoga County: 39,514; for the First Amendment, 2,850; for the Second, 12,954.
A great flood in the Cuyahoga Valley, accompanied by fire, was also among the events of importance in 1883. Heavy rains in early February had swollen the river to many times its usual size, and a rise of ten feet in near twice that many hours caught many unawares, and almost at one sweep lumber, to the value of three hundred thousand dollars, was swept out into the lake. Damage was done all over the Flats, bridges carried away, railroad embankments washed out, vessels wrecked, and, finally, damage by fire. A tank of five thousand barrels of oil blew up in the Great Western Oil Works, and the burning oil spread over the rushing waters. Next below were the paraffine woks of Meriam & Morgan, which were set on fire by the burning oil; and the destruction of the immense works of the Standard Oil Company seemed imminent. Some of the outworks were burned, and only a culvert that had become gorged with lumber saved the many acres of stills and buildings from entire destruction. It was a scene that will never be forgotten, by the thousands who gazed upon it—the valley under water.
and the whole expanse lighted up by the burning of acres of oil spread out upon the waters. The loss, from flood and fire, reached nearly three quarters of a million dollars.
A still greater and more dangerous conflagration upon the Flats, and one that for a time threatened the destruction of the business portion of the city, occurred in the year following, on the evening of Sunday, September 7, 1884. The fire, which was believed to have been the work of incendiaries, commenced in the lumber yards of Woods, Perry & Company. The great piles of lumber all about were in a blaze in a moment, and although the firemen were upon the ground at the earliest possible moment, the conflagration was beyond their control. Almost in an instant, acres and acres, upon the south side of the river, covered with lumber and planing mills, were in one huge blaze. The flames swept down upon the docks, across the river to a lard refinery, and seemed determined to sweep straight across to Superior street, and destroy all that great business section. By this time, the entire city department had been pressed into service; dispatches asking for aid had been sent to Akron, Toledo, Painesville, Youngstown and other neighboring cities, and by eleven o’clock nine steamers had been rushed in by train and were at work. The local militia were ordered under arms, to protect property, and give their service, if the need should arise. Anxious thousands lined the hillsides, all about the valley. It was well toward Monday morning before the heroic efforts of the firemen were crowned with success, and the fire was under control. The losses in this great conflagration amounted to $801,250.
It was, also, in 1884, on January 5th, that Cleveland’s second venture in modern theatres, the Park Theatre, suffered almost total destruction by fire. A very attractive structure had been erected on the north side of the Public Square, during the summer preceding, by Henry Wick, and successfully opened on October 22nd, under the
Management of A. F. Hartz. On the date above mentioned, an explosion of gas set the whole interior on fire, and in a few minutes nothing was left but the outside walls. It was fortunately in the forenoon, so that there was no loss of life. The First Presbyterian Church, adjoining it, was also damaged, to the extent of twenty thousand dollars. The theatre was rebuilt in 1885.247
Still another change in the courts having direct jurisdiction in Cuyahoga County was made in the fall of 1884, in obedience to an amendment to the State Constitution. The election for judges of the newly-established Circuit Court occurred in the fall of the year named, the first sitting occurring in February, 1885. This court succeeded the District Court, which had gone out of existence. The first judges elected for the Sixth Judicial District, having jurisdiction in the counties of Cuyahoga, Summit, Lorain, Huron, Medina, Erie, Sandusky, Ottawa, and Lucas, wee William H. Upson, Charles C. Baldwin and George R. Haynes. The circuit was so changed, in 1888, as to comprise only the counties of Cuyahoga, Lorain, Summit and Medina. As this placed Judge Haynes in
another circuit, Hugh J. Caldwell was elected as his successor. The work assigned this court was the reviewing of the action in the lower courts, in such cases as were carried up on appeal, or otherwise.
An incident connected with the legal profession of Cleveland occurred in 1885, illustrative of the fact that the modern woman—not then classified as the "new" woman—was invading, as never before, the professions previously followed exclusively by the men. This was the appearance of the first woman lawyer in Cleveland. Mary P. Spargo, who had been born in this city, and was educated in its schools determined to fit herself for the practice of the profession, and accordingly, in 1882, entered the office of Morrow & Morrow, as a student. In 1885, she was admitted to practice by the Ohio Supreme Court—having been previously refused an appointment as notary public, on the ground that the constitution would not permit it—and opened an office in Cleveland. Of her success in the early days of the venture it has been said: "It was Miss Spargo’s intent and expectation that her clientage would be among her own sex. But while her practice is, and has been, largely among women, yet it has been by no means confined to them; neither has it confined itself to a round of clerical or subordinate duties. It may be said, with entire justification, that in the four years of her practice, she has managed, and settled, as great a variety of cases as usually falls to the lot of any young attorney."
Still following the records of the courts, we find a law passed by the State Legislature, in 1886, which quite materially affected the interests of that humble, but very useful, portion of the judiciary, the justices of the peace. It was decreed that in place of fees, upon which these officials had subsisted from time immemorial, salaries should be paid—eighteen hundred dollars per annum for the justice, six hundred for clerk hire, three hundred for office rent. All fees, etc., were to be paid into the city treasury.
An entertaining chapter could be written upon the justice courts of Cleveland, that had their origin back in those early days of the township, of which we have already written, when James Kingsbury first sat upon this bench of the court of first resort; where he was soon joined by Rodolphus Edwards, Timothy Doan, and other pioneers, who knew more about farming and woodcraft than they did of law.248 Ashbel W. Walworth was five times elected to the office. Harvey Rice donned the cloak of office only two years after reaching Cleveland. From 1826 to 1840, we find these familiar names upon the list: E. Waterman, Varnum Card, Job Doan, Samuel Underhill, Gerdon Fitch, Andrew Cozad, A. D. Smith, Porter Wells, and George Hoadly—of whose valuable labors in this office some mention has already been made. A little later came I. F. Benedict, John Day, John Garner, and John Barr—who served three terms, was a noted writer upon the early history of Cleveland, and served in other offices with credit to himself, and to the satisfaction of the people. Later justices, before the period of the Civil War, were M. Barnett, Edward Hessenmueller, Isaac Sherman, Charles L. Fish, James D. Cleveland, George W. Lynde, George B. Tibbetts, Erastus Smith, Almon Burgess, John Philpott, George H. Benham, Haney Chapman, Isaac D. Vail, John R. Fitzgerald, Madison Miller, Wells Porter, and Samuel Foljambe. A full list of the incumbents in these later years, and this large city, can hardly be given, but among the best known may be mentioned George Hester, George A. Kolbe, George Arnold, Edgar Sowers, Homer Strong, David L. Wood, John P. Green (the first colored justice of the city); Charles H. Babcock, Felix Nicola, E. R. Griswold, E. H. Bohm, and Levi F. Bauder. Of the record made by these courts, and of the character of the justices themselves, it has been well said by one
competent to judge: "Of the majority of the men who, in Cuyahoga County, have sat upon this lesser bench, there is no reason to feel otherwise than proud. They have, with few exceptions, administered the duties of their office with discretion and ability. Many of them have filled other positions of trust with fidelity and signal integrity. All of them have been the people’s choice, and the people have rarely erred."249
An event of importance to Cleveland was the passage, on May 19, 1886, of a law for the creation of a board of elections, and the organization of that board, on June 5th. The following gentlemen were the first members: James Barnett, President; William W. Armstrong, J. H. Schneider, and Herman Weber. William J. Gleason was elected Secretary.250 The board was created for the purpose of carrying out, in this section, the provisions of the ballot laws of Ohio. These laws placed the control of all caucuses and elections under State supervision, and in a large measure eliminated the abuses which had crept into the conduct of elections. The board has charge of all elections in Cleveland, and in Cuyahoga County. There are at present 174 voting precincts in the city and 31 in the townships. There are 1,230 election
Officers in the city and townships. The total expenses of the board in 1895, were $48,987.31, but, in view of results, the people seem satisfied that even this large sum was not a losing investment.
The early days of 1887 witnessed the beginning of a series of events, connected with the criminal history of Cleveland, that attracted widespread attention, and were attended by results of a tragical nature. On the night of January 29th, burglars entered the fur store of Benedict & Reudy, and carried away goods to the value of several thousand dollars. The city police were enabled to trace the stolen property to the town of Bedford, and from thence to Allegheny City, Pa. The police of the city last named discovered and arrested one of the robbers, Harry McMun, or James Kennedy, and notified Cleveland of that fact. They were not able to find the good, which disappeared, and have never been heard from since.
On February 3rd, Capt. Henry Hoehn, of the Cleveland force, went to Allegheny after the prisoner. He was to have been accompanied by Detective Jacob J. Lohrer, who had obtained the necessary requisition papers; but at the last moment Lohrer was detained, because of another case in Cleveland, and Detective William H. Hulligan was sent in his stead.
The officers left Allegheny City for home, on the midnight train of February 5th, with the prisoner in their custody. At three o’clock in the morning, while the train was standing at the station in Ravenna, O., they were attacked suddenly by three armed men, who shot Captain Hoehn in the leg and arm, and struck Detective Hulligan with an iron coupling-pin, fracturing his skull. The brave Hoehn fought desperately, but was finally overcome, while the unconscious Hulligan was dragged outside the car, his keys taken from him, and the bracelets that bound him to the prisoner unlocked. The prisoner and his rescuers disappeared in the darkness.
The wounded officers were brought to Cleveland, Hal-
ligan died on February 8th, while Hoehn eventually recovered.251
The Cleveland police worked, as never before, for the apprehension of the ruffians who had made this murderous assault upon two of their number. Rewards were offered by the City of Cleveland, the county of Cuyahoga, the township of Ravenna, and the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railway Company. On Jun 27th, three men, John Coughlin James Robinson, and Charles Morgan—better known as "Blinky" Morgan—were arrested by Sheriff Lynch , of Alpena, Mich., after a desperate struggle, in which the sheriff received a shot in the leg, from which he afterward died. All three were identified by Captain Hoehn, as belonging to the assaulting party. They were brought to Cleveland on July 1st, and taken to Ravenna for trial. On November 2nd, Morgan was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to be hanged, which sentence was carried into execution in Columbus, at the Penitentiary, in the following March.252
Coughlin and Robinson were also tried and found guilty, but a new trial was granted, and as the evidence was not considered sufficient for further steps both were set free.
The Cleveland Board of Industry and Improvement, must be counted among the active forces which have been at work, in recent years, to keep Cleveland up to the level of her great opportunities. In 1887, the so-called "Federal plan," for the bettering of Cleveland’s form of municipal government, was under serious consideration, and several meetings in support thereof were held in the rooms of the Board of Trade. Out of this grew a proposal to form a Committee of One Hundred, composed of business men eminent in commercial, manufacturing and mercantile pursuits, who should discuss, investigate and aid all possible measures advanced for the city’s general good. An organization was accordingly formed under the above name, the first officer of which were as follows: President, James Barnett; Vice-President, Thomas Axworthy; Secretary, X. X. Crum; Treasurer, Charles H. Bulkley. Work of an effective character was commenced, and much was done and published showing the outside word what Cleveland had to offer to money, industry, or inventive genius seeking a location. The summary of plan and purpose has been thus tersely stated.253 "Other places were offering inducements of all kinds, to gain new enterprises, and the call for an organization here to take up similar work met with a ready response. A systematic plan of action was outlined, and correspondence taken up with the promoters of various new enterprises, as well as concerns already in operation that were looking to enlargement of their operations, through more advantageous locations. The new body accomplished a great deal in this way." The eventual merging of its work into a greater organization, the Chamber of Commerce, will be noted at a later point.
Engineering skill and a wise use of the public money again demonstrated to the world, in 1888,--as down by Superior street it had been shown a decade previous,--that Cleveland could secure all the advantages to be derived from the Cuyahoga Valley and, at the same time, be relieved from the necessity of descending into it, in order to cross from one section of the city to the other. The East Side and the West Side had been united by a great viaduct, and steps were not long after taken to connect the important and growing South Side with them both. On March 3, 1879, James M. Curtiss, who represented the section last named in the City Council, introduced a resolution directing the city engineer to "report the most feasible plan of improving the communication between the South Side and the central part of the city." This resolution was adopted, but little or nothing seems to have been done about it at the time, as the city had not yet been fully persuaded that the stone bridge at Superior street was a paying investment.
It was generally agreed, after a time, that the new line of elevated communication was a necessity, and steps were taken to make Mr. Curtiss’s suggestion effective. In 1883, a resolution was passed by the City Council, directing that the question of an "Elevated roadway" should be submitted to popular vote, at the spring election. It was carried, by a majority of some six hundred. A little later, the City Council recommended the passage of a law appropriating one million dollars for the purpose of carrying this verdict into effect. Such law was passed with little trouble, and the matter than lay quiet, with the exception of discussion as to routes, until July, 1885, when the City Council declared in favor of the construction of a bridge from near the junction of Ohio street with Hill street on the East Side, to Jennings avenue on the South Side, the same to be carried in a straight line. An ordinance embodying this decision was passed on December 14, 1885, contracts were let, and the work commenced early in 1886. Ground for the Abbey Street Viaduct was
Broken on April 26th, and for the main, or Central, on May 5th. On December 11, 1888, the great new structure, that hung so lightly and gracefully across the wide valley, and so far above the Cuyahoga River, was publicly opened and dedicated to the public use A long procession of militia and other troops escorted carriages filled with city officials and prominent citizens across the structure, moving by way of three viaducts in the order names, Superior, Abbey, and the Central. When Jennings avenue was reached, the soldiers were drawn up in line, and at the very entrance of the Central bridge the procession halted, and Zenas King, president of the King Iron Bridge & Manufacturing Company, in behalf of himself and the other contractors engaged in the construction of the work, made a formal speech, transferring to Mayor B. D. Babcock the completed structure. When Mr. King had completed his remarks, the mayor said: "Citizens of Cleveland, in behalf of two hundred and fifty thousand people, I accept this bridge and dedicate it to the use of the people."
The procession then moved over to the City Hall, and passed in review before the mayor, and other officials and guests. In the evening, the event was further commemorated, by a grand banquet at the Hollenden House, where fully one hundred and twenty-five of the most prominent men of the city sat down. Mayor B. D. Babcock presided, and addresses, in response to appropriate toasts, were made by Walter P. Rice, city engineer; F. C. McMillan; Mayor Blake, of Canton; M. M. Hobart, James M. Curtiss, W. R. Rose, H. M. Claflen, W. E. Sherwood, John Eisenmann, C. G. Force, and B. F. Morse. The following figures as to this great structure, may be of interest in this connection: Cost, $675,574; length of the floor of the Cuyahoga portion, 2,838 feet; height above city base of levels at river, 99 feet 2 inches; above river at ordinary stages, 101 feet; height above Nickel Plate railroad tracks, 33 feet; length of draw span, 239 feet; width of roadway, 40 feet; sidewalks, 8 feet; Walworth Run por-
tion, 1,092 feet long; height above city base of levels, 105 feet 6 inches; width of roadway, 40 feet.
Another event directly connected with municipal Cleveland, but of a far less pleasing character than the opening of this great thoroughfare, occurred in the fall of the same year—1888. This was the defalcation and flight of Thomas Axworthy, city treasurer. The public record of Cleveland has been comparatively so clean, and malfeasance in office so rare, that this occurrence startled the people as few things could have done, the more especially as Mr. Axworthy had been a trusted and honored citizen for years, of the greatest popularity with all classes. He left Cleveland on September 28th, and after he had been absent some days, rumors began to circulate that all was not as it should be, in connection with the city treasury. On October 24th, the startling news was published that the treasurer had become a defaulter, in the sum of a half million dollars, had carried bodily away in his flight two hundred thousand dollars, and had sought refuge in a foreign land. It was shown, later, that he had gone to England, taking with him a portion of the missing funds. Andrew Squire, as attorney for the treasurer’s bondsmen, followed him as soon as possible, and opened negotiations that ended in Axworthy turning over $160,000 and possession of all of his property in this city, for the purpose of making good the city’s loss.
The misappropriated funds belonged to the city in its municipal capacity, and to the Board of Education, the city treasurer acting in the same capacity for the school department. Neither the city nor the board eventually lost anything, except the use of the money while the case was in litigation. The actual shortage was found to be something over $440,000. In addition to the money turned over to Mr. Squire, as above mentioned, Axworthy’s property in Cleveland was found to be good for about $155,000. This left some $125,000, which the treasurer’s bondsmen made good. During his official life as treasurer, he had given some six bonds, with different bonds-
men, and the shortage was divided among them. These gentlemen were Selah Chamberlain, T. P. Handy, James F. Clark, J. H. Wade H. B. Payne, W. J. Gordon and John Tod.
Cleveland has been enriched , at various times, by the magnificent benefactions of her wealthy men, and the deeds of Leonard Case, J. H. Wade, John D. Rockefeller, W. J. Gordon, Amasa Stone, and others have been mentioned, from time to time, in these pages. In 1889, another name was added to this growing list, when John Huntington254 established a permanent fund, to be known as the "John Huntington Benevolent Trust." On March 8th, Mr. Huntington invited a number of gentlemen, among whom were the proposed custodians of this trust, to his residence, where he made a formal statement as to his purpose. As trustees, he had chosen Edwin R. Perkins, John V. Painter, Samuel E. Williamson, Charles W. Bingham, John H. Lowman, Henry C. Ranney, and James D. Cleveland. In their hands he placed the sum of $200,000, the income of which was to be divided among some nineteen public institutions, of a charitable or educational character, by him named.
Yet another donation for public uses was received in 1890, when Horace Kelley, a member of the well-known pioneer family of that name, who was born in the city in 1819, left a bequest of $500,000, for the founding of a national gallery of arts.
Cleveland was the favored witness, in 1889, of a gathering out of which has grown one of the most useful and influential of the younger church organizations of the
world. On May 14th of that year, there gathered in the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, on Willson avenue, representatives from various young people’s societies of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the purpose of taking such steps as might bring them all into closer and more harmonious relations. The result was that these societies were merged into one new organization,--the Epworth League,--the object of which was declared to be the promotion of "intelligent and loyal piety in the young members and friends of the church, to aid them in the attainment of purity of heart and in constant growth in grace, and to train them in works of mercy and help."255
A very important change in Cleveland’s form of municipal government went into effect in the early days of 1891. It was the substitution of the so-called "Federal plan" for the irregular and somewhat disjointed system that had prevailed before. The power that had been scattered among various officials, commissions and boards was concentrated into the hands of two bodies—the legislative or City Council and the executive or Board of Control. The change was the result of much discussion and long-continued agitation, on the part of the people, and
through the public press. So far, the new system seems to have proven itself a great improvement upon the old.
The law256 which authorized this change was passed by the Ohio Legislature, in March, 1891, and elections under its provisions were held in the April following. Condensed into a brief space, it provided as follows: The legislature power and authority to be vested in a council, to consist of twenty members, to be elected by districts, each of whom should serve for two years. All ordinances, resolutions or orders to be submitted to the mayor for approval, and in case of disapproval, the measure could be passed over his veto by a two-thirds vote. A police force, a fire force, and a health department to be established and maintained. The executive power to be lodged in the hands of the mayor and heads of departments here named: A mayor, treasurer, police judge, prosecuting attorney, and clerk of the police court to be chosen by the people at the regular elections. The following departments to be created: Public works, police, fire, accounts, law, and charities and correction. Each was to be in charge of a director, appointed by the mayor, on confirmation by the City Council, for a term ending with that
of the mayor appointing. The mayor to receive a salary of six thousand dollars per annum; the director of law five thousand dollars, and each of the other directors four thousand. Each member of the City Council was to receive five dollars for attendance upon each regular meeting. The mayor and heads of departments to have seats in the Council, with the right to take part in its deliberations, but not to vote. The duties of the mayor and heads of departments were clearly defined. A Board of Control was created, consisting of the mayor and the heads of departments above named, to meet at least twice each week. A supplementary law, passed April 10, 1891, provided that in case of disability or absence of the mayor the duties of his office should devolve upon the heads of departments in the order named: Law, public works, police, fire, accounts, and charities and correction.
The first election under this "Federal plan" occurred in the April succeeding its passage (1891), and resulted in the choice of William G. Rose for mayor. His selections for heads of departments were as follows: Law, Edward S. Mayer; public works, R. R. Herrick; fire service, George W. Gardner;257 police, John W. Gibbons; accounts, F. C. Bangs; charities and correction, David Morison. William W. Armstrong was elected city treasurer, Howard H. Burgess, city clerk; C. A. Davidson became president of the City Council, Albert Straus, vice-president; and the members of that body were as follows: E. E. Beeman, B. W. Jackson, P. J. McKenney, P. C. O’Brien, J. C. Farnfield, J. K. Bole, C. A. Davidson, A. J. Michael, Albert Straus, Walter I. Thompson, D. O Caswell, E. C. Angell, John Skyrm, M. J. Herbert, Michael Riley, M. C. Malloy, John Wilhelm, W. A. Spilker, Jos. J. Ptak, and Fred M Glessen.
The Western Reserve Historical Society took a new
lease of life, and gave renewed pledges for permanent usefulness by its reorganization and incorporation, in 1892. As has been previously shown, it was first organized as a branch of the Cleveland Library Association (now Case Library), under amendments to the constitution of that association, which permitted such branches to be formed. In the year above named it was thought best that the Historical ‘society should be organized with a separate charter, and such step was accordingly taken in March, 1892. The incorporators were Henry C. Ranney, D. W. Manchester, Amos Townsend, William Bingham, Charles C. Baldwin, David C. Baldwin, Percy W. Rice, James D. Cleveland, and A. T. Brewer.258 It was declared that the purpose for which the corporation had been formed was not for profit, but to "Discover, collect and preserve whatever relates to the history, biography, genealogy and antiquities of Ohio and the West, and of the people dwelling therein, including the physical history and condition of the State; to maintain a museum and library, and to extend knowledge upon the subjects mentioned by literary meetings, by publications, and by other proper means."
A movement was set on foot for the raising of funds, with which to purchase for the society the building formerly occupied by the Society for Savings, on the Public Square, of which the Historical Society was for years a tenant. So earnest was the work of those in charge, and so generous the response, that in April, 1892, the transfer was made, for the sum of $40,000, and the organization found itself in an adequate and well-located home of its own. Its range of usefulness has continually widened, and new accessions are being made constantly to its store-house of treasures. In the latter part of 1895, and in the early days of 1896, the exigencies of the occasion seemed to make it the part of wisdom to seek a new home. Steps were accordingly taken looking toward the
sale of the society’s property on the Public Square for the use of the proposed Chamber of Commerce building, and the finding of a new home in East Cleveland, in the vicinity of Wade Park.
It would be difficult to name an institution within the limits of Cleveland that deserves a more generous support than the Western Reserve Historical Society. Its usefulness is apparent. A summary of its treasures has recently been made by a gentleman259 whose enthusiasm is begotten of knowledge, and whom I am permitted to quote here: "In cooperation with the managers of Case Library, the Western Reserve Historical Society has collected books and pamphlets along many special lines, which cannot now be duplicated in the other libraries It already has about 10,000 bound volumes of newspapers, in which both the local and general history of the country is kept within reach of historians and investigators. Its collection of maps also, numbering more than 1,000, is not be to excelled anywhere in the West. Many of these are of the townships of the Western Reserve, made by the original surveyors, and which cannot be duplicated. These are often of untold value to attorneys in settling early titles to land. The Society has also a large collection of autographs of early statesmen, while its collection of genealogical literature is one of the largest in the country. This is consulted constantly, by an increasing circle of patrons desirous of knowing their early family history. The museum proper is of the very greatest interest and value. To it belong the last memorials of President Garfield. On its walls are preserved a large number of portraits of the pioneers and most distinguished men of Cleveland, and of the Western Reserve. To it belongs Colonel Whittlesey’s remarkable collection of relics of the early copper miners in the Lake Superior region, together with various large collections of
stone and flint implements from Ohio and other parts of the world, which money could not purchase. Among them is a unique collection of paleolithic implements, from Europe, and Trenton, N. J., including the celebrated Newcomerstown paleolith, presented by Mr. Mills. A good authority has estimated that $1,000,000 would not gather so valuable a collection and library as that which is now owned by the society, while much of it is of material which could not be duplicated."
The society has also gathered, from various sources, the publications of the United States Government, to the number of thirty-three thousand volumes. It has recently been made a United States depository, and will hereafter regularly receive all such publications.260