General History

Index of General History



After the Civil War many interesting men and women came to East Rockport, contributing much to the growing settlement. It was still a country community, however, with many beautiful farms, and was rapidly becoming a center for raising of berries, grapes, cherries, plums, peaches, pears, and apples.

EDWIN RUTHEN ANDREWS at the age of 17, volunteered for service in the Civil War from the state of Wisconsin. Soon after war, soon after the war he came to East Rockport, where he married Jeanie V. Harron, the niece of Mrs. French and the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Collins French. Mr. Andrews was a partner of Mr. Collins French in the successful raising of fruits and fancy grapes. In the days of the dummy train, small armies of pickers used to come from Cleveland to pick all kinds of fruit on Mr. Andrews' farm. According to published statistics, Detroit Avenue farmers at one time sent $50,000 worth of fruit to Cleveland markets alone. Dr. Kirtland budded many of the choice cherry trees on the Andrews' farm from stock, which he had developed. He also budded a tree which bore part fruit part beautiful rose - like blossoms. Mrs. Andrews was a great favorite of his, and he gave her many rare plants from all over the world. At the death of Mr. and Mrs. French, Mrs. Andrews inherited their estate. The homestead still stands just west of the Masonic temple and Mrs. Andrews lived there the rest of her life. Mr. Andrews died at the age of thirty - nine years. Jay C. Andrews was the oldest so of Edwin and Jennie Andrews. He lived his entire life in Lakewood. He remembered the tight rope walker across Rocky River Valley and the brass band that used to lure the crowd to the spot. He could talk for hours on the early days of East Rockport. Frank Andrews, the second son, was an authority on plant and bird life. He had a remarkable collection of eggs of native's birds. George Andrews the third son, is a builder and the youngest son Edwin Jr., is an attorney. The widow of Jay Andrews still is an attorney. The widow of Jay C. Andrews still lives in the same home.

SAMUEL JORAM JESSOP of Connecticut and his wife, Mary miner of New York, came to East Rockport in 1867, building their home on Hilliard Road exactly in the middle of what is now Mars Avenue. The house now stands across the street from the original location. Mr. Jessop had a fine position in Cleveland as the superintendent of a nail factory, but had to give it up when his health failed. He died soon after, and his wife and three sons had to struggle for existence. Mr. Jessop had a great - uncle who was credited with having originated the name of "Uncle Sam" for our country.

ANDREW FARMER came to East Rockport in 1867 as Farm manager for Dr. Kirtland. He had some colored blood, but was always a freeman. His wife was a descendant of Pocahontas, and her Indian name was "Bouchee". The white blood dominated in the father, but all three children had the decided characteristics of the Indian, especially the features and the coloring. Mrs., Farmer had been a Virginian slave, but was later freed. The son, John Farmer, served in the Civil War. Life was difficult for the two daughters, Sarah and Susan, after their brother died. They lived for years on Winchester Avenue.

FRED A. BYER and his wife, Julia Koch, came from Germany to East Rockport in 1868, and rented the McCreary farm. They had several children. Mr. Byer told of flights of wild pigeons, so great that at times the sky was dark with them. Flying in a northerly direction, the flock extended east and west as far as the eye could see. They flew so high it was difficult to shoot them, but they always seem to dip down as they reached a valley, so the hunters stood on the banks of the river or a lake knocking them down with poles. The farmers had many pigeon - pot pies. Mr. William Hague of Pleasant Valley Road recalls that his father told of the great flocks roosting in his woods at night. Naturalist claims they are now extinct.

WILLIAM RANNEY was one of the sons of Cleveland's pioneer shoe merchant, S. Ranney. All the settlers traded at the S. Ranney store on Superior Street. For his son, William, Mr. Ranney bought twenty - five acres of land now crossed by Winchester Avenue. William Ranney married Nellie Winchester, one of the handsomest and wittiest young women of the time. When the estate was divided into lots, Mrs. Ranney gave the name of her father to the street that bordered the property.

ALEXANDER ALLEN came to East Rockport in 1875. He was one the two men chosen to select a name for the hamlet when the city of Lakewood was named.

THOMAS HENRY with his wife, Matilda Hopkins, came to east Rockport in 1876, buying "Ingleside Cottage Tavern" which they remodeled. When the tavern was opened, Mr. Henry named it the Hopkins Tavern, as a tribute to his wife's family Their son, Thomas was a councilman for many years.

RICHARD EDWARDS spent nearly all of his youth in East Rockport with his grandfather, Dr. Fry. In 1818, he was graduated from Harvard with special honors in physics. Previous to his departure to New York in 1887, he was court reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer for a year, and then was with a local office of the Associated Press. He spent fourteen years in New York in newspaper work, first as court reporter, then as assistant city editor of the New York Sun. Two of his sons, Louis Durant Edwards and Mellville R. Edwards, reside in Lakewood. Mr. Edwards has written many articles about pioneer Lakewood families which have been printed in local papers.

BYRON C. HARRIS and his brother, BROM, came to East Rockport in 1883, building homes on the opposite corners of the Lake and Nicholson Avenues. Emily Chidget Harris, the first wife of Byron, was the founder of the Cleveland Dorcas Society and a member of the "Immortal Nine", the sanitary commission organized during the Civil War for the relief of the soldiers at the front. In recognition of this service, there is a bronze bas-relief on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Cleveland's Public Square.

WILLIAM B. PUDNEY was an attorney for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. His wife was one the first teachers in East Rockport.

CLAYTON L. TYLER was born in Ohio and married Ella Poe, daughter of Adam Poe, who settled in Brooklyn in 1842. Mr. and Mrs. Tyler came to East Rockport just a few years before the hamlet of Lakewood was formed. Their farm was formerly the Captain John Spalding place at Detroit and Alameda Avenues. Mr. Tyler immediately became interested in the business, civic, and social life of the community and was second mayor of the new hamlet of Lakewood. Under his supervision many improvement were made, including a water system, sewer, electric lights, and a better boulevard system. Clayton W. Tyler is the only son of Clayton L. and Ellen Poe Tyler. He was born in Lakewood where he has spent his entire life. He recalls not only the events of his own youth, but tales told to him by old settlers. He was elected third mayor of the City of Lakewood. His two sisters, Miss Estelle Tyler and Mrs. Harry Barr, are also residents of Lakewood. He has always endorsed and encouraged every movement of for the betterment of the city.

CAPTAIN EDWARD DAY and his family were noted for their fine hospitality. They were located on Hilliard Road about 1880.

WILLIAM BAILEY and his wife came to Oberlin from Massachusetts. After the death of his wife Julia Wood and moved to East Rockport. He bought seven acres of land on the north side of Detroit Avenue opposite the present Elbur Avenue. There were eight children: Julia A. Beck, Gertrude Southern, Florence A. Goddard, Bertha L. Bailey, E. H. Bailey, Vera J. Bailey, G. Bailey, and Carl H. Bailey who married Lucille Canfield.

MAURICE WELFARE who was born in London, came to this country as a manager of a famous actor, Richard Mansfield. In 1876, he became manager of the Cleveland Opera House. He started the publication of the Lakewood Courier. His wife Mattie Smith, son of Harry G. Welfare, and daughter Alice Welfare Cotabish (Mrs. J. R.) still reside in Lakewood.

DR. JOHN C. HOBSON was the true type of family doctor, always kindly, always ready to serve the people of Lakewood. This he did for forty years, yet found the time to help in the promotion of civic affairs. He was especially interested in the schools, and served on the old school board for many years. Two of his daughters still residing in the old home are connected with the public schools.

DR. SOOK was a colleague of Dr. Hobson. One of his daughters married Herbert Kennedy, former principal of Lakewood High School, and another married Frank Musrush, former writing supervisor in the Lakewood Public Schools.

HENRY BRUGGAIR was the first druggist in Lakewood. For many years he owned the only drug store between Highland Avenue and Rocky River.

ALEXANDER WINTON, pioneer automobile manufacturer, and the first to sell an automobile resided on Lake Avenue for many years.

GEORGE H. BROWN was the secretary - treasurer of the Winton Automobile Company. (His daughter, Mrs. Earle Hobson, is a member of the Lakewood Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.)

JAMES W. CHRISTFORD was the architect under whose supervision the Lakewood Masonic Temple, the Church of Ascension and St. Peter's Episcopal Church were erected.

THE NEWELL BROTHERS built and sold houses and by this means brought many new families to Lakewood.

JOHN A. MASTICK was the first undertaker.

JAMES GORMSEN built the first lodge hall in Lakewood.

0:2 ROCKPORT: 1820 - 1860


It is impossible for me to name all the noted pioneer families of early Rockport or to detail the history and adventures of each of its 25-mile-square sections. Of the many settlers and their descendants, each deserves a niche in history for Rockport Township is interwoven with Cleveland's Story.

Among those early settlers were Thomas Hird, who married Hope Lord, daughter of Richard Lord, an extensive land owner; Benjamin Coutant; Isaac Warren - Warren Road was named for him; Elijah Herrington, Edmund Hathaway, Richard G. McCreary, Price French, Jeremiah Gleason, Osborne Case, the Rev. Charles Calkins, Obidiah Munn, William Southern and Mars Wagar.

Most of them settled along Detroit Road near the lake from 1820 to 1840. Dr. J. P. Kirtland arrived in 1837. Gov. Rueben Woods moved west of Rocky River in 1830. His was the first place west of Granger City on the lake where for many summers Mrs. Mary Rice Wood, his wife, showed her beautiful garden. In the 20 years following 1840, the Halls, the Phelps brothers, Steven and Walter; William B. Smith, Gardner Oakes, old time fiddler; Palmer Worthen, Mark Tegardine and James T. Newman, a Swedenborgian, took up on East Rockport's stretching flat lands.

In 1860, George B. Merwin, who married Loretta Woods, left his Prospect Avenue home for Gov. Wood's place. Datus Kelley had become a resident and owner of Kelley's Island a decade before and in 1855 Merwin bought his farm west of the Wood home and built a residence long known as "Lakeside." In 1848, Philander Winchester settled east of the river and married Eliza, daughter of Rev. Charles Calkins. Both families were from New England and strong abolitionists. Later, Winchester was a conductor of the underground railway and helped Lewis Clark to escape. This noted quadroon was the original of George Harris in Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin." But the other day I received a note from Winchester's granddaughter, Annette Fitch Nelson, who is broadcasting from Ashtabula, O.

Rocky River's post office in 1852 was moved a mile south. Herman Barnum ran it for a year when Benjamin Phinney, a neighboring storekeeper, succeeded him. On August 17, 1853, came the announcement that Wright's Tavern had been sold to Jacob Henry Silverthorn. Born in Pennsylvania in 1827, he lived at Sandusky and Willoughby. His hotel, Silverthorn's Tavern, was as famous as was that of Wright.

The year 1848 found continuous demands for plank roads throughout northern Ohio. There were repeated complaints of mud, deep bogs and general dangerous conditions for travelers. The Rockport Plank Road Co. was incorporated with George B. Merwin, president and M. L. Whitman, secretary, on March 20, 1848. Demands for plank roads were followed by complaints against dilapidated bridges. On November 22, two stagecoaches capsized on the 21- year - old bridge in Rocky River. Travel was advised to follow the beach and try fording the river's mouth. The structure spanning the gorge was considered unsafe. On Jan. 4, 1849. "This bridge is pronounced unsafe by the county commissioners" was nailed at either end.

Two years later, the end of January saw a new bridge completed under the supervision of Capt. N. M. Stannard. It was of wood, 492 feet long, 42 feet above the water line and its approach were made easy by the new plank road. Many plank roads were finished or well under way in the township that year. Of two-inch planks across one side of the road, thousands of which were sawed by Orville Hotchkiss in Rockport from logs cut in nearby forests, by 1852 the entire post road was planked for 188 miles from Cleveland to Detroit.

John Honam, Stephen Hutchin and Manley Woodbury arrived about that time while James Colohan for some time had dwelt close to the river near deserted Granger City. Gen. J. J. Elwell lived on the north side of Detroit Road in the fifties and near the river dwelt Ahab and Tom Jenks. One was a poet and historian, his brother a woodsman and hunter. From their cabin doors they heard the whistle of the first Big Four Train in 1851.




History says that the first election in the hamlet of Lakewood was held on July 11, 1889. I. E. Canfield, William Maile and Noble Hotchkiss were chosen trustees. Their first official meeting was held on Aug. 31 at the home of Hotchkiss, after they were sworn in by Gen. J. J. Elwell. Canfield was elected president of the board, and practically first mayor of Lakewood. Ezra Nicholson was made clerk; his bond was fixed at $5,000. Charles Townsend was appointed first marshal and gave bond in the sum of $50. Hotchkiss was made road supervisor.

The same evening the trustees passed for ordinances. One regulated the speed of horses and vehicles to eight miles per hour, the others forbid the abuse of dumb animals, regulated saloons, and assessed a tax of $1,000 for general purposes.

There were fights and much rowdyism among visitors to Rocky River bent on a day of old time pleasure, men had driven wagons to the hamlet and carted away whole loads of fruit, and at the next trustees' meeting a week later 11 special police were sworn in.

No salaries were paid these officers but each was requested to pay 50 cents for his badge. No regular meeting was set for the trustees; a third one was held in mid-winter, and the next was called by the president on April 22, 1890. At this it was decided to build a lockup to take the place of the old jail near the "Dummy" terminal. The river was a popular fishing place and many lawless acts required a jail sentence.

The same night Francis M. Wagar was appointed marshall and road supervisor, to fill the vacancies caused by resignations. After serving two months Wagar resigned and on June 30, 1891, John Billington was appointed marshal; his term of office was set for one year. August 2, a sweeping ordinance was enacted against gambling and petty crimes. Its provision that an informer would be entitled to half the fines, savored of old New England "Blue Laws" and the hamlet law was never enforced. Later two steel cages were installed in Frank Penny's barn, for a jail.

The only notable change of officials until 1892 was Charles Shopp's appointment as road supervisor. That year Ira E. Canfield's three-year term as president expired. Born in Chardon, he moved to old Rockport in 1864 and bought 25-acre tract at the eastern end of the post office village. A lake engineer for many seasons, he retired from Lakewood civic work in 1892 and became president of its school board.

He was succeeded on the hamlet board of trustees by Clayton L. Tyler, who was president from then on to 1897. In 1893 Cleveland's railway company secured a 25- year franchise to build a line on Detroit Street through the hamlet from Highland Avenue to Rocky River. The railway was constructed as far as Belle Avenue that year. One fare was charged to the avenue. Completed the next summer, another, fare was required to the river.

Some of Lakewood's new officials during Tyler's terms were William F. Closse, L. Johnson, C. Worthing, C. A. Willard, William Prutton, with N. B. Dare as engineer. In 1896 a municipal light plant was proposed. John French was a leader in bringing the proposal to a successful conclusion. The plant was built and did good service for several years, when it was purchased by the Illuminating Co.

In 1898 a move was started to cut through Clifton Boulevard, and it was graded through farms, vineyards and truck gardens. Clifton Park had now many curving drives and streets, Scenic Park was a popular recreation place south of Detroit Street with its two-fifths-mile bicycle track. A steel bridge had been constructed across the river at the same level and place as the present Rocky River Bridge. For a long time the old wooden structure 300 feet up the river had been another place to cross.

The post office department established free service and a sewer system was an improvement of the hamlet. Otto C. Berchtold, Jacob H. Tegardine and Joseph J. Rowe were successive presidents, N. W. Hird, Samuel B. McGee, Henry D. Howe, W. R. Wilbur, Lewis Smith, Alex McCauley, Prof. Henry W. Elliott, J.C. Hoffman, N.C. Cotabish, ALex Horn, L.R. Smith and Harry Culp were new officials or appointed on commissions as the years rolled on.

May 4, 1903, the hamlet of 2,500 inhabitants, after 14 years of existence without any regular city hall, organized into the Village of Lakewood.



The regular monthly meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held in its large hall on Tuesday evening last and every available chair was occupied. President Brewster presided and spoke of the wonderful success of the membership drive and reported the 1,000 membership mark was nearing its goal.

* * *

Judge Vickery addressed the Chamber on a matter that he had been requested to bring before the Chamber and which is of vital interest to every citizen of Lakewood and should have the encouragement and cooperation of every right thinking man and woman in the community. Judge Vickery then read the following communication:

Lakewood, Ohio, March 4, 1918

Judge Willis Vickery, Engineers' Building, Cleveland, Ohio.

Dear Sir:

We believe that the people of Lakewood, as a whole, should be interested in any movement that tends to make good citizens, so we are asking you to present this letter to the Chamber of Commerce as a means of reaching as large a number of people as possible in the interest of our foreign district.

Many people know little or nothing of the district lying in the southeast corner of the city, whose population is almost entirely foreign-born. Few know that there are 5,000 of them within a radius of half a square mile. Naturally, living in so small a section populated by their own people, the process of Americanization goes on slowly or not at all.

It is hard to reach the older ones but much can be done through and for the children. The public schools are doing wonderful work but they can not do it all.

Let us tell you a very little of what has been done. Two years ago this month at a meeting of the District Committee of the Associated Charities, Lakewood branch, a plea was made for the girls of this district. There seemed to be no place for them to spend their evenings except in the dance halls or on the streets. A small committee of three women and two men, with Mr. John H. Brown as chairman, was appointed to see what would be done for these girls.

This was out of the Associated Charities' line of work so they could not finance it and the committee undertook to raise the necessary money by private subscriptions. We managed to get it by much hard work. Through the good offices of Mr. Lynch, the Board of Education kindly gave us the use of a basement room in Harrison school, with heat, lights and janitor service. We hired a piano as we knew music was essential.

At first our idea was solely a club for girls over sixteen, one evening a week. This club met on Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 and sewed, making simple undergarments for themselves. The last half hour of the evening was devoted to games and music.

Almost at once the demand for a club for girls under sixteen became so insistent that we gave them Monday evenings on the same lines as the older girl's club.

We three women carried on the work in these two clubs for ten weeks until the school building closed for the summer.

In the fall of 1916, we collected more money and board of education gave us the upper floor of a house on the school grounds, the lower floor being used for school purposes. We bought a piano (second - hand), table and curtains, chairs being loaned by the school. Miss Ingham sent us books from the Library for circulation and once a month one of her assistants came to tell the girls stories.

We felt that we were much too inexperienced in the work to direct it for the winter so we hired a trained worker to help us.

The Girls clubs were carried on much as they had been in the spring.

A club for boys over fourteen was organized under the leadership of Mr. Bask. Later, owing to Mr. Bask's illness, Mr. Dixon had charge. This club had a membership of thirty-five. Nothing was attempted except to provide clean amusements such as our American boys have in their homes. Music, games, books, magazines and little talks about current topics.

This year the Board of Education helped out by giving us the services of a domestic science teacher, who has a flourishing class.

Miss Gross has been hired as general supervisor for the clubs.

Nothing has been done for the boys because we could not find a leader.

Owing to the resignation of one member and the death of Mr. Brown, the burden has fallen upon three.

We feel that this is very necessary work and should go on and grow. It is natural for this work to center around the school and we feel sure that the Board of Education will cooperate with us as far as possible. We believe that Harrison School should be open at least four nights a week for activities of various kinds, under proper supervision. There should be community singing, talks on current events should be arranged for the different clubs; the cooking class should be enlarged and other activities should be planned.

All this is more than three people can do, so we are asking you to help. This is a suggestion. Will you appoint a committee to meet with us and talk over the ways and means of carrying on this work next year.

It seems that this is quite within the province of the Chamber for these boys and girls will soon be men and women, and if we give them a start along the right road now they will become better citizens for a better "Lakewood", which is, we believe, the aim of the Chamber of Commerce.

Thanking you for your kindness in listening to us, we beg to remain,

Respectfully yours,

Edith M. Peck,

Vera J. Bailey,

Rachel D. Foyer.

A resolution was then unanimously carried to appoint a committee of three from the Chamber to cooperate with the women carrying on this grand and noble work and assist them in every possible manner.



Community consciousness first expressed itself in the request for a separate post office for the people living between Brooklyn Township (now Cleveland's West Side) and Rocky River.

Since 1827 a post office serving the whole of Rockport Township had been located either at the mouth of Rocky River or a mile and a half above over "Hog Back Hill", depending upon the location of the stage coach route. At various times the post office was run by a Mr. Goodwin, believed to have been the very first postmaster, by tavern keeper Rufus Wright, By B.F. Phinney, a storekeeper, and last by the manager of the old Cliff House, located on the east side of the river at the bridge approach.

The exact date on which the post-office department decided to create a new postal district has been lost. However, Lucius Dean fitted out some mailboxes in his store near Warren and Detroit Roads, and was named the first postmaster. In order to distinguish it from the rest of Rockport, the new district was designated East Rockport.

It was only a step farther for the citizens of East Rockport to knit themselves closer together by creating their own schools. On January 13, 1871, an election was announced for January 28, two weeks later, for the purpose of joining subdistricts 6, 8 and 10 (located in East Rockport) into one separate school district.

"Those in favor of said separate school district should vote "School", and those opposed should vote "No School", read the instructions to electors. The counting of ballots did not take very long. In the language of the clerk: "Twenty-seven ballots were cast and on counting, all said ballots were found to be found for "School".

There were only three members on the first board of education. It was elected March 2, 1871, and its members were Alfred Elwell, Richard Foy and C.G. Calkins.

East Rockport parents earnestly desired their children to have enough learning, but were equally determined they should not get too much. Probably they feared the children would get fancy notions in their heads. Among the rules promulgated by the board at one of its first meetings was this:

"Resolved, that in addition to Reading, Spelling and Writing, no scholar shall be required to study more than two of the following studies: viz., Geography, Arithmetic and Grammar."

There were three one-room schools. East School, located on the site of Garfield School at Detroit and Grace Avenue, was taught by Miss Juliette Comstock; Middle School, located on Warren Road where the Board of Education stands, was taught by Miss E.C. Preston; and West School, now the site of McKinley School on West Clifton Boulevard, was taught by Miss Bessie Brown.

The number of pupils was reported to have been 215, which seems like a good many for only three teachers in three one-room buildings. Especially since the teachers were paid only $35 a month.

At the end of the school year of 1879, on May 8 to be exact, the board of education with the typical pioneer frugality, voted to replace Middle School with a two-room brick building. Between then and June 5, something happened (possibly a school census) which changed their minds. The board of education voted to make it a four-room school and hire a superintendent at the magnificent salary of $900 a year.

The building was built that summer and opened for classes in the fall with its name changed to East Rockport Central School.

The first superintendent was S.H. Harriman, and in addition, he was required to teach the upper grades.



There are a number of parks and gardens in the suburbs of Cleveland, one of the most extensive having been a donation to the city by Mr. Wade, one of her millionaires. The favorite drive, however, next to the avenue, is across the Cuyahoga and seven miles westward to Rocky River, which flows into the lake through a narrow gorge between perpendicular cliffs which project themselves boldly into the lake. Here a park has been laid out, and all that art can do has done to the natural beauties of the place. From this point a distant view of the city may be obtained, its spires pointing to the sky out of the billow of green. To the west is Black River Point, with its rocky promontories, and on the north stretches out an unbroken expanse of water with here and there the long black trail of a steamer floating in the air, its wake like a white line upon the water; or white specks of sails dotting the horizon. The coast between Cleveland and Rocky River is high and precipitous, the emerging streams rushing into the lake by means of rapids and waterfalls. On this inhospitable coast, which affords no landing for even a small boat, more than one frail bark came to grief in the early days of the white man's possession of the land, and nearly all its living freight a watery grave.



What was East Rockport and the clustering homes, lake hotels and picnic grounds called Rocky River that stretched from old Highland Road along the lake to the river gorge? Once those names were familiar to Cleveland residents - picnickers and those seeking a country holiday. If those centers had any local government or were ever organized as hamlets or villages with their own town halls and officials, all records have disappeared.

But they had boundaries. Crossing the township lines at Detroit Road, at present Highland Avenue N.W., you were in East Rockport. Continuing a mile - and -a - half and you found a post office and homes opposite an ancient cemetery. Onward a half- mile a lane led northward to the lake where Hiram Barrett was to open Summit Avenue. That was the western limit of East Rockport. Many regarded its territory as reaching south on Warren Road and extending to William Sixt's Sherman House on Lorain Avenue.

Rocky River was another so-called village. Starting at Summit Avenue, it extended two and one - half miles on Detroit road down its turning descent to the bridge. This distinct hamlet with its homes flanking the road comprised almost the exact Section 23. Its boundary followed the section - a straight line meeting the river at the second bend, its western side following the deep winding cut to the mouth. Records show each place adopted the name of its early post office and that the only government from 1819 to 1889 was that of a trustee township. Both bordered on the north along the lakeshore from Highland Avenue to Rocky River. Corporations of similar names were formed in other locations in recent times.

In 1860, East Rockport found a new settler, George Thorne of England. A Civil War veteran, his descendants have lived within the old bounds of the center to the present day. During the next five years, others came:

John Mullay, who bought near Hilliard Road in 1861; Joseph Howe, who came the same year and for many years served as East Rockport's postmaster; Captain John Spalding, who arrived from England a year later to build a home on Detroit Road; Dr. Richard Fry, born near Cooperstown, N. Y., a teacher in Cleveland's old Academy on St. Clair Street, who settled there in 1863, and Daniel Webb, Enoch Haines and Ira E. Canfield, newcomers in 1865. The first two were Englishmen, the former bought land on Warren Road near by the latter, a horticulturist. Canfield, first "mayor" of any civil organization of the community, became president of trustees.

Rockport Township long had been famous for its wheat crops and grain growers on its spreading farms in many sections won top honors for its exhibitions at the state and county fairs. The lake region almost to the river was known for its garden products, berries, fruits, vineyards and many new varieties of cherries developed by Dr. J. P. Kirtland, "The Cherry King." An industrial development to bring fame to the township was brick and tile making. Underlaying shale formations in many sections were covered with clay strata making a moist soil requiring drainage. That clay proved excellent for manufacturing purposes.

Rocky River on the west claimed the first brick and tile yard. Many a Clevelander will recall the original yard of William A. Maile at the northwest corner of Summit Avenue and Detroit Road. Marking the eastern line of the burg, you knew when you passed it that you were within Rocky River. The Maile's House was near the road but brick kiln and tile sheds were on the western side of his extensive acres stretching to the lake. Resuming the making of pressed brick, his yard was landmark for a score of years. Its location was between the present Cranford and Brockley Avenues. His son, Christopher, afterwards established a yard at Warren and Hilliard Roads.

In 1830, John P. Spenser built a pioneer home in the forest of a far southwestern section of the township. There his family resided for many years. 1874, his sons, John W. and E. J. Spenser, started a brickyard about the center of Section 6 on the north side of Lorain Road. In five years the concern was making 200,000 tile and 100,000 bricks annually.



Granger City was a boom town 200 feet eastward from the mouth of Rocky River. Starting at about the first corduroy bridge it ran to the lake cliffs. Three-quarters of a mile in length, 1,600 feet wide, with 21 blocks and a boulevard, its tiny park projected to the gorge's edge near Rocky River Bridge.

Joseph Larwell came from Wooster in 1815 to purchase the "mill lot" and land on the west bluff near the spot. With Gideon Granger, John Bever and Calvin Pease, he platted the city in 1816. It boomed: Preachers, lawyers, doctors, storekeepers - all bought lots in the midget blocks as much as $60. It was a drama rivaling that of any gold-rush town.

Charles Miles built the first cabin near the site of the Patchen House. John Dowling, George Reynolds and Capt. Foster followed his lead. Joseph Sizer and Henry Clark became residents. The latter opened a tavern. John James came on from Boston to buy out Miles and open a store and tavern, settling on the Gov. Wood farm the next westward lake front tract to Granger City. Henry Canfield built a pretentious store long known as "Canfield's Old Store." Erastus and Charles Johnson, and Ashael Porter, Eleazern Waterman and Rufus Wright lived there. The place boomed to 150 inhabitants. Then a pall fell upon the town. Merchants, lawyers, bakers, barbers and candlestick makers vanished. Business was abandoned. It struggled feebly until the close of 1818 when the last home was deserted.

The coming of Rufus Wright in 1816 sounded a note in history of Rocky River that reverberated for 100 years. He built the famous Wright Tavern, known Far and wide as the principal hotel of that district with an unrivaled view of the lake. Soldier of the war of 1812, Wright came from Stillwater N. Y., to pay Gideon Granger $300 for three-quarters of an acre of land south of Granger City. His frame tavern for years was a center of business and social life.

Rockport was formed as a civil township in February, 1819, and the first election was held in the tavern the first Monday in April. Nineteen votes were cast. Charles Miles was chairman and Ashael Porter and Datus Kelley election judges. Trustees, clerk, poor overseers, fence-viewers and a lister, were chosen. Since the township records for the first 12 years were lost much of the early history is uncertain; but it is known that in 1819 the name East Rockport was selected for a settlement some distance east of the river and a government post-office was established about its center. A mile and one-half west of the township's eastern line on the north side of Detroit Road, it slowly became the nucleus of rural homes, farms and fruit orchards. East Rockport post office was in the general store of Lucius Dean and Horace Dean was the first postmaster.

In the fall of 1820, Chester Dean and Datus Kelley, township trustees, advertised for bids on a substantial bridge across the mouth of Rocky River to close Nov. 1. This wooden structure, not far above the waterline south of the present concrete structure, was completed in 1821.

Tradition has it that Tavern Keeper Wright was a generous contributor. Travelers from east and west patronized the crossing, stopping at the tavern. Emigrants, wagon bound westward, took this route and families were accommodated with floor space for sleeping and fires for cooking. There were breakdowns overturns, balking and backdowns in descending or climbing the steep, rutty approaches and at the tavern bar, many sought the courage to make the crossing or celebrated a safe negotiation.



Agitation on the incorporation of the two post-office centers known as East Rockport and Rocky River, reaching from Highland Avenue ( W. 117) to the rocky gorge, was continued in the "80's". In 1870 an attempt was made to organize the territory as a hamlet.

An assembly of delegates and residents of the region, at the Murch House, nearly resulted in clash. Some were from Brooklyn Township as it was proposed to include a strip of their domain in the new formation. They objected so strenuously that the meeting adjourned with the result that no Rockport corporation was formed.

Fifteen years later the proposition to organize the two western centers revived. As a first step it was agreed to call the new hamlet "Arlington". When the Post office Department was notified, it at once replied that there was already such a town in Ohio, and asked the selection of another name.

Ezra Nicholson and A. B. Allen were appointed to canvass the subject. On Sept. 7, 1885, a petition with 109 signers were presented to the county commissioners, desiring them to incorporate the territory into a hamlet called Lakewood. This name was adhered to through official discussions, and afterward in changes to village and city. Thus, the city of Lakewood escaped the name "Arlington."

Remonstrances were presented to the commissioners and obstacles placed in the way of organizing the hamlet. Three times they postponed hearings of the petition, at length on Dec. 19, 1885, they ordered that the area be incorporated as the hamlet of Lakewood.

An old directory shows that many new residents besides those already noted, lived in the region covered by the grant. Among them Thomas R. Hird, G. H. Stearns, W. D. Pudney, Charles Townsend, Alex Harter, Frank Hafley, W. L. Lippert, J. Swinglen, J. F. Hobson, R. H. Fruppe, Bernard Farrell, I. D. Norris, Byron Harris, M. Y. Thompson, C. H. Henry, A. W. Farmer, John Farrow, E. Day, S.S. Hitchens, G. Morgan, and Marcus Hanna. The names of Lee, Wanger, Gruingh, Armstrong, Ehort, Sloat, Cook, Sturart, Coburn, Southack, Nutting, Benjamin, Oviatt, Callahan, Keiner, Murphy, Alborn, Potter, Phillips, Nast Cannon, Zuler, Eggert and Ami Beckley are also found, all old and new residents, many with families.

As the boundaries defined for the hamlet of Lakewood continued practically the same through hamlet, village and city for years, they may as well be described. Beginning at the foot of Highland Avenue at the lake, its eastern line followed the road westward to Johnson Street, and along that to Warren Road, and traveled this to the east line of section 18. Dropped south on this to Martin Hemming's property, it struck due west and hit the center of Rocky River at the beginning of its second big loop. Its western border followed the river to the lake.

With its north boundary the lake, the corporation was about three and one - half miles long from Highland Avenue to Rocky River, and from the shore to its extreme south edge was a little over two miles. The newly created municipality contained about 450 citizens and claimed over 1,000 inhabitants.

What was the town like in the early '90s? The "Dummy" railroad was long a thing of the past. When they were building the Nickel Plate Railroad in 1881, the through railroad absorbed the right of way of the suburban road. It followed the route until it came to where the "Dummy" swept into a curve to its river terminal, and then continuing its own straight route, crossed Rocky River on a high, spindly bridge. On the western side was a station called River Bank. The Murch House that stood on the site of the ancient first cemetery where Daniel Miner and a few of the earliest pioneers were buried, was removed. The little police station nearby, beside the "Dummy" track, which received its first prisoner July 28, 1873, was gone. The Lake Shore House and John Knoll's Beach Grove Hotel still stood on the eastern cliffs among the trees of Clifton Park, with its winding drives. A straight avenue called Vista Street, was the last toward the river. It ran from the lake south to Railroad Street, which had taken the place of the ending of Rocky River Railroad tracks. Lake Avenue followed the shore east from the park. The name of the post-office on Detroit Street was changed to Lakewood. At the eastern end of Lakewood, a block after you entered the hamlet was Cove Station on the Nickel Plate where for years suburbanites arrived and left.



In the 10 years before the centennial year of 1876 all territory leading to and near Rocky River's mouth held a warm spot in the heart of Clevelanders. There are those who still cling to memories of days spent in its groves, its deep gorge and its unrivaled view of Lake Erie.

The river region had become one of parks, hotels, picnic grounds, and many a family party, Sunday school, military company, county and city gatherings spent a day there in recreation. The city's clubs and social sets gave balls at its hotels. Sleigh rides and parties were fashionable in the winter. Labor and fraternal organization held annual conventions there and each year papers gave their newsboys a grand day's outing at one of its parks. Sunday came to be a gala day, many driving out Detroit Road in rigs and carriages to return late at night. There were collisions and upsets and the morning after usually found one or two wrecked buggies in the ditch.

Residents of the West Side and far out the road owning large tracts about the river mouth saw increasing crowds visiting the scenic resort. Hotels were built and new recreation grounds were opened along the high ledges. Many suburbanites erected homes through the villages eastward and on the roads west of the river.

The Rocky River Railroad was chartered Feb. 20, 1867. Dan P. Rhodes, Elias Sims, and Ezra Nicholson were its principal promoters. Known as the "dummy" line, it started about 25 yards west of old Waverly Avenue on Bridge Street, crossing Detroit, its route was surveyed to a hotel on the east bank of the river, a distance slightly over five miles. Equipped with miniature steam locomotive, passenger and freight cars, it was expected to make the trip to the river in 15 minutes. Connecting with the horse cars at its eastern end, it planned trains until the last city car at night. Population of East Rockport and Rocky River postoffice villages doubled. Allotments were laid out. Berry pickers came by hundreds in the season.

In 1867, Silverton sold his hotel to the Patchen Family. It became known as the Patchen House and by midsummer of 1868, the Rocky River Railroad was running with two new shinning locomotives, the Rockport and Brooklyn. On Dec. 24, 1868, the Cliff House was dedicated with L. S. Philips as proprietor. That evening at 8, 150 Cleveland people boarded a fast passenger train on the "dummy" line at its Bridge Street depot and made the run to the new hotel with the speed of a modern limited. Supper was served at midnight, and there was dancing far into the morning hours. Clifton Park of 230 acres was laid out on the cliffs east of the river and the old Erastus Tisdale estate of 65 acres on the west bank was converted into picnic grounds and grove.

In 1870, the first attempt to incorporate Rocky River and East Rockport was made. It was the first effort to organize these post-office centers in the fifty years of Rockport township government. It was proposed to incorporate all the broad lake shore strip from Cleveland extending a few hundred feet beyond Gordon Avenue to Rocky River. The southern line was to run east and west 50 rods south of Madison Avenue.

This territory comprised the present City of Lakewood. It included a wide cut of Brooklyn township, north along the shore. Agitation culminated in a meeting of delegates at the Cliff House, on Dec. 29, 1870. Seventy-five leading men crowded the third floor ball room. J. A. Harris was chosen chairman and W. E. Clark, secretary.

Brooklyn's delegation were mad clear through at the plan to tack to them on to Rockport. J. E. Elwell read the law. So violent did the discussion become that a motion was carried obliging the Brooklynites to march into another room and hold their own conventions.

The other delegates were afraid to pass a deciding vote. After collecting a large sum to push the incorporation, they named Jan. 12, 1871, for the second meeting. The Brooklyn men indulged in lurid discussions and adjourned until Jan. 3, 1871. The latter contingent stole a march on the Rockport crowd, for on Jan. 5, 1871 the County Commissioners granted them permission to separately incorporate all the territory in the dispute from the city limits to Highland Avenue, the Rockport Township line.


PLAIN DEALER Sept. 11, 1940

Following the first attempts to incorporate, 19 long years elapsed before the indefinite center called East Rockport and the Rocky River Township section became organized under a civil form of government. The territory embraced land from Rockport Township line (now W. 117th Street) to Rocky River. Both centers were named from post-offices. So far as can be learned, after the first township trustee assumed office in 1819, each continued for 70 years without becoming municipalities.

While the two burgs still were a stretch of country homes, I remember driving through there, turning on what must have been Warren Road, and continuing southwest through farms and woodlands. Suddenly I reached old Rockport Driving Park that years ago stood at the northeast corner of Lorain Avenue and Riverside Drive. Its high-board fence, grand stand top and ticket windows were desolate, indeed, that late fall day, while the last leaves rustled in the nearby woods. Now that busy corner is occupied with business blocks: where once was the race track are streets and homes, but it retains the name of Kamms Corners.

Driving through East Rockport and Rocky River in the late '70's you passed Highland Avenue, to come to a toll house on the north side of the road. A quarter mile farther west was Dr. Richard Fry's home, with its 27 acres stretching to the lake. Henry Beach's fruit and vegetable farm was followed by Dr. Scott's, the Hunter, Allen and Kinney homes, and George Saal's Melrose House. Between that and the school lived the Whitehalls and Marshalls. From the schoolhouse, the Nicholson tract, one third mile wide, crossed Detroit Road from the lake to Madison Avenue. The farm extended more than a mile, and through its north half center ran what is still Nicholson Avenue. John Kidney built a residence at its west corner on Detroit Road, and a fortnight ago I received a letter from his grandson, George E. Kidney of Ravenna, Oh.

Mrs. William Bradford was the first resident on Nicholson Avenue. J. A. Harris, prominent in local affairs, built a home facing the lake. A long stretch beyond the avenue for some years after his death stood Dr. Jared P. Kirtland's quaint stone home. Beyond Lewis Nicholson's greenhouse and nursery of 90 acres: the J.T. Robinson place and Postmaster Joseph Howe's home, was East Rockport's postoffice and general store. Clustered about were the Orville Hotchkiss sawmill, the Tegardines and the New Jerusalem Church. On the other side, of the road was Krieger's hotel, the Grant House. Within view was the school, the Baptist Church and Good Templars Hall on Warren Road. The homes of Collins French and W. H. Hayes ended East Rockport at the corner of Summit Avenue.

Rocky River commenced there. On the north side of Detroit Road were Hall's great fruit farm; and the Webb, Calkins, Atwell and Keyser families. The school house stood on an unnamed roadway running north. The Southern, Phelps and McMartin homes reached to George F· Krause's residence and picnic grounds there the road started downhill to the bridge. Behind all this from Highland Avenue to the Murch house at the river raced "the dummy", its track averaging 300 feet north of Detroit Road. Reaching the hotel, the engines backed 700 feet east to the depot yard with its turntable and carshed.

Through the two villages from the Highland Tollgate westward on the road's south side were the Coutants, Newmans, DeForests and W. S. Ranney of Cleveland shoe firm. The Marshalls, Cadys and Elliots came west and beyond Nicholson's were the Calkins, John Albert French, Raymond, Pease and Marvin Homes. Further west were Emery Brown, C.W. Ranney and the Mullally 40, half of it in Rocky River.

Within the burg came Israel Wagar's large allotment and home, with the Poland, Defriese, Woodbury and Colohan places completing the distance to Scenic Park at the first river bend. Short Elm Street led from the Murch house to Winding River Road there lived the Bower and Clampitt families. Opposite was John N. Knoll's home whose romantic Beach Grove and hotel were near the shore. The Lake View House had been built not far away. Both were in Clifton Park on the highlands overlooking the lake east of the river's mouth.


(Written for Lakewood Courier - Dec, 1923)


"I herewith transfer this short article for your history. I have hesitated about writing too much personal history. I close my eyes and think of East Rockport, now Lakewood, as I first knew it about the end of our tragic civil war, when the old sorghum mill back of Howe's grocery store made sweet sugar from native cane raised by farmers thereabouts to avoid the high price of 15 cents a pound for Louisiana sugar, and about the old tavern kept by Bennett (or Black Joe), as we called him. I remember seeing in the early morning, old man Scoville in his red woolen shirt coming two miles away down Warren Road to meet his old crony, thin, active old man Hird, (descendant of an English lord), at Bennett's Tavern ostensibly for a morning dram, but as I now see it, only for dear friendship and exchange of fraternal gossip. It was recorded in Grandfather's Diary of 1827, that whiskey was only 25 cents a gallon and it would have been less trouble and expense to have swallowed a good silent dose at home. But no! It was the human touch they were after. I remember, too, how I was pall bearer for Henry Howe about 1868, one of my youthful playmates, who was buried in this same old graveyard, and how I suddenly was shocked when I learned we all of us must some time die. Well, my dear friend, I have lived long enough to see I have outlived most of my early playmates except a very few and these I treasure immensely.

"In regard to the so-called Lakewood Cemetery, located near Detroit Avenue and St. Charles Avenue, and now owned by the heirs of Francis H. Wagar, I submit the following:

"Grandfather, Mars Wagar, after whom I was named, came to the Western Reserve in 1818 from Lansingburg on the Hudson. He was a Latin and Greek scholar! A writer, too, in mathematics and a surveyor, but as a pioneer in the woods of the Western Reserve he had small chance to exercise his talent in that direction. He evidently made the best of his ability under the circumstances for I notice in his Diary of 1826, he one day went to the village with an oxcart of peaches which he disposed of at a shilling a bushel.

"Grandfather first settled in what is now Avon, but through the friendship of James Nicholson, he was induced to sell his holdings there and purchase in Lakewood. He purchased a tract of land in 1820 in the center of Lakewood at a price of seven dollars per acre. This tract included the cemetery which my father, Francis H. Wagar, the youngest son of Mars Wagar, purchased from his three brothers and two sisters about 1850. For a time, Grandfather lived in a big log cabin under a large elm tree which still flourishes in the so-called cemetery, but removed later to a stone house near the present corner of Warren Road and Detroit Avenue, which house was built of thin brown sandstone from a nearby stone quarry on part of the farm located where now the Nickel Plate Railway crosses Cook Avenue. This house, much to my regret, was torn down in 1884 to make way for the modern structure still standing on the same place.

"The first burial in the so-called cemetery was in the year of 1828, a Mrs. Brewster.

"I once made a copy of all the names and dates of the silent sleepers in the cemetery, but seam unable to find the same at present. "

"Father always called this the "burying ground". No one ever received a deed for any grave and Mars Wager or his son, Francis H. Wager, or his heirs have continuously maintained possession of this land and paid taxes thereon over 100 years.

"My earliest recollection of East Rockport, as then called, dates from the historic time of Abraham Lincoln's death. On that fateful day in April, 1865, I tolled from morning until night the bell in the village schoolhouse opposite our farm. Our farm being practically the center of Lakewood, was also the center or all public activities. In the schoolhouse on the west side of Warren Road were held town meetings, public debates, and itinerant lectures. A village store was opposite the graveyard, now near the corner of Belle Avenue and Detroit Avenue, kept by Horace Dean in early years and later by an Englishman named Joseph Howe. He now rests beside his wife in this same "burying ground", over whose bodies now stands the only monument still remaining. I have a letter from Chloe Howe, the only and youngest child still alive and wife of U. B. Walker, formerly a banker in this city, who now resides In California, which gives me the right to remove the monument and whatever remains of the parents to any place I choose. The heirs of Francis H. Wager have purchased several lots in Lakewood Cemetery, Rocky River, in which to place any remains of the former residents of Lakewood and mark the same to the best of their ability.

"In the early days it was the custom or our family to receive two or three dollars or five dollars for the trouble of digging graves and attending the ceremonies and often where money was scant the service was rendered for nothing. I have often helped to dig the graves with our hired man, Ahab Jenks, whose favorite saying was, "we are all born but not buried yet". I have often helped to lower a coffin into a new made grave with the aid of the long reins from harnesses taken from our barn.

"Now in those early days this graveyard was actually located on a steep hill, and there was a deep valley separating this hill from an opposite hill on which was a tavern kept by a man named Bennett, and down these hills the school children used to find great pleasure in sliding when the snowfall was sufficient. "I am reminded in this connection of an early story about a convivial party at this same tavern. A discussion of ghosts arose and upon one of the guests boldly declaring there were no ghosts, it was determined to put him to the acid test. It was determined to frighten him by having one of the party take the part of a ghost, covering himself with a white sheet and hiding in the graveyard until midnight and waylay, if possible, the unbeliever in ghosts. It all happened as agreed upon, and when our doubting, convivial friend sought his home at midnight he was surprised to hear a tell white figure, as he passed the graveyard, come toward him in the hazy moonlight with majestic stride and uttering deep moaning. Our convivialist, seeing the ghost approach, called out "who are you?", to which the ghost replied, "I am the devil and I am after you". Whereupon said convivialist slipped down into the bottom of the dry brook and filled his pockets with a few good sized stones, one of which he launched at the approaching ghost and with such good aim that he laid him low with a deep cut on the side or his head. Having seen the hoax had been serious, the ghost's boon companions hurried him to the barroom of the tavern and summoned a surgeon, who said upon arriving, "I suppose there is some deviltry in all this, and my fee must be paid, which is fifty cents before I sew up this man's head." The money was paid and the ghost relieved.

"I am free to say that although the school children in my young days saw ghosts walking in the graveyard, it never frightened me; in fact, I grew to love the place and often passed through marking the quaint epitaphs on the tombstones and feeling sorrowful for my young playmates, who were already sleeping quietly there.

"I think there have been no burials for a generation or so in this place and since many years, friends of the people buried here have been quietly removing their remains to other cemeteries.

"The heirs of the original owner of the graveyard would like to learn of anyone is interested in the removal of any person's remains known to them and the same will be gladly attended to.

"Personally I have a strange sentiment about this place, for Grandfather, before his remains were removed to Lakeview Cemetery, rested beneath the great elm eighty years or more. Sometimes I think of the story in Ovid's Metempsychosis, describing the man who broke off a branch of the tree and the branch said, "don't do that, for you hurt me". I feel certain the material part of Grandfather helped to construct this great tree and the waving branches and the bright leaves in the summer seem to beckon me to this long resting place."

Mars E. Wager


LAKEWOOD COURIER - April 13, 1933 Pg. 1

The Lakewood school board this week referred to Superintendent of Schools Julius E. Warren a request from Council President Morris Phillips asking the board's thoughts on the suggestion that the portion of Cleveland to the south of the city be annexed.

A committee of the council now is studying the possibilities of such a move. Phillips, in his letter to the board, pointed out that since the schools would be affected, the board's opinion would be valuable.

George Grill, assistant superintendent of schools told the board, annexation of the territory might mean the building of an annex at Hayes school and considerable shifting or students at other schools.

Grill said the high school would present a problem as it is already overcrowded. It was estimated that 2,600 students would be enrolled in the school next semester and about 2,800 the following semester.

The special council committee appointed by Phillips now is conferring with property owners in the Cleveland section on possible procedure to bring about annexation.



The Lakewood council, at a special meeting, Thursday afternoon, October 29, adopted an ordinance to annex two parcels of real estate in Rocky River to Lakewood.

One is part of the Metropolitan Park and removes all contact of Rocky River with the city of Cleveland, and if approved by the County Commissioners, will pave the way for the Public Utilities Commission to grant a certificate of necessity and convenience for a bus line from Rocky River through South Lakewood to Cleveland.

The other is the Lakewood sewage disposal plant in Rocky River valley, The Rocky River council has already indicated its concurrence in this proceeding.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Dec, 26, 1919 Page 1

In addition to the camouflaged association that the Cleveland Civic League proposes to organize its support of city-county governments among the larger counties of the state, the league has sent out directly to the members-elect of the general assembly a circular under the signature of the league secretary. It is stated this resolution will be fathered by Senator William Agnew of Cleveland.

Among the reasons urged for legislative action on behalf of a city-county

merger act are these:

1 - The high cost of government requires calm and fair consideration as we approach the reconstruction problems of the war. Taxes will be heavy for years. Nation, state and city will go deeply into the taxpayers pocket.

2 - The unprecedented demand for city and county improvements is bound to continue.

3 - We must make governmental units as economical as possible so as to get a dollar's worth of service for every dollar we spend.

Following is a copy of the letter sent out by the Civic League to the members-elect.

"Several years' study of one feature of this problem has convinced us that a good deal can be done to scale down the high cost of government in those counties in the state which are thickly populated by co-ordinating the duties of duplicating public offices.

"At the last session of the legislature a resolution to amend our constitution so that this economy may be made possible was passed by the senate. In brief it provided that the more populous counties of the state, if the people of the state ratified the amendment, might submit to the voters of the county the question of reorganizing the numerous units of the government under which they live into one unified system.

A favorable vote on this proposition in Cuyahoga or Hamilton county would mean, simply, that certain cities, villages, school districts, townships, etc., elected to reorganize their government administration in the interests of economy and efficiency.

"Here is a practical example of the way it would works out in Cuyahoga County, for instance:

"Substituted for one county, three cities, twenty-seven villages, sixteen townships, forty-five school districts, one city-county.

"The bill for wages alone in this county runs as follows:

1915 1917

County $711,567 $726,172

3 cities 3,040,536 2,934,890

27 Villages 99,795 242,750

16 Townships 22,598 26,220

45 school districts 3,662,178 4,209,910

totals $7,536,674 $8,139,942

"It is self-evident from the mere duplication of functions and the conflict in administrative authorities, that such a condition can result only in great waste of time, energy and money in the performance of public duties. A conservative estimate would put this loss wages alone at $500,000 annually.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Mar. 6, 1919 Page 1

County Surveyor Stinchcomb debated the annexation topic before the suburban citizens of Parma, and he met an opponent worthy of his steel.

Carl F. Knirk of Lakewood was his opponent. Mr. Knirk is vice president of the league recently organized by the rural representatives of the county to fight the county-city merger amendment to the state constitution. He represents the Pomona Grange in this organization and spent two days last week at Columbus, interesting rural legislators and arousing the state grange to action against the measure. He is confident the annexationists will find no supporters in the rural districts.

In this debate, Mr. Knirk emphasized, in particular, the need for direct local government in the various communities of this county. He said that the local government now supplied by men who have immediate interests in the local communities and who understand the local problems, gives the cheapest and most efficient form of government than can be supplied to any community. The men in offices in any small community are invariably men of high caliber and they are only available for such offices because of their local interest and their pride in their home community. These men understand the needs of the neighbors and are therefore in sympathy with the community remands. The pay given these men is so small that it would not compensate for even one man supplied from a large community organization for the purpose of looking after the interests of any outlying district. Furthermore, the men who might be supplied from a centralized government would in many cases be out of harmony with the community, which they are sent to serve.

In answer to the claim that the crime and health conditions of the county can best be taken care of by having a centralized government in charge of the health and police force of the entire county, Mr. Knirk calls attention to the fact that the recent crime wave which finally reached a point where the state had to take a hand in the situation, and not centered in the small communities, where everybody knows who the police force are. In fact, today nearly all of the crimes worth a narration in the daily papers are committed, not in East Cleveland, Lakewood, Strongsville or Berea, but in the city of Cleveland, where the police force is already under one centralized government. If one is to judge from the conditions as they now exist, the difficulty in handling the crime situation increases as the size of the governmental unit increases. It would therefore seem that it would be folly to increase the burdens and responsibilities of the central police force by giving it more citizens to protect and a larger territory to cover.

In connection with contagious diseases, it may be pointed out that the city of Cleveland, during the recent flu epidemic, did not in any way show that it was in a better position to handle this epidemic than were the surrounding communities. The claim made by the pro-annexationists that in other states, large cities are making the form of government under a county merger plan, simply emphasizes the fact that the larger a city becomes, the more difficult it is for such a city to maintain itself and its institutions, and still stay within the tax limits. The very fact that large cities throughout the country are attempting to bring about such centralized governments under county merger plans, is proof that what we need is not large governmental units, but smaller units, which can maintain themselves and still stay within the tax limits fixed by law.

In answer to the statement that the smaller villages and farm communities and the cities and villages immediately adjoining Cleveland, could not maintain themselves if the citizens were excluded from the Cleveland markets and the opportunities which Cleveland affords, Mr. Knirk contends that if this should be accomplished, the very exclusion of these people would absolutely paralyze practically all of the industries in Cleveland. The industries in Cleveland did not make the men who are referred to when our opponents wish to exclude us from Cleveland, but, on the other hand, the brains and ability of these men made possible the development of the industries in the city of Cleveland. The industries of Cleveland are a result and not a cause.

Any local community like Parma must consider the effect of annexation to a larger community like Cleveland, both on its tax rate and on its indebtedness. Parma today has a tax rate of 91 cents, whereas it is likely that Cleveland will have a tax rate of something like $2.55 in the next year. If Parma wishes to assess itself on this high rate of $2.55, its entire indebtedness would be removed in one year and a substantial balance would be left in the treasury. But, on the contrary, if Parma should be joined to Cleveland and be made to carry indebtedness in proportion to its present valuation as compared with that of Cleveland, it would require forty years for Parma, to pay off its indebtedness at a rate of $2.55.

The contention that the uniform government would provide for local districts having administrating and self-governing purposes is not guaranteed by the provisions of the Agnew joint resolution. This resolution says in part: "It may provide by charter in place thereof, a unified government over the entire county, which charter shall provide for the establishment of such local districts or boroughs for administrative and self-governing purposes, or for assessment and taxation purposes or both, as it may deem convenient and equitable." It will be noted that all the force or the force part of this statement is annulled in the last clause, which says: "As it may deem convenient and equitable." There is also no assurance that the new form of government would find it either convenient or equitable to provide local districts for such self-governing and self-administrative purposes.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Feb. 20, 1919 Page 1

Representatives of the new county league, organized in the court house recently by all forty units outside the city of Cleveland to fight annexation are on the job in these days. These representatives, who were authorized to appear before the Legislature, as the result of the luncheon meeting of the executive committee, held at the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce rooms, A. L. Bishop, Nelson J. Brewer, and Carl Knirk went to Columbus last week. They interviewed members of the legislative committee, before which the city-county merger bills will be considered they discussed the situation with representatives of the State Grange and the Farm Bureau, which organization keep men constantly on guard at Columbus, while the Legislature is in session.

The Agnew constitutional amendment has made no progress in the Legislature, but the time is approaching when. the supporters and opponents of the measure will meet face to face before the committees and their champions will be prepared to carry the fight on the floor of the two houses. Assurances obtained by the anti-annexationist delegation are said to have been most encouraging, It is expected that the entire influence of the rural members will be found solidly lined up against the proposed measure, while its chief support will come from the legislators of Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo.

Another meeting of the executive committee is scheduled to be held Friday noon and at that time, the legislative delegates will make their formal report. Other business of importance will come before the committee Friday noon. An active publicity committee will be named, which will take charge of the anti-annexation propaganda to be sent out throughout the state.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Feb. 20,1919 Page 1

By a rising vote, several hundred Cleveland men and women voted Monday night, almost unanimously, against the proposed constitutional amendment of Senator William Agnew to merge the city and county governments.

The American constitution did not assure perfect liberty nor has the goal of freedom yet been reached, Attorney Florence Allen told several hundred Cleveland men and women last night in the first lecture of the citizenship course of the Cleveland Federation of Women's Clubs in Hotel Statler ball room.

"Fifty years ago women who assembled for any purpose other than worship were looked upon as unsexed," Miss Allen said: "In Germany, Austria and France it was a crime for women to hold a meeting.

"Women have been sitting in the gallery, Only recently are we getting in on the ground floor."

"There were slackers in the war, but there are more slackers in peace," Miss Allen said. "The men and women who refuse to study their city's problems are shirking service just as truly as those who refused to fight."

She advocated sending a committee of the federation to city council meetings after women get the vote, predicting "there would be many things councilmen wouldn't say or dare to do if they knew women with power to vote were present.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - FEB. 20, 1919 Page 1

W. A. Stinchcomb, county surveyor, was the speaker at the weekly meeting of the Cleveland Real Estate Board Wednesday noon at Hotel Winton. He discussed "The Advantages of a Consolidated County Government."

He said there are over ninety separate taxing subdivisions in Cuyahoga county, including Cleveland, the smaller cities of Lakewood, East Cleveland, and Newburg, and thirty villages, fourteen townships and a number of school districts. A proposed amendment to the constitution of Ohio has been introduced in the legislature and action will be sought within the next few days.

The proposed amendment allows any county in the state to reorganize its form of government and to consolidate the various governing units and substitute a single unified agency to act for the whole county on matters of general importance, thus fitting the government to the public need.

The amendment purposes to establish equitable taxing districts so that outlying communities will pay only in proportion to the benefits received. Provision also is made that purely local questions of the rural sections of the county shall be handled by those directly concerned. The amendment sets up machinery for putting it into force and guarantees a representative charter commission by providing that no more than nine members of the fifteen shall be resident of any present subdivision in the county.

Among the advantages proposed are the unified and harmonious development of the metropolitan community; provisions for adequate planning for physical improvements; economy through cutting down of overhead charges; a shortened ballot; fixed government expense; a more representative county legislative body; extension of public services to the suburbs and unified police protection.

What we think of Mr. Stinchcomb's gold brick proposition will be found in our editorial columns. We give him herewith full benefit of his argument, printing the summary in full.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Jan. 16, 1919 Page 1

Representatives from the suburban communities met at the Hotel Statler last Friday to complete the organization of the Suburban Civic League, Lakewood, Euclid, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Bratenahl and other outlying territory were well represented. From Lakewood came Mayor B. M. Cook, Law Director Robert G, Curren, City Engineer E. A. Fisher, H. E, Gresham. Chairman of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce committee on annexation; Captain Walter E. Pagan and Samuel Walter Burrill of the Lakewood Press. City Manager Carl Osborn of East Cleveland, Mayor Frank Cain of Cleveland Heights, Mayor W. H. Van Aken of Shaker Heights, C. A. Neff, law director of Bratenahl all brought members of their official staff. O. S. Upp of North Olmsted was present to speak for the county granges.

There was an enthusiasm and unanimity of sentiment in favor of forming the league to fight annexation, without waiting longer for developments on behalf of Lakewood. Law Director Curren, Mayor Cook and Captain Pagan spoke strongly.

This list of members of the executive board was selected, as the basic foundation of the league: H. S. Gresham, Lakewood; Frederick H. Ayer, East Cleveland, A. J. Throckmorton, Cleveland Heights, W. J. Van Aken, Shaker Heights; C. A. Neff, Bratenahl; Alvord L, Bishop, Euclid. It is proposed that a seventh member shall be added to

represent the small communities at large.

Members of this executive committee met on Tuesday afternoon to consider the question of electing officers and to start operations. At this meeting, details of the organization were practically completed. The only permanent officer selected was Samuel Burrill of the Lakewood Press, who was chosen secretary of the league. A nominating committee, consisting of Messrs, Bishop, Throckmorton and Gresham was named to present the name of a president, vice president and treasurer, It is expected the president to be selected will be a prominent East End resident, who is not a member of the board. The vice president and treasurer will probably be taken from the executive board. Ultimately the members of the board will report a group of advisory committees, not less than five members from each of the municipalities represented.

A finance committee was appointed, consisting of Messrs. Neff, Ayer and Gresham. Secretary Burrill was directed to get in touch with the managers of the state grange with a view of enlisting grange support of the league opposition to annexation.

It was decided to change the name of the organization from the Suburban Civic League to the Cuyahoga County Anti-Annexation League. This change was made in order to emphasize in the most forcible manner the purpose and scope of the league.

It is expected that as soon as the executive committee completes its organization, another luncheon meeting will be called next week of all league members at another luncheon at the Hotel Statler.


LAKEWOOD POST 11-25-60 (clipping with photo)

The 125 - year-old house at 13335 Detroit is once again being admired as a beautiful example of New England architecture. A large sewer sign which partially hid it from view, has just been removed by the present owner, Earl W. Schreiner, who conceded to a request from the Lakewood Historical Society through the persuasion of Margaret Manor Butler, author of "The Lakewood Story" and curator of the Stone House in Lakewood Park.

Ten years ago before Mr. Schreiner purchased the house, when there were threats of its destruction to make room for a business building, Mrs. Butler started a movement to preserve the house for posterity by appeals to the Council, the Board of Education, and civic-minded organizations. After months of conferences and presentations of its worthiness from the U.S. Department of the Interior and local architects headed by Wallace Teare, the venture failed when Council said they would purchase the property if the Board of Education would maintain it. The latter felt it was not in a position to do so.

The Nicholson House, oldest frame residence in Lakewood, built by James Nicholson in 1835 has been one of the landmarks of which the community has been proud. Four generations lived in the house until 1948 when Mrs. Ezra Nicholson died. Many of James Nicholson's possessions are now housed in Lakewood's only museum, the Stone House in Lakewood Park.



The oldest house in Lakewood is the old Nicholson homestead on Detroit Avenue at the head of Nicholson Avenue. James Nicholson was the first permanent resident of the hamlet. About twenty-five years after arriving, he built his third house, which is the one now standing.

Grace Nicholson Thompson, a granddaughter of James Nicholson, says, "I am sure that ours is the oldest frame house between the Cuyahoga and Rocky Rivers. I was told about the people who came to make measurements to build along similar lines. With the exception of the kitchen, a one-story room at the south, the structure covered the same area as it does today. What in my day served as the dining room, thirty-three feet in length, was originally grandfather's woodshed. After mother died aid I was married and gone, father, better to accommodate brother Louis and his wife had the roof in part of the house raised to make a larger room and a bath. The old homestead is just about one hundred years old. As was customary in those days, the family moved into the home long before it was finished.

"The Nicholson house-raising was a gala event. Hired help was unobtainable, so neighbors and friends were invited to assist in setting up the frame. On the day appointed, entire families came from miles around, the men to do the work, and the women to serve the meals. Quantities of food had been prepared and picnic tables set up.

"Timbers had been cut for months, all selected from trees nearby. The site on which the house was built was surrounded by a chestnut grove. At this place in years past, Indians had come and camped.

"Ezra Nicholson was two years old at the time of the house-raising. He did not remember the events, but he distinctly remembered doing his first bit of carpentry at three years of age on the fluted pillars, which stood at each side of the front door. He hacked them with a drawshave, so that one pillar had to be moved and a new one substituted; the other, not so badly damaged, was turned around to present a perfect front.

"The house originally had a large room upstairs for the loom where spinning and weaving were done. Later descendants for years used the blue and white checked blankets, which Betsy Nicholson spun there, using wool from her own sheep.

"Once when a traveling photographer stopped there, the family sat for their daguerreotypes in the loom room, because of the good light. Ezra used to tell of the incident and say how weary he became from the long posing to get the picture to take on the copper plate.

"In 1820, a grandfather's clock with the ornamental inverted tree at the top of its frame and a sunrise picture in front of the pendulum, was bought for one hundred bushels of wheat. It was still running and keeping excellent time in 1930."

The homestead is now one of the oldest buildings in Cuyahoga County, if not the oldest. Louis Nicholson's son, Ezra Karlton, is the fourth generation to have lived in this home.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Jan. 23, 1919 Page 1

Members of the executive committee of the Cuyahoga County Anti-Annexation League met Tuesday afternoon to consider further plans for the completion of an organization to fight the county-city merger legislation at Columbus. C. A. Neff of Bratenahl presided and Samuel Potter Burrill of Lakewood acted as secretary. Other representatives of the executive committee present were: Frederick B. Ayer, East Cleveland; A. J. Throckmorton, Cleveland Heights; W. J. Van Aken, Shaker Heights; Alvord L. Bishop, Euclid.

Mr. Bishop urged strongly there should be a broadening of the league immediately in order to bring in all the smaller communities of the county. He told of the Rural Anti-Annexation League, which had been formed the week previous at Euclid, of which he had been elected secretary. He suggested that a joint meeting be called to be held Saturday afternoon of all interested parties; in effect, he proposed a combination of the two leagues. It was finally decided to send out invitations to a general meeting of suburban representatives to he held Saturday afternoon. Mr. Burrill was instructed to join in the invitation with Mr. Bishop.

Later it was decided to call together the members of the County Anti-Annexation League to discuss the situation on Friday, prior to the general meeting on Saturday. Invitations were sent out accordingly to the representatives of Lakewood, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Bratenahl and Shaker Heights, to meet Friday noon for luncheon at the Hotel Statler. These invitations were signed by Mr. Neff as chairman and by Mr. Burrill as secretary of the executive committee.

Definite plans for organization for the legislative campaign to be conducted at Columbus will be considered at both sessions. There is every indication that the anti-annexationists will be ready to start an aggressive fight this week and to make arrangements for the sending of representatives to Columbus to look after legislation.

No sentiment in favor of annexation has been developed in any of the suburban communities. Despite the strenuous efforts of the promoters of annexation legislation, no progress can be seen in that direction. Rather, the arbitrary manner in which the outside communities have been ignored and the roughshod methods of coercion that have been attempted have aroused a general feeling of resentment and a determination to fight to the finish.

At a meeting of the East Cleveland Chamber of Commerce held last Thursday night, it was voted to oppose the county-city merger plan, despite the vigorous efforts of Mr. E. A. Merkel, president of the annexation committee of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, who is also the president of the County Consolidation Association.

Members of the Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau, who met Monday in the assembly room of the old court house, condemned the proposed merger roundly. Similar action has been taken by numerous other farmer and grange organizations inside and outside the county.

Members of the Lakewood Retail Merchants' Board on Tuesday night listened to arguments against annexation presented by Captain Walter E. Pagan, of the Lakewood Press. It was agreed that all the businessmen of the city should protest against the proposed merger, Members of the Rocky River village council adopted emphatic resolutions on Tuesday night opposing annexation.

The proposed legislation has not yet been introduced in the legislature at Columbus, so the exact form of the measure is in some doubt. The most definite information on this point was contained in the invitation, signed by Mr. Morris Black, president of the Cleveland Civic League, sent to the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations, asking for a meeting of all associations interested in annexation. It was there proposed a constitutional amendment be adopted, providing that in counties containing cities of more than 100,000 population, a county referendum vote on merger should be taken. This procedure would destroy all home rule rights, As Cleveland contributes 90 per cent of the vote of the county, the votes of the suburban communities would be lost sight of, in such a referendum. So far as disclosed, there has never been any intention of permitting the communities themselves to decide whether or not they wished to be annexed. Naturally, the advocates of annexation realize that the plan of merging would be lost by an overwhelming vote in any one of the communities, if opportunity were given for the test.

The revelation of conditions of finance, and maladministration of criminal justice in Cleveland have been so appalling in the past week, however, that even the most sanguine annexationist has stood aghast. The difficulties of forcing by legislation suburban communities to annex themselves to Cleveland have been greatly increased by these revelations. Rural legislators, who control legislation at Columbus this winter, have never shown much sympathy with the demands of legislators from Cleveland and Cincinnati, whence comes the only real demand for a constitutional amendment on this point. They will not be too willing to listen to the demands of the representatives of the two big cities under all conditions. The politics of Cleveland has been shown to be too rotten to justify force, compelling, suburban communities to annex themselves at this legislative sessions.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Jan. 9, 1919 Page 1

The Cleveland Chamber of Commerce committee on annexation has adopted a resolution in which it is recommended that the chamber send a committee to the proposed meeting at the Hotel Statler this noon, when the organizing sentiment in favor of a merger of the city and county will be attempted.

A.E. Merkel, George S. Addams, Mark A. Copeland, C. R. Megerth, A. E. Riester, George M. Rogers, C. W. Root, Henry A. Taylor, Elmer E. Teare and C.L.F. Wieber, who compose the annexation committee, further recommend that the chamber lend its aid and support in the furtherance of a constitutional amendment looking to this end.

The resolution provides also for the appointment of another committee to study and recommend a form of government applicable to the administration of such an enlarged municipality.

The resolution as adopted is as follows:

Whereas a meeting has been called for Thursday for the purpose of organizing sentiment for city-county reorganization, and

Whereas, it is probable that a constitutional amendment will be initiated by the Ohio legislature during its present session granting to certain counties, or a part of certain counties containing a multiplicity of separate political units, the power to consolidate into a single political body for municipal purposes, and

Whereas, the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce has been invited to be represented at said meeting.

Therefore, be it resolved:

That this committee recommends to the board of directors of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce that the latter send representatives to said meeting and acquiesce in and support the following propositions:

1. That wherever there exists in a single county a group of politically separate organizations, which are sociologically, economically, and industrially a single organization, the demands of economy and the application of sound public policy require that they be united politically.

2. That the cities of Lakewood, East Cleveland and Cleveland, and the villages of Bratenahl; Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, Euclid, West Park, South Newburg and Newburg Heights are sociologically, economically,and industrially a single organization and should, therefore, be made a unit politically,

3. That the proposed Constitutional amendment seems to present the only feasible means at the present time for accomplishing such unification and that the initiation of such amendment and its final ratification by the people of the state of Ohio are desirable and necessary; and

That the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce lend its aid and support in the furtherance and final adoption of such proposed constitutional amendment.

End be it further resolved:

That a committee of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce be appointed to study and recommend a form of government applicable to the administration of such proposed new municipality, a form which would properly conserve the interests of all the political units consolidated.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS Jan, 2,1919 Page 1

All indications point to the completion of the plan on Friday, Jan, 10, for the formation of the Suburban Civic League. The promoters, representing the five larger municipalities of Lakewood, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Bratenahl, will hold their third conference at a luncheon at the Hotel Statler on that date.

At the last luncheon conference, the report of the three municipal heads, Mayor B. M. Cook, of Lakewood, Mayor Frank Cain of Cleveland Heights and City Manager Carl Osborn of East Cleveland, was approved by the representatives of the five municipalities present. Adjournment was taken to permit these representatives to consult with their respective city councils and chambers of commerce and to secure a general acceptance and approval of the league idea.

The basic plan of the league, outlined in the report that has been adopted, is that there shall be one member of the executive board from each of the five communities. These five members of the executive board will elect a president, vice president, and secretary, and appoint an advisory committee in each city, composed of not less than five members. The expectation is that the president and secretary of the league will be chosen outside the executive board.

The idea is that when the next conference is held Jan 10, all parties will have completed investigations and will be ready to elect the officers of the new league.

The call has been issued for a representation of twenty civic bodies to meet at the Hotel Statler on Thursday, Jan. 9, to form an association that shall support the annexation idea. This new league will be organized and ready for operation, therefore, the day before the Suburban Civic League is ready to start. Both leagues will practically bear the burden of the controversy that will be waged before the state legislature at Columbus this winter. The annexation leagues proposes constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters of the state authorizing the merger of city and county governments in such counties as contain cities of over 100,000 population. If the constitutional amendment is adopted, it will provide for a referendum of all the voters of the counties of Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Franklin and Lucas, to decide whether the city-county merger plan shall become operative. That referendum in Cuyahoga County is tantamount to forcible annexation with a club. Cleveland will contribute 90 per cent of the vote of the county and the protests of the outside ten per cent in the suburban communities will be arbitrarily stifled and suppressed. Lakewood, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Bratenahl will be swallowed up, as well as the thirty other smaller municipalities in the county.

Apparently there can be no legal consummation of the city-county merger plan without a constitutional amendment. Such an amendment can be adopted only after it has been approved by the majority of the legislature and later approved by the majority of the voters of the state. The league to be created next Thursday through the inspiration of Morris Black, the head of the City Civic League, will be only camouflage for the City Civic League. While an invitation has been extended to the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce to attend the meeting, its promoters can scarcely expect the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce to attend or join such an association. In fact, the promoters are well aware there is not a trace of annexation sentiment to be found in Lakewood; that on a fair issue, annexation would be beaten ten to one in this city. Undoubtedly, the plan will receive no greater support from any other suburban community.

The Suburban Civic League will be prepared for the fight. It will be on the ground at Columbus to meet the representatives of the Cleveland Civic League and the new camouflaged association to be organized next Thursday by Mr. Morris Black. It does not look as if the legislative representatives from Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo, whom it is proposed to rally in support of this constitutional amendment, will find much favor in the legislative organization that promises to be perfected in the legislature when it meets next Monday. The Republican majority caucus has been held and the influence of the rural members against the members from the large cities will be even stronger than in past years.

If the Cleveland annexationists do manage to succeed at Columbus in obtaining a constitutional amendment, there yet remains the appeal to the voters of the state next November to defeat such an amendment, While the fight for annexation could not be completed until after the November election, it will be seen that the work of the Suburban Civic League is in the interim cut out for itself.

It looks as if the Suburban Civic League was face to face with a direct fight against the Cleveland Civic League. That fight will come first at Columbus; there the start will not be delayed for even a week or two. If the constitutional amendment is adopted by the present legislature against the protest of the Suburban Civic League. the fight must and will be continued at the polls, on appeal to the voters of the entire state to kill it.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Jan, 2, 1919 Page 1

The Chamber of Commerce committee on the annexation gave an invitational dinner to representatives of several suburbs at the Chamber of Commerce last Friday. Attorney A. E. Merkle, chairman of the committee, stated that the purpose was to explain the intent of the movement, and to secure the views of the suburban residents and, if possible, unite on some plan for unification of the municipalities of Cuyahoga county. He said the general idea is to present to the legislature, early in the year, a proposal to be submitted to the voters of the state to amend the constitution of the state, which will permit the organization of a municipality which will eliminate county officials, suburban officials and have all administrative and legislative duties performed by one central government. This proposal, he said, would be beneficial in several ways. One would be the increase in the actual population of Cleveland; a second, economy of administration; third, the addition to the Cleveland electorate of the presumably intelligent voters of the suburbs.

The plan as outlined is subject to modification, but it proposes that a petition, signed by ten per cent of the municipalities which it is proposed to consolidate, may be filed with the court of common pleas asking for the appointment of a charter commission of fifteen members to frame a charter to cover the territory. This entire ten per cent may reside in Cleveland, or a portion may reside in the suburbs. The charter commission would be appointed and would prepare a charter in a form prescribed by the constitution as amended. This charter would then be submitted to the voters, and presumably would be adopted upon the favorable vote of a majority of the voters in the affected territory.

It was explained that to permit the suburbs to vote separately would be hopeless. Lakewood and East Cleveland have woman suffrage, which privilege the women would lose in case of annexation. Therefore, the women and probably the men of the suburbs, would vote against it, said Mr. Merkle. Hence the feature which resembled forcible annexation.

Lakewood residents at the meeting were Judge Willis Vickery, C. R. Cross, J. C. Hoffman, C. W. Root and Law Director R. C. Curren. Judge Vickery said that he is opposed to the proposition from every angle. He said that if the debts of the different cities could be equalized, it might be fair as far as taxation goes, but Cleveland is so much more indebted, in proportion to its tax duplicate, than the suburbs, that the suburbs would be compelled to assume and pay an undue proportion of the combined debts. Be said he resented the suggestion that the suburbs are like leaches attaching themselves to Cleveland.

C. R. Cross was inclined to favor annexation, but disliked the forcible annexation feature. C. W. Root favored annexation. Law Director Curren opposed the plan vigorously, He called attention to the increase of the public debt in Cleveland in the last five years of more than $12,000,000, making a total bonded debt of $62,444,000. In case of annexation, Lakewood would be compelled to assume its part of this, while no part of the money had been spent in Lakewood. He said that Lakewood, in the last five years, had issued bonds for over $2,000,000 for school purposes, and $400,000 for parks. In case of annexation there would be no possibility of securing any such amounts to be expended within the Lakewood territory. The money, which could be raised from bond issue and taxes would all be needed to relieve Cleveland's financial distress. He said that the suburbs evidently desired to maintain their separate existence with the idea of working out, if possible, some of the problems of municipal government. Large cities, and their attraction of the rural population, have been described as an evil. The suburbs are an instinctive effort of the people to avoid the known evils of large cities and to find means of giving expression of high ideals in municipal government.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS Jan. 2, 1919 Page 1

"Lakewood will increase its street lights from 500 to 800 this year while Cleveland lighting will be reduced," remarked Mayor B. M. Cook on New Year's Day, looking over the budgets of the two cities. "Lakewood is adding ten more firemen, an increase of 25 per cent in the membership of our department. It is opening one new firehouse and will add another firehouse before the end of the year. It will increase the membership of the police force. Cleveland on the other hand is reducing its fire and police protection below the safety limit.

"If Lakewood were annexed to Cleveland, we should be forced to reduce our street lighting and to submit to a reduction in fire and police protection. All of which would cost more taxes rather than less for Lakewood. That is one reason why there is practically no sentiment in Lakewood in favor of annexation."


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- JULY 4, 1918 PG. 4 - 5

County Commissioner Andrews announces he will ask the other commissioners to vote for legislation for the consolidation of Cleveland and Cuyahoga county. "It is a war measure," he gives as his reasons. " It would be a mater of economy and that is needed to help win the war."

Law Director Fitzgerald is quoted in the Cleveland papers as indorsing the plan, saying he is willing to assist in every way possible to bring about its adoption. This is his reason: " The city and county government at present are practically co-extensive, the city forming the greater part of the county. There is much duplication in work and expense, which would be eliminated under the one government plan."

This plan, now brought forward under the guise of war necessity, is another phase of the same old plan, urged spasmodically by Cleveland officials for years, to provide for the annexation of Lakewood, East Cleveland, West Park, Rocky River and other adjacent territory. Other communities can speak for themselves. As for Lakewood, her citizens stand ready at any and all times to fight annexation with Cleveland, so long as present conditions exist in Cleveland.

Lakewood is a city of 40,000 people, enjoying its own administration of streets, police, fire and other functions of home rule. While its municipal administration is not ideal - -and The Lakewood Press has been prompt in its criticism at all times, as our readers will testify - - its administration is far more satisfactory than anything that might come to us, if our identity were submerged and all functions of local government wiped out.

Lakewood is primarily a city of homes. Its miles of handsome residences are the pride of the community. Its business-men, coordinating their efforts in the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and the Lakewood Retail Merchants' Board, are inspired by civic pride and imbued with the community spirit in a notable degree. Lakewood has no tenement houses, no slums, no saloons, no centers of disorder. It is a clean community. By preserving jealously its own identity it has for years been a "dry" city, while Cleveland continues the center of the liquor interests of the state of Ohio. Moreover, women enjoy the right of municipal suffrage, while the women of Cleveland ask in vain for this right.

Lakewood has a city council, composed of members chosen on a ticket at large. While we are often not in agreement with its action, there has never been a whisper of graft, a suspicion of disloyalty, or trace of demagogism. If the people make occasional mistakes in electing men who do not measure in all respects up to the highest standard of municipal intelligence, that mistake is easily remedied at the next election, by virtue of the fact that all members of the city council are chosen on a single ticket.

Ward representation in Cleveland in the city council and the board of education is a monstrosity. It projects into office, as ward representatives, men so utterly unfit to hold office that several in the past year have been hauled bodily from their chairs in Cleveland legislative bodies and sent to prison. No, with all the faults of our own city council, we never yet been forced to blush for shame that unexpired terms have been served in state prisons.

Lakewood can manage its internal affairs in a manner that is much more satisfactory to its own citizens than if all of the governmental functions were merged in the city hall of Cleveland. The paving of local streets -- with the exceptions of state highways, like Detroit Avenue - -can done much better under local supervision. Our schools can be managed better; we can erect our own school houses, to meet our own needs. We are free from the enormous overhead taxes of a large city.

The time may come, years in the future, when the merger of the city and county will be advisable. But the excuse that Lakewood should give up its own identity at this juncture as war time measure is simply an excuse. At least, Cleveland must wait until it can come to Lakewood with clean hands before seeking an alliance. Lakewood will never submit to have the liquor traffic foisted again in its territory in this indirect way. It will not consent to abandon women suffrage. It will not consent to waive its rights of self - government to the extent of assuming and undue proportion of taxes to maintain institutions in Cleveland, whose expenses are swelled by the liquor traffic. We repeat: Cleveland must wait at least until it can seek an alliance with clean hands. --- ED.



The formation of the Suburban Civic League is next in order. The suggestion that was put forth editorially in the Lakewood Press last week has attracted general attention in this city. There is now on foot a movement to call a conference in the near future in order to form a league of defense, bringing in all the municipalities that are interested in the annexation possibilities.

There is no doubt the intention on the part of Cleveland to force the annexation of all the territory of Cuyahoga county as a means of relieving the Sixth City of some of its serious financial difficulties is imminent. Cleveland is facing the most acute financial stringency in its history. Deficits have been piled up and the threatened loss of the liquor license will add to the troubles. Hence, the merger of the city and county governments into one metropolitan government is the plan.

Councilman Clayton O. Townes of the Cleveland board is sponsor for the proposed legislation. As a start he plans an immediate study and survey of a city and county merger, such as had been carried out in San Francisco, St. Louis and other metropolitan districts. The next step is to ask the county delegation in the legislature to start the holdings of public meetings, of which representatives of councils, chambers of commerce, civic bodies and general public civic organizations shall discuss the advisability of action by the next legislature authorizing the consolidation. Following the plan the Cleveland city council adopted last week a resolution calling on the state legislators to hold meetings in the outlying municipalities to discuss annexation.

The proposed merger, Mr. Townes is quoted as saying, is the only solution of public financial problem, short of a considerable increase in taxation and the inauguration of a system of levying special taxes or license fees. He declared that in addition to the present insufficiency of the revenue to meet operating expenses, when prohibition is in force, the deficit will be so large that many essential activities must be abandoned entirely. Hence his suggestion that it will be a measure of economy to save the duplication of city and county offices by consolidation. He figures that a million dollars can be saved annually.

This is the same plan substantially as was urged by the Civic League for several years. In a bulletin issued at that time, it called attention that in Cuyahoga county there are ninety-two political subdivisions, with 810 elective and over 10,000 appointive offices and places of employment.

"The county elects 24 officers; the three cities 335; the sixteen townships, 136; and the forty-five school districts, 217" the bulletine said.

"There are seventy-three elective councils, boards or commissions determining policies; thirty elective mayors executing these policies; forty-seven elective treasurers collecting, accounting for or disbursing public revenues; five engineers, one board of county commissioners, twenty-seven Village councils, nine boards of public affairs, and sixteen boards of township trustees - all participating in the planning, construction, maintenance and repair of streets and highways."

The league declared it to be self-evident, from mere duplication of functions and the conflict in administrative authorities, that such a condition can result only in a great waste of time, energy and money in the performance of public duties. It estimated that unnecessary wages from this source alone would average conservatively $500,000 a year.

The total loss, however, to the taxpayers annually was estimated at least triple that amount, when there is considered the duplication machinery, supplies, buildings and rent and "decrease in quality of work because of the dissipation of authority and scattered responsibility."

Besides the direct financial loss, it is pointed out by sponsors of the merger, multiplicity of effort in the health and police administration result in a social loss through lack of maximum co-operation.

They declare community planning also is obstructed, causing unsystematic development, which result in great inconvenience and discomfort and in many instances to a direct monetary loss to property owners, the promoters say.

Advocates of the merger argue the city of Cleveland contains 85 per cent of the taxable wealth, pays 85 per cent of all taxes and contains over 90 per cent of the total population in the county, and because of this reason alone, they assert, there exists no valid reason why separate city and county governments should be maintained at huge unnecessary expense.

They declare that under existing laws co-ordination of the administrative functions within the county can be accomplished, in part, but that a complete consolidation of all the governmental activities in the county can be affected only by the adoption of an amendment to the state constitution. Conditions in Cleveland have been growing worse ever since legislation for a merger was proposed after the November election. The public schools of that city have been very seriously damaged by the curtailment of the high school courses and the elimination of much of the night school extension work. The scope of the play-ground and recreation centers, too, will be much restricted. The city treasury has become so depleted that there will be no more regular pay rolls for employes, outside the laborers, policemen and firemen, until the taxpayers can vote a new special bond issue in January.

The cost of running the city next year is estimated at $14,000,000, and the revenue in sight is estimated at not much more than half that sum. The adoption of the merger plan will, it is estimated, aid to the extent of about $1,000,000.

As The Lakewood Press remarked editorially last week, "The picture painted by the Cleveland councilman is not specially inviting to outside municipalities. While he urges consolidation as a matter of economy, the benefits seem to be all on the side of Cleveland and the outside municipalities are called to assist in relieving Cleveland's troubles. Cleveland is not only bankrupt at present, but the loss of revenue from liquor licenses will greatly increase the deficits. From the viewpoint of Lakewood, why should this fact be an argument to induce Lakewood to consent to a consolidation or annexation scheme? Lakewood has been dry for many years. It is threatened with no loss of revenues from liquor licenses because it adjusted its finances years ago. The same condition applies to the majority of the other suburban communities that are dry, while Cleveland is wet."

In the same editorial, it was urged that Cleveland has absolutely no inducement to offer residents of Lakewood why annexation or consolidation should be approved or acquiesced in by Lakewood. The desperate necessities of Cleveland are, in fact, the strongest possible reason why Lakewood should fight to the limit to oppose consolidation. It is sought soley to aid Cleveland and a direct outcome will be to involve at once the Lakewood territory into all the troubles that now afflict Cleveland.

Lakewood is solvent. Its city employees are paid their salaries. Its expanding school system need not be curtailed as the Cleveland school system is restricted. It is entirely a one-sided, jug-handled arrangement, based on selfishness and desperation. There is no consideration for the party of the second part.

Here is the arrangement in favor of the suburban civic league that has born fruit. It was said: "Cleveland is a big city. Lakewood is a comparatively small city. It is, however, the largest and most influential of the suburban municipalities. It looks as if this was the time for all good men - outside of Cleveland - to get together to form a league for protection against being swallowed up. It behooves Lakewood as the largest and most important of the outside municipalities, to take the lead in protesting. The notion that this is urged as a matter of economy for the benefit of any other municipality than Cleveland is camouflage. It might furnish some relief to Cleveland, adding a million possibly to reduce the deficit of seven millions that threatens Cleveland next year. But why should Lakewood and the thirty other communities be forced into trouble to give such relief to Cleveland?

Outside of Lakewood, there could be cooperation on the West Side easily secured from Rocky River and West Park, whose interests are identical. Berea, too, is even as much interested in opposing annexation to Cleveland.

On the East Side, the strength of sentiment outside of Cleveland lies in East Cleveland with its model city government and its municipal manager. Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Chagrin Falls, Bratenahl, Bedford and other East Side, Independent communities, with model local government, could gain nothing; on the contrary, they might receive permanent injury to their development by forced annexation.

Two forms of a proposed league may be considered as practical. One form is suggested by the City Club of Cleveland. That is, in form, a luncheon club, whose members gather each Saturday noon at the Hotel Hollenden. Prominent speakers are secured each week. The dues are nominal and the members who attend the meeting pay sixty cents for the luncheon. Another form is that of the Civic League, built up by Mayo Fessler, who has departed and whose departure has left a decided vacancy in the league. This league has many members, $10 a year dues, and holds occasional meetings, subsisting on bulletins and circulars, but no regular lunches.

One suggestion for the formation of the suburban league is that its meetings take the form of weekday lunches, similar to those held by the City Club, but that all dues be eliminated. The cost of the luncheon, when one attends, might be made the whole expense and in that case, the leaguer gets his money's worth in sixty cents' worth of food. As a possible suggestion, one promoter of the idea went so far yesterday as to propose that the Suburban Civic League organize itself with the luncheon room at the new Hotel Cleveland, as its headquarters. That, however, is a minor matter.

The most important fact remains however, that there is substantial sentiment in Lakewood in favor of forming such a league for protection against possible aggressions on the part of Cleveland. If sufficient sentiment is found in other municipalities, it will not take long for the suburbanite to get together. They can organize before the legislature meets and be ready on the job when the fight starts at Columbus in January.



The editorial article in the Lakewood Press, urging, last week, the formation of a suburban league to fight the plan of the Cleveland administration, to force annexation on the municipalities of the county is bearing fruit. As told in the news columns, Lakewood citizens are considering the idea of calling a conference of the representatives of all the municipalities, villages and other communities that might be affected by the plan to consolidate the county and city into a metropolitan district. If this conference is held and there is seen to be sufficient sentiment in East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Bratenahl, Chagrin Falls, and other East Side communities to join with Lakewood, Rocky River, West Park, Berea, and the West Side communities the league will be formed. A solid front will then be presented.

According to plans announced by councilman Clayton C. Townes of the Cleveland council, who has charge of the legislation, a survey will be made of conditions in San Francisco, St. Louis and other cities where the metropolitan district idea has been adopted. The members from Cuyahoga County who will be members of the Senate and General Assembly at Columbus next year have been asked to hold public meetings in the various municipalities and to discuss proposed annexation or merger legislation.

The formation of the strong suburban league, meeting each week at luncheon at a convenient Cleveland hotel, as the City Club meets, would concentrate suburban sentiment. If legislators wish to start a discussion of annexation, there would be ample opportunity offered, by inviting them to appear as guest at a league luncheon, where they can present their arguments.



Resolutions requesting the mayor to take such steps, as he deems necessary and expedient to actively oppose a proposal to forcibly annex to the city of Cleveland, all other municipalities in Cuyahoga county, without the consent of the inhabitants of the said municipalities.

Whereas, an organized effort is being put forth to induce the state Legislature to enact laws or submits a constitutional amendment which will make it possible for the city of Cleveland to forcibly annex to all other municipalities shall be permitted by the vote of their electors, to decide whether they wish to be annexed to the city of Cleveland, or other municipality; and

Whereas this question is of vital interest to other cities and villages in Cuyahoga County, and other counties of the state where similar conditions prevail; be it.

Resolved, by the council of the city of Lakewood, state of Ohio, that the mayor B. M. Cook, be and he is hereby requested to take such steps as he deems necessary and expedient to actively oppose the proposal to have the laws of the state or the constitution thereof changed and amended so as to permit a large municipality such as the city of Cleveland to annex adjoining small municipalities, without the consent of the inhabitants of the latter.

That he be requested to bring this question to the attention of all organizations in the city of Lakewood, interested in its welfare and separate existence, and request their co-operation, in order that adequate preparation may be made to unitedly oppose this movement, which bodes no good to the city of Lakewood.

Furthermore, that he be requested, if in his judgment is seems best, to bring the matter to the attention of other suburban towns, and to endeavor to organize or aid in organizing, an association of suburban towns to protect and guard their interests against the plans of larger municipalities which seek to extend their territory by force.



Within another week, the indications are that the Suburban Civic League will be an accomplished fact.

Following the instructions of the city council, embodied in a resolution adopted at the last meeting, Mayor B. M. Cook undertook, without delay, to start last week the conferences suggested by the council. He extended an informal invitation to the officials of East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights to meet last Friday noon for luncheon at the Hotel Statler to talk things over.

As a result of Mayor Cook's invitation, sixteen men from the three leading suburban cities gathered in a private room of the hotel to confer. Accompanying Mayor Cook from Lakewood were Law Director Curren, City Engineer, E. A. Fisher, Council President Walter Miller and Samuel Potter Burrill of the Lakewood Press.

City Manager C. M. Osborn of East Cleveland brought with him Law Director E. A. Binyon, Commissioner J. Frank Pease, W. M. Pattison, E. M. Sprague, and Finance Director Charles A. Carran.

Mayor Frank C. Cain of Cleveland Heights brought with him from that borough Tax Deputy Charles C. Frazier and these members of the Hayden Avenue Civic Club: N. D. Sims, Cliff E. Schaffer and George A. Mitchell.

The subject of the formation of the Suburban Civic League was discussed earnestly and met with general approval. Mayor Cook acted as temporary presiding officer in opening the discussion. City Engineer E. A. Fisher submitted a tentative plan, showing the possibilities of organization of such a league. The sentiment was expressed that there was in sight a determined effort on the part of powerful Cleveland interests to force annexation this year and that such a proposal must be fought before the Legislature at Columbus.

Mr. Burrill explained the plan of conducting the league meetings in the form of a weekly luncheon club at some convenient Cleveland hotel. He urged that the scope of the league be broadened to include for discussion not only the single topic of annexation, but matters of taxation and other subjects that might be before the Legislature affecting the interests of the suburban municipalities. The weekly luncheon club idea, modeled after that of the City Club, that meets each Sunday noon at the Hollenden, was instanced.

At the conclusion of the conference, it was unanimously agreed that the heads of the three municipalities be named as a committee to report a plan and to issue a call for the later meeting. This left the preliminary organization practically in the hands of Mayor Cook of Lakewood, Mayor Cain of Cleveland Heights, and City Manager Osborn of East Cleveland. The tri-city representatives met yesterday noon in the Chamber of Commerce building and formulated their report.

It was decided to call another meeting of the representatives of Lakewood, East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights to meet at the Statler Hotel at a luncheon Friday noon, December 20. The sixteen men who were present at the luncheon last week will be expected to appear again to receive the report. In addition, it was decided yesterday to broaden the preliminary organization committee by inviting the mayors of Shaker Heights and Bratenahl to come to the luncheon next week and to bring such members of their official staff as they desired. This will make a luncheon party of about thirty to receive the report.

The basic body of the league will be the executive board of five members, one each from Lakewood, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Bratenahl and Shaker Heights. The members of the executive board, it is suggested, shall not be officially connected with any municipality, but shall be prominent citizens, who will be able to devote sufficient time to the project to insure its success.

The president of the league will be elected by the executive board, but will not be a member of the board. The vice president will be chosen from the board membership. The board will also elect the secretary.

Another important adjunct of the league will be the advisory committee, which will be the local committee of the various municipalities and will consist of five or more men from each municipality to be named by the members of the executive committee.

If this preliminary plan of organization to be reported at the next luncheon at the Statler hotel is approved, the officers chosen under that plan will then be in a position to go ahead and to call into official existence at Suburban Civic League, inviting not only the citizens of the five larger municipalities but all other residents of the county, outside of Cleveland. This will include general invitations to thirty outside municipalities.

No action has been taken on the details as to the form of the club meetings. That will be left to the new officers when chosen next week. Sentiment in favor of the adoption of the weekly luncheon plan seems to be practically unanimous, however, so far as it has been expressed by the men who have taken part in the preliminary conferences. In fact, there seems no alternative.

The promoters of the league idea hope to have the organization complete and to celebrate the first luncheon with several hundred guests on Friday, December 27, at least, the effort will be made not to delay the first general luncheon later than the first Friday in January.



The mayors of Lakewood, East Cleveland, and Cleveland Heights will report tomorrow noon the official plan for the organization of the Suburban Civic League. This report will be made by virtue of the authority delegated to Mayor B. M. Cook, City Manager Carl M. Osborn and Mayor Frank Cain at a luncheon held at the Statler Hotel two weeks ago, attended by the representatives of the three larger municipalities interested. In effect, these constituted the organization committee to extend luncheon invitations for the formation of the league.

It is proposed to enlarge the organization committee by inviting tomorrow, at the second luncheon conference at the Statler, the mayors of Shaker Heights, and Bratenahl and their official staffs. It is expected that W. J. Van Aken, Mayor of Shaker Heights, will attend bringing other officials of that municipality as his special guests. John L. Cannon has been invited as one of the representatives from Shaker Heights.

Mayor R.L. Ireland of Bratenahl is in Florida for a few weeks but Judge C. A. Neff; the law director will represent that municipality at the organization meeting tomorrow.

Mayor William Dahm of West Park, Mayor Carl Stein of Rocky River, and Captain Walter E. Pagan of the Lakewood Press have been added to the list of the original sixteen who met at the first luncheon.

Since the luncheon, President McCray of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce has appointed a committee on annexation. This committee was named primarily to look after annexation matters on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. The membership consists of the following: Alexander Winton, chairman; H. E. Gresham, William G. Lee, J. C. Hoffman, A. G. Summerell. Mayor Cook will extend an invitation to these committeemen to attend the luncheon tomorrow.

The original organization committee, as the promoters of the league idea might be termed, who met two weeks ago, consists of the following:

LAKEWOOD - Mayor B. M. Cook, Law Director Robert G. Curren, Council President Walter Miller, City Engineer E. A. Fisher, and Samuel Potter Burrill of the Lakewood Press.

EAST CLEVELAND - City Manager Carl M. Osborn, Law Director E. A. Binyon, Commissioner J. Frank Pease, Finance Director Charles A. Carran, W. M. Pattison, E. M. Sprague.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS - Mayor Frank C. Cain, Tax Deputy Charles C. Frazier, N. D. Sims, Cliff E. Schaefer, George A. Mitchell.

The three municipality heads - Mayor Cook, City Manager Osborn and Mayor Cain - met last week to draft the form of the report, the synopsis of which was published last week in the Lakewood Press.

The basic body of the Suburban Civic League, as proposed by the report, will be the executive board of five members, one each from Lakewood, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Bratenahl. It is suggested that none of these members shall be officials of any of the municipalities, but shall be prominent citizens, who are interested in the annexation question and who are willing to give sufficient time to the project to insure its success. The president of the league will be elected by the executive board, will not necessarily be a member of the board. The board will also select the secretary.

A most important factor of the organization will be the advisory committees, which will be the local committees of the various municipalities and will consist of five of more men from each section, to be named by the executive committee.

If this organization report is approved tomorrow as drafted by the three mayors, the invitations will then be extended generally to all citizens of the county outside the city of Cleveland to join in membership in the Suburban Civic League. The invitation will be extended specifically to the representatives of the thirty municipalities of the county. This list included the following municipalities, among other:

Cities - Lakewood, East Cleveland,

Villages - Bay Village, Bedford, Beachwood, Berea, Bratenahl, Brooklyn Heights, Brook Park, Chagrin Falls, Claribel Village, Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga Village, Dover, East View, Euclid Village, Euclidville, Fairview, Glenwillow, Idlewood, Independence, Linndale, Maple Heights, Newburg Heights, Rocky River, Shaker Heights, South Euclid, South Newburg, West Park.

The enlarged organization committee that will meet at luncheon tomorrow to consider the report of three mayors will consist of thirty to forty members. But as soon as the plan proposed is approved and the league itself is formed, it is expected that several hundred members will be enrolled at the start. This will involve an immediate consideration of the form of the luncheon club that has been considered as well as the selection of a permanent meeting place each Friday noon at some Cleveland hotel. The new Cleveland hotel has been under consideration as the permanent meeting place of the league, provided the noon luncheon plan is adopted. The Statler and Winton have also been considered. Until the luncheon plan itself is approved as the form of organization, no attention will be given to details of this nature.

Primarily, the object of the Suburban Civic League is frankly stated by its promoters to be opposition to the plan to annex the outside municipalities to Cleveland either by joining forcibly Lakewood, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and the adjacent territory, or by the adoption of the Cleveland Civic League plan of merging all city and county municipalities under a single head. The league will fight any and all forms of annexation, merger or absorption of any or all suburban property. Incidentally, the suggestion has met with general approval that the league, if the noon luncheon is adopted, should broaden its scope, so as to include a general discussion of all matters of interest to the suburban municipalities. Questions of taxation will engage chief attention of the Legislature that meets in January, and this legislation, will be a timely topic of discussion on the part of the league. Kindred subjects suggest themselves and prominent speakers on all civic topics can be secured.

The promoters of the league hope the preliminary organization can be perfected, so that regular meetings can be started soon after the first of the year. They propose to be prepared and on the job when the Legislature gets busy so as to take a hand from the start in matters that interest the suburban municipalities.



When the Cleveland Civic League starts its drive against Lakewood, East Cleveland and other suburban municipalities, proposing a city-county merger government, it will find the outside communities prepared. The Suburban Civic League will be in the field, fully organized and equipped for the fight, the final organization plans to be perfected at the third meeting to be held at the Statler hotel, Friday noon, January 10.

The preliminary meeting of official representatives of East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights was called by Mayor B. M. Cook of Lakewood, in accordance with the resolution of the Lakewood City Council, adopted December 2. These sixteen men, who might be termed charter members of the Suburban Civic League - or at least the pioneer promoters of the idea - met at the Statler Hotel, December 6:

Lakewood - Mayor B.M. Cook, Law Director Robert G. Curren, Council President Walter Miller, City Engineer E. A. Fisher and Samuel Potter Burrill of the Lakewood Press.

East Cleveland - City Manager Carl M. Osborn, Law Director E. A. Binyon, Commissioner J. Frank Pease, Finance Director Charles A. Carran, Cliff E. Schaefer, George A. Mitchell, W. M. Pattison and E. M. Sprague.

Cleveland Heights - Mayor Frank C. Cain, Tax Deputy Charles C. Frazier and N. D. Sims.

At the luncheon meeting, the heads of the three municipalities, Mayor Cook of Lakewood, Manager Osborn of East Cleveland and Mayor Cain of Cleveland Heights, were designated as a committee to draft the form of organization for the proposed Suburban Civic League. This report was submitted at the second luncheon meeting at the Statler held last Friday noon, December 20. The organization has been increased by invitation that had been sent to the official representatives of Shaker Heights and Bratenahl. Mayor W.J. Van Aken of Shaker Heights appeared on behalf of that municipality and joined unreservedly in support of the plans. Judge C. A. Neff, law director of Bratenahl, took an active part in the discussion, suggesting a minor amendment to the plan reported by the tri-mayoralty committee, which was accepted. Mayor R. I. Ireland, of Bratenahl, it was reported, is absent in Florida during the winter. Captain, Walter E. Pagan of the Lakewood Press was added to the list of Lakewood representatives and appeared to participate in the discussion.

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce has appointed the following committee to look after annexation matters in that body: Alexander Winton, chairman, H. E. Gresham, William G. Lee, J. C. Hoffman and A. G. Summerell. Mayor Cook has invited the co-operation of this committee and while there is no question, of course, as to the attitude of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce on the question of annexation, it happened that no member of the committee was able to attend the luncheon at the Statler last Friday noon.

According to the mayoralty report, the basic body of the Suburban Civic League will be the executive board of five members, one each from Lakewood, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, and Bratenahl. The president of the league will be elected by the directors, but he need not be a member of the board. In fact it is expected to elect as president a man who will be able to give a considerable amount of time to the league and who has a high standing in the county, so as to ensure its success. The vice president will be elected from the board membership. The Board will also elect a secretary who need not be a board member. A most important factor of the organization will be the advisory committee, which will be made up of the local committees from each municipality, composed of five or more members, selected by the executive committee.

At the suggestion of Judge Neff, the provision in the original report that no member of the executive board should be a public official was modified, to permit an official to serve in this capacity if desired.

This plan of organization was unanimously adopted and the adjournment was taken until Friday, January 10, at the Statler, when it is planned that the league organization will be completed. At that time, the five members of the executive committee will be chosen. The present plan is to have these five board members ready to go ahead with the election of a president, vice president and secretary and to name the nucleus of the five advisory committees.

As soon as the league itself is formally organized on January 10, no time will be lost in arranging details for the launching of an organization that shall expand to take in the representatives of all the thirty county municipalities as well as the residents of the five larger municipalities that are more actively interested in promoting the league policy against annexation. As the camouflaged county organization, promoted by the Cleveland Civic League to bring about annexation will be organized at the Statler on January 9, the two organizations will be in the field, ready for the start of the big legislative fight in Columbus about the same time.

So far as present indications go, there is no change in the original idea of expanding the Suburban Civic League into a weekly luncheon, to meet at some convenient Cleveland Hotel. This follows the lines of the City Club of Cleveland, which meets at the Hollenden, The Advertising Club, the Rotary Club, the Kiwanas Club and other similar organizations that meet and eat each week at the Statler.

The entry of the Suburban Civic League into the noon luncheon field will be no experiment therefore. In this way, a free forum is offered not only for the discussion of annexation legislation, but problems of taxation and kindred topics of interest to all suburban communities. The lunch idea is still in embryo. Its details can easily be worked out, if desired, after the main idea of the formation of the Suburban Civic League to fight annexation as a primary issue is consummated.



Lakewood took another step forward in 1912 when it became a city and the city passed under the government of a new charter in 1914, the first mayor of the city under the charter being C.W. Tyler.

Only 15 years have passed by since Lakewood was a small village and yet in this short time Lakewood has grown not only to a city of 40,000 but has gained a reputation second to none in the United States for its beauty and as being a desirable place to live. Lakewood possesses everything, which is desirable to make it ideal. Its educational system is not only strictly modern, but the facilities provided are equal, if not superior, to any city in the country. A new High School hs been built which will cost 1,000,000, and by referring to the article on another page of this issue from the pen of Director Short, it will be seen that Lakewood's High School will lack nothing to give the young men and women advantages second to none.

The rate of taxation, considering the modern improvements in this city, are very low, and in no other city are there any better improvements. The new Lakewood Hospital is another step in the advancement of the city, and this institution in the short time in which it has been in operation, has taken a place in the same rank as the great hospitals in large cities. The Lakewood Library is another public institution which gives its citizens all that is desirable in books, as well as affording all the conveniences of a place of gathering.

The city has an area of six miles, has many well paved, beautiful streets, is traversed by three lines of street railways, is protected from fire by one of the best fire - fighting organizations in the state, and which will be much in advance of other places when the department is increased, justified by the rapid growth of the city. The next step forward in Lakewood's progress will undoubtedly be a new city building as already the preliminary steps have been taken, and when this building is erected and occupied, Lakewood will have passed another milestone, and the city officials will have a building befitting the dignity of the city in which to transact business.



The growth of the village was so rapid that in 1912 after nine years as a village, Lakewood became a city. The first officers were: Mayor J.B. Coffinbury; council, Clayton W. Tyler; president, W.A. Bennett, M.J. Earle, James Gormsen, L.E. Kerber, B.F. Mills, Frank V. Reid, and Frank L. Thurber.

Two years later the city passed under new character and the officers were: Mayor, Clayton W. Tyler, Director of public works, N.C. Cotabish; of law, Robert G. Curren; of finance, B.B. Cook, council, W.A. Bennett, John H. Brown, William F. Closse, James Gormsen and H.E. Gresham, James Gormsen being chosen president; chief of police, Henry C. O'Dell; fire chief, Joseph H. Speddy.

The following year Councilman John H. Brown resigned to take his place as a member of the Legislature, and James J. Hinslea was chosen to fill his place.

It should be noted that while Lakewood became a city by proclamation of the secretary of state on February 17, 1911 it continued under the village government until January 1, 1912. Its growth since that time has been very rapid.



On May 4, 1903, Lakewood was incorporated as a village. The new charter required the election of a mayor and six councilmen. The first officers under the village form were: Mayor, Joseph J. Rowe, Councilmen, C.E. Newell, W.D. Pudney, Bernard Miller, J.C. Andrews, R.F. Edwards and C.C. Southern. These men served the village during 1904 and 1905.

Following the term of Mayor Rowe, Bernard Miller was elected mayor, and he served the village for two terms of two years each, the second term ending in 1909.



On February 17, 1911, Lakewood was incorporated as a city. Under the city charter a mayor and six councilmen were elected. At an election held July 22, reduced to five, this latter provision becoming effective in January of 1914.

The first mayor to be elected under the city form of government was Nelson C. Cotabish, who served from 1910 to 1911. The members of the first council were Charles G. Burton, James Gormsen, James W. Chrisford, B.F. Mills, Edward A. Smith and Clayton W. Tyler.

Other men have served Lakewood as mayor and the dates of their services are J.B. Coffinberry, 1912 to 1913, Clayton W. Tyler, 1914 to 1917; Byron M. Cook, 1918 (Died September 17, 1919); A. O. Guild (By succession to December, 1919); L. E. Hill, 1920 to 1923; E.A. Wiegand, 1924 to 1931 (Deceased). Amos I. Kauffman succeeded to the office on the death of Mayor Wiegand, and was elected in 1935 for a six-year term.



Father Time never sleeps, tires nor halts. He keeps moving on and on, till time will be no more. Many have stopped here and inquired what we have done. From 1812 to 1889, the life of the pioneers, Nicholsons, Wagars, Tegardines, Deans, and scores of others, who transformed this wilderness of trees, shrubs, and roadless wastes, ended the hamlet period with four hundred inhabitants. Can we imagine the hardships, the suffering, the inconvenience, the loneliness, privation, experienced by these invincible and determined pioneers. Can we not stop and pause to give these sturdy souls the honor which they deserve, in so continuing and shaping the destinies of the region that was later to become a paradise for us who came later.

Then we enter upon another phase of the hamlet's life. It grew so fast that a movement was set in motion to incorporate it into a village of three thousand inhabitants. Streets were laid out, a plank road maintained, farmers became closer allied, friendships grew, societies were organized and business began to expand, and then in 1911, these three thousand people began to visualize the prospect of incorporating into a city, with thirty-five thousand inhabitants. When Lakewood was not fully organized there could be no speedy work of improvement for the convenience of all the people expressed through the wish of the majority and nothing could be done without a majority consent. This wish of the people to incorporate into a city was opposed by the county commissioners and the officers of the plank road company that operated the plank road out Detroit Street. The company claimed they owned Detroit Street and if this was done the new road out would be under the control of the city and their revenue would be cut materially. As the incorporation was taking tangible form the matter was thrown into courts and the Plank Road Company was beaten. The first papers were filed in 1911.

Lakewood is a proud and prosperous city, home-loving, tolerable, intelligent tastes and refinement that is something to speak about. The have many miles of paved streets, sidewalks, lovers of trees, beautiful lawns, police protection, a fine fire department, a hospital, library, handsome churches, a Masonic Temple, wide boulevards, and handsome homes. Then there is a lavish abundance of the gifts of God, such as woods, streams, rocks, valleys, cliffs, and a lake with spacious parks along its shores where the inhabitants go and enjoy themselves in God's sunshine.

When we say that Lakewood is clean we mean that as some cities clamor for the hum of industries and factories, Lakewood has scrupulously guarded itself against the encroachments of factories that brings dirt, dust, noise and an undesirable class of residents. The only factory that ever operated within the confines of the city proper was the Theodore Kundtz's plant near the Nickel Plate tracks and Manor Park and in the last few years that has been removed and now the territory has been built up with new and beautiful homes. The only other works near the limits is the National Carbon works, skirting the city on the south at west 117th street. This is the only undesirable section that Lakewood is not proud to mention. It also brought an influx of foreign population that resides about that institution.

Aside from this section, Lakewood brags about the cleanly condition of the city. It has no poverty-stricken section, no tumbling shacks, very little that is unsightly for visitors to look upon while visiting our confines. It has no slums and no problems of the poor to worry about, as the majority own their homes and Lakewood is known as the City of Homes.

Lakewood is supplied with filtered water from the new Cleveland Filtration plant on the west side. Lighting of the finest quality is supplied by the Cleveland Illuminating Company. No better service at a reasonable at a reasonable price could be asked for.

Vigilance, foresight, tireless efforts, honesty and integrity among all the departments of city life have come to give it a real meaning. The city began as a kernel of wheat in the ground, it grew and matured into that splendid institution we see here today. The dreams of its founders have been realized and the sources of their beginning has been a source of gratification to all.

In the past few years, in fact since the construction of the great high level bridge, connecting the east with the west-side, Lakewood has grown with leaps and bounds. Especially, south of Detroit Avenue. The construction over the Rocky River Valley at Hilliard that will connect with the main highways west will still enhance the growth of this southern section of Lakewood. All the available farms in this section, in fact Lakewood proper, has all been sold and allotted and practically all built up and little is left of these vast farms of a century ago.

Lakewood has three street car lines running through its entire length, one on Clifton Boulevard, one on Detroit Avenue, and the other on Madison Avenue. Not only are these thoroughfares used by cars, but are paved and make excellent auto routes for people passing from east to west. Four of these beautiful boulevards pass through Lakewood. Lakewood is ideally situated topographically speaking. It has an even natural slope that leads to the lake. In time of storms the water is carried away easy and naturally and no damage is ever recorded from storm water. The ground is gravelling and rich which is conductive to plant life and shrubs and trees.

[From older copy: "Most of the street [sic] have double lines of mable [sic] trees, backyards are filled with flowering plants, roses and vines that actually makes [sic] the city, as we are prone to call it - a city of homes."]



The present City of Lakewood was then known as the Hamlet of Lakewood; its government consisted of a Board of Trustees, (three) of which Clayton L. Tyler was Chairman and virtually acted in the same capacity as Mayor. His residence was used as a Town Hall and was located at what is now the South East corner of Alameda and Detroit Avenues. A little skinny boy in knee breeches roamed around and peeked in at the Trustee meetings occasionally and later became the Honorable Clayton W. Tyler, Mayor of the same little Hamlet when became a City. The Police force consisted of a Marshall. Rail fences adorned Detroit Street, with cinder walks here and there, but even cinder walks were few and far between. A plank road extended from Highland Avenue to Rocky River, and occasionally a bus, traversed the distance for the sum of 20 cents per; mostly mornings and evenings, and I must not forget to mention this bus had no springs. The street car then stopped at the White gum factory where the Lake Shore Railroad then so called crosses Detroit Avenue, but there were things brewing that year in Lakewood. Rumors were afloat that a large concern was coming to Lakewood with about two thousand employees, these rumors became true and within a year the National Carbon Co., had completed buildings covering a value of over one million dollars.

The little Hamlet grew by leaps and bounds; small allotments sprung up here and there; the population jumped from about 400 to several thousand, and Lakewood commenced to grow. The street car was extended to West 117, and as more allotment came into being, it was extended to Belle Avenue and later to Rocky River. We became a village and took on village form of government about the year 1904; we still grew and then in 1910 we took on the city form of government, N.C. Cotabish being the first Mayor when we became a city, of 10,000 or more. Today we are a city of over 70,000.

Following the year 1910 the street car system was extended on Madison Avenue from West 117th Street to Rocky River and likewise the Clifton car line. Lakewood's major developments started in the year 1908 and continued in a conservative manner for a period of twenty years, so much so that today there are no streets in Lakewood without sewer facilities, lighting service and pavements. These improvements required money, Lakewood bonds were sold, improvements were made when we were in our hey day, and these same bonds issued in the twenty years following 1908 have been paid and retired, so that today the city of Lakewood enjoys the distinction of being one of the few Cities in Ohio which has not defaulted on its bonds or its interest.



Final hearing: In re-incorporation of Lakewood -- "This matter came on to be heard upon the petition, map, remonstrance and the evidence; on consideration whereof the County Commissioners find that the petition filed herein contains all the matter required by law and that all the statements therein are true; Commissioners further find that the name proposed for said corporation is appropriate, that the limits of the proposed corporation are accurately described and are not unreasonably large or small; that the map filed with said petition is accurate and that at least thirty of the persons whose names are subscribed to the petition are electors residing in the territory described in said petition; Commissioners further find that notices have been properly posted; that there is the required population and the petition seems reasonable and right and the petition is hereby granted and it is by said Board of Commissioners ordered that said corporation be organized under the name of the Hamlet of Lakewood." Cleveland, Ohio, December 26, 1889

(Date changed below to July 26, 1889)

The first meeting of the trustees, chosen as per the above pronunciamento, met at the residence of Noble Hotchkiss on the evening of August 31, 1889. The first paragraph of the minutes of the meeting, being self explanatory, we give it for your perusal: "I.E. Canfield, William Maile and Noble Hotchkiss being duly elected the first trustees of the Hamlet of Lakewood, Ohio, at a special election held July 11, 1889, met at the residence of Noble Hotchkiss at 8 o'clock p.m., August 31, 1889, having previously taken the oath of the office which was administered by Gen. J.J. Elwell."

E. Nicholson was chosen clerk and treasurer, and required to give a bond of $5,000.

Charles Townsend was chosen marshal and chief of police, and gave bonds in $50.

Noble Hotchkiss, Jr. was chosen road supervisor.

Four ordinances are passed at the first meeting of trustees, as follows: 1. Limiting speed of horses or vehicles to 8 miles an hour. 2. Forbidding any person to overload or to overdrive or to torture, torment or deprive food or water, any domestic animal. 3. Regulation saloons or drinking places. 4. To assess taxes of $1000 for general purposes.

At the second meeting a week later the president was authorized swear in 11 special policemen, giving each a badge--and charging each 50 cents for his badge.

The second meeting adjourned to meet at the call of the president. The third meeting was held January 25, 1890, and the fourth meeting was held April 22, 1890.

At the April meeting, Francis M. Wagar was appointed Marshal and supervisor, Messrs. Charles Townsend and Noble Hotchkiss, Jr., not wishing to hold office further.

At the meeting May 31, 1890, the first regular tax levy was made--a 2-mill tax for road purposes and a 1-mill tax for general purposes.

At the April 22nd meeting the trustees had ordered a lockup build[t] under the supervision of President Canfield; 11 special policemen had been appointed several months before and the intervening weeks had demonstrated the necessity of a "stow - away" that would hold prisoners --Rocky River having before this time become a popular place for fishing and recreational pursuits, with the petty lawless acts that go with a good time in the minds of certain young men who are careless of their everyday life.

Following these other precautionary enactments by the trustees we find them on August 2, 1890, providing a penalty of from $5 to $100 for betting, gambling, and various other petty crimes, with a proviso that the informer should participate in a fifty-fifty divide of the spoils. This ordinance was never signed by the president of the board, and hence never became active.

On June 30, 1891, F.M. Wagar resigned as marshall and John Billington was chosen in his place and the board set his term of office at one year.

Early in 1892, the trustees agreed on a regular meeting night, once a month. Prior to this, meetings had been held at the call of the president, and no meeting was held for several months at a time on more than one occasion.

During the early years of Lakewood's official existence only the police and road supervisor were given any compensation. But on April 8, 1892 the trustees voted $35 for the clerk for his past year's services and he was from that on a salaried official. At the reorganization in 1892, E. Nicholson was re-elected clerk, John Billington Marshal and Charles Schopp was appointed road supervisor.



The hamlet of Lakewood was organized, having a population of some 400 souls. The first trustees were I.E. Canfield, William Maile and Noble Hotchkiss. They were chosen at a special election held July 11, 1889. They were sworn in by Gen. J.J. Elwell and met at the home of Noble Hotchkiss for the first meeting. Ezra Nicholson was chosen clerk and treasurer and his bond was fixed at $5,000. Charles Townsend was chosen marshal and chief of police and his bond fixed at $50. Noble Hotchkiss, Jr. was selected road supervisor.

The board got right down to business. At this first meeting four ordinances were passed. One to regulate the speed of horses or vehicles to eight miles an hour, one forbidding any person to overload, overdrive, torture or torment, or deprive of water any domestic animal, one regulating saloons or drinking places, and another fixing the amount to be assessed for taxes at $1,000.

The second meeting was characterized by business activity. The president was authorized to swear in eleven special policemen, giving each one a badge for which he was to pay 50 cents.

At the April meeting in 1890, Francis M. Wagar was appointed marshal and road supervisor in place of Charles Townsend and Noble Hotchkiss, Jr., who resigned. At this meeting also a lockup or jail was authorized to be built under the supervision of President Canfield. This action was taken because of the fact that the good fishing in Rocky River and its recreational advantages called a great many sports to its banks, which were often guilty of petty offenses as a part of "having a good time".

In August, 1890, an ordinance was passed providing a penalty of from $5 to $100 for betting, gambling, or other refractions of the state law, with a proviso that the informer should received 50 per cent of the fines. The ordinance was never signed by the president.

For several years, the officers of the hamlet received no compensation. In April 1892, the trustees voted the clerk $35 for his services for the past years. Thus Ezra Nicholson became the first salaried or paid official of Lakewood.

At the second election of the hamlet in 1893, C.L. Tyler was chosen president to succeed I.E. Canfield, who had served three years. A resolution of thanks was given the retiring president for his fidelity and conscientious service, unanimously.



That section of country now known as Lakewood conformed with slight modifications with what was once known as Rockport township. The north boundary of this township was Lake Erie; the east, Highland Avenue-- which is now the west boundary of Cleveland and was at an early day the west boundary of the village known as West Cleveland; south boundary, Fisher Road -- sometimes called Johnson Road, and the west boundary, Rocky River.

Lakewood was organized into a hamlet that its citizens, acting as a municipal body, might make improvements and provide conveniences for all its citizens thru the wishes of the majority. When unorganized nothing could be done except by unanimous consent, and if all agreed at the outset of an improvement, discord might come when it was half finished and there was no certainty of completing even the most needed improvements.

By organizing into a hamlet this all changed. The majority could vote an improvement and then the hamlet official would go ahead and carry out the expressed will of the majority. Those who opposed the improvement, and voted against it, if it carried could be taxed for their share of the improvement and would be given opportunity to enjoy the blessings.

Then, if voted into the city after improvements had been made, and taxed for the general good, the improvements put into effect before annexation, and for which the community had been bonded, could not be taken away and the participation in the debts of the larger city was certain whether or not the smaller community had debts to contribute to the total budget.

The protest against the incorporation of the Hamlet of Lakewood was made to the County Commissioners by officers of the plank road company that owned and operated a plank road out Detroit Street, from what was then known as Pearl Street to the banks of Rocky River. The officers of this company argued that to incorporate Lakewood meant to give the control of Detroit Street, or such portion as lay within that hamlet, into the control of the trustees of Lakewood. This, they said could not be done as Detroit Street belonged to them, that the State Legislature had given it to them forever and that the County Commissioners had no control over it.

As soon as an effort to incorporate took tangible form, proceedings were begun in the county court to substantiate this claim, and the County Commissioners let the question of incorporation rest until it had been threshed out through all the courts, and the Plank Road Company had been beaten. The first papers were filed by the County Commissioners September 7, 1885, and the request -- and a charter -- was not granted the hamlet until August 31, 1889. The time in the interim was consumed in law-suits.



When the hamlet was organized August 31, 1889, the selection of a name was discussed with a great deal of interest.

The name "Arlington" was first adopted and application sent to the postmaster general for a post office in that name. The postmaster general replied that there was another post office in the state so named and to avoid confusion suggested that another name be chosen.

Thereupon a committee was appointed to consider the question of a name and report. Ezra Nicholson and A.B. Allen were the committee and they made a canvass of the residents before reporting.

The name Lakewood was chosen as appropriate and euphonious.



As Lakewood was organized into a hamlet in the late 80's, and up to this time had no distinctive name, the question of name was one of the first to be discussed as a step towards incorporation. Leaders in the movement for incorporation first agreed on the name "Arlington", and made application to that end at the Post office Department. The Postmaster General at once informed them that as there was a hamlet so designated in the state he wished them to make a second choice, in this way avoiding confusion among employees of the department.

The question of name was then entrusted to Messrs. E. Nicholson and A. B. Allen who were appointed a committee to consider the proposition and report. A canvass led to the suggestion that as the new hamlet was to nestle on the bosom of Lake Erie, and its environs were largely woods at the time of incorporation, the name "Lakewood" would prove both euphonious and suggestive, and so that sobriquet was adopted and incorporation papers were asked for with Lakewood as the title of the new hamlet.



The development of East Rockport's school system paved the way for organization of its own separate local government.

These pioneers were proud of their schools and proud of the spot they picked for their homes. They were separated from the rest of Rockport township in fact, and they desired to be separated in name as well. "East Rockport" jarred their pride, for it indicated that the district was only part of a whole instead of being complete in itself.

The town narrowly escaped being called "Arlington" for when the post office station was granted that name had been proposed. The government rejected it because there was already an Arlington in Ohio.

The movement to organize as a hamlet really got started in 1885. The first step was to select a name. By common consent, Ezra Nicholson and A.B. Allen were chosen as a two-man committee to canvass residents and get suggestions. No record was left of all the names proposed, nor did anyone think to preserve the name of the person who hit upon the name of "Lakewood" for the new town. That name so happily described the district with its great forest fringing Lake Erie, that everyone instantly approved.

On September 7, 1885, the Cuyahoga County Commissioners received a petition requesting the organization of "Lakewood Hamlet", and the petition was granted on December 19, 1885.

For some reason or other the election of officers was postponed for almost three years, until July 11, 1889. On that date I.E. Canfield, William Maile, and Noble Hotchkiss were elected trustees. Their first meeting was held at the Hotchkiss home the night of August 31, at which Ezra Nicholson was appointed clerk and hamlet treasurer.

The very first ordinance passed was one designed to prevent "fast driving", and the word "fast" was construed as meaning any speed more than eight miles an hour. The ordinance read:

"Be it ordained by the trustees of the Hamlet of Lakewood, Ohio, that no person shall ride or drive any horse or horses or other animal or animals in such a manner as to endanger or reasonably incommode any person at a rate of speed exceeding eight miles an hour. Any person violating the provision of this section may be arrested and upon conviction thereof be fined a sum not exceeding twenty-five dollars or imprisonment not more than thirty days or both at the direction of the court."

Another ordinance provided the same penalty for cruelty to animals, and a third ordinance prohibited "any saloon, beer, ale, or porterhouse" to keep open on Sunday "either in front, side or rear or any other way."

Charles Townsend was elected marshal and chief of police to enforce these ordinances. Provision for building "a lock-up" and furnishing Townsend and his deputies with official badges was left for the next meeting.

At this first meeting there was also levied a special tax for general purposes of the hamlet. It was thought that 1,000 would be enough. Out of this sum was paid almost at once $200 to the attorney who drew up the incorporation papers. This attorney had asked $250 but the trustees and Nicholson dickered until they reduced the amount.

The trustees solved the fire department problem by making a contract with a J.A Mastick to furnish a team of horses to haul apparatus, and to provide two men to help him fight any fire which might occur. Should an extra bad fire start volunteers would pitch in and help. The arrangement worked very well. The contract was renewed year after year for ten years, and in all that time there was no disastrous conflagration.

Everything went along so beautifully in Lakewood that on September 9, 1891, the people across the river petitioned for the organization of Rocky River Hamlet. This was granted December 19, and that village was launched with an estimated population of 700. At the same time a petition was refused asking incorporation of a territory south of Rocky River into the proposed hamlet of "River Bank".

A year later, on July 6, 1892, a petition was granted organizing the hamlet of Rockport, comprising the territory south of Lakewood. This later became West Park, and still later was absorbed by Cleveland.



The growth of East Rockport, though steady, was not rapid, and it was not until August 31, 1889, that a revision of the form of government was thought necessary. The population was then about 450. It was on that date that the county commissioners were petitioned to permit the incorporation of a hamlet under the name Lakewood. It is interesting to note that one of the signers of the petition was a man who later was to become famous in American politics, Marcus A. Hanna.

When permission was granted, there arose the question of a proper name for the new hamlet. It was first proposed to call it Arlington, but the postal authorities pointed out that a hamlet of that name was already in existence in the state. Ezra Nicholson and A.B. Allen, pioneer citizens, were appointed a committee to suggest a name. The suitability of the name Lakewood, was obvious, and on their recommendation it was finally chosen. Thus, East Rockport ended and Lakewood began.

The hamlet being formed, a board of trustees of three men was selected. The trustees chose one of their own members, I.E. Canfield, as the presiding officer and acting mayor. Mr. Canfield served as mayor during the years, 1889 to 1891. Subsequent mayors under the hamlet form of government were: C.L. Tyler, 1892 to 1897, Otto C. Berchtold, 1898 to 1899; Jacob H. Tegardine, 1900 to 1901; Joseph J. Rowe, 1902 to 1903.




The social and business life of the community was centered around "the corners," Detroit and Warren Roads. Warren had been cut through in 1842 to exactly divide the township east of the River.

On the southeast corner of this intersection stood the Wagar home, and across the road from it was the graveyard started by Mars in 1828.* The first burial in it had been that of a Mrs. Sarah Ann Brewster, and the second that of an unidentified man found dead in the woods and believed to have been murdered. The Wagars maintained the cemetery for years. In the earliest days they charged a fee of $2 or a little more for digging graves. Just prior to 1925, when the cemetery was finally abandoned, there was a dispute between descendants of the Wagers and descendants of the persons buried there, as to whether the grave-digging fees conveyed title to the lots. The Wagars won and a movement to make the old burying ground an historic park failed.

A man name Bennett, who once lost a bet with a local woodsman that he could saw five cords of wood in a day, ran a tavern near the old graveyard. Bennett was a jovial fellow and his place was popular. One night talk got to running on ghosts. It was known that one of the more inebriated guests was accustomed to make his way home through the graveyard. A practical joker saw in this circumstance an opportunity to have some fun.

The tipsy guest eventually started home, trailed at a distance by companions expecting some fun. Half way through the cemetery a white-sheeted figure rose from behind a tombstone.

"Who are you?" asked the inebriate.

"I am the devil and I have come to take you," answered the ghost in what passed for a haunting voice.

"Well take this instead, " said the drunk stooping down picked up a rock and heaved it with uncanny accuracy.

The ghost was knocked out. His friends took him back to the tavern, where a doctor charged 50 cents to sew up a cut on his head.

There was a store across the road from the cemetery, near where Belle Avenue was later located. It was operated by Lucius Dean, and later on by L. Johnson. In 1885 O.W. Hotchkiss built a much larger general store on or near the site. He is sometimes called Lakewood's first merchant, although that is not strictly true. Another early storekeeper was J. Tegardine, who built on the corner of Warren and Detroit.

The old schoolhouse on Warren Road just south of Detroit completed the picture of "the corners." There people used to go to spelling bees, debates and infrequent lectures.

More than a quarter of a mile south on Warren was William Maile's drain tile and brick plant. It was started in 1861 and was a landmark of the vicinity until the 1900's.

*N.b Mars 1st died 1820 Mars 2nd (grandson) born 1858

Probably a church building stood someplace near the center of the township also, for four denominations had been organized several decades before. The Methodists organized in 1822; Baptists, 1832; Congregationalists in 1835; and the Free Will Baptist in 1840.



On May 4, 1893, Lakewood was organized into a village and the first officers were: Mayor, J.J Rowe; solicitor, G.N. Shaver; clerk, Harry J. Sensel; councilman, Jay C. Andrews, R. F. Edwards, C. E. Newell, W. D. Pudney, C. C. Southern and Daniel Webb.

Of these first officers of the village three, Mr. Pudney, Mr. Rowe and Mr. Edwards, have served in the Legislature, Mr. Rowe is the present senator and Mr. Edwards the present representative, resident in Lakewood.

The mayor following J.J. Rowe was Bernard Miller, then came N.C. Cotabish, who was the last mayor under the village government.



Lakewood became a village in 1903 and took on the airs of a city in 1910. At this time the population was only about 500, but soon the claim was made that it had over 2,000. This was a great increase, but greater things were still to come as in a few years, there were 12,000 people living within the incorporation. The first mayor of Lakewood was J.J. Rowe, and the rest of the official family was as follows: Council, J.C. Andrews, R.F. Edwards, C.E. Newell, W.D. Pudney, C.C. Southern, and Daniel Webb.



Lakewood having grown rapidly since its incorporation as a hamlet, it was organized into a village on May 4, 1903. Its official family was as follows:

Mayor -- J.J. Rowe

Council -- Jay C. Andrews, R.F. Edwards, C.E. Newell, W.D. Pudney, C.C. Southern, and Daniel Webb.

Solicitor -- G.N. Shaver

Clerk -- Harry J. Sensel

In 1906 the city roster shows Bernard Miller, Mayor; William F. Closse, N.C. Cotabish, O.B. Hannan, E.J. Hobday, and Fred Cook as Councilmen; B.M. Cook had in the interim been chosen Clerk.

January 1, 1908, Bernard Miller is Mayor, Fred Cook, E.J. Hobday, Frank H. Miner, C.E. Newell, Fred Plaat, and C.W. Tyler, as Councilmen. During the year E.J. Hobday resigned to become Solicitor, and he was succeeded by W.F. Coffey.

January 4, 1909, Bernard Miller is still Mayor, with Fred Cook, E.L. French, Frank H. Miner, C.E. Newell, Fred Plaat, and C.W. Tyler as Councilmen, but during the year Fred Plaat retired and was succeeded by J.W. Christford.

In 1910 and 1911 the following were in office:

Mayor -- N.C. Cotabish

Council -- Charles G. Burton, J.W. Chrisford, James Gormsen, F.B. Mills, Ed A. Smith and Clayton W. Tyler.

In 1911 $15,000 was authorized for a City Hall and the same sum for fire apparatus.


HISTORY OF CLEVELAND, 1796 - 1890 -- KENNEDY PG. 507 - 508

Cleveland has never been in undue haste to add to her possessions by annexation. Such adjacent territory as has been added to her borders, had come through manifest destiny, and in response to the reasonable demands of the people most directly interested. It was inevitable that, in the course of time, the thriving villages just to the westward should be absorbed into the great city, even as were East Cleveland and Newburg. It was, therefore, no surprise when West Cleveland and Brooklyn came into the municipal fold. West Cleveland was annexed on March 4, 1894, and Brooklyn Village on April 30, 1894. The first named added to the city about 1,500 acres and 6,000 inhabitants; Brooklyn, 1,700 acres of land and 5,000 inhabitants.



From almost the very year of her birth as a city, Lakewood has had to fight for her corporate existence. Cleveland, once so far away, has expanded right up to the city line. Strangers passing through seldom know when they have left one city and entered the other.

In everything except government, the two are one. They are served by the same utilities, their streets merge without a break, and a majority of Lakewood citizens work in Cleveland and think of themselves as Clevelanders rather than as citizens of an entirely different municipality.

Those facts are among the arguments which have been repeated time and again by persons who would like to see Cleveland absorb all her contiguous suburbs.

By annexation or some sort of a "borough plan", it is pointed out that the general tax rate could be lowered by consolidating all municipal departments, eliminating hundred of public office holders, and constructing public projects such as sewer disposal systems and water works.

In earlier annexation drives civic jealousy also figured to a certain extent. In 1916 an annexation drive was based on the slogan " Detroit shall not outstrip Cleveland". At that time Cleveland was losing her title of "Sixth City".

Opponents of annexation have little doubt that Cleveland would benefit by absorbing her neighbors, but they fear the suburbs would not. They distrust Cleveland political factions which at one time and another have dominated the city's administration. Lakewood has feared that its small voice in such a large chorus would not change the tune.

Even were it not for this distrust of her big neighbor, many Lakewood citizens hesitated to surrender to the intimate relationship between a small city government and her residents.

Much emphasis has been given different points in the series of annexation battles. The fear of a higher tax rate, belief that municipal improvements would cease, fear of detriment to the schools, have been prominent in the continued arguments for civic autonomy. In 1910 liquor was the big issue. An anti-annexation circular of that year read:

"From the day Lakewood was voted dry it began to grow by leaps and bounds into a city of beautiful homes. Hundreds of families have come to Lakewood on this account. Annexation means a change in these conditions and assures the redistricting of Lakewood."

Citizens that November voted 1,456 to 977 against union.

In 1922 another big drive was made. Mass meetings and debates were held at which annexationists charged that Lakewood city council was trying to "thwart the will of the people", and the anti - annexationists charged that "Cleveland has always been a mismanaged city run by the liquor interests"

West Park in the election that November voted almost two to one to come into the city and Lakewood voted by a substantial margin to stay out.

Two years later the "Cleveland Metropolitan Council" was organized with the idea of promoting "cooperation" in Cuyahoga County's family of cities and towns in common enterprizes. On the eve of the first meetings of the proposed organization, the Cleveland council passed a resolution to cut streetcar service in Lakewood to the minimum. Edward A. Weigand, mayor of Lakewood at the time, angrily termed the action an attempt to "club" Lakewood, and threatened to secede from the "cooperative" plan. The new organization, off to a bad start, died an early death.

Undismayed by these setbacks, other attempts were made to pull Lakewood into the city but all of them failed. It remains for the future to tell whether Lakewood will always keep her identity.

The generation of residents who came out when Lakewood was new, who built homes and saw property values rise with the city's bounding population, are now passing out of picture. Their places are being taken by newcomers who have no such sentimental attachment to the town, and who will therefore be more open to the old familiar arguments of the annexationists.

When and if the tax rate and bonded indebtedness of the two cities strike the same level, and if Cleveland presents such a record of good government that it will erase the memory of past mismanagement, annexation may emerge from the status of a possibility to that of probability.



A press reporter called on former Councilman Palda at his offices, showed him a newspaper item regarding his views on annexation of Lakewood to Cleveland, and asked for a definite statement of his views and whether he intended to head a movement for annexation.

Mr. Palda read the item and said: "There is nothing in the statement attributed to me that is at variance with the opinions of any well informed resident of Lakewood. Every one knows that Lakewood will eventually become a part of Cleveland and it would be folly not to take that eventually into consideration in all acts which will affect the future of the community.

"There is, however, a very serious difference of opinion as to when annexation is likely to take place and when it would be for the best interests of all concerned that it should take place. Even now there exists a strong sentiment for immediate annexation, and that sentiment will undoubtedly grow with the increase in the rate of taxation and the refusal of the city administration to reduce the water rates.

"I did say in support of my resolution to adopt the Cleveland building code that one reason for the adoption of the code is that when annexation does take place no readjustments of any kind would be required, and in the meantime not one dollar of the public funds would have to be spent in drafting a code, whereas hundreds of dollars would have to be paid to architects and contractors if the drafting of a new code were undertaken. But the making of that statement is no indication that I favor annexation now.

"As a matter of fact, I believe annexation should not even be talked of at this time further than as the ultimate destiny of this community. We have many improvements in contemplation that should be obtained before a merger of the cities takes place. Moreover, Lakewood women have just been granted municipal suffrage, and I would oppose annexation to Cleveland because that city has not yet recognized the equality of men and women and annexation would rob our women of the fruits of their recent victory.

"No, I am not in favor of annexation at this time, and I will not become a leader of the annexationists', nor will I give them aid or comfort, all of which the item you have called to my attention states is possible, because I am 'no longer a city official of Lakewood drawing a salary from the city treasury".

"But you may quote me as saying that I am still in favor of adopting Cleveland's building code, for perfectly obvious reasons, and am in favor of a new city hall; and I do not believe that there is the slightest inconsistency in my attitude or any "flip-flopping" except in the wobbly logic of the hysterical author of the article in question.

"I believe Lakewood should have a city hall in keeping with its size and reflecting its intelligence and civic spirit of its citizens; I believe the Cleveland building code should be accepted now because it is comprehensive, adequate and will cost Lakewood not cent to adopt, and I believe Lakewood should remain a separate community until it has secured such betterments and improvements as its citizens now have a view".



In 1815, Joseph Larwill, of Wooster, Ohio, came to Rockport and purchased the "mill lot" on the east side of the river, and also a tract on the west side near the mouth, where, with Gideon Granger, John Bever and Calvin Pease, he laid out a city, which was called Granger, in honor of Gideon Granger, a large land owner in Rockport and other parts of the Reserve. A sale of the lots was widely advertised, and on the appointed day a great number of people were assembled from a considerable distance. Lots were sold at high rates; some bringing $60 each; the excitement ran high, and Larwill and Company felt assured of a fortune.

The first cabin built upon the site of the new city was put up by Charles Miles near where the Patchen House now stands, and in 1816 John Dowling, George Reynolds, and Capt. Foster also erected cabins. In the same year, John James, of Boston, bought out Miles, who then located on the farm afterwards owned by Gov. Wood. James, who had brought out a small stock of goods, opened a store, and also a tavern, both of which he carried on until his death in 1820.

In 1816, too, as already stated, Rufus Wright built a tavern there, and there were also several other settlers in the new city at that time, including Asakel Porter, Eleazer Waterman, Josephus B. Lizer and Henry Canfield, the last of whom built what was long known as " Canfield's old store". Mr. Canfield came from Trumbull County, Ohio, the home of his father, who had bought considerable land in Rockport. One day he met at his store a lady who had journeyed alone, on horseback, from Connecticut to Royalton, to visit her sister. He fell in love with her at first sight, married her shortly afterward, and moved with her to a farm east of the river, now owned by Collins French. He lived there but a short time, however, before returning to Trumbull County.

One Fluke, a German, and a potter by trade, came from Wooster and settled in Granger City in 1817, and began to make brown earthenware. Shortly after that Henry Clark came along and opened a tavern, and one Scott moved from Painesville to join Larwill in the erection of a mill. They had got up the frame of a dam when winter set in, but in the spring the floods washed it entirely away. This deeply discouraged Mr. Larwill regarding the future of Granger City, and he abandoned the undertaking in disgust.

The city struggled on a short time after this, but all kinds of business were soon abandoned there, and even the few scattered cabins were speedily deserted by their inmates.