Real Estate



W.R. COATES -- Volume I, Pg. 191

The annual report of the building inspector for this year shows that building permits were issued for 1,074 dwellings with a total valuation of $6,526,725, nineteen apartments with a total value of $1,029,000, fifty commercial buildings with a total value of $1,058,000, one theater, four churches ninety-three alterations, 745 minor buildings, one market house, three public garages, two ice stations, six gasoline stations and three shops.

The total valuation of the building permits issued this year of 1922 was $9,503,285 or an increase over the year of 1921 of $4,315,093.



W.R. COATES -- Volume I, Pg. 183-184

It is a far cry from the present modern City of Lakewood to 1789, when a hunter and trapper visited the then newly established City of Marietta, on the Ohio, and stated that he had traveled westward on the southern shore of Lake Erie as far as the River Cuyahoga. He ventured the opinion that the location was a good one and would some day be the site of a great city. At the time of his visit to the new City of Marietta, the City of Lakewood was only inhabited by Indians. Right in the City of Lakewood today are a number of families whose histories are practically the history of the town before it became a municipality. One of the best known is the Wagar family, who at one time or another have owned at least one-fifth of the entire 3,600 acres that constitute the area of the town.

It was more than 100 years ago that the first Wagar came to Ohio from Lansingburgh, New York. He was Mars Wagar, a man learned in the classics and the mystery of surveying. In 1820 he purchased 111 acres of land in East Rockport, a mile and a half east of Rocky River. He paid $5 an acre for the homestead on which four generations have since lived and it is interesting to note that his grandson and namesake this year sold twenty acres of the interior of that farm with no street frontage for $95,000, or practically $5,000 an acre. Incidentally Mars E. Wagar told the writer that that property was assessed for taxes at the same value as the price of sale.

The old abstracts show that the Wagar homestead was bought from the estate of Gideon Granger, who took his title direct from the Connecticut Land Company. The Grant House property through which now runs the extension of Belle Avenue was sold to Israel Kidney, twelve acres in all, for $7 an acre. The original Wagar's grandson, many years after, bought back two acres of the same for $14,000. The real price first paid for the twelve acres was a yoke of oxen. This was often told by Mrs. Katura Wagar, who long survived her husband. On this $84 estate was built the hotel, which after the Civil War was called the Grant House.



The story of real estate values, past and present, as they have fluctuated within the remembrance of J.E. Tegardine, who has lived within the present city about seventy years, makes an interesting chapter at this time. He has served as hamlet and village postmaster, trustee, councilman and mayor, and saw four years' service in the Civil War as a representative of his township years before it had aspired to corporate greatness.

The Tegardine family moved to Lakewood in 1847. At that time land was selling at $30 an acre, with a few choice homesites valued at $50--for speculative purposes, but valued by the assessor much below these figures.

At the time of incorporation into a hamlet values had risen until the choice homesites were valued at $100 per acre, with frontage on Detroit Avenue quoted somewhat higher if other conditions were favorable. Incorporation and railway franchise extension led to another jump in values; water extension, sewer installation, electric light and gas introduction to still another boost; while street paving, increased fire and police protection, rapid transit and building restrictions, and school and church improvements and benefits have added values until today real estate quotations range from $1,500 to $25,000 an acre, with choice sites hard to secure at any price.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- October 4, 1917, Pg. 2

Scarcely two years ago all that property between Bunts Road and Warren Road south of Madison Avenue, was farm land, but with the promise of a car line came the first signs of city development.

N.C. Cotabish bought the land lying on the west side of Bunts Road from Madison Avenue to Fisher Road and laid it out into some sixty good sized lots. He thought some of selling it himself, as he had done with several other allotments that he had opened, but L.H. Heister, Jr., Citizens Building, had been recommended to him as the liveliest and most progressive allotment operator on the west side of the river, so he engaged Heister to sell it for him. Heister put his up-to-the-minute men on this piece and sold it so fast that E.G. Gilbert, who owned the east side of Bunts Road, got Heister to sell same for him, and this was cleaned up with such speed that Gilbert opened up the street East of Bunts Road, and Heister sold out the tract of some 170 lots.

Just about this time R.W. Gammel offered 25 acres for sale on Madison opposite Lincoln Avenue. Heister got W.G. Lee interested in this, and they bought this together, paying $850.00 more per acre than Gilbert paid for that which he had bought a year previous.

Heister and Lee laid out a beautiful street here and called it Lincoln Avenue extension. 60 lots were sold in here within a few weeks, making a total of nearly 300 lots in this vicinity in three and a half months.

Since that time Heister has secured the selling of a beautiful wooded section of Athens Avenue, between Brown Road and Lincoln Avenue, south of Madison Avenue, also a tract of land between and including Warren Road, and Lincoln Avenue, south of Madison Avenue.

Although acreage has increased from $1,400 to $2,750 per acre in two years, and none to be had at that price, and the cost of improvements has jumped 100% in that time, yet Heister had some exceptionally good buys in this section at $700.

When you stop to consider that most of the above described property was sold without any improvements being in, before the car line was built, and before the high level bridge was hardly begun, and now that the improvements are in, the Madison cars are running on a regular schedule, and the new bridge is practically completed, what a wonderful opportunity home builders have here, also those who want to place their savings where they can play absolutely safe, and where they know they will get a good return on their investment.

Another important feature is the new High and Technical School, located at Bunts Road and Franklin, which, when completed, will be one of the finest in the country, if not the finest. This improvement is costing a million and a quarter dollars, and can take care of 2,000 pupils, giving instruction in all branches of scientific and technical courses. Athletics will have a prominent place here. A large part of the grounds will be laid out for all kinds of field sports, and a grand stand will be erected, which will seat 2,500 people.

To sum up the foregoing:

Low prices -- beautiful lots in a high and dry location -- no railroads or factories near enough to mar with smoke and dirt -- near schools and stores -- many new homes already built, and many more under construction, -- will make this section the quickest, high class development that Cleveland or the suburbs has ever known.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- October 11, 1917, Pg. 8


This beautiful property was purchased prior to the tremendous advance in acreage prices incident to the completion and actual operation of the New West Madison Ave. Car Line thru to Rocky River. That's the answer to the low price attending the wonderful HOMESITE sale now under way here in Homeland.


On the east side of Warren Road -- south of West Madison Avenue.

HOMELAND offers you your last glorious opportunity to buy here in Lakewood at the price you can afford to pay.

BEAR IN MIND!! New cars are now actually running (10 minute service) through to Rocky River. New Million dollar grade and high schools near at hand. New high level bridge will soon be open to traffic. Many new homes are now being built on and near this property.

EXACTLY 32 LOTS LEFT -- And they won't last long.


How to Get There


Phone Main 14 or Central 331 and I'll send our auto and courteous salesman to your home for you at your convenience.


Take West Madison Avenue car (marked "Through")--get off at Warren Road--take our auto there--or walk a few minutes south to allotment office. You'll meet us there.

LOTS 40x140

$650.00 and up

10% down-$10 per month


Sewers and water now in!

Stone sidewalks now being laid!

HEISTER 912 Citizens Building

Main 14 Central 331

R.B. Curtiss, General Sales Manager


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- October 25, 1917 Pg. 8

L.H. Heister Jr., allotment specialist 912 Citizens Building, talks of housing conditions in Lakewood.

"Much has been said recently of the inadequate housing conditions in Cleveland," says Heister, "and in support of this I just want to tell of Lakewood housing conditions.

"I have a client who had a small suite of rooms for rent in a four-family house. She put an ad in the morning paper and received 29 calls in two hours. Another client was receiving $25 per month for a small six-room house; the people were going to move, so she advertised their house was for rent. She had twenty calls and rented it for $35.00, an increase of 40%.

"Another customer told me that people coming from out of town could not find places to rent and were unable to find room and board for the boarding houses were all filled.

"These conditions have come about because of the rapid increase in the population of Lakewood (this increase being better than 22,000 in seven years), also because of the lack of new buildings. Many people are not building because of the high prices of material and they think they will be lower after the war, but who knows when the war will end? There will be a bigger demand than ever for materials for all kinds of reconstruction, and who is going to supply them? Why, the United States. In support of this statement a salesman for one of the largest timber concerns in the country told me that most of our output before the war was sent abroad and since the war they had not been able to ship any abroad, and many firms are in the same position.

"However, the wise ones are building now, because they see an advance instead of a decline. They also know that many added improvements to Lakewood, new high school, new street car line and completion of new high level bridge will make this beautiful and healthy section a profitable place to buy in, as well as a delightful place to live."


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- October 25, 1917 Pg. 6

Having entirely sold out one allotment and two-thirds of another within the past year on the recently completed Madison car line extension, the Cleveland Trust Company announces the opening of the Evelyn Avenue Subdivision, Sunday, October 28, one block away from Warren Road, running from the south side of Madison Avenue to Athens Avenue.

This parcel will contain a limited number of 40 foot lots on a 50 foot street, all situated within two minutes walk of the car line, also several unrestricted business sites on Madison.

In view of the close proximity of this property to Lakewood high and grade schools, W.H. Troph, the superintendent of this allotment, located at the Cleveland Trust Company, Lakewood Branch, anticipates a record sale of these home sites.

The other Madison subdivisions managed by the bank are the Rocky River Nurseries allotment, off Riverside Road and West Clifton Boulevard, consisting of 152 home sites sold out several months previous to the opening of the new car line now being rapidly built up with a fine grade of homes; on "Rich-Land Heights," a 200 lot parcel directly across the street from Lakewood's recently acquired 17-acre school site on Madison Avenue near Robinwood is in charge of B.E. Butler, superintendent, who reports several big sales to builders within the past few days.

One deal involved the erection of ten homes to be completed by January 1st. Another sale of 20 lots to a builder seems to emphasize a big demand for homes and home sites near Lakewood's new high school and indicates rapid development of new residential communities when the home builder or investor is assured of a substantial increase in land values.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- November 22, 1917 Pg. 5

After much discussion and a wordy war, the council adopted an ordinance prepared by the director of law accepting the dedication of a new allotment south of Madison Avenue. The plat of this allotment was approved by the former director of public works and Engineer Fisher, but the dedication was not accepted, although the matter had been pending for many months, because council hoped for some further concessions by the allotters relative to the opening up of Lincoln Avenue.

Attorney Wilkins of the firm of Wilkins, Cross and Doust had repeatedly appeared before council to urge the acceptance of the dedication and again urged its acceptance at the last meeting of council. He stated that the land was in the hands of a receiver and that the delay in accepting the dedication had already affected and would continue to affect the value of the property injuriously. He stated that the receiver would, to protect the value of the property, be required to open up Lincoln Avenue, and that that would be done if the city would cooperate.

Councilman Miller and Gormsen desired to require the receiver to open two other streets across the property to accomodate a neighboring allotment. Mr. Wilkins stated the receiver was powerless to do that, as the six lots through which the street would pass had been sold and he thought it would be unjust besides to require the receiver to destroy six lots without compensation to benefit another allotment.

Engineer Fischer had stated that the city was under moral obligation to accept the dedication and that he had approved the plat.

The council voted to accept the dedication, Gormsen and Miller voting in the negative. Mr. Tyler then stated he would be constrained to veto the ordinance unless Mr. Wilkins would secure the opening of Lincoln Avenue. As this was the condition upon which the council accepted the dedication, Mr. Wilkins was satisfied.

Mr. Cross of Mr. Wilkins' firm had years ago supported the candidacy of Mr. Mills, who was Mr. Tyler's chief rival for the office of mayor. He was very active in that campaign and won the enmity of the mayor. It is reported that he was, during the recent campaign, opposed to the election of any member of the present administration or of the council.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- December 6, 1917 Pg. 5

W.H. Troph, Lakewood real estate representative of the Cleveland Trust Company reports the sale of several home sites in Richland Avenue (part of this bank's "Rich-Land Heights" subdivision), to the Cornell Company, Lakewood home builders, upon which will be erected at once several two-family houses of unusual design and quality. This street is one of several recently put through along the new car line by the real estate department of this bank, and is directly opposite the 17-acre tract purchased recently by the Lakewood school board for technical high and grade schools, between Bunts Road and Robinwood.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- December 31, 1917 Pg. 5

L.H. Heister, Jr., allotment operator, says business looks good for December.

Heister reports these sales: Six lots in Homeland; three lots in Madison View; one lot in Lakewood Avenue, and a two-family house in Edgewater Allotment.

"The real estate outlook is so good that I will market, early in January. two allotments, one on the East Side, and one on the West Side," Heister says.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 23

That women are invading business circles of every kind, and that they generally make good is an admitted fact. The woman lawyer has come and is in all cases a success. The last election called many women into politics by electing them to various places of trust.

It remains for Lakewood to produce a successul, energetic real estate woman in the person of Mrs. B. Evans of 1577 Olivewood Avenue. Mrs. Evans embarked in the real estate business in Lakewood in the spring of 1917 and because of her energy, tact and her manner of handling property, was successful from the very start.

When it is said that Mrs. Evans sold over two hundred thousand dollars' worth of property since her advent in business, it will at once be apparent that her success has been phenomenal. Asked by a Press representative to what she attributed her remarkable success, she said that she knows of no reason except that she was very careful that her clients received the kind of deal that was represented and that every promise was made good.

Another reason was that she usually handled the best kind of property and while she caters to all classes, she never tries to hide any defect and is perfectly frank in her representations. "But", said Mrs. Evans, "the real reason that I am successful is because of the fact that I give my clients results." And she continued, "Is not this what everybody wants?" The reporter admitted that she was right.

Mrs. Evans handles real estate, rentals, and does trading in real estate of all kinds. Mrs. Evans prides herself on her domestic qualifications, and has a reputation close to the famous "57". She won a prize at the Food Show some time since for sweet pickles, jelly and chili sauce, two of these being "firsts".

For the benefit of patrons automobile service is given with careful drivers.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 14

The Cleveland Trust Company's Lakewood Office reports the sale of a large block of lots to a Lakewood builder on the company's latest Madison Avenue subdivision--known as "The Evelyn Avenue Subdivision"--one block west of Warren Road, this being the third allotment on the new Madison line opened by this within the past two years, aggregating about 500 homesites.

"The quick sale of these lots," reports Mr. Troph, Lakewood real estate representative for that company, "seems to emphasize the generally expressed opinion among Lakewood people the past few years, namely, that the Madison extension was not simply desired by a few property owners and real estate operators for the development of their proposed allotments, but on the other hand, the lack of this extension in a built-up community where the nearest carline was within ten to twelve minutes walk, has really been working a hardship on Lakewood people and had materially hampered the development of one of the choicest moderate priced residential section anywhere in or about Cleveland. However, as we now have excellent street car service, thru to Rocky River, we are anticipating an unprecedented demand for all remaining unsold lots in this and our other allotments this spring."


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 23

I first saw the wonderful future for Lakewood from a real estate standpoint about three years ago, just after a successful lot selling campaign of all that property in the vicinity of Edgewater park, or about 400 lots, says L.H. Heister, Jr., allotment operator, Citizen's Building. I allotted the property lying opposite French Avenue, between Lake Avenue and the lake, then known as Andrew's Wood, and laid this tract out in lots ranging from 40 to 70 foot front and priced them low enough to allow the ordinary citizen to get a homesite close to the lake and in one of the most beautiful spots in the country, and because of its beauty and price we sold 48 lots there in about weeks, sale took place in February, and to see the lots the people had to go through knee deep snow. I named it Sylvanhurst because of the magnificent oak trees that flourish there.

Sometime later I learned that the city of Lakewood was just about to grant a franchise for a car line on Madison Avenue. I got busy in that section and in a short time I sold about 65 lots for N.C. Cotabish on the west side of Bunts Road, some 170 lots on the east side of Bunts Road and both sides of Wascana. At this time W.G. Lee, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and myself purchased about 25 acres lying on the south side of Madison Avenue. We cut a 60 foot street, making it the extension of Lincoln Avenue. The lots were wide and deep, and were sold almost immediately. Since that time we have sold out almost entirely two other allotments, making a total of nearly 400 lots sold on the Madison car line in less than 18 months.

I know of no section in or around Cleveland that has the wonderful opportunities to develop that Lakewood has. Very low priced, but high class real estate, modern up-to-date and efficient schools and high schools--three street car lines one-half mile apart, progressive city officials who work harmoniously together, no better fire department or police department in the country. The very best class of people on earth live in Lakewood.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 26

Lakewood's history would have been different had it not been for the progressive spirit of some of the public spirited men who have been identified with the building of the residences, and the laying out of its streets.

Among these men Phil Marquard, president of the Phil Marquard Company, is easily one of the foremost.

Mr. Marquard laid out and built the character houses on Northland, Lauderdale Avenue, Ethel Avenue and Granger Street. All of the houses on this street which he built and planned have character and individuality and were built with the very best of material.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 15

Residents in the vicinity of the old Fries estate, better known for many years as the "Nursery Farm" at Riverside Drive and Madison, overlooking Rocky River valley, are beginning to talk about the great progress being made in the development of this property. The original nursery takes in all the land between Larchmont and Riverside Drive, West Madison and West Clifton Boulevard, and was laid out and sold by the Cleveland Trust Company about two years ago. Out of 200 lots there are now only three unsold lots in the entire tract.

Fries Avenue, the street nearest the new Madison carline, is rapidly taking on the appearance of a high grade, exclusive residence street for single houses, for which no small credit is due the Cornell Company, builders, who, when this allotment was first put on the market, had the foresight to acquire over one-half of this street and are now putting the finishing touches to their first block of high grade homes.

W.H. Troph, Lakewood realty manager for The Cleveland Trust Company, and manager of the allotment, has acquired one these homes and has been placed in complete charge of the selling for the Cornell Company at Fries Avenue. "These homes," reports Mr. Troph, "range in price from $6,000 to $7,500, and are built for the buyer who desires a home embodying all modern innovations in high grade home construction, people who are particular about such items of construction which are usually beyond the casual inspection of the ordinary buyer, but still very essential to the maintenance of warmth in severe weather and necessary to the wear of houses built not merely to sell but to stand up for years with the least amount of maintenance expense. This idea has been carried out from foundation to attic. Woodwork, heating equipment, lighting fixtures, decorations, etc., are installed to meet the present demand for artistic structures with enough originality to refrain from 'freakishness', plus convenience in every detail. Each house is built from a separate set of plans.

Terms of purchase are arranged to meet the needs of the buyer.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 39

The A.B. Smythe Company, organized in June, 1915, has fully developed its organization of realty conditions throughout Cleveland and its suburbs. Its success in Lakewood had been marked, probably because several of its official force and salesmen are residents. Mr. A.B. Smythe, President, has lived in Lakewood nearly fourteen years and knows every foot of its property. Mr. R.B. Wallace, vice president and treasurer, formerly a resident of Lakewood, has lived in Cleveland for a few years, but will be back again in the spring. Mr. M.M. Chew, secretary, has lived in Lakewood for fifteen years; Mr. E.V. Wells, in charge of Lakewood, has lived here since he entered the employ of the company. A branch office is necessary to handle its Lakewood business, which is located at the easterly approach to the Rocky River bridge.

A brief resume of this company's operations in this beautiful city is interesting. It has no large allotments, but has confined itself almost solely to the brokerage business, selling for the individual owner, his house or vacant property. In the years 1916-17 it has sold $519,390 of vacant property and $460,500 of residence property, and this all in Lakewood. It is planning an active campaign for this spring along the same lines. It has fortified itself with a large listing of all classes of Lakewood property. Mr. E.V. Wells, in charge of this section, is familiar with all of them and is at your service. Real estate, especially the home is the best investment in the world. Lakewood real estate is better than that, the increase in values are constant and with the High Level bridge in use, this spring will see the greatest activities in Lakewood real estate that it has had in a generation. It would be well to inquire now and get a line on what you want. This company solicits your business and assures you that you will have the services of a highly developed, well trained organization, as well as access to the best and most comprehensive list of Lakewood real estate property to be had.

* * *

The offices of the company are located on the second floor of the Erie Building, corner Prospect and Ninth Street.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 35

Reading almost like a story taken from some old book, and having an interest seldom found, is the history of the real estate dealings of the Mars Wagar Company, located in the Beckman building, 409 Superior Avenue, N.W., Cleveland.

Just one hundred years ago, Mars Wagar, grandfather of the Mars Wagar associated with the present company, left the Dutch settlement of Lansingburg, on the Hudson River, took his young wife and infant son, loaded them in an old-fashioned wagon drawn with oxen, and after six weeks of travel, landed in the little village of Cleveland, which at that time contained about 200 people.

He built his log cabin on the site of what now is known as the corner of Warren Road and Detroit Avenue, Lakewood.

In 1826 he sold 12 acres of his land opposite Belle Avenue (occupied later for over half a century as a tavern) for two oxen, valued at $84, being $7 per acre for the 12 acres. Having bought the land at $5 per acre, this gave him a profit, and considered in that light was a good business transaction. You must remember, too, that 50 cents at that time paid for a full day's work.

Fifty years after this transaction, his youngest son, Francis, sold lake front property at $500 per acre. This same property (next to the St. Augustine Convent) is now worth about $10,000 per acre.

The holdings of the grandson, Mars Wagar, at the very low prices at which it is offered, will be completely sold in a comparatively short time.

The Mars Wagar Realty company has extensive holdings outside of some of the original holdings of the pioneer Wagars, and have plotted into lots, the original ground bought by them.

THE WAGAR FARMS, ANOTHER OF THE WAGAR HOLDINGS -- This property has been surveyed and laid out in plots large enough to permit of a productive garden, and will be put on the market in time for 1918 planting. This ground was selected because of being extremely fertile.

Among the properties now being sold by the Mars Wagar company are Indian Heights. This is a beautiful homesite, property overlooking the Rocky River Valley, fronting on Riverside Drive. This property is plotted in lots from 50 to 150 frontage by 180 to 230 feet deep.

THE WAGAR ESTATES -- This property is located on Morrison and Carobell Avenues, Lakewood, directly on the car lines and is fully improved.

Sencea Park, full of native forest trees, is another fine piece of property located at the end of the paved portion of Kyle Avenue, and is admirable for homesites. All of the holdings of this company are unusually desirable and the indications are that the future prices will be much in advance of what is paid for lots now.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 23


You will find in the properties described below, improved lots which will meet the requirements of your choice, taste and pocketbook. Lakewood Real Estate values are increasing from month to month.



We have some very desirable lots along the new car line, between Wascana and Belle Avenues, near the new High School,


Terms if desired


This is a county road--60 feet wide--lots are nearly 150 feet deep and are ready to build on now--some fine houses already built. You can buy a lot here now for

$785 to $1075

Investigate now! Come--we'll put our time against yours.


WE have lots here 120 to 125 feet deep which are ideally situated for your new home. Some are nearer Madison than others, but there is a good choice for every one -- if they hurry. Let us show you now.

$735 to $1000


This is one of the handsomest streets off W. Madison Avenue. Good common sense restrictions prevail. Large lots 40 and 45x147½. We have some real bargains here less than two minutes walk from car line. You must see them to appreciate them. They are real beauties.

$980 to $1300



We have a few particularly attractive wooded lots here which you can build on now! Near the car line and new High School. You like these lots immensely at $675 to $890.


We consider these 40x140 foot lots--improved--as attractive a purchase as Lakewood affords and would advise you to inspect them before they are all sold. High class neighborhood. $720 to $810 easy terms


Another beautiful street with 40x140 feet improved lots. $710 to $780. Get this.


showing this excellent homesite or investment property--you'll be more than surprised with our offerings here!!!


We have for sale a few of the choicest Homesites in this dream spot of Lakewood. $1550 and upwards. Get this. Beautifully wooded lots on all streets.


The development and improvement of the above beautiful thoroughfares with sewers, water, sidewalks, trees and homes has been our contribution to Lakewood's tremendous growth! You can assist us in this noble work by selecting your lot and by building now!!!

PHONE Main 14 or Central 331 Our autos are ready to take you out Now!!!

HEISTER 912 Citizens Blg. F.P. Gibson and E.W. Elkins, Sales Superintendents

R.B. Curtiss General Sales Manager


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 23

One of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce members is H.J. Allen, located at 14828 Detroit, corner Cook Avenue, a pioneer real estate dealer who has sold property when Lakewood was in its infancy. He has seen Lakewood grow.

He says the greatest obstacle to selling Lakewood property has been eliminated through the completion of the new viaduct.

People used to say they could not live on this side of the river on account of being delayed at the draw bridge.

Now that we have the new high level bridge there is nothing to it, Lakewood has got all the other sections of the city beat, in every way, so far as a residential section standpoint.


LAKEWOOD PRESS - March 7, 1918, Pg. 38

That Lakewood has the reputation all over the United States as "the city of beautiful homes" is due in great measure to the enterprise and progressiveness of the men or companies who acquired tracts of land in the early history of this city.

The history of Lakewood in this respect is different from any city in the country. In other places those who had lots to sell, built houses and plotted ground, had only one motive and that was to make money on the investment. In Lakewood the men or companies were interested in Lakewood as residents, and they had quite another end in view. The idea was to make Lakewood the "City Beautiful", and the fact that this city is known to the Atlantic to the Pacific for its beautiful homes is sufficient evidence that this idea was carried out successfully.

From the Rocky River bridge to the eastern boundaries of the city there are numerous streets which are not only, beautifully and substantially paved, not only have fine shade trees, not only have fine lawns well kept, but above all this there are "character homes," from one end of the street to the other, and one is kept guessing as to the type of home they like best after driving over many streets.

Lakewood owes much of its history, a great amount of its remarkable growth to these enterprising men. Were it not for this fact this city might not have the reputation it now enjoys, and, while undoubtedly the city was bound to grow, it is nevertheless a fact that it would not have the population it now has.

There are a number of men and companies who deserve credit for this condition of the city, and among these the management of Lakewood Press takes pleasure in mentioning the A.B. Smythe Realty Company, Fowler-Worman and Kelly, the Mars Wagar Realty Company, the Cleveland Trust Company, L.H. Heister, Jr., Oscar Kroehle, Phil Marquard, as well as many others.

The fact that real estate is more desirable right now than at any time since Lakewood was a village; the fact that notwithstanding the tightness of the money market, there is still great activities in real estate here bears testimony to the popularity of Lakewood as a residence city. Among the things which points to Lakewood as a city of 100,000 at no distant date are the energetic, wide awake, partiotic men who comprise the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the men who are interested in the allotments here and the class of citizenship found here.

66e:21 MADISON AVENUE ALLOTMENT ("Lakewood Estate")

LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918 Pg. 7

In preparation for an early start the Knight-Morris-Gibbs Company, Leader News Building, has acquired through the office of Heaton Pennington and Son, realty brokers, Williamson Building, eighteen acres of land on Madison Avenue in Lakewood which will be placed in shape to market at an early date.

Lewis Drive traverses this property which will be known as Lakewood Estate. The lots will have a depth of 120 feet, giving ample room for lawn and garden.

In conformity with the city park which the city of Lakewood is developing on Madison Avenue a short distance east of Lakewood Estates, the allotment will be planted with shrubs and flower beds which will be maintained by the company for several years.

Decorative brick pillars at the entrance to Lewis Drive will identify the street.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- July 11, 1918 Pg. 6

All communities of Cuyahoga County suffered a big slump in building during the first six months of the current year, according to the official figures that have been compiled. Lakewood's building record this year includes 131 dwelling permits, costing $525,000; six apartments costing $87,300; 1 commercial building $30,000; 1 storage building, $14,000; 2 office buildings, $7,750; 2 factories, $42,000, and 52 minor permits. This makes a total of 196 permits, costing $742-665. The total for the year 1917 showed 583 permits, costing $2,672,080.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Aug. 29, 1918 Page 5

County Auditor Zangerle has written Mayor B.M. Cook that the county building appraisers, working in Lakewood, have discovered thirty buildings that were erected without permits. He points out that his office depends on reports from city building departments in making additions to the tax list. "The loss of a number of buildings in a city like Lakewood," he writes, "reduces the available taxes."

Mayor Cook said, in explanation, yesterday afternoon, that he had no doubt the buildings were actually on the tax list, even if some of them were erected without obtaining building permits. He said he had sent a building inspector to the county auditor's office to secure a list of the thirty pieces of property in question, but he doubted very much if any such number of buildings had been erected in Lakewood without permits. It might be possible that one or two buildings had gone up without permits, inasmuch as 500 to 6000 buildings are erected in the city every year. The idea that as many as thirty had been built without permits, he did not believe.

Mayor Cook said he thought the discrepancy arose from the fact that contractors instead of owners sometimes took out the building permits and when the county auditor transferred the names on the duplicate tax lists the names did not agree. It was, he thought, a matter of checking up the bookkeeping rather than a neglect of builders to take out permits. The buildings in question were erected under a prior administration and he thought the present assessing department was checking up the permits very carefully. After he obtains the official list from the county auditor's office, he promised to go over the lists again to make sure that no property escaped taxation.


LAKEWOOD PRESS -- August 29, 1918 Pg. 4

For the purpose of aiding war workers in finding living quarters, an army of volunteers are canvassing Cleveland, Lakewood and all other Greater Cleveland districts this week in search of furnished rooms that may be rented. This is now an absolute necessity because the building of houses has greatly decreased and the population has vastly increased. As a result, there is an exorbitant labor turn-over which is greatly hampering the manufacture of all kinds of war munitions and is handicapping in various ways, in consequence, the prosecution of the war.

Statistics recently compiled by the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce show an increase in the population of the city from 718,700 in 1915 to 856,031 this year. The recent survey also shows a decrease in living quarters as follows: New tenements in 1915, 2,800; in 1916, 1,800; in 1917, 1,200. New dwellings in 1915, 5,000; in 1916, 6,000; in 1917, 3,200. The report indicates even a greater proportion of decrease in building this season.

It is further shown by the survey that while 30,000 single men have joined the army, their living quarters have been rented to married men, who have been unable to rent apartments or houses costing from $25 to $35 a month. Officials of the Cleveland Real Estate Board state there are practically no houses or tenements now obtainable in Cleveland of this class.

It is estimated that the influx of war workers to Cleveland has been about 25 per cent. It is known that of 7,724 wage earners listed in 25 factories, located in 16 districts, 1,147 have been here less than one year and 2,037 have been here less than two years. In the canvas of the rooming situation, the report shows that of 14,000 workingmen's families, 4,500 families have taken one or more lodgers. Out of 13,700 families in Cleveland, the survey shows that 9,100 families were living in more than one room. In some cases as many as six people were living in a single room. In many instances, beds were occupied in shifts, doing service twenty-four hours a day.

Aside from the patriotic angle that comes up in offering to rent rooms to a war worker, an exceptional opportunity presents itself for the head of a family to cut down living expenses. The revenue from the rental of a room or two should offset the increase in rents and materially cut down the cost of maintaining a house.

The Emergency Fleet Corporation believes no one engaged in war work should be forced to ride more than thirty miles to work. The statistics compiled here show also that every plant in Cleveland, employing more than eighty people, is suffering from lack of help, and workers are constantly jumping from one job to another.

That a great building boom will take place, when conditions right themselves is evident. The erection of new apartments and new dwellings will be among the first activities in Lakewood, just as soon as the war ends and building operations become again possible. With the shortage of material and labor, there is slight chance that any amount of building can be done here next year and the demand will increase each month, in spite of every effort to relieve the situation. The renting of rooms, filling each house to the limit, will help somewhat. The canvass that is in progress this week will undoubtedly result in opening hundreds of homes to roomers, where roomers have never been taken before, but the relief, at best, is only temporary.

Every part of Cleveland will feel the effect of the big after-war real estate boom, but Lakewood will beyond question receive more benefits in proportion than any other section. The completion of the new high level bridge, the construction of a new public market house, are all matters of prime importance, preliminary to the coming building boom. With the natural advantages of Lakewood, as a city of homes, its progress in the next ten years promises to be the most notable of any section of territory in the entire county.

At the present time, figures show the Lakewood territory is about 60 per cent built up. There is ample accommodation for a city of 100,000 within its corporate limits, with an increase in business prosperity, proportionate to the increase in population that is bound to come in the immediate future. It is fortunate that the foundations for the coming boom have been laid broad and deep. The expansion will be along normal, orderly and natural lines, without undue congestion in any part, without the creation of slums, or the establishment of no "dead end" sections.

In this connection, it wise that the city administration is taking time by the forelock, preparing its new building code, before the new sky scrapers and bigger apartment houses to be erected. -- Ed.

66e:25 HOUSING PROBLEMS (Merrill Systems)

LAKEWOOD PRESS -- September 19, 1918 Pg. 1

The Merrill system -- did you ever hear of it? It's the new idea of an apartment that solves the housekeeping problem. Naturally, it's on its way to Lakewood, where conditions are ripe for the installation of every plan to save housing space and to solve householder's problems. The idea comes from Chicago, but branches have been rapidly established in all large cities and the new Lakewood branch has now been installed at 15905 Detroit Avenue, with S.W. Stevens as the local representative.

The Merrill idea is to make every room work twenty-four hours a day. The new method of construction is the outgrowth of a demand for small efficient apartments, containing up-to-date appointments and conveniences, for families of two or three busy people, who have not the time to give to household duties. There may be a "3 in 1" apartment, with kitchen and bath, or a "5 in 2" apartment, adding a sun parlor, or a "7 in 3" apartment, adding a another extra room. The spacious living room by day becomes a spacious bedroom by night. At one hour in the day, the same room becomes transformed into a large dining room. That is a "3 in 1" apartment.

It is said there will be erected on Detroit Avenue, at the western end, a dwelling in the near future, specially fitted up to illustrate the Merrill idea. There are large apartment houses in Buffalo, Detroit, Providence and elsewhere equipped in this fashion, and Chicago has many of them. In some of the latest Lakewood and Cleveland flats, the germ of the idea is seen in the in-a-door bed and dresser, the built-in ice box and the few minor changes. The Merrill idea carries these ideas to the limit, saving space, providing larger rooms for living, dining and sleeping, making more profits for landlords, giving better satisfaction to tenants.

In these days, when the man, woman and the son and the daughter are engaged on war work, the housekeeping on the Merrill plan solves most of the problems of time, space and excessive rentals.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Nov. 21, 1918 Page 1

An enthusiastic gathering of the members of this standardized idea in erecting and furnishing modern apartment buildings was held at the office of the company, 15905 Detroit avenue, on Thursday evening, November 14, 1918. Dr. Wm. B. Backus of Clifton Boulevard presided. Attorney P.R. White, East Cleveland gave a talk on the stability of the Merrill plan of finance and the kind of protection afforded the investors. H.E. Durbin, manager of the Cleveland Mansion Co., a local Merrill system project, spoke about the profits realized in their enterprise. Mrs. William Ely, a volunteer worker in Cleveland, told of the kind of service the members themselves can render with profit to all concerned. Dr. D.W. Johnson of Lakewood related the progress of the movement since Mrs. Stevens first introduced the idea to Lakewood a year ago. He believed the local outlook was very rosy. A splendid lot has been purchased on Victoria avenue, and building will be started immediately. A beautiful series of lantern slides was shown by Mrs. Stevens, detailing the buildings erected by the Merrill System in many cities in Canada and the United States and presenting the ideal arrangements of the built-in furniture. The treasurer's report, given by Mrs. Mary Hitchings, 1203 Nicholson avenue, showed the finances to be in good shape. W.A. Edwards, contractor and builder explained the plans of the apartment to be erected on Victoria avenue and for which a building permit has been granted. The chairman called on Mr. George Bailey of the Lakewood Homes Co. to speak on the value of the Merrill System apartments to a community like Lakewood. The members present, including a few new ones, subscribed the additional capital required to insure the completion of the Lakewood apartments. H.J. Andrews, a successful building and loan manager for many years in Cuyahoga county, exhibited charts showing the growth of capital and dividends accruing to the investors who foster such a development plan at the early stages. Altogether, the meeting put the climax upon the efforts so successfully made during the last year by the local organizer, Mrs. S.W. Stevens. The subscription feature of the evening was a departure from the settled methods of the Merrill System. No appeals are made at these gathering because there is no need.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS - Dec. 19, 1919 Page 1

The Community Housing Organization, operating under the name of the Lakewood Merrill System Company, last Saturday wrote a new page in the history of local efforts to provide up-to-the-minute accommodations for the growing population of Lakewood.

The Merrill System Company some time ago purchased a building site on Victoria avenue and awarded the contract for the erection of a four-family apartment to W.A. Edwards, 17415 Detroit avenue. Ground was broken for the foundation about 8 o'clock Dec. 14, when Mrs. S.W. Stevens deftly handled the spade and turned the sod preparatory to the workmen beginning the excavation.

Mr. George Bailey, president pro tempore, addressing the directors and members of the company present, said in part: "Friends and fellow workers of the Lakewood Merrill System Company, you are to be congratulated today on the culmination of cherished hopes and ardent labors in the matter of Community Housing Organization. This breaking of ground marks a vital step forward in your plans for the erection of a beautiful commodious and home-like building, to house at least four families, and to be furnished with the splendid Merrill System built-in furniture, which is the last word in quality, convenience and design. This apartment is but the first of a number which will follow in due course. In fact, memberships are already being taken in the second building to be launched before long. To Mrs. Stevens, the indefatigable organizer, we accord the honor of actually making the first move in this construction enterprise, by asking her to break the sod."

A picture of the scene was taken by Mr. Correll, photographer, Detroit and Victoria avenue, and the proceedings closed. The directors of the corporation are Dr. David W. Johnson, W.A. Edwards, M.S. Heabler, R.C. Bahr and George Bailey. Mrs. Mary Hitchings is secretary-treasurer and the company office is located at 15905 Detroit avenue.


NEWSPAPER CLIPPING -- 1932 (Library File)

Property owners will be saved $387,000 by New Appraisal.

County Auditor John A. Zangerle recently announced reductions in Lakewood real estate valuations for tax purposes from $52,182,010 on land and $46,940,310 on buildings to $41,319,290 on land and $42,246,280 on buildings under the new approval.

Saving to owners of Lakewood real estate will total about $387,000 by reason of the reduction in the duplicate on the basis of the current tax rate, Zangerle estimated.

The table below shows how the tax dollar for 1930 was spent:



City Operating.........17.92%

City Sinking Fund......10.05%



Practically one-half of the reduction will be taken from the funds of the schools. This will present a real problem to the Board of Education and inevitably result in reduced service in the schools, vitally affecting the welfare of the school children.

About one-fourth of the reduction will be taken from the funds of the city. These are the funds with which the operating expenses are paid. The effect upon the various departments, including police, fire health and others is hard to estimate.


LAKEWOOD COURIER - June 8, 1933 Pg. 1

Elva C. Malling, permit clerk, in her monthly report to Mayor Amos I. Kauffman, shows that 34 building permits had been granted in Lakewood during the month of May, 1933, as compared with 42 permits for the preceding year and 24 for the preceding month.

The report shows that the building of two brick dwellings with a total valuation of $17,000, and one two-family frame house with a valuation of $7,500 were started in May. The total valuations of the 34 properties that were allowed permits was $29,750.

In May, 1932, 42 permits were given for a total valuation of $31,185; May, 1931, 44 permits were given for a total valuation of $137,740; May 1930, 60 permits for a total valuation of $144,790; and May, 1929, 69 permits for a total valuation of $212,490.

Twenty-four permits were granted in April of this year for the erection of property valued at $15,360.



To the Editor of The American City:

I was interested in Henry S. Churchill's article, "Small Town Planning for the Future," in the October issue of The American City, in which he makes reference to speculation in land in the coming boom in real estate.

In 1914, at my request, this city set down a ruling in which it was declared that no allotments would be accepted in our city which did not have the sewer, water, side-walks and grading of the street in and paid for by the allotter.

The reason for this regulation was that a building lot was not what its name indicated, unless there was water on the premises and the sewers received waste water and drainage on the street, and unless there was a place to walk and a place to drive.

This regulation met with vigorous protests from the allotment companies, because at that time, we were just entering a boom in real estate, which resulted, in the course of a few years, in house building at the rate of $1,000,000 a month, and this continued for a period of almost two years.

The net result of this regulation has been that land has been developed by allotments in accordance with the economic demands for building sites, and no faster, because the allotters hesitated to make the investment in these utilities at their own expense unless and until there was a reasonable immediate demand for building sites.

In addition to that, the city was not burdened with a special assessment debt for bonds to build these works for which the full faith, revenue and credit was pledged for the redemption of bonds at maturity, in the event that the special assessment tax was not paid by the benefited property owners. During the depression many cities in this state were practically bankrupt, due to their inability to meet their bond obligations for special assessments.

A third benefit which resulted was that the city obtained practically all of its secondary water and sewer system at the expense of the benefited land without obligating itself in the matter of issuance of bonds. This reduction in possible debt amounted to approximately three million dollars. The plans and specifications were subject to check by the Engineering Department and the work of installation was under city inspection paid for by the allotter.

I am calling this to your attention because I believe that if this ruling were adopted generally it would afford an economic brake on land speculation in the over-developed in newer sections of the city, and would make a substantial contribution to the municipalities by providing an increase in their bond-issuing powers for general purposes for the benefit of the entire community.

In the county of Cuyahoga (in which is located the city of Cleveland and numerous suburbs, including Lakewood) there are now 244,000 vacant lots, sufficient for a population of another million people, or enough to nearly double the present population. Obviously, this is greatly in excess of the needs of this territory, and this non-productive land, withdrawn from farm production and listed on the tax duplicate at higher than farm values, is presenting a serious problem in the matter of tax collection and is loading the sheriff's office with sales of land for non-payment of taxes.

This very unhealthful condition could have been obviated by the exercise of the simple regulation quoted above.

E.A. Fisher,

City Engineer, Lakewood, O.




Samuel W. Johnson on September 8, 1873 made a plat of part of his property in Brooklyn Township. The land was part of original lot 12. Johnson laid out 10 lots which fronted on West Madison Avenue, (now Madison Avenue) that avenue being 60 feet wide. The plat was recorded on September 19, 1873.

Johnson on December platted the remainder of his land in original lot 12, That land lay between the Rocky River Railroad tracks and West Madison Avenue. There were 12 lots facing Franklin Avenue, 24 fronting on Pear Street (now Pear Avenue) and 12 fronting on West Madison Avenue. Pear Street lay between Franklin and Madison avenues and was 50 feet wide. The width of Franklin Avenue to the railroad tracks was 35 feet. Johnson had the second plat recorded on December 17, 1873. The allotment was taken into West Cleveland.

Later the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company of Maine acquired possession of all the land designated in the two Johnson plats. The insurance company did not sell any lots in the plats. On July 6, 1877 the company filed suit in the Court of Common Pleas asking that the allotment be vacated. The company excepted land between the center and north lines of West Madison Avenue, which would be dedicated for a public highway.

The court ordered that the plats and subdivision made by Johnson be vacated, excepting as much of the land as was included in boundaries of West Madison Avenue and Franklin Street in West Cleveland. The company was to pay the cost of the case.



(COURT RECORD SERIES, Vol. III) Page 13, No. 14

CP 34 - 27:229; May 26, 1858; Feb. Term, 1859.

MORGAN WATERS vs. CHARLES CONLAN; Recovery of Land and Money.

For a number of years Morgan Waters, his wife Katherine and their daughter Betsy lived on the Waters farm at Rockport Township. The farm was a part of section 3 in the township and consisted of some 51 acres.

When Betsy reached a marriageable age, her father decided that he would like Charles Conlan for a son-in-law and discussed the matter with him several times. Waters promised Conlan the full use of the southern half of the Waters farm if he married Betsy. Upon his death and that of his wife, Waters continued, the whole farm was to go to Conlan and Betsy. Conlan was to farm the land with Water's assistance and support his wife's parents as long as they lived. These promises, however, were not put in writing.

Conlan built a house on the southern half of the farm. On September 9, 1847 he married Betsy and the young couple made their home in the new house. Waters and his wife moved in with them.

Conlan farmed the land and over a period of years made various improvements which according to his estimate required a cash outlay of about $500 on his part. During this time Waters deeded the farm to Conlan and Betsy but did not legally acknowledge this deed.

After Mrs. Waters' death Waters continued to make his income with the Conlans but allegedly became addicted to the use of liquor. Conlan complained that while his father-in-law was intoxicated he destroyed the deed he had made. Waters charged that his son-in-law continually brought liquor into the house and often became intoxicated himself. While in that condition Conlan frequently abused him and drove him from the house, Waters said. On several occasions it was necessary for neighbors to interfere to save him from serious injury at the hands of his son-in-law.

Matters came to a head, Conlan claimed, when his father-in-law tried to sell the farm in total disregard of the promise he had made.

On May 26, 1858 Waters filed suit in the Court of Common Pleas against Conlan, charging that Conlan was unlawfully holding possession of the southern half of the farm. He asked $500 in damages. Conlan asked that Waters be restrained from interfering with his possession and use of the disputed land. The court was also asked to compel Waters to give a proper deed to the land to Conlan and his wife.

The court found that Waters was entitled to possession of the farm and awarded him $5 damages. At a second trial the first verdict was upheld and Waters' damages were increased to $10.




On August 21, 1841 the Ohio Railroad Company deeded 50 acres of land to Henry L. Whitman. The land, part of section 20 in Rockport Township was bounded on the south by the highway; on the west by the Gleason property; the north by the section line; and on the east by the Leonard Case land.

Whitman and his wife, Susan, on August 5, 1858 executed a mortgage, covering the 50 acres to guarantee the payment of 4 promissory notes totaling $3,900. Seven weeks later Henry C. Pabodie, the owner of the mortgage, wrote his cancellation on it. Whitman did not have the cancellation recorded, and he retained possession of the mortgaged deed.

On June 25, 1859 Whitman assigned his personal property and real estate to John T. Newton, to be held in trust until used for the benefit of Whitman's numerous creditors. Whitman omitted listing the 50 acre tract in the schedule of his assets. At that time Newton did not know that Whitman held the title to the tract. Six years later Newton learned that Whitman was the owner. Whitman then declared that the land was mortgaged for more than its value and would be of no use to Newton as trustee.

The 50 acre tract was entered on the delinquent tax list and in January 1869 was sold by the sheriff. C.C. Baldwin, Newton's attorney, paid $76.51 to the sheriff for back taxes and penalties and received a tax bill to the land. This did not constitute a complete sale but gave Baldwin a lien on the property. Later the tax title was transferred to Newton for the benefit of Whitman's creditors.

Newton claimed that 40 court orders had been issued at various times directing the sale of Whitman's properties to satisfy judgments. On account of the number of judgments it was impossible to sell the properties. Finally matters were adjusted and the last judgment was paid in March 1871. When Whitman died, Mrs. Whitman became owner of the 50 acre tract. Newton made inquiries about the mortgage which had been given to Pabodie and was told by Miller M. Spangler, Mrs. Whitman's agent, that H.C. Tiesdale, Mrs. Whitman's brother, had bought the mortgage. When Newton learned the facts about the invalidity of the mortgage he prepared to file suit to have the mortgage declared void so that the land would be available for use by Whitman's creditors. On May 1, 1874 Mrs. Whitman through Spangler delivered the mortgage to Newton and he had the cancellation recorded. He was unable to sell the land because a clear title could not be given, since Mrs. Whitman claimed an interest in the property. Reuben Sage, who lived on the land, also claimed interest.

On February 8, 1876 Newton filed suit in the Court of Common Pleas asking that Mrs. Whitman's interests be assigned or disposed of and the premises sold for the benefit of Whitman's creditors. Mrs. Whitman agreed that the property should be sold, free of her claim, but that her interest in the land should be paid for from the proceeds of the sale. Newton claimed that Baldwin and he had kept the taxes paid up from the time they bought the tax title and should be reimbursed. The court ordered the 50 acres sold. Mrs. Whitman died on November 26, 1878. She left her entire estate to Spangler and named him as the executor.

Newotn asserted that many claims against Whitman had not been paid. Spangler stated that on account of the time the claims had existed the statute of limitations cancelled them. Newton asserted that all the claims were legitimate and asked that the 50 acres be sold to satisfy the claims.

The land was advertised for sale for the sixth time. Spangler secured a court order and prevented the sale of the land. He asked the court to establish his ownership.

The common pleas court ruled that Mrs. Whitman at the time of her death held no interest in the landm, and Spangler, as her executor, was not entitled to any of the proceeds of the sale of the land. Sage and Baldwin had no interest in the property. The proceeds should be used for the benefit of Whitman's creditors. Spangler appealed the case to the District Court. During September 1880 term the case was dismissed upon the request of Newton and Spangler.