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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Cleveland, Ohio

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A city and port of entry in the state of Ohio, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Cuyahoga county, the seventh largest city in the United States. It is on Lake Erie at the mouth of Cuyahoga river, about 260 m. N.E. of Cincinnati, 357 m. E. of Chicago, and 623 m. W. by N. of New York. Pop. (1890) 261,353; (1900) 381,768, of whom 124,631 were foreignborn, 288,591 were of foreign parentage (i.e. having one or both parents foreign-born), and 5988 were negroes; (1910) 560,663. Of the 124,631, who in 1900 were foreign-born, Germans were greatly predominant (40,648, or 32-6%), with the Bohemians (13,599, or 10.9%) and Irish (13,120, or 10.6%) next in importance, the Bohemians being later comers than the Irish.

The city commands pleasant views from its position on a plateau, which, at places on bluffs along the shore, has elevations of about 75 ft. above the water below, and rises gradually toward the S.E. to 115 ft. and on the extreme E. border to more than 200 ft. above the lake, or about Boo ft. above sea-level; the surface has, however, been cut deeply by the Cuyahoga, which here pursues a meandering course through a valley about m. wide, and is also broken by several smaller streams. The city's shore-line is more than 12 m. long. The city varies considerably in width, and occupies a total area of about 45 sq. m., much the greater part of which is E. of the river. The streets are of unusual width (varying from 60 ft. to 132 ft.); are paved chiefly with Medina dressed stone, brick and asphalt; and, like the parks, are so well shaded by maples, elms and other trees, that Cleveland has become known as the "Forest City." The municipality maintains an efficient forestry department. About 2 m. from the lake and the same distance E. of the river is the Public Square, or Monumental Park, in the business centre of the city. Thence the principal thoroughfares radiate. The river is spanned with bridges, and its valley by two viaducts, the larger of which (completed in 1878 at a cost of more than $ 2,000,000), 3 211 ft. long, 64 ft. wide, and 68 ft. above water, connects Superior Avenue on the E. with Detroit Avenue on the W. The Central Viaduct, finished in 1888, extends from Central Avenue to W. 14th Street, and there connects with a smaller viaduct across Walworth Run, the combined length of the two being about 4000 ft. Another viaduct (about 830 ft. long) crosses Kingsbury Run a short distance above its mouth. Lower Euclid Avenue (the old country road to Euclid, 0., and Erie, Pa.) is given up to commercial uses; the eastern part of the avenue has handsome houses with spacious and beautifully ornamented grounds, and is famous as one of the finest residence streets in the country. Sections of Prospect Avenue, E. 40th, E. 93rd, E. 7 5th, E. 55th, W. 44th and E. 79th streets also have many fine residences. The principal business thoroughfares are Superior Avenue (132 ft. wide), the W. part of Euclid Avenue, and Ontario St. The manufacturing quarters are chiefly in the valley of the Cuyahoga, and along the railway tracks entering the city, chiefly on the E. side. In 1902 the city arranged for grouping its public buildings - in the so-called "Group Plan" - at a cost of $25,000,000. The court-house and city hall are on the bluff overlooking Lake Erie; loon ft. south are the Federal postoffice and the public library. The Mall connecting the courthouse and city hall with the post-office and library is 600 ft. wide; on one side of it is the grand music-hall, on the other a fine art gallery. The six granite buildings forming this quadrangle were built under the supervision of Arnold Brunner, a government architect, and of John M. Carrere and D. H. Burnham, who planned the buildings at the Pan-American Exposition and the Chicago World's Fair respectively. The city has, besides, numerous fine office buildings, including that of the Society for Savings (an institution in which each depositor is virtually a stockholder), the Citizens', Rose, Williamson, Rockefeller, New England and Garfield buildings; and several beautiful churches, notably the Roman Catholic and Trinity cathedrals, the First Presbyterian ("Old Stone"), the Second Presbyterian, the First Methodist and Plymouth (Congregational) churches. The Arcade, between Euclid and Superior avenues, and the Colonial Arcade, between Euclid and Prospect avenues, are office and retail store buildings worthy of mention. The former, finished in 1889, is 400 ft. long, 180 ft. wide, and 140 ft. high, with a large interior court, overlooked by five balconies. The Colonial Arcade contains a hotel as well; it was finished in 1898. In the Public Square is a soldiers' and sailors' monument consisting of a granite shaft rising from a memorial room to a height of 125 ft., and surmounted with a figure of Liberty; in the same park, also, is a bronze statue of Moses Cleaveland, the founder of the city. On a commanding site in Lake View Cemetery is the Garfield Memorial (finished in 1890) in the form of a tower (165 ft. high), designed by George Keller and built mostly of Ohio sandstone; in the base is a chapel containing a statue of Garfield and several panels on which are portrayed various scenes in his life; his remains are in the crypt below the statue. A marble statue of Commodore Oliver H. Perry, erected in commemoration of his victory on Lake Erie in 1813, is in Wade Park, where there is also a statue of Harvey Rice (1800-1891), who reformed the Ohio public school system and wrote Pioneers of the Western Reserve (1882) and Sketches of Western Life (1888).

The parks contain altogether more than 1500 acres. A chain of parks connected by driveways follows the picturesque valley of Doan Brook on the E. border of the city. At the mouth of the brook and on the lake front is the beautiful Gordon Park of 122 acres, formerly the private estate of William J. Gordon but given by him to the city in 1893; from this a boulevard leads up the valley to the large Rockefeller Park, which was given to the city in 1896 by John D. Rockefeller and others. Farther on, a boulevard leads to Wade Park (85 acres; given by J. H. Wade), in which are a zoological garden and a lake. Lake View Park along the lake shore contains only 102 acres, but is a much frequented restingplace near the business centre of the city, and affords pleasant views of the lake and its commerce. Monumental Park is divided into four sections (containing about 1 acre each) by Superior Avenue and Ontario Street. Of the several cemeteries, Lake View (about 300 acres), on an elevated site on the E. border, is by far the largest and most beautiful, its natural beauty having been enhanced by the landscape gardener. Besides Garfield, John Hay and Marcus A. Hanna are buried here.

1 Education

2 Municipal Enterprise

3 Commerce

4 Government

5 History

6 Authorities


Cleveland has an excellent public school system. A general state law enacted in 1904 placed the management of school affairs in the hands of an elective council of seven members, five chosen at large and two by districts. This board has power to appoint a school director and a superintendent of instruction. The superintendent appoints the teaching force, the director all other employes; appointments are subject to confirmation by the board, and all employes are subject to removal by the executive officials alone. The "Cleveland plan," in force in the public schools, minimizes school routine, red tape and frequent examinations, puts great stress on domestic and manual training courses, and makes promotion in the grammar schools depend on the general knowledge and development of the pupil, as estimated by a teacher who is supposed to make a careful study of the individual. In 1909 there were 8 high schools and 90 grammar schools in the city; more than $2,500,000 is annually expended by Cleveland on its public schools. Besides the public school system there are many parochial schools; the University school, with an eight years' course; the Western Reserve University, with its medical school (opened in 1843), the Franklin T. Backus Law School (1892), the dental department (1892), Adelbert College (until 1882 the Western Reserve College, founded in 1826, at Hudson, Ohio), the College for Women (1888), and the Library school (1904); St Ignatius College (Roman Catholic, conducted by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus; incorporated 1890), which has an excellent meteorological observatory; St Mary's theological seminary (Roman Catholic); the Case School of Applied Science, founded in 1880 by Leonard Case (1820-1880), and opened in 1881; the Cleveland College of Physicians and Surgeons (founded in 1863; from 1869 until 1896 the medical department of the University of Wooster; since 1896 a part of Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio), the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College, the Cleveland School of Pharmacy, the Cleveland Art School, and a school for the deaf, dumb and blind. In 1907-1908 Western Reserve University had 193 instructors and 914 students (277 in Adelbert College; 269 in College for Women; 20 in graduate department; and 102 in medical, 133 in law, 75 in dental and 51 in Library school); and the Case School of Applied Science 40 instructors and 440 students. The public library contained 330,000 volumes in 1908, the Case library (subscription) 65,000 volumes, the Hatch library of Adelbert College about 56,000 volumes, the library of the Western Reserve Historical Society 22,500 volumes, and the Cleveland law library, in the court house, 20,000 volumes.

The city has a highly developed system of charitable and corrective institutions. A farm of more than 1600 acres, the Cleveland Farm Colony, 11 m. from the city, takes the place of workhouses, and has many cottages in which live those of the city's poor who were formerly classed as paupers and were sent to poorhouses, and who now apply their labour to the farm and are relieved from the stigma that generally attaches to inmates of poorhouses. On the "farm" the city maintains an "infirmary village," a tuberculosis sanatorium, a detention hospital, a convalescent hospital and houses of correction. On a farm 22 m. from the city is the Boyville Home (maintained in connexion with the juvenile court) for "incorrigible" boys. The "cottage" plan has been adopted; each cottage is presided over by a man and wife whom the boys call father and mother. The boys have a government of their own, elect their officials from among themselves, and inflict such punishment on any of their number as the boys deem merited. Besides the city, there are the Northern Ohio (for the insane, founded in 1855), the Cleveland general, Lake Side (endowed), St Alexis and the Charity hospitals (the last managed by Sisters of Charity). The Goodrich House (1897), the Hiram House and the Alta House are among the best equipped and most efficient social settlements in the country. Cleveland has also its orphan asylums, homes for the aged, homes for incurables, and day nurseries, besides a home for sailors, homes for young working women, and retreats for unfortunate girls. The various charity and benevolent institutions are closely bound together on a co-operative basis by the agency of the associated charities.

The principal newspapers of the city are the Plain Dealer (1841, independent), the Press (1878, independent), the Leader (1847, Republican), and the News (1889, Republican). Bohemian, Hungarian and German dailies are published.

Municipal Enterprise

Municipal ownership has been further developed in Cleveland than in any other large city in the United States, chiefly because of the advocacy of Tom Loftin Johnson (born 1854), a street-railway owner, iron manufacturer, an ardent single-taxer, who was elected mayor of the city in 1901, 1903, 1905 and 1907. The municipality owns the water-works, the electric-lighting plant, the garbage plant and bath houses. The city water is pumped to reservoirs, through a tunnel 9 ft. in diameter 60 ft. below the bottom of the lake, from an intake situated a distance of 26,500 ft. from the shore. The system has a delivery capacity of 120,000,000 gallons daily. The department serves about 70,000 consumers. All water is metered and sells for 40 cents per thousand cub. ft., or 5 barrels for 1 cent. The municipal electric-lighting plant was in 1907 producing arc lights for $34 per arc, per year. The municipal garbage plant (destructor) collects and reduces to fertilizer 200 tons of garbage per day. The sale of the fertilizer more than pays for the cost of reduction, and the only expense the city has is in collecting it. In the city's six bath houses the average number of baths per day, per house, in 1906, was 1165. The municipal street cleaning department cleans all streets by the wet process. To do this the city maintained (1906) 24 flushing wagons working 2 shifts of 8 hours each per day. A new street car company began operations on the 1st of November 1906, charging a 3 cent fare. The grants of this company were owned by the Forest City Railway Company and the property was leased to the Municipal Traction Company (on behalf of the public - the city itself not being empowered to own and operate street railways). In 1908 the Cleveland Electric Street Railway Corporation (capital $23,000,000), which owned most of the electric lines in the city, was forced to lease its property to the municipality's holding company, receiving a "security franchise," providing that under certain circumstances (e.g. if the holding company should default in its payment of interest) the property was to revert to the corporation, which was then to charge not more than twenty-five cents for six tickets. In October 1908, at a special election, the security franchise was invalidated, and this seemed to have the effect of dissolving the lease held by the Municipal Traction Co., and of ending the city's experiment in operating (indirectly) the street car lines. In October 1909 the controversy was settled: a three-cent fare (with one cent extra for transfers) was assured; the Railway Corporation received a 25-year franchise, but had to sell whenever municipal ownership became lawful.


To meet the demands of the rapidly increasing commerce the harbour has been steadily improved. In 1908 it consisted of two distinct parts, the outer harbour being the work of the federal government, and the inner harbour being under the control of the city. The outer harbour was formed by two breakwaters enclosing an area of 2 m. long and 1700 ft. wide; the main entrance, 500 ft. wide, lying opposite the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, 1350 ft. distant. The depth of the harbour ranges from 21 to 26 ft.; and by improving this entrance, so as to make it 700 ft. wide, and 1000 ft. farther from the shore, and extending the east breakwater 3 m., the capacity of the outer harbour has been doubled. The inner harbour comprises the Cuyahoga, the old river bed, and connecting slips. The channel at the mouth of the river (325 ft. wide) is lined on the W. side by a concrete jetty 1054 ft. long, and on the E. side by commercial docks. The river and old river bed furnish about 13 m. of safe dock frontage, the channel having been dredged for 6 m. to a depth of 21 ft. The commerce of the harbour of Cleveland in 1907 was 12,872,448 tons.

Cleveland's rapid growth both as a commercial and as a manufacturing city is due largely to its situation between the iron regions of Lake Superior and the coal and oil regions of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Cleveland is a great railway centre and is one of the most important ports on the Great Lakes. The city is served by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern; the New York, Chicago & St Louis; the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis; the Pennsylvania; the Erie; the Baltimore & Ohio; and the Wheeling & Lake Erie railways; by steamboat lines to the principal ports on the Great Lakes; and by an extensive system of inter-urban electric lines. Cleveland is the largest ore market in the world, and its huge ore docks are among its most interesting features; the annual receipts and shipments of coal and iron ore are enormous. It is also the largest market for fresh-water fish in America, and handles large quantities of lumber and grain. The most important manufactures are iron and steel, carriage hardware, electrical supplies, bridges, boilers, engines, car wheels, sewing machines, printing presses, agricultural implements, and various other commodities made wholly or chiefly from iron and steel. Other important manufactures are automobiles (value, 1905, $4, 2 5 6 ,979) and telescopes. More steel wire, wire nails, and bolts and nuts are made here than in any other city in the world (the total value for iron and steel products as classified by the census was, in 1905, $42,930,995, and the value of foundry and machine-shop products in the same year was $18,832,487), and more merchant vessels than in any other American city. Cleveland is the headquarters of the largest shoddy mills in the country (value of product, 1905, $ 1, 0 84,594), makes much clothing (1905, $ 10 ,4 26 ,535), manu factures a large portion of the chewing gum made in the United States, and is the site of one of the largest refineries of the Standard Oil Company. The product of Cleveland breweries in 1905 was valued at $3,986,059, and of slaughtering and meatpacking houses in the same year at $10,426,535. The total value of factory products in 1905 was $172,115,101, an increase of 36.4% since 1900; and between 1900 and 1905 Cleveland became the first manufacturing city in the state.


Since Cleveland became a city in 1836 it has undergone several important changes in government. The charter of that year placed the balance of power in a council composed of three members chosen from each ward and as many aldermen as there were wards, elected on a general ticket. From 1852 to 1891 the city was governed under general laws of the state which entrusted the more important powers to several administrative boards. Then, from 1891 to 1903, by what was practically a new charter, that which is known as the "federal plan" of government was tried; this centred power in the mayor by making him almost the only elective officer, by giving to him the appointment of his cabinet of directors - one for the head of each of the six municipal departments - and to each director the appointment of his subordinates. Finally, in 1903, by a municipal code for the state (see Ohio) the federal plan was abandoned, and by a somewhat complex system power and responsibility were divided among the mayor, the council, the governor, an appointive board of public safety, and certain elective officers. Few if any cities in the Union have, in recent years, been better governed than Cleveland, and this seems to be due largely to the keen interest in municipal affairs which has been shown by her citizens. Especially has this been manifested by the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and by the Municipal Association, an organization of influential professional and business men, which, by issuing bulletins concerning candidates at the primaries and at election time, has done much for the betterment of local politics. The Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, an organization of 1600 leading business men, is a power for varied good in the city; besides its constant and aggressive work in promoting the commercial interests of the city, it was largely influential in the federal reform of the consular service; it studied the question of overcrowded tenements and secured the passage of a new tenement law with important sanitary provisions and a set minimum of air space; it urges and promotes home-gardening, public baths and play-grounds, and lunch-rooms, &c., for employes in factories; and it was largely instrumental in devising and carrying out the so-called "Group Plan" described above.


A trading post was established at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river as early as 1786, but the place was not permanently settled until 1796, when it was laid out as a town by Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806), who was then acting as the agent of the Connecticut Land Company, which in the year before had purchased from the state of Connecticut a large portion of the Western Reserve. In 1800 the entire Western Reserve was erected into the county of Trumbull and a township government was given to Cleveland; ten years later Cleveland was made the seat of government of the new county of Cuyahoga, and in 1814 it was incorporated as a village. Cleveland's growth was, however, very slow until the opening of the Ohio canal as far as Akron in 1827; about the same time the improvement of the harbour was begun, and by 1832 the canal was opened to the Ohio river. Cleveland thus was connected with the interior of the state, for whose mineral and agricultural products it became the lake outlet. The discovery of iron ore in the Lake Superior region made Cleveland the natural meeting-point of the iron ore and the coal from the Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia mines; and it is from this that the city's great commercial importance dates. The building of railways during the decade 1850-1860 greatly increased this importance, and the city grew with great rapidity. The growth during the Civil War was partly due to the rapid development of the manufacturing interests of the city, which supplied large quantities of iron products and of clothing to the Federal government.

The population of 1076 in 1830 increased to 6071 in 1840, to 17,034 in 1850, to 43,417 in 1860, to 92,829 in 1870 and to 160,146 in 1880. Until 1853 the city was confined to the E. side of the river, but in that year Ohio City, which was founded in 1807, later incorporated as the village of Brooklyn, and in 1836 chartered as a city (under the name Ohio City), was annexed. Other annexations followed: East Cleveland in 1872, Newburg in 1873, West Cleveland and Brooklyn in 18 9 3, and Glenville and South Brooklyn in 1905. In recent history the most notable events not mentioned elsewhere in this article were the elaborate celebration of the centennial of the city in 1896 and the street railway strike of 1899, in which the workers attempted to force a redress of grievances and a recognition of their union. Mobs attacked the cars, and cars were blown up by dynamite. The strikers were beaten, but certain abuses were corrected. There was a less violent street car strike in 1908, after the assumption of control by the Municipal Traction Company, which refused to raise wages according to promises made (so the employees said) by the former owner of the railway; the strikers were unsuccessful.


- Manual of the City Council (1879); Annuals of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce (1894-); E. M. Avery, Cleveland in a Nutshell: An Historical and Descriptive Readyreference Book (Cleveland, 1893); James H. Kennedy, A History of the City of Cleveland (Cleveland, 1896); C. A. Urann, Centennial History of Cleveland (Cleveland 1896); C. Whittlesey, The Early History of Cleveland (Cleveland, 1867); C. E. Bolton, A Few Civic Problems of Greater Cleveland (Cleveland, 1897); "Plan of School Administration," by S. P. Orth, in vol. xix. Political Science Quarterly (New York, 1904); Charles Snavely, A History of the City Government of Cleveland (Baltimore, 1902); C. C. Williamson, The Finances of Cleveland (New York, 1907); "The Government of Cleveland, Ohio," by Lincoln Steffens, in McClure's Magazine, vol. xxv. (New York, 1905); and C. F. Thwing, "Cleveland, the Pleasant City," in Powell's Historic Towns of the Western States (New York, 1901).

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Cleveland, Ohio'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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