Part I: Community

2. Doan’s Corners: A Changing Community

The history of University Circle begins with the creation of a community of New England immigrants at Doan’s Corners. The community was centered just to the west of the modern Circle, although Doan’s Corners overlapped what are now the University Circle boundaries. In Doan’s Corners can be traced the beginnings of the ideals of community and philanthropy that so profoundly shaped the future of the Circle. Moreover, the forces of urbanization and industrialization that transformed Doan’s Corners from a rural village to an integral part of an industrial metropolis led to both the reform movements and the patterns of cultural institutionalization that shaped the future of the area.

In 1796 the state of Connecticut Land sent a surveying party under the direction of Moses Cleaveland to the Western Reserve, a district of northeast Ohio purchased from the United States Congress by the company. Cleaveland made a treaty with the resident Indians to eliminate their claims, and directed the survey of a town site where the Cuyahoga River flows into Lake Erie.[1] The plan of the town was that of an 18th-century New England village, characterized long rectangular lots and a central open commons. In honor of their leader, the surveying company decided to call the town Cleaveland, a name shortened to Cleveland by the 1830s.[2]

One of the earliest settlers in Cleveland was Nathaniel Doan, a Connecticut native who had accompanied the original surveying party as a blacksmith. In 1797 he returned with a second surveying party, and in January 1798, in compensation for his services, the company granted Doan one of the surveyed lots in Cleveland, with the stipulation that he was “obliged to reside thereon as a blacksmith.”[3] It was not unusual in this era for a land company to offer homesteads to craftsmen in order to assure potential settlers of their services.[4]

Sometime in the late winter or spring of 1798 Nathaniel Doan left Connecticut with his wife, several children, and a servant (perhaps a blacksmith apprentice), and journeyed 92 days to Cleveland. Doan dutifully set up shop close to the Cuyahoga River. Legend has it that in the ensuing summer Doan and his family were driven out of this location by the mosquitoes and fevers of the river bottom.[5] Doan and his family relocated about four miles east of the village site, near a stream which tumbled down from a rocky bluff. This site was strategic because it was on an Indian trail which followed the southern edge of the Lake Erie plain, and seemed likely to be a main route between Cleveland and points east.[6] There Doan purchased a 100-acre lot (designated lot 402 of Cleveland Township by the surveyors) from the Connecticut Land Company.

Doan exploited the opportunities which were available to an initial settler on the expanding frontier. Within a few years he established a tavern, an institution which served the functions of restaurant, hotel, meeting place, and post office. The tavern was located at the point where a road laid out from the south met the new Euclid Road, at what is now the northwest corner of 107th Street and Euclid Avenue. Doan also established nearby a blacksmith’s shop, a small general store, and a works for making baking soda. Each of these was an important asset to a newly-established agricultural community.[7]

In 1802 when Cleveland Township (including the village of Cleveland to the east) was organized by the Ohio Territory, Nathaniel Doan was elected town clerk and one of the township’s three supervisors of highways. He later was a captain of the local militia company, postmaster, and, after Cuyahoga County was established in 1807, a county commissioner.[8] Doan’s family also played important roles in the emerging community. His daughter Sarah was the teacher of the first school in the region — at Newburgh a few miles south of Cleveland. His brother, Timothy, bought land several miles further east in 1801 (in what was later Euclid Township), and settled there with his wife and six children. After Nathaniel Doan died in 1815 Job Doan, his son, continued to operate the tavern, and served as justice of the peace.[9] The Doan family’s activities and abilities gave them such prominence that the location of the tavern became known as Doan’s Corners.[10]

During its first fifty years of settlement Doan’s Corners’ major source of livelihood was agriculture. The census of 1840, for example, showed that farming was the main occupation of 80% of the 178 households in Cleveland Township (which by then excluded the city of Cleveland).[11] As the lake commerce developed, and after the Ohio and Erie Canal was completed in 1832, Cuyahoga County farmers were able to participate in a regional and national economy. They took advantage of their situation along the shores of Lake Erie where, compared to many other areas of the Midwest, the growing season began early and ended late. They cut abundant crops of hay to feed their cows and planted extensive orchards. By the 1840s and 1850s Cuyahoga County, one of the smallest counties in the state, was one of the leaders in cheese, butter, and fruit production, most of which was marketed. Grapes became cash crops later, with large harvests reported by 1870.[12]

The 1850 census and a 1852 business directory for the Cleveland area show that Doan’s Corners had coopers (barrel-makers), blacksmiths, a saddle and harness maker, a wagon maker, a shoemaker, a carpenter, and a butcher.[13] At about the same time Samuel Cozad had a grist mill north of Euclid Road along the creek known as Doan Brook. The Doan Brook valley had several other water-powered mills. Upstream, beyond the bluffs, were three mills operated by the North Union Shakers (a religious community), and downstream (where Superior Avenue now crosses the brook) was Crawford’s mill, built about 1825 as a sawmill and later converted to a cider press. Other industries were the brickyard of Andrew Duty and sons, located about a mile east of Doan’s Corners (across from the present Alta House in Murray Hill); the Embury Clock Factory; a plant for distilling oil from coal; a small metal works; and a mill for pressing molasses out of sorghum stalks. South of the Corners were stone quarries opened in the 1830s to extract a hard shale, known as “bluestone,” used for construction and paving. One of the quarry owners was Martin Gale, who by 1860 lived on Euclid Road with his wife Susan and a household of eight children and three servants.[14]

The expanding economic life of Doan’s Corners to mid-century was paralleled by a growing community and social life. Taverns long remained central to political activities and were usually the location of public meetings. Travelers stopped at them to share news, and mail was often picked up and delivered there. When the Doan family gave up the tavern business, they were succeeded at the Corners by tavern keepers Jim Brown and Jim Wright. Wright was one of the community’s notable characters in the 1850s and 1860s, known for his stylish clothing and willingness to tell a story.[15] Durham Tavern was opened initially in 1824 on Euclid Road about a mile west of Doan’s Corners, and survives today as the Durham Tavern Museum. East of the Corners, at about where Superior Avenue now crosses Euclid Avenue, was Abner McIlrath’s tavern. It was the polling place for East Cleveland Township during elections. According to an account in the Cleveland Leader, at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 East Cleveland residents met at McIlrath’s to take measures “for the defense of the stars and stripes.”[16]

Religious life was slow to become organized in the Doan’s Corners area, possibly because settlement occurred at the same time that Protestant denominations in the United States were splintering over such issues as slavery and biblical inerrancy. Thus organized religion was first evident at the Corners in the care of the dead rather than of the living: in 1823 Job Doan and others purchased a lot north of Euclid Road (the northwest corner of Euclid and 105th) as a cemetery and village commons. Shortly a stone schoolhouse was built on the commons, and it housed most of the community’s religious services.[17]

A Presbyterian church had its roots in a Sunday school begun in 1826 in the home of Sally Cozad Mather, located on Euclid Road about a half mile east of the Corners. It flourished under the “plan of union” which committed Presbyterians and Congregationalists to jointly support churches and religious education in the Western Reserve. After about 1830 when Sally Mather moved to Bath, Ohio, the classes were held in the stone schoolhouse, and the Ford family (whose home was also to the east of the Corners) and others supported it.

On November 30, 1843 the Presbyterian Church of East Cleveland (as the Doan’s Corners area was then sometimes known) was founded with the Sunday school at its core, and in 1845 a church building for it was erected at the corner of Euclid Road and Doan Street (later East 105th Street). It became a Congregational church in 1862 and was known after 1872 as the Euclid Congregational Church. Other churches established at Doan’s Corners were a Methodist Episcopal church (1837) on the lot next to the schoolhouse, and a Disciples of Christ church (1843) next to the Presbyterian church. Although worship and Christian education were the central activities of these congregations, they also served as social centers for the community, providing a distinct alternative to the taverns. A typical event was a maple sugar festival held at the Presbyterian/Congregational church in March 1861. The women of the church conducted the event and charged admission of fifty cents a couple: it seems likely that the proceeds supported foreign missions.[18]

With a thriving agricultural economy, numerous small businesses, and a growing variety of institutions serving social and religious purposes, Doan’s Corners by 1860 was attractive to newcomers.  The assets of Doan’s Corners, combined with the rapid commercial-industrial growth of nearby Cleveland, contributed to the steady population growth throughout the township of East Cleveland.

The population of East Cleveland was not homogeneous. It is true that as late as 1860 most of the residents of the Corners were born in New England or Ohio, but there were also immigrants from the British Isles and northern Europe. Households sometimes contained people from a variety of backgrounds. Hiram Garretson, for example, lived on Euclid Road on the western edge of the Corners area. Born in Pennsylvania, he moved with his family to southeastern Ohio in 1827 when he was an infant. He came to Cleveland in 1852 at the age of 25, rising to become a prominent wholesale merchant (and later an investor in the iron ore business) in partnership with Leonard and Robert Hanna. Garretson’s first wife died, and in 1856 he married 21-year-old Ellen N. Abbott, a native of Massachusetts. By 1860 their household had four children from Garretson’s first marriage, all born in Ohio, and three servants, one each from Ohio, Ireland, and Germany.[19]

A household of a different character was Milo and Harriet Hickock’s, on the north side of Euclid Road opposite E. 100th Street. Milo, a building contractor, and his wife were both from Connecticut, and being in their fifties they had three grown children. All were born in Ohio and lived at home: one, Henry A. Hickock, 21 years old, was an accountant. There were two male boarders, one from England, and the other from Ohio, suggesting that the family income was not always adequate and needed to be supplemented.[20]

In the heart of Doan’s Corners was a household headed by Nathan Post, a saddle and harness maker. He and his wife had emigrated from New York in the late 1840s with a family of five children, and added two more after their arrival in Ohio. The youngest members of the Post family were Charles (11) and James (8). By 1860 the eldest son, Nathan Post, Jr., had a trade as a mechanic, had married an Ohio native and settled next door to his parents.[21] Charles Post is a particularly significant resident for historical study because seventy years later he wrote Doan’s Corners and the City Four Miles West, in part a description of the neighborhood as he and others remembered it. For a boy it was an idyllic place:

In the summer there were picnics, rides, wild berry picking, with hunting and fishing close at hand. We ranged Doan Brook from the Shakers to Lake Erie, and took long horseback rides. My brother James and I had a pair of ponies which we rode . . . In the autumn, chestnut, walnut and hickory nuts were waiting to be gathered, and in the winter skating, sleigh-rides and coasting helped out . . . at times with plenty of snow, [we] could go clear across the valley and the frozen brook.[22]

But the 1850s village of Post’s memory was beginning to change. Doan’s Corners, which had been comfortably outside of Cleveland for sixty years, was soon to be absorbed by it. Doan’s Corners gradually became part of Cleveland’s web of streetcar lines, water systems, and closely-spaced houses, just as many other peripheral towns and villages became enmeshed in burgeoning late-nineteenth century American cities.[23]

These changes challenged the definition of community as the residents of Doan’s Corners had known it. The village’s annexation by Cleveland in 1872 sharpened the sense of loss in a community formerly characterized by personal acquaintance and extended family relationships. After annexation leading residents championed temperance, or complete abstinence from the use of alcoholic beverages, as a means of controlling what they saw as urban chaos, and some of them later promoted the development of University Circle as a haven of sobriety and moral uplift.

The expansion of Cleveland that forever changed Doan’s Corners was fueled by a rapid growth of business and industry. The pivotal moment in the city’s history was probably in 1832 when the Ohio and Erie Canal was completed, connecting Portsmouth on the Ohio River with Cleveland on Lake Erie. Grain, pork, butter, and other agricultural products from northern Ohio came to Cleveland by canal and were transferred to lake shipping bound for Buffalo, the Erie Canal, and points east. Textiles, metal goods, and manufactured goods of all sorts came to Cleveland by the reverse route, or even through Canada via the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, and the Welland Canal (opened in 1829) around Niagara Falls. In the 1850s Cleveland’s role as a transport nexus was cemented by the building of several railroads that connected Cleveland to its regional neighbors, Toledo, Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. By the 1860s Cleveland was firmly tied into a rail network covering the Northeast and Midwest.

Cleveland entrepreneurs stimulated their city’s growth by developing new markets and products. In the 1850s and 1860s Cleveland capitalists such as Samuel L. Mather, Leonard Hanna, Robert Hanna, and Doan’s Corners resident Hiram Garretson, invested heavily in the iron ore fields of the Lake Superior region and began to ship the ore to Cleveland for smelting. Cleveland entrepreneurs also built railroads into regions of Ohio producing limestone and coal, the other ingredients for blast furnaces. Cleveland thereby became one of the leading centers of iron and steel manufacture in the United States.[24]

Growing along with the iron and steel industry was the manufacture of machinery and the building of ship machinery and iron bridges. By the 1880s Cleveland became a major maker of machine tools, such as lathes and drill presses, and of electrical equipment. Large numbers of lake ships, including ore carriers, were built at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Many ships, even those built of wood, needed iron steam engines, propellers, and propeller shafts, which were supplied by Cleveland firms. One fabricating company, King Iron Bridge, made bridges that were erected throughout the United States.[25]

Petroleum and chemical industries also were critical to Cleveland’s industrial growth. Petroleum refining had the most dramatic impact, as the city’s production grew from a negligible amount in the early l860s to millions of barrels per year in the 1880s. Since the oil fields were in northwestern Pennsylvania, and many of the markets were along the Atlantic coast, the diverting of petroleum westward to Cleveland was clearly a feat of commercial wizardry. The chief wizard was John D. Rockefeller: in the 1870s and 1880s through his company, Standard Oil, he developed monopoly control of the petroleum industry by shrewd (often ruthless) business deals, by creating innovative business forms, including the trust, and by obtaining secret shipping rates from the railroads. Several of Rockefeller’s business partners in Standard Oil, including W.H. Doan, Samuel Andrews, and Stephen V. Harkness, lived in the Doan’s Corners area and played significant roles in the development of University Circle.

Petroleum refining required various chemicals to prepare the raw petroleum. In the 1860s the Cleveland Chemical Company was founded to supply the need, and Eugene Grasselli moved his operations from Cincinnati to a site along the Cuyahoga River in 1866. Another chemical industry was paints and varnishes. In the 1870s two major coatings companies, Sherwin-Williams and Glidden, were established, and quickly developed national markets.[26] Eventually the wealth of the Grasselli, Sherwin, Williams, and Glidden families contributed significantly to the development of the Circle.

The result of all this business activity was enormous economic opportunity which not only encouraged residents to stay and raise families in Cleveland, but also drew immigrants from inside and outside the borders of the United States. There were about 7000 Clevelanders in 1840, 43,500 by 1860, and 160,146 in 1880. By then it was clear that Cleveland would be one of America’s great cities: at the high point of its population, from 1930 to 1950, Cleveland averaged 900,000 residents.[27]

The physical growth of Cleveland is easily traced by studying the extension of the city’s streets. Generally, eastward expansion occurred along a series of broad avenues radiating eastward from the original center on the east bank of the Cuyahoga. The north-south streets (the modern numbered streets) connected these avenues much like the crossing threads in a spider’s web. Individual landowners wishing to sell lots typically were responsible for laying out the new streets, which were therefore set to create saleable lot sizes rather than to conform to an overall city plan.[28]

The expansion of Cleveland’s passenger transportation network into Doan’s Corners is a clear example of how the new urban infrastructure created and sustained new residential areas on the periphery of the city. In the 1860s a horse-drawn omnibus ran through the Corners, picking up city-or suburb-bound passengers two or three times a day. In 1872 the East Cleveland Railway Company laid down a street railway for horse-drawn cars to travel along Euclid Road from downtown to beyond Doan’s Corners. Horse cars served the Circle area several times daily until electric streetcars were introduced in 1888 and service became even more frequent. The macadamizing of Euclid Road in the 1870s also permitted easier travel, an amenity no doubt appreciated by regular commuters, among them John D. Rockefeller, who, after buying a residence at Forest Hill in 1878, often passed through the Circle on his way to his downtown office or to the Erie Street Baptist Church.[29] The transportation innovations shrank the trip from the Corners to the center of Cleveland from a half-day in the 1830s to a half-hour by the 1880s, so that many people could live there and work downtown.

The urbanization of the Doan’s Corners area brought governmental change. In 1866 the village of East Cleveland, including most of the Corners, was formed out of Cleveland Township. (East Cleveland village was bounded by Superior Avenue on the north, by Quincy Avenue on the south, by E. 55th Street on the west, and on the east by a line just east of E. 105th Street, near Doan Brook.) In 1872 an annexation campaign was successful, and the village became wards 16 and 17 of Cleveland. The frontier of the city had reached Doan’s Corners and had swept to its far edge in only four years. The area east of East 105th Street, including most of what today is regarded as University Circle, was not annexed by Cleveland until 1892.[30]

Annexation by a city in the nineteenth century was regarded as a mixed blessing by those whose communities were gobbled up. Advantages included the extension of urban amenities such as gas, water, sewerage, parks, police and fire departments. In the latter nineteenth century the technology of the utilities was strongly centralized, requiring heavy capital investments in the gasworks, pumping stations, and sewer mains which formed the cores of the systems. Communities on the city’s periphery lacked the funds to erect competing systems, and cities often held out the opportunity to connect to their utilities as one of the rewards of annexation.

On the other hand, annexed towns and villages gave up much of the intimacy of their political lives, submerging their communities into the vastly larger, often heavily foreign-born, electorate of the cities. For the gentrified periphery of the city, the din of foreign languages and the encounters with different cultures were disconcerting, and the fear of political domination by the working-class immigrants in the urban core was visceral. There was also the likelihood that annexed areas would have higher taxes than before annexation, precisely because the former suburbanites would have to pay for higher levels of services.

The debate over the annexation of East Cleveland in 1872 was therefore bitter and divisive. The pro-annexationists argued that by joining Cleveland the residents would have “better fire and police protection, added water facilities, a better school system, [and] better mail service,” and within a few months of annexation the city police and fire departments did establish stations in the area. Mention was also made of the possibility that the city would locate a new park “where it will be accessible to East Cleveland.”[31]

The anti-annexationists were concerned that their community with its semi-rural lifestyle would be immediately altered. Their worst visions seemed confirmed by the Cleveland Leader’s exhortation in the eve of balloting: “Voters of East Cleveland, you have the opportunity to make your growing and attractive corporation a part of the thriving and beautiful city of Cleveland. The city needs your broad territory for manufactories and suburban homes.”[32] When they lost the election the anti-annexationists turned to political maneuvering and a court injunction to stop the inexorable urbanization, but they failed to nullify the annexation process.

There ways other than legal maneuvers by which the apparent forces of urbanization might be slowed, however. Most important in the Doan’s Corners area was a strong temperance movement. Prominent leaders were Horace C. Ford, Cordelia Cozad Ford, and William Halsey Doan, members of the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church at Doan’s Corners. The Fords had lived on Euclid Avenue (at the site of the present Allen Memorial Library across from Severance Hall) since 1853. Prior to the Civil War the Fords’ temperance concerns seem to have been less significant than their commitment to the anti-slavery movement, but both areas were elements of the broader reform program of evangelical Christianity in the Northern states. (These evangelicals had resources: Doan, grandson of Nathaniel Doan, had gone to California for the gold rush but returned to the Corners in the 1860s and made his fortune in the oil business with his neighbor and partner S.V. Harkness.)[33]

After the Civil War Cleveland’s temperance activists took national leadership of the movement, symbolized by holding the convention of the National Temperance Society in Cleveland in 1868. Subsequently the first slate of Prohibition Party candidates was nominated (1869), and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union was founded (1874), in Cleveland. Cordelia Ford was one of the five founders of the WCTU’s Cleveland branch, and its first vice-president.[34] Nationally, the temperance movement was closely related to Protestant churches. At Doan’s Corners temperance meetings often were held at the Methodist church, among other sites, and included among their sponsors the Sons of Temperance. At one meeting of the Sons in 1873 Horatio Ford and Liberty Holden, residents of Doan’s Corners, were the speakers — in spite of publicly taking opposite sides of the annexation issue a year before. Perhaps temperance’s most conspicuous achievement locally was William Halsey Doan’s purchase and closing of the only tavern in wards 16 and 17 (the Wright House at Euclid and 107th) in 1873. Its libations were replaced by an ice-water fountain on Euclid Avenue erected by the WCTU, and new traveler’s accommodations were provided by a family hotel erected by Liberty Holden on the former tavern site.[35]

But the industrial-commercial economy of the region, growing from the time the first stone quarries were opened on the adjacent heights and small craft shops were established at the Corners, continually encroached on attempts to control the effects of urbanization. Symbolically, a major supplier of alcoholic beverages, the Cleveland Brewing Company, was established in the mid-1880s at the intersection of Hough and Ansel avenues north of Doan’s Corners. It soon became the dominant beer producer in Cleveland, and remained so until the onset of prohibition in 1920.[36]

The railroad also came to Doan’s Corners permanently in the 1880s. While from 1836 into the 1840s there had been a simple horse-drawn line from the quarries down Euclid Avenue, neither its stone cargoes nor its small passenger business were sufficient to keep it in business. Nearly fifty years later, in 1881, the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railway was organized to connect Buffalo and Chicago, with a branch to St. Louis. Its route through the Circle was parallel to, but south of Euclid Road and just along the foot of the heights. This railroad was named the “Nickel Plate” because the towns along its potential route in western Ohio engaged in heated bidding for the route, and the Norwalk Chronicle commented that for what the towns were offering the railroad could be nickel-plated.[37]

The construction of the double-tracked line of the Nickel Plate was a threat to William Vanderbilt’s Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, which also connected Buffalo and Chicago. Vanderbilt chose to fight the competition by buying the Nickel Plate through two agents, Judge Stephenson Burke and John Devereux of Cleveland. The Nickel Plate then became a poor sister to the Lake Shore until it was sold in 1916 to the Van Sweringen brothers of Cleveland, who invested heavily in it and made it a modern, well-operated line. It was not, however, a passenger-oriented railroad, and the Circle did not have a station.[38]

A major commercial addition to the Circle in the 1870s was right next to the railroad, at the foot of Cedar Glen: the Blue Rock Spring House. It took advantage of the rising American interest of hydropathy (a belief that internal and external administration of water, particularly mineral water, could cure ailments) to exploit a sulfur-laden spring. The spring was first used as a source for commercially-bottled water by Dr. Nathan H. Ambler, but in 1880 he opened the Blue Rock Spring House as a spa. Inside, at the floor level it had bathing chambers cut into the underlying rock. Most people probably came to the House to drink the water and to picnic rather than to bathe, at least in the early years before the roads next to the house were improved.[39]

The industrial-commercial development of the Circle area as it became part of Cleveland was mirrored by population growth and change. The census of 1870 counted 5050 people in the village of East Cleveland. There is no comparable total for 1880 because the area was not counted separately from the city, but the census enumerator’s records show an increase in residences on Euclid Road from 1870 to 1880, a steep decline in the occupations of “farmer” and “gardener,” and a dramatic increase in the number of white-collar professionals. Still, in the old Doan’s Corners and along Euclid Road most of the families remained of New England, New York, and Ohio origin and most of the European immigrants were household servants.[40]

The Corners now held several wealthy families. In the early 1870s Worthy Streator, a retired physician in his 50s, had a large residence on the north side of Euclid Avenue between 97th and 100th streets. Streator was president of the Lake Shore and Tuscarawas Valley Railroad, an important coal-carrier for Cleveland’s industries. His household in 1870 included his wife Sarah, an adult son working as a farmer, two school-age sons, a 30-year old male schoolteacher who was a boarder, and Fred Douglass, a 20-year old African-American stable hand. Oscar Streator, perhaps a brother of Worthy, lived next-door with his wife and child. He was a cattle dealer.[41]

The Streators represented the wealthy class of Cleveland. While Cleveland’s businessmen and industrialists had long occupied large residences on the section of Euclid Avenue between 9th and 55th streets, closer to the heart of the city, by the 1870s some, like Streator, now were located in the old Doan’s Corners area.[42] Probably the most prominent was William Halsey Doan, a temperance advocate and grandson of the original settler. He was only 41 years old and living on Euclid near Streator in 1870 when he listed his fortune as $125,000 in real estate, and $30,000 in personal possessions. The office for his oil-refining partnership with George Chase was on Superior Avenue in the center of the city. Also in the household were Doan’s wife, Elizabeth, a homemaker; his 62-year old mother; Miller Halsey, a clerk in an oil works and probably a nephew; an 18-year old Czech servant girl; and John Shiffler, a 22-year old stable hand from Bohemia. Ten years later Doan was at the same residence with his wife, but now another relative, 14-year old Lillie Perry, lived with them.[43]

Other businessmen only slightly less wealthy than Doan who lived at the Corners included William J. Ranney, a coal dealer; Colonel Charles Doubleday (a native of England), who owned a fleet of railroad sleeping cars; J.A. Gardner, an oil dealer; and Captain Thomas Walson (from Scotland) and B.L. Pennington, ship brokers. Stephen V. Harkness, Doan’s business partner and one of the original incorporators of Standard Oil with John D. Rockefeller, lived on the western edge of the Doan’s Corners area.[44]

The future University Circle also had a substantial professional class. Perhaps the most remarkable resident was Dr. Martha Canfield. Sometime in the 1870s she moved onto Streator Avenue, just a few doors away from Worthy Streator. She was one of the earliest women in the Cleveland to earn a medical degree, graduating from the Cleveland Homeopathic Hospital College in 1875. Near the end of her career, in 1912-13, she was instrumental in the establishment of the Woman’s Hospital of Cleveland, which was located within a few blocks of her home. But at this time she had a medical office in her residence, and her husband commuted to his law practice on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland. In 1880 the Canfields had living with them daughters who were 6 and 8 years old, and Regina Moore, a 33-year old housekeeper from Germany.[45] There were also several other physicians, engineers, lawyers, bookkeepers, journalists, salesmen, railroad agents and conductors, schoolteachers and at least one clergyman and three musicians.[46] This group, usually commuters to downtown offices, or otherwise serving clients outside of the Corners, was perhaps only slightly higher in economic status than the class of storekeepers and craftsmen who made up the largest occupational group at the Corners.

By the 1870s and 1880s the old Doan’s Corners area already had a distinct commercial district along Euclid in the vicinity of 105th Street. Grocers, druggists, tobacconists, morticians, and craftsmen had their stores there, frequently living above or adjacent to them. An important cluster of occupations related to the horse-drawn carriage industry. For example, Ely Gill, a harness maker born in Pennsylvania, lived on 105th street with his Ohio-born wife and three children. William Cozens, a blacksmith who shoed horses, had emigrated from England to the United States about 1873, and had lived in the area for several years with his wife (also English) and three children under 10 years of age. Alphonso Robinson, another blacksmith, had his 27-year-old son Orvis, also a blacksmith, living at home with him. The Robinson household also included Alphonso’s wife, three daughters, a son-in-law who was a machinist, and one granddaughter.[47] Other craftsmen probably had their work close by, such as the numerous stone cutters, most of whom surely worked in the quarries on the heights, and the carpenters, brick masons, roofers and the painters, who probably were participants in the rapid residential development of the area.

There was, finally, a group of unskilled workers. William Sweetman, for example, was from Ireland and worked as a road grader. His wife was from England, and they had two daughters, 6 and 8 years old, who were born in Ohio and attended school. Sweetman’s brother-in-law, a coachman born in Canada, lived with them. Although primarily composed of men who were referred to only as laborers in the census and city directory, this group also included a substantial number of women who took in boarders or who were caring for the elderly and disabled. Mary Hammond took care of her 74-year old rheumatic stepfather; Emily Ballard boarded a family of three as well as caring for her steelworker husband, and her infant and 3-year-old sons.[48]

There were several African-Americans living in the Circle in the 1870s and 1880s, all born outside of Ohio. They were in occupations and living situations not apparently different than other immigrants. Margaret Fisher (born in Virginia) worked as a domestic servant for Dr. Nelson Chipman in 1870, and lived in Chipman’s house with her 6-year old daughter. On the other hand, Arthur Collins, a gardener born in South Carolina, and Tharp Holmes, a railroad porter, had their own homes. The occupational and residential patterns of African-Americans at the Corners were similar to those throughout Cleveland in the 1870s and 1880s, when the African-American population was less than 2% of the city and was nearly evenly distributed throughout Cleveland.[49]

Although Doan’s Corners’ population had by the 1880s grown to exhibit the wide ranges of social classes and ethnic groups typical of Cleve1and as a whole, for some it retained a flavor of community life that became a powerful memory in later years. For example, in the 1930s Ihna T. Frary, who lived in Doan’s Corners as a child in the 1870s and l880s and later became an officer of the Cleveland Museum of Art, wrote his reminiscences. He recalled that community life centered on the churches. He knew them as a place of “social and intellectual as well as our religious life. We met socially [he recalled] before and after services and at occasional church dinners and ‘sociables’.”[50] Newspaper announcements at the time support Frary’s recollection, recording such events as a performance of the Doan Vocal Society at the Congregational church. Other community activities also took place at Fairmount School, and others at the Doan Armory built at Doan and Euclid by William Halsey Doan.[51] For Frary the Doan Brook valley of the 1870s and 1880s was a place for child’s play much as Charles Post had recalled it in the 1850s. Frary described pools and ponds for summer swimming and fishing, “rocks that would have delighted Druids, and caves . . . which to the imaginative minds of small boys were well nigh terrifying.”[52] Frary’s vision of Doan’s Corners was markedly different from the demographic and economic changes that were daily transforming the Corners. To the extent that those who resisted annexation, which included temperance advocates, and those other reformers who wished to preserve some echo of the sort of community that Frary remembered, quick and decisive action was necessary. Their instrument was philanthropy, a newly-emerging force in the development of Cleveland.


  1. The Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) and the Treaty of Greenville (1795), the first successful steps in the new federal government’s strategy of extinguishing the Native Americans, and their claims, in the Northwest Territory, provided the impetus for the Connecticut Land Company to venture into what had been Native American land for thousands of years.
  2. David D. Van Tassel and John J. Grabowski, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. (Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press and Case Western Reserve University, 1987), pp. 194-95, 197, 294. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History can be viewed on-line at http://ech.cwru.edu (site accessed June 12, 2013).
  3. Harlan Hatcher, The Western Reserve: The Story of New Connecticut in Ohio, revised edition. (Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Co., 1966), pp. 38-39, quoting Connecticut Land Company minutes, 23 January 1798.
  4. Louis C. Hunter, Waterpower in the Century of the Steam Engine, A History of Industrial Power in the United States, 1780-1930. Vol. 1. (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press and Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation, 1979), p. 3.
  5. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. xviii, 346; Charles Asa Post, Doan’s Corners and the City Four Miles West (Cleveland: Caxton Company, 1930), pp. 38, 41; Samuel P. Orth, A History of Cleveland. 2 vols. (Chicago and Cleveland: S.J. Clark Publishing, 1910), 1: 100. Orth lists four children in the Doan family; later sources state that there were six.
  6. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 783.
  7. Post, Doan’s Corners, pp. 42-43.
  8. Post, Doan’s Corners, pp. 42, 63; Rose, Cleveland, p. 39; Orth, History of Cleveland, 1: 232, 242, 683.
  9. Rose, Cleveland, pp. 43, 45; Annals of Cleveland, 1818-1935 (Cleveland: Works Progress Administration, 1938), 5: 186; Orth, History of Cleveland, 1: 99, 232, 234, 241.
  10. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. xviii-xix.
  11. U.S. Census, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland township, 1840, manuscript schedule on microfilm, Western Reserve Historical Society (hereafter WRHS), Cleveland, OH.
  12. Robert Leslie Jones, History of Agriculture in Ohio (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1983), pp. 123-24, 183-85, 195, 215, 220, 222, 228-30; Horatio Ford, The Ford Home (Cleveland, OH: Horace Carr, 1925), pp. 11-13. Note that the importance of haying in Cuyahoga County led it to be an innovator in the adoption of hay mowers in the l860s: Jones, History of Agriculture in Ohio, p. 274.
  13. David S. Brose and Alfred M. Lee, A Model of Historical Sites Archaeology in the Inner City. Archaeological Report no. 55. (Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1985), p. 53; U.S. Census, 1850, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, East Cleveland Township, manuscript census on microfilm, WRHS.
  14. Post, Doan’s Corners, pp. 70, 95-97, 116, 124-25; Brose and Lee, Archaeology in the Inner City, p. 52; Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 443, 724-25; 24 U.S. Census, 1860, Cuyahoga County, East Cleveland Township, manuscript census on microfilm, WRHS.
  15. Post, Doan’s Corners, pp. 76-77.
  16. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 350, 652; I.T. Frary, Early Homes of Ohio (Richmond, Va.: Garrett and Massie, 1936), pp. 199-200; Annals of Cleveland, 44: 204.
  17. Rose, Cleveland, pp. 99-100; Post, Doan’s Corners, pp. 129-30, 136.
  18. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 380-81; Post, Doan’s Corners, pp. 128-32, 135-37; Justus L. Cozad, “Early History of the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church,” The Beacon Light (November 1906), copy in folder 3, container 3, I.T. Frary Papers, WRHS; Annals of Cleveland, 44 (1861): 520.
  19. “Hiram Garretson,” typescript, folder 4, box 3, Wade Papers, WRHS; U.S. Census, 1860, East Cleveland, entry 51, WRHS; Loomis & Talbott’s Cleveland City Directory for 1861 (Cleveland: Herald Office, 1861), p. 99.
  20. U.S. Census, 1860, East Cleveland, entry 99, WRHS.
  21. U.S. Census, 1850, East Cleveland, entry 2582, WRHS; U.S. Census, 1860, East Cleveland, entries 102 and 103, WRHS; Post, Doan’s Corners, p. 52-53.
  22. Post, Doan’s Corners, p. 53.
  23. Charles N. Glaab and A. Theodore Brown, A History of Urban America (London: The Macmillan Company, 1967), pp. 142-43, 150-52, 154-58, 166.
  24. Samuel P. Orth, A History of Cleveland, Ohio (Chicago and Cleveland: S.J. Clarke, 1910), 1: 718; Peter Temin, Iron and Steel in Nineteenth-Century America: An Economic Inquiry (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1964), pp. 170, 199; J. Wiggins & Co., comps., Cleveland As It Is: A History of Cleveland and Statistical Exhibit of the Trade, Commerce and Manufactures… (Cleveland: Newcomb, 1872), pp. 21, 103, 106. An excellent recent study of Cleveland industrialists’ involvement in iron mining in the upper Great Lakes is: Terry S. Reynolds and Virginia P. Dawson, Iron Will: Cleveland-Cliffs and the Mining of Iron Ore, 1847-2006 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2011). For one Clevelander’s deep involvement in developing the Cleveland-area rail network, see: Darwin H. Stapleton, "Amasa Stone," in Robert J. Frey, ed., Railroads in the Nineteenth Century, Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography. (New York: Facts on File, 1988), pp. 379-381. For a general overview of the industrial growth of Cleveland see: Darwin H. Stapleton, "The City Industrious: How Technology Transformed Cleveland," in Thomas F. Campbell and Edward M. Miggins, eds., The Birth of Modern Cleveland, 1865-1930 (Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society; London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1988), pp. 71-95.
  25. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 324, 369, 548, 592; Wiggins & Co., comps., Cleveland As It Is, p. 111; The Industries of Cleveland (Cleveland: Elstner, 1888), p. 40.
  26. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 548; Wiggins & Co., comps., Cleveland As It Is, p. 119; Industries of Cleveland, p. 47; Allan Nevins, Study in Power: John D. Rockefeller, Industrialist and Philanthropist (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953), vol. 1.
  27. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. xxvi, xxxiii, xliv, xlvii, xlix; Orth, Cleveland, p. 117.
  28. Ibid, pp. 529-30; Edmund H. Chapman, Cleveland: Village to Metropolis, A Case Study of Problems of Urban Development in Nineteenth-century America. 2nd ed. (Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1981), pp. 39-43, 99-102.
  29. Orth, Cleveland, p. 745; Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 356, 1003; 26 Annals of Cleveland 55 (1872): 769, 56 (1873): 142; Grace Goulder, John D. Rockefeller: The Cleveland Years (Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1972), pp. 148-150.
  30. Orth, Cleveland, p. 49; Annals of Cleveland 55 (1872): 784; Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp.354-55; Post, Doan’s Corners, p. 179.
  31. Annals of Cleveland 55 (1872): 142, 780-83.
  32. Annals of Cleveland 55 (1872): 779.
  33. Orth, History of Cleveland, 2: 342-43; Horatio Ford, The Ford Home (Cleveland: Horace Carr, 1925), pp. 10, 15; Cleave’s Biographical Cyclopaedia of the State of Ohio (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., [c. 1875]), p. 96; Post, Doan’s Corners, p. 97; Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 4; Rose, Cleveland, pp. 325.
  34. Marian J. Morton, “'Temperance Reform in the ‘Providential Environment,’ Cleveland, 1830-1934,” in David D. Van Tassel and John J. Grabowski, eds., Cleveland: A Tradition of Reform (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1986), pp. 55-56; Ford, The Ford Home, p. 19; W.A. Ingham, Women of Cleveland and Their Work (Cleveland: W.A. Ingham, 1893), pp. 171-72.
  35. Annals of Cleveland 55 (1872): 781, 56 (1873): 95, 582, 57 (1874): 765, 59 (1876): 1057; Historic Sites of Cleveland: Hotels and Taverns (Columbus, OH: Ohio Historical Records Survey Project, 1942), pp. 247-67; William G. Rose, Cleveland: The Making of A City (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1950), pp. 392, 554; Ingham, Women of Cleveland, pp. 171-72; Ruth Bordin, Women and Temperance: The Quest for Power and Liberty, 1873-1900 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981), pp.9, 22-28.
  36. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 122; Jones, Agriculture in Ohio, pp. 236, 314; Brose and Lee, A Model, pp. 43, 68.
  37. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 719-20.
  38. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 720; Ian S. Haberman, The Van Sweringens of Cleveland: The Biography of an Empire (Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1979), pp. 24-30.
  39. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 106-7; Frary, Doan’s Corners, ch. 6, pp. 7-8.
  40. U.S. Census, 1870, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, East Cleveland, manuscript census on microfilm, WRHS; U.S. Census, 1880, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, ward 16, enumeration district 49, manuscript census on microfilm, WRHS.
  41. U.S. Census, 1870, East Cleveland, entries 22 and 23; Cleveland [city] Directory, 1873-74 (Cleveland: n.p., 1873), entries for “O.A. Streator,” and “Dr. Worthy S. Streator”; Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 148.
  42. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, pp. 379-80.
  43. U.S. Census, 1870, East Cleveland, no. 54, WRHS; Cleveland Directory, 1873-74, “William H. Doan”; U.S. Census, 1880, Cleveland, w. 16, e.d. 49, WRHS.
  44. U.S. Census, 1870, East Cleveland, nos. 74, 76, WRHS; Cleveland Directory, 1873-74, “Col. C.W. Doubleday”; U.S. Census, 1880, Cleveland, w. 16, e.d. 49, WRHS; James W. Wooster, Jr., Edward Stephen Harkness, 1874-1940 (New York: n.p., 1949), pp. 2-15; Goulder, John D. Rockefeller, p. 101.
  45. U.S. Census, 1880, Cleveland, w. 16, e.d. 49, WRHS; The Cleveland Directory for the Year ending June, 1881 (Cleveland: Cleveland Directory, 1880), p. 94; Glen Jenkins, “Women Physicians and Woman’s General Hospital,” in Kent L. Brown, ed., Medicine in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County: 1810-1976 (Cleveland: Academy of Medicine of Cleveland, 1977), pp. 57-59.
  46. The clergyman was Jabez Hall, pastor of the Euclid Avenue Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ). The musicians were Miss Ada Holmes (living with her mother of the same name), Charlotte Allman, and Dwight P. Stebbins. The Cleveland Directory, 1881, pp. 222, 254, 518; U.S. Census, 1870, East Cleveland; U.S. Census, 1880, Ohio, Cleveland, w. 16, e.d. 49, WRHS; Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 345.
  47. U.S. Census, 1870, Ohio, East Cleveland, no. 18, WRHS; U.S. Census, 1880, Ohio, Cleveland, w. 16, e.d. 49, WRHS; The Cleveland Directory, 1881, p. 456.
  48. U.S. Census, 1880, Ohio, Cleveland, w. 16, e.d. 49, WRHS.
  49. Kenneth L. Kusmer, A Ghetto Takes Shape: Black Cleveland, 1870-1930 (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1976), pp. 10-12, 19, 42-44; U.S. Census, 1870, East Cleveland, no. 8, WRHS; U.S. Census, 1880, Cleveland, w. 16, e.d. 49, WRHS.
  50. I.T. Frary, Doan’s Corners (typescript), ch. 11, p. 1, folder 2, container 2, Frary Papers, WRHS; Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, p. 421.
  51. Annals of Cleveland 58 (1875): 338; Frary, Doan’s Corners, ch. 2, p. 1, ch. 11, p. 1, ch. 12, p. 3.
  52. Frary, Doan’s Corners, ch. 6, pp. 4-5, 11.

License

Share This Book