A History of Newburgh
On any drab, sub-zero winter day many Cuyahoga County residents turn their thoughts toward vacationing in some balmy tourist Mecca, unaware that archeological evidence indicates that their own region once enjoyed a semi-tropical climate. Unfortunately, this warm environment vanished when the earth began to tilt its northern hemisphere away from the sun some 40,000 years ago.
This change in the earth's relative position with the sun brought on the ice age that replaced moderate weather with a near mile thick layer of ice that, in the Cuyahoga River area, extended as far south as present day Canton Ohio. About 15,000 years ago the earth partially realigned its axis and this frozen covering began to gradually recede.
As the ice blanket crept northward it stripped the northern Ohio land down to its slate base. Removal of the of this glacial mass's crushing weight also molded hitherto compacted terrain into rolling hills etched with valleys, streams, rivers, Lake Erie and its islands. It would appear that this bleak, ravaged surface would hold little future promise, but nature knew what it was doing.
Southern breezes did not restore the semi-tropical climate but they did revive the regeneration process by depositing life-sustaining fertile soil on the barren wastes. Vegetation soon followed, coaxing animals, fish, fowl and humans back to the area.
Indians inhabited the region for thousands of years, living off of the land and forming various tribal associations which eventually evolved into their own forms of civilization. Some tended crops and others survived by hunting and fishing. Some six to twelve hundred years ago a number of mound building tribes also inhabited Ohio and one tribe constructed such a mound along Morgan Run somewhere between East 42nd Street and the junction of Broadway Avenue on the south rim of Morgan Run.
The near impenetrable patches of forests were made partially passable by sporadic stretches of rudimentary paths through them. Two such trails were Broadway Avenue, once a Mahoning Indian route from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Cuyahoga River, and East 93rd Street, a former trail that wound its way north from of Mill Creek Falls.
No doubt, when the first white traders and missionaries arrived they piqued the curiosity of the local Indians who, initially, had no reason to fear the strange-appearing new arrivals. In fact, they welcomed the white-eyed immigrants, served as their guides and, on more than one occasion, saved them from starvation. The normally gentle non-tribal groups that had settled in the area had no way of knowing how a decree issued by an overseas power a century before would affect their future.
When Great Britain established colonies along the Atlantic coastline no Englishman had the slightest notion of North America's width or its physical features. Contemporary opinion held that the continent extended beyond the wall of trees to the great South Sea (Pacific Ocean) and on to the East Indies.
During the reign of Charles I this lack of geographical knowledge led to a 1630 decree that set boundaries of colonies from the Atlantic Ocean to the South Seas. A 1662 Royal Charter approved by Charles II redefined these boundaries to extend from sea-to-sea across North America.
If there had ever been any plan to put these edicts into practice the results would have been disastrous. This ignorance of North America's topography and dimensions would have extended Connecticut's western boundaries through parts of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California, quite a chunk of land for such a small state. Spain may have also been perturbed by these absurd directives since it claimed sovereignty over some of the western states alluded to in the royal pronouncements.
However, Spain did not have to become involved to create animosity over these directives because there were sufficient squabbles among the colonies to produce a catastrophe. The fact that northern and southern boundaries were inexact also brought on confusion and border disputes when western land claimed by one colony overlapped the north-south boundaries that were deeded to, or occupied by another.
In 1750 some Connecticut citizens, believing they were within their own territory, moved into Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley (now in the vicinity of Wilkes-Barre) and established a settlement. Although local residents did nothing to drive them out, their presence led to one of the most hideous massacres of the Revolutionary War.
When a contingent of 1,200 British troops and Indians invaded the peaceful colony on July 3, 1778 they were met at the west bank of the Sesquehanna River by 230 "enrolled men" and 70 old men and boys who were dedicated to defending their homes. Despite the bravery of this valiant band, they were soon outflanked, surrounded and annihilated in the most barbaric fashion.
The ruthless attackers shot, tomahawked and scalped their helpless victims, even shooting those in the water who were trying to escape by swimming across the river. Only a few survived this orgy that left 150 widows and 600 orphans in its wake, survivors on the river's opposite side were the distraught witnesses to the inhuman atrocities dealt to their loved ones.
A year before the Wyoming Valley massacre Britain began a campaign to punish Connecticut for persisting in its insurgency against the Crown by burning and pillaging relatively defenseless sea coast towns. The first such attack occurred on April 26, 1777 when 2,000 British troops overran Danbury and burned it to the ground.
This attack was followed by a July 4th ultimatum when Commodore George Collier of His Majesty's Navy and Major General Tryon, commander of land forces, gave the citizens of New Haven, Connecticut an order to reconsider their folly of resistance and rebellion against their mother country. When they refused to repent their insurrection against the sovereignty of England, Tryon led a July 5th assault, ransacking and destroying homes, wantonly killing 27 and taking 40 prisoners. On July 7th the British fleet turned Fairfield into ashes.
These acts of revenge abated until 1781 when General Benedict Arnold led a force of 1,800 British Regulars to "chastise" residents of New London and nearby Groton, Connecticut for continuing to be revolutionaries. After the "punishment" 97 families were left homeless and public buildings, businesses and wharves were reduced to smoldering embers.
When Congress awarded the Wyoming Valley territory to Pennsylvania in 1782 Connecticut ceded its claim to the land. However, the state continued to press its right to a 120 mile strip of land south of Lake Erie west of the Pennsylvania border.
Influenced by the vengeful burning of seacoast citizen's private property by British Troops, Congress accepted Connecticut's claim for the land extending from the 41 st to the
42 nd degree 2 minute parallel In 1786. This act permitted Connecticut to reserved part of the Northwest Territory for its future needs, creating the Western Reserve of Connecticut.
The state managed its colony wisely. The first priority was to compensate citizens living in shore towns for property torched by the British during the war and the second was dispose of the remaining reserve lands to establish a perpetual fund for its public schools.
To accomplish its first goal the General Assembly quit-claimed 500,000 acres in Erie and Huron Counties to those destitute victims.
Unfortunately, this genuine concern for these citizens well-being did not become a reality until 1807, thirty years after the 1777 tragedy. Negotiating treaties with Indians over disputed land delayed surveying the "firelands," term for the tracts reserved for those who lost their property by fire for many years. This long wait was further extended by the process of verifying the list of those who qualified for compensation. By the time everything was finally in order many were too old to leave Connecticut or their heirs were not interested in trading comfortable homes and familiar surroundings for a life on undeveloped land so bringing homesteaders to the Reserve was a slow process.
THE CONNECTICUT LAND COMPANY
As early as 1786 the General Assembly also planned to sell all of the reserve, except land set aside for the "firelands," to create a fund that would yield perpetual interest to finance Connecticut schools. However, their intention of establishing the fund by selling land without securing any agreement with local Indians met with such opposition that the pain dropped and a second proposal along these same lines in 1793 met the same fate. However, In 1795 General Anthony Wayne defeated the Indians in Ohio and secured the treaty of Greenville, removing the threat of Indian attacks.
This positive development aroused renewed interest in disposing of the Western Reserve lands. A plan was inaugurated to appoint eight representatives, one from each county, to sell the reserve unsurveyed. There was one restriction; the committee had to liquidate the entire tract of the estimated 3,000,000 acres for a minimum of $1,000,000 before the sale was considered consummated.
A group of 35 men, some representing themselves and some acting for the 58 member syndicate, negotiated the purchase of the supposedly 3,000,000 acre parcel for $1,200,000. Although never officially incorporated, the group took the name Connecticut Land Company. This company then deeded its purchase in a trust to three trustees, John Caldwell, Jonathan Brace and John Morgan. The company then laid out a plan of surveying, allocating and selling the land.
Due to inaccurate maps and geographies it was thought that the reserve contained far more than the estimated 3,000,000 acres, spawning another speculative company, the Excess Company. Maps of the day presumed the Lake Erie shore ran in a straight line from Conneaut to the end of the reserve. This miscalculation caused the Excess Company to gain nothing and diminished the Connecticut Land Company's holdings by approximately 500,000 acres when it was discovered that they had unwittingly paid for land under Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay.
On May 12, 1796 land company shareholder, General Moses Cleaveland, was named superintendent of the Western Reserve surveying party. Included in his commission was the authority to transact business, make contracts and, when required, to draw upon the company treasury.
When the 46 member team set out for the reserve in early June they were accompanied by six followers to assist them on their expedition. Elijah and Anna Gun were put in charge of the company stores in Conneaut, Nathan Chapman, Nathan Perry, Job and Tabitha Stiles were to trade with the Indians and supply fresh meat.
The band reached the western border of the reserve on July 4th, initiating a spontaneous celebration highlighted by numerous toasts of rum given by General Cleaveland. On July 7th the group divided into four teams, three of which were to survey the reserve east of the Cuyahoga River into 25 square mile townships. Moses Cleaveland led the fourth group to the terminus of the Cuyahoga (Indian word for "crooked") River to lay out the "capital" settlement and survey the surrounding township into lots.
However, inaccurate maps led them to mistake the Chagrin River for the Cuyahoga until an astronomical fix rectified the error.When the party reached the mouth of the Cuyahoga on July 21 st their spirits must have sunk.
The view of a shallow, listless river with stagnate water that was being prevented from emptying into Lake Erie by a large sandbar was not a sight to revive their July 4th elation. Nonetheless, the determined party set about laying out the area into two acre lots, a public square and streets, transplanting a typical Connecticut town to the shores of Lake Erie.
Revenues from land sales were not forthcoming, delaying the payment of wages to land company employees. By August surveyors, chain bearers and technicians, exasperated over the scarcity of food, the dangerous swamps and tedious work, threatened to quit if better financial arrangements could not be made. Forty two of the party agree to work for the rest of the year in exchange for equal shares in Township 8, Range 11. At the suggestion of surveyor Moses Warren the township was named in honor of the Greek mathematician, Euclid.
By mid-October the threat of an early winter forced the surveying parties to abandon their project and return to Connecticut without completing the task of surveying the remainder of Township 12, Range 7 into saleable parcels of land. This failure of General Cleaveland to complete his assigned task in 1796, and his never returning to the settlement bearing his name, has led to speculation that he was relieved of his duties. However, it must be remembered that he was not a surveyor so there is good reason to question this assumption. It is feasible to conclude that his principal function was that of a supervisor administrator who was responsible for getting the surveying process under way.
It is true that in January, 1797 land company shareholders, smarting over the loss of $200,000. for land found to be under Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay, appointed Episcopalian minister, Rev. Seth Hart to lead that year's expedition to complete the 1896 survey. It is alleged, but not documented, that General Cleveland was previously offered but did not accept the position.
The only sure thing that is known is he remained a company director until his death in 1806. An 1802 letter to him from Samuel Huntington about the Mill Creek grist mill shows that Cleaveland was still in a position of authority. He probably remained in Connecticut because he preferred the comforts of home to another year leading a surveying party.
There is also some misunderstanding about the proper spelling of Cleaveland's name and the correct spelling of our city's name. Some years ago there was a grass-roots effort to revert to the "correct" spelling of Cleaveland and the Cleaveland Gazette & Community Register was cited for creating the error when it changed its masthead to The Cleveland Register on the October 6, 1818 issue.
To set the record straight, the general's family name was Cleveland. He alone added the "a" to the first salable of the family name, a fact well known to his contemporaries. given as Cleveland. When Seth Pease produced another map later that month he use Cleaveland and history is silent on Cleaveland's opinion about the two spellings.
Even though Cleveland returned to his law practice in Connecticut, six of his party made arrangements to purchase lots in the little settlement and three people remained in Cleveland when the surveying party departed. The Stiles and Joseph Landon occupied the only cabin in the settlement. When Landon moved on Edward Paine, future founder of Painsville, became a boarder while he traded with the Indians.
The first family having no connection with the surveying party, the James Kingsburys, their three small children and his 13 year old nephew, journeyed from Alsted, New Hampshire, settling in the land company storehouse and cabin in Conneaut in the autumn of 1796. The adversities they had to overcome during their stay in that remote outpost presents a realistic view of the common hardships endured by the pioneers who faced a vicious, unpredictable environment as they ventured into an unknown frontier.
Low supplies and a scarcity of game forced Kingsbury to leave his pregnant wife and family to replenish provisions in New Hampshire. Although he had contracted a fever, concern for his family to immediately return to Conneaut, a decision that ended up exposing him to a three-week snowstorm, the death of his horse and loss of most of his supplies before he completed the return trip.
When he arrived home on Christmas Eve he discovered his wife had given birth to a daughter, the first white child to be born in the reserve. However, dwindling supplies again required his pulling a hand sled to Erie and towing a bushel of wheat to stave off starvation. Soon after his return the family cow died and his wife's health turned for the worse from the results of a fever. Deprived of life-sustaining milk, the baby became weaker and died about the same time that Tabitha Stiles gave birth to the first white child born in Cleveland, Charles Phelps Stiles.
As the harsh winter began to subside in early March he felled a single pigeon, providing a broth that gave his ailing wife her first real nourishment, starting her on the road to recovery. This herald of spring was followed by other game to provide the starving family to face the future with a more positive outlook.
THE BEGINNINGS OF NEWBURGH
The unforeseen cost of underwater property and an incomplete, expensive 1796 survey curtailed any possibility of immediate profit from reserve property, leaving the land company in a precarious financial position. Were it not for Thomas Mather of Albany, New York granting the surveying party a generous line of credit, Seth Pease would have had to cancel the 1797 expedition due to lack of money for supplies.
After procuring provisions, the 73 member group set out for Conneaut. When they arrived there on May 26 th they found the winter occupants of their outpost in poor health and learned that the Gun family had moved on to "Cuyahoga Town," becoming the second family to make Cleveland their home. When the surveyors departed for Cleveland the Kingsburys also accompanied them and settled in Cleaveland.
It was during this year's survey that Seth Pease mapped out Cleveland Township, an area of 25,242 acres, from townships 7 and 8 of range 12. In January of 1798 the Land Company trustees approved this change. The date of this meeting was probably January 23, because on that date these directors gave Tabitha Stiles one city lot, one ten and another 100 acre plot for having the first white child in Cleaveland, to Anna Gun a 100 acre lot for services to the surveying party, awarded the James Kingsburys two 100 acre plots, one for guarding the Conneaut supplies and giving birth to the first white child born in the Reserve and a 100 acre plot to Nathanial Doan for his services as a blacksmith.
Before Moses Cleaveland and the Connecticut Land Company arrived in 1796 it was already planned to found the principle settlement at the terminus of the Cuyahoga River's east bank and the southern shore of Lake Erie. However, by 1798 pioneers began to move southwest of the little settlement, leaving the Lorenzo Carter family as its sole inhabitants.
There were three main reasons for this migration. The stagnant, mosquito infested river was a breeding ground for malaria, the land on the high ground south of Cleveland was far more fertile than the clay earth near the river and the area had a clean stream with a 40 foot waterfall.
It was this latter feature that would eventually transform the wilderness of Newburgh Township into an inhabited area which extended from Quincy Avenue south to Independence, Ohio and from the Cuyahoga River and Old Brooklyn north to Warrensville, a territory that for a while dwarfed its little competitor on the lake.
A mill was constructed at the base of the falls, giving farmers a means to grind their grain into flour, spawning a small hamlet called Mill Creek that soon changed its name to Newburgh after the township where it was located. A distillery used some of grain milled at the falls to produce whiskey.
For reasons long forgotten, the township and settlement was given the name of Newburgh, possibly in honor of Newburgh, New York. However, its presumed namesake may have been embarrassed had it known of the fledgling community's reputation during those early years.
There were two families in Cleveland and five in Newburgh when Rev. Joseph Badger toured northern Ohio and, in unflattering terms, described Newburghers: "They seemed to glory in their infidelity and profaning the Sabbath. They bid fair to grow into a hardened corrupt society." His assessment may have been harsh because in that same year Newburgh built its first schoolhouse. Sarah Doan was paid ten dollars in produce, considered excellent pay at the time, to be the first teacher.
For some time Cleveland was referred to as " a village on Lake Erie about six miles from Newburgh" and by 1809 its southern neighbor was trying to wrest the county seat from Cleveland. Although it appears that no paperwork was filed with the state, Newburgh incorporated itself as a settlement in 1814 and Cleveland countered by incorporating as a village. Despite this oversight, Newburgh's prospects of becoming the county seat looked good.
In 1817 its first industry, a firm that quarried burr millstone at Mill Creek Falls was founded and in 1820 Newburgh's population was 756 and Cleveland's, 606. By 1823 the grist mill had passed into the hands of the Wilson family, who had descendants that would later also found a similar mill on Canal Road. However, dust from grinding grain always created the possibility of fire from lightning, a carelessly tossed match or even spontaneous combustion. That year saw the destruction of the mill by fire and an article in the Cleveland Herald solicited donations to rapidly rebuild the essential facility.
Despite this generosity, Cleveland had no intention od letting its southern adversary win the county seat contest so in 1826 it took the imitative by tearing down the old wooden courthouse and built a two story brick structure on public square. In a close vote Cleveland won out and court was held in the new courthouse in 1828. Newburgh received the consolation prize by being awarded the site of a state mental hospital. However, this setback did not dampen the town's spirits. The citizens built a brick town hall, a new school and a church. In 1838
The first brick house in Cuyahoga County was constructed by Daniel Miles on a 25 acre plot in the vicinity of the northwest corner of present day Broadway and Miles Avenues In 1818. In the initial December 29th issue of the Cleveland Gazette and Commercial Register the property was advertised as an ideal tavern stand (location) that would be available the following February 15th.
The tavern had various owners over the years and about the time its main competitor, the Cataract House opened in the 1840's, it was known as the Eagle House. After the Civil War the property at 2795 Broadway (1906 address 6947) was acquired by Joseph Turney as his home and became the site of many private parties.
Invited guests were entertained in a ballroom occupying the second floor. To insure that everyone would have a lively time attractive and desirable young girls [n the area were brought to the dances so visiting young men would have dancing partners at these all-night affairs. Music was provided by leading bands of the day, including an orchestra led by Nod Kendal who was reported to have played for the king and queen of England. Special refreshments included a mixed drink composed of whiskey, hot water and maple syrup accompanied by nut cakes made from bear grease.
The building later became a boarding house and the ballroom was partitioned into guest rooms. The once elegant mansion was leveled in 1931 and modern buildings were later erected on the site.
In 1830 the Austin and California Powder Companies were formed and the Cataract House above Mill Creek Falls opened its doors to guests. In 1834 the Cleveland and Newburgh Railway was organized, connecting Mill Creek quarries with Doan Lane (East 105 th. Street) in Cleveland.
By 1846 an eight foot wide wooden planked road, built to connect Cleveland with Chagrin Falls, ran through Newburgh. About the same time Pittsburg Street (Broadway Avenue) was paved with wood bricks, making it possible to go from Newburgh to Cleveland by horse and buggy in 30 minutes.
The year 1854 saw the first rolling mill begin operations and in 1855 construction was started on the Northern Ohio Lunatic Asylum. Newburgh had come a long way.
To its early settlers Newburgh advanced to the position it held in the mid 1850's and some of their stories and contributions are as fascinating as the town's own history.
There is some evidence that Ezekiel Hawley was the first settler in Newburgh, supposedly moving from a cabin on the Cuyahoga to build a log dwelling between present day East 93rd Street and Broadway Avenue. in late 1797 or early 1798.
Another early settler, James Kingsbury, brought his family from Cleveland to the area in December of 1798 after first white child born in the Western Reserve. His wife became ill while he was on a journey to replenish exhausted supplies and either Indians or weeds poisoned their cow resulting in the infant being starved to death. While the essential details agree, there is confusion whether the tragedy occurred in Cleveland or Conneaut. His first months in Newburgh were also filled with adversity. When he brought timber to the mill to be sawed into lumber he found that spring floods had washed out the dam and shut down the mill, forcing him to build his own mill before erecting a home.
However, undaunted by these setbacks, he was appointed judge in 1800 and elected to the Ohio legislature in 1805. He was later referred to as the Moses Cleaveland of Newburgh and its leading citizen.
In 1802 entrepreneur, trader, judge and later Ohio Governor Samuel Huntington wrote Moses Cleaveland complaining about the poor management and service rendered at the mill constructed by the miller, William Wheeler Williams and Major Wyatt. Whether Huntington was motivated by community concern or self interest is debatable but he was allowed to purchase the mill and service greatly improved.
Col. Allen Gaylord was the artist who sketched Lorenzo Carter's first cabin and active in Newburgh politics. He was also a military man who formed and lead his own militia in the War of 1812 and took supplies to Commodore Perry during the battle of Lake Erie.
Gaius, son of the noted Sylvanus Burke family, lost a leg in an accident at the age of seventeen. Nonetheless, he became constable and later campaigned the entire district on crutches for County Treasurer, an office he held for many years.
The Charles Miles family and their six sons were active in Newburgh politics and civic affairs for many years. In 1850 Spencer Miles donated land to the community for a park that was renamed in his honor in 1877.
Other interesting settlers include Samuel Dille who used his cabin for a meeting house and theater, Major Samuel Jones who played his violin for dances and weddings in the early days and Reverend Stephen Peet who staged drama in Dille's cabin and later founded a school.
There were landowners such as the Baldwins, Rathbuns, Brainards, Gunns, Warners, and Reids that combined farming, land speculation and real estate investment who also greatly contributed to Newburgh's development.
However, new leaders were appearing that would soon guide Newburgh down a far different path.
During the first half of the nineteenth century Newburgh evolved from a tree covered wilderness separated by a creek, gullies and Indian trails into a panorama of cultivated fields, a handful of industries and a downtown at the junction of Hamilton and Pittsburg Streets (Harvard and Broadway Avenues).
To the southwest a four acre plot on Cemetery Street (E. 78th Street) was set aside to bury the dead and packet boats on the Ohio Canal near the Cuyahoga river shipped farmers' produce to market.
The clean air that lured original settlers to the "high ground" would eventually give way to gray smog as a new product, iron, that was transforming the lifestyle of all civilized nations began being produced in Newburgh. The first such facility was constructed by Charles A. Otis between 1854 and 1855 and in 1856 the forerunner of the Cleveland Rolling Mills was founded by C. G. Smith and his partners.
That same year two ironmasters from Pennsylvania, brothers John and David I. Jones, erected a larger mill that produced T rails. For a brief period of time J. W. Jones (no kin) was allied with the pair but he soon dropped out.
However, the firm was under funded from its beginning and would have foundered had not Henry Chisholm joined their venture and took over its operation the following year. In 1858 Andros Stone, brother of Amasa Stone, bought into the operation and the business was renamed Stone, Chisholm and Jones.
The mill prospered and employed 150 men who produced 50 tons of railroad iron per day. It soon became part of The Cleveland Rolling Mills and in 1861 the company erected the first blast furnace in the Cleveland/Newburgh area. It is recorded that the first day the furnace went into operation the bright glow against the night sky brought out the volunteer fire department, who on arrival found they were responding to a false alarm.
While the steel mills were the driving force behind Newburgh's development into an industrial entity its citizens took advantage of their new found prosperity to advance in other ways as well.
Until County Surveyor Ahaz Merchant laid out the township in 1850, Newburgh was a patchwork of industries and farms strewn throughout its boundaries and a few stores near Mill Creek. By 1858 the downtown boasted of two hotels, a physician, shoe and boot maker, wagon maker, chair factory, general store, shingle maker and the all important flour mill.
The Charter Oak House was erected on Broadway near East 67th Street as a stage stop on the way to Cleveland. The name of the hotel came from a group of oak trees on the property which were grown from acorns taken by members of the Connecticut Land Company from the famed Charter Oak growing in Hartford, Connecticut. During the Civil War Charter Oak School was built west of the hotel on East 65th and Broadway.
In 1868 The Cleveland Newburgh Railway Company began running a "dummy" railroad between Cleveland and Newburgh. The term dummy was used to describe the steam engine which was disguised as a streetcar to prevent scaring horses who would bolt when an engine belched steam and smoke.
Had Rev. Joseph Badger returned to Newburgh some years later he would have found his 1800 pronouncement that Newburghers "seemed to glory in their infidelity" no longer valid. By the mid 1830's a Presbyterian meeting house, known as the White Meeting Hall was constructed on the corner of Gaylord (E. 93rd St.) and Gorman Avenue. An Episcopal church also used that hall for their services until a permanent church was built at Harvard and Sawyer (E. 91st Street). About the same time the forerunner of The Miles Park Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ also began serving the spiritual needs of the predominantly British population of early Newburgh.
In 1853 Bishop Rappe established the first Roman Catholic Parish in Newburgh. Holy Name Church, on Broadway and Worley Avenues, was founded for the Irish who had settled in the village. During 1857 the Welsh opened a Sunday School in the home of William Jones that developed into the Welsh Congregational Society in 1860.
The failure of the 1848 revolution in Europe sent many Czechs to seek asylum in the United States. Most of them intended to settle in Nebraska or Wisconsin but a large number of them found suitable living conditions on the way to their final destinations.
Those settling in Cleveland during the 1850's first settled in the Flats, then began forming communities on Quincy Avenue and along the Broadway Avenue area from E. 37th Street up to Union Avenue. In 1867 the first Czech Catholic parish, St. Wenceslaus, was built across Kingsbury Run on Arch and Burell Streets near Woodland Avenue, in a part of Cleveland.
Even though Newburgh had an expanding economy and a relatively stable job market, the quality of living was far from ideal. Furthermore, there was another shortcoming that barred the town from ever becoming the leading city its citizens had hoped for, situations they were already in the process of rectifying.
As early as 1823 Newburgh was literally losing ground to neighboring villages through border realignments and small transactions with private citizens and when Cleveland became a city in 1836 it added four and one half acres of Newburgh land to its domain.
Another example of acquisition occurred in 1850 when Cleveland City Council approved the purchase of eleven and one half acres of land near and adjoining the first toll gate between Newburgh and Cleveland from hardware entrepreneur George Worthington for a price not exceeding $65.00 per acre.
However, after the Civil War a number of residents began to take a hard look at their severe lifestyle and did not like what they saw.
Newburgh's industrial expansion offered its citizens employment but little else. Living standards were far below those enjoyed by Clevelanders because the sprawling village, consisting mainly of farmland, had a very minimal tax base. There were no funds available for a Police, Fire or Water Department and only two streets, Broadway and Miles were paved. Realizing prospects of obtaining these conveniences were nil, those living near Cleveland's southern border began making overtures to be annexed to their neighbor on the lake.
On August 6, 1867 a section of Newburgh township extending from Quincy Avenue north to East 71st Street, south to Pershing Avenue, west to the Cuyahoga River and left to East 26th Street, north to Kingsbury Run, east to East 55th Street and north back to Quincy Avenue became part of Cleveland. On December 14, 1869 a small area bordered by Quincy Avenue, East 75th, Dell Avenue and East 71st Street was also annexed.
Once Newburgh began being dismantled the process gained added momentum. Residents living in the area from the Cuyahoga River and Union Avenue east to East 100th Street and north to Quincy Avenue petitioned Cleveland and were accepted into the city on October 29th, 1872. The following year, on December 8th, citizens living in that part of Newburgh bounded by the Cuyahoga River between Union Avenue and Fleet Street, East 55th Street south to Krakow and east to East 71st Street, south to Grand Division, connecting with an eastern line running along East 100th Street became a part of Cleveland.
Cleveland acquisitions abated until March 6, 1894 when a small portion of Newburgh running west from the corner of Fleet Street to East 49th Street and south to the ravine carved out by Burke Run turning east back to East 55th Street was added. The city further reduced the township's territory when it extended its domain from Krakow to Grant Avenue between the Valley and East 71st Street on September 25, 1905.
Ninety years after a piecemeal annexation of Newburgh began, Cleveland completed its final incursion on February 12, 1913 when the area from Mt. Carmel and Woodland Avenues between East 100th and East 140th Streets extending south to Union Avenue joined the neighbor on the lake.
Despite the large chunks of Newburgh taken over by Cleveland, that city was not the only culprit responsible for the demise of the once imposing township - five other current communities were once within its boundaries.
Cleveland did not covet Newburgh's territory. It was the township's own citizens that clamored for change, and this sentiment was not unanimous. However, the dissenters were outnumbered by those wanting improved living conditions. It is significant to note that many who opposed being annexed to Cleveland also wanted to split from the township and form their own communities.
The first to seek independence was Newburgh Heights which was organized and incorporated as a village in 1904. Its original western boundary Began at Pallister Drive and Jennings Road then south along the Cuyahoga River and turning east on Canal Road to the western border of present day Garfield Heights. This dividing line was followed north to Grant Avenue, then west to East 55th Street, north to Burke Run, west to Washington Park Boulevard, west on Pallister Drive to the Jennings Road junction.
The next entity to defect from Newburgh was Corlett Village when it became as an independent village in 1906. Its territory extended east from East 100th Street to East 140th Street and south from Bartlett Avenue to Puritan. The village decided to apply for annexation to Cleveland April 22, 1908 and its petition was accepted on December 29, 1909.
As industries continued to expand in Newburgh the citizens east of Grand Division up to the border of Maple Heights became concerned that this expansion would eventually turn their farms into industrial sites. Preferring to remain a rural community, they decided to retain their own identity. In 1896 this desire became a reality when Newburgh Hamlet (renamed south Newburgh in 1904) separated from Newburgh. When it became a village in 1919 the name was changed to Garfield Heights after Garfield Park, which was so named in 1897 to honor slain president, James A.Garfield.
A reverse situation occurred in 1896 when Valley View, originally a part of Independence Township, became a part of Newburgh Township. The little village merged with South Newburgh in 1907 and became an independent entity in 1919 when it broke away from the renamed village of Garfield Heights.
The year 1917 saw Newburgh Heights have a building boom that began turning farmland into residential areas, raising property taxes and the ire of the farming community. To protect their own interests they held an election in 1918 that established Cuyahoga Heights. This shrunk the borders of Newburgh Heights into a small area bounded by the north side of Harvard Avenue to the south, running north from East 55th Street to Burke Run, west to Washington Park Boulevard, north to Pallister Drive, west to Jennings Road and south to Harvard Avenue.
It was necessary to move out of chronological order to present a complete picture of Newburgh's break up. we can now roll back the calendar to the early 1870's and return to the events and changes that created the popular Cleveland entity now known as the Slavic Village.
Although individuals had arrived previously, the first known group of Poles coming to the Cleveland area settled in Berea during the 1860's to work in the stone quarries. Soon other Poles began to settle with the Czechs east of the Cuyahoga River.
By 1870 Cleveland's census counted 77 Poles living in a Czech community centered around Croton Street south of East 55th Street between Woodland Avenue and Kingsbury Run. They resided in that area to work in the Excelsior refinery at the juncture of Kingsbury Run and the Cuyahoga River. This firm, founded in 1865 by Andrew, Clark & Company to distill kerosene from crude oil, became part of Standard Oil Company in 1870.
When the Cleveland Rolling Mills began hiring Czechs and Poles, many from both groups took advantage of this new employment opportunity and relocated in the vicinity of Broadway Avenue and East 55th Street. No doubt, many workers walked or rode a horse to and from work. However, a large number took the Broadway trolley to Harvard Avenue and Wales Street (East 86th Street) and walked down to the company's gates.
In 1872 a continuing community influence, the Broadway Methodist Episcopal church, opened its doors in a small frame building on the corner of Broadway and Gallop Avenues to aid immigrants. Throughout its 124 year history it has provided classes in English, conducted services and administered social programs in 17 languages. At present, it shares its facilities with a Korean congregation.
Newburgh citizens received on of the first fruits of annexation when the Wales Street Police Station was constructed in 1874. However, officials descovered that the, then, 8th Precinct station (current address 4017 E. 86th Street) was so poorly constructed that the foundation and basement had to be reconstructed. The building was torn down when the station moved to Broadway Avenue in the early 1900's.
By 1868 Poles requested a parish of their own but, at that time, they were considered too few in number to make the establishment of a Polish parish feasible. By 1873 their numbers had increased to the point that Bishop Gilmour established Cleveland's first Roman Catholic Polish parish, St. Stanislaus Kostka. Although the parish was an official entity and had its own church committee, the organization existed in name only for eight years. It took that long for its immigrant parishioners to accumulate the financial resources required to purchase property and build a church, school and rectory. Meanwhile, the churchless congregation attended services at either St. Mary in the Flats or St. Joseph Parish on Woodland Avenue.
The year St. Stanislaus was founded the Jewish community purchased land next to the current St. Stan's Hall on Baxter Avenue for a cemetery. The last burial being recorded in this Newburgh Israile Congregation Cemetery was in 1942.
That same year Cleveland also annexed another large section of Newburgh. The commitment of their neighbor on the lake to improve the community's living standards was the principal reason these Newburghers voted to join their one-time rival.
One of the first benefits of this union was being given a voice in Cleveland's affairs when Ward 18, known for many years as "the iron ward" was created. To their great delight, it was not long before these new Cleveland citizens began seeing other promises becoming realities.
A connection with the "dummy" railroad was established when Joseph Stanley obtained a franchise to run his Broadway and Newburgh Street Railway on August 20, 1873. The horse drawn cars traveled from Ontario Street down broadway to Union Street.
The company began operating electric powered cars on December 1, 1889 but added a horse car belt line approved by City Council on September 23rd. The spur went south on E. 49th Street, east on Fleet, south on E. 65th and left on Lansing, south to Harvard. It continued west on Harvard, north on E. 93rd Street to Union and continued on Union to Broadway and returned to E. 49th Street to connect with the main Broadway route.
In 1893 the line merged with the Brooklyn Street-South Side Street Railroad and the East Cleveland Railway to form the Cleveland Electric railway Company. That company was purchased by the Cleveland Transit System on April 28, 1942.
On October 5, 1975 the Cleveland Transit System was made part of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). The privately owned Bedford, Brecksville, Garfield Heights and Maple Heights also joined the county-wide system and began serving Cleveland riders as well as those on their own municipalities.
When New Year's Day dawned in 1874, residents of present day Slavic Village looked forward with anticipation to the benefits they would soon receive as Clevelanders. Even though change was slow, it was steady and they were soon living in a different environment.
Almost immediately, Standard Oil Company opened another refinery near Kingsbury at Independence road, providing an additional opportunity for employment. Another visible sign of change was the laying out of new streets and dividing tracts of land into lots. In 1874 a landmark that stood for over 63 years, the Newburgh Opera House, was constructed at what is now 8406 Broadway. One of the most famous entertainers to appear in this three story stone structure was Buffalo Bill Cody.
About the same time, many streets were receiving new names. A few examples: Fifth Avenue became Fleet Street and First Avenue (now Lansing Avenue) was renamed Fremont. Hamilton Street became Harvard Avenue, Center Street changed to Spafford Avenue and Prospect Street to Jones Road. Independence Street (E. 71st Street) progressed from Brecksville Road to Marcelline.
On Saturday, March 13, 1875 a ball promoted by the Joseph Turney family was held in the old Newburgh Town Hall to boost February 8, 1875 commissioning the first fire station built in the Newburgh area, the new Eighteenth Ward Engine Company. The building, Fire Station No. 11, is located on the southeast corner of Mechanic Street and Sawyer (now Walker Avenue and E. 91st Street).
Despite the fact that the famous Newburgh mud clung to guests' shoes on that inclement evening, the hall was decorated with evergreens and wreaths and at the rear of the room there was an inscription "Fire Engine Company No. 11" to emphasize the gala occasion.
Festivities began with dancing at 9:00 P.M. and when the Fire Commissioner arrived at 10:30 P.M. a late supper was served in the basement. The large crowd of enthusiastic merrymakers sat at tables set with fine silverware to feast upon donated food collected by house to house solicitation.
Station No. 11 is still utilized by the fire department as a storage facility and the hay hook used to lift bales of hay up to the loft can still be seen on the Walker Street side of the building. When the Station first went into service there were two hose reels installed and one fire engine was in use.
Three underground reservoirs were constructed to supply water, the main one at Harvard Avenue between Broadway and the Penn railroad tracks, a second at the corner of Harvard and E. 93rd Street and a third on E. 91st Street where Miles Park Library stood. To keep these reservoirs filled, an engine drew water from Mill Creek and filled the first reservoir then filled the other two from that site. This process was repeated until all three were filled.
When the company of venerable Firehouse No. 11 building at 4070 E, 91st Street were transferred to the new facility at 7627 Broadway on November 1, 1989 the new fire station no. 11 continued to carry on the 104 year tradition.
As is true with other time periods, the 1870 decade had its own community leaders. Some of the more prominent of these, with names that are probably more familiar than those from the distant past, will be recalled as this 1870's narrative proceeds.
He did not engage in politics but, as Superintendent and partner in the Cleveland Rolling Mills, Henry Chisholm wielded great influence in Southeast Cleveland. This native of Scotland came to our city in 1850 and executed a contract with The Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad to build a breakwater. In 1857 he joined the Jones brothers in constructing a mill in Newburgh that would later become the Cleveland Rolling Mills.
This benevolent supervisor was so popular with his employees that, when they learned of his death in 1881, the grieving workers walked off the job. This was done to give them time to collect money for a headstone worthy of their revered boss and friend.
The reason for such devotion was his concern for those in his employ. He not only knew each of his over 5,000 men by name but, when technology threatened to eliminate their jobs, he steadfastly refused to lay anyone off.
His partners, David and John Jones, introduced Welsh culture in the area by bringing their countrymen into the mills. They were also instrumental in founding a church that would later become the Jones Road Congregational Church. The Welsh love of group singing, inspired by their religious services, soon became a Newburgh legend.
In his day, Irish immigrant Joseph Turney, was referred to as the "King of Newburgh". He earned this accolade through years of tireless activities on behalf of fellow Newburgh citizens, of which the fire house party was but a small example.
He began his career as a carriage maker then moved on to become proprietor of a mercantile business. These ventures were followed by his becoming president of both Broadway Savings and Trust and South Cleveland Bank. He was also a founding director, first president and superintendent of the Cleveland and Newburgh Railroad.
He was equally active in political circles. A lifelong Republican, he served as a trustee and member of the Newburgh school board and his party elected him county treasurer. After Newburgh's annexation, he became a member of Cleveland city council and climaxed his political ambitions as Treasurer of the State of Ohio.
Despite prolonged bouts with ill health, he maintained his calm, even disposition and was always a respected mediator in disputes that arose between bickering parties. Until Turney's 1892 death, he was always happy to receive visitors who called at his 2795 (now 8947) Broadway home.
Joseph Turner opened a cloth mill in 1878. Although this company eventually closed its doors, its founding was important to the community because the firm was later reorganized as the Cleveland Worsted Mills on the same site.
There is some indication that farmers gathered at the corner of Chestnut (Canton Avenue) and Broadway in the 1850's to sell their produce. In 1879 the Newburgh Market opened for business and one hundred and twenty five years later food is still being sold at this location. That same year the Czech Catholic union,a national fraternal benefit society at 5349 Dolloff Road, was founded by St. Wenceslaus pastor, Rev. Anthony Hynek.
Steel mills were requiring more and more rail access to satisfy expanding operations and the Connotton Valley Railroad was eager to satisfy this demand. One problem! An unlikely obstacle stood in their way.
The presence of the graveyard on Cemetery Street (By 1881 renamed the Axtell Street Cemetery) barred running tracks into steel mills west of its boundaries. The Connotton Valley Railroad devised a solution to the problem, purchasing land and absorbing the costs of moving graves to a new location. Overtures were soon made to Cleveland City Council to adopt their proposal.
On July 1st, 1981 The board of Cemetery Trustees recommended that the railroad be given permission to implement its plan. They based their decision on the fact that the cemetery, being surrounded by soot spewing mills and Pennsylvania Railroad coal-fueled engines, was no longer a suitable site to bury the dear departed. They further noted that some residents were already purchasing lots in other cemeteries because of the damage that smoke had done to the grounds and headstones.
As could be expected, there were some who were against the move. This minority presented a petition expressing its objections at the August 8th Council meeting. However, the majority prevailed and the Cemetery Board was given authority to purchase land from the Isaac Reid farm on Fremont Street (Lansing Avenue). When Mr. Reid agreed to the sale he also unwittingly provided the site of his own final resting place.
The Board notified Council members at the December 19th meeting that the land had been acquired and was now in Cleveland's name. They also informed Councilmen that plans were being formulated to complete the project.
Meanwhile, Trustees of St. Stanislaus Church had garnered sufficient funds to begin searching for land on which to construct a church. Their first choice was in the Broadway, East 55th Street area but they were informed by the bishop that there was not enough vacant land available in that vicinity to accommodate their needs.
Under the guidance of the Franciscan community of St. Joseph, they purchased 13 lots from Ashbel Morgan on the corner of East 65th Street and Forman Avenue, a parcel of land that was previously part of his potato patch. By the end of 1881 the parishioners had erected a wooden structure with a school on its first floor and a church on the second.
The physical presence of St. Stanislaus transformed a basically rural expanse into a thriving community because of the Polish characteristic of choosing homes near their church. Poles soon began to abandon their Czech neighbors to relocate in the East 65th Street, Fleet Avenue area that would later become known as "Warszawa".
By January 16, 1882 final plans to move the dead from the Axtell Street Cemetery to the newly established Harvard Grove facility were in place. Between that date and the end of February the morbid task of transferring over 3,000 coffins, including five Revolutionary War veterans, from graves with headstones was completed. Presumably, those in unmarked graves were left undisturbed in their abandoned Axtell Street plots.
The macabre beginning of 1882 was but a prelude to the violence that would tear at the very fabric of the region before year's end. Mistrust and misunderstanding was to divide and pit laborer against laborer in a vicious confrontation, leaving a bitter aftertaste that can occasionally be detected to the present day.
Skilled steel workers had feared for the security of their jobs and wages since 1868 when Henry Chisholm opened one of the first Bessemer steel mills in the United States. Their concerns deepened when open hearth furnaces were installed in the mid 1870's, and with good reason.
These technological breakthroughs automatically mixed pig iron and oxygen in correct proportions to produce wrought iron and steel, operations that were previously manually preformed by skilled laborers called "puddlers."
This method of production replaced such workers with unskilled laborers who stoked furnaces, shoveled iron ore into them and poured the molten metal out. Mills began employing immigrant, non English-speaking Czechs and Poles for such duties. However, Henry Chisholm protected his longtime workers from the ravages of advanced technology by assigning them light duties at their regular daily rate.
Upon the elder Chisholm's death in 1881, his son William, who had supervised Chicago operations, took over as Plant Superintendent of the Cleveland Rolling Mill operations. The latter's stated goal was guaranteeing the business maintain a high profit margin and he let it be known that he would tolerate no nonsense from employees. Naturally, he was perceived by subordinates to be as callous as his father was compassionate, an observation that would prove more accurate than they realized.
He was soon dismissing older employees, replacing them with low wage immigrants and cutting the wages of those he retained. These tactics forced surviving skilled workers to join the Pittsburg based union, the Amalgamated Association of Iron and steel workers.
As working conditions worsened, dismissed English, Welsh and Scottish families began moving out of the neighborhood. On May 10, 1882 the union demanded that Chisholm accept a wage scale set by the union, a closed shop for skilled workers, consulting with the union before discharging any member and recalling some recently fired members. When Chisholm rejected their demands they walked off the job at 6:00 P.M. He retaliated by closing the mills until further notice.
Unfortunately for the union, it committed some monumental blunders when it flexed its muscles. The organization did not have sufficient finances to support workers during a long strike. Furthermore, a sharp drop in demand for domestic steel and down sizing due to more efficient production methods prompted Chisholm to seize the opportunity to break the union and accelerate the replacement of higher paid workers with unskilled labor.
The union's worst error was arrogance. At a time when they desperately needed the support of the Czech and Polish laborers the English speaking, Protestant membership refused to admit the predominantly Catholic East Europeans into their ranks, labeling them as ignorant foreigners who were job stealing who that were also completely untrustworthy.
On June 5th a portion of the mills was reopened on a half-time basis and used only nonunion men or those who left the union. For a time the union maintained peace, sometimes giving gifts of food and money to Czechs and Poles who did not cross picket lines. However, as the strike wore on these tactics were often replaced with intimidation. Eventually, even strikers' wives became involved in the job action.
When police escorted six streetcars of non-striking Poles and Czechs home on the evening of June 13th, the convoy was stopped at a rail crossing by a passing train. A crowd gathered and some irate women began throwing stones and slag, first at the workers, than at their police escort. One newspaper noted a detective was beaten and delicately reported, "Patrolman Eustace was thrown into excruciating agony by being hit with a brick in a vital part."
Under pressure of public opinion the union tried to maintain order. Although their cause found widespread sympathy, most citizens, public officials and the media strongly endorsed the right of anyone to work without interference from pickets. As the strike dragged on, controlling union members became almost impossible and acts of arson, breaking out windows and personal attacks increased.
Chisholm gave workers revolvers to protect themselves from the mob and Mayor Herrick declared the 18th Ward was in a state of insurrection. He sent practically all of the city police, appointed 36 "merchant" (special) police, and alerted the Light Artillery, Cleveland Grays and Gatling Gun Battery to quell the violence and destruction of property.
With such protection Chisholm began opening the mills, brought nonunion laborers from other parts of Cleveland and even sent Charley Franklin (nicknamed Charley "Five Tongues," because he spoke five languages, which he used in the mills to interpret orders from foremen to workers) to Castle Garden, New York to recruit more workers.
There is no basis in fact to support the oft-told tale that Chisholm imported a boat load of laborers from Poland to work in the mills. He did, however, instruct Franklin to interview arriving immigrants and offer them jobs in New York or Cleveland at wages ranging between $1.50 and $2.00 a day. The labor force was swelled by trainloads of workers brought to Cleveland in a Connotton Valley train to its depot near the mills. The striker's cause was further weakened when the union had to discontinue benefits in mid-June and completely dashed when an attempt to raise funds at a June 20th picnic turned out to be a financial fiasco.
Realizing he was in control, Chisholm put on a night shift at the wire mill on July 10th and dealt the strike its death blow a week later when the Bessemer Mill began operations. Even Robert McCloud, a skilled worker who organized the steel workers and pledged to starve rather than give in to management, led the return into the Bessemer Mill. Some sporadic resistance continued but, for all practical purposes, the strike was over and returning workers had to accept Chisholm's terms to be hired again.
Each was required to apply individually and sign a statement that he would not be governed by a union. Chisholm also stipulated that no new workers would be fired to make room for strikers.
When the local union's charter was revoked by the Amalgamated at the end of July the mills work force was predominantly composed of unskilled Czech and Polish laborers.
The ethnic mix of the community was also radically changed by the strike. The homes south of the mill that were occupied by fired English workers declined in value when they were forced to leave the area to obtain employment. The ever-increasing number of Poles moving into the community quickly purchased these lower cost dwellings, sparking the rumor that their presence deteriorated the neighborhood.
Of course, such accusations caused bitter feelings between the new residents and their remaining non-Polish neighbors. The replaced English workers passed down their resentment of the East Europeans down to descendants and the editor of a Bohemian newspaper berated the Czechs who worked during the strike, further turning the area into a cauldron of hate.
It never occurred to those engaged in this bickering that they were playing right into the hands of their common adversary, William Chisholm. Their divisive activities and his break-up of the union would give him the power to run roughshod over employees with impunity, confident that his armed, unskilled laborers would always do his bidding, which would later prove to be a major miscalculation.
From the vantage point of hindsight it is far easier to gain an overview of the situation than was possible for contemporary observers. One can also relate to the root causes of these changes by comparing them with the current practice of wage cuts, down sizing and job losses that are so prevalent in today's business scene.
Everyone involved in the strike was compelled to react to events from their own perspective. The skilled workers were desperately trying to defend their jobs from cheap foreign labor and the union was fulfilling its purpose by attempting to protect its members' interests. However, technology had already eliminated the very jobs the union was trying to save, making any walk-out an exercise in futility.
Even if the union had admitted Czechs and Poles, it is doubtful that those groups would have actively supported the strike. These immigrants came to America to improve their standard of living and were employed. It simply was not in their best interests to jeopardize their livelihood and the well-being of their families by striking to save the jobs of those they were replacing.
Chisholm also had no other recourse than to react to the union's demands as he did. He had taken over the mills during a period of fierce competition and had a responsibility to prevent the firm that was thriving when his father was in charge from falling upon hard times.
The Bessemer mill and open hearth furnaces made it possible for him to cut costs by replacing skilled, high paid workers with low-wage laborers. Unlike his father, he had formed no personal relationships with his employees so he did not hesitate to eliminate or downgrade their jobs. Two other current events further accelerated his drive to trim costs.
The so called "crime of 73," began when America changed from the silver standard to a gold backed currency in 1873. The effect of this legislation was to force other nations to purchase products with gold. Those with little of the precious metal were unable to trade on the global market, restricting overseas trade which, in turn, brought on a worldwide recession.
The United States further contributed to the bleak economic outlook by lifting tariffs on foreign steel. This action prompted nations with small gold reserves to sell their iron and steel at sharp discounts to obtain the new form of international currency, further depressing domestic markets.
Although few realized it at the time, the villain spurring Chisholm's unfeeling destruction of so many of his employee's lives and pitting worker against laborer was not only fostered by technology and greed. These unwise government regulations also played a vital role.
Most Poles were employed by the steel Mills but there were some new arrivals who chose to establish various small businesses, filling the rapidly expanding community with a network of Polish owned stores. By the beginning of 1883 the negative impact of the strike was being replaced with some positive developments in the area, particularly in the Broadway, East 55th street neighborhood.
There were sufficient Roman Catholic Czech residents to found another Bohemian parish, Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Hamm Avenue and East 55th Street. One of the first suburban banks in the United States and the first such institution in Cleveland, the Broadway Savings and Trust, was organized in 1883. That same year also saw the arrival of two stellar figures who were destined to dominate the history of Warszawa for many years.
Broadway Savings and Trust Bank was organized by Oliver Meade Stafford and Caesar A. Grasselli, President of the Grasselli Chemical Company. During the construction of the bank building Stafford established his home on Drake (now Mumford) Avenue.
There was no Drake Avenue in 1874 and a fair grounds stood in the path of E. 55th Street from present day McBride. This forced E. 55th to veer right to Broadway, following the path currently taken by McBride.
Stafford not only served his bank but also engaged in other business ventures. He formed an insurance partnership with M. P. Kniola, Formed a financial alliance with Rev. A. F. Kolaszewski to found Pulaski Park, Joined George Hodgson to reorganize the defunct Turner Mills into the Cleveland Worsted Mills, and served as President of Cleveland Power & Light. His name still survives in financial circles as co-founder of a currently operating firm, the Brooks and Stafford Insurance Company.
He was also an member of the Broadway Methodist-Episcopal Church, acting as superintendent of Sunday School music. His interest in things Italian led to he and his wife commissioning Milan artists to paint a full-sized copy of DeVinci's "Last Supper." When Milan decided to restore its original painting artists were sent to study the Broadway church's reproduction for they considered it the most accurate model available.
While the Broadway Bank and Trust was being constructed on land that was previously part of Caleb Morgan's garden, a corral was built on the corner of Broadway and Hamm Avenue (Now E. 55th Street) to sell Texas ponies at prices ranging from five to twenty five dollars. These ponies were popular modes of transportation for short errands, serving the same function as small cars do today.
In July of 1883 another neighborhood leader, 32 year old Anton Frances Kolaszewski, was ordained and made Assistant at St. Stanislaus Church. The following month he would be appointed pastor and, with typical energy, quickly set about improving parish facilities. By 1886 he embarked upon a project to build a larger church, which turned out to be the largest in the diocese and nicknamed "the temple on Tod Street." It still claims the title of being the second largest gothic style church in the United States, outranked only by St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.
This accomplishment was followed by him establishing Sacred Heart Parish in 1889 and Immaculate Heart of Mary church in 1894, the three Polish parishes that still survive in the area today.
However, his founding of the latter parish led to clashes with ecclesiastical authority and made him many enemies. During his lifetime he often heaped embarrassment on the neighborhood. As our area's history unfolds the reader will be able to render a more accurate judgement of this man's contributions to the community than was possible for his contemporaries.
When the Broadway Bank opened the following year Joseph Turney was named President and O. M. Stafford assumed the duties of Secretary and Treasurer. K. B. Bailey of Grasselli Chemical, George L. Hechler and Daniel Shurmer were appointed directors.
In 1884 the bank also welcomed its first Polish depositor when Michael P. Kniola opened a grocery store at 3690 E. 65th Street. By 1886 he joined O.M. Stafford in establishing insurance company and in 1890 built his present quarters on the same site, adding a steamship company and a labor brokerage operation. Through these businesses and his founding of the Warsaw Savings at 3662 E. 65th Street many Polish immigrants were provided employment and given an opportunity to purchase their own home.
That same year East 55th Street was finally paved and in July two Sisters of St. Francis obtained a small house on the corner of Broadway and McBride and founded St. Alexis hospital. The following year they added a wing on the house. Benefits were given in 1895 that financed construction of the first wing of the permanent building that would open its doors in 1903.
The year of 1884 also saw the opening of twenty year old A. Zverina's grocery store on East 55th and Hamlet Streets. In 1890 he built a three story building at 5438 East Broadway and moved his store into these new quarters. He not only provided staples, including ersatz coffee from Wilson's Mill on Canal road, for his customers, he also passed down two lasting mementos of his era, a sign and a map.
The sign advertising Mail Pouch chewing tobacco on the side of his Broadway building was preserved because a building was built next to his store soon after the sign was painted. When this structure was demolished the long since forgotten sign, the only one surviving partially written in the Czech language, was discovered. Another valuable record is a map that he drew of the Broadway/E. 55th Street area as it was in 1884, giving us a glimpse of this busy intersection through the eyes of a resident who walked its streets over a century ago.
At that time, the bank stood on the corner of East 55th Street and Broadway Avenue, flanked by the Vlasak Furniture Store which occupied approximately the same land where the former Broadway Branch Public Library building now stands. The only other buildings on the triangle of land formed by these two streets and Mumford Avenue were the two homes, corn crib and barn of Ashbel Morgan's older brother, Caleb. Except for the Palmer, Canfield and Cannon residences on the southwest side of Broadway and the Stafford home on Mumford there was nothing but vacant land on both the southwest side of Broadway and the west side of East 55th Street.
Amos Hardware was next to Zverina's store on the west side of E. 55th Street at Broadway. Going north down E. 55th one would pass Janouseck Millinery, Eyerdam barber shop, Kumler carriage shop, Peter Yost, a one armed man, owned the livery stable (where Olympia Theater stood) and the police station. Beyond that point there was a vacant lot, a lane and Morgan's apple orchard.
The only structures on the west side of Hamlet were the Canfield frame building behind Zverina's store, four vacant lots and Mrs. Hileman's boarding house. There was nothing on the east side of the street but a few residences. Slader's brick farmhouse stood on the southeast corner of Broadway and East 55th Street but three businesses had opened on the southwest corner property used for a pony corral the previous year.
V. Zoul's dry goods stood on the corner and going west down Broadway there was the E. L. Hechler drug store and McGeen's shoe store. There was a frame building behind Zoul's store on East 55th, Hural's saloon faced Our Lady of Lourdes Church on the corner of E. 55th and Dolloff and Klipec's grocery stood on the corner of Dolloff and Hamm Avenues.
The Ohab Zedek Congregation of Newburgh was also founded circa 1884, presumably in a private home, and throughout its existence was located within one half mile of Harvard and Broadway Avenues. By 1894 the Russian Orthodox congregation established a synagogue at 2686 (now 7700) Broadway Avenue and in 1906 moved into the Opera Block Hall at Harvard and Broadway. In 1909 they relocated to the old Homestead Avenue Baptist Church, 7820 Homestead.
In 1895 they acquired a cemetery on the corner of Lansing Avenue and E. 57th Street bur in 1976 an elderly member, Samuel Volk, arranged a quit claim and maintenance agreement with Heights Jewish Center that permitted them to take custody of the cemetery. The Homestead Avenue synagogue was sold in 1933 due to the Great Depression when much of U.S. Steel and American Steel and Wire, the area's chief employers, ceased operations. These closings denied a livelihood to the Jewish proprietors of the small stores and taverns that catered to the workers, leading to the decline of a Jewish presence in the community.
A foreboding cloud hung over the neighborhood during the first half of 1885 when a recession in the steel industry dealt laborers two deep wage cuts. Except for a few skilled workers in the plate mill, William Chisholm lowered all wages by 17 percent and soon followed this with another 20 percent reduction, without any significant reaction from his work force. However, he over played his hand with a July 1st announcement that wages would again be decreased by ten percent.
He had to know that demanding a near 50 percent loss in earnings within six months was pushing his workers' patience to the limit but this caused him little concern. No matter how union members reacted, he was confidant that he could count on the majority of Czechs and Poles to cross picket lines, just as they had done in 1882.
Chisholm would not have been so complacent had he realized that Polish artisans initiated the first strike in North America in 1608 when their British employers reneged on a promise of giving them an equal voice in running the Jamestown settlement. The Poles and Czechs that Chisholm backed against the wall with repeated wage cuts also turned on him with such fury that their actions even shocked members of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel workers.
Unlike the more restrained union members, Czechs and Poles working in the wire mill reacted immediately to this latest decrease by walking off their jobs when the shift ended at 6:00 PM on the Wednesday the cut was announced. The following morning these unorganized but angry strikers broke down a company fence, invaded and shut down the rod mills.
On Friday morning, July 3rd, a mob, some armed with clubs and others with pistols that Chisholm had given them for protection during the 1882 strike, closed the plate mill. That afternoon a man carrying an American flag led about 800 men and boys into the furnaces, halting work and forcing Chisholm to suspend all company operations.
Many skilled union members joined the Czechs and Poles, some out of sympathy with the low-wage worker's plight, others because they too had their wages cut. However this show of solidarity did not heal the deep divisions and mutual mistrust that each faction harbored against the other.
Union members were used to orderly indoor meetings where a recognized chairman conducted orderly and rational discussions. In contrast, torch and banner-bearing Czechs and Poles gathered in a vacant lot at the end of Hamlet Avenue, then known as the Peach Orchard, to hear radical spontaneous speeches in foreign languages. These apparently disorganized rallies were also held outside of the union members' neighborhoods, further discouraging their participation.
Perhaps the principal reason for the union's fear and distrust of the immigrants was the latter's violent acts. Many skilled workers were physically forced to leave their jobs and union members took no part in attacks on the mills. When the Czechs and Poles decided to march to company headquarters in downtown Cleveland on Monday, July 6th English-speaking strikers attending the meeting refused to take part in the plan.
Undeterred, 1,500 men marched to the beat of a drum corps led by a man carrying an American flag, instead of the red banner of Communism favored by some. When they arrived Chisholm received a workers committee but refused their demand for an immediate restoration of wages. They proceeded to meet with Mayor George Gardner who offered to mediate their cause, temporally placating the desperate band.
However, peace was short-lived. A rally the following morning spurred about 1,000 men to close a business that the Chisholms held a major interest in, the H. P. Nail Company. They continued their rampage by attacking another Chisholm holding, the United Steel Screw Company.
Forewarned, the company's president, Fayette Brown, attempted to thwart the mobs' entry by bolting the doors but these were soon battered down, earning Brown a severe beating for his act of defiance. They forced the men to stop working and so terrified some young women employees that the ashen faced females scurried about desperately pleading for their lives.
When the strikers had vented their rage and the mills made no attempt to open, calm prevailed for a few days. The Cleveland Board of Police Commissioners took advantage of this reprieve to "prepare for war" by placing companies of the National Guard and Gatling Gun Battery on alert and sending most of the regular police force to the volatile 18th Ward. After a meeting with Mayor Gardner and Chisholm, Polish leader and Pastor of St. Stanislaus parish, Rev. A. F. Kolaszewski, severely reprimanded his congregation for the public shame they had brought on Warszawa by following the advice of insane agitators (according to him, mostly Bohemians) "who will ruin you." He also warned parishioners that no one wounded in any disturbance would receive rites of the church or, if killed, Christian burial.
The following morning his admonitions and threats were forgotten when a Chicago communist radical who would later be implicated in the 1886 Haymarket bombing, William J. Gorsuch, addressed the strikers. He urged them to use the "weapon of the son of toil," dynamite, and called for death to the Vanderbilts, Goulds and Chisholms.
The next day the company unsuccessfully attempted to open the plate mill, but on Wednesday some workers did enter the plant, infuriating the strikers. Supposedly led by an English-speaking striker who previously worked in the mill, a mob of over 1,000 enraged men stormed the Aetna gate and quickly forced their way into the mill as women in the back of the crowd pelted 50 armed policemen on guard duty with rocks.
Police quickly counterattacked by freely using their clubs to chase strikers beyond the gates and down Aetna. At least 35 strikers were felled and seven arrested, proving the wisdom of Kolaszewski's admonitions to his parishioners. The only victory the strikers gained from the melee was the fact that Chisholm closed his mills until further notice.
Despite a defense of the Czechs and Poles as "basically a thrifty people who almost to a man are citizens and own their little homes" in the Catholic Universe, Clevelanders were disgusted by their tactics, particularly the beating of Fayette Brown. The ranting of Gorsuch prompted the lay press to brand both groups as "Communistic scoundrels, devils and vipers who have hoisted the flag of Socialism and revel in robberies, bloodshed and arson."
The July violence had only one positive result, the creation of a shaky alliance when the English and Slavic strikers asked City Council to investigate "all matters relating to the strike and the skirmish between the police and the strikers." They alleged that the police were drunk when the crowd was attacked.
Another reason for joining forces was the realization that Chisholm's lock-out portended a long strike. Both groups realized that an organization was needed to maintain a united front against Chisholm and to establish a strike fund.
After convincing the suspicious immigrants that the English speaking strikers were better qualified for the task, the two groups formed a striker's association on July 22nd. Another reason that the skilled workers wanted to head the organization was to prevent unskilled laborers from committing more violent acts.
Mutual distrust doomed this labor coalition from its inception. Each side feared that the other would break ranks first and take all the jobs. There was also a fundamental disagreement over strike tactics. One immigrant complained that the skilled workers say "hurrah!" and do nothing. "We no hurrah. We fight!"
In addition, there was contention over how the strike fund should be allocated. This was underscored by an unskilled worker's observation that "Bricky' Flannigan gets the whiskey and the Polack gets nothing." The skilled workers countered with the observation that Czechs and Poles took advantage of the relief committee. One member stated, "they plead the most abject poverty and work the charity racket for all it is worth."
In early September Chisholm, wanting to open the mills and take advantage of an improved steel market, agreed to attend a meeting mediated by city officials and the mayor. The strikers' representatives, all skilled "heaters," demanded restoration of June wages and a 28 percent advance for "heaters," conditions that Chisholm rejected.
A few days later a handbill circulated offering a compromise by Chisholm. It stated that if workers would return to work at July wages he would restore June wages as soon as business conditions permitted, which he insinuated would be soon.
Czechs and Poles would settle for nothing other than immediate restoration of wages and were determined to keep the mills closed. They demonstrated their resolve by stoning a wire mill boss that they believed was preparing to reopen his plant.
The fragile alliance crumbled when skilled workers publicly denounced the act as barring them from returning to work. They demanded protection from the city, some other source, or threatened to organize themselves for that purpose.
An angry mob of unskilled workers taunted the skilled workers who returned to work on Monday, September 22nd but refrained from any brutality. However, the following Thursday the laborers decided to attack the mills and drive everyone out. The prospect of more violence so alarmed Mayor Gardner that he told Chisholm to either restore June wages or shut down the mills. Probably because there had been a recent advance in steel prices, Chisholm posted June wages.
When the strikers' representatives tried to extract a promise from Chisholm to rehire them, he refused. An attempt to force their reinstatement by prolonging the strike failed due to lack of rank and file support. On Saturday, the 27th more workers returned to their jobs than there were places for them to work.
Union officials declared the strike was over but many had no reason to celebrate. Many Czechs and Poles, the ones who gave others a victory by getting wages restored, were not rehired because Chisholm feared their violent behavior. Ward 18 ordered the return of smoke and acid into the air that had been clear while the mills were closed.
After convincing the suspicious immigrants that the English Speaking Strikers were better qualified for the task, the two gropes formed a striker's association on July 22nd. Another reason the skilled workers wanted to head the association was to prevent the unskilled laborers from committing more violent acts.
Mutual distrust doomed this labor coalition from its inception. Each side feared that the other would break ranks first and take all the jobs. There was also a fundamental disagreement over strike tactics. One immigrant complained that the skills workers say "hurrah" and do nothing. "We no hurrah. We fight!"
In addition, there was contention over how the strike fund should be allocated. This was underscored by an unskilled worker's observation that "Bricky' Flannigan gets the whiskey and the Poles get nothing." The skilled workers countered with the observation that the Czechs and Poles took advantage of the relief committee. One member stated "they plead the most abject poverty and work the charity racket for all its worth."
In early September Chisholm, wanting to take advantage of an improved steel market, agreed to attend a meeting mediated by city officials and the mayor. The strikers' representatives, all skilled "heaters," demanded restoration of June wages and a 28 percent advance for "heaters," conditions that Chisholm rejected.
A few days later a handbill circulated offering a compromise by Chisholm. It stated that if workers would return to work at July wages he would restore June wages as soon as business conditions permitted., which he insinuated would be soon.
Czechs and Poles would settle for nothing other than immediate restoration of wages and were determined to keep the mills closed. They demonstrated their resolve by stoning a wire mill boss that believed was preparing to reopen his plant.
The fragile alliance crumbled when skilled workers publicly denounced the act as barring them from returning to work. They demanded protection from the city, or from some other source, or threatened to organize themselves for that purpose.
An angry mob of unskilled workers taunted the skilled workers who returned to work on MondaY, September 22nd but refrained rom any brutality. However, the following Thursday the laborers decided to attack the mills and drive everyone out. The prospect of more violence so alarmed Mayor Gardner that told Chisholm to either restore June wages or shut down the mills. Probably because there had been a recent advance in steel prices, Chisholm posted June wages.
When the striker's representatives tried to extract a promise from Chisholm to rehire them, he refused. An attempt to force their reinstatement failed due to lack of rank and file support. On Saturday the 27th
more workers returned to their jobs than there were places for them to work.
Union Officials declared the strike was over but many had no reason to celebrate. Many Czechs and Poled, the ones who gave others a victory by getting wages restored, were not rehired because Chisholm feared their violent behavior. Ward 18 environmentalists also deplored the return of smoke and acid into the air that had been clean while the mills were closed.
Ejbl Drug, at one time Cleveland's oldest operating drug store, was also founded in 1885. At one time the neighborhood institution had two outlets, at 7812 Broadway Avenue across from Zosia's Restaurant and the more familiar store at 7008 Broadway at the corner of Forman Avenue. In September, 1979 the firm's one millionth prescription was filled at this latter location for long-time patron, Ben S. Stefanski. Another friend and patron, Louis B. Selzer, was present at the ceremony marking this landmark event. This store was destroyed by fire on Friday evening, January 11, 1980 and the vacant land at Forman and Broadway Avenues was later turned into a parking lot which is designated as Sodilarity Square.
The upheaval caused by the mill strike began to subside in 1886, permitting the community to live a more normal life. This year saw a number of noteworthy events, the founding of Warsaw Savings by Michael P. Kniola, founding of Jacob L. Goodman Furniture, establishment of Canfield Oil Company and the laying of the cornerstone of present-day St. Stanislaus church in August.
Goodman Furniture, progressed from horse drawn wagons, by the time the founder's son took over the business in 1925. He was succeeded in 1958 by a cousin, Ed Goodman who passed away in 1961. William Dipple then took over and by 1966 had open branches in Parma, Rocky river, Mayfield Hgts. and Mentor. The family closed the business in 1993 and the Broadway Avenue facility was occupied by Goodwill Industries in 1996.
Warsaw Savings would later merge with Union Savings and Trust to form United Savings. This institution would eventually become Trans-Ohio, which is currently Star Bank.
In 1887 the first streetcar line to run on E. 55th Street began operations and the imposing St. Stanislaus church with its 232 foot spires was enclosed and began to dominate the Warszawa skyline. However, the prolonged illness and eventual death of Bishop Gilmour delayed its dedication until November 15, 1891.
Friedens United Church of Christ, 3589 Kimmel Road, was founded on that site on Sunday, September 11, 1887 and was dedicated on Christmas Day of that year. A steeple was added to the structure in 1912 to celebrate the church's silver anniversary. The church, which was designated as a Historical Landmark in 1976 and is still in use today. According to the current pastor, Rev. Dr. Joyce M. Morris, the exterior of the venerable building underwent extensive exterior renovation in 1995-1996 in preparation for its 110th anniversary in 1997 and a handicapped accessible ramp and rest room facility was also installed.
When diocesan administrator, Msgr. Felix Boff, conducted the ceremony the magnificent edifice was the largest Roman Catholic church in the Cleveland Diocese, and second largest in the united States. The unabashed anti-catholic newspaper, the Cleveland Leader, duly noted the distinction by dubbing the structure "the temple on Tod Street."
Havre's department store opened for business in 1887 and eventually operated two outlets, one at East 78th Street and Broadway and another at Miles Avenue and East 133rd Street. By the early 1960's the firm had closed both facilities and relocated in Cuyahoga Falls.
An employer of local residents for over 75 years, the Kaynee Blouse Company, was founded in 1888. The firms unusual name was a phonetic spelling of the acronym "K" and "E," the beginning initials of the co-founder's first names.
During the 1880's the area's Polish population swelled to the point that over 200 families were forced to settle south of Harvard Avenue along Brecksville Road (e. 71st Street}, creating two unsatisfactory conditions. St. Stanislaus parish soon became overcrowded and, because almost everyone traveled on foot, older parishioners had difficulty getting to Mass and children faced a hardship attending the parish school.
In the latter part of 1888 these residents petitioned Bishop Gilmour to establish a parish within their community. To add weight to their proposal they pointed out that an ideal tract was available on E. 71st Street (then Marcelline} between Krakow and Kazimier Streets and promised to assume all financial responsibilities that their request would entail.
The bishop authorized St. Stanislaus pastor, Rev. A. F. Kolaszewski, to purchase the land for Sacred Heart of Jesus church in early March of the following year and instructed him to oversee construction of the initial wood church and administer the parish until a permanent pastor could be named. Although a deed to the property was not finalized until October 15th, enthusiastic parishioners had already began construction and Msgr. Felix Boff blessed the cornerstone on September 14, 1889.
On Christmas Day Rev. Kolaszewski offered the first Mass for a jubilant congregation. He or his assistant at St. Stanislaus continued to administer the fledgling parish until Rev. Felix Orzechowski was appointed its permanent pastor in 1891. Installment No. 21
The 1890's witnessed many changes in the area, Beginning on a positive note when Canfield Oil Company opened its headquarters building on Broadway and Hamlet and the first business organization, The Newburgh Merchants Association was formed. That summer these enterprising entrepreneurs held their first picnic at Silver Lake Park. All local businesses closed for the occasion and local resident response was overwhelming. It took three trains of 12 cars each to transport the enthusiastic crowd to and from the park.
The association's first president, Eli W. Connell, made sure everyone enjoyed the day. The delighted throng were treated to games and rides and the event was crowned with the wedding of a Miss Mitchel and a Mr. Clegg.
The merchant's picnic became an annual event that was held in the leading parks of the day. Its popularity peaked during 1907 and 1908 but it, like its sponsor, eventually faded into obscurity.
A Jewish Cemetery was opened on Harvard Avenue and two other area traditions were established when the Frank J. Marek and Sons Funeral and Nosek Funeral Homes were established in 1890 The Marek operated at 4418 Broadway Avenue. In 1950 and was moved to 5040 Broadway in a funeral home previously operated by Erasmus Raus and Sons. The business closed in 1991 and the building was demolished in 1996. The land has been purchased by the Church of God, 5005 Dolloff Road, and the congregation is erecting a new house of worship on the vacant site.
The Nosek facility opened on E. 55th Street and acquired another home in Independence in 1969. The E. 55th building was closed in 1971,
The year 1891 began a period of expansion in both the "Warszawa" and E. 55th and Broadway areas and many of the structures built during that era still survive today. The most ambitious of these projects was the establishment of the Pulaski Park allotment located between E. 64th and E. 67th Streets that extended south From Lansing Avenue to Poland Court. Although this brainchild of O. M. Stafford and Rev. A. F. Kolaszewski endured many lawsuits and eventual financial collapse, many of the homes erected during that period survive to the present day.
That same year the present Kniola Travel building was built at 3690 E. 65th Street, the Columbia Bank opened at 5604 Broadway and the current Our Lady of Lourdes church was erected.
The expulsion of St. Stanislaus pastor, Rev. A. F. Kolaszewski to Syracuse, New York in June, 1892 was brought on by the enormous $94,636. debt he incurred constructing the magnificent $150,000. church, plus $21,000. the pastor said that he used form his own funds for church upkeep and land for Sacred Heart parish. In addition, there was an ongoing dispute between he and his assistant that contributed to the turmoil.
However, his departure and appointment of another pastor only succeeded in dividing the congregation and intensifying their mutual resentment and would eventually erupt into open hostility between the two factions.
With the aid of others, Michael Kniola, Stanley Lewandowski and Matt Dluzynski established Cleveland's first Polish newspaper, a weekly named the, which was edited by John Malkowski. The paper was purchased by Theodore Duzynski, in 1897 who installed L. S. Devyno as editor. Duzynski also succeeded in having a neighborhood street named Polonia, possibly, the only Cleveland street named for a newspaper.
When the newspaper acquired another Polish weekly, JUTZENKSA (Morning Star) in 1918 the weekly began being published daily. When the publication was purchased by the Detroit Daily Record in 1922 it was renamed MONOTOR CLEVELANDSKI. Three years later it was taken over by Wladislaw J. Nowak, who moved it to a building at 6875 Broadway. He sold the newspaper to its competitor, WIADOMOSCI CODZIENNE in June, 1938 but retained the building until 1946 when he sold it to operators of the Townsend Plan. The structure was demolished in 1997 to provide space for the Third Federal Savings Computer. Center.
The following year, 1893, Frank Orlikowski, a brick maker who supplied much of the brick pavement for Cleveland's streets, erected his red brick mansion at 6502 Chambers. The future E. 65th Street Historic Corridor was also expanded by the construction of a building at 3713 E. 65th Street.
Another 1893 event was the opening of the Newburgh Trotting Track on the northeast corner of E. 71st Street and Harvard Avenue. The following year the track was selected as the site for the American Cycle Club competition. Louis Gimm set a new world record by riding for 24 hours and logging 383 and 1/4 miles at the event.
On April 1st Rev. Kolaszewski was relieved of his priestly duties in Syracuse, supposedly because of his involvement in the independent Catholic Church movement. By April 5th he was pleading his case before the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Archbishop Satolli, who he said endorsed his work. However, this claim was refuted by the archbishop's public and private support of the bishop.
Meanwhile, word had reached Kolaszewski supporters in Cleveland that he had gone to Detroit to visit his friend Rev. Domonic Kalasinski, a priest who incurred the wrath of church authorities by establishing the first Independent Roman Catholic church in the U. S. They immediately went to Detroit and convinced Rev. Kolaszewski to return to Cleveland and reclaim the pastorship of St. Stanislaus.
In a stormy May 2nd meeting Bishop Horstmann refused to grant this demand and forbade him to found an independent parish or perform any priestly function in the diocese. The defrocked priest paid no heed to these admonitions.
The next day, May 3rd and Polish Independence Day, he rode in a carriage with his loyal followers parading behind him from his room on Aetna past St. Stanislaus church while the pastor was saying morning Mass. Sidewalks were lined with well-wishers and the curious as the crowd went made its way down E. 65th Street and Fleet Avenue until they arrived at Szach's Hall at E. 54th and Fleet Avenue.
They immediately set about establishing their church, electing officers ratifying a constitution and authorizing the purchase of land. The name of the parish was to be the church of the Sacred Heart of St. Mary but was changed on May 10th to Church of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Although purchase of the land for the church and St. Mary's Cemetery was not finalized until June, construction of the Lansing Avenue church began on May 19th. Until Mass could be said in the partially completed church, this service was held at a private home at 3945 East 64th Street.
Meanwhile, the bishop had excommunicated Rev. Kolaszewski, along with anyone who continued attending or supporting his unsanctioned church, on June 20th. The priest countered that the bishop had no authority over him because he was not in the diocese and that he was forming a truly Roman Catholic church. To underscore his authority, the bishop later had Rev. Kolaszewski excommunicated by the pope.
While 48 children were making their First Holy Communion on July 15th some men from St. Stanislaus threw a boisterous beer party on a vacant lot next to the church. The Pastor admonished his congregation to ignore the disturbance and keep his promise that they would do no violence, a pledge they continued to honor.
On the 21st the Polish Roman Catholic Union of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin was established and affiliated with the schismatic Lansing Avenue church. This credit union merged with the PRCU of Our Lady of Czestochowa in 1939 to form The Union of Poles in America.
Rev. Kolaszewski had not given up on gaining the support of Archbishop Satolli. He had written him a July 2nd letter, questioning him to come to Cleveland and give him justice. He added that the church and cemetery must soon be dedicated and, if he could not preform the rite they would be forced to use a Syrian Independent Bishop, a veiled threat not dignified with an answer. However, the outraged prelate wrote to the bishop, including the arrogant letter and a most unflattering assessment of Rev. Kolaszewski.
Friction between St. Stanislaus and Immaculate Heart of Mary (an abbreviated form of the original title first used on parish stationary in 1934) did not flare up again until August 19th when the church and cemetery were dedicated. Rev. Kolaszewski made good his threat to Archbishop Satolli by engaging Archbishop Rene Vilatte, an independent bishop with questionable credentials, to conduct the services.
There was no incident until the procession to consecrate the cemetery arrived at E. 71st Street and Deveny where they were met by an angry mob of men from St. Stanislaus. This gang yelled insults and one of the troublemakers threw a large stone at the procession. No one was injured so the procession proceeded without further uproar.
Upon their return the worshipers were greeted by a larger crowd of hecklers, many of whom eyewitnesses said were motivated more by alcohol than religious zeal. A melee suddenly erupted and two members of the procession were wounded, one receiving a gash in his scalp and another being shot in his leg. At the sound of the shot both sides quickly scattered.
The scandalous assault stemmed from the outcast church timing its convention to form an independent church for Poles to coincide with the 21st annual convention of The Roman Catholic National Polish Union hosted by St. Stanislaus. Fortunately, the only battles between the opposing sides were verbal.
The eight state independence movement had lent moral and financial support to Rev. Kolaszewski. When the convention convened on the 21st the host church's constitution was held up as a model for the projected national church. The meeting concluded with Archbishop Vilatte's ordination of Stephen Kaminski who said his first Mass the following Sunday. He was then assigned to an independent parish in Omaha, Nebraska.
Public clashes between members of St. Stanislaus and the near 20 per cent who defected to the illicit church soon ceased. However, bitterness between the two factions continued for many years.
Rev. Kolaszewski made repealed attempts to be admitted into the diocese. These overtures, stellar achievements and an argument that his was a true Catholic parish the bishop refused to accept, at a time when other parishioner owned churches were occasionally permitted, fell on deaf ears.
As was the case the previous year when 38 Cleveland banks closed their doors, 1895 faced a bleak economic outlook. Despite this general downturn, Warszawa enjoyed a degree of prosperity that saw a number of buildings being constructed that still stand today.
The building currently housing the Broadway Garden Center, 7758 Broadway, and three others located at 3652-56, 3713 and 3729-37 E. 65th Street were erected. In addition the old covered bridge at E. 71st street and Canal Road was built and the Newburgh library was moved from the Daniel Miles home to the old City Hall.
Another Polish society was also formed when the majority of delegates to the annual Polish National Alliance convention voted to admit non-Catholics and those with no religious persuasion. The minority delegates, wishing to retain membership in the Roman Catholic religion as a condition of membership, wrote a constitution that included this provision on September 22nd. One week later they and their followers separated from the parent organization and established The alliance of Poles.
A series of fund raising events were held in 1896 to finance construction of a larger building for St. Alexis Hospital. The new facility was dedicated in 1898. There is also an interesting framed photo collection depicting Poles who owned businesses in Cleveland during 1896 in the waiting room of the Fleet branch of Brentwood Clinic. This group of pictures also includes the addresses and type of businesses that they operated.
There were 18 acres of land purchased from the State Mental Hospital to found Newburgh Park. Citizens east of Grand Division also established Newburgh Hamlet, ((later Garfield Heights) and changed the name of their park to Garfield Park the following year. Ceremonies to lay the cornerstone of Bohemian National Hall were held on December 20, 1896 and the building was dedicated the following September 26th. The hall was the scene of many noted events. Among these were staging the first of the only grand operas presented in the area, Smetana's "Bartered Bride," in January, 1899, a speech given by Thomas G. Masaryk, President of Czechoslovakia, in 1907, and presenting Cleveland's first psychedelic light show in 1967.
A building was added to the main hall in 1911 for the purpose of holding Czech language classes. The hotel and adjoining Factory Furniture complex was purchased in 1996 to provide land for a new gymnasium and an expanded parking lot.
Telephone lines were extended to Warszawa in 1897 and Immaculate Heart of Mary took out a $25,000 loan from the Bishop of Salford, England diocese. Goodman Furniture opened for business on the corner of Harvard and Broadway.
The next year the familiar white stone cross was erected in St. Mary's Cemetery. This monument, donated by a Polish National church organization, overlooks the grave sites of the two pastors buried in the cemetery. The Russian Jewish Cemetery was also opened on E. 57th street in 1898.
Washington Park opened in 1899 and, when the city was given a 6,700 pound section of the battleship Maine in April, 1912, the memento was mounted in the park. The 1800's ended on a tragic note when an engineer and fireman were killed in a head-on train collisn at Harvard Avenue and E. 93rd Street on the 17th of December.
The Newburgh & South Shore Railway has the distinction of being the first railraod in Ohio to abandon the use of steam powered locomotives. It was founded as a beltline railroad 1n 1899 by the American Steel and Wire Company and operated on standard gauge track.
Built primarily to haul molten mtetl from American's central furnaces to the Newburgh steel works, it became wholly owned by U. S. Steel when the cooporation was created in 1904. In 1927 the railway operated 32 Baldwin steam locomotives but by 1947 these were all retired in favor of diesel powered engines.
U. S. Steel transferred the N. &. S.S. operations to its Bessemer & Lake Railway in 1951. After World War ll area industrial closings brought on a steady business decline and the Cuyahoga Steel Works closings in 1984 dealt the blow that brought about the railway's end.
It filed for abandonment with the ICC and sold the last two miles of the original seven miles of track to the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad. The last train oporated on March 7, 1986 and the railroad closed completely on June 30thy of the same year.
The Tramend Lounge opened its doors for business in 1900. The tavern's name was derived from its location, the end of the line and turn-a-bout for the Union Avenue tram. The building was remodeled in 1940 but a fire in 1945 required extensive repairs and further remodeling. The name of the tavern was changed to Tramengo Lounge in the 1960's but later reverted to its original name.
The original Factory Furniture building, the hotel to its west and home to its east were constructed the year the Tramend began operations. The adjoining hotel and the home to its east were eventually acquired by the furniture company. The firm experienced its only recorded dangerous situation in November, 1945 when three employees were injured in a robbery. The property was purchased by the Bohemian National Hall in 1996 to provide land for a new gymnasium and an expanded parking lot.
St. Lawrence Slovenian Catholic Church was founded on Rural (E. 80th) Street in 1901, the same year that Immaculate Heart of Mary parish again caused a furor in the community when it held Confirmation Rites on May 5th. The Festivities began at 7:00 A.M. with a parade honoring Bishop Anthony Kozlowski, a prelate in the Polish National Church movement in Chicago, who administered the sacrament at the Sunday morning Mass.
St. john Napomucene Czech Catholic Church was established on Independence Road and Fleet Avenue and Nativity of the B.V.M., the area's first Slovak parish was established in a home on E. 93rd and Way Avenue in 1902. The following year a church, rectory and school were constructed.
Oliver Stafford and George Hodgson also revived the defunct Turner Mills as the Cleveland Worsted Mills in 1902 and by 1920 they had expanded the operation to one of the largest in the country with branches in other states.
Management preferred to hire Czechs, Lithuanians and Poles in their Cleveland facility, being of the opinion that the Irish and Italians worked too slow. The company was embroiled in a bitter work action in 1932 when activists attempted to organize workers. All divisions closed their doors in 1956 when employees voted to unionize. The almost abandoned Broadway Avenue complex was destroyed by fire on July 4th, 1993.
A singing society, the Harmonia-Chopin, was also founded in 1902 and on September 14, 1997 celebrated its 95th anniversary with a Mass celebrated by Rev. Alcuim Mikulans at St. Stanislaus church. Festivities continued at The Alliance of Poles Hall with a dinner, a show program and congratulatory messages from Ward 12 Councilman, Edward Rybka, Cleveland City council and a representative of Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
The Jednota building, Jednota being the Slovak word for union, was built in 1902 for the First Catholic Slovak Union, a fraternal insurance organization. The structure at 3289 E. 55th Street was redesigned and extensively redecorated in Art Deco style in 1932. Since 1990 it has been the corporate headquarters of All-Tronics Medical Systems, an international manufacturer of high resolution imaging systems.
Another longtime area landmark, the First Spiritualist's Temple, was erected on Fullerton Avenue in 1903. The building became the Polish National Home in 1922 and acquired its nickname, "Spook's" Hall in the mid 1930's when four young boys peeked behind the stage curtain and discovered that someone had hung himself on the stage.
Even though city sewers were run across Kingsbury Run in 1882, it was 1904 before they were extended to the Warszawa neighborhood. During that eventful year Newburgh Heights was established, Newburgh Village changed its name to South Newburgh and ground was broken for the Cleveland Public Library on E. 55th Street.
Rev. Anton Kolaszewski, who had spearheaded an effort to place a Koszciusko statue in the Historical Gardens but was conspicuously absent at its 1905 dedication ceremonies. That year also saw the erection of Trinity Baptist Church on Broadway Avenue. The property was sold to the Diocese of Cleveland in 1943 and became Transfiguration parish in 1944. Parishioners were absorbed into Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Stanislaus parishes in 1993 when the church building was leveled after a disastrous October, 1992 fire. Edward Rosenfeld of the Grabler Mfg. Company, producers of "Square G" brand black and galvanized iron pipe fittings, purchased the triangular section of land, now the site of Mechanics Warehouse, from Antonette DuBois on January 11, 1905. By 1908 an increasing business climate prompting the company to acquire 100 lots of adjacent property on May 22nd.
The Grabler company closed its doors at 6565 Broadway in 1965, relocated to Cleveland's west side in 1867 and by 1969 moved its operations to Tiffin, Ohio. On March 11th of that same year the firm was sold by Harry and Emma Rosenfeld Fox to Hayes-Albian Company and the Broadway property was sold to Cook Coffee Company. The buildings were immediately demolished to make way for a parking lot at the Uncle Bill's and a Pick-and Pay stores constructed in 1970. A small shopping center was erected on much of the Grabler property in the mid-1980's.
Between 1905 and 1908 the Miles/Broadway/Harvard Avenue and Warner Road area underwent a dramatic change. As with the annexation and mill strike episodes, the narrative will be taken out of chronological order to trace these events.
When the Pennsylvania Company, operators of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railway, proposed to run a second pair of tracks down Broadway, angered residents quickly passed a local ordinance mandating that these tracks be placed 500 feet southeast of Broadway to prevent further smoke pollution of the area.
The railroad's position was further complicated by a 1903 law requiring tracks to be elevated over grade crossings. The bill was applied to the railroad in a June 5th, 1905 city ordinance stipulating that Broadway is to be depressed not more than eight feet southeast of Harvard and overhead tracks were to be elevated 14 feet over the Harvard/Broadway intersection.
However, another June 5th ordinance also spelled out the financial obligations assumed by the railroad and the city when the 1903 law was enforced. Another June 26th ordinance also authorized the laying of sewers along E.93rd Street and another stated that Broadway Avenue was to be relocated 120 feet northwest at E. 93rd Street.
To comply with these directives it was necessary for the railroad to purchase the Cataract House because their tracks had to be run through its stables. The hotel continued to operate until 1917 but the building remained as a community eyesore and a habitat of vagrants until it was demolished in 1931.
To provide right-of-way, Mill Creek was rerouted and the falls was moved southeast. These relocation also required the Caine Quarry to move its operations from the bend in the creek further south.
It was surprisingly simple to relocate Mill Creek and the falls. A new bed was dug to re-route the creek and a retaining wall was constructed at the point of the ledge where the falls were to descend. It was then an easy matter to dam the creek and force its waters to flow into the new bed.
Construction of the rails involved shaving the bluff behind the Cataract house and forming an incline leading up to the present overpass over Harvard and Broadway. In order o accomplish this, City Council vacated Turney Road southwest of Warner Road roughly along the path of present day Webb Terrace, Mull and Hughes Avenues, part of an alley, the corner of Harvard and E. 86th Street and a portion of E. 93rd Street. Of course, vacating these streets entailed the destruction of homes and businesses located on them so during 1908 and 1909 City Council enacted a number of ordinances to compensate the affected parties for these losses.
Corlett Village separated from Newburgh in 1906, the Broadway Library was completed, St. Hayacinth Catholic Church was established, New Broadway Bank was constructed and Miles Park Library, which was Cleveland's first branch library, opened its own facility on March 24th and remained on that site until it closed its doors on December 31, 1987.
The year also saw a new innovation when a public bath house opened its doors on Broadway next to the Newburgh Market House. Initially, two cents would provide soap, a towel and a shower. Before the building was razed for a parking lot in 1954, the price of a bath had escalated to $10.00.
Until Cleveland changed the names of all north/south streets to numbers and initiated a city-wide property numbering system on December 1, 1906, locating a house address was a frustrating affair. Even though the names of many Newburgh street names were changed after annexation the local house numbering system was retained. Present day E. 65th had six different names from the lake to Lansing Avenue, along with six unrelated sets of house numbers. To illustrate the confusion such a system created, the house that is now 3945 E. 66th Street was 59 Poland Street, quite a distance from the lake.
Our Lady of Lourdes opened its school in 1907 and a law was enacted that same year outlawing on-track betting, an ordinance that led to Newburgh Trotting Park being abandoned. The track was then used for amateur auto races and a place where new drivers could sharpen their skills. The property was later the site of a Class A baseball field.
On May 12, 1908 Immaculate Heart of Mary Church suffered severe damage when smoldering incense under the altar ignited a fire. Only quick action by a teacher and a sexton, who calmly led students out of the downstairs school, prevented any casualties or loss of life. The conflagration received prominent newspaper coverage because it followed on the heels of the March 4th Collinwood School inferno that took the lives of 172 pupils and two teachers.
A 1909 celebration, accompanied by appropriate frivolity, marked the re-enactment of the 1809 Kingsbury robbery by Indians. The construction of the Peterka Building at 5360 Broadway was another positive 1909 event.
However, the same year was clouded by the April 21st tornado that toppled the spires of St. Stanislaus Church into its roof, killing an eight year old boy trying to escape the falling debris. Another sad event occurred the following year when an outstanding neighborhood leader, Rev. A. F. Kolaszewski passed away on December 2nd.
The Second United Presbyterian Church property was acquired by the Sokol Polski and the Bohemian National Home constructed classrooms to teach the Czech language in 1911. The present Slavic village Animal hospital building, originally a drugstore, then a tavern, was built the same year, as was the Olympia Theater. However, it appears the latter did not open until 1913 but by 1916 motion picture theaters were the rage.
Due to the fact that women were not admitted as members to many of the current Polish organizations, a local group of women established The Association of Polish Women in 1911 as an outgrowth of the Polish Women's Alliance. They later formed the Halka Singing Society.
The following movie houses operated on Broadway during that year. There was a Broadway Theater at 4628 Broadway, Broadway American Company, 4825 Broadway, Columbia Theater, 6421 Broadway and Harvard Theater at 8414 Broadway.
There was also a Luna Pastime Theater at 4061 E. 71st Street and four theaters on Fleet Avenue. The Vandora and Variety Theaters shared a common address, 6212 Fleet and down the street the Edison Theater was at 5327 Fleet, in the building where a Karlin Picture Theater was listed in the 1912 City directory. The Washington Park at 5212 Fleet was in the building now occupied by Park Cafe.
Later, the Deucan at 8437 Harvard, the Harvard at 8414 Harvard, Milo at 10113 Miles Avenue, Rex at 4306 Warner Road, New Victory at 3990 E. 71st Street, Union at 10508 Union Avenue and three other Broadway Avenue theaters, the Grand at 7026 Broadway, Polonia, which only showed Polish films, at 7135 Broadway and Market Square, 7640 Broadway also entertained movie fans in the area.
Modern wide screen theaters and home television sounded the death-knell for neighborhood movie houses in the early 1950's. By the end of the decade there was only one local theater still in operation, the Olympia. Even its Saturday morning children's shows, tempting odor of popcorn, special first-run films and give-away programs to attract customers vanished into history in the 1970's.
In 1912 Newburgh residents held a gala celebration at Luna Park and the Cleveland Electric Railway also built a substation on Harvard near Broadway. On April 9th of that year Cleveland was presented a 6,700 pound section of the pilot house and mast from the battleship Maine. The monument was later placed in Washington Park, a wooded area in Newburgh Hgts. that had been made a public park in 1899.
Electricity was not available in Warszawa until 1913, the same year that the Rutkowski building on East 63rd Street and Fleet Avenue was constructed. This same year Golubski and Holan Funeral Homes were founded. The latter became the Fortuna funeral Home in 1958. Stanley Klonowski also organized the Bank of Cleveland and St. Mary of Czestochowa, originally Our Lady of Czestochowa, also began as a mission church from Sacred Heart parish in 1913.
Bishop Farrelly elevated the mission to a parish the following year and appointed Rev. Victor Szyrocki its founding pastor. The parish on East 141st Street and Harvard Avenue remained an active force in its community until 1996.
Although natural gas had been available in the area since 1851, electricity did not reach Warszawa until February, 1913 and lines were not put underground until 1925. However, it took some time for residents to switch to the, then, more expensive and less satisfactory utility.
The WIADOMOSCI CODZIENNE, (Polish Daily News) Cleveland's first daily Polish newspaper, was on outgrowth of the NARODOWIEC (Nationalist, first published in 1909) was established by S. A. Dengal and Paul Kurdzel in 1914. While the periodical was edited by Thomas Sienradski from 1916 until 1937 it took on a freethinking slant in opposition to it's pro-Catholic competitor, the MONOTOR CLEVELANDSKI. The WIADOMOSCI took over the MONOTOR in 1938 and was acquired by August Kurdzel and edited by Zygmunt Dybowski in 1940. Even though the paper had a circulation of 23, 183, difficultly in obtaining a bilingual staff and mounting production costs forced it to cease publication on October 15, 1966, leaving the Polish community without a daily newspaper for the first time in over fifty years.
Construction of the present Immaculate Heart of Mary Church also began in 1914. The outbreak of World War l that same year motivated alien Poles living in the Warszawa area to form a Polish army in exile to aid the allies defeat Germany and liberate their country from foreign domination. Throughout the war they conducted their recruiting activities at St. Stanislaus.
Michael P. Kniola was name a delegate to the National Republic convention in 1916 and I.H.M. church architect, Anthony Wasielewski, purchased a home at 3259 E. 55th Street, which he resold in 1919. By that year a number of movie theaters had opened in the area and the Miles Park Masonic Temple was erected.
On Monday, July 9, 1917 City Council adopted a resolution directing the director of public services to prepare plans and estimated costs of draining and grading a site on Morgana and Broadway Avenues for a playground. On December 1, 1919 an ordinance was passed to appropriate $15,000 to acquire additional land and make improvements on the playground referred to as Morgana Park.
A September 15, 1920 motion was made to change the name the park's name to Warsaw but an October 10, 1921 directive to claim right of domain to acquire property on nearby Osmond Avenue refers to the park as Morgana. At the July 21, 1921 council meetings, members again agreed to notify the director of parks to change name to Warsaw Park. Although the motion passed 21 to 5, and for sometime the park was designated by that name, a motion to officially adopt the name was tabled at a March 29, 1922 meeting.
By March, 1933 a study was ordered to determine costs and feasibility of constructing a recreation center and an emergency resolution was passed on March 20, 1946 to install a sign at the park. Floodlights for night baseball games were proposed at a March 19, 1947 council meeting and were approved at a November 17, 1948 meeting.
On April 27, 1953 an emergency resolution was introduced to obtain University Settlement land on E. 65th Street and Kenyon Avenue to extend Morgana playground. This land was later adopted for use as a public neighborhood garden. It and the Morgana little league playground were changed to Joseph Kowalski park on April 24, 1985 to memorialize the councilman's sudden death on May 2, 1983.
Cuyahoga Hgts. was formed from part of Newburgh Hgts. in 1917 and Hruby Conservatory of Music was founded Frank Hruby, father of the noted family of musicians. He began his career in the Newburgh Opera House and, among other credits, the family orchestra played at the dedication of the Soldiers and Sailers munument in 1894 and nearly all of the children played in the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra at one time or another. One of his grandsons sons, also named Frank, became a composer of note and also the music critic of the CKEVELAND PRESS from 1954 to 1982.
The Hruby school was taken over by Demmy family in October, 1980 and its name was changed to Broadway School of Music and the Arts.
When the Broadway/E. 55th Free Library was closed in 1987 a small branch of the
Broadway Public Library has been housed on a portion of the music school's first floor.
Mrs. Olean Wells Demmey passed away in 1993 and her husband, Dr. Nicholas Demmey died on January 16, 1997. The apartment building at 3857 E. 71st Street was named apartment of the year by the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.
A severe influenza epidemic hit the area in 1918 and 1819. A single parish, Our Lady of Lourdes lost 36 parishioners but St. Stanislaus, being spared any deaths, erected a statue in honor of St. Roch and his canine companion with a biscuit in its mouth in front of the rectory in 1919 as an act of thanksgiving for their good fortune.
St. Roch (Rocco) was an appropriate choice for the parish to honor as an expression of their gratitude. He was born in France to wealthy parents but rejected a life of luxury, preferring to give his wealth to the poor and lead a life of poverty while making pilgrimages between France and Italy.
During these travels he devoted himself to caring for the sick, developed a special affection for those who were expelled from society and forced to form their own communities for becoming victims of epidemics and plagues. His asociation with these castaways led to his own banishment. This isolation would have led to the end of his ministry and his own starvation were it not for a mysterious dog that began to bring him food every day. However he too would parish from a cut in his leg that became infected because of his living among those dying from the plague.
His intersession was credited to the sparing of an entire village during the devistation black plague of the middle ages.by those invoking his help, promoting an increased devotion to the saint. This and the sacrifices he made during during his own life resulted in St. Roch being named named patron of epidemics, plagues, dog lovers and through an additional association with his canine benifactor, hunters.
The Academy Child Care at 5454 Broadway was also founded in 1918 and the present Methodist/Episcopal church building was erected that same year.
At the close of the decade Valley View separated from Independence, South Newburgh was renamed Garfield Hgts. and the Forest City Bottling Works is built at 5910 fleet Avenue.
The arrival of the new decade ushered in the building of the Vcela building, now Key Bank, and the formation of Lincoln Post #13 of the Polish Legion of American Veterans. The Taylor Bowl, a boxing arena, held matches on the grounds where Perfection Stove and, during World War ll, a defense plant producing aircraft parts was located. The site was later used for the Higbee warehouse. Cuyahoga Foundry, was also opened on Grant Avenue. The firm ceased operations in May, 1997 and Mosinski Funeral Home opener on E. 65th Street.
Another area mortuary, the Walkowiak Funeral Home, opened their establishment on the Lansing Avenue site previously occupied by the Groczewski Funeral Parlor. In 1988 Robert and Cecilia Walkowiak closed their business and donated the property to Immaculate Heart of Mary parish. The building was converted into the Marian Center but by 1995 insurance premiums and the building's shortcomings for religious purposes led to the parish transferring the property to Broadway Area Housing Coalition for a nominal fee. This organization landscaped the property, restored the home and sold the parcel to a qualifying tenant.
The KURYER Publishing Company was founded by Al and Walter Wielowiejski in the early 1920's. Besides publishing a weekly newspaper of the same name, the firm also printed various lodge house organs and contracted general printing jobs. The KURYER was later issued bi-weekly and in 1925 became the membership publication of the Union of Poles in America.
This association with the Polish organization continued when Anthony Kulaszewski purchased the printing business, publishing their monthly fraternal internal house organ and successfully winning the competitive bid to produce their convention booklet every four years. After his death on January 6, 1985, his son David took charge of the operation but in March, 1988 the business was dissolved and the rights to the KURYER name was given to the Union of Poles. From that time to the present the newspaper has been printed in Buffalo, New York by the Polish American Journal and included as an insert in their monthly publication.
Kasprazak Furniture opened at its E. 71st location in 1922 and relocated to Broadway and Forman Avenues in 1930. The Third Federal Bank's moving its computer operations in 1997 absorbed this site. The Kasprazaks opted not to relocate. Bican funeral Home also opened in a house on E. 50th Street, relocated to Fleet Ave. and E. 50th, then moved to their present location at 5215 Fleet in 1930.
The following year THE NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS first saw the light of day and the Cleveland Savings and Trust on E. 55th Street had became a branch of Union Bank and Trust and the interior was redecorated in an Egyptian motif inspired by the recent discovery of King Tut's tomb. 1923 also saw the debut of the Union of Poles on America's first newspaper, GWIADOZA ZIEDNOEDNA (Star of the Sea). About that time The KURYER Publishing Company was formed by Al and Walter Wielowiejski. Besides issuing a weekly Polish language newspaper, The KURYER, various lodge house organs and contracting general printing jobs, the firm began publishing the Union of Poles in America newspaper, also called the KURYER, in 1925,
Their commercial newspaper, the KURYER, became a bi-weekly in 1939 and its publishers became winning bidders on the UPA program books issued at each four year convention. This association with the UPA continued when Anthony Kulaszewski took over the publishing business in 1960.
When he passed away in 1939 his son David took charge of the operation but in March, 1988 he closed the publishing business and gave all rights to the KURYER to the UPA. From that time, the monthly fraternal newspaper has been printed by the publishers of the POLISH AMERICAN JOURNAL in Buffalo, New York.
The Forest City amusement park was destroyed by fire in 1924. Due to competition from Euclid Beach Amusement Park it was not rebuilt. Hopkins Clinic also opened on Broadway east of the Van Stan building.
St. John's Evangelical Church was erected at 3240 E. 55th Street in 1927 and the community suffered a loss in 1930 when the Mound street/E. 55th bridge spanning Morgan Run and the 80 foot gorge was rendered impassable by a fire.
The Fleet branch library opened in a house at 3715 E. 65th on April 4, 1928 and moved to a store front at 6522 Fleet in 1930. In 1931 the first floor of the building was shared with University Settlement. By 1933 the library occupied the first floor and the settlement moved upstairs. The library relocated to 7424 Fleet on August 3, 1981 and was dedicated in October of the same year
In September of the same year The Alliance of Poles began issuing their fraternal newspaper, ZWIADKOVIEC (The Alliance. The periodical is currently published on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.
By 1930 the Pyramid Bank was operating at 4069 E. 71st Street. the property was originally the site of a home constructed in 1880, demolished in 1911 and replaced with the present building. The first floor of the structure was used as a store front and the upper floor as an apartment.
Third Federal Bank sold the property to Steve Lesaik in 1949 and the store front became Sunrise Cafe. In June 1997 the site was purchased by Westley Ostrowski and Ewa Golebiewski to become Ewa's Restaurant, forced to relocate from land purchased for a Rite-Aid Drug.
That same year the notorious Harvard club, the largest gambling operation between New York and Chicago, opened on Harvard Avenue. By 1936 it had moved at least five times and had the same number of owners, including one, Frank Jones, who was murdered gangland style.
Elliot Ness closed the operation on January 10, 1936 but It soon reopened to serve its 500 to 1,000 nightly clientele, even offering free limousine service for downtown customers. The club was ordered closed by Judge Frank Lausche but refused to submit to the order until Judge Lausche had Captain Blackwell and a squad of detectives shut down the operation in April, 1941.
Construction of the new South High School began in 1931. Classes began for 1,600 students in January of the following year and the building was dedicated in May. The old South High on Broadway became Albert Bushnell Hart Middle School but the situation was reversed in 1976 when a new high school was constructed On Broadway and Osage and the school on Canton and E. 75th became A. B. Hart middle school.
A 10 day strike was settled at Kaynee Blouse Company, earning the employees an $11.00 weekly wage and the Cleveland Rolling Mills were demolished in 1935. The following year. Local athlete, Stella Walsh, also a won track event and gold medal for Poland at the Olympiad held in Berlin. She was to compete for the U.S. until it was discovered that her parents had not applied for her citizenship when she came to this country at the age of 10 months. She was murdered in a robbery attempt in the Uncle Bill's (now K-Mart) parking lot on Broadway on December 5th, 1980.
During that same year the Newburg Post Office opened on Broadway and Walker avenues on November 7th. Most area residents consider Newburgh misspelled but, actually, The name has never had an official spelling. Perhaps, some wanted the "h" dropped to avoid confusion with Newburgh, N. Y. In any event, the postal service opted to use the less-popular spelling.
In the eventful year of 1936 Polish businessmen also made plans to form business ties with those in Poland at a meeting held at the Alliance of Poles. Maple Heights inaugurated its bus system with trial runs and new rides and a baseball field were constructed at Washington Park.
The only Roman Catholic Czech organization, Ceska sin Karlin, named for a Prague suburb, was founded by Catholic Workmen and located in the Karemaus' Hall, which and been constructed at E. 53rd Street and fleet Avenue in 1900. However, the purchase did not go smoothly because the owners of Karemaus' Hall refused to sell to a Catholic organization' so funeral director, Joseph Holan, purchased the property and immediately resold the parcel to the Czech Workmen's club.
With the support of other Czech groups the club began to expand and in 1946 it obtained a liquor license. The original building was remodeled in 1971 but was destroyed by fire January, 1972.
Undaunted by this mishap, members immediately began constructing a larger, modern facility on the same site. The current club room and hall was dedicated from May 3rd to 7th, 1973. Among the many dignitaries visiting the hall were President Ford in 1976 and Ted Kennedy in 1980.
In 1937 the Willow Freeway was proposed. However delays and World War ll prevented beginning construction until 1946, its completion opening until 1949. President of the Broadway/E. 55th Merchant's Association, Leonard Smith, opposed the freeway because it had no exit at the Broadway/ 55th Street shopping district. His warning that this omission would lead to the decline of the area fell on deaf ears at the time.
There was a riot at a Republic Steel strike and over 100 were injured and one killed when union members and non- strikers clashed. Police and A.F. of L. officials joined forces to protect Cleveland Worsted Mills employees when organizers attempted to unionize the plant. Paramount Woolen Mills at 3301 Broadway was destroyed by fire in November and, on the bright side, Our Lady of Lourdes church also began hosting bingo games that eventful year.
Third Federal Savings and Loan was established in April, 1938 and Komorowski Funeral Home was formed the following year. Forest City Park Civic Association was also certified by the State of Ohio and The Polish Roman Catholic Union merged with Our Lady of Czestochowa branch to form Union of Poles in America in 1939.
Holy Trinity Polish National Catholic Church was established on Broadway and the Broz Building, 5656 Broadway, was demolished to make way for Woolworth department Store in 1940. A tavern was also opened on the southwest corner of E. 71st. Street at Harvard that was owned and leased by the Forest city Brewing Company, a common practice at the time when breweries purchased bars, then leased them with the stipulation that only their brand of beer could be sold.
Vodraska Funeral home opened at 3315 E. 55th Street in 1942. In 1977 the firm opened a second facility at 6505 Brecksville Road in Independence.
Trackless trolleys were replaced by streetcars on the #15 Union-Corlett and #19 Broadway-Miles Cleveland Transit routes in 1948 and trolleys were replaced by busses in July, 1963. The #18 Harvard-Dennison route was also served by a bus instead of a streetcar in March of that year.
Marymount Hospital was dedicated on October 30, 1949 and Immaculate Heart of Mary rectory was robbed of $13,000. in July of 1950 by two thugs who also pistol whipped the pastor, leaving him an invalid for life. The intersection at Harvard and E. 49th Street was also widened that year.
The original Broadway "auto mile" was in Cleveland, not Bedford. A 1952 directory lists 22 different auromible dealers between E. 55th Street and Miles Avenue.
Henry J. Domzalski open an accounting firm, Commercial Enterprises, on the corner of E. 55th Street and Fleet Avenue in 1952. The company, which grew into a family operation hen four of his sons joined the business, relocated to 5720 Fleet Avenue in 1990.
Streetcars were replaced by busses on the #16 and #16-A Cleveland Transit System E. 55th Street routes in June, 1953.
Lansing Pharmacy opened in August, 1958 and owners retired and ceased operations in 1994. The last representative of a bygone era vanished when the last coal vender in the area, Newburgh Coal Company closed its doors in 1961. St. Stanislaus also constructs popular St. Stan's Hall on Baxter Avenue.
Immaculate Heart of Mary dedicated a new rectory and administration building in 1965. In April, 1992 administration of St. Mary's Cemetery on E. 71st Street, established by the parish in 1894, was turned over to the Catholic Cemeteries Association.
The Grand Tavern, Grand Photo Studio and a longtime neighborhood, The arcade Grill which was affectionately referred to as the "Polish Kon-Tiki," closed their doors when the buildings the firms occupied on Broadway and E. 71st Street were demolished to make way for the Union Savings and Trust branch that opened in October, 1966. The restaurant reopened near Broadway and fleet for a short time before closing permanently.
A popular annual event sponsored by the Slavic Village Merchant's Guild, The Harvest Festival, was inaugurated in September, 1978. The festival was later expanded into a two day event held in August. DeNoble's Italian restaurant opened of fleet Avenue the same year.
The Broadway Area Housing Coalition was established in 1980 and in 1988 the building on the west side of Zverina's grocery was demolished to provide land for a parking lot. A nineteenth century Mail Pouch tobacco sign was revealed and it is quite possible another may be revealed on its other wall if the building on east side of store is ever leveled. January, 1980 also saw the opening of Red Chimney Restaurant at 6501 Fleet avenue. The building previously occupied by Montowski Hardware.
In April, 1992 the administration of St. Mary's Cemetery on E. 71st Street was transferred by the parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Catholic Cemeteries Association.
The Slavic Village Historical society was certified by the State of Ohio on July 12, 1995 and designated as a public non-profit organization retroactive to that date by the I.R.S. in November.
Demolition of the remains of the Newburgh Asylum began in 1996 to provide land for a new Housing Development, Mill Creek Community. The development was dedicated at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, June 12th.
Third Federal Bank initiated plans to move its computer center from Independence, Ohio in 1997. The center occupies the triangle of land from Aetna and Broadway to behind the bank facility, including Forman Avenue between Broadway and Aetna Road. Construction on a senior citizen's was also began from west of Alliance of Poles building to the border of Morgana Park.
FirstMerit Bank relocates from E. 64th/Harvard shopping mall to northeast corner of Harvard and E. 71st Street. Grand opening ceremonies were held on April 15th. All buildings on the east side of East 71st Street between Indiana and Harvard Avenues were demolished in June to provide space for a small shopping mall with a Rite-Aid Pharmacy as its centerpiece.
The Harmonia Chopin celebrated its 95th anniversary on September 14th with a Mass celebrated by Rev. Alcuin Mikulanis at St. Stanislaus Church. Further celebrations followed at the Alliance of Poles , beginning with a dinner, followed by a shop program and congratulatory messages from Ward 12 Councilman, Edward Rybka, City Council and a representative of Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
The only verifiable production of a grand opera on Broadway Avenue since those staged by the Bohemian National Hall during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was presented at The Alliance of Poles Auditorium at 3:00 PM, Sunday, November 23, 1997. Leoncavallo's I Palgiacci was given by the Opera Circle,, an opera troupe directed by impresarios Dorota and Jacob Sobieski and english translations of the Italian libretto were projected above the stage. The scenery consisted of a single backdrop designed to represent the local of the opera's action, which was actually only a curtain draped as a background. The singers were accompanied on a out-of-tune piano skillfully played by Mr. Sobieski.
On Sunday, December 14th The Regional Transit Authority inaugurated community Circulator mini-bus service between Cuyahoga Hgts. City Hall and the shopping complex at E. 65th Street and Broadway Avenue. Rides were free for the first two weeks on this route # 805 line and 50 cents for a single fare afterwards. Family rates also went into effect at that time.
On Thursday of this same week the original Harvard Grove Cemetery caretaker's house, erected in 1882, was demolished. Despite the objections of Ward 12 councilman, Edward Rybka, the city had removed the caretaker from the grounds some months before. The area landmark had also been denied even the most routine maintenance for such a period of time that it was beyond restoration.
Fromer U. S. ambassador to Poland, Nicholas A. Rey, was an honored guest of the Polish American Congress at a dinner held at the Alliance of Poles Banquet Hall on Tuesday, January 13, 1998. Ambassador Emiritus Ray, now a private citizen working for the State Department, is a staunch advocate of expanding the North Atlantic Traty Organization who is promoting these goals.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the opening of Looney's Pub and Eatery on January 21st, 1998. This pub occupies the site of the Luna Pastime Movie Theater and during the $215,000. renovation the original stage was discovered and is integrated into the eatery's decor.
Fleet Avenue obtained its first Mexican carryout restaurant when Mex & More held a grand opening at 5715 Fleet on March 2, 1998. Jacek Sobieski also staged his second opera at Alliance of Poles Auditorium, Mozart's ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO, on Sunday, March 29, 1998 at 3:00 PM.
Bill Radeker completes the final installment of the first published history of Newburgh and the Slavic Village area. The last article of the historic overview was published in the KURYER over a two and a half year period, appeared in the May, 1998 issue.
William T. Radeker