Elroy McKendree Avery.

A history of Cleveland and its environs; the heart of new Connecticut (Volume 2) online

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the office of county commissioner. His per-
sonal popularity brought him election, and as
a member of the board he passed the deter-
mining vote by which Cleveland was given
the court house rather than Newburg.

Doctor Long especially had close to his heart
and desire the welfare of the community as
represented in the institutions of schools and



churches and those influences that make for
culture and right living. He personified
generosity, kindliness and unrestricted human
sympathy. Both he and his wife were noted
for tlieir thorough culture, and at the same
time for tlie amiability which distingniished
their relations with the community.

In 1811, the year after lie arrived at Cleve-
land, Doctor Long married Juliana Walworth.
She was a daughter of Judge John Walworth.
Doctor Long and wife had onl}' one child to
survive them, Mary H. Long. She became the
wife of Solomon Lewis Severance, and special
attention is given to her name on other pages.

Mary H. Severance. The record of Cleve-
land's notable M'omen of the past might well
begin with Mary H. Severance. Wealth and
social position were hers by inheritance. She
dignified and elevated this heritage by the
way she did in rearing two sons who became
notable business men and philanthropists, also
by her direct participation in church and
philanthropy of wide extended usefulness.

She was the only daughter and child of
Dr. David Long, Cleveland's pioneer phj-si-
cian. Her birth occurred in the double log
cabin on Superior Street, near the site of the
late American House, then a fairlj^ preten-
tious dwelling among the group of humble
log and frame structures that adorned and
made up the Village of Cleveland. She was
born March 1, 1816. During her childhood
her father erected a substantial stone house
on the site of the old log structure, and she
was reared in other homes built by her father
and more in keeping with his reputation and
the rising standards of living in the city.

Being an only child and her father a man
of wealth and influence, she was accorded the
most liberal training at home and in the best
schools then available for the education of
young women. She attended boarding schools
in Warren and Elyria.

Miss Long was only seventeen years of age
when, in 1833, she married Solomon Lewis
Severance. Mr. Severance was at that time
a young merchant in Cleveland and had before
him a career of great promise. He had come
to the city in 1830 from Shelburn, Massa-
chusetts. After five years of married life
Mr. Severance died, survived by his widow
and son, Solon L. The son, Louis H. Sever-
ance was born after his father's death. Mrs.
Severance and her children then returned to
the home of her father, and for many years
following his death, which oecurrred in 1851,



CLEVELAND AND ITS ENVIRONS



323



she continued to live in the fine old Long
homestead on Woodland Avenue, at the cor-
ner of what is now East Thirty-first Street.
She finally removed to the corner of Euclid
Avenue and East Eighty-ninth Street, and
there spent her last days. Mrs. Severance
died October 1, 1902, at the age of eighty-six
years,' seven months.

A native and life-long resident of Cleveland,
the daughter, wife and mother of prominent,
useful citizens and intimately associated by
family connections or social interests with
most of the representative people for three
generations, there was no woman of her time
who was more widely known or beloved in
the community. Possessed of an energetic
nature and animated by a strong desire for
usefulness, she was identified with much of
the work done for the promotion of ChHstian
and benevolent enterprises and generally for
the advancement of the best civic interests.

Mrs. Severance became a member of the
First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland when
only fourteen years of age. Por many years
she sang in the choir. She was enthusiastic
in the spirit in which she entered into every
religious activity. Much of her zeal for mis-
sionary undertaking descended to her son, the
late Louis H. Severance. It was Mrs. Sever-
ance who assisted in organizing the society that
equipped and sent out the pioneer missionai-y
to the east coast of Africa. She became a
charter member of the Second Presbyterian
Church, and in 1872 assisted in founding the
Woodland Avenue Presbyterian Church and
contributed generously to its upbuilding.

The home of Mrs. Severance was a center
for some of the agitation and work done in
Cleveland in the anti-slavery cause. When the
war actually came she proved her loyalty and
patriotism by an increasing efficiency in the
work of the sanitary commission.

In all that she did for Christian uplift and
charity, the work was characterized by a singu-
lar disinterestedness and unselfishness and a
steadfast direction toward one object alone,
the substantial good of others. Of Cleveland's
institutions that are something of a memorial
to her generosity should be mentioned the
Protestant Orphan Asylum, which she assisted
in establishing, and also the Lakeside Hospital,
of which she was a trustee until her death.

Solon L. Severance. In the death of Solon
L. Severance, May 8, 1915, at the age of eighty-
one, Cleveland lost not only one of its oldest
native sons but a man who had been closely



and intimately identified with the upbuilding
of that financial power which makes Cleveland
today one of the greatest money centers of
America. Solon L. Severance was a banker
from early manhood. He possessed little less
than genius in financial matters, and his name
and influence came to be respected at every
gathering and meeting of bank and business
directors at which he appeared.

His was a clean i-ecord, made without
ostentation. The influence which his character
necessarily exerted cannot be measured by the
ordinary standards of achievements. Outside
of business he was known for his love of the
fundamental things of life. He was a great
traveler, and he made his travels a source of
inspiration and instruction to many who must
perforce stay at home. Above all his devo-
tion to the practice of simple honesty in the
affairs of men is a most enduring legacy.

i\Iember of a family that has long been
prominent in Cleveland, son of Solomon Lewis
and Mary H. (Long) Severance, he was born
at Cleveland, September 8, 1834. As a boy
he attended district and private schools, and
on leaving school he formed a connection with
a local banking house and by preseverance and
ability rose to eminence in financial affairs.

When the Euclid Avenue National Bank
was established he participated in the organi-
zation and became its first cashier. He after-
ward served as president of the bank until it
was merged with the Park Bank. The Euclid
Park Bank subsequently was succeeded by the
present First National Bank of Cleveland, the
largest bank in the State of Ohio. Mr. Sever-
ance was officially connected with all these
institutions and remained a director of the
First National Bank until his death.

During those many long years whatever con-
cerned the welfare and advancement of Cleve-
land was the matter that received his utmost
attention and loyalty. He was also sincerely
devoted to religion and philanthropy, and at
an early age united with the Second Presby-
terian "Church and subsequently became a
charter member of the Woodland Avenue Pres-
byterian Church, which he served many years
as an elder and also as superintendent of its
Sunday School.

While he accepted many of the opportuni-
ties for leisurely enjoyment of world travel,
he was never a mere sightseer nor one who
traveled to get away from himself. He was
a student of life in many phases, and travel
meant to him a great opportunity for self
culture and the means of making his own



324



CLEVELAND AND ITS ENVIRONS



work and influence more eiScient. It is re-
called that he was one of the voyagers ou the
Quaker City, the pioneer tourist craft that
went from America into Eastern waters. The
story of that cruise is subject of the great
American classic by Mark Twain, "Innocents
Abroad." Later Mr. Severance made two
visits to China and Japan and encircled the
globe. The results of his obsei-vations abroad
he turned into illuminating addresses for
entertainment and instruction at home. He
introduced the stereopticon when that was a
new device, and his travel talks became noted,
especially in his home city. One of the
fundamental purposes in giving these talks
was to betray conditions and enlist co-opera-
tion in behalf of the missionary cause.

On October 10, 1860, Mr. Severance mar-
ried Emily C. Allen. She was born in Kins-
man, Trumbull County, Ohio, and both her
father and grandfather were prominent
pioneer surgeons in that locality of Oliio. Mr.
and Mrs. Severance had three children. The
daughters are Julia W. and Mary H. Julia
W. graduated from "Welles College and mar-
ried Dr. B. L. Millikin. The son is Prof. Allen
D. Severance, who graduated from Amherst
College in 1889, subsequently pursued his
studies at Oberlin and at Hartford Theological
Seminary and in the Universities of Halle,
Berlin and Paris. For nearly twenty years
he has been connected with Adelbert College
and the College for "Women of "Western Re-
serve University. He now holds the chair of
Associate Professor of Church History.

Louis H. Severance. The life of such a
man as the late Louis H. Severance is a great
gift, a splendid boon to anj^ cit.y or community
where its influences and activities are spread.
"While the greater part of his years was spent
in Cleveland, where he was conspicuously suc-
cessful in business affairs, ]Mr. Severance was
cosmopolitan in his interests. Like the sage
of old he might have said truly ' ' Nothing that
is human fails to touch my heart and inter-
ests." He was peculiai-ly gifted as a financier
and business executive, and for many years
be made his life and fortune a great gift to
the extension of civilization and Christianity
to the uttermost parts of the world.

He was born at Cleveland, August 1, 1838,
and died in that city June 25, 1913. A very
few words will suffice to indicate his family
relations. He was a son of Solomon Lewis
and Mary H. (Long) Severance. His father
was an enterprising young merchant of Cleve-



land, and died less than a month before the
birth of his son Louis. The mother was the
only daughter of the noted Dr. David Long,
Cleveland's first physician.

After attending the public schools of Cleve-
land until the age of eighteen Louis H. Sever-
ance entered the Commercial National Bank
of that city and remained with it connectedly
for eight years, save for his hundred days'
service in the Union army in 1863. After the
war he went to Titusville, Pennsylvania, and
became connected with the oil industry. While
there he formed connections and associations
which later made him a power in that group
of men who established and developed the
colossal Standard Oil Company'. He returned
to Cleveland in 1871, and from 1876 to 1895
was treasurer of the Standard Oil Company
and one of the chief factors in its successful
management. After resigning the office of
treasurer he continued as one of the large
stockholders of the corporation.

It would be a difficult task and perhaps
superfluous to enumerate all his varied associ-
ations with business and financial undertak-
ings. He was a stockholder and director in
railway companies, banks and industrial corpo-
rations. Shortly before his death he was
elected vice president of the Society for Sav-
ings, which he had previously served as trustee.

Louis H. Severance was a Cleveland citizen
whose reputation is based not only upon wealth
and substantial influence, but upon honorable
character and useful activities in every busi-
ness and personal relation. The door which
opened to him the widest usefulness in human-
itarian enterprise was the Presbj^terian Church
of which he was a consistent member from
boyhood. In 1875 he united with the "Wood-
land Avenue Presbyterian Church, and was
one of its active members until death. He
became assistant superintendent of its Sun-
day School in 1882, was elected superintendent
in 1897, and from 1894 until his death was a
church elder. Of his home church associa-
tions Rev. Dr. Stanley "^'^hite wrote in the
Missionary Review of the World in the issue
of December, 1913: "Mr. Severance's love
and devotion for this church never wavered.
He gave it his time, his thought and his sup-
port. It was a noble tribute to him that at
the memorial service on Sunday, September
8, the great church was almost filled by those
who had learned to consider Mr. Severance
not simply their benefactor, but their brother
and servant for Christ's sake."

It was his individual generosity that made



CLEVELAND AND ITS ENVIRONS



325



possible the building of the Mayflower and
Boulevard chapels of Cleveland, both of which
institutions were dedicated in 1897. Another
cause, the worthiness and value of which he
earh^ recognized, was the Young Men's Chris-
tian Association and the Young "Women's
Christian Association, and he contributed to
their work both in Cleveland and elsewhere.
From 1S93 until 1903 Mr. Severance was presi-
dent of the Cleveland Presbyterian Union.
The Presbyterian churches of the nation and
the world owed much to his thought and
liberality. In 1900 he was a delegate to the
Ecumenical Conference, held in Edinburgh,
Scotland, and in 1904 was vice moderator of
the General Assembly.

Few men even of great wealth have exceeded
the breadth of his devotion to Christianity as
the fundamental principles of life. Reference
to this phase of his character is found in the
Oberlin Alumni Magazine of October, 1913,
where Dr. Dudley P. Allen, his son-in-law,
writes: "While his philanthropies were very
broad and he responded to appeals of every
sort, he seems to have been dominated by one
fundamental idea, — the building up of the
Christian church. His chief ideas seemed to
be that by the training of young men to enter
the Christian ministry the church would be
furnished with the motive power essential to
its usefulness. With this in view he turned
his attention to the subject of Christian educa-
tion. "

And in the field of Christian education and
missionary enterprise the best monuments of
his career are found. He was a trustee of
Wooster University, Oberlin College and the
Western Reserve University. He donated spe-
cial buildings to each of these, and furnished
assistance in other ways. Wooster University
in particular owes him a heavy debt of gi-ati-
tude for his liberality after the fire which de-
stroyed so many of the buildings on its campus.
Numerous other American colleges were at
different times indebted to him for assistance.
Large suras came from him for the benefit of
the Presbyterian College board. While he
found such abundance of opportunities
through the manifold enterprises of his home
church, he was only less interested and m
sympathy with Christian effort of other de-
nominations both at home and in foreign
lands. His name is connected in a practical
way with federation work in the United States.
The International Young Men's Christian As-
sociation had his active co-operation particu-



larly in Manchuria, Japan and other parts of
the Orient.

Doubtless it was from his mother, known
as an earnest promoter of missionai-y enter-
prise, he inherited his early zeal in that cause.
One of the most enduring satisfactions of his
life came from the financial means he was
able to furnish missionary endeavor. It has
been said that during the last twelve years of
his life he was "Known to have given about
five hundred thousand dollars to the work for
missions — probably but a small part of the
total amount, since it was his habit to give in
a way that would not be publicly known."

In addition to the many thousands of dollars
that were contributed to the regular and cur-
rent work of missions, Mr. Severance under-
took at different times enterprises of his ovra.
He bought tracts of land and erected resi-
dences, schools and hospitals and other build-
ings at missionary stations. Noteworthy
among these should be mentioned the Sever-
ance Hospital and Severance Medical College
at Seoul, Korea. Both of these have proved
highly successful institutions. During 1907-08
Mr. Severance made a tour around the world,
continuing sixteen months. Perhaps the
larger part of the time was devoted to a per-
sonal examination of the mission fields. As a
result he was able to see for himself conditions
and needs, and in many cases applied a prompt
and generous remedy. The tour also gave him
an opportunity to acquire a personal acquaint-
ance among the missionaries, and during the
remainder of his life he maintained an active
correspondence with these practical workers
for Christianity. Significant is the fact that
of many letters that have come from the
foreign missionary field since his death the
dominant note was emphasizing not so much
the material benefits received from Mr. Sever-
ance as the friendly co-operation, wise counsel
and sympathy which he manifested for the
individual missionaries in their labors and in
all times of need.

On his return from abroad Mr. Severance
was elected a member of the Presbyterian
Board of Foreign Missions. To that cause
he devoted a large part of his time thence-
forward. For a number of years Mr. Sever-
ance had a home in New York City. He was a
member of some of Cleveland's leading social
organizations, including the Union Club, the
Country Club, the Euclid Club, the Mayfield
Country Club.

In 1862 he married Fannie B. Benedict.



326



CLEVELAND AND ITS ENVIRONS



She died in 1S74, leaving three children : John
L. Severance, Elisabeth S. Severance and
Anne Belle Severance. Elisabeth S. Sever-
ance married Dr. Dudley P. Allen, and after
his death became the wife of ilr. F. F. Pren-
tiss. In 1894 Mr. Severance married Florence
Harkness, who died in 1895.

John L. Severance. To the notable record
of the Severance family in Cleveland, cover-
ing a period of over eighty years, John Long
Severance has contributed achievements and
abilities that rank him at once among the
foremost business leaders of the city and of
the nation.

His grandfather was a pioneer merchant of
Cleveland, and his father, the late Louis H.
Severance, was for many years an official of
The Standard Oil Company and also promi-
nent as a banker and philanthropist. There
was nothing in the character of John L. Sever-
ance which would allow him to remain the
son of a successful father. He accepted the
fortune of good birth and family position
merely as a starting point in the attainment
of still larger success.

Born at Cleveland May 8, 1864, he was
educated in the common schools of his native
city and graduated from Oberlin College in
1885. His active career began as an employe
of the Standard Oil Company of Cleveland.
He became identified with the broadening scope
of that corporation 's activities, and for several
years was treasurer and secretary of the Cleve-
land Linseed Oil Company. Later he became
a factor in organizing the American Linseed
Oil Company, a corporation which took over
the interests of the Cleveland company.

His principal business connection in recent
years has been as president of the Colonial
Salt Company. He organized this company
and has done much to fortify its position as
one of the largest business concerns of Ohio.
Mr. Severance also had a part in the organiza-
tion and for several years was secretary and
treasurer of the Linde Air Products Company.
Among other corporations with which he is
connected are the Youngstown Sheet and Tube
Company of Youngstown, director; was for
years with the Cleveland Steel Company of
Cleveland, vice president and director; the
First National Bank of Cleveland, director;
the Cleveland Trust Company, director; and
the National Carbon Company of Cleveland.

His own career, like that of the business
institutions in which he has been an executive
officer, has nothing of the meteoric and has



been rather persistent than brilliant. Those
most familiar with his business life say that
he has come up from the rank and file because
he possessed exceptional qualities as a business
builder and organizer, and his early training
and the sheer force of his inherent ability
fitted him well for a captain's rank in the
army of industry. In any well conceived
list of Cleveland business men the name of
John L. Severance would appear in the first
dozen if not at the very top.

As his business connections are of national
scope and importance, so he is also well known
in social centers of other cities. He is a mem-
ber of the Union Club, Country Club, May-
field Country Club, University Club, Rowfant
Club, Cleveland Yacht Club and Cleveland
Automobile clubs, and also belongs to the Uni-
versity Club of New York, the Automobile
Club of America and the New York Yacht
Club. He is a trustee of Oberlin College,
trustee of Auburn Seminary, Auburn, New
York, is an active member of the board of
foreign missions of the Presyterian church
and is one of the representatives of that great
denomination on the board of Nankin Uni-
versity, Nankin, China, and the Pekin Uni-
versity of Pekin, China. On November 3,
1891, Mr. Severance married Elizabeth Hunt-
ington DeWitt, of Cleveland.

Rev. Edwaed William Worthington was
for nearly twenty years rector of Grace Epis-
copal Church at Cleveland and death inter-
rupted a career which had been full of honors,
but was especially distinguished for the
strength and devotion of his service as a
churchman and humanitarian.

He was born at Batavia, New York, May
10, 1854, a son of Gad Belden and Anna Maria
(Dixon) Worthington. He was in his sixty-
second year when he died at Cleveland on
Easter Sunday, April 15, 1906.

Rev. Mr. Worthington prepared for college
in the high school at Batavia, Carey Seminary
at Oakfield, and in 1871 entered Trinity Col-
lege at Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated
from that institution A. B. in June, 1875. being
salutatorian of his graduating class. In 1878
Trinitj' College conferred upon him the degree
I\Iaster of Arts. In the meantime he had
studied thcologj' in the Berkeley Divinity
School of Middletown. Connecticut, where he
completed his course in 1878. During 1876-79
he was private secretary to the Bishop of Con-
necticut. He was ordained deacon by Bishop



CLEVELAND AND ITS ENVIRONS



327



"Williams of Connecticut in 1878, and in the
following }-ear received the orders of priest at
New Haven.

Mr. Worthington had charge of the church
of St. John the Evangelist at Talesville, Con-
necticut, in 1878-79 ; was rector of Christ Par-
ish, West Haven, Connecticut, 1879 to 1882;
of St. John's Parish at Mount ilorris. New
York, 1882 to 1887 ; and was with Grace Epis-
copal Church at Cleveland from 1887 imtil
his death.

Among the many honors and responsibilities
conferred upon him by his church he was
assistant secretary of the House of Deputies
of the General Convention from 1883 ; secre-
tary of the Diocese of Ohio from 1890 to 1901 ;
president of the Standing Committee of the
Ohio Diocese from 1896 ; a deputy to the Gen-
eral Convention from 1892 ; and also a trustee
of the Church Home.

Rev. Mr. Worthington was author of sev-
eral books. His "Ember Days and Other
Papers," published in 1897, was a volume of
religious essays still widely read and studied.
He was also author of "The Holy Eucharist,
Devotionally Considered," published in 1901,
and a voluminous work entitled "A Study of
Occasional Offices of the Prayer Book," pub-
lished in 1903. He also wrote extensively for
various church publications.

While long regarded as one of the most
scholarly men in the ministry of Cleveland,
^Ir. Worthington is doubtless best remembered
for the quality of his work among the poor and
unfortunate. Whenever a family in sickness
or distress called on him he never refused to
give them aid and was ready to go at any
time, whether day or night, to visit the sick in
the hospitals. All the downtown hospitals of
Cleveland welcomed his presence but he was
especially interested in the work of the Huron
Street Hospital. He commanded the love and
admiration of all who knew him. and was re-
garded as the highest type of a Christian min-
ister. He .sought none of the public notice
which has been received by some ministers of
the Gospel and always did his work quietly
and without ostentation and guided entirely



Online LibraryElroy McKendree AveryA history of Cleveland and its environs; the heart of new Connecticut (Volume 2) → online text (page 65 of 113)