On July 22, 1796, General Moses Cleaveland, a veteran of the American Revolution, and his surveying party arrived in the vast wilderness of Connecticut’s Western Reserve. Some of Connecticut’s wealthiest and most prominent men, including General Cleaveland, had formed the Connecticut Land Company in order to survey and encourage settlement in the Western Reserve, in the Old Northwest Territory. After Cleveland’s surveying party completed mapping the village, their job was done, and they returned to Connecticut.
In May of the following year, Lorenzo Carter, the first permanent settler in Cleaveland arrived, from Vermont, and was soon joined by his wife, Rebecca, and their nine children. ...view middle of the document...
66th Street, and began farming in 1819. Five years later they opened a tavern to serve the stage coach traffic. Dunham Tavern stands to this day as the oldest building on its original site in the city of Cleveland.
The growth of Cleveland as an industrial center brought with it great wealth. Euclid Street, on the east side of the Cuyahoga River, became the desired address for Cleveland’s capitalists, while Franklin Boulevard in Ohio City on the river’s west side became that of the city’s industrialists. In its first one hundred years, the eastern boundary moved from E. 14th Street to E. 116th Street. In 1830 the town covered 1 square mile; twelve square miles in 1870; and, more than 28 square miles in 1890.
The magnificent homes of successful business men such as John D. Rockefeller, Samuel Mather, Jeptha Wade, George Gund, Charles F. Brush, John L. Severance and Marcus A. Hanna soon lined Euclid Avenue. Nearly 250 homes comprised what had come to be known as Millionaire’s Row – the most beautiful street in America. It is said that at one time, one-half of all of the world’s millionaires lived in Cleveland, and if that is true, it is also true that that wealth came at a terrible cost – the health of those who labored to create that wealth.
Dr. David Long was the first permanently settled physician to practice in Cleveland when he arrived in 1810, and remained the only doctor in the city until 1814. As early as 1826, the city poorhouse furnished rudimentary hospital care for the indigent, elderly, and chronically ill. Some improvements in hospital services were made in 1836 and 1855; however, it was not until 1889 that construction of a modern City Hospital was begun.
In 1832, the arrival of the steamboat Henry Clay introduced cholera to the region. Cleveland’s trustees, including Dr. Long, established a board of health to deal with the threat. The board, in turn, established quarantine stations and a hospital, and prescribed appropriate sanitary measures. Out-patient medical care for the neighborhood poor began in 1856 with the appointment of Dr. Thomas G. Cleveland as city physician. Following the Civil War, the increased population and numbers of poor made it necessary to restructure the health-care system and to appoint additional physicians in 1871 and thereafter, as the need arose.
In 1886, four health centers provided care, training, and inspection services to the city and in some cases to county residents. In the last quarter of the 19th century, sanitary reformers throughout the nation embarked on a crusade to improve public health and personal hygiene. Dr. Frank Wells, the Cleveland health officer, approved their aims but did not join their ranks. In the annual report of the Board of Health for 1876, Wells attributed the high death rate to poor sanitation, germs, and adverse socioeconomic conditions. He argued that the leading cause of disease was the filth that accumulated in the city.
Health ordinances enacted up until 1875 dealt...