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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

AVERY, ELROY MCKENDREE

AVERY, ELROY MCKENDREE

AVERY, ELROY MCKENDREE (14 July 1844-1 Dec. 1935), author, historian, lecturer, scientist, and educator, was born in Erie, Monroe County, Mich. to Caspar H. and Dorothy Putnam Avery. At 17, he volunteered as a private in the Civil War, also serving as a war correspondent for the Detroit Daily Tribune. Avery entered the University of Michigan in Sept. 1867, earning his Ph.B degree in June 1871. He married educator Catherine Hitchcock Tilden on 2 July 1870. Soon after graduation, Avery was appointed superintendent of E. Cleveland (Ohio) schools, becoming principal of East High School in 1872, and principal of Cleveland Normal School in 1878.

Avery wrote high school textbooks on physical science, as well as several histories, including Cleveland in a Nutshell (1893), and History of Cleveland and Its Environs (3 vols., 1918). He served on city council (1891-92) and in the Ohio state senate (1893-97). He founded the Children's Fresh Air Camp in 1890, serving as its president for 13 terms beginning in 1895. In 1905, Avery and 11 others studied the Cleveland public schools, making recommendations that were distributed throughout the country. He was founder and first president of the Western Reserve Chap. of the Sons of the American Revolution (chartered 5 May 1906). Avery received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan (1874), Hillsdale College (1881), Wilberforce University (1894), and Hillsdale College (1911). After Catherine died on 22 Dec. 1911, Avery married Ella Wilson on 15 June 1916; the couple had no children. They moved to Florida in 1919 where Avery died. He is buried in Knollwood Cemetery, Cleveland.