CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BELLAMY, GEORGE ALBERT

BELLAMY, GEORGE ALBERT

BELLAMY, GEORGE ALBERT (29 Sept. 1872-8 July 1960), founded HIRAM HOUSE, the first social settlement in Cleveland. Born in Cascade, Mich. to William and Lucy Stow Bellamy, his family's involvement in the Disciples (Christian) church led him to enter the ministry. While studying at Hiram College from 1892-96, he became interested in settlement work (see SETTLEMENT HOUSES) and joined students in establishing Hiram House in Cleveland in 1896, assuming its control in 1897 and developing it into the largest and most financially secure settlement in the city.

Bellamy was early interested in urban, environmental reform, working for housing code regulation and serving on the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce's Public Bath House Committee (1901) and Committee on the Housing Problem (1903). Later he became interested in recreational work, overseeing the city's first night-lighted playground at Hiram House in 1900, promoting a recreational bond issue in 1912, and named unpaid supervisor of the city's playgrounds. Bellamy lectured for the Natl. Playground Assoc., and directed the establishment of recreational facilities at military camps during WORLD WAR I.

Bellamy's social-work philosophy changed after the war. In the 1920s he evolved a "Child Growth and Development Program,'' directed toward molding individual character traits, to which he committed a large portion of Hiram House's resources. Bellamy became increasingly conservative, opposing Franklin Roosevelt's welfare programs. He retired from Hiram House in 1946. Bellamy was married twice; first to Hiram House co-worker Marie Laura Parker, who died in 1909: then Clara Horn in 1912. He had four children: Laura (Cole), Alice (Benham), Ester (Anderson), and Betty (Pempin). Bellamy died in Cleveland and was cremated.


Hiram House Records, WRHS.

Grabowski, John J., "A Social Settlement in a Neighborhood in Transition, Hiram House, 1896-1926" (Ph.D. diss., Case Western Reserve University, 1977).