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BINGHAM, WILLIAM

BINGHAM, WILLIAM (9 Mar. 1816-17 Apr. 1904), a prominent Cleveland businessman, was born in Andover, Conn. to Capt. Cyrus and Abigail Foote Bingham. He was educated in Andover and Monson, Mass. schools before coming to Cleveland when he was 20. His father helped him establish a hardware business with GEO. WORTHINGTON, and in 1841 he purchased the firm of Clark & Murfey, organizing it as Wm. Bingham & Co., dealing not only in hardware but also in metals. In 1846-47, Bingham served on CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL, initiating the establishment of a city waterworks system and supervising construction of the first tunnel into the lake for drinking water. In 1862 he was appointed to the city board of sinking fund trustees. During the CIVIL WAR, he raised volunteers, relieved disabled soldiers and their families, and raised money for the Union. It appears he was considered for the Republican nomination for mayor of Cleveland in 1865 and 1867, but he apparently avoided the honor. In 1873 he was elected senator; and in 1876, Pres. Grant appointed him to the board of Indian commissioners, from which he resigned in 1877, apparently because he had to make good on a defaulted note he had endorsed for a colleague. Bingham was also involved in banking and railroads; and served as the first president of the UNION CLUB (1870). He was a trustee of the Case Library Assoc. and of the FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. On 2 Jan. 1843, Bingham married Elizabeth Beardsley. They had 3 children: Caroline Elizabeth, Chas. William, and Cassandra Hersh. Bingham died at his home in Cleveland and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.