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BROWNELL, ABNER

BROWNELL, ABNER (1813-1857), a member of the city council and mayor of Cleveland from 1852-55, was born in Massachusetts, the son of Nathan C. and Elizabeth Adams Smith Brownell. He was educated in local schools, and came to Cleveland in the 1840s while in the employ (1846-49) of the W. A. Otis Co. as a dealer in iron and glass. From 1849-53 he was a partner in the banking firm of Wick, Otis, & Brownell. His Massachusetts upbringing played a great role in shaping his personal and community life, and in 1853 he became president of the New England Society. In 1849 Brownell ran as a Democrat for city council, a post he held through 1852, when he successfully ran for mayor with no opposition. He became the first Cleveland mayor to serve 2 terms in office (until 1855). While mayor, he supported city departments, new schools, new sewers, and loans for area roads. After leaving office, he became a commission merchant until his death in 1857. Brownell and his wife, Eliza, were married in the early 1830s, shortly before he settled in Cleveland. They had four children: Charles W., Cornelia G., John, and Wilford S.