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CHADSEY, MILDRED

CHADSEY, MILDRED (6 June 1884-3 Apr. 1940), prominent in local reform work, came to Cleveland in 1912 after graduating from the University of Chicago as the city's first housing commissioner, which included the duties of sanitary inspector. She used her authority and uniformed sanitary police to force landlords to repair plumbing, clean buildings, and provide fire protection. In her first year, she caused over 200 tenements to be demolished or vacated. In 1913 Chadsey formed the Cleveland Bureau of Sanitation to oversee housing and sanitation and served as director. A political move by city council in 1915, by officials who owned tenements, threatened her job; but citizens FREDERICK H. GOFF and SAMUEL MATHER vowed to pay Chadsey's salary if council would not.

Chadsey worked for progressive legislation, including the city's dance hall ordinance of 1911 and housing code; was active in the labor movement and the CONSUMERS LEAGUE OF OHIO; and was a founder of the WOMEN'S CITY CLUB. During WORLD WAR I Chadsey managed Red Cross activities in Italy. From 1921-24 she edited the Cleveland Year Book, an annual report of events outlining social progress.

In 1919, Chadsey was hired by Western Reserve University to teach social-work administration, later becoming director of the group work services division of the School of Applied Social Sciences, continuing until 1924. Chadsey helped found and directed the Adult Education Assoc. in 1925. She was also active in the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE, CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, and LEAGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. Born in Cherokee, Kansas, Chadsey was the daughter of Asa Newton and Selina Elizabeth (Adams) Chadsey. She never married. She died in Cleveland and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.