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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL

CLEVELAND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL

The CLEVELAND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL (also called the Industrial School and Home) was established on 5 Jan. 1857 as the City Industrial School. The CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY organized later the same year as its fundraising arm. The Cleveland Industrial School evolved from the "Ragged School," a Sunday school begun in 1853 in one room at Canal and Water streets and taught by Rev. DILLON PROSSER. (This was the city's second Ragged School, see EDUCATION). After the Ragged School closed for lack of funds, JOHN A. FOOTE urged the city to establish the City Industrial School (called the Cleveland Industrial School by 1858). It opened with 25 pupils in an abandoned schoolhouse on Champlain St. Supported by city funds and donations, it educated children too poor to pay the tuition required by other schools, housed some homeless children, and occasionally attempted to find homes for orphans. By 1859 the school served over 600 scholars and had living space for 10-14. It offered shop and sewing for both girls and boys, in addition to regular instruction, and ran a brush factory under the auspices of the Children's Aid Society's Home for Needy Children. The city also began a west-side branch at the corner of Bridge and York streets.

Robert Waterton served as superintendent of both the Cleveland Industrial School and the Children's Aid Society from 1857-76. During Waterton's tenure over 5,000 children were enrolled; his 3 daughters comprised the teaching staff. The school moved to 10427 Detroit Rd. (1867), on land donated in 1868 by LEONARD CASE, JR., and ELIZABETH (ELIZA) JENNINGS and purchased from the Jennings estate. In 1876 the city withdrew support from the Cleveland Industrial School and its branch, having opened a House of Refuge for vagrant and "incorrigible" youth. Waterton resigned. The Children's Aid Society then assumed the responsibility for housing these children at the Detroit Rd. site. It carried the title of the Cleveland Industrial School and Home but was now totally supported by the Children's Aid Society.


Children's Aid Society Records, WRHS.

See also CHILD CARE.