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GRASSELLI, CAESAR AUGUSTIN

GRASSELLI, CAESAR AUGUSTIN

GRASSELLI, CAESAR AUGUSTIN (1850-28 July 1927), president and later board chairman of GRASSELLI CHEMICAL CO., was born in Cincinnati to Fredericka Eisenbarth and Eugene Ramiro Grasselli. His father, a chemist, taught him chemical-plant construction and operation, and he attended Mt. St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Md. When he was 17 his father moved his chemical business to Cleveland in 1867. In 1873 he became a partner.

Grasselli helped develop high-explosives manufacturing; in 1885 he introduced American saltcake, or sodium sulfate, to the glass industry, which had used British supplies. After his father's death, Grasselli in 1885 became president of Grasselli Chemical Co., until 1916 when he became board chairman and his son, Thos. S., succeeded him as president. Company assets grew to $30 million, other companies were absorbed, and furnaces to manufacture zinc and plants for zinc smelting were erected. The Grasselli empire encompassed 14 plants when it merged with Du Pont in 1928.

Grasselli was also the first president of Woodland Ave. Savings & Trust Co. (1886), and president of Broadway Savings & Trust Co. (1893); in 1920, when these merged with 27 other institutions to form Union Trust Co., Grasselli remained as a director. He was a founder of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART and CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC. He gave the family home to the CLEVELAND SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND, and in 1922 gave the Rose-Mary Home for Crippled Children to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, in memory of his wife, Johanna Ireland Grasselli. Grasselli had seven children: Eugene, Thomas, Josephine, Anna, Ida, Caesar, and Frederick. He was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Grasselli Family Papers, WRHS.