CWRU Links

HANDY, TRUMAN P.

HANDY, TRUMAN P. (17 Jan. 1807-25 Mar. 1898), banker and financier, was born in Paris, Oneida County, N.Y. to William and Eunice (Parmalee) Handy. He entered banking at 18 as a clerk. In 1830 he helped organize the Bank of Buffalo and was a teller. He moved to Cleveland in Mar. 1832 at the request of historian Geo. Bancroft, who, with associates, acquired the defunct COMMERCIAL BANK OF LAKE ERIE. Handy was cashier when the bank reopened. From 1843-45 Handy operated his own banking office, T. P. Handy & Co. In 1845, he became a director, cashier, largest stockholder, and chief executive officer of the new Commercial Branch Bank. In 1862 he became president of Merchants Branch Bank; and became president of Merchants Natl. Bank in 1865, continuing with its successor, Mercantile Natl. Bank, from 1885 until his retirement in 1892.

Handy helped organize railroads and manufacturing enterprises, including CLEVELAND & NEWBURGH RAILROAD CO.; Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad Co.; Cleveland Iron Mining Co.; and Cleveland Rolling Mill Co. He was also president and executive committee member of the CLEVELAND CLEARINGHOUSE ASSOC. As a member of the first school board, Handy helped establish Cleveland public schools; he also helped organize CLEVELAND UNIVERSITY (1850); incorporate Case School of Applied Science and Western Reserve University; and was a founder and president of CLEVELAND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. He was a founding member of the Second Presbyterian Church (1844), and was also first president of the CLEVELAND MOZART SOCIETY. Handy married Harriet N. Hall (d. 1880) in 1832. They had 2 children: a son who died in infancy and a daughter, Helen. Handy died in Cleveland and is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Annals of the Early Settlers Assoc. (1898).