HUNTINGTON, JOHN (8 Mar. 1832-10 Jan. 1893), industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist, was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, the son of Margaret (Brace) and Hugh Huntington. He immigrated to Cleveland in 1854, and started his own contracting business in 1857. In 1863 he joined Clark, Payne & Co., an oil-refining business, and patented many inventions for improving furnaces, oil refining methods, and machinery used to produce barrels.
In 1870 the company became part of STANDARD OIL CO. Huntington became part-owner of a large fleet of lake vessels in 1886, and later vice-president of Cleveland Stone Co. Serving 13 years on city council, Huntington supported many city improvements, including a paid fire department; a municipal sewer system; deepening the river channel; reorganizing the waterworks department; and constructing the SUPERIOR VIADUCT.
In 1889 Huntington established the John Huntington Benevolent Trust with an initial gift of $200,000, which benefited over 40 charitable institutions annually. Huntington married Jane Beck in 1852 and had 4 surviving children: Margaret (Mrs. Francis P. Smith), Hannah J. (Mrs. A. C. Hord), Matilda (Mrs. Edward A. Merritt), and William B.; another son, Arthur, was killed in a train accident. After Mary died in 1882, Huntington married Mariette L. Goodwin. Huntington died in London, England, while visiting the London Polytechnic schools, prototypes of the school he envisioned for Cleveland and for which he left a substantial fortune. The JOHN HUNTINGTON POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE existed from 1918 until 1953. Huntington's gifts also helped build and maintain the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART (1916). In 1926 the Cleveland Metropolitan Park System acquired his former lakefront home, named Huntington Park in his honor. Huntington was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.