LEGGETT, MORTIMER DORMER (19 Apr. 1821-6 Jan. 1896) promoted free, graded, public education in Ohio and has been credited with created the public school system in Akron (1845). In Cleveland, with CHARLES FRANCIS BRUSH and George W. Stockley, he founded the BRUSH ELECTRIC COMPANY (1880), precursor to the GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, and was elected a permanent commissioner of the Cuyahoga County SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT (1888). Leggett was born near Ithaca, NY, to Isaac and Mary (Strong) Leggett; the family moved to a farm near Montville, OH (Geauga Cty.) in 1836. He entered Teachers' Seminary in Kirtland, OH, in 1839. Admitted to the bar in 1844, he also graduated from Willoughby Medical College in 1845. In the 1850s, Leggett served as school superintendent in the Ohio cities of Akron, Warren, and Zanesville and also practiced LAW for a time with Jacob D. Cox. In 1855 his law firm, which included Judge Chester Hayden and Marcus King, created the Poland Law College, forerunner of the OHIO STATE AND UNION LAW COLLEGE. Leggett taught at the college from 1856-57.
In the CIVIL WAR, Leggett first served on the staff of Gen. George B. McClellan in Virginia. He led the 78th Ohio at the battle of Ft. Donelson, TN (12-16 Feb. 1862) and was wounded at both Champion's Hill (16 May 1863) and Vicksburg, MS. After his command (3d Div., 17th Army Corps) captured Bald Hill, Atlanta, GA (21 July 1864), the hill was renamed in his honor. Leggett resigned on 28 Sept. 1865 as Major General, U.S. Volunteers. He served as President Ulysses S. Grant's commissioner of patents (1871-74) before coming to Cleveland. Leggett established the law firm of M.D. Leggett & Co., with partners Albert Lynett, Charles H. Dorer, and William E. Donnelly.
On 9 July 1844, Leggett married Marilla Wells (d. 1876); they had 5 children, 4 of whom lived to adulthood: Wells, Leverett L., Mrs. H.A. Seymour, and another son. In 1879 Leggett married Weltha Post of Sandusky. Leggett is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.
Mortimer D. Leggett Papers, WRHS.