NICOLA, BENJAMIN (BENEDETTO) D. (17 March 1879-21 March 1970) prominent Cleveland jurist, was born in Monterero Val Cocchiara, Italy, the son of Vincenzo and Pasqua Miraldi Nicola. The family came to the United States in 1881 and settled in Uhrichsville, Ohio, where Benjamin graduated from Uhrichsville high school in 1897. He attended Ohio State University, receiving his LLB degree in 1900. After passing the bar in 1904, Nicola came to Cleveland to open a law office, the first practicing attorney of Italian ancestry in the city. During his long career, he was an officer and counsel for several local companies, including the Euclid Railroad Co. and South Euclid Concrete. Associated with several law firms over the years, he was the senior partner in Nicola and Horn by the 1930s. In addition, Nicola served as U.S. Commissioner for the northern district 1930-1964. As commissioner, he ruled on legal issues such as the acquisition and retention of evidence for use in Federal cases. Nicola was appointed to the Common Pleas Court in 1948 where he served until the end of 1964.
Nicola married Harriet Stuckey in Midvale, Ohio 29 June 1905, and they had 4 children, Kenneth, Esther, Margaret, and Samuel. He died in Aurora, Ohio, and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY in Cleveland.