ORTH, SAMUEL PETER (1 Aug. 1873-26 Feb. 1922), attorney, educator, lecturer, author, and historian, was born in Capiac, Mich., the son of German Evangelical clergyman Rev. John and Katharine Troeller Orth. He accompanied Frederick A. Cook on his expedition to Greenland in 1894, graduated from Oberlin College with a B.S. in 1896, and studied law and political science at the University of Michigan from 1896-97. He held the chair of political science and public law at Buchtel College, Akron, from 1897-1902, was appointed honorary university fellow in political science at Columbia University, and received his Ph.D. degree in public law from Columbia in 1903, coming then to Cleveland to practice law. He was elected a member of the Board of Education in 1904 and became president in 1905, appointing an "Educational Commission" to investigate the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, whose findings led to the establishment of a technical high school, a high school of commerce, a comprehensive plan for playgrounds, a reorganized school curriculum, and a normal school for teacher training.
While in Cleveland, Orth was also assistant U.S. attorney (1905-06) and lectured on political science at Case School of Applied Science, WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, and Oberlin College. He left Cleveland in 1912 to teach at Cornell University. Orth wrote several books, including Centralization of Administration in Ohio (1903), and A History of Cleveland (3 vols.) (1910). Orth married Jane Davis on 17 Aug. 1899. The couple was en route to Egypt as part of a sabbatical leave when Orth died in Nice, France. They had no children.