CWRU Links

SCOVILL, PHILO

SCOVILL, PHILO (30 Nov. 1791-5 June 1875), pioneer, contractor, and merchant, was born in Salisbury, Conn., to Timothy and Chloe (Kelsey) Scovill. The family moved several times during his youth, and in 1816 came to Cleveland. Scovill established himself as a merchant in the drug and grocery business. Disenchanted with this line of work, he moved into a lumber venture with Thos. O. Young. Once a local sawmill was completed, Scovill & Young began building and house contracting. At that time their only competition was LEVI JOHNSON, and because the town was growing rapidly, both businesses prospered. In 1825, Scovill built Franklin House, a popular tavern, which he managed until 1848. In 1938 the tavern was torn down, and the site became a parking lot. During his career, Scovill purchased over 110 acres of land in and around Cleveland. The popularity achieved through his entrepreneurial developments gained him seats as county commissioner, 1827; Whig representative to the state legislature, 1835-36; and on CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL, 1841-42. Scovill was content to serve only single terms in office. During his later career, he became director of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad Co. and a founder of First Natl. Bank (1863), later its president. Scovill married Jemima Bixby in 1819; she was the founder of the Old Women's Home of Cleveland. The Scovills had 2 sons, Edward and Oliver, and a daughter, Caroline. Scovill died in Cleveland and was buried in ERIE STREET CEMETERY.