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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TUCKERMAN, LOUIS BRYANT

TUCKERMAN, LOUIS BRYANT

TUCKERMAN, LOUIS BRYANT (15 Feb. 1850-5 Mar. 1902), reformer dubbed the "Father of Cleveland Liberalism" by TOM L. JOHNSON, was born in Rome, Ashtabula County, Ohio, to Elizabeth Ellinwood and Jacob Tuckerman. He graduated from Amherst College, attended Yale Theological Seminary, and received his medical degree from Long Island in 1877. He organized the FRANKLIN CLUB, where municipal affairs, public ownership of utilities, and public health were discussed. Tuckerman claimed the club, through its petitions and delegations to city officials, was responsible for progressive reforms; while their weekly discussions, reported in the Citizen and conservative dailies, spread their progressive message far beyond the club.

An idealist and moderate, Tuckerman promoted third-party campaigns of various working-class parties before supporting the Populist party in the 1890s (see POPULIST POLITICAL PARTIES). In 1885 and 1889 he ran for local office, campaigning for better hospital facilities, more adequate health services, labor representation on the Police Board, public ownership of utilities, and an improved school system. Though he received few votes, he generated public interest in the issues.

Beginning 1885, Tuckerman edited the Workman, a $.01 labor journal discussing important issues before the state legislature relating to labor, selling the paper after 3 years to devote more time to his medical practice; the paper collapsed a few months later. As a pioneer member of the Cleveland ACADEMY OF MEDICINE, Tuckerman stirred up his colleagues on urban public-health issues; and heading the organization's committee on legislation, lobbied in Columbus for public-health laws.

Tuckerman married Mary Ellen Hopkins and had four sons: Louis B., JACOB E., Warren H., and William C. He died of malaria and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.