WALWORTH, ASHBEL W. (1790-24 Aug. 1844), responsible for improving Cleveland's harbor, was born in Croton, Conn. to Julianna Morgan and JOHN W. WALWORTH. He moved with his family to New York State, then to Painesville in 1800, coming to Cleveland in 1806. After his father's death in 1812, Walworth assumed his duties as Cleveland postmaster, and collector of the District of Erie (i.e., the port of Cuyahoga), an office he held until 1829. Walworth was elected township clerk (1815-17), treasurer (1821-26), and justice of the peace (1823-26). In 1835, he was treasurer of the Tippecanoe Club of Cuyahoga County, and was also a member of the First Presbyterian Society of Cleveland, which purchased land for FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (Old Stone Church).
Walworth wanted to improve Cleveland's commercial possibilities as a port. The sandbar continuously forming over the mouth of the CUYAHOGA RIVER needed to be rectified; so Walworth helped form Cleveland Pier Co. in 1815 to construct a pier into the lake, which was later wrecked in a storm. Walworth received $5,000 from Congress in 1824 to construct another pier, which did not keep the river mouth clear. Cleveland only received 30-40 ships a year, so Congress would not grant additional funds; therefore Clevelanders raised $150 to send Walworth to Washington to promote Cleveland, where he secured $10,000 and help from the U.S. Engineer Corps.
In 1820 Walworth married Mary Ann Dunlop. They had five children: John, Anne, Sarah, William, and Mary. Walworth and his wife are buried in ERIE ST. CEMETERY.
View finding aid for the Walworth Family Papers, WRHS.