CWRU Links

WESTROPP, CLARA E.

WESTROPP, CLARA E. (7 July 1886-25 June 1965), cofounder of WOMEN'S FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK and a leading supporter of Roman Catholic missions, was born in Cleveland to Thos. P. and Clara Stoeckel Westropp, graduated from West High School and Dyke School of Commerce, and later studied at the Savings & Loan Institute in Mercersburg, Pa. Convinced women could bring to the business world an appreciation of home ownership, and recognizing the value of regular saving, Westropp and her sister, LILLIAN M. WESTROPP, began a savings and loan association directed and run by women in 1922, the first such institution in the country. Originally organized under a state charter, it was reorganized under a federal charter in 1935, renamed Women's Federal Savings & Loan Assoc. of Cleveland. Clara personally sold over half the initial stock capitalization of $85,000. By 1954, the association was the 3d-largest savings and loan in Cuyahoga County, with assets exceeding $38 million. In 1952, the Cuyahoga Savings & Loan League chose Westropp as its president, the first woman holding that office. She was the founder and for 20 years chairman of St. Xavier Mission Assoc. of the Cleveland Diocese, and was also diocesan mission chairman of the Natl. Council of Catholic Women. In 1965 she was awarded posthumously the Mission Secretarial Award from Washington, D.C., making her Catholic Woman of the Year. Also posthumously, Clara E. Westropp Jr. High School was named in her honor. Westropp died in Cleveland. She was unmarried.