KIRTLAND, JARED POTTER (10 Nov. 1793-10 Dec. 1877), naturalist, physician, and a founder of the CLEVELAND ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES (forerunner of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY) and the Western Reserve University School of Medicine, was born in Connecticut, the son of Turhand and Polly (Potter) Kirtland. In 1815, he graduated from Yale University's medical department and practiced medicine in Durham, Conn. before coming to Poland, Ohio, in 1823. Kirtland was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1828, serving 6 years, chairing the Penitentiary Committee, advocating prison reform, and becoming known as the "Father of the New Penitentiary." In 1837 he became professor of the theory of medicine at the Medical College of Ohio and moved to Cleveland. In 1840-41 he taught at Willoughby Medical School. In 1844, along with JOHN DELAMATER†, HORACE ACKLEY†, and JOHN CASSELS†, he founded Cleveland Medical College--the medical department of Western Reserve College. As professor he taught medicine there from 1844 until his retirement in 1864. In 1851 Kirtland served on a committee to secure safe drinking water for Cleveland. Kirtland was one of America's leading naturalists, with a great interest in horticulture and sea shells. He published numerous natural history articles, was elected to the American Philosophical Society, and was a founder and president of the Kirtland Society of Natural History and the Cleveland Academy of Natural Science. After 1843 he lived in Rockport (LAKEWOOD). Kirtland married twice, first to Caroline Atwater in 1815, then to Hannah Taucey in 1825. He had three children: Mary E., Carolyn A., and Jared P., Jr.
Kirtland and Morse Family Papers, WRHS.