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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CAIN, FRANK C. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CAIN, FRANK C. (6 May 1877-7 Nov. 1967) placed his stamp upon the suburb of CLEVELAND HEIGHTS during a record 32-year tenure as mayor. Born in Springfield, O., he came to Cleveland in 1895 and went into business as a grain broker. He moved to Cleveland Hts. on 1 Aug. 1900, the day of his marriage to Alma Lambert. In 1909 he was elected to the village council, and he became mayor in 1914. When Cleveland Hts. became a city in 1921, Cain headed a charter Commission that installed a mayor-city manager plan of government. Technically elected mayor by the council, Cain headed a slate of councilmen that went undefeated for 18 elections. In his last election he received a record total of 81% of the vote. Under his mayoralty Cleveland Hts. enacted the state's first comprehensive zoning laws and developed the wooded park at Lee Rd. and Superior Ave. that was later named in his honor. Cain's influence was credited with inducing the Rockefellers to donate part of their FOREST HILL estate for more parkland and the CLEVELAND RAILWAY CO. to replace streetcar lines with express buses on Cedar Rd. and Fairmount Blvd. Even ORIS† and MANTIS VAN SWERINGEN† were said to have chosen undeveloped SHAKER HEIGHTS for their model suburb rather than battle Cain's Cleveland Hts. for partially subsidized street improvements. Cain became a recognized spokesman for all Cuyahoga County SUBURBS in his fierce opposition to the sacrifice of their independence to any plan of REGIONAL GOVERNMENT Long a member of the CITY CLUB OF CLEVELAND, he served as president in 1922-3 and was later treasurer of its Forum Foundation Fund. He retired from city government in 1946 and died 4 years after his wife, survived by their 3 children: Donald L., Dorothy Caulkins, and Lucile Dalzell.

Campbell, Thomas F. Freedom's Forum: The City Club, 1912-1962 (1962).

Last Modified: 04 Mar 1998 03:13:55 PM

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