Cuyahoga County OHGenWeb


Institutions can be wonderful sources of genealogical information. Also they can prove to be the answer to relatives who "dropped off the face of the earth." Watching details in records like the census can provide clues to someone's whereabouts. Institutions range from hospitals and asylums to homes for unwed mothers, orphanages, prisons and schools for different disabilities. Finding records for them can be a challenge. Some remain with the institution, some are in record repositories. Ohio Historical Society has many of these records.

Photos by Laura Hine. Left MetroHealth Medical Center from Riverside Cemetery. Right old Cinecraft building at 2515 Franklin, surrounded by Lutheran Hospital.


  • 1813 - First hospital was a temporary barracks at Fort Huntington at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River
  • 1826 - Poorhouse hospital near Erie Street Cemetery
  • 1837 - The above poorhouse hospital became the City Hospital
  • 1843 - The Cleveland Medical College was founded
  • 1851 - City Hospital torn down
  • 1852 - U.S. Marine Hospital opened - Erie and Murrison Streets
  • 1852 - St. Joseph Hospital opened - served Irish laborers - Willett and Monroe Street
  • 1855 - City Infirmary built
  • 1855 - Cleveland State Hospital opened. (aka Turney Tech in present day Garfield Heights). This hospital was supported by the state as a psychiatric facility. It was originally called the Northern Ohio Lunatic Asylum and later known as Newburgh State Hospital. The purpose of the asylum was to have a quiet place located outside the city limits. There was a fire in 1872, after which another building was built. The State began phasing out the hospital in 1972. The old building on Turney Road was torn down in 1977.
  • 1856 - Cleveland Homeopathic Hospital opened - at Lakeside Ave. and Clinton Rd.
  • 1864 - Founding of Charity Hospital Medical College
  • 1865 - St. Vincent de Paul Hospital opened - 2351 E. 22nd
  • 1866 - Wilson Street Hospital opened (later known as University Hospital)
  • 1874 - Huron Road Hospital was incorporated and located at 13951 Terrace Rd. in East Cleveland.
  • 1875 - Wilson Street Hospital moved to Marine Hospital at E. 9th and Lakeside
  • 1878 - Two women, Merrick and Parsons, founded the Women's & Children's Free Medical & Surgical Dispensary out of a corner office of the Homeopathic Medical College on Prospect. By 1882 this organization moved to 16 Webster St. (between E. 9th and E. 14th).
    • By 1894 this same dispensary became Woman's Hospital.
    • 8/1/1913 This Woman's Hospital was now located at 3546 Cedar
    • 5/1/1915 This Woman's Hospital moved to 2057 E. 107
    • 1918 to 1946 this Woman's Hospital was located at E. 101
  • 1878 - A young women's volunteer group called Rainbow Circle of Kings' Daughters founded the Rainbow Hospital. In 1900 Rainbow Hospital was moved from Glenville to Mayfield Rd. in South Euclid. It was later moved again to Green Rd. in South Euclid. On October 23, 1971, this Rainbow Hospital that began in 1878 was incorporated into Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital on Adelbert Rd., the current location. Beech Brook, Bellefaire, and Parmadale all started as homes for orphaned children.
  • 1880 - Huron Road Hospital moved to 750 Huron Road
  • 1884 - Huron Road Hospital opened training school for nurses
  • 1884 - St. Alexis Hospital founded at Broadway and McBride
  • 1888 - Wilson St. Hospital's name changed to Lakeside Hospital
  • 1889 - Metro Hospital (Cleveland City Hospital) was built next to the City Infirmary. (The infirmary
  • was also used as the House of Correction)
  • 1889 - The Children's Fresh Air Camp opened (later known as Health Hill Hospital)
  • 1890 - St. John Hospital opened at 7911 Detroit Ave.
  • 1892 - Fairview Hospital founded
  • 1892 - Mt. Sinai Hospital founded
  • 1892 - The Rescue (a home for unwed mothers) was founded at 5905 Kinsman (Later became Booth Memorial Hospital)
  • 1894 - St. Luke's Hospital was founded
  • 1896 - Lutheran Hospital opened at 2609 Franklin Blvd.
  • 1898 - Lakeside Hospital moved to Lakeside and E. 13th
  • 1899 - The Milk Fund Association was formed. The industrial revolution caused infant dispensaries to be formed to distribute milk and give medical advice for economic reasons and to enlarge the future labor force. At the beginning of the century in Cleveland, half of the deaths of infants in the first year were due to dehydration, diarrhea and malnutrition.
  • 1903 - Holy Cross House opened for crippled and invalid children
  • 1904 - Babies Dispensary and Hospital opened
  • 1907 - Babies Dispensary and Hospital was moved to 2500 E. 35th (Longfellow Ave.) behind St. Ann's Maternity Hospital.
  • 1908 - St. Luke's Hospital moved to Carnegie and E. 66th
  • 1908 - Bedford Hospital opened on the second floor of a private home in Bedford. The larger Bedford Municipal Hospital was officially opened in 1928. It was purchased by University Hospitals Health System in 1993.
  • 1910 - Grace Hospital opened at W. 25th and Scranton
  • 1913 - Grace Hospital moved to 2307 W. 14th
  • 1920 - Southwest General Hospital founded.
  • 1921 - Cleveland Clinic Foundation was incorporated - Euclid Ave. and E. 93rd
  • 1923 - Deaconess Hospital opened at 4229 Pearl Rd.
  • 1927 - St. Luke's opened on Shaker Blvd.
  • 3/20/1928 - the independent clinic called Maternal Health Association opened at the Osborn Bldg. on Prospect. (Later known as Planned Parenthood)
  • 1930 - Booth Memorial Hospital moved to 1881 Torbenson Drive in East Cleveland. The Mary Talbert Home took over the building at 5905 Kinsman and was a home for black unwed mothers.
  • 1935 - Huron Road Hospital opened in East Cleveland
  • 1935 - Ingleside/Woodruff Hospital opened in the old Higbee mansion on Ingleside Avenue. Later moved to the Severance mansion at 8821 Euclid Avenue in 1937. By 1968, it moved to E. 89th St. In 1986 the programs were transferred to St. Vincent Charity Hospital and the property of Woodruff Hospital was purchased by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
  • 1935 - Cleveland Osteopathic Hospital opened at 3146 Euclid Ave.
  • 1948 - Bay Village Hospital opened at 23200 Lake Avenue
  • 1949 - Marymount Hospital opens in Garfield Heights.
  • 1955 - Fairview Hospital moved to it's location at 18101 Lorain Avenue in Fairview Park
  • 1957 - Meridia Suburban Hospital opened as Surburban Community Hospital.
  • 1957 - Brentwood Hospital opened.
  • 1957 - Forest City Hospital opens at the site of the old Glenville Hospital. It closed in 1978.
  • 1961 - Parma Community General Hospital opens in August at 7007 Powers Blvd.
  • 1966 - The Booth-Talbert Clinic opened at 6010 Hough Ave.
  • 1968 - Hillcrest Hospital opened at 6780 Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights. It was previously known as Doctors' Hospital.
  • 1994 - South Pointe Hospital at 41110 Warrensville Road was created. This came about through the merging of Meridia Suburban Hospital and Brentwood Hospital.

Old Age Homes

  • 1870 - Little Sisters of the Poor opened (later known as the Eliza Jennings Home)
  • 1882 - Montefior Home (Jewish) opened
  • 1886 - The Altenheim Home was founded to care for elderly Germans
  • 1897 - The Eliza Bryant Center opened to care for elderly blacks
  • 1909 - Benjamin Rose Institute opened (this was to assist the elderly in their own homes)


  • 1837 - City Infirmary opened to care for children as well as others
  • 1851 - St. Mary's Orphanage opened for catholic females
  • 1853 - St. Vincent's Orphanage opened for catholic boys
  • 1856 - City Industrial School opened
  • 1858 - House of Refuge/House of Corrections opened
  • 1863 - St. Joseph's Orphanage opened for older catholic girls
  • 1868 - Bellefaire opened to care for the Jewish people
  • 1873 - St. Ann's Infant Home opened for catholics
  • 1884 - The Lida Baldwin Infant's Home opened
  • 1886 - The Jones Home opened
  • 1896 - Home of the Holy Family opened for catholics
  • 1901 - Cleveland Christian Home opened (Disciples of Christ)

By Laura Hine. Information from: "History of the Charities of Cleveland 1796-1896", by the Cleveland Centennial Commission.


The first permanent benevolent institution of any note is the Protestant Orphan Asylum organized in 1852, at a meeting held for the purpose in the Old Stone Church. A little household was arranged in a house at the corner of Ohio and Erie Streets. The domicile was established with a family of 11 children under 8 years of age. Miss Sophia Hewitt was the superintendent and teacher for the first two years. In 1853 an acre of land at the corner of Kinsman and Willson was donated for the site and in 1855 the asylum moved to its new quarters. An additional acre was purchased later by the asylum. In 1877 Mr. Leonard Case donated a valuable tract of land 4 1/4 acres on St. Clair Street as a site for the new building, but the officers were unable to use it until the generous donation of Mr. J.H. Wade of $40,000.

In the Spring of that same year Rev. Rappe, Bishop of Cleveland, established a small hospital for the care of the sick and injured in the city. This was on Monroe Street on the west side. More space was required and in 1865 a spacious building on Perry Street between Garden and Marion was opened to the public.

The Autumn of 1852 saw the beginning of St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum, also began by Bishop Rappe. The Sisters of Charity took care of orphan boys. A two story frame house was erected. Four years later a larger brick building was built on the same site although it was not completed for some years. Since that time St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum on Woodland Avenue was established and St. Mary's Female Orphan Asylum at 103 Herman Street.

The Jewish Orphan Asylum was opened in September of 1868 in a building on Woodland Avenue. The Young Men's Christian Association was organized in 1866 and became one of the leading organizations of the City. In 1872 the Association purchased the building at 79 Public Square where the headquarters remained until 1881. In 1881 the headquarters were moved to 64 Euclid Avenue.

The Home for the Aged Poor was found by Bishop Rappe in 1870. It is conducted by the members of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The House of Maternity was located on Marion Street and was conducted by the Sisters of St. Augustine.

The Society of the Cleveland Bethel Union was incorporated in 1867 and its mission was to establish a home for seamen, railroad men, and other transient sojourners. In 1868 the building at the corner of Superior and Spring Street was purchased.

The Society for Organizing Charity was instituted in 1882 with the objective of investigating, relieving and reducing the pauperism of the City.

The most comprehensive of the benevolent enterprises of this city is the Women's Christian Association. It was organized in 1868. The first work consisted of Sabbath visitations at hospitals, the work house and the infirmary and making garments to be sold to the poor and instructing women in the art of household economy. A small boarding home for young working women was maintained until November, 1869 when the late Stillman Witt gave the building and land at 16 Walnut Street for that purpose. The association founded the Retreat for the reclamation of fallen women and conducted it until Leonard Case donated a large lot on St. Clair St. and Mr. Joseph Perkins gave $10,000 to start a building fund. In 1883 Mr. Perkins added a hospital and nursery department, thus completing the structure of today.

The Home for Aged Women on Kennard Street was erected and given to the Association in 1876 by Amasa Stone. The educational and industrial union is a new branch of the Association designed to supplement the defective education of young working women by giving specific instruction in industrial arts. The Young Ladies Branch of the Association has turned its attention to the necessities and suffering of the neglected children of the poor. Two pleasant day nurseries are conducted, one at the corner of St. Clair and Sterling and the other at the corner of Case Avenue and Orange Street. Another much needed branch of this work is the Home for Incurable Invalid Women and Children on Detroit Street. Both the land and buildings were a gift of Mrs. Eliza Jennings.

The Industrial School and Farm on Detroit Street began in 1854 when a few Christian people were moved by the destitution of the children in the vicinity of Canal and Water Streets. They organized a Sunday school for their benefit. Food and clothing were distributed to the attendants of the school which was known as the Ragged School. Supplies were exhausted and in two years the school was discontinued. The Industrial School and Farm was opened in 1857.

The Children's Aid Society was organized in 1857 and received the general management of the school. A Branch school was established at the corner of Branch and York Streets. These were public schools. In 1865 the Children’s Aid Society was incorporated and two years later it rented the Jennings Farm on Detroit Street to give the children instruction in farming. Mrs. Eliza Jennings became interested in the school and in 1868 donated the entire property for its use. This gift included 10 1/2 acres of land and a two-story brick dwelling. In the following September, Leonard Case donated 26 acres adjoining and this with 26 acres purchased by interested friends made more than 60 acres. In 1881 the present building was erected and presented to the Society by Mr. Amasa Stone.

The Women's Christian Temperance Union was organized on March 13, 1874.

The Central Cleveland Women's Temperance Union was originally connected with the non-partisan union but in the summer of 1885 separate organizations were formed.

The Dorcas Society was organized about 1866 for the purpose of a relief society. Its main objective was the assistance of widows and children, furnishing clothing, paying rent, and caring for the sick who fall outside the City work.

The Trinity Church Home for the Sick and Friendless is situated at the corner of Euclid and Perry Street.

The Aged and Infirm Israelites Home is on Woodland Avenue at the corner of Willson Avenue.

The Convent of the Good Shepherd was founded on July 8, 1829. The Cleveland Convent was founded by Bishop Rappe in July 1869 and in 1875 the large convent building on Sterling Avenue was completed and occupied. It is intended as a reformatory for women and a protectory for children. The Cleveland Humane Society was organized in 1873 as the Cleveland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Infants Rest at 1416 Cedar Avenue is an outgrowth of the needs of the Society which fills a need not covered either by city or private charities.

History of the City of Cleveland by W. Scott Robison, 1887
Transcribed by Laura Hine


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This page was created 18 October 2013 last updated on 2 January 2016.

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