Moses Cleaveland – Cleveland’s “Father”

Founder of Cleveland, Moses Cleaveland

For Father’s Day we will take a look at Cleveland’s “Father”, Moses Cleaveland. Moses is considered to be the founder of Cleveland. No, that is not a typo on my part, that is how he spelled his name.

Moses Cleaveland served in the American Revolutionary War and lived in New England. In 1795, the Treaty of Greenville was signed relinquishing the lands east of the Cuyahoga River from the Indians to the Americans. What is today Cleveland and Northeast Ohio was called the Connecticut Western Reserve.

The Connecticut Land Company sent Moses Cleaveland to survey the land and divide it up into townships. Moses came to the mouth of the Cuyahoga and decided to lay out a city there. One of the areas created by Moses was Public Square. Although the square may have shrunk slightly in size today, it is still in the same spot that Moses laid it out back in 1796.

Moses left the area after his survey and never returned but Cleveland still bears his name, sort of.

Now we get to that extra “a” in his name. The story goes back to the Cleveland Advertiser, a local paper in the early 1800’s. They could not fit the words “Cleaveland Advertiser” on the their masthead, so they dropped the extra “a” to make room and the name stuck. And that is why Cleveland, the city, is not spelled the same as Cleaveland, the man.

Happy Father’s Day to all our Cleveland dads and dad’s around the world.

Want to learn more about Cleveland join us on one of our walking tours of downtown. See our schedule and book your tour at www.toursofcleveland.com.