Herman C. Baehr
|Herman C. Baehr|
|36th Mayor of Cleveland|
|Preceded by||Tom L. Johnson|
|Succeeded by||Newton D. Baker|
|Born||Herman Carl Baehr
March 16, 1866
Keokuk, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||February 4, 1942
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Rose E. Schulte (m. 1898)|
Life and career
Baehr was born in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Jacob and Magdalena Zipf Baehr, both of whom had lived in Cleveland from 1850 to 1862. The family returned to the city after the American Civil War. Baehr was educated in public schools and left at age 14 to join his father's brewing company. He later left Cleveland to complete his education. He attended Lehman's Scientific Academy, graduated from the First Scientific Station of New York in 1887, and received a Bachelor of Medicine degree. When he returned to Cleveland, Baehr became an official of the Baehr Brewing Co., which his father had founded, and later secretary and treasurer of the Cleveland-Sandusky Brewing Corp., when it took over Baehr Brewing.
Baehr became interested in Republican politics and eventually met Mark Hanna. His friendship with Hanna sparked a second career in politics. In 1903, at Hanna's urging Baehr ran for and was elected County Recorder. Hanna died the following year, and local GOP looked to Baehr to run against Tom L. Johnson for the city's mayor.
In 1909, Baehr ran a solid election against Johnson, with support from Millionaire's Row and the recent influx of German immigrants who were drawn to Baehr's German ancestry. He finally defeated Johnson, in what many see as the greatest upset in Cleveland politics. Although he was heavily criticized by the press, Baehr's tenure as mayor was relatively efficient. He restored conservative fiscal policies, oversaw further down town development, and carried through with Johnson's idea of a three-cent fare. In 1912, he stepped down as mayor and instead became the first vice-president and director of the Forest City Savings and Trust Company.
Personal life and death
Baehr married Rose E. Schulte of Cleveland on April 22, 1898.
In retirement, Baehr spent winters at a home in Los Angeles, California. He died there suddenly of a stroke on February 4, 1942. His wife, Rose, was in ill health and could not immediately transport his remains to Cleveland for burial. Baehr was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Rose Baehr died in Los Angeles in 1956, having never moved her husband's remains to Cleveland. She was interred next to him at Forest Lawn.
- McKendree, Elroy (1918). A History of Cleveland and Its Environs, the Heart of New Connecticut. Volume III. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co. p. 195.
- "Herman C. Baehr Rites Tomorrow". The Plain Dealer. February 5, 1942. p. 2.
- "Widow of '09 Mayor Baehr Dies". The Plain Dealer. December 9, 1956. p. B8.
- The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History by Cleveland Bicentennial Commission (Cleveland, Ohio), David D. Van Tassel (Editor), and John J. Grabowski (Editor) ISBN 0-253-33056-4
- The Cleveland 200: The Most Noted, Notable and Notorious in the First 200 Years of a Great American City by Thomas Kelly ISBN 0-9644509-2-5
Tom L. Johnson
|Mayor of Cleveland
Newton D. Baker