Archive for April 5, 2009

You know it don’t come easy – Lorain


by Loraine Ritchey

Part One -THE NINE

Lorain “Queen of the Lakes” has had some tough times and the one attribute she has always had is her port.

Recently the Lorain Port Authority announced plans to “bring a jet express” to the Lorain Port

Novak said:“This is a way to get people off the highway and to Lorain,”

Back in September of 1889 a group of enterprising young men – the movers and shakers of those times decided that excursions from the Port of Lorain to Cleveland was the way to go . This enterprising group purchased from Detroit the latest excursion vessel of the time –THE LEO-a Naptha Powered launch ( yacht)
(NOTE: I have been unable to find a photo of the vessel Leo but similar vessels are shown)


launsket SOURCE

“Incredible as it may seem, around the end of the nineteenth century, small boats really were powered by boiling petrol and using the vapour to drive a sort of “steam” engine. ”

The ‘Nine” Samuel Root- I.D Lawler- E.A Lawler – Ben Klein – Fred Pelow, John B Tunte -S.E Knight – C.E Ritter and a skipper Mathewson, brought excitement to the Port of Lorain and her 5,000 citizens.

These men were the businessmen of the day – a tailor, grocer, clothing merchant, a saloon keeper, a real estate broker and retired Lake’s worker. Three others were also part of the civic minded group Ben Weigend , Clifford Tunte and Frank Knapp.

I.D Lawler was the editor of Lorain’s first newspaper
I.D. Lawler age 27
Lorain News Extra Sept 24th 1889

While he was yet a small boy he showed considerable ability to plan and execute business transactions. At the age of 13 years he by his own industry gathered together a small hand press and a little type and started into the card printing business.

This was followed 3 years later by the publication of the Lorain Monitor a quarter sheet 3 column folio, I.D. Lawler, editor.

This was the first newspaper published in Lorain and consequently Mr. Lawler is the pioneer newspaper man of this community. He continued the publication for two years and then sold the business and plant to Rowley and Whitman who changed the name to the Lorain Times under which name it now exists.

Mr. Lawler shortly after located at North Amherst and began the publication of the North Amherst Times, this he continued for a year and then sold to Rowley and Whitman.

Soon after Mr. Lawler began studying law in the office of G.J. Clark with whom he remained for 2 years at the end of which time he purchased Mr. Clark’s Real Estate and Insurance business, since that time he has devoted himself almost exclusively to the management of Real Estate and Insurance, and the business has grown to be large and lucrative.

In 1888 he opened up an addition on the shore west of town and in the present year with Mr. Tunte opened the Lawler Trustee addition on the east side.

In 88 he also with some of our citizens organized the Lorain Street Railroad Company and but recently through his energy and push there has been organized a Building And Loan Association. The business of both these corporations was left largely in his hands, he being the Secretary of each.

In politics he was also prominent almost invariably eing one of the representatives to Republican Conventions, both county and Congressional.

In 1888, he was candidate for Mayor on a citizen’s ticket that was largely supported. He was one of those public spirited gentlemen who always have the interest of their town at heart, genial, always pleasant to meet, and universally respected.

Click on to enlarge

According to the Lorain (Ohio) Journal in an article in 1953 -Mr. Lawler’s first editorial October 29th 1878 (at the ripe old age of SIXTEEN ) wrote on page two of The Monitor

“To The citizens of Lorain and vicinity –
Why deaden the place, dishearten the value of your own property by doing your trading elesewhere when you can buy goods just as cheap at home.”

Issues of The Monitor came out every other Tuesday and in 1878 the 500 readers were paying 15 cents for 3 months subscription. Advertising rates were 5 cents per line for the first 5 lines – space rates 35 cents per square and 25 cents per half.

Mr. Lawler, by the age of 27 had accomplished a great deal for one so young and set out , along with his fellow businessmen , on a maiden cruise for inspection and licensing of THE LEO . He and 8 civic leaders started their journey to Cleveland on Sept 15th 1889 but eventually found him coming home to Elmwood Cemetery
lawstone Photo Renee Dore

To be Continued

April 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm 6 comments



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 231 other subscribers
April 2009