Leonard Case Sr.

From Ohio History Central

Leonard Case, Sr., was a prominent resident of Cleveland, Ohio during the early nineteenth century.

Case was born on July 29, 1786, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Case's family consisted of German migrants. People of German heritage were among the earliest white settlers of Ohio. Many migrated from Pennsylvania during the late 1700s and the early 1800s along Zane's Trace. Others came later to help build the numerous canals constructed during the 1820s and 1830s. In 1800, like earlier Germans, the Case family moved to Ohio, seeking a better life.

The Case family settled on a two hundred-acre farm in Trumbull County, Ohio. In 1806, Leonard Case embarked upon a political career, serving as clerk of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas. From 1821 to 1825, Case held the office of president of the Cleveland, Ohio City Council. He also served in the Ohio legislature from 1824 to 1827.

Besides his political activities, Case also prospered as a businessman. He worked as the private secretary of General Simon Perkins, a prominent member of the Connecticut Land Company. In 1816, he served as cashier of the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie, which was located in Cleveland, Ohio. This institution soon failed, but Case remained in Cleveland, where he practiced law. In 1827, Case returned to the banking industry, working as an agent for the Connecticut Land Bank for the next twenty-eight years. In 1832, Case also reestablished the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie, where he became this institution's president. Case also found employment as vice president of the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati Railroad.

By the late 1840s, Case had retired from his various business and political activities. He remained active in public life, however, donating large sums of his fortune to various institutions in Cleveland. Case made some of his more prominent donations to the Cuyahoga County Historical Society and the Cleveland Medical College. Case died on December 7, 1864.

See Also


  1. Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.