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How Did Cleveland Get its Name?


Moses Cleaveland

Moses Cleaveland

(© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)
Question: How Did Cleveland Get its Name?
Answer: Cleveland is named for Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806), a lawyer, Revolutionary War soldier, and surveyor for the Connecticut Land Company. He led an expedition of 50 to survey Northeast Ohio as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve.

He landed at Conneaut Creek in Ashtabula County on June 27, 1796 and continued westward, arriving at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on July 22.

He thought the spot a nice place for a city and laid out the initial plots of the city that his workers named for their expedition leader. Cleaveland returned home to Connecticut after the surveying trip and never came back to the city that bore his name.

Cleveland lost that extra "a" in its name via an early area newspaper, the "Cleveland Advertiser." The editor didn't have room across the masthead for the extra letter and the shortened name stuck.

A statue of Moses Cleaveland stands on Public Square.

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