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Jeptha Wade


Jeptha Wade

Jeptha Wade

(public domain photo)
Born in Romulus, New York in 1811, Jeptha Wade was instrumental in creating many of the cultural institutions Cleveland holds dear to this day, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and Lake View Cemetery.

A Captain of Industry:

Originally a portrait painter, Mr. Wade began connecting Detroit and Jackson, Michigan via telegraph line in 1847, a project that eventually formed the Western Union Telegraph Company in 1856. In 1861, that company joined the Pacific Telegraph Company in connecting the east and west coasts of the US.

Jephta Wade's Family Life:

Jeptha Wade was married twice, first to Rebecca Facer, who died after four years of marriage. He later married Susan Fleming and together they had one son, Randall P, and adopted four children.


The Wades used their vast wealth to benefit their adopted community of Cleveland. In 1882, they donated 72 acres of land east of the city for the purpose of created a park, which was named Wade Park in their honor. The couple also donated the land on which the Cleveland Museum of Art and other University Circle institutions sit today.

Case and Hathaway Brown:

Education was important to Jeptha Wade. He was a co-founder of the Case School of Applied Technology, now a part of Case Western Reserve University. In addition he was heavily involved in the creation of Hathaway Brown School, a private academy for young girls and women, which thrives to this day.

Final Resting Place:

Jeptha Wade died on August 9, 1890. He is buried at Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery, an institution for which he served as the first president. The Wade family chapel is one of the cemetery’s highlights. Its stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany is considered one of the glassmaker’s finest windows.

(last updated 6-09-08)

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