Biography of Elroy M. Avery
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

ELROY McKENDREE AVERY was a resident of Cleveland, forty eight years. Among Ohio's educators and authors his name is associated with many distinctive achievements.

Doctor Avery was born at Erie in Monroe County, Michigan, July 14, 1844, son of Casper Hugh and Dorothy (Putnam) Avery. He is a lineal descendant of Capt. James Avery, who came from England about 1640, and also of the Mayflower pilgrims in 1620, Steven Hopkins and his daughter Constance, and Thomas Dudley, the second governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1861, when seventeen years of age, Elroy McKendree Avery enlisted as. a private in Company A of the Fourth Michigan Infantry and saw active service in the greater part of the war. At the end of the war he was sergeant major of the Eleventh Michigan Cavalry. Following the war he taught school, attended the University of Michigan, graduating Bachelor of Philosophy in 1871. The university conferred upon him the degrees Master of Philosophy in 1871 and he has since been awarded the honorary degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Civil Law. He was elected a member of the Scholarship Honorary Fraternity Phi Beta Kappa.

Doctor Avery was at one time principal of the high school at Battle Creek, Michigan. He was also superintendent of schools at East Cleveland and principal of the City Normal School at Cleveland. He became a resident of Cleveland in 1871. in 1879, the year he retired from the principalship of the Normal School, until 1885, he was in the service of the Brush Electric Company, Cleveland's pioneer electrical engineering organization, and in that capacity he organized forty two electric lighting companies. He was elected and served as a member of the City Council at Cleveland in 1891 and 1892, and served in the Ohio State Senate from 1893 to 1897.

Doctor Avery's chief contribution to education was made as author of a notable series of text books, splendid work used in public schools and colleges over the country for thirty years or more. Some of these bore the following titles: "Elementary Physics," 1876; "Elementary Natural Philosophy," 1878; "Elementary Chemistry," 1881 "Complete Chemistry," 1883; "First Principles of Natural Philosophy," 1884; "School Physics," 1895; "Elementary Physics," 1897; "School Chemistry," 1904. He is author of the "Gratan Avery Clan," 1912; "A History of the United States and Its People," published in twelve volumes, and the "History of Cleveland and Its Environs," 1918. He is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and of many historical and economical societies.

Doctor Avery in 1919 transferred his residence from Cleveland to New Port Richey, Florida. He has taken an active part in the affairs of that southern community, being chairman of the Board of the First State Bank, founder and president of the Avery Library, Inc., and founder and president of the Cottee River Boat Club. He is an independent republican, a Knight Templar, thirty second degree Mason and a member of the Congregational Church.

On July 2, 1870, at Battle Creek, Michigan, Doctor Avery married Miss Catherine Hitchcock Tilden, daughter of Hon. Junius Tilden of Monroe, Michigan. She died December 2?, 1911. On June 15, 1916, at Cleveland he married, Miss Ella Wilson, daughter of John Wilson, Cleveland.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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