Biography of Dudley S. Blossom
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

HON. DUDLEY S. BLOSSOM. In tracing the history of some of the prominent families of Cuyahoga County the biographer comes in close touch with the memorable days of early settlement in Ohio, when the wilderness was still unconquered, when Indians were savagely inclined to give battle for what they claimed to be their rights. It may never be definitely known, because of loss of early records, whether the first representative of the Blossom family found in Ohio came here with his comrade veterans of the Revolutionary war, with the Ohio Company in 1787, but in all probability this was true. The authenticated and accepted records lead back to some time prior to 1820, seventeen years after Ohio became a state, to one Orrin Blossom, a native of New England and a reputable citizen of the Village of Chardon, in Geauga County. His marriage is recorded there in 1820, to Emma Louisa Nash, who was a daughter of Rev. Alvan and Abiah (Sheldon) Nash. They were the Greatgrandparents of Hon. Dudley S. Blossom, member of the Ohio State Legislature, and one of Cleveland's active men of affairs.

Dudley S. Blossom was born at Cleveland, Ohio, March 10, 1879, a son of Henry S. and Leila. (Stocking) Blossom, and a grandson of Henry C. Blossom. The grandfather was born at Chardon, Ohio, a son of Orrin and Emma Louisa (Nash) Blossom, and spent his school days there. Later he gained business experience by clerking in stores at Painesville, in Lake County, and in 1843 he became identified as a traveling salesman with the pioneer hardware store of William Bingham at Cleveland, founding a connection that has continued to the present day. He was a man of business ability and later became a partner in the firm of William Bingham & Company. His death occurred at Hamburg, Germany, while on travels for his health, in 1882.

Henry S. Blossom, son of Henry C., was born at Willoughby, Ohio, February 2, 1852. He was educated in the public schools of Cleveland and the Presbyterian Institute at Brooklyn, New York. Displaying business capacity, he was taken into the employ of William Bingham & Company in 1870, and in 1875 was admitted to partnership, and in 1888, when the business was incorporated as the William Bingham Company, he became secretary, and so continued until his death on January 21, 1903. He was a man of sterling character and marked business capacity. Mr. Blossom was twice married. In 1877 he was united to Leila Stocking, a daughter of Zalmon Stocking, and five sons were born to them: Dudley S., Carl Woodruff, Henry S., Pelham H. and John T., all of whom survive except Henry S. The mother of these sons died in April, 1892. In June, 1893, Mr. Blossom married Eva (Gillam) Pinson, a daughter of Dr. Lewis Gillam, of Atlanta, Georgia.

Dudley S. Blossom grew up in his native city, fortunate in educational and social environment. Following his graduation from the University School, at Cleveland, he entered Yale University, and was graduated with the class of 1901, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Upon his return to Cleveland he followed in the footsteps of his father in becoming a clerk in the William Bingham Company, beginning his practical business training at the bottom, but rapidly advancing, and in 1910 was made vice president of the company, which office he still fills.

In 1917, when the United States became involved in the World war, it was soon discovered that not only youth, brawn and astounding courage were needed to face dangers and to further every issue across the sea, but also there was necessity for disciplined business men to solve equally important problems behind them. With a captain's commission in the service of the American Red Cross Mr. Blossom went to France and remained until the close of hostilities at Paris as chief of the Bureau of Supplies for the Red Cross, economy and efficiency marking his efforts. With duty in this direction well done, Mr. Blossom returned to Cleveland, and on September 10, 1919, became director of public welfare for the City of Cleveland, through appointment by Mayor Harry L. Davis, and continued in that office until January 1, 1921, when he retired in order to give closer attention to his important business interests. In addition to being vice president of the William Bingham Company, he is on the directorate of the Central National Bank of Cleveland, and is similarly connected with other financial concerns.

Mr. Blossom has long been active in political as well as business circles, believing such to be the duty of a good citixen, and in November, 1922, he was elected as a representative of Cuyahoga County in the Ohio Legislature, his present term expiring on December 31, 1924. He is serving with honor and efficiency on many important committees and is chairman of the Committee on Benevolent and Penal Institutions, his deep and intelligent interest along this line and in other humanitarian causes being well known. On January 1, 1924, he was appointed safety director of City Manager Hopkins.

At Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 1910, Mr. Blossom married Miss Elizabeth Beardslee Bingham, who is a member of the old Bingham family of this city and a daughter of Charles W. Bingham. Mr. and Mrs. Blossom have two children: Dudley S., Jr., and Mary Payne. The family belongs to the Church of the Covenant.

Mr. Blossom has always been a patron of the arts and a supporter and encourager of cultural agencies at Cleveland, and in January, 1921, he became executive vice president and treasurer of the Musical Arts Association, which has wide scope and manages the Cleveland Orchestra. He is a member of the Union, Tavern and Hermit Clubs, and of the Mayfield Country Club. He not only bears an old Ohio name but has distinguished it.

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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