Biography of William S. Fitzgerald
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM S. FITZGERALD, one of the best known citizens of Cleveland on account of his public service in former years as law director and mayor, has practiced law here for nearly twenty years. Mr. FitzGerald has his offices in the Williamson Building.

He was born in the City of Washington, D. C., October 6, 1880. His father, Captain David FitzGerald, a native of London, England, was reared and educated in that city, and as a young man came to America, locating at Keokuk, Iowa. For several years he was employed by the United States Government as a civil engineer. When the Civil war broke out he enlisted in an Iowa regiment, was commissioned a lieutenant, and subsequently was promoted to captain. In the battle of Chancellorsville he was severely wounded, his hip being shattered by a shell. After being discharged he was appointed librarian of the War Department at Washington, and rendered quiet and effective service in that institution until his death in 1897, at the age of fifty three. Captain FitzGerald married Esther Sinton, who was born at Denham, Scotland. Her father, Thomas Sinton, of Scotland, brought to America his wife and two children and located at Keokuk, Iowa, where he did an extensive business as a contractor. His son, William Sinton, is still a resident of Keokuk. Mrs. David FitzGerald now lives with her son in Cleveland.

William S. FitzGerald was educated in the public schools at Washington, graduated from high school in that city and then entered George Washington University, where he took his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1903. For two years he practiced law in the capital city, and in 1905 removed to Cleveland. After establishing himself in his profession he interested himself in public affairs and politics. He was appointed an assistant to the attorney general of Ohio, and in 1911 was elected a member of the City Council, serving four years.

In 1913 Mr. FitzGerald managed the mayoralty campaign of Governor Harry L. Davis against Mayor Newton D. Baker. During the administration of Mr. Baker he served for two years as a republican minority council leader. When Mr. Davis was elected mayor in 1915 Mr. FitzGerald became his director of law. In 1920, when Harry L. Davis became republican candidate for governor, Mr. FitzGerald succeeded him in the office of mayor, and was the executive head of the city government of Cleveland from May 1, 1920, until December 31, 1921. Before the dose of this term he was candidate for mayor against Fred Kohler. Subsequently Mr. FitzGerald was elected by the City Council to fill a vacant seat on the Civil Service Commission.

Mr. FitzGerald is associated with the various Masonic bodies, including Webb Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Oriental Commandery, Knights Templar; the Lake Erie Consistory of the Scottish Rite, and is a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, the University Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

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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