Biography of John Hoag
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JOHN HOAG of Rocky River is one of the sons of Cuyahoga County who have here made record of large and worthy achievement of constructive order. Evidence of this is distinctly given in the brief statement that he was one of the organizers and is president of each: the First National Bank of Rocky River, the Cleveland Growers' Marketing Company, and the Rocky River Basket Company, his residence being in the attractive suburban Village of Rocky River.

On the family homestead farm, in Rockport Township, Cuyahoga County, Mr. Hoag was born November 9, 1876. He is a son of Henry and Mary (Russell) Hoag, natives respectively of the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, their marriage having been solemnized in Cleveland, Ohio, to which city they came when young folk of adult age. In his native land Henry Hoag learned the trade of marble cutter, and in Cleveland he became foreman of the sawing department of what is now the Norcross Marble Company. Later he and his brother John bought twenty acres of land at the extreme western end of what is now the Village of Rocky River, and here they engaged in farming and fruit growing on a small scale. Henry Hoag eventually assumed active management of this fine little farm, and there he continued his successful operations until his retirement from active business, in 1914, he being now (1923) in his seventy ninth year and his wife in her sixty eighth year. Both are in excellent health and are well known and highly respected citizens of the Rocky River District of Cuyahoga County. Of their children the eldest is Kate, the wife of Christ Diff enbach of the Village of Dover; John, of this review; Henry, Jr., resides at Dover; William R., merchant at Rocky River; Edith is bookkeeper and office manager in the mercantile establishment of her brother, William R.; Charles died on the 15th of May, 1923; and Arthur H. resides on the old homestead.

The public schools afforded John Hoag his early education, which included a three years' high school course, and thereafter he took a course of one year in a business college in Cleveland. In 1900, with a cash capital of $500, he initiated his independent career by engaging in the Solomon Pease homestead near Rocky River. There he continued operadohs six years, at the expiration of which time, in 1906, he sold his equipment for $6,000. Thereafter he was in the employ of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, in Cleveland, about three months, and he then formed a partnership with W. J. Geiger, and engaged in the handling of hardware, seed and fertilizers in Rocky River, a business which was by them conducted under the firm name of Geiger & Company until they sold the same, in 1907. In 1908 Mr. Hoag bought out the heirs of the Gideon Pease estate, and engaged in market gardening on a tract of twenty six acres. In 1909 he sold ten and a fraction acres of this land to the Rocky River Greenhouse Company, of which he was the secretary until he sold his interest in the business, in 1910. In 1912 he began the erection of his own greenhouse plant in Rocky River, which comprises two acres under glass, to which enterprise he gives his personal supervision. In 1919-20 Mr. Hoag was prominently concerned in organizing the Cleveland Growers' Marketing Company, formed for the purpose of effective cooperative selling of fruit, vegetable and farm products produced by growers in the vicinity of Cleveland. This company purchased a site at 1115 Woodland Avenue, Cleveland, for a consideration of $150,000, and there erected a modern building, at a cost of $15,000, besides establishing on the same site a series of attractive stands to be used by other growers for the sale of their produce, this latter improvement representing an outlay of $25,000. About the same time Mr. Hoag became one of the organizers of the Rocky River Basket Company, which is incorporated with a capital stock of $50,000, and which purchased the plant of the Wicks Basket Company, in East Cleveland, but which later purchased a site on Lake Road and Rocky River. This company, a cooperative concern, was formed for the purpose of supplying baskets to the stockholders and other growers of the community, and the stockholders now number 173, the greater percentage of whom are growers and shippers of fruits, vegetables, etc. The total assets of the company now have an approximate aggregate of $90,000, and employment is given to fifty persons, in the manufacturing of all types of fruit and vegetable baskets for growers.

In the spring of 1922 Mr. Hoag and several other progressive citizens organized the Community Savings & Banking Company, but were denied a state charter Later they obtained a charter for the First National Bath of Rocky River, which bases its operations on a capital stock of $100,000, and which now controls a substantial and prosperous business, with a surplus fund of $15,000. Mr. Hoag owns and utilizes sixteen acres of land devoted to the growing of vegetables of the best grade, besides having two acres under glass, as previously noted. From his place he markets in Cleveland annually vegetable products to the sale valuation of from $30,000 to $40,000. He is a director of the Florists' & Gardeners' Insurance Association, which confines its operations to giving insurance indemnity on flower and vegetable greenhouses in Ohio. He is a director of the Depositors Savings & Loan Company of Cleveland. He was for seven years a member of the village council of Rocky River, besides having given several years of effective administration as president of the counciL He is one of the influential members of the Rocky River Chamber of Commerce.

In Lake Erie Consistory of the Masonic fraternity Mr. Hoag has received the thirty second degree of the Scottish Rite, and he is a noble of Al Koran Temple of the Mystic Shrine, his York Rite affiliations being with Dover Lodge No. 489, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is a past master; Cunningham Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Lakewood Council, Royal and Select Masters; and Forest City Commander of Knights Templars. He is also a member of the Dover Lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

March 2, 1898, recorded the marriage of Mr. Hoag to Miss Edna Lida Pease, daughter of the late Gideon Pease of Rocky River, and the children of this union are four in number: Ruth Katherine, Lucile Winnif red, Josephine Marjorie and Ellis DeForest. Ruth K. is now the wife of Robert Springer of Rocky River.

In the fall of 1923 Mr. Hoag was one of the promoters and organizers of the Falls Greenhouse Company with a capital of $120,000, all subscribed, which company erected a plant on thirty nine acres of land just outside of the Village of Olmsted Falls, this county, and of this company Mr. Hoag is treasurer secretary.

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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