Biography of Leonard Schalether
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

LEONARD SCHLATHER. It is not always easy to discover and define the hidden forces that have moved a life of ceaseless activity and large business success; little more can be done than to note their manifestation in the career of the individual under consideration. In view of this fact, the life of the distinguished business and public spirited man of affairs whose name appears above affords a striking example of well defined purpose with the ability to make that purpose subserve not only his own ends, but the good of his fellow men as well.

Leonard Schiather long held distinctive prestige in a calling which requires for its basis sound mentality and intellectual discipline of a high order, supplemented by a thorough mastery of technical knowledge without which one cannot hope to rise above mediocrity. In his chosen field of endeavor Mr. Schlather achieved success that few attain, and his eminent standing among leading business men was duly recognized and appreciated not only in Cleveland, the city long honored by his residence, but also throughout the United States. In addition to his long and creditable career in the business world, he also proved himself an honorable member of the body politic, rising in the confidence and esteem of the public. In every relation of life he never fell below the dignity of true manhood nor in any way resorted to wiles or methods that invited criticism. He was essentially a man among men, ever moving in a way that commanded respect and by innate force and superior ability won his way to the front, a place that was his by every right. His course was ever above criticism, and those who were favored with his intimate acquaintance were ever profuse in their praise of his manly virtues and upright character, that of a true gentleman.

For sixty two years Mr. Schiather was a resident of Cleveland, locating here in 1856, a young man of twenty two, who three years prior had left his native Germany. During these years he prospered, building a large industry, remaining as its head for forty five years, or until 1901, when he retired, content to pass the remaining years of his life looking after his varied interests and caring for his loved ones.

Mr. Schlather was born in Jebenhausen, Wurttemberg, Germany, June 20, 1834. He was a son of Adam' and Rosa (Vollmer) Schiather. His father was a prosperous brick manufacturer and the head of a large family, the subject of this review being the fourth son. When a year past his majority it was decided that two of his older brothers, Frederick and Christian, should come to the United States, but at the last minute the latter, who was not very strong, decided to remain at home. Without any preparations Leonard decided to accompany Frederick, and in due time arrived in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Here were living members of his mother's family, and he immediately secured employment with the Vollmer Brewing Company. It was with this brewery that he learned the brewing business, continuing until 1856, the year of his arrival in Cleveland. Through the help of his brother Frederick, who loaned him $10,000, Mr. Schiather started a small brewery in a two story frame building at the corner of Carroll Avenue and West Twenty eighth Street. From this small beginning there in later years developed the largest brewery in Cleveland, the plant covering more than a city block, the last addition being made in 1885. Mr. Schlather continued as the active head of this enterprise until 1901, when he disposed of his interests to the Cleveland Sandusky Brewing Company, and retired from all connection with the Leonard Schiather Brewery.

In addition to his personal business Mr. Schiather was largely interested in Cleveland banking, being vice president of the People's Savings Bank, director of the Union Bank of Cleveland and was also connected with the Society for Savings. At the time of his death he was the last member of the first Board of Directors of the Union Bank of Cleveland, now the Union Trust Company.

Being at all times deeply interested in the welfare and progress of his adopted city, he was for years an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. A republican in politics, he always took a deep interest in the country's affairs, giving liberally of his time and means.

Mr. Schlather was twice married, his first wife being Catherine Buckes, of Cleveland. As a result of this union five daughters were born: Rosa, deceased, became the wife of Mars E. Wagar, of a prominent Cleveland family of pioneers. To them were born three children: Leona Serena, wife of Grover Cleveland Hasford, and they have one child, Leona Serena; Mars F. J., and Leonard, Catherine and Emelia, the second and third children of Mr. and Mrs. Schiather, died in young womanhood. The fourth child, Anna, deceased, became the wife of Dr. J. F. Hobson, also deceased. They had one daughter, Helen Emily, who married Harry T. Hatcher of Cleveland. They have one daughter, Barbara. The fifth child, Lena, married Dr. Charles B. Parker of Cleveland, who is deceased.

October 7, 1897, Mr. Schlather married Miss Anna Catherine Sophia Schwarz, of Wheeling, West Virginia, daughter of Henry and Theresa (Luedeke) Schwarz, and granddaughter of Daniel Schwarz, an innkeeper of Fulda, Hessen, Germany. The father came to the United States from Germany and for many years was connected with the Nail City Brewery of Wheeling, West Virginia. Mrs. Schlather survives her husband and makes her permanent home in the beautiful residence on the Schiather estate, Rocky River. This property was very highly cultivated by Mr. Schiather and today it is considered one of the most attractive homes in Northern Ohio.

Following Mr. Schlather's retirement from business he and his wife made a world's tour lasting for one year. Since then both made many journeys to Europe, South America, Africa, the West Indies, Panama and were familiar with the places of scenic and historic interests of the United States. Mr. Schlather was a life member of the Western Reserve Historical Society and in No. 100, transactions and annual reports of the society, is published a comprehensive review of the life of Leonard Schiather, their long time associate.

Living unostentatiously, Mr. Schlather was rich in the possession of a noble character which endeared him to his intimates and drew down upon him the universal emotions of genuine sorrow and keen personal loss. In all expressions of his friends and associates there is a unity of thought, especially on one phase of Mr. Schiather's makeup, namely, his persistent stand for the highest ideals which were to him of far greater importance than any other consideration that might be involved. This was true not alone in his business undertakings, but in everything with which he was in any way connected. He was clean of habit and mind, and in every endeavor he was conscientious and painstaking. His charities were many, and today Mrs. Schlather is continuing his policies, being one of Cleveland's foremost workers for charity.

Mr. Schlather loved his beautiful estate at Rocky River, and there spent the last years of his life in happiness and contentment His kindly, studious nature delighted in books, music and art and he indulged his taste freely. Here it might be well to mention that Mr. Schiather gave to the City of Cleveland the Richard Wagner monument as well as the Schiller Goethe monument He was also one of the founders and largest donors to the Cleveland General Hospital, now known as St. Luke's, located at Carnegie Avenue and Sixty seventh Street.

Leonard Schlather labored intelligently and faithfully in his chosen field. He served well during his time on life's stage, and his memory is indelibly enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him.

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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