Biography of A. Burns Smyth
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

A. BURNS SMYTHE. Only those who possess the rare faculty of an organizing and executive mind can make a record of achievements and acquire such substantial connections with business, civic and social bodies as make up the record of the career of A. Burns Smythe of Cleveland. His life has been one of interesting diversity as well as the practical achievement that is familiarly associated with long and persistent effort.

Mr. Smythe was born in Nevada, Ohio, August 4, 1874, son of Marcus M. and Mary Comfort (Burns) Smythe. His mother came from Scotland. His grandfather, William Smythe, came from Ulster County, Ireland, in 1832, first lived in Washington County, Pennsylvania, then in Jefferson County, Ohio, and late in life moved to Holton, Kansas, where he died. He was a wool manufacturer and a farmer. Marcus M. Smythe was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and was a boy when the family moved to Jefferson County, Ohio. He is now eighty five years of age, spending his summers in Cleveland and his winters in Florida.

A. Burns Smythe was the youngest in a family of four children, and grew up at Nevada, Ohio, where he attended the public schools. He continued his education in Oberlin Academy and Oberlin College, and his prowess there in athletics caused him to pursue for a time professional baseball as a vocation. His early business experience included work as salesman for the Clifton Park Land and Improvement Company of Cleveland, for some years having had the ambition to get into the real estate business for himself. In 1903 he opened his own office, but after four and a half years was induced to organize the real estate department of the Cleveland Trust Company. He was the head of the department as general manager until August 4, 1914, and the decade since ttien has covered the period of his most important achievements in the real estate and business field.

On leaving the Cleveland Trust Company he organized the A. B. Smythe Company, which occupies a suite of offices in the Erie Building at the corner of East Ninth Street and Prospect Avenue. The company has an office force of approximately fifty people, and maintains branches throughout the city. The business has grown until it now handles millions of dollars worth of business annually.

As an organizer and executive Mr. Smythe's name has been associated with many enterprises. He is president of the Shore Acres Land Company, which built the beautiful sub division of Shore Acres on the East Side on the lake front. He organized, planned and built the Euclid Forty sixth Street Market and buildings surrounding, owned by the Glengariff Realty Company, of which he is president. He built the Smythe Building on Euclid Avenue, each of the First National Bank Building. He is president of the Carnegie Euclid Company, which bought and developed the old Bolton property, containing all the property from Euclid to Carnegie Avenue, between East Sixty ninth and East Seventy first Streets. Mr. Smythe organized the North Ohnstead Improvement Company, of which he is president, and also the Metropolitan Development Company, owning large holdings on Superior Avenue, and the S. K. and W. Investment Company, owning the old American Ship Building Company property on the Superior viaduct. He is president of the Smythe Investment Company, which owns over 100 acres around Westwood Golf Club.

Mr. Smythe is a director of the Union Mortgage Company, of the Superior Bond & Mortgage Company, of which he is also vice president, and is a director in the Lake Erie Trust Company. He is president of the Cleveland Real Estate Board, is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Cleveland and of the United States, is a trustee of the University School and one of the founders of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was one of the founders and builders of the Lakewood Congregational Church, of which he is a trustee. For several years he has been president of the Oberlin Alumni Association of Oberlin College. Mr. Smythe is a member of the Union Club, Hermit Club, Country Club and the Castalia Trout Club.

He married, November 13, 1902, Miss Catherine Irene Loomis, daughter of Charles E. and Ida E. Loomis, of Oil City, Pennsylvania. She died May 2, 1919. Subsequently Mr. Smythe married Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Jenks, widow of Dr. Nathan Jenks, who was a prominent surgeon at Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Smythe was educated in a private school at Detroit and at Mrs. Ely's finishing school in New York City. By her first marriage she has a daughter, Sally Jenks, now a freshman in the Hathaway Brown School at Cleveland.

By his first marriage Mr. Smythe was the father of two sons, Charles Loomis Smythe and Marcus Loomis Smythe, young men of interesting attainments and of remarkable promise, and of whose records any father might be proud. Charles Loomis Smythe, born October 23, 1903, graduated from the University School of Cleveland in 1922. He was president of his senior class, president of the Cadmean Debating Society, captain of the track team, was picked as all scholastic half back for the City of Cleveland all scholastic football team, and while in the University School broke two records, one in the high jump and the other in the quarter mile. He entered Williams College in the fall of 1922, was president of the freshman class, and became a member of the football and track team, the freshman orchestra, and the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

Marcus Loomis Smythe, who was born March 12, 1905, had what is perhaps a unique distinction for a younger brother in winning the same honors in athletics and scholarship as Charles Loomis Smythe. He was president of his class during the last three years at University School, a star in football, basketball and baseball, and was captain of the undefeated 1922 football team of the University School, being selected by all the newspapers of the city as captain and quarterback on the all scholastic football team. The names of these two brothers were engraved on the University School wall on a bronze tablet known as the Cadmean trophy. for being the students who had the best influence and standing in their respective classes during the four years attending University School.

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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