Biography of William H. Warner
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM H. WARNER, senior member of W. H. Warner & Company, coal and coke operators, is one of the oldest operators in Ohio. His splendid business organization has been perfected through more than a half century of personal experience and study. His company operates about twenty mines in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, with daily capacity of over 20,000 tons.

Mr. Warner's father, Jonathan Warner, was a distinguished pioneer in the iron and steel industry of Ohio. A bronze bust of Jonathan Warner in the McKinley Memorial at Niles contains the following inscription: "Pioneer in the Lake Superior Ore Region and the Mahoning Valley in the development of iron ore and early manufacture of pig iron. A worthy Christian gentleman."

Jonathan Warner was born at Oaks Corner, New York, February 8, 1808. and died at Youngstown April 18, 1895. He came to Youngstown in 1840, driving from Sodus in Wayne County, New York, to Buffalo, and traveling thence by lake and canal. For a time he was a merchant at Youngstown. He was a partner in the construction and operation of the first bituminous coal furnace in Ohio. This furnace, the Eagle at Brier Hill, was erected about 1846. Later he erected two other furnaces at Mineral Ridge. It was at one of these old Mineral Ridge stacks that Jonathan Warner first successfully produced the grade of iron known as "American Scotch." making it principally from black band ore mined there.

The far reaching activities of Jonathan Warner extended to. the development of the Lake Superior ore region, on which now depends almost the entire iron and steel industry of the United States. Mr. Warner was one of the first to foresee the tremendous development of the demand for iron and steel, and realized the limited supply available in this locality. He developed the Republic Mine in the late '60s. which soon became one of the largest producing mines and is still producing. He was one of the first to make shipment down the lakes. His efforts to enlist capital in the opening of the Lake Superior region met with many difficulties, but he persisted, and was rewarded before his death in seeing many of the northern ranges shipping ore down the lakes and supplying every furnace between the Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi River.

Jonathan Warner was the progenitor of the Warner family whose members have been conspicuous in the iron and steel and coal industries of Mahoning Valley for three generations. He married Eliza Landon, and one of their five children is William H. Warner of Cleveland, who was born at Youngstown, October 12, 1849.

W. H. Warner was reared at Youngstown, attended public schools there, and finished his education in the old Western Reserve College at Hudson, Ohio. His father operated furnaces and coal mines at Mineral Ridge, Ohio, and it was in this way that William H. Warner became permanently interested in the coal business. His experience as a coal operator runs back fifty four years. In 1877 he moved from Mineral Ridge to Cleveland, and has since been in the wholesale coal business in this city. However, after two years in Cleveland he returned to Mineral Ridge, but in 1893 settled permanently at Cleveland.

Mr. Warner cast his first presidential vote for General Grant, and for many years has been an elder in the Calvary Presbyterian Church of Cleveland. In 1875 he married Miss Elizabeth Whitney. Their two sons, Whitney and Hoyt Landon, are both associated with their father in the firm of W. H. Warner & Company.

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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