In the death of William E. Cordill, Toledo experienced the loss of a valued and valuable citizen. A lawyer by
profession, he was held high in the esteem of his associates at. the bar, while his activities in the political
field and his energetic enthusiasm in forwarding any movement for the betterment of the city caused him to be looked
upon as one of Toledo's foremost residents.
A native of Indiana, he was born on a farm at South Whitley, August 15, 1869, his parents being William and Martha
(Norris) Cordill. He attended the public schools of South Whitley and of North Manchester and when he had completed
his high school course by graduation he matriculated in Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, where he entered
upon a commercial course but as his work developed he found his greatest pleasure in subjects pertaining to the
law and changed his line of study, being graduated ultimately with the degree of LL. B., in 1894. He was soon afterward
admitted to practice at the bars of both Indiana and Ohio. In the same year he came to Toledo with one of his former
classmates, Edward H. Ray, and together they opened offices, forming a partnership under the style of Ray &
Cordill. Their first location was in the Alma block, where they remained for two years and then removed to the
National Union building, where they continued their offices for twenty years, or until the structure was torn down
to make way for the present Lasaile and Koch store building. Later the firm had offices on the fourth floor of
the Ohio building and were there located when Mr. Cordill so suddenly passed away, January 31, 1917, his death
being occasioned by a form of bronchial trouble.
Mr. Cordill was ever interested in political matters and became a factor in local affairs. On the 1st of January,
1914, he was appointed by former Mayor Carl H. Keller a member of the civil service commission, of which he became
president. In 1913 he was defeated in the race for congress by General Isaac R. Sherwood. Mr. Cordill was campaign
manager at the time of the election of Carl H. Keller as Toledo's mayor in 1914. During the next mayoralty campaign.
in 1915, he gave his suppor.t to former Police Chief Murphy, who was defeated by Charles M. Milroy. Mr. Cordill
served as a member of the state central committee and was enthusiastic in the affairs of the republican party,
doing everything in his power to promote its growth and secure the adoption of its principles.
On the 27th of November, 1895, Mr. Cordill was tharried to Miss Emily Catharine Ward, a daughter of the Rev. Philip
J. and Emily (Boot) Ward. She was born in England and when a year old was brought by her parents to America. Her
father filled several successful pastorates in Ohio and Indiana, becoming pastor of the First Baptist church in
Toledo in 1893, where he continued his labors for several years. Philip J. Ward . was a stronE preacher and a sturdy
defender of his faith. Few opponents could stand before him in an argument upon any religious question. He was
universally respected and deeply loved and even revered by those who knew him well. He went from Toledo to Los
Angeles, California, where he became pastor of one of the Baptist churches of that city and there died in 1904.
Mrs. Cordill acquired her education in the public schools of Columbus and of Cincinnati, Ohio. By her marriage
she has become the mother of four children: Emily R., living at home, is a graduate nurse of the Robinwood Hospital
and at present is a public health nurse; Annie Norris, who was a graduate of Dr. Law's Kindergarten Training School
of Toledo, is now the wife of John Van Cleve Gardner of this city, and they have one son, Robert George; Ward E.
is connected with Hull Brothers Umbrella Company; and Rachel E. completes the f amily. Mrs. Cordill is prominent
in the work of the church, is president of the Woman's Society and president of the Riverside Woman's Christian
Temperance Union. She is also interested in politics and served as one of the election judges for two years.
Mr. Cordill was a consistent member of the Riverside Baptist church, in which he served as deacon, while for fifteen
years prior to his death he occupied the position of Sunday school superintendent. He was also a stanch temperance
worker and this may have occasioned his defeat for congress, winning him the opposition of the anti temperance
element. He always stood loyally for his honest convictions, however, no matter at what personal sacrifice. He
was president of the Toledo Baptist Union and no good work done in the name of charity or religion sought his aid
in vain. He belonged to Barton Smith Lodge, No. 613, F. & A. M., to Concord Lodge of the Knights of Pythias
and to Wapakonica Lodge, No. 38, I. O. O. F. Mr. Cordill was always a great reader, an earnest student and a deep
thinker and his opinions on many subjects were sought by his fellow townsmen, who considered his position to be
at all times tenable. He was a gifted public speaker, tactful, witty, entertaining and instructive and on many,
occasions was called upon to address the public. He was also an enthusiastic golf player, a member of the Toledo
Golfs Club, a member of the Inverness Club and the Lincoln Republican Club. In every relation of life he enjoyed
the goodwill and confidence of those with whom he came into contact and as his aid and influence were ever given
On the side of progress and improvement his worth as a man and citizen wás widely acknowledged.
Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo
Lucas County, Ohio Biographies
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium