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Samuel Starkweather

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Samuel Starkweather

Samuel Starkweather
Mayor of Cleveland
In office
Preceded by Nelson Hayward
Succeeded by George Hoadley
In office
Preceded by William B. Castle
Succeeded by George B. Senter
Personal details
Born (1799-12-27)December 27, 1799
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Died July 5, 1876(1876-07-05) (aged 76)
Cleveland, Ohio
Resting place Lake View Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Julia Judd
Children four
Alma mater Brown University

Samuel Starkweather (December 27, 1799 – July 5, 1876) was mayor of Cleveland from 1844–1845 and served a second term from 1857–1858.

Starkweather was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Oliver and Miriam (Clay) Starkweather. He graduated from Brown College in 1822, tutored there until 1824, and then left to study law in Windham, Connecticut. Starkweather was admitted to the bar in Columbus in 1826. Starkweather moved to Cleveland soon after and joined the Cleveland Grays in 1837, where he took a prominent position in Cleveland politics. Starkweather was elected mayor in 1844, won reelection in 1845, and again in 1857 for a 2-year term. He was the first judge of the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas elected under the new Constitution and served a 5-year term. Starkweather helped establish the first high school in Cleveland. He also promoted railroads in Cleveland and helped establish the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad.

He was collector of the ports of Cleveland, and built a lighthouse of which he was superintendent in 1831. The US Treasury paid him $4,997.00 on the lighthouse and $113.30 for expenditures for it. The land cost $1,000.00. He also built a lighthouse on Turtle Island, Lake Erie, Port Clinton OH in 1832 for which the US Government paid him $1,068.43. The US Government also paid him in 1831 for the support and maintenance of the lighthouses, floating lights, beacons, buoys, and stakeages. He also built or established a marine hospital on which the US Treasury paid him $147.17.

Starkweather married Julia Judd on June 25, 1828. Their 4 children were Sarah, Samuel, William, and Julia. Starkweather is buried in Lake View Cemetery.


  • The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History by Cleveland Bicentennial Commission (Cleveland, Ohio), David D. Van Tassel (Editor), and John J. Grabowski (Editor) ISBN 0-253-33056-4
  • Starkweather, Carlton Lee, M.D. Robert Starkweather and his Descendants, Knapp, Peck and Thomson, 1904.

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