Arthur Baldwin - Attorney

9534 Lake Shore Boulevard
Arthur Douglas Baldwin
Arthur Douglas Baldwin

Arthur Baldwin was a distinguished attorney, thoughtful civic leader, and valuable citizen who gave generously of his time and effort to Cleveland’s civic and philanthropic institutions.

Arthur Douglas Baldwin was born on April 8, 1876, on the island of Maui, Hawaii, to Henry and Emily Baldwin. He was heir to Alexander & Baldwin’s missionary-founded firm, which with Castle & Cooke, dominated landholding and ocean shipping to the islands.

Arthur attended Oakland High School in Oakland, California, and prepared for college at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. He graduated with a B.A. degree from Yale University in 1898 and received an LL.B. degree from Harvard University in 1901.

Abram Garfield, a friend of Arthur at Yale, introduced Arthur to Reba Williams. Reba was the youngest daughter of Edward and Louise Williams. Reba grew up at 9534 Lake Shore Boulevard. She received her education in Cleveland public schools, Miss Spenser’s school (Hathaway Brown), Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut, and Miss Hersey’s school in Boston.

Arthur and Reba were married on June 17, 1902. Reba refused to leave her mother, so Arthur established the William Cushing & Clark’s law practice in Cleveland.

In 1908, he organized the law firm of Crowell & Baldwin that dissolved in 1911. From 1911 to 1912, Baldwin served as a commissioner with Judge Daniel Fabst of Crestline, Ohio, to revise the Ohio laws relating to children.

In 1916, he became a member of Garfield, MacGregor & Baldwin, with the senior member being James R. Garfield, the brother of Abram Garfield and President Garfield’s son. James had formerly been Secretary of the Interior under President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907.

Baldwin became a captain in the 164th Field Artillery Brigade of the 89th Division on November 27, 1917, during World War I and assigned to active duty at Camp Funston, Kansas. Baldwin was a little more than five feet tall and not much more than a hundred pounds but was an inspiration to his men, who dubbed him “Pop.” He received an honorable discharge on May 31, 1919, and returned to Cleveland to continue law practice.

The law firm’s name changed to Garfield, Cross, Daoust, Baldwin &  Vrooman and later to Garfield, Baldwin, Jamison, Hope, & Ulrich.

Mr. Baldwin was a member of the executive committee of the Sherwin-Williams Co., a director and legal counsel of the North American Electric Manufacturing Co. of Galion, Ohio, a director of the Land Title Guarantee & Trust Co., secretary of Workingmen’s Collateral Loan Company, and a director of the American Fabric and Belting Company.

Arthur was a member of the Bratenahl School Board from 1910 to 1913. In 1912, he was an unsuccessful candidate on the Progressive ticket for State Representative.

Mr. Baldwin was president of the Cleveland Welfare Federation, chairman of the Cleveland Hospital Service Association board, a member of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and a member of the Spies Committee for Clinical Research, affiliated with Northwestern University.

He was president of the Cleveland Hospital Council and secretary of the Survey Committee of the Cleveland Foundation. In addition to being chairman of the Western Reserve University board of trustees, Mr. Baldwin was a trustee of Babies’ and Children’s Hospital of the University Hospital.

He was chairman of the Cleveland Hospital Service Association board, a member of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and a member of the Spies Committee for Clinical Research, affiliated with Northwestern University.

In 1939, Mr. Baldwin received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Western Reserve University. In 1940, he was awarded the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce medal for distinguished service to Cleveland. A year later, he was given the Cleveland Community Fund distinguished service medal. He received an honorary award from the American Hospital Association in 1948 and was named Man of the Year by The Cleveland Press in 1954.

Reba was a trustee for the Visiting Nurse Association, the Anti-Tuberculosis League, Babies’ Hospital, Phillis Wheatley Association, Hathaway-Brown School, St. Barnabas Guild of Nurses, and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Baldwin was a dedicated horseman and a founder of the Cleveland Polo Club. When the public first viewed the sport of polo in Cleveland in 1911, it was dubbed “a shortcut to suicide.” The leading team included Arthur Baldwin. “Croquet on horseback” soon became one of the fastest games, with many fans.

Social memberships included the Court of Nisi Prius, the Country, Mayfield, Tavern, Union, and University Clubs. He was instrumental in developing the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club in 1908 and was the first secretary. He was a member of the first board of directors of the City Club of Cleveland in 1912.

Reba died on June 24, 1941. After being in failing health for more than a year, Arthur died on March 9, 1955, at his Bratenahl home. He was buried next to Reba in Lake View Cemetery.

Arthur and Reba had six children: Henry, born on April 2, 1903; Louise (King), born on August 16, 1904; Frederick, born in 1905; Arthur, born on March 3, 1909; Sarah (Hanger), born on March 7, 1911; and Lewis William, born on January 29, 1914.