James Dempsey - Co-founder of Squire Sanders & Dempsey
12819 Lake Shore Boulevard
James Dempsey and Andrew Squire joined Judge William Sanders to establish the firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in 1890. For the next thirty years, Dempsey practiced law for the firm in Cleveland.
James Howard Dempsey was born in Shelby, Ohio on March 29, 1859, the son of Colonel John and Martha Dempsey. After attending the public schools in Shelby, Dempsey completed the preparatory college course at the Gilmore Hall Grammar School in Gambier, Ohio. He graduated from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1882 and went on to study law at Columbia University.
During his summer vacation in 1883, Dempsey worked at the Cleveland firm of Estep, Dickey & Squire. Persuaded to stay at the firm rather than return to school, he continued his studies under Judge Charles J. Estep, the senior partner. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1884 and became a partner in the firm in 1886.
Dempsey married Emma Norris Bourne on September 24, 1885. She was born on April 19, 1861. Emma was descended from a very prominent family. The original Bournes settled in Cape Cod from 1630 as missionaries to the Indians in the 17th century. They had two sons: John Bourne Dempsey born on September 26, 1888, and Ernest Cook Dempsey born on March 15, 1890.
Emma died on March 14, 1893, at age 31 and is buried in Lake View Cemetery. Dempsey remarried Ada Melissa Hunt on October 30, 1915. She was born on March 9, 1879, in Delaware, Ontario, Canada. They had three children: James Howard Jr., born on October 18, 1916, Isabel (Chamberlin) born on October 30, 1918, and Louise (Leinroth) born on November 27, 1920, five months after James Dempsey died. All three children attended Bratenahl School.
Dempsey was actively engaged in the business life of Cleveland serving as president and director of the Factory Site Company and the Mogul Mining Co.; president and director of Toledo and Southeastern Railway Co.; director of Bourne-Fuller Company, Glidden Varnish Company, Grasselli Chemical Company, Kelly Island Cable Co., Ohio and Western Lime Co., United States Radiator Corporation, Union National Bank, and Webb C. Ball Watch Company.
Devoted to improving education, Dempsey served on the board of trustees of University School, West End School, and his alma mater, Kenyon College, that honored him with an LL.B. degree in 1912. He was also on the board of trustees of Lake View Cemetery Association. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, a charter member of The Country Club and a member of the Hunt, Tavern, Union, University, and Yacht clubs as well as the University and Bankers clubs of New York.
James died on May 2, 1920, in Cleveland. James’ second wife, Ada, and their three children lived across the street at 12814 Lake Shore Boulevard until her death on October 6, 1948. She was buried along with James in Lake View Cemetery.