Village Leaders

Robert Livingston Ireland Sr. - Founder, First Village Council and Second Mayor

11801 Lake Shore Boulevard
Robert Livingston Ireland Sr.
Robert Livingston Ireland Sr.

Robert Livingston Ireland was of an old American family. Some of his ancestors on both sides served in the Revolutionary War. On August 20, 1867, he was born at his parent's summer home, John and Adelia (Duane) Ireland, in Stratford, Connecticut. His father practiced law for many years in New York City.

Robert was educated in Stamford, Connecticut, and Newburgh, New York. He received a bachelor arts degree from Yale College in 1890.

On coming to Cleveland, Mr. Ireland was an employee of the Cleveland Hardware Company. Still, in 1892 he helped to organize the Hackney Bicycle Company, becoming its secretary and treasurer. Then, in 1894, he entered the Globe Iron Works Company as assistant secretary and treasurer, and in 1898 became vice president.

Ireland was instrumental in combining the Cleveland Dry Dock Company and the Ship Owners Dry Dock Company. He became vice president and general manager. In 1899, Ireland assisted in effecting and still more extensive consolidation of the shipbuilding interests of the Great Lakes known as the American Shipbuilding Company. He was vice president until he resigned in October 1903.

He was made a partner in the M. A. Hanna & Company on January 1, 1904. His business connections became rapidly extended to over thirty companies. On August 20, 1917, Ireland sold his interests in all his companies, moved to New York City, and retired from active business.

Robert Livingston Ireland Sr. helped lead the drive to have Glenville on the Lake become Bratenahl.  He was elected to the first Bratenahl Village Council in December 1904 with fifty-eight votes, and none opposed. He served in that capacity for seven years.

He was elected to become the second mayor of Bratenahl in November 1911, replacing Liberty Holden, who served for seven years. He served as mayor for eight years, from 1912 through 1919.

World War I dominated Ireland's mayoral term starting in 1914. With his leadership, the whole village contributed to the war effort.

Robert married Kate Hanna on May 2, 1894. They had two children, Robert Livingston Ireland, Jr. "Liv" born on February 2, 1895, and Elizabeth (Poe), born on October 30, 1898. Robert and Kate divorced in 1918. Robert remarried to Mary Ester Wood on April 1, 1920, and Kate remarried to Perry Williams Harvey on February 12, 1923.

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