Early Settlers

Warren and Mary Helen Corning

Corning Drive
Warren H. Corning

Warren Holmes Corning was born on February 18, 1841, in Painesville, Ohio. The family moved to Cleveland in 1846, then moved to Newark, Ohio returning to Cleveland in 1853. Corning graduated from Cleveland High School. On leaving school, he went to work at the age of sixteen for the firm of Gordon, McMillan & Company, wholesale grocers. His three years there provided him with thorough and systematic business training.

Corning married Mary Helen Wick on December 7, 1864. Mary was born May 24, 1841, in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of Henry and Mary Sophia Wick. She received her education at Glendale College in Glendale, Ohio. Warren and Mary had six children: Leslie Solon, born in 1866; Henry Wick born on January 13, 1869; Mary Almira (Audenried), born on April 1, 1871; Adele (Chisholm), born on July 17, 1874, and Olive Payne (Pearson) born in 1882.

Warren entered the distilling business in association with his father. Since Cleveland was remote from the grain belt where the company obtained its raw material, a plant was established in Peoria, Illinois, with Warren Corning as the manager. However, he maintained his home in Cleveland. About 1887, he sold the Monarch Distilling Company of Peoria and retired from the distilling industry.

Corning then made significant investments in the Standard Sewing Machine Company, the Wick Banking & Trust Company, the First National Bank, and the Guardian Savings and Trust Company. He was a director and actively concerned with the management of all.

Corning was generous with his time and influence in furthering the best interests of the Republican Party in state and national campaigns. Genial and affable among friends, he had many prominent social connections in Cleveland and eastern cities. Warren was a member of the Metropolitan and New York Clubs and the Ohio Society of New York. In Cleveland, he belonged to the Roadside and Union clubs and was a charter member of The Country Club.

On October 9, 1890, Warren and Mary Helen Corning acquired a large parcel of land along Lake Erie north of Lake Shore Boulevard immediately west of Dugway Creek.  The prior owners, James and Elizabeth Fitch, lost their title to the property by failing to repay loans secured by a mortgage on the property.  The Cornings, who lived along Cleveland’s “Millionaires’ Row” at 3201 Euclid Avenue, assembled the 36.54 acres that today comprise all the properties along Corning Drive as their summer campground.  They called it “Corning Place.”

Warren Corning did not have many years of enjoyment at Corning Place. In 1895, he had an operation performed for the removal of cartilage from his knee.  Blood poisoning set in, which resulted in amputation.  He was left in a weakened condition.  He died on September 3, 1899, at age 58.

Mary Helen Corning died in Flagstaff, Arizona, on September 12, 1929, and is buried alongside Warren in Lake View Cemetery.