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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FORAN, MARTIN A. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FORAN, MARTIN A. (11 Nov. 1844-28 June 1921), U.S. Congressman, and county prosecutor, and judge of the court of common pleas, was born in Choconut Twp., Susquehanna County, Pa., to James and Catherine O'Donnell Foran. He learned the coopering trade, and attended St. Joseph's College in Susquehanna County for 2 years. During the CIVIL WAR, he served in the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In 1868 Foran came to Cleveland as a cooper, serving as president of the Coopers International Union and editor of the Coopers' Journal (1870-74). He meanwhile studied law, was a member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1873, and after being admitted to the Ohio bar in 1874, practiced law in Cleveland.

Active in Democratic party politics, Foran was prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga County from 1875-77. He supported the KNIGHTS OF LABOR DISTRICT ASSEMBLY NO. 47 and was considered a moderate reformer. With labor support, he served 3 terms in Congress beginning 1883. He wrote a novel, The Other Side: A Social Study Based on Fact, describing a working man's life. Declining to run for a 4th term, in 1888 Foran returned to Cleveland to practiced law. He brought NEWTON D. BAKER† to the attention of Mayor TOM L. JOHNSON†, and was elected judge of the court of common pleas in 1910, where he served until his death in Cleveland. On 29 Dec. 1868, Foran married Kate Kavanaugh. They had 2 children, Gertrude M. (Mrs. Franklin A. Handrick) and Margaret O. (Mrs. Jas. Connolly). After Kate died in 1893, he married Emma Kenny that same year.

Last Modified: 16 Jul 1997 02:20:58 PM

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