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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GASSAWAY, HAROLD T. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GASSAWAY, HAROLD T. (5 Aug. 1893-13 Apr. 1952), black lawyer and Republican politician, was born in Anderson, S.C. to Carrie P. Walls and Mark Gassaway. He was a sergeant in the 349th Field Artillery during WORLD WAR I, serving in France and the western front, and graduated from Clark University and Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he received his law degree in 1922. Admitted to the Ohio bar in 1923, Gassaway opened his first office in Cleveland, practicing in all the courts.

By the late 1920s, the growing black population east of E. 55th between Euclid and Woodland avenues enabled black leaders to take control of the Republican party organization in that area, including wards 17, 18, and 19. Gassaway entered politics, struggling in 1928 for control of Ward 18 with CLAYBORNE GEORGE†, for Gassaway had been elected president of the Ward 18 Republican Club over George's opposition. Together with L. L. Yancy, then ward leader, Gassaway assumed control of Ward 18 and backed John Hubbard for council. From 1939 until his retirement from politics in 1951 because of declining health, Gassaway was councilman from Ward 18. When not in the political limelight, Gassaway busied himself as senior partner of the firm of Gassaway, Collum, Tyler & Kellogg. In addition, he was president of his own business, the Gassaway Broom Mfg. Co. Gassaway married former school teacher Ethel Sutton of Pomeroy, Ohio, on 27 Nov. 1926. He was survived by her and their 2 daughters, Margaret and Carol. Gassaway was buried in Highland Park Cemetery.

Last Modified: 16 Jul 1997 11:21:53 AM

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