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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WALTON, JOHN WHITTLESEY - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WALTON, JOHN WHITTLESEY (15 Jan. 1845-19 Nov. 1926), prominent businessman and philanthropist and son of Lucius Clark and Mary (Vesta) Whittlesay Walton, formed a partnership with J. E. Upson in 1871 and started a business as ship chandlers and grocers in the Winslow Bldg. The ship chandlery business grew, leading to the incorporation of the Upson-Walton Co. in 1893, with Walton as the second president of the company after Upson. Upson-Walton eventually achieved worldwide distribution and was the only U.S. company to combine the manufacturing of wire rope, tackle blocks, and rope fittings. It also operated the only rope mill in Ohio. Walton used his wealth and influence to aid various civic and charitable causes in Cleveland. In 1867 he helped revive the Cleveland YMCA. From 1874-1926, Walton was actively involved in charity, serving as treasurer of Bethel Associated Charities. He also headed the section on philanthropy for the city's Centennial Commission. Throughout his life, Walton was keenly interested in the emerging scientific approach to social work. He donated many books to CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY relating to this field and sociology, and other books of educational value. Walton married twice. His first marriage, on 6 Oct. 1869, was to Lemira Augusta Lyman (d. 1879). They had 3 children: Edwin Augustus, Ethel (Osborn), and Florence (Dorr). His second marriage was on 6 Aug. 1885 to Gertrude L. Hutchinson. They had 3 children also: Gertrude (Holt), Margaret (DeWitt), and Gladys (Jennings). Walton was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

John Whittlesey Walton Papers, WRHS.

Last Modified: 23 Jul 1997 10:50:18 AM

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