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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WISE, SAMUEL D. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WISE, SAMUEL D. (28 Nov. 1875-25 Mar. 1953), Jewish industrialist and philanthropist, was born to Daniel and Leah (Flesheim) Wise. He was educated in Cleveland and began work in 1889 as an office boy and bookkeeper for Atlantic Refining Co., which produced roof coating, lubricating oils, axle grease, and industrial paints. Wise and some associates acquired all the company's stock when owner Geo. C. Haskell retired in 1901. They changed the company's name to Arco Co. in 1914. With Wise as its president, Arco became the 3d-largest company in its field after GLIDDEN COATINGS & RESINS DIV. (IMPERIAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES) and SHERWIN WILLIAMS CO. Wise retired in 1936. Before he left Cleveland for Katonah, NY in 1951, Wise contributed to many causes and organizations. He is best remembered for founding Camp Wise and the Camp Wise Assoc. for children, begun on a once-fashionable 20-acre resort in EUCLID in 1906 as a summer camp for indigent children and their mothers. Its success led to selection of another camp site at Painesville-on-the-Lake, occupying 70 acres east of Painesville. Wise was an organizer of MT. SINAI MEDICAL CENTER, giving the principal donation to build its nurses' home and training school. He was also a founder of the Jewish Welfare Fund in 1931, and a trustee and supporter of the Jewish Welfare Fed. Wise donated several art treasures to the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. Cultural and needy members of the community still benefit from the Samuel D. & May W. Wise Fund. Wise was honored as Cleveland's Distinguished Citizen on 27 May 1931.

Wise married May Weil on 15 Jan. 1903. They had three children: Howard E., Margaret, and Francis. Wise died in Katonah, NY and was cremated.

Last Modified: 16 Feb 2005 09:42:01 PM

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