Flora Stone Mather
Daughter of Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue and Ohio’s Western Reserve
2007, 244 pp
courtesy of our partner, Atlas
The biography of one of Cleveland’s leading philanthropists
Flora Amelia Stone, born in 1852, was the youngest daughter of New England–born entrepreneur Amasa Stone and his wife, Julia. Stone, who settled on Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, earned his fortune in railroads and bridge building, and was president and director of numerous railroads and other industrial and financial corporations. In 1881 Flora wed her neighbor, Samuel Mather, a marriage that united two of Cleveland’s—and the nation’s—wealthiest and most influential families. The couple, recognized as a true love match, not simply a marriage of convenience, had four children.
Upon her father’s sudden death by suicide, Flora assumed many of his philanthropic responsibilities and undertook charitable endeavors of her own. She was at the center of many charities and organizations that addressed the physical, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual needs of Clevelanders, especially the poor, women, and children. Credited with establishing the Goodrich House settlement, she also supported the Children’s Aid Society and gave generously to promote women’s education at Western Reserve University.
In her philanthropy, Flora gave unsparingly of herself—her time and energy as well as her money—and never sought credit for her many contributions. Flora Stone Mather died from breast cancer in 1909. The region and city still benefit from her generosity, compassion, and foresight.
Rich with regional history, this biography of an influential Clevelander will be important reading for students of women’s studies and the history of philanthropy as well as those interested in Ohio’s Western Reserve and its people.
Gladys Haddad is professor of American studies at Case Western Reserve University, director of the Western Reserve Studies Symposia, and professor emerita of American Studies at Lake Erie College. Her other publications include Anthology of Western Reserve Literature (Kent State University Press, 1992), with David Anderson, and Ohio’s Western Reserve (Kent State University Press, 1988), with Harry Lupold.