Making a Difference – The Mathers, First Family of Cleveland and Trinity

Dr. Gladys Haddad
Sunday, Nov. 23
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

Flora Stone Mather and Samuel Mather were in many respects the first family of Cleveland and Trinity. Both grew up in established Cleveland families that were pioneers in the iron and construction industries and contributed to Cleveland’s transformation into a major industrial city. Upon their marriage, Samuel and Flora Mather became partners in the service of their community. Samuel served on the board of University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve and was a major contributor to those institutions as well as to Trinity. Flora Mather has been called “the greatest woman in Cleveland’s history.” She dedicated herself to the city’s educational and religious institutions and social reform. This husband and wife team did much to ensure that Cleveland’s growth and development as an industrial city would serve all her citizens. The Mather’s made a difference in their community — incarnating their faith in the community in which they lived.

Videos on the Mathers:

Samuel Mather: Vision, Leadership, Generosity

Flora Stone Mather: A Legacy of Stewardship

Gladys Haddad is Professor of American Studies at Case Western Reserve University. She is the founder and director of the Western Reserve Studies Symposia, an annual event that offers a traditional forum available online at and its successor, a ‘virtual’ Symposium broadcast series titled Regionally Speaking that can be accessed at and heard on the University radio station WRUW 91.1 FM. All are designed to explore the history and culture and address the contemporary issues of a distinctive northeastern Ohio region. She is Professor of American Studies Emerita at Lake Erie College where she was academic dean and executive assistant to the President (1963-1989).

A historian and regionalist, her scholarship is centered in Ohio’s Western Reserve. She has published on the history, literature and art of the region. She is the author of Ohio’s Western Reserve: A Regional Reader, Anthology of Western Reserve Literature and Laukhuff’s Book Store: Cleveland’s Literary and Artistic Landmark: An Epilogue. She recently completed a biography entitled Flora Stone Mather: Daughter of Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue and Ohio’s Western Reserve. It was awarded the 2008 Ohio Genealogical Society Willliam H. & Benjamin Harrison Award for an Ohio related family history.