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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BLYTHIN, EDWARD - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BLYTHIN, EDWARD (10 Oct. 1884-14 Feb. 1958), was Cleveland law director, mayor, and judge. Born in Newmarket, Wales, to Peter and Elizabeth Roberts Blythin, he worked 2 years as a bookkeeper for an English coal firm before coming to Cleveland in 1906, where he worked as bookkeeper for the Walton Realty Co. for 10 years while studying law nights at Cleveland Law School. After receiving his LL.D. in 1916, he practiced law from 1916-41 and 1942-43, specializing in municipal law. He was appointed Cleveland assistant law director in 1935, law director in 1940, and succeeded HAROLD H. BURTON† as mayor of Cleveland when Burton became a U.S. senator in 1941, serving 11 months before losing the election to Frank Lausche. As mayor, Blythin mobilized manpower for the national defense, and urged companies and unions to remove barriers to black employment.

From 1943-48, Blythin was financial vice-president and secretary of Western Reserve University. He was elected judge in the common pleas court in 1949, presiding at the trial of Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard for the murder of Sheppard's wife Marilyn in 1954 (see SHEPPARD MURDER CASE). With the widespread publicity, the defense maintained that Sheppard had not received a fair trial, but Blythin defended both his conduct of the case and the propriety of holding the trial in Cleveland. He remained judge until his death at age 73. Blythin married Jane Rankin 5 Apr. 1913, and they had 5 children, Robert, Arthur, Glen (dec.), Jane (Mrs. Robt. Drake), and William.

Harold Burton and Edward Blythin Papers, WRHS.

"In Memory of Judge Edward Blythin" (Paper delivered to the Philosophical Club of Cleveland, 14 Jan. 1958, WRHS).

Last Modified: 14 Jul 1997 02:24:18 PM

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