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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DEVEREUX, HENRY KELSEY - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DEVEREUX, HENRY KELSEY "HARRY K." (10 Oct. 1859-1 May 1932), son of Antoinette (Kelsey) and JOHN H. DEVEREUX†, made his greatest contributions to harness racing although he was an able business follower of his father. At 16, he attended Brooks Military Academy and was chosen as the drummer boy model in ARCHIBALD WILLARD†'s painting SPIRIT OF `76. After graduating from Yale in 1883, he worked for the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railroad, and later managed the Chicago-Cleveland Roofing Co. Devereux was fascinated with harness racing. Never a bettor, he invested in horses and drove them in amateur races at the GLENVILLE RACE TRACK. He won over 3,000 cups and ribbons and accumulated 14 records.

Devereux devoted both time and capital advancing harness racing. In 1895 he organized the Gentlemen's Driving Club of Cleveland, which competed with other clubs through the League of American Driving Clubs, which Devereux organized in 1901, professionalizing the sport and focusing attention on Cleveland. When a proponent of the Glenville Race Track died, the mayor of that village declared betting illegal, assuring the closing of the track (1909). So in 1908 sportsmen organized the village of NORTH RANDALL, and Devereux financed the building of RANDALL PARK RACE TRACK Race Track and was its first president. When Devereux died, he left his horses and racing paraphernalia to a pair of faithful stablemen. Devereux married Mildred French on 11 Feb. 1885 and had 2 children, Julian French and Aileen (Mrs. Lanier Winslow). He died at his winter home in Georgia and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Devereux Family Papers, WRHS.

Gentlemen's Driving Club of Cleveland Records, WRHS.

Last Modified: 13 May 1998 11:23:26 AM

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