Marker honors Westlake's Cooley

George Cooley's grandson Roger Cooley, left, and his wife, Lollie, were joined at the historical marker dedication ceremony by Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough. Photo by Dan Hirschfeld

On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Westlake Historical Society dedicated an Ohio Historical Marker to George L. Cooley. 

This marker honors one of Westlake's own. Affectionately known to many as "Uncle George," he has myriad credits to his name – teacher, contractor, road builder, insurance executive and organizer of county and state farmers.

George was born in 1861 and raised on a farm at what is now the corner of Dover Center Road and Hilliard Boulevard. After attending Ohio Northern University, he taught at the Osborn School, located in the part of Dover Township that is now Bay Village, then taught at the old Red Brick School on Dover Center Road.

He was the contractor for the Huntington water tower in Bay Village, as well as many homes and barns throughout the community. George built some of the first paved roads in Ohio and helped organize the state department of transportation, as well as those in California and Louisiana.

George served as chairman of the assembly which organized the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation in 1919 and served on its board of directors for many years. He also co-founded the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, predecessor to Nationwide Insurance Company, and served as its president until his death in 1939.

The marker is located near the Westlake Police Department on Dover Center Road, on land that was once owned by the Cooley family.

George Cooley was a fine Dover/Westlake citizen and we are proud to honor him in this way.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 8:58 AM, 09.15.2015