Carl B. Stokes is widely known as the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city. Yet, Stokes, elected to office in 1967, was neither the first black mayor in Ohio nor even in the Cleveland area. Nearly four decades earlier, a small community…

Carved out of the Brooklyn Township territory, West Cleveland was incorporated as a village in 1871. The new suburb consisted of 1,500 acres of land and was bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the east by the Cleveland corporation line near Gordon…