Traffic Unit: The Corner Men, Part 7

In 1921 the Cleveland Plain Dealer introduced to their readers the Cleveland Police Officers assigned the difficult task of directing vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the city each day.  They featured a photograph and brief personal information of 76 Officers who were referred to as “Corner Men,” working in the rain, snow and sunshine to keep people safe. 

The Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection staff researched their archives and were able to locate 35 of the original photographs from this series.  We present a few of those Officers:

“The Plain Dealer, through the medium of the Picture Page, is going to introduce its readers to members of Cleveland’ traffic force.  The have real jobs.  Swinging the semaphore, of course, isn’t so hard.  But that is a small part of the job.  Answering questions is the task.  A semaphore sentinel has to be a human city directory.”

For more information on police semaphores, visit:

For more information on Cleveland Public Library’s photograph collection, visit:

Willian D. Mears # 450 Appointed 09/05/1905 and pensioned on 03/01/1931. End of Watch 12/02/1960.

William E. Case # 357 Appointed 08/03/1911. End of Watch 06/11/1928.
James A. Crawford # 306 Appointed 03/01/1903 and pensioned on 10/01/1926. End of Watch 09/04/1941.

James J. Murney # 525 Appointed 02/20/1907. End of Watch 04/10/1941.

Nicholas J. Murray # 28 Appointed 06/24/1914 and pensioned on 02/25/1942. End of Watch 08/02/1981.

Constantine “Con” Derwinski # 48 Appointed 01/15/1919 and resigned 02/25/1935.
Michael J. Kennedy # 233 Appointed 11/01/1900 and resigned on 10/04/1947.
Joseph F. Lapp # 656 Appointed 01/15/1915 and pensioned on 06/15/1940. End of Watch 02/26/1986.

Michael J. O’Hare # 510 Appointed 08/19/1907. End of Watch 12/26/19949.

Written by Cleveland Police Historical Society and Museum volunteer Commander Robert Cermak, Ret.

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