Traffic Unit: The Corner Men, Part 8

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:

Edward Novak # 340 Appointed 01/15/1919 and resigned 09/12/1922.

Patrick D. Carney # 709 Appointed 05/16/1917 and pensioned 06/15/1942. End of Watch 11/27/1974.
Arthur Simon # 445 Appointed 05/01/1918. End of Watch 01/08/1929.

Frank W. Houska # 203 Appointed 02/15/1917and pensioned 11/02/1942. End of Watch 05/11/1956.

Jacob Ammersbach # 649 Appointed 04/19/1913 and pensioned 09/01/1942. End of Watch 03/26/1962.
Frank Chvala # 53 Appointed 08/07/1903. End of Watch 01/02/1928.
John F. Valchar # 267 Appointed 11/16/1917 and pensioned 05/16/1948. End of Watch 11/20/1964.

Steven Hendricks # 183 Appointed 10/22/1917 and pensioned 10/22/1942. End of Watch 01/03/1963.

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

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