Traffic Unit: The Corner Men, Part 9

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:

Elmer B. Nank # 680 Appointed 10/01/1913 and Pensioned 01/01/1949. End of Watch 04/26/1958.

Frank Makransky # 77 Appointed 06/19/1913 and Pensioned 07/16/1939. End of Watch 03/16/1968.
Benjamin F. Snider # 297 Appointed 01/01/1913 and Pensioned 02/17/1945. End of Watch 10/30/1948.
William F. Widlitzke # 99 Appointed 12/01/1899 and Pensioned 07/01/1925. End of Watch 12/11/1949.

John H. Mershon # 662 Appointed 06/01/1913 and Pensioned 07/01/1947. End of Watch 12/18/1967.

Emil J. Hrabak # 766 Appointed 05/16/1917 and Pensioned 07/13/1942. End of Watch 04/19/1950.
Charles Kase #90 Appointed 12/01/1917 and Pensioned 07/18/1951. End of Watch 11/21/1972.
Joseph Charles Suchan # 272, Appointed 05/19/1919 and Pensioned 04/16/1951. End of Watch 06/04/1977.

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

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