Ella Estabrook

Submitted by lmcshane on Mon, 01/17/2022 - 10:10.
 

 
 
 
Ella's Story
 
 
      
Ella M. Davidson was born in Nova Scotia in 1874 and moved to the United States May 1877.
By 1906 Ella and her husband Austin Estabrook were becoming established in Cleveland, Ohio. Ella opened her own tailoring business and employed 20 women from her neighborhood and became passionately involved in her community.
In 1917 Ella became more involved in local and state level women’s clubs and published her own paper called “Cleveland Women”.
Ella noticed the inequities in her community and took on leadership roles that allowed her to dedicate herself to the improvement of various social groups that were not receiving the attention they needed.
 Around 1919 Ella founded the Women’s Civic League of Brooklyn and held banquets that were inclusive regardless of sex, race or religion.  Ella had an unsuccessful attempt as the first woman to run for The Cleveland City Council however she paved the way for more women to follow in her footsteps.
In 1920 Ella had appealed the city of Brooklyn for a community house where members could go to feel safe and enjoy recreational activities without judgement or bias.  In 1957, that appeal was answered and the Ella Estabrook Recreation Center still stands and is a vibrant part of the community.
Ella passed away in 1937,  and many Cleveland organizations recognized her contributions and a dedicated bookshelf can still be found today at the Brooklyn Public Library.
 
 
Here is some of the text, abstracted from “An Emergency Ordinance” by City Council by the City of Cleveland:

Ella M. Estabrook was know to many life-long residents of the area for her service to the community. That in tribute to the long and devoted years of service and accomplishments of Ella and in appreciation of her courageous and persistent efforts to give to Cleveland the highest possible standards in the field of public recreation to be found anywhere in America. Her civic mindedness manifested itself at once in her work to aid and improve schools and recreational facilities by her activity in the Cleveland Mothers Club, the forerunner of the present Parent Teachers Association. While serving as President of the Cleveland Mothers Club, she was instrumental in bringing the first Young Men’s Christian Association and Young Women’s Christian Association interests to the community. Her participation in the League of Women Voters did not include as many of the residents of the community as she would have liked, and she worked long hours to promote and found the Women’s Civic League of Brooklyn. While serving as the first President of the Women’s Civic League, she established a League “Home” with club room and dining facilities both in South Brooklyn and at Chippewa Lake. At the time, nearly every civic improvement accomplished in this area stems back in part to her work. In July25, 1919 she sent an appeal to the Brooklyn Business Chamber and the Brooklyn-Parma-Royalton Civic Association to enlist their help in obtaining for this area a “community house” in which recreation could be had for persons of both sexes, and all races and creeds. “That in tribute to the long and devoted years of service and accomplishments of Ella M. Estabrook and in appreciation of her courageous and persistent efforts to give to Cleveland the highest possible standards in the field of public recreation to be found anywhere in America, it is hereby determined that the official designation of the new recreation center on Fulton Road and Shadyside Avenue, be and the same shell henceforth by known as the “Ella M. Estabrook Memorial Community Center”. 

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Brooklyn Twp - Ella Estabrook's legacy