A major concern for CLI has been funding our program. Initially we had hoped that tuition would provide operational income. It was soon discovered that we had to find another source of income.
The Cleveland Foundation – Franklin G. Smith Grant
As we instructed our students about grant writing and where to look for grants, we spent a great deal of time working through the grant writing process with the Cleveland Foundation, going so far as submitting paperwork and deadlines for the application process.
On March 18, 2019, we received a letter addressed to Pastor Kregg Burris informing him that the Cleveland Foundation has designed a new grant from the Franklin G. Smith Fund of the Cleveland Foundation to be issued to the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland. Our grant originated from a fund set up by Franklin G. Smith in 1937.
Franklin G. Smith was born in 1867 in Bellevue, Ohio. Prior to his becoming involved with Osborn, he was Assistant Postmaster in Bellevue, Ohio. He then headed up the Manufacturer’s Supply Department of the W. Bingham Company of Cleveland and later worked for a short time for Bacon & Smith Architects. Franklin Smith became interested in Osborn in February, 1892 and shortly afterward acquired a substantial stock interest. In 1894, he was elected President and in January 1951, was named Chairman of the Board.
Franklin Smith’s activities outside the Osborn organization were many and varied. He served as director on the boards of The Cleveland Trust Company, the American Foundrymen’s Association, Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, and the Union Commerce Bank. He was the President of the Ohio Rubber Company from 1932 until 1951 and also during those years served on their Board of Directors. He became Chairman of the Board of Ohio Rubber in 1951 and served in that capacity until June, 1955.
Franklin G. Smith held positions as Treasurer of the American Brush Manufacturers Association and President of the Foundry Equipment Manufacturers Association was a member of the Board of Governors of the Associated Industries, and on the Executive Board of the Citizens League. He served as President and Trustee of Denison University, becoming Honorary Chairman of the Board in 1942 and receiving an Honorary Degree LLD in June 1946. The senior Smith maintained an active interest in Osborn Manufacturing for many years, becoming Honorary Chairman in January 1966 a title he held until his death at the age of almost 101, in May of 1968.
Franklin G. Smith was the Superintendent of the Russell Avenue Sunday School which was a mission of The First Baptist Church. Dennison University in Granville, Ohio was an American Baptist Church affiliated college at the time of Mr. Smith.
His Franklin G. Smith Fund became incorporated into the Cleveland Foundation.
With his life long commitment to education (Denison) and community (Citizen’s League). It was presented to the Council of the church to create the The Franklin G. Smith Fund for Social Justice and Education which will be overseen by the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Life Institute for the purpose of community engagement, education, and social responsibility within the context of our congregation’s call to social justice and community responsibility in Greater Cleveland. This was unanimously approved by the council of the church on July 23, 2019.