Washing Gladden, born in 1836 in Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, was a prominent minister and local-organizer. Graduating from Williams College, Gladden first worked as a minister in Massachusetts and New York before being transferred to Columbus, Ohio. Gladden was disgusted at the state of the city when he first arrived in Columbus, specifically by the city’s inability to enforce saloon closure on Sundays. Gladden’s religious beliefs aligned with the Progressive movement, which advocated parishioners to work actively in local affairs to improve the lives of their fellow man. Gladden shaped his anger towards the city to a career in local politics, serving the Columbus City Council from 1900 until 1902. Through his work, he was able lower streetcar fares, and help Columbus assume control over a local electrical plant. Gladden continued to serve as a community organizer and advocate throughout his life. Gladden died July 2, 1918 in Columbus. Washington Gladden was made a Great Ohioan in 2012.
This photo is courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.