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City of Toledo - City Council Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-297

Scope and Contents

The Toledo City Records collection mostly consists of meeting minutes from the Board of Aldermen between 1874 and 1903, the Common Council between 1837 and 1905, and Joint Committee of Alderman and Council between 1874 and 1903.

There are also letter books from the Clerk of Council from 1906 to 1925. There are five volumes of the Toledo Municipal Code from 1919 from the Committee of Publicity and Efficiency and two boxes from 1952. There are several bound books regarding gas/electric and lighting assessments, improvements, ordinances, and resolutions.

This collection is an invaluable resource on the development and history of the city of Toledo. Of particular note are the Articles of Incorporation for the city of Toledo from 1837; this important founding document for the city can be found in Volume A of the City Council Meeting Minutes.


  • 1837-1952

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials.

Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

The Toledo City Council has been the governing body of the city of Toledo, Ohio since 1914. Prior to that there was a bicameral council consisting of the Board of Aldermen and the Common Council between 1874 and 1903. Originally just the Common Council existed in 1837. Typically city government changes from bicameral to unicameral legislatures as a cost cutting strategy.

The Common Council proposes bills, holds votes and passes laws to help govern the city much like the federal legislative system. The original Common Council members were: Junius Flagg, Jamie S. Way, Elijah Porter for the North East Ward, and George B. Way, Stephen B. Comstock, Samuel R. Bradley for the South East Ward (Belford).

Aldermen represent a specific ward or section of a city. They also serve on committees of larger projects; in 1883 there were twenty-one committees: Claims and Accounts, Ways and Means, Streets, Health and Hospital, Judiciary, Harbor and Commerce, Infirmary, Parks Canal Beds and Pounds, Water Supply and Water Works, Sewers, Gas, Printing, Education and University, Police, Cemetery, Fire Department, Bridges, House of Refuge and Correction, Work House, Markets and Market Houses, and Buildings.

The first Aldermen in 1874 were: Frederick Dodge, James H. Maples, Robert J Wallace, Frank j. Sting, Daniel Segur, Exle Hamilton, Jacob Romeis, and Patrick Owens.

Works Cited:

Belford, Irvin, and Charles T. Lewis. The Municipal Code of the City of Toledo, Comprising the General Ordinances and Special Ordinances of General Interest, Together with an Appendix, Containing the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Aldermen, the Board of Councilmen, and the Board of Water Works, and Other Matters of Public Interest. Toledo, O.: Spear, Johnson, 1885. Print.


55 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Toledo Mayoral Paper MSS-061; Linda Furney City Council Files MSS-150; City of Toledo, Commission on Publicity and Efficiency MSS-030; Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) MSS-114

City of Toledo - City Council Records, 1837-1952
Laura Morilla, converted by Sara Mouch 2019-08-29
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Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States