John W. Willey

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John W. Willey
John W. Willey 002.png
1st Mayor of Cleveland
In office
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJoshua Mills
Personal details
John Wheelock Willey

New Hampshire
DiedJuly 9, 1841(1841-07-09) (aged 43–44)
Cleveland, Ohio
Resting placeLake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic

John Wheelock Willey (1797 – July 9, 1841) was an American politician of the Democratic Party who served as the first mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1836 to 1837.

Born in New Hampshire, Willey was educated in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and studied law in New York. In 1822, he settled in Cleveland and began practicing law, he soon gained recognition as a witty debater, which earned him three years in the Ohio House of Representatives (1827–1830) and three more in the Ohio Senate (1830–1832) as a Jacksonian Democrat. Willey quickly became attached to Cleveland and was subsequently elected mayor for two terms after the city was chartered in 1836. Willey was responsible for writing the municipal charter as well as many of the original laws and ordinances.


  • The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History by Cleveland Bicentennial Commission (Cleveland, Ohio), David D. Van Tassel (Editor), and John J. Grabowski (Editor) ISBN 0-253-33056-4
Political offices
Preceded by
Mayor of Cleveland
Succeeded by
Joshua Mills