Former Schmitz-Horning Company Building Destroyed by Fire

January 24, 2017

By Janet Dodrill


The Schmitz-Horning Company building, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1925. (Schmitz family archives)

In April 2011 when I began my research into family-owned Schmitz-Horning Company (Cleveland, Ohio, 1905-1960), a prominent high-end mural and wall covering manufacturer and printer (co-founded and run by my great-grandfather and later by my grandfather), two things happened. First, I discovered a black and white photograph of the building from around 1925 in our family documents. Second, after Googling the building’s address of 777 E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, search results showed it was being occupied by an industrial chemical company, and the building looked well maintained from the photo on Google street view.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Google, 2007

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Google, 2007

Excited about the find, it was my intention to go see the building. Several months rolled by and I Googled the business address again and many recent articles dated June 27, 2011 came up stating that an accidental fire had destroyed the building, most likely started by roofers, drawing 60 firefighters from 15 departments — a triple three alarm fire! Fortunately, no one was injured.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo:, June 27, 2011

Fire at 777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo:, June 27, 2011

Initially, the owner announced plans to rebuild on the same site but renovated offices were built directly across the street in other facilities owned by the company. The site where the building once stood is today a lot for parking and storage of machinery and equipment.

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.





Paul A. Meunier, Artist at Schmitz-Horning Company

August 22, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Paul A. Meunier

Paul A. Meunier. Source: The Plain Dealer

Paul Alfred Meunier (1906-1978) was an artist who worked in the lithographic printing industry. He came to Cleveland to study art, studying at John Huntington Polytechnic Institute and at the Cleveland School of Art. For 11 years, he worked at Cleveland’s lithographic mural and wall decoration business, Schmitz-Horning Company, which was co-founded around 1905 by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, and later run by my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, beginning in 1938. They employed many area artists. During the time span that Paul worked there (1927-1938), Hugo Schmitz served as president and Warren as vice president. Two of Paul’s uncles also worked at Schmitz-Horning, Ovid (Otto) Meunier for 25 years, and Laurence Meunier (Ovid’s brother) for 7 to 10 years.

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: RE May website (brochure, Plant Tour Thru R. E. May Inc.)

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: R.E. May Inc. website

In 1938 he became owner president of R.E. May Inc. (after being established in 1937 by Richard E. May and following his unexpected death), a litho plate company located on E. 24th Street in Cleveland, until he sold the firm in 1977. The company is still in existence today. A favored Schmitz-Horning western mural (a small-scale version) was displayed in his office reception area, entitled Wells Fargo, a wall covering pattern that is in the collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland History Center). It was possibly donated to them by Paul Meunier.

Reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo Source: R.E. May website

Above reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo. Source: R.E. May website

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40" x 80".

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40″ x 80″.

I myself worked in the printing industry as a graphic artist in Cleveland in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and we would send negatives to R.E. May for printing plates. They had an excellent reputation even then, but I was unaware of the company’s history or the connection to my ancestors.

Originally from Hunting Valley, Ohio, Paul A. Meunier had a home studio in Gates Mills, and enjoyed painting and creating prints from nature and wildlife. He specialized in painting horses owned by residents of Gates Mills and Hunting Valley. Many of his paintings hang in the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. He was trustee of Gates Mills Historical Society, and created historical maps of the area. He wrote, illustrated, and published the book, History of Gates Mills, Ohio 1805-1976, as well as contributed illustrations to several other books. One of his paintings hangs in the chamber room at Gates Mills city hall. He showed his work at the annual Gates Mills Art Show, and a special juried award was established in his name, for the art best representing life in Gates Mills.

He served in WWII as a lieutenant colonel.

His great-grandfather was noted Belgian painter and sculptor, Constantin Meunier, who has work owned by the Louvre.

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions


Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

R.E. May Inc. building 1960 Source: R.E. May Inc. website

R.E. May Inc. building approx. 1960. Source: R.E. May Inc. website


R.E. May Inc. building 2011. Source: Google

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2" x 14 3/4". Source: Gray's Auctioneers & Appraisers,

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2″ x 14 3/4″. Source: Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers,

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.


Paul A. Meunier artwork label, 1937


-The Plain Dealer, February 18, 1978 (Paul A. Meunier Obituary)
RE May Inc. website
-Gates Mills Art Show 2016 Program
Aspire Auctions
Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers,
-Schmitz family documents

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.






Everything You Know About SEO Is Wrong, Sage Lewis

April 28, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

In an energetic presentation titled “Everything You Know About SEO Is Wrong” by Sage Lewis, given at The Web Association on April 19, 2016 at COSE in Cleveland, we were introduced to Google’s new RankBrain algorithm and other recent changes.

Sage Lewis is author of bestseller “Link Building is Dead. Long Live Link Building” and president of, a digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

According to Sage, the current most important factors for the ranking of Google’s search engine results are Content, and Links (link pointing), and now Google’s RankBrain algorithm.

RankBrain is Google’s new artificial intelligence machine that helps it process information to rank in search results. Previously at Google, humans taught machines how to interpret search data, but this machine teaches itself! It gives us the results it thinks humans want! Can this be entirely accurate?

Ultimately, he stressed, that the best way to be found online by Google and draw people in was to show love and passion for your business by expressing it through compelling content, such as relevant text, pictures, video, and use of social media like Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook Live, and others, which could help you to create a unique story.

Another change by Google, we were informed, is the elimination of side ads. This is for mobile device responsiveness. According to Sage, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. All ads are now in the regular location which is at the top of the main search results (and the increased ad purchase price brings in more money for Google). This may make things more difficult for small businesses to promote their products or services.

It was mentioned that a good way to get a small business noticed online is to setup a local business at Also, before optimizing your site for SEO check Google to see who the competition is. Maybe consider a different angle or emphasis on your goods in order to stand out in a less saturated arena.

Sage co-hosts a live web cast Thursday at 3:15 p.m. ET called “The Tools”  where many social media tools and ways to market your product or business are discussed. One recent tool he shared with us is the ability to now live stream on Facebook. This is a free way to draw in an audience and promote your business!

Sage Lewis of, digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

Sage Lewis of, digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

Resource Links:

SageRock, Inc.

The Tools

The Web Association

How do I share a live video on Facebook?
To start a live broadcast from your personal Timeline.

Get your business hours, phone number, and directions on Google Search and Maps — with Google My Business.

Sage Lewis engages the audience at The Web Association.

Sage Lewis engages the audience at The Web Association.

Sage Lewis discussed Google's RankBrain algorithm.

Sage Lewis discussed Google’s RankBrain algorithm.

Three most important things for Google search engine ranking.

Three most important things for Google search engine ranking.

COSE in Cleveland, Ohio.

COSE in Cleveland, Ohio.

Google Cultural Institute

April 29, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Co. Sierras wall mural

Sierras (1913-14) by the Schmitz-Horning Co., Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Have you been to the Google Cultural Institute? The Google Art Project section is a diverse collection of art, and there are Historic Moments and World Wonders sections to explore too. The art is searchable by collections, artists, artworks, and user galleries.

In my search on information regarding my great-grandfather’s wallpaper and mural business, the Schmitz-Horning Co., I found four of the company’s mural art samples in Google’s Art Project, which are in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum at the Smithsonian.

Google Chrome browser has a Google Art Project extension which adds a tab that is refreshed everyday (hourly according to one source) with art masterpieces. You can learn more about the image or download it to use on your computer desktop!

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

The Google Cultural Institute also enables you to create your own galleries and share with friends. There is also a Featured section of exhibitions and collections. A couple I viewed were the Struggle Ink Exhibiton of public poster art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

If you need inspiration or to brighten your day, visit the site! Links in the header allow you to take a tour or watch a video to get started!


Google Cultural Institute,

Smashing Magazine, Smashing Newsletter #133,

Away at College Then and Now

October 9, 2012

By Janet Dodrill

Then: call home collect only in emergencies – – Now: unlimited calling

Then: say goodbye to your old friends for the quarter or semester and try to contact them when you get home  – – Now: Skype or text them or post to their wall on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

Then: carpool with strangers to get home for the holidays and split the gas – – Now: take a Megabus home for $5-$30

Then: buy a bunch of maps and learn your way around the college town – – Now: Use a navigator or GPS system to find your location or destination

Then: run out of gas, walk to a gas station, rent a gas can, walk back to the car, return the gas can to the station – – Now: call AAA from your car on your cell phone and let them do the rest

Then: go to the library to research every subject, idea or question; interview people – – Now: Google everything from your computer, smartphone or tablet

Anything else? There’s probably an app for it!

Do you get the idea?

Search Engine Strategies at The Web Association – Recap

March 2, 2012

By Janet Dodrill

The Web AssociationSearch Engine Strategies, the topic of The Web Association‘s presentation 2/28/12 informed a packed room on relevant content strategies for search engines to improve organic rankings.

Moderator Ryan Morgan, ERC prefaced the meeting by pointing out facts like Google now has 62.2% of search engine market share, while Bing has 15.2% and Yahoo 14.1%. He outlined that the two biggest factors to search engine results are page content, and number of links to that page. Inbound diverse and quality links across many pages is desirable.

He stated that page level keyword usage accounts for 15% of results, and that domain level keyword usage only accounts for 11%. Rising trends are relevance and value (to user). Decreasing trends are domain name keywords and the effectiveness of paid links.

Eric Pryor of Rosetta stressed the three tiers of a successful site were components 1.) Technical (crawlable, built-well with everything working, and loads fast), 2.) On-site Optimization (content), and 3.) Off-site Promotion (relevant, authoritative, significant linking to site).

Co-presenter, Dave Skorepa of Aztek made the point of how important the content of a site is, and the best designed site will not look good if it lacks content. The customer is responsible for content when approaching a web design firm. Content strategy should come first, before the web site design.

He used Smashing Magazine as an example of a well-executed site, both in content, and in design and the visual experience. He shared that the best sites have relevant, current information; attract the target audience; retain visitors; create and maintain customers; establish credibility; further business goals; make connections; foster communication; and create a community.

It was recommend to create other kinds of content for your web site, like: blogs, forums, quizzes, podcasts, FAQs, and surveys, to name a few. Content consists of traditional on-site methods (i.e. page titles, META tags, images and alt tags, text content, video) plus use of off-site content (news releases, articles, blogs, images, videos, etc.).

This year’s content strategy for Coca-Cola was mentioned (Google it!), that consists of 70% low risk (already works), 20% expansion of that (pushing what already works), and 10% new ideas (take chances, makes some mistakes, fail fast).

Dave presented a ‘Content Cycle’ (and suggested to repeat this often) of segments: Research; content creation; content optimization; content promotion; content distribution; link building; measure results; strategy development.

It is beneficial to create ‘Purpose Pages’ defined with goals that can be used as templates for other pages in site, that could, i.e. be a product details landing page, demo, solution, or case study.

A good discipline would be to create a calendar for your business, in order to schedule when and what you post. Develop content for the year to better prepare for your busy times, planned promotions or holiday themes.

Research the topic more. In Google type in “content strategy” or “content marketing” to learn more. The rules and standards change fast.

Dave Skorepa’s slides:

Source: Logo property of The Web Association