Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837 to Reverend Richard Cleveland and his wife Ann. Named for the first ordained pastor of the first Presbyterian Church at Caldwell, He would in time become known by his middle name Grover.
Cleveland was raised in a strict, modest home. As the son of a minister and the fifth of nine children, he had a religious and principled upbringing with few luxuries.When Grover was 4, Reverend Cleveland moved his family to Fayetteville, NY. There Grover attended local schools and was described by many as “chuck full of fun”. He enjoyed outdoor sports, especially fishing. He prepared to enter Hamilton College, but his father’s death in 1853 forever changed these plans. Instead of attending college Cleveland at age 16, went to work to help support his mother and siblings.
Needing a more substantial income, He traveled west in 1855. He stopped in Buffalo, NY, assumed a position with his uncle and later clerked for a local law firm. In 1859, Cleveland was admitted to the bar, fulfilling his long-held goal of becoming a lawyer.