Paul Steer and His Meadow

Steer Meadow is one of the sanctuaries of natural beauty in our community Green Areas. Located on north Keller Road, its fifteen acres are preserved in an undeveloped state. Offering an enticing vista across open fields, this serene area is enjoyed by birdwatchers, picnickers, and riders. At the entry to Steer Meadow a memorial plaque on a large boulder reads:



“STEER MEADOW, Dedicated to the Memory of Paul W. Steer, Solicitor of the Village of Indian Hill 1944-1972. Our green areas keep fresh the memory of his pioneering vision and determination to keep forever unspoiled this countryside he loved.”


Paul “Pete” Steer grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and graduated from Ohio Wesleyan and Harvard Law School. A founder of Steer, Strauss, White, and Dryer, he handled the Village legal concerns as Solicitor for twenty-eight years, until his death. In this role he devotedly pursued the Indian Hill charter’s goal of maintaining a “rural neighborhood.” He also taught law at Chase Law School and was President of the Cincinnati Bar Association.


An avid recreational horseman, he was instrumental in establishing a network of bridle trails throughout the village. He served as Honorary Whip and as Treasurer of the Camargo Hunt, sharing his enjoyment of the meets with both of his children. Visiting friends along the trails, he acted as a circuit rider for the Green Areas program, preaching zoning laws and land donations. A very persuasive gentleman, Steer convinced many residents to give land to Indian Hill. He worked to acquire large or contiguous parcels, often convincing neighbors to give adjoining acreage.


As Solicitor, Steer helped maintain the 1, 3, and 5 acre zoning regulations during the ’50’s and ’60’s when developments were changing the landscape. His revision of the Green Area Trust allowed owners of minimum acreage to donate land. He influenced property owners to add to the Green Area Trust, with a “bargain purchase program”, by which owners could achieve significant tax benefits. Under Steer’s inspired leadership, over 2000 acres were set aside for preservation in the Trust.


Former City Manager Wray White said, “Paul’s efforts were by far the major single factor in the Village’s acquisition of over 2000 acres for use and enjoyment by Village residents.” Recognizing Steer’s assistance to a succession of mayors, council members, and staff, the Village honored him after his death by creating Steer Meadow. The land, which lies just west of the former Steer family residence (now razed), contains his hayfield and has the trail he used to ride in the early morning.


Paul’s wife, Betty Steer, served on Village Council after his death and made numerous contributions to the community. She felt the Meadow was a thoughtful appropriate way to memorialize her “Pete,” often remembered as the “unsung Mayor of the Village.”