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Business & Finance


Richard Bender (1-15-1832 to 2-29-1908)

Mr. Bender was born in Sigmaringen, Germany.  Mr. Bender came to the US in 1852 at the age of 20.  He settled at Hollidayburg, PA and there learned the trade of boat building.  At the age of 25, Mr. Bender moved to Cumberland, Maryland and became the foreman in the boat yard of General Thomas I. McKain.  He later formed a partnership with Weyand Doener and they conducted a successful boat building business under the name of Bender & Doener .  They owned several boats that ran between Cumberland and Georgetown, near the District of Columbia. 

Mr. Bender retired from active business.  He was married to Mary (Gessner) and together they had eight children (Emma, Annie, Matilda, Ida, Carrie, Mary, Albert and Priscella-according to the 1880 Federal census).  The children for the most part, stayed in the area.  He also had a brother in the area as well as a brother and sister that remained in Germany.   He was a beloved citizen of Cumberland and always willing to assist others. 

He was an active member of Saints Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church and is interred in their cemetery.  He died at his home on Green Street.

Maximillian ‘Max’ Blob (1-28-1881 to 2-1969)

Max Blob was born in Rimbach, Germany to Phillip and Catherine.  He sailed from Bremen to the US in 1893, aboard the Weimar, with his brothers Johann, Heinrich and Joseph.  The family destination was listed as Altoona, PA., but they settled instead in Jessup Maryland on a farm. 

Max became an American citizen on October 6, 1903.  In 1910, he was living on the farm with his mother Catherine and his brother John.  According to the 1930 census, he was living on Jessups Road with Joe Wolf (a nephew) and boarders Mary Newsen, Mack Shettle and Olive Schrank.  All were listed as truck farmers except Mary, who was listed as a shopkeeper.  All were born in Germany, except Joe, born in the US.  All of the German’s were recent (within 2 years) immigrants. 

Max is buried at St. Lawrence Martyr Roman Catholic Cemetery in Anne Arundel County. 

Max opened Blob’s Park, A Bavarian Beer Garden, following prohibition in 1933.  See Entertainment.

Frederick William Brune (1776 to 1860)

 

Mr. F.W. Brune was born in Bremen and received his mercantile education in the company of Mr. Von Kapff, whose firm he and his son would later mange Von Kapff & Anspah, which was founded in Baltimore in 1795).  Mr. F.W. Brune arrived in the U.S. in 1799 at New York.  He was invited to come to Baltimore to take charge of the Von Kapff business.  Mr. Von Kapff entered into a partnership with Mr. Brune and the firm was named Von Kapff & Brune, which continued until 1828 when Mr. Von Kapff died.  Soon after the establishment of the firm, they became ship owners and carried on commerce throughout the world, primarily with the importation of German linens, tobacco and colonial produce. 

 

Mr. Brune was a director of the U.S. Bank in 1819, and helped found the Savings Bank, the Equitable Fire Insurance Company and the German Society of Maryland.  Mr. Brune died in 1860 and is buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery; plot 44.

 
Mr. Brune’s son, JOHN CHRISTIAN BRUNE (1814 to 12-7-1864), was educated in Northampton, MA.  The education he received here laid the foundation for his knowledge of the modern languages.  He declined college and instead began working for his father.  At the age of twenty-one he became a partner and soon extended the business to South America and the West Indies.  He was instrumental in founding the Maryland Sugar Refinery in 1852 and was elected the first president of the refinery.  He revived the Board of Trade and was elected its first president in 1849.  He was also elected President of the Baltimore Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor.  He was a strong supporter of ‘states rights’. 

 

He represented the city of Baltimore in the House of Delegates in the Maryland Legislature and was called to meet in Frederick in 1861.  He was appointed Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.  He was the only Baltimore legislator who escaped arrest during the massive arrests made during that time.  When Mr. Brune found that the members of the legislature were to be detained (some for up to one year) without charge or trial, he escaped to Canada.  He never returned to Baltimore. 

Emory Coblentz (11-5-1869 to 8-6-1941)

 

Mr. Coblentz was born in Middleton, Maryland and educated there including Middleton High School.  He was the clerk in a General Store in 1886.  He received his law degree and was admitted to the Frederick County bar in 1898.   He was the first president of People’s Fire Insurance Company of Frederick County; served as officer of several banks, a member of the Christ Evangelical Reformed church.  His forefathers were farmers and were among the early settlers of Pennsylvania.  He was involved with railroads, especially the Frederick & Middleton Railway.  In 1908 this expanded and became the Hagerstown & Frederick Railway.  He married Amy Doub (1871-1904), who died early in her life.  His second wife was  Mary Kefauver (1882-1959). He had five daughters:  Ruth (1895-1974), Naomi, Miriam, Helen and Esther (1898-1986).  He is buried at Christ Reformed Cemetery in Middletown.

Obituary:  Mr. Emory L. Coblentz, 72, died at Frederick City Hospital after a lingering illness.
Banker, legislator, financier, organizer, churchman, musician and public spirited citizen, Mr. Coblentz was a leading figure in the life of his native county for more than half a century. Mr. Coblentz was born on a 240 acre farm which his great great grandfather, Herman Coblentz, had acquired about 1790, after emigrating from Germany, having been born at the historic Fort Coblentz on the Rhine in Prussia. Mr. Coblentz was twice married. His first wife, the former Miss Amy Doub, predeceased him. His second wife, who survives, was the former Miss Mary Kefauver, of Middletown. Mr. Coblentz was one of the organizers of the Potomac Edison Company, which has grown into a large institution from a modest beginning. For many years he was the president, then was chairman of the board and, at the time of his death, he was a member of the executive committee and one of the directors.
Funeral services will be held at the late home in Middletown.

Herman Cone (6-3-1829 to 4-7-1897)

Herman was an immigrant from Altenstadt, Bavaria and Helen Guggenheimer, his wife (3-9-1838 to 12-17-1902)(married 1856),  immigrated to the the US in 1845. Herman changed his name upon his arrival here. The family lived in Jonesboro, Tennessee until 1871.  There they operated a successful grocery business.  Five of their twelve children, including the famous Cone sisters, Claribel and Etta were born in Tennessee.  They moved to Baltimore in 1871.  In Baltimore Herman was a partner in Guggenheim, Cone and Company, Wholesale Grocers. He later established Cone and Adler, and import/export Company. He had a lucrative business importing cotton from the south to the Mills in Massachusetts. The two oldest brothers moved to North Carolina and continued operating, what was to become one of the largest textile manufacturers in the world.  Besides many of his sons becoming wealthy through textiles, his daughters Etta and Claribel are well-known in the art world. 

The Cone Art Collection consists of more than 3,000 works of art.  The collection is estimated to exceed 1 billion dollars.  For more information about the Cone sisters, see 'Arts'.

The other children of Herman and Helen:

Moses Herman Cone (1857 - 1908)-Moved to Greensboro, NC.  Textile Industry, Proximity Mfgr.; The Cone Mills
Caesar Cone (1859 - 1917) Moved to Greensboro, NC.  Textile Industry
Carrie Cone Long (1861 - 1927)-married Moses Long
Claribel Cone (1864 - 1929)
Solomon Napoleon Cone (1868 - 1939)
Monroe A Cone (1868 - 1891)
Etta (Henrietta) Cone (1871 - 1949) 
Julius Washington Cone (1872 - 1940)-Married Laura (Weil)
Bernard M. Cone (1874 - 1956)
Clarence Newton Cone (1876 - 1929)-married Sadie (Frank)
Frederick Cone (1878- 
Sydney Moses Cone (1885 - 1939)-A medical doctor, married Bessie ‘Skutch’

Their parents, Herman and Helen are buried at Oheb Shalom Cemetery.  Many of the siblings are buried in North Carolina…it is Baltimore’s blessing and the Baltimore Museum of Art’s blessing that the sisters remained in Baltimore. 


George Frederick Dederer (5-16-1872 to 11-4-1947)
 
George Frederick Dederer was the oldest of eight children of Christian Frederick Dederer (12-4-1844 to 11-24-1929) and Katherine (Koehler) Dederer.  His father was a carpet weaver who made his wares from the loom set up in the front room of his Montgomery Street home.  He was a master craftsman who made rag carpets that were very popular at that time.
 
George received his early education at Martini Lutheran Church School.  His ambition to enter the ministry was never realized.  Being part of a large family in post civil-war days, it was necessary for George to help the family and his father could not bear the cost of a college education.  George's love of books enabled him to round out his education.  He finally attended Bryant Straton Business College where he received the foundation for his life's work.  Upon completion, he entered the employ of A. Schumacher and Co., the agents for the North German Lloyd lines, a shipping company from Bremen, Germany that used Baltimore as one of its ports beginning in 1868.  He remained here practically for the rest of his adult working life until the amalgamation of the North German Lloyd with the Hamburg American Co., ended the existence of the agency.  He was General Manager at the time. 
 
He married Elizabeth Louise Becker and together they had nine children, four boys and five girls.  He was a member of several German singing socieities, a director of the German Society, the secretary of the Julius Hofmann Memorial Society, and the president of Martini Lutheran Church (lifelong member). 
Ignaz Wilhelm Diepgen (5-7-1884 to 6-12-1952)

 

Mr. Diepgen was born in Düsseldorf, Germany.  His father headed a wholesale cement business.  He received his early education in his native town and entered his father’s business.  Upon his father’s death, he took over the business.  He served for one year in the Army and came to the U.S. prior to WWI.  He went to Havana, Cuba in 1923 and entered the import/export business in coffee and coffee makers.  He spoke fluent Spanish.  In 1926 he came to Washington and served as the maitre-d’ in the Hamilton Hotel until 1937, when he came to Baltimore and worked many jobs including the manager of the Deutsche Haus. 

 

He was a member of the Schlaraffia Club and in fact the Baltimore Chapter was founded by him. 

Alexander Y. Dolfield (10-10-1839 to)

 

Mr. Dolfield was born in Baltimore near Broadway.  He attended what was then the Male Central High  School (now City College), graduating in 1857. He taught for one year at Trinity Lutheran School, but left to accept a position as a clerk in the Franklin Bank.  He spent thirteen years at the bank and in 1872 organized the German American Bank of Baltimore and held the position of treasurer for twenty-nine years.  He was then, in 1900 made president.  The bank was in the former Fells Point Savings Bank, but was razed to build a new building on South Broadway.  It was one of the most ornamental structures in the city.

 

Mr. Dolfield also organized the East Baltimore Business Men’s Association, where he served as vice-president.  He also began the first in a series of German-American Building Associations, where thousands of houses were purchased by members of the working class.

 

Mr. Dolfield served as president of the Broadway Park Commission.  He was often referred to as the ‘Mayor of East Baltimore’. 


Dotterweich, Gerard ‘Jerry’ B. (1929 to 2-24-2017)

Born to Andrew (1904) and Ida (1909) Dotterweich, he was born in Baltimore and raised in Highlandtown and Parkville.  His father, Andrew Sr. was co-owner of the Stenger Broom Factory.  When just an infant, he lived with his parents, Andrew and Ida and his grandmother Mary Dotterweich on Foster Avenue.   His German roots may be traced back to his grandfather Peter (5-1874 to 7-6-1929) and his grandmother Mary (nee Fiedler) (2-1876 to 9-23-1940).

Jerry was a 1947 graduate of Mt. St. Joseph’s High School in Irvington and attended Loyola University. 

He was drafted in 1951 and served with an intelligence unit in Korea.  He left the Army as a sergeant.  He returned to Baltimore.  Prior to leaving for Korea he worked at a floor surfacing company and when he returned from Korea he sold this business and purchased two cabs.  He operated the cabs until 1960.

In 1961 he opened his first bar, Jerry’s Belvedere, which was located at the corner of Northern Parkway and York Road.  It was a success. He was an extremely hard and dedicated worker often working throughout the day and night.  He and his mother, who worked the bar with him prepared multiple lunch specials and served a regular customer base.  He sold the business in 1977.

He then opened Jerry D’s on Harford Road in Parkville.  He sold this business when he retired in 2004.  The new owners maintain the name.

He was a generous man, especially to his alma mater, St. Joe’s, as well as several medical charities.

He also enjoyed golf.

He married late in life to Edna (Myers) who he had known for many years, but married in 2004.  He was a member of St. Ursula’s Roman Catholic Church.

See obituary:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/obituaries/bs-md-ob-gerard--dotterweich-20170301-story.html

 

Otto DuBrau (5-18-1874 to 10-30-1955)  

 

Mr. DuBrau was born in Cottbus, Germany and emigrated to America in 1895.  He established himself as an interior decorator.  He enjoyed a distinguished reputation as one of the most artistic decorators in the country. He decorated a number of the finest homes in Baltimore including that of Solomon Frank, Charles Hutzler, Max Hochschild, Charles Bartell and E. Emerson.  He specialized in church decoration and was known as one of the most successful and conscientious men in his field.

He was an active member of Zion Church and it’s Sunday School and Saturday German Classes, his intent, to preserve the language and tradition of his German ancestry.  He took an active part in the construction of the Parish House at Zion.  He was involved with the decorating of many churches including the Foundry M.E. Church, New M.E. Church in Havre de Grace, the First, Second and Third Reformed churches, St. Cecilia Roman Catholic church and Anshei Emunah Synagogue.  He was president of the Baltimore Interlocking Tile Company.

He was a member of the Germania Club, the Harmonic Singing Society, the Society of Technologists, the Association of Interior Decorators, the German Orphan Home, the German Aged Peoples Home, the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland,  and the German Society of Maryland.  He was also a member of the Schlaraffia Society. 

John Eisenhauer (8-2-1839 to 2-25-1910) Business

John Eisenhauer was born in Germany.  He arrived in Frederick County Maryland in 1865.  He began working at the corner of Market and Second Street. He moved in 1869.

He took a great interest in the welfare of Frederick.  He served as a member of the board of directors of the Franklin Savings Bank and also as a director of the Mutual Insurance Company of Frederick County.  He was a veteran member of the Junior Fire Company and a member of the standing committee where he acted as secretary and took a lead in securing improvements to the company’s equipment.  He was a member of the Father McElroy Council, C.B.L. and St. John’s Beneficial Society.

He married Margaret (Whaner) of Frederick and together they had five daughters and one son. 

Source: The News (Frederick, MD) Friday, February 25, 1910, Page 2

Adolph W. Engler (9-23-1824 to12-14-1909)

Mr. Engler was born at Braunschweig, Germany.  He received his education in the Gymnasium of his native city. After his graduation, Mr. Engler engaged in commercial pursuits.  He came to the US at the age of twenty six and settled at Baltimore.   He began working with the leaf and tobacco companies, learning the trade.  On July 1, 1863, he founded a branch of the Baltimore firm of F.L. Brauns & Co., in New York City.  His group was named Kremelberg & Co., and he was their manager.  They became a leading exporting house for leaf tobacco.

Mr. Engler was Democrat and attended the English Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, where he served as secretary for twenty eight years.  He was a member of the Deutsche Verein, Chamber of Commerce and New York Produce Exchange. Mr. Engler was married twice: in November, 1858, to Julia E. (Spilcker), who died in March, 1873, and in April, 1875, to Elizabeth F. (Brauns), who died in November, 1906, both of Baltimore. He fathered six children.  William S., Adolph, Jr., Henry R., Ferdinand B., Minna F., and Julia E. On the 1900 Federal Census, the family was living at 437 W. 23rd Street in Manhatten, New York.  This is where he died in 1909.

Etting, Solomon (7-28-1764 to 8-6-1847)

Etting, Solomon, son of Elijah, came to Baltimore from York, PA.  Solomon served in the war of 1812.  He made his money in shipping and banking.  His mother had moved to Baltimore in 1780, after the death of her husband.  Solomon moved to Baltimore in 1789 and began a hardware business on South Calvert Street. He began his shipping business in 1805 when he purchased a house on Market Street between Howard and Eutaw. 

Solomon was very politically active and helped organize public protest against the Jay Treaty. He was elected to the City Council in 1826, the first Jewish representative.  He was a founding member of the Baltimore Water Company. He was a founder of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in 1827.  He also served as President of the Board of Commissioners to repair the Baltimore City Courthouse in 1836.

Solomon Etting, along with several other prominent Jewish men, including his father in law, Bernard Gratz, petitioned the legislature to allow Jews to serve elected office in Maryland.  Their labors in this area began in 1797 and it wasn’t until 1826 when a bill passed that allowed Jewish men to hold public office. In 1796, there were fifteen Jewish families in Baltimore.

Solomon Etting was an incorporator of the German Society of Maryland in 1817 and its vice president for 20 years. 

More about the Etting family:
Etting Family Cemetery
North Avenue at Pennsylvania Avenue
1799-1881

Oldest Jewish cemetery.  It is a walled cemetery that includes the graves of the Etting family.

Etting, Elijah (1724 to 1778) immigrated from Frankfurt, Germany in 1758.  He was naturalized in 1765.  He was  married to  Shinah Solomon Etting (1724-1822).  They had eight children, Rebuen (1762-1848); Solomon (1764-1847); Fanny (1764-1828); Kitty (1768-1838); Hetty (1770-1847); Elizabeth (1772); Sally (1776-1863); Joseph (1778).

Derick Fahnestock (6-25-1821 to 5-10-1903)

 

Mr. Fahnestock was born in Baltimore.  Son of Peter and Mary Fahnestock.  He was education in private schools and at the age of sixteen he accepted a clerking position in the dry goods house of Chauncey Brooks & Company.  At twenty-three he was given a partnership and the name changed to C. Brooks, Son & Company and eventually to Brooks, Fahnestock & Company and to Fahnestock, Thrasher & Company.  Because of the trade problems with the South during the Civil War, Mr. Fahnestock established trade with the West. 

 

In October 1870, he enterted into a partnership with Chauncey Brooks and into the banking and brokerage business under the name of D. Fahnestock & Company.  He worked at 22 South Street until the fire of 1904.  In 1871, Mr. Fahnestock became a member of the Baltimore Stock Exchange (Stock Board in those days) and in 1888 was elected president of same, which he served as until his death.  He was a director and vice president of the Western National Bank and served on the executive committee of the Savings Bank of Baltimore. 

Henry J. Farber (1830 to)

Mr. Farber was born in Bavaria, Germany.  He was educated there and in Baltimore. He studied at the University of Hof until the age of 15, when he emigrated to the US.  He completed his education here under private tutors.  His initial intention was to enter the ministry, however, changed his mind after living in America, the land of civil and religious liberty.  He entered the mercantile business at Stellman, Himrich & Co., who were wholesale importers of general merchandise.  He remained with that firm for twenty years and retired.  Not happy with retirement he entered the wholesale commission business where he worked until his death.

He married Annie (Stalford)(1839) of Baltimore, but of German parentage.  Together he and Annie had six children, Edward, J. (1857) became an attorney; Fred M. (1859), a wholesale commission merchant in New York; Henry J. (1861), a wholesale commission merchant in Baltimore; William C. (1869), also a commission merchant in Baltimore; Gustav A., a member of the firm Price, Heald & Co., and daughter Anninea (1862) (Phillips).  The family lived on N. Charles Street in the winder and also had a summer residence in Catonsville.

Otto Hermann Franke (1890 to 10-12-1977)

 

Mr. Franke was born in New York and when he was three, his father took him and his two sisters back to Bremen, where his father was born.  He attended school there and went to the Technical Institute of Danzig to study engineering.  WWI interrupted his studies and he served in the Bavarian Field Artillery Corps, attaining the rank of Lieutenant, senior grade.  After being discharged, he returned to school and obtained his degree in 1920. 

 

He returned to the U.S. in 1921.  It was difficult for him to get a job because of the anti-German sentiment so close to the wars end.  The Baltimore Techniker-Verein helped him land a position with the Baltimore Car and Foundry Company.  In 1923 he entered the shipping business and joined the firm of A. Schumacher & Co., which were general agents for the North German Lloyd lines.  Lloyd opened a branch in Baltimore and Otto Franke was appointed General Agent.  From 1941 to his retirement, Otto Franke resumed his engineering profession primarily for the Balmar Corporation. 

 

He was passionate about music and his home was always filled with music.  Otto Franke was one of the founders of the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore.  He also was a member of the ‘Saturday Night Club’ with H.L. Mencken.  He was a member of the German Society and served as their treasurer and vice president and president.  He devoted time to the German Orphan Home, holding various offices for more than twenty years.  He administed funds to aid German students at the Johns Hopkins University.  He worked to preserve and expand the Julius Hofman Memorial Fund which is still given to promote the teaching of German in Maryland schools.  The German Government honored Otto Franke with its Order of Merit.  He also aided in founding the Goethe Society.  A long time member, serving also as chairman of the Executive Committee and president (1962-1967) of the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland.

 

Jonas Friedenwald (1801 to 8-1893)

Joseph Friedenwald

Isaac Friedenwald

Moses Friedenwald

Aaron Friedenwald

Betsy Friedenwald

 

Born 1801, Jonus emigrated to America during the winter of 1831-32, from Altenbusick, near Giessen, Germany, accompanied by his aged father, Chaiim, his wife, a stepson, and his three children. In Germany his family were farmers and they were happy.  Jonas was ingenious and a doer.   In Baltimore he soon entered actively upon the communal work of the small Jewish community.  He would do anything to keep the family going.  He had no knowledge of the umbrella business, but began mending and making umbrellas and going door to door to earn a living for the family.  From the umbrella business, he moved on to the junk business and later added the grocery business.   By 1854 he had amassed enough to plan for the future and for his children and grandchildren.  He fathered four sons and one daughter. 

 

Jonas devoted the latter half of his life entirely to philanthropic and congregational work. He was among the most active in founding the Hebrew Benevolent Society (for many years he was its treasurer), the Hebrew Hospital and Asylum, and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. Seceding from the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation because of innovations introduced into the service, he helped with others founding the Orthodox congregation Chizuk Emunah (1871), and was for many years its president, and the Lloyd Street Synagogue.

 

His son Joseph Friedenwald, retired from the retail hardware business.  He had four sons and one daughter.  He was educated in private schools in Baltimore and became a partner of Wiesenfeld & Co., wholesale manufacturers of clothing.  He was president of and organizer of the Hebrew Hospital and the Bay View Asylum (City Almshouse) President of the Crown Cork & Seal Co., and a director of the Equitable National Bank.  He was appointed by the then Mayor of Baltimore, Joshua Vansant, to serve as president of the board as a trustee for the Bayview Asylum.  He was married to Rosina Rosewald in 1852.

Joseph had fourteen children:  Hiram; Benjamin; Bertha (wife of Julius Goldenberg); Blima (wife of A.A. Brager); Moses; Jacob; Leo; Flossie (wife of M. Selz); Merla (wife of Samuel Thalheimer); Jennie; Aimee and Berleen.  The family lived on Eutaw Place and in the summer had a summer residence in Glydon (900 acres).

Jonus' son Isaac owned one of the largest printing establishments in the country; Moses, was also a philanthropist and successful businessman and Aaron his youngest was a medical professor on Diseases of the Eye and Ear, and his only daughter Betsy was also a philanthropist and trail blazer for women in the U.S. 

He died in August 1893 and had many descendants.  He and many of his family/descendants are buried at the Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery.

Charles Greeble (7-27-1868 to)

Mr. Greeble was born in Georgenthal, Germany to Jacob and Ernestine (Scham).  He was educated in the public schools in Germany and Thiel College in Pennsylvania.  He came to the United States at the age of 13 and to Baltimore to attend the School of Pharmacy, where he graduated in 1889.  He was the proprietor of the Lexington Hotel.

They Gayety Theater at 40 E. Baltimore Street was built for Charles Greeble and opened February 5, 1906.

 

John George Grill (9-24-1865 to)

Mr. Grill was born at Hanau on the Main. He received a superior education at the Gymnasium of his native city and the Hoffmann Institute at St. Goarshausen. After graduation Mr. Grill left school and served as one years’ volunteer in the Ninety-seventh Regiment of Infantry from 1884 to 1885. He then engaged in business in France and Spain but was sent by his Paris house to America in 1888 and was successful from the start.  Mr. Grill was a natural insurance salesperson.  He joined H. F. Poggenburg & Co., one of the largest and best known firms in insurance and became a partner there after a few short years. 

In addition, he is treasurer of the firm of H. S. Leclerc & Co., manufacturers of and dealers in paper. Mr. Grill was widely known and was a member of many clubs and societies, among them the New York Athletic Club, German Liederkranz, Arion, Melrose, Turn Verein, Masonic Club, German Hospital Association, German Society and Fritz Renter Altenheim. He was a Mason of Kane Lodge No. 454. He was married on January 20, 1891, to Anna Louise (Poggenburg) (9-1870) and together they had seven children, three boys 3 (Walter) and four (Alice, Vera) girls. In politics Mr. Grill was a Democrat. On 1900 US Census, family was living with three children at 1364 Washington Avenue.


Jacob Gross, Jr. (1-14-1885 to 1954)

Mr. Gross was born in Baltimore.  He attended the public schools, but began working at the age of fourteen with the Fidelity Fire Insurance Company.  This led a lifelong career in the insurance industry.  In 1904 he associated with the Boston Insurance Company and then with Post & Feelemeyer.  Upon the death of Mr. Post, the agency was reorganized as Post, Gross, Cunningham and Coale and later changed to Jacob Gross, Jr., Inc.  He helped organize the Homestead Fire Insurance Company of Baltimore and was associated with the Salvage Corps, the Association of Fire Underwriters of Baltimore City and the Binder Club.  He eventually received his law degree from the University of Maryland, but never practiced, preferring insurance to law. 

Ludolph Wilhelm Gunther (2-6-1821 to)

 

Mr. Gunther is a descendant of a noble German family of Schwartzburg-Sondershausen.  His father served as chief surgeon of the fourth battalion of the king’s German legion against Napolean in the early part of that century.  Ludolph was born and received his education in Schwartzburg.  He went to Bremen to study business and langages.  In 1839 he was invited to join a large German import house in Baltimore, which he did.  He landed in the city and upon landing discovered that the job was no longer available.  He spent some time with the Easter firm and with Pendleton, Riley & Co.  He moved to Kentucky in 1848 and worked on ships for the English and the French.  Two years of flooding made him abandon that business and he returned to Baltimore.  He began working as a cotton and tobacco commission merchant and purchasing real estate.  He became a large property owner.  His own home was located on Eutaw Place and he owned massive warehouses on South Gay Street (Gunther Buildings). 

 

He was director of the Merchants’ National Bank and of several insurance companies.  He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Hospital for the Insane.  He was a member of the Baptist church. 

William Haussner (11-14-1894 to 6-7-1963)

William Henry Haussner came to the
United States from Germany in 1925, where he was a 'Master Chef'  at the Museum Restaurant in Nuremberg.  He had exceptional artistic and culinary tastes which influenced his restaurant, which opened in Baltimore in 1926. 
In 1935, he married a German immigrant, Frances Wilke after a brief courtship. It would be a happy and lasting marriage. At first Haussner’s Restaurant was a little storefront diner (3313 Eastern Avenue), but eventually moved to 3244 Eastern Avenue.  The restaurant was in business for 76 years, serving its last official meal on Wednesday, October 6, 1999.  William Haussner was a stickler when it came to service. 
 
The restaurant had over 110 items on its menu and was noted for its exceptional German pastries and desserts.   Some specialties were the pickled beef aged in wine and vinegar in wooden casks, diamondback terrapin, pig's knuckles and at one time kangaroo and whale. 
 
The restaurant was also an ‘art gallery’ with art purchased by the Haussners’ from around the world, predominantly paintings from the 1800s.  Their first piece of art was purchased for their 4th wedding anniversary in 1939. 

After the closing, 155 lots went for over $10 million dollars.   The building was donated to the
Baltimore International Culinary College.   The Haussner Family is interred at Druid Ridge Cemetery.
 
Haussner's Restaurant...what a great place!!
 


Albert Louis Heil (1-20-1889 to 5-12-1952)

Albert was the son of J. Henry and Caroline Heil (parents were German born). For a few years he attended the Baltimore City College. Then it became necessary for him to go into a business career. He went into the insurance business and stayed in that occupation until his death. In 1904 he was hired as office boy by the firm of  H. T. Williams & Co. which later was merged with Maury, Donnelly and Parr. For many years he served this company as secretary and during his last fifteen years he held the position of vice-president and secretary. In 1932 he was married to Margaret Johanna Bien. Their union was one of fullest happiness in mutual understanding.

Albert Heil had a deeply rooted love for his church, Zion Church at City Hall Plaza. In his early childhood he entered the Sunday School. His record of regular church attendance was outstanding. In over fifty years, practically until his illness befell him, he did not miss a single Sunday. When he was married he returned from his honeymoon in Atlantic City to be at his post on Sunday and then went back to rejoin his bride at the seashore. In Sunday School he held the important positions of treasurer and assistant superintendent. In the early twenties he was elected a member of the Church Council where he served with the diligence and conscientiousness which were the outstanding characteristics of the man. For many years he was vice-president and president of the Council. His chief contribution to the growth and stability of the church was his service as chairman of the Finance Committee.

In this capacity he originated and constituted the Endowment Fund of the congregation which has grown steadily and remains an important stabilizing factor in the business end of the church.

He died after a protracted illness on May 12, 1952. Funeral services were held in Zion Church. The unusually large attendance of his fellow members testified to their appreciation of his great kindness.

Henry Gerhard Hilken (7-16-1847 to 3-20-1937)

 

Henry Hilken was born in Bremen, Germany, son of Leuder and Katherine Hilken.  He received his early education is the state schools of Bremen, completing his courses of study in 1863.  He worked for four years in several large tobacco importing houses, learning the trade and gaining experience.  He came to Baltimore in 1867.

 

He accepted a position as a bookkeeper and correspondent with Isaac S. George & Son, who were wholesale dealers in boots and shoes.  He was unable to find employment in the tobacco industry at the time. 

 

In 1868 he accepted a position with A. Schumacher & Company who had just accepted the position of general agent for the newly established Baltimore line of the North German Lloyd steamships.  Schumacher & Company played a large role in utilizing the Baltimore port and giving more prominence to Baltimore.  They made very large shipments of grain, tobacco and other American products.  The North German Lloyd Steamship Company had weekly sailings and was one of the largest carriers of freight and passengers between Baltimore and Europe. 

 

Mr. Hilken was a director of the Savings Bank of Baltimore, the Maryland Casualty Company, Citizens’ National Bank and the Board of Trade. 

 

He was vice president of the German Society of Maryland, president of the Germania Club and a member of Zion Church.  He is interred at Green Mount Cemetery.

Charles Christopher Homer (11-1-1847 to 9-13-1914 )

 

Charles was the son of Christopher and Dora, German immigrants.  He was born in Baltimore and received his education at Zion School, the University of Georgetown, where he received his B.A. and M.A.   Dabbled in several fields, but in 1878, he was elected a director of the Second National Bank of Baltimore, he began his focus on finance.  He became the bank president in 1889.  In 1897 he became president of the Baltimore Clearing House, where he remained until 1911.  He served as vice president of the Savings Bank of Baltimore and vice president of the Safe Deposit and Trust Company.  He was chairman of the committee which drafted the Baltimore Plan for the Creation of a Safe and Elastic Currency, endorsed by the American Bankers Association.  He was a trustee of the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital and the Maryland Historical Society.  He married Maria Holthaus (born near Osnabrueck, Hanover, Germany) and they had four sons.


 


Kurt Paul Künzel (Kuenzel), Sr. (5-20-1911 to 5-27-1980)

Kurt Kuenzel
Mr. Küenzel was born in 1911.  He emigrated to the US on February 25, 1929 from Steinpleis, Werdau and was naturalized on June 12, 1939.  His sister Ilse, preceded him here.  She married Willie Kluge. He founded the German Radio Hour and together with his wife Elva Marie Brandt presented the programs every Sunday.  He was the President of the German Radio Hour until his death.  He also founded, in 1951, the German American Import Company.  He presided over this company until 1973.  He was also the President of the Fidelitas Club, Vice President and founding member of the Maryland Oktoberfest, Inc., Board member of the Maryland Bürgerverein, member of the Männerchor, the Baltimore Kickers and the Deutsches Haus Baltimore. 

His services to the German American cultural life in Baltimore were countless. In addition to above, Kurt was an honorary member at the Washington Schuhplattler, Past Patron of the Eastern Stars, the Masonic Order. He was Master Mason of the Corinthian Lodge and Shriner in the Boumi Temple, where he served as Aide to the Potentate and Ambassador. In recent years he served as director at the International Human Rights Foundation.

He and his wife had one son, Paul Jr., and a daughter Karol (Manley).  He also had a sister in Steinpleis, Lotte Bremer. 

He was buried at Western Cemetery on May 31, 1980.  His paulbearers were Francis Pramschufer (Education), Jr., Kurt Schulze, Charles Grimmer, Sherman and William Dahlgreen, Dandridge and William Brooke and Dave Rosenberg.

He received condolences from the Governor’s office, the City Comptroller, Louis Goldstein and many other dignitaries.

Washington Journal Obituary

Information courtesy of the Kluge/Kuenzel/Brooke Family

Lewis Kurtz (10-8-1883 to 9-1-1961)

Mr. Kurtz was born in Baltimore, baptized and confirmed at Zion Church.  He received his education in the Baltimore public school system.  He learned to speak and write German at home.  He attended Baltimore City College, but dropped out before his senior year to work.  His father had died when he was young.  At the age of eighteen he began work for Fahnestock & Co., investment brokers.  He worked there for fifteen years and had to take a one year leave due to illness.  He then associated with the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co, where he worked until his death.

 

He was of German descent on both sides.  His family emigrated to Baltimore in 1839.  He joined the Germania Männerchor as a young man.

 

He was an avid supporter of the General German Orphan Home and in 1922 helped raise the funds for a new Orphan Home in Catonsville.  He became a member of the board for the Home in 1923 and had served as its vice president.  He also actively supported the German Society of Maryland and the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland, where he served on the Executive Committee and as a vice president. 

Dr. William Landsberg (9-19-1831 to 4-29-1886)

 

Dr. William Landsberg was one of the five founders the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland and was the first member who died. He was born, the son of a Silesian industrialist in Brzeg and received a excellent academic education. After his studies,he entered the Prussian civil service.  After his marriage he emigrated to the U.S. and arrived in New York where he worked at the ‘State Journal’ and the ‘People’s Daily’ and eventually ended up in Baltimore working for the German Correspondent.  He was journalistically active.

In the autumn of 1871 he took a position at the ‘Mutual Life Insurance Company’ as secretary.  He remained there until his death, following a serious illness.

John P. Lauber (1-10-1870 to 1-8-1938)

 

Mr. Lauber was president of the German Fire Insurance Company, which changed their name after the war to the Central Fire Insurance Company.  He was also connected with the ‘sister institution’, the National Central Bank.  He was elected director of the bank in 1905, vice-president in 1915 and chairman of the board in 1926.  He was also a director of the Eutaw Savings Bank and served for a good time as  secretary of the Equitable Building and Savings Association. Mr. Lauber served on Governor Ritchie's Committee on Governmental Efficiency and Economy.

Gebhard Leimbach (10-3-1846 to 8-3-1935)

 

Mr. Leimbach was born in Germany and was with the B&O Railroad for more than fifty years as the General Emigrant Agent.  He also served in the same capacity for the North German Lloyd. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having been in the Navy, serving on the U. S. ships Mystic and Minnesota. He was active as a member of the Republican party. He was a director of the American Bank and later the Equitable Trust Company; he was also president of the J. D. Lucas Printing Company.

John List (1-14-1821 to 1-27-1906)

Mr. List was born in Utenheim, Germany the son of J. Philip and Anna Elizabeth (Bauer), natives of Utenheim.  Philip was born March 17, 1777 and emigrated to the United States in 1835.  He arrived in Baltimore in September and stayed there.  He was a shoemaker by trade and made decent money, which he invested in real estate. 

John received his education primarily in Germany and at the age of fourteen came to the United States with his family.  He began by following in his father’s footsteps and taking up the shoemaker trade.  He moved to Baltimore County and settled in his home on Harford Road.  Once here he entered the canning business.  The business grew and was very successful.  He, like his father, invested in real estate and eventually owned many of the finer places located along Harford Road.  The property increased substantially in value as street cars moved into the county.  The fact that he accumulated all his property through his own efforts proves his ability as a business man.

In 1849, he married Catherine ‘Kate’ (Bing) (6-14-1827 to 10-9-1896), also born in Germany.  They were members of the Lutheran Church.  Together they had nine children, seven surviving (Katie, Elizabeth, John, Mary, Louisa, Anna, Rosa)

John and Kate are buried at Immanuel Cemetery on Grindon Avenue.

William Ludwig (12-6-1860 to)

Mr. Ludwig was Superintendent of Transportation for the United Railways & Electric  Company.  He was born in Baltimore, son of Conrad and Julianna (Bremiller).  He was educated in the public schools in Baltimore.  He was identified with the railroads since 1880.  His office was located at 1506 Continental Trust Building.



Charles Frederick Mayer (1834 to 2-24-1904)

Charles F. Mayer
Mr. Mayer is the son of Lewis Mayer, Baltimore born, but European schooled at the celebrated school of Herr Salzmann at Schnepfenthal Educational Institute in Gotha, Germany.  He was at that time, the only American boy who had ever been there.  Upon his return to the US he began his commercial career.  He was one of the defenders of Fort McHenry as a volunteer artilleryman in the War of 1812.  He then began his career working with his father’s vessels and the cargo trade between the US and Spanish, as well as several other European ports.  He later became a large importer of dry goods.  He moved to PA and developed an interest in the coal fields in PA. 

The father of Lewis Mayer was Christian Mayer, the paternal grandfather of Charles. He was also a resident of Baltimore and one of the earliest merchants to engage in the East India trade of this port. The Mayers had been for many generations natives of the old free city of Ulm in Germany. Charles F. Mayer, was born in the early1830s and was educated at private schools, and at Mount Hope College, in Baltimore. In his young years, he went to the west coast of South America as a cargo/exporter. On his return to Baltimore about 1852, he entered business and continued until 1865.  In that year he joined with a number of other gentlemen and began development in the rich gas-coal fields of West Virginia.  In 1877 Mr. Mayer became the president of the Consolidation Coal Company, of Maryland, the largest producer of the Cumberland George's Creek steam coal and one of the largest coal mining companies in the country. He at the same time became the president of the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which carried the coal product of that region to its connections with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad systems, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Cumberland, Md. Mr. Mayer continued in these two positions until the early part of 1896, when he retired from both. In November, 1887, Mr. Mayer became a director in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company and chairman of its Executive Committee, and in December, 1888, he became its president.  It was during the presidency of Mr. Mayer that the great work of constructing the Baltimore Belt Railroad was undertaken, and largely through his energy that it was carried to successful completion. This great work connected the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Camden Station, Baltimore, with its Philadelphia Division at Bay View, just outside the limits of the city. It was through the tunnels of the Baltimore Belt Railroad, during Mr. Mayer's administration, that electric motors were first successfully used for the hauling of trains instead of locomotive engines. To Baltimore then belongs the credit of having first solved this difficult railroad problem (passenger trains couldn’t travel through tunnels due to the smoke, but with electric motors, it eliminated the smoke problem).

In addition, Mr. Mayer was a director in the following institutions:

The Western National Bank, of Baltimore; the Baltimore Steam Packet Company; the Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company; and the United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company. He was also a trustee of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Church Home and Infirmary of Baltimore City, the Benevolent Society of the city and county of Baltimore, and a vestryman of old St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church. He was a member of the Maryland Club, the University Club and the Merchants' Club.

Mr. Mayer married Susan Douglass Keim in 1867, a daughter of the Hon. George May Keim, a prominent member of Congress.

William Henry Meese (1883 to 3-26-1939)

 

Mr. Meese was born in Michigan City, Indiana, of German parents.  He worked his way through the University of Michigan and began work with the Western Electric Company.  After six years, he was sent to London, England as chief inspector of the International Western Electric Company.  During the World War he directed the installation of phone systems throughout Europe, where he learned French, Flemish, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish.  He became the vice president of Western Electric in 1928 and was appointed manager of the Point Breeze branch.  He, at one time, led thirty-eight thousand employees. 

 

He worked for several charities and had exceptional management ability to do so.  In 1932 he helped raise $2,000,000 for the Community Fund.  He served as chairman  of the Committee on Industrial Rehabilitation for the Fifth Federal Reserve District; he was a member of the Educational Committee of the Y. M. C. A., the Municipal Committee of Governmental Efficiency and Economy, besides many other bodies. He was active in the General German Orphan Home at Catonsville. From 1933 to 1935 he served as president of the Baltimore Association of Commerce.


Ferdinand A. J. Meyer (4-14-1848 to 11-27-1933)

Ferdinand was born in the small village of Zwischenahn in Oldenburg.  He was the son of B. H. Meyer and Friederike (Kuehl). In Zwischenahn, the home of his parents, their graves, the church bells, the chandelier and the interior restoration of the seven-centuries-old church tell the story of his affection for the place of his birth and youth.

     When about twenty years old he immigrated to America and made Baltimore his home. In Baltimore he began a successful career in business.  He was at first employed by Goldsborough, Pitts & Co.  He worked his way to the head of the firm which then became known as Meyer, Pitts & Co.  He worked in this business until his death.  

     Mr. Meyer's estate was worth nearly three million dollars. He was generous, giving to many German groups.  To the German Orphan Home he gave $100,000; to Zion Church and to the German Aged Home he gave each $50,000; to the German Society of Maryland $20,000, and to the Historical Society $10,000. Even though his family in Germany was well cared for, they threatened to contest the will based on his capacity.  Many of the benefactors were forced to give up a considerable percentage of their bequest.   

     Always charitable, his Last Will and Testament revealed him as a man of widest charitable interests. Agencies and institutions for the care of the sick the poor, the orphaned, the aged, the crippled, as well as others devoted to cultural spheres, became beneficiaries of his generosity, and neither creed nor race were barriers to his truly humanitarian inclinations.

     For years Mr. Meyer took an active interest in the work of the German Orphan Home at Catonsville, giving a cottage and providing his time and expertise. He was a Director of the German Society of Maryland and other charitable organizations.

     Mr. R. Walter Graham, Comptroller of the City of Baltimore, the friend and business associate of Ferdinand Meyer for fifty years, gave a memorial window to Zion Church (The Window of the Good Samaritan…given in 1938), of which Mr. Meyer was a member for some forty years, as a tribute to a man whose presence was an inspiration and whose memory remains a blessing to untold numbers.

He died at the age of eighty-five, November 27, 1933, at Union Memorial Hospital. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. 

Source:  Report #24, Society for the History of Germans in Maryland and Zion's Ferdinand Meyer Memorial Window Dedication (3-27-1938).


John Henry Miller (10-26-1876 to 8-11-1958 )  Miller Brothers Restaurant

John Miller was born in the District of Columbia.  He was born to an American born father, Charles Howard Miller, who was also a restaurant owner and German born mother, Catherine [nee Menges], who immigrated from Hesse Darmstadt.  John Henry and his family (wife Sara)  lived on Park Heights Avenue.  John and his brother Frederick (1873 to 5-8-1931) moved from DC to Baltimore where they purchased the Schneider's Old German Café on 119 W. Fayette Street. They initially called their restaurant Miller Brothers German Café and later simply Miller Brothers Restaurant. It opened in 1912 and became a regular stomping ground of the Round Table, a luncheon club of Democratic politicos and their friends.  The restaurant was able to seat 450 on their first floor.  
Following the Anschluss in 1938, their head chef, Paul Pantzer (to 1950) wore a black toque in honor of the collapse of independent Austria. 

Initially the menu included a great deal of 'wild' meat such as bear, buffalo and elk.  One of their specialties was a 'turtle soup'.  All of the wild was butchered on the premises.

 

ASSET_BARCODE: BEZ-455-BS ## DESCRIPTION: Restaurants Miller Bros ## EXTENDED_DESCRIPTION: Brothers ## CAPTION:  ## SUMMARY: Miller Brothers restaurant at 119-121 west Fayette street  June 10, 1963  Baltimore Sun Photo by sun photographer Edward Nolan
By 1963, the restaurant had closed, been torn down to make way for construction of the new Charles Center. The new Hilton hotel (now the Omni) that went up on the spot briefly resurrected the name “Miller Bros.” for its swank dining room in the late ‘60s.

 

John Henry is also known as the inventor of the ‘crumber’.  He filed a patent on August 7, 1939 for a compact Crumber.  He wrote it was compact and could be carried in your pocket.  The patent was issued: U.S. Patent number 2,238,748 was issued to Miller on April 15, 1941.  Miller was granted U.S. Patent Number 2,494,572 on January 17, 1950. He also patented this invention in Germany (No. 816,299 issued October 8, 1951 for "Krumelschippe"), France (No. 1,007,354 issued February 6, 1952 for "Ramasse-miettes") and Great Britain (No. 676,029 issued July 23, 1952 for "Improvements in Crum Scoops"). 

 

John Henry divorced and remarried.  He is buried at Greenmount Cemetery. 

Sources:  http://www.crumber.com/history.html; 1880 Federal Census, 1920 Federal Census; WWI Draft Card for John Henry Miller; Sunpaper, November 15, 1994.

August Müller (10-31-1881 to)

Mr. Müller was born in Baltimore to John and Marie.  He was a successful businessman with two locations of his tonsorial (Barber Shop), one on Eastern Avenue and one on E. Lombard Street.  He was a Republican candidate for Sheriff for Baltimore County in 1913.  He was a member of the tribe of Ben Hur, Eagles, Schwartz Lutheran Church.  His business address was 4005 Eastern Avenue.



John Joseph Raum (2-4-1877 to )

Mr. Raum was born in Baltimore to Charles and Margereth (Gepprich).  He worked for John C. Raum and Sons, patentees and manufacturers of the ‘anti-drip’ refrigerator and ‘high grade’ vehicles, which at the time were wagons.  He was education at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic School and the public schools.  He began manufacturing wagons at the age of twenty one and eventually expanded to open offices in St. Paul, MN., and Houston, TX. 

He created his own billing system and was a member of the 1st Brach of the City Council in 1902.  He was nominated for the Senate Progressive Party for the 1st Legislative District in 1913.  He was a member of the 4th Maryland Regiment.  His offices were at 303 and 407 Sharp Street.


William Solomon Rayner (1822 to 3-1-1899)

 

William Rayner waas the descendant of German Jews from Bavaria.  He came to the U.S. in the middle of making his plans to attend German University.  He arrived in Baltimore in 1838.  He worked in many types of business, but retired from business in 1857.  He was elected president of the Maryland Portable Gas Company.  He formed the Patapsco & Brooklyn Company.  He was very involved in the real estate business in Baltimore and had previously purchased large tracts of land.  One of these large tracts contained an old mansion and Mr. Rayner donated this land and mansion to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Association. 

 

He was a director of the Western Maryland Railroad and the Western National Bank.   He served as president of the Kingwood Gas, Coal & Iron Company and was chairman of the Baltimore Equitable Fire Insurance Company. 

 

He amassed a huge and distinguished library containing many books in both the German and English language.  He was regarded as one of the leading Hebrew and German scholars.  He assisted in translating into English from Hebrew and German the prayer books used in many of the Reformed Hebrew congregations.



Robert Rennert (1-25-1837 to 10-3-1898)

 

Robert Rennert was born in Baltimore, the son of Louis and Regina Rennert, natives of Germany.  He received his early education in the public schools of Baltimore.  After completing school he was employed by Mr. Guy at Guy’s Monument House on Monument Square, a leading hotel.  Upon Mr. Guy’s death, Mr. Rennert entered into partnership with Mrs. Miller, Mr. Guy’s sister.  They conducted the hotel for a number of years.    In 1859, having accumulated some money, Mr. Rennert invested in a restaurant located in the basement of a building on Water Street.  In 1885 he purchased the property and closed his restaurant and opened a small European hotel at the corner of Saratoga, Cathedral and Liberty Streets.  It became a prime resort known as the Hotel Rennert.  The hotel had its biggest week in 1912 when the Democratic National Convention was held in the 5th Regiment Armory.  The hotel was a favorite spot of H.L. Mencken.  The hotel was later owned and operated by the Rennert Hotel Company, organized in 1899.  During this time he opened the Rennert’s Downtown Restaurant on Fayette Street near Calvert. 
 

The ‘Rennert House’-formerly situated on Fayette Street, adjoining the US court house on the west, was built by Robert Rennert in 1871, and kept on the European style.  The first floor contained a side hall on the right front.  There was another entrance immediately from the street into the bar and eating counter room, which extended about one third the length of the building back.  In the rear of this the clerk’s office and the clerk’s desks were located, behind which were suites of dining rooms.  A wide stairway running up from the hall just in the rear of the clerk’s office communicated with the first floor, upon which in front were the handsome parlors of the hotel, with bed-rooms in the rear.  The upper stories were also used for the accommodations of guests.  The kitchens were in the rear basement.  This was one of the most popular eating houses in Baltimore.  In 1880, Mr. Rennert sold the property, among others on the block to the United States, and in 1881 the building was torn down to make room for the new post office site.

 

In 1885, Robert Rennert relocated his hotel from Fayette Street to the southwest corner of Saratoga, Cathedral and Liberty Sts.  Favorite of local dignitaries, had it biggest week in 1912, when the Democratic National Convention was held at the 5th Regiment Armory.  In his rookie days, H.L. Mencken was sent to report on the banquets held nearly nightly at the Rennert…as he seasoned, he took to lunching there.  The hotel was never able to recover from the dry spell of prohibition and was torn down in 1941.

 

Charles Alvin Riebling (6-4-1887 to 1-28-1955) 

 

Mr. Riebling was born in Baltimore, the son of George and Elizabeth.  His parents emigrated to the U.S. from Neukirchen in Northern Germany.  His primary education was obtained at the English German School #2.  In 1929 he joined the staff of the Equitable Trust Company as Vice President of the Trust department.  He developed the Life Insurance Loan Department in this company.  He remained with Equitable Trust until his death. 

 

He was a member of the First Unitarian Church and served for many years as their treasurer.  He organized the ‘South Baltimore Boys’, which was a group of businessmen and professionals that were born in South Baltimore. 

Moses Rothschild (7-17-1863 to 11-16-1937)

Mr. Rothschild was born near Frankfort-on-the-Main (Erksdorf, Marburg-Biedenkopf), Germany, the son of Zadock and Violet (Nussbaum) of German ancestry.  He was the youngest of 10 children, with six emigrating to the United States. 

His early education was obtained in the public schools of Germany. After graduation he came to the United States at the age of eighteen.  He engaged in mercantile pursuits South of Maryland, but in January 1889 he came to Baltimore and began working in the industrial insurance business with F.S. Strawbridge.  He began as a solicitor and was promoted to assistant superintendent. He stayed for about one year and then became one of the incorporators of the Immediate Benefit Insurance Company.  He was the secretary and later became the president of the company. 

He married Miriam Moses (daughter of Bernard Moses) on April 4, 1894.  Bernard Moses was a prominent clothing manufacture in Baltimore.  Together the Rothschild’s have one child, Hilda (3-9-1895)

Immediate Benefit Life Insurance Company was incorporated June 5, 1890, by Adelbert G. Botts, Wm. A. Casler, Moses Rothschild, Dr. Edward E. Macenzie and Thomas Macenzie. It was conducted on the principle of co-operative insurance, weekly premium plan, paying sick, accident and death benefits. This was, at the time,  the only institution paying full benefits within twenty-four hours. It grew rapidly.

Its first board of officers was composed of Adelbert G. Botts, president; Wm. A. Casler, vice-president; M. Rothschild, secretary; Doctor Macenzie, medical director. Thomas Macenzie was general counsel until March 1, 1895. Adelbert G. Botts and Mr. Wm. A. Casler retired as president and vice-president respectively, their places being filled by Mr. Moses Rothschild

as president, and Doctor Macenzie assuming the office of secretary in addition to that of medical director. Mr. Charles F. Diehl was appointed to the position of assistant secretary and general manager. On January 12. 1897, it was re-incorporated as a stock company, with capital stock of $15,000 by Mr. Rothschild, Thomas and Edward Macenzie, Solomon Rothschild and Marx H. Iseman, the two last-named gentlemen being residents of Virginia. The field of operations extended to the District of Columbia and North Carolina, and eventually opened to many other states.  

Mr. Rothschild is buried at the Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery.

Otto E. Schellhase ( to 2005)

 

Mr. Schellhase was born in Germany, as was his wife, Minna.  He was a waiter who emigrated from Germany in 1906.  He opened the Schellhase Restaurant on April 1, 1924 at 302 W. Franklin Street, one of the best known restaurants in the city of Baltimore.  His son Otto (1918 to) joined the family restaurant business when it moved in 1935 from Franklin Street to a larger space at 412 N. Howard Street in the heart of the theater district and it became a late night hangout for theater types and notables who loved to feast on Germanic fare like knockwurst and pig's knuckle.  It had a distinctive German decor and menu and drew many famous persons.  It was the location of H.L. Mencken’s Saturday Night Club, which met in a private room at Schellhase’s until it disbanded in 1950.    Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullivan were married there in 193. They were there playing husband and wife in the play ‘Mary Rose’ at the Maryland Theater.  It was known for it’s sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel, oysters and German beer and was frequented by those from the world of art, music, literature and the theater. 

Mr. Otto Schellhase (the younger) graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1935.  During WWI he served in the Army Air Corps as a radio operator aboard C-47 transport planes.  Mr. Schellhase was active in the Restaurant Association and worked for them, including serving as their president, after he decided to close his restaurant in 1980. 


In 1992, the Restaurant Association of Maryland established the Schellhase Award in honor of the late Otto E. Schellhase, who served the Restaurant Association of Maryland in various capacities for more than 50 years.  Not awarded annually, winners of the Schellhase Award are selected by the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s Gala Awards Committee only when it identifies individuals of outstanding character, whose numerous contributions to the Association, its Education Foundation, the industry as a whole as well as their community clearly set them apart. 
 

Having one’s own beer stein hanging on the wall and at the ready signified full acceptance at Schellhase’s.  LegIt is said that Mencken’s stein remained on its peg long after the Sage could no longer make it over to Schellhase’s for meetings with his Saturday Night friends. 

 

It is also said that the other restaurants in Baltimore became famous for their food, whereas Schellhase's became famous for being famous. 

Source:  Baltimore Dines Out, Joe Sugarman and Laura Wexler, Style, 11.2004
The Baltimore Sun, Obituary

George Schilling (10-1835 to 4-5-1918)

Mr. Schilling was born in Sanborn, Hessen, Germany.  He was the son of Peter Schilling also of Hessen.  His mother died when he was very young.  The family was rom an old and prominent family in Germany.  They owned considerable property but lost most of it during the French war.  Peter, with his three sons, George, Michael and Frank emigrated to the United States in 1845.  It took them 50 days to reach the Baltimore Harbor.  Here Peter, the father, established a cabinet shop on North Bond Street where he worked until his death in 1853.

George attended school in Germany and at the age of 10 emigrated with his father.  Once in Baltimore, he attended the St. James School.  He began his business career as a clerk in a warehouse and was later employed in a glass-staining establishment.  When he was about fourteen, he began working with his father until his father’s death.  He then apprenticed himself to Henneburder Brothers for three years and the firm closed seven months before his apprenticeship was complete.  He then began working for Samuel E. Wheeler and cabinet maker and undertaker. The shop was purchased by Mr. Schilling in 1865.

Mr. Schilling was a first class cabinet maker.  He invented a burial case/casket with a patent full glass lid and double hinge and a full length ice casket.  Both were patented in 1871. He also had a full line of other amenities associated with his business such as carriages and hearses.  He was one of the first embalmers in the city.  His services were in great demand during the Civil War.  In 1865 he passed the examination of the board at Washington, and in 1883 graduated from the Rochester School of Embalming.

Mr. Schilling was director of Oldtown Bank, stockholder in Oldtown Fire Insurance Company, central Warehouse Company and was a member of the Oldtown Merchants & Manufacturers’ Association.

He was married three times:  1) Mary Henning (together they had three children); 2) Mary Kettering (together they had seven children); and 3) Elizabeth Kettering (married 1893-together they had one child).  The family, according to the 1880 census, lived on East Monument Street.

In 1865 Mr. Schilling was made a Mason in LaFayette Lodge No. 11, F. & A. M., which held its meetings in the old courthouse. Later he assisted in organizing Baltimore City Lodge No. 124; on its disbandment became one of the organizers of Phoenix Lodge, and when it ceased existence joined King David Lodge No. 68. He belongs to the Association of O. Keil, is president of the Hackmen's Union, and was a faithful member of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church.

 

Ernst Schmeisser (
3-9-1851 to 4-5-1923)

 

Mr. Schmeisser was born in Siegen, Westphalia.  He was the son of Christian and Marianne (Dresler) Schmeisser.  His father was a physician of Siegen.  He was one of six children.   He was educated in the schools of in Siegen.  He emigrated to America on August 19th, 1868. His first position was with Kummer & Becker, bankers, where he worked for three years.  In 1871 he went with the tobacco firm of Gail & Ax as clerk.  The firm was then located at 1-19 Barre Street.  After six years he began his own business firm of Lauts & Schmeisser, exporters of leaf tobacco.  He married the daughter of G. W. Gail (see profile above), Louise, and went into business with his father-in-law in 1882 as a member of the firm of Gail & Ax.  In 1891 this business was sold to the American Tobacco Company and he remained manager of its Baltimore Branch and that of its successor, the American Snuff Company, until 1908, when he retired.


He and his wife had four children Wilhelm, Ernst, Heinrich and Gerhard.  The family are Lutherans and resided at 2401 Eutaw Place.


Mr. Schmeisser was a director of the Hopkins Place Savings Bank, as also of the Maryland Casualty Company, the German-American Fire Insurance Company, and the Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He was vice President of the Germania Club and a member of the Masonic Fraternity and the Lincoln Union Leage.  For over thirty-five years he was active as director of the General German Orphans Home, and was its President for twenty-five years.

William Schmidt, Jr. (9-4-1882 to 2-18-1955)

William Schmidt was the son of German immigrants, but he was born in Baltimore.  He was employed by the local public utility company, which eventually became the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company.  He worked there for fifty-six years and worked his way from the bottom to the Chairman of the Board.  He studied accounting and law at night and was admitted to the bar in 1910.

He was a member of St. Matthew’s Evangelical and Reformed Church.  He was a member of the board of the Fidelity Trust Company, the Maryland Casualty Company the Masons.  He was also a member of the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland. 

Henry F. ‘Hank’ Schoenfeld ( 1929 to 9-11-2010)

Henry Schoenfeld was born in Nuremberg, Germany, son of a salesman and homemaker.  He spent his early years in Nuremberg and Munich.  The family was able to escape and emigrate to the US in 1938.  They settled in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.  He graduated from Coatesville High School and earned a B.A. in industrial engineering from Penn State University.  He served in the United States Army attaining the rank of lieutenant.  He served in Army intelligence from 1952 to 1954.  Mr. Schoenfeld came to Baltimore in the mid-1950s and began work at the Eastern Venetian Blind Company.  He later joined the insurance industry.  He became a CPCU, the highest designation an insurance person can earn.    In 1960 he formed a partnership with Alan Hecht and established the Hecht-Schoenfeld Agency, which later expanded through merger.  In 1964 he founded the Schoenfeld Insurance Associates.  He remained the president and principal owner until his death.  The firm was located on Lombard Street for many years until moving in 2003 to the Mount Washington area.  His philanthropic interests included the Associated Jewish Charities and Penn State.  He was an avid flying, earning his pilot’s license in 1970.

Source:  Baltimore Sun, September 17, 2011
Alexander H. Schulz (1828 to 7-5-1905)

Mr. Schulz was born in Jever, Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in 1850.  He arrived in Baltimore and became known as a very successful businessman, especially in the shipping interests located in the city.

He had been president of the German Bank and the German Fire Insurance Company for many years.  Among his interests were the German Aged Peoples’ Home, the German Orphan Asylum, the German Society of Maryland and
Zion’s Church, where he served as president of the council for many years
.

Albert Schumacher (1-23-1802 to )

 

Mr. Schumacher was born in Bremen.  He was sent to school in his native town of Bremen.  At the age of seventeen he began his employment with the H.H. Meier & Co.  He lived in the house of the principal, which was a common practice in Germany at the time.  At the end of six years, he was made senior clerk.  As such he could represent the principals in their absence and sign any bills of exchange.  His predecessor as senior clerk, C.A. Heineken had traveled to Baltimore in 1823 and established himself a business in that city.  Mr. Schumacher decided to do the same and arrived in New York in 1826.  He became a partner with Mr. Heineken.  They were actively engaged in the shipping business.  Mr. Heineken retired in 1839, the office of consul for Bremen and the position was transferred to Mr. Schumacher.  He was also appointed in 1844, consul for Hamburg. 

 

He was elected President of the German Society in 1844 and was President of the Board of Trade and a director in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the North Western Virginia Railroad.  He was a director in the Savings Bank of Baltimore, the Commercial and Farmers’ Bank, the Safe Deposit Company, the Maryland Sugar Refinery, Merchants’ Mutual Insurance Company and manager of the Maryland Institution for the Instruction of the Blind.  He was President of Zion’s council and one of the Commissioners of the McDonogh bequest.  He was one of the prime movers in the establishment of the prosperous steamship line between Baltimore and Bremen.

 

Samuel M. Shoemaker (6-28-1821 to 1884)

 

Mr. Shoemaker was born at Bayou la Fourche, Louisiana.  The family was one of the original settlers of Pennsylvania in 1682, coming from Chesheim in the Palatinate.   His father moved there two years before his birth.  His father died shortly after his birth in a drowning accident and his mother returned to Baltimore to live with her family in Baltimore county.  He was educated at Lafayette College in PA., and began his business career at the age of sixteen with Alexander Falls & Co., wholesale grocers in Baltimore.  He stayed there about four years and was then appointed agent of the Rappahannock Steam Packet Company, which traded between Baltimore and Fredericksburg, VA.  He also, at that time, entered a partnership with Mr. Martin in the grocery business.  The partnership lasted a brief time.  His niche appeared to be with the shipping business because when the line between Baltimore and Philadelphia was established, the Ericsson line, he was appointed agent of that line also.  He remained with this position until 1843 when he was asked by Mr. E.S. Sanford, agent of Adams & Co’s Express, to join him in organizing an express line between Philadelphia and Baltimore.  They were successful and maintained the original name.  Not long after this line was developed, they extended the line to include Richmond, VA. and Charleston, SC.  They also organized with Green & Co., the great Western Express between Baltimore and St. Louis, MO.  This route took rail, stage and river transportation to accomplish, and passed Wheeling, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville and St. Louis.  There was a great deal of competition in this are, but Shoemaker and Sanford were so successful, the virtually eliminated the competition.  In 1854, they entered into arrangements with proprietors of other express lines between Boston and Philadelphia, which finally resulted in the formation of one great company organized under the laws of New York, ‘The Adams Express Company’.  The company served every state and Territory in the country at the time, employing 50,000 people. 

 

Mr. Shoemaker was at one time, a director in not less than thirteen public utility companies.  There is a ‘Historical Marker’ on the home of Samuel Shoemaker at 901 St. Paul Street. 


J. Alexander Shriver (2-3-1821 to 3-1-1891)

 

Mr. Srhiver was a member of the German Society of Maryland, whose ancestors (Schreiber) came originally from Alsenborn, Germany.  He was born in the city of Baltimore on February 3rd, 1821. He occupied during his life time many positions of trust and was president of the Ericsson Line of Steamers up to the time of his death.  Mr. Shriver died on the 1st of March 1891.

 

Leonard A. Siems (1878 to 3-6-1978) 

 

Mr. Siems was born in Baltimore.  He attended Johns Hopkins University and obtained training in banking.  He began his banking career in 1916 with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.  He worked for the Federal Reserve Bank until 1942 becoming the chief examiner for its field organization.  He served as the senior vice president of the Maryland National Bank.  He retired in 1973 as vice chairman of the Suburban Trust Company. 

 

He was named city treasurer in 1962 after serving 12 years of the city’s Civil Service Commission.  He was an active member of the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland; a member of the board of the Lutheran Hospital and a member of the First English Lutheran Church.  He joined the navy during WWI and later became president of the Baltimore Council of the Navy League.

Adolf Gustav Steinmann (5-24-1851 to 2-6-1923)

 

Mr. Steinmann was born in Bodman on Lake Constance in Baden.  His father was a border guard.  There were five children.  Adolf was the youngest.  He was educated in Waiblingen and became an apprentice watchmaker.  He worked under several learning the trade and secured a job in a clock factory in Neustadt.  He worked there for one year, where the major output was mantlepiece clocks.  He then went to Turin, Italy.  A place that the young man of twenty adored.  He returned home in April of 1871 in order to register for the draft.  He emigrated to Baltimore in 1871.  For a few years he and his new wife lived in Pennsylvania, but in 1876 he returned to Baltimore.  He opened a shop as a watchmaker and jeweler at 125 West Camden Street. 

 

Adolf Steinmann became a leading member of the Liederkranz Singing Society and the Germania Männerchor, when the two groups merged in 1899.  He served as president of the Liederkranz in 1894 and was instrumental in the two groups joining.  He appeared on many programs and often had solo parts.  He was an outstanding contributor to the German music culture and history in Baltimore.

Hiram F. Straus (12-17-1861 to)

Mr. Straus was born in Baltimore to Joseph and Bettie (Lazarus) Straus.  His father in 1835 and his mother in 1837, both in Germany and emigrating to Baltimore in 1843.  His father began work in the clothing business here, but moved to South Carolina, where he died of yellow fever in 1872. 

Hiram was education in Baltimore, first in the public schools and then he attended Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College.  He began in business two short years after his father’s death at the age of fifteen.  His first job was as an errand boy for Lewis Newman (dry goods).  He eventually however, was apprenticed and learned the printing trade.  He earned a position with the firm of Griffin, Curley & Co., located on E. Baltimore Street.  The firm went out of business in 1892.  At that time, Hiram began his new career as an insurance broker in Baltimore.  His office was located at 1611 N. Fulton Avenue

He was an active member of the following societies: Treasurer of Star of the West Council, Jr. O. U. A. M.; financial secretary of Lord Baltimore Council, National Union; financial secretary and recorder of Rising Star Lodge; Oriental Lodge, J. O. M.: Oriental Court, Jr.; Heptasophs. He took an active role in all of his societies and was well respected.

In politics he was a member of the Republican party and was nominated on his party’s ticket for the Legislature where he received the largest vote that had been given for years for any Republican in the First District. In 1896 Governor Lowndes appointed him Tax Assessor.


John Gerhard Tjarks (2-5-1865 to 9-4-1943)

 

Mr. Tjarks was born at Marz near Essen.  His father died when John was six and the family moved to Oldenburg.  He received his education here and entered an apprenticeship with a commercial house at Wilhemshaven.  He arrived in Baltimore in 1882. 

 

He worked on a farm in Baltimore County, was employed as shipping clerk and even drove horse-drawn street cars until he became interested in the restaurant business.  By the age of twenty one, he had opened his own restaurant on Frederick Road.  After being in the U.S. for five years, he was granted his citizenship papers.  He leased and managed a well-known, at the time, Darley Park on Harford Road near 25th Street and owned the Orchestrion Hall of West Lexington.  In 1907 he purchased the Raleigh Hotel at Fayette and Holliday Streets, which he renamed ‘Armistead Hotel’, in honor of the defender of Fort McHenry. 

 

He helped found the Independent Citizens Union of Maryland, which was the central organization of all German-American Societies, which was voluntarily dissolved in the beginning of WWI.  He was also one of the founders of the National German American Alliance, formed in Philadelphia in 1901. 

 

He was instrumental in the founding of the Julius Hofmann Memorial Fund that was founded to encourage the study of the German language in the Baltimore City public schools.  He was president of the trustees until his death. 

 

He was a Mason, a member of the German Society, the General German Aged Home, and the General German Orphan Home.  He founded the Hotelman’s Association of Baltimore.  He was a faithful member of Zion Church and purchased and donated the collection of theological works in the Hofmann Memorial Library at Zion. 

 

He helped finance the Parish House at Zion for the four week lodging of soldiers and sailors in the fall of 1942.


 

Bernard von Kapff (1770-1829)

von Kapff, Bernard
Mr. von Kapff was a native of Detmold.  He established a tobacco import business in 1795 and later joined Frederick Brune.  He was Vice President of the German Society from 1817 to 1822.  He was a large contributor to the Baltimore Battle Monument.  His wife Hester was the daughter of a Baltimore merchant and burying ground lot owner.  The von Kapff vault is in the Westminster Cemetery in Baltimore, but the family was moved to a Philadelphia cemetery.




Frederick von Kapff (1-8-1854 to)

Mr. Kapff was born in Baltimore.  He is of German descent, his grandfather, Bernard Kapff, emigrating to the US to Baltimore where he became the founder of the firm von Kapff & Anspach (later Kapff & Brune), which became one of the largest tobacco importing houses in the city.  He married Heste Didier.  They had seven children.  Frederick’s father was born in Baltimore and was also a prominent business man.  Frederick’s mother, Anne Donnell (Smith) von Kapff, was the first president of the Maryland Society of Colonial Dames. (Ms. Smith’s family was prominent in politics and politics). 

Frederick was educated in Baltimore and studied law and was admitted to the bar.  He retired from practice shortly after his marriage to Annie S. Brown in 1877, and then gave his attention to the management of his various property interests. 


George A. Von Lingen (7-4-1838 to 7-26-1907)


Mr. Von Lingen was born in Bremen.  He was educated in Bremen and was employed by Edwin I. Oelrichs & Co., in Bremen.  He emigrated in July 1859 at the age of twenty-one.  He came to Baltimore in the same year.  He began to work at the firm of his uncle, Albert Schumacher & Company (see profile).  He was admitted as a partner in 1870 and upon Mr. Schumacher’s death became head of the company and continued to carry on business in the firm’s original name.  The firm acted as the Baltimore agent of the North German Lloyd for about forty years.  They were also the agent of the Allen Steamship Line. 

 

Mr. Von Lingen was a director of the Eutaw Savings Bank, a director of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company and vice president of the Commercial and Farmers’ National Bank.  A special note that while Mr. Von Lingen served in these capacities, he accepted no remuneration.  He was appointed German Consul in Baltimore in 1876, by Emperor William I.  He was decorated with the Order of the Red Eagle[1] or his long and faithful years of service. 

 

Mr. Von Lingen was a member of the Maryland Club and the Germania Club.  He was naturalized in 1873.

Joseph Wernig ()

Started the Joseph S. Wernig Transfer Company with one team of horses at the age of 20.  He continued as the driver for six years.  He bought out the firm of Wernig Bros. Transfer and incorporated.  In the early 1900s he began a furniture storage warehouse at 1511-13 N. Central Ave.  At that time he had over 100 teams, the largest in the city and acted as transfer agents for New York and Baltimore.  He furnished teams for leading businesses all over the city.  His stable covered one acre of ground and included a blacksmith, paint and harness ship and mills.  His business address was 100 W. Lombard Street.

Louis Seymour Zimmerman (9-8-1876 to 12-7-1954)-Bank President

 

Louis Zimmerman, descendant of a highly respected German family, son of Louis and Mary Scott (Seymour), was born in Baltimore County (Woodlawn).  He was education in the public schools of Baltimore County and attended the University of Maryland’s School of Law and graduated in 1900.  He was first employed by the B&O Railroad.  While continuing his law studies he began to work as a clerk for the Maryland Trust Company.  He was appointed assistant secretary and treasurer in 1903, secretary in 1905, second vice president in 1906, acting president in 1908 and finally as the president in 1910.  He was the youngest bank president in the city of Baltimore.  In 1930 the bank merged with the Drovers and Mechanics Bank and the Continental Trust Company where Zimmerman became Vice President.  He retired in 1948, but served as director and chairman after his retirement.

 

He served as a director and vice president in the Baltimore Brick Company; treasurer and director in the Houston Oil Company of Texas, a director of the Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad Company, the Black & Decker Company, the Central Savings Bank, the Elk Paper Manufacturing Company, the Maryland Casualty Company, the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Company, assistant secretary and director in the Vera Cruz and Pacific Railroad and served as treasurer of South Baltimore General Hospital from 1940-1953.


He is interred at Lorraine Park Cemetery.


[1] The Order of the Red Eagle (German: Roter Adlerorden) was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to both military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership, long and faithful service to the kingdom, or other achievements. As with most German (and most other European) orders, the Order of the Red Eagle could only be awarded to commissioned officers or civilians of approximately equivalent status.

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