Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fred Brueggemann and Dietrich Fortlage

Fred Brueggemann (son of Clamor) was a Hardware salesman as reported on several census forms.  On the 1900 Census, there was a 12 year old boarder listed on his family's record.  The boy was listed as in school and his name was Dietrich Fortlage.  Fred's daughter Marie Catharine Dorothea Brueggeman married Adolph Fortlage in 1900.  Dietrich was Adolph's youngest brother.  Fred and his wife seem to have taken Dietrich in after his parents died.  Dietrich's father died in 1890 and I couldn't find the date of death of his mother.  He clearly wasn't a boarder but a member of the family.  He lived with them until the time of his marriage.  He also followed in Fred's footsteps and is listed in 1920 and 1930 censuses and in his WWI and WWII draft registrations as a Hardware Salesman for the George Worthington Co. in Cleveland.

The GEORGE WORTHINGTON CO., one of the nation's leading hardware wholesalers and industrial distributors, began in 1829 when 16-year-old GEORGE WORTHINGTON† came to Cleveland from New York. Noting the lack of proper tools being used in building the OHIO AND ERIE CANAL, Worthington returned to New York, purchased picks, shovels, and other implements, and shipped them to Cleveland. When the supply sold quickly, Worthington doubled his money and opened his first hardware store at Superior and W. 10th streets. In 1835 he acquired a competitor, McCurdy & Conklin, and relocated the store to Superior and Water (W. 9th) streets. The advent of the railroad and the Civil War stimulated the company's growth, and by 1868 Worthington built a new store and warehouse at 802 W. St. Clair Ave. By 1870 the firm began issuing yearly catalogs as sales reached $1.5 million. After the store burned in 1874, a larger store was erected on the same site, and the company expanded its headquarters there to a complex of 13 structures. Under president JAMES BARNETT† the George Worthington Co. incorporated in 1887. With a sales territory extending through 10 northeastern and midwestern states by 1920, Worthington discontinued its retail business and devoted the firm's resources to the wholesale trade.

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