Biography of Joseph Kramzar
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JOSEPH KREMZAR, the present business partner in the Grdina Furniture Company at 6017-19 St. Claire Avenue, was born in the Village of Brezavic, Jugo-Slavia, on March 3, 1876, and is the son of Joseph and Mary Kremzar. Unfortunately for his family the father died when his son Joseph was only seven weeks old, and the result was a lack of education for the children as well as the want of tutelage and support. But their mother came to the rescue and reared the children to ages when they could care in the main for themselves. Under her support Joseph received four years of schooling, but was then, to a large degree, placed upon his own resources and obliged to care for himself. While quite young, a mere boy, he began to serve a three years' apprenticeship at the cabinet maker's trade, at the end of which time he was proficient enough to work independently, and did so for another three years, laying up in the meantime considerable money. He then determined to widen his opportunities and improve his business surroundings.

Accordingly, in 1901, he secured a ticket and took passage on a vessel across the Atlantic and landed in New York, where for about one month he worked at his trade for various concerns where he could get the best remuneration. He then had heard more about the Slavonian colony in Cleveland, Ohio, to induce him to leave the "Metropolitan City" and go west to the big city growing so swiftly in the Western Reserve. He secured a ticket and came direct by rail to Cleveland, where he was welcomed and assisted by his fellow countrymen who had preceded him to the New World.

Upon reaching the historic shores of Lake Erie and the sprightly city of Cleveland he soon secured a permanent position with the Lake Shore Lumber Company's sash and door factory, and there remained, gaining prominence and popularity year after year and greatly increasing his knowledge of the ways and intrigues of the American workmen and people. Greatly to his credit he remained in the employ of that company for eleven years, thus proving his qualifications and his fitness for the tasks set before him, and being required to serve a portion of the time as foreman, an exacting and expanding position.

Upon leaving the employ of the Lake Shore Lumber Company he began. working as a journeyman carpenter for various contractors, and was thus employed for about eleven years, during which time he managed to save considerable wages and profits. He then determined to branch out for himself along independent lines of the trade that had served him so well. Accordingly he began taking his own building contracts on a moderate scale, and so continued until the 1st of January, 1918, when he became shipping clerk and repair supervisor for the Grdina Furniture Company. His services were so well appreciated that in 1920 he was advanced to a membership in the company and was placed in charge of both the main store and the Nottingham branch store, both establishments being among the largest and most prosperous in the east end of the city. The company have three stores, the third being at Waterloo and Huff avenues. Mr. Kremzar is now a well-known and prominent business man, not only of the Slavonian colony, but of the great city itself.

He has attained eminence in other walks of life in America. He is one of the original stockholders of the North American Banking and Savings Company, one of the prominent and prosperous banking concerns of the city. He is a zealous and steadfast member of the St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church and a member of several worthy Slavonian fraternal organizations. He married Mary Cufer, a native of jugo-Slavia, and to this union five children have been born: Albin J., aged twenty years; Jennie, aged sixteen years; Gladys L., aged fourteen years; William, aged twelve years; and Carrie, aged ten years. The parents are giving their children sound and practical educations.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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