Biography of Henry G. Renker
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

HENRY GILBERT RENKER. One of the progressive business men of Cleveland is Henry G. Renker, president of the Ideal Products Company, who is a native of this city and is descended from one of the old families of Brooklyn Township (now Cleveland) where three generations of his family have had active part in the business and civic affairs.

His grandfather, Henry Renker, who was born in Germany on September 19, 1808, came to the United States as a young man, then went to Mexico, where for a few years he owned and operated a coffee plantation. While in Mexico he married Bertha Schlechterway, who was born in Germany, January 21, 1811. From Mexico they came North to Ohio, living for a time in Lorain County, and then moving to Cuyahoga County, and settled in the village of Brighton, now within the Cleveland city limits. He was a cooper by trade, and at Brighton he established one of the early cooper shops and continued active in that business the rest of his life. He died December 6, 1879. His wife died October 3, 1869.

Julius Renker, son of Henry, and father of Henry G., was born in Brighton, Brooklyn Township, September 2, 1848, and lived for three quarters of a century in that section of the city. From his father he learned the cooper's trade, and was actively associated with him and succeeded to the business upon his death and carried it on until 1886, when he became a contractor and builder, and continued in that line of business until he retired. For six consecutive years he served as assessor of Brooklyn Township, and for a number of years was on the village board of health before Brighton was consolidated with Cleveland. He is a member of Riverside Lodge, Knights of Pythias, is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a member of the Lutheran Church. May 28, 1873, he married Eva C. Kline, who was born in Parma Township, Cuyahoga County, daughter of Philip and Mary (Messersmith) .Kline, early settlers of Parma. It is one of the interesting evidences of the development of Cleveland in a business way, that the business offices now occupied by Ideal Products Company, at one time was the residence of the Renker family, and it was in this structure that Henry G. Renker was born on April 9, 1881. He acquired his education in the graded and high schools, attended business college, and his first employment was with a lumber company. Subsequently he took up building work and did an independent business in building houses for a time. From that he engaged in the manufacture of cement building blocks under the firm name of the Renker Stone Company, from which the Ideal Products Company has been developed.

Mr. Renker is a director in several other corporations, including the Independent Brick and Tile Company, The Brooklyn Mortgage Company and The State Mortgage Company. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Industry, the Cleveland Builders Exchange, and Brooklyn Lodge No. 426, Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Renker married Miss May E. Ingham, who was born in the Village of Brighton, the daughter of Albert and Lucy D. (Eldridge) Ingham. Mr. and Mrs. Renker have four children: Irwin, born December 26, 1901; educated in the public schools and West Technical School, and is in charge of all equipment repairs of the Ideal Products Company; Myrtle May, born September 25, 1905, graduate of Brooklyn Heights High School; Howard Henry, born December 5, 1906, graduate of Brooklyn Heights High School, is in the office of the Ideal Products Company; Eva Electa, born June 30, 1917.

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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