Biography of William Wischmeier
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM WISCHMEIER. The late William Wiscbmeier was one of the well known citizens and successful business men of Cleveland, and by his death the South Side of the city lost a leader in all community affairs, one who was always ready to give freely of his time and means to all movements having for their object the welfare of the community.

Mr. Wiscbmeier was born in Cleveland (then Brooklyn Village) on June 16, 1866, the son of Frederick Wischnieier, a native of Germany, who was one of the early merchant tailors of the South Side. He attended the Lutheran parochial schools, and while yet a boy began an apprenticeship to learn the upholstering business, working for his brother-in-law, Edward Blawse. After he had mastered that business he formed a partnership with John Linderman, another brother-in-law, and the firm of Wischmeier & Linderman established a furniture store and upholstering and undertaking business. Mr. Wischmeier bought his partner's interest in the business March 5, 1895, and continued it under his own name until 1920, in which year he admitted his son, Elmer, as a partner, the firm then becoming William Wischmeier & Son, as it continues at the present time, with a business ranking among the leading and successful furniture, upholstering and undertaking houses of the city.

Mr. Wischmeier had other important interests. A number of years ago he became a member of the board of directors of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Company, and when that institution was absorbed by the Pearl Street Savings and Banking Company he continued as a director in that bank. He was also president of the Hal-Fur Motor Truck Company.

Civic and church affairs lay close to Mr. Wischmeier's heart, and he gave much of his time to them, always willingly and always cheerfully. He was treasurer of Lutheran Hospital, treasurer of Lutheran Cemetery Association and a member of the board of trustees of Emanuel Lutheran Church, and treasurer of the church for fifteen years.

His splendid traits of character, his personality and the upright life he led won the respect of all who came in contact with Mr. Wischmeier, while his circle of warm friends was very large, all of whom mourned his death as a personal loss.

Mr. Wischmeier was united in marriage with Emma Bennhoff, who was horn in Cleveland, the daughter of the late William Bennhoff, pioneer blacksmith and wagonmaker of the West Side. To their marriage a daughter and son were born: Clara L., who married Julius Gerlach, and has a son, Julius, Jr., born July 16, 1920; and Elmer Wischmeier.

Julius Gerlach was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 2, 1889, son of the late Alfred F. Gerlach, who for twenty years was a teacher in Saint Matthews Lutheran Parochial School of Cleveland, who died in 1918, his widow surviving. Julius Gerlach came to Cleveland with his parents, attended Saint Matthews Parochial School, graduated from Western Reserve University School of Pharmacy in 1911, and is now a member of the drug company of Flandemeyer & Gerlach, corner of Trowbridge and West Twenty fifth streets, Cleveland.

William Wischmeier passed away on January 30, 1922, his wife having preceded him to the grave on November 15, 1919.

Elmer Wischmeier was born on May 27, 1893. He was educated in the Lutheran parochial schools and at business college. On leaving school he entered his father's store, and soon developed into a good business man. He took the prescribed course in embalming and received his certificate from the state, and from that time on he was active in all the departments of the business, to which he succeeded at the death of his father, and which he is carrying on along the lines taught .him by his father, under the old firm name, and continuing the success begun by its founder.

The World war interrupted his business career for a time while he was in the service of his country in France. On May 25, 1918, he entered the United States Army, and was sent to Camp Gordon, Georgia, and was assigned to the Infantry Replacement Troops. Thence he was ordered to Camp Mills, and on july 10, 1918, he sailed for overseas duty with the Sixteenth Replacement Regiment. The regiment landed in England, and thence went to France, in which country Elmer was on duty until the signing of the armistice, after which he returned to the United States and was mustered out of the service and given his honorable discharge on May 14, 1919, at Camp Sherman. Leaving the service, he at once returned home and resumed his place in the store.

He is a member of Elsworth Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Olive Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Forest City Commandery, Knights Templar; Lake Erie Consistory, Scottish Rite, thirty second degree; Al Koran Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; Al Sirat Grotto and Cleveland Forest of Tall Cedars. He is a member of the advisory hoard of the Pearl Street Savings and Trust Company, a director in the Lincoln Savings and Loan Company, and a director in the Hal-Fur Motor Truck Company.

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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