E. J. Durham, who is president and general manager of the Acme Laundering Company, is a leading figure in one
of the important business enterprises of Columbus. He was born in Scotland, Ontario, Canada, December 13, 1864,
the son of Rudolphus and Eliza (Eddy) Durham.
Rudolphus Durham, a native of Canada, died there in 1898. He was a leading veterinarian of Scotland, Ontario, for
many years. He held membership in the Congregational Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Durham were born the following children:
E. J., the subject of this sketch; Charles, who died in 1919; William lives in Toronto, Canada; John V., lives
at Simcoe, Ontario, Canada; George, lives in Alberta, Canada; and Anna, married John Moore, lives in Leamington,
Ontario, Canada. Mrs. Rudolphus Durham resides at Simcoe, Ontario, and is eighty seven years of age.
E. J. Durham grew up in Scotland, Ontario, and received his education in the public schools. At the age of fourteen
years he was appointed assistant postmaster of Scotland. He came to the United States three years later and spent
a short time in Detroit, Michigan, before coming to Columbus in February, 1883, as a bookkeeper for the old Troy
Laundry Company. After two years he opened a small hand laundry at 37 East Town Street, known as the Famous Laundry.
In 1887 the business was removed to 37 West Spring Street, but later that year Mr. Durham returned to his former
location. In 1899 his business was combined with the Big Four Laundry and the plant moved to the Hartman Building,
where the enterprise was continued until 1900, at which time a new plant was erected on the present site of the
New Method Laundry. Mr. Durham served as president and general manager of the business but in 1901 sold his interests
and purchased a half interest in the Broad Street Laundry. In 1910 he bought his partner's interest and continued
the business alone for two years, at which time he became associated with Dave T. Logan, and the present plant
was built at 452-64 East Main Street. Mr. Logan is secretary and treasurer. In 1920 the plant was almost entirely
destroyed by fire and soon after rebuilt. The new building was more than double the size of the original plant
and was equipped throughout with the latest type of machinery. Mr. Durham was the first laundry owner to install
the Zerolite softening plant in the city of Columbus in 1918. Approximately 150 people are employed by the Acme
Laundry, which operates fourteen automobile trucks in Columbus and suburbs. Mr. Durham is recognized as a pioneer
in the laundry industry in this section of the state and is widely known. He is a member of the National Association
of Laundry Owners, which has a fellowship in the Mellon Institute, of Pittsburgh, and he is also former president
of the State Laundrymen's Association of Ohio.
On February 28, 1888, Mr. Durham was united in marriage with Miss Carrie D. Rees, of Columbus, the daughter of
Jacob and Caroline (Porter) Rees, natives of Ohio. Mr. Rees died in 1900 and his wife died in 1911. Both are buried
in Walnut Hill Cemetery, near Rees Station, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Durham are the parents of four children: 1. Elizabeth,
attended East High School and Ohio State University, married Frank Wisenberger, lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and they
have two children, Marie and Robert. 2. Edwin R., attended East High School and the Ohio Mechanics Institute, Cincinnati,
from which he was graduated in 1925. He is assistant manager and chemist for the Acme Laundry and lives in Columbus.
He married Elizabeth Hutchinson, of Cambridge, Ohio. 3 and 4. Robert L. and John C., twins. They are graduates
of East High School, class of 1927, and attended Ohio Mechanics Institute, Cincinnati. Both are now associated
with the interests of the Acme Laundry, John C. being devoted to the official end of the business while Robert
L. is identified with the operation of the plant. Both live at home.
Mr. Durham is a member of the Congregational Church, and belongs to the Elks Club and Gyro Club. He is independent
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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