Many who study into the history and records of mankind recognize the fact that in every office boy there is
a potential president of a business, yet comparatively few who start out in this humble way arrive at a point of
leadership. This is due at different times to various causes but prominent among the reasons are lack of initiative,
lack of industry and absence of ambition and the quality of becoming easily discouraged. The marked characteristics
in the life of John William Koehrman were contrary to all these. Diligence, determination, close application, willingness
to work and a desire to succeed have actuated him at every point in his career and step by step he has climbed
to prominence and success until he is now the president of the Woolson Spice Company of Toledo. He has practically
spent his life in this city, where his birth occurred October 16, 1875, his parents being Richard Henry and Katherine
(Craft) Koehrman. The father came to America from Germany in the year 1851 and made his way across the country
to this city, where he established his home, arriving in Toledo when it was a comparatively small town on the shore
of the lake, where clustered its residences, its mercantile houses and its industries, bearing little resemblance
to the beautiful metropolitan center of the present day. The father was for a long period a member of the city
fire department, his association therewith covering thirty five years.
John William Koehrman, spending his youthful days under the parental roof, mastered the branches of learning taught
in the public schools until it seemed incumbent upon him to enter business circles and provide for his own support.
He therefore sought employment along commercial lines and was fortunate in obtaining a position with the Woolson
Spice Company as office boy. There was nothing that foreshadowed his future rise and no influence or outside aid
was exerted to win him promotion. He worked diligently, performing the task assigned him day by day and by reason
of his faithfulness, earnestness, and industry he gained promotion at intervals, being advanced through all the
intermediate positions until at the age of thirty five years he was made general manager of the house. From one
official position to another he also advanced until he was elected to the presidency and is now bending his efforts
to administrative direction and executive control.
On the 27th of October, 1897, Mr. Koehrman was married to Miss Caroline A. Warner of Tiffin, Ohio. Mr. Koehrman
is a Mason in his fraternal relations, loyal to the teachings and purposes of the craft. He also belongs to the
Sylvania Golf Club, is a director of the Art Museum, a member of the Toledo Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the
Historical Society of Northwestern Ohio, the Toledo Automobile Club and the Toledo Traveling Men's Association.
His interests, broad in scope, cover all those activities which have to do with the city's progress and improvement
and with the benefit and uplift of the individual. His own struggle in boyhood to gain a foothold in the business
world has made him sympathetic with others who are starting out empty handed as he did and he is ever willing to
speak an encouraging word or to extend material assistance when he believes that such a course will prove ,beneficial.
His own record is a verification of the fact that it is under the pressure of necessity and the stimulus of opposition
that the best and strongest in man is brought out and developed and his own career of success and progress should
well serve to stimulate and encourage others.
Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo
Lucas County, Ohio Biographies
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