Chapter IV
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[return to chapter III]

CHAPTER IV.

Old Names Revived.

“Tell me please, who are the proprietors of the department stores in 1999?”

“Well, there is Lipman, Wolfe & Co., who occupy two blocks, one at their present location, the other being on the east side of the river. I notice the name Ramsdell is still connected with the concern and there are several Lipmans and Wolfes interested in the business. They have always kept up with the times and never grew weary in the race for the golden shekels.

“I notice, also, that Meier, Frank Company are not only in the business at the old stand, but occupy a 50-story building near where the Multnomah field once was located. The latter is a grand building and it required a special act of legislature to effect its construction. The down town store, which covers an entire block, is devoted to the heavier and coarser class of merchandise, while the new store is filled with, well, everything. Here most of the employes of this great business are comfortably housed with all the comforts of apartment life and the huge structure is a little city in itself. This building was erected as a monument to Messrs. Meier and Frank, the founders of the house, by their great grand children in 1960.

“Olds, Wortman and King are still known by that firm name and the posterity of each of the individual members of the house are represented in the business. The store is conducted on the same broad business principles which always characterized the founders of the house and which today makes it the popular place to do shopping.

“There were other department stores which came and went, but it seems that these three will 'go on forever'.”

“How is it about the boot and shoe business? Do any of the old names appear?” I queried.

“Oh, yes, there are your old friends, Eggert & Young, who are still in business but they are away up town on Twentieth and Washington Streets, which is the centre of the retail business. The name of Protzman appears, yes, it is Eugene Protzman, but probably not the one you know. He is located at Nineteenth and Morrison and has a nice store.

“The Rosenthals? Yes, they are doing business at Twenty-second and Washington, and I notice the name Friendly often appears in communications from their store which would indicate that the posterity of the framers of this business are still connected."

“Who is in the furniture business away off there in 1999?" was my next question.

“You would hardly believe it but there is the old name of Ira F. Powers, who maintains an immense establishment on Twelfth and Yamhill Streets. His store is the largest one of its kind in the city.

“Then there is Mack & Abrahams whom you knew once as J. G. Mack & Co., and who were badly burned out along about 1913. I notice that they buy furniture in Turkey and other semi-Oriental countries.”

“Tell me about the big stores formerly located on Front Street, I am very much interested in them, but don't make your answer read like an ad," I next remarked.

“I'll tell you about Allen & Lewis for they are yet doing business, but on a much larger scale. I notice the old sign has been taken down and carefully covered with a thick plate glass to preserve it form the elements and it has been hung back in the same old place and it really looks familiar. They employ an army of men and women clerks and hundreds of vehicles, mostly flying machines, to carry their merchandise to their customers. This business is a monument to the sagacity, honesty, intelligence and fearlessness of Mr. C. H. Lewis, the founder of this great house. His memory is still revered by his own people and those on whom he bestowed kindness.

“The familiar name of Lang & Co., appears on a large building on Oak Street, near West Park, the founder of which was Isador Lang.”

“Who is in the printing business off there on the outskirts of eternity, whose names were once familiar to me?" I queried, as the old lady came to a pause.

“Well, there is the name of F. W. Baltes and Company, who occupy a whole block down near their old location, and it sounds good to me. There are, too, the names of J. R. Rogers & Company and Anderson & Company, but they are located away up town now.”

“Tell me about the hotels, please; are there any of the old land marks left?" I queried.

“Very few, if any. You see, the flying machines revolutionized the hotel business and most of the finest hostelries are now out of town, several being constructed on Mount Tabor, Council Crest and other eminences. The Multnomah Hotel is still running but the environments and surroundings have wonderfully changed, the old wooden buildings have disappeared and commodious, well-built structures have been erected instead. Space is too valuable down town for hotels, and the traveling public demand more suburban locations where there is more quiet and better air.

“Closset & Devers are engaged in business away down on Front Street, and occupy a whole block and the odors arising from their coffees and spices smell just as sweet as they did when you passed by their store years ago.

“Now there is Fleischner, Mayer & Co. They have certainly kept up with the times generally, being just a little in the advance so as to set the pace for their competitors. The business is now being conducted by I. N. Fleischner the Third, M. M. Fleischner the Third, Sol and Sanford Hirsch, Mark Mayer the Third. There are grand nephews of Sam Simon connected with the firm and the old names are much in evidence.

“In the insurance business, I notice we have some of the old names yet. There is James Peter Moffatt, Jr., Rosenblatt Bros., J. D. Wilcox, Jr., John H. Burgard III, J. McI. Wood, L. Samuel III, Henry Hewitt, Edward Hall, F. E. Hart, Thos. Jordan, F. J. Alex Mayer, Frank Motter, Harvey O'Brien. It is remarkable how the sons of professional men follow in the footsteps of their fathers' business. There is Erskine Wood who must be a great grandson of C. E. S. Wood, Robert Strong Sargent, undoubtedly of the branch of Harry K. Sargent. Dan J. Malarkey Jr., the grandson of our Dan. Russell Sewall, whose grandfather you knew well. P. J. Bannon, nephew to our own Mr. Bannon. Henry E. McGinn, who is none other than the grand nephew of Judge H. E. McGinn of the Circuit Court, the most wideawake, fearless exponent of good law in the state. I find the names of M. C. George III, John F. Logan, a grandson of our John. John Ditchburn, once known as 'Honest John,' and 'Gentleman John,' whose name is among the attorneys of 1999. Here is a list of the rest of these attorneys: J. D. Mann, Chester Murphy, W. D. Fenton, Walter Hayes, John Manning.

“All these are very familiar names to you and they all appear in the telephone directory for 1999, but I must give you a few more whom you will remember, and the old lady read off the following list which sounded good to me: John Beck, Whitney Boise, Geo. Brice, Bronaugh, Citron, D. S. Cohen, Craib, Dolph, Mallory, Duniway, Emmons, Ferrera, Fouts, Carey, Gleason, Glisan, Hogue, Green, Hazen, Holman, Hume, C. M. Idleman, Languth, Moody, Morris, G. C. Moser, Munley, Olsen, Pague, Pipes, F. J. Richardson, Giltner, Chas. J. Schnable, Shillock, Zera Snow, S. Raynor, Stott, Sweek, Swope, Jos. N. Teal, Upton, Vaughn, Webster, Whalley, Whitfield, Williams, Ryan, Thos. O'Day, Tazwell.

“I must interrupt the routine to tell you something about the innovation in barbering,” remarked the old lady, reaching for a paper in her pocketbook.

“Let's see, it occurred in A.D. 1951 that an old chemist made a discovery. He ascertained that by a concoction of sage, sulphur and some other ingredients hair can be removed from the face efficaciously and as clean as a barber could shave you. The preparation was made up into some kind of a soap and the lather applied to the whiskers and allowed to remain for three minutes when it was washed off with clean water. This process removed hair from the face without injury to the skin, doing away entirely with the services of a tonsorial artist. It is a wonderful discovery but it had the effect of putting a number of good men out of business.

“I wonder how this discovery effected my friend, Frank Rogers?" I asked.

“Well," was the reply, “this occurred in 1951 and I expect that Frank was not caring much for the barber business then, as he got rich in the business prior to that time."

Continuing, the old lady said, “There are now not any more tonsorial apartments than existed in A.D. 1913 and the sphere of usefulness of that kind of talent is confined to hair cutting, massage and such like.”

The world wags on. “Why,” continued my visitor, “you can leave your measure for a pair of shoes to order and you may come back in 10 minutes and find them all ready to take away with you. The same can be said about getting a suit of clothes which takes just 60 minutes to construct and be ready for wear.”

“Who's in the banking business that I know, away off there on the verge of time?” I asked of my companion.

“Oh there are many whom you know,” was her reply. “At least, you will remember the names of many. Ladd & Tilton still conduct their business and I notice a number of the name of Ladd connected with the institution as I take it that the estate is still in the banking business.

“Then there is First National Bank with many familiar names like Corbett, Failing, Alvord, Newkirk, which indicates that the new generation are a branch of the former tree.

“I notice that the Security & Trust Company have officials bearing the names of Adams, Jubitz, Lee and others, but as they are all young men, they must be a later generation than you know. The same is the case with the United States National Bank, where the present officials bear such names as Ainsworth, Barnes and Schmeer. Yes, new generation, too. We have the Merchants' National Bank, Durhams, Hoyts, Watson's can be heard giving instructions from the different desks but they, too, don't belong to your time.”

The old lady was getting to the end of her memorandums, but she still had lots to tell and talk about.

“I notice,” she began, “ that the first class buildings like the Yeon, the Wilcox, the old Oregonian, the Spalding, the Journal, the Commercial Club and many others of the buildings that you know about are still in fine repair and have stood the ravages of time very well, but our climate deals gently with well-constructed buildings and if care is taken, they will last a long time yet.

“The Pittock building, erected on Mr. Pittock's old home site, is as beautiful as it was the day it was erected and it is certainly a credit to the city.

“The Elks' building which covers a full block, is further out on Washington Street and is a beautiful structure. Many elks heads adorn the walls of the lodge room.

“The Selling building at the corner of Sixth and Alder still stands and is in fine condition.

“The firm of Morgan, Fliedner & Boyce, erected may handsome buildings, one, particularly, in the north end, being a wonder. Joseph Boyce's name appears in the telephone directory, probably a descendant of one of the members of that firm.

“I notice that in all cases that it is a matter of the 'survival of the fittest,' and the names of the old people whose descendants are in business were noted in 1913 for their honesty and integrity.

“Sig. Sichel & Co. is a familiar sign around town, evidently the 'Footprints on the sands of time,' achieved by our old friend, Sig. Sichel.

“The name of Ben Selling can be seen at half a dozen different stores in various parts of the city.

“The name of W. P. Friedlander is to be seen over a jewelry store on Washington Street, near Sixth, evidently the descendants of the former popular jeweler.

“Another old timer's name, L. C. Henrichsen, appears over a jewelry store further up on Washington Street, the proprietors of which are the great grandchildren of the merchant of 1913.”

[proceed to chapter V]