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Mifflin County Biographies
"History of the Juniata Valley and Its People, Vol. II" 1913

Ben and David Wollner

The Wollners, of Lewistown, Pennsylvania, are of Austrian ancestry, descendants of Jacob and Anna (Friedman) Wollner, born in Austria, where they were educated, grew to adult age and married. Jacob was born in 1842, his wife in 1846. In 1868 they emigrated, landing in New York City, but the following year settling in Zanesville, Ohio. He was engaged there as a huckster until 1885, and accumulated sufficient capital to return to New York and engage in the manufacture of hosiery. He remained in New York two years, then returned to Zanesville, established a mercantile business, which he conducted successfully until his death in May, 1906. He was a Republican in politics, and an Orthodox Jew in religion. His widow yet survives. Children: M. Joseph; Ben, of whom further; Henry, Alexander, David, married, November 7, 1912, Mary M. Sherman; Sarah, deceased; Paul; Isador, deceased; Bessie D.; H. Blanche and Louis.

Ben, second son of Jacob and Anna (Friedman) Wollner, was born in New York City, July 12, 1868. His early life was spent in Zanesville, Ohio, where he was educated, following various kinds of work, until 1888, when he became interested in hides, and thoroughly learned the business of selecting, grading and buying hides used in making leather. He worked in Zanesville for seven years, and traveled out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a hide buyer four years. He became an expert in his judgment on equality and value of hides, and was so well informed as to the condition of trade that in 1901 he availed himself of an opportunity to engage in business for himself. He formed a partnership with his brother, David, and they began business in the Quigley Warehouse, on Water street, Lewistown, as dealers in hides, wool and tallow. They began in a small way, but prosperity attended them, and in 1902 they moved to enlarged quarters on West Hale street, their present location. David Wollner is the inside man, and in charge of the Lewistown business, while Ben Wollner is buyer and traveling salesman. They do an extensive business, and rank with the substantial business men of their town. Both are Progressive Republicans, and Reformed Jews in religion. The senior member of the firm is unmarried.

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