Frederick
Himmelein
Jr.


FREDERICK HIMMELEIN JR was a Camden native and a successful businessman in Philadelphia and Camden for many years. He acquired the plant of the C.A. Reynolds Leather Company at 1300 Walnut Street in 1926. This plant remained in operation into the mid-1950s.

Frederick Himmelein Jr.'s early years were spent in North Camden. City Directories from 1869 through 1872 show the family at 532 North Front Street. The 1878 Directory had them at 421 North 3rd Street, and the 1880 Census shows the family at 224 Market Street. Frederick Himmelein Sr. moved his family to 49 North 3rd Street prior to the compilation of the 1882 City Directory, and remained at that address into 1912.

A biographical sketch of Mr. Himmelein, published in the late 1920s, is below.

Frederick Himmelein married in 1887. The City Directory for that year shows him living at his father's home. Directories from 1890 through 1894 have the Himmeleins at 424 Taylor Avenue. The 1895 and 1896 editions lists the family at 412 Arch Street.

Frederick Himmelein and family lived at 44 North 3rd Street from 1897 through 1910. By the time the 1912 City Directory was put together, the family had moved to 807 Cooper Street. He passed away during the 1930s. His widow, the former Minnie Genther, was still at that that address when the 1940 and 1943 Camden City Directories were compiled. The house at 807 Cooper Street was the headquarters of Camden Lodge 293 of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Frederick Himmelein was a member of the Camden County Historical Society.


From
South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

FREDERICK HIMMELEIN, Jr.-The type of splendid American business man, whose success has come as the result of his own abilities and effort, Frederick Himmelein, Jr., head of the firm of Himmelein and Bailey, dealers in leather belting, is well known both in industrial circles in Philadelphia, where part of the business is located, and in Camden, where he makes his home, and where the curing and tanning part of the business was moved to the site of the Reynolds' Leather Company on Walnut Street in Camden in the early part of 1926. Mr. Himmelein is the son of Frederick and Lena (Danklemain) Himmelein. The elder Mr. Himmelein was born in Germany, but carne to America early in life, and was for forty years a resident of Camden, where he died in 1916.

Frederick Himmelein. Jr. was born in Camden May 21, 1866, and attended the Genge School in Camden. Upon leaving school, he entered the employ of a seed concern, C. B. Rodgers and Company. This concern rented their upper floors to a leather belting firm, Wise and Bailey, and Mr. Himmelein, seeing an opportunity in this business, after much effort persuaded Mr. Wise to let him give up his position with the seed company, where he was making fourteen dollars a week, and take a position for five dollars a week which would give him a chance to learn the leather belting business. Before the end of the year his salary had doubled and he had charge of the employees, did the buying, and a short time later had entire charge of the plant. During Cleveland's administration, when leather was at a very low price, owing to Mr. Himmelein's astuteness, the concern of Wise and Bailey made about $10,000 on an order which he had placed for 3,000 sides at a fixed price. The members of the firm were very much worried at this large order placed by Mr. Himmelein, for at that time he was in the habit of buying only twenty-five sides a week, but the price of leather took a jump from twenty-four to thirty-six cents a pound, and the profit on the deal was $10,000.

Having been intimately associated with the leather business for years, Mr. Himmelein now began to think of going into the field on his own account; and when in the course of time, Mr. Bailey of the firm of Bailey and Wise died, and Mr. Wise's son bought out his widow, the time seemed ripe for a change, and shortly after, he started into business for himself. taking Mrs. Bailey into partnership with him a few months after the organization of the new business. Many, if not most, of his old customers stayed with him and the success of the enterprise was soon assured. The slogan suggested by one of his customers, "Dependable Belting," gives a clue to the substantial business which the concern was soon able to build up. After some years Mr. Himmelein bought out the interest of Mrs. Bailey and took his son, Frederick Elwood Himmelein, and his son-in-law, William G. Oaks, into the firm, giving them each a one-quarter interest and retaining a half-interest for himself. The Philadelphia establishment is located at No. 248 Chestnut Street, where it occupies seventeen floors, all told in three different buildings and employs fifty men. but in 1926 Mr. Himmelein moved the plant to Walnut Street, Camden, where he is expending $60,000 for renovations to what was formerly the plant of the C. A. Reynolds' Leather Company with three acres of ground, thus launching into a new stage the history of this thriving concern, the first leather belt manufacturing concern in Camden.

Mr. Himmelein is well known and liked in Camden, and takes an active part in local affairs. He was one of the founders and is now an honorary member of the Camden Rotary Club, is a member of the Philadelphia Association of Credit Men, and of the Holly Beach Yacht Club of Wildwood. New Jersey, and the Wildwood Golf Club. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Ionic Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Excelsior Consistory; Crescent Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; Tall Cedars of Lebanon; was one of the organizers of the Wildwood, Camden, and St. Petersburg, Florida Shrine clubs; and belongs to the Mutual Protective Order of Artisans. He is a staunch Republican and very active in political affairs in Cape May County, though he has never accepted any public office. He is a member of the English Lutheran Church of Camden. For over twenty-five years, Mr. Himmelein has been spending his summers in Wildwood, New Jersey, where he has a beautiful summer home.

He married at Camden, in 1887, Minnie Genther, a native of Phoenixville, and they have three children: 1. Frederick Elwood, now associated with his father in the business. 2. Minnie, married to William G. Oaks, also associated with the business. 3. Lillian, married to Wilbur Werntz.


Himmelein & Bailey, Inc. plant - 1300 Walnut Street - 1930


Frederick Himmelein Jr. at Work - Undated Photo
Probably taken at his Philadelphia facility


Frederick Himmelein Jr. at Work - Undated Photo
Probably taken at his Philadelphia facility


Frederick Himmelein Jr. at Work - Undated Photo
Probably taken at his Philadelphia facility


Philadelphia Inquirer - June 22, 1919

At the Himmelein & Bailey plant - Undated Photo
Minnie Genther
Photo appears to be from 1920s or 1930s


Advertising Blotter from about 1939


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