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Friday, January 22, 2010

Finding a Tannery

Finally, I can concentrate on the Ruch project again. For the past few days, I’ve been preparing a presentation for my local society, Elgin Genealogical Society, which I gave last night. This was a program I’ve given before but, of course, I needed to review, update and copy handouts. All want well and now I can turn my mind and time back to the task at hand.

In my post of January 15, I spoke of looking for the tannery where Charles would have worked while living in Erie, Pennsylvania. From Erie; a guide to the city and county I had learned that only one such business existed in Erie at the time and in later years but its name or proprietor wasn’t given. At the end of the post, I said I was off to look for city directories on-line.

The listings I needed are at Ancestry so I picked the year 1878 and started right in!! Oh, no, the businesses are not separated from the individual names. Now what? I had no idea where to begin looking.
Taking a step back, I decided to try the 1880 census to see if I could get any hints from it. The only criteria I put in the search box were the location and the keyword “tanner”. The result gave several choices but only one that was listed as tanner/tannery, Emiel Streuber.

Today, I finally found the time to go back to the city directories – this time with a name and this was the listing:
Streuber E & Bros. tannery
w s State bet 19th & 20th
  George Streuber h 1819 Peach
  E. Streuber h 139 w 19th
I also googled the business name and got a hit for Erie, PA historic houses:
...In 1882, Emil Streuber constructed his large Italianate home at 231-233 West 21st Street in the Janes Subdivision. Streuber was a principal in E. Streuber and Brothers, an extensive tannery which began operations in 1861 under the direction of John Streuber, Emil's father. Upon his father's death in 1872, Emil was put in charge of the operations. Under his direction, the business became the leading tannery in the city.
I’m starting to put some flesh on the bones and it feels pretty good.

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