Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jacob F. Gerhart Obituary – May 13, 1961

To wrap up my look at Smith & Gerhart, here's the obituary of Jacob Gerhart, one of the founders. He lived to a ripe old age of almost 90 years old, and the news of his death appeared on the front page of The Lorain Journal on May 13, 1961.

Jacob F. Gerhart Dead
Founder Of One Of Oldest Business Firms Here Dies

A civic leader and founder of one of Lorain's oldest business houses, Jacob F. Gerhart, died Friday afternoon at the residence of his brother, Frank, 176 Avon Belden Rd., Avon Lake.

Mr. "G", as he was known before his retirement 23 years ago, would have been 90 years old Sept. 21. Born in Carlisle Township in 1871, he attended Elyria schools. At the age of 14 he became an employee of a dry goods establishment in Elyria and then spent his life working in that field.

In 1887, Mr. Gerhart, together with Henry Smith and John Opfer purchased the Boston Store on Broadway and retained the name of the business until Opfer sold his share to the other two. From then on, the establishment was known as Smith and Gerhart until Mr. "G" sold his interest in 1951.

He was a director of the National Bank of Lorain from 1933 to 1952 and active in many phases of civic groups including the Community Chest, the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants Association.

Mr. Gerhart was also a former member of Lorain Elks and was an honorary member of the Rotary Club. He belonged to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Avon Lake and the Holy Name Society. He was  a longtime member of marathon cribbage players, a quarter of prominent Lorainites, A. J. Ginnane, Edgar J. Craft, James L. Martin and Gerhart.

Surviving are two sons, Arthur of Rocky River and Joseph in Lorain; three sisters, Mrs. Anna Giblin of Lorain, Mrs. Mayme Kilbridge of Berlin Heights and Mrs. Agnes O'Shea in Massillon; six granddaughters, and a great-granddaughter.

His wife, Sebenia, died several years ago.

Friends may call at the Burmeister Funeral Home, 163 Avon-Belden Rd., Avon Lake, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. today and Sunday.

Funeral services will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. in St. Joseph Church with Rev. Fr. Carl C. Wernet, pastor, officiating.

Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Lorain.

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