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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JOSEPH, MORITZ - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JOSEPH, MORITZ (9 Sept. 1834-7 June 1917), responsible for making JOSEPH & FEISS CO. one of the country's largest manufacturers of men's clothing, was born in Gauersheim, Rheinpfalz, Germany, son of Simon and Hannah Joseph. He left school at 16 to work as a clerk in a cloth business in Mainz. Joseph immigrated to the U.S. in 1853, working as a bookkeeper with a large New York mercantile house, where he eventually became a partner. In 1863, Joseph became partner in the New York company of Levi-Joseph, a subsidiary of Koch, Levi & Mayer of Cleveland. In 1867, when Levi-Joseph abandoned their New York business, Joseph visited his parents in Europe, then became a partner in Simon, Loeb & Joseph, a New Orleans wholesale dry-goods firm, on his return. In 1872, Joseph sold his New Orleans interests to come to Cleveland, where in Jan. 1873 he became a partner in the wholesale clothing firm of Koch, Goldsmith, Joseph & Co. When Koch retired in 1888, and Goldsmith retired in 1907, the company became the Joseph & Feiss Co. As senior partner, Joseph was as strict with himself as he was with his subordinates. He was also known for his compassion and charity to the unfortunate. Believing that retirement meant acknowledging his usefulness was over, Joseph remained the senior partner until his retirement on 1 Jan. 1917, when he became a part-time business consultant. Joseph married Jette (Yette) Selig in 1853 and had 5 children, Issac, Siegmund, Fred, and EMIL JOSEPH†, and Emma who died in infancy.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 02:47:03 PM

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