The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Great Aunt Ida Agnes (Wascher) Albers, wife of Bernard Hermann Albers
Portland, Oregon, its history and builders: in connection with the antecedent explorations, discoveries, and
movements of the pioneers that selected the site for the Great City of the Pacific, Volume 3
By Joseph Gaston
Along the line of constructive effort Henry Albers has directed his labors and through the development of one of the important productive industries of Portland has come to be recognized as a leading business man of the city, being now president of the Albers Brothers Milling Company. He was born at Lingen in the province of Hanover, Germany, April 13, 1866. His father, Hermann Albers, was a grain merchant at that place and in 1895 came to America, settling at Portland. He was taken ill when en route, so that he did not engage in business here and his death occurred in this city in 1896. He was accompanied by his family of five sons and one daughter: Bernard, who for a short time engaged in the grocery business and then established the Albers Brothers Milling Company, of which he was president until his death in 1908; Henry and William, both of Portland; George, of Seattle; Frank, of San Francisco; and Mrs. Frank Terheyden, of this city. The mother, whose maiden name was Theresa Voss, had died in Lingen about 1878.
Henry Albers was educated in the public schools of his native city to the age of fifteen years, when he began learning the flour milling buisness, in which he has since been engaged. Coming to America in 1891, he was associated with his brother Bernard and with Thomas Schneider in establishing in May, 1895, a cereal mill across the street from their present location. The business was organized as the Albers-Schneider Milling Company. After three years they removed to their present site and a short time subsequent the Albers brothers purchased the interest of Mr. Schneider. In 1901 George, Frank and William Albers, who had been in the employ of the company since its inception, became members of the firm, which was then reorganized under the name of the Albers Brothers Milling Company. Bernard Albers died in 1908, at whch time Henry Albers became president. The other officers are William Albers, vice president; George Albers, secretary; Frank Albers, treasurer; and Joseph Demming, together with the other officers, a director. They began the enterprise on a small scale, having a little mill that Henry Albers operated alone, Bernard Albers attending to the office and business. Three years later they purchased a new mill, which they installed with modern machinery in order to meet the increase in business. In 1902 their plant was destroyed by fire and their present building was erected for them. In 1900 they leased a mill in Seattle, of which George Albers has charge, thus extending the scope of their activities. In 1902 they purchased the mill at Seattle and also one in Tacoma, of which Frank Albers had charge until 1909 and which they are still operating. In January, 1909, they purchased a mill in San Francisco, which is operated under the name of the Del Monta Milling Company, now the Albers Brothers Milling Company, and Frank Albers went to that city to assume the management there. They likewise have a branch store in Oakland and they own a dock in Portland, known as the Albers Docks Nos. 1, 2 . and 3, covering six hundred feet. Since 1902 they have given their attention principally to the manufacture of cereals, their principal brands being Violet Oats. Pearls of Wheat, Columbia Oats, Columbia Wheat, Violet Wheat and many other package cereals as well as all kinds of grain products. Their Peacock buckwheat flour is one of the most successful. They are now erecting a new plant at Front and Lovejoy streets, which will have one thousand feet of water front and the building will be six stories in height. This will be the largest enterprise of the kind on the Pacific coast. Two hundred and fifty workmen are employed and the business is continually growing along healthful, substantial lines.
Mr. Albers is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Commercial Club and is interested in all the projects and plans of those organizations for the development and improvement of Portland and for the exploitation of its resources. He also holds membership in the Rotary Club, in the Elks lodge and with the Knights of Columbus and is a member of the Roman Catholic church. He gives his political support to the republican party but has never been an office seeker. In 1901 he paid a visit to his birthplace and made a trip throughout Europe and he plans to spend more time in travel. Of plain, unassuming manner, pleasant and courteous, his social qualities and genuine worth are widely recognized and have made him popular with a large circle of friends. His business ability has placed him at the head of the most prominent milling company of the northwest, the success of which is attributable in no small degree to his efforts, for he has been connected therewith since the inception of the business.
BERNARD HERMANN ALBERS.
When Benjamin Harrison was president of the United States he made the statement that "The gates of Castle Garden never swing outward," which was but another way of saying that the opportunities of America are so great that the emigrant to the shores of this land never desires to return for permanent residence to the country from which he came. Bernard H. Albers was among the number of prominent citizens that Germany furnished to Portland—a man of distinct and forceful individuality, and of splendid business ability, who left his impress for all time upon the commercial development of the northwest in the establishment and control of some of the largest and most important milling and manufacturing enterprises of this section of the country. A native of Germany, Mr. Albers was born in Lingen, in the province of Hanover, March 6, 1864, his parents being Johann Hermann and Theresa (Voss) Albers, who were likewise natives of Hanover. The father was a grain merchant of Lingen and remained in his native land until 1896, when he became a resident of Portland, his death occurring in this city, August 29, 1897. His wife died in Germany in March, 1878. Her father was a miller, so that both sides of the family were connected with one phase or another of the grain business, and several of the children of Johann H. Albers are interested in similar undertakings. Anna, the only daughter, is the wife of Frank Terheyden of Portland.
Reared in his native land, Bernard H. Albers who was the eldest of a family of nine children, continued his education in the schools of his native town until graduated from the gymnasium of Lingen. His early business training was received in-connection with the grain trade conducted by his father, and he was largely familiar with different phases of the business when, in 1887, he crossed the Atlantic to America, having become convinced by reports which he had heard that the business opportunities of the new world were superior to those offered in the fatherland. He landed at New York and thence made his way to Terre Haute, Indiana, where for two years he was employed in the wholesale grocery house of Hulman & Company. But the far west called him, and in 1889 he came to Portland. He had no capital with which to engage in business on his own account, and here secured employment in the feed store of Rogge & Storp, with whom he remained for four years. But his laudable ambition prompted him to engage in business on his own account and, carefully saving his earnings as an employe, he at length invested his capital in the establishment of a business under the firm name of Albers & Tuke, in 1893. The new enterprise prospered from the beginning, although established on a small scale. Mr. Albers had already become recognized in Portland as a reliable and enterprising young business man, and his fellow townsmen not only encouraged him by giving him trade, but continued as his patrons, owing to the reliable methods which he followed in the conduct of his business. The growth of the trade demanded larger quarters, and in 1898 Mr. Albers erected a commodious milling establishment at the corner of Front and Main streets. The following year he extended the scope of his business, establishing the United States mills, which have since been utilized by the company for the manufacture of rolled oats and other cereal products. Changes have occurred in the ownership of the business, Mr. Tuke withdrawing, while in 1895 the Albers & Schneider Company was incorporated with Mr. Albers as president and manager. A different organization was effected in 1903 and the business reincorporated under the name of the Albers Brothers Milling Company. They do business on Lovejoy street, where are found warehouses and splendid shipping facilities, including dock property. Their hay business has proved a source of large revenue. During the SpanishAmerican war the firm was offered the contract for supplying all of the hay shipped from Oregon to the Philippine Islands for government use there. A hay compressing plant was established at Forest Grove by Mr. Albers in 1900. The growth of the business has been continuous until the Albers Brothers Milling Company is in control of the most extensive enterprises of this character upon the Pacific coast. Their trade covers a large part of the east, as well as California, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia. Aside from the extensive plant in Portland for the manufacture of rolled oats and other cereal products, the company has mills at Tacoma, Seattle and San Francisco. Mr. Albers possessed a genius for organization and an aptitude for successful management, and the extensive business as it stands today is a monument to his enterprise, executive ability and administrative direction.
Mr. Albers was married twice. In October, 1892, he wedded Hermina Sommer, who died in June, 1899, and in April, 1902, he married Miss Ida Agnes Wascher, a daughter of William Wascher. There were four children by the first marriage: Agnes, Theresa, Hermina and one who died in infancy, while the children of the second marriage are Bernard, Alfred and Ernst.
Mr. Albers held membership in St. Joseph's German Catholic church. Fraternally he was connected with the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He also belonged to the Commercial Club, and to the Manufacturers Association, and in those connections did all in his power to promote the business enterprises and far-reaching trade interests of the city. His death occurred very suddenly at Arrowhead, California, March 4, 1908. Not only Portland, but the entire northwest lost one of its most prominent and representative citizens when Bernard Albers was called from this life. What he undertook in the field of business he accomplished, and his rise was almost a phenomenal one, for within only a comparatively few years he rose from the position of a humble employe to rank with the foremost grain merchants, millers and manufacturers of the Pacific coast. His vocabulary contained no such word as fail. He knew that honorable effort intelligently directed will always win in the end, and he took that method of reaching the high financial position which his ambition set up as his standard. He availed himself of every legitimate opportunity that arose for the promotion and expansion of his business, and his name became in the northwest a synonym for enterprise and progressiveness. Aside from all his splendid business qualifications, he manifested those sterling traits of character which everywhere command respect and confidence, possessing an engaging personality and a charm of manner that won him friends wherever he went.
Albers family marker in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Portland:
Mar. 6, 1864
Mar. 4, 1908
San Bernardino County
Spouse: #1 Hermine Sommer, ( -1899) Three daughters: Agnes (1895-), Theresia (1896- ), Hernina (1898-)
Ida Agnes Wascher Albers (1868 - 1951) Three sons: Bernard (1904-)
Founding headman of Albers Brothers Milling Company. President of company when he died. His brothers were Henry, George, Frank, & William, that came to America. There was one sister Anna Albers who married Frank Terheyden
(Source: Don Albers)