Julius A. J. Friedrich

Julius A. J. Friedrich, president of the Friedrich Music House, one of the old established and most important concerns of its kind in the city of Grand Rapids, has long been numbered among the progressive and public-spirited citizens of this community. Although he has virtually retired from active business, his course has been one of secure and consecutive progress, and through his well-directed endeavors he has done not a little to further the commercial prestige of his adopted city. While many changes have taken place in the commercial life of Grand Rapids during the past half century, some of the old reliable firms still have the advantage of being governed by members of the same family who were the original founders. The advantage of such conditions are easy to determine, and are generally recognized, for interest is always sustained and old standards maintained when no radical changes have been effected in the management. In the handling of pianos and other musical instruments, as well as a general line of musical merchandise, the Friedrich Music House takes precedence over all other concerns of its kind in Grand Rapids, both in prolonged period of operation and in the scope and importance of business controlled and its status has long been one of prominence in connection with the representative commercial activities of the country. This notable enterprise had its inception in this city more than half a century ago when, in 1873 Paul Friedrich, with his brother, Otto, established a music store in a building adjoining that of the present Friedrich Music House 206 Monroe avenue, which they conducted under the title of Friedrich Brothers. In 1875 Julius A. J. Friedrich assumed a clerical position in the store, and upon the retirement of his brother Paul in 1882, he was admitted to partnership in the business. After the death of his brother, Otto, in 1884, he became sole owner and successfully conducted the enterprise in an individual way until 1913 when he effected its incorporation under its present title and admitted to partnership his four sons, Julius A. J., Jr.; Otto, P. T.; Hugo, C. W.; and M. Herman. Mr. Friedrich remains the president of the corporation; Julius A. J., Jr., is vice-president; Hugo C. is treasurer, and M. Herman is secretary, the son Otto being now deceased. The three sons now have active management of the business, Mr. Friedrich, Sr., having practically retired, though he still continues to give general supervision, and to act as counselor in all matters of importance. He was born in Germany, in 1850, a son of Karl A. and Ottilia Friedrich, who were also both natives of the fatherland and who with their family immigrated to the United States in May, 1868. They first located in Minnesota, but about a year later removed to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Julius A. J. Friedrich, Sr., obtained liberal educational advantages in his native land, and after coming to the United States he engaged in teaching school for some years. He taught in the schools of Marquette county, Wisconsin, for a time, and later in the city of Oshkosh, that state, but in 1875 he retired from this position and came to Grand Rapids, where he became associated with his brothers in their music store as before stated, and since has been a resident of this city. His wife, whose maiden name was Eliza Ziehlsdorff, is also a native of Germany, where she was born in 1851, and was a child of five years when her parents immigrated to the United States. Coming to Grand Rapids when a young man of twenty-four, Mr. Friedrich has essentially grown up with the business interest of the city during the period of its most marvelous development, and he has never lost an opportunity to do what he could for the advancement of the best interests of the city, which has figured as the stage of his splendid achievements, and in which his activities have been centered for half a century. His efforts are not confined to lines resulting in individual benefit, but are evident in those fields where general interests and public welfare are involved, and he has ever stood as an exponent of the best type of civic loyalty and progressiveness.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 17 February 2005
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/friedrichja.html