Friday, February 27, 2015

WHATEVER BECAME OF Anders E. Anderson - Part II

Last week we took a look at the life and times of Anders E. Anderson who came to the U.S. from Sweden in 1889 and within a short time made a name for himself in Chicago real estate.  I also reported that in the mid 1910s Anderson decided to branch out into the cemetery business, becoming president of Oak Ridge Cemetery in suburban Hillside, Illinois. 

Anders E. Anderson, being a real estate man, was always looking for ways to maximize the return on his investments.  A cemetery provides good long term cash flow, but once a plot of land has been sold, that's it. Although some have tried it, it is illegal to sell the same grave twice. Anderson decided to expand Oak Ridge Cemetery by building a community mausoleum - thereby being able to sell the same plot of land numerous times.

The Chicago Daily Tribune carried a mention on February 24, 1917:

The Chicago Title and Trust Company is trustee in a loan of $300,000.00, 8 years, at 6% to Oak Ridge Cemetery, Anders E. Anderson, president.

Anderson needed to look no further then the cemetery adjacent to Oak Ridge to see a successful community mausoleum.  Glen Oak Cemetery had built a community mausoleum in the early 1920s:

The Glen Oak Mausoleum
Photo courtesy graveyards.com

But Anderson liked to do things on a grand scale.  The Glen Oak Mausoleum was fine, but Anderson wanted "his" mausoleum to outshine them all.  In 1924 Anderson took a trip to Europe to study the great mausoleums of the old world.  Then he hired the architectural film of Dyer & Nadherny to design the mausoleum he named "Oakridge Abbey."

Here is Anderson's passport photo for his trip to Europe in 1924:

Anders E. Anderson - circa 1924

Here's a photo of the Oakridge Abbey under construction:



The Oakridge Abbey mausoleum was complete and dedicated on June 10, 1928.  Anderson hired the famous Chicago minister Dr. Preston Bradley to deliver the dedication address.  Here is an announcement of the dedication from the Chicago Daily Tribune of June 10, 1928:





From one of the advertisements:

To lovers of beauty, Oakridge Abbey will ever be a delight. It is a symphony in sacred architecture. The pure, classic design of the Abbey which is built of imperishable Georgia crystalline marble, presents a picture of wonderous charm.  Both exterior and interior of the Abbey are of this matchless marble.  

Here are some other advertisements for the Abbey from the same time period:









One thing about the Abbey that differentiated it from other community mausoleums was that a crematorium was built right into the mausoleum. No other community mausoleum in Chicagoland could make this claim.

Another quote from an advertisement:

It means that those, whose memories you cherish will have reverent care throughout all time, their final resting place secure against the possibility of desecration.

Well...not quite.  

You will remember that Anderson had originally borrowed $300,000.00 back in 1917 to fund the construction of the mausoleum.  By the time the loan had matured in 1925, Anderson realized that $300,000.00 would not be enough to cover all the expenses for a mausoleum the way he envisioned it.  In 1928 $385,000.00 of bonds were issued and purchased by the National Life Insurance Company, but even that increased amount was not enough.  In 1929 Anderson realized that the payment of interest due on the bonds would not be able to be made, so he approached National Life directly for more funds.  National Life increased their investment to over $500,000.00, retired the bonds and instead obtained a first mortgage on the mausoleum and 184,000 square feet of land in the Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Sales of crypts and niches in the Abbey were brisk at first, but competition was fierce.  Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago had increased the size of their community mausoleum several times, and in 1927 Street Lightfoot opened his magnificent mausoleum in Chicago's Acacia Park Cemetery which catered exclusively to Masons and their families.

Although marketed to the masses, mausoleum internment appeals mostly to people with money. Anders E. Anderson opened his mausoleum during the boom times of the 1920s, but the fact is that the stock market crash in 1929 severely cut into his customer base.

The world fell apart for Anders E. Anderson in 1930.    

The census taker showed up at Anders E. Anderson's house on May 2, 1930.  He was living at 40 East Oak Street in Chicago:

40 East Oak Street, Chicago

Anderson told the census taker that he was divorced and paying $130.00 per month for his apartment.  His occupation was "Mausoleum President," but not for long.  His marriage had failed, and now he was going to lose his job.  

The following notice appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune from April 5, 1930:


Bankruptcy notwithstanding, National Life foreclosed their lien and took possession of Oak Ridge Cemetery and the Oak Ridge Abbey Mausoleum, brain-child of Anders E. Anderson, as reported in the Chicago Daily Tribune from October 19, 1933:


I was a mortgage banker for an insurance company (not National Life) for twenty-five years and I can assure you that the first thing National Life did when they took title to the cemetery and mausoleum was to fire the current management.  Anders E. Anderson was out of a job.

The 1930s were not good years for Anders E. Anderson.  He basically fell off the face of the earth - no mentions in any of the newspapers.  He was divorced and unemployed.  But then again the 1930s were hard years for may people - at a time when the US unemployment rate was 25%.  

I was able to trace Ida Kohner Anderson up to the 1940 Census - she disappears after that.

I do know that Anders and Ida's daughter Jane married Paul William Pheneger (1912-1980) in the 1930s.  The Phenegers ultimately retired to San Diego, California.  Paul Pheneger died in 1980; Jane Anderson Pheneger died in San Diego on March 12, 2001.

But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Anders E. Andersen did reappear - on Valentine's Day 1940 when he got married - for the third time!

On February 14, 1940 Anders E. Andersen, age 64 (he was really 71) married 48 year old Mrs. Pearl Glessner (she was really 56) at the Cook County Building in downtown Chicago:

Anders E. Anderson definitely married "up" this time.  The 1940 US Census finds the newlyweds living at 1200 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago:

1200 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Anders E. Anderson told the census taker that his occupation was "Salesman" of "Private Deals."

Anders E. Anderson died November 5, 1960 in Chicago.  Here's his death notice from the Chicago Tribune:


When he died, Anders and Pearl were living at 253 E. Delaware in Chicago:

253 East Delaware, Chicago
  
Here's the death record for Anders E. Anderson:


According to his death records, Anderson was interred at Oakridge.  So, last Saturday I returned to Oakridge-Glen Oak Cemetery to get the location of Anderson's grave.

Unlike Rosehill Cemetery, Oakridge-Glen Oak is still privately owned, and also unlike Rosehill they are more than happy to look up a burial location - for free.  First they checked the computer - no record for Anders E. Anderson who died in 1960.  Was I sure of the date of death? Yes.  They said that perhaps Anderson had been cremated at Oakridge but interred somewhere else.  Or, they suggested that his ashes could have been scattered and there was no grave for him at all.  I explained to the office staff who Anders E. Anderson was.  Like most cemeteries I have researched, they knew nothing of the cemetery's history - nor, frankly did they care.  However, they agreed to check the card file to see if the could find a record for Anders E. Anderson - no luck.  They said there was one more place to look and they went to another file of hand written cards but nothing.  Oakridge Glen-Oak Cemetery had no interment records for Anders E. Anderson, despite what his death record said.

This really is not all that unusual - graves are moved; remains are relocated.  But this just didn't "feel right" to me.  Deep down I had a feeling that Anders E. Anderson was interred in the Oakridge Abbey mausoleum he conceived and built.  So, I went over to the Abbey and did the mausoleum equivalent of "mowing the rows."  And guess who I found in Corridor 4, Section 58:


and next to him, his third (and last) wife Pearl:


Interesting that they have Anders' year of birth as 1865.  His death records said 1870 and we know that it was actually January 11, 1869. Also interesting that Pearl lived to be 98 years old.

So, as a tribute to Anders E. Anderson, who conceived and built the Oakridge Abbey Mausoleum, let's take a look around: 


Chapel

Stained Glass Ceiling of Chapel

Family Rooms Lining the Chapel

The Bronze Front Doors from the Inside

Typical Family Section of Crypts

Hallway with Family Rooms on Either Side

Staircase with Stained Glass


Another Hallway Lined with Crypts
Another Hallway - Columbaria on the Left
Typical Stained Glass



Entrance to the Crematorium - Not in Use the Day I Visited

I thought about going back into the offce and giving them the location of Anders E. Anderson's crypt but in the end I did not.  Frankly they could not have cared less about the man who used to run the cemetery and who conceived and built that magnificent mausoleum.  At least the plaque inside the front door of the mausoleum is still there:


Anders E. Anderson led an interesting life.  Like so may people his life was made up of successes and failures - both professional and personal.  But in the end he created a beautiful structure that remains today for us to enjoy and appreciate.  He was resting quietly in the monument he created - virtually forgotten today.  I am glad that I am able to tell his story and give him the recognition he deserves.

If you want to see Anders E. Anderson's real monument, go out to the Oakridge Abbey Mausoleum and take a look around.

Anders E. Anderson - may he rest in peace.

Friday, February 20, 2015

WHATEVER BECAME OF... Anders E. Anderson? - Part I

Back in the 1960s a man named Richard Lamparski wrote a series of books called "Whatever Became of...?"  Lamparski tracked down stars and other famous people from yesteryear and reported on what happened to them after their fame faded.

If you look inside the large bronze doors of the Oakridge Abbey Mausoleum in Hillside, Illinois you will see the following plaque:


OAKRIDGE ABBEY
Erected by
Anders E. Andersen
Dedicated June 10, 1928
Designed & Constructed
Under Supervision of
Joseph J. Nadherny
Architect
of the firm of Dyer & Nadherny
Chicago, Illinois

Let's see if we can find out "Whatever Became of ... Anders E. Anderson?"

Anders Edvard Anderson was born January 11, 1869 in Malmo, Sweden. His parents were Anders Anderson and Anna, nee Johnson.  Nothing is known of his siblings.  He was featured in a book published in 1908 called History of the Swedes of Illinois.  When interviewed for that book, Anderson said that his father had been a prominent building contractor in Sweden.  After having attended grammar and high school, young Anderson came to America, sailing from Malmo, Sweden in April of 1889.  Upon his arrival in America he traveled directly to Chicago where, in 1890 he started in the real estate, loan and investment business, building on the experience he learned from his father.  Note:  There is an abundance of material on the internet and ancestry.com about men named Anders Anderson - that is not an uncommon name among Scandinavians - but most of the material pertains to men other than "our" Anders Anderson. The fact that there were so many other "Anders Andersons" may explain why he always used his middle initial of "E" in official materials. 

Anders E. Anderson became a naturalized US citizen October 8, 1894 in Chicago.  I always say that you can tell a lot about a man by looking at his signature - here's the signature of Anders E. Anderson:


I was unable to find Anders E. Anderson in the 1900 US Census.  The first mention of him in the Chicago newspapers was an item in the Chicago Inter-Ocean from December 9, 1900 reporting that he had purchased a lot at 23rd & Trumbull in Chicago for $2,400.00.  That site is a vacant lot today.

The first mention of Anders E. Anderson in the Chicago Tribune was on December 8, 1901 when it was reported that he had purchased a large apartment building on the North-west corner of St. Lawrence Avenue and 48th Street for $85,000.00.  That site is also a vacant lot today.

The Chicago Daily Tribune from November 6, 1904 carried a more personal story about Anders E. Anderson:

GETS MONEY BY HYSTERICS.

Anders E. Anderson opposed the suit of his wife, who lives at 4421 Indiana Avenue.  After denying statutory charges, he said she "used the hysterical method in obtaining money from him," and went into hysterics before making "expensive and extravagant demands."  He always complied, he said, to keep peace in the family.  They were married in 1902 and parted last fall.   

4421 S. Indiana Avenue, Chicago

They must have postponed the divorce suit at some point because it showed up again in April of 1910 as reported by the Chicago Inter-Ocean on April 9:

ASKS DIVORCE AFTER DESERTION.

Mrs. Porter M(cAldoo) Anderson is asking a divorce from Anders E. Anderson, who, she avers, is the owner of stocks and bonds to the amount of $25,000, charges him with desertion.  They were married December 9, 1902, and Mrs. Anderson declares her husband deserted her May 20, 1907.

Here's a photo of Anders E. Anderson circa 1905:

Anders E. Anderson - circa 1905

Life went on without Mrs. Anderson.  Anders E. Anderson's name showed up periodically during the 1900s and 1910s as the buyer or seller of real estate throughout Chicagoland - sometimes alone, sometimes with partners.

In 1907, when Anders E. Anderson was interviewed for the book History of the Swedes of Illinois he reported that he was living at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago:


In later years the Lexington Hotel would become the headquarters for this famous Chicagoan:


However, there is no evidence that Capone and Anderson even knew each other.

Unfortunately for Anders E. Anderson, his name was all over the newspapers in September of 1912 - as a swindler!  Here is an example from the Belvidere (IL) Daily Republican from September 10, 1912:


It must have been "much ado about nothing" because there is no further mention of the lawsuit nor of the "missing" money.

It was not all bad news for Anders E. Anderson during this time period.  He decided to give matrimony another try and on September 11, 1913 he married Ida M. Kohner (1888-????) in LaPorte, Indiana. 

On February 26, 1914 Anders and Ida Anderson were blessed with a daughter, who they named Jane E. Anderson (1914-2001).

During the mid teens Anders E. Anderson decided to branch out into a part of real estate where your tenants move in, but never move out - he became involved with the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, just west of Chicago. 

Next Week - Anders E. Anderson Builds a Mausoleum!

Friday, February 13, 2015

'NOW AIN'T THAT TOO BAD" - Charles O. DuPlessis

We have all seen articles through the years describing famous and unusual epitaphs.  One day "Babe" Drake (who I have written about in this blog) told me that there was an unusual epitaph on a tombstone behind her parents' monument at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.  She had planned to take me down there and show it to me, but her advanced age and frail health precluded that.  So, one day years later when I was at Rosehill putting flowers on her grave I started looking around behind the McElroy monument to see if I could find that unusual epitaph - and I found it when I found the tombstone of Charles O. DuPlessis (1853-1907).  His tombstone lists his name, and the dates of his birth and death and then says "Now ain't that too bad."

On the right hand side, where his wife's name would go, was a more sedate epitaph: "Nearer my God to Thee."

Let's see what we can find out about the man with unusual epitaph.

Charles Orpha DuPlessis was born at Syracuse, New York, September 17, 1853, to Jean Odilon DuPlessis (1825-1897) and Marie Rosalie nee Pratte (1829-1875).  In both lines he traced his ancestry to France, but it had for several generations been confined to Canada, where his parents were born. Odilon DuPlessis was a contractor and builder by trade.  In addition to Charles, Odilon and Rosalie had three daughters and two sons:  Maria (1852-????), Josephine (1856-1903), Idia (1859-????), Edward (1861-1942) and Herman (1863-1899).

Charles DuPlessis attended grammar school and high school in Syracuse, New York, until at the age of fifteen, he began to serve an apprenticeship under his father.  The 1870 US Census finds the DuPlessis family in Syracuse.  Odilion lists his occupation as "Carpenter." The family reported that their real estate was valued at $10,000 and their personalty at $2,000.  Even though he had been born in Canada, Odilion indicated that by 1870 he was an American citizen.  An interesting sidelight: According to what they told the census-taker, the only members of the family who could read and write were nine year old Edward, and seven year old Herman.  The rest of the family including Odilion and Rosalie could neither read nor write.  Charles is listed as a "Carpenter Apprentice."

Charles DuPlessis developed a taste for athletics and became very proficient as an athlete.  In 1870, when he was seventeen years old, he moved to Chicago and stayed with his father's family.  During this period he became a night instructor in athletics at the Chicago Athenaeum, then at 50 Dearborn Street, while employed by day in his father's contracting and building business.

Starting in 1876 Charles devoted himself exclusively to athletics and until 1881 was professor of physical culture at the Athenaeum, then resigned to accept a like position at the Northwestern University, Evanston.  

On May 10, 1879, Charles DuPlessis married Addie Taylor in Chicago. They were married by the famous Congregationalist clergyman Rev. Arthur Little.


Addie Taylor (1852-1821) was born Adelaide H. Wyotzslay on July 12, 1852 in Cleveland, Ohio.   Her father's name was Peter Wyotszlay, born in Poland; her mother's name is unknown.  In September of 1871 she gave birth to a son, William Robert Taylor in New York.  Nothing is known about Addie's first husband.

Addie DuPlessis

In mid-1879 Charles and Addie DuPlessis were blessed with a daughter, Mary Elizabeth.  All we know about her was that she died prior to 1885.

In 1883 Charles DuPlessis moved his family to Minneapolis, Minnesota and erected gymnasiums there and at St. Paul. In 1884 he began the study of medicine at the Minnesota Hospital College, Minneapolis, and was graduated with the Medical Doctor's degree in March, 1888. In 1888-89 he was assistant city physician of Minneapolis.  In 1890 the family returned to Chicago and during the ensuing year Dr. Charles DuPlessis was connected with the A. G. Spaulding sporting goods establishment.

About this time Charles moved the family again - this time to Detroit where he took a job as superintendent of the Detroit Athletic Club.  In less than one year, he was recalled to Chicago to work for Mr. Spaulding.

Soon after his return to Chicago, Dr. DuPlessis made a tour to the Eastern part of the United States to inspect the best gymnasiums, and then returned to Chicago to oversee the erection of the gymnasium of the Chicago Athletic Association.  At the solicitation of many prominent physicians of Chicago, who had come to recognize the value of massage and physical culture in the treatments of certain ailments, Dr. DuPlessis in 1893 established himself in Chicago on the South Side as an expert masseur and physical culturist.  His clientele, sent to him by influential practitioners, was drawn from among the wealthy.  While engaged in this work he carefully kept up his connection with athletics and general field sports.

In 1898 he was elected handicapper for the Amateur Athletic Association. He was in constant demand by the principal colleges of the Northwest as starter and field judge, in which capacities he acted at every important athletic meet for athletic societies and miscellaneous athletic organizations in Chicago and was employed by the A. G. Spalding company to write up the histories and records for their yearly Sporting Almanac, also by the Chicago Daily News newspaper to write up their annual records published in their paper and Almanac.

The 1900 US Census finds Charles DuPlessis and his wife Addie, along with Addie's son William Taylor living at 293 (now 33 East) Thirty-first Street in Chicago.  The Illinois Institute of Technology currently occupies that site.  Charles listed his occupation as "Physician"; William as a "Stationery Engraver."  There is a shocking fact about Addie DuPlessis on this census form.  She told the census taker that she had given birth to 7 children (!!!) although only one was currently alive.  We were aware of Mary Elizabeth, but there must have been five others who died after being born.  I could not find any other birth records for Addie DuPlessis.

In 1902 Dr. Charles DuPlessis passed a civil service examination and was made superintendent of playgrounds at all the small parks in the City of Chicago, but other demands upon him were so imperative that he soon gladly relinquished the position. He passed another civil service examination in 1907 with a view to accepting the same position but that was not to be.

Dr. Charles DuPlessis died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm on April 11, 1907, at 3104 South Park Avenue in Chicago.  That address and street no longer exist.  Here is his Death Certificate:




As we knew, Dr. Charles DuPlessis was buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Section S, Lot 275 under the unusual tombstone mentioned at the start of this article:



with the unusual epitaph "Now ain't that too bad."  Addie DuPlessis followed her husband to Rosehill on January 6, 1921, dying from diabetes.  She was buried beside her husband with the epitaph "Nearer My God to Thee" but otherwise her grave is not marked.

We do not know why Dr. Charles DuPlessis had such an unusual epitaph, but it caused Rosehill Cemetery president Elmer F. Hennig to make the following note on the burial record:

◦Section S, Lot 275
 Note on burial record:
"Because of the strange or odd manner of inscription - - "NOW AIN'T THAT TOO BAD" - - this grave marker was given national publicity thru - "Ripley's - Believe it or Not" - syndication in newspapers. Perhaps we should NOT GIVE this location out to anyone for fear that it may be removed from our premises as a prank or as another publicity stunt. - Hennig"

It was said of Dr. Charles DuPlessis that "His life was a remarkably clean one, devoid of excesses or dangerous indulgences of any kind, and his lovable character won the high regard of all who knew him."

Dr. Charles O. DuPlessis

May he rest in peace.

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Z" FRANK BEFORE YOU BUY!! - Zollie S. Frank - Part 2

Last week we started our look at the life and times of Zolman S. Frank ("Zollie") from his origin in Dayton, Ohio to his purchase of a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership on Western Avenue in Chicago.  We also looked at how Frank and his brother-in-law Armund Schoen revolutionized fleet leasing of automobiles through their company Four Wheels.

Before we continue our look at the business side of Zollie Frank, let's take another look at his family life.  I reported last week that Zollie married Elaine Spiesberger in 1935.  Zollie and Elaine were blessed with four children:  Charles Edwin, Laurie Ann, James Samuel and Nancy D. Frank.  Ultimately all four of his children would end up working for Zollie Frank in one capacity or another.

In 1953 Zollie Frank made a decision that would change his life, and change auto sales in Chicago.  As he recounted, "In 1953, we switched to General Motors and bought Chicago's smallest Chevrolet dealership." The Chicago Daily Tribune carried the following notice in its "Bulletin Board" section of September 26, 1953:


As always, Zollie Frank's timing was excellent.  Chrysler's days as a major player in the auto world were numbered - but Chevrolet in the 1950s was poised to become America's favorite automobile.

But what about that slogan "Z" Frank Before You Buy!!  Here's what Z. Frank himself said about it, "I came up with that line.  I wanted to be an institution, just like Marshall Field.  Whenever I met somebody I told them I owned a Chevrolet dealership, and make sure to see me, Z. Frank, before they bought a car.  I liked the way that sounded.  And that line, it's sold me a lot of cars."


Here is a Z Frank ad from January of 1955 advertising the 1955 Chevrolets while really advertising "Z" Frank:


By this time, Z Frank had moved his showrooms to 6116 N. Western Avenue in Chicago.  As the 50s became the 60s, Z Frank sold more cars every year.  Here is a blurb from April 10, 1960:

"March sales of new and used cars at "Z" Frank Chevrolet, Inc. set a new record for the month, rising 28% from a year ago, Z.S. Frank, president, reported."

By 1970, "Z" Frank Chevrolet was the largest volume Chevrolet dealer in the world.  Zollie's self-proclaimed "Frankville" spanned two full blocks on North Western Avenue.  Not bad for the produce man's son from Dayton, Ohio.


By the 1970s, Frank had so much influence at Chevrolet that he was even making recommendations on design:

The (Chevrolet) Vega's styling was judged conservative, clean-lined and timeless.  GM styling studio's main influence was the 1967-1969 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe AC, and the Chevrolet Camaro/Corvette studio grafted a 1970 Camaro-like egg-crate grille and Chevy-style dual taillights.  The original approved clay model had small rectangular front parking lights below the bumper.  One morning John DeLorean (GM Vice President and Chevrolet General Manager at the time) brought Zollie Frank, the owner of the world’s largest Chevrolet dealership ("Z" Frank Chevrolet in Chicago) into the styling studio to show him the clay and get his thoughts on the design. 

Frank looked at the painted clay model, walked around it, then stood in front of it for a minute or so, and said: “Get rid of those wimpy-looking parking lights – they should be big, round things that look like European driving lights”.  DeLorean turned to the studio chief, told him to make the change Zollie wanted.  The modelers were put to work on large, round lamps and DeLorean and Zollie came back later that day to approve the change. DeLorean mentioned to the studio chief as they were leaving that “Zollie sells more Chevrolets than anyone else on earth – he knows what the customers like.”  The car went to production exactly as it was revised that afternoon. 

Zollie Frank used his auto dealership, and the leasing business, to launch a financial empire.  


By the 1980s, Zollie Frank was at the top of the business world.  In April of 1986 the Chicago Tribune wrote about the man they called "Mr. Chevrolet".  Here are some excerpts:

All told, he sits at the helm of Z Frank Chevrolet and 21 other business ventures that include various car dealerships, real estate, insurance, and his lucrative auto leasing operation with a fleet of 90,000 vehicles coast to coast.  Though he declines to discuss his wealth, Frank Consolidated Enterprises Ltd. last year ranked 8th on Crain's Chicago Business list of the top privately held Chicago companies.   His yearly revenues were at $631 million in 1985, but Frank is soon expected to cinch a deal that reportedly will push his yearly revenues near $1 billion.

White haired and vigorous, he is the epitome of entrepreneurism, a master of the gregarious handshake, the flashy smile, and of what it takes to get his name out into that great consumer-filled public domain.  He is both a shameless self-promoter and a gracious gentleman who is proud, but not arrogant, of what he has done.

He has had private audiences with two American presidents (a three minute interview with President Roosevelt and a treasured private conversation and hot-dog lunch with President Kennedy on the presidential yacht).  He has pressed his give-away charms into the palms of two astronauts who carried them to the moon.  He has met with Prime Minister Jawaharial Nehru in India, acquired a fine collection of artwork, ivory and jade.  He maintains homes in suburban Winnetka and Palm Springs, Calif.  He donates generously to charity.  And for as long as anyone can remember, he has been on first name terms with General Motors big wheels.

By all accounts, he is respected for his "my-word-is-my-bond" trademark in the business world. 


Here is a photo of Frank's home in Winnetka - at 657 Hibbard Road:

657 Hibbard Road, Winnetka, Illinois

The article about Zollie Frank casually mentioned "He donates generously to charity."  That is an understatement.  The Zollie and Elaine Frank Fund was established in 1953 "Giving primarily for higher education and Jewish federated giving programs, agencies, and temples; funding also for arts and culture, health care and health associations, children and youth services, and social services."  Over the years the Frank family has donated tens of millions of dollars to charities, both through the Frank Fund and directly, including a $10 million gift to the University of Chicago in 2000 for scientific and medical education.

Zollie Frank died on December 29, 1990 from heart disease.  He was 83 years old.


Here is his Obituary and Death Notice from the Chicago Tribune:



As it mentions in his obituary, Zollie Frank is interred in the Rosehill Mausoleum.  In fact, his crypt is right outside the door to the Elmer Arthur Hennig Chapel:

There are always six fresh red roses on Zollie Frank's crypt.

Zollie S. Frank - the consummate salesman, and a devoted family man, "His word was his bond."

Zollie S. Frank

"Z" Frank Before You Buy!!  May he rest in peace.