Charles Kurlander is the president of the firm of Kurlander Brothers & Harfield, manufacturers of cloaks, suits and dresses at St. Louis and in this connection has built up a business of most satisfactory proportions. He was born in the province of Ponewiecz, state of Kovno, Russia, December 14, 1873, and is a son of the late Joseph Kurlander, who was also a native of that country and a successful clothing manufacturer. The father died in his native land in 1887, at the age of eighty-five years, nd the mother came with her son Charles to America in 1890. By her marriage he had become the mother of five sons and two daughters, Charles being the youngest f the family. The mother passed away in St. Louis, August 23, 1919, at the age of ighty-six years.
Charles Kurlander was educated in the schools of his native country and when lad of fourteen years was apprenticed to the designer’s trade working without remuneration while learning the business, in fact he had to pay for his instruction, but he gained a thorough knowledge of the art of designing and thus laid the foundation of his later success. In 1890 he came to the new world, settling in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was employed as a designer for two years. In 1892 he came to St. Louis and entered the employ of Max Judd & Company as foreman and designer. Steadily he gained acquaintance with the trade and worked his way upward. In 1898 he became associated with his brother, Sol Kurlander, in initiating his first independent business venture, which they did under the firm style of Kurlander Brothers, at 816 Lucas avenue. They started out with a very small capital but from the humble beginning has developed one of the leading enterprises of its kind in St. Louis. The firm today occupies the entire building at, 412 North Twelfth street, where they employ over two hundred people. Their business extends throughout the western and southern states and the house is represented upon the road by sixteen traveling salesmen. During the late World war Air. Kurlander turned his entire plant over to the manufacture of government work and also operated another plant on the same basis to aid in the fight for humanity.
On the 24th of April, 1900, in St. Louis, Mr. Kurlander was married to Miss Florence Baum, a native of St. Louis and a daughter of Alexander and Caroline (Sigel) Baum, who were early residents of this city. To Mr. and Mrs. Kurlander have been born three sons: Julian, Abby and Arthur, the first two were born in St. Louis and the youngest in New York city.
Mr. Kurlander became an enfranchised American citizen at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1894. He is a member of Itaska Lodge, No. 420, A. F. & A. M., and St. Louis Lodge, No. 9, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and he is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis. He arrived in America a poor boy and on reaching St. Louis had but fifty dollars in money. Here he found himself amid strangers for he had not a friend in the city. As the years have passed, however, he has built up a profitable and growing business and has gained many friends. He is a man of pleasing personality, of splendid business talent and of excellent executive ability, and in his vocabulary there is no such word as fail.