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The name of John Lumbard is closely interwoven with the history of Muskogee, for he remained an active factor in the development and progress of this section of the state to the time of his death. He was born in Sweden, May 21, 1862, and was a son of William and Catherine Lumbard, who were also natives of that country. The father was warden of the Lutheran church in Sweden, to which he belonged through the greater part of his life, and was always a faithful follower of the teachings and high purposes of the church. He died in Sweden in 1892, and his wife passed away in the same year.
John Lumbard, whose name introduces this review, spent the period of his boyhood and youth in his native country, pursuing Mr. Nolle is a member of the United Brethren church and is his education in the public schools, while subsequently he worked in the sawmills there until he determined to try his fortunes in the new world. On the 28th of February, 1891, he reached the United States and took up his abode in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked until about 1895.
At that time he entered the employ of Morgan & Wright at Chicago, when the firm first started business in an old box car on May street. He learned the tire business thoroughly, mastering every phase and detail of the business. He worked on bicycle tires until Morgan & Wright went into the mechanical rubber line. In the meantime the business of the house had been developing and the little enterprise which was established in an old box car was occupying a four story factory in Chicago. After they built their factory in Detroit Mr. Lumbard was sent to that city, where he had charge of a large department of pneumatic tires. This was in 1905 and there he remained until 1908, when he came to Oklahoma.
Settling in Oklahoma City he formed a partnership with Carl Severin under the firm style of the Severin Lumbard Tire Company and they continued together in the business until March, 1912, when Mr. Lumbard came to Muskogee and opened a branch house. Later they dissolved partnership and Mr. Lumbard admitted his brother-in-law, Carl E. Seastrand, as a partner, under the firm name of the John Lumbard Tire & Supply Company. In this business he continued with growing success until his death, which occurred on the 5th of October, 1918, after an illness of three or four days. His wife is now a partner in the business, her brother, Carl, acting as manager of the establishment, which is situated at No. 618 West Broadway. They carry an enormous stock of United States tires, for which they are distributors for the whole of eastern Oklahoma. They have a large branch house at Okmulgee and also at Bartlesville and in addition to tires they handle a full line of automobile accessories.
On the 16th of June, 1898, Mr. Lumbard was united in marriage to Miss Selma Seastrand, a daughter of Carl A. and Christina Sjostrand, who are mentioned more at length in connection with a sketch of Carl E. Seastrand on another page of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Lumbard became the parents of two children: Fridtrof M., who was born in Chicago, December 5,1899, and is now attending school; and Ingeborg Helen, born in Chicago, in June, 1904. Mrs. Lumbard was born in Sweden, August 27, 1874. She and her children occupy a fine modern residence at No. 2910 Oklahoma avenue, which was purchased by Mr. Lumbard. She also has farming and oil interests and she rents the farm which she owns in partnership with her brother. She is an enthusiastic motorist and owns a nice Dodge coupe and also a touring car.
Mrs. Lumbard attends the Christian Science church, while Mr. Lumbard attended the Baptist church. He belonged to the Rotary Club and to the Chamber of Commerce and gave his political allegiance to the republican party. He was a man of progressive spirit who through individual ability and undaunted efforts worked his way steadily upward, the obstacles and difficulties in his path serving but as an impetus for renewed effort on his part. Energy and enterprise brought him prominently to the front as a representative business man of Muskogee and he manifested those personal qualities which made him popular with a large circle of friends.
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Writing of him at the time of his death one of the local papers said: “This community has lost one of her best citizens. John Lumbard was a man who held the unqualified respect of those who knew him, and most everybody in Muskogee did. He had an abiding faith in the town. He came here when it was almost a village and from that day until his death his belief that Muskogee would become a good and great city never faltered.
He never hesitated to put his money into an expanding business that he always kept a little ahead of the town. No public subscription was ever passed without his name on it. He loved to help the town and other people. John Lumbard was a man who kept pace with the times. Back in Detroit many years ago he made by hand the first rubber tires for bicycles that were ever turned out. The automobile and the pneumatic tire came.
Lumbard immediately adapted himself to the new conditions and when he finally left the Morgan & Wright company he went into the tire business in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He saw a wonderful vision of the marketing of tires and went, into the selling game. He started in a small way but when he died yesterday he was the owner of the biggest wholesale and retail tire business in the state and in addition to that he had developed a factory that is rapidly becoming important in an industrial way to Muskogee. He had an ambition to build here in Muskogee a great tire factory, and these plans were halted by the war. It was his intention to push them to conclusion immediately after the war. Age had no effect whatever upon his enthusiasm. He was a tireless worker and even during the past three months, though his health was failing and his physicians had warned him, he insisted on coming to his salesroom and spending most of the day either there or at his factory. John Lumbard was the sort of man that makes a town a good place to live in.”