Albert Julius Holzmark. The career of the late Albert Julius Holzmark in Kansas City, Kansas, left its impress upon many forms of business activity, upon institutions of a civic, social and religious nature, and upon the lives of a great many individuals. He was a man of the highest character, of unexampled business integrity, was successful and made his success count toward the forwarding of the good of a large community.
His life was one of achievement from small beginnings. He was born in Koenigsburg, Germany, April 22, 1867, the oldest of the three children of Isidor and Theresa Holzmark. Both parents were natives of Germany. The family immigrated to America in 1884, spending a short time in St. Louis and from there coming to Kansas City, where they had relatives. Isidor Holzmark died a number of years ago, but his widow now lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her daughter.
Albert J. Holzmark was seventeen years of age when he came to America. He had attended the common schools of Germany and on coming to this country he was ready to take his place in the ranks of the world’s workers. At Kansas City he found a place in the clothing store of his uncle, Sam Holzmark, for about a year. His father then died, and upon the son devolved many heavy responsibilities. He had to make a living not only for himself, but also for his mother, and he and his younger brother, Max Holzmark, now president of the Holzmark Furniture Company, not only proved their willingness and spirit in the face of obstacles, but also showed an ability beyond their age. By hard work they accumulated a little money and with this capital started a small store. They began in the furniture business and had their first location on James Street, which was then the business district of old Wyandotte. The business grew perhaps even faster than the partners had hoped, and enlargement and increases followed as a matter of course. With their success they moved first to 537 Minnesota Avenue, and a short time later to the present location of the Holzmark Furniture Company’s business at 624-626 Minnesota Avenue. In that one location that business had been maintained for about a quarter of a century. In 1895 the business was incorporated, the officers were: T. Holzmark, now of San Antonio, president; Max Holzmark, vice president, and A. J. Holzmark, secretary and general manager. Mr. A. J. Holzmark was largely responsible for the growing success and expansion of the business, and his was a master mind in control of a large mercantile enterprise, and he was expert in practically every phase of its administration.
His interests in later years were widely diversified. He found time to assist in promoting civic improvements. He was exceedingly generous, but his charities were bestowed personally and individually, and even his family and closest friends knew only in a general way the extent of his philanthropy. The integrity of his character was recognized by all, and any organization felt honored to have him as one of its supporters or officials. In national politics he was a republican, but was stanchly independent in local affairs, and gave his support and influence where he thought it was most needed. He was often urged to accept office, but consistently declined all such proffers.
On November 3, 1889, Mr. Holzmark married Emma Gosline. She was born at Titusville, Pennsylvania, daughter of Joseph and Bertha Gosline. She was only a child when her father died, and she and her mother afterwards came to Kansas City, where relatives were living and where she grew up and married. Mr. and Mrs. Holzmark had five children: Hattie, wife of A. L. Joffee, of Dallas, Texas; Joseph, head of the Holzmark Motor Company of Kansas City, Kansas; and Lillian, Viola and Irwin. All the children were given the best of advantages in the local schools and in their home training.
Mr. Holzmark was very prominent in Masonry. He belonged to Wyandotte Lodge No. 272, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and in the Scottish Rite he attained the supreme honorary thirty-third degree. He was active in building the present Scottish Rite Temple of Kansas City, was treasurer of the Scottish Rite building committee for fifteen years, and in that capacity and in a personal way did much to forward the usefulness of Scottish Rite Masonry. He was also a member of the Abdallah Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Leavenworth. Mr. Holzmark was one of the organizers and was the first president, an office he filled several years, of the Jewish Social and Benevolent organization, the B’Nai B’Rith. He also belonged to the Commercial Club, the Armourdale Improvement Association, the Minnesota Avenue Improvement Association, the Union Club, the Elks Club, was an active supporter of the Associated Charities in Kansas City, Kansas, and he and his wife were among the most prominent supporters of the Jewish Temple of Kansas City, Missouri.
Mr. Holzmark had a sudden but quiet death. He was at the time visiting his mother and his married daughter in Texas, and died in Dallas, November 12, 1916. He was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery of Elmwood, in Kansas City, Missouri.