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Thorough understanding of every problem connected with his life’s business and, careful direction of every phase of the trade has made the Brauer Brothers Manufacturing Company, of which Arthur J. Brauer is the president, one of the productive industries of St. Louis, a contributing element to the material growth of his native city, for Mr. Brauer was here born on the 6th of July, 1876. His father, the late Theodore J. Brauer, was a native of New Orleans and of German descent, the family having been founded in America by John Brauer, who came to America about 1830, settling in New Orleans and afterward removing to St. Louis in the early ’40s. He was for many years engaged in the saddlery business and during the Civil war had charge of the arsenals at Paducah, Kentucky. His son, Theodore J. Brauer, was reared and educated in St. Louis and in young manhood learned the saddlery business, in which he later successfully engaged, continuing until within ten years of his death, and his last decade on earth was spent in retirement from active business, the fruits of his former toil enabling him to enjoy all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. He died in St. Louis in 1913 when seventy-three years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Amelia O’Keefe, was born in St. Louis, a daughter of Thomas O’Keefe, who was of an old Ohio family. The O’Keefe family was established in St. Louis in 1808. The grandfather, Thomas O’Keefe, was a shoe manufacturer in those days and established a business of considerable importance for that time, having a large patronage among leading institutions, convents, etc. He was likewise very active in political and civic matters and enjoyed the distinction of being a democratic party leader in the early days. He was likewise very successful in his business ventures. Both he and his wife were of Irish and Scotch descent, the latter belonging to the Fitzpatrick family. Mrs. Brauer is still living in St. Louis. By her marriage she became the mother of three sons and three daughters, four of whom are yet living, the family being: Amelia, deceased; Robert T., of St. Louis; Mabel, who passed away; Blanche Olivia, the wife of J. J. Quinlan, of St. Louis; Arthur J.; and Edward J., who is the secretary of the Brauer Manufacturing Company.
Arthur J. Brauer was educated in the public schools of St. Louis and in Hayward College, from which he was graduated in 1898. He was first employed in connection with his father’s business and thoroughly acquainted himself with every branch thereof, including both the mechanical phases of the saddlery manufacturing and the executive part of the work as well. In 1898, with a capital of but forty dollars, he entered business on his own account, taking up the manufacture of leather and sporting goods and opening a small establishment at 2004 Locust street, the plant occupying about one hundred square feet. This constituted the nucleus of the present substantial business which be controls. Through many vicissitudes he has directed his interests until in 1902 he incorporated the business for seven thousand dollars and since then the capitalization has been increased to three hundred thousand dollars. The company manufactures women’s high grade shoes, leather and textile sporting goods, and their trade extends to all parts of the world, being international in its scope. The plant has a floor space of one hundred thousand square feet, and the firm employs an average of more than four hundred people, the enterprise having thus become one of the extensive interests of the city. Mr. Brauer is also a director of the Jefferson Bank, is the president of the Brauer Brothers Realty Company and owner of extensive realty holdings in St. Louis and St. Louis county.
On the 4th of June, 1902, Mr. Brauer was married in St. Louis to Miss Harriett Gamble, a native of this city and a daughter of Andrew J. and Amanda (Brooks) Gamble. Her grandfather, Captain Brooks, was a chandler and ship owner of St. Louis and a very wealthy and prominent resident of the city. The Gamble family represented one of the leading southern families of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The grandmother of Mrs. Brauer was Patience Gamble, who was killed in the siege of Vicksburg, being the only woman who lost her life during that siege. To Mr. and Mrs. Brauer have been born five children: Porthos S., deceased; Virginia, who was born in St. Louis in 1908; Dorothy, who has passed away; Gloria and Arthur J., who were born in St. Louis. Mrs. Brauer takes a very active part in the Jesse L. Gaynor Choral Society of Webster Groves and is prominent in social affairs. She belongs to the Daughters of the American Revolution, and both Mr. and Mrs. Brauer took a most helpful interest in war work. In 1918 and 1919 Mr. Brauer manufactured eighteen million dollars worth of accoutrements for the United States, and for the English and Greek governments in 1914. He has found his diversion in outdoor sports. His residence is at the corner of Berry and Lockwood avenues, in Glendale, St. Louis county, a beautiful country home surrounded by five acres of well kept ground. He and his family are members of the Emanuel Episcopal church of Webster Groves, and Mr. Brauer belongs to Missouri Lodge, No. 1, A. F. & A. M., of which he is a past master; and Rabboni Chapter, R. A. M. He also has membership with the Missouri Athletic Association and the Chamber of Commerce, and politically he is a republican where national questions and issues are involved but casts an independent local ballot, supporting men and measures rather than party. There is no record which the American public holds in as high esteem as that of the business man who has pushed his way forward from business obscurity to prominence and success. Such is the record of Arthur J. Brauer. Starting out in the business world without financial assistance he has never been afraid to venture where blazing opportunity bas led the way and each forward step in his career has brought him a broader outlook and wider opportunity which he has eagerly utilized with the result that he stands today at the head of one of the important productive industries of the city, a forceful and resourceful man, strong in his honor and good name, strong in his ability to plan and perform.