Biography of Cyrus F. Blanke
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Cyrus F. Blanke, president of the C. F. Blanke Tea & Coffee Company of St. Louis, was born October 24, 1862, in Marine, Illinois, a son of Fred G. and Caroline (Ortgis) Blanke. The father was born in Germany and came to America in 1847. He carried on general merchandising at Marine, Illinois, for a number of years, but his marriage was celebrated in St. Louis. To him and his wife were born ten children, seven sons and three daughters, of whom Cyrus F. is the fifth in order of birth. Four children, three sons and a daughter, have passed away, while those who survive are: Emma, the widow of Charles Spies; Maude, the widow of Harry Amanda; Albert G., who is engaged in the real estate business in St. Louis and who married Lillie Verborg; Richard, who wedded Hazel Thompson; Fred; and Cyrus F. of this review.
The last named was educated in the public schools of Marine, Illinois, and also attended a commercial college in St. Louis, thus qualifying for the responsibilities of business life. He started out as a clerk in a retail grocery store in St. Louis when sixteen years of age and between the ages of seventeen and nineteen years was a clerk in a St. Louis wholesale tobacco factory. He then became connected with the Steinwender-Stoffregen Coffee Company and acted as collector for that house for two years. On the expiration of that period he went on the road as a traveling salesman for them and spent seven years in that connection, thus reaching the age of twenty-eight. He next embarked in business on his own account under the name of C. F. Blanke & Company, teas and coffees. This was in 1890 and through the intervening period he has successfully engaged in business, his trade having steadily grown until his is one of the leading concerns of the kind in the southwest. They roast coffee, manufacture spices and handle teas and other lines. Mr. Blanke is also the president of the St. Louis Tin & Sheet Metal Working Company, which does an annual business of two million dollars and employs three hundred and fifty people. He is likewise the president of the Blanke-Baer Extract & Preserving Company, is the president of the St. Louis Soluble Tea & Coffee Company and has other important business connections. In fact his cooperation and his judgment are considered a valuable asset in the successful conduct of any business enterprise with which he becomes associated. He is a man of broad vision and of keen sagacity, readily recognizing the opportunities which business conditions present and the chances for improving such conditions. During the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis, he served as a director the entire time, from the early beginning until the fair was closed and its business interests wound up. At the time of the World war Mr. Blanke furnished coffee in soluble form for the army at the request of the government and twenty-four hours after receiving the order had doubled the capacity of his factory. His tin and sheet metal factory also turned out hard bread cans for the army, increasing their output to forty thousand a day.
On the 30th of December, 1889, in Clinton, Missouri, Mr. Blanke was married to Miss Eugenia Frowein, a daughter of A. P. and Augusta (Mueller) Frowein, the former now deceased, while the latter resides in Independence, this state. Mr. and Mrs. Blanke have one child, Eugenia, now the wife of Walter S. Graham, who is a director of the St. Louis Tin & Sheet Metal Working Company and resides in this city. Mr. and Mrs. Blanke make their home at Webster Groves. Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Tuscan Lodge, No. 360, A. F. & A. M.; St. Louis Chapter, R. A. M.; Ascalon Commandery, K. T.; and Moolah Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He is likewise a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Elks lodge and is well known in the club circles of the city as a member of the Sunset Hill Country Club, the Century Boat Club and the Riverview Club. He likewise belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Convention Publicity Bureau. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. The greater part of his life has been spent in St. Louis, where he has long been recognized as a most enterprising and progressive business man and one whose cooperation can also be counted upon to further plans and measures having to do with municipal projects and civic development and honor.