CHARLES T. UHLMAN. – Mr. Uhlman, a portrait of whom is placed in this history, although a young man, is an example of what the possibilities are for a young man when guided by honesty, industry and business ability. Coming to Tacoma but a few years ago, our subject entered a meat market as an apprentice at a salary of fifteen dollars per month. To-day he is a member of the council that guides the interests of the City of Destiny, the proprietor of a large and increasing trade, with branch houses at different points on the Sound, and is erecting handsome brick blocks that will stand as monuments to the enterprise and industry of one of Tacoma’s brightest business men.
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Mr. Uhlman was born in Washington, District of Columbia, January 10, 1861, and is the son of Charles J. Uhlman, a former district surveyor of the District of Columbia. His mother was Minnie (Frank) Uhlman, both of his parents being of German descent. When our subject was but five years of age, the family suffered the irreparable loss of the husband and father. They resided in Washington until March 4, 1869, when he with his mother and four brothers, started West, coming to St. Louis, Missouri, and one year later to Portland, Oregon. Our subject then attended school for eighteen months. The family, in 1872, located a homestead on Chehalis river, where Charles remained until 1881. Most of that time he found employment as a farm hand, and for three years worked for “Blockhouse” Smith. He was also two years in the employ of A.W. Sargent. While in the latter’s employ he met with a severe accident, having his leg fractured.
On recovering from that accident, he came to Tacoma with the idea of learning a trade. He selected the butcher trade, and entered the employ as apprentice of the Original Ranier Market, then owned by Myson D. Barlow & Bros., at a salary of fifteen dollars per month. He remained in that market through all the changes of proprietorship until it passed into the hands of S. Coulter & Sons. He was then placed in charge, and managed the wholesale business for the latter firm for the following three years. During that time he purchased the Original Ranier Retail Market, which he conducted for himself. Two years later he purchased the wholesale business of Coulter & Sons, which he has since conducted; and his field of operations extends over the entire Sound country. Twice during one year Mr. Uhlman suffered the entire loss of his market by fire, but each time built larger than before. During all that time he had unbounded faith in the future of the City of Destiny, and purchased property from time to time, until now he owns some of the most valuable real estate in the city, part of which is the building now occupied by Chester Cleury & Co’s dry-goods store on Pacific avenue. In 1888 he built the Uhlman Block, a magnificent three-story building on the corner of A and Ninth streets, opposite “The Tacoma” where he has fitted up without question the finest market on the Pacific coast.
Mr. Uhlman in 1889 organized the Puget Sound Pressed Beef & Packing Co., a corporation destined to fill an important place in the resources of the State of Washington. He is a large property owner in other parts of the Sound, more especially on Bellingham Bay, where he possesses valuable real estate adjoining the city of Fairhom. In March, 1888, he was elected a member of the city council of Tacoma, a position he still holds, and is to-day regarded as one of the most responsible and progressive business men in the city. He was united in marriage in Columbus, Washington Territory, August 26, 1883, to Miss Myrtle Middleton, a native of Illinois. By this union they are blessed by the possession of two beautiful daughters.