Frank J. Luxem, representing commercial interests of Racine as a wholesale dealer in fruits, was born September 25, 1871, in the city in which he still resides, his parents being Jacob and Mary (Kemmer) Luxem. The father, who was a native of Bavaria, Germany, came to the new world in early life, establishing his home in Racine in pioneer times. For a number of years he was proprietor of the leading hotel of the city but afterward entered the employ of A. P. Dickey, with whom he remained for thirty-two years as a pattern maker, retiring from business about, two years prior to his death. During that period of leisure he took a trip to Germany and on the 6th of October. 1901, he passed away, his remains being interred in St. Joseph cemetery of Racine. His widow, also a native of Bavaria, is living in Racine at the advanced age of seventy-eight years.
Frank J. Luxem obtained his education in St. Joseph’s parochial school and in the Washington public school and in 1888, when a youth of seventeen years, entered the employ of Hanley Brothers, grocers, with whom he continued for more than a quarter of a century or until 1914. During that period he had spent twelve years with them in the wholesale fruit business. They closed out their retail grocery and concentrated their efforts upon wholesale dealing in groceries and fruit. Mr. Luxem being connected with the latter department from 1902 until 1914, while Ed Hanley had charge of the grocery department during the year in which it was maintained. At the end of that time, however, they discontinued the grocery and Mr. Luxem remained in charge of the wholesale fruit store. During that period of twelve years he converted the old Slasson planing mill into one of the best wholesale houses in the state, putting in various rooms and also installing a thirty-five ton ice machine. In 1914 he resigned his position and embarked in business on his own account at No. 914 Prospect Street in a one story building. After four months, however, he was obliged to seek larger quarters and removed to 1200 Milwaukee Avenue, where he continued until April, 1915. He then bought out the Hanley Brothers Company and today has a very large plant, together with a feed barn on North Wisconsin Street. He conducts an extensive business as a wholesaler of fruit, his trade covering a wide territory, while his capable management enables him to secure a good income from his sales.
In 1901 Mr. Luxem was married to Miss Nellie McPherson and they have many friends in this city. In politics he maintains a non-partisan course and has never been ambitious to hold office. On the contrary, he has always preferred to concentrate his efforts upon his business affairs and Racine numbers him among her prosperous and successful self-made merchants. There have been no spectacular phases in his business career but the steady advancement which results from indefatigable energy, from faithfulness, reliability and enterprise.