Biography of Isidor Friedman
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The mercantile establishment of The Friedman Company might well be termed the “Marshall Field” of Racine. Not only is it the largest store of its kind in the city but it institutes and adopts the most progressive methods and in all of its undertakings displays the spirit of initiative and progress.
The business was started in Racine about nine years ago and has been developed to one of extensive proportions and success in large measure crowns the efforts of the members of this firm.
Isidor Friedman, who is head of The Friedman Company, was born in Germany in 1854 and when nine years of age made the voyage across the Atlantic to the United States, and was reared in New York City. When a young man he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he entered the business world. Having attained success, he retired from active business in 1906, but being a man of extraordinary ambition, he was not satisfied to remain away from business activities, and in the year 1907 he came to Racine, where he embarked in the ladies ready-to-wear business, opening a store in the Masonic Temple building. Mr. Friedman and his store soon became very popular with the Racine public. The high class of merchandise carried, coupled with his straightforward methods, made it a successful enterprise from the beginning and the business grew with rapid strides.
In order to meet the demands of the trade, Mr. Friedman secured the building adjoining his store on the north and connected it with his store. The business continued to prosper and was growing so rapidly that in 1912 Mr. Friedman found it necessary to again enlarge and it was during that year he built an addition to his store which extended it from Main Street through to Lake Avenue, a depth of about two hundred and fifty feet. with a frontage on Main street of eighty feet, having also built an arcade front with show windows extending over one hundred feet, making it one of the most unique and best equipped outfitting stores for ladies and children in this part of the country.
The business was begun under the name of Friedman’s Cloak & Suit Company. The confidence of a public, appreciative of good values and painstaking service, soon led to a greater success, due to the advantages derived by an enormous purchasing power, and having added many departments of dry goods, shoes, ladies furnishings, etc., the name of the firm was changed to The Friedman Company, which enjoys the distinction of conducting an institution which is a credit and pride to the entire community.
Mr. Friedman’s son, Arthur, is associated with him in this business. They have also recently established in Racine a high class photo-play house, The Palace Theatre the entrance of which is directly south of the Friedman store. This new enterprise has proved to be a grand success and reflects credit on the Friedmans.
Mr. Friedman also has three daughters, all of whom are married. Mr. Friedman is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, also an Elk, and belongs to the Racine Commercial Club and Country Club, also several other charitable and social societies. He maintains an independent political attitude, but is deeply interested in affairs relating to the progress and upbuilding of the city and lends active aid and co-operation to all movements for the general good.
He is farseeing, honest and public-spirited and through his entire career has held many important relations to the public interests and his present enviable position is the result of a well balanced mind and a sterling character.