DAUBY, NATHAN L. (31 May 1873-17 May 1964), who built the MAY CO. into the city's largest department store, was born in Cleveland to David and Lena Loeb Dauby. He started work at 15 as a clerk in shoe store, and became its manager 2 years later. In 1892, Dauby and Emil Strauss opened Dauby & Strauss, the city's first one-price shoe store. Dauby bought Strauss out in 1898, and around 1902 the May Co. leased him its shoe department. In 1904 he became manager of the entire Cleveland May Co. store, serving as both general and merchandise manager until 1933, and as general manager until 1945, leaving the organization in 1961.

Dauby convinced May Co. to build a 6-story, $2.5 million building on PUBLIC SQUARE, completed in 1914, and introduced the first escalator (1914) and parking garage for patrons (1925), and a children's playground (1904). Dauby also enticed customers by offering Eagle Trading Stamps, and later double stamps. Dauby became director of the national May Co. operation in 1910 and by 1918 was a vice-president. From 1945 until his death, Dauby concentrated on philanthropic work, especially the LOUIS D. BEAUMONT FOUNDATION. In 1952 he donated his Euclid Ave. mansion to the CLEVELAND HEARING AND SPEECH CENTER. Upon his death, he left an estate of $10 million; $1.5 million went to local institutions. In 1946 the Chamber of Commerce awarded Dauby its Medal for Public Service. Dauby and his wife, Bessie, married 2 Oct. 1901, had a son, David, and a daughter, Mrs. Lucile D. Gries.

Article Categories