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FEISS, PAUL LOUIS

FEISS, PAUL LOUIS (3 June 1875-20 Jan. 1952), business executive and bibliophile, pioneered methods of scientific management as vice-president and general manager of JOSEPH AND FEISS clothing store. Kent State University acquired his 5,000-volume library in 1952; his 450 rare books formed the basis for the university library's department of special collections. Born in Cleveland, son of Julius F. and Carrie (Dreyfuss) Feiss, he graduated from UNIVERSITY SCHOOL in 1890. He did not attend college but began a lifelong avocation of reading and book collecting. He acquired the major portion of his library between 1895 and 1915. Feiss soon became an expert in incunabula, early printing, and rare 16th and 17th century editions. With a working knowledge of Latin, he also spoke and wrote fluent German. During WORLD WAR I, Feiss served as the federal representative of the Division of Housing of the Department of Labor for the Cleveland District. Shortly after the war, Feiss was named a member of President Woodrow Wilson's Industrial Conference.

Feiss served as president of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce (1917-18), helped organize the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA, and was a member of the Board of Advisors of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART (1914-52). The ROWFANT CLUB, of which he was president and a board member, made him a fellow. From 1950 until his death, Feiss served on the CLEVELAND HEIGHTS Planning Commission. Married to Edith Lehman on 2 June 1903, Feiss had 4 children: Julian W., Carl L., Caroline B., and Gertrude L. Feiss Feiss died at his Cedar Road home in Cleveland Hts.


The Feiss Collection, WRHS.