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HARTZ, AUGUSTUS

HARTZ, AUGUSTUS "GUS" FREDERIC (8 Sept. 1843-22 May 1929), one of Cleveland's best-known theatrical figures, was born in Liverpool, England, apprenticed to a stage magician at 8, and studied with a tutor in the evenings. Arriving in the U.S. in 1863, he pursued a stage career until 1880, when he settled in Cleveland. He was manager of the Park Theater, which opened in 1883 as part of the 3-story Wick Block erected on PUBLIC SQUARE. In 1884, the Park Theater was destroyed by fire; it was not reopened until 1886. During this restoration, Hartz joined the EUCLID AVE. OPERA HOUSE as both lessee and manager from 1884 until 1920, when the lease expired. The Euclid Ave. Opera House also succumbed to flames in 1892, but reopened in 1893. Under the management skill of Hartz, the Euclid Ave. Opera House reigned as Cleveland's favorite playhouse for many years, until it was displaced by the HANNA THEATER, the new "legitimate" favorite. In addition to his extensive theater skills and interests, Hartz displayed talents in business as president of Majestic Oil Co. and Trenton Rock Oil & Gas Co. Married in Rhode Island in 1894, Hartz and his wife, Rose, had 2 children: Clover and Fanny. Hartz was buried in Mayfield Cemetery.