KUNDTZ, THEODOR (1 July 1852-14 Sept. 1937) was an inventor, manufacturer, financier, philanthropist, and patriarch of the Hungarian community.
Kundtz was born in Metzenseifen, Hungary, to Joseph and Theresia (Kesselbauer) Kundtz. He learned woodworking from his father and after immigrating to Cleveland in 1873, Kundtz found a job with the Whitworth Co., a small cabinet shop at 28 St. Clair Ave. Kundtz and several co-workers purchased the company in 1875 after a fire seriously damaged the business, reorganizing as the Cleveland Cabinet Co. In 1878, Kundtz split from his partners and opened
Among his early customers was
Over the years, Kundtz employed a significant portion of his tome town of Metzenseifen. When his business peaked around 1900, 92% of his 2500 employees were from Hungary. Kundtz helped thousands immigrate to Cleveland, acquire homes, and start their own businesses. He founded the Hungarian Savings and Loan Company and built Hungaria Hall on Clark Ave. in 1890.
At the turn of the century, Kundtz built a magnificent mansion in
Kundtz served on the Mayor's Advisory War Committee during
Theodor Kundtz was knighted by Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary in 1902. In 1994, the American-Hungarian Foundation posthumously awarded Kundtz the George Washington Medal. He died in Cleveland and was buried in Lakewood Park Cemetery.
Eiben, Christopher J. Tori in Amerika (1994).