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WEIDEMAN, JOHN CHRISTIAN

WEIDEMAN, JOHN CHRISTIAN

WEIDEMAN, JOHN CHRISTIAN (14 Oct. 1829-9 Dec. 1900) was a leading wholesale grocer, prominent businessman, and an early German settler of Cleveland. He was born in Lehrensteinsfeld, Wurttemberg, Germany. His family emigrated to American in 1833, first residing in Philadelphia before moving to Medina County, OH, in 1836. "J.C." moved to Cleveland at age 17, where he apprenticed himself in the grocery business.

In 1861, he began his independent business career by establishing the WEIDEMAN COMPANY, a wine and liquor firm. Within a decade, partners were brought into the firm, and its line expanded to include groceries. The firm, which grew rapidly, was incorporated as the Weideman Company in 1889. By the 1890s, it was one of Cleveland's largest firms and one of the largest wholesale grocery companies in the U.S.

Weideman was also a founder and original director of the Union National Bank (1884), the Savings and Trust Company (1883), the Forest City Savings Bank (1890), and the Ohio Abstract Company. He also served as president of the latter two firms.

Weideman, prominent in the local Republican party, was Cleveland's first elected police commissioner (1876). He declined to consider a second term, as well as offers to run for mayor.

Weideman married, in 1853, Laura Muntz (1834-1877), and from this marriage was survived by one son, Henry W. (1855-1930), who married Dorothy Burke. In 1879, J.C. married Louise Diebolt (1847-1931). From this marriage a daughter was born: Elsa L., who married OMAR E. MUELLER. Weideman died in Cleveland and was buried in RIVERSIDE CEMETERY.