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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Solomon Holzheimer

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 82-85 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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To none of her adopted citizens does Amsterdam owe a greater debt of gratitude than to Solomon Holzheimer, who came to this country with no resources save youth, ambition, enterprise and determination, and with these assets he has overcome circumstances, bending them to his will. His plans, deeply matured and carefully formulated, have crystallized into realities, and the largest department store in the city is, the visible expression of his initiative spirit and administrative powers.

A native of Germany, Solomon Holzheimer was born August 22, 1860, and there received his education, completing a high school course. In 1881, the year in which he attained his majority, he followed the tide of immigration to the New World and after his arrival in America made his way to Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. He entered the employ of his brother-in-law, the owner of a general store in that village, and was paid two dollars a week for his services, being allowed his board. There he gained valuable experience along mercantile lines, becoming thoroughly conversant with the business, and this period of his life was one of hard and unremitting toil. He slept in the store and his hours were long and arduous. Realizing that proficiency in English was essential to his advancement, Mr. Holzheimer devoted his evenings to reading, studying the language under a private instructor, and at length mastered the tongue. He remained in Wellsboro for six years and in 1886 became a citizen of the United States. Through the exercise of thrift and self-denial he had accumulated a small capital and in 1887 came to Amsterdam in search of a good business opening. He purchased the interest of M. C. Wittenberg, a partner in the firm of S. Levi & Company, proprietors of the city's largest department store, and in 1894 formed a partnership with Philip Dater Shaul, with whom he has since been associated. They took over the business of S. Levi & Company, organizing the firm of Holzheimer & Shaul, and theirs is a most harmonious relationship. It has existed for twenty-seven years and the labors of Mr. Holzheimer are ably supplemented by the well-directed efforts of his partner. They have carefully studied the needs and wishes of the public, so that they are always prepared to supply the demands of the trade, and their establishment is a decided asset to the city. It is a model of its kind and would do credit to a city of metropolitan proportions. Their merchandise is the best the market affords and the success of the firm is due to the fact that they founded the business upon the principles of honor and integrity, and from this formula they have never deviated. Mr. Holzheimer is also a director of the Montgomery County Trust Company and a member of the finance committee, likewise serving as a trustee of the Amsterdam City Hospital.

Mr. Holzheimer owes allegiance to no party but invariably votes for the man whom he considers best qualified for the office to which he aspires and the same breadth of view which characterizes his outlook upon politics determines his attitude toward civic affairs. Along fraternal lines he is connected with the Masonic order and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Of high character and commanding personality, Mr. Holzheimer is a power in commercial circles of Amsterdam and deserves classification with those substantial business men who constitute the bulwark of the city's strength and development.

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