Shelby County

Carl A. Sexauer



Carl A. Sexauer

"History of Shelby County, Ohio"
by A.B.C. Hitchcock; Sidney, Ohio; 1913
Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co.; Chicago, IL.
Page 444

     proprietor of Sexauer's Grocery and Bakery, one of the old and stable business houses of Sidney, O., is a native of Germany and was born August 28, 1865, at Freiburg, Baden, a son of John Sexauer, who still resides in Germany, being now in his eightieth year. His wife, to whom he was married in 1861, also survives and is nearing her seventy-sixth birthday.
     Carl A. Sexauer has an interesting history. He learned the baking business with his father but left home at the age of fifteen years and went to Basil, Switzerland, and despite his youth, there capably managed a bakery for eighteen months, during which period he saved enough money with which to make the long journey to America, the goal of his desires. During the voyage the ship was wrecked and three of the passengers died from shock and injury, but the others were finally landed after nineteen days of danger on the stormy Atlantic ocean. Mr. Sexauer had an uncle, George Sexauer, who lived on a farm near Piqua, O., and the youth decided to make an effort to reach this relative and finally, on December 24, 1881, arrived at Piqua. He paid fifty cents, his last money, to a cabman to drive him two miles into the country to his uncle's farm, where he was kindly received and rested for a couple of days. He then sought work at Piqua and secured a job in the Piqua Bakery, and for four weeks worked there on trial, for $1.75 a week, when, rather than lose the skilled German baker that he was found to be, the proprietor made him his boss baker with a salary of $13 a week with board and laundry, this being at that time the very highest wages paid in any baking establishment in that city.
     Mr. Sexauer remained in that place for a full year. During that time Jacob Piper, who was operating a bakery at Sidney, paid a visit to Piqua and saw and sampled some of Mr. Sexauer's baked goods with the result that he offered the young baker the position of boss baker of his establishment, and as conditions were more favorable he accepted and worked for Mr. Piper from March I, 1883, until August, 1889, when he bought the Piper bakery department, which proved a business mistake. He was thoroughly experienced in his trade but he knew little of practical business methods and in less than three years had lost the large sum of $2,600, and owed $800 to his wholesalers. It may be mentioned right here that since then he has paid every dollar of this indebtedness but it was a very discouraging experience. He then secured a basement workroom and for two years conducted a small bakery, and in this way retained many of his old customers and, interested others, and by that time felt sure enough of further prosperity to buy the comer lot on which now stands the fine three-story brick building which he started to erect on March 1, 1905, into which he moved on September first following. In 1903 he had paid a visit to his parents and remained with them for three months and on  his return began his plans for his present substantial building. It stands on west Poplar street and comers on the canal, and its dimensions are 165x22 feet. He utilizes the first floor, which opens on the canal, for his bakery; the second floor which opens on West Poplar street, for his wareroom and stockroom, while the third floor he has fitted up as a public hall, and many entertainments are held in it, Sexauer's hall having conveniences that make it an ideal place for dances, parties and other gatherings.
     Mr. Sexauer started into his second business adventure at Sidney with a capital of $92, and a debt, as before mentioned, of $800, but it speaks well for the impression he had already made on those with whom he had done business, that they continued to have confidence in him. After paying all indebtedness with the strictest honesty, he found no difficulty in borrowing the necessary capital to erect his new structure, which cost him, exclusive of fixtures and machinery, more than $10,000, and that indebtedness has also long since been wiped out He has expended several thousand dollars in putting in modern machinery and sanitary equipments and now operates the largest baking plant in this part of Shelby county, fuming out from 3,000 to 4,000 loaves of bread daily, exclusive of biscuits, buns, pies and cakes, all of delicious combination and made from the best procurable supplies. He is ably assisted by his eldest son, John Sexauer, who is superintendent, of that department and who designed much of the valuable baking machinery which his father has now installed. In addition to his extensive baking business, Mr. Sexauer conducts one of the most
complete grocery stores in the city.
     In 1886 Mr. Sexauer was married to Miss Mollie Althoff, of Lockington, O., and they have two sons: John and Raymond. Mr. Sexauer is a member of the Masonic fraternity and also of the Knights of Pythias, the Commercial Club, the National Bakers' Association of America and the Grocers' State Association. He is recognized as one of Sidney's most useful, honorable and representative citizens.

Owner/SourceSubmitted by: Diana (Souders) Smith
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