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Wolf, Simon

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
Wolf, Simon
March 15, 2007 10:42AM
History of Kentucky, five volumes, edited by Judge Charles Kerr,
American Historical Society, New York & Chicago, 1922 Vol IV, p. 83,
Fayette Co.

Simon Wolf. Without force of character no man can hope to achieve
eminence, regardless of what path he chooses in life. His aims may be
high, his principles excellent and his plans brilliant, but unless he
possesses the characteristics of vim, energy and strength to make
practical his ventures his efforts will be in vain. Lexington has given
to the State of Kentucky some of its most virile men, and numerous
branches of industrial industry have been developed by them to large
proportions. The dry goods trade is one that has attracted a number of
individuals possessing the characteristics noted, and among them one,
who has won deserved prominence and success is Simon Wolf, senior member
of the firm of Wolf, Wile and Co., and a leader in various movements
pertaining to the betterment of civic conditions.
Mr. Wolf was born at Hall, Wurtemberg, Germany, March 23, 1865, a
son of L. and Jettie (Strauss) Wolf, natives of that country, where the
father spent his life as a merchant and died in 1888, at the age of 71
years. Mrs. Wolf survived her husband two years and was 66 years old at
the time of her demise. Of the nine sons and three daughters in the
family, six sons and one daughter are living.
The ninth in order of birth of his parents' children, Simon Wolf
secured a private and high school education, and at the age of sixteen
years, in 1881, came to the United States and located at Owensboro,
Kentucky, where his elder brother, Aaron was engaged in business. Simon
served as bookkeeper and clerk for his brother for about seven years,
and then became bookkeeper for Wile Brothers, an Owensboro concern..
After 1 ½ years, in June, 1890, he came to Lexington, where he became a
partner in the firm of Kaufman, Straus & Co., this being the firm style
until 1912, when Mr. Wolf and Dolph Wile, who had entered the same
business in 1902, bought the enterprise, the business having since been
known as Wolfe, Wile & Co. The business was started at 256 West Main
Street, in a small store, where it continued to be located for 12 years,
then besing moved to 322 West Main Street. On January 11, 1921, the
establishment was completely destroyed by fire. Since then temporary
offices have been located in the Leader Building. They have closed a
long time lease on what is considered the choicest piece of business
property in Lexington. The new location will be the Hernando Building,
directly adjoining the Phoenix Hotel, of this city. Improvements are
now being made and the building, in part, will be ready for occupancy by
September, 1921. In the near future the company expects to make
considerable building additions, which will give them a store size 61 by
247 ½ feet, with four floors and a selling basement. When these
additions are complete the firm will have a modern and up to date
department store that will compare favorable with anything in this
section of the country. It will be approximately twice the size of
their former structure.
Mr. Wolf is widely known as a substantial business man, and his
judgment is sound, while his sagacity is of the keenest. While he never
sacrifices a safe conservatism to personal ambitions, he has always
sought honorable advancement. Few men can speak with more authority
upon the dry goods business, and he has proven his ability on more than
one occasion to handle the grave problems which arise in the conduct of
large enterprise. He is generally recognized as a man of force of
character. His business connections are numerous, and he is a director
in the First and City National Bank of Lexington and a stockholder in
the Lexington Hydraulic and Manufacturing Company. Mr. Wolf has always
been interested in civic affairs, and has never hesitated to advocate
those measures and principles that he has believed are best for his city
and country. Accepting modern ideas, he gives his support to movements
along material, intellectual and moral progress, and his charities are
many. He is president of the Lexington Federation of Jewish Charities
and a member of the board of trustees of Good Samaritan Hospital.
Politically he is a democrat, and fraternally is affiliated with
Devotion Lodge No. 160 F. & A.M.; Phantom Lodge No. 15, K.P. Lexington
Lodge No. 89, B.P.O.E.; and the Order of B'nai B'rith, holding
membership also in the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

Wolf Strauss
Germany Owensboro-Daviess-KY

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