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Koch, Frank Walter

FRANK WALTER KOCH, deceased, one of the founders of the original Koch Brothers clothing store, was born December 10, 1850, on a farm near Kuhnsville. He attended the local country schools and worked on his father's farm until he was fifteen years of age, when he decided to learn the tailor's trade. After serving his apprenticeship of three years with a Mr. Lohrman, of Claussville, he entered the employ of Breinig & Leh, afterward known as H. M. Leh & Co., as cutter. After years of mature training in the business, he formed a partnership with Wilson C. Shankweiler, under the name of Koch & Shankweiler, March 30, 1876. After a successful and rapid increase in business, the firm bought, in 1884, the old Allen House site, corner Seventh and Hamilton Streets, and erected the modern Hotel Allen building, using the upper floors as a hotel and the first floor as their new clothing store, into which they moved in 1885. After the death of Mr. Shankweiler, the business was later conducted under the firm name of Koch Brothers, and today is composed of enterprising and faithful employees which Thomas J. Koch, the late proprietor, connected with himself on January 1, 1907.

Frank W. Koch was an extensive traveler, and while on a tour in July, 1906, en route to London, England, was killed in a railroad wreck. His loss to the community was a severe blow, as Mr. Koch was a shining example of what industry, force of will power and progressiveness could accomplish. Mr. Koch was a large real estate owner, a stockholder and director of the Allentown National Bank, trustee of Muhlenberg College, a member of the Livingston Club and a charter member of Christ Lutheran Church. He was ever alert in the advancement of the Christian religion, liberal in his charities, and attained the respect of all who knew him, as an honored citizen, a pillar of the church and a man of noble Christian character.

Men of Allentown by Fred L. Shankweiler, 1917


 

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