Skip to main content

Jacob Godfrey Schmidlapp Papers

 Collection
Identifier: US-71-07a

Scope and Content

This collection contains speeches, letters, and other materials relating to Schmidlapp's personal, business, and philanthropic interests. The collection includes material related to Schmidlapp's involvement in improving African-American housing in Cincinnati, his views on international finances and banking, his views and the views of other Cincinnatians of German descent on World War I, along with correspondence relating to interurban railroads, and the Panama Canal.

Dates

  • 1895-1919

Creator

Language of Materials

The records are in English

Biography of Jacob G. Schmidlapp

Jacob Godfrey Schmidlapp, Cincinnati financier and philathropist, was born in Piqua, Ohio, on September 7, 1849. His parents, Jacob A. and Sophia F. (Haug) Schmidlapp, were natives of Germany. In 1886, after finishing his education in Piqua, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he found employment with B. Loewenstein & Brothers, a wholesale tobacco merchant. In 1868, he went into business for himself as a cigar merchant, and in 1874, Schmidlapp moved his business headquarters to Cincinnati and expanded his interests to include distillery and malting enterprises.

Schmidlapp also began to extended his interests into the financial world. He founded the Union Savings Bank and Trust Company of Cincinnati, and was president of the bank between 1890 and 1907, when it merged with Fifth-Third National Bank. Schmidlapp was also one of the founders of the Export Storage Company, and served as director of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, the American Security Co., the Degnon Construction Company of New York, White Rock Springs Company of New York, and the Piqua (Ohio) Malt Company. Schmidlapp was also a trustee for several educational and cultural institutions including the Cincinnati College of Music, the Cincinnati Art School, the Cincinnati Law School, the May Festival Association, and the Music Hall Association.

In 1877, Schmidlapp married Miss Emelie Balke. In two separate tragic accidents, Mrs. Schmidlapp and their two daughters, Emma and Charlotte were killed. Jacob Schmidlapp found ways to memorialize each of them through his philanthropic work. He started an endowment fund to assist female students at the Cincinnati College of Music in Charlotte's memory, and in memory of his wife Emelie, he established the Emelie B. Schmidlapp dormitory of the Cincinnati College of Music. A building was added to the Cincinnati Art Museum in memory of his daughter, Emma.

Schmidlapp's philanthropic work went past just memorializing his family. Schmidlapp was also interested in improving housing for African-Americans and was involved in a project to build 400 homes in the Washington Terrace neighborhood of Cincinnati. Schmidlapp died on December 18, 1919, while visiting his son in New York. Upon his death, he left a trust of one million dollars to be used to assist the people of Cincinnati.

Sources: "Gave Millions Away During His Lifetime." New York Times. 15 December 1919, 1; Goss, Charles Frederic. Cincinnati; The Queen City, 1788-1912. vol. IV. Cincinnati: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, 198-199; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. vol. XIX. New York: James T. White & Co. 1926, 312-316.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet

Overview

This collection contains speeches, letters, and other materials relating to Schmidlapp's personal, business, and philanthropic interests. The collection includes material related to Schmidlapp's involvement in improving African-American housing in Cincinnati, his views on international finances and banking, his views and the views of other Cincinnatians of German descent on World War I, along with correspondence relating to interurban railroads, and the Panama Canal.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is organized by topic into folders
Title
Guide to the Jacob Godfrey Schmidlapp Papers
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Finding aid prepared by Archives and Rare Books Library Staff
Date
2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding Aid Written In English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Rare Books Library Repository

Contact:
8th Floor Blegen Library
2602 McMicken Circle
P.O. Box 210113
Cincinnati Ohio 45221-0113
513-556-1959