Crimes & Disasters
Documents & Records
AKRON & SUMMIT COUNTY
Summit County Historical Society, Akron, Ohio c. 1950 p 674
Ferdinand Schumacher, known for years as the Cereal King of
America, was born March 30, 1822, at Celle, Hanover, Germany, the
son of F. C. and Louise Schumacher. He attended school until he
was 15, then clerked in a grocery and later worked in a sugar
1850, Mr. Schumacher came to the United States with his brother,
Otto, bought 46 acres of land in Euclid, near Cleveland, and
farmed a year and a half. Then leaving the farm in charge of his
brother, he came to Akron and started a fancy goods, toy and
notion store, .soon afterward going into the grocery business.
1856 he leased water power rights on the Cascade Mill Race and
started an oatmeal manufacturing plant on N. Howard Street,
making the meal as he had seen it made in Germany. Up to that
time, all the oatmeal used in this country had been imported. Mr.
Schumacher was able to produce it at a lower price and soon
developed a large business. Later he made pearl barley and other
cereal products, constantly increasing the number of his mills, as
related in the general text.
Following the destruction by
fire of his eight-story Jumbo Mill on March 6, 1886, causing him a
reported loss of $600,000, he merged his business with that of
the Akron Milling Company under the name of the F. Schumacher
Milling Company. This concern was consolidated with the American
Cereal Company in 1891, of which Mr. Schumacher was president
until 1899. Later the American Cereal was merged with the Quaker
ardent prohibitionist, Mr. Schumacher built the Windsor Hotel on
the northeast corner of Mill and Broadway in 1883 as a temperance
hotel. He later spent many thousands of dollars in backing the
temperance town of Harriman, Tenn. He was a generous contributor
to all church organizations, the Universalists being particularly
indebted to him for their church lot and building.
During the 1890s Mr. Schumacher went heavily into debt to
maintain controlling interest in the American Cereal Company and
also to finance a water power and paper mill project in
Marseilles, Ind., in which he was interested. As a result, he was
compelled to sign over all his assets to an executor in 1896.
However, it was reported when he died on April 15, 1908, that he
had paid all his debts in full.
Schumacher was married in Cleveland, October 7, 1851, to his
cousin, Hermine Schumacher, of Bevern, Brunswick, Germany, who
died June 1, 1893. They had seven children. On August 1, 1899, he
married again, to Mary Zepperlin, of Cincinnati. He was survived
by two sons: F. Adolph, who was then head of the Schumacher Cereal
Mills, of Iowa City, Ia., and Louis, who was on a world trip with
his wife at the time of his father's death.