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 Frederick Denkmann

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Frederick Denkmann

  • Birth 8 Apr 1824 Salzwedel, Salzwedelner Altmarkkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
  • Death 2 Mar 1905 Rock Island, Rock Island County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Rock Island, Rock Island County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 19249

Frederick Denkmann, a native of Germany, was a pioneer Rock Island lumber man, who, with his brother-in-law, Frederick Weyerhaeuser, formed the Weyerhaeuser-Denkmann Lumber Company. In 1860, the two bought the failed Mead, Smith and Marsh sawmill in Rock Island and renamed it Weyerhaeuser & Denkmann. Mr. Denkmann managed the mill's day-to-day operations while Mr. Weyerhaeuser worked to build the business, especially by securing timber rights in the coveted white-pine forests to the north. Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann's business expanded rapidly. In 1878, the two men formed the Rock Island Lumber and Manufacturing Co. to encompass other sawmills they had purchased. By 1888, the two firms operated by the men employed 1,000 men and had annual sales of $175 million. As the Midwestern lumbar industry wound down, Mr. Weyerhaeuser began looking toward the forests of the West. In 1891, he and most of his family moved to Minnesota. In January 1900, he and 15 partners organized the Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. in the Northwest. The present-day Weyerhaeuser Co. dates its founding to this event. In the largest private land transaction in U.S. history to that point, Mr. Weyerhaeuser and associates bought 900,000 acres of timberland from the Northern Pacific Railway for $6 an acre. They opened offices in Tacoma, Wash., where the company is still based. The Denkmann family stayed in Rock Island. Memories of the Weyerhaeusers and the Denkmanns abound in the Illinois Quad-Cities. The Weyerhaeuser family home at 3052 10th Ave., Rock Island, which Mr. Weyerhaeuser bought in the 1860s, was donated to Augustana College after his daughter Apollonia Weyerhaeuser Davis died in 1953. The only stipulation was that the college continue to call it the House on the Hill, the family's name for the home. Students now live in apartments upstairs and special college events are held on the main floor. Mr. Denkmann's memory lives on in the form of Augustana's Denkmann Memorial Hall. Mr. Denkmann's children donated the building to the college in 1909, and it was used for a library between 1911 and 1990. Now it houses Augustana's foreign language departments and other offices. Both men donated substantial sums of money to build the Rock Island Public Library. Today, the Weyerhaeuser Co. employs more than 35,000 people in the United States and Canada. The Denkmann family is interred in a mausoleum which once featured a Tiffany glass window with a beautifully executed pastoral scene titled "The River of Life." It has since been replaced with a simple stained glass cross. (Bio by W. Barrett)

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19249
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frederick Denkmann (8 Apr 1824–2 Mar 1905), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19249, citing Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island, Rock Island County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .