Born Nov. 21, 1834 , Nieder Saulheim, Hesse
Died April 4, 1914 , Pasadena , Calif. , U.S.
Frederick traveled to America in 1852 with little more than the clothes on his back and absolutely no money in his pocket. He left Germany and poverty behind to find what millions of other immigrants were searching for – a better life in a fairly new country
After coming to America , he worked as a day laborer in the vicinity of Erie , Pennsylvania , where he married Elisabeth Bladel. He then moved to Rock Island , Illinois , where he worked on a railroad and as a carter. . In Rock Island he was put in charge of a sawmill and then a timber yard. which he and his brother-in-law, Frederick C.A. Denkmann bought in 1857, . He advanced quickly where he worked. In one of the few interviews he ever gave, when asked to explain the reasons for his tremendous success, he said, "The secret lay simply in my will to work. I never watched the clock and never stopped before I had finished what I was working on.” After the panic of 1857 he was able to buy both with money he had saved. Together they founded Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann Lumber Company. Weyerhaeuser was known as the lumber master, while Denkmann was the skilled machinist bought After the panic of 1857 he was able to buy both with money he had saved. Soon afterwards, he bought logs from the shores of the Mississippi and acquired additional sawmills.
There are famous historical photographs of massive log rafts being pushed down the river by steamboat. It was reported in 1896 that the “F.C.A. Denkmann” steamboat, along with the “H.C. Brockman” bowboat, brought down history’s longest raft, 1,550 feet long by 270 feet wide.
At the turn of the century, he owned more timberland than other American did. He held rather liberal views, considering the period, and showed greater concern for his workers than any other industrial magnate of the time. He impressed upon them the necessity of protecting even the smallest trees. Upon his death in 1914, Hill commented, "His place can never be filled…He was one of those national forces that helped build our country…"
In 1900, Weyerhaeuser and 15 partners purchased 900,000 acres of timberland in Washington State , which at that time was the largest private transaction of property ever in the United States . The local partnership continued until 1905, when Fred, Jr. sawed the last log and the mills went silent. Denkmann died in 1905 and Weyerhaeuser in 1914; both are buried at Chippiannock Cemetery in Rock Island
He remained throughout his life a simple man who shied away from publicity
Written by the Web master
Weyerhaeuser: Timberland Empire
From the company's SEC Form 10K for 2003.
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