Realizing that I was barely related to the Florsheim family stirred my curiosity and I had to learn more. I can remember when I was growing up that there was a Florsheim shoe store right on main street in Bradford and that my dad had several pairs of their shoes in his closet. It, like many other businesses in Bradford is gone, unfortunately.
The Florsheim business itself has been through many changes. Originally started and run by 3 brothers and their father, the business was eventually run by 2 of the grandsons of Sigmund Florsheim, the originator. Harold Milton Florsheim, youngest son of Milton Florsheim would be the last of the Florsheims to own the business and would sell out to another major conglomerate.
Harold’s son Thomas would end up working for and owning interest in a different shoe manufacturing company. Father and son had their differences in the way the business should be run which drove Thomas in a different direction, but it seems with an eye on the past. From what I have read, Thomas kept a close eye on the old family business and wanted to once again have the Florsheim family back in control.
There is a great article in the New York Times on line about the family business. You will need a free log on account to read this article, one of my pet peeves, but this time worth bother. By 2002 the Florsheim family was back in control of the business after 50 years.