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Oscar Kroehle

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His Early Years

Born on 21 Sep 1869, Oscar Kroehle was one of six children of Charles Kroehle and Mary (Schneider) Kroehle. His mother was the daughter of Jacob Schneider a piano manufacturer who lived at the southeast corner of Denison Ave. and West 23rd St. Oscar's brother Paul had a large food brokerage[1] His paternal grandfather was one of Napoleon's grenadiers and personal body guard.[2]

Personal Life

Oscar married on 28 Apr 1890 to Ella Sears Prouty, daughter of Charles Dickerman Prouty and Harriet Sears. His mother was the daughter of Deacon James Sears and Catherine (Phelps) Sears. Together they had three children: Ralph, Amy, and Vernon. In 1900, their home was at 487 Denison Ave. (old style addressing) and later at 3303 Denison Ave. A photograph of this latter house, as it appears today, can be seen here: Cleveland Architects image

His uncle, Adam Kroehle, was another well-known name in Brooklyn Centre having established himself as a real estate developer.

Oscar passed away 19 Jan 1944 in Lakewood, Ohio.

Business Interests

Founder of The Star Baking Company.

Oscar and his wife started the Star Baking Company in 1896 by selling baked goods from a hand-pushed cart. By 1901, the company had grown and was then housed in a two-story building located at 1860 Pearl St. (modern equivalent address would be 3793 West 25th St.) on property that they had bought in 1898 from Olive Kibbee. The bakery was situated next to the GAR hall on it's north side.

Kroehle was using up to 20 horse-drawn wagons to deliver his bakery products. Oscar came by his interest in baking from his father, who was also a baker by trade.[3] Another plant was opened at 1519 Lakeview Road. Kroehle was the innovator of pre-wrapped bread which could be promoted as a sanitary product. He retired from the baking business in 1901.

Wilfred Singleton, an alumni of West Denison Elementary School, served as manager of Star Baking and then President. He married the daughter of Frank Seither, the latter was also to become President of Star Baking.

Kroehle was also a successful inventor. Seeing a need for some sort of warning when cars and trucks were slowing down or stopping, he developed a type of brake light. He formed a company for his product called Protex, of which he was President.[4]

Although the main business was located in Brooklyn Centre, the Kroehle's moved to Lakewood in 1907. Here he had yet another venture developing real estate. There he also served as a trustee of the Lakewood Hospital Charitable Association.[5]

His offices were at 251 The Arcade in downtown Cleveland.[6]

Additional Reading

A History of Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland, By: William R. Coates, mentions the Star Baking Co. in the section about Wilfred Singleton. See Volume II, pg. 51 'Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland'. And Volume III, pgs. 206-207 for the write up about Frank Seither.


  1. A history of Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland, by William Coates, volume III, pg. 86
  2. A history of Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland, by William Coates, volume III, pg. 85
  3. A History of Cleveland and its environs, By Elroy McKendree Avery, pg 488
  4. A history of Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland, by William Coates, volume III, pg. 87
  5. A history of Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland, by William Coates, Volume I, Chapter VII, pg. 194.
  6. Johnson's business and professional directory : of Cleveland..., 1902, pg. 114
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