Joseph J. Frankel

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Joseph J. Frankel

Birthplace: Przerosl, Podlaskie, Poland
Death: Died in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa, United States
Cause of death: car accident
Immediate Family:

Son of Yosel (Yosef) Frankel and Chava Frankel
Husband of Minnie Grinspan Frankel
Father of Helena Josephine Feldman
Brother of Rochla Leja Bryman; Julius Frankel; Charles Frankel; Mortchaj Frankel; Estera Frankel and 7 others

Occupation: clothing store
Managed by: Hatte Blejer on partial hiatus
Last Updated:

About Joseph J. Frankel

Born "Judel Frankiel" in records from Przerosl, Poland in the Suwalki region.


Centerville, Iowa

No man occupies a more enviable position in business circles of Centerville than Joseph J. Frankel, proprietor of the large and flourishing dry- goods store which bears his name. He is respected and esteemed by all who know him, not alone by reason of the success he has achieved but also owing to the fact that his business methods have been constantly straightforward and honorable. He is a dependable man under all circumstances and the simple weight of his character and ability have carried him forward into important business relations. A native of Poland, Mr. Frankel was born November 30, 1873, and is a son of Joseph and Eve (Margolis) Frankel, both of whom were born in that country. The father was a contractor and grain dealer and was unusually successful in both branches of activity. He never came to America but passed away in Poland in February, 1904, at the age of sixty-six. Later his widow came to America and settled in Peoria, Illinois, where she now resides, having reached the age of seventy-seven.

In the acquirement of an education Joseph J. Frankel attended school in his native country. He was nineteen years of age when he came to America, settling in Peoria in 1892. He secured a position in a clothing store and retained it until 1900, when he came to Centerville, where he has since resided. At first he worked in a department store operated by A. Grinspan and he continued this identification until July, 1901, when he returned to Peoria and established himself in the wholesale men's furnishing business, under the name of the Peoria Mercantile Company. This enterprise he conducted successfully until February, 1905, when he sold the concern and came again to Centerville, joining Mr. Grinspan in the management of his general store. Their association continued until January, 1910, when Mr. Grinspan was obliged to go west on account of his failing health. Mr. Frankel at that time purchased his interest in the business and has operated the store ever since. His establishment comprises a fine double store and basement at Nos. 116-118 West Jackson street and is one of the finest of its kind in Centerville. Mr. Frankel carries a large and complete line of stock and strives in every way to keep pace with metropclitan progress, buying new goods as they come upon the market and never selling anything not favored by the newest fashion. This progressive spirit is one of the factors in his success, secondary in importance only to the standards of unwavering integrity and honesty to which he has steadily adhered. He has ever utilized his opportunities to the best advantage and, making steady progress in the business world, has today reached a position of prominence and influence. Mr. Frankel has at this writing under contemplation plans for using the entire building in which his store is now located and on realization of this project will own and occupy the largest dry-goods emporium in southern Iowa. Doubtlessly his trade will increase to warrant such enterprise for which he deserves all success, as he is a man who very truly can be called the salt of the earth, one whom it is a pleasure to meet and one whom all who know him only wish the best of success. He is a stockholder in the Centerville & Mystic Interurban Railroad and in the Centerville Gypsum Company and is besides extensively interested in the Hercules Manufacturing Company of Centerville. He owns a beautiful home at No. 700 Drake avenue.

On the 12th of July, 1900, Mr. Frankel married Miss Minnie Grinspan, a daughter of Aaron and Leah (Starovolsky) Grinspan, natives of Knyshin, Russia, where the father was born October 20, 1847. He was reared and educated in his native city and there learned the weaver's trade, which he followed for many years, gaining rapid advancement and finally becoming superintendent of a factory. He remained in Russia until 1882 and then came to America, settling first in Brooklyn, New York. After a short period of residence there he went to Des Moines, Iowa, and there secured a position as superintendent of Sherman Brothers Woolen Mill, continuing in this position for a number of years. Later he came to Centerville and for some time peddled dry goods. Being ambitious, energetic, well educated and intelligent, he was rapidly successful and had soon saved a sufficient sum of money to establish himself in business. He opened a small store near the Burlington depot and after conducting his enterprise in that location for some time moved to a more favorable location, establishing himself at No. 116 West Jackson street, where Mr. Frankel is now located. He continued active in the management of this enterprise until his health failed and he was obliged to go west to recuperate. He died in Seattle, Washington, July 25, 1910, at the age of sixty-three, and is buried in St. Joseph, Missouri. His widow survives and makes her home in Seattle, having reached the age of sixty-six years. Mr. and Mrs. Frankel have become the parents of a daughter, Helena Josephine, who was born May 19, 1904.

Mr. Frankel gives his allegiance to the republican party but is not active in political affairs, although he is public-spirited and loyal to a marked degree. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and with his family is a devout member of the Congregation B'nai Israel. As a resident of Centerville he has been loyal in his support of everything pertaining to the welfare of the city and has made some substantial contributions to its development and progress.

The Frankel Clothing Store

The Frankel Clothing Company, 413 and 415 Walnut street [Des Moines], was opened for business March 22, 1894, for a general retail business in men's and boys' clothing, hats and men's furnishings. The company is composed of M. and A. Frankel, who also operate a store in Oskaloosa, Iowa. From the very start they met with success in Des Moines, and now take rank as one of the leading clothing establishments in the city as well as in the State. Selling only honest, defendable clothing at reasonable prices, they have made a reputation for themselves that is State-wide. Besides the large city trade, they supply a good part of the people of the surrounding towns with their clothing, their mail order business keeping pace with their growth at home. The proprietors are young, vigorous men, full of push, and fully experienced in the clothing business. They believe in keeping abreast of the times, and with a handsomely appointed store and a well-selected corps of clerks, they are well prepared to hold and increase their trade.

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Joseph J. Frankel's Timeline

November 30, 1873
Przerosl, Podlaskie, Poland
- 1900
Age 18
Peoria, Illinois, United States
- 1901
Age 26
Centerville, Iowa, United States
- 1905
Age 27
Illinois, Peoria
May 19, 1904
Age 30
August 20, 1948
Age 74
Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa, United States