Salome as a Businesswoman, Her Intellect and Acumen
Stories are often shared among the Reymann family regarding the many wonderful attributes of Salome Reymann, our matriarch, our grandma. Per Barbara Reymann Strigle, married to Thomas Reymann and daughter-in-law to Salome, she was “a remarkable woman in every way”. Yet, often we overlook the fact that Salome was a very astute and intelligent businesswoman in her own right, a talent that enabled her to be a savvy entrepreneur alongside her husband. “It was clear that Grandma was very, very smart” says Barbara, and continues “at a time when bankers were accustomed to dealing with men only, Salome conducted transactions on her own and navigated the money management processes by herself.” She was an independent woman and a trend-setter without even realizing it!
Barbara also recalls stories shared of the early 1900’s, back to German settlements in Akron, and an area of town appropriately dubbed ‘Goosetown’. It is said that women plucked and gathered goose feathers, making pillows and other household items from the feathers. “In the side yard of their Sherman Street home, Salome even made mattresses for her family”, says Barbara. “I believe this was the start of the Akron Mattress Company, founded by Salome and supported by her husband Charles”. Through necessity and creativity, Salome ultimately founded a company that became a hallmark institution in Akron, one which employed many of the Reymann children as well as others in the growing city.
Grandson Richard Reymann, nicknamed Dick, echoes the business support that Salome gave to her husband Charles. “When Charles decided to buy out the other original owners of the Atlantic Foundry to become sole owner, Salome offered guidance and support. She knew what this step would mean to others, to her family, and to her and her husband.”
Granddaughter Christine Kovesci recalls hearing her father Clem talk about Salome’s financial acumen long after Salome had passed away. “When Grandma died, all of the home finances were in order, bills had been paid, and there were no outstanding banking issues to be handled. Even in her aged years, she was organized and made certain that her financial obligations were always current.” Steve Reymann, Christine’s brother and Clem’s oldest child, shared that rarely did the Reymann children require traditional bank loans. Grandma, or “Mom” to Clem and his siblings, frequently and generously loaned money for land, homes and other large purchases. To the contrary, it was Grandpa, or “Pop” that arranged gifting of company stock to the children at the holidays.
Clearly Salome was talented in many ways, and as Barbara concludes, “The hand of God was with Salome in many ways, many instances … always!”