Major Charles Strong Jr. - President Wm Taylor & Son Dempartment Store
10494Lake Shore Boulevard
Major Strong was a vigorous man from a family identified with Cleveland's early days. His father was a city engineer who built the old Superior Viaduct.
His grandfather was Rodney Strong, a justice of the peace, active in the affairs of Collamer Village. Rodney Strong's father was Judge John H. Strong, head of eight incorporators of the Commercial Bank of Lank Erie, the first in Cleveland.
Charles Henry Strong Jr. was born on June 18, 1871, in Cleveland, the oldest of five children of Charles Henry and Elizabeth Roe Strong. He attended Brooks Military Academy and then went to Cornell University graduating in1893 in chemical engineering.
A few weeks later, his sister, Sophia Strong Taylor asked him to help her at joined the Wm. Taylor & Son department store at which his older sister, Sophia Elizabeth Strong Taylor, was president.
Strong's first job was opening crates and handling inventory in the stock room of Taylor's old wholesale department. He later became a salesman, then manager of the department.
Strong left the store for two years to serve as a superintendent of mining operations for a company in British Columbia, returning in 1898. In 1907, he was named general manager of the store.
Charles was away from Taylor's during World War I, serving in the U. S. Army as a major in the Motor Transport Corps. He had been know since as Major Strong. After the war ended, he settled in Bratenahl.
In 1935, Charles became president, and his sister became chairman of the board. When his sister died in September 1936, Charles was left to salvage what he could of the store. The estate eventually settled in 1939. He resigned in 1939. The May Co. acquired an interest and continued to operate Taylor’s independently under its name.
Charles was married in 1897 to Louise van Cleve, who was born on February 14, 1872. They had two children: Rachel (the Countess Henri de Boisgelin of Paris) and Keziah (Hoyt) of Santa Fe, New Mexico.. Louise died on January 8, 1920, at age 47, and buried in Lake View Cemetery.
In 1931, Strong remarried Eleanor Painter, who was a light opera star, actress, and author.
Charles was the first president of the National Retail Dry Goods Association and helped found the Cleveland Retail Merchants Board. He was a director of National City Bank and active at the Council of World Affairs.
He was a member of The Country, Kirtland Country, Mayfield Country, Mid-Day, Rowfant, and Union clubs plus the Cornell Club of New York and the Army and Navy Club of Washington D.C.
Charles died in the emergency ward of Cleveland Clinic Hospital on May 25, 1960, at age 89. He suffered a stroke shortly after having afternoon tea with his sister and a friend in his Bratenahl home. Attended by his personal physician, Dr. William Hallaran, he was taken to the hospital by private ambulance. He is buried alongside his first wife, Louise, in Lake View Cemetery.
The home, "Tuckaway," in Lake County was given to the Holden Arboretum.