Saturday, August 25, 2012

John F. Renner, Piano Dealer

For over thirty years, John F. Renner was associated with the music business in Sandusky, Ohio. On June 1, 1890, he began work in the music store of R.J. Rife, then worked for John Schoepfle after Mr. Schoepfle purchased Mr. Rife’s interests in the store. In 1897, Renner formed a partnership with George J. Doerzbach. They ran the music store for eight years, after which time Renner became the sole proprietor.

From the late 1890s until Mr. Renner’s retirement in 1929, the music store was located on the street level of the Odd Fellows’ Temple on Washington Row. John F. Renner sold pianos, organs, and musical merchandise. An advertisement in the June 28, 1911 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, stated that there is a “longing in every heart for music.” Mr. Renner’s store offered payment plans for musical instruments, so that families could play music or listen to music any time of the day or night.

In April of 1921, during National Player Piano Week, Mr. Renner ran an advertisment for player rolls for player pianos. “County Kerry Mary” and the “Missouri Waltz” were two of the many featured selections. Mr. Renner often sponsored community musical events. In February, 1922, concert pianist Herma Menth gave a program at Carnegie Hall at Sandusky Library under the auspices of John F. Renner. In the winter of 1924-1925, Renner supported the Cleveland performance of the dramatic production The Miracle, which played at the Cleveland Public Auditorium during the holiday season, after a successful run in New York City.

John F. Renner died on April 27, 1930. He was survived by his wife, the former Cora Feick, four sisters, one brother, and his mother, Mrs. Josephine Renner. Funeral services for Mr. Renner were held under the auspices of the Perseverance Lodge, No. 329, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

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