In 1860 (possibly even earlier) Henry Matern operated a business on Water Street in Sandusky, where he sold stoves and tinware. By 1869 Henry brought his brother Philip Matern into the business, and the store was known as H. Matern and Brother. By 1882 the business became known as Matern Brothers.
Henry Matern was born in Weilburg, Nassau, Germany in 1827. He came to the U.S. in 1849. Philip Matern was born in Wiesbaden, Nassau, Germany, and came to the U.S. in 1852. By 1890, Henry Matern, Jr. was also working with his father and uncle at the Matern Brothers store. Eventually Henry Matern, Jr. took over the business, and it was in operation in Sandusky until 1917. This advertisement appeared in the May 14, 1904 issue of the Sandusky Star.
According to the 1904 ad, the Thatcher furnace had been used in public schools and churches for the past twenty years.
Henry Matern, Sr. died on April 10, 1898, and his brother Philip died in 1903. They were buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery. A brief excerpt from Henry Matern’s obituary, which was in the April 11, 1898 issue of the Sandusky Register, said about him, in part, “When he came here this city was scarcely more than a village, and he has therefore been closely connected with the development of Sandusky commercially and in every other way.”
Several photographs from the Matern family were donated to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. This picture was taken by Henry Matern,Sr.’s grandson Elmer Matern. Unfortunately, the individuals in the picture have not been identified.
Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the former businesses of Sandusky and Erie County.