Knauth-Storrow related correspondence with Eugene Leache

The following email correspondence is related to inquires about Franz Theodor Knauth's relationship with Samuel Appleton Storrow around 1838. Eugene is a descendant of the Storrow family. He provided knowledge of the five Samuel Storrows extant in the 19th century, but the Storrow family has very little information about Samuel "the merchant", other than he died in Liepzig.


8/26/07 (from Eugene)

Hello Ted Huthsteiner,

I stumbled upon your web site: and found in the memoir about Percival Knauth (page 5)

"In 1838 a young American, Samuel Appleton Storrow of Boston, came to Leipzig to look into the possibilities of doing business in German markets. German industry, after long periods of war and political disunion, was beginning to bestir itself, and In America, merchants were looking for opportunities to buy in other markets than in England. Together Knauth and Storrow visited the German fairs, and the prospects looked good to both of them.Where they found some capital, perhaps in Boston, or in Leipzig, or both, we do not know, but in 1839 the two joined hands, and founded the firm of Knauth & Storrow, which took over the local business of Dufour. They must have been successful from the start, for when Storrow died in 1842, their business was well enough established to continue. In 1842, Theodor Knauth had married Adelheid Esche in Leipzig, and he now took in her brother as his partner, changing the firm name to Knauth & Esche. Under this style, they opened an office in New York, sending over Frederick Kuehne from Leipzig to represent them there.

The partnership with Moritz Esche seems not to have been successful, and when his wife died in 1848, Theodor Knauth made further changes. Dropping Esche from the firm, Frederick Kuehne in New York and Jacob Nachod in Leipzig were taken in as partners, andon August 1, 1852, the firm name was changed for the last time. As Knauth Nachod & Kuehne of Leipzig and New York, a firm with two "houses" but a single set of partners, it took over the affairs of Knauth & Esche. The unique arrangement continued until the first World War compelled a separation. Frederick Kuehne in New York carried on for forty years, Jacob Nachod in Leipzig for thirty, and Theodor Knauth, the senior, traveling back and forth between the "houses", for over twenty, and all three of them, when they died, were succeeded by their sons. This fortunate continuity so established the character and reputation of the firm that it carried on by its own momentum long after it had ceased to be a purely family concern. It took the first World War to bring it to an end. The New York House closed down in 1923, and that in Leipzig was liquidated by the Soviet administration in 1946. The venture started by Knauth and Storrow therefore held together for 107 years."

If I haven't read the memoir incorrectly, the Knauth of Knauth & Storrow was Theodor Knauth - is that correct?

Is there additional information in family records about Knauth & Storrow - such as how they met, etc?

I am a descendant of the Storrow family, and have some knowledge of the five Samuel Storrows extant in the 19th century, but the Storrow family has very little information about Samuel "the merchant", other than he died in Liepzig.

Thanks for any help you may be able to render,

Eugene Leache (of Massachusetts)


8/26/07 (from Ted)

Hello Eugene,

Percival's memoir was either sent to me a while back from a Knauth relative as a Word doc or as a hard copy that I scanned to post on as interesting reference info. Unfortunately, I don't have any historical knowledge beyond documents that have been provided to me by relatives or other researchers that have come across my genealogy web site in the same
manner that you did.

From other docs and genealogy info that have been sent to me by Knauth relatives, (and from the 1838 date referencing Samuel Appleton Storrow in Percival's memoir), I think the original founder of Knauth related banking (around 1838) was Franz Theodor Knauth (b.1803-d.1874). It's confusing because Franz Theodor Knauth is referred to as just Theodor Knauth in many
instances. Percival was one of Franz Theodor Knauth's sons and Theodor Whitman Knauth (d.1962) was Percivals' son who wrote Percival's memoir. From other Knauth info, it appears that other sons and grandsons of Franz were also involved in Knauth related banking ventures through Franz's heritage.

Another document that has some info related to the earlier/initial Knauth-Storrow relationship (on pages 9 & 10) is a 'Banking Retrospect by Theodore Whitman Knauth'. You'll notice I only have a partial doc posted on my web site (1st chapter only). I received the rest of this document from a Knauth relative earlier this year, but have not had the time to scan it and convert it to a PDF using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) translation software because it is so extensive (over 100 pages). It is a very extensive effort because the hard copy I received is in rough shape, legibility-wise. I will have to edit the scanned results extensively (like I had to with the 1st chapter) to correct all of the mistakes and mis-translation artifacts from scanning OCR translation software. Unfortunately, due to other priorities, I don't anticipate tackling the remainder of this doc any time soon.

It was a pleasure to assist someone like yourself interested in family genealogy. Feel free to contact me if you think I might be able to provide further assistance in your research efforts.
Best regards,

Ted (Theodore - I must have been named after Franz !) Huthsteiner,
Charlotte's Web Connections, 
8518 West Sedgwick St, Honeoye, NY 14471


8/26/07 (from Eugene)


Thanks for the favor of a reply.  The second document you mentioned had just a bit more about how the Storrow/Knauth collaboration came about - so thanks for the reference.

The Storrow family were quite prominent in Massachusetts in the 19th & 20th centuries.  A few tidbits:

* Thomas Wentworth  Storrow (father of Samuel the merchant) was banker to the American émigré community in Paris in the early 19C.  He became friendly with Washington Irving, and was quite friendly with the Marquis de Lafayette as well.  Not sure if Samuel was born while the family was in France or not - but his father's European connections likely set the stage for Samuel's later escapades in Germany.

* Charles Storrow (nephew of Sam the merchant): world-class civil and hydraulic-power engineer, founded the mill town of Lawrence, Massachusetts and became its first mayor.  Charles graduated 1'st in his class at Harvard and attended a prestigious French engineering school under the auspices of Lafayette.

* James Jackson Storrow, Sr. (son of Charles Storrow) - patent attorney who successfully defended the Bell telephone patents in over 500 challenges (a half-dozen before the US Supreme Court).

* James Jackson Storrow, Jr. (grandson of Charles Storrow): multimillionaire Boston financier and philanthropist.  Rescued General Motors from bankruptcy in 1913.  Boston's Storrow Drive (major east/west thoroughfare) is named for him.

Attached is an image of Johanniskirche, Leipzig, where Samuel Storrow was buried.  Johann Sebastian Bach was also buried there - though his grave was moved to a more prestigious church (where Bach had been the organist) in the late 19C.  Johanniskirche was destroyed in the Allied bombing of WWII, along with much of the cemetery - so Storrow's grave has been lost.  However, a published record of the grave survives:

Samuel Appleton Storrow
Birth: 1814
Death: Mar. 26, 1842
Sacred to the Memory of Samuel Appleton Storrow a Native of the United States of America and Citizen of the Town of Leipzig. Died March 26th 1842. Aged 28 years.

  Alter Johannisfriedhof (Old Saint John's Cemetery) Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany
  Plot: Abteilung (section) II. (Grave destroyed in WWII).

"Der Friedhof zu Leipzig in seiner jetzigen Gestalt", Heinrich
Heinlein, Leipzig, Germany, 1844.  Lists the inscriptions from
every stone until March 1844.