I really have no developments to report since my last update. That, however, doesn’t prevent me from having something to say.
I recently had cause to reflect on my family history and discovered that my great, great grandfather was prominent enough that 80 years after his death there is still plenty of mention of him out there in cyberspace.
Paul Edward Werner immigrated to the United States in 1867 at the age of 16. His father, Ernst Edward Werner, was mayor of a small farming community (Gruibingen) near Stuttgart, Germany. That status did not come with great wealth and “P.E.” left for the states to find his way in life. He settled in Akron, Ohio and through hard work and dedication eventually became one of the city’s great industrialists.
Here are a couple of websites that provide interesting facts about his career:
He amassed great personal wealth over the course of his career, the pinnacle of which included the nation’s largest book publishing company, Werner Printing and Lithograph Co. Founded in 1886, the company opened branches in 20 countries. However, he also lost everything due to massive legal fees that mounted thanks to lawsuits filed in every country in which he conducted business. The lawsuits, brought forth by Encyclopedia Britannica, alleged trademark violation. Although my great, great grandfather won virtually every suit, the legal fees proved too great and he was forced to file for bankruptcy. After the publishing empire crumbled, P.E. ventured into the rubber manufacturing industry in Kansas City but lost financial backing and the company folded. In 1927 he returned to his former home in Akron, nearly broke but not disgraced–he was given a hero’s welcome.
You’re probably asking, ‘What does this have to do with Olive’s quest for Hollywood?’
Well, my great, great grandfather was friends with the likes of President William McKinley, Buffalo Bill Cody, French painter James Tissot, German Count Ferdinand Zeppelin and Queen Victoria. He was connected. He would have known or been able to establish contact with people who would see the value in an animated film featuring Olive the Woolly Bugger—people like Robert Redford or Ted Turner. While there is no knowledge of him having been a fly fisherman, he could have opened doors.
I may share my middle and last names with Paul Edward Werner, but I’m not having such luck.