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After 136 Years, Family-Owned Business Closing In Chicago

Longtime Chicago business Davies Supply is folding after nearly 140 years. (CBS)

Longtime Chicago business Davies Supply is folding after nearly 140 years. (CBS)

Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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(CBS) — A Chicago business that started up after the Great Chicago Fire and continued through world fairs, the Depression and the city’s riots will soon see its last day.

It’s like a walk through Chicago’s history, a glimpse into not only a bygone business era but one family’s place in it, too.

“I feel very honored to be able to be part of this,” Peter Strasnburgh says.

Strasenburgh is the fifth-generation president of his family’s 136-year-old business, Davies Supply Co. He’s also the one overseeing its end.

“It’s time, and I feel that my ancestors know that it’s time,” he says.

Walking through the 1924 warehouse on West Grand Avenue is like walking through time. The plumbing and heating supply company looks outside and in very much like it did almost 100 years ago.

Besides the dusty records and the old machinery pipes and parts connect a city and family’s past to the present. Founded in 1877 by Strasenburgh’s great great-grandfather, a succession of relatives ran it before Strasenburgh took over.

But once his mother died two years ago, he knew it was time to close. All of it is a very personal journey.

“I have an appreciation, not only the family but for just the way things were,” he says.

Almost everything inside the warehouse, some of it decades old, unused — even unopened — will be auctioned off this Saturday at Davies Supply Co., 6601 W. Grand Ave., beginning at 9 a.m.

For more information on the auction, contact Bob King Auctions at 847-458-0500.

Soon after, the company’s doors will close for good.