Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    Harry William Kress. In amusement circles of Piqua no name is better known than that of Harry William Kress, president and manager of the Piqua Amusement Company. A native of Cincinnati, born in 1879, a son, of Henry W. and Selma Kress, of that city, he was educated in the public schools and at the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, subsequently attending a medical college for three years. Professional life, however, did not appeal to him, and, leaving college, be embarked in the grain business at St. Joseph, Ill., later building and operating an elevator at Middletown. From this experience he developed into what is known as a track buyer, or one who buys grain on the track, and joined the Chicago Board of Trade. He was also a member of the Grain Exchange and handled export grain shipments out of Baltimore, Newport News and New York City. Mr. Kress came to Piqua in connection with the grain trade, but it was not long until he became identified with amusement enterprises, this connection eventuating in the formation of the Piqua Amusement Company. The first house operated under the direction of Mr. Kress was the well known May's Opera House. Later he assumed control of the Strand, Bijou and Princess Theaters, which he still operates. Under his capable management the best productions have been brought to Piqua, and the city has the reputation in the profession of being one of the best "show towns" in the country in point of patronage. Mr. Kress has a wide acquaintance in the theatrical world, and is very popular with all who know him. He is a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Piqua Rotary Club. As a progressive citizen, possessed of civic pride and hustle, he has linked his name with t hose of other public-spirited citizens in the promulgation, fostering and successful accomplishment of a number of municipal enterprises tending to advance the city's welfare, and during the war period was a willing worker in behalf of the various war movements and a generous contributor thereto. Mr. Kress married Ollie G., daughter of J. M. Long, a well-known soap manufacturer of Cincinnati, and to this union there have been born two children: Dorothy and Milton, who are attending school.

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