Beerman, Arthur (1908-1970)
-- founder of the Elder-Beerman department stores

In his 40-year career in retailing and real estate, Arthur Beerman built up the Elder-Beerman department store chain from a single store in Downtown Dayton.
When he died in 1970 at 62 he left an estate valued at more than $28.7 million.

At age 16 Arthur Beerman was selling shirts to retailers. He came to Dayton in 1930 at age 22 and found his first job here in Chester Adler's Home Store.

But he did not work for others very long. In the 1930s he founded a real estate company, and over the next four decades he bought, developed and/or sold several shopping centers and retail stores. He even owned the Dayton Arcade during its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s.

After having worked in department stores early in his career, Beerman opened a few apparel stores with his sisters in the 1940s, and around 1950 he began opening small department stores in new shopping centers he was developing. In 1956 he bought the old Home Store at Third and Main where he had gotten his first job in Dayton.

In 1961 Beerman bought Elder & Johnston. Elder's had once been one of Dayton's premiere department stores, but was in decline. Beerman merged Elder's with his Beerman Home store and created Elder-Beerman's.

In 1962 he sold Eastown, Westown, Northtown and McCook shopping centers for more than $7 million.

When Arthur Beerman died in 1970, he left an estate valued at more than $28.7 million.

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Source: `The Beerman Boom` by Jim Bohman, Dayton Daily News 3/6/89.