All in the family, since 1933.

Schlanderer and Sons was founded in 1933 by C. Henry Schlanderer and his two sons, Paul and Arthur. But Hank, as Mr. Schlanderer was known to his friends, already had forty-seven years in the jewelry trade. Today, Schlanderer and Sons has grown into a thriving, fourth generational keystone business on Main Street in Ann Arbor.

Hank was born in 1870 to Fredericka and Charles Henry. His father, also C. Henry, was born in a small town near Tuebingen, Germany and immigrated to Ann Arbor in the 1850’s. Originally finding work as a baker, he married Fredericka Rauscher and settled in a house located at 504 South Main Street. In 1871, Hank’s father, a volunteer fireman, was fatally injured in a horse-drawn fire engine accident. Hank was just a year old. Fredericka was left with four young children and another one on the way. In order to make ends meet, she moved the young family to the basement of their home and rented out the rest of the upstairs.

Upon finishing the sixth grade, Hank went to work to help support the family. Collectively, the children earned enough money to regain their family home. When Hank was fourteen, he joined his older brother at the Keck furniture factory on Fourth Avenue. By the age of sixteen, he became an apprentice watchmaker for George Haller of Haller Jewelers in Ann Arbor (216 South Main Street).

Hank could not have chosen a better teacher. George Haller had been trained in Germany and came from a long line of skilled watch and clock makers. His father, Jacob Haller, had several horological inventions to his name. Hank made a dollar a week as an apprentice, and graduated as a full-time watch maker when he was able to build a complete watch from scratch. He stayed with Haller for the next twenty five years.

Mr. Haller had taken a shine to Hank, and Hank was loyal to him. He stayed on with Haller until George’s death in 1911. At this point, he and fellow watchmaker, Fred Seyfried, formed a partnership and new business. Together, they purchased Henne Jewelers at 113 East Liberty and opened Schlanderer and Seyfried Jewelers (sometimes called “S & S”). This business eventually moved (in 1922) to 304 South Main Street. Twenty years later, both Hank and Fred wanted to bring their sons into the business. Without enough room in the existing store, they dissolved their partnership and Hank opened Schlanderer and Sons one block north, thus beginning Schlanderer and Sons.