Original check from the Hollenbeck Hotel
issued in 1904. This historic document was printed by the Union Litho. Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the hotel. This item has the original signatures of the Company’s authorizing officer, and is over 109 years old.
Albert Clay Bilicke (* 22 June 1861 in Coos County , Oregon , USA , May 7 1915 in the Atlantic Ocean in front of the Irish coast) was an American hotel owner, real estate broker , investor and builder , who resides predominantly in the U.S. state of California a leading role in the construction industry and the hotel industry played.
After Albert Bilicke had in San Francisco attended Heald's Business School, he retired at the age of 17 to Arizona, where he went into the hotel business. Together with his father he founded the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Florence , as he worked only as an employee first. The hotel business has prospered and the family as another Cosmopolitan Hotel in his hometown of Tombstone was opened, he was the manager. After his father's death at age 21 was Bilicke.'s Successor as chairman of the mining company Pedro Consolidated Mining Company
In 1885 he went to California, where he first hotels in Santa Rosa , Modesto (Ross House) and Santa Cruz opened (Pacific Ocean House). Bilicke 1891 moved to Los Angeles. There, he built and managed the 1893 Hollenbeck elegant hotel. 1904 began Bilicke his biggest project: The planning of Alexandria hotels. It opened the following year and quickly became the most prestigious address in Los Angeles. Furthermore Bilicke invested in real estate in Kansas City , Missouri , which made him a millionaire.
Besides his work as a hotel operator, Albert Bilicke also made as a contractor in the southeastern United States, a name. Together with the Bautycoon Robert A. Rowan , he founded the group Bilicke-Rowan Fireproof Building Company, which bought land and built on it hotels and office buildings. The company was very successful and got over the years, several offshoots, such as the Annex Bilicke-Rowan Company, Bilicke-Rowan Commercial Building Company., The Century Building Company, the Company Central Fireproof Building Company and the Commercial Fireproof Building
Bilicke was the son of German immigrants Carl Gustavus and Caroline Bilicke Sigimund. Together with his sister Louisa grew up in Tombstone, Arizona. On 10 September 1900 he married five years younger Gladys Huff from Illinois, with whom he had three children: Albert Constant, Nancy Caroline and Carl Archibald. Bilicke and his family lived on a large estate in South Pasadena , California, the vast orange groves fell away in terraces towards the sea. He and his wife were in the social life of the South Pasadena community active.
Bilicke was active in sports in his spare time and joined several organizations, such as the Athletic and Annandale Golf Club in Los Angeles, the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena and the Southern California Auto Club. He was a member of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar .
On 17 July 1923 married his daughter in Paris, Henry de Roulet.
After Bilicke had undergone in the spring of 1915, a severe abdominal surgery, his surgeon advised him to a short relaxing holiday, in order to recover from the strain. He decided, however, to an extended trip and traveled with his wife to New York. There, the couple decided spontaneously to an Atlantic crossing and subsequent stay in England. They booked a first class passage on the British luxury liner Lusitania , on the 1st May took off in New York seven days later and should arrive in Liverpool. In the days before the departure he sent several postcards to friends, which was against him, all of them at once, to take the Lusitania.
On 7 May 1915 was the ship that nearly 2,000 people on board had, off the south coast of Ireland sunk by a German U-boat as the Germans weapons and contraband for the alleged hostile England aboard. Bilicke Albert and his wife got into a lifeboat overturned when Abfieren, throwing its occupants into the sea. Albert Bilicke was killed in the sinking, Gladys Bilicke managed to cling to wreckage until she was rescued hours later. The Irish Queenstown, where the survivors were brought, Gladys sought in vain from the morgues for her husband, and his body was never found.
Los Angeles built Gladys Bilicke a monument to her late husband. Like many other survivors of the Lusitania incident sued the German Empire and received 1924 50,000 U.S. dollars in damages and a further 30,000 U.S. dollars for each of her children.
History from Wikipedia and
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BILICKE, ALBERT C., Capitalist, Los Angeles, California, was born in Coos County, Oregon, June 22, 1861. His father was Carl Gustavus Bilicke and his mother was Caroline Sigismund Bilicke. At Niagara Falls, N.Y., Sept. 10, 1900, he married Gladys Huff, and of this union three children have been born. They are Albert Constant, Nancy Caroline and Carl Archibald.
Mr. Bilicke came to California in 1868, settling in San Francisco, and attended the public schools of that city until 1876, when he entered Heald’s Business College of the same city. At the age of 17 (1878) Mr. Bilicke went to Arizona, where he engaged in the hotel business, being made manager of the Cosmopolitan Hotel at Florence, and after two years went to Tombstone, Arizona, where he managed the Cosmopolitan Hotel of that town and also became interested in mining as superintendent of the Pedro Consolidated Mining Company. Returning to California in 1885, Mr. Bilicke became proprietor of the Ross House, Modesto, and in 1891 became the proprietor of the Pacific Ocean House, Santa Cruz, California, a famous high-class resort in that day.
In 1893 Mr. Bilicke first came to Los Angeles, and shortly after his arrival became the proprietor of one of the most famous hotels of the West of that and the present day, the Hollenbeck Hotel, of which he is still the president and moving spirit.
Although Mr. Bilicke’s interests have grown to great magnitude and are spread far and wide, among which is the magnificent Hotel Alexandria of Los Angeles, he still has a feeling of affectionate regard and pride in the “Hollenbeck” that no other interest, no matter the magnitude, can lessen.
In 1903 Mr. Bilicke turned his attention to building and organized the Bilicke-Rowan Fireproof Building Company, principally for the purpose of improving in the most modern and substantial manner some of the many central business sites which he and his associates had acquired. Notable among the structures erected by this company stands the palatial Hotel Alexandria, erected in 1905, of which he is president and which has added much to the fame and luxurious hotel life of Los Angeles. The success of this undertaking is best told by the fact that the company has just completed an addition or annex containing over 300 rooms. He is president of the Bilicke-Rowan Annex Company, the Century Building Company, organized in 1906, and of the Central Fireproof Building Company organized in the same year. He is also the presiding head of the Chester Fireproof Building Company, which at this time is erecting the Title Insurance Building, a modern office building at Fifth and Spring streets and of which it is proposed to make one of the finest office buildings west of Chicago.
When the business district of Los Angeles started south along Broadway and Spring streets, Mr. Bilicke displayed his confidence in the future of the city by stepping far ahead and buying choice corners on which he could today take a handsome profit; but he is not a speculator, he is an investor, with unbounded confidence in Los Angeles, and is backing his judgment with enormous investments in modern improvements on the properties which he controls. His investments are almost entirely of a character that benefit the community at large and add beauty to the city.
While Mr. Bilicke’s charities are generally known to be large, he sees to it that the details are confined to the knowledge of himself and the recipient.
In addition to the high position Mr. Bilicke occupies in business, financial and social circles, he is a member of the Jonathan Club, the Los Angeles Country Club, Annandale Gold Club and the Valley Hunt Club of Pasadena.
Source: Press Reference Library, Western Edition Notables of the West, Vol. I, Page 82, International News Service, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta. 1913.