Miscellaneous Services

Gerin Cleaners and Tailors

Sam and Sophia (Sophie) Gerin started Gerin Cleaners and Tailors sometime between 1922 and 1927. According to the Akron City Directories, it was first located at 457 Wooster Avenue in 1927, although the ad in the 1940 Akron Negro Directory claims 1922 as the opening date. Moving to 430 Wooster in 1933 or 1934, the business ended up at 790 W. Bowery sometime between 1943-1948. Sam and Sophie’s sons Clarence and Joseph also worked for the business. Although the Gerins were a Jewish family, ads for the business appeared in the Call and Post and the 1940 Akron Negro Directory, as well as later in the Ohio Informer, all of which served Akron’s Black community. By the publication of the 1960-1961 Akron City Directory, the business was no longer listed, and it was definitely closed by the time Clarence Gerin’s obituary appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal in 1967. Services offered by the business included cleaning, pressing and repairing, along with suit sales, hat cleaning and a specialist for ladies’ repairs. The business was a member of the Better Business Bureau of Akron as listed in the Akron Beacon Journal.

According to Sam, Sophie, and son Clarence’s obituaries, the Gerins came to Akron from Brooklyn, New York in 1916. U.S. Census data indicates that Sam and Sophie were both born in Russia, with Sophie immigrating to the United States in 1909 and Sam in 1910. The family lived on Haynes Avenue, later moving to Carroll Street. They opened and operated their business in the Wooster Avenue area of Akron, which according to historian Helga Kaplan was a prime area for Jewish settlement and business development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gradually changing to a Black neighborhood as Jewish residents moved toward the Copley Road area. Sam Gerin worked for Firestone before starting the business and passed away in 1949. Sophie Gerin passed away in 1970. They are buried in the Farband and Workmen’s Circle Cemetery in Coventry Township, Summit County.

  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners in the Ohio Informer
  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners and Tailors in the 1940 Akron Negro Directory

Resources

  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners. Call & Post. April 15, 1937.
  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners. Call & Post. October 12, 1939.
  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners. Ohio Informer. January 15, 1955. www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/shepard/id/51/rec/1.
  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners. Ohio Informer. June 25, 1955. www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/shepard/id/123/rec/2.
  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners. Ohio Informer. July 9, 1955. www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/shepard/id/131/rec/3.
  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners. Ohio Informer. September 3, 1955. www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/shepard/id/150/rec/4.
  • Advertisement for Gerin Cleaners. Ohio Informer. September 17, 1955. www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/shepard/id/160/rec/5.
  • Akron, Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls Official City Directory, v. 52-55. Burch Directory Company, Akron, Ohio, 1935-1940.
  • Akron, Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls Official City Directory, v. 64-66. Burch Directory Company, Akron, Ohio, 1958-1959 through 1962-1963.
  • Akron, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls and Portage Lakes Official City Directory, v. 61-63. Burch Directory Company, Akron, Ohio, 1952-1957.
  • Akron, Cuyahoga Falls and Barberton Official City Directory, v. 51. Burch Directory Company, Akron, Ohio, 1933.
  • Akron Official City Directory, v. 43-50. Burch Directory Company, Akron, Ohio, 1920-1931.
  • Akron, Portage Lakes, Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls Official City Directory, v. 56. Burch Directory Company, Akron, Ohio, 1941.
  • Akron, Tallmadge, Portage Lakes, Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls Official City Directory, v. 57-60. Burch Directory Company, Akron, Ohio, 1943-1951.
  • Kaplan, Helga Eugienie. “Century of Adjustment: A History of the Akron Jewish Community, 1865-1975.” Ph.D. diss., Kent State University, 1978.
  • Kingsbury, A., ed. Akron Negro Directory. Akron, Ohio. 1940.
  • “Know Your Better Business Bureau of Akron Members.” Akron Beacon Journal. November14, 1955.
  • “Memorial Page for Sophie Lubarsky Gerin (1891-1970),” Find a Grave, accessed November 22, 2023, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/110067309/sophie-gerin.
  • “Memorial Page for Sam Gerin (1885-1949), Find a Grave, accessed November 22, 2023, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/110067374/sam-gerin.
  • Obituary for Clarence Gerin. Akron Beacon Journal. July 18, 1967.
  • Obituary for Sam Gerin. Akron Beacon Journal. November 19, 1949.
  • Obituary for Sophie Gerin. Akron Beacon Journal. January 29, 1970.
  • 1920 United States Federal Census for Sam and Sophia Gerin. Akron Ward 7, Summit, Ohio; Roll: T625_1440; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 219, [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com.
  • 1930 United States Federal Census for Sam and Sophie Gerin. Akron, Summit, Ohio; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0053; FHL microfilm: 2341609, [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com.
  • 1940 United States Federal Census for Sam and Sophie Gerin. Akron, Summit, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03176; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 89-106, [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com.
430 Wooster Ave., Former location of Gerin Cleaners and Tailors