The Edward Von Tobel Lumber Company opened for business in 1905 and remained in operation until 1976, the longest lasting family business in Las Vegas history. It was founded by second-generation German Americans Edward Von Tobel Sr. (1873-1967) and his partner and boyhood friend Jake Beckley on two twenty-five-foot lots on South Main Street. Von Tobel became sole owner when Beckley and his brother opened Beckley's Men's Clothing. In 1908, Von Tobel married Bavarian-born Mary. Together, they raised four children: Jake, Elizabeth, Ed Jr., and George Jr. Active in community life, Von Tobel was elected to the city commission in 1911, and together with the Beckleys, Cyril S. Wengert, and others, was instrumental in the formation of civic and community service organizations in Las Vegas. An enterprising and creative businessman, Von Tobel created the first combination hardware/lumber "supermarket" in the 1950s, pioneered self-serve lumberyards, and in 1965 opened an 80,000-square-foot indoor lumberyard, the first in the nation.
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