The old newspaper article was titled: “Dautz Floral Shop Originated As Produce Farm In 1917.” The paper is yellowed with age, wrinkled and torn. There is a picture of Dautz’s second-generation proprietor, Herbert Dautz pruning flowers. The article mentions the location as being at 5001 Hayden Road, two blocks north of Elmhurst High School.
Hayden Road is now Ardmore Avenue. The name of the road was changed back in the fifties. The name of the road may have changed but the family business has remained a constant.
Richard and Selma Dautz began the business in 1917. They provided farm produce to neighborhood markets. In 1929, they branched out to include a floral shop. When Richard retired in 1950 his son Herbert Dautz and his wife Mary (Schweppe) Dautz took over the reins and continued the floral shop. Herbert’s wife Mary was no newcomer to the floral shop, as her Father, Carl Schweppe, along with his friend Fred Myer were the originators of Broadview Greenhouse. Mary obtained vast experience in floral design while working with her father so it was only natural that she continue in floral design at her husband’s greenhouse. Herbert and Mary had two children, Harold and Joanna. Harold and Joanna grew up in the floral business and when Herbert and Mary retired Harold and his wife Rosemary (Rice) Dautz took over the business. Rosemary passed away a few months ago this past year, but Harold and his sister Joanna still work at the greenhouse. The ownership has recently been passed along to the fourth generation through Harold’s niece Trena Echenoz and her husband David.
I talked to David and Trena on Thursday, March 10 amid the fresh flowers and plants in their showroom at 5001Ardmore Avenue. David and Trena have two children, five year old Tanner and 17 month old Alex. They both work full time jobs besides being owners of the greenhouse. They enjoy the thought of leading the 82 year-old business through the twenty-first century. David and Trena provide a full line of floral services. David said, “Everyone remembers us being here on Ardmore, but they don’t always realize that we are a full service floral shop. We are here for the sale of over-the-counter flowers and plants, as well as shipping anywhere in the United States.”
This newspaper article will turn yellow with age, just as the first article did from 50 years ago but with a little luck and a lot of determination the Dautz floral shop will remain strong and vibrant through the strong lineage of the Dautz family.
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