Grandview Heights Moment in Time

Wayne Carlson
Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society
Affectionately known as "old figgers junior, the walking encyclopedia of insurance statistics and facts" in his profile in the book "Club Men of Columbus," Grandview Heights resident Claude Seibert was the founder of Fifth Avenue Floral Co. The company greenhouses on West Fifth Avenue are shown in the background, at the left in this photo.

The location of this dog playing on a sand pile was erroneously identified in the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society archival database as being the current site of Trinity Methodist Church at the southwest corner of Cambridge Boulevard and Fifth Avenue.

After research analysis of the photograph, it was determined to be a view looking southeast toward Arlington Avenue from the future site of Roxbury Road, just north of Fifth Avenue in Upper Arlington.

The greenhouse, houses and barns (in the background and to the left of the photo) line Fifth Avenue. The large 3-story Victorian foursquare house to the right of the greenhouse is the home at 1564 Arlington Ave., which was built in 1903.

There is evidence to suggest that the greenhouse was part of the Fifth Avenue Floral Co., founded in 1901 and one of the most successful and longstanding florist businesses in central Ohio.

An early president of the floral company was Grandview resident Claude Seibert, a colorful entrepreneur and local personality whose home was at 1101 Broadview. Incorporation records show that the company was incorporated in 1905, with Martha Seibert as a partner. He served as mayor of Grandview Heights from 1915 until 1919 and enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the insurance industry.

He was depicted as a cashier with the John Hancock insurance agency in his 1911 caricature from the book "Club Men of Columbus," affectionately known as “old figgers junior, the walking encyclopedia of insurance statistics and facts.”

At the height of his career, he was second vice president of the National Life Insurance Co. The florist’s greenhouses and a retail shop were recorded to be on Fifth Avenue, and the original retail shop was at 120 E. Broad St. and is now at Kenny and Kinnear roads, near the Ohio State University west campus.

By 1923, the company was selling $100,000 worth of flowers and shrubs per year.

This historical narrative from the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was provided by Wayne Carlson.