Albert Neukom was one of the most picturesque characters in the Toledo building industry. He was a pioneer Toledo cut stone producer and builder, and was the last of the old generation of contractors to be involved in building Toledo.
Neukom was born in Switzerland in 1854, and came to the United States when he was only fourteen. He arrived only a short time before the historic Chicago fire which gave him his first opportunity in the building business. The high demand for building mechanics after the fire sent him west soon after his arrival in the states. He, along with many other young building mechanics, helped rebuild Chicago after its terrible disaster.
In 1877, Neukom came to Toledo after seeing the rapid growth of the city, knowing full well that he could establish himself in the cut stone industry. Within a year, he organized and established the Albert Neukom Cut Stone Company, which despite humble beginnings, became incorporated in 1909 and was a well known institution throughout the Midwest.
Of the many outstanding buildings in the city, it is said that Neukom was most likely responsible for the construction of more structures than any other individual. Among other structures, he was the stone contractor for the old federal building, Waite High School, Scott High School, the old Toledo Club, and the city Courthouse. In addition, he built many of the courthouses in surrounding counties, and also built a number of buildings at the University of Michigan and the Michigan Agricultural College. He worked very hard for several years before retiring and turned over the business to his two sons, Albert Jr. and George.
Along with his two sons, he and his wife, Elizabeth, also had three daughters. He was always interested in civic affairs, but with so little free time, only took office once, that being service director under Mayor Carl Keller.
Mr.Neukom was an active member of the various Toledo Masonic bodies, he was himself a 32nd degree Mason. For many years, he was active in the ranks of the Knights of Pythias, and played a key role in the building of the Knights of Pythias temple.
A series of diseases struck Mr.Neukom and weakened his immune system greatly. He became an easy victim of pneumonia, dying on December 17,1928. He was 74 years old.[(Toledo Biographical Scrapbook, Local History Room, Toledo Lucas County Public Library). See also (NewsBee, "Albert Neukom, Cut Stone Co. Former city builder succumbs to pneumonia," December 18, 1928) and (The Blade, "Death Takes Albert Neukom," December 18, 1928)]