Glockners bring history to life

Tim Glockner unveils six generations of family archives.

The archives include documents from when the family first arrived from Germany and ran a hardware store.

The archives include personal items such as family letters as well as advertisments and directories bearing the names of early family members.

Throughout the years, the hardware store grew into a buggy business, the start of the Glockners’ automobile business.

Portsmouth has seen six generations of Glockners, each building upon the traditions of the last and setting a new standard for the next generations. Now, all six of those generations can be traced through the Glockner Family Archives. Tim Glockner, of Glockner Enterprises and sixth generation of the legacy, explained that his grandfather Ebby started collecting the documents and organizing them into scrapbooks. He then stored them in the family’s summer home. The archives include everything from old directories and business models to photo albums, family trees, guns, knives, advertisements and love letters from both World Wars.

Tim explained that his family came over from Germany and traveled through Portsmouth on the way to Cincinnati. After reaching their destination, Bernard Glockner and his family decided to return to Portsmouth – where they felt at home. Here the Glockners started a hardware store before going on to bikes, buggies and eventually cars. An advertisement from the time shows that a brand new Chevy was $525. Memorabilia from each of these evolutionary steps still remains in the archives today. There are even photos from a flood in 1884, long before the famous ‘37 flood. There more than 70 scrapbooks and photo albums alone.

“There’s just so much wisdom in all these letters,” Tim explained. “Each generation was so proud to set up the next generation while doing justice to the previous generations.”

He remembers that writing letters has always been a family tradition. Not only had his grandfather held on to war letters and love letters, Tim had also held onto letters his grandfather and parents had written him throughout his life, adding a new generation of artifacts to the collection. After going through some of the scrapbooks, he found letters his grandfather had kept from his as well. To continue the tradition, Tim now writes letters to his daughter in hopes that she will hold onto them as keepsakes for her children and grandchildren.

“I hope she’ll carry on these traditions. I can tell that traditions have always ran deep in my family,” Tim said after going through just a portion of the collection that fills an entire room. “There’s a lot of pride in my family to keep these traditions and pass on these legacies.”

Tim first took over the items after his mother reached out to him, worried that the items were not being properly stored and would eventually suffer water damage. Tim remembers his grandfather being concerned that no one would take care of the archives once he was gone. To prevent them from falling into disrepair, all of the items will now be housed at 206 Market Street, a original building where Bernard started the family business. Tim explained that a buggy will be used to tell the family story.

“We’re just going to tell this great American love story,” Tim said with excitement. “This community has embraced us. Now, we feel obligated to include them in our story.”

The building at Market Street is currently under remodel. Tim explains that he hopes to see it completed within approximately a year. In addition to archives, the building will hold conference and meeting rooms. Glockners currently services more than 80,000 vehicles per year, employs more than 440 community members, sells more than 7,000 cars each year, generates over $13,100,000 in sales tax annually for Southern Ohio and spends more than $20,000,00 annually with local providers of goods and services.

For the complete Glockners history visit or find the Glockner story on YouTube. To stay up-to-date on the unveiling of the archives, like Glockners on Facebook.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.