Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
LOUIS LAZZARO REBORI. It was Robert Louis Stevenson, the great. Scottish author, who said that a man who follows his own virtuous heart will be always found in the end to have been fighting for the best; that one thing leads naturally to another in an awakened mind, and that with an upward progress from effect to cause. The late Louis Lazzaro Rebori, for many years one of the best-known business men of Springfield, was a man who had evidently "an awakened mind," and whose career was marked by "an upward progress." And since it is true that individual success is determined, in true measure, by what one has accomplished, his name is deserving of a high rank in the list of Greene county citizens of a past generation who rose, of their own efforts, from all humble beginning to the top rungs of the ladder of material success.
Mr. Rebori was born near Genoa, Italy, August 31, 1867, a scion of an excellent old Italian family. He was a son of Jiacomo and Catherine (Gandolfo) Rebori, both also natives of the same locality in which our subject was born. There they grew to maturity, attended school and were married. The death of the father occurred in i889 at the age of fifty-three years, being killed by falling from a cherry tree. The mother is still living in Italy, at the age of seventy-three years. The father was in the fruit business all his life and was highly successful. In the early eighties he immigrated to the United States with his parents when our subject was eleven years old, the family locating in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the father engaged in the wholesale and retail fruit business for about fifteen years. He prospered and, branching out, established a retail fruit business in Knoxville, Tennessee for his sons, he laying there the foundation for a large fortune, and was a very rich man at the time of his death. After retiring from active life he returned to Italy with his wife, and there they erected a beautiful home, along the American line of architecture, and there spent the rest of his life. He was not only a man of superior ability along business lines but was also of superior mental ability, and he was a scrupulously honest man, in fact, a devout Christian. His family consisted of three children, namely: Louis L., of this sketch; Andrew, who is engaged in the wholesale fruit business in Springfield; and Stella, who is living in Genoa, Italy.
Louis L. Rebori received a limited education in the public schools of Indianapolis. However, he became a well-informed man, by coming in contact with the business world, by close observation and by wide miscellaneous reading. He was a fine example of a successful self-made man, and was certainly deserving of a great deal of credit for what he accomplished in a business way. He assisted his father in the fruit business until he was twenty-three years of age. He went back to Italy with his parents where he remained two years, but, tiring of life there, he desired to come back to America to make his fortune where he deemed business conditions better and existence pleasanter in our "land of the free." After spending four years in the fruit business in Knoxville, Tennessee, he came to Springfield in the year 1895, at the solicitation of his brother, who had previously located here, Andrew.Rebori, being now president of the well-known Rebori Fruit Company, which operates a large wholesale house between Mill street and Phelps avenue, near the Frisco depot. Andrew Rebori had opened a fruit store at South street and the public square, Louis L. Rebori entering the firm with a capital stock of less than six hundred dollars, provided by his father. Later he was in different locations, one stand being on Walnut street, another on St. Louis street, and still another on Commercial street, and other places. The loan was repaid within a year and after remaining in partnership with his brother nine years, he opened his first business on East Walnut street. The last stand he owned was on South Jefferson street, now the property of his widow. He was apparently a genius at selecting good business locations, for he placed fruit stands at points where none had ever been established before, and usually selling them in a short time at material profits. A striking illustration of the success of this enterprising man of affairs is seen from the fact that he left an estate of over twenty-seven thousand dollars, amassed during twenty years of business in Springfield. During his two decades of business here on a small scale, he became one of the wealthiest merchants of his kind that the city has ever known. A large portion of his earnings were invested in Italy, the remainder being invested in Springfield.
Mr. Rebori was married on September 2, 1891, in New York City, to Laura Crover, who was born in Springfield, Ohio, September 16, 1876. She is a daughter of Andrew and Columbia (Mousante) Crover, both born near Genoa, Italy, where they spent their earlier, years, emigrating to America from their native land, and establishing their home in Springfield, Ohio. The death of Mr. Crover occurred in New York City, May 1, 1903, where he had located a number of years previously. The mother of Mrs. Rebori is now making her home in Springfield, Missouri, being now sixty-three years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Crover were young when they came to America, and they were married in New York City, from which place they removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, and later to Springfield, Ohio, and finally moved back to New York City. Mr. Crover spent his life engaged successfully in the fruit business, being engaged for many years as a wholesale and retail merchant. His family consisted of four children, namely: Emma lives in Springfield; Laura, who became the wife of Mr. Rebori; Della lives in Springfield; and Ralph, who is also a resident of this city. Mrs. Rebori had the advantage of an excellent education, and is a woman of fine business tact and excellent personal characteristics.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Rebori resulted in the birth of one child, Ralph A. Rebori, whose birth occurred on April 2, 1899. He is receiving a good education, and he gives promise of a successful business career.
Politically, Mr. Rebori was a Democrat and while he was a strong man in his party, taking an abiding interest in public affairs, especially such as pertained to the general upbuilding and welfare of the city of Springfield, he was never an office seeker. He was a member of St. Agnes Catholic church and was noted for his fair dealings with his fellow men, his upright character and his kindness. He was held in high favor by all who knew him, both in the circles of his countrymen and Americans. He was a man who had-a prodigious working capacity, his average working day being seventeen hours or more, the common comment of his customers being that "he was the last one to go home at night and the first one to be out in the morning." He frequently returned to Italy for short periods, crossing the ocean twenty-three times, being accompanied on twelve of them by his wife and son. He was always ready to help in any good cause, always gave a helping hand to those in need who appealed to him, and he did many a kind and generous act that the public never knew about, for he never gave from an impulse to gain the praise of men, but from a sense of duty and brotherhood.
The death of Louis L. Rebori occurred after a brief illness, on March 23, 1915, in his forty-eighth year, when just in the prime of life and usefulness and when the future promised most to him.
Springfield-Greene County Library