Frederick Straus was born in 1833 in Germany. He came to the United States and immigrated to northern Indiana, probably residing in Fort Wayne, Angola, or Auburn. Advertisements in the newspapers in 1854 declared the railroad would go through Ligonier, Indiana and a station would be established there.
This valley attracted both Mr. Straus and Solomon Mier settling in Ligonier. F.W. Straus opened a small general store. By 1860 he brought his brothers, Mathias and Jacob, from Germany. The company grew large because people had confidence in him. Honesty and fair dealings had been an infallible rule from the start of business. In addition to the store, members of the Straus family branched out into other business ventures. They manufactured buggies and founded the Citizens Bank. Their first farm was purchased in 1860 when two of the Straus Brothers rode into the country in one of their factory-made buggies with the idea of selling some buggies to a local farmer. A trade was made – the farm land in exchange for some buggies.
From this first transaction, the Straus Quality Farms developed into the largest real estate firm this side of the Mississippi. Jacob Straus built the beautiful White House at 210 Main Street in 1898 which is now on the National Register. He died in 1914 after his brother Mathias and Frederick died in 1890 and 1898 respectively.