Clemens Stallmeyer, Businessman and entrepreneur
Co-owner and finance director of the Märkische Seifenindustrie, whose facility in Witten today is part of Evonik Industries.
* 1886, (Gelsenkirchen-)Buer
† 1972, Witten
Clemens Stallmeyer was the son of a bread factory owner in Gelsenkirchen. In partnership with Arthur Imhausen and a friend from Essen who helped him raise the capital, he founded the "Chemische Fabrik Buer" in 1911 in what is now the Buer district of Gelsenkirchen, in order to produce detergents. The "wash ball" product was seen as a rival to Persil. Quality problems (the product did not dissolve properly in water) brought the company to the brink of ruin.
Faced with a large order, but lacking the technical equipment to fulfill it, Stallmeyer and Imhausen heard that the Märkische Seifenindustrie GmbH in Witten was for sale, where the necessary boilers were available. Clemens Stallmeyer purchased the company, appointing Arthur Imhausen managing director; Carl Schulte-Overbeck and his brother were also part owners.
In 1915 Stallmeyer turned over some of his shares in the soap factory to Imhausen, but subsequently took over the financial management of the company. He negotiated with the banks to procure the capital to implement Arthur Imhausen's many ideas, thereby acting as financial guarantor for the success of the Märkische Seifenindustrie, which became one of the leading soap factories under the German Reich.
Until the 1930s Clemens Stallmeyer and Arthur Imhausen were very close friends as well as business partners. However both partnership and friendship began to suffer after Arthur Imhausen developed a close relationship to Wilhelm Keppler, who was in charge of safeguarding raw materials in Hermann Göring's department that was responsible for organizing the Four-Year Plan. As Keppler began to procure the capital that Imhausen required for his experiments, Stallmeyer faded increasingly into the background.
After 1945 the rift between Clemens Stallmeyer, who gradually withdrew from the business owing to ill health, and Arthur Imhausen, continued to grow. Eventually it reached the point in 1952 at which Stallmeyer was induced by Imhausen's son Karl-Heinz to sell a large proportion of his Märkische Seifenindustrie shares to the Flick Group.