Trump's grandfather and the sex trade

Interesting article in the Oregonian this morning that I can’t link to for some reason. Apparently, The Donald’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, was a noted brothel owner in the Pacific Northwest, and made a good living at it. One of the towns was Monte Cristo, in Washington, which was a budding silver mining camp. Trump managed to scam some land to build a “hotel” on:

“Art of the Deal” indeed. :slight_smile:

No, I’m not at all indignant. A guy has to make a living, and he gave the people what they wanted. Mining was a sucker’s bet, but supporting businesses did very well in mining towns. It all sounds like an episode of “Deadwood”, with a real life Swearingen.

Like father, like grandson.

The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, for sure. I was tempted to make that comment initially, but the article was of more interest to me from a genealogical and historical standpoint. Most of us have so-called black sheep in our families, although I’m not sure that this was a business that was frowned upon back then, just an accepted fact of the mining camps, which were largely lawless. Interesting that he headed for the Yukon during the gold stampede.

Turns out that Trump’s grandfather is not running for president. I wouldn’t have voted for Joe Kennedy, the bootlegger, either. Nor Gerald Ford’s wife-beating dead-beat biological father.

The dates don’t match. 1894? That’s 122 years ago plus how old he was when he bought the hotel.

Freidrich Trump was born in 1869. So he would have been 25 years old in 1894. Freidrich’s son Frederick was born in 1905 when Freidrich was 36. Frederick’s son Donald was born in 1946 when Frederick was 41.

That said, who cares? Donald Trump’s done a lot of bad things but he’s not responsible for anything his grandfather did.

Irrelevant comment, given what I’ve written. If I’d wanted that sort of discussion, I’d have put this in the pit.


I agree with you, but there are some posters on this board who appear to think that Trump is responsible for his grandfather changing his last name. :rolleyes:

I found this link about Grandpa Trump , it too bad he didn’t stay in Germany !

Pretty much a hit piece. The guy had drive and ambition, and could have gone a number of different ways to get rich. Seattle and Portland both had a thriving shanghai market in those days, and people would just disappear off the streets to be put to work on steamers heading west or south. Slavery was still alive in the PNW, even though it was officially dead, and forced labor of Chinese workers was common. At least Grandpa Friedrich doesn’t appear to have engaged in that aspect of human trafficking. He came to America to get rich, and like many men who got rich, he did it at the expense of others.

Americans tend to romanticize the work ethic of our ancestors, but don’t always know what that work consisted of. To me, as a genealogist, this is an interesting story that pokes a pin in the balloon.

The language (scam and brothel) suggested to me that the writer of the piece was trying to cast aspersions on someone who has been irrelevant for quite a long time, and by extension, on the lineage of someone who is now currently topical.

Clearly, Donald Trump should change his name to avoid association with this shameful familial history. What could he change it to…?


Here’s Snopes’ take on this story: mostly false

Odd article. The supporting evidence provided quotes Gwenda Blair’s biography about the Trump family, but she is the same person who wrote the hit piece for Politico. Seems contradictory.

Also, the short bio of the Snopes writer says the following:

Not exactly an encouraged resume.

The resume is a joke.

Did you honestly think this discussion wouldn’t result? There were thousands of men who ran brothels in the 19th century. So why did Friedrich Trump suddenly become newsworthy?

I don’t know: why do people still bring up Kennedy’s father, when nearly the whole family is dead? At least this is the history of a current candidate’s family. If Trump’s GF was a war hero, I suspect the right would be crowing about it.

The bios of Snopes writers are pretty much all jokes.

So what? My ancestors were Scottish pirates and wreckers, Cornish pirates and wreckers, Vikings, possibly Scottish royalty, and Scouse slavers.

So grandsons pay for the sins of their grandfathers. Is that what your suggest ?