Benjamin Elbert

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Benjamin Elbert was born in Iredell County, North Carolina back in 1894. Sorry but that is about it for what I could find of his childhood. He served in the United States Army during World War I. He worked in the dry-cleaning business owning one in Charlotte. He was the first mayor of Charlotte from 1935 to 1941 to be directly elected by voters.

In 1946, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ask him to find a way to clean the fleece-lined fur trimmed flight jackets for the soldiers flying in World War II. He was awarded a government contract which became a thriving business in the fur trade. From 1953-1955 he directed the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development.

What you may not know about Benjamin “Ben” Douglas is that he also administered the construction of an airport in Charlotte. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is named after his wife Charlotte, now you know the rest of the story. So, tell me Nina Hollander/Debe Maxwell did you know this one?

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray not sure how he went from cleaning fleece lined jackets to constructing an Internation Airport.... but now I know the history of that airport in Charlotte....

Oct 08, 2019 03:59 AM #1
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Fascinating story of a real pioneer - how handy that his wife was named Charlotte!

Oct 08, 2019 04:22 AM #2
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

Just think if it was today the fur-lined coats would be in a burn pile!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Oct 08, 2019 04:56 AM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Benjamin lead an interesting life. The question is did Nina or Debe know? I certainly did not! Enjoy our day!

Oct 08, 2019 05:26 AM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Since you asked, James.... I'm telling you that I did not know this! I just know that Charlotte city in the County of Mecklenburg was named after Queen Charlotte of England from Mecklenburg, Germany.

Oct 08, 2019 05:37 AM #5
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - thanks for the rest of the story.  Now I will know when I fly into there.

Oct 08, 2019 06:06 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Wow, I have to say that I am very surprised that Nina Hollander did not know about this, anything related to Charlotte I ask her.

Oct 08, 2019 06:16 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - thanks again for filling in some missing blanks of knowledge. 

Oct 08, 2019 06:43 AM #8
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This is a good one and I certainly did not know.

Oct 08, 2019 06:48 AM #9
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I have landed and taken off from the Charlotte airport, and I had no idea other than it was name for the queen as Nina Hollander said.  A

Oct 08, 2019 07:06 AM #10
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Well that sure was a honor to have that named for her.

Oct 08, 2019 07:14 AM #11
Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
I help clients resolve IRS tax matters

Hi James - I had no idea, thanks for sharing. 

Oct 08, 2019 08:52 AM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- what a leap he made from cleaning fur to designing an airport...multi-talented, indeed. 

Oct 08, 2019 10:56 AM #13
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray,

I loved the story. Interesting about the Queen and his wife. It seems there might need to be a little more digging as to what Charlotte the city is named after.  

Oct 08, 2019 01:16 PM #14
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Well that was all news to me. Wonder if our Charlotte Rainer friends knew this?


Oct 10, 2019 08:05 AM #15
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

I love these stories about our town names that we have. What an interesting life he had!

Oct 11, 2019 05:58 AM #16
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Hi James, interesting information. North Carolina has a lot of interesting history. Thanks for sharing!

Nov 06, 2019 04:51 AM #17
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James Dray

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