Vanderburgh County Indiana
Brewing in Evansville
F. W. Cook Brewing Co.
F. W. Cook and Louis Reis, under the firm name of "Cook & Reis," established and built the
City Brewery in 1853, the site then being a corn-field. They continued together
until 1857, when Louis Reis sold his interest in the brewery to his brother, Jacob Reis
(the step-father of Mr. Cook), leaving the style of the firm unchanged.
In 1873 Mr. Reis met with an accident which resulted in his death, whereupon Mr. Cook became
In 1885 the City Brewery was converted into a stock company under the corporate name of F. W. Cook Brewing Co. with the following stockholders: F. W. Cook, sr., F. W. Cook, jr., H. E. Cook, Andrew Wollenberger, G. M. Daussman, Philip P. Puder and Gus B. Mann. F. W. Cook, sr., F. W. Cook, jr., H. E. Cook, Andrew Wollenberger and G. M. Daussman are the directors of the company, and its officers are as follows: F. W. Cook, Sr., president and general manager; F. W. Cook, jr., vice president: Andrew Wollenberger, superintendent; G. M. Daussman, secretary and treasurer; Philip P. Puder, general agent. The sales of the establishment for the present year (1888-89) will amount to 75.000 barrels; 110 men are employed in its various departments and $75,000.00 is paid annually in wages. The consumption of malt and hops for the year will be 185,000 bushels of the former; and 115,000 pounds of the latter. While the product of the F. W. Cook Brewing Co. —the famous "Pilsener Beer " — has become a household word and is the most popular beverage in this part of the country, it has also won an enviable reputation abroad, especially in the southern states, and large quantities of it are daily being shipped to all the principal cities of the south. Purity, brilliancy and deliciousness of the flavor, together with its sparkling, foaming qualities, is what has made the Pilsener of the F. W. Cook Brewing Co. so popular wherever it has been introduced.
Fred W. Cook, Sr., president of the F. W. Cook Brewing Company, an enterprising citizen closely identified with many causes-of the city's growth and prosperity, began his business career as a poor lad, and now as the fruits of his industry enjoys possessions valued at not less than a quarter of a million dollars. He was born in Washington, D. C, February 1, 1832. His father, Fred Cook, a baker, native of Germany long lived at Washington City, and died in Virginia when on his way to Cincinnati, 1834. His mother, Christiana Cook, whose maiden name was Kroener, subsequently married Jacob Reis, and after a brief residence at Cincinnati, Ohio, came to Evansville, reaching here in 1S36. The early education of Mr. Cook was meagre, his schooling being confined to about eighteen months' study, distributed through a period of six years. His first employment was in the dry goods house of L. W. Heberd. He then spent two years and a half in a small brewery owned by his step-father. By the end of this time he had accumulated $135. His uncle, Louis Reis, having a like amount in cash, the two formed a partnership, and in the spring of 1853 bought the ground, then a cornfield, on which their extensive brewery now stands. A small brewery was built on credit, and in four years Mr. Reis, withdrawing from the firm, was paid for his interest $3,500. Later, Jacob Reis, the stepfather, putting in $6,000 capital, entered the firm, which again was known as Cook & Reis, until the incorporation of the company January 1, 1885. As a director in the Citizens' National Bank, director in the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad Company, president of the District Telegraph Company, president of the F. W. Cook Bottling Works, director and secretary of the Bernardin Bottle Cap Company, and as a large stockholder in the Indiana Canning Company, Mr. Cook has done much to secure the success of these enterprises and to advance the welfare of the city, always exhibiting in the highest degree the qualities essential to a successful financier and man of affairs. The public, recognizing his capacitv for the management of great interests, has called him to its service in various relations. He has several times represented his ward in the city council and his county in the state legislature. His career, private and public, has been characterized by energy, integrity, ability and honor. He is a prominent member of the I. O. O. F. and A. O. U. W. fraternities and of St. John's church.
In 1857 he was married to Miss Louisa Hilt, of Louisville, Ky, who died in 1S77, leaving four children, Fred W., jr., Henry E., Charles W., and Ada L. In November, 1878, his second marriage was solemnized with Miss Jennie Himmeline, of Kelly's Island, Ohio, whose death occurred in January, 1884. Of this union three children were born, Arthur 13., Helen and Albert L. The older of Mr. Cook's children are well educated and possess the accomplishments which adorn polite society. Fred. W. Cook, jr., vice president of the brewing company, is an alumnus of Wabash College, Cravvfordsville, Ind., and after his graduation from that institution pursued his studies for two years at the famous University of Heidelberg. Henry E. graduated at the State University at Bloomington, and for three years past has been perfecting his education at the ancient German institution previously attended by his brother, where also Miss Ada L. has been pursuing a special course of instruction in music and the modern languages. Charles W. is now an undergraduate at the Indiana State University.
The secretary and treasurer of the brewing company, George M. Daussman, was born at Willzartswiesen, Rhein-Pfalz, Bavaria, March 8, 1847. His parents, Jacob and Eva (Veibert) Daussman, came to America in 1855, and have since resided in this city. He was educated at the public schools of the city, and received his training for a business career in the Evansville Commercial College. At a very early age he was employed as a clerk and then as bookkeeper, at various places in this city. In 1866 he accepted a position as book-keeper for Cook & Reis, brewers, and has been with that company ever since. He is now a stockholder and director in the company, and since January 1, 1S85, has been its secretary and treasurer. His efficiency, integrity and close attention to business, render his services of great value to the company.
He occupies a high social position, is prominent in the I. O. O. F. and K. of P. fraternities, the Business Men's Association and Liederkranz singing society. He was married September 18, 18S0, to Miss Anna Platz, daughter of Charles Platz, the wellknown manufacturer, of this city. They have four children, George M., Ida, Louisa, and Elsa, the first-born, Bertha, having died in infancy.
The superintendent of the brewery, Andrew Wollenberger, was born in Bavaria, Ma}' 16, 1 841, being the son of Louis and Mina Wollenberger. He was educated in the schools of his native country and was employed there as foreman in a brewerv. He served in the German army, was a non-commissioned officer in the war of 1866, and two years later came to America. For several years he was engaged in the breweries of Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1881 he came to Evansville and entered the employ of Cook & Reis as foreman. When the stock company was organized he became a stockholder and superintendent, which position he has since satisfactorily held. In 1S69 he was married to Miss Tillie Uhl, a native of Germany, daughter of John Uhl. They have one child, Andrew Louis. The chief engineer of this extensive brewery is Henry F. Froelich, a native of Gibson county, Ind., born April 14, 185 1, the oldest son of Jacob and Catharine (Oswald) Froelich, natives of Germany. He received a common school and business education in this city, kept books for a time, and then learned the trade of a machinist, at which he worked both here and in Germany. Later he was employed as engineer at the city water-works, and in 187S entered the service of the brewing company. Since 1887 he has been a member of the board of water-works trustees. He is a member of the K. of H. order, of the Zither-club, and the Association of Engineers.
August 12, 1877, he was married to Johanna Laubmerheimer, a native of German}-. Of this union two children have been born : Clara, aged ten years, and one who died in infancy. Mr. Froelich and his wife are members of St. John's Evangelical church.
The general agent of the Cook Brewing Co., Philip P. Puder, was born in Germany, December 17, 1845. His parents, Gottlieb and Katharina (Becker) Puder, born in 1819 and 1822, respectively, lived and died in the fatherland. He is the oldest in a family of five children, four of whom are living. He was educated in Germany and came to Evansville in 1864. He was a machinist by trade, and for four years was employed in the foundry of Hon. Wm. Heilman, after which he conducted a stove and tinware store, in partnership with his brother, Gottlieb Puder. In 1876 he accepted a position as traveling salesman, with Cook & Reis, and upon the organization of the stock company, became a stockholder. His thorough business training and qualifications have contributed largely to the extension of the business. He is a K. of H. and member of the A. O. U. W.
In 1868 he was married to Miss Alwine Schnakenburg, a native of Germany, born in 1847. Of this union three children have been born: Otto, Dora and Philip. The father of Mrs. Puder, Col. William Schnakenburg, attained distinction as a soldier in the late war. He was born in Prussia, August 3, 1817, being the son of Rev. William and Emily Schnakenburg. In 1854 he came to the United States, settling in southern Ohio, and coming to this city two years later. Since then he has continuously resided in this place, being engaged as a merchant and accountant. In 1861 he began his military service with the Thirtysecond Indiana Infantry, rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and after a faithful and honorable service of eighteen months, resigned. He was married in 1843, to Miss Minna Lohse, a native of Prussia, to whom four children were born.
Fulton Avenue Brewery.
A well known building in Evansville was the Old
Brewery. This was occupied bv the famous firm of Ullmer & Hoedt, from 1877,
until 1881, and here they achieved for their product a reputation unsurpassed by none.
Among the consumers of malt liquors the reputation of Evansville beer has become
wide-spread and most flattering to the manuacturers of this city. The strong points
of the product are purity, brilliancy of color, richness of flavor, and non-liabilitv to deterioration
by climate, and in all these, the Evansville beer is unsurpassed. The formation
of this creditable reputation is in large part due to the skill and business ability of
Messrs. Ullmer & Hoedt. These gentlemen came to the city in 1877 ready to begin
on November 1st. They made their first brewing on the 27th of that month, and turned
out the first beer December 31st. They prospered from the first, their product
sprang at once into popular favor, and in less than thirty months thev were able to
add one of the most handsome and complete breweries in the country to the industries
The members of the firm are Charles Wilhelm Ullmer, a native of Russia, and the business manager of the establishment, who came to this country in 1868, and Ferdinand Hoedt, a native of Baden, who came to America in 1865. The latter is naturally a brewer, his father and grandfather having been in the business, and he learned his trade so thoroughly that he now has no superior in the country, in his father's brewery at Heidelberg. The new brewery, which the firm has occupied for several years, is 74x116 feet, four stories high, and fitted at a cost of $45,000 with all that science and art has devised for the best production of the beverage under the most healthful and attractive conditions. The brewery has a cellar capacity of 3,000 barrels constantly on hand, and a selling capacity of 18,000 barrels per annum. Besides the beer kettle with a capacity of 125 barrels, there is a mash tub with a capacity : of 150 barrels, and two steam tubs of 100 and 300 barrels each. The ice as it melts is caught and conveyed to cisterns underneath the beer cellar, which is 40x18 feet, and a capacity of 29,000 gallons. This establishment maintains a large number of employes, and the weekly pay-roll is no inconsiderable item.
History of Vanderburgh County Illustrated Brant & Fuller 1889
Transcribed by J. M. Kell