Breweries of Dayton - A toast to brewers from the Gem City: 1810-1961
Chapter One - Dayton's Pre-Prohibition Breweries - Part Three

Oakwood Brewery

 

            August Becherer opened the Oakwood Brewery in 1879 on Brown Street, south of the Dayton Corporation line.  It closed as a brewery about 1884.  After August Becherer's death in 1885, Magdalena Becherer reopened the brewery as a saloon.

 

Old Brewery

 

            The Old Brewery is first mentioned in the Dayton Journal and Advertiser newspaper, in 1830.  It was owned by George Harris at the time and was located on Market Street.  No mention of it is found after 1831.

 

Olt Brewing Company

Olt Brothers Brewing Company

 

            John Olt and his four sons, Charles, Frederick, Edward and Oscar, incorporated the Olt Brewing company in 1907.  Charles J. Olt was the president of the company until his death in 1940.  Olt Brewing was located at 20-34 North McGee Street, the company using the old N. Jacobs Packing Company building as its brewery.  After a few years the building was not big enough and was enlarged.  By 1912 Olt Brewing employed seventy people and annually produced about 35,000 barrels of beer and ale.  Originally incorporated for $50,000 in 1907, the value had increased before prohibition to over $180,000.  During prohibition the company temporarily manufactured soft drinks, made Polar Distilled Water, and distributed dairy products.   (See Olt Brother’s Brewing Company  in the Dayton Breweries After Prohibition section).

 

BIOGRAPHY – CHARLES J. OLT

            Charles J. Olt was born in Dayton, Ohio on May 25, 1866 at the Galt House on Market Street.  He was the son of John and Philipena (Linxweiler) Olt.  Charles went to Miami Commercial college, which was then located in the old Music Hall building on the spot now occupied by the Victoria theater.  He worked for his father after graduation and learned the butcher business.  He also learned the grocery business and was employed for awhile by George Krug, who had one of the best-kept groceries in Dayton at the time. 

            Charles was married on April 8, 1890 to Anna C. Raschke.  They had three daughters,  A year later he opened a grocery and market store, which he ran for four years.  In 1895 he became bookkeeper for Schantz Brewing company.  He was advanced to collector, then to manager in 1904, then opened his own business.  With his brothers Fred, William, Edward and Oscar, and his father, John, he incorporated the Olt Brewing Company in 1907.  Charles was elected President of the company. 

            Charles was a thirty-second degree and Knight Templar Mason and a Shriner, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Loyal Order of Moose.  He was also a member of the Rotary Club, and the Greater Dayton association. 

            Charles died on April 26, 1940.

 

                        Charles J. Olt

 

He's a maker of music and lager beer, too.

            What a glorious mixture is this.

When his patrons are steeped in a soothing hop stew

            His music will bathe them in bliss.

In Mood reminiscent they dreamily say,

            When his hands on the ivories are laid

"That soul-moving harmony floating away

            Recalls the way Rubenstein played."

We know not the grade of the goods that he makes;

            Let thirsty beer-drinkers decide;

But we know the most scrupulous caution he takes

            With the finger of science to guide.

Charlie Olt is progressive, kind, honest and true,

            And when he is put to the test,

In business or pleasure, we know he will do

            The thing he believes to be best.

"Take wine for the stomach's sake." quoth good Saint Paul;

            And yet it may seem rather queer,

Since hops help digestion, as well-known to all,

            That Paul didn't recommend beer.

The truth is Gambrinus had not taught the way

            At that time malt liquors to brew,

And the Germans, wild, crude and uncouth in that day,

            Were not of the recognized crew.

At first lager beer high in alcohol was,

            But now the best makers agree

That the lower percentage of spirit it has

            The better the product will be.

And it may be the brewers, when casting about

            For improvements, will soon come to think

It were better to leave all the alcohol out,

            Then even teetotalers will drink.

 

(Written in 1916- Author Unknown)

 

BIOGRAPHY – FRED OLT

            Fred 0lt was born in Dayton, Ohio on September 25, 1874.  He was the son of John and Philipena (Linxweiler) 0lt.  Fred's sister, Mary, married Adam Schantz, of the Schantz Brewery.  Bates and Roesh Dry Goods company employed Fred, where he stayed for only four and a half months.  He then became a partner with his father in the meat business.  Fred decided he did not like that line of work and went to work for the Adam Schantz brewing business as bookkeeper.  In 1904 he was made cashier.  He held that position until 1906, when he and his brothers started the 01t Brothers Brewing company.

            Fred married Laura H. Greve on April 6, 1902 and had three children.  Fred died on August 28, 1958 and was buried in Woodland Cemetery.

 

BIOGRAPHY – EDWARD OLT

            Edward 0lt was born on January 1, 1882.  He was the son of John and Philipena (Linxweiler) 0lt.  Edward graduated from Miami Commercial College and became a bookkeeper of Patterson Tool and Supply, which he stayed with for four years.  He then went on to work for the Seybold Machine company in the same capacity, staying two years.  In 1906 he became a bookkeeper in the 01t Brothers Brewing company, later becoming a cashier of the company and a member of the board of directors.  He was also on the board of Directors of the Gem City Packing Company.  He was a member of the Greater Dayton Association, the Dayton Automobile Club, the Equinox Club, the Superba Club, and had a membership in the Turner's Association and the B. & P. 0. E.  He attended St. John's church.  Edward married Elsa M. Rinne on November 30, 1911.

 

HOUDINI PERFORMS AT KEITH’S THEATER

Houdini was performing at the Keith’s theater in Dayton on December 15, 1916.  The famous escape artist and magician received a challenge from employees of the Olt Brewing Company that he could not escape from a cask containing 60 gallons of Olt’s beer.  Houdini accepted.  After lowering himself into the cask, the lid was fastened down by a committee composed of Olt employees.

            Although Houdini  released himself in only three minutes, it took longer than that to recover from the effects of the fumes he had inhaled while struggling in the cask.  A non-drinker, Houdini found it necessary to take a brisk walk in the cold air before he was able to continue his show.

 

Pioneer Brewing Company

 

            Andrew Schiml and Frank J. Bucher became partners in the Wayne Street Brewery and changed its name to the Pioneer Brewing Company in 1889.  The business slowly grew, with the brewery's output being about 8,000 barrels when Schiml left the business in 1899.  On August 20, 1900 Louis L. Wehner bought the business.  Less than two years later he closed the plant and used the equipment in a brewery he had built at the comer of Concord and Scoville.  (See Wehner Brewing Company).

 

Riddle Brewery

 

            The Riddle Brewery was located on St. Clair Street and was owned by James Riddle.  The first mention of the brewery was in 1840, although it could have been in operation for some time before that.  In 1850 Henry and John Casper Ferneding bought the brewery, tearing it down and building a malt house in its place.

 

Riverside Brewery

 

            Two brothers, George and Adam Schantz established the Riverside Brewery in 1882.  It was located at 114-128 River Street between Salem and Central.  The first year the brewery sold 7,000 barrels of lager beer.  On June 23, 1887 Adam bought out his brother's interest in the plant.  Within two years the plant had grown to seven buildings, including a boiler and engine house and was selling 18,000 barrels a year.

            After Adam Schantz's death his son, Adam Jr., ran the plant.  The brewery became part of The Dayton Breweries Company in 1904. (See The Dayton Breweries).

            When a survey of the Miami River channel was made after the flood in 1913, it was decided that a deep cut into the riverbank along River Street was needed to widen the channel.  The Riverside Brewery, as well as a small house where Adam Schantz, Jr. was born, was situated on the ground which needed to be cleared and removed to improve the river channel.  This meant the razing of both structures.  A large piece of land was left between the river and the street.  The heirs of Adam Schantz, Sr. donated this to the city of Dayton in December, 1918. A fountain with a lily was built in memory of Mary Schantz, their mother, and an oak tree was planted nearby in memory of Adam Schantz, Sr., their father. Although the lilies are gone and the fountain runs no longer, the benches that are part of the fountain still overlook the beautiful Miami River, and couples who sit there are shaded by the old oak tree whose branches reach over as if to shelter the monument to his wife from the storms.

 

BIOGRAPHY – ADAM SCHANTZ, SR.

            Adam Schantz Sr. was born in Mittel-Kinzig, Hessen Darmstadt, Germany on September 7, 1839.  He was the son of Frederick & Marie Elizabeth (Scheller) Schantz.  There were five brothers, all of whom left Germany on April 11, 1854 to escape militarism.  Adam was the youngest.  They landed in New York in May, 1854.  He worked for his uncle, Michael Schantz, who operated a flour mill in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  He remained there for about a year, then came to Dayton to learn the trade of butcher from Michael Olt.

            In 1857 Adam moved to Chicago and worked for a large beef and pork packing house, which later became Swift & Co.  From there he moved to St. Louis and became a butcher.  In the fall of 1858 he returned to Dayton, only to make his way to New Orleans a year later.  When he reached New Orleans he was hungry, and almost broke.  Spying a saloon he entered and purchased a glass of beer, and was satisfying his hunger by eating a free lunch that had been set out, when the owner saw him and said "This is no boarding house: let up."  Adam explained his position and said, "Some day I will repay you many times for that which I have already had."  True to his word, when Adam again visited New Orleans he paid his respects and his debt many times over.

            While in New Orleans he accepted a position from a firm furnishing meat for outgoing ocean steamers.  While at this job he met a captain of a boat going to England who gave him permission to work his passage over.  On the way Adam fell overboard and had to be saved by the use of a grappling hook.  Landing in London his sole possession was a piece of pumpernickel bread.  He crossed London and visited his home in Germany.  He worked as a meat cutter in Frankfort, Hamburg, then London, where he remained for a year. 

            In 1862 he found himself again in Dayton.  He opened a small meat shop on East Fifth Street, near Brown Street.  He later he purchased what was known as the "Six-Mile House," on Covington Pike, keeping a bachelor's hall and conducting his butcher business.  On March 29, 1863 he married Salome Latin.  They had nine children.

            After several successful years, his slaughter house was burned down to the ground, destroying his inventory of lard, tallow, hides and pelts, on which there was no insurance.  After he rebuilt his beef and pork packing plant, he traded the property with Joseph Stoecklein for property on River Street.  Here he began business on a much larger scale.  Yet five years later disaster was to strike again.  In 1876 lightning struck the plant, burning it to the ground.  The blow was severe, Adam finding out that his insurance had expired at noon.  A misunderstanding with the insurance company had been the cause of the lapse.  On the following day he gathered together carpenters, stone-masons and brick masons and told them of his financial condition.  They all agreed to rebuild the plant even larger than ever, and wait for him to pay at his convenience.  With the help of these men Adam went on to establish a business conceded to be the largest in Dayton at the time.  He had a stall in the market house, a meat shop at 408 West Third Street and another on River Street.

            In 1882 Adam, together with his brother George, formed a partnership and entered into the lager beer industry, calling the brewery Riverside.  This partnership lasted until June 23, 1887, when Adam bought out his brother's interest.  He immediately enlarged the plant, which was part of the slaughter-house erected in 1876.

            During the month of September. 1902, while at his winter home in Daytona, Florida, he was stricken with pneumonia from which he never recovered.  In October he was taken to a hospital in St. Augustine, where an operation was performed.  It was thought that he would recover, but on April 20, 1903 at 3:45 p.m., he passed away at his home.

            Adams’ estate was estimated to be worth a million and a half dollars.  He had the dubious distinction of being the largest individual tax-payer in both Montgomery County, Ohio and Volusia County, Florida.

 

Sachs-Prudens’ Ale Company

Sachs-Prudens’ Brewing Company

The Dayton Brewing Company

 

            The Sachs-Prudens' Ale Company was incorporated on January 9, 1888.  The incorporators were Edward Sachs, president; David Pruden, vice-president and manager; Henry B. Pruden, secretary and treasurer.  Herbert H. Weakley and Frank T. Huffman were on the Board of Directors.  The capital stock of the company was $500.000.

            The company immediately set out to build an ale brewery on 79 Wyandot Street.  They hired Conrad G. Oland, of Hampshire, England, to supervise its construction.  It was four stories tall, 7O’ x 138’ and was thoroughly fireproof, the joists and girders throughout the plant being constructed of steel and the columns of iron.  The cellars had a capacity to store 15,000 barrels of ale.  The building was completed in September 1888 at a cost of $150,000.  On January 1, 1889 the company introduced its newest product, the Diamond Brand Pale Ale.  The capacity of the brewery was two hundred barrels every twelve hours, with facilities to double that amount.

            The firm started the ale brewery after the fashion of the old English breweries. This was not successful so they began brewing lager beer.  The company also made a product called Saline Lemonade, a natural aperient water.

            In 1892 Edward Sachs left the firm, and started to make ginger ale under the name of the Sachs-Pruden Manufacturing Company, but without David Pruden as a partner.  It was located at the corner of East First and Foundry Streets.

            In 1895 Sachs-Prudens' Brewing Company was sold to the Dayton Brewing Company, with Charles Whealen as president.  The Dayton Brewing Company became part of The Dayton Breweries Company in 1904.  (See The Dayton Breweries Company) .

            The brewery building currently houses the Hauer Music Company.

 

BIOGRAPHY – EDWARD SACHS

            Edward Sachs was born in Dayton, in 1851.  He was the son of German pioneer Adam Sachs.

            Edward was a chemist, making extracts and ginger ale. He went into partnership with David Pruden in 1874.  The firm of Sachs-Pruden was first engaged in the drug business at the corner of Third and St. Clair Street, in the Gebhart Building.  In 1876 they became agents for the Oriental Tea Company.

            In 1888 Edward and David built the Sachs-Pruden Brewery building for the manufacturing of ginger ale, carbonated water and flavoring extracts.  In 1889 the firm began to manufacture lager beer .

            In 1892 Edward left the firm and went on to open the Sachs-Pruden Ginger Ale company.  Charles E. Ritzler later purchased this after Edward’s death.

            Edward married Mary A. Kielmeier, with he had nine children.  He died on July 2, 1901.

 

BIOGRAPHY – DAVID PRUDEN

            David Pruden was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1854.  He was the son of Alfred Pruden.  David's wife's name was Amelia.  They had no children.  It was said that the reason they had no children was because David didn't have the time, the business being his family.  He passed away on September 4, 1910.

 

BIOGRAPHY – FRANK T. HUFFMAN

            Frank T. Huffman was born in Dayton in 1857, to William P. and Anna (Tate) Huffman.  He attended the Dayton public schools, then went to Denison University at Granville, while subsequently pursuing a special course in civil engineering under Dr. Dickinson near Trevilians Station, Virginia.

            Frank then moved to Colorado, where he spent four years ranching and mining.  He returned to Dayton in 1880, where he opened a wholesale and retail hardware business in partnership with George F. Rohr under the name of George F. Rohr & Company.  After a year and a half he moved on to build residences in Dayton.

            Frank next went on to work in the internal revenue office as their chief clerk and cashier.  In 1888 he was elected treasurer of Montgomery County, a position he was re-elected for the following term.  That same year he became a partner in the Sachs-Pruden Brewery .

            In 1895 Frank was elected treasurer of the Davis Sewing Machine Company and in 1897 became vice president and general manager.  In 1898 he was elected to the presidency of the company, remaining in that position for a number of years.

            In 1888 Frank married to Ada McIntire.  They had three children.

            Frank was a member of the Dayton City Club, the Buzz Fuzz Club and the Miami Valley Hunt and Polo Club.

            Mr. Huffman died on April 3. 1933. and was buried in Woodland cemetery.

 

BIOGRAPHY – CHARLES WHEALEN

            Charles Whealen was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania in 1844, coming to Ohio with his parents in 1856.  At the age of thirteen he began learning to make strawboard while working for the firm of Clarke and Hawes.  In January, 1885 the firm dissolved and Whealen became a stockholder in the new organization of the C. L. Hawes Company.  A few years later the company was sold to the American Strawboard Company.  Whealen was offered the position of manager of both the Dayton and the Circleville plants, a position he gladly accepted and held for a number of years.  He then helped organize the Dayton Ice Manufacturing & Cold Storage Company in 1898.  In 1890 he was elected president in the Dayton Brewing Company.

            The success of his ice and cold-storage plant in Dayton led him to open the Crystal Ice Manufacturing & Cold Storage Company in Columbus, Ohio in which he became vice-president.  It became a large and lucrative company.

            Whealen passed away May 31, 1918.

 

BIOGRAPHY – HERBERT HENRY WEAKLY

            Herbert Henry Weakley was born February 1, 1835 on the Weakley farm near Dayton, Ohio.  He was the son of Thomas and Catherine (Gunkel) Weakley.  Herbert and his family moved to New Carlisle, Ohio when he was young.  Here he attended public school until he was fifteen, then was sent to a grammar school in Springfield, Ohio.  He next entered Antioch College in Yellow Springs, where he stayed for one year before moving on to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  Herbert graduated in 1858 and immediately came to Dayton and entered the law offices of Gunckel & Strong.  He was admitted to the bar in 1860, and spent several years with the firm.

            On September 21, 1861 Herbert married Sarah Culbertson, of Troy, Ohio.  They had one child.

            In 1871 Herbert accepted the position of Land Commissioner of the West Wisconsin Railroad Company.  During his time with the company he sold over 750,000 acres of land.

            In 1878 he established the Miami County Bank in Troy, Ohio, succeeding the banking firm of W. H. H. Dye & Son.

            After selling his interests in the firm in 1879, Herbert and his family spent nearly two years traveling in central Europe.  After his return, he moved to Dayton, where he helped organize the Dayton Board of Trade, and was president and manager of the board for two years.

            In September, 1889 Herbert purchased the controlling interest in the Herald Publishing Company.  The Evening Herald was then a four page paper with a weekly edition of the same size.  He purchased the building on the corner of Second and Jefferson Streets, and there enlarged the paper to an eight page edition.

            Herbert died July 30, 1906 and was buried in Woodland cemetery.

 

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