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

Bergmann Brewery

Bergmann & Tettman

Bergmann Brewery


            John Bergmann started a brewery at 65 Quitman Street between Xenia Avenue and Clover Street in 1866.  He became a partner with William Tettman in 1879.  Business for the brewery was slow.  According to F. W. Salem's book Beer, it's History and it's Economic Value (1880), the Bergmann Brewery produced 22 barrels of beer in 1878, and only 43 the following year.  Tettman left the brewery in 1881 and John Bergmann closed down the plant the following year and went back to coopering.


Canal Brewery


            In 1851 Coelestin and Anton Schwind opened the Canal Brewery at 14 Logan Street, between Smith and Green streets.  Anton left the partnership in 1859.  In 1874 George Hecker bought the brewery, Coelestin wanting to give more attention to his other brewery, the Dayton View Brewery.  The Canal Brewery produced 124 barrels of beer in 1878, and slipped down to 115 barrels the following year.  Mr. Hecker closed the brewery in 1884 and went to work as a maltster for William Silzel & Son, a malt house, which was located at 650 South Main Street.



            Coelestin, the son of Ignatz and Elizabeth Schwind, was born in Sladtprozelten, Bavaria, Germany on May 19, 1825.  He came to the United States in 1850 and settled in Dayton, Ohio.   In 1851 he started the Canal Brewery on Logan Street.  In 1865 he founded a plant on 212 River Street which later became known as Dayton View Brewery.  In between times Coelestin found time to marry Christine Latin on August 28, 1856.  They had eleven children.  Coelestin died on April 24, 1893. 


Dayton Ale Brewery

Hollencamp & Kramer Brewery

HoIlencamp Ale Brewing Company


            Theodore Hollencamp and John F. Oehlschlager opened the Dayton Ale Brewery in 1885 at 816 South Brown Street, on the location of the old Ohio Brewery.  The two-story plant had a 10,000-barrel capacity, which needed a fifteen horsepower engine to supply the enormus amount of power to run the equipment.  There was also a separate bottling plant where they bottled their own products of ale and porter.  Oehlschlager sold his share to Henry Kramer in 1888, using the profits to open the Gem City Ale House, a beer distributing center for Cincinnati Brewing Company and Xenia and Morrow Ales.  Kramer stayed on for seven years before selling his shares of the business to his partner, Theodore Hollencamp.  Kramer used the money to begin his own street sprinkling business.  Theodore ran the business on his own until his death in 1902.  His wife, Anna, took over that same year, changing the name of the company to Hollencamp Ale Brewing Company.  The output of the plant was exclusively ale and porter, with the brewery producing about 5,000 barrels  year.

            From 1907 until prohibition the brewery was run by Theodore Hollencamp, Jr.  The brewery stayed in business during prohibition by making soft drinks, cereal beverages (near beer) and ice.  (See The Hollenkamp Products Company  in the Dayton Breweries After Prohibition section).



            John F. Oehlschlager was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 30, 1856.  He was the son of Frederick and Mary (Kriege) Oehlschlager.  He was raised in Dayton and received a common school education, which was cut short by the death of his father in 1871.  John went to work on a farm in order to aid his mother in the care of the family.  After trying several other types of jobs, John  decided to go into business for himself.  He purchased a general store at Alpha, in Greene County, Ohio.  He became an agent for the express company, ticket agent for the Pennsylvania lines and postmaster.  After five years he sold out, returned to Dayton and purchased a half interest in the Dayton Ale Brewery.

            After leaving the Dayton Ale Breweryin 1888 John became owner of the Gem City Ale House.  He later became manager of the Wehner and the Schantz and Schwind breweries of Dayton, staying in this capacity for twenty years.  After his retirement he began to engage in the real estate and rental business, an activity he kept up until a few months before his death.

            John married Elizabeth B. Tegeler on March 16. 1882.  They had two children.

            He was a member of the Dayton city council for a number of years.  Fraternally, he was a member of Humboldt Lodge No. 58, Knights of Pythias, of the Improved Order Red Men, and the St. John's Lutheran Church, where he was on the board of trustees for several years.

            John died on March 18, 1925.



            Henry Kramer was born in Kurhessen, Germany on September 8, 1828.  He decided to change his fortunes by coming to America on May 8, 1852.  Although his ship landed in Baltimore, Kramer wasted no time in getting to, and settling in, Dayton.  Here he married Julianna Herzig, who died on April 12, 1867.  They had eight children.  He later married Margaret Baumann.  They had eleven children. 

            Mr. Kramer became a partner in the Hollencamp & Kramer Brewery in 1888.  In 1895 he became engaged in the street sprinkling business, which he stayed in for many years.  He was connected with the Central Building association and served as a director until the time of his death.  Kramer was a member of the Pioneer Society, as well as the St. Laurentius Unterstuetzungs Verin, the St. Joseph Orphanage society and the Kafholische Liebesbund.  He was a lifelong member of Holy Trinity church. 

            Mr. Kramer died on August 20, 1904 and was buried in Calvary cemetery.



            Theodore was born to Henry H. and Kate (Gerling) Hollencamp in Hanover, Germany on November 2, 1834.  At the age of twenty-four he came to the United States and lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, working at any odd jobs he could find, until he finally found a position in the brewery industry, and set out to learn the trade.  After thirteen years he moved to Xenia, Ohio where he worked with his uncle in the brewery business.  When his uncle passed away in 1871 Theodore decided to move on to Dayton.

            In 1885 Theodore, along with his partner John F. Oehlschlager, established the Dayton Ale Brewery.

            Theodore married Anna Tepe on November 22, 1870 in Cincinnati.  They had six children.  Theodore was a member of the Emanuel Catholic Church of Dayton, as well as a  great supporter of the St. Joseph's Orphanage.

            Theodore passed away on June 21, 1902, leaving his wife to carry on the brewery business.


The Dayton Breweries Company


            The Dayton Breweries represented the amalgamation of several breweries in the city of Dayton.  The company was organized on March 1, 1904 with a capital stock of two million five hundred thousand dollars.  The officers were: President, Adam Schantz Jr.; Secretary and Treasurer, Louis Wehner.

            The breweries included in this merger were:


            The Adam Schantz Brewery on 114-128 River Street

            The Schwind Brewery on 212 River Street

            The Schantz & Schwind Brewery on 807 South Perry Street

            The Wehner Brewery on Concord and Scoville Streets

            The Dayton Brewery on 70 Wyandotte

            The Stickle Brewery (City Brewery) on 653-655 Warren Street

            The N. Thomas Brewery on First and Beckel (merged with the firm in 1906).


            This merger was due largely on the part of Adam Schantz, Jr.  The companies affected continued to manufacture products under their own name and label.  When told that he had been elected president of the organization Mr. Schantz told Dayton Daily News the following:


            "The chief motive of the consolidation of Dayton breweries is to elevate and regulate the saloon business in the city so that it shall be better for the public, the saloonist, and the brewer.  It is our intention to keep saloons out of sections of the city where they are not desired.  The residents in such communities will appreciate this and it will be better for the saloonist.  Time and experience have proved that in the long run saloons in divisions of the city where they are not wanted are not profitable.

            "All the companies will be run as they have been operated before the combine.  The increase of the business in the past several years will justify the operation of all the plants.

            "The main offices of the combine will be in the Arcade, where several rooms are being fitted up.  In each brewery there will be an office manager, but all the different bookkeepers in the brewery offices will be placed in a general office in the Arcade.  The respective office managers of the brewery plants will be under the directions of the directing head of the combine.

            "The regulation of the business of the combine. and all business matters connected with the combine will be managed by an executive board of five members, which shall be composed of Frank Wurfel, Louis Wehner, George Schantz, George P. Sohngen and myself.

            "There will be no change in the output.  The product of each brewery will be known under the old firm name and will bear the same label as before the consolidation.  The idea is to keep each plant as independent as possible under general interests.  We believe that perfect harmony will exist between our company and N. Thomas Brewery.  Under the operation of the new company we expect to so carefully regulate the saloon business and elevate it that complaints heard in the past shall no longer be heard.  More general plans may be discussed and adopted after our board shall have held a business meeting."


            In 1904 the fear of prohibition coming to Dayton was strong in the brewing industry.  Several other towns throughout the United States had voted to prohibit the sale of liquor within their dry limits.  The Temperance movement was literally on the march.  Some people thought that their neighborhoods were no longer safe because of the ruffians that frequented the local saloons and that prohibition would solve the problem.

            The local brewers came up with another solution.  They combined forces and formed The Dayton Breweries Company.  If a saloon had a bad reputation, they simply shut off its supply of beer.  The saloon would soon go under, and the neighborhood would have the breweries themselves to thank.  The brewers hoped to show Dayton that there was no need to regulate the brewery business since they could supervise themselves.  Most people were happy with this solution for a while, but prohibition couldn't be held off forever.

            The Dayton Breweries Company began to sell off its property with the passing of the Prohibition Act in 1919, and was out of the brewery business as of January 16, 1920.



            Adam Schantz, Jr. was born December 16, 1867, on River Street, Dayton, Ohio.   He was the son of Adam Schantz, Sr. and Salome (Latin) Schantz.  He attended the Sixth District School, later known as Emerson School, until he was twelve years old.  Adam then joined his father in the meat market for the next few years.  He later became a bookkeeper at the Riverside brewery run by his father and his uncle George. When Adam Schantz, Jr. became twenty-one he was given power of attorney by his father to conduct all of the business affairs as he saw fit.  From that point on he ran almost all of his father's interests.

            Adam Jr. married Mary Eva Olt on January 1, 1901.  Mary was the daughter of John Olt, a well known citizen who had extensive interests in the Olt Brothers Brewing Company.  Adam and Mary had four children.

            When Adam Schantz, Sr. died in 1903 Adam, Jr. was named executive.  On March 1, 1904 Mr. Schantz effected a merger of five Dayton breweries, with the Nicholas Thomas brewery joining a couple of years later.  This brewing industry became one of the extensive industrial interests in the city.

            On March 25, 1913 Dayton was hit by the greatest flood ever seen in the Miami Valley.  Adam joined the relief committee.  Along with business man John H. Patterson, Adam made an appeal to the citizens of Dayton to raise two million dollars, insisting that only if the people of Dayton opened their heartstrings and purse strings would Dayton come back as a greater and better city.  He immediately showed his faith in the city by pledging sixty thousand dollars from his father's estate and another sixty thousand from himself.  The speech galvanized the city into action and the two million was raised.

            When engineers were making a survey of the Miami River channel through Dayton in the early 1920's, it was determined that it was necessary to make a deep cut into the river bank along River Street to make the channel meet new requirements.  The Schwind Brewery and the Riverside Brewery, as well as the small brick house where Adam had been born, were on the grounds that needed to be cleared, and these landmarks were razed.

            On October 15, 1907 Adam was elected president of the Ohio Brewers' Association, and for thirteen years held that position, helping with the fight to stop prohibition, a struggle that ended with the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment, resulting in a nation-wide prohibition.

            In December 1920 the Dayton Breweries Company started liquidation of its properties.  Weary of the struggle Adam, accompanied by his wife, left for Daytona, Florida in search of relaxation and a return to health.  On their way there, they stopped off at St. Augustine, Florida for a short time.  One early afternoon after lunch, on January 10, 1921 Adam said that he was going out on the porch of the hotel to relax.  When he reached a chair he was seen to collapse.  By the time help arrived he had passed away.

            Adam Schantz was president of the Citizens Lighting Company (this merged and became the Dayton Power and Light Company, of which he became vice-president), president of the Buckeye Building & Loan Association, president of the Dayton Street Railway Company, president of the Gem City Realty Company, president of the Mead Engine Company and many other organizations too numerous to mention here.


Dayton Brewery


            About 1820 Henry Brown built a brick brewery on Lot 105, the south side of Second Street, west of Jefferson Street.  James L. Morris bought it in October 1822, and in 1823 Michael Ott was the owner.  After Michael's death a year later the brewery was owned by Brabham and Bartlow.

            By 1828 George C. Davis had taken over and built a new brick brewery on Jefferson Street, between First and Water Street.  Thomas Hawley & Co., the company standing for William Price, Thomas Wood and Jacob Judy, made the first brew there on October 15, 1828.  They manufactured beer, porter and ale and had a fine trade.

            John W. Harries bought the Dayton Brewery about 1831. In the book A Boy's Impression of Dayton 64 Years Ago, Michael Ohmer writes the following:


"Mr. John W. Harries was probably the largest dealer in grain.  His ale was of the best make.  It had a great reputation.  He did a large business...  He was a souled gentleman, you would no more enter his office when he would say 'have a glass of ale'..."


            John W. Harries stored the charcoal he used for making malt in a house made from a pirogue used to carry Samuel Thompson's party to Dayton in 1796.  The pirogue was a long, narrow boat, pointed at each end, with boards on each side on which the men walked while poling the boat upstream.

            After they arrived at their destination, landing at what is now St. Clair Street, the pirogue was carefully taken apart piece by piece and rebuilt on dry land, becoming the first house in Dayton.  The house stood for eighty-four years.  John W. Harries owned it for many years.  It was also used as a hiding place for slaves who were trying to make their way to Canada.

            After John W. Harries death in 1873, his son Charles took over the business.  The brewery was out of operation by 1880.



            John W. Harries, son of William and Catherine (Waters) Harries, was born in 1783, in the town of Gebledewyll, in Caremarthenshire, Wales.  In 1810 John married Mary Williams and settled on a farm near where he was born.  Five children were born there.  In the fall of 1823 John and his family emigrated to the United States, landing in New York, where he ran a grocery business.  It was there that his wife Mary died.

            In 1826 he married Mary Elizabeth Conklin, of Huntington, Long Island.

            In the spring of 1829 John and his family came to Ohio, arriving in Dayton on July 5th on the canal boat Experiment, having made the trip from Cincinnati by way of the canal.  Shortly after reaching Dayton, Mr. Harries started brewing, a business he stayed with until his death on February 22, 1873.

            John’s secret to success was the promptness and accuracy of his decisions.  While others reasoned and argued, he promptly resolved and acted. The following words, written at the time of his death are reproduced here:


            John W. Harries is dead, and the places which knew him so long and so well shall know him no more forever.  His friendly face, his familiar form, his cordial greetings, will never be seen or heard on earth again.  On the 22nd of February. at 1:10 P. M.. he breathed his last.  For several days he seemed on the point of dissolution, but such were his amazing tenacity of life and strength of will that he appeared to set death itself at defiance. Long and hard as the struggle was, however, he fell asleep at last, and a strong man passed away as peacefully as a tired infant goes to rest in its mother's lap.  Mr. Harries was a self-made man.     Born in Wales, he came to this country in early manhood in quest of fortune, relying upon his character, his energy and his brains.  His career strongly illustrates all the virtues, while it was far from most of the faults which characterize that remarkable class of brave men who rise by the inherent force of their own native and unaided powers.  He earned his money by the sweat of his brow, and yet did not unduly estimate its value, nor pride himself upon its possession.  In its use he was as liberal as a prince.  Poverty could not depress; fortune did not spoil him. Wealth made him neither ambitious of the countenance,  or acquaintance of the rich or great, nor forgetful of the rights and feelings of the poor. 

            In all his relations or dealings with men he was singularly just.  He never forgot old friends or past favors.  He had no false pride and never turned his back on a poor man.  He was in many particulars a very remarkable person.  Fixed in his convictions, he was in no wise intolerant of the opinions of other people.  With few advantages of early education native shrewdness, fine common sense, and close observation supplied the place of scholastic attainment.  He was a reader of men, not of books.  Without public position of any sort, he was the best known, the most popular and influential man in the community.



            Charles Harries was born in New York about 1827.  He was the son of John W. and Mary Elizabeth (Conklin) Harries.  He was but a year old when his parents brought him to Dayton.

            Known to his friends as "Uncle Charlie", he was well known for his good nature and kind hearted manner.

            Charles took over the Dayton Brewery in 1873, after the death of his father.  Charles, himself, passed away on May 13. 1907.



            Henry Brown was born near Lexington, Kentucky, in 1770, and in 1793 was military secretary for Colonel Preston, who commanded a regiment in General Wayne's army.  In 1795 Mr. Brown entered into partnership with John Sutherland, at Hamilton, Ohio.  They traded with the Native Americans for furs and pelts.

            In 1804 Mr. Brown moved to Dayton.  He built the first two-story brick home in Dayton, on Lot 110, in 1808, with the front room doubling as Henry’s store.  The house was built about three feet above the street level, in case of any high waters. 

            Henry and Kitty Patterson, daughter of Colonel Robert Patterson, were married on February 19, 1811.  They had three children.  Henry died May 19, 1823.


Dayton View Brewery

Schwind Brewing Company

Schwind Brewery Company


            Coelestin Schwind started the brewery in 1868 on 212 River Street, west of Salem Avenue.  The main building, or brewery proper, was 80’ x 70’, two stories high, with a cellar.  There were also two ice houses, one 60’ x 60’ and the other 50’ x 56’, capable of storing 5,000 tons of ice (a three years supply at the time) and a double malt kiln which was 18’ x 24’.  All of the buildings were made of brick.  On the second story, just above the malting cellars, were the hops and barley rooms.  The kiln furnace was back and down upon the cellar floor, the kiln itself was over the furnace and ran up through two floors.  In the adjoining room was a sixty-two barrel copper kettle, with a mash room and engine room located below.  To the rear of the second floor were the coolers.  The ice houses were to the west, with beer cellars and fermenting rooms located underneath.  The stables and yard were in the back, which extended to the river bank.  The water supply for the beer was drawn from wells sunk under the brewery and down below the bed of the Miami River.  A puddling house was added in 1888, which was one story high and 22’ x 44’ in size.

            The brewery had one rule: "A place for everything and everything in its place."  A years' supply of everything was kept on hand.

            By 1882 Dayton View was doing $80,000 a year in business.  In 1868 the brewery made 1,400 barrels of beer, and employed four hands, and by 1889 they had increased production to 15,000 barrels and had seventeen employees whose total wages came to eighteen hundred dollars a month.

            Coelestin Schwind died April 24, 1893.  Christine, his widow, took over, changing the name of the brewery to Schwind Brewing Company.  In 1900 Michael J. Schwind became president and treasurer, and changed the name to The Schwind Brewery Company.

            The brewery became part of The Dayton Breweries in 1904.  (See Dayton Breweries Company).



            Michael Joseph Schwind was born in Dayton, Ohio.  He was educated at St. Mary's and also in Windsor, Canada.  He was the president of C. Schwind Realty Company and president of the C. Schwind Brewing Company until it became part of the Dayton Breweries, of which he was one of the directors.  On February 12, 1896 Michael was married to Louise Eva Schamel.  He passed away on December 8, 1909.


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