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

Henry Ferneding & Company

J. & H. Ferneding

Ferneding and Hollencamp

Kenton Brewery and Malt House

City Brewery


            In 1845 brothers Henry and John Casper Ferneding, along with Frank Otten, purchased a malt house on 8 Kenton Street, where they carried on the business of malting and brewing.  When Otten died in 1847, the brothers changed the name of the business to J. & H. Ferneding.  John died in 1851 and Henry bought his share of the business on August 29, 1851.  In 1852 Bernard Hollencamp became a partner, but left the business in 1857 to run the Xenia brewery in Xenia, Ohio.


            In 1859 Henry built a new brewery at the junction of Brown and Warren Street, taking the name of City Brewery from the old location.  The building was made of brick, two stories high, and 54’ x 150’ in size.  He became partners with Lorenz Butz, a local grocery and feed store owner.  They sold out to William Sander and John H. Stoppelman in March 1865.

            Sander sold his share to Jacob Stickle in 1868, and opened Sander's Hotel on 126 East Third Street.  By 1870 Stickle was the sole owner.  Conrad Kobman bought into the business in 1871, but the partnership only lasted two years.

            In 1881 the City Brewery building burnt down.  Jacob Stickle enlarged it at an expense of eight thousand dollars, building a three and a half story brick factory.  The ice houses had a storage capacity of 2,000 tons, the beer cellars of 3,000 barrels.  The first year the business made 4,000 barrels of beer and by 1882 the brewery was producing 7,000 barrels annually.  The business required ten men and several teams for delivering the beer to local businesses.

            In 1890 the business moved to 653 & 655 Warren Street.  Jacob Stickle merged with The Dayton Breweries Company in 1904.  (See The Dayton Breweries Company).



            Henry Ferneding was born November 10, 1812 in Matinu, Dunglage, Grand Duchy of Oldenburg.  He emigrated to America at the age of 20, arriving in Baltimore on June 4, 1833.  He walked to Pittsburgh, then traveled by river to Cincinnati.  For six months he drove a milk wagon, but later came to Dayton and worked as a jigger and water carrier for the men engaged in digging the Miami and Erie Canal.  He suddenly became ill, coming down with a fever and chills that forced him to give up the job and left him bed ridden for six months,  His money gone from being used while sick, he sawed wood for a living, working every other day.  He next worked in the distillery of Horace and Perry Pease on Hole's Creek, where he remained until 1839.  He next went to Milford, Ohio where he worked for four months in John Kooglers' distillery.  After a two months illness in Milford he went to Hamilton and worked for five months in the distillery hose of Huston and Harper, where he was terribly scalded by the bursting of a slop pipe and was confined to bed for three months from the injuries.  He returned to Dayton and worked for Snyder & Dryden in their distillery on Hole's Creek.

            On May 6, 1840 he married Marie Elizabeth Taphorn, with whom he had become acquainted with in Milford.  They had nine children.  Only his son, Clement J., lived to adulthood.  Henry then worked for a year at James Riddle's brewery on St. Clair Street for $18 per month.  In 1845 he, along with his brother John Casper Ferneding and Frank Otten, purchased a malt house on Kenton street, where they carried on the business of malting and brewing until Otten's death in 1847.  They changed the name of the business to J. & H. Ferneding.  In 1850 they purchased the old Riddle brewery and built on that sight a malt house.  But before the building could be completed John Casper died.  Bernard Hollencamp became a partner in 1852. 

            During the partnership they bought the brewery of James Klee, in Xenia and carried it on under the name of Hollencamp & Co.  In 1857 Hollencamp became sole owner of the Xenia brewery.

            In 1859 Henry built a new brewery on South Warren, taking the name of City Brewery from the old location.  In August, 1861 he, along with Andrew and George Mause, began to manufacture flour under the name Ferneding, Mause and Co.  In September 1864 Andrew retired.  Henry and George purchased the Hydraulic Mills of Eichelberger & Bro. and ran it until July 1, 1867 when Clement J. Ferneding succeeded Mause.  In 1871 they sold the mill to Simon Gebhart and Sons.  In July, 1870 Henry and his son Clement bought the Hydraulic Brewery, which they ran until January 1, 1871 when they sold out to N. Metz & Co.  In August, 1872 Henry, along with Hamilton M. Turner, Thomas Heckathorn and James Niswonger purchased the Isaac Hay Distillery and warehouse in Brookville, Ohio which they worked on until August 1874, when Henry exchanged his interests in the distillery for the warehouse.  In this connection he became an agent for the Dayton & Union and Pennsylvania Central & St. Louis Railroad Companies.  In July 1878 he was appointed one of the assignees of Hollencamp Brothers, brewers of Xenia and succeeded in putting the business back on sound footing.  In 1898 he retired at the age of 86, having lost his hearing and gave his son sole ownership in all of his businesses.  Henry lived with his son the last few years of his life, dying on November 16, 1905.



            Lorenz Butz was born in 1811 in Oberschopfheim, Lahr, Baden, Germany.  He emigrated to the United States in 1831.  He first went to Auglaize County, but moved to Dayton in 1840.

            Butz started a candle factory later that year, then moved on to open a grocery and feed store on Warren Street.  He was part owner of the City Brewery with Henry Ferneding for five years.

            Lorenz and his wife, Elizabeth (Spitznagel), were the parents of five children.  Mr. Butz died on September 24, 1900. He was a member of the Holy Trinity church most of his life, until he moved in with his daughter, when he changed over to the Emmanuel church, it being closer to home.



            John H. Stoppelman was born in the township of Dochren, parish of Riemsloh, amt Groenenberg, Osnabruck, Westphalia, Hanover on August 11, 1826.  He was the son of Peter H. and Catherine Marion (Hazelhorst) Stoppelman.  John was raised on the parental farm in Westphalia and received his education in his native land.  He emigrated to the United States at the age of 22, landing in New York on May 5, 1849.  He proceeded to Ulster County, N. Y., where he engaged in work on a canal boat.  On December 6, 1849 he left New York for Cincinnati, Ohio, arriving in the Queen City on December 18.  In June, 1850 he traveled to Middletown, Ohio where he worked for Adam Foster, who was a popular hotel keeper.

            In August, 1851 Stoppelman made his way to Dayton, securing employment with Daniel Beckel as a coachman.  Not long after, Stoppelman was given a position as a clerk in Beckel's bank.  After the failure of the bank, he stayed in Beckel's employment, becoming a salesman in a dry goods establishment.  For a period of two years, while Beckel was in Michigan building a railroad, he put John in charge of his entire business dealings in Dayton.

            In 1860 Stoppelman became active in local politics and was elected to the school board.  He was next given a position as county auditor in 1861.  In 1862 he was elected a Justice of the Peace, in which capacity he served for three years.  He then turned his hand at insurance, being one of the organizers of the Teutonia Insurance Company, of which he was first secretary, holding that office for over two years.  During this same time period he entered the brewing business in partnership with William Sander and they operated the City Brewery for five years.  This venture was unsuccessful and lost Stoppelman a considerable amount of money.  He then turned to the life insurance business, in which he continued for four years.  For over thirty years he was a notary public and after 1873 this became his main source of income.

            Stoppelman served as a member of the Board of Education several more times, as well as being elected as a member of the board of equalization in 1876 and 1886, the decennial board of equalization in 1891 and city council in 1881 and 1883.

            Stoppelman married Margaret B. Schrimer of Wapakoneta, Ohio on October 4, 1855.  They had ten children.  He died on November 26. 1897.



            William Ferdinand Frederick Sander was born in Obernkirchen, Germany on November 14, 1819.  He brought his wife and family to the United States in May 1857, settling first in Chicago, then moving to Dayton in the spring of 1860.

            Sander had been a forester in the King's service in Germany and he had a deep love of flowers and trees, planting hundreds of the forest trees growing in Oakwood Park for the Sharpshooters.  He was a lover of music, and a charter member of the Mendelsohn Society of Dayton.  He belonged to the Dayton Turngemeind, the Twenty Onesters, and was the first King of the Dayton Sharpshooters.

            Mr. Sander died on July 8, 1897 and was buried next to his wife in Woodland cemetery .



            Jacob Stickle was born in Neckar-Thailfingen, Wurettemberg, Germany on February 26, 1825. Son of John Jacob and Katerina Stickle, Jacob helped his father on the family farm until he was old enough to be apprenticed to a butcher.  He learned the trade of butchering and stayed in the business until he emigrated to the United States, landing in New Orleans on May 1, 1849.  He arrived in Dayton the first of June.  On his arrival Jacob started working for Adam Happle, a meat packer whose business was located on Valley Pike in Madriver Township.  He worked for $7 a week and board.  After two years Jacob had saved enough money to rent a butcher's stand.  He later opened a stall in Harshmanville, on Yellow Springs Pike, which he attended for seventeen years.

            In 1868 Jacob purchased the brewery of Sander and Stoppelman on Warren Street.  When he started the business he decided to use only the best quality products, and to make his beer out of only barley, malt and hops.  He carried out that tradition until he sold the business.

            Jacob married Barbara Drechsel on August 31, 1851.  They had two children.  Jacob's son, William, later helped his father run the brewery.  Jacob sold out to the Dayton Breweries in 1904.  Jacob died on November 11, 1908 and was buried in Woodland cemetery.  He was a member of St. John's German Lutheran church.


Gem City Brewery


            George Schantz and Louis Schwind established the Gem City Brewery on May 2, 1888.  The new three story brick building was located at 807 South Perry Street on the comer of Bayard Street.  The brewery was 4O’ x 175’ in dimension, with outbuildings attached.  The company had the capacity of brewing 30,000 barrels of beer a year.

            Hubert K. Schwind took over as Vice President of the company after his father's death in 1895.

            The company was incorporated into The Dayton Breweries Company in 1904. (See The Dayton Breweries Company).



            George Schantz was born at Kinzig, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany on April 8, 1851.  George's father, Ferdinand, was staunchly opposed to war and to the requirement that young men serve in the army.  Because of these views he sent his sons to America.  George left with his brothers and came to Dayton, Ohio.  He was interested in brewing and opened the Riverside Brewery with his brother, Adam, in 1882.  After selling his interests to Adam, George entered a partnership with Louis Schwind and opened the Schantz and Schwind Brewing Company.  After eight years the firm merged with The Dayton Breweries Company and George became vice-president, an office he held until his death on December 11, 1917. 

            Among the many other interests in his life, George also was the director of Dayton Iron and Steel company, director of First Savings and Banking and the Dayton Street Railway company.  He was married on September 22, 1886 to Emma Knecht.  They had three children.  After Emma's death on April 27, 1890, he married Tilla Rehfus.      



            Louis A. Schwind was born in Dayton, Ohio on September 13, 1854.  He was the son of Anton Schwind.

            After his fathers' death, Louis stayed with his uncle Coelestin Schwind.  In 1888, Louis went into partnership with George Schantz and started the Gem City Brewery.  They later changed the name to the Schantz and Schwind Brewing Company.

            Only two days before he died he said he had pains in the lower part of his body.  Louis had made plans with his son Hubert to go to the Thousand Islands, but didn't feel well, so he didn't want to travel.  He told his son to go on without him, and sent his second cousin Adolph Schwind and family on the trip to take care of him.

            The pain grew more intense over the next few days.  On August 16, 1895 Louis Schwind died.  Telegrams were sent from town to town in an effort to find his son, Hubert, but they couldn't find him.  Hubert came back and found out his father had died while he was gone.


Hydraulic Brewery

Braun Brewery

N. Thomas Brewery


            John B. Wager established the Hydraulic Brewery on the site of an old saw-mill on the Upper Hydraulic, at the southwest comer of First & Beckel in 1865.  In July, 1870 he sold the business to Henry and Clem Ferneding, and worked for the brewery as a driver.  Henry, and Clem sold part of their shares on January 1, 1871 to Nicholas Metz, then sold the rest of their shares in the brewery to Anton Braun in 1873, so they could pursue their interests in the Isaac Hay Distillery in Brookville, Ohio.   Metz sold his half share to Anton in 1877 and went on to become a notary public and travel agent.

            After Braun's death on October 9, 1880 the business passed into the hands of Nicholas Thomas and George Weddle.  In 1882 the brewery was 40’ x 80’, two stories high, with cellars capable of storing 2,000 barrels.  Six men were employed in the brewery, with two teams engaged in delivering the beer, all of which was sold in the vicinity of Dayton.  In 1893 Weddle sold his interest in the brewery over to Thomas, who carried on alone.  Under Thomas’ management the brewery grew from producing only 600 barrels annually, to having the capacity to produce 80,000 barrels a year. 

            In 1900 the brewery was incorporated under the name of The N. Thomas Brewing Company, with Nicholas Thomas as president.  In 1906 the N. Thomas brewery merged with The Dayton Breweries Company. (See Dayton Breweries Company). (Also see Miami Valley Brewing Company in the Dayton Breweries After Prohibition section).



            Nicholas Thomas was born on December 14, 1825 in Esterwege, Hanover, Germany.  He was the son of John and Regina (Neibers) Thomas, both of whom died in Germany.  He attended school for only a few years, studying in a Catholic parochial institution at Esterwege.  Nicholas wanted to leave Germany, but was unable to because of army regulations. He was later rejected for service, owing to his inability to pass a medical examination, so he decided to come to America.  In 1848 Nicholas landed in New Orleans, coming up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers by boat to Cincinnati and then walking to Dayton in his stocking feet, carrying his shoes in a pack even though the weather was quite cold.  He stayed for only two weeks, cleaning the canal.  He then walked to the home of his uncle in Decatur, Indiana where he stayed the winter, hauling wood from his uncle's farm to the soap factory.  In the spring he went with a cousin to Fort Wayne and worked on the Wabash canal, transporting stone from Huntington to Fort Wayne.  After nine months, during which he was ill with ague, he walked to Minster, Ohio where he caught a canal boat and returned to Dayton.  For the first three years he worked in the Dickey stone quarry.  In 1852 he worked with Daniel Beckel in his teaming business, later acting as foreman during the excavation of the cellars for the Beckel House and in making and keeping up the turnpikes.  He drove a four horse team, hauling logs and lumber for the Longstead sawmill, which was then located on the future site of the Nicholas Thomas brewery.

            On November 22, 1852, Nicholas married Margaret Higlefort.  They had five children.  That same year he purchased a team and for fourteen years drove his own wagon.  He later was appointed a watchman of the Dayton banks for four years. In 1873 he opened a grocery and a saloon at the corner of Front and Third Streets, which he ran for several years.

            On October 9, 1880 Nicholas took a chance and bought the Braun Brewery, later changing its name to Hydraulic Brewery.  George Weddle, long connected with the brewery, withdrew in 1892.  The outcome of the company was in doubt, having already past through several hands in a short period of time, but it became one of Dayton’s most successful breweries.

            Nicholas was a founding member of Holy Trinity church, a charter member of the Knights of St. John, and the Society of St. Lawrence and a member of the Uniform Rank, Knights of St. John.  He was a member of St. Joseph's Orphan Association.  He was also the president of Thomas Real Estate Company and director of the Equitable Loan and Savings Association.  He was still active in the business until his death.



            Clement Joseph Ferneding was born in Dayton, Ohio on March 10, 1846.  He was educated in the local schools as a child, and later attended St. Mary's Institute, Mount St. Mary's of the West and the Catholic Institute of Cincinnati.  He became interested in the city railways and was president of the Dayton Street Railway Company for more than ten years.  For four years he served as a member of the police board, becoming president of the organization in his last year, but he declined reappointment to the office.  He was one of the incorporators and director of The Union Safe Deposit & Trust Company and was also the executive director in the Dayton Insurance Company.

            Clement was associated with his father, Henry, in many business dealings, the one most remembered being a flour and milling firm called H. Ferneding & Son.

            In later years he served as president of the Ferneding-Heymann Company, a cigar manufacturer in Dayton.

            Clement was made chairman of the committee appointed from the different Catholic parishes throughout Dayton looking to the abandonment of St. Henry's cemetery,  which had become surrounded by homes.  The property in question was sold and the money used to remove about five thousand, three hundred unclaimed bodies from the ground, which were then transferred to Calvary cemetery.  A mortuary stone chapel was built in their memory.

            Clement married Barbara Barlow in 1869.  They had three children.  Clement passed died on June 29, 1931.


Kossuth Brewery


            Joseph Spitzer and Thomas Vantz started the Kossuth Brewery in 1858.  It was located on Main Street, between Sixth and Franklin.  It lasted for one year.


Lager Beer Brewery

Ohio Brewery


            John B. Wager, August Becherer and Henry Hilgefort opened the Lager Beer Brewery about 1854.  It was located on the southeast comer of Hickory and Brown Streets.  In 1859 Becherer decided to try it alone and bought out his partners.  In 1861 Becherer took on Henry Hussmann as a partner and changed the name to Ohio Brewery.  Three years later Hussmann had had enough and left to open a grocery store.  Becherer tried again, taking on Phillip Ritter as a partner in 1868, but it only lasted two years.  August finally found a lasting partner in Frank Becherer, who became part owner in 1870 and stayed with the company until it was sold to Michael Seubert and Otto C. R. Wilke in 1879.  August went on to open the Oakwood Brewery that same year and Frank went to work for August.  (See Oakwood Brewery) .

            Wilke only stayed with the company for a year, leaving in 1880 to open a saloon on 1128 Wayne Avenue.  The business closed its doors in 1883.



            John B. Wager was born in Dautmergen, over on Rottweil, of Wurttemberg and came to America in 1852.  He first went to Dayton, then moved to Xenia.  After a couple of years he returned to Dayton and became a business partner with August Becherer and Henry Hilgefort and opened the Lager Beer Brewery.  He later worked with the firm of Ferneding and Co., which later became the City Brewery, and stayed there a number of years.  In 1865 he built the Hydraulic Brewery.  About five years later a flood ruined his business and he was forced to close.  From that time on he worked in different breweries until his retirement.  He died December 17, 1899.



            August Becherer was born about 1825.  He served as a Captain in the Fourth Ohio Cavalry during the Civil War.  He was a member of nearly every soldier's organization in the city of Dayton at the time of his death.  He died at his home on Brown Street on May 11, 1885.



            Henry H. Hilgefort was born in Germany on August 1. 1828.  He came to the United States in 1848 and made his way directly to Dayton, traveling by canal boat from Baltimore, Maryland.

            He first worked hauling grain from Harshmanville to a distillery in Dayton.  He drove the team for one year and afterwards worked for the distillery for another four.  He then opened a "wet grocery" in Dayton, staying in business from 1853 to 1856. Hilgefort was also involved in the Lager Beer Brewery, but sold out a few years later and began working for Fritch & Nipgen, a wholesale grocery and liquor store on Second Street.  In 1860 Hilgefort opened at wholesale grocery and liquor store on Main Street, taking on John Hanitchs as a partner.  The business lasted until 1866, when Hanitchs died and the business was closed.  Henry then opened a malt house, which he ran for two years, then entered a distillery and grain house in Brookville, Ohio.  In 1869 he bought a distillery in Carrollton and ran it for a year,  then the whiskey tax was raised and he sold out.

            The next year he started working for the Teutonia Fire Insurance Company, a concern he had helped organize in the early 1860's.  He stayed with them until 1873, when he again decided to open a wholesale grocery and liquor store, this time on Third Street.

            In 1881 he sold the business to William Sander and traveled to Germany, visiting his native country for three months.

            On his return to Dayton, Hilgefort opened a wholesale liquor store at 27 Main Street, running it under his own name until 1890, when his son-in-law, J. H. Baker, joined the business and it was incorporated as The Baker Company.  Hilgefort stayed with the company until his retirement in May, 1903.

            Henry Hilgefort married Mary E. Lemmermuhle in May, 1854.  They had six children.  In February, 1876 Mary died, and Henry married Mary S. Lukaswitz, nee Gondert, in 1879.

            Hilgefort once filled the offices of supervisor and councilman from the eighth ward and after that experience refused to serve in any other public positions.

            Hilgefort died on October 31, 1913 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery.


Main Street Brewery


            In 1856 Joseph Schwind started the Main Street Brewery on 199 Main Street, (later renumbered 411 South Main Street), between Franklin and Washington streets.   After his death on December 7, 1867 his wife, Agnes, ran the brewery until its closing in 1883.  The brewery generated 820 barrels of beer in 1878 and 632 barrels in 1879.


George Newcom

Robert Graham


            Col. George Newcom, of Newcom's tavern, was believed to be the owner of the first brewery in Dayton.  In the book History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, Rev. A. W. Drury writes the following:


            "Col. George Newcom was host, hostler, bar keeper and hunter, as well as a farmer.  Before his roaring fire in the spacious fire-place, the people of the village and passing strangers were wont to tell tales of the happenings of the day, and adventures just past.  It is said that Mr. Newcom built in close connection with his tavern in 1809 or 1810 the first brewery in the county.  This was probably in 1810 as in that year he bought the lot immediately adjoining on the west."


            Col. Newcom went off to fight in the War of 1812.  Robert Graham took over the tavern.  Drury states that in 1816 Robert Graham "who kept the old tavern at the corner of Main and Water Street, also had a small brewery there in operation."



            Col. George Newcom was born in Northern Ireland in 1771.  His parents brought him to America in 1775.  They first settled in Delaware and afterwards moved to Middletown, Pennsylvania. George met and married Mary Henderson and moved to Cincinnati in 1794.  They would eventually have seven children together.  On March 21, 1796 Mr. Newcom led one of three parties to settle Dayton, Ohio.  It took his party two weeks to travel the sixty miles.  The land was wild, the road from Hamilton to Dayton almost nonexistent, when the party reached streams trees had to be cut to make footbridges.  When they came to rivers, rafts had to be made to get across.

            Newcom built a round-log cabin on Water Street (now Monument Avenue), for his family to live in.  A tavern of two stories and four rooms was built during the winter of 1798-1799 and it became the center of the city, where adventures were told over an open fire.

            A daughter, Jane, was born on April 14. 1800, becoming the first child born in Dayton. Newcom served as the first sheriff of Montgomery County.  He was a member of the Ohio Legislature for twenty-three consecutive years, first as a senator and afterwards as a member of the Lower House.  He served as a soldier in Wayne's campaign against the Indians in 1794 and also served in the War of 1812.  George's wife, Mary, died on April 3, 1834.  Newcom then married Elizabeth Bowen on June 22, 1836.  She passed away on October 29, 1850.  Colonel Newcom died February 25, 1853 at the age of eighty-two.


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